From Bell Labs to the Future

Marconi Fellow Herwig Kogelnik remembers the days when New Jersey was the center of communications engineering.

“We always have lots of visitors at Bell Labs. including Europeans and anybody else. [In early days of lasers] I think in the beginning it was pretty much a one way street, because nobody else was really doing very much yet. And now, it is not that way. Now we learn a lot from other people. But in the beginning, you know, with Bell Labs making such a big push I wouldn’t be surprised if for the first two years fifty percent of the laser work was in Bell Labs, something like that. In the early days Bell Labs represented a large part of the effort in quantum electronics.” From an oral history by Joan Bromberg for the American Institute of Physics.

Bell Labs was – and remains – the home of many Marconi Fellows and Young Scholars. As more and more excellent work is produced around the world, Marconi is reaching out in many ways.

The IEEE has collected oral histories from many Marconi Fellows, including Paul Baran, Vint Cerf, Irwin Jacobs, Bob Lucky and Andy Viterbi. The IEEE history project is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in how communications technology developed.