The First Portable Walkie Talkie

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Walkie-talkies are the portable two way radios that paved the way for mobile phones by showing the public the joys of talking to faraway people while walking around In World War II they allowed troops to communicate and, since then, the police, the coast guard, and even children playing games have used them to relay information.

Their exact origins are rather hazy, though Once radios had been invented, the next big thing was making them smaller and more portable and there is much disagreement over exactly when a two-way radio became a walkie talkie.

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In 1937 a man called Don Hings, born in England and raised in Canada, built a waterproof two-way field radio. This radio weighed almost 12 pounds (55 kg) and was about the size of a toaster, but was definitely portable enough to count Hings’s radio was built for air crashes, so that survivors could guide in rescuers by transmitting to the manufacturer or the Canadian Signal Corps Before this radio, most were portable only if someone carried it while another used it, but Hings could be carried and operated by one person.

Engineer Alfred J. Gross (1918-2000) made his own lighter, smaller version in 1938 while still a teenager His designs caught the attention of the US. Office of Strategic Services (now the CIA), who recruited him to design their radios. Gross’s designs went on to play a large role in World War Il and soon entered civilian use.

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