On getting a job at Bell Labs: 
"It sounds peculiar now.  I guess life is governed by chance.  But when I was ready to look for a job, I had an alphabetical listing. . . The way I tell the story jokingly is that Adams, Ford & McClain's line was busy.  It was an alphabetical mishap and one that turned out to be quite pleasant and rewarding."  -- George Indig, interview for "Transistorized!"


George Indig

When he started out, George Indig had meant to be a chemical engineer, but one of his graduate school professors at the University of Michigan thought Indig was better suited to be a patent lawyer.  Of his own accord, the professor sent an application to Columbia University in Indig's name -- which is how, in 1946, Indig went off to New York City to study law.  Three years later, he ended up as a patent lawyer at Bell Labs.

Indig began working at Bell at the young age of 25, so he observed the licensing practices of the company.  While he arrived just after the initial bout of patent applications for the P-N and junction transistors, he was there for the days of licensing the transistor to other companies.  He points out that even before US courts forced Bell to license their technologies, the company had a policy of sharing its innovations.  Bell was a research institution, first and foremost, and consequently understood that it was through sharing information that the best technological advances would come. 


-- George Indig, interview for "Transistorized!" 

Copyright 1999, ScienCentral, Inc, and The American Institute of Physics. No portion of this web site may be reproduced without written permission. All Rights Reserved.