Think you know when the mobile phone was invented? Do you? Really? Most people think of the first mobiles as comical brick like inventions sported by the Delboys of the early eighties. We laugh at them now, but at the time they were at the cutting edge of technology – and with today’s smartphone market alone hitting 1.2 billion users worldwide this is certainly not an industry that’s the butt of any jokes any more.
In reality, though, the history of mobile technology goes back much further than the iconic eighties “brick” that we all look back on fondly…
The mobile phone was invented earlier than you think
Nathan B Stubblefield, a Kentucky based inventor and melon farmer, actually patented the first wireless technology in 1908. Prior to that, he was the pioneer of ship to shore wireless telephone technology, the very first origins of the mobile as we know it today.
Mobile phones take hold…
After that first breakthrough history shows that mobiles soon had their share of enthusiasts. The first basic models were in use in some US police cars as early as 1921. By the 1960s 1.5 million US residents had jumped on the mobile phone craze. Although in those days a mobile phone was in reality a massive and unwieldy affair, carried in the trunk of the user’s car with a cable running underneath to the receiver on the driver’s dashboard.
The mobile phone’s first glimpse of fame
After Motorola looked at streamlining the technology in the 1950s a new lighter, more discreet mobile was ready to hit the market. Today their original TD-100 looks like an old fashioned house phone. Back then it was a revolution. So much so that the TD-100 achieved the pinnacle of public recognition by playing a starring role in the classic Bond movie Live and Let Die. Now that’s some technology we bet Q would have got seriously excited about at the time!
More facts about mobiles
For more little known facts (serious and silly) about mobiles, check out this recent article. Plus we’ve got a round-up of some of the latest cutting edge mobile concepts for you – some chic, some impractical, but all inspiring in their own way.