Telephone exchange names

central office nametelephone exchangetelephone exchange namenamed2L-4N or 2L-5NANdrewBUtterfield 8DOMinionexchange nameexchange names
A telephone exchange name or central office name was a distinguishing and memorable name assigned to a central office.wikipedia
92 Related Articles

PEnnsylvania 6-5000

telephone number
For example, under this system, a well-known number in New York City was listed as PEnnsylvania 6-5000. At least four popular songs use old telephone exchanges in their names: "PEnnsylvania 6-5000" (PE 6-5000), recorded by Glenn Miller (the inspiration for that song, the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City, still holds that phone number as +1-212-736-5000); "BEechwood 4-5789", by The Marvelettes; "LOnesome 7-7203 by Hawkshaw Hawkins; and "ECho Valley 2-6809" by The Partridge Family. PEnnsylvania 6-5000 was later spoofed in the Bugs Bunny cartoon Transylvania 6-5000 and the horror/comedy film Transylvania 6-5000.
The named Pennsylvania exchange served the area around Penn Station in New York.

List of original NANP area codes

original area codesoriginal 86 area codesoriginal numbering plan areas
In the 1940s, the Bell System developed the North American Numbering Plan, a system of initially 86 allocated area codes which were used at first only by switchboard operators to route trunk calls between plan areas.
This included a three-digit central office prefix, dialed as the first two letters of the local central office name and one digit, and the four-digit subscriber station number.

Telephone exchange

exchangescentral officeexchange
A telephone exchange name or central office name was a distinguishing and memorable name assigned to a central office.
During this transition period, once numbers were standardized to the 2L-4N or 2L-5N format (two-letter exchange name and either four or five digits), it was possible to dial a number located in a manual exchange and be connected without requesting operator assistance.

All-number calling

In the United States, the demand for telephone service outpaced the scalability of the alphanumeric system and after introduction of area codes for direct-distance dialing, all-number calling became necessary.
All-number calling (ANC) is a telephone numbering plan that was introduced by the Bell System in the United States starting around 1958 to replace the previous system of using a telephone exchange name as the first part of a telephone number.

North American Numbering Plan

Area codeArea codesArea code(s)
In the 1940s, the Bell System developed the North American Numbering Plan, a system of initially 86 allocated area codes which were used at first only by switchboard operators to route trunk calls between plan areas.
This was already common practice, because the system of using the initial letters of central office names did not assign letters to digits 1 and 0.

Direct distance dialing

direct dialdirect distance dialdirect distance dialling
Eventually, starting in the late 1940s, all local numbering plans were changed to the 2L-5N system to prepare for nationwide Direct Distance Dialing.
Customers of the ENglewood 3, ENglewood 4 and TEaneck 7 exchanges, who could already dial New York City and area, were able to dial 11 cities across the United States, simply by dialing the three-digit area code and the seven-digit number, which at the time consisted of the first two letters of the central office name and five digits.

S. I. Hayakawa

S.I. HayakawaHayakawaSamuel Ichiye Hayakawa
In some cities such as San Francisco, opposition was organized; the opposition group in San Francisco was called the Anti Digit Dialing League, of which S. I. Hayakawa was a notable member.
In the early 1960s, he helped organize the Anti Digit Dialing League, a San Francisco group that opposed the introduction of all-digit telephone exchange names.

Beechwood 4-5789

At least four popular songs use old telephone exchanges in their names: "PEnnsylvania 6-5000" (PE 6-5000), recorded by Glenn Miller (the inspiration for that song, the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City, still holds that phone number as +1-212-736-5000); "BEechwood 4-5789", by The Marvelettes; "LOnesome 7-7203 by Hawkshaw Hawkins; and "ECho Valley 2-6809" by The Partridge Family. PEnnsylvania 6-5000 was later spoofed in the Bugs Bunny cartoon Transylvania 6-5000 and the horror/comedy film Transylvania 6-5000.
The song's title is derived from the now-defunct use of telephone exchange names in telephone numbers.

All-figure dialling

all figure dialling01609All Figure Numbering
Similar developments followed around the world, such as the British all-figure dialling.
All-figure dialling was a telephone numbering plan introduced in the United Kingdom starting in 1966 that replaced the traditional system of using initial letters of telephone exchange names as the first part of a telephone number.

Director telephone system

Directordirector exchangeDirector system
In the United Kingdom, the first Director exchange in London, Holborn Tandem, was cutover in 1927; preceded by any necessary changes in the London area, e.g. changing some exchange names and making all local numbers (4N) 4-digit.
The first three digits were encoded as the first three letters of the local exchange name.

Telephone numbering plan

Area codeCalling codearea codes
In the United States, the demand for telephone service outpaced the scalability of the alphanumeric system and after introduction of area codes for direct-distance dialing, all-number calling became necessary. Several systematic telephone numbering plans existed in various communities, typically evolving over time as the subscriber base outgrew older numbering schemes.
Telephone exchange names

Transylvania 6-5000 (1963 film)

Transylvania 6-5000Transylvania 6-5000'' (1963 film)1963
At least four popular songs use old telephone exchanges in their names: "PEnnsylvania 6-5000" (PE 6-5000), recorded by Glenn Miller (the inspiration for that song, the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City, still holds that phone number as +1-212-736-5000); "BEechwood 4-5789", by The Marvelettes; "LOnesome 7-7203 by Hawkshaw Hawkins; and "ECho Valley 2-6809" by The Partridge Family. PEnnsylvania 6-5000 was later spoofed in the Bugs Bunny cartoon Transylvania 6-5000 and the horror/comedy film Transylvania 6-5000.
The title is a pun on "Pennsylvania 6-5000", a song associated with Glenn Miller and referring to the now-archaic system of telephone exchange names where the first two characters of a telephone number were expressed as letters: "Transylvania 6-5000" stands for "TR 6-5000" which devolves to 876-5000.

BUtterfield 8

1960 filmButterfield Eight
The title of BUtterfield 8, the 1935 John O'Hara novel whose film adaptation won Elizabeth Taylor an Academy Award for Best Actress, refers to the exchange of the characters' telephone numbers (on the Upper East Side of Manhattan).
An insulted Gloria, whose dress is torn, takes Liggett's wife Emily's (Dina Merrill) mink coat to cover herself and scrawls "No Sale" in lipstick on the mirror, but she orders her telephone answering service, BUtterfield 8, to put Liggett through if he calls.

Artie Shaw

Artie Shaw and His OrchestraShawArtie Shaw Orchestra
Artie Shaw and His Gramercy 5—Artie Shaw named his band the Gramercy Five after his home telephone exchange in Greenwich Village.
He named it Artie Shaw and the Gramercy Five after his home telephone exchange.

Telephone keypad

keypad12-key telephone keypaddial pad
Telephone keypad
Originally, they referred to the leading letters of telephone exchange names.

Phoneword

mnemoniclettersphone word
Phonewords
Telephone exchange names

New York City

New YorkNew York, New YorkNew York City, New York
In the United States, the most-populous cities, such as New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago initially implemented dial service with telephone numbers consisting of three letters and four digits (3L-4N) according to a system developed by W. G. Blauvelt of AT&T in 1917.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, PACity of Philadelphia
In the United States, the most-populous cities, such as New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago initially implemented dial service with telephone numbers consisting of three letters and four digits (3L-4N) according to a system developed by W. G. Blauvelt of AT&T in 1917.

Boston

Boston, MassachusettsBoston, MABoston, United States
In the United States, the most-populous cities, such as New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago initially implemented dial service with telephone numbers consisting of three letters and four digits (3L-4N) according to a system developed by W. G. Blauvelt of AT&T in 1917.

Chicago

Chicago, IllinoisChicago, ILCity of Chicago
In the United States, the most-populous cities, such as New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago initially implemented dial service with telephone numbers consisting of three letters and four digits (3L-4N) according to a system developed by W. G. Blauvelt of AT&T in 1917.

Montreal

Montreal, QuebecMontréalMontreal, Canada
For example, in Montréal, ATwater 1234 was dialed as six pulls on the dial (AT1234) to send the digit sequence 281234.

Bell System

BellBell Operating CompaniesBell Telephone
Some independent telephone companies, not part of the Bell System, also did not implement central office names.

Panel switch

panelother exchange typespanel dial systems
In 1915, newly developed panel switching systems were tested in the Mulberry and Waverly exchanges in Newark, New Jersey.

I Love Lucy

colorizations of ''I Love LucyI Love LaquitaI Love Lucifer
MUrray Hill 5-9975 is another example of the 2L-5N format, one of the Ricardos' numbers on I Love Lucy. The H in Hill, although not dialed, is still capitalized as the first letter of the second word.

San Francisco

San Francisco, CaliforniaSan Francisco, CACity and County of San Francisco
In some cities such as San Francisco, opposition was organized; the opposition group in San Francisco was called the Anti Digit Dialing League, of which S. I. Hayakawa was a notable member. As a result, those numbers were very seldom assigned to exchanges; however, KLondike was used for 55x in San Francisco and Columbus, Ohio, and WRigley 5 (975) in Chicago (Wrigley Field).