A Research Facillity created by AT&T. Unix, C, and Lasers were invented there. Many more interesting things as well. Recently spun off to form a new company: Lucent Technologies.

AT&T Bell Laboratories, in Murray Hill, New Jersey, is quite the legend. Formed in 1925, Bell Labs used to be one of the richest and largest private communications lab in the in the world. The lab's scientific fraternity represents an esteemed Who's Who of international research: William Shockley, Walter Brattain, and John Bardeen invented the transistor in 1947; Anro Penzias and Robert Wilson confirmed the big bang theory in 1965; and Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson developed Unix in 1969.

In October 1996, Bell Labs split into the AT&T Laboratories Research Division (owned by AT&T) and Lucent Technologies Bell Labs Innovations (fully owned by Lucent Technologies).

Thanks to Wired for the history of innovators at Bell Labs.

Bell Labs produced a series of science films starting in 1955. Over the next ten years they would make nine films:

Our Mr. Sun (about solar energy)
Hemo the Magnificent (about blood)
The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays (about radiation)
Meteora: The Unchained Goddess (about weather)
Gateways to the Mind (about the five senses)
The Alphabet Conspiracy (about the history of language)
Thread of Life (about DNA)
About Time
The Restless Sea

These animated films were shown on television in the 1950's at 10pm - they were actually meant for adults, but they were later distributed to school districts for use in Science Education.

All but the last film were hosted by Dr. Research, played by Dr. Frank Baxter a smart looking bald fellow with geek-chic horn-rim glasses. He was actually a retired University of Southern California Literature Professor, but his screen presence and ability to convey ideas in understandable chunks made him the perfect host for the series.

The first three films were directed by Frank Capra, the creator of It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. They are remarkable now in that they are pretty heavy handed with the pro-capitalist patriotic Christian propaganda, mixed with science - making them outdated and quaint - and the best in the series.

The last film, The Restless Sea was co-produced with the Walt Disney Corporation. They dropped Dr. Research in favor of Old Walt himself. Damn them to hell.

When scientific discoveries progressed beyond what the films conveyed, they were still shown at recess on rainy days - they were THAT entertaining.

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