Push-button telephone

10- or 12-button touch-tone telephonespush-buttonpush-button dialingpush-button telephone handsetspushbutton telephonestouch tone telephonetouch-tonetouch-tone phonetouch-tone telephonetouch-tone telephones
The push-button telephone is a telephone that has buttons or keys for dialing a telephone number, in contrast to having a rotary dial as in earlier telephone instruments.wikipedia
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Telephone

phonetelephonesLocal Telephone Service
The push-button telephone is a telephone that has buttons or keys for dialing a telephone number, in contrast to having a rotary dial as in earlier telephone instruments.
Until the 1960s dials used almost exclusively the rotary technology, which was replaced by dual-tone multi-frequency signaling (DTMF) with pushbutton telephones (A4).

Rotary dial

rotary telephonedialrotary phone
The push-button telephone is a telephone that has buttons or keys for dialing a telephone number, in contrast to having a rotary dial as in earlier telephone instruments. This use even predated the invention of the rotary dial by Almon Brown Strowger in 1891.
From the 1980s onward, the rotary dial was gradually supplanted by DTMF (dual-tone multi-frequency) push-button dialing, first introduced to the public at the 1962 World's Fair under the trade name "Touch-Tone".

Keypad

keypadsnumeric keypad
Although DTMF was the driving technology implemented in push-button telephones, some telephone manufacturers used push-button keypads to generate pulse dial signaling.
Numeric keypads are found on alphanumeric keyboards and on other devices which require mainly numeric input such as calculators, push-button telephones, vending machines, ATMs, Point of Sale devices, combination locks, and digital door locks.

Speed dial

speed dialingSpeed Calling
Digital push-button telephones were introduced with the adoption of metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit (IC) technology in the early 1970s, with features such as the storage of phone numbers (like in a telephone directory) on MOS memory chips for speed dialing.
Metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit (IC) telephone technology enabled speed dialing on push-button telephones in the early 1970s.

Dual-tone multi-frequency signaling

DTMFtouch-tonedual-tone multi-frequency
On 18 November 1963, after approximately three years of customer testing, the Bell System in the United States officially introduced dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) technology under its registered trademark Touch-Tone. On November 18, 1963, the first electronic push-button system with touch-tone dialing was commercially offered by Bell Telephone to customers in the Pittsburgh area towns of Carnegie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania, after the DTMF system had been tested for several years in multiple locations, including Greensburg.
DTMF was first developed in the Bell System in the United States, and became known under the trademark Touch-Tone for use in push-button telephones supplied to telephone customers, starting in 1963.

Model 500 telephone

2500500-type telephone1500
This phone, the Western Electric 1500, had only ten buttons.
In the 1960s, after the introduction of touch-tone service in November 1963 in various locations of the telephone network, the basic 500-type chassis was retrofitted with a push-button keypad, along with a new housing and faceplate, creating the model 1500 for the 10-button version and in 1968 the model 2500, having 12 keys.

Number sign

#hash symbolhash
This led to the addition of the number sign (#, pound or diamond in this context, hash, square or gate in the UK, and octothorpe by the original engineers) and asterisk or star keys in 1969.
The symbol was introduced on the bottom right button of touch-tone keypads in 1968, but that button was not extensively used until the advent of large scale voicemail (PBX systems, etc.) in the early 1980s.

Pulse dialing

dial pulsepulse diallingpulse dial
Although DTMF was the driving technology implemented in push-button telephones, some telephone manufacturers used push-button keypads to generate pulse dial signaling. Over the next few decades touch-tone service replaced traditional pulse dialing technology and it eventually became a world-wide standard for telecommunication signaling.
The Touch-Tone system used push-button telephones.

Timeline of the telephone

chronicles the developmentexistence of a transatlantic telephoneon-or-off transmission methods

History of the telephone

telephonemechanical telephonetelephone history
The British companies Pye TMC, Marconi-Elliott and GEC developed the digital push-button telephone, based on MOS IC technology, in 1970.

Mobile phone

cell phonemobile phonesmobile
The push-button format is also used for all cell phones, but with out-of-band signaling of the dialed number.

Western Electric

Western Electric CompanyWestrexWestern Electric Manufacturing Company
This phone, the Western Electric 1500, had only ten buttons. Western Electric experimented as early as 1941 with methods of using mechanically activated reeds to produce two tones for each of the ten digits and by the late 1940s such technology was field-tested in a No. 5 Crossbar switching system in Pennsylvania.

Number Five Crossbar Switching System

5XB switchNo. 5 Crossbar switch5XB
Western Electric experimented as early as 1941 with methods of using mechanically activated reeds to produce two tones for each of the ten digits and by the late 1940s such technology was field-tested in a No. 5 Crossbar switching system in Pennsylvania.

Transistor

transistorstransistorizedsilicon transistor
But the technology proved unreliable and it was not until long after the invention of the transistor when push-button technology matured.

Bell System

Bell Operating CompanyBell Operating CompaniesBell Telephone
On 18 November 1963, after approximately three years of customer testing, the Bell System in the United States officially introduced dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) technology under its registered trademark Touch-Tone.

Integrated circuit

integrated circuitsmicrochipchip
Digital push-button telephones were introduced with the adoption of metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit (IC) technology in the early 1970s, with features such as the storage of phone numbers (like in a telephone directory) on MOS memory chips for speed dialing.

Telephone directory

phone bookwhite pagestelephone directories
Digital push-button telephones were introduced with the adoption of metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit (IC) technology in the early 1970s, with features such as the storage of phone numbers (like in a telephone directory) on MOS memory chips for speed dialing.

Almon Brown Strowger

Almon StrowgerAlmon B. StrowgerStrowger
This use even predated the invention of the rotary dial by Almon Brown Strowger in 1891.

Direct distance dialing

direct dialdirect distance dialIDDD
The 1951 introduction of direct distance dialing required automatic transmission of dialed numbers between distant exchanges, leading to use of inband multi-frequency signaling within the Long Lines network while individual local subscribers continued to dial using standard pulses.

In-band signaling

in-bandin-band signallinginband
The 1951 introduction of direct distance dialing required automatic transmission of dialed numbers between distant exchanges, leading to use of inband multi-frequency signaling within the Long Lines network while individual local subscribers continued to dial using standard pulses.

Multi-frequency signaling

multi-frequencyMFmultifrequency
The 1951 introduction of direct distance dialing required automatic transmission of dialed numbers between distant exchanges, leading to use of inband multi-frequency signaling within the Long Lines network while individual local subscribers continued to dial using standard pulses.

Telephone exchange names

central office nametelephone exchangetelephone exchange name
As direct distance dialing expanded to a growing number of communities, local numbers (often four, five or six digits) were extended to standardized seven-digit named exchanges.

Telephone numbering plan

Area codeTelephone codearea codes
A toll call to another area code was eleven digits, including the leading 1.

AT&T Corporation

AT&TAmerican Telephone and Telegraph CompanyAmerican Telephone & Telegraph
In the 1950s, AT&T conducted extensive studies of product engineering and efficiency and concluded that push-button dialing was preferable to rotary dialing.

Electronics

electronicelectronic equipmentelectronic device
On November 18, 1963, the first electronic push-button system with touch-tone dialing was commercially offered by Bell Telephone to customers in the Pittsburgh area towns of Carnegie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania, after the DTMF system had been tested for several years in multiple locations, including Greensburg.