With all the hype about people being distracted while driving we forget that in the beginning, the cell phone was actually the “car phone”. Or so the NY Time’s Matt Richtel writes this weekend in an interesting article about early mobile phone companies and studies warning of accident risks when chatting while driving. There’s a good interactive timeline showing ads from the 80’s of dudes cruising the highways with a phone brick at their ear.

My first car was a 1987 Volvo 745t I bought in 1994. It had the little antenna on the roof and a giant, glowing handset attached to the arm rest. I never got it activated, but it’s funny to think that something like that would be pretty much illegal now, seeing as the only way to use it is when you’re in the car and the car is running. Although I’m sure the PO always pulled to the side of the road to make a call. Right.

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