Tag Archives: pocket telephone

1912 Pocket Telephone


Anyone who thinks cell phones are as new as reality TV shows underestimates the genius of our forebears.  In 1912, German technicians invented the “Pocket Telephone,” a device meant to communicate primarily with police.  An announcement from Berlin read, in part:

“In consequence of the enormous expansion of the German capital, there are many outlying districts which are rendered unsafe through insufficient policing, and the pocket telephone was readily adopted as a partial solution of this problem.  The new system is greatly favored as an adjunct to the police system generally, however, for every policeman is provided with a pocket telephone and can communicate with headquarters or other city departments whenever he finds it necessary.”

The item was actually a microphone that the individual would attach to a “contact device,” which would then connect with authorities.  Of course, the user didn’t have the cherished privacy of a telephone booth.  But, the technology was advanced enough to pick up even soft tones.  The entire thing was about three-quarters of an inch thick and weighed approximately 7 ounces.

As creative and forward-thinking as they were, though, I don’t think the phone’s inventors could have foreseen texting and picture-taking phones.  That took a real leap of perverted thinking.


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