AT&T, Magnetic Storage, and the Telephone


What’s interesting is that Hickman’s invention in the 1930s would not be ” discovered” until the 1990s. For soon after Hickman had demonstrated his invention, AT&T ordered the Labs to cease all research into magnetic storage, and Hickman’s research was suppressed and concealed for more than sixty years, coming to light only when the historian Mark Clark came across Hickman’s laboratory notebook in the Bell archives.


AT&T firmly believed that the answering machine, and its magnetic tapes, would lead the public to abandon the telephone.