PureTalk USA
September 11th, 2014 18:00

Great Moments in Cell Phone History: Karl Arnold’s Futuristic Cartoon

We already know that life without mobile phones would be pretty tough for cell phone junkies like ourselves, if not downright impossible. We use our cell phones for so much more than just phone calls every day: email, texting, directions, entertainment.

But how did we get here? Phones werent always so hi-tech. In fact, they werent always mobile! Remember when you gave out your home phone number? Now, many people dont even have a landline.

With all of the advances in mobile technology, wed like to take a moment to reflect back on cell phones evolution. How can we appreciate where we are, if we dont know where weve been?

To fully grasp the epic-ness that is the mobile phone, weve created a running timeline of the great moments in cell phone history.

Today, we recognize Karl Arnold.

Predicting Wireless Telephony


Martin Cooper takes the cake for inventing the mobile phone, but did you know that people were dreaming of mobile telephone technology way before 1983? Its true!

Meet Karl Arnold, a German painter who created cartoons and comics for magazines like the Munchner Illustrierte Presse and, later, a German satirical magazine called Simplicissimus.

Arnold took part in the political discussion of both World Wars, and was known for portraying Hitler in a silly manner until Word War II began. At that time, he began producing pro-Hitler cartoons after Nazi occupation of Germany.

Yet Arnold has become known for another piece of his work, one that occurred long before World War II.

In 1926, Arnold created a cartoon for Simplicissiumus that depicted people using phones in the streets. The cartoon was known as Wireless Telephony.

See the cartoon here.

Little did Arnold know, his cartoon would become a reality almost 60 years later. Do you think Arnold knew his concept of wireless telephony was possible? Or was it just satire?

Give us a shout on twitter and let us know what you think!