The Ericofon (Cobra) - One of the Most Beautiful Designed Products
Ericofon is a Swedish telephone handset created by Ericsson. It was
designed in the late 1940s by a design team including Gösta Thames,
Ralph Lysell and Hugo Blomberg. A specific feature of the telephone is
that the two major components -the handset and the dial- are combined in
a single unit. This one-piece design anticipated the evolution of the
typical cordless phone and cell phone by several decades.
The Ericofon is considered a landmark in plastic industrial design, and is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Serial production began in 1954. The earlier models were only sold to institutions, but in 1956 production for the open market begun in Europe and Australia.
In Sweden it is known as the Cobra telephone, due to its similarity with the serpent. When the telephone was finally introduced in USA by Bell Telephone Laboratories, it soon became a best selling model.
Because of its styling, and influence on future telephone design, the Ericofon is considered one of the most significant industrial designs of the 20th century.
The picture to the side shows the Ericofon as one of the most beautiful designed products, picked by one of the most prolific American industrial designers and architects, Walter Dorwin Teague.
the Ericofon was introduced on the USA market, it was available in 18
different colors, but after subsequent transfer of the production to
North Electric the number of colors was reduced to eight. A small number
of clear and metallic finish phones were also produced for special
promotions. The most popular and most produced colors were bright red
and bright white. Other colors were various pastel shades of blue,
green, and pink.
Richard Rose is a very well known Ericofon collector and has an excellent collection of these phones. The picture on the right is part of his beautiful collection.