Battery charger for Vodafone transportable (mobile) telephone

Made:
1985
Battery charger 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

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

Battery charger for Vodafone transportable (mobile) telephone
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Racal-Vodac (Vodafone) Battery Charger for Vodafone transportable (mobile) telephone, model VT 601, for mains use.

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:
2019-360/4
type:
mobile phone accessory
taxonomy:
  • component - object
  • telephone
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • domestic appliance
credit:
S. R. Lancelyn Green