texts must have been a real challenge on this early portable phone.
Aside from having to type out your message on a standard telephone keypad
(oh, the humanity), the baud rate must have been snail-like. The article
doesn't mention whether dropped calls were a big issue and whether there
was a massive marketing plan with a bespectacled "Can You Hear Me now?"
guy. I'm just kidding, of course. This news item appeared in a 1955
edition of Air Trails:
for Young Men. Before you laugh at the Portaphone's dipole antenna
and carrying case, consider that it was only a little over two decades
ago that Motorola debuted its famous M800 "Bag Phone" (user's
From the magazine: "Portable two-way radio phone
for use in homes, office buildings, construction jobs or farms, operating
on "citizens band" designed by A. Fuller Dean of Chicago. Called
set has a range of 8 to 12 miles in open spaces, 800 yards within steel
buildings. Power supplied by dry cell battery earned in plastic bag."
Below is the Portaphone as pictured in the March 1955 edition
of Air Trails: Hobbies for Young Men:
Posted August 27,