History of the Telephone in Ireland & evolution of the Eircom Logo

p&t_logo_old.png -> telecom_eireann_logo.jpg -> eircom_logo_old.jpg

When we're researching for this blog in our quest to discover anything and everything about all things Callcard related, we do tend to come across related topics that make for good reading. This week we were reminded of the many incarnations of the Callcard's parent company logo (Telecom Eircom/Eircom). Some of which you might remember, some you definitely won't!

Key Dates of the Telephone in Ireland:

  • 1876 - Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.
  • 1880 - United Telephone is formed in England, overseeing Great Britain & Ireland
  • 1882 - Telephone Company of Ireland takes over United Telephone in Ireland
  • 1893 - Telephone Company of Ireland is sold to Britain's new National Telephone company
  • 1911 - The British Post Office assumes control of National Telephone
  • 1922 - New Irish government forms Department of Posts & Telegraphs (P&T)
  • 1978 - The Dargan Report reveals Ireland are falling behind and recommends that P&T be split into two entities, an Post and Telecom Eireann
  • 1979 - Telecom Eireann is formed.
  • 1983 - Telecom Eireann formally takes charge of Ireland's national system
  • 1988 - Telecom Eireann install 36 trial GPT Chorley Cardphones using GPT magnetic Cards in Dublin City
  • 1989 - In February, 31 trial Cardphones from Autelca are installed in Limerick city. On November, 9 Landis & Gyr trial Cardphones are installed in Galway City
  • 1990 - Telecom Eireann decide to go with Schlumberger Cardphones and these are installed throughout the Republic of Ireland
  • 1993 - First private competitor (Esat) to Telecom Eireann receives a license to operate
  • 1999 - Telecom Eireann becomes a public company; changes its name to Eircom
  • ​2012 - callcards.ie is launched!

P&T (Aire Puist agus Telegrafa or Post and Telegraphs)  was formed in the early part of the century and existed for almost 6 decades!

In 1969, the Post and Telegraphs logo was designed by Damien Harrington of Kilkenny Design Workshops, a design company originally established by the Irish state.
an_post_logo.jpg +telecom_eireann_logo.jpg
In 1984, P&T was split into two companies, an Post and Telecom Eireann
The wavy lines in the an Post logo represent the franking marks seen on a stamp/envelope. The Telecom Eireann logo combines the letters T & E with a slight  Gaelic feel to it.
The logos were once again designed by  Kilkenny Design Workshops, only this time by Peter Dabinett (i'm led to believe).
In 1999, Telecom Eireann went public and changed its name what is now known as Eircom. Initially the logo's font was blue but after a short period was changed to grey.

There are some really great sites out there documenting the life of the Irish Telephones such as this article on answers.com. I'm led to believe that in the art and . A full index of artifacts from Kilkenny Design Workshops (now Kilkenny Design Consultancy) is available here (but you must go to the National College of Art & Design in Dublin to see the stuff :-(   ). To see some of the old P&T, An Post and Telecom Eireann vehicles, a trip to the National transport Museum of Ireland in Howth, Co. Dublin is well worth a look (even a few pictures of these vehicles on their site and on flickr). As always you can always rely on Wikipedia for additional info, be it P&T, Telecom Eireann or Eircom!