Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company


SKU: 3513
Product Details

Beautifully engraved antique bond certificate from the Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company dating back to the 1970's. This document, which was printed by the American Bank Note Company, carries the printed signatures of the company President and Treasurer and measures approximately 10" (w) by 13" (h).


This piece features a great vignette of a pair of allegorical figures flanking an old rotary phone. The piece also has a nice "Bell" underprint.

The images presented are representative of the piece(s) you will receive. When representative images are presented for one of our offerings, you will receive a certificate in similar condition as the one pictured; however dating, denomination, certificate number and issuance details may vary. 

Historical Context

On March 7, 1883, the Sunset Telephone-Telegraph Company opened for business with 90 subscribers. This first office was in rented space in the Western Union Telegraph office. Weeks later the company moved into its own building at the corner of Second Avenue and Cherry Street.

In 1899 the original company was reincorporated as the Sunset Telephone and Telegraph Company and continued under that name until 1917 when the Sunset Company (which had grown to provide service throughout Washington and northern Idaho) merged with the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company.

Pacific Telephone & Telegraph and Pacific Northwest Bell

Telephones began to crop up all over Oregon, Washington and northern Idaho. The first Seattle-Tacoma to Portland toll line was built in 1893. Assorted independent telephone companies set up competitive business throughout Oregon and Washington. With competition both the Bell and independent companies found it hard to do business and make money. Under the leadership of J. P. Morgan, the nation's most powerful banker, the Bell companies around the country began to buy out their major competitors. By 1924 The Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company had acquired most of the independents' property along the Pacific Coast. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Bell operating company served customers in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and northern Idaho.

On July 1, 1961, AT&T split off Pacific Telephone and Telegraph's operations in the Pacific Northwest as Pacific Northwest Bell. Its service territory included Oregon, Washington and northern Idaho (Southern Idaho was served by Mountain Bell). The new company's first major job was to build the world's most advanced telephone service to serve the Seattle World's Fair which was scheduled to open in less than ten months (April 21, 1962.) This was accomplished.

AT&T Breakup

On January 1, 1984, as part of the breakup of AT&T, Pacific Northwest Bell, Mountain Bell and Northwestern Bell became part of U S WEST.