Northwest Metro Central Offices

Acworth

(770) 974

In 1950, the Acworth office was a community dial office using 355A Step-by-Step equipment. Dialing within Acworth was on a 4-digit basis. There was no local service to any other offices. To place a long distance call or to reach Information, you dialed "0" for the operator. At some point in the 1950s, local service to Marietta and Cartersville may have been added.

In 1960, the Acworth central office had been assigned the name "Webster-4", which would have corresponded to the digits "934". This was unusual since most other community dial offices did not have names.

In 1963, Acworth was added to the Atlanta metro calling area. The name "Webster-4" was dropped and the code "974" was assigned to the office when it became part of the Atlanta local area.

In 1970, dialing instructions for Ackworth were as follows:

These instructions were typical for the community dial offices served by step-by-step equipment. The initial digit "8" routed the call to a tandem switch, probably in Marietta. The tandem switch then collected the 7 digit number and routed the call to the correct office.

In the mid 70s, these calls were being routed via the Marietta No. 5 Crossbar.

In 1976, the step-by-step equipment was replaced with a No. 2 ESS machine.

In 2002, the office had been converted to digital.


Austell

941 944 948

The Austell dial office opened at some point prior to 1960 using No. 5 Crossbar equipment. The initial code was 948. It is possible that Austell had a manual office before that.

On October 2, 1960, Austell was added to the Atlanta metro calling area. Since this office used crossbar equipment, no special instructions were required to call metro numbers.

The 941 code was added in 1965 and the 944 code was added some time before 1976.

In June of 1981, the crossbar equipment was replaced with No. 1A ESS equipment.
In December of 2000, the No. 1A ESS was replaced with a No. 5 ESS.


Dallas

(770) 445

319 Main St, Dallas

The Dallas office was opened some time prior to 1963. In 1963, the office prefix was 445 and the equipment used was 355A step-by-step.

On January 31, 1964, Dallas was added to the Atlanta metro calling area.
Prior to this time, all points were probably long distance except for possibly Powder Springs or Marietta. Dialing instructions were as follows:

To call Dallas 445 numbers, dial the 7 digit number. To call all other Atlanta metro area numbers, dial "8" plus the 7 digit number.

These instructions were typical for the community dial offices served by step-by-step equipment. The initial digit "8" routed the call to a tandem switch, probably in Marietta. The tandem switch then collected the 7 digit number and routed the call to the correct office.

Dallas was one of the last Step-by-Step offices to be converted. It was converted to ESS or digital some time between late 1986 and 1988. After that, the "8" prefix was no longer required for local calls. It is also most likely that Dallas customers were not able to have Touch Tone service until this change occurred.

In 1997, the office is a No. 5 ESS. Codes are 443, 445, and 505.


Douglasville Main

(770) 942 949

The office was opened some time before 1960 using Step-by-Step equipment.

On October 2, 1960, Douglasville was added to the Atlanta metro calling area. At that time, the code was 942. To call most metro numbers, you dialed "8" before the 7-digit number.

By 1976 the step-by-step equipment had been replaced with a No 5. Crossbar machine and the 949 prefix had been added. The crossbar equipment was replaced with DMS-100 equipment in 1984, only 8 years later.

In 2002, the office is digital.


South Douglasville

(770) 489

Around 1976, this office was built and part of Douglasville was cut over to it. It is believed that it was a No. 5A Crossbar machine. The 5A machine was based on the No. 5 Crossbar except that it was designed for small offices . It was modular and available in only two sizes, 960 lines or 1920 lines. The one installed in South Douglasville was in a trailer.


Marietta Main

(770) 422 424 427 428 429

37 Powder Springs St. SE, Marietta
In 1936, the Marietta office was located at 42 1/2 West Park Sq. and consisted of a manual switchboard, probably of the common battery type.

In 1941, the population was around 12,000. By 1950, the population had grown to 26,000 and service was still manual. No local service was provided outside of Marietta at this time. All other points were long distance.

In 1951, a new building was constructed on Powder Springs Road and dial equipment was installed. At midnight on Saturday, December 15, the Marietta and Smyrna offices were converted to dial service at the same time. The equipment used was No. 1 Step-by-Step. When dial service was introduced, optional Smyrna Service and Atlanta Service were offered for an additional charge. Apparently, Atlanta Service worked one-way only. Customers in Atlanta could only call Marietta as a long distance call.

1951 Dialing Instructions:

To call Marietta ….. Dial the listed number (5 digits).
To call Smyrna ….. Dial "2" plus the number (5 digits).
To call Atlanta ….. Dial "3" plus the number (6 digits).
Information for Marietta…. 113
Information for Smyrna…. 2-113
Information for Atlanta…. 3-113
Repair Service …… 114
Telephone Business Office… 9-9011

Access codes "2" and "3" were available only if you paid for the additional Smyrna or Atlanta service and were blocked otherwise.

Marietta Telephone numbers in 1951 were 5 digits beginning with 8. In 1952, another code "9" was added. And In 1954, a third code "7" was added.

Sample 1952 telephone numbers:

Lee Motor Company …. 8-8113
Chapman Motor Sales… 9-9519

Unlike Smyrna, which became a part of the Atlanta extended local area in 1958, Marietta remained long distance from Atlanta until 1960. In October of 1960, Marietta was added to the Atlanta metro calling area. This required changing telephone numbers to 7 digits. Numbers beginning with 7 became 427 and numbers beginning with 8 or 9 became 428. It is unclear how or why the two codes were merged into one.

The new extended area service came with rather complicated dialing instructions. To call Marietta 427 and 428 numbers, Smyrna "HE" (43) numbers, Dallas "445" numbers, Acworth 974 numbers, and Woodstock 926 numbers, you dialed the 7 digit number. To call all other Atlanta metro numbers, you dialed "6" plus the number. Dialing 6 connected you to one of the Atlanta tandems, either the Downtown step-by-step tandem or the Decatur Crossbar Tandem. Crossbar tandems were set up to enforce dialing rules so that you couldn't dial "6" to reach an office that didn't need the "6" and end up routing the call through Atlanta, tying up extra facilities.

In 1960, the "424" prefix was being used for Lockheed. The main number for Lockheed at that time was 424-9411. This was probably a Step-by-Step PBX setup as Centrex CU (Centrex with equipment on the customer's premises).

In 1963, another floor was added to the central office building and a No. 5 Crossbar machine was installed. In addition to providing additional lines for new Marietta subscribers with the code "422", this machine provided Centrex CO Service for the Lockheed plant on the "424" code.

The new Marietta crossbar machine also provided tandem switching for Acworth, Dallas, and Woodstock, handling their calls when they dialed "8" to reach Metro Atlanta. These offices were added to the Metro calling area at the same time. If no provision had been made for tandem switching in Marietta, these calls would have been routed through Downtown Atlanta or even Decatur. Calls to Marietta or other Northwest Atlanta suburbs would have then taken a long route to Atlanta and back.


The Marietta crossbar machine had a very strange setup that forced customers to dial "6" to reach most metro numbers. They configured the machine to follow the same dialing plan as the Marietta Step-by-Step office. This was a kludge. Without this, the crossbar customers would have been able to simply dial 7 digits for all local calls. We assume it was decided that there could not be two different sets of dialing instructions for the Step-by-Step and the Crossbar in the same area and that it was too expensive to convert the Step-by-Step to 7 digit local calling.

This is what Marietta customers dialed at this time:

To call Marietta 422, 424, 427, and 428 numbers,
Smyrna 432, 435, and 436 numbers, Dallas 445 numbers, Woodstock 926 numbers, Austell 948 numbers,
Douglasville 942 numbers, Powder Springs 943 numbers, and Ackworth 974 numbers ….. dial the 7 digit number.
To call all other Metro Atlanta calls ….. dial "6" plus the 7 digit number.

Calls from the crossbar machine to Metro Atlanta took the most direct route available, even though the extra "6" was dialed first. There would have been direct trunks to many of the Atlanta in-town offices and Northeast Metro offices.

Click >>here<< for everything you ever wanted to know about the Marietta Crossbar machine!

Calls from the Step-by-Step were routed to the Crossbar Tandem in Downtown Atlanta on "6". This continued even after the installation of the crossbar machine. They could have sent the "6" calls from the Step-by-Step into the crossbar like they did with calls from Dallas and other small offices. This sent calls to places like Buckhead and Sandy Springs through Downtown.

Some time around 1969, the new East Marietta "971" Office was opened on Roswell Road. This office cut over several thousand customers from the Marietta Main office. Unlike the crossbar machine in the Marietta main office, this one did not have the strange dialing pattern. Customers were able to dial 7 digits for all local calls.

By 1976, several additional offices had been added to nearby exchanges. Dialing instructions were as follows:

To call Marietta 422, 424, 427, and 428 numbers, East Marietta 971, 973, and 977 numbers,
Smyrna 432, 433, 434, 435, and 436 numbers, Dallas 445 numbers, Woodstock 926 numbers,
Austell 941, 944, and 948 numbers, Douglasville 942 and 949 numbers, Powder Springs 943 numbers,
and Ackworth 974 numbers, dial the 7 digit number.
To call all other Metro Atlanta calls, dial "6" plus the 7 digit number.

The new South Douglasville central office "489" could not be dialed without the "6" prefix even though Douglasville's main office was dialed direct.

Early in 1980, a new No.1 ESS machine was installed. All customers served out of the step-by-step and crossbar equipment were cut over to the ESS machine at the same time. The Woodstock office was cut over on the same night. When the cutover occurred, the "6" code for calling Atlanta Metro numbers was eliminated.

In 1981, the 429 code was added to the Marietta ESS.

Some time prior to 1999, a No. 5 ESS machine replaced the 1A ESS machine.


East Marietta

(770) 971 973 977 578

2215 Roswell Road NE, Marietta
The East Marietta office opened around 1969. Using No. 5 Crossbar equipment, the first code was 971. This was the last office built in the Atlanta Metro area to have the "city ring" type of ringback tone.

By 1976, additional codes 973 and 977 had been added.
The No. 5 Crossbar equipment was replaced with No. 1A ESS on September 20, 1981 and that equipment was replaced in 1999 with No. 5 ESS. The 578 code was added some time between 1985 and 1998.


Powder Springs

(770) 943

The Powder Springs dial office opened some time prior to 1960. The equipment used was No. 355A Step-by-Step.

On April 2, 1961, Powder Springs was added to the Atlanta metro calling area. At this time, the office code was 943.

In 1976, the dialing instructions for Powder Springs customers were as follows:

To call Marietta 422, 424, 427, 428, 971, 973, and 977 numbers, Austell 941, 944, and 948 numbers,
and Powder Springs 943 numbers, dial the 7 digit number.
To call all other Metro Atlanta calls, dial "8" plus the 7 digit number.

Some time between 1985 and 1988, the step-by-step equipment was replaced with digital switching equipment..


Smyrna Main

1369 Spring Street SE, Smyrna

Prior to 1951, the Smyrna office was a manual, common battery switchboard. Most likely, all points outside of Smyrna were considered long distance.

At midnight on Saturday, December 15, 1951, the Marietta and Smyrna offices were converted to dial service at the same time. The equipment used was No. 1 Step-by-Step. Calling within Smyrna was on a 5 digit basis, all telephone numbers beginning with "5". Local service from Smyrna to Marietta and Atlanta were offered for an additional charge.

1951 Dialing Instructions:

To call Smyrna ….. Dial the listed number (5 digits).
To call Marietta ….. Dial "2" plus the number (5 digits).
To call Atlanta ….. Dial "3" plus the number (6 digits).
Information for Smyrna…. 113
Information for Marietta…. 2-113
Information for Atlanta…. 3-113
Repair Service …… 114

Access codes "2" and "3" were available only if you paid for the additional
Marietta or Atlanta service and were blocked otherwise.

In 1952, Smyrna was added to Atlanta's Extended Area Service (EAS), making calls between Atlanta and Smyrna local for all customers. Presumably, Marietta local service was also made standard at this point.

In 1957, to incorporate Smyrna more fully into the Atlanta metro calling area, Smyrna numbers were changed to 7 digits and the office was given the name "Hemlock". Telephone numbers went from being 5 digit numbers starting with "5" to 7 digit numbers starting with "Hemlock-5". The name Hemlock had previously belonged to the manual office on Crescent Avenue in Midtown. That office was taken out of service in 1951. Once Smyrna customers had 7 digit numbers, an access code was no longer required for Atlanta customers to dial Smyrna. But Smyrna still required a "3" to reach Atlanta and a "2" to reach Marietta

In 1960, office names in Atlanta were on the way out. New telephone numbers were being written with just two letters and 5 digits. Smyrna's "Hemlock-5" was now written as "HE-5" and a new code "HE-6" was added. In October of 1960, when Marietta was added to Atlanta's Extended Area Service and Marietta telephone numbers were changed to 7 digits, Smyrna customers were instructed to dial 7 digits when calling Marietta, eliminating the original access code.

In 1967, office names were mostly forgotten. The original codes were now 435 and 436 and a new code 432 was added to the office.

At some point in the 1970s, No 1A-ESS machine was installed in Smyrna and began service with the 434 code. This created the same dilemma as the Crossbar 5 installation did in Marietta in 1963. With ESS, the normal practice was to use 7 digits for all local calls and not to require a special access code to call Atlanta Metro offices. To set up the ESS to serve new 434 customers in Smyrna without an access code while keeping the access code "3" for existing step-by-step customers would have created confusion.

Since ultimately the ESS would replace the step-by-step, it would have made no sense to make the ESS mimic the step-by-step. So, instead, the step-by-step office was modified to eliminate the access code and route all calls on a 7-digit basis. This was done by making heavy use of the ESS machine in the same building. Calls dialed in the step office to 42 codes and 43 codes were handled by the step equipment alone. Calls to almost everything else were switched to the ESS machine on the first or second digit for through switching. This must have required the addition of quite a bit of equipment to the step office.

A 433 code was added to the ESS machine a few years later and some time around 1980, the step-by-step equipment was retired and all customers were moved to the ESS equipment.


Smyrna - Powers Ferry

(770) 850 858 953 955 956

1732 Powers Ferry Road, Marietta
Prior to the opening of this office, customers would have been served out of the Smyrna, Marietta Main, East Marietta, Sandy Springs, and Buckhead offices. The office opened in 1976. The original equipment was No. 1A ESS. The first prefix was 955.

At some point in the 1990s, the 1A ESS equipment was replaced with a DMS-100.

The 953 and 956 prefixes were added some time between 1977 and 1990.


Woodstock

In 1950, the Woodstock office was a Community Dial Office using 4 digit telephone numbers. The equipment in use was 355A Step-by-Step. All calls outside of Woodstock were long distance calls and were placed through the operator. There were no special codes for Directory Assistance or other services. Customers were instructed to dial "0".

Some time between 1951 and 1960, local calling was extended to Canton and to Marietta.
In 1963, Woodstock was added to the Atlanta metro calling area. To call Woodstock 926 or Canton 479 numbers, you dialed 7 digits. To call all other Metro Atlanta numbers, you dialed "8" before the number. These calls were routed via the new Marietta No. 5 Crossbar.

In early 1980, the office was cut over to ESS. The Marietta Main office was cut over on the same night. The equipment might have been No. 2 ESS or could have been DMS-100.

In 2002, the office is digital.


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