A Short History of Southwestern Bell


The Southwestern Bell Telephone Company is a household name and has been around for around for 87 years. Now doing business as AT&T Southwest, this company has been through a rollercoaster of breakups over the years and has evolved as technology changed. The company is headquartered in Dallas, Texas but offers services nationally and internationally.

Originally Southwestern Bell Telephone Company was founded to take over the telephone day to day operations of two other companies, one that specialized in mostly telegraphs and another phone company. Those two companies were Telegraph & Telephone Co. and the Bell Telephone Company.

AT&T s Corporate Ladder
Sixty four years later, in 1984, AT&T broke off from SWB, but was allowed to keep SWBYPS (Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages). After the breakup of AT&T, Southwestern Bell Telephone company became managed by Southwestern Bell Corporation the smallest of seven companies owned by SWBT. Both companies were commonly referred to as simple Southwestern Bell, but they officially changed their name in 1995 to SBC Communications, Inc. to become a national company.

Acquisitions
-SBC acquired the Pacific Telesis Group in 1997
-Southern New England Telecommunications in 1998
-Ameritech in 1999

Imaging & Branding
After many of the acquisitions of the late 90s, SBC began associating its name with many of the Bell Operating Companies.

One of the first major branding/logo changes was when Southwestern Bell using the Bell logo having a divider line with SBC Global Network closed in a circle with the Pacific Telesis special access mark.

Before this, Southwestern Bell was never advertised the association with its holding company, as the other Bells had done with their Bell Operating Companies after 1984.

In 2000, the Bell logo was completely dropped from the official logo of Southwestern Bell. In 2001, SBC decided to change from the old font of Southwestern Bell and "SBC Global Network" altogether, and place the SBC corporate logo in front of the name "Southwestern Bell", with the name beginning under the "C" of SBC. Finally, in 2002, SBC dropped the names of all its operating companies, simply resulting in "SBC" as a national brand.

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