The MIT Dormitory Telephone System
MIT Dormphone - II

Fall 1961

Fall 1961By the Fall of 1961, Burton/Connor rooms had telephones served from switching equipment in the basement of Ashdown (see photo at left), and switching equipment had been placed, but not wired, in a former bowling alley in the basement of the Walker Memorial building. The equipment in both locations was obtained from the John Hancock life insurance company. John Hancock had a 100-line per year replacement program, but since M.I.T. had dithered about purchasing the system, the newest equipment of the 3400-line system had already been sold, and M.I.T got the oldest equipment. One of the hundred-groups in Walker had a date sticker reading “1922”! The Institute operators had Dormitory Telephones that they would use to call the students in their rooms, requesting that they go to the nearest Institute extension and dial a number, such as 2603, which would connect them to their incoming call. This was obviously several years before the interconnection of private systems to the Bell System was permitted.

Next: Summer 1962

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