Category Archives: history

Departed

The godfathers of the Ericofon…

GΓΆsta Thames (1916 – 2006): was the highest technical manager in Ericsson. He took Lysell on board in 1939 and in the late 1940’s he was the leader of the design team for the Ericofon.

Ralph Lysell (1907 – 1987) is one of the true pioneers in Swedish industrial design. He was engaged in 1939 in the design process but left Ericsson in 1949. He was still involved after 1949 in the Ericofon design as he was a master in clay modelling.

Hugo Blomberg (1897 – 1994) was in charge of the Ericofons technical development as of 1949. Hired Lysell as a freelance designer for his extraordinary design skills.

March Of Time II

As I already showed some time ago in an older post, there is a stamp that has the Ericofon on it. Recently I was able to get a first day cover of this stamp from 1999. It is a nice to have, and worth sharing here, but not something really special.

1999 First Day Cover

Something more special, and with a bit more history is the first day cover below. This one I like a lot.

1962 First Day Cover

This envelop, with the Ericofon as an image on the envelope itself, was send in December 1962 from Tunesia to Sweden. So the First Day Cover is in fact about the series of stamps on the envelope. But…

…the receiver of the envelope was the General Director of the Swedish Post Office between 1947 and 1964, Erik Swartling.

The sender must be Ericsson Tunesia. Actually I did not open the envelope, as it is sealed, but inside there is a note with some text that you can read if you keep it against the light. It says “Good Wishes For The Next Year” and “Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson”. It also shows the LM Ericsson logo on the note inside. Unfortunately I am not able to read more of the note…

I really have to control myself not opening it. But as Erik obviously never opened it, who am I to do so… ?

Things Happen

These are quite a bunch of very very rare Ericofons you see here. Unfortunately they are not mine. πŸ™ I am not aware of the origin of these picture, but if it is your set of Ericofons, please contact me, as I found them on social media.

These are so called ‘swirl’ types. They were never officially produced. But they were obviously the result of moving from one color to another in the production process.

It seems that when they were producing red Ericofons for instance, and they wanted to start producing whites, the colors could mix in the machine. A few models would have these effects during that switch. Usually they were thrown away, but I am pretty sure that these phone were so cool that you just had to smuggle them out.

What I find strange, is that the cap also has the same effect. I always thought the caps would be produced separately. Or… they just produced both more or less in the same production line, at the same time. Or… they had to look for a cap somewhere… I don’t know.

They are gorgeous!

Cathedral in Flames

On September 11th 2015 the JKL museum (aka American Museum of Telephony) in Butte, California, USA was hit by a forest fire and got destroyed. Everything in the collection unfortunately disappeared in the flames. The picture below (courtesy of JKL Museum) shows the havoc.

Almost immediately after the damage was done, they started rebuilding their museum and a new collection. What was achieved in the past years is incredible. If you visit their website you can see what was done. Not only the building, but especially the extensive collection they have today is amazing.

JKL Museum… it’s strange to name your museum after the letters under the 5 in the dial. But the name comes from the main benefactor, John K. La Rue. Makes sense now.

And of course they have a couple of, I spotted 9, Ericofons as well. I noticed this Persian Grey manual Ericofon that I provided to the museum already back in 2016, a few months after the fire. They even have the 700 Gold Centenary, which took me ages to find πŸ˜‰ It is really impressive to see what they have when you take the virtual tour through their space.

Cardinal Points

As the Ericofon was introduced into production in 1956, it seems that within the organization it was an important achievement. Hereunder you will see the covers of the Ericsson annual reports from 1956, 1957, 1958 and 1960.

Again in 1975 the Ericofon was on the report, this time the 700 type in gold with the black ear-piece because of its centennial.

Unnatural History

Taken from “LM Ericsson 1876-18976 – The first 100 years”

This week I got 2 nice magazines from the 70’s-80’s. From one of them, an official Ericsson release, I have taken a snapshot of the highlights of year 1956. This year 65 years ago, but no retirement for this fellow.

The model showed in the image is obviously not from 1956 πŸ˜‰ See in the tab timeline the timing of the ‘wedge’ type.

Astral Disaster

A few weeks ago I ran into this advertisement in the magazine Interavia. In the 3rd edition of 1963 there was this advertisement of Ericsson, manifesting themselves in relation to military electronics.

I certainly do not hope that the electronics of the Saab 37 Viggen were of the same complexity as that of the Ericofon… πŸ™‚ Designwise there should be a tighter connection I expect.

Quality for sure is recognizable as many Ericofons still work, even after more than 50 years.

Of course you must see this picture in the right historic perspective. This advertisement is already over 55 years old and published at the peak of the cold war. Luckily times have changed. Ericsson has abandonned military involvement already many years ago and focusses still today on what it can do best since 1876: telecommunications.