Paul Galvin and his brother Joe started their second Galvin Manufacturing Company in 1928 to make radios for the home that would operate on household AC current instead of batteries. The device was called a battery eliminator. The company struggled for customers.
After much trial and error, the company started to make radios for automobiles around 1930 and for a while made radios for Philco when that company could not fill its orders. While shaving one morning, Joe Galvin thought of a new brand name for the car radio called "Motorola" since it sounded like somthing that would go in a motor car. The entire company would later be called Motorola.
In recent decades, Motorola has been a strong corporate supporter of the Illinois State Society of Washington, DC.