Anyone familiar with this?
1) NYC got dial in 1922. It was set up as 3L-4N, that is,
PENnsylvania 1234. At some point it was switched to 2L-5N, that is,
PEnnsylvania 6-5000. Philadelphia switched in the mid 1940s. Would
anyone know when NYC switched? Did Chicago switch?
2) The Bell history says the last all new panel exchange was installed
in NYC in 1950. (Extensions to existing exchanges continued for years
after). By 1950 No 5 crossbar was out and certainly No 1 crossbar.
Why would an all new panel exchange be installed that late -- it was
clearly obsolete by that point and not compatible with upcoming changes
they knew were coming.
P.S. According to the NYT for 1922, the conversion to dial was a very
big deal. Thousands and thousands of subscribers were converted city
wide in a fairly short time, although total conversion would take a
while. They needed an enormous number of operators even after dial. I
can't imagine how many girls or switchboard positions they had.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: For comparison, Chicago started
converting from manual to dial in the late 1930's however the
conversion took several years (on account of WW-2 when Western
Electric was nationalized by the federal government and not returned
to its owner, Bell, until spring, 1946). The earliest conversions
occurred in 1938-39 and after nothing was done on it 1942-46 the
conversion then continued with HUMboldt and AVEnue being the final
two central offices converted, in I think, 1949. There were a lot
of rumors going around among the operators that they were all going
to be fired once the conversion was finished which of course was a
false rumor. The Chicago-Avenue central office serves, or did serve
Orchard Field. Six months following the AVEnue office cutover, Orchard
Field closed and Ohare International Airport opened on the same spot.
Chicago-Avenue wound up with about three times as many operators as
had worked there before the cut.
Chicago also was 3L - 4D for many years, and this is still reflected
in the fact that the _oldest_ central offices have as their first
number the third letter of the old system even today. Bearing in mind
that many of these have long since metamorphed into a/c 773 from the old
312, but CENtral is now CE-6 (236), FRAnklin is now FR-2 (372),
DEArborn is now DE-2 (332), WABash is now WA-2 (922), IRVing is now
IR-8 (478), GRAceland is now GR-2 (472) and so forth. Coincidentally,
AVEnue is now AV-3 (283), but it is still referred to as 'the Avenue
central office'. PAT]