Posts Tagged ‘old New York City phone exchanges’

Old phone exchanges spotted in Crown Heights

January 23, 2011

Ephemeral reader Sheena passed along these photos she recently took of two old-school signs featuring pre-1960s two-letter phone exchanges. Both come from Crown Heights.

The DE in this F. Goldsmith & Sons sign could stand for Dewey or Defender. What those two words have to do with Brooklyn, I have no idea.

NI is for Nightingale—and Michael Cerverizzo & Sons is still in business on Flatlands Avenue.

More old-school phone exchanges

November 10, 2009

This old-timey sign belongs to a store on Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill. the UL exchange stood for Ulster.

But what was Ulster? It’s a mystery. A New York Times article from February 1947 announced that 4,200 households in Flatbush “who have wanted telephone installations since the beginning of the war” would be getting UL numbers.

Myrtleavenuephonexchange

Strangely, Joe’s Superette, on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, also has a UL number. That’s a bit of a hike from Myrtle Avenue.

Harlemphoneexchange1

Meanwhile, on a residential building in Harlem, the “In Case of Emergency” number above still stands next to an elevator shaft. LE for Lenox Avenue.