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Eventually, starting in the late 1940s, all local numbering plans were changed to the 2L-5N system to prepare for nationwide Direct Distance Dialing.For example, under this system, a well-known number in New York City was listed as PEnnsylvania 6-5000.Typically, several six-digit (2L-4N) exchanges were co-located in one building already, with new ones added as old ones had filled up.After the conversion, they were combined into a new 2L-5N exchange.On the number card of the telephone instrument, the name was typically shown in full, but only the significant letters to be dialed were capitalized, while the rest of the name was shown in lower case.Telephone exchange names were used in many countries, but were phased out for numeric systems by the 1960s.
By the 1950s twenty cities were served by this type of office.In the other direction, to call JUniper 4 from JUniper 6, the subscriber would lift the receiver and speak to the JUniper 4 operator who would in turn dial the JUniper 6 number.During the 1950s, cities using six-digit numbers converted to seven-digit dialing.Such numbers were assigned typically in manual offices, and the name would be spoken by a subscriber when requesting a destination.
Often these were geographically significant names, such as the town's name.
In the 1940s, the Bell System developed the North American Numbering Plan, a system of initially 86 allocated area codes which were used at first only by switchboard operators to route trunk calls between plan areas.