Re: Western Union Public Telegram Offices

>> I don't know about telegraph rates, but long distance telephone rates

>>> were based on distance. A call 1,000 miles away cost considerably more >>> than a call 100 miles away. If telegraph rates were flat by distance, >>> then telegrams would be more likely sent for longer distances than >>> short distances. >> Telegraph rates, like telephone rates, were set by distance. I once >> had occasion to send a local telegram, and I believe they were common >> in some cities. > North by Northwest was on TCM a few hours ago. The plot hinged on Cary > Grant wanting to send his mother a telegram across mid town Manhattan > as she was at a friends where they had just moved in and the phone > wasn't yet installed. > My how times have changed. > Also for years you couldn't place many types of toll calls to or from > xxx-9xxx numbers as almost all pay phones were numbered that way. I > worked at a business with such a number in the early 80s and calling > the office collect was a big hassle at times. > David Ross > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Your complaint about exchanges which > used '9' as the first digit in the suffix is very true. Many years ago > when I was living in Chicago, I knew a guy whose mother had a phone > on the LOngbeach-1 (312-561) exchange. Her number was LOngbeach-1-9xxx > and she had a terrible time placing long distace calls or receiving > collect calls. Operators would never believe she was giving her number > correctly or that she had a private (not a coin) phone. Every other > telephone in Chicago had been converted to (1) 911 calling; (2) long > distance direct dialing (3) in most instances totally ESS while > LOngbeach-1 kept plugging along as a step-by-step office for several > more months. It was in the Chicago-Edgewater central office up on > Carmen Street around Ashland Avenue somewhere. PAT]

The 9xxx rule wasn't implemented everywhere. For example, the phone number at my parents first home was 401-751-9392 but that was served by a #1 ESS.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Just a quick mention of the 'spammer effect' on your messages here. Periodically, massis gets a 'denial of service' sort of effect from spammers who do a number on me, which is to say I have the spammer box totally zeroed out, completely empty, and am tidying up existing messages to get an issue of the Digest out. All of a sudden, the system seems to freeze up for a few seconds and wham! A quick review of the spam box will show one or two dozen _new_ spams, all dated at the same time have just arrived, as fast as the filter can process them out to the garbage bin. Since computers can only go so fast, the effect is the other processes sit and wait while the spam gets dealt with. Now and again, in the confusion, one or two or more _real_ messages disappear from my queue, which I think happened this evening to Lisa Hancock, and someone else, if she would care to resubmit them. Sorry about that, I had one of those 'explosions' tonight. But anymore, I don't really worry about it, because it just gets me too angry having to argue with the spam apologists around here each time I mention it and suggest suitable punishments for the spammers. PAT]
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