OF THE HANDIE TALKIE
|Page 1 of 2 - 80 Years Old in 2020|
The humble Handie-Talkie, which most of us have come to accept as being an integral part of our amateur radio inventory today, celebrated its 80th birthday during 2020. Like many of the other technological advances of that time, the handie-talkie was conceived and born of the Second World War. Its conception was driven by the US Army’s requirement for a small, lightweight, user friendly voice radio, which would provide short-range communications within the battlefield at section and platoon level.
WERE THE HANDIE-TALKIE’S INNOVATORS
The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation of Chicago, founded by Paul and Joseph Galvin (shown to the left) in 1928, initially produced AC mains battery eliminators for use with the popular battery powered broadcast radios of the time. However they also became more and more involved in the demand for mobile and fixed broadcast radios for the home market as well as early US Police FM communication systems.
Galvin’s product trade name was Motorola, which represented ‘Radio on the Move’. In 1948 the Corporation became Motorola Incorporated and was one of the first manufacturers of television receivers for the emerging US mass market. Motorola’s continued innovation over the years has made it the well-known household name it is today.
During World War 2 Galvin also designed and produced a variety of communication equipment for the US Government, however their most famous is without a doubt the SCR-536 (BC-611) Handie-Talkie.
In 1940, with Europe at War and the rumbles getting ever closer to US shores, Paul Galvin (1895 to 1959) authorized a team, lead by chief engineer Don Mitchell, to design and build a light, portable, infantry radio set. This resulted in a uniquely packaged high performance, self contained, hand held radio that weighed around 2.5 kg. In 1941 the US Army Signal Corp placed a Contract with Galvin and by 1945 130,000 units had been manufactured under the designation SCR-536 (BC-611).
During the 1940's, amongst other activities, Paul Galvin's interests saw him serving as president of the RMA (Radio Manufacturers Association). Shown to the right and below are extracts from a1940's Motorola advertisement
On May 22 1951 Motorola Inc. registered the trade
mark "Handy Talkie" with the US Patent and Trade Mark Office..
[i] Australia's AWA Radiotronics journal
announced the release in the US of the 1R5, 1S5 and 1T4 in its February
1940 issue, while the 3S4 were not announced until February 1941.
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