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
8 of the world's craziest fast food items American food chains operating abroad must cater to local tastes to succeed. The results are spectacular. More
Inside the $50,000 Emmys swag bags If getting nominated or presenting an Emmy award isn't prize enough, celebrities come away from TV's big night with luxury goods and vacations worth $50,000. Take a peek at some of this year's luxe giveaways. More
10 most expensive cars sold at Pebble Beach These multi-million-dollar cars sold for top dollar at this year's Pebble Beach collector car auctions. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.