Friday, August 6, 2010

Telephone exchange names on screen

[From The Little Giant, dir. Roy Del Ruth, 1933.]

I hit Pause to try to see the inedible item Bugs Ahean (Edward G. Robinson) has placed in the ashtray: it’s a bacon-wrapped olive. (He kept the toothpick.) And then I noticed the matchbook, with an authentic Los Angeles exchange name: GLadstone. Lorne Greene’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame sits near 1559 Vine (“just Vine”) today.

Note the six-digit telephone number. Says Wikipedia,

Before World War II, a few localities used three letters and four numbers; in most cities with customer dialing, phone numbers had only six digits — two letters followed by four numbers.
As I was about to say, The Little Giant is a fine comedy. It even has a pocket notebook.

More exchange names on screen
The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse : Baby Face : Born Yesterday : The Dark Corner : Deception : Dream House : The Man Who Cheated Himself : Nightmare Alley : The Public Enemy

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