Business Directory

SW Telephone and Telegraph Co

Location: 1018 Prairie
McKay Company Commercial Photography / 1911

The Southwest Telephone & Telegraph Company can trace its origins back to the Missouri & Kansas Telephone Company, which was founded in 1882. In 1912, The Southwest Telephone & Telegraph Company consolidated under the Bell System, along with the Missouri and Oklahoma systems.

These three companies comprised the “Southwestern” segment of the Bell System due to their location and service areas. This segment briefly renamed to Missouri & Kansas telephone Company in 1917 before becoming the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company shortly afterwards.

Southwestern Bell Telephone Company acquired several smaller telephone companies in the 1950’s and went through some incorporation changes in the early aughts. However, the average consumer knew them as Southwestern Bell from 1917 to 2005.

(Every Houstonian between 1917 and 2005 probably remembers the prominence of this phone company and its cute bell logo.)

In 2005 SBC (Southwestern Bell Corporation) purchased AT&T Corporation and as a result of this acquisition, the company name changed to AT&T Incorporated in late 2005.

The building in the photo was demolished almost a century ago. In 1932, this lot would become home to a printing factory, Wilson Stationery and Printing Co, that is still standing today.