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4/22/08

1952: Atlanta Telephone Operator History

This fact gleaned from a statement on the Atlanta Telephone History site in the section 1952 - Operator Toll Dialing explains a lot for me. When I was an AT&T International Operator handling Inward calls in the 70s a lot of our calls were for cities in the south. We would in turn dial the Inward operator in Savannah GA and they would get the call through...by dialing every digit on a rotary dial and you could every pulse come back! It seemed like a cumbersome process.

1952 Ivy St operators

"In 1952, Long Distance Service was improved with the introduction of "Operator Toll Dialing". This was made possible by the installation of a new toll switching machine in the 51 Ivy building. Now, to connect long distance calls, the 51 Ivy operator simply plugged in to a trunk going into the new machine and keyed the 3 digit area code and local number."

Then this...

"
Operators in Americus, Augusta, Buford, West Point, Columbus, Griffin, LaGrange, McDonough, Milledgeville, Rome, and Savannah were now able to take advantage of Operator Toll Dialing, using the Alanta 4A machine. But most of these operators were not fortunate enough to have Keypulsing like the Atlanta operators and had to dial all calls using a rotary dial."

Which explains why so many of our Inward calls from overseas operators went to southern US cities that basically had updated 1920s to 1940s local switchboards and central offices. Some calls just required a local operator to plug directly into the central office trunks on the switchboard and dial the last 4 or 5 digits of the number.