40 Years Ago Today: World's 1st Cell Phone Call

NYC call was made on a 'brick'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 3, 2013 10:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – Give someone a call on your smartphone today, and you'll be celebrating history: It's been 40 years since the first mobile phone call was made, the Guardian reports. That first call was placed by Motorola worker Martin Cooper in New York City on April 3, 1973, using a so-called "brick" of a phone: the Motorola DynaTAC. Some nine inches tall, the DynaTac let you talk for 35 minutes using its 30 circuit boards. It took 10 hours to recharge.

It's not exactly known what Cooper said during that conversation in midtown Manhattan, but it was something like, "I’m ringing you just to see if my call sounds good at your end," Quartz reports. Who did Cooper call? His rival, he told the Verge in an interview last year: Bell Labs' Joel Engel. The next decade was largely devoted to research; the first cell phone for commercial use got the FCC's OK on Sept. 21, 1983—the Motorola 8000x, which sold for $3,995, reports Fox News. The Guardian has photos of the history of mobile phones.

The first mobile phone call occurred 40 years ago.
The first mobile phone call occurred 40 years ago.   (Shutterstock)
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