Trimline & Similar Phones

In 1964, America was a very different place. The Beatles rocked, Ford Mustangs rolled -- and the AT&T Trimline telephone rang for the first time in American homes.

Many years later, the AT&T Trimline telephone still rocks America. Well over 100 million AT&T Trimline telephones have been made, plus an unknown huge number of copies from by other companies.

When the AT&T Trimline telephone was introduced in 1965, it was dramatically different from any other phone. It dazzled consumers with the first-ever dial-in-handset, allowing people to dial a new call without returning to the base of the phone.


The design of the phone was based on the test phones ("buttsets") used by telephone technicians. The Trimline's dial-in-handset design was so sensible that it was copied by phone makers worldwide, and led to the ubiquitous cellphones and cordless phones.

The Trimline telephone was selected to be part of the Permanent Design Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the only communications product selected for this honor. Fortune magazine cited the phone as one of the 25 best products of 1977, twelve years after its introduction.

The old ad is provided for entertainment only, and does not necessarily describe phones on this website.