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Diane Publishing Books
Manufacturing the Future: A History of Western Electric
Stephen B. Adams (au); Orville R. Butler (au)
A history of the Western Electric Co. (WEC), which was founded in 1869 and served for more than 100 years as the manufacturing and supply unit of the Bell System. WEC was a leading manufacturer in the communications revolutions of the 19th and 20th cent., making not just telegraphs, telephones, and switches, but radios, sound systems for motion pictures, and radar. As captive supplier for a regulated monopoly, WEC’s situation was far from typical, but its story offers broader lessons. WEC disappeared as a separate entity with the 1984 breakup of the Bell system. Its functions were dispersed throughout AT&T until they were spun off in 1996 as part of Lucent Technologies, a new co. with a 127-year history. Illustrations.
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