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Phone exchanges brought Yukon to Upland

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  • czg7777
    An article from the Ontario, California Daily Bulletin: http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_5353007
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 5, 2007
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      An article from the Ontario, California Daily Bulletin:

      http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_5353007
    • Joseph Singer
      ... Somehow I don t think GUasti is among the recommended names for exchanges recommended by the Bell System :)
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 5, 2007
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        On Mar 5, 2007, at 03:22, czg7777 wrote:

        > An article from the Ontario, California Daily Bulletin:
        >
        > http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_5353007

        Somehow I don't think GUasti is among the recommended names for
        exchanges recommended by the Bell System :)
      • hamiltonhugh
        Guasti was a community, but never a manual or dial prefix. The reporter is fantasizing. -Hugh
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 5, 2007
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          Guasti was a community, but never a manual or dial prefix. The reporter
          is fantasizing.

          -Hugh

          --- In TENproject@yahoogroups.com, Joseph Singer <joseph@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > On Mar 5, 2007, at 03:22, czg7777 wrote:
          >
          > > An article from the Ontario, California Daily Bulletin:
          > >
          > > http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_5353007
          >
          > Somehow I don't think GUasti is among the recommended names for
          > exchanges recommended by the Bell System :)
          >
        • richardbrezet
          Guasti was a community, but never a manual or dial prefix. The reporter is fantasizing. Somehow I don t think GUasti is among the recommended names for
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 6, 2007
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            Guasti was a community, but never a manual or dial prefix. The
            reporter is fantasizing.

            Somehow I don't think GUasti is among the recommended names for
            exchanges recommended by the Bell System :)
            ------------------------------------------------------

            #1486 - A list of vintage Ma Bell-recommended exchanges on the site
            would enable most of you to invent an exchange for your own number.
            For instance, for my work phone, the first two digits of which are
            48, exchanges could be HUbbard, HUdson, HUnter, HUntley, HUxley or
            IVanhoe. Still, none of these have any Inland Valley flavor.
            ------------------------------------------------------

            The poster of message #1486 was obviously giving a tongue-in-cheek
            analysis of some of the really strange exchange names that were
            concocted in the days of 2L-5N phone numbers.

            Here in Nova Scotia, the phone company went along with some the the
            recommended Bell names, but not always. In 1950, NS was an amalgam
            of 3-, 4-, and 5-digit dial exchanges, along with legacy battery and
            a few holdover small magneto manual exchanges. Once the former
            Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company (now part of the Bell
            Aliant network in Canada's 4 easternmost provinces) had bought out
            the many tiny rural exchanges and consolidated each of them into a
            size that was more amenable to dial conversion, they went on a
            switchover binge and all but a few had gone to 2L-5N (up to the end
            of 1959); once the decision had been reached by North America's
            phone companies in November 1959 to go to ANC, MT&T just converted
            everyone to ANC starting in 1960 to save itself lots of hassle later
            on. By 1962 most people in North America could dial direct to most
            phones in NS.

            Most of the conversions to 2L-5N in the 1950's - or planned for the
            early 60's - were "sensible" (read geographical or topographical) -
            for example: our capital city Halifax had HArbour [it sits on a huge
            one] or GArrison (it has been a military town since 1749), as well
            as GLadstone (named after the street and district where it was
            located), HIllside in the district that stood on a hill overlooking
            the big harbour), and GRanite in the suburban area where granite
            rock sticks out everywhere. Other examples of sensible exchange
            names - many that focused on trees, which abound in NS - were:
            JUniper, POplar, VAlley which was in the Annapolis Valley; NOrthland
            in the north-west of NS; UNiversity in a small college town;
            BIrchwood where you saw many such trees; TErminus at a major ocean
            shipping point; ORchard in the middle of apple trees; KIngsview
            where the town overlooks a vista of Kings County; CHestnut to
            represent the many trees of that variety; NEptune in a famous
            fishing town; TWinbrook where two rivers meet; and ELmwood where
            there were lots of - what else? - elm trees.

            At the same time, there were quite a few irrelevant or at least
            unrelated names such as MOntrose, HUdson, FRontier, LOgan, LYric (in
            a coal-mining community?), LIberty, MAyfair (in a small village
            settled by Germans?), BRoadway (in a tiny fishing village?), and the
            name SHerwood in my home town of Yarmouth, NS which is a seaport and
            fishing town with no connection whatsoever to Sherwood Forest - or
            Robin Hood. To me, they could have chosen something more like
            SEaview or perhaps ATlantic for an exchange name.

            I'm sure lots of those posting here who remember the old 2L-5N
            exchange names must wonder where some of them came from, and who
            were the obscure people in those offices at the phone company who
            were paid to come up with the new names.
          • Joseph Singer
            ... Well, Plymouth, Massachusetts got the CO code 746 which just happened to have the right numbers to spell PIlgrim which IIRC is one of the recommended Bell
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 6, 2007
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              On Mar 6, 2007, at 21:05, richardbrezet wrote:

              > Most of the conversions to 2L-5N in the 1950's - or planned for the
              > early 60's - were "sensible" (read geographical or topographical) -
              > for example: our capital city Halifax had HArbour [it sits on a huge
              > one] or GArrison (it has been a military town since 1749), as well
              > as GLadstone (named after the street and district where it was
              > located), HIllside in the district that stood on a hill overlooking
              > the big harbour), and GRanite in the suburban area where granite
              > rock sticks out everywhere. Other examples of sensible exchange
              > names - many that focused on trees, which abound in NS - were:
              > JUniper, POplar, VAlley which was in the Annapolis Valley; NOrthland
              > in the north-west of NS; UNiversity in a small college town;
              > BIrchwood where you saw many such trees; TErminus at a major ocean
              > shipping point; ORchard in the middle of apple trees; KIngsview
              > where the town overlooks a vista of Kings County; CHestnut to
              > represent the many trees of that variety; NEptune in a famous
              > fishing town; TWinbrook where two rivers meet; and ELmwood where
              > there were lots of - what else? - elm trees.

              Well, Plymouth, Massachusetts got the CO code 746 which just happened
              to have the right numbers to spell PIlgrim which IIRC is one of the
              recommended Bell System exchange names.

              Then again, there were cities that didn't stick to recommended names
              or if they did it was not done to any degree of regularity such as
              Boston with such exchange names as COPley, DEVonshire, LONgwood,
              HANcock, BEAcon, COMmonwealth, ASPinwall and others (Boston was 3L-4N
              before changing to 2L-5N in the late 40's.)

              New York had many non-traditional exchange names, LAcawana, TRafalgar
              and others.

              Philadelphia had PEnnypacker
            • thelotus@juno.com
              Likewise, Portland, Oregon had UKiah, which was the name of a Native American tribe and small towns in both Oregon and California. Don Borkowski -- Joseph
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 6, 2007
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                Likewise, Portland, Oregon had UKiah, which was the name of a Native American tribe and small towns in both Oregon and California.

                Don Borkowski

                -- Joseph Singer <joseph@...> wrote:


                On Mar 6, 2007, at 21:05, richardbrezet wrote:

                > Most of the conversions to 2L-5N in the 1950's - or planned for the
                > early 60's - were "sensible" (read geographical or topographical) -
                > for example: our capital city Halifax had HArbour [it sits on a huge
                > one] or GArrison (it has been a military town since 1749), as well
                > as GLadstone (named after the street and district where it was
                > located), HIllside in the district that stood on a hill overlooking
                > the big harbour), and GRanite in the suburban area where granite
                > rock sticks out everywhere. Other examples of sensible exchange
                > names - many that focused on trees, which abound in NS - were:
                > JUniper, POplar, VAlley which was in the Annapolis Valley; NOrthland
                > in the north-west of NS; UNiversity in a small college town;
                > BIrchwood where you saw many such trees; TErminus at a major ocean
                > shipping point; ORchard in the middle of apple trees; KIngsview
                > where the town overlooks a vista of Kings County; CHestnut to
                > represent the many trees of that variety; NEptune in a famous
                > fishing town; TWinbrook where two rivers meet; and ELmwood where
                > there were lots of - what else? - elm trees.

                Well, Plymouth, Massachusetts got the CO code 746 which just happened  
                to have the right numbers to spell PIlgrim which IIRC is one of the  
                recommended Bell System exchange names.

                Then again, there were cities that didn't stick to recommended names  
                or if they did it was not done to any degree of regularity such as  
                Boston with such exchange names as COPley, DEVonshire, LONgwood,  
                HANcock, BEAcon, COMmonwealth, ASPinwall and others (Boston was 3L-4N  
                before changing to 2L-5N in the late 40's.)

                New York had many non-traditional exchange names, LAcawana, TRafalgar  
                and others.

                Philadelphia had PEnnypacker



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              • Mark J. Cuccia
                ... I tend to think that most of the examples of non-traditional names mentioned above, those which are not on the recommended list, such as those
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 7, 2007
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                  richardbrezet at yahoo dot com wrote:

                  > Most of the conversions to 2L-5N in the 1950's - or planned for the
                  > early 60's - were "sensible" (read geographical or topographical) -
                  > for example: our capital city Halifax had HArbour [it sits on a
                  > huge one] or GArrison (it has been a military town since 1749), as
                  > well as GLadstone (named after the street and district where it was
                  > located), HIllside in the district that stood on a hill overlooking
                  > the big harbour), and GRanite in the suburban area where granite
                  > rock sticks out everywhere. Other examples of sensible exchange
                  > names - many that focused on trees, which abound in NS - were:
                  > JUniper, POplar, VAlley which was in the Annapolis Valley;
                  > NOrthland in the north-west of NS; UNiversity in a small college
                  > town; BIrchwood where you saw many such trees; TErminus at a major
                  > ocean shipping point; ORchard in the middle of apple trees;
                  > KIngsview where the town overlooks a vista of Kings County;
                  > CHestnut to represent the many trees of that variety; NEptune in a
                  > famous fishing town; TWinbrook where two rivers meet; and ELmwood
                  > where there were lots of - what else? - elm trees.


                  Joseph Singer <joseph at jsinger dot org> replied:

                  > Well, Plymouth, Massachusetts got the CO code 746 which just
                  > happened to have the right numbers to spell PIlgrim which IIRC is
                  > one of the recommended Bell System exchange names.
                  >
                  > Then again, there were cities that didn't stick to recommended
                  > names or if they did it was not done to any degree of regularity
                  > such as Boston with such exchange names as COPley, DEVonshire,
                  > LONgwood, HANcock, BEAcon, COMmonwealth, ASPinwall and others
                  > (Boston was 3L-4N before changing to 2L-5N in the late 40's.)
                  > New York had many non-traditional exchange names, LAcawana,
                  > TRafalgar and others. Philadelphia had PEnnypacker.


                  Don Borkowski <thelotus at juno dot com> also replied:

                  > Likewise, Portland, Oregon had UKiah, which was the name of a
                  > Native American tribe and small towns in both Oregon and California.


                  I tend to think that most of the examples of "non-traditional" names
                  mentioned above, those which are not on the recommended list, such as
                  those Boston/NYC/Phily names which date back to their 3L-4N days of
                  the 1920s/30s/40s -- note that NYC changed to 2L-5N circa 1930/31....
                  pre-date any thought of a standard/recommended list of AT&T.

                  And many other places might have had long-standing uniquely local
                  flavor exchange names dating back even before the dial days, back to
                  the early 1900s or later 1800s, when everything was completely manual
                  via the "number please" operator.

                  I don't really think that AT&T really cared too much about the names
                  that individual local communities used prior to the 1950s era. There
                  was no long-haul nationwide customer toll dialing, and there was
                  limited Operator Toll Dialing which until the late 1940s/early 1950s
                  was nowhere near approaching anything of being even nearly ...
                  "nationwide". Operators manually passed names/numbers verbally over
                  a voice-trunk to another operator down the line. When the final
                  "inward" operator in the destination area was finally on the line, she
                  was the one who needed to know of the name/letters and numbers quoted
                  were correct or not, and either she asked the originating operator or
                  calling party to repeat the number or inquired further, or else she
                  more or less "knew" what needed to be done, since she was actually
                  familiar with the "uniqueness" of the actual name, spelling, etc.

                  But when an originating-end toll operator began to be able to actually
                  DIAL through with all or part of the destination telephone number,
                  either directly to the desired party's number, or else most of the way
                  until an "intermediate" operator still needed to be brought into the
                  call, then the originating-end operator needed to know EXACTLY how to
                  "spell" an EXchange NAme so that she could dial the correct letters
                  which really matched to digits. In some cases, for calls to high-
                  volume places which had "strange" sounding/spelled names, a small
                  chart or bulletin could be supplied to most operators to know how to
                  spell such an exchange name that pre-existed for years/decades.

                  But where possible, Bell realized that NEW exchange names introduced,
                  or if possible any changes to previously existing exchange names,
                  should be made from a new standard/recommended list. And I tend to
                  think that this list was created by AT&T/Bell no later than the early
                  1950s-era. Of course, local/unique names that obviously pre-dated
                  AT&T/Bell's introduction of this recommended list, were still in
                  popular/actual use through the early 1960s if not later, in some
                  places, until "all number calling" officially replaced exchange name
                  dialing in that location, in the later 1950s, 1960s, or 1970s, etc.

                  Mark J. Cuccia
                  markjcuccia at yahoo dot com
                  Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina
                • Paul Coxwell
                  ... ... London, England, which used 3L-4N numbering until the latter half of the 1960s had a mixture of exchange names. Many were named for actual
                  Message 8 of 8 , Mar 13, 2007
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                    richardbrezet wrote:
                    > The poster of message #1486 was obviously giving a tongue-in-cheek
                    > analysis of some of the really strange exchange names that were
                    > concocted in the days of 2L-5N phone numbers.

                    <snip>

                    > I'm sure lots of those posting here who remember the old 2L-5N
                    > exchange names must wonder where some of them came from, and who
                    > were the obscure people in those offices at the phone company who
                    > were paid to come up with the new names.

                    London, England, which used 3L-4N numbering until the latter half of the
                    1960s had a mixture of exchange names. Many were named for actual
                    London districts, streets, or places: PADdington, HOLborn, VICtoria,
                    BAYswater, CHAncery (Chancery Lane), TRAfalgar (Trafalgar Square). Some
                    were named for specific buildings in the area served: TATe Gallery,
                    MUSeum, TERminus (the latter serving the area around Kings Cross railway
                    station).

                    But there were names which were added which had no geographical
                    connection at all. There was the literary series of names, for example:
                    BYRon, WORdsworth, DICkens, KEAts. There were names which were used
                    as substitutes for other names which were considered "too downmarket"
                    for certain neighborhoods within the exchange's service area. For
                    example, DUKe was issued as a pseudonym to subscribers in certain
                    districts served by the FULham exchange (385). KEYstone was another
                    substitution for LEYtonstone, which was considered an undesirable name
                    to be associated with at one time.

                    There's one instance in which the proposed name for an exchange was
                    never put into use. 238 was to be BEThnal Green, but unlike FULham/DUKe
                    and LEYtonstone/KEYstone, the result in this case was the everybody
                    served out of this C.O. was given the more socially acceptable but
                    otherwise quite meaningless name of ADVance.

                    There were even one or two names which might be considered slightly
                    whimsical. One prefix assigned to the expanding area around Heathrow
                    Airport in the 1950s was SKYport.

                    There's a least one case in which TWO codes were assigned in the SxS
                    directors to route to the same office to allow for possible misdialing
                    by the subscriber: GYPsy Hill and GIPsy Hill.

                    -Paul.
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