Bell Laboratories

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The iconic 3-legged "transistor" water tower in front of the (former) Bell Labs facility in Holmdel, NJ, in 2016.

Bell Laboratories is a research and development group, dating from ~1925, formed to create products for the Bell telephone company in the U.S. By the early 1980s, it employed more than 330,000 scientists and technologists and had made many important advances such as discovering the existence of cosmic microwave background, inventing the transistor, and creating Unix and C (programming language).

In 1983, its stranglehold on telephone services and equipment was broken up by government fiat, after which it underwent rapid decline after being forced to compete in a world with no monopolistic protections. A much smaller version still exists, centered in Murray Hill, NJ, and owned by Nokia Corporation, after having changed hands multiple times since the 1983 divestiture