New Orleans telephone exchanges
The history of the telephone exchange names in New Orleans, as in most
significant United States cities, can be divided into three periods:
- The pre-dial period, which for the purposes
of this site extends to June 11, 1927, when all telephone calls were completed
by manual action by operators (Only the first two exchanges in New Orleans were
changed to dial at this time, but as long as any exchanges were dial,
the requirements for dial exchanges applied), and there were no constraints on
exchange names other than that there was no likelihood of confusion when a
customer gave the name to the operator,
- The early dial period, beginning with June
11, 1927, in which the New Orleans telephone numbers were set up to accommodate
dialing the first two letters of
an exchange name followed by a four-digit number designating the individual
line, though in fact not all exchanges provided for dialing by the phones
in those exchanges, and
- The late dial period, whose beginning in New
Orleans was not at a sharp point in time but extended from 1955 to 1960, in
which, instead of the first two letters of an exchange name alone, one
dialed the first two letters and an "office number" (This was the terminology
used in an early New York City directory, though it was not common terminology
in this period), again followed by four digits designating the individual line.
Though an effective standard in the United States in the pre-1960 era,
this pattern was in use only a short time in New Orleans before replaced by all-
Much of the data on these pages comes from two online sites:
- A list compiled by David
Grant in 1978, and
prepared by the Louisiana Telephone Pioneers.
Where the two disagree (not a common occurrence), my judgment was used as to
which seemed more likely.
Last modified November 25, 2010.