Twenty-Five Years Ago Today: The First Cell Phone Rang in St. Louis


"The Brick"
  • "The Brick"
Yep. It was 25 years ago today -- July 16, 1984 -- that Cybertel Cellular Telecommunications Co. (now Verizon Wireless) ushered in the "Cellular Age" when it switched on its first tower in St. Louis.

Back then the few cell-phone subscribers on the network used the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X -- an early portable phone that cost $3,995, measured 13 inches long and weighed 1 ¾ pounds. Dubbed "The Brick", the phone offered just one hour worth of talk time and eight hours of standby for every recharging.

Of course, its benefits were that you could actually see the numbers on the Brick keypad and the phone rarely -- if ever -- got lost in the couch cushions.