The First Mobile Phone Call

With the mobiles that most people have to day, they could drive a car remotely, order a take out, check the weather in India, Japan and Argentina in a second, apply for a job, as well as watch sports from the other side of the world, all from the comfort of their front room and their personal mobile phone. How far have we come, when 38 years ago on April 3rd 1973, Martin Cooper made the first mobile phone call.

Inspired by the television series Star Trek by Captain Kirk using his communicator. Cooper who at the time was in charge of the car phone division at Motorola, imagined a world whereby we would have communcators not just for use in a car, but for every day use and to be able to take their phones with them, anywhere they went.

Just paper, it’s completely biodegradable, it contains no water so you can freeze it or heat it. It does away with the need to use toxic chemicals such as lead, chromium, mercury or cadmium or any other dangerous heavy metals which can be used in traditional batteries. And because its uses cellulose, it means that the design doesn’t depend on Ozone busting solvents in its production.

So to prove the point, he used all the companies resources and within 90 days he had built such a device. And whilst walking down Sixth Avenue in New York City near the New City Hilton. With only 35 minutes talk time, using the “the brick” (as it was dubbed because it weighed 2.5lbs), Cooper made a call to his nemisis over at Bell Labs Research Dr Joel S Engel, using a prototype Dyna-Tac handheld 800 MHz mobile phone. The list price for this phone back then was around $4,000.

By all accounts it wasn’t a very long phone call as you couldn’t hold the handset for too long.