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The push-button telephone was first invented in 1941, and is a telephone with push-buttons or keys, and which eventually replaced rotary dial telephones that were first used in 1891. The first push-button telephone was invented in the labs of Bell Telephone; however, these models were only prototypes, and were not brought to the commercial market. The first publicly-available push-button telephone was released in 1963, by the Bell System.
In the 1950s, AT&T conducted extensive studies, and concluded that push-button dialing was much faster than rotary dialing. On November 18, 1963, the first electronic push-button system, with Touch-Tone dialing, was offered by Bell Telephones to AT&T customers. The push-button telephone was introduced to the public, in the towns of Carnegie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania, with touch-tone dialing available for an extra charge. The first push-button phone, the Western 1500, had only ten buttons. A twelve-button model featuring the asterisk/star (*) and pound/hash (#) keys was released soon afterwards, replacing the earlier model. Though push-button touch-tone phones made their debut to the general public in 1963, the older rotary dial telephone still was common for many years. In the 1970s, the majority of phone users still had rotary phones. Adoption of the push-button phone was steady, but it took a long time for them to appear in some areas. At first it was primarily businesses that adopted push-button phones. By 1979, the touch-tone phone was gaining popularity, but it wasn't until the 1980s that the majority of customers owned push-button telephones in their homes; by the 1990s, it was the overwhelming majority. Some exchanges no longer support pulse-dialing, and rotary telephones are generally considered obsolete. Rotary telephones are now largely considered a novelty, and are not compatible with some modern telephone features, though enthusiasts may adapt pulse-dialing telephones using a pulse-to-tone converter. For optimum use, push-button phones utilize dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signaling, more commonly known as touch-tone dialing, rather than the older and slower pulse dial system. Touch-tone technology was first made available in 1963 with the introduction of the first push-button telephone, though pulse-dialing was still supported by many telephone exchanges. The touch-tone format quickly became the standard dialing system in the United States, especially in the business market, and eventually became the standard worldwide. The push-button touch-tone format is also used for all cell phones. The telephone buttons are typically arranged in a 3-by-4 grid, including the digits zero through nine, in addition to the star key (*) and the pound/hash sign (#) to accommodate various additional services and customer-controlled calling features. Specific frequencies are assigned to each column and row of push-buttons in the telephone keypad; the columns in the push-button pad have higher tones, and rows in the pad have lower tones. When one of the buttons is pressed, a dual-tone signal is generated, based on the frequencies for the selected row and column. A signal representing that tone is then transmitted over the phone line to the telephone exchange. (Taken from wikipedia) The cache can be found at the following location 9411336852120969714778521336697147777013366971209697133685213369411336