45 Years Ago-- Succasunna NJ 1ESS, also 305/904 FL NPA Split
- SUBJECT: 45 Years Ago-- Succasunna NJ 1ESS, also 305/904 FL NPA Split
2010 is the 45th anniversary of the first #1ESS being cut into full
PSTN service in Succasunna NJ, and is also the 45th anniversary of the
305/904 area code split for northern and north-central Florida. Also,
2010 follows the exact same "days-of-the-week" mapping that 1965 did!
At 12:01am EDT (right after Midnight) on Sunday 30-May-1965, the new
Succasunna NJ #1ESS, the very first one in the Public Switched Telephone
Network, was cut-into service, SUCCNJSUCG0. The 45th anniversary of
this very first #1ESS was JUST OVER two weeks ago!
Succasunna was also the very first time when the general public could
now have such new (optional extra-cost) "Custom Calling" services as
Call Waiting, 3-Way Calling, Call Forwarding, Speed-Calling. The first
two services could be activated with a switch-hook flash, while the use
and/or activation of Call Forwarding and Speed-Calling might have
required special codes, some of which could use the '*' (star) and '#'
(pound) DTMF buttons. Of course, the "star" (*) could be replaced by
rotary dial customers and 10-button touchtone customers (and even used
by 12-button touchtone customers as well) with '11'. The "pound" (#)
would "trail" a one or two digit code, to indicate to the central office
that the customer was finished dialing the number, or maybe that "part"
of the number, and to "cut-through" to the desired number, or to the
next stage of setting up a feature. Rotary customers, 10-button
touchtone customers, and even 12-button touchtone customers could simply
WAIT the three-to-five seconds of post-dial-delay for the central office
to "time-out" and cut through to either the desired number or to the
next stage of the feature set-up. "Trailing 'pounds'" (#) could also be
used on 011+/01+ IDDD calls which had variable length numbers, and also
on 0- (minus) calls direct to an Operator as '0#' since the central
office would be doing a post-dial-delay wait (until time-out) if the
customer simply dialed '0', since the call "could" be a 0+ ten-digit (or
seven-digit HNPA) Operator/Special billing call, or a 011+/01+ IDDD
call, or in post-divestiture years, a '00' call to the IXC/LD operator,
while '0' by itself is now the "local" operator.
In 1974, the only 201-NNX c.o.code on SUCCNJSUCG0 was 201-584. The next
201-NNX code, 201-927, was added to SUCCNJSUCG0 at some point AFTER
October 1975 and BEFORE February 1978.
201-584 was most likely the code for the cutover on 30-May-1965 since
a (partial) list of circa 1960 2L-5N EXchange NAmes in New Jersey posted
to Townson's Telecom Digest/Archives in September 1996 shows "JUstice 4"
(584) as being Succasunna NJ.
But did the SUCCNJSUCG0 1ESS replace a SXS office (or even #5XB) back on
Sunday 30-May-1965? Succasunna NJ is much further west/inside northern
New Jersey well away from the Panel/#1XB (and later #5XB) "revertive
pulsing" region of northeastern New Jersey along the Hudson River across
from New York City. When Englewood NJ first had originating customer DDD
access to just over a dozen major metro areas as of November 1951,
although it wasn't actually "known" as DDD yet, the list of 2L-5N areas
in northeastern New Jersey that Englewood already had direct dial
(message unit and toll) access to did NOT include Succasunna NJ. Of
course, I don't even know if Succasunna NJ was yet a "dial" office in
Some further details on later developments re Succasunna follow below.
Also in 1965, 45 years ago this year, the northern, north-central, and
northeastern areas of Florida which were still part of the 305 area code
were split off into the new 904 area code. 305 was retained (at that
time) by central Florida and the east coast of Florida from the Cape
Canaveral/Kennedy area southward, all the way to "The Keys". This split
took effect as a FLASH CUT, at 2:01am EDT on Sunday 11-July-1965. There
was _NO_ formal/official permissive dialing period. Such permissive dial
periods with area code changes/splits didn't even happen until the
714/619 split which was permissive on November 1982 (mandatory in
February 1983). Even the Virginia 703/804 split of Sunday 24-June-1973
was also a FLASH CUT with _NO_ formal/official permissive dial period!
(DESPITE what others' webpages attempt to indicate, which also
frequently have the WRONG implementation dates as well!).
Of course, even though there was no "formal/official" permissive dial
period, which in later decades could last anywhere from one month to a
year-and-a-half, it is POSSIBLE that both 904 and temporary continued
use of 305 "might" inadvertently work for several hours after the
official cut-date/time of 2:01am EDT Sunday 11-July-1965, since AT&T-LL,
Southern Bell, etc. had to first open up all valid/new 904-NNX codes in
the network, and then after that was completed (and tested), all old
"matching" 305-NNX codes which previously referenced locations now
officially in 904, had to be "removed" or "turned off" with vacant or
intercept type recordings if someone still dialed the old 305 NPA for
placing calls to this now-904 part of Florida, those same 305-NNX codes
to ultimately be re-assigned to locations in that part of Florida which
retained the 305 NPA code (at that time). Such an "inadvertent"
permissive dial period "could" have taken effect, for who knows...
3-hours? 6-hours? 8-hours? 12-hours? following 2:01am Eastern that
Sunday morning, 11-July-1965. I was only four years old at the time,
and while I was fascinated by the telephone even at that age, I wouldn't
have been doing any test-dialing to find out back then!!!!
With the July 1965 Florida 305/904 area code split, the state now had
three area codes, the third area code being 813 for the west (Gulf)
coast of southern Florida, all GTE (now VeriZon, still being retained
by VeriZon) for the Tampa Bay area, and CenturyLink/Embarq/Sprint/United
for the Fort Meyers area. 813 was carved out of 305 back in the early
1950s, although it wouldn't be until the early 1960s when calls could
be DIALED by customers elsewhere in the US/Canada to this 813 southwest
"independent" region of Florida. The _OLD_ name for VZ/GTE Tampa was
Peninsular Telephone Company which General Telephone purchased circa
1968, and the _OLD_ name for the CenturyLink-once-United Fort Meyers
area was Inter-County Telephone Company which United purchased probably
in the mid-1960s.
In Spring 1988, Florida's fourth area code, the 407 area code split from
305, for the Orlando and NASA regions (Orange County, Seminole County,
Osceola County, Brevard County, part of Volusia County, and a very small
part of Lake County) and also for points _north_ of Broward County --
i.e., Palm Beach County, Martin County, St.Lucie County, Indian River
County. 305 (at the time) was retained by Broward County, Dade County
(Miami/etc), and the "Keys" part of Monroe County.
Starting in 1995 and continuing through 2002, all four area codes in
Florida (as of 1988) have had several splits and/or overlays, the 904
area code included -- 352 for north-central Florida (Gainesville) in
1995, 850 for the panhandle (Tallahassee to Pensacola) in 1997, and 386
for both the Daytona area and points to the west of the Jacksonville
area/north of the Gainesville area in 2001. The 904 area code was
retained by the Jacksonville area itself in northeast Florida.
Some later developments regarding Succasunna NJ:
The second 201-NNX office code, 201-927, was added to the original
201-584 (JUstice 4-) at SUCCNJSUCG0 at some point AFTER October 1975,
but BEFORE February 1978.
SUCCNJSUCG0 (still a 1ESS, never upgraded to a 1AESS by NJ-Bell/Bell
Atlantic, WECO/Labs) was replaced by a new 5ESS, SUCCNJSUDS5, on
Saturday 28-September-1991. It still had the same two c.o.codes,
201-584 and 201-927.
201-252 was added to SUCCNJSUDS5 on Saturday 30-January-1993.
Succasunna NJ fell on the 973 side of the 201/973 area code split of
1997. Permissive dialing of the new 973 area code began on Sunday
01-June-1997. Mandatory use of the new 973 area code, meaning that the
use of the 201 area code for Succasunna and other parts of north-central
and north-western (and even some northeastern NJ was no longer allowed)
took effect on Saturday 06-December-1997 -- i.e., 201-252, 201-584, and
201-927, were replaced respectively by 973-252, 973-584, 973-927.
A new 973-NNX code, the fourth, 973-598, was added to SUCCNJSUDS5 on
In December 2001, the 973 area code was overlaid with the new 862 area
code. At the same time, 201 was overlaid with 551, and 732 (which split
from 908 back in 1997) was overlaid with 858. (908 had split from 201
back in 1990/91).
There are several other 973-NXX codes associated with the Succasunna NJ
ratecenter, as well as some new 862-NXX codes, and even some (default)
VeriZon-Wireless 201-NXX office codes which might probably have been
legacy Bell-Atlantic/(NYNEX) Mobile office codes pre-dating the 201/973
area code split of 1997 which were "grandfathered" in the 201 NPA
instead of changing to 973-NXX codes back then, also all associated with
the Succasunna NJ ratecenter.
But the VeriZon/Bell-Atlantic/NJ-Bell SUCCNJSUDS5 5ESS, which replaced
the 30-May-1965 SUCCNJSUCG0 1ESS (THE VERY FIRST) in 1991, has only
four "default" c.o.codes associated with it, all four also being
associated with the Succasunna NJ ratecenter, originally part of the
201 area code, but splitting/changing to the new 973 area code during
973-252 (since 30-January-1993, initially as 201-252)
973-584 (the ORIGINAL code as 201 "JUstice 4", predates the 1965 1ESS)
973-598 (since 30-September-1998)
973-927 (since the mid-1970s, initially as 201-927, originally on the 1ESS)
Mark J. Cuccia
markjcuccia at yahoo dot com
Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina