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Watch the first videoconference on AT&T’s Picturephone II – Source

In 1964, AT&T unveiled its Picturephone—a telephone with video as well as audio—at the New York World’s Fair and at Disneyland. It was an iconic moment for personal technology. But when the company then launched a commercial video-calling service, you had to go to one of three Picturephone stations in the U.S.—New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago—and pay at least $16 to make a three-minute call. So it was no shocker that this service didn’t exactly change the world.

Six years later, with the 1970 launch of the Picturephone II, AT&T began letting any company install a videoconferencing system at its own premises. At least any company in Pittsburgh, which is where the service debuted. (AT&T had planned to offer it in New York as well, but its network there was insufficiently robust to handle video.)

The first official Picturephone II call occurred in Pittsburgh on June 30, 1970, 50 years ago today. It took place between Pittsburgh mayor Pete Flaherty and Alcoa chairman…

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