The Bell System, despite having been disbanded more than thirty years ago, lives on in the minds, hearts, and souls of the people who were affected by Ma Bell’s venerability. Past managers, past employees, and telephone hobbyists today remember the Bell System as the giant at the forefront of communications innovation for over a century. Today, it is remembered for its effectiveness, legacy, and the lasting impact it left all over America – and all over the world.
If Alexander Graham Bell had never invented the telephone, the pinnacle of communications today still might be carrier post and telegrams. But if it were not for the Bell System, the contraption Bell invented in 1876 that so many saw as foolhardy and fandangled, the newfangled invention might never have made it much farther than the confines of Bell’s own study.
The Bell System, the largest monopoly in history, was cruelly and wrongly destroyed in the early 1980s in what turned out to be the largest antitrust settlement in history. Telephone Land quickly became anarchy from the peaceful, pleasant place it had been before.
It is quite unfortunate that the only lesson to be learned from the Breakup of the Bell System is not to break up a system that worked as efficiently as the Bell System did. Today’s modern life, for better or for worse, would be entirely impossible had the Bell System not taken on us along for a ride from 1876 until 1983.
Ma Bell, nothing that has happened since Divestiture or will ever happen in the future can or will ever replicate the greatness you harbored! It was the pleasure of our lives knowing you! Rest In Peace,
The Bell System Board