That looks like Samples of Junior’s comic wit.
It’s true. Growing up, I lived in the “Miller” exchange (MI3) but they went to all-digits (643) about the time I started kindergarden so I never had to really learn it. But I remember it, because our phone at home still had the old insert in the middle … because my mother refused to put the sticker over it that the phone company sent.
I still remember my folks number from back in the early 60’s!
Sounds like my grandparents’ childhoods and early adulthoods.
Party line. Our phone was 3 rings.
I certainly miss those old exchange names; can recall them after many years. Especially for radio and TV ads. I can still hear in my mind the deep voice singing,
“Hudson Three-Two-Seven Thousand!”
… Although I can’t recall the business with which it was connected.
That far back? That guy must be Alexander Graham Plugger!
Hee-hee, hee-hee, hee haw. Hee Haw!
My parents’ phone number when I was a kid was VAlley4-XXXX. You didn’t have to dial the VA (82) part, just 4-XXXX and you got through.
GA 1-XXXX – two party line and every time we tried to use the phone, the busybody down the road was gabbing away.
Our phone number(when I was VERY young) was DEsoto 5642. Changed (don’t know why) to MIdway 5642. Changed to MIdway 8 5642. This goes back to the 1940s. Guess I’m a plugger.
KE3 6784 my folks # for over 40 years
“Factory air…same air in them tires what come out of the factory”
All I Remember are numbers … No letters … Sorry .
Google Beechwood 4-5789 for some great Motown Music.
Long ago when I worked for the VA Medical Center, I had to update personnel files. Some of the long term employees had their old personnel sheets (we kept the old ones and put news ones up top). Several had their old phone numbers on their sheets, like “CApitol 2 – xxxx” or “FEderal 3 – xxxx”.
When I was very young our phone number was PL1-6019. For some reason I never forgot it and I’m 73 now.
Still remember the first phone number I had: WA6-3234.
That was the first thing I thought when I saw the comic. Long live He Haw!
Or remembers He-Haw
That actually IS a bit before me.
And, the letters stood for something. The exchange at our house was RI (verside) 9
When I retired, the town’s phone area didn’t include the whole town (all of 2300 people). The pharmacy was a toll call from my house.
And the telephone rang in short and long rings for the intended party. After which, when the intended party answered the phone, a 15 seconded waiting period in-sued before others also silently picked up if the receiver to listen.
My Grandparents number from 75 years ago Cherry3-2338. Ours was Atlantic5-5590. Before then you could dial with just the last 5 numbers and get connected.
Our phone number was 3 digits and most of the county was on party lines. When you wanted to make a call, you picked up the phone and the operator would answer, “Number please,” and you would either give the number or a name. If we wanted to call Long Distance, we would tell the operator what city/state we wanted to call and would get connected to a different operator and we would dive the name and sometimes the address of the person we wanted to call. We didn’t have phone books. Later on, we got a dial phone (attached to the wall with a long cord, but the numbers stayed the same. We just had the option of dialing the 3-digit local number or dialing O for operator. In 1960, the town put up street signs for the first time and every household was issued a house number. Before that I didn’t know I lived at the corner of 4th and Johnson or that my house number was 906. We hadn’t needed house numbers and street names before because there was no home delivery — everyone had a PO Box. Also, no more local operator. We had to dial 5 of the 7 digits of our new phone numbers. It took another decade before we had to dial the full 7 digits. And there is still no home delivery. When I sold the family home in 2006, I took the house number out of the kitchen drawer and laid it on top of the window sill so the new owners could attach it to the house. Last time I was back, it was still laying on that window sill.
Mine was AM-6-0371
The enduring legacy of Hee Haw…I miss the show and the music, sadly most of the singers and cast have transitioned from this life to the hereafter.
Older pluggers remember operators.
When I was a kid, our phone number was 2 digits, a letter, and another digit.
In Dresden, MO it was LOgan.
No one noticed BR549? A great country band.
OX[ford]2-4181 – so ours was 5 numbers plus the first 2 letters of the prefix/word. Small town of about 4000.
Mid 1950’s, 5678R(ural).
GL adstone 5 1492 and hand to wait my turn on the party line to call but interesting listening to everyone else meanwhile.
A Hee Haw reference and a great band from the 90’s
Sure hope I never get this angry about a change that happened 60 years ago.
FL7-4442 (my first tel. # — many, many years ago)
I wasn’t old enough to have to memorize the 2 letter, 5 number phone number but I do remember having one. My grand parents had a party line where they cranked the handle and waited for the operator to get on line then asked for the party they wanted. (they lived in rural Wisconsin) When we moved to Virginia in the mid 60s we got our phone number (7 digits) and kept it until my mom moved in with my sister and had to give it up 50+ years later. Really sorry to see that number go. I still remember changing from suing 7 digits to having to use all 10. I do however, remember having to use the operator to find the phone number for businesses and people. I remember trying to find someone in Kentucky (I knew his name and what town he lived in), that I had lost touch with, but a good friend of his had died and I knew that he would want to know. The operator was so helpful. Our local operator got me in touch with the operator in Kentucky who got me in touch with the operator in the town who found the person I was looking for. I was great! And this was in the late 70s!!!
I consider myself a plugger but this predates me. I do recall being able to call people on the same exchange by dialing only five numbers.
And how many of us little Catholic Pluggers in the pre-Vatican II era assumed that “Etcum-Spiri-2-2-0” was God’s phone number?
(Hope that Latin phrasing makes it through the censor-bot!)
Where I grew up, we only had to remember the last five digits of a phone number!
Prefixes we had – CA3-Captial 3 and BB5-Blacburn 5. And that was crazy because you could previously dial, or ask an operator for, just four numbers. Shhhhhik-tik tik tik tik tik.
My parents’ exchange was Jefferson 2- I also remember when pay phones were a dime, and when you had to pay more to call long distance.
Before we married, my husband bought a house in the outer suburbs of DC right along the line between two counties. He had the choice of two different exchanges. One would allow us to call every phone in our county for free. The other gave us free service into DC. Because he ran a home business, my husband opted for the ‘free service to DC’ but then it was long distance to call the county fire or sheriff department, or our next door neighbors who had the other exchange. (911 hadn’t been set up back then.) Within a year, he had two different phones— a business line on the exchange that was free to DC, and a personal line on the local county exchange.
We had underground phone lines which was a novelty at the time. Mice would get into the outdoor phone boxes and chew on the plastic. During spring rains, our phones would get scrambled, or wouldn’t work at all.
Later, the company I worked for paid for us to add a third line—dedicated to a fax machine. Between home and both businesses, we had 3 lines with about 8 phones – some single line, some multiple. Much later we added DSL, then cable & FIOS.
What made the old phone system even more fun was my husband and a Ma Bell phone tech buddy of ours wired the whole house with a mongrel system to handle all the lines. Some rooms had one phone with multiple lines while other rooms had multiple phones — Some phones were rotary. Others were digital. Towards the end, (before we began using cell phones and changed over completely to FIOS,) the phone company would routinely send their new techs to our house just to see the old technology.
Shed a tear for phone books and phone booths.
Our number was 254J. The Gambles hardware store where dad worked was 152.
Where we lived until shortly after I turned 5 was Hyacinth 5…. Don’t remember the rest – but it was 60+ years ago and I was NOT allowed to make any calls.
Where we moved half the phone numbers started OR and the other half started RO. Talk about confusion.
Now we have something like 4 or 5 phone numbers – and if we get 2 calls a month (other than the spam calls from “the other” political party and from our medical insurance companies trying to get us to sign up for different coverage it is a lot.
Gary Brookins and Susie MacNelly
June 10, 2017
May 20, 2021