On March 6, 1899, the Seattle Star reports that the Sunset Telephone and Telegraph Company is occupying new quarters at 1108 3rd Avenue (at Spring Street) in Seattle. Seventy "girls" make 26,000 switches a day for 3,612 subscribers, up from 318 subscribers 10 years before.
A decade later, by 1910, there were 28,527 telephones in Seattle.
Sunset inaugurated telephone service for 90 customers from one room in Seattle on March 7, 1884. The Great Fire of 1889 destroyed all the equipment and lines, but service was reestablished with newer equipment and with telephone poles with glass insulators. A second telephone company, Seattle Automatic Telephone Exchange, also served Seattle, but the two systems were not connected, which obliged Seattle businesses to use both companies in order to be in communication with all their customers.
In 1901, Seattle Automatic Telephone merged into the Independent Telephone Company. On January 1, 1913, Sunset acquired its competitor and was renamed Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co.
Clarence B. Bagley, History of King County Washington (Chicago-Seattle: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929), 513; Clarence B. Bagley, History of Seattle (Chicago-Seattle: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1916), 727-728; The Seattle Times, August 6, 1996, p. A-1; Polk's Seattle City Directory, 1900.
Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that
encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both
HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any
reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this
Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For
more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact
the source noted in the image credit.
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided
The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins
| Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry
| 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle
| City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach
Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private
Sponsors and Visitors Like You