The Western Electric Co, manfuacturing arm of the Bell System, had
> three large factory complexes ("works") in Chicago (Hawthorne), Kearny
> NJ, and Baltimore (Breezy Pt). I get the impression all three are
> long closed up, if the buildings even exist?
> W/E also built some newer facilities to make computer components for
> modern gear, such as in Allentown PA. I take it today Lucent
> (successor to W/E) uses those places, though I presume Lucent is far,
> far smaller than W/E. I also recall W/E having a modern office
> building in Newark NJ (near the train station) in the mid 1980s, and I
> wonder if that is in use by Lucent today.
> FWIW, in W/E's early days, they made relays for Hollerith's tabulating
> machines. Hollerith's outfit became IBM.
Hawthorne, site of the Hawthorne Study of providing feedback to relay winders, closed quite a few years ago.
Kearney was sinking into the bay, and at least one major Kearny building had been closed while others were still sinking. It was sold quite a while ago -- before Lucent was spun off from AT&T I believe.
I live in Columbus, where the building has been sold and split into three parts -- a hospital, a home builder, and a commercial site. But about 1000 Lucent employees still occupy rental space there.
Many other large Works and other plants have been sold.
Art Kamlet ArtKamlet @ AOL.com Columbus OH K2PZH