In the 1950s Bell Labs was in the habit of running magazine advertisements touting its latest innovations. And why not? They had every right to be proud of their inventions. Take these three, for example:
The one to the right is Playing a Tune for a Telephone Number (Popular Science, February 1950).
It is beautiful in many ways, including the close-up of the operator's newfangled push-button dialing arrangement and the musical notes representing the tones used to transmit dialed digits. (If only they had included KP and ST!)
Then there's Does your dial system really think? (Popular Science, February 1955.) "This question can't be answered until we learn more about the nature of thought. But dial telephone systems do simulate many of the processes of the human brain..." You know, like counting, remembering, deciding, testing, selecting, and reporting. (Today it would be, "Does your dial system really beat humans at Jeopardy?")
And don't forget He's out ... but he's answering his telephone! (Popular Mechanics, November 1954) By just giving over a little bit of desk real estate to an imposing electromechanical contrivance you too can have your callers record their messages on "talking rubber, a Laboratories-developed recording medium of rubber-like plastic and iron oxide." (Next month's ad: "Does your rubber really talk?")
All legitimate things to be proud of. I must say, though, I am puzzled by the tagline of the latter two ads:
Bell Telephone Laboratories: Improving telephone service for America provides careers for men in scientific and technical fields
Bell Labs: A jobs program for geeks. Who knew? :-)