AT&T Archives NPR's Art Silverman, as part of our year-long collaborative venture between NPR and independent producers, explores the sonic landscape saved by the AT&T archives. Among the artifacts at the Warren, New Jersey site are thousands of hours of movies, radio shows, and other sound that what was once our nation's near-monopoly telephone company made to portray itself. The strong, confident image of what came to be called Ma Bell was supported by dramatic rendering of service and community service. AT&T Historian Sheldon Hochheiser serves as tour guide.
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AT&T Archives

Only Available in Archive Formats.
AT&T Archives

AT&T Archives

Lost and Found Sound:

AT&T Archives

Only Available in Archive Formats.

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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.