Upper Manhattan phone exchange mysteries

Tropy Washing Machines is a little neighborhood shop on 117th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues.

The sign is sweetly old-timey, but the AT exchange? It probably stood for Atlantic, according to this chart, but it’s a mystery.

Same with the TR exchange on this sign for Alexander Plumbing. The sign comes from an apartment building on Edgecomb Avenue in Harlem.

TRafalger covered parts of Manhattan, TRiangle was the exchange for a section of Brooklyn, and TRemont, of course, part of the Bronx.

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6 Responses to “Upper Manhattan phone exchange mysteries”

  1. Annie Says:

    I swear that AT-9 used to be ATwater.

  2. Lisa Says:

    According to the exchange chart, an AT Manhattan exchange would have stood for ATWATER. (Yes, I’m a total dork for pointing this out!)

  3. Peter Bennett Says:

    I remember AT being short for Atwater as well. Good to see I have some dorky company.

    • gloria wolfson Says:

      Yes it is ATwater 9. I know because I used to have this as an exchange in Washington Heights. Then it became Tompkins and then Swinburne before finally going to 785

  4. Michelle... Says:

    I love that second sign: “adequate brass plumbing”

  5. Danny Rock Says:

    I have and old picture with me and the tropy sign behind me. I knew the owner years ago.

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