I loved this article from RTE last night on Marty Cooper and his development of the mobile phone. Marty Cooper and Mobiles and that single inventions makes much much more manageable. Almost 40 years
ago he called his competitor buddy at AT&T from the street ( Sixth Avenue ) in New York. It’s hard to think that invention would create such an industry to progress lives no end world wide.
Mobile Phone in the Old Days
That made me think about my own childhood. I remember watching the Mannix series or even Rock Hudson making calls from the car. As a kid that was just wow, so out there and so cool. Since then I decided to check some older clips on YouTube. Humphrey Bogart movie in an early 1954 black and white movie of Sabrina is a good example. How did he actually make that call to his stock broker from the back of the car using what looked like the really old Bakerlite land line phones ?
Not doing the Science Technology justice
The science is quite complicated but the high level overview is simple. Land line telephone technology is in existence since the early 1890s . Lets envision that I am in a car in 1954 travelling some where in a city. In that city there are a bunch of masts standing on buildings, say anywhere from 300 – 2000 ft in height off the ground. Lets say there are 13 of them within a 25 mile radius. Now picture that my boss Joe, 200 miles away calls me and asks me to make an unscheduled pick up. How is the call routed to me ?
Have a look at this wonderful insightful video from George Mihal ” 1940s MOBILE TELEPHONES, BELL SYSTEMS, antique car phone.“
The Technology overview
The high level overview is that Joe sends the call from his office by land line to the nearest land line telephone station nearest to me. Joe reckons that I am in the city by now. From the telephone station someone sends the the call over the airways to an antenna close to where I am travelling. My car is the proud owner of radio frequency receiving and transmitter equipment . Of course we know this today as frequency modulation or as FM
I am not giving the science and the technology the justice it deserves. I strongly recommend, if even for laughs that you also read the following two articles because I think they are amazing as to how far things have come since then.
The first is from a wonderful site called Messy Nessy Chick and its article “A Surprising Compendium of Car Phones Dating back to the 1940s” and the other is from Reason.com which give an account that the mobile phone and its technology may well in fact have been invented been earlier had not bureaucracy and others including
Technology incumbents, TV broadcasters, radio common carriers to thwart the future. Have a look at this article on this point . Finally if you like historiacl pieces you may like to read the history of merchant card services and its inception in the late 1880’s
Hi, I’m Aidan Gillespie. Apart from running my own IT company for almost 15 years. I have worked in various administration roles. Be it in sales, marketing,purchasing, bar, restaurant, proof reading, customer support, web development. I have 2 kids and I’m married living in the west of Ireland . This blog is general in nature but will try to be as honest and informative as possible by sharing my research and favorites with you!
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