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Florida Man Gets New Telephone Area Code Login/Join 
On the DL
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I am old enough to remember phones without dials. You picked up the receiver and the operator came on line to make the connection for you.





Heck, I even remember cranking the magneto on a phone in a rural area.

Then, along came rotary dials that let you make your own connection for local calls. You still had to dial 0 for operator, then along came 211 to get a "long distance" operator.

I was working at Bell Labs as a Central Office Switching System design engineer during the transition to subscriber dialing for long distance calls. This required the use of area codes, and required a pre-fix of 1 if the call was station-to-station, or 0 prefix if operator intervention would be required for person-to-person, or for a collect call ("reverse the charges" -- remember that?).

The original plan for area codes was that states that would be covered completely by one area code would have a middle digit 0, while area codes in states that would have multiple area codes would have a middle digit 1 in the area code.

Florida was destined to be a single area code state and was assigned 305, which lasted six years until the Tampa area received 813.

The Orlando area still had the original 305 when we moved here in 1985; the 407 area code was introduced a few years later, and when that code ran out of numbers, the 321 code, originally assigned to the Space Coast area, was expanded to include an overlay for the Orlando area.

Continued growth and the ever-increasing demand for numbers (remember when one landline served the whole family instead of each family member and maybe even the cat and dog each requiring at least one cell phone), brought about the introduction of more area codes. Florida now has 17 area codes: 239, 305, 321, 352, 386, 407, 561, 727, 754, 772, 786, 813, 850, 863, 904, 941, and 954.

But wait -- that's not all! There's another one on the way. 689 is coming soon to a city near you, if you live in east central Florida. So now the area between Orland and Daytona might use 321, 407, 386, or 689.

I really do miss the simple good old days.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 21434 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting, did you come across the 4a x-bar during your Bell Labs days?
 
Posts: 2267 | Registered: March 22, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
On the DL
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quote:
Originally posted by midwest guy:

Interesting, did you come across the 4a x-bar during your Bell Labs days?
The electromechanical systems that I worked on were Step-By-Steo (Strowger), Panel, No. 1 Crossbar, and No. 5 Crossbar. I was also involved in the initial release of No. 1 ESS (Electronic Switching System) and later, No. 5 ESS.

Those were Central Office switches, serving subscriber lines. I'm not familiar with No. 4 Crossbar. Was that a tandem office (toll) switch? If so, I did not do any work on it.

EDIT: Yes, the # 4 Crossbar system was a tandem / toll switch, and no, I did not have anything to do with that. All of my work was with systems that were accessed directly by subsriber lines.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 21434 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My father was a career Bell Telephone employee moving from climbing poles to a District Manager in Wisconsin. We always had the latest and greatest telephone tech stuff in our house. We had the first 'Bell Chime' in town and the first 'Princess Phone' in town and so on.

But the good news is that Montana still has one area code - 406. I hope this continues for the rest of my days in Big Sky Country.
Mike



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Posts: 2028 | Location: Kalispell Montana & Florida’s Emerald Coast for the Winter | Registered: December 24, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mcrimm:

Montana still has one area code - 406. I hope this continues for the rest of my days in Big Sky Country.
Yeah, area code splits and overlays (worse than splits!) are a royal pain in the ass.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 21434 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The entire Yoop is 906. My old man was a telephone installer for the USAF. Our house was on the cutting edge of 1960s phone technology. My old man delighted in have multiple phones he was not paying for. I was rigidly trained in lying to Ohio Bell when they came to the house to look for unauthorized phones. The OBT dude would climb the pole, use his his equipment to ring our house and he could determine how many phone bells were ringing, thus the number of phones in the house.
It was my job to spot the OD green OBT Rambler cruising the neighborhood and unplug the illegal phones before the OBT dude could ring the house. This was among the many things that my father did that appalled my mother. She was convinced we were all headed for prison.
It was my first foray into crime. After the old man retired, he gifted me his lineman phone. It was a proud moment!


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Posts: 9001 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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After the old man retired, he gifted me his lineman phone.
The one with the alligator clips that we called a "buttinski?"



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Posts: 21434 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've been working on a national telco account for the last couple decades.

Always liked the workplace posters in some of the field offices "Care & Feeding of your Butt set".



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Posts: 1477 | Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL - its a dry heat....... | Registered: January 26, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am younger than you but I remember only having to dial 5 numbers in rural Kentucky growing up.


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Posts: 33007 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jljones:

I am younger than you but I remember only having to dial 5 numbers in rural Kentucky growing up.
I can beat that. I remember when my uncle first got a telephone at his farm. We did not have to dial any numbers!



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Posts: 21434 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I remember listening for the number of rings to know if it our incoming call or someone else's. Or Alpine87600 being a phone number.


I know a little about a lot of things, but I don't know everything. I'm in the minority these days.
 
Posts: 9197 | Location: Somewhere north of a hot humid hell in the summer. | Registered: January 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When I was a kid, Houston was all 713
Moved back here in college & it was 713, 281, 832
Now they've added 346
Galveston gets looped in with the SE TX 409 code.
Far N Houston uses 936

6 or 7 area codes to cover the Houston metro area.

When we left Houston when I was in elementary school, the town we moved to had all numbers being 409-385-xxxx. So you only needed 4 numbers to know someone's full number.
When I graduated high school, they had added 409-386-xxxx, so out the door went the last 4 scheme.




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Posts: 7114 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yep... It was a buttinski! I lost it in a house fire. Broke my heart.


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Posts: 9001 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by YooperSigs:

Yep... It was a buttinski! I lost it in a house fire. Broke my heart.
We had a mini Central Office downstairs in the lab. The technicians had buttinskis, but we engineers were not allowed to have them. Frown



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Posts: 21434 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I remember my grandmother's cabin in VA being on a 3 or 4 way party line.

Remember having to dial a regular phone number for police/fire/ems.

I also grew up in a town where the first three numbers of the local prefix was the same for everyone, just had to know the last 4 digits.

That's about all I've got. Not quite old enough lol




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Although sometimes distracting, there is often a certain entertainment value to this easy standard.
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Posts: 10471 | Location: NC | Registered: August 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My mother was a long time Bell employee, started as an operator in '45, retired as a service rep in '75.

Our town did not get dial service until mid 1955 so I remember a little of operator assist and calling her when she was working.


Ignorance is a powerful tool if applied at the right time, even, usually, surpassing knowledge(E.J.Potter, A.K.A. The Michigan Madman)
 
Posts: 5897 | Location: Livingston County Michigan USA | Registered: August 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I work with and around enough young people that I occasionally feel old approaching 39.

This thread has made me feel pretty damned young again, so thanks!

I remember when I was a kid (and all my parents listened to in the car was the oldies station) having to ask how Beechwood45789 was a phone number - or how you were supposed to dial it, anyway.

-Rob




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Posts: 15126 | Location: Maryland, AA Co. | Registered: March 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This story always tickles me. The amazing Strowger switch was invented by an undertaker. It revolutionized the telephone industry. Afterwards, Strowger returned to the undertaking profession.

P. S. When I was a kid in MO, I worked at a business which had a telephone number of “2”. That number stayed with the store location, regardless of who owned it at the time. My family’s telephone number was “474”.

“Almon Strowger was working as an undertaker in Kansas City, Missouri, when he conceived his design for an automatic telephone. Reports on how the invention came to be vary, but Ronald Strowger, one of Almon Strowger’s relatives, repeated the most common story in a telephone interview from his home in Oregon. Almon Strowger became upset when business began to decline suddenly, Ronald Strowger said. At the same time, he discovered that a friend had died and he had not been called about the funeral services. He attributed the problem to a telephone operator who was romantically involved with a rival undertaker. Strowger reportedly became angry, believing that the woman was diverting Strowger’s calls to the rival. He responded by creating a device which would allow telephone users to place calls directly, without the need for operators…”

http://www.strowger.net/conspi...wger-as-an-inventor/



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Posts: 4887 | Location: San Diego | Registered: July 26, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Pipe Smoker:

The amazing Strowger switch was invented by an undertaker. It revolutionized the telephone industry.
A step-by-step ("Strowger") switch:




I joined Bell Labs in 1960, working in the group that was responsible for developing ANI (Automatic Number Identification) for the step-by-step, panel, and No. 1 Crossbar systems.

ANI was the fore-runner of Caller ID. At the time, ANI information was not available to the called party; it was initially used to supply call information to the billing ("toll ticketing") system.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 21434 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not that old, but I do remember my best friend's phone at his house growing up, they had a party line.
 
Posts: 1864 | Registered: September 19, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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