Remember EDgewater? Or CIrcle?

Telephone similar to ones in kitchen and basementDo you remember giving out your telephone number as EDgewater 5-7543? Or, if you lived in Jackson, your telephone exchange was CIrcle.

This rotary dial phone was one I picked up used somewhere. It shows a number after area codes were assigned and names phased out. The phone in the basement is one that I talked on when I was a teenager, though. (Mother had been paying a couple of bucks a month to Ma Bell for the phone for 30 or 40 years. I wanted to hang on to it for sentimental reasons, so I paid the phone company a flat fee to own it.)

If you are a phone junkie, there is a site that has pictures of telephone central offices all over the country. Some of the ones in SE Missouri are interesting because they sit on fault lines and have had to be retrofitted for earthquakes.

When I was offered the job of telecommunications manager just before I left for Missouri on vacation in 1991, it dawned on me as I was driving through little towns like Old Appleton that if I took the job, I’d be in charge of more phones than a lot of towns had. I ended up taking the job and doing it until I retired in 2008.

Exchanges for this area

  • Advance – RAmond
  • Benton – KIngsdale
  • Bloomfield = LOcust
  • Cape Girardeau – EDgewater
  • Chaffee – TUlip
  • Jacksopn – CIrcle
  • Sikeston – GRanite

30 Replies to “Remember EDgewater? Or CIrcle?”

  1. ED5-9349. Upon trying to post this as the phone number only I received an error message about the message being too short and to try again. I hope this comes closer to meeting the requirements of the blog as I am always eager to please. Hopefully I will remember next time I choose to reply. But being old has it’s drawbacks and an imperfect memory is one of them. Please bear with me.

  2. Home phone ED4-3376, who can forget. My grandmother’s number, my cousin’s number, my high school girl friend’s number ED5(I don’t think so). I even remember from the early 1950s before the edgewater number that we were “J” on the old party line but I don’t remember the three digit number anymore. And then there were area codes!

  3. CO4-4377. Illmo-Scott City was Colony. Grandma’s number was CO4-4415. And we were po box 268 and grandma was box 86. It IS odd how we remember those numbers but I love it!

  4. ED5-3295 — my parents kept the same number for nearly 50 years. Mother was in Ratliff Nursing Home when I had to disconnect the phone; it was a very difficult day for me.

  5. ED5-5066 was–and remains–the Lamkin home phone and our dad still has the wall-mounted set with the rotary dial perched on top. That phone was in our original home on Sunset, though there is no one at AT&T who has the ability to repair it now. Back in the day, there were still ‘party lines’–no, not the political ones–and the sole way a customer could get off of a party line was to get and pay extra for a private line. Our dad gamed the system well. He knew that with six kids in the house the phone would be in constant use, so he kept the party line. Occasionally Southwestern Bell would put someone on it with our family, but they usually lasted only a day or two. I think Southwestern Bell gave Dad a plaque or something for increasing its revenues substantially.

  6. my mom’s number was ED5-2151 for years. then st francis moved from good hope out to the highway…their was 335-1251 so after a 100 phone calls for st.francis she got a new number. it still is strange to hear someone in cape that their number isn’t 335 or 334

  7. The only Cape phone number I can remember is ours, ED4-2462 but Jerry (who is a whole 11 months older than I am) can remember his 3-digit number from the Ice Age. Oddly, I can remember the “other” exchange in Melbourne, FL when we moved there in 1964 was PArkway, 723-, but for the life of me I can’t remember what ours was. The number was 254-. Selective memory or old age? You decide.

  8. I remember Edgewater phone numbers. Dad had one number for Cape Veterinary Hospital EDgewater 4-1004 it would ring at the house and hospital, in the day time Dad would answer it at hospital and if it was for Mom, he would hang up and they would call back and she would answer.

  9. Our’s was ED4-4501, which has/had been my dad’s phone number since 1962. It outlasted his first marriage to my mom ; ) and it’s ended up outlasting him as he passed away last weekend.

    I still remember the old Hirsch’s Thriftway number, it was ED5-2293.

    I’m sure I recall Mom telling me my grandparents’ three digit phone number was 643 and that’s how she and Dad picked our street address when they built the house in which my sister and I grew up.

  10. ED5-5312 reached the Robinson household from August of 1955 until August of 2006 when my dad sold the house.
    It was a different scenario if we needed to call my maternal grandparents just three doors up; we had to dial 1410 then hang up and the phones on both ends of the line would ring. When the phone stopped ringing, you knew that the other end had picked up and then you would pick up the phone to talk.

  11. yellow cab was ED5-5533..i could remember that no matter how many drinks i had at either the algier’s lounge or the purple crackle..LOL

  12. Ed5-8644 is still my dad’s phone…I wondered how in the world people could remember ALL those numbers…I think At one time I could remember all my friends and buddy’s phone numbers…now without my trusty cell phone I can not remember even my own phone number!
    I think Bill Bishop’s number was ED4-1392….others, give me a minute.

  13. To this day, I remember my grandparents’ phone number: ED5-6383. Funny how memory works – – and not so funny how it doesn’t.

  14. Our first number was ED-52125. I love that number b/c it is the same frontwards and backwards. Our phone was black and it was soooo heavy. You could brain somebody with that receiver.

  15. You could get my mom on ED-42616 for over 40 years. It outlasted her until her passing in 2007. Now where the crap did I put my glasses again?

  16. ED5-8016…we had that number since Nov 1949. A couple of years ago we had to stop the service. Some day I’ll try that number and see who has it.

  17. I left Cape before the exchanges. Our number was still 2656W and I have never forgotten it although I can not rember the number we had for 27 years and even have trouble remembering my current number that we have had for 13 years. David Middleton

  18. We had our ED number for at least 50 years. We have the beige rotary dial as in your picture in our dowstairs office. If the electrcity goes out the portables don’t work and if your cell dies then you are in a jam….but the rotary will work!

  19. Our number was ED4-1334. When the 1+ dialing began we had many, many unusual phone calls. The numbers were never even close to our number. The switches were just confused by the repetition of numbers. We also received numerous one ring calls, so no one even moved toward the phone until the second ring.

  20. And there wasn’t a phone in every room so everyone could “share” in the conversations! Mom still has one hanging on a wall in her home. I wish I still had my green princess phone!

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