"Sculptura" rotary-dial telephone, c. 1974

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The Sculptura phone, popularly known as the "doughnut" phone, is an example of Pop Art's influence on consumer goods, with its playful form and bright colors made possible through the evolution of plastics.

It also marks a sea change for American consumer phone options. Through the early 1970s, consumers had to rent their landline phones through the Bell System division of AT&T, the central American phone service provider, with very few handset choices (mostly black). In the early 1970s, AT&T expanded phone production to third-party manufacturers such as Western Electric, and novelty Design Line phones were born. Consumers purchased the Design Line housing, but the works of the phones were still rented from Bell. And since this was the dawn of the touch-tone telephone, the Sculptura was made both with rotary dial, shown here, as well as touch-tone versions.

"Sculptura" rotary-dial telephone
Artist Life
New York, New York, 1872-1995
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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