Donald Lewes Hings, CM MBE (November 6, 1907 – February 25, 2004) was a Canadian inventor. In 1937[1] he created a portable radio signaling system for his employer CM&S, which he called a "packset", but which later became known as the "Walkie-Talkie".

While Hings was filing a U.S. patent for the packset in Spokane, Washington in 1939, Canada declared war on Germany. CM&S sent Hings to Ottawa to redevelop his new invention for military use, and he worked there from 1940 to 1945. During these years, he developed a number of models, including the successful C-58 Walkie-Talkie which eventually sold eighteen thousand units produced for infantry use, and for which he received the MBE in 1946 and the Order Of Canada in 2001.[2]

Following the war, he moved to Burnaby, British Columbia, where he established an electronics R&D company, Electronic Labs of Canada. He continued researching and creating in the fields of communications and geophysics until his retirement. He held more than 55 patents in Canada and the United States, and was the inventor of the klystron magnetometer survey system.[3] In 2006, Hings was inducted into the Telecommunications Hall of Fame.

Born in Leicester, England, he moved to Canada with his mother and father when he was three.[4] He died on Capitol Hill, Burnaby British Columbia in 2004.[1]


  1. ^ a b Munro, Harold (Aug 25, 1988). "B.C. Inventor of walkie-talkie saluted" (PDF). Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  2. ^ Order of Canada citation
  3. ^ US Patent 4458205 - Geomagnetic prospecting method "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-12. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  4. ^ Tom Hawthorn (2004-04-07). "Donald Hings: Tinkerer invented the walkie-talkie". The Globe and Mail. 

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