Watch a creepy puppet teach kids how to use the telephone

1950s film from AT&T showed schoolchildren on proper telephone etiquette

AT&T has unearthed another video from its archives, this time producing "Adventures in Telezonia", in which a odd-looking puppet instructs viewers on the proper way to use a telephone. If the name "Telezonia" sounds familiar, it's because the company re-did this film in 1974, using live actors and even more creepy "residents".

According to AT&T, this film "was part of an educational package distributed in grade schools for kids to learn proper telephone usage. The package contained the 18-minute film, a filmstrip with different supplemental content, a children's booklet, and a teachers' guide. The company also had telephone sets - two brightly colored telephones - as a learning aid that were available to go along with the package."

By 1950, about 60% of U.S. households had a telephone, AT&T says, so the goal of the project was to educate children on how to use the phone system.

It's interesting to note how many times AT&T (and the Bell System before it) created film packages like this to promote the use of the phone. In modern times, it would be like if Apple created films like these to distribute to schools, teaching students how to use the iPhone or send a text message.

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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