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Ericofon (Mid 1960s)


Morse Code Walkie Talkies (1970s)

Ericsson Ericofon (Mid 1960s)

Gift of Leslie Johnston, originally in the collection of Marty Gear.

The Ericofon is a futuristic one-piece telephone that would be right at home on the desk of any 60s movie supervillain or international man of mystery. The Ericofon was created by (and named after) Ericsson in Sweden. The design effort begain in the 1940s, but the phone was not released to the market until 1954. In Sweden, they came to be known as the "Cobra" phone, due to their shape.

The earliest Ericofon cases were of a two-piece design, but this example is a later model, molded in one piece. It probably dates from the mid 1960s, but we have not yet confirmed this, except that this phone was definitely not made before 1961. The North American version (of which this is an example) was, appropriately enough, manufactured by a firm called North Electric. They were made available in at least 18 colors in the United States. There were international models as well, with different wiring and some different colors. Ours is Mandarin Red.

The phone would have originally shipped with a part-straight, part-coiled cable, with a standard (large) four-conductor plug, but this phone has been re-wired at some point to use a more modern modular plug and cable. We have no landline with which to test it, but it appears to be in proper functional order. This is the Model 52L, with chassis type "K14", using the third and final version of the then-novel electronic "Ericotone" ringer. International models used a buzzer instead.

Much of the information we present here was gleaned from a wonderful website dedicated to the Ericofone: