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
Join the Conversation
Most Popular

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.