Tuesday, October 2, 2012

the Apollo 11 telephone

Up until virtually everyone started using cel phones as the norm, novelty telephones really enjoyed a lot of popularity in the world of consumer electronics. 
While hard wired phones were standard items in homes and businesses, companies like Telemania made their mark in creating all kinds of wild and fun telephones tailored to all kinds of interests.  Most of them were license driven, but not all.  The diner phone that I designed for them is just one example.

In the late 1990s I was approached by MH Segan to design a telephone commemorating the Apollo 11 lunar mission.
The basic design would have a small scale model of the historic landing event, complete with a little Neil Armstrong.  This would all be on the phone base which would also be comprised of the dialing mechanism, some NASA type components and an engraved plaque.   In early discussions it was decided the handset and cord would be typical of the period, but they wanted some styling exploration done for the rest.  For one thing, touch-tone buttons were still relatively new in 1969 and they wanted to see some variations with and without the recently supplanted rotary mechanism.  After drawing up all of the universal elements going into the design I worked up about 7 different approaches to the rest;

Having liked elements of both C and D,  I was directed by Segan to work up one more drawing that would best represent all of the elements and qualities they wanted to see in the final;

..and here is the final rendering, classic black lacquer finish with chrome touches;

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