My family also had the first TV set in our Bronx apartment house, a
DuMont Chatham, known to collectors as the "Doghouse" for its slant
sides.  I still have it.  Since we were in NYC we eventually had the
maximum allotment of VHF stations possible for a market, seven
(2,4,5,7,9,11 &13) and I remember when the final couple of of them came
on the air.  

When we moved to New Jersey, most of the towns had phone exchanges based
on the name of the town, and we were TEaneck 6.  A few years ago we did
a little investigation that was aided by these lettered phone exchanges.
 Bill O'Reilly had been touting he "peasant" upbringing by claiming to
have been brought up in Leavittown.  Al Frankin had disclosed that Billo
had actually been brought up in more upscale Westbury but needed proof. 
We found it for him in the microfilms of the phone books.  In a couple
of books the address of his father actually said Westbury, and when the
exchanges were modified around 1953, his became WEstbury, and the houses
actually in Levittown became LEvittown.  If he knew his phone number as
a kid, it now became laughable that he couldn't "remember" what town he
grew up in, and Al's ridicule caused O'Reilly to finally change his bio.
(We visited his neighborhood to double check, and it ain't Levittown.)  

And as for the ringing tones sounding all the same unless you travel
overseas, this really messed me up the afternoon I arrived in Austria
for the first time.  The ringing tone is three ascending tones, just
like the ones in the U.S. that indicate you have reached a non-working
number!  To make it more confusing, I kept on loosing coins because the
number I was using included the extra one or two digits for the specific
extension and it was considered a connected call even if that extension
didn't answer.  When I stopped using those extra numbers the main
switchboard answered.  At that point I would have preferred
international uniformity!!!  

Mike Biel  ex-TEaneck 6 -2341  [log in to unmask]  

  -------- Original Message --------
 Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] was - NY City Phone exchanges; was - Tone-Arts
 From: Roderic G Stephens <[log in to unmask]>
 Date: Tue, December 07, 2010 1:11 pm
 To: [log in to unmask]
 Well, the ARSCLIST formatting or lack of has made two of my links
incommunicado, so hopefully, these will all come through without any
surrounding verbiage.
 --- On Tue, 12/7/10, Roderic G Stephens <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
 From: Roderic G Stephens <[log in to unmask]>
 Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] was - NY City Phone exchanges; was - Tone-Arts
 To: [log in to unmask]
 Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2010, 9:31 AM
 Hi All,
 Well, I can go you all one better.  My brother, John Stephens, was
already deep into the mysteries of electrical and electronic devices
while he was still attending Burbank High School, so here a couple of
photos that show his early
wasn't long after that when he assembled a television set (maybe the
first in Burbank) to pick up the experimental signal of W6XAO: thought it was a
marvel (and it was!). It was a straight shot up to Mt. Lee, so no
ghosting.  And, I remember our Burbank, California telephone as
THornwall 6-7763.  Our newly build 1938 house even had a little "phone
booth" alcove with a desk for the dial telephone and just enough room
for a chair.  It was also the passage way from the living room to the
hallway that connected our two bedrooms and bathroom.  For privacy when
calling, there was a French door with louvers (some privacy) that you
could close to the living room.  Ah, memories!  Those were the days.
 Thanks all for sharing.
 Rod Stephens
 --- On Tue, 12/7/10, Larry Friedman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
 From: Larry Friedman <[log in to unmask]>
 Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] NY City Phone exchanges; was - Tone-Arts
 To: [log in to unmask]
 Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2010, 7:53 AM
 Man, am I impressed! 3-4 channels? When we got our first television (a
 Zenith round screen), we got a grand total of ONE channel. People would
 wherever there was a television set and watch test patterns and comment
 them (“Gee, yours is clearer than ours!”). I was born and brought
up in
 Utica, NY, and the closest city with another television station was
 Syracuse, 50 miles away, but, being a bigger city, they had TWO
channels. It
 was years before we could pick up Syracuse stations, and when we
 did, it was as if we could pick up China.
 Phone numbers in Utica were 5 digits; ours was 4-0230. Syracuse, that
 megalopolis to the west, had numbers that were both 5 and 6 digits
 When I was about 12 or so, we were given exchanges to precede our
 numbers, so my number became RAndolph 4-0230, which eventually became a
 rather blah sounding 724-0230. There was always something impressive
 RAndolph (other exchanges were REdwood and SWift, depending on what
 already-existing number began with). Also, on those rare occasions when
 called another city, it always SOUNDED different when it rang. It’s
 that I can now call anywhere in the country for nothing, but we’ve
lost some
 distinctiveness with that. All numbers are seven digits long (when,
 of cell phones, extra lines, etc., will we finally adopt that eighth
 digit?), and the ringing sounds are all alike unless one travels
 Où sont les neiges d’antan???
 From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
 [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Music Hunter
 Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:52 AM
 To: [log in to unmask]
 Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] NY City Phone exchanges; was - Tone-Arts
 I remember being the 1st family in the neighborhood to get a
 A little 6" round screen Olympic. Folks came from all over to see it
like a
 rock star. I think we got 3-4 channels in the beginning.
 Jay Sonin
 ----- Original Message -----
 From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
 To: <[log in to unmask]>
 Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:31 AM
 Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] NY City Phone exchanges; was - Tone-Arts
 > You know, now that you guys have got going on this riff, I do
 > letter-number phone numbers being exchanged even when I was old
enough to
 > notice such things, which means early 70's. Our home number where I
 > up was 967-2652, and I definitely remember my parents giving it out
 > WO7-2652 and me being told to remember that before going to
 > which would be circa 1971. I also remember when we started saying
 > 967-2652, shortly after that. I'm not sure if that coincided with an
 > campaign for area codes and 10-digit dialing or what. I'm pretty sure
 > codes and 10-digit numbers were in force before then.
 > Where I live now, the long-time exchange was 279, and you still
notice on
 > old-timers' fridges and walls that they just have 4-digit numbers
 > down, the assumption being the first three numbers are 279. In the
case of
 > "newer" numbers like my home number (issued 1994), that would be
 > down 8-XXXX (since the "newer" exchange is 278). I noticed this same
 > up where my wife grew up, where the exchanges were 376 (6-XXXX) for
 > immediate town and 377 (7-XXXX) for most of the surrounding farm
 > -- Tom Fine
 > ----- Original Message -----
 > From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
 > To: <[log in to unmask]>
 > Sent: Monday, December 06, 2010 11:25 PM
 > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] NY City Phone exchanges; was - Tone-Arts
 >> Hello, Peter,
 >> I grew up in Forest Hills--my family owned the same home from 1921
 >> I sold it in 1981.
 >> When I was moving in 1981, I found a record (telephone bill) from
 >> 1930s, IIRC, that showed the telephone number to be BOUlevard 8076.
 >> When you ended up dialing that, it was 268. One step that seemed to
 >> occurred in the 1940s or 1950s was the splitting of exchanges (might
 >> occurred sooner).
 >> If you notice the "U" in BOUlevard is "8" so when they went from
 >> BOUlevard to BOulevard 8, the original numbers did not change. They
 >> at least a BOulevard 3 and one other number, but it escapes me--I
 >> it was BOulevard 1, but I'm not so sure as I am of BOulevard 3.
 >> As an aside, someone moving into the neighbourhood did not like
getting a
 >> phone number that started with "BO" when he used deodorant, but
 >> another story.
 >> In the 1950s we also had LIGgett numbers, and those became LI4
 >> and then 544--an overlay, in a sense of the 26x numbers.
 >> I had 268-8076 until about 1975 when I wanted more features and had
 >> change my number as the 268 exchange was running on old equipment.
 >> 520 exchange was another overlay and I suspect was an ESS.
 >> I took a step backwards when I moved to Aurora, ON, the first time
 >> 1981. I had the original 727 exchange and, at that time, you could
 >> people in that exchange by merely dialing four digits. At that time
 >> was in the 416 area code and dialing Toronto was long distance.
 >> I did not get touch tone until I moved to Glendale California in
1983 and
 >> got a number in the 213 area code. That was changed within a year or
 >> three when the 213 code split off the 818 code.
 >> When we moved back to Aurora in 2004, no 727 numbers were available.
 >> have three numbers (one line) in the 751 exchange and my business
line is
 >> in the 713 exchange. Now this is in the 905 area code but Toronto is
 >> local call (and the monthly rates are higher, but the calls are
 >> Interestingly, while calls from the 905 area code to the 416 area
 >> are local, calls within the 905 area code across different "spokes"
 >> radiating from Toronto are toll our cell phones are 416
 >> numbers.
 >> What is interesting about this is how soon memory fades about how
 >> were and how technology used to be operated. I'm seeing this already
 >> our magic sound reproduction boxes that appear to many to be arcane
 >> rather than simply a former, pervasive technology. I recall most of
 >> friends knowing how to mount a cartridge in a turntable. Fewer knew
 >> to align a tape recorder...but some did.
 >> Cheers,
 >> Richard