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1889 __ Mobile Telephony
Lars Magnus Ericsson (1846-1926)
Comment : New technologies have always been developped for military and policing purpose, and the mobile phone is no exception. The first portable telephone documented is from 1889 – primarily for railroad and canal works, and military purposes. Lars Magnus Ericsson, founder of what was to become the Swedish media corporation Ericsson had experimented with portable telephones for military use in 1890’s. It was brought to South Africa by the Swedish Army during the Boer War (1899–1902) The mobile radio telephone system was invented in 1924 by Bell Laboratories. Marine communications also used the system at an early date. Telephony was invented in 1880 by Graham Bell. In 1924, half a decade after this invention, a mobile radio telephone system was invented by Bell Laboratories and first started to operate 1928 in Chicago police cars. Since then, there were some trials and developments of mobile radio telephony, but it took over a half of a century for a commercial use of the analogue to emerge – when the first generation of cellular systems was launched. After the first transistor that made the construction of a portable telephone possible was introduced in 1971, a patent for radio telephone systems was finally accepted in 1973 in the United States, and later, in 1975 put on trial by Motorola. However, the commercial mobile telephony did not start until 1984. In Japan, NTT took up service in December 1979, which is also the year it started in New Mexico City as well. In Scandinavia, it was first introduced by Nordic Mobile Telephone, in 1981 in Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Satellite mobile telephone were introduced as low earth-orbit satellite projects in the 1990's, and then customized for use in mobile phones around 2000. (Miya Yoshida)From 1910 on it appears that Lars Magnus Ericsson and his wife Hilda regularly worked the first car telephone. Although he retired to farming in 1901, and seemed set in his ways, his wife Hilda wanted to tour the countryside in that fairly new contraption, the horseless carriage. Lars was reluctant to go but soon realized he could take a telephone along. As Meurling and Jeans relate, "In today's terminology, the system was an early 'telepoint' application: you could make telephone calls from the car. Access was not by radio, of course -- instead there were two long sticks, like fishing rods, handled by Hilda. She would hook them over a pair of telephone wires, seeking a pair that were free . . . When they were found, Lars Magnus would crank the dynamo handle of the telephone, which produced a signal to an operator in the nearest exchange." Johan Hauknes points out that "According to Ericsson's Centennial History (in Swedish) L.M. Ericsson had already developed telephones for military purposes in the field -- mobile --. L.M. Ericsson [sold] a large number of transportable field telephones and so called cavalry telephones to South Africa during the Boer War 1899-1902. Several types of transportable telephones for military purposes had been developed by L.M. Ericsson during the 1890s, bought by Swedish Military...' (A. Attman, J. Kuuse and U. Olsson, LM Ericsson 100 år Band 1 Pionjärtid - Kamp om koncessioner - Kris - 1876-1932 (vol. 1 of 3), publ. by LM Ericsson 1976). The first transportable phone documented in the centennial volume is from 1889 - primarily for 'railroad and canal works, military purposes etc.' There's a facsimile of an ad of this in vol. 3: C. Jakobaeus, LM Ericsson 100 år Band III Teleteknisk skapandet 1876-1976.) Railroad related maintenance and repair work, such as for sign based telegraph systems, was a major source of income for L.M. Ericsson in the first years. (Compiled from various sources)
Source : Meurling, John and Jeans, Richard (1994), “The Mobile Phone Book: The Invention of The Mobile Phone Industry Communications Week International”, London, on behalf of Ericsson Radio Systems (1994) p. 43.
Source : Yoshida, Misha, “THE INVISIBLE LANDSCAPES, A curatorial project and a comparative study on concepts of intimacy in mobile telephony”
Urls : http://web.ukonline.co.uk/freshwater/histlme.htm (last visited ) http://www.privateline.com/TelephoneHistory2A/ericsson.htm (last visited )

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