A short background on the former North Pittsburgh Telephone Company of Gibsonia, Pennsylvania.
From Cranberry Township History, part 11:
In 1906 a group of businessmen from Gibsonia went to Pittsburgh to ask the telephone company there to extend service to their area. But the phone company had more requests for service than it could handle. The men were urged to start their own local telephone company. So they organized the North Pittsburgh Telephone Company to service northern Allegheny and southern Butler counties.
By 1908 the telephone company had 147 customers, mostly in Richland Township along Route 8. In 1910 a telephone exchange office was opened in Wexford. By 1912 phone service had reached Warrendale.
Telephone lines were then extended north from Warrendale and west from Mars into Cranberry Township. But many people didn’t subscribe to phone service until the 1920s and 1930s. In fact, only about one third of U.S. farms had telephone service in 1950.
Early telephones had no dials or pushbuttons. To make a call, people picked up the receiver, turned the handle, and waited for an operator to place their call. Antique telephones of the type used in the early 1900s may be viewed today at the North Pittsburgh Telephone Company offices in Gibsonia.
Six to ten families shared the same party line. If someone else was talking when you wanted to call, you waited until they were finished. The first private line in Cranberry Township was installed at Meeder’s Market at Criders Corners (modern intersection of US Route 19 and PA Route 228). A telephone exchange office was opened nearby on the old Mars-Criders Road. It is still known as the “Criders Corners” exchange.
In the early part of the year 1906 several of the leading citizens of the community of Gibsonia and the vicinity met to discuss plans for obtaining telephone service. After discussing the matter with the Central District Printing and Telegraph Company, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (later Bell of Pennsylvania), certain officials of that Company suggested that those interested in telephone service North of Pittsburgh should organize a local company which could be connected to the Telephone Company by trunk lines. On November 1, 1906 a perpetual charter was secured in the name of North Pittsburgh Telephone Company operating under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Within a period of two years from the inception of telephone service the company installed 258 telephones or certificates by bequest. On December 4, 1909 a new building was ready for occupancy. A new Western Electric switchboard was installed and the new exchange named “Gibsonia.” The Wexford exchange was installed on July 1, 1910, and Curtisville during World War I, to serve the coal industry.
An interesting side note — until October of 1917, all lines and telephones of the company were serviced by horse and buggy. At this time it was decided to modernize, and an automobile, “Ford, Model T type,” was purchased. Mars was added in 1923 and Curtisville in 1940.
Other History of Note:
Freeport, Pennsylvania originally had telephone service from the Freeport Telephone Company. North Pittsbugh Telephone Company purchased the Freeport Telephone Company in 1954. In downtown Freeport, there is an apartment complex that to this day (circa October 2005) that still has a sign that says “Freeport Telephone Company” over the doorway. A picture of this can be found on the North Pittsburgh Central Office Buildings Pictures & Information page.
For a technical history of North Pittsburgh Telephone, please visit the North Pittsburgh Telephone Technical History Pages.
In the mid 1980s, North Pittsburgh formed a holding company and became part of North Pittsburgh Systems, Inc. (NPSI). NPSI was thea holding company and through its subsidiaries, provided telecommunication services and equipment in western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh. Its subsidiaries primarily included North Pittsburgh Telephone Company; Penn Telecom, Inc.; and Pinnatech, Inc.
North Pittsburgh Telephone operated as an incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) that provided various services to approximately 71,500 business and residential telephone lines in southwestern Pennsylvania (northern Allegheny & southern Butler counties, and a small portion of Westmoreland county).
It also provided digital subscriber line (DSL) services. Penn Telecom, through its optical fiber cable network, offered broadband services, competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) services and long distance services, as well as provided traditional key and private branch exchange (PBX) systems to business customers. Pinnatech principally provided Internet and broadband-related services primarily though their Nauticom brand. North Pittsburgh Systems provided directory advertising and billing, as well as sells telecommunications equipment.
In 2007, the company was sold to Consolidated Communications of Matton, Illinois – who also owned and operated (at the time) telephone services in Illinois and Texas. The sale was completed in January 2008.
Former companies associated with North Pittsburgh Telephone Company
These are former subsidiaries and holding companies who were originally owned or operated by North Pittsburgh Telephone Company. They are all now part of Consolidated Communications of Pennsylvania.
North Pittsburgh Systems, Inc.
North Pittsburgh Systems was created in 1986 as a holding company that owned and operated North Pittsburgh Telephone Company, Penn Telecom, and Nauticom.
North Pittsburgh Telephone Company
Founded in 1906, NPT was an incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) that serves several suburban communities north of Pittsburgh, PA.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services offered by North Pittsburgh.
Created in 1982, Penn Telecom served as the Business, Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) and long distance inter-exchange carrier (IXC) arm of North Pittsburgh Telephone Company.
The Pinnatech division of NPSI (marketed as Nauticom) started out as FirstNet Internet services in Glenshaw in 1994. North Pittsburgh purchased FirstNet and rebranded it as Nauticom.
List of North Pittsburgh Telephone Company Unofficial History Pages
About the North Pittsburgh Telephone Company
Information about the former North Pittsburgh Telephone Company and its affiliated companies.
Personal Interest of North Pittsburgh Telephone Company Part 1
Background on the personal interest and recollection of the former North Pittsburgh Telephone Company from the Telephone World webmaster’s perspective.
Personal Interest of North Pittsburgh Telephone Company Part 2
More information on the personal interest and recollection of the former North Pittsburgh Telephone Company.
North Pittsburgh Telephone Technical History Timeline Part 1 (1906-1959)
A technical history of the North Pittsburgh Telephone Company from 1906 to 1959 from the prospective of the Telephone World webmaster.
North Pittsburgh Telephone Technical History Timeline Part 2 (1960-1980)
A technical history of the North Pittsburgh Telephone Company from 1960 to 1980 from the prospective of the Telephone World webmaster.
North Pittsburgh Telephone Technical History Timeline Part 3 (1980-2007)
A technical history of the North Pittsburgh Telephone Company from 1980 to 2007 from the prospective of the Telephone World webmaster.
Epilogue: Consolidated Communications of Pennsylvania (2008 to Present Day)
An epilogue of what happened post merger with Consolidated Communications.
North Pittsburgh Telephone Company Central Office Building & Miscellaneous Pictures
Pictures and information on the central office buildings and associated equipment for the former North Pittsburgh Telephone Company.