Traces of old phone exchanges of Queens

This frozen-in-time faded ad—complete with 1980s-style graffiti—remains on the side of a warehouse along 31st Street in Astoria.

The RA comes from Ravenswood, an enchantingly named hamlet that once existed along the East River and was home to many old-money mansions in the 19th century.

The neighborhood was absorbed into Long Island City toward the end of the 1800s, but the name lives on in the form of the nearby Ravenswood Houses and the Ravenswood Generation Station.

This Millionaire Realty sign, on Astoria Boulevard, doesn’t look very old. But it must date back to the 1960s at least, when telephone numbers still had the two-letter prefix.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses to “Traces of old phone exchanges of Queens”

  1. James Says:

    Is there a database of what the two letter combinations in the telephone exchanges were short for? I grew up in East Flatbush and our exchange was NA9. I have never found an satisfactory explanation for what that particular exchange was abbreviated from.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I wish I could find a site that decoded some of the abbreviations too. This one is pretty helpful in revealing what exchange matched a specific neighborhood:

  3. James Says:

    Thanks wildnewyork. They have 628, but not 629…my search continues…

  4. The never-built East River bridge at 77th Street | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] to, tentatively. In 1881, a caisson was sunk into the river on the Queens side, off the outpost of Ravenswood, according to the Greater Astoria Historical Society’s The Queensboro […]

  5. A Little Italy sign reveals an old phone exchange | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] for something in the neighborhood, if not the neighborhood itself, such as MU for Murray Hill; RA for Ravenswood, once a separate Village in Queens but now absorbed by […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: