Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.


The Bolt Beranek partnership between Richard Bolt and Leo Beranek began in 1948 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bolt and Beranek were MIT professors, and the oritinal business was acoutic consulting. As the business grew, other employees were hired, and Robert Newman joined the partnership in 1950 and the company name was changed to Bolt Beranek and Newman. Jordan Baruch and Sam Labate joined the partnership in 1952. The company incorporated in 1953 (Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc., abbreviated BBN). In 1957 the company began to move into the computing R&D area, particularly focusing on man-machine interactions. By about 1960, the computer part of the company was as significant as the acoustics part. Both part of the company were well known for their innovations.

From 1969 on, BBN was especially renowned for its work with the ARPANET and Internet. In the 1990s dot com boom, BBN's Internet activities had developed significant market value, and the entire company (Internet activities and consulting, research, and development activities) were sold to the GTE telephone company. GTE in turn was acquired by Verizon, but the government only allowed Verizon to acquire BBN's traditional consulting, R&D business, and the Internet activities were spun off as Genuity. In 2004 Verizon sold its part of BBN to venture capital firms and some of the company management. In 2009 Raytheon bought those BBN activities from venture capitalist and managment shareholders.

There is a decent history of BBN in the wikipedia: This ETHW page has the purpose of providng links to other ETHW pages relevent to BBN's history (for instances, the oral histories of Leo Beranek) and providing other people knowledgable of BBN history to add their own contributions.

[page initially created on 2020-10-12 by Dave Walden; I will keep working slowly on populating the pag, and I invite others to join me]

Links within ETHW