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Bell Telephone Advertisement - Quality Control
June 1946 Radio News

June 1946 Radio News

June 1946 Radio & Television News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

Remember when you could hold a telephone conversation without having to allow a moment of time at the end of a sentence before responding in order to keep from "stepping on" the person on the other end? It used to be only overseas phone calls or maybe communicating to astronauts on the moon suffered such inconveniences, but talking to someone across town was like having a face-to-face discussion. More often than not - or so at least it seems - there is a noticeable delay between the time someone actually stops talking on the transmitter end and the time the audio stops at the receiver end. People who have never known otherwise accommodate the delay with no appreciation for how good phone calls used to be. This promotion by Bell Telephone Labs which appeared in a 1946 issue of Radio News magazine extolls the virtues of its "scientific quality control" innovation that produced repeatable appearance and performance of its telephone products.

Bell Telephone Ad - Scientific Quality Control

Bell Telephone Ad, June 1946 Radio News - RF CafeAlike as Two Pins

Yes, or alike as two telephone handsets made by the same process. Yet, pins or handsets - no two could ever be made exactly alike. Dimensions, weight, performance - all vary every time due to variables in manufacture. How can these variables be controlled?

Back in 1924, Bell Laboratories' mathematicians and engineers teamed up to find out, forming the first group of quality-control specialists in history. They invented the now familiar Quality Control Chart, designed inspection tables for scientific sampling. They discovered that test data mathematically charted in the light of probability theory were talking a language that could be read for the benefit of all industry.

Western Electric, manufacturing branch of the Bell System, applied the new science to its large-scale production. In war, it was used by industrial and government agencies of the United Nations in establishing and maintaining standards for military materiel. A Quality Assurance Department, a novelty back in the nineteen-twenties, has come to be indispensable to almost every important manufacturer.

Scientific quality control is one of many Bell Laboratories' ideas that have born fruit in the Bell System. The application of mathematics to production helps good management all over the industrial world - and furthers the cause of good telephone service.

Bell Telephone Laboratories

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



Posted March 10, 2022
(updated from original post on 5/27/2015)

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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

1996 - 2024


Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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