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Page last updated at 12:51 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Bristol OAP home gets blue plaque
Harry Grindell Matthews
Harry Grindell Matthews, in his lab, invented the world's first mobile phone

The South Gloucestershire home of a famous inventor and wireless pioneer is being recognised with a blue plaque.

The Grove is now a family-run home for the elderly in Winterbourne, but was once the childhood home of Harry Grindell Matthews.

Mr Matthews invented the world's first mobile phone, as well as automatic pilot, amongst other things.

He was born on 17 March 1880 and studied electrical engineering at the Merchant Venturers' College in Bristol.

Harry Grindell Matthews is also credited with the invention of submarine detection, optical sound tracks, and aerial defence systems.

In 1923 he also said he had invented a 'Death Ray' - this was an electric ray that Mr Matthews said could stop a motorcycle engine from a distance and explode gunpowder.

He also said that, with enough power, the 'Death Ray' could shoot down aeroplanes, and incapacitate infantry from the distance of four miles.

Local media at the time were amazed at the idea of the 'Death Ray' but the British Government was not convinced.

A Nottingham-based science teacher, who has recently written a biography on Mr Matthews, will be at the ceremony, as well as local residents and the Winterbourne Parish Council.

The ceremony is at 11am on March 17, 2009, and all residents, staff, family and friends, are welcome to attend.



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