The cellular phone has been around for almost 40 years now. That’s not a terribly long time, but enough change has taken place that the technology justifies its own museum. What would you call something like that? The Mobile Phone Museum has a nice ring to it (heh).
Such a place exists, though its physical presence is relegated to a secure storage facility for the more than 3,500 devices the non-profit has in its collection. It comes to 2,130 different devices (at the time of writing) across more than 200 different brands. And yes, the first cellphone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X from 1983, is part of the collection.
It belongs in a museum
You can head on over to the official website, which catalogues all of the phones it has in its care. It’s a surprisingly important project, because of how fast development moves. Cellphones have undergone numerous changes since 1983. 2007 is the most recent serious milestone. That’s the launch of the iPhone and the start of the smartphone era, in case you were wondering.
But, as with video games, the technology is moving too quickly to really allow for the proper preservation of obsolete versions. If collections aren’t made before they’re considered historically important, then eventually when we look for them they’ll be… er… history.
Odds are you’ve got a phone or two sitting at home that belongs in a museum (as archaeology professor Henry Jones Junior is fond of saying). If that’s the case — perhaps you’ve got one of Huawei’s elusive KFC phones — then the Mobile Phone Museum wants to hear from you. It accepts duplicates of items it already has, for fundraising reasons. Anything donated is non-returnable, so be sure before you send something off.