Who started all this?


Let’s start at the beginning …


  • In 1907, well-known English caricaturist Lewis Baumer published a cartoon in the popular Punch magazine, entitled, “Predictions for 1907”.  In this cartoon, a man and woman are in London’s Hyde Park and are each separately engaged in both gambling and dating on wireless telephony equipment. 
  • In 1908, Prof. Albert Jahnke, and the Oakland Transcontinental Aerial Telephone and Power Company claimed to have developed a wireless telephone. At that time they were accused of fraud, but the charge was later dropped. They don’t seem to have carried on with any production from that point on.
  • In 1918, the German railroad system tested wireless telephony on military trains between Berlin and Zossen.
  • In 1924, public trials started with telephone connection on trains between Berlin and Hamburg.
  • In 1925, the company Zugtelephonie A. G. was founded to supply train telephony equipment.
  • In 1926 telephone service in trains of the Deutsche Reichsbahn and the German mail service between Hamburg and Berlin was approved and offered to lucky 1st class travelers.
  • In 1926 the artist Karl Arnold created a visionary cartoon about the use of mobile phones in the street. The picture below, “Wireless Telephony”, was published in the German satirical magazine, Simplicissimus

Cartoonist, Karl Arnold Mobile Telephony

The mobile phone in literature dates back to 1931. It is found in Erich Kästner‘s children’s book The 35th of May, or Conrad’s Ride to the South Seas:

A gentleman who rode along the sidewalk in front of them, suddenly stepped off the conveyor belt, pulled a phone from his coat pocket, spoke a number into it and shouted: “Gertrude, listen, I’ll be an hour late for lunch because I want to go to the laboratory. Goodbye, sweetheart!” Then he put his pocket phone away again, stepped back on the conveyor belt, started reading a book…

As you can see mobile telephony prior to 1973 was limited to phones installed in automobiles and other vehicles. The Motorola Corp.was the very 1st company to produce a handheld mobile phone. On 3 April 1973, when Dr. Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive, made the very 1st mobile telephone call from handheld subscriber equipment. He placed a call to Dr. Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs. The prototype handheld phone used by Dr. Martin Cooper weighed 1.1 kg and measured 23 cm long, 13 cm deep and 4.45 cm wide. The prototype offered a talk time of only 30 minutes, and took a lengthy 10 hours to fully re-charge.


Martin Cooper:
The Inventor of the Mobile Phone

 Check out this Video  – (Brief History of the Cell Phone)


Mr. John F. Mitchell, Motorola’s Chief of Portable Communication Products, and Dr. Cooper’s boss in 1973, played a very critical role in advancing the development of handheld mobile telephone equipment. John F. Mitchell successfully pushed Motorola to develop wireless communication products that would be small enough to use anywhere and participated in the design of the cellular phone.


Motorola President and Researcher


One thing leads to another, an idea grows, and a small group of people had a hand in this … and that’s Who started all this!