Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Alfred J. Gross - Walkie Talkie

In 1938 Alfred J Gross invented the first walkie talkie. The U.S. Government kept this communication system classified (secret) until 1976.

Gross was born in 1918, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States. He began his life-long romance with wireless communications at age nine during a cruise on Lake Erie. While exploring the ship, Gross met the radio operator and was invited into the radio room to listen to the transmission. The sound of wireless telegraphy fascinated him so much that he begged his parents to buy him a crystal set, an early radio.

He was fabricating his own metal radio chassis in a metal working class at age fifteen. A year later he earned his amateur operator's license. He was now a ham radio operator.

After Gross invented the walkie talkie he created a two-way air-to-ground communication system in 1941, which was used in the Second World War. The nickname for the ground device, “Joan,” communicated over radio waves. Gross continued to develop and patent various cordless and portable telephonic devices through the 1960s.

Alfred J. Gross’s invention helps many people including police, St John’s ambulance service, etc.., because if people get hurt or their in danger they can call for help and back up. His invention was the forerunner of today’s mobile phones. If Gross didn’t go on that cruise on Lake Eire, we would not have walkie talkies now.


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