Time Travel Video: If Not A Cell Phone, What Was Woman In 1938 Video Talking On?

By iScienceTimes Staff on April 5, 2013 12:24 PM EDT

cell phone
The first commercially available cell phone was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, which went on sale in March of 1983. It allowed 30 minutes of talk time and cost $3,995. Pictured is Dr. Martin Cooper, who developed the prototype in 1973, reenacting the first cellular telephone call. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Time travel video? Footage from 1938 showing a woman holding what appears to be a cell phone to her ear fired up time travel theorists, who believed the video proved the possibility of hopscotching back a few decades. Unfortunately, the theory that the woman in the video is a time traveler has now been debunked. Yahoo News reports that an apparent descendent of the woman in the video has stepped forward to explain what the lady in the time travel video is really holding.

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Sorry, Christopher Lloyd.

The black-and-white video, posted sometime last year, was shot in 1938 and shows a group of women leaving a factory owned by U.S. industrial giant Dupont in Leominster, Massachusetts. One of the women can be seen talking on what appears to be a cell phone. Cell phones, however, were not available until the 1980s. The first commercially available cell phone was the DynaTAC 8000x. Motorola developed the mobile device in the early 1970s and released it to the public in 1983. It weighed 1.75 pounds, measured ten inches in length (not including the antenna), and cost almost $4,000. Perhaps a DeLorean would have been a more prudent purchase.

So, what could the woman in the time travel video have been holding to her ear?

The Daily Mail reports that a Youtube user named Planetcheck wrote on the video's Youtube page that the lady in the clip is her great grandmother, Gertrude Jones. "She was 17 years old," Planetcheck wrote. "I asked her about this video and she remembers it quite clearly. She says Dupont had a telephone communications section in the factory."

She went on to explain, according to the Huffington Post, that the company was experimenting with wireless telephones, and that her great grandmother and five other women were given the wireless devices to test out. "Gertrude is talking to one of the scientists holding another wireless phone who is off to her right as she walks by," Gertrude wrote. The original video has since been removed for reasons unknown.

In 2010, another woman was also believed to be a time traveler when a clip from a 1928 Charlie Chaplin movie popped up on the internet. It shows a woman walking and talking on what looks like a cell phone.

One Youtube user commented: "Ya think if they could invent time travel, then I'm pretty sure inventing a cell phone that didn't require a tower probably wouldn't have been too hard."

Touché.

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