It's possible that some of you have never seen a rotary phone in real life. It's likely that many of you have never used a rotary phone: heard the pulse take the place of the tone, mustered your patience as the dial rolls back it its reset, cursed a number with so many zeroes in it because it takes so long to call. And that's a shame, because rotary phones are awesome: physical of a time when the home phone was home decor. Here are some of our faves.

Experimental telephone manufactured by LM Ericsson in the 1920s. Handset is made of hard rubber.

Photo: Tekniska museet


The m33, circa 1931, was the fruit of a collaboration between the Electric Bureau in Oslo and AB Alpha workshops in Sundbyberg. Designers: Jean Heiberg and Johan Christian Bjerknes.

Photo: Tekniska museet

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Western Electric #202 desk phone, 1930s.

Photo: Mark Mathosian


Gilded table model of ivory, distributed to larger LM Ericsson customers, 1930s.

Photo: Tekniska museet

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Triple rotary phone at the New York Stock Exchange master control panel, circa 1950.

Photo: George Pickow/Three Lions/Getty Images


Drive-in public phone from the 1950s.

Photo: Mark Mathosian


A 1950s woman using a telephone headset as she irons.

Photo: Al Barry/Three Lions/Getty Images


Ericofon, aka the cobra phone. Designed in the late 1940s by a design team including Gösta Thames, Ralph Lysell, and Hugo Blomberg. Made by Ericsson Company of Sweden, production began in 1954. It's in MOMA now

Photo: Marcin Wichary/Holger.Ellgaard/Wikimedia Coommons


A red Swedish bakelite phone with unique vertical rotary dialer, 1955.

Photo: Tekniska museet


The Princess Phone was designed by Henry Dreyfuss and introduced by the Bell System in 1959.

Photo: Mark Mathosian


Another cool Swedish design: telephone embodied in the form of an aircraft, circa 1960.

Photo: Tekniska museet


This is rocket science: director of NASA Wernher von Braun on the phone, 1961.

Photo: Keystone/Getty Images//Joe Haupt


Not exactly telephone, but this photo must be here. A system for dialling for a drink: installed in the Flag Inn pub at Bromley Cross in Lancashire, UK. It was devised by thirsty electronics expert Dick Millington. October 1963.

Photo: Keystone/Getty Images


1964: A Japanese telephone operator in Tokyo use the new View Phone, made by Toshiba Shibaura Electric Co.

Photo: Keystone/Getty Images


Classic black bakelite phone from 1968.

Photo: Tekniska museet


Toshiba's Model 500 View Phone, being tested at the company's Tokyo headquarters, 1968.

Photo: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


A transparent telephone at an exhibition, 'This Super-Phonic Age' produced by London's Telephone Service at Gamages Store, London, 1969.

Photo: Michael Webb/Keystone/Getty Images


Phone with a dial built into the handset, c1970.

Photo: Theron LaBounty


The Disco Queen, from the collection of the Museum of Communications in Seattle, probably from the Seventies.

Photo: Marcin Wichary


1977 Western Electric Sculptura.

Photo: mrdorkesq/John Cope


Jeff Booker demonstrating his prize-winning 'phone of the future' design, 1982.

Photo: Central Press/Getty Images


We're sure you have a favorite rotary phone design. Show us in the comments!
(Top image by: Tekniska museet .)