The Ericofon / Cobra 1956 (1954)
The original idea was to compression mould the Ericofon using Bakelite, but as the production was to start, the new thermoplastic ABS had become available. Not only was it considerably more impact resistant. It could also be made in any colour wanted, as opposed to Bakelite’s usual basic black. After a trial series in 1954, most of the production was placed in Karlskrona where more than 2.5 million phones were made between 1956 and 1982. Only 20% or so reached the Swedish market. When what was then called Swedish Telecom made it part of its range, it was offered at a surcharge and only in five colours of the thirty made. But it was never available in black.
The Ericofon marks a paradigm shift in telephone design. The both obvious and spectacular design combined with ease in handling, luscious colours and high surface finish forms a complete break with the heavy, black Bakelite devices. It is also the first Swedish phone to have its own name, rather than only a number and letter ID; the first sign that it was seen more as a consumer product than as merely an extension of telephony as a system.
Author: Lasse Brunnström
One of Ralph Lysells development sketches for the Erifon (later: the Ericofon)
Early plastic prototype to the Ericofon. Designed by the engineers Blomberg and Lysell.
Two early plastic prototypes to what would later develop into the Ericofon. These were designed by the engineers Blomberg and Lysell.
Ericofon with two indian actresses. Scene from an indian movie.
Telephone, Ericofon. Design: Ralph Lysell, Hugo Blomberg och Gösta Thames.