Artifact Details


Original Carterfone

Catalog Number



Physical object




Carterfone Communications Corporation

Place Manufactured

Dallas, TX, USA


Original "Carterfone" acoustically coupled device to match radio base station to public dial network. Primary Supreme Court to permit non- AT&T device connection. Object is mounted to a wooden plaque and accompanied by a explanatory panel. Brass plaque on the device reads:
" The Original Carterphone
This original Carterphone, manufactured by Carter Electronics in 1959, served a need for mobile radio users to interconnect with the public telephone network. Use of the Carterphone was challenged by the telephone companies in 1966, and a lengthy struggle began that ultimately led to the Federal Communications Commission. On June 26, 1968, the FCC handed down the landmark Carterphone decision. The resolution of Tom Carter's struggle for acceptance of the concept of Interconnection permitted the creation of a multi-billion dollar industry that today serves all areas of communications needs--data, voice, message. The historic Carterphone Decision allowed an open, competitive market to exist for communicatins equipment and facilities to the benefit of the communications user. This original Carterphone is one of the few remaining devices in existence, and has been preserved to commemorate the historic legal milestone it represents. Cartphone Communications Corporation Dallas, TX."


Interconnect: network: modem


Courtesy of Scott Brear

Lot Number