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Rotary Telephone

On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call to his assistant, Thomas Watson. Since that day, phones have come in all sizes and shapes, now small enough to fit in our pocket and act as a small computer. This pink plastic rotary telephone (circa 1950s-1980s), which is a Western Electric model 500, is an example of one of the many types of phones created over the years. This model was popular as the standard desk telephone from 1950 to 1984. Numbers were dialed by putting your finger in the wheel under the desired number, and rotating it to the fixed stop to the right, repeating for each number until complete. The telephone also features a tan plastic shoulder rest for extended use, most likely in an office setting. (Collection of the Museum of Florida History)