Made in 1961 THE FAR SOUND examines how technologies invented at Bell Laboratories and developed by the Bell System and AT&T contributed to making direct-dial, long-distance telephone service possible. The film was directed by Jerry London and produced by John Sutherland and features narration by Chet Huntley. The title of the film comes from the problem that Bell Labs surmounted in the early era of telephony, amplifying telephone signals so that long distance communication was possible. The "far sound" is also the alternate translation of the Greek “Telephone.”
The film depicts how the various fields and departments at the Labs came together in this singular enterprise, culminating in common service for all. At the time the film was made the Telstar satellite was under development. BellComm was about to be spun off, to work with NASA on the moon project. Technologies involving the transistor, laser, and the solar cell were underway. Scientists were just starting to explore what a computer was and what it might accomplish. In the middle of this wave of innovation was the Bell System’s core business—providing telephone service to almost the entire country.
A decade earlier, a few cities had been given direct dial long distance telephone service. Now, 10 years later, direct long distance was a novelty in some communities, while taken for granted in others. But this film showed how technologies at the time like the "electronic central office" (later to become the ESS), the optical MASER (aka laser), and satellites would later converge to form the modern telephone and data network. The film includes early fiber optics and transistors as well as images of an early picture phone and vacuum tubes.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com