New York City telephone exchanges after December 1930



The tables that this page leads to give the exchanges in use in New York City after December 1930, when the format of telephone numbers changed from three letters and four digits (three-letter exchange names) to two letters and five digits (two-letter-one-digit exchange names). For the exchanges prior to December 1930, please see the section of this website devoted to pre-1930 New York City exchanges.

I have had the good fortune to be able to examine a lot of microfilms of old directories, spaced closely enough in time to be able to follow the start and end dates of many exchanges in New York City. (So far, only the borough of Manhattan, but I hope to expand the charts on this site.) With this information, the start and end dates of many exchanges can be determined to within approximately six months for many exchanges. In fact, for exchanges started or ended in the first few years of this era, even finer distinctions are possible.

Each directory (except for some of the earliest in this set) can be characterized by two dates: the cover date, which may be a month like "May 1948," a two-season range like "Fall-Winter 1946," or a phrase such as "1939 issue" (understood as meaning the start of the named year), and the "corrected-to" date, shown on the inside as a precise date, usually about two months prior to the cover date. The "corrected-to" date is likely to be a more accurate characterization, but I have presented both in the chronological charts on the site.

Additional information in these tables comes from my own memory, but in addition a large amount of data comes from the comprehensive telephone exchange database maintained by Robert Crowe. Originally I began this site using a table prepared by Hugh Hamilton (available on The Telephone Exchange group on Yahoo!) of the exchanges at the time of the 1930 change. However, as my research proceeded, a large number of errors were found in Hamilton's table:

  1. Hamilton's list shows GIbraltar 2 as a carry-over from the earlier series, and only GIbraltar 7 as new in Early 1931. However, neither GIbraltar 2 nor 7 is actually shown in the Winter 1930-1931 directory. On the other hand, neither FItzroy 8, FLint 4, LIverpool 8, nor WHitehall 4 is shown in Hamilton's list, but they are shown in the Winter 1930-1931 directory.
  2. There are a number of exchanges that were either converted from three letters to two letters and a digit in December 1930 or started new in the next few months (appearing in the Spring 1931 directories), for which the same exchange name and office number was found at the time of the change to All-Number Calling in the 1960s. In all such cases, Hamilton assumed that it continued to exist during the entire period from 1931 to the 1960s, with two exceptions: ADirondack 4 and FOundation 8, which he realized were not continuously in service, because they were Bronx exchanges in 1931 and Manhattan exchanges later. In fact, there were a number of other exchanges that were in service in 1931, such as CLoverdale 6 and FOrdham 7, which were discontinued and later resumed. In the cases which Hamilton did not recognize, the new exchange was located in the same borough as the old, and it has only been possible to discover this by looking at directories for intermediate periods.

This section is organized in the same way as is each geographical section of this site: by exchange. There are four tables, which can be described as alphabetical, numeric, alphabetical/numeric, and chronological:

Alphabetic table of exchange names
Numeric table of exchange names
Alphabetic/Numeric table of exchange names
Chronological table of changes in exchange names
New York City:
Main New York City page
Chronological periods of the New York City data:
Pre-dial period Early dial period Late dial period
Other areas:
The New York greater metropolitan area
The Northern 914 Area Southern Westchester County Western Long Island Eastern Long Island


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Last modified February 19, 2015.

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