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Motorola – A Timeline Of The Brand

Motorola has been a household name and brand for decades and are known for telecommunications including two-way radios, but how did it all start?

In 1928, Paul V. Galvin and his brother Joseph, decided to incorporate Motorola’s founding company ‘The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation.’ The first product that was developed was a battery eliminator which enabled battery operated radios to run on a households electricity.

The first Motorola radio that was developed was in fact for a car, it was one of the first commercially successful car radios of its time. The name Motorola was created by merging motor (for motorcar) with ola (which implied sound). The name Motorola therefore meant sound in motion.

In 1930, ‘The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation’ started to sell their Motorola car radios to police departments and local government administrations. The first recorded international sale of the Motorola car radios was to Mexico, the first time that they had been sold outside of the United States. Following on from the invention of the Motorola car radio, in 1936, a Motorola Police Cruiser radio receiver was designed to be able to receive broadcasts. This radio was tuned into a single frequency which was specified by the customer.

In 1939, The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation developed a complete line of Motorola AM two way radio equipment, which were low cost and very dependable. The main aim of the company was to make quality radio equipment affordable for the public safety agencies and companies, to help them ensure that they could improve their services.

The 1940’s was a busy time for the Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. They developed the handheld Handie- Talkie SCR536 AM portable two-way radio, which became a World War ll icon.

The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation also increased its research and development program in 1940, when Daniel E. Noble, an engineering professor and FM two-way radio pioneer joined the company as director of research.

In 1941, The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation introduced a line of commercial Motorola FM mobile two-way radio equipment, police cars began to be equipped across the USA. Only a few years later in 1943, they developed the world’s first FM portable two-way radio, ‘SCR300 Backpack Model’ which was used to equip the US Army Signal Corps. The radio weighed 15.9 kilograms and had a range of 10 to 20 miles.

1947 saw the change of the brands name from The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation to Motorola Inc. This year also saw the introduction of portable two-way radios which were specifically designed for the industrial market.

In 1955, the brands instantly recognisable logo was introduced and had been designed by Morton Goldsholl. This year also saw the release of Motorola’s Handie-Talkie radio paging system, it provided individual paging inside hospitals, etc, reducing noise from public address systems. The system included a selector console, an FM transmitter, and individual Handie-Talkie radio paging pocket receivers.

The Handie-Talkie HT200 portable two-way radio was introduced in 1962, it was small and lightweight and was nicknamed the brick, due to its shape and hardy durability.

1969 - A Motorola radio transponder relayed the first words from the moon to Earth in July.

1973 - On April 3, Motorola publicly demonstrated the world's first portable cellular telephone and system. Motorola engineers had been experimenting with radio communications in the 800 and 900 MHz bands since the 1960s.

1975 - Motorola's MX300 series of portable two-way radios operated in the 900 MHz band. They included status, identification and emergency alert features that were compatible with computer-aided radio dispatch systems.

1977 - Motorola's DVP Digital Voice Protection system, introduced in 1977, was the first digital encryption technology to provide two-way radio users with a very high degree of voice communications privacy.

1978 - Motorola introduced the RDX1000 handheld two-way data radio. It combined a portable data terminal system, scanning and communications technology. Potential applications included inventory control, freight traffic management, and industrial uses.

1983 – The worlds first commercial portable cellular phone was approved in 1983 and was available to consumers in 1984.

1991 – The World's First Narrowband Digital Public Safety Radio System was Motorola's ASTRO two-way radio system.

2006/ 2008 - Motorola introduced MOTOTRBO professional digital radio systems in 2006. The system offered businesses integrated voice and data applications and increased system capacity. Motorola introduced the APX family of Project 25 multi-band two-way radios in 2008. Designed with suggestions from first responders, APX radios worked in the 700/800 MHz and VHF bands.

In 2011, Motorola Inc separated into two independent, public trading companies; Motorola Solutions, Inc. and Motorola Mobility, Inc. Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI). Motorola phones are very rarely seen today, but the radios are still very frequently used in many industries.

For more information, or to purchase a two-way radio, visit: 2 Way Radio Shop.

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