Doral Telephone of Tomorrow

In 1974, Doral cigarettes ran a promotion featuring a telephone of tomorrow. "A $125 Value... It's Yours For Only $69.95."

I'm not sure how it was supposed to sell cigarettes, but I was curious if any of these tomorrow telephones were still around. Found one on eBay. Bidding is currently at $2.

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 03, 2018
     Category: Telephones | 1970s

I never heard of a straight-out sale as a promo. There was occasionally an option to send in just pack seals or fewer pack seals and some cash for expensive items. Doral always tried to position itself with the finer brands, but they never pulled it off. This is one of their attempts to appear elegant through a bog-standard, very inelegant, ad.

I fondly remember all the goodies you could get through Benson & Hedges. I still use the bathrobes I got 20+ years ago (same quality as you found in high-end hotels), and knocking around somewhere in a junk drawer is a little travel clock (a little smaller than a mini-Altoids tin, it slides open, stands up, and has a decently loud alarm). I was sad when I missed the closing of their promos and had to settle for sending in my seals for some Marlboro junk.

I'm sorry to disagree a bit (by nature, I'm a disagreeable person), but I don't think the eBay phone is the same. It's just the same techno style. The case shape is a pyramid with a lopped-off top rather than Doral's rhomboid, and the orientation of the parts is different.
Posted by Phideaux on 04/03/18 at 01:23 PM
I thought the price seemed like a lot of money for '74 so I checked on an inflation calculator. Apparently, $70 then would be about $350 now! That's a lot of money for an ugly phone!
Posted by Robb of Warren on 04/03/18 at 04:52 PM
At the time, Ma Bell was under pressure of anti-trust legislation and IIRC part of the deal was to let customers purchase their own telephone handsets. Big Telephone had always leased the equipment, never sold it outright.

Certainly this phone was expensive, Robb, being made of Lucite (probably) with all mechanical parts in that rotary phone. But the revolution in microelectronics was under way and I remember selling the first consumer touch tone handsets over the counter when I worked for J C Penney in 1977 as a kid just out of high school.

In contrast, I received a company use iPhone 8 yesterday and made my first call on it today. Took me two minutes to figure how to make the phone function work. Alex Bell must be spinning in his grave.
Posted by KDP on 04/03/18 at 06:00 PM
This might have been the last time a rotary phone was considered the “telephone of tomorrow.”
Posted by Brian on 04/05/18 at 09:30 AM
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