NYC History -- Switch to 2L From 3L Exchanges, 1950 Installation?

Anyone familiar with this?

1) NYC got dial in 1922. It was set up as 3L-4N, that is, PENnsylvania 1234. At some point it was switched to 2L-5N, that is, PEnnsylvania 6-5000. Philadelphia switched in the mid 1940s. Would anyone know when NYC switched? Did Chicago switch?

2) The Bell history says the last all new panel exchange was installed in NYC in 1950. (Extensions to existing exchanges continued for years after). By 1950 No 5 crossbar was out and certainly No 1 crossbar. Why would an all new panel exchange be installed that late -- it was clearly obsolete by that point and not compatible with upcoming changes they knew were coming.

P.S. According to the NYT for 1922, the conversion to dial was a very big deal. Thousands and thousands of subscribers were converted city wide in a fairly short time, although total conversion would take a while. They needed an enormous number of operators even after dial. I can't imagine how many girls or switchboard positions they had.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: For comparison, Chicago started converting from manual to dial in the late 1930's however the conversion took several years (on account of WW-2 when Western Electric was nationalized by the federal government and not returned to its owner, Bell, until spring, 1946). The earliest conversions occurred in 1938-39 and after nothing was done on it 1942-46 the conversion then continued with HUMboldt and AVEnue being the final two central offices converted, in I think, 1949. There were a lot of rumors going around among the operators that they were all going to be fired once the conversion was finished which of course was a false rumor. The Chicago-Avenue central office serves, or did serve Orchard Field. Six months following the AVEnue office cutover, Orchard Field closed and Ohare International Airport opened on the same spot. Chicago-Avenue wound up with about three times as many operators as had worked there before the cut.

Chicago also was 3L - 4D for many years, and this is still reflected in the fact that the _oldest_ central offices have as their first number the third letter of the old system even today. Bearing in mind that many of these have long since metamorphed into a/c 773 from the old

312, but CENtral is now CE-6 (236), FRAnklin is now FR-2 (372), DEArborn is now DE-2 (332), WABash is now WA-2 (922), IRVing is now IR-8 (478), GRAceland is now GR-2 (472) and so forth. Coincidentally, AVEnue is now AV-3 (283), but it is still referred to as 'the Avenue central office'. PAT]
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