TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: 2L-4N, 3L-4N, 2L-5N Numbering

Re: 2L-4N, 3L-4N, 2L-5N Numbering

Paul Coxwell (
Fri, 07 Oct 2005 21:46:03 +0100

> While this was going on, C&P Telephone converted the Washington DC
> area (including suburbs in Maryland and Virginia) from 2L-4D to
> 2L-5D. An example that comes to mind: Bethesda's OLympic XXXX
> became OLympic 9-XXXX.

> That change really did create a mess in Washington, as contemporary
> commentators and cartoonists noted. One memorable newspaper cartoon
> featured a telephone operator speaking with a customer, noting that
> "that number has been changed to (some NNX code)-OOU2."

The changes in numbering seem to have provided an outlet for humor in
many branches of the media at the time.

Near the beginning of the movie "Move Over Darling" (1963) there's a
wonderful scene in which Doris Day arrives back in America after being
marooned on a desert island for years. She goes straight to a
coinphone on the dock, calls the operator and asks for a 2L-5N number
in Los Angeles. There follows a wonderful exchange as the operator
corrects her by saying that's now a 7D number, she asks for that
number, the operator then says she can dial direct by first dialing
213 then the number etc.

I can't remember the title, but there was a British movie of the same
era which also made light of the changes here as direct long-distance
dialing was being implemented, introducing people to the pleasures of
dialing up to 10 digits in one go. Somebody picks up phone, we see
him dial out about 15 or 16 digits, then hear him say "Operator?
Could you connect me with 25 please."


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