45 Years Ago-- Succasunna NJ 1ESS, also 305/904 FL NPA Split [telecom]

2010 is the 45th anniversary of the first #1ESS being cut into full PSTN service in Succasunna NJ, and is also the 45th anniversary of the 305/904 area code split for northern and north-central Florida. Also, 2010 follows the exact same "days-of-the-week" mapping that 1965 did!

At 12:01am EDT (right after Midnight) on Sunday 30-May-1965, the new Succasunna NJ #1ESS, the very first one in the Public Switched Telephone Network, was cut-into service, SUCCNJSUCG0. The 45th anniversary of this very first #1ESS was JUST OVER two weeks ago!

Succasunna was also the very first time when the general public could now have such new (optional extra-cost) "Custom Calling" services as Call Waiting, 3-Way Calling, Call Forwarding, Speed-Calling. The first two services could be activated with a switch-hook flash, while the use and/or activation of Call Forwarding and Speed-Calling might have required special codes, some of which could use the '*' (star) and '#' (pound) DTMF buttons. Of course, the "star" (*) could be replaced by rotary dial customers and 10-button touchtone customers (and even used by 12-button touchtone customers as well) with '11'. The "pound" (#) would "trail" a one or two digit code, to indicate to the central office that the customer was finished dialing the number, or maybe that "part" of the number, and to "cut-through" to the desired number, or to the next stage of setting up a feature. Rotary customers, 10-button touchtone customers, and even 12-button touchtone customers could simply WAIT the three-to-five seconds of post-dial-delay for the central office to "time-out" and cut through to either the desired number or to the next stage of the feature set-up. "Trailing 'pounds'" (#) could also be used on 011+/01+ IDDD calls which had variable length numbers, and also on 0- (minus) calls direct to an Operator as '0#' since the central office would be doing a post-dial-delay wait (until time-out) if the customer simply dialed '0', since the call "could" be a 0+ ten-digit (or seven-digit HNPA) Operator/Special billing call, or a 011+/01+ IDDD call, or in post-divestiture years, a '00' call to the IXC/LD operator, while '0' by itself is now the "local" operator.

In 1974, the only 201-NNX c.o.code on SUCCNJSUCG0 was 201-584. The next

201-NNX code, 201-927, was added to SUCCNJSUCG0 at some point AFTER October 1975 and BEFORE February 1978.

201-584 was most likely the code for the cutover on 30-May-1965 since a (partial) list of circa 1960 2L-5N EXchange NAmes in New Jersey posted to Townson's Telecom Digest/Archives in September 1996 shows "JUstice 4" (584) as being Succasunna NJ.

But did the SUCCNJSUCG0 1ESS replace a SXS office (or even #5XB) back on Sunday 30-May-1965? Succasunna NJ is much further west/inside northern New Jersey well away from the Panel/#1XB (and later #5XB) "revertive pulsing" region of northeastern New Jersey along the Hudson River across from New York City. When Englewood NJ first had originating customer DDD access to just over a dozen major metro areas as of November 1951, although it wasn't actually "known" as DDD yet, the list of 2L-5N areas in northeastern New Jersey that Englewood already had direct dial (message unit and toll) access to did NOT include Succasunna NJ. Of course, I don't even know if Succasunna NJ was yet a "dial" office in


Some further details on later developments re Succasunna follow below.

Also in 1965, 45 years ago this year, the northern, north-central, and northeastern areas of Florida which were still part of the 305 area code were split off into the new 904 area code. 305 was retained (at that time) by central Florida and the east coast of Florida from the Cape Canaveral/Kennedy area southward, all the way to "The Keys". This split took effect as a FLASH CUT, at 2:01am EDT on Sunday 11-July-1965. There was _NO_ formal/official permissive dialing period. Such permissive dial periods with area code changes/splits didn't even happen until the

714/619 split which was permissive on November 1982 (mandatory in February 1983). Even the Virginia 703/804 split of Sunday 24-June-1973 was also a FLASH CUT with _NO_ formal/official permissive dial period! (DESPITE what others' webpages attempt to indicate, which also frequently have the WRONG implementation dates as well!).

Of course, even though there was no "formal/official" permissive dial period, which in later decades could last anywhere from one month to a year-and-a-half, it is POSSIBLE that both 904 and temporary continued use of 305 "might" inadvertently work for several hours after the official cut-date/time of 2:01am EDT Sunday 11-July-1965, since AT&T-LL, Southern Bell, etc. had to first open up all valid/new 904-NNX codes in the network, and then after that was completed (and tested), all old "matching" 305-NNX codes which previously referenced locations now officially in 904, had to be "removed" or "turned off" with vacant or intercept type recordings if someone still dialed the old 305 NPA for placing calls to this now-904 part of Florida, those same 305-NNX codes to ultimately be re-assigned to locations in that part of Florida which retained the 305 NPA code (at that time). Such an "inadvertent" permissive dial period "could" have taken effect, for who knows...

3-hours? 6-hours? 8-hours? 12-hours? following 2:01am Eastern that Sunday morning, 11-July-1965. I was only four years old at the time, and while I was fascinated by the telephone even at that age, I wouldn't have been doing any test-dialing to find out back then!!!!

With the July 1965 Florida 305/904 area code split, the state now had three area codes, the third area code being 813 for the west (Gulf) coast of southern Florida, all GTE (now VeriZon, still being retained by VeriZon) for the Tampa Bay area, and CenturyLink/Embarq/Sprint/United for the Fort Meyers area. 813 was carved out of 305 back in the early

1950s, although it wouldn't be until the early 1960s when calls could be DIALED by customers elsewhere in the US/Canada to this 813 southwest "independent" region of Florida. The _OLD_ name for VZ/GTE Tampa was Peninsular Telephone Company which General Telephone purchased circa 1968, and the _OLD_ name for the CenturyLink-once-United Fort Meyers area was Inter-County Telephone Company which United purchased probably in the mid-1960s.

In Spring 1988, Florida's fourth area code, the 407 area code split from

305, for the Orlando and NASA regions (Orange County, Seminole County, Osceola County, Brevard County, part of Volusia County, and a very small part of Lake County) and also for points _north_ of Broward County -- i.e., Palm Beach County, Martin County, St.Lucie County, Indian River County. 305 (at the time) was retained by Broward County, Dade County (Miami/etc), and the "Keys" part of Monroe County.

Starting in 1995 and continuing through 2002, all four area codes in Florida (as of 1988) have had several splits and/or overlays, the 904 area code included -- 352 for north-central Florida (Gainesville) in

1995, 850 for the panhandle (Tallahassee to Pensacola) in 1997, and 386 for both the Daytona area and points to the west of the Jacksonville area/north of the Gainesville area in 2001. The 904 area code was retained by the Jacksonville area itself in northeast Florida.

Some later developments regarding Succasunna NJ:

The second 201-NNX office code, 201-927, was added to the original

201-584 (JUstice 4-) at SUCCNJSUCG0 at some point AFTER October 1975, but BEFORE February 1978.

SUCCNJSUCG0 (still a 1ESS, never upgraded to a 1AESS by NJ-Bell/Bell Atlantic, WECO/Labs) was replaced by a new 5ESS, SUCCNJSUDS5, on Saturday 28-September-1991. It still had the same two c.o.codes,

201-584 and 201-927.

201-252 was added to SUCCNJSUDS5 on Saturday 30-January-1993.

Succasunna NJ fell on the 973 side of the 201/973 area code split of

1997. Permissive dialing of the new 973 area code began on Sunday 01-June-1997. Mandatory use of the new 973 area code, meaning that the use of the 201 area code for Succasunna and other parts of north-central and north-western (and even some northeastern NJ was no longer allowed) took effect on Saturday 06-December-1997 -- i.e., 201-252, 201-584, and 201-927, were replaced respectively by 973-252, 973-584, 973-927.

A new 973-NNX code, the fourth, 973-598, was added to SUCCNJSUDS5 on Wednesday 30-September-1998.

In December 2001, the 973 area code was overlaid with the new 862 area code. At the same time, 201 was overlaid with 551, and 732 (which split from 908 back in 1997) was overlaid with 858. (908 had split from 201 back in 1990/91).

There are several other 973-NXX codes associated with the Succasunna NJ ratecenter, as well as some new 862-NXX codes, and even some (default) VeriZon-Wireless 201-NXX office codes which might probably have been legacy Bell-Atlantic/(NYNEX) Mobile office codes pre-dating the 201/973 area code split of 1997 which were "grandfathered" in the 201 NPA instead of changing to 973-NXX codes back then, also all associated with the Succasunna NJ ratecenter.

But the VeriZon/Bell-Atlantic/NJ-Bell SUCCNJSUDS5 5ESS, which replaced the 30-May-1965 SUCCNJSUCG0 1ESS (THE VERY FIRST) in 1991, has only four "default" c.o.codes associated with it, all four also being associated with the Succasunna NJ ratecenter, originally part of the

201 area code, but splitting/changing to the new 973 area code during 1997:

973-252 (since 30-January-1993, initially as 201-252)

973-584 (the ORIGINAL code as 201 "JUstice 4", predates the 1965 1ESS) 973-598 (since 30-September-1998) 973-927 (since the mid-1970s, initially as 201-927, originally on the 1ESS)

Mark J. Cuccia markjcuccia at yahoo dot com Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina

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Mark J. Cuccia
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According to the NYT of 5/28/65 reporting on the new service, "the office will serve 4,500 customers in six communities, but only 200 will have access to the three new services provided by the new electronic system".

The three services mentioned in the article were speed calling, three- way calling, and call forwarding. Nothing was said about call waiting or other ESS services.

At the time of this particular cutover, Touch Tone service was extremely new and very rare, and I doubt was available _before_ the cutover in this town (they did get it, see below). Also, I don't think International Direct Distance Dialing was available; that would come circa 1970 to a few places.

There is a Popular Science article extract on Amazon describing the cutover. One of the townfolk _did_ get a new 12 button Touch Tone phone and used the * key instead of 11 for the Speed Calling.

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With Touch Tone virtually universal today and many people having phones with automatic dialers, I wonder how many public ESS subscribers make use of Speed Calling today. I would guess today it is a rarely used option for public use, though perhaps more so for internal PBX users.

I also wonder how many people use Call Forwarding today, especially in these days of cheap cell phones. The article pointed out a problem-- forgetting to turn off Call Forwarding when you've returned home.

Today, some ESS featurse are available a la carte, others require a monthly subscription. I like the a la carte offerings such as Return Call (1169) and 3-way calling (flash+number), despite the 75c per use charge.

P.S. Verizon is spelled without a capital 'z'. The logo has it, but all text references on their website are lower case z.

Reply to
Lisa or Jeff

The Popular Science article you reference below mentions that the 1ESS does have Call Waiting, but mentioned the overall "service", not The not the actual marketed "name" of Call Waiting.

That article also referred to a "return call" service (similar to today's *69), in that you could "camp-on" to a busy line you'd been trying to call, and when that line became free, you could be notified and connect back to the 'now freed up' line. I don't know if those early 1ESS offices actually had such, or if it was a possibility being considered.

Note too that many early 1ESS offices had "pre-arranged" Call Forwarding or Speed Calling. The customer was not able to set-up their speed call list, the telephone company would set-up their list from pre-arrangements from the customer. And the customer could only "turn-on" or "turn-off" Call Forwarding, also to a pre-set number pre-arranged by the customer with the telephone company when setting up the service in advance.

There is a Bell Labs Record issue from June 1965 which seems to be completely devoted to the 1ESS. Also in the mid/late 1960s, the Bell Labs Record had an article about how Bell Labs was trying to "kludge" some limited custom calling features for #5XB, but due to the high costs, this was abandoned early on.

Also, the *X(X) = 11X(X) codes or N(X)(#) codes to activate or use the various custom calling features have never been 100% standardized over the years (even as far back as the 1960s), or even from place-to-place. There has been a desire to have standardized codes, and such has been "mostly" realized, but still not fully standardized. Even if the same numerics are used, some places would have *XX/11XX, while other places might require NX(#) for the very same function!

The first actual (experimental) and even "regular" uses of IDDD was actually from #5XB offices, in June 1966 in Philadelphia (for one or two days though), and then in 1967 for several months in mid-town Manhattan. And then circa 1970, lower Manhattan #5XB offices had IDDD capability. Yet when IDDD was being regularly implemented throughout the 1970s, it was mostly offered "only" at ESS offices, although customers served by SXS offices which "homed" on an "ESS-based" TSPS Operator Platform could also do their own IDDD. Yet throughout most of the 1970s and well into the 1980s, #5XB offices were _NOT_ usually retrofitted for IDDD, despite the fact that IDDD was first introduced experimentally from #5XB in 1966 (Philadelphia for one or two days), and for several months in 1967 (Midtown Manhattan), and then rolled out as a regular service from lower Manhattan circa 1970! In the mid-to-late 1980s and into the (early) 1990s, _SOME_ remaining #5XB offices were "kludged" for IDDD and Equal Access, however these were soon to be replaced with new digital offices anyhow!

Don't you mean "Google Books"?

(Google Books URL snipped in this reply due to long length that word- wraps)

Speed Calling or "Abbreviated Dialing" was mentioned in the 1965 stories as being a very popular feature! However, as time progressed, Call Waiting actually became the most popular feature during the 1970s/80s! Call Forwarding was also quite popular and probably still is, with people probably forwarding their landline to their wireless, or vice-versa especially when charging up the battery. And three-way had been quite popular at times. But since most new phones have memory-dial buttons or large directory storages, telco c.o. switch- based speed calling is probably very little used now-a-days!

Some telcos offer an "all you can use" package, for a fixed monthly price. You can have all or "most/many" custom calling or "CLASS" features on your line, and add/drop them as desired, all without incurring any additional one- time charges, nor increases in monthly charges.

I'm well aware of this, but I like the way VeriZon looks when typed out, with the 'Z' cap'd. Similarly, when I refer to the current name of ILEC side of what was once known as SBC (including Ameritech, SNET, Pacific & Nevada Bell), BellSouth, as well as cingular-wireless, I prefer to type out the letters 'at&t' in lower-case, since I like the way it looks. When I refer to the Long Lines side which still uses the name it has used since before divestiture, I type it all cap'd as AT&T-LL. So, since I like the way VeriZon looks with the cap'd 'Z', and the ILEC at&t looks in lower case, I will continue to type it out that way.


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I don't have any idea of the subscription rate. But, we use it everytime we go on a trip. We forward the wireline to the cell phone. Unlike the X Generation our cell phone is off and put away except when away on a trip. It is far more transparent to forward the "home" phone to the cell phone.

Also, we have remote access to call forwarding, which is an invaluable service to us.

As far as forgetting that CF is set, our unit of AT&T (formerly Pacific Bell) provides a short reminder ring every time a call is forwarded. So, if we're home that is a very strong reminder. Pacific Bell has had that option since the started offering calling features in the early 1970s.

We lived for a time in Oregon. Then NW Bell did the reminder differently. Whenever CF was in effect when you went off-hook for dial tone you got three stutter dial tones followed by steady dial tone. Central office voicemail waiting was continuous stutter dial tone.

Reply to
Sam Spade

RACF was a major feature wanted by a non-profit agency staffed by volunteers. The listed number was forwarded to a volunteer's home phone number (not always the same person) when no one was in the office and they particularly wanted the ability to change the person it was forwarded to without having to go to the office to change it. When RACF became a service offering they were quick to subscribe to it. Wes Leatherock snipped-for-privacy@aol.com snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com

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