Author Topic: Now the Story Can be Told - 1949 WECo 500 Set  (Read 238719 times)

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #315 on: March 31, 2010, 01:27:15 PM »
I was reading through the following document about the placement of graphics, and the dots on the new dialface, and it hit me that the logic of the dots wasn't right. Can anyone else see what I'm thinking ?
D/P

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Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #316 on: March 31, 2010, 01:39:40 PM »
Adding the dots only works if you are right directly looking at the dialface. So for the new dial to function as mentioned, you need to be in the same position you had to be in to use the old Dial.
From where my phone sits right now, I can only see the top half of dots 8 and 9.
I think the human brain is a little more advanced than to need a dot to point at, to insure you will hit the proper finger hole.
Below is a photo of my phone as I see it when I dial. I don't think the dots are a factor at all.
D/P.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2010, 01:50:13 PM by Dan/Panther »

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Offline bwanna

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #317 on: March 31, 2010, 02:05:45 PM »
dan, where did that typed information come from? it does seem to be somewhat contradictory.
donna

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #318 on: March 31, 2010, 02:39:51 PM »
It came from a BSP from bell Labs about the design of the new 500 phone. Presented at a conference May 1949 I think it said.
It's posted somewhere in this thread I'll see if i can find it. I downloaded it from the link I think Jim posted ?
D/P

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Offline paul-f

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #319 on: March 31, 2010, 02:45:11 PM »
The typed material is from "Notes of the Discussions at the Conference of Bell System Lecturers, May 1949 pages 93-94.  The link was posted earlier.
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Offline rp2813

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #320 on: March 31, 2010, 03:00:02 PM »
Yes, I saved a copy of that document and there is a link to it earlier in this thread.

I may only be speaking for myself, but the 500 on my desk is situated in a way that allows me to see only the dots related to numerals 5 through 0.  I don't need to get right on top of the phone to make sure I'm dialing 1 through 4 correctly, even though I can't see the dots for those.  I use the number adjacent to the hole in the fingerwheel to plan my next move, not the dots inside the holes.  They aren't numbered.

I doubt they ever considered putting the digits where the dots are and only leaving the letters outside.  It would make dialing more difficult and would have been a step backward to the dials of previous generations.  So I have a hard time seeing where adding the dots made that much of a difference, but seeing a 500 without them would, some 60 years after its introduction, look weird.

Regardless, the final configuration adopted for the 500 dial didn't put an end to the "Mr. Bumble" ads Ma Bell used to run on TV, so there were still plenty of WNO's (Bellspeak for "wrong number") being dialed after the number of 500's in service was higher than that of the 302's still out there.
Ralph

Offline paul-f

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #321 on: March 31, 2010, 03:26:20 PM »
Do the dots make a difference?

I read somewhere that the Bell System did a lot of statistical research on dials and the human factors of dialing, using many groups of people over the years.  The focus was on identifying factors that could be improved to increase dialing speed and accuracy.

The main motivation was to improve utilization of equipment in the CO.  A small increase in speed or accuracy translated into millions of dollars in annual operating expenses.  This influenced the 500's design goals and was watched closely.

The 1977 Dreyfuss book claims "that adding the 'aiming dots' decreased dialing time by seven-tenths of one second."

When the colored 500s came out, further research was done on the contrast between the set color and the letter/number color on the dial plate to optimize these factors.  For example, that resulted in rose beige sets having white letters while the later light beige sets have black letters. (Some of the early research is referenced on page 98 of the 1949 document.)

[These factors were important for decades.  They were used as a primary justification for the expense of going to touch tone dialing many years later.]
« Last Edit: March 31, 2010, 03:33:04 PM by paul-f »
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Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #322 on: March 31, 2010, 03:31:24 PM »
People routinely use Keyboards and calculators without looking at the figures. I don't think it too much of a stretch to imagine that the brain could figure out the numbers by looking at 10 circles laid out with numbers beside them.
I love the dialplate layout on the 500, and I can't imagine it being any other was. I just found the comment to be rather like Bwanna said, contradictory. I know that corporations spend untold millions on profiling users of their products, and apparently it is a science and it works. It sometimes defies logic.
D/P
« Last Edit: March 31, 2010, 03:40:27 PM by Dan/Panther »

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Offline bwanna

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #323 on: March 31, 2010, 03:34:57 PM »
maybe it made a difference back in the day. when this phone stuff was new fangled business. we have been accustomed to the 500 type dial our entire lives.  those of us over 40 that is.
donna

Offline paul-f

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #324 on: March 31, 2010, 03:41:13 PM »
Dan,

I believe the key word in your post is "routinely."  In those days, heavy keyboard and calculator users were mainly typists or in accounting departments using mechanical adding machines.

The average phone user probably only dialed a few numbers a day, so never got up the learning curve.  Long distance was still a luxury.

The dots weren't for "power-dialers" anyway.  Who cares if you saved 10% of their dialing time?  The goal was to speed up the novice dialer, who misdialed and was slow -- having to think about each digit dialed and perfrom advanced mental gymnastics such as figuring out which letters of the exchange name to dial.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2010, 04:11:31 PM by paul-f »
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Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #325 on: March 31, 2010, 03:48:03 PM »
What you say makes a lot of sense now, people were simpler then, everything was relatively new, industrial revolution was barely a generation new. It's like trying to explain email to a senior, or teaching your Mom how to use a remote.
D/P
« Last Edit: March 31, 2010, 04:00:57 PM by Dan/Panther »

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Offline paul-f

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #326 on: March 31, 2010, 04:02:33 PM »
Ouch!  Those are our parents and grandparents  you're talking about.
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Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #327 on: March 31, 2010, 04:05:12 PM »
Won't be much longer I'll be talking about us....
I never really put it in that perspective. can you imagine some teenager in the late twenties saying; "Gheez Dad, all ya have to do is put your finger in the number you want and turn the dial how much easier can it get".
Dad; "Yeah I know you said that before, but I keep getting the wrong person, darned new things, why can't they just leave well enough alone, what's wrong with an operator getting me the number I want. NO SOONER GET USED TO ONE THING AND THEY GOTTA GO CHANGING THINGS ON YA.?"
D/P
« Last Edit: March 31, 2010, 04:12:38 PM by Dan/Panther »

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Offline Kenny C

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #328 on: March 31, 2010, 04:08:58 PM »
i am still young (although there has been some debate from my friends)
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  Marie B.
1926-2010

Offline paul-f

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Re: Now the Story Can be Told.
« Reply #329 on: March 31, 2010, 04:20:21 PM »
Won't be much longer I'll be talking about us....
I never really put it in that perspective. can you imagine some teenager in the late twenties saying; "Gheez Dad, all ya have to do is put your finger in the number you want and turn the dial how much easier can it get".
Dad; "Yeah I know you said that before, but I keep getting the wrong person, darned new things, why can't they just leave well enough alone, what's wrong with an operator getting me the number I want. NO SOONER GET USED TO ONE THING AND THEY GOTTA GO CHANGING THINGS ON YA.?"
D/P

It might look a lot like this...
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zjlLb0tqGs&feature=related

(Pardon if this has been posted elsewhere.)

A higher resolution version is in the Prelinger Archives at archive.org.


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