Vacuum tube amplifiers used the first time in coast-to- coast telco circuits. In opening the service, Bell, in New York, repeated his famous first telephone sentence to his assistant, Mr.Watson, who was in San Francisco, "Mr. Watson, come here, I want you." Watson replied, "If you want me, it will take me almost a week to get there." E.T. Whitaker develops the sampling theorem that forms the basis of today's PCM and TCM technologies.

January 25, Opening of First Trans- continental telephone line, New York to San Francisco, 3600 miles.

October 21, First transmission of speech across the Atlantic by radiotelephone, Arlington, Va., to Paris.

Development of modern covered switch with horizontal relays - used at St. Paul and Minneapolis. First use of cast iron switch frame at Hazelton, Pennsylvania.

Direct telephone communications opened for service at 4pm, EST. Alexander Graham Bell, in NY, greets his former assistant, Thomas Watson, in San Francisco, by repeating the first words ever spoken over a telephone, "Mr. Watson, come here I want you". Mr. Watson would reply that it would take him a week to get there.


Earliest community automatic exchange network installed in Wisconsin.


First transatlantic radio by Guglielmo Marconi.

Rapid expansion in the use of private automatic branch exchanges. Development of remote alarm equipment for unattended exchanges.


First installation using rotary primary line switches (Elyria, Ohio).

Edwin Armstrong develops a receiving circuit - the superheterodyne.


First Strowger board manufactured for Bell System (Norfolk, Virginia).

Radio Corporation of America (RCA) is formed .


January 16. The 18th Amendment goes into effect at midnight. Alcohol is banned as an illegal substance. Organized crimes takes over distribution.

Bell introduces its own step-by-step offices that were previously acquired from Automatic Electric. G. Valensi develops the time domain multiplexing concept.

July 16, World's first radiotelephone service, between Los Angeles and Santa Catalina Island, opened to the public.

There are 11,795,747 Bell telephone stations owned and connected. Beginning of wide-spread adoption of Strowger equipment for metropolitan areas both in the U.S. and abroad. First installation of call-indicator equipment for automatic-manual connections in multi-office areas.

The first regular commercial radio broadcasts begin when AM station KDKA of Pittsburgh delivers results of the Harding-Cox election to its listeners. Radio experiences immediate success; by the end of 1922, 563 other licensed stations will join KDKA.

Westinghouse Radio Station KDKA is established (2 November) November 6, First commercial AM radio broadcast in the U.S. KDKA, Pittsburgh, sending the Harding-Cox election bulletins . The first words ever carried by a commercial radio station were, "We shall now broadcast the election returns."


Facsimile technology (Wirephoto) from Western Union.

The Willis-Graham Act allows telcos to merge with permission of the States and the Interstate Commerce Commission.

April 11, Opening of deep sea cable, Key West to Havana, Cuba, 115 miles. First conversation between Havana, Cuba, and Catalina Island by submarine cable, overhead and underground lines and radio telephone-distance 5,500 miles. Extension of Boston - Philadelphia cable to Pittsburgh - total distance 621 miles. President Harding's inaugural address delivered by loud speaker to more than 100,000 people. Armistice Bay exercises at burial of unknown soldier delivered by means of Bell loud speaker and long lines to more than 150,000 people in Arlington, Va., New York and San Francisco.

Wirephoto - The first electronically -transmitted photograph is sent by Western Union. The idea for a facsimile transmission was first proposed by Scottish clockmaker Alexander Bain in 1843.

First radio broadcast of a sporting event (Dempsey/Carpentier Heavyweight Championship Prize Fight, 2 July).


First dial exchange in New York City ” PE-6, derived from Pennsylvania 6.

Ship-to-shore conversation by wire and wireless between Bell telephones in homes and offices and the S. S. America 400 miles at sea in the Atlantic.

Introduction of improved steel wall telephones and improved desk stands (Type 21). Alexander Graham Bell dies at his summer home in Beinn Breagh, near Baddeck, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia (August 2). Telephone service is suspended for one minute (6:25pm-6:26pm) on the entire telephone system in the United States and Canada during the funeral service (4 August). British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is formed. (It would receive its Royal Charter in 1927).


June 7, Radio broadcasting networks had their beginning with a hook-up of four radio stations by long distance telephone lines.

December 22, Opening of Second Trans-continental telephone line, southern route. There are 14,050,565 Bell telephone stations owned and connected. Successful demonstration of transoceanic radio telephony from a Bell telephone station in New York City to a group of scientists and journalists in New Southgate, England.

First British Post Office announces adoption of Strowger system (with Director) for London.

Meetings at New York and Chicago of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) are linked by long distance lines connected to loudspeakers so that both meetings could follow the same program (14 February).


Thomas J. Watson renames Computing-Tabulating-Recording (CTR) the International Business Machines Corporation. Mr. Watson, president, is successor to the company's founder, Herman Hollerith, who invented a method of assembling databases and making computations using a system of paper cards with holes punched in them.

The work of Herbert Ives at Bell Labs on the photoelectric effect leads to the first demonstration of the transmission of pictures over telephone.

Strowger exchange installed throughout Canal Zone. First Strowger "Directors" installed in Havana.

Directive short wave antenna is developed by Professor Hidetsugu Yagi and his assistant, Shintaro Uda.


IBM begins selling punch-card machinery in Japan.

Bell Laboratories is created from the AT&T and Western Electric engineering department, which had been combined in 1907. Frank B. Jewett becomes the first president of Bell Labs. 1.5 million dial telephones in service out of 12 million phones in service.

AT&T's Long Lines Department offers the press an early facsimile service between New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. The technology takes decades before it reaches a mass market.

October 1, Opening of long distance telephone cable, New York to Chicago. Introduction of the Monophone - first hand set telephone of modern type. The Combined Line and Recording (CLR) method of handling toll calls over long distances (100 miles or more) is introduced experimentally by Bell Systems. It reduces the handling of toll calls from 13 minutes (in 1920) to 7 minutes.


AT&T Bell Labs invents sound motion pictures.

First public test of transatlantic radiotelephone service ” between New York and London.

Robert Goddard, the father of the space age, launches the first liquid-fuel rocket from an aunt's farm in Worcester, Mass. He developed a general theory of rocket action. When captured German rocket scientists were brought to the U.S. after World War II and were questioned about rocketry and its development, they asked with incredulity why the U.S. did not already have the answers from Goddard. The U.S. had to admit that it had neglected Goddard. He died in 1945 before the neglect could be corrected.

Warner Brothers announces a system developed by Bell Laboratories and Western Electric to allow synchronized voice and music in the movies. The next year, "The Jazz Singer," with Al Jolson, dazzled the United States.

Baird in Scotland and Jenkins in the U.S. demonstrate TV using neon bulbs and mechanical scanning disks. P.M. Rainey at Western Electric patents the PCM methodology.

Introduction of the Type 24 Dial - modern, quiet-running, long-life calling device. Strowger system adopted by Japan.

The first public test of radiotelephone service from New York to London.


On January 17, 1927, transatlantic telephone service between London and New York opened, charging $25 a minute, or 15 English pounds for three minutes. When Time Magazine later reported the event, it said "Walter Sherman Gifford, president of the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. picked up a telephone receiver in Manhattan. Said Gifford into the transmitter, 'Good morning, Sir. This is Mr. Gifford in New York.' Sir George Evelyn Pemberton Murray, Secretary of the General Post Office of Great Britain in London replied, 'Good morning, Mr. Gifford. Yes. I can hear you perfectly . Can you hear me?' The distinction of talking to London on the first day of transatlantic service was also taken by Adolph S. Ochs, publisher of the New York Times, who let it be known that he was the first private speaker with editor Geoffrey Dawson of the London Times.

May 21, Charles A. Lindbergh successfully flies his monoplane "the Spirit of St Louis" from New York to Paris, ushering in a new transport technology and obsoleting the competitors ” ships and blimps ” and obsoleting the 200 tons of concrete and steel that was installed on the Empire State Building and which was meant to act as a downtown landing

December. The first talking movie, "The Jazz Singer," starring Al Jolson is released. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover spoke over TV from Washington, D.C. to an audience in New York. Praising the invention, he said, "What its uses may finally be, no one can tell."

April 7, First public demonstration of television by Bell System engineers, by wire and radio.

First "Director" installation in London. Introduction of line switch with self-aligning plunger.

Television - Philo Farnsworth demonstrates the first television for potential investors by broadcasting the image of a dollar sign. Farnsworth receives backing and applies for a patent, but ongoing patent battles with RCA will prevent Farnsworth from earning his share of the million-dollar industry his invention will create.

First public demonstration of long distance transmission of television. Formal opening of telephone service between the US and Mexico, and also, Mexico- London, via New York.


Mickey Mouse is born in Walt Disney's first cartoon, "Steamboat Willie." See 1937.

Zworykin files patents on electronic scanning TV using the iconoscope. First extended use of Strowger 200-point Line finder. Introduction of improved Monophone designs.

A joint meeting of the AIEE and the British IEE is held over radiotelephone channels, with the respective groups assembled in New York and London.


February 14, The infamous "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" gangland hit is ordered by Al Capone against North Side boss Bugs Moran.

April 7, 1929, First public demonstration of long distance TV transmission. Moving black and white pictures were sent over telephone wires between Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover in Washington DC and AT&T executives in New York. They went at 18 frames per second. Further development of this technology led to the creation of TV.

Harold S. Black's negative feedback amplifier cuts distortion in long distance telephony. Black is at Bell Labs.

June 27, Bell Laboratories makes the first U.S. public demonstration of color television in New York. Images are roses and a U.S. flag.

Coaxial cable invented in Bell Telephone Laboratories; Herbert Hoover first president to have phone installed on his desk.

Bell Laboratories and Western Electric introduced the Sound Newsreel Camera. It used an AT&T "Light Valve" to record sound directly on the film as it passed through the camera. It was the first single system sound camera.

October 29, "Black Tuesday." The beginning of the Great Crash. The stock market crashes with 16 million shares sold. On November 13, the prices reach their lowest point for the year and $30 billion in stock values are wiped out. The crash, along with negative factors in the U.S. and world economics decisively brings an end to the Roaring Twenties and brings on the Great Depression, the rise of fascism in Europe and ultimately, the Second World War.

Commercial ship-to-shore telephone service opened. U.S. Navy begins use of Strowger equipment. Monophones made available in color.


Opening of transoceanic telephone service to Argentina, Chile and Uruguay and subsequently to all other South American countries .

Development of new small switchboards of unit type. Networks of small Strowger exchanges installed in Italy.


Nevada legalized gambling in 1931. At that time, the Hoover Dam was being built and the federal government did not want its workers (who earned the princely sum of 50 cents an hour ) to be involved with such diversions , so they built Boulder City to house the workers, making gambling illegal in town. To this day, Boulder City is the only city in Nevada where gambling is illegal.

Empire State Building opened.

Development of Strowger Remote Toll Board. First installed in Elyria, Ohio. Radio Astronomy - While trying to track down a source of electrical interference on telephone transmissions, Karl Guthe Jansky of Bell Telephone Laboratories discovers radio waves emanating from stars in outer space.

AT&T inaugurates the Teletypewriter Exchange Service (TWX) November 21.


Development of unattended private automatic branch exchanges. Two-line Monophones introduced.


Karl G. Jansky at Bell Labs discovers radio waves from the Milky Way. His discovery leads to the science of radio astronomy.

Bell Labs transmits first stereo sound, a symphony concert, over phone lines from Philadelphia to Washington.

FM radio invented by Edwin H. Armstrong.


Federal legislation which established national telecommunications goals and created the Federal Communications Commission to regulate all interstate and international communications.

Congress passes Communications Act of 1934, with a goal of universal service at reasonable charges as its key tenet. The FCC was formed.

Introduction of new self-contained desk Monophone molded in bakelite (Type 34A3).


First telephone call around the world. About 6700 telcos in operation.

April 25, First around-the-world telephone conversation by wire and radio. New "all positions " transmitter. New bakelite wall Monophone (Type 35A5). Western Union's "Telefax" begins operating. Telefax sent telegrams, manuscripts, line drawings, maps and page proofs for magazines.


First TV broadcast by the BBC in Great Britain.

Invention of coaxial cable is announced at a joint meeting of the American Physical Society and the IRE (April 30).

193rd Bit

The frame bit for a T-1 frame. See Robbed Bit Signaling.


Walt Disney releases his first full-length animated film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

German giant dirigible, the Hindenberg, explodes as it is being moored in Lakehurst, NJ on May 6, thus effectively ending the era of blimp travel across the Atlantic and sealing the fate of the Empire State Building as no longer an "airport" for downtown Manhattan ” the purpose of the 200 tons of concrete and steel that so beautifully adorn the top of that building.

Bell introduces the Model 300 improved handset.

December 8, Opening of Fourth Transcontinental telephone line. Seven-hour radio broadcast of the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England.


Xerography invented by Chester Carlson.

Bell introduces crossbar central office switches.

The power of radio is demonstrated by Orsen Wells with the broadcast of "War of the Worlds". This causes telephone traffic to peak in nearly all cities and on long distance lines.


Western Union introduces coast-to-coast fax service.

John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry invent the first electronic computer at the University of Iowa. In 1973 a judge ruled in a patent infringement suit that their research was the source of most of the ideas for the modern computer.

The Golden Gate Exposition (San Francisco) and New York Worlds Fair are opened. These exhibit the newest technologies, including the Voder ( synthesized speech) and television. FM is used by Bell Laboratories in a radio altimeter that uses signal reflections from the surface of the earth.


February 19, DuPont introduces "nylon", an artificial silk billed as a formidable rival to natural Japanese silk. Nylon is technically described as "synthetic fiber-forming polymeric amides." Its basic materials are coal, air and water. DuPont announces that nylon will be put to many other uses besides stockings: non-cracking patent leather, weatherproof clothing and flexible window panes.

June 24, Television transmitted over coaxial cable from Convention Hall in Philadelphia to television studio in Radio City, New York.

FM Police Radio Communications begin in Hartford, CT. AT&T lays its first trans-continental coaxial cable link across the USA.


Konrad Zuse in Germany develops the first programmable calculator using binary numbers and boolean logic.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor affects the telephone system of the United States by causing tremendous traffic peaks in all cities, and an increase from 100 to 400 percent in long distance telephoning - which already is at a record high of 3 million messages. (The United States would again experience this phenomenon in 2001, during the 11 September attacks.) Radar successfully detects the attack on Pearl Harbor, but the warnings are ignored.


Harry Newton born Sydney, Australia on June 10.

December 21, Opening of first all-cable transcontinental telephone line with completion of buried cable, connecting existing cable systems of East and West.


The U.S. Army Ordnance Department commissions the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator Analyzer and Computer) to help produce missile trajectory tables for use in World War II. Even though it doesn't arrive until 1945 and misses the war, ENIAC can perform 5,000 additions per second and is later used in artillery calculations. ENIAC weighs 30 tons and is 100 feet long, 8 feet high, and contains 17,468 vacuum tubes. Programming ENIAC is anything but user friendly. It takes two days to set up problems that ENIAC solves in two seconds.

Philadelphia is the last city to have telephone service supplied by different local carriers (until the recent deregulatory moves by Congress and the FCC.) Western Union and Postal Telegraph permitted to merge.

August 22, First equipment for the dialing of called telephone numbers in distant cities directly by the operator placed in service in Philadelphia.

Construction of a telephone line from Calcutta, India to Kunming, China, along Stilwell Road, begins at Ledo, Assam.


A telephone submarine cable is laid across the English Channel.

Howard Aiken's Mark I is the last great electromechanical calculator.


AT&T lays 2000 miles of coax cable. Arthur C. Clarke proposes communications satellites .

Western Union installs the first commercial radio beam system.


The first general purpose computer, Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computor (spelled with an O) is built at the University of Pennsylvania. It was called ENIAC. It was 30ft x 50ft. and weighed 30 tons. It included 18,000 vacuum tubes, 6,000 switches and 3,000 blinking lights. Although it did not store programs, it could multiply two 6-digit numbers in half a second and could hold an astounding 200 bytes of memory. The ENIAC was turned off for the last time on October 2, 1955.

February 12, New York-Washington co- axial cable circuits opened for television transmission on an experimental basis.

Dr. Robert N. Metcalfe, co- inventor of Ethernet, born Brooklyn, New York on April 7. Dr. Metcalfe now writes a prestigious column for IDG's InfoWorld weekly newspaper.

June 17, Opening of experimental mobile radiotelephone service in St. Louis. Ray Horak born Niagara Falls, New York on November 10. FCC's Recording Devices Docket required telcos to furnish connecting arrangements for conversation recorders . The use of "beep tones" required when conversations are recorded.


Transistor invented at AT&T's Bell Labs in New Jersey. Inventors were John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley. In 1956 they shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for creating the transistor .

Telcos install nationwide numbering plan.

Opening of commercial telephone service for passengers on certain trains running between New York and Washington, D.C.

Nov. 13, Opening of New York-Boston radio relay system for experimental service. Invention of the point contact transistor by Brattain and Bardeen. (December 23). Demonstration of mobile telephone equipment from a United Airlines plane to ground stations.


May 11, Birth of the International Communications Association, among the larger groups of telecommunications users in North America.

Claude E. Shannon announces the discovery of information theory, the cornerstone of current understanding of the communication process. Shannon was a Bell Labs employee. See Shannon's Law.

Xerography introduced by Chester F. Carlson. Xerography copied documents with carbon paper and ink and totally revolutionized office work. It was introduced by the Haloid Company of Rochester, New York, later renamed the Xerox Corporation.

Invention of the junction transistor

The Hush-A-Phone case had its beginning. The Hush-A-Phone Corp. had developed and was marketing a cup-like device placed on a phone's mouthpiece to increase privacy of conversations. The Bell System complained to the FCC about this "foreign attachment."


October 1, Mao Ze-dong or Mao Tse-tung (1893-1976) declares victory in China's civil war in Tiananmen Square, Beijing (Peking). Mao was the leader of of the Long March in the Chinese Civil War (1934), he became the first president of Communist China (1949-1967).

The volume of telephone calls reaches 180 million a day! Justice Department files antitrust suit against AT&T. The Department wanted Bell to divest Western Electric, and to separate regulated monopoly services and unregulated equipment supply, among other actions.


Television network facilities extended to include 72 television stations in 42 cities, making television available to one half the population of the nation.


First direct distance calling in North America. Phone users can dial long distance without an operator.

Sony unveils the first transistor radio.

The Eckert and Mauchley UNIVAC (Universal Automatic computer) was delivered to the U.S. Census bureau . The cost of constructing the first UNIVAC was close to one million dollars.


IBM introduces the Defense Calculator, one of its first major entries in the computer business.

The first database was implemented on RCA's Bizmac computer. Reynold Johnson, an IBM engineer, developed a massive hard disk consisting of fifty platters, each two feet wide, that rotated on a spindle at 1200 rpm with read/write heads. These were called "jukeboxes".


May 9, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reach the summit of Mt. Everest, the first climbers to do so.

Digital voltmeter (DVM) invented by Non-Linear Systems. John Pierce proposes deep space communication.


The solar cell invented by Gerald L. Pearson, Daryl M. Chapin and Calvin S. Fuller at Bell Labs.

William Shockley leaves Bell Labs to pursue the commercial opportunities offered by his invention of the transistor.

IBM brings out the 650, the first mass-produced computer. IBM management states that there will never be a need for more than six mainframes in the entire world. The 650 turns out to be a great success, with 120 installations in its first year. Gene Amdahl developed the first computer operating system for the IBM 704.

Sony introduces the first transistor radio that sold for $49.95. Raytheon introduces the transistor for hearing aids replacing its line of subminiature tubes. Zenith's highly successful hearing aids using subminiature tubes, about the size of a pack of cigarettes with a separate battery pack sold for about $25.00. The new transistor hearing aids reduced the size of the electronic package to about the size of a box of matches with an internal battery and sold for about $100. The first in-the-ear hearing aids appeared about 1955-1956.


Bill Gates, founder and chairman of Microsoft, born October 28, 1955.


The first transatlantic telephone cable was inaugurated on September 25. It was hailed as a major breakthrough in telecommunications. It was designed to link both the US and Canada to the UK, with facilities for some circuits to be leased to other West European countries, giving them direct communication with US and Canada. It provided 30 telephone circuits to the US and 6 to Canada, as well as a number of telegraph circuits to Canada. Most were for communication with the UK, the remainder were permanently connected through London to give direct circuits to Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and a circuit for Denmark which also carried American traffic with Norway and Sweden. The whole project took 3 years to complete, at a cost of 120 million, during which time the system had to be planned, manufactured and installed, requiring the development of new machinery and techniques for placing the cable in deep waters.

First modem was invented by AT&T Bell Laboratories, according to AT&T. Videotape recorder invented by Ampex. AT&T signs consent decree limiting Western Electric to manufacturing equipment for the Bell system and the U.S. government.

John Bachus and his IBM team invent FORTRAN, the first high-level programming language.

First hard drive introduced by IBM. It was the size of a refrigerator and weighed a ton. It used 50 platters each measuring 24 inches in diameter. It stored five megabytes.

The 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded to the inventors of the transistor: Dr. Walter H. Brattain, Dr. John Bardeen and Dr. William Shockley.


The U.S.S.R. launched Sputnik on October 4, 1957. It embarrassed the U.S. Government into a frenzy of space investments, culminating in the U.S. being the first country to have people walk on the moon.

President Eisenhower signs a bill to authorize the construction of interstate highways in the United States. See also Telecommunications Act of 1996.


Integrated circuit invented by Jack S. Kilby at Texas Instruments.

United States forms the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). AT&T introduces datasets (modems) for direct connection. Jack Kilby, Texas Instruments, developed the first integrated circuit. TI introduces the silicon-based transistor which soon eclipsed germaninum devices in production volume.

Seymour Cray at Control Data Corporation develops the first transistorized computer, Model 1604. He later uses liquid nitrogen to enhance the speed of CDC's line of supercomputers.


September 28, A desk- sized machine that reproduces documents on ordinary instead of specially treated paper was introduced by Haloid Xerox, Inc. Fixing dry ink permanently onto paper, the Xerox 914 turns out reproductions at the rate of six a minute.

Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductors seeks a patent for a new invention: the integrated circuit.

Paul Baran begins to think about ways to make America's communications infrastructure resistant to a nuclear attack. He proposed using a system called "distributed adaptive message block switching", known today as packet switching. This involves breaking digital information into small chunks , or packets, and sending them separately, thus doing away with centralized switching centers and enabling the network to work even when partly destroyed . His idea was initially ignored and was only given its first proper test in 1969, when it was used as the basis for ARPANET, an experimental computer network run for the Department of Defense that later grew into the Internet. See Arpanet and Internet.


Western Union sends its last Morse Code encoded telegram.

First test of an electronic telephone switch.

MITI creates the Japan Electronic Computer Corporation to promote its domestic computer industry.

Laser invented by Theodore Maiman of the U.S. Laser stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

2,000 computers are in use in the United States.

Digital Equipment Corporation introduces its first minicomputer, the PDP-1, priced at a relatively modest $120,000 (modest compared to the price of mainframe systems).

The first integrated circuits reach the market, costing $120. NASA selects Noyce's invention for the on-board computers of the Gemini spacecraft.

There are now 3,299 telephone companies in the United States. ECHO I communications satellite is launched on 12 August. It provided the first satellite television broadcast in 1962.


Leonard Kleinrock publishes the first details packet switching, the critical technology of the Internet.

T-1 transmission system created.


LEDs ” Light Emitting Diodes ” invented.

AT&T Telstar I satellite was launched on July 10th, and later that same day transmitted the first live television images from the United States to France. The concept of a communications satellite was first proposed in 1945 by engineer-turned-science- fiction -writer Arthur C. Clarke., who now lives in Sri Lanka, once called Ceylon. See Clarke, Arthur C.

August 31, 1962 President Kennedy signs Communications Satellite Act. Semiconductor laser invented.

Ross Perot forms EDS with a reputed $1,000. In 1984, he sold it to General Motors for $2.6 billion.

Wal-mart opens first store in Rogers, Arkansas. By 2000, it had grown to among America's top five companies, as measured by revenue.

EEST Electronic Switching Systems is introduced.


President John F. Kennedy assassinated.

Touch Tone service introduced.

Audio cassette tape introduced by Philips.

C. Kumar N. Patel at Bell Labs develops the carbon dioxide laser now used around the world as a cutting tool in surgery and industry.

MCI started as a two-way radio company. Its original name is Microwave Communications, Inc. It was originally organized as a microwave carrier to allow truckers to speak to their home base. They were to communicate via antennas on top of microwave towers between Chicago and Springfield, Illinois.

Paul Baran of RAND publishes "On Distributed Communications Networks," outlining the operations of packet-switching networks capable of surviving node outages.

NASA announces that the new Syncom II communications satellite has been used successfully to transmit voices live between the U.S. and Africa. At the time of the conversations, Syncom II hovers 22,000 miles over Brazil. The satellite is the first successful synchronous satellite. This mean that the satellite's revolution matches the daily revolution of the earth about its axis, so that the satellite seems to remain "stationary" over the same earth location.

August 30, a telephone hotline connects Soviet and American leaders .


Prototype of the first video phone made by the Bell System shown at The World's Fair in Queens, New York City. Pictures were black and white and the technology was very expensive. It was called the Picturephone.

IBM showed the first word processor.

IBM announces System 360, a family of computers that can be used for science and business, and share the same software printers, and tape drives .

The first Local Area Network (LAN)is developed at Lawrence Livermore Labs. BASIC is developed at Dartmouth College by John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz. The first integrated circuit sold commercially is used in a Zenith hearing aid. June 22, An improved stock ticker tape machine (designed, developed and manufactured by Teletype Corporation) is placed into service at the New York Stock Exchange. The ticker, which transmits stock prices to brokerage houses nearly twice as fast as the previous system, has a capacity of ten million shares a day without incurring delays.


PDP-8 minicomputer introduced by Digital Equipment Corporation. Its speed, footprint (about the size of a small refrigerator), and reasonable cost (a mere $18,000) made the DEC PDP-8 the first successful minicomputer.

First trial offers for reversing telephone charges. Telephone bills start to go awry. Moore's Law predicts that the number of components on an integrated circuit would double every 18 months and the cost of computers would be cut in half.

Audio tape cassette first introduced. Sony Walkman introduced in 1979.

K. C. Kao and G. A. Hackham publish influential paper on fiber optics. April 6, The first commercial communications satellite, Early Bird, later named Intelsat 1, is launched into orbit from Cape Kennedy. The 85- pound satellite is a synchronous satellite, matching the earth's rotation to hover over the same spot all the time.

April 23, The Soviet Union launches its first communications satellite and carried out transmissions of television programs. The satellite is named "Molniya 1", which translates to "Lightning 1".

Digital rolls out the PDP-8, the first minicomputer.


June 15, Lawrence G. Roberts of MIT publishes "Towards a Cooperative Network of Time-Shared Computers" which outlines the ARPANET plan. Worldwide direct telephone dialing has its first public demonstration, a call from Philadelphia to Geneva, Switzerland.

October, the Electronic Industries Association issues its first fax standard: the EIA Standard RS-328, Message Facsimile Equipment for Operation on Switched Voice Facilities Using Data Communications Equipment. The Group 1 standard, as it later became known, made possible the more generalized business use of fax. Transmission was analog and it took four to six minutes to send a page.

Suggestions made by Kao and Hockham that optical fiber could be used for long distance transmission.


First 800 call made in the United States.

Electronic handheld calculator introduced by Texas Instruments. Larry Roberts at the Advanced Research Projects Agency publishes a paper proposing ARPANET.

Bell Laboratories announces a new solid-state source of high frequency radio waves. The "LSA diodes" emitted millimeter waves, a part of the radio frequency range that could carry about nine times more telephone calls than all lower frequencies combined. An LSA diode and its power supply is about as large as a deck of cards. (February 15).

June 30, An experimental cordless extension telephone is introduced by Bell Laboratories


In a landmark decision, the FCC for the first time allows non-AT&T equipment to attach to the Bell System. The FCC rules that equipment which is privately beneficial, but not publicly harmful , is OK for connection. The Carterfone device connected two-way radios to the phone network ” See Carterfone and Carterfone Decision.

Fiber optics for communications invented by Robert Maurer. Intel Corporation is founded in Santa Clara, California, by Fairchild veterans Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore. Andy Grove is employee number four.

Packet switching network presented to ARPA.

AT&T starts development of the Integrated Digital Services Network (ISDN). Gary Englehart at Stanford Research Institute demonstrates the first combination of a keyboard, keypad, mouse, windows and word processor.

Dan Noble, IBM, developed the 8-inch floppy disk. Its capacity increased from 33K in 1971 to 1200K in 1977. AT&T starts 56 Kbps service. Pieter Kramer (Philips) invents the compact disk.

FCC starts proceeding to set aside spectrum for land mobile communications. Bell System adopts the use of "911" as a nationwide emergency telephone number. Huntington, Indiana became the first U.S. city served by the Bell System to receive the new universal emergency telephone number "911". (March 1).


Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, computer scientists at AT&T Bell Laboratories, create the Unix operating system.

September 2, Internet born with the installation of ARPAnet's first Interface Message Processor (IMP) in Professor Leonard Kleinrock's lab at the University of California at Los Angeles. IMPs were packet-switching minicomputers, pre-Cisco routers, developed at Bolt, Bernanek and Newman (BBN) in Cambridge, Mass.

ARPAnet introduced by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Defense Department, comprising a 50 kilobit per second backbone and four computer hosts . UCLA, UCSB, Stanford Research Institute and University of Utah set up first four nodes on ARPAnet. See also 1959.

Traffic Service Position System replaces traditional cord switchboards. The system automates many operator functions for the first time.

In a landmark decision, Federal Communications Commission authorizes MCI Communications Corporation to be the first long distance company allowed to compete with AT&T in the U.S. long distance market. The route chosen for the competition is Chicago to St. Louis. The route was originally Chicago to Springfield, Illinois. But that meant it was an intrastate route and the Illinois Commerce Commission, which had jurisdiction, hinted it would not rule in MCI's favor, and suggested to MCI it would fare better if it moved the venue to Washington, D.C. by extending the route to St. Louis in Missouri.

July 20, an American spacecraft lands the first two men on the moon. IBM develops GML for tagging content in documents for law offices.


Optical fiber for long-distance communications developed.

Relational database invented by Dr. E. F. "Ted" Codd at IBM. Gilbert Chin creates a new type of magnetic alloy now used in most telephone handset speakers .

Xerox creates the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) to investigate what they called the "architecture of information" and make computers easy enough for anyone to use. PARC came up with black-on-white screens, a bitmapped display, icons, pointers, laser printers, word processors, and networks (notably Ethernet).The Xerox Star and the Alto were two PARC-created computers that embodied all of these groundbreaking ideas, but they were never successfully marketed. See PARC.

Newton[ap]s Telecom Dictionary
Newton[ap]s Telecom Dictionary
ISBN: 979387345
Year: 2004
Pages: 133

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