The journal has been through several name changes during its lifetime, including the Bell System Technical Journal, AT&T Bell Laboratories Technical Journal and AT&T Technical Journal. The journal was first published as Bell System Technical Journal in 1922.
It is most famous for Claude Shannon's paper "A mathematical theory of communication" which founded the field of information theory. Also important are the two Unix-themed issues that appeared in 1978 and 1984, containing many landmark papers from the system's developers.
The journal is also notorious for an article in the 1950s that revealed the internal operation of the long distance switching system. This article, entitled "In Band Signal Frequency Signalling," sparked phone phreaks to develop the Blue Box.