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Bell System Technical Journal

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Title: Bell System Technical Journal  
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Bell System Technical Journal

Bell System Technical Journal  
Abbreviated title (ISO 4)
Bell Syst. Tech. J.
Publication details
American Telephone and Telegraph Company
Publication history
Frequency Quarterly (1922-1951), Monthly (1952-1995)
ISSN 0005-8580
LCCN 29029519
OCLC no. 6313803
  • Journal homepage

The Bell System Technical Journal was a periodical publication by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in New York devoted to the scientific and engineering aspects of electrical communication.[1] It was published under this name from 1922 until 1983, when the breakup of the Bell System placed various parts of the system into separate companies. However, publication continued under different names until 1995.


The Bell System Technical Journal was published by AT&T in New York City through its Information Department, in behalf of Western Electric Company and the Associated Companies of the Bell System.[1] The first issue was released in July 1922, under the editorship of R.W. King and an eight-member editorial board. From 1922 to 1951, the publication schedule was quarterly. It was bimonthly until 1964, and finally produced ten monthly issues per year until the end of 1983, combining the four summer months into two issues in May and July.

Publication of the journal under the name Bell System Technical Journal ended with Volume 62 by the end of 1983, because of the divestiture of AT&T. Under new organization, publication continued as AT&T Bell Laboratories Technical Journal in 1984 with Volume 63, maintaining the volume sequence numbers established since 1922. In 1985 the name Bell Laboratories was removed from the title to AT&T Technical Journal until 1995 (Volume 74).

In 1996, the title was changed to Bell Labs Technical Journal, and publication management was transferred to Wiley Periodicals, Inc., establishing a new volume sequence (Volume 1).

Notable papers

  • In 1928, Clinton Joseph Davisson published a paper on electron diffraction by nickel crystal, thus unambiguously establishing the wave nature of electron.[2] This discovery led to a widespread acceptance of particle-wave duality of matter and won him the 1937 Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • Many landmark papers from the developers of Unix appeared in a themed issue in 1978.[4]
  • The journal is also notorious for a November 1954 article entitled "In-Band Single-Frequency Signaling"[5] by Weaver and Newell that revealed the internal operation of the long-distance switching system in use at that time. This article enabled phone phreaks to develop the blue box apparatus that manipulated the switching system to allow them to make free long-distance calls.


Below is a list of some of the former editors of this journal.

  • 1922 (July) R.W. King [7]
  • 1954 J.D. Tebo [8]
  • 1957 (May) W.D. Bulloch [9]
  • 1959 (January) H.S. Renne [9]
  • 1961 (March) G.E. Schindler, Jr. [9]

Former indexing services

See also


  1. ^ a b Bell System Technical Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1, p.1.
  2. ^ Davisson, Clinton J. (January 1928). "The Diffraction of Electrons by a Crystal of Nickel". Bell System Technical Journal: 90–105,. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Shannon, Claude E. (July and October 1948). "A mathematical theory of communication". Bell System Technical Journal: 27:379–423 and 623–656,. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  4. ^ Ritchie, D.M.; K. Thompson (July–August 1978). "The UNIX Time-Sharing System". Bell System Technical Journal 57 (6). Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Weaver, A.; N. A. Newell (1954). "In-Band Single-Frequency Signaling" 33 (6). Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Charge coupled semiconductor devices." Bell System Technical Journal, 49(4): 587-93, April 1970.
  7. ^ "Forward". Bell System Technical Journal (New York City: American Telephone and Telegraph Company) 01 (01): 1–3. July 1922. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  8. ^ The History of Phone Phreaking. 1954.
  9. ^ a b c "Announcement of New Editor". AT & T. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 

External links

  • Bell System Technical Journal Archives, 1922-1983
  • The Bell System Technical Journal, Volumes 1 through 36 archived at The Internet Archive
  • Diffraction of Electrons by a Crystal of Nickel
  • CAS Source Index (CASSI) for Bell System Technical Journal.
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