Phone of the Day: Nitsuko TIE 86057A HX/HK One Button Telephone at a Defunct Ames Department Store

I was watching some retail videos today online and I found this late 1980s video concerning loss prevention at the now defunct Ames Discount Department Stores.  

The girl goes to call her boss about a shoplifter on a Nitsuko TIE 86057A HX/HK One Button Telephone.  I remember these phones well from my early childhood days of shopping with my parents at TJ Maxx stores in the late 1980s.  It was located throughout the sales floor columns for picking up calls, while the checkouts had standard analog black trim line phones. Nothing I can find online tells me if these were analog or digital sets.   TJ Maxx later nixed these sets around 1990 in favor of the Northern Telecom Meridian Norstar phones, still commonly found throughout their stores. 

While these sets look rather primitive, the technology behind them was well improved over the former 1A2 style phones that preceded these sets.  For paging a page prompt consisting of a single “busy tone” beep would announce over the speakers before you’d speak.  The ring tones were somewhat primitive and were single or double tone “busy tone” beeps to announce a call.  Call processing was digital as opposed to analog.  

Other similar systems and telephones of the late 1980s similar to this included the Delta key systems by Galaxy Communications, early Toshiba/Harris Lanier DK Strata systems, the Fujitsu GTE digital sets, the Isotec EZ-1, Extrom Key System, Iwatsu Omega systems, NEC Dterm II, and the Tie Delphi sets.  These were many of the new microprocessed key systems introduced in the marketplace meant to replace the small to medium business analog 1A2 setups still commonly found throughout North America in the 1980s.