TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: San Francisco and Oakland Exchange Numbering

Re: San Francisco and Oakland Exchange Numbering

Joseph (
Sun, 23 Oct 2005 17:25:37 -0700

On Sun, 23 Oct 2005 01:02:21 -0000, (Mark
Roberts) wrote:

> There's an odd statement in May 1964 directory in the area code
> listings, "To make a direct Distance call, just dial the Area Code and
> then the telephone number". Does that mean no "1" or "211" was used?

I have no idea about 211, but prior to 1995 when the new NXX (any
digit for second number) area codes came into existance in San
Francisco you only needed to dial 7 digits for local *and* local toll
and dial *just* area code and 7 digits for calls to other area codes.
On many exchanges if you dialed 1 before a number it would not even
break dial tone!

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: An interesting thing which was
explained to me by an Illinois Bell technician sometime in the
early 1970's had to do with 'dial 1 first'. The reason we, in
Chicago and nearby suburbs did _not_ have to dial '1' in front of
any long distance calls (it was optional, do it or not as you wished)
was "because the toll-switching equipment (I assume he meant AT&T in
those days) is located right here in Chicago, therefore our
(Chicago's) switching equipment is set to make 'certain assumptions
when it sees a zero or one as the second digit dialed'; zero or
one as the second digit dialed tells the equipment to expect to
receive ten digits in total instead of just seven digits." I do
recall once or twice dialing a friend of mine on the same exchange
as 1-312-(plus 7 digits) instead of just 7 digits, and the call
completed just fine. But, said the technician, "that only works in
cases where an area code is devoted to a single large city, such as
New York (212) or Chicago (312) and not where an area code covers
an entire state (remember, this was a 1970's conversation). I do not
know if the tech knew what he was talking about or not. I do know
that it was in the early/middle 1980's before we had any prefixes with
zero or one in the second digit place, and a few years after that
before area codes were _not_ zero or one in the second digit
spot. PAT]

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