Otto B. Blackwell

Otto B. Blackwell
Otto B. Blackwell
Bourne, MA, USA
Associated organizations
Fields of study
IEEE Edison Medal


Otto B. Blackwell (A '08, M '13, F'17, Membcr for Life), has been awarded the 1950 Edison Medal "for his pioneer contriibutions to the art of telephone transmission."

Mr. Blackwell, who was Assistant Vice-President (retired) of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T), received the medal at the AIEE Winter General Meeting. He was born on August 21, 1884, in Bourne, Mass., and in 1906 he graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. That same year he began his career with the Bell System in the transmission and protection division of the AT&T Engineering Department, and in 1914 he was placed in charge of that department. When the Department of Development and Research was organized in 1919, he became transmission development engineer. In 1934, when this department was consolidated with the Bell Laboratories, Mr. Blackwell was appointed director of Transmission Development. The following year he was named manager of Staff Departments and in 1937 he became a Vice-President. Mr. Blackwell returned to AT&T in 1944 as Assistant Vice-President and also became a member of the Bell Telephone Laboratories' Board of Directors. The medalist is holder of 22 patents in the communication field. He is a member of the Acoustical Society, the American Physical Society, the American Society for the Advancement of Science, and the Institute of Radio Engineers. Mr. Blackwell has actively served the AIEE on the following committees: Telegraph, and Telephony; Meetings and Papers; Executive; Standards; Communication; Finance; Headquarters; Lamme Medal.