Re: Verizon-PA ending weather forecast [Telecom]


> > Back in the 1960s Bell sponsored the local weather forecase on the > > evening TV news, using a real college physicist (not a blowdry). At > > the end of each broadcast he would flip over a little sign with the > > phone number, reminder viewers they could call it at any time to get > > the weather. > > >I believe you are talking about the old WFIL-TV (Channel 6) now WPVI >that had Dr. Francis Davis as the weatherman. > > >This would have been in the very early 60's. I was born in 1955 and >remember the tag line... > > >"For the recorded forecast at any hour of the day or night, just call >WE6-1212.".....

From what I recall, some time later a family owned company in WI, made a deal of some kind with the Teleco's to take this idea of weather forecasting into just about every locale in the US on a commercial basis. They purchased, in just about every telephone exchange, the (weather) WE-6-1212 number, and made it available with some specialized equipment, at a monthly charge, to "voice" these service for any business or whom-ever wanted to have their "name" sponsoring these local dial-up's. I knew of car dealer's in up-state NY and of all sorts of other services sponsoring local systems throughout the Northeast.

Most of these boxes (in later years produced digital derived voices; in earlier were analog with stored "phrases" to speak the words) were locally placed on leased phone lines with the weather (WE-6_1212) number for people to call in to get up-to-date weather info (and of course the "commercials" from the sponsor's!). The boxes were remotely accessed to update the weather forecasts, depending upon what "service" the sponsor paid for, and most boxes had local weather instruments feeding them with data so that local temp, barometric readings, etc., were available to be "spoken" to the caller. The voices used (an option of either a male or a female) were the same voice of the (human) persons' who made most all of the "standardized" voices used by the Telcos - example: "The number you've reached is no longer in service....")

This telecom equipment supplier also makes the switch (#5ESS) mounted voice announcers which "voice" the "standardized" voice (intercept, special feature, etc.) announcements for local telcos.

However, with the advent of the computer, many of these local based systems have been removed (I checked the Syracuse - 315AC - line and it is out of service) as one could surmise that this same info is available on-line with much more data (WeatherBug is one of them) such as video feeds to show what local conditions looks like (which can't be done with a land-line but can be accessed on a cell phone with Internet access!)

John Stahl Telecom/Data Consultant Aljon Enterprises.

Reply to
John Stahl
Loading thread data ...

Back in the 1970s the monthly phone bill contained an insert with ads for various premium telephone services, the advantages of Long Distance (call grandma, make hotel reservations, etc.), or just to plug the phone company*. Anyway, one month they had an ad for "call ahead for weather for your trip", and a list of weather numbers in various cities. Many were 936-1212 but not all. It was another way to encourage long distance usage. I wish I saved it.

  • My favorite ad was "We could've stopped here" with a picture of a candlestick phone. Inside were other old phones and the same tag line, and finally a picture of the latest phone and services.
Reply to
hancock4 Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.