AT&T has released a video of the Picturephone's commercial debut along with a bit of history on a device that was expected to change the future. The video below is of the first call from the commercial release in Pittsburgh, from Mayor Pete Flaherty to Alcoa chairman John Harper, who were just a block apart at the time.
The first Picturephone was completed over 40 years before this call, and prior to large-scale rollout in the 1970s there were only three available — one in New York, one in DC, and one in Chicago. The three machines could only communicate with one another and were extremely expensive, costing between $16 and $27 (that's $118 to $200 when adjusted for inflation) for just three minutes. The price didn't drop after the Picturephone's commercial launch, and the service cost $160 per month ($947 today). Because of the prohibitively high cost, the company's projections of a hundred thousand Picturephones nationwide by 1975 fell far short, and only several hundred were in operation. Even though the Picturephone never quite caught on, the concept was far ahead of its time and paved the way for modern-day services like Skype and FaceTime. Check out the embedded launch video and for more on the Picturephone's history take a look at the source link below.