The first mobile phones weren't part of the Gordon Gekko, Zack Morris family. They were rugged, shock-proof, vacuum-tubed rigs that hijacked nearby radio waves, built so powerfully that car headlights dimmed when you talked. And this was half a century ago.
The always fascinating Pew Internet & American Life Project details these dinophones, for which calls had to be manually paired by a remote operator. They were huge. They were heavy. They were very expensive. And yet, by 1964, there were 1.5 million people using them in the US—running on AT&T's "Improved Mobile Telephone Service" tech. To have had to rely on one of these beasts on a regular basis sounds like it might have been a pain—but boy, are they gorgeous. [Pew via Boing Boing]