Thursday, May 27, 2021

An EXchange name sighting

[“HIllside 8661.” From The Blue Dahlia (dir. George Marshall, 1946). Click for a larger view.]

That’s not a pocket notebook — it just sits by the telephone. I believe it’s what used to be called a telephone pad. In a few seconds the bungalow that goes with that telephone pad will fade into the apartment that goes with that number.

As contributors to the Telephone EXchange Name Project attest, HIllside was a genuine exchange name, in Los Angeles (where The Blue Dahlia takes place) and elsewhere.


June 6,2021: As I just discovered, that telephone first appeared in these pages in 2016.

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) : Naked City (9) : 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 (2) : Sweet Smell of Success (2) : Tension : This Gun for Hire : Vice Squad : Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

comments: 2

Stephen said...

Was the exchange name (as opposed to just the two letters of the exchange) set by a central authority? I'm wondering because I thought I grew up in LEpage, but your reference tells me it was LEnnox.

Michael Leddy said...

I think the answer is yes and no. There’s a handy 1955 list of Bell Telephone’s recommended exchange names. The info that goes with the list notes that other names had long been in use and stayed in use. And there were multiple names using the same two digits (but one name in use in a given location).

Much of what’s in that database is a matter of recollection going back decades, so it could be that a contributor is misremembering. Or maybe the name changed. The Bell list has LEnox, one “n.”