Forty years ago, Martin Cooper, a Motorola executive, stood on a street corner in Manhattan and pulled off one of engineerings biggest public relation coups ever: Cooper, an engineer from Motorola, made the worlds first call on a handheld, mobile cellular phonein publicto a colleague at AT&T, a rival in the high-stakes race to develop the technology.
?
marty_cooper1_610x408.jpg
?

Although it would be ten years before the first phones were commercially available, the call was an important milestone for Motorola. The company needed a dazzling demonstration because it was taking on AT&T, which at the time was the biggest company in the world, to prevent the Bell System from gaining a monopoly in cellular technology.

I have this really clear vision of people standing around gawking at us while we made this phone call in the middle of New York City, recalls Cooper, chuckling with delight at the memory.