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June 25, 2016

Car Phone Driven From Curiosity to Commodity to Collectible, 14 Vintage Photos of Car Phones That Belong in Museum

Conceived only ten years apart from each other, the car and the telephone (1885 and 1875, respectively) have grown together from technical curiosities to facets of modern life. It would seem inevitable then, that the two would have combined early on, but the truth is a little more interesting than that.

Like many technological firsts, the first “car phone” was large, clunky and highly impractical. In 1901 Swedish engineer Lars Magnus Ericsson installed a telephone in the back of his car. It worked quite well as long as the car was stopped and plugged directly into phone lines via two long wires. On the plus side, talking on the phone while driving was hardly a concern. While it was the first phone-enabled car, wireless capability was clearly the next necessary evolution. And unfortunately it would be a rather long time coming.

It would be 45 years later in 1946, when Bell created a wireless network, that the car phone could become a reality. Weighing in at 80 pounds, the car phone was still a bulky item but with true wireless capability it could finally reach its full potential.

Phones would continue to grow in popularity and shrink in size and price as the decades wore on. The phone was gradually making its way from novelty to commodity. But the car phone wouldn’t get its big break until the “yuppy” days of the 1980s.

Car wireless phone in 1946, Bell Telephone Company started to offer vehicle wireless telephone services by using the communications equipment of Motorola.

The earliest version of a mobile phone was first created in 1946, it was called a "mobile radiophone service."

America Talks, c.1947.

Woman uncomfortably surrounded by spectators, c.1948.

DeSoto with an early car phone, c.1950s.

In-car telephone, c.1950.

Man with cigar and car phone, c.1953.

Gentleman calls home, c.1956.

Reginald Blevins, the Postmaster General of the UK, inaugurates the first radio telephone service for motorists, 1959.

Early 60s Mercedes with a car phone.

Portrait of an old lady and car telephone, c.1960.

Farrah Fawcett in a customized Corvette, c.1970.

Investment banker Michael Yancey on a cell phone in his Porsche in 1987.

Geisha with car phone, c.1988.

(via Petrolicious)



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