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Vistaphones

 Collection
Identifier: RITDSA-0146

Scope and Contents

Collection contains two vistaphones, 2 control units, and 2 receivers/modems used by faculty, students and staff at NTID to make phone calls visually on a screen using sign language.

Dates

  • circa 1972

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

The vistaphones are very fragile and the plastic case has broken. They must be handled as little as possible.

Biographical / Historical

The Vistaphone system was a telecommunications medium designed to provide video telephone service between video stations served by the same private automatic branch exchange (PABX).

Vistaphones were manufactured by Stromberg-Carlson, a subsidiary of General Dynamics and a telecommunications equipment and electronics manufacturing company in the United States. At the time an office was located in Rochester, New York. Formed in 1894 as a partnership by Alfred Stromberg and Androv Carlson, the company was one of five that controlled the national supply of telephone equipment until after World War II.

In an effort to develop equal access to the telephone for deaf faculty, students and staff, NTID experimented with Vistaphones, conducting field tests and eventually installing more than 30 of the devices. Because of special wiring needs, Vistaphones could only be used for calls on campus.

Extent

3 Linear Feet (2 banker boxes and two receivers)

Language

English

Overview

Collection contains two vistaphones and a modem. Vistaphones were video telephones that enabled the deaf to have have telephone conversations using sign language. Vistaphones were manufactured by Stromberg-Carlson, a subsidiary of General Dynamics and a telecommunications equipment and electronics manufacturing company in the United States. NTID experimented with Vistaphones, eventually installing more than 30 of the devices. Because of special wiring needs, Vistaphones could only be used for calls on campus.

Arrangement

2 Vistaphones, 2 controllers and a modem.

Physical Location

C.S.N. Shelf 398 (Vistaphones and controllers)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number(s): 2013:018

Vistiaphones were donated by Sam Holcomb, former NTID faculty member.

Bibliography

Title
Vistaphones
Subtitle
RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive
Status
Published
Author
Becky Simmons
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archive Collections Repository

Contact:
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester NY 14623 USA
(585) 475-4613