Author Topic: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368 Type Telephone Numbers  (Read 6547 times)

Offline ESalter

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MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368 Type Telephone Numbers
« on: October 06, 2011, 08:17:50 PM »
We've all seen those numbers on all the Bell System and Western Electric ads out there, but today I found a number card on a 70s Stromberg Carlson 500 that actually reads 555-2368 and it really appears to be original.  I forget the area code(303, maybe?)  I should have taken a picture of it, I'll make sure I do tomorrow.  The fact it actually has an area code really puzzles me.  I'm just wondering if any of you guys have ever come across any "real" 2368 number cards.

---Eric
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 01:02:50 AM by AE_Collector »

Offline jsowers

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 09:55:06 PM »
Eric, I got this 701 in an auction once and it turned out to be a gutted Princess used for display. It has a 311 555-2368 number card and the fingerwheel is glued to the dial so it's there to stay. The dial won't move and there are no elements in the handset. It's just for display and there's an F-number stamped on the bottom. I've posted it before, but it was a while back.

I've never seen a number card like that on a Stromberg-Carlson, but I guess they had display models too.
Jonathan

Offline Dave F

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 10:50:28 PM »
Over the years, I have seen several W.E. phones with what appeared to be genuine 555-2368 number cards.  Most of them also had the fictitious area code 311.  I have a transparent touchtone Trimline that came directly from Western Electric with  a 555-2368 card, so I assume that's as real as it gets.  I'll have to dig it out and post a photo.  Now, where did I hide that nice clear..........?

DF

Offline Dave F

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 11:13:11 PM »
Found it!  Did you ever notice that the thing you are looking for is usually buried at the bottom of some huge pile?  Well, this time I got lucky -- it was right on top.  The model number of the handset is F57416, and the base is F57417.  These special F numbers were given to the clear sets (1969).

DF

Offline GG

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2011, 05:26:18 AM »


Holy cow!, and that's relatively recent too.

I've seen an illustration in GTE practices, of an 80 with TouchCalling (not an 80E), with the number KLondike 5-2368, KL5 translating to 555 of course. 

As I understand it, these numbers were adopted after someone discovered that movie and television audiences, upon seeing any close-up of a telephone dial, would very often try to dial the number shown.  This would result in some innocent bystander's phone ringing off the hook at all hours, and the telco having to change their number.  So finally the industry developed the standard with 2368, and Hollywood agreed to it, and that was that. 

Somehow I doubt that movie & TV producers today still follow that, but they have other ways such as just not showing telephones up close (same case with email on computer screens: the vital header information is missing). 

Offline Dave F

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2011, 11:56:42 AM »

<snip>.......with the number KLondike 5-2368, KL5 translating to 555 of course.......

Here is a cute picture from a 1962 Pacific Telephone brochure describing the swithover to "All Number Calling".

Offline GG

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2011, 02:41:53 AM »
Wow, so the Bell used KLondike 5-2368 as well as GTE eh?  Interesting.

I hear there are some rebellious, iconoclastic people around our community who are re-introducing the use of the old exchange names. 

So for instance their business cards might say something like "ABC Refrigeration, Bob Smith, Area Code 311 KLondkie 5-2368."

This is a far sight preferable to the new and utterly obnoxious habit of sending a phone number with no separators, e.g. 3115552368, a practice that (according to Bell Labs research) definitely leads to an increase in misdialing.  (General hint: be suspicious of words that begin with "neo-.")

Offline Dave F

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2011, 12:44:21 PM »
<snip>Wow, so the Bell used KLondike 5-2368 as well as GTE eh?
Bell System used KLondike 5-2368 for decades in their advertising.  Interesting, but until I read your earlier post I wasn't aware that General System ever used it!  It's amazing what we constantly learn on this Forum.

DF
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 02:39:25 PM by Dave F »

Offline ESalter

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2011, 07:46:57 PM »
That's really cool.  I never knew Bell used KLondike either, I've only ever seen MAin 0 and 555, I'll have to keep my eyes peeled now.

Here's a picture of the card I found as well as a card I got in a WE red hardwired 500 a couple years ago.  I've seen a lot of cards, but never ones quite like these two.

Also, Dave...  That clear Trimline is gorgeous!

---Eric

Offline Dave F

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2011, 10:44:58 PM »
That's really cool.  I never knew Bell used KLondike either, I've only ever seen MAin 0 and 555, I'll have to keep my eyes peeled now.

Here's a picture of the card I found as well as a card I got in a WE red hardwired 500 a couple years ago.  I've seen a lot of cards, but never ones quite like these two.

Also, Dave...  That clear Trimline is gorgeous!

---Eric

While most number cards in BSPs show MAin 0-2368 or 555-2368, I think I have seen some with KLondike.  I'll have to look through some and see if I have any with the KLondike cards.

---------

Here in Southern California phone numbers with 000X as the last four were usually reserved for use in Central Offices and as phone company test lines.  0000 was normally the switchroom number in most Pac Tel COs.  Back in the days of SxS, I guess the phone company felt that issuing such numbers to customers would cause problems, as it takes a lot of time to rotary-dial all those zeros.

---------

That clear Trimline is a very special phone to me.  My best friend Bob got it as a gift from W.E. in 1969.  I already had a rotary version and he wanted to outdo me by getting a touchtone specimen.  Touchtone was new here in the Los Angeles area and he had to do some pretty fancy talking to get W.E. to part with one of the few clear touchtone sets that existed at that time.  Bob died in 1989 at the age of 39, and his wife kept the clear Trimline which she has had packed away for the last 20-plus years.  Last year I was talking to her and mentioned that after all this time I'm still collecting phones.  She offered to give me the clear Trimline to add to the collection and said that Bob would be happy to know that it ended up with me.

Dave
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 01:48:55 PM by Dave F »

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2011, 10:55:24 PM »
Here in Southern California phone numbers with 000X as the last four were usually reserved for use in Central Offices and as phone company test lines.  0000 was normally the switchroom number in most Pac Tel COs.  Dave

Here in British Columbia switchrooms were almost always xxx-2371 and the frame was usually xxx-1546. I've always wondered what the significance of those numbers is. Does anyone else on here know if any other Telco's used those numbers for this purpouse? Was it a GTE thing or maybe just a BC Telephone thing?

Terry

Offline ESalter

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2011, 11:03:25 PM »
That's a really neat background on your Trimline, Dave.  It's phones like that that mean the most.  I have to agree, I'm betting your friend Bob would be very happy to know it's a prized part of your collection.  ---Eric

Offline GG

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2011, 03:48:50 AM »


Telco official numbers often followed a pattern just to make them easy to keep track of.  In New Jersey Bell it was always NNX-99XX.  In Pacific Bell it was NNX-00XX. 

I would guess that seven zeros in a row were just a way of testing a number card stamping machine, because a 000 prefix is not allowed in the North American Numbering Plan.  Prefixes of 1XX were at one time used as non-dialable numbers for routing in-WATS numbers (incoming toll-free numbers). 

Offline Dave F

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2011, 03:07:15 PM »
Regarding internal phone company numbers, here's something cool:  Pacific Telephone Test Number Directory from 1971.  136 fun-filled pages of education and entertainment.  You can probably imagine my glee at pulling this gem out of a CO dumpster back in the old days.  I selected a random page to post here.

DF

(edit: Yes, I know the photo titles should say "directory", not "dorectory".  Just a dumb typo.)
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 03:50:44 PM by Dave F »

Offline ESalter

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Re: MAin 0-2368 and 555-2368
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2011, 06:35:32 PM »
Pulled it out of a dumpster???  Someone obviously(and thankfully) didn't follow the "destruction by mutilation" instructions.  That's a really neat book, something I've never seen or heard of before.