The Order of the Oaf

Gregorio Marañón, a man famous around the world as a physician, scientist, inventor, creative-historian, a serious writer and philosopher. Across Spain, he is perhaps best remembered for his attempt to invent the mobile telephone. The accompanying image to this story shows Grego – as he was known to his friends – with the original prototype placed atop a blueprint design.

The idea for a mobile phone first came to Marañón in his private study, whilst typing an article draft for Spanish smut magazine El Hombre, in early 1959. A telephone call had come through from La Quiniela lottery company, informing him of a ten million peseta jackpot win. By today’s value, this is equivalent to approximately two million pounds sterling.

Astounded by the news, Marañón had leapt out of his chair as if struck by high voltage electricity. A fly on the wall, had it been inclined to watch, would have witnessed a man punching the air, repeatedly bending down onto his haunches and leaping upwards, fast losing his composure.

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