Advancing Communication: The History of Two Way Radios

Category: Others/ Misc

Presentation Description | A valuable tool for police forces and the military, the first two-way radios were developed out of a necessity for better portable communication. Now nearly every industry uses a two-way radio system as an indispensable asset to effective communication and improved safety. Let’s look back at two-way radios from the beginning.


Presentation Transcript


Senior Constable Frederick William Downie of the Victorian Police developed the first mobile two-way radio back in 1923, making Victorian police cars the first in the world to be equipped with wireless communication.


In 1939, Galvin Manufacturing Corporation (which would later become Motorola) developed a complete line of affordable AM two-way radio equipment. The company’s aim was to make a system cost-effective enough so more public safety agencies could adopt the technology and improve service to their communities.


1940 welcomed the introduction of the Handie-Talkie SCR536 AM portable two-way radio by Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. An icon of World War II, this handheld radio is still often what comes to mind when people think of the first portable two-way radio systems.


Weighing in at 35 pounds, the world’s first FM portable two-way radio was designed for the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1943. This backpack-style “walkie-talkie” had a range of up to 20 miles.


With advancements in radio technology, Motorola began marketing portable two-way radios specifically designed for the industrial market in 1947. The private sector now had access to equipment to increase communication as well as safety on the job.


From government agencies to construction sites to retail stores—further advancements in communication technology made two-way radios commonplace to the general working world. Pictured: A grain inspector for the USDA using an RCA TacTec walkie-talkie in New Orleans, 1976.


In 1996, the U.S. authorized the Family Radio Service, an improved walkie-talkie radio system. This personal radio system is noted for using channelized frequencies around 462 and 467 MHz in the UHF band, which means it doesn’t suffer from the interference effects like other systems, including the citizens’ band (CB), cordless telephones, and baby monitors.


Many of us today could not imagine doing our jobs without a two-way radio system. They are commonplace everywhere from restaurants to manufacturing plants to backstage at world-famous theatres. Two-way radios are also more advanced and affordable than ever before, as well as significantly more compact and durable.


Two Way Radio Gear specializes in the latest and greatest two-way radio technology for construction sites, restaurants, property managers, and more. For more information, visit .


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