4 of 7
BACKNEXT
AT&T video phone - 1964
AT&T video phone - 1964
Skype wasn't the first to offer video chat -- not by a long shot. In fact, Bell Labs built the world's premier video-phone in 1956.

The Picturephone system transmitted only one image every two seconds and was later featured at the 1964 World's Fair, where the public was invited to place calls between the fairground in New York and Disneyland.

Trials went on for six years, and a commercial Picturephone service debuted in downtown Pittsburgh in 1970. AT&T executives were sure the company would sell one million Picturephones by 1980, but it turned out people didn't like the bulky equipment or the small screen. Plus, the company charged $16 for a four-minute call -- a hefty fee, especially in 1970 dollars, and a far cry from Skype's free service today.



NEXT: Prism laser guitar- 2009

Last updated September 23 2009: 11:26 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
RadioShack: 94 years of hits and misses The electronic giant's road to ruin is littered with 8-tracks, CD payers, pagers and many, many calculators. More
The best TV deals for the Super Bowl Want a new TV for the Super Bowl? Some great deals make now the time to buy. More
Top-paying jobs Orthopedic surgeons take home a median $410,000 in salary and bonus annually. What other great careers from CNNMoney and PayScale.com's list of Best Jobs in America offer hefty paychecks? More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2015 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2015. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2015 and/or its affiliates.