1) The Name: “Cellular phones,” or more common today “cell phones,” get their name from the fact that areas served by towers are divided up into “cells.”  The first use of the word “cellular” in this fashion was in 1977.  The first documented use of the word “cell phone” was in 1984.

2) The First: On April 3, 1973, a Motorola employee, Martin Cooper, publicly demonstrated the world’s first handheld mobile phone by placing a call to Joel Engel, the head of research at AT&T’s Bell Labs using the phone.  Engel and his team were Cooper’s chief rival and had also been attempting to make the world’s first handheld mobile phone. As Cooper stated, “As I walked down the street while talking on the phone, sophisticated New Yorkers gaped at the sight of someone actually moving around while making a phone call. Remember that in 1973, there weren’t cordless telephones, let alone cellular phones. I made numerous calls, including one where I crossed the street while talking to a New York radio reporter – probably one of the more dangerous things I have ever done in my life.”

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