Another technology milestone - first cell phone call 38 years ago today

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From CNN:
38 years ago he made the first cell phone call
Sunday is the anniversary of something that undoubtedly has changed your life.

Whether for good or for bad is a question only you can answer.

On this day in 1973 -- on April 3 of that year -- a man did something no one had ever done before.

You may bless him for it or curse him for it. At this juncture, it hardly matters. The impact of what he did is so enormous that judging it now is almost beside the point.

The man's name was Martin Cooper. He was 44 at the time.

He made a cell phone call.

The world's first. At least the first public one; the cell phone had been tested in the lab, but never tried in the real world.

"As I walked down the street while talking on the phone," Cooper once told an interviewer, "sophisticated New Yorkers gaped at the sight of someone actually moving around while making a phone call."

There had been car phones before -- mobile radios, really. They were powered by heavy equipment that had to be stashed in the trunk of the automobile.

But Cooper, who was the general manager of Motorola's communications systems division, had the idea that people didn't want to be tethered to a stationary telephone, even if the phone could ride along with them in their car. He thought that the phone should be so portable that it could go anywhere they went.

As he explained it in a later interview:

"People want to talk to other people -- not a house, or an office, or a car. Given a choice, people will demand the freedom to communicate wherever they are, unfettered by the infamous copper wire."
Had one of the first ones -- a vehicle mounted rig but pure cell service, not a two-way radio. Also had Motorola Brick phone. Again, another piece of technology that I gave away and wish I still had. The ergonomics of the thing were awesome. Very well designed and actually decent battery life for a three-pound telephone...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 3, 2011 9:04 PM.

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