AT&T Archives

Lost and Found Sound:

An old-fashioned switchboard operator with headphones and a series of plugs to connect calls.

hide captionA switchboard operator.

Remember the tender warm embrace of Ma Bell? Up until the American Telephone and Telegraph's sanctioned monopoly was shattered in 1984, there was really only one telephone company in the United States. It's remnants include a grand archive in Warren, New Jersey: the AT&T Archives.

NPR's Art Silverman, the Lost and Found Sound coordinating producer, visited the site and came away with dozens of soundtracks to the company's in-house and public movies and radio shows. His host was archivist Sheldon Hochheiser, who helped shed light on what motivated Ma Bell to pat herself on the back so often and so well.


Produced by Art Silverman.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: