Name That City! — June 3, 2021

Let’s talk about early innovations in Flyover Country.

Here are this week’s questions:

  1. Dr. Martin Cooper and John F. Mitchell developed the first hand-held cellphone. In what city did they do this?
  2. Frederick Jones developed the first successful mechanical truck refrigeration unit. In what city did he do this?
  3. John Vincent Atanasoff is considered by some to be the father of the computer. In what city did he develop his computer?

And here are the answers:

  1. Chicago, IL—Cooper and Mitchell worked for Motorola, rolling out the prototype in 1973. It was far from the sleek, lightweight phones we use today—it weighed 2.2 pounds and was the size of a shoebox. Cooper’s first call on the phone was to Joel Engel, the research chief at rival Bell Labs.
  2. Minneapolis, MN—Though Jones was born in Cincinnati, he did the bulk of his inventing in Minneapolis. Jones was the first black inventor to receive the National Medal of Technology (which was awarded posthumously). When he died in 1961, he had more than 60 patents for inventions.
  3. Ames, IA—Atanasoff was a professor at Iowa State University when he and grad student (Clifford Berry) invented the Atanasoff-Berry (ABC) in 1937. The computer was neither programmable nor Turing-complete, so it has remained somewhat obscure.

Thanks for playing!