The World’s First Mobile Phone Shown in 1922 Vintage Film

A cou­ple of years ago, British Pathé uncov­ered some strik­ing footage from 1922 show­ing two women exper­i­ment­ing with the first mobile phone. A spokesman for the archive said: ”It’s amaz­ing that near­ly 90 years ago mobile phone tech­nol­o­gy and music … was not only being thought of but being tri­alled.” “The phone even has a lid which makes it the first flip-phone we are aware of, although it is prob­a­bly not going to win any design awards.” He added, ”We would be delight­ed to hear from any­one who can tell us any­thing about the film, from where it is shot to who the women might be or even about the phone itself.”

For anoth­er gem from the British Pathé archive, don’t miss The King’s Speech (1938), which gives you a glimpse of King George VI mak­ing a speech to open an exhi­bi­tion in Scot­land — the same king that became the sub­ject of the 2010 Acad­e­my Award-win­ning film.

H/T @MatthiasRascher

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Comments (14)
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  • I want one! no search­ing for a sig­nal and they got through straight away — no answer­phones. And that umbrel­la is won­der­ful.

  • walt waldoon says:

    I think any New York­er would rec­og­nize the street(looks like the upper west side) and, espe­cial­ly, the fire hydrant as instant give­aways that the film was shot in New York City — a high­ly like­ly can­di­date regard­less.

  • As remark­able as this is, I was shocked to find out the first wire­less tele­phone was invent­ed in 1880 by none oth­er than Alexan­der Gra­ham Bell! He called it the pho­to­phone because it used light instead of wires. Unfor­tu­nate­ly it would­n’t fit in a pock­et.

  • Naven kumar nx says:

    It’s amaz­ing t see these views

  • we did not enjoy this web­site because it dosent show the picture.dick

  • Ray Roman says:

    This came up a few years ago, there was a lady who looked like she was hold­ing a cell phone to her ear in a Chap­lin film I think it was. Any­body know what film I’m talk­ing about?

  • Jed says:


    You sure about that?
    Recall read­ing once that AGB actu­al­ly copied work done by some­one else.
    He was 1st to patent, but did­n’t actu­al­ly invent fix-line tele­phone IIRC.
    Giv­en that, I’m not so sure he devised wire­less either.

  • Jed says:


    I recall that, but IIRC it was “spec­u­la­tion” about some sort of time trav­el­ing occur­ring, as the phone was far too com­pact for any­thing at the time.

  • Ashi says:

    Very like­ly the video is not authen­tic. Some visu­als that show the flaw of being made recent­ly; It moves faster than a 1922 film, check out the girl’s facial move­ments, they are quick­er than some in late 1920s. Also the girl who receives the call, the boy cut, girls did not crop their hair that close and did not wear a round neck tshirt. Don’t believe it myself at least.

  • sumit pundir says:

    its a real­ly imazine in 1922.its hap­pens. aj hum jis chij ka use kar rahe h vo aj se 90years pahele hi kuch khass log ke mind . aisi soch ko to hama­ra namaskar h

  • bill cobbett says:

    That’s clever- some­one puts copy­right­ed music over the clip, and then it can’t be seen in cer­tain coun­tries, like Ger­many for exam­ple.

  • tom smith says:

    George the 6th had a stut­ter stut­ter because of inbreed­ing with­in the roy­al fam­i­ly, the movie makes him look brave but it’s real­ly just sick.
    AGB won, Mar­con­ni sup­port­ers are just sore losers.

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