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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
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Alberta's Telephone Heritage
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Handset Development

Handset development in North America began in the 1920s. Here, the handset of the telephone combines the transmitter and receiver in a single unit. This design allowed the caller to turn and move his or her head while talking on the telephone.

Prior to this, receivers had been separate units held up to the ear with the transmitter mounted on the telephone, angled slightly upwards. This arrangement ensured good transmission by controlling gravity pressure on the carbon granules inside the transmitter.

In 1963, the Bell Telephone Company began trials of the Trimline model that had the dial on the handset. Most of today’s telephones have lightweight dialing circuitry in the handset.


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