WE Dial-In-Handset Prototype



2005 paulf.  All rights reserved.
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Designed by Bell Telephone Laboratories with Henry Dreyfuss and produced in the Western Electric model shop at the Indianapolis Works.

 This model was used in Field Trials in about 1959-60 in New Brunswick, NJ.

The nickname, Shmoo, came from a character in Al Capp's L'il Abner comic strip.

Based largely on feedback from the "Demitasse" field trial, the dial was moved from the transmitter end of the handset to the middle of the handle.  This improved weight distribution and simplified the mechanical construction.
                  Schmoo prototype 
At rest, the Shmoo was much more graceful than previous telephones.
                  Scnmoo offhook
The nickname was a reference to a character in the Lil' Abner comic strip.  The handset reminded folks of the Shmoo.

The transmitter and receiver elements were judged reliable enough that they were permanently installed in the handset, and the seam fused.  The cord and dial could be maintained by removing the dial.  The dial light bulb could be changed by removing the small cover below and to the left of the dial.

The ringer and night light switch were in the base.

The arms on the base cradled the handset when the set was used as either desk or wall phone.
WE Schmoo bottom
The small footprint is only about 3.5 x 8"

Marked F 53635  5-60

Another reported set was marked F 53273  6-59
It has a full cork pad on the bottom and no internal ringer.
WE Schmoo inside view
Interior view shows the network, ringer with square gong and switchhook.

The set was designed to accommodate optional switches for 2 lines and exclusion or hold.
WE Schmoo TT ad Here's a cut from a 1960 ad showing a concept of a TouchTone version.
 The results of market research and the field trials confirmed the benefits of the location of the dial between the transmitter and receiver.  However, the dial used was considered too big to permit the handset to be comfortably held for long periods.

The dial and handset handle in the production Trimline were smaller.

Go to the Trimline Development Timeline page [Click here]

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2005 paulf.  All rights reserved.