For better or worse, cell phones are a cornerstone of our current lifestyle. But they haven’t always been. Martin Cooper of Motorola, a Fortune 500 technology company still headquartered in the Chicago suburbs, invented the cell phone.

Cooper’s 1973 prototype cell phone weighed 2.5 pounds and took 10 hours to charge. All it did was place and receive calls, and Cooper could only talk on it for 35 minutes before the battery died.

Five years later, AT&T launched the nation’s first trial cell service in Chicago.

In 1984, Motorola started selling the first publicly available cell phone. Their size and weight decreased over the years, and the rest is history.

Learn more
Want to know more about Motorola? Visit the company’s website for a cool timeline of its biggest innovations.

Curious about Martin Cooper? Click here to read the story of the cell phone.


Unless someone printed this article on paper and handed it to you, you’re probably reading it on a Web browser.

Web browsers are our windows into the Internet. We use Web browsers to search, read articles and watch videos. Without a Web browser, the Internet is just endless lines of code.

The first true Web browser was invented at the University of Illinois in 1993. Its name was Mosaic, created by Marc Andreessen and his team. For the first time, Internet users could view text and pictures on the same page, and they could access the World Wide Web using a Windows personal computer.

Most people probably don’t remember Mosaic. But what about Netscape? For a decade beginning in 1994, it was one of the world’s dominant Web browsers at a time when individuals and institutions were finding their way online. The same team that invented Mosaic went on to create Netscape, which evolved into Mozilla’s Firefox. They shaped the way we view the Internet forever.

Learn more
See this cool (and abundantly nerdy) timeline of the evolution of the Web.

Watch this PC World slide show on the history of Web browsers.

Read our story about the University of Illinois – one of the nation’s top engineering and tech schools.