A Stunning Map of AT&T's Phone Network from 1891

Illustration for article titled A Stunning Map of AT&T's Phone Network from 1891

Today, AT&T is regularly listed as one of the most hated companies in the United States. But back in 1891, two years after Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, the company was just taking its first steps. This map of its network from that year is just beautiful. Think of it as AT&T’s baby picture.

Advertisement

In 1890, the original American Bell Telephone Company had created a American Telephone and Telegraph Company to handle long distance telephone calls. (Hence the bell-shaped logo.) By 1892, AT&T wires reached Chicago, and in 1899, AT&T bought its parent company in order to fuel further expansion. This is when things get less pretty and AT&T started to consolidate assets in order to eventually become Ma Bell. But that’s another story. For now, let’s just bask in the glory of Gilded Age cartography and technological progress.

Image via Wikipedia


Contact the author at adam@gizmodo.com.
Public PGP key
PGP fingerprint: 91CF B387 7B38 148C DDD6 38D2 6CBC 1E46 1DBF 22

DISCUSSION

thinkssmiles
Think! aka anotherburner111122223333

Look at Providence and its spokes. Whoop!

As a map aficionado, i like this. Tho it does bother me about the NY VT border seems to be sloppily done.