Bell System Advertisements
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Bell System Advertisements


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"Long-distance is the next best thing to being there"

"Reach out and touch someone"

"The System is the Solution"

"It's all within your reach"


The above slogans represent the ever-changing marketing makeovers for AT&T's image throughout it's history.


We Offer Personalized One-On-One Service!

Call Us Today at (651) 787-DIAL (3425)

The Western Electric Store


Old advertisements can serve as a snapshot of days gone by and bring back memories of those days we cherished.  Many ads can give an idea of the culture of the time period along with the fads of the time.  Others provide a "time-line" of new and emerging technologies or products.

AT&T and image-creating campaigns go back a long way. In 1907, the company successfully used advertising and public relations to create a benevolent image and win over the public to the idea of a national telephone monopoly, which became the Bell System. When the monopoly was broken up in 1984, and the Bell System brand and blue bell logo were given to the regional operating companies, the newly independent parent corporation launched a campaign to make its then-unknown brand, AT&T, a household name.

On this web page you will find numerous print advertisements and two multimedia advertisements of the Bell System.  Because of the numerous images that must download for this page, please be patient if you are using a modem connection; it will take a few minutes.

The advertisements of the old Bell System focus on at least the following themes.  Many ads have overlapping themes so it was hard to place them in a particular category below.  Click on a theme to jump to the web page with some examples of that theme:

  1. Human desire to communicate with others - especially friends and relatives

  2. Quality Equipment

  3. Top-notch customer service

  4. Dedicated employees and family generations of Bell employees

  5. AT&T stock a secure investment for retirement planning

  6. Technology and styles - Past, Present, and Future

  7. Safety and peace of mind

  8. Necessity of having a natural monopoly to provide a reliable and cost-effective national communications system instead of fragments local independent exchanges disconnected from each other

  9. Miscellaneous

  10. "It's My Favorite Bargain" (circa 1940's) (National Geographic)

  11. Bell System Courtesy Between Telephone Users (circa early 1900's)

  12. Give an extension telephone to someone you love (circa 1950's) (National Geographic)

  13. It's fun to phone (circa 1950's) (National Geographic)

  14. Denis Hartnet was "Mr. Telephone" to thousands of people in the town (circa 1950's) (National Geographic)

  15. More Than A Million People Own Or Operate The Bell System (circa 1930's)

  16. Good Place To Work (circa 1950's) (National Geographic)

  17. Bell Telephone Companies Receive Highest Award of National Safety Council (circa 1950's) (National Geographic)

  18. How much tax in your telephone Bill? Pacific Telephone (circa 1952) (Sunset Magazine)

  19. Here is one repairman that doesn't send a bill! (circa 1963) (unknown publication)

  20. Time Magazine- May 29, 1964, AT&T The Worlds Biggest Company

  21. The Voice of Your Business, A Guide to Better Telephone Usage, Indiana Bell (circa early 1960's)

  22. This Is Your Wife (circa 1950's) (National Geographic)

  23. AT&T Brand Guidelines (1999)

  24. AT&T Signature Usage (2001)

  25. AT&T Canada Restructuring (2002)

  26. AT&T Citizenship (2001-2002)

  27. AT&T Fact Book (2002)

  28. AT&T Wireless GoPhone

  29. AT&T Internet Services (1999)

  30. AT&T Local Guide (2002)

  31. AT&T: Not Your Mother's Ma Bell (2004)

We have also included some 1999 commercials by AT&T in "QuickTime" format courtesy of the Commercial Archive.  If you don't have Apple Computer QuickTime Player on your Windows-based computer, you can download the latest player on the internet by clicking HERE.

Click the two links below to view these two modern commercials:




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