Motorola StarTAC mobile phone, 1997.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 25cm x 32cm

Motorola StarTAC mobile phone, 1997.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


The Motorola company was founded by Paul V Galvin as the Galvin Manufacturing Corporation, in Chicago, Illinois, in 1928. In the 1930s the company began promoting portable car radios under the brand name 'Motorola' (a word suggesting sound in motion), and the company name was changed to Motorola Inc in 1947. By the end of the 1980s, Motorola had become the biggest worldwide supplier of cellular telephones. When it was launched in 1996, the pocket-sized StarTAC, at just 93g (3.1 ounces), was the world's smallest phone and the first to operate continuously with dual detachable batteries. This example was manufactured by Motorola in Basingstoke, Hampshire, United Kingdom.

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