(Motorola Solutions, Inc., Schaumburg, IL, www.motorola.com) A manufacturer of radio and telecommunications systems. In early 2011, with more than 40,000 items in its product line, Motorola spun off its cellphone and tablet business into Motorola Mobility, Inc., while retaining all other products in Motorola Solutions, Inc. In 2012, Google acquired Motorola Mobility.
Founded in Chicago in 1928 by Paul V. Galvin as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation, Motorola's first product allowed radios to operate from household current instead of batteries. In the 1930s, the company commercialized car radios under the Motorola brand suggesting "sound in motion." In 1937, it introduced a line of home radios and its first two-way radio products. By 1947, its Motorola brand became so popular that the Galvin Corporation changed its name to match.
Motorola's first semiconductor plant was operating in 1953, and by the 1960s, the company was a leader in semiconductors, communications and consumer electronics. It produced its first integrated circuits in 1960 and its first microprocessor in 1974, the same year that it sold its color TV business. In 1983, it introduced the DynaTAC 8000x, the first commercial cellphone. Throughout the subsequent two decades, Motorola's StarTAC and Razr clamshell cellphones were extremely popular.
In the computer industry, Motorola was known for its 68000 and PowerPC microprocessor families. It was also one of the world's largest suppliers of microcontrollers before it spun off its semiconductor business into ON Semiconductor and Freescale Semiconductor in 1999 and 2003 respectively.
The Galvin Brothers
This picture was taken of Paul Galvin (left) and his brother Joseph, circa 1930. (Image courtesy of Motorola Museum of Electronics.)
America Was Driving to Music
In 1930, Motorola produced the first commercially successful car radio, which had to be installed by the dealer. By the early 1940s, Motorola was becoming a household word. (Images courtesy of Motorola Museum of Electronics.)
Motorola's All-Transistor Radio
The first all-transistor radio from Motorola came out in 1959 and quickly became very popular. (Image courtesy of Motorola Museum of Electronics.)
First Cellphone in U.S.
Introduced in 1983, this Motorola DynaTAC 8000x cost $3,995 and weighed two pounds. (Image courtesy of Motorola, Inc.)