Western Electric

Western Electric CompanyWestrexWestern Electric Manufacturing CompanyInternational Western Electric CompanyWECoWestern Electric Co.Bell SystemThe EngineerThe Western Electric EngineerWestern Electric Apparatus
The Western Electric Company was an American electrical engineering and manufacturing company that was officially founded in 1869 and served as the primary supplier and purchasing agent to the Bell System and AT&T from 1881 to 1996.wikipedia
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Elisha Gray

GrayGray, Elisha
On December 31, 1869, he entered a partnership with Enos M. Barton, and later sold his share to inventor Elisha Gray.
Elisha Gray (August 2, 1835 – January 21, 1901) was an American electrical engineer who co-founded the Western Electric Manufacturing Company.

NEC

NEC CorporationNEC Home ElectronicsNEC Avenue
In 1899, it invested in a 54% share of the Nippon Electric Company, Ltd. Western Electric's representative in Japan was Walter Tenney Carleton.
Western Electric, which had an interest in the Japanese phone market, was represented by Walter Tenney Carleton.

Hawthorne Works

Hawthorne facilityHawthorne plantHawthorne Works Museum
On July 24, 1915, employees of the Hawthorne Works boarded the SS Eastland in downtown Chicago for a company picnic. At Hawthorne Works, Cicero, Illinois, Elton Mayo conducted research of the effect on manufacturing productivity of lighting changes and work structure changes, such as working hours or break times.
The Hawthorne Works was a large factory complex of the Western Electric Company in Cicero, Illinois.

Enos M. Barton

On December 31, 1869, he entered a partnership with Enos M. Barton, and later sold his share to inventor Elisha Gray.
Enos Melancthon Barton (Dec 2, 1842 – May 3, 1916) was an American electrical engineer who, with Elisha Gray, co-founded Western Electric Manufacturing Company.

Rotary system

RotaryRotary exchanges
The company manufactured rotary system switching equipment under the Western Electric brand.
7-A Machine Switching System, it was developed in Belgium by International Western Electric, a subsidiary of American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), at the same time when AT&T's American engineering division, Western Electric, was developing the Panel switch in the United States.

ITT Inc.

ITTITT CorporationInternational Telephone and Telegraph
In 1925, ITT purchased the Bell Telephone Manufacturing Company of Brussels, Belgium, and other worldwide subsidiaries from AT&T, to avoid an antitrust action.
In 1925, ITT purchased several companies from Western Electric, as Bell has agreed to "divest" itself of its international operations.

Spirit of Communication

Genius of ElectricityGenius of Telegraphy
Starting in 1914 it used an image of AT&T's statue Spirit of Communication.
Spirit of Communication is the formal name for a statue originally called Genius of Telegraphy. The statue has been the symbol of AT&T (and also the former Western Electric) since their commission was completed in 1916.

SS Eastland

EastlandSS ''EastlandEastland disaster
On July 24, 1915, employees of the Hawthorne Works boarded the SS Eastland in downtown Chicago for a company picnic.
On July 24, 1915, Eastland and four other Great Lakes passenger steamers, Theodore Roosevelt, Petoskey, Racine, and Rochester, were chartered to take employees from Western Electric Company's Hawthorne Works in Cicero, Illinois, to a picnic in Michigan City, Indiana.

Kellogg Switchboard & Supply Company

CortelcoITT KelloggKellogg-ITT Relaymatic
In 1901, Western Electric secretly purchased a controlling interest in a principal competitor, the Kellogg Switchboard & Supply Company, but in 1909 was forced by a lawsuit to sell back to Milo Kellogg.
Along with Western Electric, which supplied the Bell System, Automatic Electric supplying General Telephone, and Stromberg-Carlson, also supplying the independent telephone markets, Kellogg shared in the business of providing the bulk of the nation's telephone equipment until after World War II.

Graybar

Graybar Electric CompanyGraybar ElectricGraybar Electric Co.
This electrical distribution business was spun off from Western Electric in 1925 and organized into a separate company, Graybar Electric Company, in honor of the company's founders, Elisha Gray and Enos Barton.
Founded in 1869 in Cleveland, Ohio, by Elisha Gray and Enos Barton, it was the origin of the Western Electric Company.

Breakup of the Bell System

Bell System divestiturebreakup of AT&TAT&T divestiture
One of the terms of the Modification of Final Judgment in the Bell System divestiture procedures prohibited AT&T from using the name Bell after January 1, 1984; prior to this, AT&T's plan was to market products and services under the American Bell name, accompanied by the now familiar AT&T globe logo.
AT&T would continue to be a provider of long distance service, while the now-independent Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) would provide local service, and would no longer be directly supplied with equipment from AT&T subsidiary Western Electric.

GTE

General Telephone and ElectronicsGeneral TelephoneGTE Corporation
One of AT&T's competitors in providing telephone service in the U.S., General Telephone and Electronics (GTE), also operated an equipment manufacturing unit, Automatic Electric near Lisle, Illinois.
It owned Automatic Electric, a telephone equipment supplier similar in many ways to Western Electric, and Sylvania Lighting, the only non-communications-oriented company under GTE ownership.

International Bell Telephone Company

Bell Telephone Manufacturing CompanyFrancis Raymond WellesBell Telephone mfg. company
In 1925, ITT purchased the Bell Telephone Manufacturing Company of Brussels, Belgium, and other worldwide subsidiaries from AT&T, to avoid an antitrust action.
BTMC was created as a joint venture by the International Bell Telephone Company of New York and the Western Electric Company of Chicago.

Walter A. Shewhart

ShewhartWalter ShewhartShewhart, Walter A.
In particular, the work of Walter A. Shewhart, who developed new techniques for statistical quality control in the 1920s, helped lead to the legendary quality of manufacture of Western Electric telephones.
When Shewhart joined the Western Electric Company Inspection Engineering Department at the Hawthorne Works in 1918, industrial quality was limited to inspecting finished products and removing defective items.

Reading Works

As a part of Western Electric and the Bell System, it changed its masthead many times during its life.

Kearny, New Jersey

KearnyKearny, N.J.Kearney, New Jersey
Later large factories included the Kearny Works in Kearny, New Jersey, Columbus Works in Columbus, Ohio, and Kansas City Works in Lee's Summit, Missouri.
Between 1926 and 1986, the Kearny Works of Western Electric employed as many as 24,000 in producing a variety of hardware and supplies for the Bell System and was the home of the "Kearny Standard" for tools and equipment, and was sold by AT&T in 1984 by which time the plant had 4,000 employees who earned a total of $128 million a year, making it one of the county's largest employers.

Automatic Electric

Automatic Electric CompanyStrowger Automatic Telephone Exchange CompanyAutomatic Telephone & Electric Co. Ltd
One of AT&T's competitors in providing telephone service in the U.S., General Telephone and Electronics (GTE), also operated an equipment manufacturing unit, Automatic Electric near Lisle, Illinois.
In 1983, GTE merged Automatic Electric and Lenkurt into GTE Network Systems, which was quickly renamed GTE Communication Systems when AT&T announced the renaming of Western Electric as AT&T Network Systems.

Bell Telephone Company

Bell TelephoneAmerican Bell Telephone CompanyAmerican Bell
The ensuing legal battle between Western Union and the Bell Telephone Company over patent rights ended in 1879 with Western Union withdrawing from the telephone market and Bell acquiring Western Electric in 1881.
BTMC was created as a joint venture by the International Bell Telephone Company of New York and the Western Electric Company of Chicago, Illinois.

Design Line telephone

Mickey Mouse phone
In the 1970s when consumers increasingly bought telephone sets from other manufacturers, AT&T changed the policy for its Design Line telephone series by selling customers the phone housing, retaining ownership of the internal mechanical and electrical components, which still required paying AT&T a monthly leasing fee.
In the early 1970s, well before the Bell System divestiture, customers in increasing numbers chose to install and use telephones not manufactured by Western Electric, AT&T's wholly owned subsidiary.

Allentown, Pennsylvania

AllentownAllentown, PACity of Allentown
In the post-World War II era, the Western Electric plant on Union Boulevard was announced on October 11, 1945, after a nationwide search to locate a new manufacturing plant.

North Andover, Massachusetts

North AndoverNorth Andover, MAStevens Memorial Library
Several mills were located in the town, as well as the Western Electric Company, AT&T's manufacturing division, which supplied telephone machinery for many years before it was split up by AT&T into the new company, Lucent Technologies.

Model 302 telephone

300-series telephone300-type302-type telephone
The year 1936 brought the announcement of the model 302 telephone, the first Western Electric instrument that combined the desktop telephone set with the subscriber set and ringer in one unit.
The model 302 telephone is a desk set telephone that was manufactured in the United States by Western Electric from 1937 until 1955, and by Northern Electric in Canada until the late 1950s, until well after the introduction of the 500-type telephone in 1949.

Walter Tenney Carleton

Walter
In 1899, it invested in a 54% share of the Nippon Electric Company, Ltd. Western Electric's representative in Japan was Walter Tenney Carleton.
Their only son, Charles Dubois Carleton was born 7 January 1899 in Yokohama Japan, where Walter and Enriqueta had traveled on business with Western Electric.

Model 202 telephone

202202 hand telephone202-type
Such handset telephone types were designated with the assembly code 102 (model 102 telephone), while later models containing anti-sidetone circuitry were the model 202 telephone set.
The model 202 telephone was a desktop telephone produced by Western Electric for the Bell System from 1930 to 1939, and by Northern Electric in Canada.

Cicero, Illinois

CiceroCicero, ILCicero Flying Field
At Hawthorne Works, Cicero, Illinois, Elton Mayo conducted research of the effect on manufacturing productivity of lighting changes and work structure changes, such as working hours or break times.