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Bell Telephone Laboratories - Miniaturization
November 1949 Radio-Electronics Article

November 1949 Radio-Electronics

November 1949 Radio-Electronics Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio-Electronics, published 1930-1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

When many people hear the name of Bell Telephone Company, the first thing they think of is the court-directed breakup of Bell System into what became known as "Baby Bells" after being sued for monopolistic policies. What is too often forgotten - or more likely never realized - is the immense role Bell played in the building of America into an industrial and technology giant. Vintage magazines like this 1949 issue of Radio-Electronics as well as many other types including The Saturday Evening Post, Popular Mechanics, Family Circle, and many other publications found in homes, contained full-page advertisements by Bell Telephone Laboratories promoting their work and reminding subscribers of how their hard-earned money was being invested on improvements. Along with the Interstate Highway System, America's robust, dependable, and high quality personal communications via telephone was accorded major credit for innovation and production. They are two major components of the logistical system needed to support the effort. 

Bell Telephone Laboratories Ad

Bell Telephone Laboratories - Miniaturization, November 1949 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeAnother Score in the Battle of the Inches

It takes many costly buildings to house your telephone system. Every inch saved helps keep down the cost of telephone service. So at Bell Telephone Laboratories engineers work constantly to squeeze the size out of telephone equipment.

In the picture a new voice frequency amplifier is being slipped into position. Featuring a Western Electric miniature vacuum tube, tiny permalloy transformers, and special assembly techniques, it is scarcely larger than a single vacuum tube used to be. Yet it is able to boost a voice by 35 decibels. Mounted in a bay only two feet wide and 11 1/2 feet high, 600 of the new amplifiers do work which once required a room full of equipment.

This kind of size reduction throughout the System means that more parts can be housed in a given space. Telephone buildings and other installations keep on giving more service for their size - and keep down costs.

The new amplifiers, which will soon be used by the thousands throughout the Bell System to keep telephone voices up to strength, are but one example of this important phase of Laboratories' work.

Bell Telephone Laboratories Exploring and Inventing, Devising and Perfecting, for Continued Improvements and Economies in Telephone Service



Posted December 2, 2021

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