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The Bell System Technical Journal 

Devoted to the Scientific and Engineering Aspects 
of Electrical Communication 


J. J. Carty Bancroft Gherardi F. B. Jewett 

E. B. Craft L. F. Morehouse O. B. Blackwell 

H. P. Charlesworth E. H. Colpitts 

R. W. King— £di for 

Published quarterly by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, 

through its Information Department, in behalf of the Western Electric 

Company and the Associated Companies of the Bell System 

Address all correspondence to the Editor 

Information Department 



Copyright, 1922. Application for Second Class Matter Pending 

50c. Per Copy «■«> Per Year 

Vol. I • JULY, 1922 No. 1 


MODERN industry is characterized by the extent to which 
scientific research and technique based on precise study have 
contributed to its progress. So complete has been the adaptation 
of arid reliance on scientific research in many industries that it is 
difficult at this time to visualize the state of affairs of two or three 
decades ago, when substantially all industry on its technical .side was 
dependent for advancement on cut-and-try, rule-of-thumb, methods 
of development. Today in many industries the management would 
not think of embarking on a new project without consulting their 
research engineers. 

Many industries have proved the benefits to be derived from the 
utilization of that organized knowledge provided both in the fields 
of the physical sciences and in those newer fields which have to do 
with psychology and economics. There are still greater numbers of 
industrial organizations where the adoption of scientific methods has 
been slow. However, the time will undoubtedly come when every in- 
dustry will recognize the aid it can derive from scientific research 
in some form as it now recognizes its dependence for motive power 
on steam or electricity rather than on muscular activity. 



Upwards of one hundred years ago there was adopted in earnest 
by scientific men, principally in university laboratories, the program 
of searching deeper into the unknown, to discover new principles and 
new relationships of a kind which had at the time very little apparent 
practical interest to mankind as a whole. 

Out of this work, and in time, have grown entirely new industries. 
From the fact that these industries sprang directly from the research 
laboratory, it was inevitable that they should be conspicuous because 
of the number of their men trained in the methods of scientific re- 
search. Equally inevitable was it that these new fields of endeavor, 
originating as they did and being staffed as they were, should be the 
ground where industrial research would find its first and largest 
development. And not the least of the advantages which obtained 
in these newer industries was the absence of age-long traditions tend- 
ing to ultra-conservatism as to new undertakings, and more par- 
ticularly as to the employment of the new types of mind. 

The results up to the present indicate clearly that the electrical 
and chemical fields in industry as we know them today, are the places 
where the greatest advances have been made in the utilization of 
research methods and research men. Other,, older and more basic 
industries are rapidly following the general path marked out by the 
successes already obtained in these fields. Hence, it is expected that 
shortly all industrial activities will be based on the results obtained 
by trained investigators, using the tools of modern scientific in- 

Just as applied electricity is a leading exemplar of the benefits to 
be obtained by an intelligent use of scientific knowledge, so electrical 
communication of intelligence is a leading exemplar in the field of 
applied electricity. This branch of applied electricity is a pioneer 
among those recognizing the practical value of scientific research. 
It is interesting to note that electrical communication is credited 
with having organized a research laboratory prior to the first university 
course in electrical engineering. 

More than ever before, the communication engineer must seek 
exact solutions of his problems. If his results do not always attain 
the certainty he desires, the reason is the absence of complete knowl- 
edge with regard to one or more essential facts. But true knowledge 
of what things limit the solution of a problem is frequently more 
than half the battle of obtaining the missing facts. Sometimes these 
unknown facts can be obtained by a search through the remoter 
parts of the vast scientific storehouses which have been built in times 
past. Frequently, however, -the search discloses the entire absence 


of the thing sought for, and new researches are begun with definite 
ends in view. Thus it has come about that the communication 
engineer has become an original investigator and is extending the 
boundaries of human knowledge and supplementing the advances of 
pure science to find solutions for his various and sundry problems. 

Hence, while well equipped physical and chemical laboratories are 
still a necessary part of the communication engineer's equipment, he 
is equally active in pushing his investigations in many other direc- 
tions. Questions involved in the making of proper rate schedules and 
adequate fundamental plans for new construction are originating 
profound researches in such fields as political science, psychology and 
mathematics. A casual examination of recent technical literature 
dealing with electrical communication would show articles which 
touch upon almost every branch of human activity, which we designate 
as science. 

With this intense and growing interest in the proper application of 
scientific methods to the solution of the problems of electrical com- 
munication, it is natural that a widespread desire should have arisen 
for a technical journal to collect, print or reprint, and make readily 
available the more important articles relating to the field of the com- 
munication engineer. These articles are now appearing in some 
fifteen or twenty periodicals scattered throughout the world and in 
the majority of instances receive their first and last printing in these 
widely separated mediums. The need already felt for such a journal 
will grow keener as new developments extend the scope of the art and 
the specialization of its engineers of necessity increases. It is hoped 
that the Bell System Technical Journal will fill this need, and 
as implied above, it is intended that the range of subjects treated in 
the Journal will be as broad as the science and technique of electrical 
communication itself. . 

While many of the articles which will appear in the Journal will 
be original presentations of some phase of the research or develop- 
ment or other technical work of the Bell System, it is not intended 
that the Journal should be the sole means by which this work is 
presented. Just as in the past, original articles and papers will con- 
tinue to be presented before various societies and in different technical 
and non-technical magazines. Moreover, the Journal will reprint 
articles on important research and development work in the communi- 
cation field generally so that the results of such work may be given 
greater publicity and become of greater value to communication