Elmer Cat


1101 Avenue R
Brooklyn, New York

This Central Office building is an example of the Bell System using a modern architectural style for an addition housing new ESS equipment. Notice the murals depicting the History of Communications (as of 1970):

  • Smoke signals
  • Drums
  • Signal flags
  • Tin cans and a string
  • Public telephones
  • Switchboards
  • Satellite communications and PicturePhones

The Western Electric #1 ESS was the first electronic switching system used by the Bell System. It was NOT digital, and still used relays to establish connections, but it sounded completely different than older electromechanical switching systems. Most noticeably, it sounds nearly silent as calls are dialed, and the call progress tones were precisely synthesized to what became the new standard heard everywhere.

Historic Area Code: 212

Local Exchange – Class 5 Central Office

Exchange Names: 

Explore the Virtual Phone Trips map to discover more vintage electromechanical switching sounds from other historic central offices:

Telcodata current detailed switch information for NYCKNYAR