Home Tech 1921 iPod: French iGarter phone gets one up on Jobs

1921 iPod: French iGarter phone gets one up on Jobs


00000070Over eighty years before the iPod hit the streets the French had invented the iGarter, a leg-mounted radiophone for the geekette about ville. British Pathé, who last month brought us the the first iPhone girls, complete with pocket telephone and umbrella antenna, have now unearthed an even earlier clip. It proves that the French were one up on the American girls and can probably claim to have invented the first smartphone.

The film, which can be viewed here (you'll need Flash, unfortunately), starts with a young lady getting dressed and fiddling with her garter, which turns out to hold a compact wireless device. She shuffles the cable through her unmentionables before attaching a pair of outsized headphones and donning her smart clothes. Later, she's seen cozying up to the Eiffel Tower where she sits down and puts up an umbrella which, the text tells us, is the aerial. We are further titillated as she hitches up her skirt to reveal the iGarter in all its glory. Honi soit qui mal y pense!


  1. Yes, It’s real. They’re just not sure of the exact date but it’s probably 1921. British Pathe produced newsreels for cinemas from the early days. Before television they provided the main opportunity for the public to see the world’s events. Whimsical items such as this were popular and, no doubt, this particular clip was seen as the height of technological sophistication ninety years ago. We can only wonder what the public of 2100 will think of Steve Jobs’ keynote this week – in particular what they will think of the iPhone 4. No doubt it will all look as funny as the 1921 film clip.


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