One Piece Telephone

Hugo Blomberg, Ralph Lysell, Gösta Thames        1954           One Piece Telephone

Designed in the Forties by three Swedes, but only hitting the market more than a decade later, this is one of the early plastic products with Scandinavian design. With new materials that appeared on the market after WWII, the time had come to focus on a lightweight, robust telephone. Strangely enough the first one-piece telephone enjoyed early success in hospitals, because it facilitated dialing while in bed – avoiding having to reach over to the nightstand for a base with a dial. This was convenient for everyone, not only for patients. The telephone’s  American market introduction was initially delayed by restrictive policies that the reigning almost-monopolist had sponsored. When it finally made its debut, it immediately sold very well, with demand exceeding production by 500%. Nicknamed the Cobra due to its form with the uniquely snake-like rising earpiece, it was both practical and a bold statement of new technology.