TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: NYC History -- Switch to 2L From 3L Exchanges, 1950 Installation?

Re: NYC History -- Switch to 2L From 3L Exchanges, 1950 Installation?
12 Aug 2006 12:16:04 -0700

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: 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.

In the NYC conversion the Bell System emphasized there'd be no layoffs
because many operators would still be needed for toll calls,
assistance, and traffic growth. However, they did note that attrition
would also be a factor as "many girls leave to get married".

Some operator jobs in those days were somewhat numbing. For example,
a "B" operator, who made the actual connection, simply heard a 4 digit
number and inserted her plug. The machine did the rest (automatic
ringing). One very simple transaction repeatedly all day long. No
toll, no assistance -- all of that was handled by the "A" or other
operators. Some operators worked a keyboard, simply entering a 4
digit number they heard on a keypad (manual to automatic call).

Toll operators had much more variety and tasks to do in the old days
when their work included locating the desired party.

> 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.

When Philadelphia went to 2L5D they purposely changed the third dial
pull. Thus WAL became WAlnut 2. WAVerly became WA 4. In essence,
virtually everyone got a new phone number.

For some reason I don't understand, they purposely gave out numerous
exchanges instead of additional digits in one exchange. For example,
when DAvenport 4 and DA 9 when out, instead of adding more DA- numbers
they created GLadstone even though there were plenty of DA- codes
available. My neighborhood had LIvingston, CApital, HAncock, and
WAverly all out of the same building, then they added 276. With panel
this kind of thing is easy (hard in step-by-step). Most exchange
zones had multiple names within them, so you could have GErmantown
while your next door neighbor had VIctor. When ANC came out it got
even crazier.

Would anyone know why they used multiple names instead of multiple
numbers per name?

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: "Re: Surveillance Lawsuits Transferred to Judge Skepitcal of Bush Plan"
Go to Previous message: Steve Sobol: "Re: Verizon Raising Rates on Many of its Services in Ohio"
May be in reply to: "NYC History -- Switch to 2L From 3L Exchanges, 1950 Installation?"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page