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1876 Alexander Graham Bell receives a patent for the telephone.
1877 The Bell Telephone Company is formed in New Haven, Conn.
1885 Bell Telephone becomes American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T)
1894 Bell’s patent expires resulting in a huge number of new carriers.
1900’s AT&T begins buying competitors while cooperating with the government to avoid antitrust action.
1984 Owned a controlling interest in NEC. AT&T is broken up to prevent control of the computer industry.
Several spinoffs occur between 1913 and the final 1984 divesture.
There are a lot of tools available marked Bell System and are quite popular with collectors. Manufacturers of Bell System tools include North Brothers, Stanley, Pausin Manufacturing, Putman Rolling Ladder Company, WILCOM Products, Aircraft Tool Supply, Miller Equipment, United Seal, Benner-Nauman, National Telephone Supply, Seicor, Bix, Thomas & Betts, Western Electric (owned by bell) and Dynatel. This list is certainly not complete.