Boston was the smallest of the four cities that had used a three-letter exchange prefix when dial phones began. And being so small, Boston was able to retain that pattern longer than New York City and Philadelphia, continuing after they had gone over to the newer standard of two letters and one digit for dialing the exchange, until 1948 (though Chicago also lasted until that year).
Boston also was different from the other three big cities (and most other significant cities) in that in the nineteenth century, when the other cities were growing outward by annexing suburbs, Boston remained confined to a relatively small area. So a lot of what would have been part of the city itself if Boston had been able to annex like the other cities was divided up among a lot of other towns and cities. And thus, while most major cities are (or will be) represented on this site by a set of central city tables and a separate set for suburban exchanges (or even separate tables for nearer and further suburbs), for Boston it is more appropriate to have one set of tables that includes the city of Boston and many other places that were really unofficially parts of Boston, even though politically they were separate cities and towns. This is the way Boston exchanges are organized on this site.
|Chronological periods of the Boston area data:|
|Pre-dial period||Early dial period||Late dial period|
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Last modified March 1, 2009.