Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. List of Significant Innovations & Discoveries (1925-1983)

Revision as of 16:20, 15 May 2012 by M.geselowitz (talk | contribs)

The first iteration of this list was compiled by Bell Labs alumnus A. Michael Noll in May 2012. 

(original list)

Original Notes:

• Compiled by A. Michael Noll (with personal knowledge and an admitted bias toward speech
research and computer graphics) and with sagacious comments from several Bell TelephoneLaboratories colleagues.
• Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. (BTL) was formed in 1925 and existed until the breakup ofthe Bell System on January 1, 1984. Only this period of nearly six decades is inluded here.
• Innovations and discoveries were chosen to be significant new directions and not justincremental advances. However, a few “fascinating” ones, such as the “dunking bird,” have been
• Tens of thousands of engineers, scientists, technicians, and others worked at Bell TelephoneLaboratories, and all contributed in their own way to the overall accomplishments of theorganization. Only a small few are listed here though.
• On many of the larger development projects and systems, large engineering teams wereinvolved, and accordingly individuals are not named.

1925  Electrical Sound Recording             Joseph Maxfield & Harry Harrison
1925 Quality Control Theory                     W. A. Shewhart
1926 Thermal Noise                                  John B. Johnson
1926 Antenna Arrays                                 R. M. Foster
1926 Permendur Magnetic Alloy                G. W. Elmen
1927 Negative Feedback Amplification      Harrold Black
1927 Television Transmission                    Herbert E. Ives
1927 Quartz Electronic Clock                     Warren Marrison
1927 Transatlantic Telephone Service       Many contributers
1927 Wave Nature of the Electron              Clinton J. Davisson & Lester. H. Germer
1927 Wearable Electronic Hearing Aid       Harvey Fletcher
1927 Telephone Trunking Traffic Analysis  Edward C. Molina
1928 Sampling Theorem                             Harry Nyquist
1929 Artificial Larynx                                   Robert R. Riesz
1929 Broadband Coaxial Cable                  Lloyd Espenschied & Herbert A. Apfel
1929 Ship-to-Shore Radio System             Many contributors
1929 Frequency Interleaving of TV Signal  Frank Gray & John R. Hefele
1930 Moving-Coil Microphone                    E. C. Wente & A. L. Thuras
1930 Negative Impedance Repeater          George Crisson
1931 Radio Astronomy                                Karl Jansky
1931 Rhombic Antenna                              Harald T. Friis & E. Bruce
1931 TWX Exchange Teletypewriter Svc   Many contributors
1931 Stereophonic Recording on Film       Harvey Fletcher
1931-32 Stereophonic Sound Rec. (45°)   Harvey Fletcher, Arthur C. Keller
1932 Stability Criteria Diagrams                 Harry Nyquist
1932 Waveguide Experiments &Theory     G. Southworth, A. King, A. E. Bowen
1933 Equal-Loudness Contours                Harvey Fletcher & Wilden A. Munson
1933 Vitamin B1 Isolation Process             Robert R. Williams
1933 Stereophonic Sound Transmission   Harvey Fletcher
1934 Raster Scan TV System                    Pierre Mertz & Frank Gray
1936 Stereophonc Phonograph Record    Arthur C. Keller & Irad S. Rafuse
1936 Vocoder Speech Synthesis               Homer Dudley
1936 Reed Switch                                     Walter B. Elwood
1936 High-Efficiency AM-Transmit. Amp.  William H. Doherty
1937 Boolean Logic Relay Computer       George Robert Stibitz & S. B. Williams
1937 Velocity Modulation Diode                Frederick B. Llewellyn
1937 Isograph Analog Comp.for Poly. 0s  R. L. Dietzold
1937-38 Voder Speech Synthesizer          Homer Dudley
1938 Crossbar Switching System             Many contributors

 1938 Insertion Parameter Filter                 Design Sidney Darlington

1938 Phase-Gain Stability Criteria            Hendrik W. Bode
1939 Complex Number Calculator            George Robert Stibitz & S. B. Williams
1939 P-N Junction                                    Russell Shoemaker Ohl
1939 Smith Chart for Transmission Lines Phillip H. Smith
1940 Pierce Electron Gun                        John R. Pierce
1940s Thermistor Materials                      G. L. Pearson, J. A. Becker & C. B. Green
1940 Reflex Klystron                                John R. Pierce & W. G. Shepherd
1940 Photovoltaic P-N Junction               Russell Shoemaker Ohl
1941 Sound Spectrograph                       W. Koenig, H. K. Dunn & L. Y. Lacy
1941 Vocoder Speech Secrecy System   R. K. Potter & R. C. Mathes
1942 Acoustic Homing Torpedo               Many contributors
1942 Horn-Reflector Antenna Harald      T. Friis & Alfred C. Beck
1943 Echo-Ranging Sonar                       Many contributors
~1943 Microgel Synthetic Rubber           William O. Baker & C. S. Fuller
1943 Computer-Contr. M5 Gun Director  Many contributors
1944 Close-Spaced Triode (Model 416) Jack A. Morton
1944 Math.Treatment of Noise Theory   Stephen O. Rice
1940s Microwave Radio Prop. Studies   A. B. Crawford & collaborators
1945 Pulse Code Modulation Paper       J. Pierce, C. Shannon & B. Oliver
1945 Nike Anti-Aircraft Missile Project    Many conributors
1945 “Dunking Brid” Amusement Dev.   Miles V. Sullivan
1945 Travelling-Wave-Tube Analysis     John R. Pierce
1946 L1 Coaxial Cable System               Many contributors
1946 Junction Solar Cell Patent             Russell Shoemaker Ohl
1947 The Bit                                          John W. Tukey
1947 Point-Contact Transistor               John Bardeen & Walter H. Brattain
1947 Cellular Wireless Concept             Donald H. Ring & W. Rae Young
1947 Helix Travelling Wave Tube          John R. Pierce & L. M. Field
1947 Chirp Radar                                  Sidney Darlington
1947 TDX Microwave Radio System     Harald T. Friis & G. N. Thayer
1948 Information Theory                       Claude Shannon
1948 Error Correcting Codes                Richard W. Hamming
1948 Bipolar Junction Transistor          William Shockley
1949 Time Assignment Speech Interp. Carl B. H. Feldman
1949 Semicond.Particle Detectors        Kenneth G. Mckay
1949 Gas Discharge Noise Tube         W. W. Mumford
1950 TD Transcon. M-wave Rad. Sys. Many contributors
1950 Spat. Harm. Trav. Wv. Tube Amp. Sidney Millman
1950 Differential PCM of TV Signals     C. C. Cutler, C. W. Harrison & B. M. Oliver
1950 Model of Basilar Membrane          L. C. Peterson & Bruce P. Bogert
1950 High-Quality Synth,Qtz Growth    A. Walker, G. Kohman, E. Buehler & R. Laudise
1950 Trans. Line Model of Vocal Tract H. K. Dunn

1951 Zone Refining William                  G. Pfann
1951 Direct Distance Dialing                 Many contributors
1951 Polymer Carbon                           W. O. Baker & F. H. Winslow
1951 Epitaxial Deposition                     Gordon Teal & Howard Christensen
1951 Stochastic Service Arrival Traffic J. Riordan
1952 Ion Implantation                            R. S. Ohl & William S. Shockley
1953 Photo-Transistor                          J. N. Shive
1953 Reflected Binary Code                 Frank Gray
1953 Avalanche Photodiode Physics    Kenneth G. McKay & K. B. McAfee
1954 Photovoltaic Solar Cell                D. Chapin, C. Souther Fuller & G. Pearson
1954 Formant Vocoder                         Eric S. Weibel
1954 Coaxial Magnetron                      Joseph Feinstein
1955 Lin.Floating-Dec. Prog.Langs.     V. M. Wolontis & Richard W. Hamming
1955 Directive Antenna Arrays             E. N. Gilbert & S. P. Morgan
1955 Diffused Emit. & Base Si Trans   Morris Tannenbaum and D. E. Thomas
1955 Oxide Masking of Silicon Wafers Carl J. Frosh & Lincoln Derrick
1955 Pyrolytic C (Ablative HeatShield) F. H. Winslow & William O. Baker
1956 Polyethelene Cable Sheathing    W. Lincoln Hawkins
1956 P-I-N Photodiode Theory             W. T. Read, Jr.
1956 TAT-1                                           Many contributors
1957 Supermendur Magnetic Alloy       H. L. B. Bould & D. H. Wenny
1957 Rare Earth Permanent Magnets J. H. Wernick & E. A. Nesbitt
1957 Minimal Tree Algorithm               Robert C. Prim
1957 Computer Music                         Max V. Mathews
1957 Info. Rate of Human Channel     John R. Pierce & John E. Karlin
1958 Bell 101 Dataset Modem            Many contributors
1958 Laser                                          Arthur L. Schawlow & Charles W. Townes
1958 Voice Excited Vocoder                Manfred R. Schroeder
~1958 Theory of Random Systems    Philip Warren Anderson
1958 KNa Niobate Ceramic Del. Ln.   L. Egerton & S. S. Flaschen
1958 Synthtic Quartz Crystal Growth Robert A. Laudise & Albert Ballman
1958 A/D Conversion Syst. for Audio  E. David, Jr., M. Mathews & H. McDonald
1959 Macro-Instruction Programming M. Douglas McIlroy & Douglas E. Eastwood
1959 Nike Zeus Anti-Ballistic Missile  Many contributors
~1960 BLODI Block Diagr. Compiler  John Kelly, Vic Vyssotsky & Carol Lochbaum
1960 Echo Communications Satellite John R. Pierce & team
1960 Order-of-Arrival Service Model   Vaclav E. Benes
1960 MOS Transistor                         John Atalla & Dawon Kahng
1960 High Mag. Field Superconduc.  J. Kunzler, F. Hsu, E. Buehler & J. Wernick
1960 Silicon Epitaxy                           Henry C. Theuerer
1960 Helium-Neon Gas Laser            A. Javan, W. R. Bennet & D. R. Herriott

 1960 Space Saver Rotary Dial          Charles F. Matke

1960 Superconduc. Nb-Sn Magnet   John Eugene Kunzler
1961 T1 Digital Carrier Introduced    Many contributors
1961 Theory of Optical Resonators   A. G. Fox & T. Li
1962 Cepstrum Pitch Detection        Manfred R. Schroeder & A. Michael Noll
1962 Telstar Active Satellite Launch John R. Pierce & Eugene O’Neil’s team
1962 Electret Microphone                 Gerhard Sessler & James E. West
~1962 Adaptive Echo Canceller       J. Kelly, B. Logan, M. Sondhi & A. Presti
1962 Electronic Artificial Larynx        H. L. Barney, F. E. Haworth & H. K. Dunn
1962 Basilar-Membrane Displace.   James L. Flanagan
1962 Vocal-Tract Speech Synthesis John L. Kelly, Jr. & Carol Lochbaum
1962 Digital Computer Art                 A. Michael Noll
1962 Grating-Type Delay Line          R. S. Duncan & Marsena R. Parker
1962 Red Helium-Neon Laser          Alan White & J. Dane Rigden
1962-68 Nonmetric Mutltid.Scaling   R. Shepard, J. Kruskal & Newman Guttman
1963 Digital Filter Design                James F. Kaiser & Roger M. Golden
1963 Touchtone Dialing                   Leo Schenker
1963 Chemiluminescence               Edwin A. Chandross
1963 BEFLIX                                   Kenneth C. Knowlton
1963 Thin-Film Delay Line              Norman F. Foster
1963 ALPAK                                    W. Stanley, B. A. Tague & J. P. Hyde
1960s Comp. Animation apps.        Many contributors
1964 Detect “Big-Bang” Radiation Arno A. Penzias & Robert W. Wilson
1964 Adaptive Equalizer Modem    Robert W. Lucky
1964 CO2 High-Power Laser         C. Kumar N. Patel
1964 YAG Laser                            J. E. Geusic, H. M. Marcos & L. G. Van Uitert
1964 Argon Laser Retina Repair   Eugene I. Gordon & Edward F. Labuda
1964 Van Allen belt detection        W. Brown, L. Lanzerotti & L. Medford
1964 MULTICS Time-Share Comp. Many contributors
1960s Random-Dot & Self Stereo. Bela Julesz
1965 Stereoscopic Comp. Anim.    A. Michael Noll
1965 #1 Electronic Switching Sys. Many contributors
1965 FFT                                       John Tukey & J. W. Cooley (IBM)
1965 Ded. Lab. Interactive Comp. Peter B. Denes
1965 Remote GDT                         William H. Ninke
1966 List-Processing Comp. Lang. Kenneth C. Knowlton
1966 Comp.-Aided Lib. Distribution W. Stanley Brown & Joseph F. Traub
1966 Silicon Gate                            R. E. Kerwin, D. L. Klein & J. C. Sarace
1967 Linear Predictive Coding        Bishnu S. Atal & Manfred R. Schroeder

 1967 Magn.Bubble Memory Devs   A. H. Bobeck, H. E. D. Scovil & P. Michaelis

1967 Ion Implantation Implem.        Alfred U. Mac Rae & Walter L. Brown
1968 Interactive 3D Input & Displ.  A. Michael Noll
1968 Speech Synthesis by Rule   Cecil H. Coker
1968 Heterostructure Semic.Laser I. Hayashi & M. Panish
1968 Molecular Beam Epitaxy       John R. Arthur & A. Y. Cho
1968 LED for Optical Fibers         C. A. Burrus
1969 UNIX™ Operating System    Many contributors
1969 Charge Coupled Device       William Boyle & George E. Smith
1969 Virtual Circ. Switch. (Spider) Alexander G. Fraser
1969 Strip Hologram                     Michael C. King
1969 Scanned-Display Raster      A. Michael Noll
1970 Cell. Wless. Handoff Syst.   A. Joel, Jr., R. Frenkiel,  & P. Porter
1970 Adaptive Delta Modulation   N. S. Jayant
1970 Cyl. Pb-Acid Central-Off. Bat. D. Koontz, D. Feder, L. Babusci & H. Leur
1970 Tact. Force-Fdbk. Haptic Sys. A. Michael Noll
~1970 Ind. Diff. Multidim. Scaling   J. Douglas Carroll & J. J. Chang
~1970 Graded-Index Optical Fiber Many contributors
1972 Lightwave Repeater              J. E. Goell, P. K. Runge
1972 Data Ring                             John R. Pierce & Cecil H. Coker
1972 Thin-Film Magn.-Optic Swit. Many contributors
1973 Cellular Switching Plan        Z.Fluhr & Eric Nussbaum
1973 Adaptive Quant. Diff. PCM  James L. Flanagan, P. Cummiskey & N. S. Jayant
1973 C Programming Language  Dennis M. Ritchie
1974 Electronic Blackboard O.    Gabe Torok
1974 Transvers. Dig.Filter Des.   Lawrence R. Rabiner
1974 Comput. Tomography Alg.   L. A. Shepp & B. F. Logan
1974 Dig. Wire Ctr & Sm. Dig.Switch Hank McDonald, Joseph Condon, & H. Alles
1975 Single-Mode Laser             T. P. Lee, C. A. Burrus, B. I. Miller & R. A. Logan
1976 No.4 ESS Dig. Switch. Sys. Many contributors
1976 Video-Teleconf. Svc             Joseph J. Horzepa & team
1976 CCIS                                      Many contributors
1977 Comm. Optical-Fiber Trans.  Many contributors
1977 Belle Ded.Chess Computer Joseph H. Condon & Kenneth L. Thompson
1977 Thry.of Disor. States of Mat. Philip W. Anderson
1977 Hematofluorometer               Many contributors
1978 L5E Coaxial Cable System   Many contributors
1978 Tele. Modular Plug & Jack   Charles L. Krumreich
1978 32-bit Microprocessor           L.Thomas, B. Murphy & Alfred U. Mac Rae
1978 XDS                                      H. G. Alles, C. Christensen, R. W. Lucky
1978 800 service                          Roy P. Weber
1979 Psychoacoustic Mask. Cod. M. Schroeder, Bishu S. Atal & Joseph L. Hall
1979 Single-Chip DSP                   Many contributors
1980 Heterojuction Phototrans.    J.A. Copeland, J. C. Campbell
1980 Dyn. Non-Hier. Ntwk. Rout. Gerald R. Ash & Richard H. Cartwell
1981 AR6A SSB-SC M-wave Syst. Many contributors
1982 5ESS® Dig.Switch. Syst.      Many contributors
1982 Fractional Quant. Hall Effect Horst Störmer, Daniel Tsui & Robert Laughlin
1983 Hidden Markov Chain SR      B-H Juang, S. Levinson, L. Rabiner, & M. Sondhi
1983 Twin-Tub VLSI CMOS Louis  C. Parrillo & Richard S. Payne
1983 Code-Excited LPC                 Manfred R. Schroeder & Bishnu S. Atal

Sources: Impact, M. D. Fagen (Editor), 1971; A History of Engineering & Science in the BellSystem – Communications Sciences (1925-1980), S. Millman (Editor), 1984; A History of Engineering & Science in the Bell System – Physical Sciences (1925-1980), S. Millman (Editor), 1983.