TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Classic Six-Button Keysets - Cost During 1970s

Re: Classic Six-Button Keysets - Cost During 1970s

Bob Vaughan (
Tue, 16 Aug 2005 19:38:03 UTC

In article <>, Joseph
<> wrote:

> On Sun, 14 Aug 2005 21:01:08 -0400, Michael Muderick
> <> wrote:

>> I don't know the cost of all the features, but they were a la carte.
>> However the hunting feature was done at the CO and there was no charge
>> for that as far back as I can remember. Remember, it meant another
>> completed call for Ma Bell, rather than a busy signal, so it was to
>> their advantage to give hunting away free, lest someone decide to opt
>> out of it.

> And something I've always wondered about is the use of multiple lines
> in countries outside of the US such as in Europe and in Asia. Often
> I'd see numbers advertised or on signage on the order of 123456/7
> meaning that you could reach that business by dialing either 123456 or
> 123457. Does this mean that these step-by-step/Strowger or other
> electromechanical exchanges did not have trunk hunt and that this is
> just a North American "invention." I can't think of any other reason
> for listing for the public both numbers if they were sequential other
> than the facility for automatic trunk hunt was not available.

The step-by-step switches were certainly capable of sequential hunting.

On the Western Electric 711B PBX, it was simply a matter of adding or
removing an insulating sleeve on one of the relay contacts to route a
connection thru adjacent lines.. I think it was the ground that was
routed, and the call would hunt until it found ground, and completed
the circuit, allowing the line relay to be closed.

In theory, you could do non-sequential hunting, but it would require
the addition of jumpers of the switch frame, while sequential hunting
could be setup by a switch tech in a minute or two.

> And as far as "hunt" goes Telco (Southwestern Bell in particular) did
> not want to give me hunt on a residential line with sequential line
> numbers when I had two lines. Actually it doesn't matter if it's
> sequential or not. Even #5 Crossbar had "jump" hunt readily
> available. In any case they didn't want to provision my residential
> line with hunt capability.

I'm going to guess that they didn't normally provide hunting on
residential lines, and thus were not expecting to have to clear it
when the line was disconnected, especially if the switch served mostly
residential customers.

-- Welcome My Son, Welcome To The Machine --
Bob Vaughan | techie @ |
| P.O. Box 19792, Stanford, Ca 94309 |
-- I am Me, I am only Me, And no one else is Me, What could be simpler? --

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