California State University, Northridge WordmarkOviatt Library WordmarkOviatt Library Catalog Wordmark
Author Gertner, Jon.
Title The idea factory : Bell Labs and the great age of American innovation / Jon Gertner.
Published New York : Penguin Press, 2012.
Book Cover

 Floor4  TK5102.3.U6 G47 2012    IN LIBRARY
Description 422 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 25 cm.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (p. [409]-412) and index.
Contents Wicked problems -- Oil drops -- West to East -- System -- War -- Solid state -- House of magic -- The informationist -- Man and machines -- Formula -- Silicon -- Empire -- An instigator -- On Crawford Hill -- Futures, real and imagined -- Mistakes -- Competition -- Apart -- Afterlives -- Inheritance -- Echoes.
Summary This work highlights achievements of Bell Labs as a leading innovator, exploring the role of its highly educated employees in developing new technologies while considering the qualities of companies where innovation and development are most successful. The author shows how Bell Labs served as an incubator for scientific innovation from the 1920s through the 1980s. In its heyday, Bell Labs boasted nearly 15,000 employees, 1,200 of whom held PhDs and 13 of whom won Nobel Prizes. And at its heart this is a story about a small group of brilliant and eccentric men including Mervin Kelly, Bill Shockley, Claude Shannon, John Pierce, and Bill Baker who spent their careers at Bell Labs. Thriving in a work environment that embraced new ideas, Bell Labs scientists introduced concepts that still propel many of today's most exciting technologies.
In this first full portrait of the legendary Bell Labs, journalist Jon Gertner takes readers behind one of the greatest collaborations between business and science in history. Officially the research and development wing of AT&T, Bell Labs made seminal breakthroughs from the 1920s to the 1980s in everything from lasers to cellular telephony, becoming arguably the best laboratory for new ideas in the world. Gertner's riveting narrative traces the intersections between science, business, and society that allowed a cadre of eccentric geniuses to lay the foundations of the information age, offering lessons in management and innovation that are as vital today as they were a generation ago. -- Publisher description
Subject Bell Telephone Laboratories -- History -- 20th century.
Telecommunication -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Technological innovations -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Creative ability -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Inventors -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
ISBN 1594203288 (hardcover)
9781594203282 (hardcover)
OCLC number 733230713