>> Around 1950 I lived in a city (Konawa, Okla.) where telephone
>> had either three or four digits. Area codes were just being
>> introduced and mostly for operators. Most of the public had never
>> heard of "area code" nor knew what the term meant.
>> That was near the twilight days of 302 telephones.
> As the 500 set was only introduced in 1950, it took quite a bit of
> time for it to replace existing 302 sets in service. (A family member
> had one until they rennovated their house). I suspect the Bell System
> continued installing 302 sets well into the 1950s. Some were placed
> in a pseudo-500 body and called a 5302.
The conversion to the 5302 was intended to extend the life of the then-existing inventory for the many customers who objected to the (by then) "old fashioned" 302 sets.
In 1970 it was not unusual to find a 302 or 354 (wall) set in a home. >
> In the 1950s, even into the 1960s, many smaller towns had five digit
> numbers. They got a seven digit ANC number to be addressable by DDD,
> but for local use continued with five digits (into the 1980s until ESS
> came along). Those places obviously never had a named exchange. >
> But larger towns and cities did have named exchanges, some seven
> digits, a few six digits. Those names appeared on the number card.
> In the older days the full name appeared, with the dialable letters in
> capitals, often several points bigger than the rest of the name. In
> later days for places that didn't go ANC, often only the two letters
> appeared with the area code.
Dallas, and I believe Houston, had five-digit numbers. Displayed as one letter and four numerals. Where I worked in Dallas in the 1950s, the number was Riverside-4085, dialed as R-4085.
Wes Leatherock email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org