Remembering the “Wireless Phone” of 1922

Once upon a time–1922, to be specific–British Pathe, a moving pictures company, released a silent film called Eve’s Wireless. It appears to feature a woman using an early, early, early model of cell phone. Incorrect. She’s actually using a very, very, very early model of a portable radio or maybe a Walkman.

In the early 1920s, “radios” were sometimes called “wireless telephones.” Watch as Eve and her friend fire up their portable crystal radio set to request a song from an operator. Oh, and it’s not raining. The umbrella is an antenna. And why the fire hydrant? They need to ground the radio for it to work.

Read more at Smithsonian Magazine.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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