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The History of L3 Communication Systems-East, Camden, NJ

Our division of L3 on the Delaware River Waterfront in Camden, NJ has been in continuous operation under various names for over 115 years. In 1992 we moved into our present modern facilities adjacent to the historic Victor building, home to residential apartments and the famous Nipper Tower.

Victor Talking Machine Company (1901-1929)
Our roots trace back to a small machine shop on North Front Street in Camden, where, in 1901, a young entrepreneur named Eldridge Johnson created one of the greatest industrial empires for musical entertainment in the 20th Century─the Victor Talking Machine Company.  Johnson’s imagination and sheer determination resulted in the world’s largest manufacturing company for phonograph records and machines.  His adopted logo, “His Master’s Voice”, depicting a fox terrier named Nipper inquisitively leaning his ear toward the horn of a Victor Talking Machine, became one of the world’s most recognized trademarks.  The Victor brand represented the highest quality in sound recording and reproduction and was the global standard in commercial and consumer musical entertainment products for three decades.

Radio Corporation of America:
Radio Headquarters for the World (1929-1940)

With the advent of radio as a new source for home entertainment in the mid-1920’s, the stage was set for the acquisition of the Victor Company by the Radio Corporation of America in 1929.  RCA adopted the Victor name and logo, renaming the Camden, NJ business “The RCA Victor Company”, and transformed the operation into Radio Headquarters for the World, dominating the commercial broadcasting and consumer radio industry throughout the 1930’s.  At this same time, RCA Camden scientists and engineers were also diligently and secretly working behind closed doors on another groundbreaking technology that would have one of the greatest worldwide impacts of the 20th Century─television.
Radio Corporation of America:
In Defense of the Nation (1940-1945)

The onset of World War II caused RCA Camden to redirect its talents and efforts from commercial and consumer products to defense communications products.  Its latest technical advances in radio and television were applied to producing innovative, yet practical, military communications and reconnaissance systems which gave the U.S. and its Allies a decisive edge in winning the war.

Radio Corporation of America:
Television, Computers & the Space Age (1946-1967)

The post-war era marked the beginning of the Space and Computer Age, and RCA Camden was at the forefront of designing this technology.  Throughout the 1950’s, the business migrated from consumer electronics to defense and space communications, while still maintaining its dominant position as the top supplier to the worldwide commercial radio and television broadcasting industry.

Throughout the 1950's and 1960's, RCA Camden increased its tempo in defense research, development and production, solidly supporting U.S. Forces in both the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War.  The escalating Cold War posed other new challenges as well to the U.S. Government and the U.S. defense industry.  The greatest of these challenges was winning the race against the Soviet Union to put the first human on the moon.  RCA Camden met this particular challenge with vigor, supplying various space-based communications to NASA for its manned space missions, from Gemini through Apollo.

Radio Corporation of America:
Diversification & Change (1968-1985)

While the 1970's brought a major economic recession and a downturn in the U.S. defense industry, RCA Camden’s diversified technical base and product portfolio were instrumental in its successful recovery by the early 1980's. Increasingly foreign competition brought an end to RCA’s commercial broadcast systems business in Camden by the mid-1980's, making the site solely dedicated to aerospace and defense products for the first time in its history by 1985.

GE | Martin Marietta | Lockheed Martin | L-3 Communications:
Mergers & Acquisitions (1986-1997)

In 1986, GE acquired RCA, and the Camden division began a period of dynamic change that soon became common throughout the defense industry in the 1990's. GE Aerospace, which included the Camden division, was sold to Martin Marietta Corporation in 1993.  Martin Marietta merged with the Lockheed Corporation to form the Lockheed Martin Corporation in 1995. The Camden division remained with Lockheed Martin until 1997, when it and nine other communications products divisions of Lockheed Martin were formed into a new company called L-3 Communications Corporation.
L3 Communication Systems–East:
Into the 21st Century (1997-Present)

Today, L3 Communication Systems-East, with over 600 employees, continues its legacy as a pioneer in the global Aerospace & Defense industry, developing and producing state-of-the-art communications-electronics solutions and products for the U.S. Government and International customers.