People who know me know that I have a weakness for old things. Because I am neither a millionaire nor a skilled picker, the things I run into (or that friends find for me) tend to be from the twentieth century and somewhat kitschy. I have an old Jello ad framed and hanging on my office wall. If someone refers to the impossibility of nailing Jello to the wall, I can just point to my framed ad.
Check out my latest acquisition (for which credit must go to my mother who saw it in an antique store and correctly intuited that I would like it):
The Ericofon was made by the Swedish Ericsson company (yes, of Sony Ericsson fame) in the 1950′s. After several years, an American company called North Electric began manufacturing them. The breakthrough, as you can see, is the one piece design. You just dial at bottom of the base and then hold it up to your ear. It is lightweight and quite ergonomic. It hangs up when you set the base down on the table and trigger the collapsible big, red button. Nifty, and quite a bit better for actually speaking into the device and hearing than the mini-computers we call smart phones.
In any case, the future once looked like these. And now they are relics. Time marches on.