Darfoni Pocket Wireless Communicator

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Guglielmo Marconi has always been a major hero and inspiration for me (for his technical vision, not his political activities, I hasten to add), but even he didn't see that the combination of wireless communications and computing might eventually lead to the development of the now-ubiquitous smart-phone (perhaps because Alan Turing - inventor of the general-purpose computer - was barely out of nursery-school). Let's suppose that Mr Turing had been born 35 years earlier, and the pair of them got together.... this device might have been the result! It's an Edwardian mobile telephone, complete with bell, digital key-pad, individual squelch and volume controls, and separate transmitting and receiving aerials. Didn't manage to fit in the touch-screen, though....
And all designed to fit conveniently in any pocket! Well, if you have trousers to suit an elephant perhaps, and preferably lead-lined......

The name 'Darfoni' is an obvious homage to Marconi, but also helpfully includes 'fon(e)', which it's trying to be, and 'foni (phoney)', which it obviously is. If that's not enough, it also contains 'darf (daft)' - which it most certainly is! You can tell from this that I'm a Southerner with a London accent - that just wouldn't work with a Northern accent!

For a change, this piece actually functions! And, before you ask, no not as a phone! For the technically-minded 21st-century folk among you, it contains an ISD1280 solid-state single-chip voice recorder - when you press the 'transmit' button, it plays a pre-recorded voice message through a functioning speaker inside the speaker-horn. For those of you who can find it (it's underneath, in the base) there is a secret 'record' button, which offers the opportunity to utilise the functioning microphone inside the end of the microphone-boom to pre-record the message, for later playback by unsuspecting users....

Materials: brass, copper, shell case, found objects
Dimensions: 14" wide x 16" deep x 18" high (36cm x 41cm x 48cm)
Weight: 5lb (2.2Kg)

This piece got it's first airing as part of the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen exhibition at Rodmarton Manor in September 2021.

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