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The Return of the Ericofon

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What’s half joystick, half telephone, and all fun? The Ericofon! Designed in the 1950s by Ericsson, the one-piece phone (The Dial in the Base ‘Comes to You‘!) initially struggled to succeed in the United States, then firmly in the grips of Bell Telephone’s monopoly, but steadily gained acceptance in the 1960s, when an Ohio company offered the spage-age contraption in a whopping 18 colors. Swayed by the promise of “Elegance…for eloquence,” consumers could choose from hues such as Nordic Blue, Candle Glow (not to be confused with the sunnier Golden Glow), the grape jellyish Royal Dubonnet, and Taj Mahal, which sounds a lot more exotic than “white.” An additional charge equipped one’s Ericofon with the “World’s First Electronic Tone Signal,” billed as “The Sound of the Future.” Sadly, Ericofons were out of production by the mid-1970s, but now, dear UnBeige readers, they are back—complete with push-button dialing (introduced in 1967). These days, they’re known as ScandiPhones and available in an abbreviated—and more conventionally named—selection of colors. Pick one up at the Conran Shop for $65. We use ours to pretend we’re Larry Tate summoning a flummoxed Darrin Stevens into the office to discuss how we’re going to land the Bixby account.

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