In 1921, the cinemagazine Eve and Everybody’s Film Review was launched. In Issue 41, a strange invention was showcased, one that wouldn’t come to practical fruition for almost a century. Did someone nearly invent the first iPhone…in 1922?
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The First iPhone…in 1922?
Now, Eve and Everybody’s Film Review was designed to show women “doing interesting and novel jobs and hobbies, fashion displays and novelty items ranging from excerpts of musicals and plays to slow-motion camera studies of nature.” And indeed, the film in question definitely fits into that category.
“Bless us, they’re never still – always up to something new. And Eve’s latest invasion is in the wireless world – ” ~ Eve and Everybody’s Film Review #41
The ironically-silent film clip turned up in an old film archive owned by British Pathe. As you can see, it shows two women walking on a sidewalk, presumably in the United States which dominated the telephone industry at that time. They stop next to a fire hydrant and prepare to use “Eve’s Portable Wireless Phone.” Using a wire, they connect the phone to the fire hydrant. Apparently, “this provides the radio phone with a ground connection as was necessary in the old analogue radios.”
Afterward, they raise an umbrella which is also connected to the “first iPhone,” presumably to act as an aerial device. They proceed to speak to an operator who plays a record for them. They stand outside (in the snow mind you) and enjoy their proto-iPhone.
Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis
As far as I know, no one has determined the first iPhone’s inventor yet or whether it reached any stage of production. Still, it’s pretty amazing that someone actually attempted to create a portable phone and music player almost 90 years ago. Back then, some might’ve argued that such a device lacked convenience and ease of use. After all, how many women would’ve wanted to carry around a large wooden box full of wires and hang out by a fire hydrant? Fortunately, Eve’s Fashion Review had an answer for those critics.
”It’s Eve’s portable wireless phone – and won’t hubby have a time when he has to carry one!”