Throwback Thursday: This is the United States calling………….are we reaching?

cellphones

– photo courtesy of medialib.glogster.com

**At a time where levity is certainly more than welcomed, I thought I’d share a funny old post; a little cellphone blast from the past! I hope you enjoy it! 

You might have a love/hate relationship with your cell phone, but at least we aren’t walking around with gargantuan-sized contraptions like the one in the above photo.

Enter Mr. Marty Cooper of Chicago, Illinois.  Mr. Cooper is the patriarch of the cell phone.  As an engineer for Motorola in the 1950’s, Marty devised portable police radios; in the early 1970’s, he became the head of the Communications Systems Division.

Mr. Cooper’s idea for portable phones sprung from his notion that people move around the planet at their leisure, so why not assign phone numbers to go along with them, as opposed to numbers assigned to a topographical area!

You are going to love this!  Care to guess where Marty’s stellar concepts came from?  I thought you’d never ask:

cell phone captain-kirk-cell-phone

– photo courtesy of http://static1.businessinsider.com

Inspiration; ah, thank you, Captain Kirk of the USS Starship, “Enterprise”.  Mr. Cooper formed his initial ideas from the communicator device Captain Kirk used to speak to his crew from whatever part of the galaxy he found himself at any given moment in the space/time continuum.

cell phone martin-cooper1

– photo courtesy of http://kershinmediacultures.files.wordpress.com

Here is a photo of Mr. Cooper with his 1973 precursor to our cell phone phenomenon.  This phone weighed in at 2.5 pounds, 10 inches in length, and was affectionately nicknamed, “The Brick”.  Ten years later, Motorola let, “The Brick” loose into the public cellular arena (by the way, have you noticed how many arenas are actually sponsored by cell phone companies?).  You, yes YOU can sport this DynaTAC 8000X model for the modest sum of $3,995.00 (that would be about $9,000 in today’s currency).  Not convinced? Why, the battery can last up to 60 minutes!

I understand; I mean, one has to ‘weigh’ all factors when considering acquiring such a frivolous purchase!  Let’s beam up to 2014, and see how Marty’s marvelous Captain ‘Kirkian’ ideas have panned out:

cellwatch-m500-1

– photo courtesy of tuvie.com

A wristwatch that morphs into a cell phone.  Hhhmmmmm, excuse me, sir, do you have the time? Time, no, I cannot provide you with the time, can’t you see I’m talking to my watch? Yes, Marty Cooper, beam me up indeed!

**Addendum: My lovely Mum in Canada read this post and found some extra interesting information: Although Mr. Cooper originally credited his inspiration for the cell phone to Captain Kirk, he later admitted his idea came from the radio wristwatch Detective Dick Tracy wore in the American comic strip series (1947; it was later upgraded to a two-way wrist tv.) This may also have inspired later smartwatches. Thanks, Mum! 

 

 

 

 

  28 comments for “Throwback Thursday: This is the United States calling………….are we reaching?

  1. April 2, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Hi Cher, thanks for the nostalgic trip! I do remember seeing one of those bricks somewhere long ago. 2.5 pounds, that’ll weigh ya down and just sixty minutes battery life? Ummm no. I’m still amazed today that we all carry these tiny devices in our pockets that can so much more than talk to anyone on the planet basically.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 2, 2020 at 10:05 am

      Hi John! Ah, thank you so much! Do you? Yes, I am too! Sometimes I stop and think, wow, really? You mean I can talk to anyone anywhere with this little device? It seems like magic! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. April 2, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Wonder how many hernia patients were created by these ‘bricks’ (as John so aptly put it!)??? 🙂 ♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 3, 2020 at 6:56 pm

      Hi Billy Ray! I have a feeling there were more than a few! Yes, I agree with John’s description as well! Thank you, my dear! Cher xoxo

      Like

  3. April 2, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Do you remember the sequel to “Wall Street,” where Gordon Gekko was getting out of prison and one of his possessions he gets back is a phone like that?

    Love the “Dick Tracy” reference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 3, 2020 at 6:57 pm

      Hi John! No, I don’t, but now I’m going to look it up! Yes, me too! LOL Thank you, John! Cher xo

      Like

  4. April 2, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    I do remember those “portable” phones! Quite a status symbol at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 3, 2020 at 6:57 pm

      They certainly were, weren’t they, JT? Thank you! Cher xo

      Like

  5. petespringerauthor
    April 2, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    When I saw the photo of Mr. Cooper my first thought was, “Isn’t that Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High?”🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 3, 2020 at 6:58 pm

      Now I just looked up Mr. Hand and yep, it sure does look like Mr. Cooper, doesn’t it? Good comparison, Pete! Thank you! 🙂 Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. April 2, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    That is awesome. It is interesting in general to see what “funny” science-fiction items have come true meanwhile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 3, 2020 at 7:00 pm

      I was thinking the same thing, Erika! LOL In fact, apparently a couple of “The Simpsons” episodes have made some unintentional ‘predictions’ (now of course I can’t recall what they are but I’ve read about it – not necessarily inventions, but things that have happened.) As for flying cars, let’s wait and see! LOL Thank you, dear Erika! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 4, 2020 at 1:39 pm

        Oh, yes, flying cars. They already exicst when even not released to the public. Or only think of self-driving cars or AI. The Terminator or Back To The Future ideas are not that unrealistic anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      • April 5, 2020 at 9:20 am

        That’s very true, Erika! I remember seeing a drone for the first time and was scared and fascinated at the same time! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • April 5, 2020 at 10:24 am

        I can relate to that feeling… still can!

        Liked by 1 person

      • April 5, 2020 at 5:02 pm

        🙂 Me too!!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. April 2, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Fascinating, Cher! Thanks for sharing these history bits… ❤ xo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. April 3, 2020 at 5:00 am

    I love it! It’s like that fiction that turn to reality! 🙂 Thank you for sharing the information, Cher.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 3, 2020 at 7:01 pm

      Isn’t that interesting how that sometimes happens, Indah? Thank you, my dear!! Cher xo

      Like

  9. April 3, 2020 at 5:56 am

    I remember handling one of these phones for the first time and wondering if it was meant for throwing (like a shootout). We had some installed in some of the company cars I managed. I can’t tell you how much they increased the rate of number of accidents our drivers started having.
    It’s great to look back and see what inventions came from the past, Cher. We have a lot to thank ‘sci-fi’ for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 3, 2020 at 7:03 pm

      LOL Well I think you could have used it for that, dear Hugh! Oh wow, did you? I am not surprised they caused an increase in accidents for the drivers! To think about it, how on earth is someone able to focus on a huge phone and the road at the same time? We see drivers using the ‘small’ phones driving and it is dangerous, so I really can’t imagine driving and talking on a “Mr. Cooper” phone!

      It really is, isn’t it, Hugh? At the time we think, wow, that’s amazing, how cool would it be ‘if’ and years later, there it is! Thank you, dear Hugh! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 4, 2020 at 6:42 am

        Back then, those block phones were wired into the car, so you can imagine how difficult it must have been to concentrate on driving at the same time, Cher. Alas, many of the vehicles were broken into to steal both the phone and it’s holding. They were all a bit of a nightmare given that the spare time most drivers thought they had while driving, wholly disappeared when those phones came along.
        Have a lovely weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

      • April 5, 2020 at 9:19 am

        That’s incredible, Hugh! I cannot even imagine using one of those phones, let alone driving and using it with it wired into the car! My goodness! I’m sure they must have been a bit of a nightmare for sure!

        And if someone broke into a vehicle to get the phone and its holding, would they wire it into another car? Dick Tracy would not approve! LOL Thank you, dear Hugh, and I hope your weekend has been lovely too! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • April 6, 2020 at 6:10 am

        Many of the thieves would sell the equipment on, Cher. Back then, before the days of eBay, the deals were usually done in some seedy backstreet bar.

        Liked by 1 person

      • April 6, 2020 at 7:12 pm

        It must have been quite the racket at the time! I wonder what kids would do these days if those phones were are only choice! LOL Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  10. April 6, 2020 at 6:46 am

    This was fun, Cher, and made us both laugh out loud – a great achievement at the moment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 6, 2020 at 7:12 pm

      Thank you, Hilary! That is good to hear, and yes, I know exactly how you feel! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

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