The 1976 Bell System Telephone Book Cover

This week we received a very generous donation of two large original pencil sketches with a total of thirty vignettes by Stanley Meltzoff (1917-2006). The artwork,  created for the 1976 Bell System telephone directory cover,  was inspired by a piece known as the Gossips by Norman Rockwell.
Stanley Meltzhoff’s work has appeared in Saturday Evening Post, Life, Scientific American, National Geographic and Sports Illustrated.

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We are very excited about this donation. It’s a wonderful piece of telephone history.
In the art work, various characters from American history were depicted on the 1976 telephone book cover, each talking on one of the various types of telephones that were designed since Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone.
The cover commemorates the 200th birthday of the United States and the 100th anniversary of the telephone. It appeared on more than 184 million Bell System telephone directory covers throughout the U.S.