Cigar/cigarette lighter adaptor charging cable for Vodafone transportable (mobile) telephone

Made:
1985
Cigar/cigarette lighter adaptor charging cable for Vodafone transportable (mobile) telephone.

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Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Cigar/cigarette lighter adaptor charging cable for Vodafone transportable (mobile) telephone.
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Cigar/cigarette lighter adaptor charging cable, number 0352321001, for Vodafone transportable (mobile) telephone. This allows the battery pack to be charged from the car battery. The battery pack can also be charged from the car radio unit.

This object is an example of the first mobile telephones for sale in the UK. It is bulky, unwieldy and certainly would not fit in your pocket. It was previously owned by a member of the landed gentry, representative of one of the relatively few owners of mobile telephones like this, which was sold at over £7,000 in 2018 currency and, as such, was a luxury commodity.

There is also a stark contrast to be made between the ubiquitous ownership of mobile telephones in the UK now and their first users in the 1980s. The manual explains “you can use your VODAFONE for automatic telephone calls from your car, boat, or office.” Boat-owners were the target market. Indeed and as mentioned previously, this mobile phone was sold at over £7,000 in today’s money. The objects is significant because it charts a change in mobile ownership from the wealthy to the masses.

Details

Category:
Telecommunications
Object Number:
2019-360/1
Materials:
metal (unknown) and plastic (unidentified)
type:
mobile phone accessory
taxonomy:
  • component - object
  • telephone
credit:
S. R. Lancelyn Green