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The Difference Between Fiction & Reality? Time.

Do you remember “Star Trek” and all the great gadgets the crew members used in each episode? Or the fancy gizmos from “The Jetsons” or “Minority Report?” Ever wonder when, or if, we’ll invent technology like what we’ve seen in the fictional universe? Satisfy your craving for fictional tech with The Fiction to Reality Timeline.

The Fiction to Reality Timeline

Dawn of the Wireless Phone 1901

The dream of anywhere anytime wireless telephony started over a century ago, as evidenced by newspapers and magazines of a bygone era.

Susan J. Douglas has a fascinating essay about early wireless telegraphy in the book Imagining Tomorrow: History, Technology and the American Future, which was edited by Paleo-Future Legend Joe Corn.

Douglas excerpts a prediction by Professor William Edward Ayrton that appeared in a 1901 magazine called The Century. In it, Ayrton said that wireless telegraphy would soon allow people to talk over long distances in a highly targeted manner. The phrasing of the piece is remarkably relevant to the mobile phone as Ayrton describes a person’s ability to “call to a friend he knew not where.”

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