In 2018, video calls evoke no aahs and oohs. But back in the 1950s, video-calling was cutting edge technology, involving large, clunky TV-like devices that were the world’s first video phone.
Back in 1955, a video phone was engineered in Bells Lab in San Francisco. The video above is an old newsreel showcasing the demonstration of the phone. YouTube channel Media Drum Lab posted this vintage clip featuring a woman using the device. The male narrator in the background describes the features of what he calls “the telephone of tomorrow”. (He also throws in some patently anti-feminist lines.)
The footage shows a large crowd gathered to witness the first test of the innovative technology at an electronics convention. The narrator goes on to say that the phone would cost just $5,000 – steep now, and much steeper then.