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A Glimpse of What Was Happening at Motorola
In 1928 Paul V. and Joseph E. Galvin purchased the bankrupt Stewart Battery
Company's battery eliminator plans and manufacturing equipment at auction
for $750. Galvin Manufacturing Corporation set up shop in a small section
of a rented building at 847 West Harrison Street in Chicago, Illinois,
The company had $565 in working capital and five employees.
The first week's payroll was $63.
The company's first product was the "B" battery eliminator - a device
that enabled battery-powered radios to be powered by household electricity.
When the Great Depression hit in 1929, the entire country was affected.
Galvin Manufacturing was not excluded.
After a year in the battery eliminator and radio business, Galvin Manufacturing
Corporation expected to keep growing. But after the October 1929 stock
market crash in the United States radio sales plummeted. The young company
was close to failing.
Company founder Paul V. Galvin learned that some radio shops were installing
sets in cars. Inspired, he challenged his employees to design an inexpensive
car radio that could be installed in most vehicles. With the hard work
of an enthusiastic team, Galvin was able to demonstrate a working model
of the radio at the June 1930 Radio Manufacturers Association convention
in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Afterward he was able to bring home enough
orders to keep the company afloat.
Television was introduced to Americans at the 1939 New York World's Fair,
but the new medium did not become available to the public until after World
War II. Motorola, one of several pioneering television manufacturers, began
its own television research and development in the spring of 1939, stopped
in 1941 to focus on war-related projects, and resumed work in the spring
One of the war-related products Galvin manufacturing Corporation was working
on was a battlefield radio.
Prior to the United States entering World War II, Galvin Manufacturing
Corporation engineer Donald Mitchell developed a prototype of a handheld
portable two-way radio that would "follow man in combat."
The U.S. Army Signal Corps was not interested and considered it a stopgap
radio because of its short range of about one mile (1.6 km). But Mitchell
continued to improve the design. He and his team developed a two-way AM
radio that a single person could carry and operate with one hand. Tuned
using sets of crystals for transmitting and receiving; it was battery-powered
and weighed just 5 pounds (2.2 kg).
In 1940 Galvin Manufacturing Corporation engineers developed the Handie-Talkie
SCR536 portable two-way radio. This handheld radio became a World War II
War products were not the only focus for Galvin Manufacturing Corporation.
In fact, Motorola entered the new field of television with the Golden View
TV, model VT71, in 1947. Within a year the company had manufactured more
than 100,000 sets and had joined the leading group of television manufacturers.
The U.S. economy recovered quickly after World War II. Because of wartime
production restrictions, Americans were eager to buy many products, including
home entertainment equipment and the new craze, television sets. The number
of television stations in the United States grew rapidly, rising from 51
in 1949 to more than 400 by 1955. The national networks and independent
stations increased the number of hours of broadcasting and introduced greater
variety in programming.
U.S. consumers began to consider purchasing television sets for home entertainment,
and the company, now named Motorola, designed a set to sell for less than
$200. Sales took off and Motorola soon became one of the top television
manufacturers in the United States.
In mid-1958, the company introduced its first stereo phonographs. By year-end,
sales of stereo products surpassed the prior year's sales of all phonographs
and hi-fi equipment. The company then combined stereos, radios and television
sets in single units, creating early versions of modern 'home entertainment'
centers. By adapting to changing tastes and demands, Motorola's sales grew
exponentially and the brand name 'Motorola' became synonymous with 'entertainment
in the air.'
After World War II, the U.S. automobile market also grew rapidly. Motorola
founder Paul V. Galvin sought to extend the company's automotive business
by adding a car heater to the product line. A Motorola gasoline-powered
heater developed for the U.S. Army during the war was re-designed for civilian
vehicles. It provided heat quickly and maintained a steady temperature
inside the car. But the engineers couldn't solve some of the technical
difficulties, including how to properly exhaust the gasoline fumes. In
1948 the project was abandoned, with the company absorbing a sizable loss.
Paul Galvin knew fostering a climate of innovation would lead to some
failures. He considered it important to apply the lessons learned to help
other ventures succeed. Galvin often was quoted as saying, "Do not fear
mistakes ... wisdom is often born of such mistakes."
When the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created
in 1958, Motorola become one of its first providers of space communications.
Among the early contributions were transponders on board Mariner II, launched
in 1962 to explore the planet Venus.
In 1968, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) began
manned Apollo flights that led to the first lunar landing in July 1969.
Apollo 11 was particularly significant for hundreds of Motorolans involved
in designing, testing and producing its sophisticated electronics.
By the late 1960s, consumer demand for mobile phones exceeded capacity.
Challenged by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to find
a solution, Motorola, AT&T and others began developing systems based
on small adjacent radio coverage areas called "cells."
In 1973, Motorola demonstrated a prototype of the world's first portable
cellular telephone, using the DynaTAC (Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage)
The invention of the microprocessor in 1971 set off a race to develop
this new kind of integrated circuit for computers and other machines. Motorola
joined the race in 1974 by introducing the MC6800 microprocessor, its first.
Meanwhile, other historic currents in the mid-1970s influenced Motorola's
course. As oil shortages and environmental concerns prompted government
regulations on automotive emissions, the MC6800 microprocessor showed promise
in powering automotive engine controls to regulate gas mileage and emissions.
Engineers refined its design to power such a system for General Motors
cars. The redesigned MC6800 microprocessor now had a high-volume application
and Motorola had an industry-leading partner.
The 80s were a time of beginnings and endings for Motorola.
The world's first commercial handheld cellular phone, the Motorola DynaTAC
phone, received approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission
on September 21, 1983.
The 28-ounce (794-gram) phone became available to consumers in 1984.
After more than 50 years making car radios, Motorola produced its last
car radio in Stotfold, United Kingdom, in 1987.
In 1990 a Motorola business -- then known as General Instrument Corporation
-- proposed the world's first all-digital HDTV (high-definition television)
technical standard. Motorola acquired General Instrument in 2000. Unlike
its competitors, GI presented to the Federal Communication Commission an
all-digital system, a concept that was thought to be technologically unachievable.
During the 90s the Internet was gaining popularity. Motorola announced
its first cable modem, the CyberSURFR model, on April 19, 1995. Later in
the decade, Motorola completed a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) cellular
phone call using the GSM cellular standard. The call originated in London,
During the first decade of the 21st century cell phone popularity raged.
In 2001 Motorola introduced a metal portable cellular phone, the V60 model,
with Internet access, text messaging and voice-activated dialing. A year
later, the V60 phone became available in all three cellular technologies--GSM,
TDMA and CDMA--and quickly became a worldwide best seller.
In 2004 Motorola commemorated the 30 millionth cellular phone manufactured
at its Jaguariuna Industrial and Technological Campus in São Paulo, Brazil.
In 2004 Motorola introduced the RAZR V3 cellular phone, an ultraslim,
metal-clad, quad-band flip phone. The 13.9mm thin phone used aircraft-grade
aluminum to achieve several design and engineering innovations, including
a nickel-plated keypad.
Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (Motorola Mobility) on January 4, 2011
announced that it has completed its previously announced spin-off from
Motorola, Inc. and its shares will begin trading this morning on the New
York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol "MMI."
Motorola Mobility is composed of two industry-leading global technology
businesses. The Mobile Devices business is an innovative provider of smartphone
devices designed to fit every lifestyle. In 2010, the Mobile Devices business
launched 23 smartphones globally, including the highly successful family
of DROID™ by Motorola devices as well as BRAVO™, DEF™, FLIPSIDE™, MILESTONE™
and others. The Home business is one of the largest providers of digital
set-top boxes and end-to-end video solutions. Motorola Mobility will leverage
the capabilities of both the Mobile Devices and Home businesses to deliver
innovative smartphones, tablets, set-tops and other converged devices –
as well as content delivery and management, and interactive cloud-based
services to consumers in the home and on the go.