Zenith number

WX numberZenithZenith" X-XXXX
A Zenith number was a special type of telephony service which allowed a calling party to call the number's owner at no charge by requesting the call from a switchboard operator and citing the "Zenith", "Enterprise" or "WX" number.wikipedia
20 Related Articles

Toll-free telephone number

toll-freetoll-free number800 number
The service preceded the system of toll-free telephone numbers with area code 800 in the United States.
Examples of operator-assisted toll-free calling include the Zenith number introduced in the 1950s in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the original manual 'Freephone' service introduced by the British Post Office in 1960.

Wide Area Telephone Service

InWATSWATS WATS lines
In the United States and Canada, usage of manual Zenith numbers diminished after the 1967 introduction of interstate direct-dial 1-800 InWATS toll-free service; the requirement that +1-800 numbers arrive on special fixed-rate trunks ended in 1982.
The original North American toll-free number was the Zenith number, published in one distant city (or a few cities) only.

California Highway Patrol

CHPHighway Patrol11-99 Foundation
For example, the California Highway Patrol continues to use its decades-old Zenith 1-2000, though it advertises 1-800-TELL-CHP on its website.
The California Highway Patrol is one of the few organizations to continue to use the older toll-free "Zenith 1‑2000" number.

Collect call

1800 Reversecollectcharges reversed
The operator looked up the city and regular number in that city corresponding to the Zenith number, typically in a paper book kept at the switchboard and completed the call as if it were a collect call to the destination number.
Prior to the introduction of the toll-free 800 area code in 1967, Zenith numbers in the U.S. and Canada, and Enterprise numbers in the U.S. only, indicated to an operator that the business agreed to automatically accept collect calls to that number.

Calling party

callercall originatorcall
A Zenith number was a special type of telephony service which allowed a calling party to call the number's owner at no charge by requesting the call from a switchboard operator and citing the "Zenith", "Enterprise" or "WX" number.

Switchboard operator

telephone operatoroperatoroperators
A Zenith number was a special type of telephony service which allowed a calling party to call the number's owner at no charge by requesting the call from a switchboard operator and citing the "Zenith", "Enterprise" or "WX" number.

Telephone exchange names

central office nametelephone exchangetelephone exchange name
In that era, direct-dial numbers were commonly published with telephone exchange names followed by digits, such as in the telephone number "PEnnsylvania 6-5000".

PEnnsylvania 6-5000

telephone number
In that era, direct-dial numbers were commonly published with telephone exchange names followed by digits, such as in the telephone number "PEnnsylvania 6-5000".

Foreign exchange service (telecommunications)

foreign exchange officeforeign exchange stationforeign exchange
For organizations having limited access from specific areas, a Zenith number could provide savings over using foreign exchange (FX) service.

Toll-free telephone numbers in the North American Numbering Plan

1-800 numbers833888
Some businesses, eager to sell their products to buyers outside the local calling area, were willing to accept collect calls or installed special services, such as Zenith number service, where they paid the cost of receiving telephone enquiries.

Ozark Air Lines

From the 1960s through the late 1980s, Ozark Air Lines' reservations department used a special toll-free WX telephone prefix in New Jersey which could be reached only in certain areas of the state by dialing 0 and asking the New Jersey Bell operator to connect to Ozark's WX number: WX-8300.

555 (telephone number)

555555 telephone number5-5-5
Numbers in format "Zenith" X-XXXX, while not directly dialable, were not fictional.

RespOrg

responsible organizationResponsible Organizations (Resp Orgs)
In the 1950s, a collect call or a call to a Zenith number had to be completed manually by a telephone operator; by 1967, a direct-dial +1-800 number could be provided using Wide Area Telephone Service, but each prefix was tied to a specific geographic destination and each number brought in on special fixed-rate trunks which were priced beyond the reach of most small businesses.

Long-distance calling

long distancelong-distancelong distance call
A Zenith number in the late 1950s required an operator manually determine the destination number from a printed list; the 1967 Wide Area Telephone Service introduced the first automated toll-free telephone numbers, terminated on special fixed-rate trunks.

Enterprise

enterpriseEnterprise (disambiguation) § Vessels
Enterprise number, a former type of US business phone number which would automatically accept a collect call

Zenith (disambiguation)

Zenith number, also known as Enterprise or WX, referring to a toll-free telephone service

Non-dialable point

non-dialable toll pointToll Station
A manual freephone number (UK) or Zenith number (US, Canada) was operator-assisted; the operator located the corresponding geographic point (a dialable number) from a list and placed the collect call. These were replaced by area code 800 in North America in 1966-67 and by BT's 0800 Linkline services in the UK in 1985. A few Zenith, Commerce, WX or Enterprise numbers remain in service, but no more are being issued.