An old Brooklyn phone exchange comes into view

Hidden behind the shrubs in front of a residence on West 12th Street is this small weathered sign for a fence company—complete with an original vintage phone exchange!


Bucolic-sounding Cloverdale covered the Flatlands area of Brooklyn beginning in 1928. Like New York’s other two-letter neighborhood exchanges, it was officially replaced by seven digits in the 1960s.

JRMoyersonsadJ. R. Moyer Sons doesn’t appear to be in business on Utica Avenue in Flatlands anymore. The last Google-able trace of the company dates to the 1970s. I wonder how long the fence sign has been hanging there.

More hiding-in-plain sight vintage phone exchanges can still be found all over New York . . . if you look very carefully.

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3 Responses to “An old Brooklyn phone exchange comes into view”

  1. Timothy Grier Says:

    About the first thing parents drill into their kids heads is their phone number so they can get help in an emergency. I grew up on the lower east side in the 50s and 60s and can still remember my phone number from that era. It was ORegon 9-2278.

  2. Barbara Puorro Galasso Says:

    Aww I still remember my first phone number, CL8-1846.

  3. Chip Says:

    CLoverdale exchange also was used in Sheepshead Bay and Madison, not just in Flatlands

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