Portable Telephone To Go Market In Six Months

Taken from:Southbridge Evening News – Thursday, August 23, 1945


A half-pound portable radio-telephone about six inches long will be in general use in a year or two, according to Richard Mahler, vice-president and general manager of Harvey-Wells Electronics, Inc.

The local company, which manufactured a great deal of radar and radio equipment during the war, expects to be producing some radio-telephone units in six months “at a cost of about $25 a unit.”


“The future of it is tremendous,” Mr. Mahler said, pointing out that the Federal Communications Commission has given permission for any citizen to own and operate a two-way radio without taking out a license or passing any test.All anyone will have to do is sign a paper to the effect that he owns a unit.

“Radio is 50 years ahead of what it was before the war,” he said.“For a minor instance, police radios used to need a seven-foot aerial.The radio-telephones will have an aerial about as long as a short pencil stub.”

He said that the units would have a range of two or three miles and would operate on a range of from 460 to 470 megacycles.In order to call anyone, an owner would only have to tune in on the wave-length of the party he wishes to speak to and begin talking.

“The telephone company people are really worried about it,” Mr. Mahler said.“It’s liable to cut into their business and they’ve already begun to take steps which will help them out.

“For instance, the telephone companies have been given permission to use radio-telephones in rural areas, making it unnecessary to string miles of wires.These would tune in on a central office, which, in turn, could plug the call into the telephone circuit or get another radio-telephone.

“The same system will be used in many cities, where permission has been granted.Radio-telephones can be linked up to the telephone system, but that doesn’t mean that anyone can’t have one of his own.”

Mr. Mahler also said that the first radios which will be put on the market will be almost identical to pre-war sets except for minor changes.

“It will be five or six years before all developments made during the war can be used in sets,” he said.

“There’s an awful mess in the patent business because the inventions made during the war were sponsored by the government and now nobody knows who owns what rights.It’s very confused and will take some time to straighten out.”

Allan S. Morton, manager of the telephone office here, said this morning that the telephone people “weren’t quite ‘worried’ about the developments in radio-telephones.”

“What we’ll be doing is offering an exchange service, really an extension of the ship-to-shore radio-telephone,” he said.“The company is working on every possible means to extend service to customers, and the radio-telephone is one of the ways.It’s hard to tell right now how it all will work out.”


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