TELECOM Digest Editor wrote:
> Here is another piece, this one on 'recommended' exchange names.
> While at WE I looked up, as a matter of curiosity, the office drawings of
> the last manual CO to convert to dial in New York City where I grew up.
> When the CIty Island 8 central office was converted the new exchange was
> ordered and installed as the TUlip 5 exchange but between installation and
> cutover New York Telephone decided to switch from exchange names to
> arbitrary 2-Letter combinations and it appeared in the new telephone
> directory as TT 5 which is dialed exactly the same as TUlip 5. The dial
> conversion could in fact have been done without changing the exchange name
> as people elsewhere in New York City had been dialing CIty Island 8 for
> years, reaching a call indicator in front of the inward operator at CIty
> Island 8 who completed the call without their being aware that an operator
> was involved in the call.
Would anyone know when this conversion took place? I understand City
Island today is a popular mini resort town of restaurants. It is a
little island off the Bronx and is somewhat out of the way, so it
misses some of the craziness of NYC.
Anyway, as part of the ANC conversion, the Bell System experimented in
New York State with intentionally non-pronouncable exchange codes,
such as TT. Others were used as well in NYS. This was an effort to
get more exchanges out of a district using codes that otherwise
wouldn't be named.
I forgot to mention one of the reasons for a uniform name list was
local pronounciations that might be different if spoken remotely to a
long distance operator. Philadelphia had one exchange, BAring 2 (in
West Phila), but it was pronounced bear (as in teddy), not "bar" (as
In 1975 I knew a politician who had a phone in his car. To reach him
was by a regular 7 digit conventional phone number (LOcust downtown),
so a casual caller wouldn't know they were reaching a car. I think
when he dialed out he merely dialed the number.