hand-held two-way radio communication device

A walkie-talkie is a hand held device, two way radio receiver/transmitter. It was developed in the second world war.

Two consumer-grade walkie-talkies (PMR446-type)
Some Walkie-talkies
How the back-pack version was used.
Noemfoor, Dutch New Guinea, July 1944. A US soldier (foreground) uses a handie-talkie during a battle. (Photographer: Allan F. Anderson)

Radio engineer Alfred J. Gross worked on the early technology behind the walkie-talkie between 1934 and 1941. During the war it was developed by Donald L. Hings and engineering teams at Motorola led by Henryk Magnuski.[1][2]

Typical walkie-talkies today are phone sized and have a push to talk button. Walkie-talkie are used for various reasons, in the military, for amateur radio, and for personal use.


The first walkie-talkie was so large it had to be carried in a backpack, and was called Motorola SCR-300. Mortorola also made other Walkie-talkies during World War Two.[3] During World War Two The first hand-held Walkie-talkies were also developed by Mortorola during WWII.[4]


The idea of walkie-talkies did not get much interest until the war started in 1939. After a few years the Motorola team had improved them, so that the army could use them. There were also vehicle and tank versions.[1] The British, Germans and Americans all had their own versions.

Motorola also produced the hand-held AM SCR-536 radio during World War II, and it was called the "handie-talkie" (HT).[4] The terms are often confused today, but the original walkie talkie referred to the back mounted model, while the handie-talkie was the device which could be held entirely in the hand (but had vastly reduced range).


Walkie-talkies are widely used in many settings, business, police force, military and recreation.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Donald L. Hings, inventor & telecommunications pioneer Walkie Talkie [1]
  2. The history of the Walkie talkie
  3. Radio set SCR-300 – A War Department technical manual TM 11-242 [2]
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wolinsky, Howard (2003-09-25). "Riding radio waves for 75 years, Motorola milestones". Chicago Sun Times. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2012.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)