TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bell System and GTE Telephone Operator?

Re: Bell System and GTE Telephone Operator?
2 Aug 2005 13:54:25 -0700

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I do know that in Chicago in years
> past, Illinois Bell's largest customer was the City of Chicago itself,

Would you know if years ago the city's telephone system, such as
street callboxes that cops once used, phones in police and fire
stations, and phones in any city owned utilities were Bell Telephones
or a private city network?

When CTA took over the L lines after the war, were the L lines under
one owner or still under individual owners? I'd dare say they had
private telephone networks. (Your Skokie Swift L stop was unique in
that it was relatively new, built after the old North Shore Line closed

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I think the call boxes were city owned;
police and fire stations had Bell telephone lines and PAX type
(privately owned) phones as well. Eventually the PAX phone system in
the various police stations disappeared along with all the Bell System
_phone numbers_ in each location as they all got converted over to
the 312-PIG centrex system.

The Chicago Transit Atrocity -- oops, I mean 'Authority' was formed by
an act of the Illinois Legislature in 1947 as a independent government
in its own right (_not a government agency, but an actual government_)
when the Chicago City Council in an extraordinary act of greed decided
to 'municipalize' (a nice sounding word which means government
sanctioned theft) the four existing elevated (and the time, one)
subway lines. The subway _tunnel_ remains under city ownership, while
the trains belong to the 'government' known as CTA. The four owners
of the elevated trains were 'Lake Street Elevated Company', the
'Jackson Park Elevated Railway Company', the Union Loop Company, and
the Chicago Rapid Transit Company. In the 1930's, two other elevated
train companies ('Commercial' and one whose name I have forgotten but
which ran east and west from 40th and Indiana Street to about 40th and
Halstead Streets (maybe the 'Stock Yards Transit Company') were merged
into the old Milwaukee Avenue elevated train. Eventually the
southermost part of 'Commercial' was renamed the Douglas Park branch
and the northernmost part of 'Commercial' was abandoned, but they
still maintain those tracks; it is the only way for trains to get
transferred for service from the north/south line and the Ravenwoood/
Ohare lines; send them over the old 'Commercial' tracks. 'Stock Yards'
on the other hand was totally abandoned after the second war. I am
sure all those companies had private phone service via Illinois Bell.

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