Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 143,388 pages of information and 230,039 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation

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1920 ITT begins life as International Telephone & Telegraph, a Puerto Rico-based phone company, owned by the brothers Sosthenes and Hernand Behn who then set out to build the first worldwide system of interconnected telephone lines.

1925 ITT acquired the International Western Electric Co; these interests were transferred to the International Standard Electric Corporation of New York. Its British subsidiary's name was changed to Standard Telephones and Cables (STC) Ltd.[1].

By 1959 was a major international supplier of telephone switching equipment and telecommunications services; Harold S. Geneen became CEO and embarked on a new course as a multi-industry company.

1974 Opened two new factories in the West of England - ITT Components. The facility at Buckfastleigh, Devon made both the resin dipped and metal cased tantalum capacitors while the unit in Oldway, Paignton, only made the resin dipped products. Both factories was in pre-production.[2]

1979 ITT sold 15 percent of its shares in STC

1982 With developments in computer technology influencing and stimulating telecoms, the buzzword of the late 1980s became “convergence”. This meant that specialised suppliers, adapted to the specific needs of the local market would dominate. ITT needed to raise cash to fund continued development of its telephone switching system (System 12) and sold off most of the rest of its shareholding in STC.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Competition Commission report [1]
  2. The Engineer 1974/03/07
  • History of ITT [2]