Re: The Dark Ages of telephone service

Mark Johnson

--- In WJMA@..., "Cathy Christovich" <cchristovich@w...>

I vividly remember visiting a
college friend who lived on Long Island and trying to call home to
"collect." The operator, with all the New York attitude she could
told me "I'm sorry, you do not have enough DIGITS."
I have never thought about this before as it pertains to only four

With the present system the first (discounting country codes) three
digits are the "area code" so "540" tells the system that you want a
part of Virginia. Then "672" further tells it that you want
the "Orange Exchange". That narrows it down to 9999 different
possible numbers, from which the last four digits are used to select
as in "1000".

Back in the late 60's Virginia had just one area code, 703. So, 703
got you to Virginia. My question is : How was only four additional
digits enough to complete a call from outside the area? There had to
have been hundreds of exchanges in Virginia even then.

Was there a word code used as well? "Orange 1234" for example?

Mark Johnson

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