Unpublished memoir of Bell Laboratories in Canada and New Jersey
Ferguson, James G[ordon] (1900 – 1985). Me and My Bell System (As I Remember Us). Mimeographed typescript, ca. 1965. 8½ x 11 in. 61 pp, stapled. There is some insect damage, particularly to the final pages, but the text is intact.
An unpublished memoir by an engineer for Bell Telephone Labs. Born in Ashfield, Ontario, J. G. Ferguson received his BSc. in electrical engineering from Queen’s University in 1923 and accepted a position at Bell Canada that year. In 1926, he moved to Rutherford, New Jersey to join the technical staff of Bell Telephone Laboratories, where he worked for 42 years until his retirement in 1965. The author of a number of technical papers, Ferguson received patents for his innovations at Bell. In the 1940s, he was one of the leads in developing the Number Five Crossbar Switching System (5XB switch), which brought telephone service to rural areas. The 5XB switch was in use until the early 1990s.
J. G. Ferguson in the 1923 Queen's University Year Book
Ferguson’s memoir includes anecdotes of his youth in Ontario and Saskatoon, and his early career at Northern Electric Co. (Bell Telephone of Canada). His lively discussion of his research at Bell Telephone Labs in New Jersey includes stories of working on radar systems during World War II. This is a professional memoir, not a family one: there is very little here on Ferguson's personal life but there are many stories about his colleagues. A unique record.
Reportedly Ferguson copied his memoir for private circulation among friends and family. No copies recorded in institutional collections.
- Queens University Year Book, 1923, p. 144
- Queen’s Alumni Review, January-February 1986, p. 36.
- Ferguson, J.G. "A clock-controlled tuning fork as a source of constant frequency," in The Bell System Technical Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 145-157, Jan. 1924, doi: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1924.tb01350.x.
- J. G. Ferguson, "Measurement of inductance by the shielded owen bridge," in The Bell System Technical Journal, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 375-386, July 1927, doi: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1927.tb00199.x.
- J. G. Ferguson, "Shielding in high-frequency measurements," in The Bell System Technical Journal, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 560-575, July 1929, doi: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1929.tb04434.x.
- J. G. Ferguson. "Classification of Bridge Methods of Measuring Impedances," in Transactions of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 861-867, Sept. 1933, doi: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1933.tb00405.x.
- J. G. Ferguson and B. W. Bartlett, "The measurement of capacitance in terms of resistance and frequency," in The Bell System Technical Journal, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 420-437, July 1928, doi: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1928.tb01234.x.
- W. J. Shackelton and J. G. Ferguson, "High-Frequency Measurement of Communication Apparatus," in Transactions of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, vol. XLVI, pp. 519-527, January-December 1927, doi: 10.1109/T-AIEE.1927.5061385.
- W. J. Shackelton and J. G. Ferguson, "Electrical measurement of communication apparatus," in The Bell System Technical Journal, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 70-89, Jan. 1928, doi: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1928.tb00341.x.
- E. I. Green, H. J. Fisher and J. G. Ferguson, "Techniques and facilities for microwave radar testing," in The Bell System Technical Journal, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 435-482, July 1946, doi: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1946.tb03617.x.
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