Lucy, Desi and telephoneI’ve always been interested in the whole “Lucy phone” thing. Why has the Western Electric model 302 become associated so closely with Lucille Ball? I understand that the phone appeared often in “I Love Lucy”, but it was also in just about every other movie and TV show produced during the ’40s and ’50s. The 302 was, after all, a significant technological jump, and happily replaced earlier models in short order upon its introduction in ‘37. The vast majority of American households had one, so the presence of a 302 in the Ricardo’s apartment isn’t extraordinary. But the phone is clearly visible, and I doubt there is a single episode where the trusty 302 isn’t in plain view. The popularity of the show, then and now, is no doubt the primary reason that Lucy and her phone are joined in the public conscious forever.
While we’re on the subject of TV shows and phones, I was watching Leave it to Beaver the other day. Ward answers the phone, and what kind do you suppose it was? A Western Electric model 500. (Which may or may not be referred to one day as, the Beaver phone)