Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Flint Artifacts: Winners, Losers and Shuffleboard Gamblers
Thanks for commenting. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.
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Back in the forties to early fifties there were some pretty serious shuffleboard leagues in and around Flint. My uncle owned a couple of bars then and was one of the best players around at that time. There was a travelling league also. If you didn't think there was some money laid down, I've got news for you. That sign is a joke.ReplyDelete
Does anyone remember what the old telephone exchange was for Mt. Morris? It seems like there another prefix before 686, and 687 and 640 were later. This placard says Mt. Morris 7-4521, but I think that what you needed was to trunk in to that exchange, but I don't remember the prefix. 64 sounds familiar, but I don't think it was 640. Linden used to be 774, but they changed it to 735 and moved 774 to Roseville to complete the 77 series there. Anyone else remember any old exchanges? I remember that there were some rural four digit exchanges as late as the 1960s, some having remnants of being single digit exchanges. I remember somehow dialing one of these exchanges and getting a call through with just 4 digits in the 1970s, from another nearby town with seven digit exchanges. The four digit exchanges had had three digits added, but they were unnecessary to get the call to go through. Many exchanges only required 5 numbers. The CEdar 4, or 234 exchange in Flint was one such exchange, and didn't change until about 1980. Rural exchanges with the old dial tone and five number dialing lasted until about 1990, when they had to allow equal access to other phone providers, which necessitated computerized exchanges and not mechanical switching.ReplyDelete
> Anyone else remember any old exchanges?ReplyDelete
CEdar, of course...the CEdar switch being located in the AT&T Long Lines junction building at First and Beech.
PIlgrim, switched from the exchange building on Atherton Road just east of Center Road.
When did that exchange begin, PIlgrim? Did it coincide with the release of "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" in 1962, where John Wayne refers to a character as "PIlgrim" 23 times? I'm waiting for your answer, PIlgrim.ReplyDelete
No, sir, it did not. The Bell System nationally published a list of recommended exchange names in 1955 that included PIlgrim, and my guess is that most of those names predated the published list by a number of years.Delete
My cellphone/home number is in PIlgrim, but I'd rather that it was in SHadyside. I think that's a very nicely evocative exchange name.
Don't forget SUnsetReplyDelete
I guess it should have been SUnrise. The SUnset of our manufacturing base became a self fulfilling prophecy, not to mention the near total decimation of the area of the SUnset exchange. Notice that there was never an expansion beyond 785, 787, and 789. Even CEdar added 236, 237, and 230 when duplication ended with those 23 series prefixes when 810 and 313 became completely separate.ReplyDelete
... or perhaps SUpernovaReplyDelete
Mt. Morris was once in the Niagara exchange, 64, which would suggest along with the placard that it was 647. That was probably used to complete a Detroit area sequence in the 313 exchange. Mt. Morris and Clio were then given 686.ReplyDelete
236 and 237 may have been initially avoided to simplify trunking and switching to suburban exchanges, outside of 23, which initially all began with 6 (62, 63, 64, 65, 68, 69) and Flint exchanges which began with 7 (73, 74, 76, 78). You have to go back to those movies where they trace calls and show the switches (wiper or rotary type switches) which "repeated" the voltage interruptions in the telephone DC line voltage that advanced the wiper one position per interruption. They looked fairly accurate in the movies, although the "30 second rule" of keeping the caller on the line was a ruse. They were touting the "30 second rule" on TV and movies to trace calls even after Caller ID was available in almost all city exchanges. If you understood those switches, it would explain a lot about telephone switching in that era, and maybe even know more than JWilly does about it.ReplyDelete
I'll respond to that with an obscure and slightly twisted John Candy homage: "my reputation exceeds me".Delete
i like the name of articleReplyDelete