Boston Area Telephone Exchange Name History

Boston Area Telephone Exchange Name History

Post by LDDS.. » Tue, 05 Sep 1995 04:00:00



Since other contributors have recently provided information about the
histories of the Chicago and New Orleans telephone systems, I decided
to do a listing of exchanges for central offices located within 10
miles of Boston in 1959, the year before all-number calling made it's
debut in this area. Since I now live more than 1000 miles from Boston,
I do not have the opportunity to visit a public library to obtain
information from old telephone books. All of the information below
comes from my memory and a list of current ANIs for the area.

In 1948, exchange names went from three letters to two letters and one
number.  For example CAPitol became CApitol 7. This allowed New
England Telephone to use the same exchange name with several suffix
numbers.

Some Boston exchange names came from the history of the area which is
also the story of the beginnings of the United States.  Since Boston
was the birthplace of the telephone (and the original headquarters
city of AT&T), some exchanges were named after telephone pioneers.

It is also interesting to know that sections of the City of Boston,
have a seperate telephone identity. A long distance call made to the
Roxbury section of the city (only three miles from downtown) will be
billed as a call to Roxbury, not to Boston.  This is also true for
calls made to Dorchester, West Roxbury, Hyde Park, Brighton, Charlestown,
South Boston, and East Boston.

BOSTON TELEPHONE EXCHANGES    -   1959

LOCATION        REASON FOR NAME            COMMENTS OR NAME BEFORE 1948

DOWNTOWN - 185 Franklin St. Office **

CApitol 3       State Capitol Building     Federal Govt. offices only
CApitol 7       State Capitol Building     CAPitol
LAfayette 3     Revolutionary War Hero     LAFayette
MEridian 7      Time-of-day information    MEridian 7-1234 (only)
RIchmond 2      Richmond Street            RIChmond
SHerwin 3       Telephone Pioneer          N.E. Telephone Co. offices only
WEather 6       Weather information        WEather 6-1234 (only)

DOWNTOWN - 8 Harrison Ave. Office **

DEvonshire 8    Devonshire Street          Only Boston Police (DE 8-1212)
                                           and pay phones had this prefix

HAncock 1       Revolutionary War Hero     Only for John Hancock Ins. Co.
HAncock 6       Revolutionary War Hero     HANcock
HUbbard 2       Telephone Pioneer          HUBbard
LIberty 2       Patriotic word             LIBerty

DOWNTOWN - BACK BAY **

CIrcle 7        Name origin unknown     Only pay phones on this exchange
COngress 2      Not a local name        Created in 1950s
COmmonwealth 6  Commonwealth Ave.       COMmonwealth
COpley 7        Copley Square           COPley
KEnmore 6       Kenmore Square          KENmore

** Denotes CENTRAL EXCHANGE OFFICE. Residential customers in other areas
had the option of unlimited calling plans for calls made outside these areas,
however ALL calls made to these areas were message unit calls.  Also,
residences within these areas were offered only message unit calling plans.

ARLINGTON

MIssion 3 / 8   Not a local name        Replaced manual office in 1950s
HUnter 3 / 8    Not a local name        {Served customers of ARlington manual
                                        {exchange located in W. Medford.

BELMONT

IVanhoe 4 / 9   Not a local name        Replaced manual office in 1950s.

BRIGHTON / ALLSTON

ALgonquin 4     Name origin unknown     ALGonquin
STadium 2       Harvard Stadium         STAdium

BROOKLINE

BEacon 2        Beacon Street           BEAcon
ASpinwall 7     Aspinwall Avenue        ASPinwall
LOngwood 6      Longwood Avenue         LONgwood
REgent 4        Not a local name        Created in 1950s

CAMBRIDGE

ELiot 4         Eliot Street            ELIot
KIrkland 7      Kirkland Street         KIRkland
Trowbridge 6    Trowbridge Street       TROwbridge
UNiversity 4    Harvard University      UNIversity
UNiversity 8    Harvard University      UNIversity

CHARLESTOWN

CHarlestown 2   Name of area served     CHArlestown

CHELSEA

TUrner 4 / 9    Not a local name        Replaced CHelsea 3 manual office 1957

DORCHESTER

BAyside 9       Dorchester Bay          Created in 1950s
COlumbia 5      Columbia Road           COLumbia
AVenue 2 / 8    Dorchester Avenue?      Created in 1948
GEneva 6        Geneva Avenue           GENeva
TAlbot 5        Talbot Avenue           TALbot

EAST BOSTON

Logan 7 / 9     Logan Airport           {Replaced EAstboston 7 manual office
                                        {approx 1957

HYDE PARK
---------
EMpire 1 / 4    Not a local name       {Replaced HYdepark 3 manual office

                                       {approx 1955
EDgewater 3     Not a local name       [Served customers formerly in

                                       [HYdepark 3 located in Milton

JAMAICA PLAIN

JAmaica 2 / 4   Name of community       JAMaica

LEXINGTON

VOlunteer 1/3   Patriotic name          Replaced manual office in 1950s
                (Minute Man)

MALDEN

DAvenport 2 /4  Not a local name        Replaced manual office in 1950s.

MEDFORD

EXport 5 / 6    Not a local name        Replaced manual office in 1950s.

MILTON / MATTAPAN

BLuehills 8     Blue Hills Reservation  Split in 1959
CUnningham 6    Cunningham Park         Split in 1959
CYpress 6       Not a local name        Mattapan customers prev. on CU6
CYpress 8       Not a local name        Mattapan customers prev. on BL8
OXford 6        Not a local name        Milton customers prev. on CU6
OXford 8        Not a local name        Milton cistomers prev. on BL8

NOTE: BLuehills and CUnningham customers had dial service long before
1959. After the 1959 split, Mattapan and Milton customers were still
served from a central office located in Milton. Throughout the 1960's,
I lived in Mattapan and my number was CYpress 6-5356. However, calls
dialed as OXford 6-5356 still went through to my phone.

NEEDHAM

HIllcrest 4     Not a local name        Replaced NEedham 3 manual office

NEWTON

BIgelow 4       Name origin unknown     BIGelow
DEcatur 2       Name origin unknown     DECatur
LAsalle 7       LaSalle Junior College  LASalle
WOodward 9      Not a local name        Created in 1950s

QUINCY

GRanite 2 / 9   Local granite quarry    GRAnite
MAyflower 9     Pilgrims' ship          MAYflower
PResident 3     Quincy is birthplace of Presidents John Adams & J.Q.Adams

REVERE

ATlantic 4 /9   Revere located on ocean {Replaced REvere 8 manual office
                                        {approx 1957

ROXBURY

GArrison 7      William Lloyd Garrison  GARrison
                (Abolitionist)
HIghlands 2 /5  Roxbury Highlands       HIGhlands

SOMERVILLE

MOnument 6      Name origin unknown     Replaced manual office in 1950's
PRospect 6      Name origin unknown     Replaced manual office in 1950's

SOUTH BOSTON

ANdrew 8 / 9    Andrew Square           {Replaced SOuthboston 8 manual
                                        {office in early 1950's

WALTHAM

TWinbrook 3 /9  Not a local name        Replaced manual office in 1950's

WATERTOWN

WAlker 4 / 6    Not a local name        {Replaced WAtertown 3 manual office
                                        {in 1950's
Note: WAlker was used as the new prefix even though Watertown began with WA

WEST ROXBURY

FAirview 3/5/7  Not a local name        Replaced manual office approx 1954
HOmestead 9     Not a local name        {Used for Brookline customers served
                                        (by W. Roxbury central office

WINTHROP
VIking 6        Not a local name        Replaced manual office in 1950s

Compiled by Jim Jacobs, Senior Communications Consultant with
LDDS / WorldCom, Tampa Florida.

Office voice +1-813-276-5155         Office fax   +1-813-229-6373
E-mail jim.jac...@pchelp.com         Voice mail   +1-813-330-2500

 
 
 

Boston Area Telephone Exchange Name History

Post by Scott D Fybu » Wed, 06 Sep 1995 04:00:00


Interesting to note how, with just a few exceptions, all of these
exchanges have survived for 35-plus years now, intact:

> DOWNTOWN - 185 Franklin St. Office **
> CApitol 3       State Capitol Building     Federal Govt. offices only
> CApitol 7       State Capitol Building     CAPitol
> LAfayette 3          Revolutionary War Hero     LAFayette
> MEridian 7   Time-of-day information    MEridian 7-1234 (only)
> RIchmond 2      Richmond Street            RIChmond
> SHerwin 3       Telephone Pioneer          N.E. Telephone Co. offices only
> WEather 6    Weather information        WEather 6-1234 (only)

223, 227, 523 and 742 are all still around, all served out of Franklin
Street.  637-1234 and 936-1234 still get the time and weather.  And
NYNEX offices are still the sole users of 743.

> DOWNTOWN - 8 Harrison Ave. Office **
> DEvonshire 8    Devonshire Street          Only Boston Police (DE 8-1212)
>                                            and pay phones had this prefix
> HAncock 1       Revolutionary War Hero     Only for John Hancock Ins. Co.
> HAncock 6    Revolutionary War Hero     HANcock
> HUbbard 2    Telephone Pioneer          HUBbard
> LIberty 2       Patriotic word             LIBerty

421, 426, 482, and 542 are all still around.  So is 338, which is now
in general use.

> DOWNTOWN - BACK BAY **
> CIrcle 7        Name origin unknown     Only pay phones on this exchange
> COngress 2      Not a local name        Created in 1950s
> COmmonwealth 6  Commonwealth Ave.       COMmonwealth
> COpley 7        Copley Square           COPley
> KEnmore 6       Kenmore Square          KENmore

262, 266, 267, and 536 are all still around.  So is 247, which served
the Boston Police PBX until just about two years ago, when they moved
to 617-343.  247 is now in general use.

> ARLINGTON
> MIssion 3 / 8   Not a local name        Replaced manual office in 1950s
> HUnter 3 / 8    Not a local name        {Served customers of ARlington manual
>                                         {exchange located in W. Medford.

643 and 648 are still around.  So are 483 and 488, now known as the
"West Medford" exchange (but still billed identically to Arlington).

> BELMONT
> IVanhoe 4 / 9   Not a local name        Replaced manual office in 1950s.

484 and 489 are not only still around, but are STILL the only exchanges
in Belmont.

> BRIGHTON / ALLSTON
> ALgonquin 4     Name origin unknown     ALGonquin
> STadium 2       Harvard Stadium         STAdium

254 and 782 still exist...in fact I have a couple of 254 lines on my
office telephone.  

> BROOKLINE
> BEacon 2        Beacon Street           BEAcon
> ASpinwall 7     Aspinwall Avenue        ASPinwall
> LOngwood 6      Longwood Avenue         LONgwood
> REgent 4        Not a local name        Created in 1950s

232, 277, 566, and 734 are all still around.

> CAMBRIDGE
> ELiot 4         Eliot Street            ELIot
> KIrkland 7      Kirkland Street         KIRkland
> Trowbridge 6    Trowbridge Street       TROwbridge
> UNiversity 4    Harvard University      UNIversity
> UNiversity 8    Harvard University      UNIversity

354, 547, 876, 864, and 868 are all still there, accompanied nowadays
by a slew of 49X exchanges, most belonging to Harvard, and several
MIT exchanges as well.

> CHARLESTOWN
> CHarlestown 2   Name of area served     CHArlestown

242's still there, and it spawned 241 a few years later.

> CHELSEA
> TUrner 4 / 9    Not a local name        Replaced CHelsea 3 manual office 1957

Still there as 884 and 889.  There's now an 887 as well, created after
the old 617-887 Boxford became 508-887 in 1988.

> DORCHESTER
> BAyside 9       Dorchester Bay          Created in 1950s
> COlumbia 5      Columbia Road           COLumbia
> AVenue 2 / 8    Dorchester Avenue?      Created in 1948
> GEneva 6        Geneva Avenue           GENeva
> TAlbot 5        Talbot Avenue           TALbot

Here's one that's gone.  229 is now a Burlington exchange, but a fairly
recent one.  Perhaps BAyside 9 became 929?  265, 282, 288, 436, and
825 are still around.

> EAST BOSTON
> Logan 7 / 9     Logan Airport           {Replaced EAstboston 7 manual office
>                                         {approx 1957

567 and 569 - still there.  There's 561 and 568 now as well, the latter
added after 617-568 Hudson became 508-568 in 1988.

> HYDE PARK
> ---------
> EMpire 1 / 4    Not a local name       {Replaced HYdepark 3 manual office
>                                        {approx 1955
> EDgewater 3     Not a local name       [Served customers formerly in
>                                        [HYdepark 3 located in Milton

361 and 364 are still there (the mayor's home phone is on 364).  333 is
around as well, but now counted as a Milton exchange with 696/698 -
see below under Mattapan/Milton.

> JAMAICA PLAIN
> JAmaica 2 / 4   Name of community       JAMaica

522 and 524 - still around.

> LEXINGTON
> VOlunteer 1/3   Patriotic name          Replaced manual office in 1950s
>            (Minute Man)

861 and 863 are still in Lexington, now with 860 and 862 as well.

> MALDEN
> DAvenport 2 /4  Not a local name        Replaced manual office in 1950s.

322, 324...still in use, along with 321.

> MEDFORD
> EXport 5 / 6    Not a local name        Replaced manual office in 1950s.

As 395 and 396, these remain in use today.

> MILTON / MATTAPAN
> BLuehills 8     Blue Hills Reservation  Split in 1959
> CUnningham 6    Cunningham Park         Split in 1959
> CYpress 6       Not a local name        Mattapan customers prev. on CU6
> CYpress 8       Not a local name        Mattapan customers prev. on BL8
> OXford 6        Not a local name        Milton customers prev. on CU6
> OXford 8        Not a local name        Milton cistomers prev. on BL8

The BL8 and CU6 exchanges both returned much later -- 258 as an MIT
exchange in Cambridge, 286 in Revere.  296/298 still serves Mattapan,
696/698 still serves Milton.

> NEEDHAM
> HIllcrest 4     Not a local name        Replaced NEedham 3 manual office

444.  Still in use, along with 449, 455, and 433 added later.

> NEWTON
> BIgelow 4       Name origin unknown     BIGelow
> DEcatur 2       Name origin unknown     DECatur
> LAsalle 7       LaSalle Junior College  LASalle
> WOodward 9      Not a local name        Created in 1950s

244, 332, 527, and 969 all still exist...along with about a dozen
more recent additions.

> QUINCY
> GRanite 2 / 9   Local granite quarry    GRAnite
> MAyflower 9     Pilgrims' ship          MAYflower
> PResident 3     Quincy is birthplace of Presidents John Adams & J.Q.Adams

MA9 - or 629 - no longer exists.  472, 479, and 773 are all still
there, with several more recent editions.  The 629 exchange was
assigned much later to Somerville.  Besides GR9/479, there are no
other XX9 exchanges in Quincy even now.

> REVERE
> ATlantic 4 /9   Revere located on ocean {Replaced REvere 8 manual office
>                                         {approx 1957

284 and 289 are still around,  along with 286 (see Milton/Mattapan,
above).

> ROXBURY
> GArrison 7      William Lloyd Garrison  GARrison
>                 (Abolitionist)
> HIghlands 2 /5  Roxbury Highlands       HIGhlands

427, 442, 445 - all still there.  Very little phone growth there - the
only new addition in 35 years was 541 a few years back.

> SOMERVILLE
> MOnument 6      Name origin unknown     Replaced manual office in 1950's
> PRospect 6      Name origin unknown     Replaced manual office in 1950's

666 and 776 remain in existence, along with several newer exchanges.

> SOUTH BOSTON
> ANdrew 8 / 9    Andrew Square           {Replaced SOuthboston 8 manual
>                                         {office in early 1950's

268 and 269 are still around, along with newer 463 and 464 exchanges.

> WALTHAM
> TWinbrook 3 /9  Not a local name        Replaced manual office in 1950's

Waltham has seen explosive phone growth, fueled by DID-heavy users in
office parks along Route 128.  893 and 899 are still around, with 890,
891, and 894 arriving a few years later, and literally dozens of new
exchanges in the last decade.  Many of the new "Waltham" exchanges are
used by Cellular One, which used to have its local headquarters in
Waltham.  

> WATERTOWN
> WAlker 4 / 6    Not a local name        {Replaced WAtertown 3 manual office
>                                         {in 1950's
> Note: WAlker was used as the new prefix even though Watertown began with WA

Hmm ... I'd always just assumed it was WAtertown!  924 and 926 are still
there, plus 923 and 972, the last for town government only.

> WEST ROXBURY
> FAirview 3/5/7  Not a local name        Replaced manual office approx 1954
> HOmestead 9     Not a local name        {Used for Brookline customers served
>                                        (by W. Roxbury central office

323, 325, 327 -- and that's still it.  469 is still in existence too,
but now counted as a "Brookline" exchange.  I believe there's still
a geographic area along the Brookline/W.Roxbury/Newton line where ALL
customers are assigned 469 and only 469.

> WINTHROP
> VIking 6        Not a local name        Replaced manual office in 1950s

846 - still around and only recently joined by 539.

Great list! -- and fun to see how far back many of today's exchanges
go.  

-=Scott Fybush - fyb...@world.std.com - Waltham MA=-

 
 
 

Boston Area Telephone Exchange Name History

Post by Garrett A. Wollma » Fri, 08 Sep 1995 04:00:00



D Fybush) said:

Quote:>>BRIGHTON / ALLSTON

>> ALgonquin 4     Name origin unknown     ALGonquin
>> STadium 2       Harvard Stadium         STAdium
> 254 and 782 still exist...in fact I have a couple of 254 lines on my
> office telephone.  
>> BROOKLINE
>> BEacon 2        Beacon Street           BEAcon
>> ASpinwall 7     Aspinwall Avenue        ASPinwall
>> LOngwood 6      Longwood Avenue         LONgwood
>> REgent 4        Not a local name        Created in 1950s
> 232, 277, 566, and 734 are all still around.

Interesting that the 27 in 277 did not stand for BRookline...  (People
in my part of Brighton are served out of the 277 exchange, which
results in a continuing inability on the part of NYNEX to print my
address correctly.  Many people in my neighborhood probably consider
this a good thing.)

Quote:>> ELiot 4         Eliot Street            ELIot
>> KIrkland 7      Kirkland Street         KIRkland
>> Trowbridge 6    Trowbridge Street       TROwbridge
>> UNiversity 4    Harvard University      UNIversity
>> UNiversity 8    Harvard University      UNIversity
> 354, 547, 876, 864, and 868 are all still there, accompanied nowadays
> by a slew of 49X exchanges, most belonging to Harvard, and several
> MIT exchanges as well.

There is also an extensive network of tie lines.  My MIT phone system
guide lists the following places I can call internally:

        American Academy of Arts & Sciences (3D)
        Bates Linear Accelerator (3D)
        Draper Labs (5D)
        Harvard (5D)
        Lincoln (4D)
        Mass. General (4D) [might be good for B&W now, too?]
        MASCO (5D)
        Mt. Auburn Hospital (4D)
        Tech Coop (3D)
        Wellesley (4D)
        Woods Hole (4D)

Quote:>> MILTON / MATTAPAN
>> BLuehills 8     Blue Hills Reservation  Split in 1959
>> CUnningham 6    Cunningham Park         Split in 1959
>> CYpress 6       Not a local name        Mattapan customers prev. on CU6
>> CYpress 8       Not a local name        Mattapan customers prev. on BL8
>> OXford 6        Not a local name        Milton customers prev. on CU6
>> OXford 8        Not a local name        Milton cistomers prev. on BL8
> The BL8 and CU6 exchanges both returned much later -- 258 as an MIT
> exchange in Cambridge, 286 in Revere.  296/298 still serves Mattapan,
> 696/698 still serves Milton.

258 is not exclusively MIT; Draper has numbers in the bottom half, and
there may be others (One Kendall Square?).  253 and 258 are served out
of the Bent St. CO in East Cambridge, which occasionally causes
problems due to a bad trunk between Bent St. and Ware St.

I occasionally get calls from people who should have dialed 8-xxxx
rather than 3-xxxx.  (Not to mention all the people who want to dial
369-94zz and forget to dial 9 first.)

Quote:>> SOMERVILLE
> >MOnument 6      Name origin unknown     Replaced manual office in 1950's
> >PRospect 6      Name origin unknown     Replaced manual office in 1950's
> 666 and 776 remain in existence, along with several newer exchanges.

And, of course, the origin of the name PROspect should be fairly
obvious to anyone who lives nearby as referring to Prospect Hill (the
Somerville one, not the Waltham one!).


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Regards forgetting to dial '9' ... in the
early 1970's I was working at the Amoco/Diners Club credit card office
when it was here in Chicago. All the phones were 312-856-xxxx. My extension
was (if i remember correctly) 7262. I could set my watch by it: everyday
at 11:30 AM, the start of the first lunch hour my phone would ring. I

and* up. I finally found out it was some dimbo in the mail room
trying to call the bar and grill on the first floor to put in their lunch
take out order. The phone number down there? RAndolph-6-2-something.  PAT]