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Ron DeMarco, head of props at Emerson University, had these images on a CD he shared with me showing a visual history of the telephone. It’s great for research! Click on any of them for a larger view.
The next image is virtually identical to the previous, but it includes some additional models.
I can’t wait for that picture phone! Finally, here’s a quick history of public telephone styles:
If you have a play that requires a public telephone in a contemporary setting… what play are you doing? Just kidding; though rare, you can still find payphones in many cities these days.