Thursday, October 29, 2020

Naked City exchange names

[From the Naked City episode “Bullets Cost Too Much,” January 4, 1961. Click any image for a larger view. And notice the Public Telephone sign in the second image.]

Ma Bell’s 1955 list of recommended exchange names includes WAbash, WAlker, WAlnut, WArwirck, and WAverly. WAverly, as in Waverly Place and the Waverly Diner, sounds to me like the most citified choice, but I can find no evidence that WAverly was a Manhattan exchange. PLaza is a bonus in this episode. Did you know that the Hotel Pennsylvania still has its PLaza number? 212-736-5000. But the hotel is closed for now.

I love the idea of being able to send a notice (how?) to “all cleaners & dyers.” And I love the idea that a hold-up man whose jacket gets stained as he holds up a bar would think about having that jacket dry cleaned. Maybe even Martinized. It was a different time.

More EXchange names on screen
Act of Violence : The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse : Armored Car Robbery : Baby Face : Blast of Silence : The Blue Dahlia : Blue Gardenia : Boardwalk Empire : Born Yesterday : The Brasher Doubloon : The Brothers Rico : The Case Against Brooklyn : Chinatown : Danger Zone : The Dark Corner : Dark Passage : Deception : Deux hommes dans Manhattan : Dick Tracy’s Deception : Down Three Dark Streets : Dream House : East Side, West Side : Fallen Angel : Framed : The Little Giant : Loophole : The Man Who Cheated Himself : Modern Marvels : Murder by Contract : Murder, My Sweet : My Week with Marilyn : Naked City (1) : Naked City (2) : Naked City (3) : Naked City (4) : Naked City (5) : Naked City (6) : Naked City (7) : Naked City (8) : Nightfall : Nightmare Alley : Out of the Past : Perry Mason : Pitfall : The Public Enemy : Railroaded! : Red Light : Side Street : The Slender Thread : Stage Fright : Sweet Smell of Success : Tension : This Gun for Hire : Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

comments: 5

jjdaddyo said...

WA is definitely Waverly. My Grandparents' number in the West Village was WA4-1275 for more than 50 years.

Michael Leddy said...

Thank you for the ID. It might further confirm that the 65th Precinct of Naked City seems to cover all Manhattan. :)

Michael Leddy said...

The briefest glimpse of the back of the truck shows a West 17th Street address.

jjdaddyo said...

Yeah, my Grandfather was a NYC cop and he worked in the 5th (Chinatown) and 6th (West Village) precincts, among others. The 65th (if it ever existed) would have been in Brooklyn somewhere.

Michael Leddy said...

In the series the precinct is ostensibly in midtown. In an early episode there’s something about it being near the theater district. But the stories go everywhere. If you know NYC, you’d probably love Naked City. You can find at least some episodes on YouTube. The second, third, and fourth seasons are the best.