The first cell phone call was placed 40 years ago today

By Shawn Knight · 15 replies
Apr 3, 2013
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  1. It may be hard to believe but the first ever cellular phone call was made 40 years ago today. The call was placed by Martin Cooper, a Motorola employee at the time, on Sixth Avenue in midtown Manhattan. Interestingly enough,...

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  2. "Cooper recalled that all he could hear on the other end was silence"

    Dodgy reception?? Happens to me all the time nowadays too!
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,665   +1,950

    I bet the message was more like -

    I've got a pho-one, nya-nya, nya-nya, nya!
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,701

    Damn, I didn't know the Cell Phone was nearly as old as I am!! :/

    I was expecting the first phone to be the size of a backpack. I was greatly disappointed when the image portrayed a phone the size of what I would have called a satellite phone.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I won't be around to see it but I wonder what'll it be like 40 years from now.
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,665   +1,950

    It will be the same phone model the guy is holding on the picture, after a nuclear holocaust, just as The Walking Dead TV finished the broadcast. The phones became self-aware, and struck humans using the anti-matter that was then used as their energy source.
  7. 1983 was 30 years ago, not 40.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,701

    So it took 10 years for the phone to become commercially available, whats your point?
  9. jacques

    jacques TS Rookie Posts: 22

    Read first
  10. bobgh

    bobgh TS Rookie

    In recent months, I have seen several accounts in the press discussing Martin Cooper's role in the development of the cell phone. I worked for Martin at Motorola Communications and Industrial Electronics (C&IE) from November 1959 to June 1960. Motorola was developing the latest in a series of two way radio products of ever smaller size. These developments were part of an evolutionary process that led eventually to the cell phone. I was fresh out of school and my contributions were of no particular significance.

    But let me tell you about something I observed on a daily basis at Motorola's plant in Chicago. Motorola C&IE had two black employees. They tended an incinerator on the opposite side of the parking lot from the plant. They were not allowed into the building. Not to take a break or eat lunch. Not to use the rest rooms. Not to warm up in the middle of Chicago's sub zero winters. And my fellow employees would take their breaks at the second floor windows overlooking that parking lot, and they would make insulting, racist comments about the two black employees.

    I went to human relations, and in the most non-confrontational way that I could muster I asked why Motorola did not employ on the basis of ability, without regard to race. And at my six month review, I was terminated.

    You don't have to take my word concerning Motorola's employment policies. In September of 1980, Motorola agreed to pay up to $10 million in back pay to some 11,000 blacks who were denied jobs over a seven-year period and to institute a $5 million affirmative action program, according to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    I have a question for Martin Cooper. Marty, what did you ever do to challenge the blatant, toxic racial discrimination at Motorola?

    Robert Gilchrist Huenemann, M.S.E.E.
    120 Harbern Way
    Hollister, CA 95023-9708
    VitalyT likes this.
  11. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,665   +1,950

    To bobgh: That was a great recap on the history. Not sure if Martin Cooper will hear you from this forum though, but you never know. And even if he does, he will likely never answer, it's just too embarrassing.
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,701

    Excellent question, however I'm not sure it would be wise to continue harping on the past. Doing so will only keep racial rage at its finest. Live today as equals and forgive those that lived their lives as non-equals.
  13. avoidz

    avoidz TS Guru Posts: 460   +56

    I wonder what the long-term effects of all the wireless and cell phone signals on humans will be in 40 years.
  14. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,665   +1,950

    Loosing hair to radiation, growing bigger years from listening too much... the kind you personally should be familiar with:

  15. avoidz

    avoidz TS Guru Posts: 460   +56

    You forgot something...

  16. Robert,why:

    1.have you chosen to spray this 40-years old complaint all over the Internet? I have found at least 42 places where you have pasted this complaint word-for-word onto news websites that wrote an article about Dr. Cooper. Don’t you have an original idea?

    2.why are you complaining to news outlets? They can’t do anything and your ont-of-date allegations are not going to cause them to suddenly cover this topic.

    3. as you noted, Motorola did settle with black employees from this period that was before the landmark Civil Rights legislation of the 1960′s. These harms have been addressed and resolved, and as you know Motorola no longer behaves in this manner — like most other American corporations.

    So, please — for all of us — just shut up, already!

    Find something more useful to do than spraying decades-old discrimination allegations at Dr. Cooper in an attempt to sully the reputation of one of the great inventors of our time. You’re wasting everyone’s time with this useless one-man smear campaign.

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