AT&T Archives: Seeing the Digital Future (1961)
Sign in to YouTube
Sign in to YouTube
Sign in to YouTube
Published on May 11, 2012
For more from the AT&T Archives, visit http://techchannel.att.com/archives
In 1961, the digital future was just starting to come to fruition. And the Bell System had a number of products that had either just come onto the market, or were incipient, that implemented these new computer technologies. In December 1960, AT&T had just announced an investment of $2.5 billion for satellite communications and improving the network for data services and computer communication.
In 1958, AT&T had just announced its first modem. Springing from technologies used for the computerized navigation of missiles, the modem, i.e. the Data-Phone, was rolled out in a few markets in the midwest. It would be made commercially available throughout the network by 1960. The Data-Phone could transmit at up to a bit-rate of 110 bits per second.
This film breaks into approximately two parts — part I: the problems of the present, and part II: the way those problems could be solved by the technology of the future. This film not only serves as almost the birth of the information age, it also projects that technology far into the future.
The commercial products that would allow this connected, computer-communicating network? They're basic, but at the time seemed radical:
* The wireless Bellboy Pager, which was introduced commercially in 1962
* The Data-phone, which was supposed to revolutionize business communications
* The videophone—shown as a credit-card-reading vertical two-way television
* The card-reading phone or automatic dialer, which would dial a number from small plastic punch cards, introduced in 1961
* Oh, and package delivery via rocket (which had just been tested in 1959).
Producer: Henry Strauss Productions
Writer: Jerome Alden
Director: Robert Wilmot
Henry Strauss made a number of films for the Bell System, including Family Affair, and Manmade Troubles.
Footage Courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center, Warren, NJ
Standard YouTube License
- 14:54 AT&T Archives: We Make Telephonesby AT&T Tech Channel Featured 2,614
- 8:26 AT&T Archives: The Step-By-Step Switchby AT&T Tech Channel42,267 views
- 7:44 AT&T Archives: Good-Bye, Centralby AT&T Tech Channel14,773 views
- 18:32 Looking Ahead to the Information Age in 1985: AT&T Archivesby AT&T Tech Channel27,450 views
- 5:47 The First Television Remote Control! (1961)by shaggylocks78,684 views
- 8:29 House of the Future, 1957by expolounge196,590 views
- 18:33 Telephone History: "A Story Without End" 1950 AT&Tby Jeff Quitney15,027 views
- 5:14 Hilarious old cellphone adsby kimkomandoshow237,034 views
- AT&T 2,311 videos31K
- 25:52 AT&T Archives: The Astonishing, Unfailing Bell System (1967)by AT&T Tech Channel2,846 views
- 2:16 1960s futuristic homes and kitchens, retro futurism part 4by clipsandfootage12,931 views
- 7:24 AT&T Archives: Viewtron Introduction, from the Viewdata Corporationby AT&T Tech Channel20,934 views
- 5:15 Dialing Tips circa 1950 American Telephone & Telegraph - Bell Systemby Jeff Quitney17,447 views
- 1:26 One of the First Computer-Generated Films, from 1963 - AT&T Archivesby AT&T Tech Channel98,587 views
- 27:23 AT&T Archives: Telstar!by AT&T Tech Channel18,844 views
- 26:39 The Town and the Telephone - 1950's Bell Telephone System Educational Filmby Ella's Archives11,221 views
- 14:56 AT&T Archives: Incredible Machineby AT&T Tech Channel8,487 views
- 8:15 Britian of the Future as seen in the 60'sby tootsieboom44,786 views
- 5:39 AT&T Archives - The Viewtron System and Sceptre Videotex Terminal (1983)by AT&T Tech Channel34,951 views
- 4:18 BLIT: an early Windowed Graphic Interface from Bell Labs - AT&T Archivesby AT&T Tech Channel25,254 views