Western Union subsidiaries, including Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph, Gold and Stock Telegraph, and American Speaking Telephone, based their New York and San Francisco operations on the telephone exchange principle and thus were larger and more advanced than the local Bell operations. Under the November 1879 settlement of the Elisha Gray patent infringement lawsuit, Western Union handed over its telephone operations to National Bell Telephone, which then renamed itself American Bell Telephone. The merged local company was called the Metropolitan Telephone Company and in 1896 the New York Telephone Company.
American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) eventually acquired a controlling interest.
The company went underground in a big way in the 1920s, creating expensive new outside plant that fixed its geometry for the century to come. New cable ducts brought more reliable service to customers. They converged at approximately twenty wire centers, which were connected by larger trunk cable ducts running along the East and West Sides of Manhattan. The locations were a mile or two apart (2-3 km}, close to concentrations of office workers without paying prime prices for land. At each wire centre a new central office arose to house telephone switchboards, panel switches and other inside plant, and technicians, clerks, operators and other workers. The largest of these was also the corporate headquarters, at 140 West Street on the Lower West Side, about a kilometer (half mile) from AT&T HQ at 195 Broadway.
The Manhattan and Bronx parts of the underground empire are owned by the Empire City Subway Company subsidiary. Similar construction, on a smaller scale, went on in Brooklyn, Buffalo and other urban areas. Suburban and rural service also expanded, mostly with aerial cable or open wire plant and Strowger switches.
The response of the company was to hire and train thousands of new employees and to buy much new equipment for them to work on. Underground construction took years, but emergency installation of Anaconda Carrier pair gain systems normally used in rural areas expanded service while construction was in progress. Bell Labs added processing power to their new systems and fixed the software bugs. A new wire center at 1095 Avenue of Americas relieved four others in Midtown Manhattan of part of their load, as well as providing the company with a new headquarters for the next quarter century. The crisis subsided during the 1970s and workers accustomed to heavy overtime had to learn to go home on time and get along on their base pay.
February 27, 1975 brought a fire in the telephone building at 204 Second Avenue, at East 13th Street. The Main Distributing Frame was destroyed, disconnecting tens of thousands of customers, and obsolescent switching equipment was destroyed or damaged by acrid smoke. Located at the south end of the East Side trunk cable duct under Second Avenue, this building connects many circuits to Brooklyn which were disrupted. A Bell System mobilization dealt with the crisis, including replacing the destroyed MDF. An obsolete and recently retired exchange at the West 18th Street office, not yet melted down for scrap metal, was temporarily resurrected to serve thousands of E13 customers though existing cross-town cables. The damaged 1XB switch was cleaned, and a 1ESS switch that had been destined for the 104 Broad Street exchange was diverted. This was the largest loss of telephone service from fire in US history, until 2001.
New York Telephone provides local telephone service throughout the state of New York, with the exception of the areas served by the Rochester Telephone Company and other smaller independent local exchange companies. The company also serves the Greenwich and Byram exchanges in Connecticut. The rest of Connecticut is served by SNET, an AT&T company.
New York Telephone, then operating under the Bell Atlantic brand, was the first Bell telephone company to win approval to provide long distance service within its operating territory in December 1999, following the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Police Department headquarters lost telephone service, but the nearby NYTel Pearl Street building had its own small exchange which only lost part of its connections to the rest of the network. Madison Street was closed and cables run out the lower windows of the two buildings and along the pavement to bring immediate service to a few hundred police telephone lines.
Workers from throughout the country, including 3,000 Verizon employees plus non-Verizon employees, helped restore service, allowing the network to carry 230,000,000 calls during the first week following the attacks. During the restoration efforts, trunk cables were run out windows and down the side of the building, flowing through streets closed to traffic, until they found an undamaged manhole for them to enter. DMS-100 and other exchange equipment was damaged and replaced the following year. Also the building was completely renovated restoring it to its former glory as corporate headquarters. In a ceremony on December 8, 2005 Verizon moved its corporate headquarters from 1095 Avenue of the Americas, to 140 West St.
| The New York Telephone Company|
Being a part of AT&T, New York Telephone followed the various corporate looks of AT&T over the years. After the 1984 divestiture the Bell logo and name was assigned to the Regional Holding Companies.
| New York Telephone|
In 1964, AT&T unified its image by simplifying the logo to a Bell within a plain circle, which would not include "The New York Telephone Company" nor "American Telephone and Telegraph".
|In 1969 AT&T simplified & revamped its corporate identity, which included the modern Bell logo. The logo is still in use today on Verizon trucks and pay phones.|
|In 1984, after the AT&T divestiture, New England Telephone and New York Telephone were spun off to the newly created Regional Holding Company, NYNEX Corporation. "A NYNEX Company" was added to the logotype, however it did not appear on telephone bills until January, 1986.|
In 1994, the New York Telephone and New England Telephone names ceased to exist, both became branded as simply NYNEX, and the Bell System logo was dropped from the corporate logo; however, it remained on phone booths, and even on the then-new NYNEX signs.
| Bell Atlantic|
The Bell Atlantic logo brings to mind its namesake ocean. The merger also restores the Bell System logo. NYT legally remains "New York Telephone".
| Verizon New York Telephone, Inc.|
The current successor company to NYNEX is Verizon Communications. The Bell System logo disappears, again (except on trucks, hard hats and phone booths, and over the main entrances of Verizon-NY Telephone's corporate headquarters at 140 West St.). "Verizon" is added to the corporate name of New York Telephone. Verizon NY Telephone continues to mark the path of underground cable on streets with "NYT".
ABRAMS CLAIMS NEW YORK TELEPHONE OVERCHARGED CUSTOMERS $2.6 MILLION COMPANY DENIES IMPROPERLY CHARGING FOR LEGAL, CHARITABLE EXPENSES
Jul 14, 1993; The state Attorney General's office charged Tuesday that New York Telephone is illegally passing on to its customers more than...