TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Old Chicago Numbering

Re: Old Chicago Numbering

Steven Lichter (
Mon, 31 Oct 2005 13:49:48 GMT wrote:

> In a message dated Sun, 30 Oct 2005 14:21:21 CST,
> writes:

>> Very seldom did Ma Bell use SxS for large metropolitan installations.
>> They seemed to prefer remaining with manual service until they could
>> install 'machine switching' using Panel or later 1Xb.

> "Very seldom"? How about Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Tulsa,
> Oklahoma City and, of course, much of the Los Angeles area.
> Undoubtedly true of many other places as well..

> All those had been completely converted to dial by the early 1930s,
> perhaps in the 1920s. The first dial office in Oklahoma City was cut
> over in early 1921 (using Automatic Electric SxS equipment; Bell Labs
> and W.E. had not yet recognized there was a need for such equipment.
> The remainder of the city was converted to dial in 1927 or
> this time with W.E. SxS equipmenmt. I think the remainder of the
> cities mentioned in Texas and Oklahoma had a similar history.

> The first XBs in Southwestern Bell territory outside of Kansas City
> and St. Louis were 5XBs in smaller towns converting to dial. The
> first 5XB in Oklahoma City was the SKyline office, now 751, which
> happens to still serve where I live (now ESS of course).

> One of the first installations of 5XB in the Los Angeles area was by
> the Sunland-Tujunga Telephone Company.

I don't remember anything other then SXS equipment in Sunland-Tujunga.
That was one of the first offices I worked in with GTE in 1967. I
don't think they would have removed it, I do remember its SATT was 53
type. It had SXS and a lot of carrier in it.

> 1XB, of course, was intended to be use in metropolitan areas that were
> panel. As originally configured it used on panel-type revertive
> pulsing -- even when one 1XB office was communication with another 1XB
> office. It had no provision for communicating with step equipment,
> which is why the 1XB installations in Southwestern Bell territory were
> limited to St. Louis and Kansas City.

>> The strangest Ma Bell payphone numbering I ever remember was in Cape
>> Cod where some payphones had 5xxx numbers.

> Operators' keyshelf bulletins listed the number series used for pay
> phones, either an entire thousand series or a partial thouands series.
> Rate & Route had similar information for all places in the U.S.A. If
> it was a partial series, on a collect call the operator had to go to
> inward at the destination city and ask inward whether the particular
> number was coin.

> The 9xxx series was the most common, with 89xx probably following, but
> many places could be found with any number series. In some SxS and
> 5XB offices the 9xxx series did not exist; that is, there was no
> equipment installed for the 9xxx series.

> Wes Leatherock

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