Author Topic: 1953 Prediction: No escape from the phone  (Read 850 times)

ergophobe

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6251
    • View Profile
1953 Prediction: No escape from the phone
« on: December 24, 2020, 03:19:50 AM »
I'm wondering if this has already been posted here. Anyway, genuine* clipping from the April 11, 1953 issue of The Tacoma News Tribune.

But notice that he's correct in basically every assertion
 - no escape (particularly relevant since I am without a mobile phone at present, so, for the moment, have escaped)
 - no dial
 - carried around like a watch (in fact, for most people, has replaced their watch)
 - can see the other person when talking
 - translate on the fly - not quite there yet, but we're getting pretty close.

*passes the Snopes fact check: test https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/cellphone-prediction-from-1953/
« Last Edit: December 24, 2020, 03:23:56 AM by ergophobe »

littleman

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5409
    • View Profile
Re: 1953 Prediction: No escape from the phone
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2020, 06:49:10 AM »
So spot on it almost feels fake.

ergophobe

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6251
    • View Profile
Re: 1953 Prediction: No escape from the phone
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2020, 06:36:28 PM »
That was the comment they made on History Daily, where I first saw it and since I don't really know that site, I decided to check Snopes.

Your comment got me curious whether there was info on Mark R. Sullivan. Randy Cassingham has done a bunch of research that makes for a really interesting read. He also answers a question that popped into my mind when I read the original article linked above: when did d##k Tracy get his watch phone?

Answer: 1946 (but I was wrong in remembering it as a phone; it was a two-way radio). I turns out, however, that Martin Cooper, inventor (one of the inventors??) of the handheld cell phone in 1973 took his inspiration from d##k Tracy.

Anyway, if you found the link in my first post interesting, I would say Randy Cassingham's full article (which I guess is a transcript of a podcast) is really cool - photos of Sullivan, his background (born 1896, started working for the phone company as a clerk in 1912).

Cassingham points that the Tesla had many of these elements in place already in a 1926 prediction in an interview in Collier's magazine:

Quote
When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.

https://thisistrue.com/054-pre-silicon-valley/
« Last Edit: December 24, 2020, 06:43:43 PM by ergophobe »