As a kid growing up in the sixties and seventies in Atlanta, I was fascinated with telephones and switching. As an adult, I moved on to other things. But one day I realized that all of the unique features of the old telephone network had gone away. I also noticed that there were a lot of people that either didn't remember the old system or were too young to have experienced it.

So I started gathering as much information as I could find. I spent many hours looking through old telephone directories and city directories at the Atlanta Public Library and the Atlanta History Center. I researched old Atlanta newspaper articles. I read a number of books about the history of The Bell System and other Bell telephone companies. I even visited the New York Public Library and the Vintage Telephone Equipment Museum in Seattle for additional research.

You would think that the telephone company itself would be a good source of this information. Unfortunately, however, I have been unable to find any historians or archives at Bellsouth and very few people who remember anything about this history. With the breakup of The Bell System in 1982, I suppose no one considered historical information to be important. So I have reconstructed this history by piecing together information from many sources.

There are some details that were easy to find and others that were not. For example, the library has an index to newspaper articles, but only back to the 1940s. To find out about earlier history, I would sometimes find articles in the 1940s and 1950s that mentioned earlier events from the 1920s. There are many details that are still unknown. I may find additional information some day either through additional research or by contributions from others.


The Atlanta City Directory.
Southern Bell telephone directories.
The Atlanta Journal (Microfilm) (1923)

Fagan, M. D., Bell Telephone Laboratories. A History of Engineering and Science in the Bell System: The Early Years (1875-1925). Baltimore, MD: 1975.

Fagan, M. D., Bell Telephone Laboratories. A History of Engineering and Science in the Bell System: Switching technology (1925-1975). Baltimore, MD: 1975.
Need to correct the year and possible author and publishing location

The following Individuals contributed information

Evan Doorbell
David Willingham
Roger Conklin
Mark Cuccia
David Massey
Mark Bernay
Kenneth Sharp
Bob Harbin
Michael Armistead


This is not a commercial web site. It is a personal hobby and not connected in any way with any telephone company.

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