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Today In History: April 3rd, 1973

Photo Credit: VALERIE MACON / AFP / Getty Images
Photo Credit: VALERIE MACON / AFP / Getty Images

The First Cellular Phone Call Occurred in New York

On April 3rd, 1973, a moment occurred that would forever alter daily life and communication. In the bustling streets of New York City, Martin Cooper, a visionary engineer at Motorola, made the first call on a portable cellular phone. Cooper’s call on that early prototype, which would come to be known affectionately as “the brick” due to its size and weight, marked the beginning of a future where communication could transcend the confines of home and office.

Martin Cooper holds an old and new cellphone to his ears.
Engineer Martin Cooper holds in his right hand a contemporary copy of the original cell phone he used to make the first cell phone call on April 3, 1973. Photo Credit: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

The device used for this historic call was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, a phone that weighed in at nearly 2.5 pounds and was about 11 inches tall. Imagine carrying around a device that size today! Despite its cumbersome dimensions and a battery life that offered a mere 30 minutes of talk time, this prototype laid the foundation for the sleek, powerful smartphones we rely on today. Cooper’s vision was clear: he imagined a world where people could call anyone, anywhere, without the constraints of wires or location.

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Today, as we glance at our smartphones, it’s hard to believe that this aspect of our lives began with a single call less than 50 years ago. The evolution from that bulky prototype to the devices in our pockets is a testament to human ingenuity and the relentless pursuit of connectivity. On this day, we celebrate not just a technological achievement but a moment in history that has reshaped how we interact, work, and build communities around the globe.

TVN News Poster

TVN News Poster is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News