Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Ma Bell is gone and big problems face the eight baby companies she spawned

At the stroke of midnight, at his vacation home in Florida, American Telephone & Telegraph Chairman Charles Brown and his wife Ann Lee raised glasses. Said Brown: 'To the men and women of the Bell System." A thousand miles away, at a party near New York City, a longtime Bell manager lamented, "The world's best phone system is being broken up. What's there to be cheerful about?"

While much of the U.S. was offering champagne toasts or blowing noisemakers to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!