Re: From Our Archives: Exchange Names in St. Louis

From: HECTOR MYERSTON
> How about the non-exchange, non-dialable, ZEnith X-XXXX numbers?.
> These were pre 800 800 numbers. "Call you local operator and ask for
> ZEnithX-XXXX, no cost to calling party".
> Huh? There is no "Z" on the dial.
> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: (in 2006) ... Zenith and Enterprise
> numbers only had four digits, _never_ five; they were never
> dialable and today have been largely replaced by 800, 888, 877 and
> 866 numbers which _are_ dialable. Pat]
Not correct. When I lived in Long Beach, California, around 1987, the
Orange County Transit District ran service into Long Beach but its
offices were long distance from Long Beach. I believe the number was
(then) 714-547-3311, and from 213-427, for example (it was that far
back that Long Beach was still in the 213 area code), was a toll call,
they had, for the benefit of people in Long Beach and a few other
communities, their "toll-free number" (which, you are correct on that
point, was non-dialable, you had to dial operator to get) was the easy
to remember Zenith 7-3311 since it matched the last five digits of
their number.
Also, for years -- and they may still be using it -- the California
Highway Patrol had the statewide number Zenith 1-2000.
So I know of at least two independent cases where Zenith numbers had 5
digits.
I've been living in the Washington, DC area for some 15 years now so I
don't know if that is still the case, but it was then.
Reply to
Paul Robinson
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