Records created and used by the Corporation of Glasgow Telephone Department

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This collection consists of phone books (1901-03) and secretariat records (1900-06) including minutes, information booklets about the system, legal agreements and a social programme.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Corporation of Glasgow was granted a licence on 1 March 1900 to serve an area of 140 square miles including Clydebank, Govan, Partick, Kirkintilloch and Kilsyth. Construction commenced in July 1900 and service opened with its Central Exchange 28 March 1901. By August three other exchanges had opened with a total of 1450 subscribers.

One criticism of the financing was that insufficient allowance was made for depreciation. A report issued with the accounts for year ending 31 May 1905 stated that negotiations had begun with the National Telephone Company (NTC) and the Postmaster General, creating doubt as to the future of municipal telephony. An agreement dated 6 September 1906 saw the undertaking transferred to the Postmaster General for £305,000 despite previously rejecting a higher offer from the NTC. It was regarded as having failed due to a modest estimate of £19 per working subscriber's line, inadequacy of flat rate charge and obsolete system and cheap form of switching plant adopted.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for research at BT Archives, see www.bt.com/archives.

Acquisition Information

These records were transferred by the Post Office Archives between 1 June 1991 and 30 April 1992.

Other Finding Aids

Full catalogues for BT Archives can be searched at www.bt.com/archivesonline.