New England Telephone Company
New England Telephone and Telegraph Company operated a facility on 35 Norman Street, from approximately 1900 until its closing in 1976, though some workers continued to work at the directory assistance office next door. The change came when the long distance calls were first being controlled by a computer-like processor instead of telephone switchboard operators.
In 1956, Salem converted from a manual style telephone operation to a dial tone.
A "dial tone" service began in Salem at 2 a.m. Sunday Nov. 11, 1956. The multi-million dollar system served 43,000 telephones between the towns of Salem, Beverly, Danvers, Essex, and Peabody. To place a local call, people used 2 letters and 5 numbers.
- Vertical File in Salem Collection - New England Telephone Company
- Busy Salem switchboard finally switches off" Salem Evening News, Jan. 5, 1976, p. 14.
- New England Telephone Topics, July 1914 New England Telephone and Telegraph Co.
- "Area converted to Dial; officials say cut-over made without hitch" Salem Evening News, Nov. 13, 1956, p.1-2