Photographs From Inside the Revolutionary Bell Labs of 1960

Bell Laboratories has a long and impressive history. The research and development arm of Alcatel-Lucent and, before that, AT&T, Bell Labs was founded in 1880 by Alexander Graham Bell with money he received from the French government for inventing the telephone. Over the years, a number of revolutionary technologies -- the transistor, the laser, the UNIX operating system, the C++ programming language -- have come out of Bell Labs. In the 1960s, Lawrence Harley Luckham worked at Bell Labs and, one day, he took a camera to work.

Luckham provides some context:

In the late '60's I worked for Bell Labs for a few years managing a data center and developing an ultra high speed information retrieval system. It was the days of beehive hair on the women and big mainframe computers. One day I took a camera to work and shot the pictures below. I had a great staff, mostly women except for the programmers who were all men. For some reason only one of them was around for the pictures that day.

These photographs have been reprinted with permission of Larry Luckham. All of the captions are original. Visit his personal website for more background information.

Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Technology

Just In