Early video phone system, 1930

Early video phone system, 1930

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Early video phone system, 1930. Historical artwork showing the two-way television communication system demonstrated by Bell Labs on Manhattan Island, New York City, USA, in 1930. The system used light beams and a spinning disc with 50 holes in it (the discs are seen behind the screens in front of the people). 195 Broadway (left) is the headquarters of the AT&T telephone company. 463 West Street (right) is the headquarters of Bell Telephone Laboratories. The system allowed the operators to see a small, relatively poor-quality black-and-white picture of the other person. Successful videophones were not properly developed until several decades later.

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