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March 1999


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Michael Marceau <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 1 Mar 1999 11:56:12 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (32 lines)
Hi, Folks,
        Here in Maryland, I recall two exchanges from the 1950s. One was
GArden 4; the other was POplar 2. I heard (unofficially) that it was
because many people had their own gardens, and that there were lots of
poplar trees around! This may be an urban legend, but to an 8-year-old
having a telephone for the first time, it made sense to me!! I STILL
remember the number: GArden 4-7972.
        Area codes, however, are a TOTALLY different beast!!

Mike Marceau in Taneytown, Maryland

"If you finish listening before I finish talking, please feel free tp
leave; I won't mind at all."
Anonymous - from the keynote speaker at a convention I recently attended

On Thu, 25 Feb 1999, Daniel H. Weiskotten wrote:

> Since the topic has been brought up - just how did the first three digits
> of phone numbers (not the area code) get started or assigned?  Is it a
> regional development from the early local company number assignments (such
> as "Operator ... W-7 please")?  when I was a kid (not too long ago!) we had
> Oldfield 5 which translated on the dial as 655, but no one ever seemed to
> know where the "Oldfield" came from - which came first - the numbers or the
> letters?  Were they devised on some logical plan like the compass system
> used on the Rural Indexes?  Was it a local thing devised by the local
> companies and then modified when they were gobbled up by Ma Bell???
> Just curious.
> Dan W.