Bell Laboratories

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Nokia Bell Labs Murray Hill, NJ
Nokia Bell Labs main entrance Murray Hill, NJ

The Bell Laboratories (also Bell Labs , formerly Bell Telephone Laboratories , shortly BTL ), the former research department of the telephone company AT & T , in which numerous during the 20th century, important breakthroughs in telecommunications technology , mathematics , physics , materials science , and computer science have been achieved. Nine Nobel Prizes and several Turing Awards have been presented for research carried out at Bell Laboratories .

Today Bell Laboratories are part of Nokia's research and development division . Bell Labs is headquartered in Murray Hill , New Jersey , in the United States. Bell Labs operate several research and development facilities around the world.

The Bell Labs are organizationally divided into three divisions: Research , Systems Technology and Development .

Research gained fundamental knowledge for telecommunications from the fields of mathematics , physics , materials research and computer science .

In Development, the largest division, the hardware and software were developed with which the telecommunication network of the Bell system was built.


Aerial view of Bell Labs in Murray Hill

Bell Telephone Laboratories Inc. was founded in 1925 by Walter Gifford (later President of AT&T ) as a separate unit for the research and development work of Western Electric . Frank B. Jewett became the first president . Western Electric and AT&T were equal shareholders. The main task was to develop central offices for Western Electric that were sold to companies using the Bell Telephone System.

Military projects, such as the construction of the Nike rocket , were later supported.

In 1996, AT&T spun off Bell Labs, along with most of the equipment manufacturing, into the new company Lucent Technologies . AT&T retained a smaller number of researchers, which formed the AT&T Laboratories .

With the takeover of Alcatel-Lucent by Nokia in 2016, Bell-Labs also joined Nokia.



  • Jon Gertner: The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation . Penguin Books, New York 2012, ISBN 978-1-59420-328-2 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Bell Labs website. Retrieved September 11, 2019 .
  2. Bell Labs in the Engineering and Technology History Wiki
  3. Jürgen Berke : Fusion with Alcatel-Lucent. This is the new Nokia group. In: Wirtschaftswoche . January 13, 2016, accessed March 2, 2016 .

Coordinates: 40 ° 41 ′ 0.3 ″  N , 74 ° 24 ′ 2.7 ″  W.