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AT&T Corporation
American Telephone and Telegraph Company

The company was stablished in 1874 under the name Bell Patent Association, to protect the patent rights of Alexander Graham Bell who invented the telephone system. After the initial verbal agreement, it was formalized a year later as Bell Telephone Company. On 3 March 1885, a separate company named American Telephone and Telegraph Company was incorporated, to set up the first commercially viable nation-wide long-distance telephone network in the world.

AT&T logo. Image via Wikipedia.

 
AT&T equipment on this website:
AT&T/Lucent 1100 STU-III secure telephone unit AT&T/Lucent 4100 crypto phone (Type 4) AT&T TSD-3600 Telephone Encryptor Gretacoder GC-524 64 Kb/s serial link encryptor (Gretag)
History
After the assets of American Bell were transferred to its subsidary AT&T in 1899, AT&T became the parent of both American Bell and the Bell System, a system of companies that provided telephone services in America and Canada [1]. In the following years, AT&T began buying up many of the smaller telephone companies, such as Western Union Telegraph. For most of the 20th century, AT&T enjoyed a monopoly on phone services in the US, putting them under the spotlights and scrutiny of a number of antitrust regulators in the United States.

At one time, AT&T was the largest telephone company in the world. Finally, in 1984, after a series of investigations into AT&T breaking anti-trust laws and misusing their monopoly, the company was broken up into seven so-called Baby Bells: Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, Bell South, NYNEX, Pacific Telesis, Southwestern Bell and US West [1].

Bell Atlantic was eventually renamed to Verizon Communications and acquired GTE in 2000. NYNEX was acquired by Bell Atlantic and became Verizon as well. Southwestern Bell, later renamed to SBC, acquired AT&T Corporation in 2005 and renamed itself to AT&T Inc. Over the years it also acquired some of the other Baby Bells: Ameritech, Bellsouth and Pacific Telesis.

In 1987, the AT&T Technologies business unit of AT&T Corporation was appointed by the US National Security Agency (NSA) as one of the three manufacturers of the STU-III, a secure telephone unit that allowed voice conversations at all levels of confidentiality, including TOP SECRET. On 30 September 1996, AT&T Technologies was demerged as Lucent Technologies which was acquired by General Dynamics a year later on 1 October 1997. The successive owners continued to produce and support their STU-III until the product was succeeded by STE in 2009.
 
References
  1. Wikipedia, AT&T Corporation
    Retrieved March 2013.

Further information

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Crypto Museum. Created: Sunday 17 March 2013. Last changed: Wednesday, 30 November 2016 - 10:56 CET.
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