Bell System's Picturephone debuted at the 1964 World's Fair.

Bell System's Picturephone debuted at the 1964 World's Fair.

Picturephone was a huge flop for Bell, even though they came close to inventing the internet. This was mostly due to the ridiculous cost of the device and the service charges. EngineerGuy has made a great video about this:

They didn't. Picturephone used a T-2 carrier which transmits at 6.312 Mbps. It's part of the reason they didn't catch on as that type of circuit was extremely expensive.

Why isn't the other person holding a receiver?

I would bet the photo is a mockup or proof of concept from the event.

I was there and remember seeing it.

I was surprised that they got it to work over a regular phone line.

Bell's system was actually introduced almost three decades after the first commercial use of video telephony in 1930s Germany. Decades of progress resulted in a higher resolution and superior image quality however (250 instead of 160 lines) and Bell's videophone was much smaller and cheaper, thanks to advances in electronics, for example printed circuit boards.

Looking back further, pretty much as soon as the conventional telephone was introduced, visionaries imagined video telephony. It's been a staple of sci-fi literature since the last quarter of the 19th century.

Then turning the device over, he will hear the voice of his friend and see his face on the screen, in color and in three dimensions. If he does not see and hear him he will know that the friend is dead.

Or, you know, on the can. Jesus, Germans - lighten up.

why the other line always moves faster

It all comes from information theory, a field which started developing in the early 50s to understand and optimize phone systems (almost single-handedly by one dude--Claude Shannon). It has discovered cool things like the amount of information a single letter carries) and

My point being: yes, megabits, megabauds, bits per second and the like are all units used since then in info theory. So yes, although not as commonly, most phones being analog.

Really? Remember any other futuristic gems?

We literally all have picture phones now, and almost never use them.

They weren't as cool as the idea of them.

Women didn't want it in their homes, because the phone might ring when they weren't dressed up or didn't have makeup on.

My parents saw it in 1964 and weren't impressed.