Why Did We Ever Have Pagers

0130-80s-commercial-billtedHELLO — “‘We wanted to do a dazzling demonstration,’ Martin Cooper says of the day in 1973 when he stood outside the Manhattan Hilton and fiddled with an object that was nearly the size of a child’s boot. ‘I had this thing with push-buttons on it, and I was talking into it,’ he remembers. A crowd gathered around him on Sixth Avenue, gawking as he demonstrated how to make a call from the sidewalk — with no phone booth and no wires.

After the stunt, Cooper — who was head of the communications-systems division at Motorola — met with journalists inside the Hilton. The first cellphone, weighing more than two pounds, had all the sex appeal of a doorstop. Still, it was a triumph of engineering. To prove that the phone wasn’t an elaborate fake, he handed it around. One reporter called Australia and was astonished when her mother’s voice came out of the plastic-covered device.”

— Pagan Kennedy

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