Bell Systems announced 77 years ago today that the Show-Me state would be the first state to test drive car phones.

Contrary to popular belief, cellular phones didn’t come out in the 1980s—the service surfaced in Missouri on June 17, 1946. It was then expanded to nearly 100 other cities in states across the country.

Bell’s big announcement was a big coup for St. Louisthe first city to have this sort of communication service in a car. 

But there was a speed bump in the phones’ adoption: The early versions weighed around 80 pounds and were very pricey.

Based upon content from the book Missouri 365: This Day in Missouri History by John W. Brown, broadcaster and Missouri historian. Get your copy at Reedy Press.

Photo credit: Maarten Van Den Heuval, Unsplash