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Bell Labs facts

While investigating facts about Bell Labs Holmdel and Bell Labs 1954, I found out little known, but curios details like:

Phones have an asterisk and pound sign because when Bell Labs designed the first touch-tone phone, their system had two tones which were not assigned values. So, they threw in * and #.

how bell labs creates star performers?

AT&T's Bell Labs invented the message machine in the 1930s. However, it was hidden by AT&T from the public until the 1990s for fear that 'voice mail' would end the need for the telephone

Where is at t bell labs?

In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across answering what happened to bell labs. Here are 34 of the best facts about Bell Labs Inventions and Bell Labs History I managed to collect.

what was invented at bell labs?

  1. Motorola was the first company to produce a handheld mobile phone. The first call was from Martin Cooper (Motorola) to his rival Joel Engel (Bell Labs). The phone weighed 1.1kg, had talk time of 30 minutes and took 10 hours to recharge.

  2. The layout of keys on a telephone keypad was based on research of sixteen possible alternatives performed at Bell labs in 1960

  3. Work at Bell Labs resulted in 9 Nobel Prizes & 4 Turing Awards. Bell laid the first transoceanic phone cable, mapped dark matter, created radio astronomy, the transistor, laser, solar cell, information theory, Unix, C & C++, error detection, cell phones, optical tweezers, electron lithography.

  4. Alan Turing once told a group of Bell Labs employees, "No, I'm not interested in developing a powerful brain. All I'm after is just a mediocre brain, something like the President of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company."

  5. The device was so useful that the mill owner gave Bell and his friend a small space in his mill to serve as his inventing lab.

  6. In 1945 he went to work for Bell Labs in the Solid State Physics Group.

  7. The iconic scene in "2001: A Space Odyssey," where HAL sings "Daisy Bell," was inspired by "one of the most famous moments in the history of Bell Labs," in 1962, during which Arthur C. Clarke just happened to be in attendance.

  8. In 1964 Bell Labs released a video chatting phone called "Picturephone", which flopped because it was too expensive to use. This caused them a loss of $500 million in R&D.

bell labs facts
What is bell labs?

Why did bell labs fail?

You can easily fact check why was bell labs so successful by examining the linked well-known sources.

Researchers working at Bell Labs are credited with the development of radio astronomy, the transistor, the laser, the CCD, information theory, the operating systems Unix and Plan 9, and the programming languages C, C++, and S. Eight Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work completed at Bell Labs.

Bell Labs achieved a 100 Petabit per second data transfer using fiber optics. Thats 100 million Gigabits per second. - source

Cheeky bell labs engineers tried to call the number sign the "octatherp" as a joke primarily to mess with German speakers. - source

In 1978 he joined Bell labs and it was there that he and his colleagues researched using laser to trap atoms.

Mobile phones are called cell phones because two Bell Lab engineers in 1947 proposed a network of hexagonal cells resembling biological cells so mobile phones in cars could operate from one spot to another seamlessly. The technology to implement their concept didn’t exist at the time, however. - source

When was bell labs founded?

The first cell phone call was made by Motorola engineer Martin Cooper in 1973. He called Bell Labs to gloat at having beat them.

How many patents does bell labs have?

In 1952 Bell Labs designed the Audrey, a machine capable of understanding spoken digits, and in 1962 IBM demonstrated the Shoebox, a machine that could understand up to 16 spoken words in English.

The field effect transistor was invented in 1926 (well before Bell Labs made the first point-contact transistor in 1947) but did not function due to impure materials.

Bell Labs broke the optical transmission record, 100 Petabit per second kilometer... in 2009. This is the equivalent of sending of 400 DVDs per second over 7000 km.

A single experimental recording was made in 1939 by Bell Labs through their Vocoder transatlantic signal processor. Audio pioneers like Bruce Haack developed musical vocoders in the late 60s into the now common "robot voice," auto-tune, and synthesized speech.

The original motivation for writing Unix was to compile the game Space Travel on a PDP-7. The game was only available in Bell Labs

When did bell labs close?

In 1967 Bell Labs pitched jet turbine powered jetpacks to the US military for Vietnam with potential uses in chemical riot control, smokescreens, ship-to-shore transportation, and quick attacks and evacuations.

The first computer to sing was an IMB 704. It sang 'Daisy Bell' In 1962, Arthur C. Clarke, author of the novel/co-writer of the film “2001: A Space Odyssey”, visited Bell Labs & heard it sing, inspiring him to have HAL sing the same song as an homage to the programmers Kelly, Lockbaum, & Mathews

The first mobile phone call was made during an interview by an engineer and executive at Motorola named Martin Cooper. He called Joel S. Engel, a rival engineer at Bell Labs, just to rub it in his face that their team created the technology first

The first transistor patent was filed in 1925, 22 years before the Bell Labs transistor invention that won the Nobel Prize

The Pager (beeper) was first invented by Bell Labs and called Bellboy before their first practical use to page physicians.

How did bell labs make money?

This 1926 Bell Labs documentary, produced for engineers and investors, explaining and demonstrating in technical detail Vitaphone, the first successful method of synchronized talking pictures.

Evidence suggests that the # symbol was given the name "octothrope" as a joke name by engineers at Bell Labs.

Bell Labs invented and mass produced a product called the PicturePhone in 1946 which was revolutionary for its time, but ended up flopping because the power line's infrastructure was to expensive to maintain and prices were very high.

It is likely that the transistor was not actually invented by William Shockley at Bell Labs but was actually an idea stolen from Julius Lilienfeld who patented a very similar device in 1926

Alexander Graham Bell actually stole the idea of the telephone from a man named Antonio Meucci, who he shared a lab with. Meucci couldn't afford the patent fee.

This is our collection of basic interesting facts about Bell Labs. The fact lists are intended for research in school, for college students or just to feed your brain with new realities. Possible use cases are in quizzes, differences, riddles, homework facts legend, cover facts, and many more. Whatever your case, learn the truth of the matter why is Bell Labs so important!

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