Martin Cooper’s First Mobile Phone Call Made 50 Years Ago Today
Listen to the Podcast:
In this day and age, it goes without saying that having a phone is an absolute requirement. Not only for making phone calls to other people, but also for making use of the plethora of other functions and services that it offers.
But do you know when or where it first started happening? According to the BBC, a Motorola employee named Martin Cooper made the first call on a mobile phone exactly 50 years ago today, on April 3, 1973.
Walking between 53rd and 54th streets in New York, Mr. Cooper made the momentous call from Sixth Avenue. At the time, Mr. Cooper was working on a project to create the DynaTAC, the first portable cell phone (Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage). He called Joel Engel at Bell Labs, his rival company, to let him know he was phoning from “a personal, handheld, portable cell phone.”
“Marty, this is Joel. He said, “I’m contacting you from a mobile phone, a real handheld portable cell phone.
“At the other end, there was stillness. I think he was clenching his teeth “In a 2011 BBC interview, Mr Cooper reminisced about the historic call.
According to Wired magazine, early mobile phones were nearly the size of a shoebox, could only be charged for 10 hours, and had a call time limit of 25 minutes.
For another ten years, the first mobile phone was not commercially available. Motorola reportedly began selling the DynaTAC 8000X in the United States in 1983 for $3,995.
“This phone weighed more than a kg, or nearly two and a half pounds, and had a conversation time battery life of about 25 minutes. That wasn’t an issue. You couldn’t hold up this phone for 25 minutes because it was so heavy, Mr. Cooper said.
Mr. Cooper, reflecting on the past 50 years, claimed that the handy little device we all carry around in our pockets has practically limitless potential and may one day even contribute in the eradication of disease.
“The cell phone has evolved into an extension of the individual; it is capable of so much more.” And in that sense, we are just getting started. We’re only beginning to comprehend the potential effects of that. We can anticipate that the cell phone will change healthcare and education in the future. Although it may sound exaggerated, I want you to know that within a generation or two, we will be able to defeat sickness “said he.
Mr Cooper currently utilizes a high-end iPhone, an Apple Watch, and hearing aids that are connected to his phone.
I’m a realist. I am aware of the drawbacks of using a cell phone. There are others who become addicted to it. People are using their cell phones while crossing the street. Overall, in my opinion, the cell phone has improved humanity, and I believe this trend will continue,” Mr Cooper told CNN.