Telephone Central Office / Exchange Name Histories
June 9, 2007 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Telephone Central Office Histories - A fascinating collection of personal anecdotes and histories about telephony from the US and around the world, from The Telephone Exchange Name Project. Coral Cache links -1- -2- (via)
posted by loquacious (8 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
antidote != anecdote.

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The Malapropism Police.
posted by cstross at 1:09 PM on June 9, 2007

Heh. I have no idea what you're talking about. Move along, nothing to see here.
posted by loquacious at 1:13 PM on June 9, 2007

loquacious, I remember PLeasant and SWift used as exchanges in my city when I was a kid - I think these exchanges were used through the mid to late 60s, although some older folks (I'm looking at you, Daddy) continued to refer to them with letters many years after the switch.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:28 PM on June 9, 2007

As a dorky little kid, I was always fascinated by finding things around the house that had the old exchange numbers on them- I still have a bunch of old wooden hangers from dry cleaners with numbers like MOntrose 4967 and GArfield 1522 (both San Francisco). Looking forward to digging around when not hangoverly running out the door to a BBQ.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:51 PM on June 9, 2007

It was just this week I discovered what REN 1.0b represented on the back of one of my phones.

I'm in ur telephoniez ringin your fonez.
posted by quin at 2:51 PM on June 9, 2007

As a kid I remember seeing the exchange-name style of phone number in 60s-era Saturday morning cartoons and being curious what it meant, but at some point I must have asked someone, read about it, or figured it out on my own.

I think it's really neat how the modern pace of technological change has given birth to a whole class of technologies that on the one hand were still considered current during the lifetime of some set of still-living adults, and yet are now antiquated enough that there are few if any surviving examples in everyday use, and remain only as a relic in books and older movies and such. Examples off the top of my head: carbon paper, rotary dial phones, slide rules, dot matrix printers, spirit duplication ("ditto fluid"), 8 track tapes, ...
posted by Rhomboid at 5:40 AM on June 10, 2007

posted by mai at 8:56 AM on June 10, 2007

Rhomboid: Carbon paper and dot matrix printers are still fairly common, although the carbon paper is mostly the kind built in to the upper sheets. The printers are mostly used where multiple copies are required. I'm always surprised when I hear one, but they are common.
posted by Goofyy at 9:52 PM on June 10, 2007

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