19 Facts About Western Electric


Western Electric Company was an American electrical engineering and manufacturing company officially founded in 1869.

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Western Electric was responsible for many technological innovations as well as developments in industrial management.

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In 1875, Gray sold his interests to Western Electric Union, including the caveat that he had filed against Alexander Graham Bell's patent application for the telephone.

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Western Electric was the first company to join in a Japanese joint venture with foreign capital.

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Western Electric manufactured rotary system switching equipment under the Western Electric brand.

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Early on, Western Electric managed an electrical equipment distribution business, furnishing its customers with non-telephone products made by other manufacturers This electrical distribution business was spun off from Western Electric in 1925 and organized into a separate company, Graybar Electric Company, in honor of the company's founders, Elisha Gray and Enos Barton.

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In 1903, Western Electric began construction of the Hawthorne Works on the outskirts of Chicago and which, by 1914 had absorbed all manufacturing work from Clinton Street and Western Electric's other plant in New York City.

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In 1944, Western Electric purchased a factory in St Paul, Minnesota to restart manufacture of telephone sets for civilian installation as authorized by War Production Board.

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Western Electric had acquired a former Studebaker plant on Archer Avenue for assemblers that produced out one hundred thousand Model 302s telephones by March 1946.

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In 1926, Western Electric issued the first Bell System telephone with a handset containing both the transmitter and receiver in the same unit.

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Western Electric's switching equipment development commenced in the mid-1910s with the rotary system and the panel switch, later several generations of cross-bar switches, and finally the development of several generations of electronic switching systems.

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In 1929, Western Electric entered as a market competitor for early cinema sound systems.

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In 1950, at the start of the Cold War, Western Electric was selected to build the first demonstrator for the SOSUS anti-submarine sound surveillance system.

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Western Electric invested heavily in improving processes and equipment to manufacture their products.

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Since the demise of Western Electric, telephone equipment design and manufacturing is an open market place in which numerous manufacturers compete.

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In 1994, the stylized brand name Western Electric was acquired as the trademark of the Western Electric Export Corporation, a privately owned high-end audio company in Rossville, Georgia.

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Western Electric specializes in manufacturing vacuum tubes and high end audio equipment.

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In 1948, Western Electric began publishing the monthly house organ WE for employees of the company.

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Western Electric produced many educational and marketing films that focused on the products associated with telephony or the company's inventions.

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