cell phone Timeline
Timeline Description: With today's technology we can speak to people around the world almost anytime and anywhere. It wasn't always this way, and it was made possible in part by cell phones. This timeline outlines how cell phones came to be.

Date Event
1921 The first car-to-car radios are used

The Detroit Police Department began using mobile radios in their police cars. They used them to talk between cars, but it didn't work very well.
1934 The Federal Communications Committee is established

The government used most radio frequencies for itself, but the air waves were still clogged up. The FCC was created to decide who got to use which channels.
1940 Communication by mobile radios becomes more common

By the 1940's most government agencies, as well as the rich people, had mobile radios. They used them while they were on the go to talk to others.
1945 The first mobile phone service is established

The first service created just for mobile phones opened up in St. Louis, MO, but the service didn't work well and it didn't last.
1947 The first car phone service is attempted

A car phone service was opened between Boston and New York, but this service was a failure, too.
1956 A second attempt at car phones is made

The second attempt at car phones was a success. The equipment was large and heavy, but it worked, and that was an improvement over the past.
1971 The term "cell" comes into play

AT & T proposed splitting phone service into different areas across the cities. These areas were called "cells".
1973 The first cell phone is tried

Dr. Martin Cooper invented a portable hand-held phone that didn't need to be powered through a car. He was the first person to make a mobile phone call.
1983 The cell phone goes public

It took ten years for the technology that Dr. Cooper invented to become available to the public. The first public cell phones were put out by Motorola.
1989 The flip phone is introduced

Motorola came out with a new design where the mouth piece flipped over the top of the keypad. It was the first flip phone.
1993 Text messaging is developed

Developers in Europe came up with a way to send written messages over the phone. It was called texting.
2002 The first smart phone is invented

The smart phone could send and receive emails and messages, but it didn't have a speaker or microphone. This meant it needed a headset to work.
2002 A camera phone is made

A company called Sanyo made a phone that could snap pictures. Later the user could download the pictures to a computer to be printed.
2005 The Cell Phone Recycle Act

A law was passed in California that said cell phone companies had to allow customers to return old cell phones to be recycled. This was because cell phones can contain materials that are harmful if left in a landfill.
2007 The Apple Iphone is released

Apple released its first iphone and it changed the cellular industry. It featured a touch screen and allowed users to do almost anything they could do from a home computer, which basically changed the way people lived.