Vitriol and observations from an extremely angry little man.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cell Phone, circa 1910

Author, journalist and renegade historian Steve Bartholomew has shared with me the following antiquarian book scans, which depict a working prototype for an early Twentieth Century wireless phone. He writes,
The pictures are from "Wireless Telegraphy & Telephony," pub. 1910. There's a dedication to Nicola Tesla, with a picture of his wireless power generating station. I think the book is an actual collector's item. I originally purchased it for 50 cents, long before you were born.

The device was designed to be worn, rather than carried, and apparently worked more like a two-way radio than a true "telephone" as we now understand the term.

This prototype did, however, exist in an era when communities shared "party lines" on which neighbors could eavesdrop simply by picking up their ear pieces and quietly listening. In light of that, it's fair to say the De Forest wireless telephone was not at all out of step with telephony standards of its day.


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  3. OMG! That's suh a cool book!