I'll give a quick run down on old school phone numbers for the uninitiated. Comes complete with an explanation of why there are letters on your phone!
In the 1940s, there were plenty of phones in use that did not have dials. (Heritage, the phone at Aunt Gladys's is one of these.) And those of us who first used rotary dials remember what a hassle waiting for each number to click through its cycle before you could dial another number was. Most of us can probably punch a ten digit phone number in a touch pad phone in the time it would take to dial the first three numbers on a rotary. Thus, most phone calls at this time were completed by (semi-)courteous and (somewhat) efficient operators.
To make the operators' jobs easier, the first part of a phone number was the exchange prefix which was represented by the first two letters of an easily recognized word. Each exchange would be represented by a socket in the operator's switch board. That's what the operator is doing when she plugs in the wire in the old movies, connecting the caller's line to the desired exchange. Then the operator would press some buttons to connect the caller to the proper line within the exchange.
When the rotary phone was introduced, they assigned letters to the phone so you could dial the exchange yourself. As a modern phone number, TOwnsend 75309 would be 867-5309. Yes, I'm a 1980s music geek as well....
The most famous phone number of this era is probably PEnnsylvania 6-5000
, the number of the hotel Glen Miller's orchestra performed at. The song of that name was essentially an ad so radio listeners could get tickets for next week's concert.
Now that you all have been brought up to speed on old time phone numbers, I'll allow you to change your posts so your characters are appropriately hep to the jive.