Friday, December 15

Cell Phone Inventor

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          Each and everyday we use the cell phone to text with out friends or to ask them for homework and sometimes talk to our parents.  Not always were cell phones so thin and fun to play with.  The first cell phone or should I say “brick” weighed about 2 pounds.  The average flip phone today weighs about 3.5 oz.  Also the first cell phone was sold for $3,995 and the average razor today cost about $100, plus back then $4,000 could buy you a lot more things than it can today.   On page 1 you can see a picture of the “brick.”

          The person who created the first mobile phone was Dr. Martin Cooper.  Dr. Martin Cooper was born on December 26 1928 in Chicago, Illinois.  During the time he was born his family was suffering from the great depression.  His parents were Ukrainian immigrants.  He earned his bachelors and masters in electrical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1950 and 1957.  Before he got employed with Motorola he worked in the navy for four years, working on the destroyers during the Korean War and later on a submarine in Hawaii.  He also worked with another telecommunications company before working with Motorola. Telecommunications means the science and technology of transmitting information electronically by means of wires or radio signals with integrated encoding and decoding equipment.  When he first got employed with Motorola in 1954 he was working on portable products such as hand held radios.  He was studying at nights to get his masters degree in 1957.  Later on in his carrier at Motorola he started to work on Motorola’s Car phone project.  While working on Motorola’s Car phone project John F. Mitchell put Cooper in charge.  Mitchell and Cooper then envisioned a product that did not reside in a car but was light and portable.  In 1972 it took 90 days to create the first prototype of the phone. 

          On April 3rd 1973 Dr. Martin Cooper made the first call on the first cellular phone to Dr. Joel S. Engel in front of many reporters in New York.  On October 17, 1973 Cooper and the engineers that worked with him filed a patent for the cell phone.  Even though the first phone was made in 1973 it wasn’t until 1983 that it hit the marker.  During that period they made a few changes such as decreasing its weight and increasing its talk time.  Cooper left Motorola and started a company billing systems for cellular operators before they started selling the phone.  When it first went in the market people weren’t so excited about it.  I think because it was heavy and expensive and some people thought it was useless. It wasn’t till the 1990’s that the cell phone got more appealing to buyers because by then it was a lot cheaper and was a lot lighter about the weight of the phones we use today.

          In 1995, Cooper received the Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award for his technological innovations in the communication field.  He also won the Prince of Asturias award this year with Raymon Tomlinson for scientific and technical research. 

On the “brick” phone there were no special features such as a camera, touch screen, calculator, games, text messaging, voicemail etc.  It wasn’t till 1989 that the first text message was sent and it didn’t become popular till the early twenty first century.  Most of the other features I talked about came out in the early twenty first century also.  So in the past decades phones have really changed for the good and who knows if it wasn’t for Dr. Cooper we might be using the “brick” phones today.

Go to http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=dr+martin+cooper&cp=13&bav=on.1,or.&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1024&bih=673 to see images of Mr. Copper

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