It may be something that has fallen out of fashion in the last couple of decades thanks to the rapid advances in communications technology but the history of the hand-held two way radio is an interesting one both for the pros and the laymen alike.
Everybody nowadays is obsessed with their ipads and their smart phones but it wasn’t al that long ago that the good old hand held two way radio was the most technologically advanced way of communicating with somebody who wasn’t standing right next to you, at least if you were outdoors.
Iy may sound amazing but in its most basic form the two way radio was communicating over a distance as large as the Atlantic Ocean all the way back in 1907. This telegraphy system was not exactly using the traditional hand held two way radio simplicity that we think of as common place now but it was in many ways the infancy of the systems that we take so much for granted today.
It is the Australians who can proudly say that they were in fact the first to use a more modern form of two way radio. In the early 1920s the Victoria Police force adopted the hand held two way radio system into some of their squad cars, replacing the old and inconvenient communication technique of stopping every half hour to make a phone call back to the station in order to see how things were going on the crime front!
Hand held two way radio really took off in the years between the end of the first and the beginning of the Second World War. Systems had been streamlined by that point to where the pilots of the planes on both sides were able to communicate with the ground below. The New York Police Department were also at the forefront of the technology and they were the first to develop a central fixed station which connected with radio transceivers installed in police cars; this allowed rapidly directing police response in emergencies.
It is easy to forget in the modern world just how much of an influence, and for how long, the hand held two way radio had over the way world communicated up until very recently. Most people apart from aficionados wouldn’t be seen dead with a hand held two way radio these days, but we should all remember just how important those bad boys were in laying the ground work for what would come later, and for playing such an important role in world affairs when there really was no other way in which people could stay in touch when on the move.