Back in the ’60s, when mobile phones were just a pipe dream, a guy called John Edwards decided to try and create a truely mobile phone. However, he needed a bit of cash. He went to his local Midland Bank to ask for a loan (Midland Bank is now HSBC Bank) but the manager decided that his idea for a hand-held phone would “never catch on” and refused the loan. Eventually he got a loan from Barclays Bank which allowed him to develop the early beginnings of the mobile phones we use today. He is now a millionaire living in Bournemouth. The story below is taken from the ThisIsDorset.net website…
In 1964, while working for the Home Office, John designed a UHF radio for Merseyside policemen, which was later sold to doctors, vets and journalists – anyone with jobs on the move.
In 1971 came the birth of the forerunner of today’s mobile phone.
John’s cellular radio unit called Ready Call was featured on the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World. It was unique because it allowed a caller to contact another individual on the move, and have a secure conversation that no one else could hear.
It sounds obvious in 2004, but back then this was radical stuff.
“Midland Bank turned the idea down and said Ready Call would never catch on,” laughed John. “But it started the mobile phone revolution. I eventually earned