Home » When Bluetooth Was A Really Long Wire: Cold Start

When Bluetooth Was A Really Long Wire: Cold Start

Cs Telefunken Top
ADVERTISEMENT

Bluetooth is one of those modern technologies that, perhaps thanks to its invisibility, has become nearly ubiquitous seemingly without us even realizing it. If you want to connect something, like a speaker or a mouse or a large, vibrating egg at. a short distance to your computer, Bluetooth has become the standard. But before that, people still liked to connect things to things, and for that they often used something I like to call physical Bluetooth, or “a wire.” Look at this Telefunken ad up there: that’s essentially a Bluetooth speaker that lady is carrying, only wired! But, same idea, same sort of novel shape, same portability – well, if you have a car nearby – but still!

Also, Telefunken is such a great name for a radio company, even if unintentional. Oh, and speaking of great names, did you know why Bluetooth is called such a weird name? It’s because it’s named for a Scandinavian king from 958! King Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson, who united Denmark and Norway and, yes, had a dead tooth that looked kinda blue. And the weird Bluetooth logo? It’s a rune of the king’s initials, (Hagall) (ᚼ) and (Bjarkan) (ᛒ)!

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Anyway, back to this speaker thing. Let’s look at the whole ad page:

Cs Telefunken 4

Look at that thing! It’s like a cool little conical speaker in a handy leather case! I thought it was a ham at first in that picnic context, but no, a ham that plays music is still out of the reach of modern science, for now. I’m just amazed how much this really feels like a modern Bluetooth speaker in use and form and how it’s marketed. Well, minus the wire.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cs Telefunken 1

This is from a Telefunken brochure for Volkswagen radios, and features a cover with that wonderful noir-movie-style floating 3D logo-object in a moody spotlight that was popular at the time. Man, graphic artist back in the late ’40s/ early ’50s would have just loved 3D rendering and modeling software.

Cs Telefunken 3

This Beetle looks like a 1950, if I had to guess. It has the round instead of oval horn grilles, but no crotch-cooler vents. The bumpers also have the overiders that came after the banana-shaped ones more associated with the ’40s Beetles.

Cs Telefunken 2

ADVERTISEMENT

Here’s what the in-dash radio unit looked like – this size looks close to a modern double-DIN/ISO 7736, but I’m not sure if radio sizes were that standardized back then? That’s something I need to look into. This square-ratio size isn’t uncommon in cars of this era. Maybe there were some standards? That’s another article, I think.

 

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
49 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
EricTheViking
EricTheViking
9 days ago

DM 274,— and DM 314,— (for sake of simplicity, in 1950) are roughly $850 and $985 adjusted. To put this in perspective, the average annual income in 1950 is DM 3.161,— (about $9,885 adjusted).

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
9 days ago

“Lautsprecher” reminds me of the faux-German labels a friend’s brother stuck on the dash of his old Beetle. Puttersparken (ignition), glimmerblinken (lights), musikmachen (radio), drizzleflippen (wipers).

Sundance
Sundance
9 days ago

Puttersparken (ignition), glimmerblinken (lights), drizzleflippen (wipers) is no German.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
9 days ago
Reply to  Sundance

Which is why I said faux-German.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
9 days ago

Notice how the “ham radio” cord is wrapped tightly about their humble Swedish servants waist.

Is this the origin of Siri?

Siri! Play an up tempo old time rag for us.

Myk El
Myk El
9 days ago

For those who remember the fukengrüven and funkengrüven parody stickers, now we need Telefunkengrüven

OfNoFurtherUse
OfNoFurtherUse
9 days ago

Torchian wisdom’s the sweetest. I am once again reminded of what Fassbinder said: “Machen Sie Keine Uberflüssigen Bemmerkungen,, Anton!”
I will never, ever own a vehicle that emits rf!

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
10 days ago

By the ’80’s this sort of thing was completely obsolete. We’d just pop the trunk and let the six-by-nines fly.
My buddy had a 944, the speakers were way in back behind each wheel well, facing up. When he opened the glass hatch, it acted like a dish and amplified the sound directly behind. I remember him filling a huge and rowdy Forest Preserve, Busse Woods, with Jane’s Addiction. And I mean loud!

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
10 days ago

A friend of mine was gifted a completely rusted out 1966 Beetle 1300(!) in high school. It had a factory Blaupunkt radio that was a lot smaller than this – single DIN. I remember because I agreed to try and fix it for him and I had to remove it and work on it in electronics shop.

Did the earlier Beatles have a double DIN hole? Jason will know – the image shows a hole that is formed to match the shape of that Telefunken. Did the radio come with a whole dash panel?

The Blaupunkt? After removing it and cleaning out 15 years of crap, it was actually an easy fix and it was back to all its AM radio fidelity glory.

Luxobarge
Luxobarge
10 days ago

 If you want to connect something, like a speaker or a mouse or a large, vibrating egg

“A large, vibrating egg. Well, I ask a psychopath, I get that kind of an answer.”

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
10 days ago
Reply to  Luxobarge

One need not be a psychopath – or even a sociopath – to enjoy a large, vibrating egg.

Luxobarge
Luxobarge
10 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Don’t tell me, tell Alvy Singer.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
10 days ago
Reply to  Luxobarge

With that intense level of neurosis I doubt it would do much good.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
10 days ago

“Wir sind der Funk.
Der Funk muss da sein.”

ES
ES
10 days ago

This is from a Telefunken brochure for Volkswagen radios, and features a cover with that wonderful noir-movie-style floating 3D logo-object in a moody spotlight that was popular at the time. Man, graphic artist back in the late ’40s/ early ’50s would have just loved 3D rendering and modeling software.

is it my imagination, or did this artist deliberately play games with the orientation of the symbol shadow? in the shadow, the font directions are going the wrong way, or in one case, upside down?

Scott Ross
Scott Ross
10 days ago

The Bluetooth in the article was a bit clickbaity. I don’t mind talking about different com and radios systems though.

I would prefer the history of how drive ins went from horn speakers, to wired speakers to am radio and now to fm radio.

Motorcycle coms how it went from a weird horn thing, to wired to, cb, to bluetooth, to mesh network.

Don’t be clickbaity please

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
10 days ago
Reply to  Scott Ross

You know you can just google that stuff, right?

A. Barth
A. Barth
10 days ago

Bluetooth … has become nearly ubiquitous seemingly without us even realizing it

Which increases my frustration with people who refuse to use it. It’s not new and mysterious. It’s not an arcane art. It’s easy to use and has been included in most vehicles for ages, so please stop holding your blankety-blank phones in front of you as you drive, you improvident lackwits.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
10 days ago
Reply to  A. Barth

“improvident lackwits.”

Damn, that’s a Masters degree level burn.

A. Barth
A. Barth
10 days ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

Thank you – however, I can’t claim credit for it. I’ve always liked the word ‘improvident’ but the two-word phrase is actually a Simpsons reference.

Mr. Frick
Mr. Frick
10 days ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Had to be sideshow Bob

A. Barth
A. Barth
9 days ago
Reply to  Mr. Frick

Surprisingly it was not, but that’s an eminently reasonable guess.

It was Mr. Burns’ mother. She called the plant one day and complained about Monty being too busy strutting around his atom mill to call her.

(It’s been a while; I had to look up the details.)

Paul E
Paul E
10 days ago

I’m impressed that Telefunken (probably for oh, so German reasons) chose to publish some of the radio’s technical specifications in the brochure, all the way down to receiver frequency coverage and sensitivity (the “5 microvolts for 50 millivolts”)–stuff that the average Karl von Sixpack wouldn’t care about.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
10 days ago

A while back I made the joke to my wife that Bluetooth was old technology and was being replaced with a new system called Hardrada. The joke was that Harald Bluetooth and Harald Hardrada both claimed kingship over Norway and Denmark. Needless to say, the joke was not considered ‘funny’. I mentioned it offhand to my brother who told me that he had made a similar joke to the same effect.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
10 days ago

Yeah, any joke that requires the listener to know the nicknames of two Scandinavian kings from a thousand or so years ago is going to have limited appeal.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
9 days ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

To be fair, how many current living Scandinavian monarchs can most people here name? And no, Andrés Manuel López Obrador isn’t one of them.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
9 days ago

It’s easy for Denmark, the kings have alternated between two names, Christian and Frederick, since the 1500’s.

Robot Turds
Robot Turds
10 days ago

Eh…. Its not exactly anything related to Bluetooth. Bluetooth is more or less a very high frequency radio signal that can support digital format. So its “wireless’ due to being a radio. This is just a wired speaker.

Max Headbolts
Max Headbolts
10 days ago
Reply to  Robot Turds

ThatsTheJoke.gif

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
9 days ago
Reply to  Robot Turds

Yeah. Bluetooth lets you pair to more than one device. /s

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
10 days ago

Today I learned that the Sybian has bluetooth capability. I’m literally shaking.

Last edited 10 days ago by getstoneyII (probably)
Uncle Cholmondeley
Uncle Cholmondeley
10 days ago

(Be careful Googling this at work)

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
10 days ago

“…a ham that plays music is still out of the reach of modern science, for now.”

Goddamnit, I’m doing the best I can. I’ve got my best people working on solving the voltage-glaze problem. Maybe if we didn’t have to pull funding to prioritize the vibrating egg, you’d have your…ham radio.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
10 days ago

Bravo.

Aaron Headly
Aaron Headly
10 days ago

Evening bag or speaker…? That is the question, and at first glance not easy to answer. But this fashionable little thing, as it seems from the outside – so to speak “le dernier cri” – contains a very powerful picnic speaker. It jumps in where the sound of the car super is to be transmitted – outdoors, far away from the car. The pretty, elegant bag is made of weatherproof Boxin[?] and can easily be placed in the grass or hung on a tree. Yes, the TELEFUNKEN PICNIC SPEAKER makes the ride with the car super perfect in the truest sense of the word: pleasant[?] drive and pleasant[?] rest

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 days ago

“but no, a ham that plays music is still out of the reach of modern science, for now.”

I submit Weird Al Yankovic.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
10 days ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

He’ll be mellow when he’s dead.

The Artist Formerly Known as the Uncouth Sloth
The Artist Formerly Known as the Uncouth Sloth
10 days ago

It looks just like a Telefunken U-47

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
10 days ago

Pretty sure I saw Telefunken on Sprockets.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
10 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

That skit was a real treasure.

3WiperB
3WiperB
10 days ago

I’ve read before that the name “Bluetooth” was a placeholder until they came up with something cooler. Our 2008 STS has an OEM radio with Bluetooth, but it predates music support and just connects for phone calls only. It still works for that though. For audio, we have to use the RCA jacks for the audio/video input into the 8″ touchscreen. It also has DVD based navigation and a 6 disk CD changer.
Pretty advanced stuff for 2008.

Chronometric
Chronometric
10 days ago

Blue in tooth and claw… Me after eating a supermarket birthday cake.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
10 days ago

Man, now I have to research the origins of the Bluetooth name. Sometimes I can’t tell when Torch is off his meds or not.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
10 days ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

Sigh. Need to pay more attention to the links in the article…

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
10 days ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

He used a sex toy as a Bluetooth device example instead of something car-related, so I’d say Torch is back to his usual self.

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
10 days ago

Love that reference!

Larry B
Larry B
10 days ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

That was the first thing I did! It’s twoo, it’s twoo.

49
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x