This 1963 newspaper article predicted the shape, size and features of the modern cell phone


A viral social media post claims that a newspaper article in 1963 predicted that people around the world will in the future be able to carry cell phones in their pockets. With the title, “You can carry the phone in the pocket in the future,” the article also featured a representative image of a mobile device carried by a woman that looks exactly like a modern-day flip phone. The viral newspaper article was apparently published on April 18, 1963 in what appears to be the Mansfield, Ohio New Journal.

The article asked readers not to expect the technology to be released as soon as the device was in development in the lab, the report suggested. It was Frederick Hunstman, the telephone company’s chief commercial officer, who was quoted as saying, “This phone is far into the future – commercially.” The news article read: “One day, Mainfielders will carry their phones in their pockets. Don’t expect it to be available tomorrow, though. At present, this is a lab development and it is workable, allowing the carrier to make and answer calls wherever they are.

For those who don’t know, cell phones didn’t hit the commercial market until the 1980s, which was decades later when the new article appeared in a newspaper. Initially, it was Nikola Tesla who was one of the main pioneers in predicting that people around the world will be able to connect instantly with technology that will easily slip into a vest pocket.

The viral newspaper article also predicted that the devices will activate features like speakers. So if a person is busy doing something, they will still be able to converse through a speaker phone. “Other phones of the future include a speakerphone kitchen phone and a visual picture phone. The kitchen instrument can be used as an ordinary telephone, a speaker phone if the housewife is busy preparing a meal, or an intercom station for the house.

The article also predicted the trend of video calls and predicted that people will be able to watch other parties while they talk using a miniature TV camera. The technology was called the “TV phone” at the time. “The visual image telephone allows the parties to converse through a microphone and speaker while a miniature television camera transmits the image.” In addition to this, texting hints were also mentioned, “The ‘TV phone’ will also have a writer signature transmission system and a conversation recorder.”

The newspaper article which is making the rounds on the internet was shared on the History in Pictures Twitter page.

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