Field Trip: Bell Labs Technology Showcase

Bell Labs

Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey is one of the sites that should be on every geek pilgrimage itinerary.

Bell Labs 004

Their Technology Showcase is a enshrined in a small exhibit area off of the main lobby. In the center of the exhibit, on a pedestal of its very own, is the first transistor. It looks like a very small piece of mixed media abstract sculpture, with geometric forms and wires bent in wonderful angles. If that were the only thing to see, it would still be worth the visit.

Bell Labs 003

Nearby, the first MOSFET sits in an impressive array of other firsts, including an early CCD and a micro-mirror array.

Telstar at Bell Labs

Telstar, the world’s first active communications satellite hangs overhead. This one is a flight backup unit that was never used.

Glass for fiberoptics

These fiberoptic preforms were placed under a polarizer so that the optical qualities of the cores would be more apparent to visitors.

There are many more beautiful objects, as well as interactive wall for exploring many world-changing developments that happened at and through Bell Labs.

Huge thanks go to Drew Fustini of Pumping Station: One for organizing our post-Maker Faire pilgrimage via twitter and driving us all up to New Jersey.

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4 thoughts on “Field Trip: Bell Labs Technology Showcase

  1. Great review of a place where a long time friend worked many years ago. Bell Labs…

  2. I haven’t seen that exhibit since the early 90s – my grandfather worked at Bell Labs from the 1960s through the early 90s.

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