If you think portable phones were entirely unheard of before the chunky cell phones of the late 1980s, think again. All the way back in 1910, German engineers invented the “pocket telephone” — a “primitive, battery-powered wiretap” that could be plugged into any available public telephone line. They were initially used by police to quickly and easily call the station. Newspapers excitedly anticipated that soon everyone would own pocket telephones and be able to talk for longer without paying a cent (the phone companies worried about that, too). Read more from Paleofuture.