TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Western Union Public Telegram Offices

Re: Western Union Public Telegram Offices
Sat, 11 Feb 2006 20:10:03 EST

In a message dated Fri, 10 Feb 2006 17:57:48 -0500, T
<> writes:>

> The 9xxx rule wasn't implemented everywhere. For example, the phone
> number at my parents first home was 401-751-9392 but that was served
> by a #1 ESS.

While 9xxx was the most common, it was by no means universal. There
were step offices and some 5XB where the 9xxx group didn't exist.
Also for historical reasons the 9xxx group may have been assigned to
regular customers. This was particularly true in C.O. locations where
there were several prefixes, all the 9xxx numbers being put in one
prefix, leaving 9xxx numbers with other prefixes for normal assignment
to customers.

The Rate & Route Information would include "check 9," or "check 2" or
whatever, depending on the location. This meant a call to the inward
operator a t the destination operator to determine whether or not a
9xxx (or 2xxx, or whatever) was a coin box.

Collect calls to coin stations were permitted until 10 or 15 years

In my brief experiences filling in on the switchboard during a
strike, I only encounted two such cases. If the call was accepted on
a cash basis, the customer was told to hang up and then you called the
destination inward operator to call the coin box and supervise the
collection of the coins. In the other case, it was a person-to-person
calls chasing someone up the Mississippi River, three or four places
giving another number in a marine location to try, until the called
party was reached at a coin phone somewhere along the river. As soon
as I announced the call (and prepared to go through the same
fol-de-rol) the called customer said something like "I'll accept it on
credit card xxxxxxxx."

Wes Leatherock

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: If you say it is no longer being done,
I will take your word for it. The one instance of that I recall from
many years ago, the local operator had to place the call via the
inward operator in that town. She called inward and asked for
'assistance in collecting coins from a pay station'. The inward
operator called the pay phone, got the approval of the person she
was speaking with to collect from him, but then he, the person
accepting the call and the charges said to inward, "I will pay with
my calling card; please split the connection while I give my number."
The operator split the connection, the card number was passed, then
the connection re-opened. PAT]

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