British film archivists have released footage which apparently shows the world’s first mobile phone being used – in 1922.
The silent black and white film displays two women walking along an American street carrying a bulky flip-top phone.
They then attach a wire from the device onto a fire hydrant before erecting an umbrella which has been converted into an aerial.
One of the women then uses the phone to connect to the operator, who plays a gramophone record into a microphone for her enjoyment.
The rare film was recently unearthed in a dusty archive by British Pathé, which is trying to discover more details about the technology involved.
Spokesman Mark Harris said: ”It’s amazing that nearly 90 years ago mobile phone technology and music on the move was not only being thought of but being trialled.
”One of our researchers came across the clip and we were amazed that the idea was so old, we are used to budding technologies appearing in the 1950s and 60s but this is four years before television was first demonstrated.
”The phone even has a lid which makes it the first flip-phone we are aware of, although it is probably not going to win any design awards.
”We would be delighted to hear from anyone who can tell us anything about the film, from where it is shot to who the women might be or even about the phone itself.”
The footage appeared in Eve’s Film Review issue 41, a cinemagazine for women which was run by Pathé between 1921 and 1933.
A cannister discovered with the film contained limited notes describing the silent action to viewers.
It reads: ”Bless us, they’re never still – always up to something new. And Eve’s latest invasion is in the wireless world.
”It’s Eve’s portable wireless ‘phone – and won’t hubby have a time when he has to carry one!”
It is believed that wireless phone technology was being experimented with in the 1910s and 1920s.
Anyone who knows anything about the film, actors or phone should contact British Pathé.
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