Black text and a black illustration of a rotary telephone on a yellow background
GREEN DUCK CO. CHICAGO union bug
Automatic Electric Company was a telephone equipment supplier founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1901 by Almon B. Strowger. Strowger desired to manufacture automatic telephones that would not require switchboard operators. This led him to found the Strowger Automatic Telephone Exchange Company which held the first patent for such a device, which later became the Automatic Electric Company. The Illinois Tunnel Company was one of the largest users of the Automatic Electric telephone. The AE 40 Monophone was manufactured from 1939-1950 and is the most distinctive phone notable for this era, and came in a variety of colors ranging from purple to bright red. The company was merged into GTE Network in 1983.