Today is the Cellphone’s 40th Birthday
The first time I ever used a cellphone was in the early '90s. It was a bag phone the size of my head. Five years later, I was using a cellphone that I could have possibly swallowed. But what I didn't know was that when I first used that bag phone, cellphones were already 20 years old.
Gizmodo reports that the very first usage of a cellphone happened on this day in 1973, believe it or not. When it went on sale, the Motorola DynaTAC cost $4,000 (which would be around $9,000 in today's dollars).
An engineer from Motorola named Marty Cooper made that first call. And the way he did it was actually pretty ballsy:
From midtown Manhattan, Marty called Joel Engel, then the head of rival research department Bell Labs. When Joel picked up, Marty uttered something rather unexpected: "Joel, this is Marty. I'm calling you from a cellphone, a real handheld portable cellphone."
Reportedly, there was no response from Engel. Because what do you say when your rival calls you up to tell you how you just lost the race? Yikes.