July 30, 2008

old phone number -- it's ABC Wednesday!


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Happy ABC Wednesday, everybody!

Ah yes, I am as old as dust, so I can remember an earlier time when phone numbers were much shorter, and much easier to remember.   On the Monterey Peninsula where I grew up, ours was FR (for frontier) 5947.

Later they slipped in another digit and it became FR-5-5947, and later they swapped the FR for 37 and it became 375-5947, although some people still clung to the old FRontier prefix.

Those were still the days when you had to call the operator to place a long-distance call, but eventually they introduced area codes and direct-dialing -- so someone distant could avoid the operator and just dial 1-408-375-5947.   Ah yes, isn't modern life grand?


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25 comments:

Bear Naked said...

We both are as old as dust then because I remember those times.
Mine was Yorktown---YO.

Every time you comment on my blog and I see your Donald Duck avatar I have to smile.
Did you read my answer to question #4 in my post
http://wwwbearnaked.blogspot.com/2008/07/tagged-2.html?

Bear((( )))

Blue said...

I'm old enought to remember simple UK no's, every town/village had it's own exchange.
Nice idea for ABC!

Gemma said...

Hey we're the same age!!! The operator would come on the line and say "Number Please".

RuneE said...

Over here in the "old world" we haven't had that problem. We have had numbers all the time...

Aileni said...

I never realised that was a phone number.
Apparently there were operators dealing with calls until just before we arrived in Donegal 18 years ago.

Denise said...

I would think the operators from many years ago could tell a few tales! LOL!

Sherry Stewart said...

Those were the days my friend!
I still remember my first number...when all else is being forgotten! Nice memorial here!:)

Texas Travelers said...

Nice photo and excellent choice.
Modern life is grand.
Digital camera and large format printers.
I just wish we had kept a few of the old things.

I hope to visit all today.
It's a fun "B" project.
I also discontinued verification today.

Come visit our Butterflies, Click here.
Troy and Martha

magiceye said...

:) that was interesting...
out here we did not have alphabets though we had to go through an operator all right..

Larry D said...

Great photo , I love finding those old phone numbers on objects, takes you back to a different time.

Liz said...

That is a great sign. So much history.

Müge said...

Well... I’m not as old as dust (neither are you!) but I remember the 1970s, when I was a little girl: We had a relatively short phone number (37 47 55) and we had to call the operator even to make a call from Istanbul (the city where I was born and still live) to Ankara (the capital of Turkey). Then in 1980s, we had a longer number (337 47 55) and, in 1990s, came area codes (0216 337 47 55). And now everybody -even kids!- has a mobile phone and at least one mobile phone number!

leslie said...

Well, I can actually remember as a little little girl having a phone number like that. Ugh! showing my age! :( lol

Sara said...

Wow, you brought back a very old memory for me...when I was a kid we still used those old-fashioned phone numbers and I had totally forgotten about it until now!

nonizamboni said...

Wow did this bring back memories: asking for 'Central', giving her the 4 digits. Later ours included CE for cedar and then 2 or 3 added.
Nice photo too!

Tomate Farcie said...

Hey, I was wondering what that was, yesterday!

They had a similar phone system in France when I was a kid. They used to have 7 digits (a great alpha-numerical system, actually) and now I believe they have up to 10 digits complete with city code, and an extra zero on top to dial from within the country, a little bit harder to remember, I think.

kRiZ cPEc said...

four-digit phone number! Must be ages ago, thanks for sharing.

Marvin said...

Oh, yes, I remember those named telephone exchanges well. Until just a couple of years ago there was one occasionally used telephone number in my memory in the letter format: The number of my high school sweetheart.
I still remember the number, but when my MIL moved, it became just a bit of useless memory.

Diana said...

yes, we had 3 letter extensions in Cleveland - and of course don't forget you had to spin the dial -not punch a button.

Gordon said...

Maybe I am not so old; lol. The smallest phone number I can remember was a 6 digit one. Now our have 8 digits, plus an area codes for the country and the state.

AphotoAday said...

Oh yeah, Diana just reminded me of something about the old "spin the dial" phones...

When my parents changed over to a push-button phone they were given a new prefix and phone number -- but they somehow neglected to tell me that their number had been changed...   I always thought we had a pretty good relationship, despite the normal differences, but I had to call information and get their new number, and really, the whole experience was rather upsetting to me -- I was probably about 25 at the time...

CherryPie said...

Interesting photo :-)

Dragonstar said...

Ah, the good old days! When every exchange operator listened in and knew everyone's business!

Louis la Vache said...

Fantastic image! "Louis" still remembers his late grandmother's number in the old alpha-numberic system.

Louise said...

Great picture, and thanks for making me feel "young!"

 
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