Al GrossIn 1921, the first pager-like system was in use by the Detroit Police Department. However, it was not until 1949 that the very first telephone pager was patented. The inventor's name was Al Gross and his pagers were first used in New York City's Jewish Hospital. Al Gross' pager was not a consumer device available to everyone. The FCC did not approve the pager for public use until 1958.
Motorola PagersThe name pager was first used in 1959 when Motorola made a personal radio communications product they called a pager. The Motorola pager was a small receiver that delivered a radio message individually to those carrying the device. The first successful consumer pager was Motorola's Pageboy I first introduced in 1974. It had no display and could not store messages, however, it was portable and notified the wearer that a message had been sent.
By 1980, there were 3.2 million pager users worldwide. At that time pagers had a limited range and were used mostly in on-site situations for example when medical workers communicate with each other within a hospital.
By 1990, wide-area paging had been invented and over 22 million pagers were in use. By 1994, there were over 61 million pagers in use and pagers became popular for personal use.