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Who added letters to the phone dial?

November 21, 2020

Letters have been on phone dials since the beginning.

Very early in the history of telephone communication, people figured out that long numbers were really hard to remember, and quickly added letters to the dial.

Around 1917, Mr W. G. Blauvelt from AT&T came up with a system using 3 letters and 4 numbers, implemented in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston. He mapped the letters almost exactly as we do today, with the only difference being that Z was mapped to Zero.

Unsurprisingly, people loved using letters instead of numbers, when All Number Calling (ANC) was introduced around 1960 it faced strong opposition, and at one point, John Karlin (it's inventor) was called “the most hated man in America”

Now, you can be part of this great tradition by purchasing a vanity phone number for your business! Use the search form below and get an easy to remember phone number.

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