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Sunday, 25. August 2013

Who invented the walkie talkie?
By marcosallman, 09:08

The initial inventor of that walkie-talkie is invariably the focus of some disputes. The exact same 3 names come up again and again, but which of those names deserves the foremost credit? I’ve to acknowledge, We had a tough time deciding.
The very first name to emerge is Canadian inventor Donald L. Hings. In accordance with his website,
“The "walkie-talkie" is Don Hings' most well-known invention. The earliest versions of this device were designed as portable field radios for the bush pilots of Consolidated Mining and Smelting (now Cominco), who had to fly their planes between remote sites in the far north of Canada. The first true walkie-talkie was built by Hings in 1937, but it was not called a walkie-talkie at the time. In Hings' notes, it was simply a two-way field radio. They were also called wireless sets, or "pack sets". The term "walkie-talkie" (sometimes "talkie-walkie") was coined by journalists reporting on these new inventions during the war”.
The site maintains (accurately, I believe) that walkie talkies weren’t predominantly recognized until the occurrence of the Second World War in 1939.
An additional name that is recurrently talked about is United states inventor Al Gross. Gross seemingly patented the label ‘walkie-talkie’ in 1938, after that , the name was actually used by the media for a ‘catch all’ name for just about any/all lightweight two way radios. Without doubt, Gross worked on the tech and was instrumental in its design, but did he invent the walkie talkie? Lemelson-MIT appears to think so, as their site says of Gross:
“The pioneer nonpareil of wireless telecommunications is Al Gross. In 1938, he invented the walkie-talkie. In 1948, he pioneered Citizens' Band (CB) radio. In 1949, he invented the telephone pager. His other inventions include the basics of cordless and cellular telephony. (...) Determined to exploit the unexplored frequencies above 100 MHz, Gross set about inventing a mobile, lightweight, hand-held two-way radio. In two years, Gross had invented and patented the "walkie-talkie" (1938)”.
If Hings invented the walkie talkie back in 1937, then that means that Gross essentially re-invented the identical device in 1938. If that is definitely true, then surely Hings is the guy most responsible, correct?
Well, before you make your minds up, let Wiki Replies throw up several more names; their account of that walkie talkie’s creation states that,
“The first radio receiver/transmitter to be nicknamed "Walkie-Talkie" was the backpacked Motorola SCR-300, created by an engineering team in 1940 at the Galvin Manufacturing Company (forerunner of Motorola). The team consisted of Dan Noble, who conceived of the design using FM technology, Henryk Magnuski who was the principal RF engineer, Bill Vogel, Lloyd Morris, and Marion Bond”.
This Motorola team, headed up by Dan Noble, seemingly built the walkie-talkie in 1940, a full three years after Hings allegedly invented it and 2 years after Gross seemingly patented it. Ugh. It is giving me a headache!
So, maybe we are able to clear this up a lttle bit now. The name ‘walkie-talkie’ was commonly applied to the WW2-era Motorola radio, which led to Dan Noble’s team being credited with its creation. That is true, Noble and co DID invent that specific idea, however the tech itself had obviously existed earlier.
Now, Hings’ idea was significantly more lightweight, and pretty different to the Motorola radio. Hings named his invention a ‘packset’ so it was consequently entirely likely for Gross to have patented the same invention (under the term ‘walkie talkie’) in 1938 and for that name to migrate over to the Motorola version, via the wartime press (1939 – 1945 wasn't a famous phase of journalistic correctness, lest we forget).
Reported by Wikipedia, Hings’ radio did not get used by the military until 1942, the results of which might be Don Noble and co being credited with the invention, with Hings being relegated to spot of just another engineer (Hings was employed by allies during WW2) who was functioning on armed forces equipment.
On the whole, We would say that Hings is probably the likeliest inventor of the earliest tech and certainly of that portable system we recognize nowadays. However, with so many talented inventors functioning at around the same time, it appears just as viable to claim Gross as inventor of the walkie-talkie as well. Hings pioneered it, Gross patented it and Noble’s staff brought it into mass manufacture and standard usage. There. Simple, right?

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