Dynatac Cellular Telephone

Motorola produced the DynaTAC cell phone in 1984 after more than a decade of work in cellular research and technology. The Motorola DynaTAC (an abbreviation of Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage) was the first commercially available portable handheld cell phone. The phone was a 9-inches tall, weighed 2.5 pounds, had 30 minutes of battery life, and sold for $4,000. The Federal Communications Commission divided the country into market areas and licensed cellular service to two companies per market, one affiliated with a wired telephone company and one non-wired franchise. Cellular One was the company formed by the American Radio Telephone Service and Motorola to offer cell service in the Washington D.C. area, the company that sold and provided service for this DynaTAC phone.
Object Name
portable telephone
cellular telephone
date made
ca 1990
Motorola Inc.
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 19.6 cm x 4.2 cm x 7.5 cm; 7 11/16 in x 1 5/8 in x 2 15/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
American Enterprise
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from Daniel Henderson

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