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Category: Pioneers

Lucent / Nokia Chapter NRLN


THE LUCENT RETIREES ORGANIZATION (LRO) was chartered in January 2003 in the state of New York. Its purpose is to address the interests of 127,000 individuals under the Lucent pension plan that embodies all Lucent and Bell Labs retirees, including those who retired when the company was known as Western Electric and/or AT&T Network Systems, plus subsidiaries such as Teletype and Sandia.   Western Electric — AT&T Network Systems Division — Lucent Technologies — Alcatel Lucent and NOW: NOKIA!! Throughout, the Lucent Retirees Organization — your LRO — has done its best to represent the interests of its retirees with whatever of the foregoing names. AND all retirees can be assured that the LRO will continue to make sure that company promises made to all of us are kept — no matter the latest corporate name or headquarters location!!”   And now we have teamed as a chapter of the National Retirees Legislative Network. The remaining Nokia issues of pensions, life and health care insurance increasingly require lobbying Congress for national solutions. Benefits, including pensions, life insurance, prescription drug costs, Social Security and Medicare are ongoing national issues that face Lucent / Nokia retirees and former Lucent employees who will retire from Nokia in the future and most if not all other NRLN association, chapter and individual members. These issues will impact our kids and grandkids in the future if our generation doesn’t address them now.   Your Chapter will continue the fight, with the support of two million other NRLN retirees and professional staff to lobby for legislation that will protect current and future retirees. The NRLN has the numbers, experience on Capitol Hill and the expertise to influence legislation. The LRO’s 17,000 retirees represents a powerful component of that force. Your active participation can make a difference.   Over the years over 17,000 retirees have been members, and over 13.000 are still active. Membership is open to current retirees with a Lucent pension, a person vested for a Lucent pension, or the spouse of any such retiree or vested person. JOIN US to receive email updates.


Submitted by Webmaster

Santa Goodwill Tour 2020 – Omaha, NE

What is a Santa Goodwill Tour?
Since 1985 civic organization members, as well as like-minded, adventurous people from all over the US and Canada have been traveling internationally, and have visited almost every continent! They stay in superb accommodations, are fascinated by the interesting commentary of the cities’ best guides, and thoroughly enjoy camaraderie with great travelers. During their time abroad, a goodwill visit is prearranged, such as to a home for the blind, aged, orphanages, a hospital – and the party begins! Wearing festive colorful “Santa” costumes during the goodwill visits travelers spend time with locals in need, making for a very special experience. Between the elegant hotels, best guides, incredible sightseeing, marvelous destinations, quality spas and more–a truly wonderful and memorable experience is had by all!

With over 100 years of combined experience in designing and operating travel for Americans to destinations around the globe, the professionals of InConTra, Inc., are pleased to present our Santa Goodwill Tours and Customer Designed Tours. Our programs embody our philosophy of providing a meaningful travel experience, in which intercultural exchanges go beyond traditional sightseeing programs. Our founder and President was a pioneer in opening China to tour groups from the United States, and we continue this innovative spirit today.

On our Santa Goodwill Tours, which have been operating for over 20 years, travelers visit orphanages, homes for the aged and other facilities for the needy, bringing joy to the residents and themselves and spreading a unique brand of North American hospitality. Many participants in the Goodwill Tours have become part of our family, traveling with us year after year, and we welcome new members to the Santa family yearly.

InConTra is pleased to provide travel for service-oriented groups like Kiwanis, TeleCom Pioneers, and other companies and organizations. We tailor every element in the itinerary to match your requirements.

We invite you to join us in exploring our world!

More information about the Pioneers Goodwill Tours may be found at this link

Submitted by New Outlook Region Directors – Elaine Housley and Fred Solomon

Western Electric History Saved In Historic Library

For three score years and ten—a lifetime!—Western Electric has helped to make possible this miracle of
communications. Since early in 1882 Western Electric has been the element of supply in the Bell System
formula. It is the manufacturer and supplier of the tools of telephone service.

Western Electric has manufactured millions of telephones, millions of miles of wire and cable, tens of
thousands of manual and dial switching units, and the thousand-and-one other kinds of apparatus that go
into the plant of the Bell System. It has purchased from thousands of other manufacturers the great variety
of supplies that are used by the Bell System.

You may access the Historical Library by clicking on this link.

Submitted by Elaine Housley New Outlook Director

Southwest Chapter 136 – Eastern Missouri Council

Comforting Crafts Projects – Eastern Missouri Council

Delivery of Pioneer Crafts to Mercy Hospital and Missouri Baptist Medical Center

In keeping with the requirements associated with COVID-19, the following donations made by the following volunteers, our May delivery was delayed. Through special arrangements, the deliveries were made on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.


10- Flannel Baby Blankets (Annette Ravens)
5- Flannel Blankets -Rehabilitation Department (Annette Ravens)
1- Crocheted Baby Afghan (Dottie Dunker)
2- Crocheted Adult Shawls (Laura Shively)
10- Crocheted Baby Hats (Phyllis Huddleston and Maryann Reitz)
10- Hug -a- Pillows (Paula Fox)
10- Palm Toys (Pat Hawkins and Paula Fox)


10- Flannel Baby Blankets (Annette Ravens)
5- Flannel Blankets- Pediatric Department (Annette Ravens)
10- Incubator Pad Covers (Paula Fox)
1- Crocheted Baby Afghan (Dottie Dunker)
10- Crocheted Baby Hats (Phyllis Huddleston and Maryann Reitz)
15- Mother/Baby Scent Pads (Paula Fox)
10- Hug -a- Pillows (Paula Fox)
10- Palm Toys (Pat Hawkins and Paula Fox)

It is our pleasure to donate these items to provide in our small way, some additional comfort to your patients.

A special thank you to Sara Funaiola and Susan Smith for making arrangements for the deliveries.

Paula Fox
New Outlook Pioneers
Comforting Crafts Coordinator

Submitted by council president Judy Herbst for Paula Fox Project Coordinator

Western Electric TPA Pioneers Handbook 1983


The booklet is published to acquaint you more fully with the Cornhusker Chapter of Telephone Pioneers.

The first Pioneer Club formed in 1957 and became affiliated with the Yost Chapter of Northwestern Bell. As the membership grew they became a council named Arthur B. Goetze in 1959 under the Yost Chapter. In 1978, with 1,872 members, the council petitioned the Association to become a chapter. In June of 1978 the chapter was granted and became the Cornhusker Chapter. The Pioneers remained a chapter under AT&T. Lucent Technologies reorganized the Pioneers and they were given the name Heartland Council of the New Outlook Region. When the Omaha Works was spun off to Avaya they quit supporting the Pioneer organization. At that time the Omaha Works became a self sponsored Pioneer group with no financial support which brings us to today.

Lawrence Harley Luckham worked at Bell Labs and, one day, he took a camera to work – Photographs From Inside the Revolutionary Bell Labs of 1960s

A former manager of the Alexander Graham Bell-founded research and development center shares his memories

by Nicholas Jackson
January 6, 2011

Bell Laboratories has a long and impressive history. The research and development arm of Alcatel-Lucent and, before that, AT&T, Bell Labs was founded in 1880 by Alexander Graham Bell with money he received from the French government for inventing the telephone. Over the years, a number of revolutionary technologies — the transistor, the laser, the UNIX operating system, the C++ programming language — have come out of Bell Labs. In the 1960s, Lawrence Harley Luckham worked at Bell Labs and, one day, he took a camera to work.

Inside the revolutionary Bell Labs Datacenter, 1960s

Since the early 1900s Bell Telephone Laboratories, or Bell Labs, has been a major source of technological experimentation and change. Bell Labs has sponsored research far beyond the limits of its original focus, the telephone. From telephones to radar to computers, the scientists at Bell Labs have had a hand in the most important inventions of the 20th century.

By the early 1920s the research effort had grown so large—over 3600 employees by 1924—management decided to split it off into its own organization. This new subsidiary Bell Telephone Laboratories Inc. began operations on January 1, 1925. It was owned jointly by AT&T and Western Electric, and occupied the existing research building in New York City. Bell Labs was on its way to becoming the world’s largest industrial research laboratory.

In the 1930s and through the end of World War II, Bell Labs continued to expand. The company established new research facilities in New Jersey, where open land was still plentiful and cheap, and radio research could be conducted free of the interference found in New York City. The huge resources of AT&T, which had a monopoly on telephone service, enabled Bell Labs to undertake fundamental research that had only loose ties to ordinary telephone service. In 1933, for example, Karl Jansky, working at the Holmdel, New Jersey facility, discovered radio astronomy. Another trend was closer cooperation with the military, which had begun during World War I, and which continued in the 1930s as Bell Labs began working on radar and military communication systems. When World War II came, Bell Labs invented or improved numerous military systems, such as the two-way radio, proximity fuses, semiconductor devices, radar, sonar, computers, the “bazooka,” and the first encrypted communications systems. This system, Sigaly, enabled US President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to hold regular telephone conversations across the Atlantic.

At the end of the war Bell Labs was at the peak of its power. From the late 1940s through the late 1970s, it reigned unchallenged as the largest and perhaps most inventive industrial laboratory in the world. Its engineers and scientists invented or brought to fruition numerous technologies, including the first transistor and many of its important variations. Although the integrated circuit was invented elsewhere, construction techniques invented at Bell Labs established many of the necessary precursors to it. The same could be said for fiber optic transmission, electronic switching systems, cellular telephony, satellite communication, solar power, and other technologies we use today.

Although not all of their elements were invented at Bell Labs, it was there that the long and incredibly expensive development process brought them to maturity. And while there were notable failures, such as the “Picturephone” system, there were numerous inventions, some little-known at the time, which later became very important. The Charge-Coupled Device or CCD, now universally used in digital cameras, video cameras, the Hubble telescope, and elsewhere, was one such development. Bell Labs engineers Willard Boyle and George Smith invented it in the 1970s.

In the 1960s, Lawrence Harley Luckham worked at Bell Labs and, one day, he took a camera to work: “In the late ’60’s I worked for Bell Labs for a few years managing a data center and developing an ultra high speed information retrieval system. It was the days of beehive hair on women and big mainframe computers. One day I took a camera to work and shot the pictures below. I had a great staff, mostly women except for the programmers who were all men. For some reason only one of them was around for the pictures that day”. These photographs shown here are taken by Larry Luckham. All of the captions are original. Click on photos to enlarge.

Row 1 Captions
1 Larry Luckham. Operator Manager. Check out the slide rule in the pocket and the sideburns. Hey, it was the 1960’s!
2 Lecture. “I have no idea what I was discussing here, but somebody picked up the camera.”
3 “My Secretary, Roxanne. She was absolutely great!”

Row 2 Captions
4 “Computer Operations Supervisor. Don’t let the oscilloscope fool you. Bea didn’t work on the hardware. But she was an outstanding supervisor.”
5 “Bea. The computer room was in the basement of a building for security and other reasons. There was no natural light and I had a slim budget for decorations. I also had staff with artistic talents so I bought the materials and they made their own decorations.”
6 “Computer Operator. Many names have disappeared from my memory after 35 years, but these were an excellent and dedicated group of people.”

Row 3 Captions
7 “Computer Operations Supervisor. Yvonne was another of the computer operations shift, three shift supervisors and a great asset to the project.”
8 “Yvonne. A good sense of humor was one of the things that distinguished almost every one of my staff for this project.”
9 “Computer Operations Supervisor. This was a large IBM mainframe computer around 1967 when this picture was taken. One meg of memory, 648 meg of hard drives, no video and it cost in the millions!”

Row 4 Captions
10 “Computer Operations Supervisor. Many names have disappeared from my memory after 35 years, but these were an excellent and dedicated group of people.”
11 “Magnetic Tape. Our backup storage was 9 track magnetic tape.”
12 “Programming is Fun. Even when it doesn’t work the way it was supposed to the first time!”

Row 5 Captions
13 “Programmer Relaxation. Bits and bytes and a little folk music go a long way. All the programmers were mathematicians by training.”
14 “Computer Operators. Many names have disappeared from my memory after 35 years, but these were an excellent and dedicated group of people.”
15 Computer Operators.

Row 6 Capitons
16 “Tape Library. Helen was our tape librarian.”
17 “Tape Cleaning. After a few uses tapes were cleaned and tested before being put back into circulation.”
18 Artist & Work.

Row 7 Captions
19 Artist & Work.
20 Tape Library.
21 “Data Control Unit. Karen was one of about a half dozen very smart people in the data control unit making sure that the data going in was good.”

Row 8 Captions
22 Data Control Unit.
23 “Data Control Supervisor. Toni on the left supervised the Data Control Unit. “
24 “Data Terminal Test Room. These special prototype terminals were state of the art at the time and were the first displays in which the data was first written to memory then displayed.”

Row 9 Captions
25 “Data Terminal Test Room. These special prototype terminals were state of the art at the time and were the first displays in which the data was first written to memory then displayed.”
26 “Data Terminal Test Room. These special prototype terminals were state of the art at the time and were the first displays in which the data was first written to memory then displayed.
27 “Demonstration Center. Demonstrations of the system were presented in a special series of rooms created for the purpose. In addition to a working terminal the center was equipped for a short film and slide presentation.”

Submitted by Elaine Housley New Outlook Region Director


Hi Pioneers,

I am so excited to present the winning 2021 Pioneers Calendar cover! This one-of-a-kind calendar features historical photos of Pioneers and the telecommunications industry.

We are also kicking off our 2021 Calendar Campaign today to support the life-changing work of Pioneers. Make a gift of $15 or more to this campaign by August 31st, and you’ll receive your own copy of the calendar in the mail!

Last year alone, you and Pioneers everywhere logged millions of volunteer hours. Now, with your continued commitment, you’ll help support exciting, inspiring projects that will truly make a life-changing difference.

Please make a generous gift today to keep Pioneers going strong. >>

I am so grateful for your involvement and your generosity all year long.

Yours in Pioneering,

Laura Whitlock
Marketing Director