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WATCH: The first videoconference

June 30, 1970

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 John Harper, who were actually only a block away from each other. Fortunately for posterity, AT&T captured the event.

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. MORE@Fast Company

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