Southern Bell

Last updated
Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company
IndustryTelecommunications
FateMerged
Successor SBT&T Co.
Founded1879
Defunct1983
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Products Local telephone service
Parent American Bell (1879-1899)
AT&T (1899-1983)

Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company was once the regional Bell Operating Company serving the states of Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina prior to the breakup of AT&T. It also covered the states of Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee until 1968 when those were split off to form South Central Bell.

Georgia (U.S. state) State of the United States of America

Georgia is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Georgia is the 24th largest and 8th-most populous of the 50 United States. Georgia is bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina, to the northeast by South Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Florida, and to the west by Alabama. The state's nicknames include the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, a "beta(+)" global city, is both the state's capital and largest city. The Atlanta metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 5,949,951 in 2018, is the 9th most populous metropolitan area in the United States and contains about 60% of the entire state population.

Florida State of the United States of America

Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, and the 8th-most densely populated of the U.S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital.

North Carolina State of the United States of America

North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. North Carolina is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the 50 United States. North Carolina is bordered by Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west. Raleigh is the state's capital and Charlotte is its largest city. The Charlotte metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 2,569,213 in 2018, is the most populous metropolitan area in North Carolina, the 23rd-most populous in the United States, and the largest banking center in the nation after New York City. North Carolina's second largest metropolitan area is the Raleigh metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 1,337,331 in 2018, and is home to the largest research park in the United States, Research Triangle Park, in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh.

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The company was originally known as the Atlanta Telephonic Exchange, having been created to service citizens of Atlanta in 1879, before it was renamed in 1882. [1]

Atlanta Capital of Georgia, United States

Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. With an estimated 2018 population of 498,044, it is also the 37th most-populous city in the United States. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5.9 million people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta is the seat of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia. Portions of the city extend eastward into neighboring DeKalb County.

Southern Bell also operated in Charleston and other parts of West Virginia, from 1883 until 1917, when the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of West Virginia took over operations there. [2]

Charleston, West Virginia Capital of West Virginia

Charleston is the most populous city in, and the capital of, the U.S. state of West Virginia. Located at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha rivers, the city had a population of 51,400 at the 2010 census and an estimated population of 47,215 in 2018. The Charleston metropolitan area as a whole had an estimated 211,037 residents in 2018. Charleston is the center of government, commerce, and industry for Kanawha County, of which it is the county seat.

West Virginia State of the United States of America

West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States, and is also considered to be a part of the Mid-Atlantic Southeast Region. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st largest state by area, and is ranked 38th in population. The capital and largest city is Charleston.

Frontier West Virginia, Inc. is one of the original Bell Operating Companies and provides local telephone service in the U.S. state of West Virginia.

Split into South Central Bell & Southern Bell

Southern Bell originally served nine Southern states. On December 20, 1967, the western portion of the Southern Bell territory (Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee) was split off as South Central Bell Telephone Company.

South Central Bell Telephone Company, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, was the name of the Bell System's operations in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. South Central Bell was created in July 1968 when the Bell telephone operations in those states were split off from Southern Bell. South Central Bell was headquartered in the AT&T City Center building in Birmingham.

Landmark sex discrimination case

Weeks v. Southern Bell was an important sex discrimination case in which Lorena Weeks claimed that Southern Bell had violated her rights under the 1964 Civil Rights Act when they denied her application for promotion to a higher paying position because she was a woman. She was represented in the case by Sylvia Roberts, a National Organization for Women attorney. She lost the initial case but won in 1969 after several appeals. Weeks v. Southern Bell was an important case as it marked the first victory in which NOW used the Civil Rights Act to fight gender-based discrimination.

Lorena W. Weeks was the plaintiff in an important sex discrimination case, Weeks v. Southern Bell (1966). She claimed that Southern Bell had violated her rights under the 1964 Civil Rights Act when they denied her application for promotion to a higher paying position because she was a woman. She was represented in the case by Sylvia Roberts, a National Organization for Women attorney. She lost the initial case but won in 1969 after several appeals

Civil Rights Act of 1964 legislation

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It prohibits unequal application of voter registration requirements, and racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations.

National Organization for Women

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is an American feminist organization founded in 1966. The organization consists of 550 chapters in all 50 U.S. states and in Washington, D.C.

Reincorporation

Southern Bell logo, 1960-1969 Southern Bell 1964.png
Southern Bell logo, 1960-1969

Southern Bell, originally incorporated in New York, was reincorporated in Georgia in 1983 as SBT&T Co. [3] The original Southern Bell was then merged into SBT&T Co., at which point that company was renamed Southern Bell. Since BellSouth, the new owner of Southern Bell and South Central Bell upon the divestiture of AT&T, was based in Georgia, it was more practical to have Southern Bell incorporated in the same state. Southern Bell was renamed BellSouth Telecommunications until it was merged into AT&T in 2006.

BellSouth, LLC is an American telecommunications holding company based in Atlanta, Georgia. BellSouth was one of the seven original Regional Bell Operating Companies after the U.S. Department of Justice forced the American Telephone & Telegraph Company to divest itself of its regional telephone companies on January 1, 1984.

Southern Bell was headquartered in (what is now) the AT&T Midtown Center building in Atlanta, Georgia. Most Atlanta operations have now been relocated to AT&T Headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Downtown Atlanta's telephone exchange is located in the Art Deco AT&T Communications Building.

See also

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