Forty years ago today, a young division manager with Motorola stood outside the New York Hilton on 6th Avenue, punched a couple numbers into the keypad of a hulking mass of plastic and glass and rubber, and then held the electro-block up to his ear. It was the world's first mobile phone call. And it almost got bloody.
We've come a long way. I mean, who makes actual phone calls anymore? Are people still doing that? It would take a few years, of course, for the first mass-marketed mobile phones to eke out into the early-adopter set, but when they did? Holy shit were the television ads something else.
Here, then, are some of the choicest call-case commercials of yesteryear.
Like this "unique, cellular portable," which weighs only 30 ounces.
Or this one, perfect for ringing up your therapist from the high seas.
Or this 'lil number. Check Mr. Casual Pants at :43.
Or this monster. $799? What a steal.
What's that? Oh, just the future calling.
Reach Brian at email@example.com. @thebanderson