Brick-Sized Cellphone Celebrates 40th Birthday


Tim Boyle/Bloomberg(NEW YORK) — Back on April 4, 1973 a man named Marty Cooper wasn’t taking the voice call feature on the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x for granted. On that day, 40 years ago, Cooper, who was a Motorola engineer, placed the first public call from a cellphone.

Standing in midtown Manhattan, Cooper decided to dial up rival Joel Engel, who was the head of Bell Labs research department. According to The Verge, Cooper said, “Joel, this is Marty. I’m calling you from a cell phone, a real handheld portable cell phone.”

He also said, “I’m ringing you just to see if my call sounds good at your end.”

The phone was nine inches tall and weighed 28 ounces. The iPhone 5, by way of comparison, is .30 inches thick and weighs 3.95 ounces.

It took ten years after Cooper placed that call for the cellphone to reach the masses. Motorola didn’t start selling the DynaTAC until 1983. Of course, the rest is history.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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