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