Harford History

June 29, 2008

Dial phone system comes to Bel Air

The new dial telephone system in Bel Air went into operation at 12:05 a.m. June 26, 1960.

According to The Aegis newspaper, the new telephone system, at a cost of $2.5 million, was designed to provide the people of the communities of Bel Air and Wilna with the best telephone service possible.

According to Mrs. Anna M. Towner, chief operator, the customer needed to only listen for the dial tone, a steady humming sound, and then begin dialing. She "pointed out that all subscribers have been mailed a 'Dial Information Booklet' which gives complete dialing instructions, if the users of telephones will read and follow the simple directions."

The changeover was the first in Maryland and the second in the nation to provide all customers the ability to dial long-distance station-to-station calls.

Source: "Procedure for Proper Operation of Dial Phones Is Outlined" from The Aegis and Harford Gazette, June 23, 1960.

Compiled by the staff of the Harford County Public Library

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