Raymond W. Ketchledge

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Raymond Waibel Ketchledge (December 8, 1919 - October 23, 1987)[1][2] was an American engineer, known for his contributions to the first computerized telephone switching control systems.


Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,[3] he earned a B.Sc. and M.Sc. (1942) in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining Bell Labs where he stayed his whole professional career (1942-1982).

At Bell Labs he first worked on the Mark 24 FIDO Torpedo used in World War II, then he took part in developing the first underwater repeater systems and the L3 coaxial carrier for Transatlantic telephone cable systems (1946-54), before he became leader of the Switching systems development group (1956). This brought him fame due to the pioneering work on applying stored program architecture to telephone switching systems. Ketchledge oversaw the installation project for the first 1ESS switch in Succasunna (1965).

Following this he directed the Indian Hill laboratories of Naperville, Illinois (1966-75) before returning to New Jersey where he oversaw the Ocean systems research division in Whippany, New Jersey until his retirement. He held sixty patents in diverse areas, including thirty-one in switching system.

He died of cancer in Englewood, Florida on October 23, 1987.



Preceded by
IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal
Succeeded by
Eberhardt Rechtin