A report on Bell Labs

Bell's 1893 Volta Bureau building in Washington, D.C.
The original home of Bell Laboratories beginning in 1925, 463 West Street, New York.
Old Bell Labs Holmdel Complex. Located in New Jersey, about 20 miles south of New York.
Bell Laboratories logo, used from 1969 until 1983
Reconstruction of the directional antenna used in the discovery of radio emission of extraterrestrial origin by Karl Guthe Jansky at Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1932
The first transistor, a point-contact germanium device, was invented at Bell Laboratories in 1947. This image shows a replica.
The charge-coupled device was invented by George E. Smith and Willard Boyle
The C programming language was developed in 1972.
Bell Laboratories logo, used from 1984 until 1995
Lucent Logo bearing the "Bell Labs Innovations" tagline
Pre-2013 logo of Alcatel-Lucent, parent company of Bell Labs
Nokia Bell Labs entrance sign at New Jersey headquarters in 2016

Nokia Bell Labs, originally named Bell Telephone Laboratories (1925–1984),

- Bell Labs

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Size comparison of BJT transistor packages, from left to right: SOT-23, TO-92, TO-126, TO-3

Transistor

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Semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electrical signals and power.

Semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electrical signals and power.

Size comparison of BJT transistor packages, from left to right: SOT-23, TO-92, TO-126, TO-3
Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), showing gate (G), body (B), source (S) and drain (D) terminals. The gate is separated from the body by an insulating layer (pink).
Julius Edgar Lilienfeld proposed the concept of a field-effect transistor in 1925.
John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain at Bell Labs in 1948. Bardeen and Brattain invented the point-contact transistor in 1947 and Shockley the bipolar junction transistor in 1948.
A replica of the first working transistor, a point-contact transistor invented in 1947
Herbert Mataré in 1950. He independently invented a point-contact transistor in June 1948.
Philco surface-barrier transistor developed and produced in 1953
A Darlington transistor opened up so the actual transistor chip (the small square) can be seen inside. A Darlington transistor is effectively two transistors on the same chip. One transistor is much larger than the other, but both are large in comparison to transistors in large-scale integration because this particular example is intended for power applications.
A simple circuit diagram to show the labels of an n–p–n bipolar transistor
BJT used as an electronic switch, in grounded-emitter configuration
Amplifier circuit, common-emitter configuration with a voltage-divider bias circuit
Operation of a FET and its Id-Vg curve. At first, when no gate voltage is applied, there are no inversion electrons in the channel, so the device is turned off. As gate voltage increases, the inversion electron density in the channel increases, current increases, and thus the device turns on.
Transistor symbol created on Portuguese pavement in the University of Aveiro
Assorted discrete transistors
Soviet KT315b transistors

The first working device to be built was a point-contact transistor invented in 1947 by American physicists John Bardeen and Walter Brattain while working under William Shockley at Bell Labs.

Western Electric

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American electrical engineering and manufacturing company officially founded in 1869.

American electrical engineering and manufacturing company officially founded in 1869.

1969 Western Electric keychain medallion celebrating the 100th anniversary of the company's founding, made from the company's recycled bronze metal of scrapped telephone equipment and issued to employees with an inscribed personal registration number.
222 Broadway, where the company's headquarters were once located
Tower of former Hawthorne Works (as of 2012)
Former Kearny Works
AT&T push-button telephone made by Western Electric, model 2500 DMG black (1980)
Inaugural issue cover of first Western Electric employee magazine in March 1912
1914 company masthead logo (Spirit of Communication)
Logo until circa 1969

Bell Telephone Laboratories, created from the engineering department of Western Electric in 1925, was half-owned by Western Electric, the other half belonging to AT&T.

Unix System III running on a PDP-11 simulator

Unix

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Unix System III running on a PDP-11 simulator
Unix System III running on a PDP-11 simulator
Version 7 Unix, the Research Unix ancestor of all modern Unix systems
Ken Thompson (sitting) and Dennis Ritchie working together at a PDP-11
The Common Desktop Environment (CDE), part of the COSE initiative
Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, principal developers of Research Unix
Photo from USENIX 1984, including Dennis Ritchie (center)
Plan 9 from Bell Labs extends Unix design principles and was developed as a successor to Unix.
Promotional license plate by Digital Equipment Corporation
HP9000 workstation running HP-UX, a certified Unix operating system

Unix (trademarked as UNIX) is a family of multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Unix, whose development started in 1969 at the Bell Labs research center by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and others.

Holmdel Township, New Jersey

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Township in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States.

Township in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States.

The Holmdel Horn Antenna
Holmdel Park on a calm afternoon
Bell Labs Horn Antenna
Steeplechase Trail, Holmdel Park
AT&T Holmdel and water tower
The Garden State Parkway in Holmdel
The Holmes–Hendrickson House, 2014
The historic Longstreet Farm at Holmdel Park, 2013
The Kovenhoven House, 2014
Holmdel Town Hall at Crawfords Corner

The township is notable, among other things, for its historical and present connection to Bell Labs.

C (programming language)

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General-purpose computer programming language.

General-purpose computer programming language.

Dennis Ritchie (right), the inventor of the C programming language, with Ken Thompson
The cover of the book The C Programming Language, first edition, by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie
"Hello, World!" program by Brian Kernighan (1978)
The C Programming Language
The TIOBE index graph, showing a comparison of the popularity of various programming languages

A successor to the programming language B, C was originally developed at Bell Labs by Dennis Ritchie between 1972 and 1973 to construct utilities running on Unix.

A picture showing scratches on the readable surface of a CD-R. Music and data CDs are coded using error correcting codes and thus can still be read even if they have minor scratches using error detection and correction.

Information theory

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Scientific study of the quantification, storage, and communication of digital information.

Scientific study of the quantification, storage, and communication of digital information.

A picture showing scratches on the readable surface of a CD-R. Music and data CDs are coded using error correcting codes and thus can still be read even if they have minor scratches using error detection and correction.

Prior to this paper, limited information-theoretic ideas had been developed at Bell Labs, all implicitly assuming events of equal probability.

Bell System

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System of telecommunication companies, led by the Bell Telephone Company and later by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company , that dominated the telephone services industry in North America for over one hundred years from its creation in 1877 until its antitrust breakup in 1983.

System of telecommunication companies, led by the Bell Telephone Company and later by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company , that dominated the telephone services industry in North America for over one hundred years from its creation in 1877 until its antitrust breakup in 1983.

Logo used from 1889 to 1900
1912 Bell System advertisement promoting its slogan for universal service
Logo style of Bell System affiliated companies from 1921 to 1969
195 Broadway, AT&T headquarters for most of the 20th century
A Verizon payphone with the Bell logo, pictured in 2008
Manhole cover with Bell System logo
Cincinnati Bell's alternative logo retained the iconic Bell logo until 2016.

Bell Labs, conducting research and development for AT&T and Western Electric; ownership initially equally split between Western and AT&T

Brian Kernighan at Bell Labs in 2012

Brian Kernighan

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Canadian computer scientist.

Canadian computer scientist.

Brian Kernighan at Bell Labs in 2012
Brian Kernighan speaks at a tribute to Dennis Ritchie in 2012 at Bell Labs.

He worked at Bell Labs and contributed to the development of Unix alongside Unix creators Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie.

Early 1970s vocoder, custom-built for electronic music band Kraftwerk

Vocoder

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Category of speech coding that analyzes and synthesizes the human voice signal for audio data compression, multiplexing, voice encryption or voice transformation.

Category of speech coding that analyzes and synthesizes the human voice signal for audio data compression, multiplexing, voice encryption or voice transformation.

Early 1970s vocoder, custom-built for electronic music band Kraftwerk
Schematic circuit of Dudley's Vocoder
(based on: )
Channel vocoder setting as a musical application
Siemens Synthesizer (c.1959) at Siemens Studio for Electronic Music was one of the first attempts to use a vocoder to create music

The vocoder was invented in 1938 by Homer Dudley at Bell Labs as a means of synthesizing human speech.

Thompson (left) with Dennis Ritchie

Ken Thompson

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American pioneer of computer science.

American pioneer of computer science.

Thompson (left) with Dennis Ritchie
DEC PDP-7, as used for initial work on Unix
Thompson (sitting) and Ritchie working together at a PDP-11
Version 6 Unix running on the SIMH PDP-11 simulator, with "/usr/ken" still present
Plan 9 from Bell Labs, running the acme text editor, and the rc shell

Thompson worked at Bell Labs for most of his career where he designed and implemented the original Unix operating system.