9 Ways Motorola’s Changed in 90 Years – Before and After

In sweet home Chicago on September 25, 1928 brothers Paul and Joseph Galvin incorporated Motorola’s founding company, Galvin Manufacturing Corporation, with only one product and five employees. Flash forward through #90yearsmotorola and there’s no doubt we have transformed the tech industry. Join us as we travel back through 90 years of innovation and technological breakthroughs to see how we have changed from then to now.

1.) We said “goodbye” to Galvin and “hello” to Motorola

Galvin Manufacturing introduced the Motorola car radio in 1930. The Motorola brand name became so popular that in 1947 Galvin Manufacturing Corporation changed its name to Motorola Incorporated. A short eight years later in 1955 the iconic Motorola batwing was born.

2.) Our 1st product fixed 1920s battery life probs, our latest solves today’s need for speed

Our first-ever product was designed in 1928 to address a problem that continues to exist today: battery life. The Galvin Manufacturing battery eliminator allowed battery powered radios to run on household electricity. True to our DNA, we’ve never stopped delivering what matters most to you. One of our most recent products, the 5G moto modTM, will bring you speeds 10x faster than today’s wireless technology and the increased connectivity you’re looking for.1

Did you know that on a 5G network, you can download the latest season of your favorite show in HD in the time it takes to board a plane?

3.) From radio to millimeter, we’ve definitely made some waves

Galvin Manufacturing produced the world’s first FM portable two-way radio in 1943. Since then we’ve brought the world’s first commercial high-power transistor, commercial handheld cellular phone and two-way pager to name just a few. Most recently, we released the world’s first 5G upgradable cell phone: the moto z3 and an accompanying 5G moto modTM so you can connect to Verizon’s 5G network when it launches.1

Did you know at 2 lbs. and 10 in. long the world’s first commercial handheld cellular phone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, was the size of a brick and weighed as much as a pineapple?

4.) We went from pocket-size pagers to RAZR thin flip phones

In 1982 the Motorola Sensar pager had a unique pen-sized design that looked radically different from any other pager on the market. It was only 2 ounces and conveniently fit into a pocket. In 2004, the innovative Motorola RAZR V3 changed the cell phone design game. With the thinnest profile on a clamshell cell phone of that time and an aluminum body, the RAZR was the first cell phone that doubled as a fashion accessory. The RAZR’s V3 model sold more than 130 million units and was the best-selling clamshell phone in the world.

5.) We’ve transformed from modest mods to modern mods

Why carry a cell phone and a pager? In 1995, the Motorola RSVP numeric pager fit on the back of any MicroTAC to create a pager, cell phone combo! Today, we continue to push mobile phone limits with moto z and moto modsTM. Debuting in 2016, the moto z is more than just a smartphone – snap on a moto modTM and transform it into a projector, photo printer, speaker and more.

6.) From Mount Everest to the moon, we’ve been everywhere

Over the past 90 years, we’ve been all over the globe and beyond! In 1969, a Motorola radio transponder aboard the Apollo 11 lunar module relayed the first words from the moon to Earth. In 2007, 30 years later, mountaineer Rod Bader climbed the highest peak of Mount Everest and used a Motorola MOTORIZR Z8 to make the highest-ever land-based portable phone call and text message.

7.) From the 1900s to the 2000s, we’ve never stopped creating bestsellers

In 1986, we introduced the world’s best selling pager, the Bravo. The numeric pager could store five 24-character messages – that was a lot back then! In the new millennium, the Motorola V60 became available in all three cellular technologies-GSM, TDMA and CDMA-and quickly became a worldwide best seller with internet access, text messaging and voice-activated dialing.

8.) Getting our start in Chicago’s windy city, a global presence was only a few years away

While Motorola has always called Chicago home it didn’t take long for us to build a global presence. In 1952 Motorola’s first international subsidiary opened in Toronto, Canada, producing radios and televisions. Since then, Motorola has continued growing, with a strong presence in various countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and China.

Did you know the first recorded sale of a Motorola-branded product outside the United States took place in June of 1930 with the sale of two Motorola car radios to W. Oldenburger in Mexico City?

9.) The best is yet to come


MOTOROLA, Stylized M Logo, MOTO and the MOTO family of marks are trademarks of Motorola Trademark Holdings, LLC.

1 5G connectivity available with 5G moto mod (sold separately, coming early 2019) and 5G network coverage (launching in select areas in 2019; expanding after that). See www.verizon.com/about/our-company/5g for details.