What Google is buying: Motorola's 83-year history of invention

Motorola's creations stretch from a pioneering walkie-talkie to the first cell phone.

Motorola founders Paul Galvin (left) and Joseph Galvin

When Google agreed to buy Motorola Mobility, it bid for a company that predates it by 70 years.

Brothers Paul and Joseph Galvin founded the Galvin Manufacturing Corporation in 1928, based in Chicago. Their first product was a battery eliminator, a power converter that allowed battery-powered radios to be plugged into household electrical outlets.

The company soon began to try its hand at revolutionizing the radio itself, putting radios in everything from cars to backpacks to hands. Three-quarters of a century and one name change later, Motorola has amassed 17,000 patents and developed some truly groundbreaking technology.

By David Goldman - Last updated August 16 2011: 11:44 AM ET
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