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Fast Facts / Know the Code

November 10, 1996|Evelyn Sheinkopf

In 1941, the population of Los Angeles was 1.5 million, 463,753 telephones were in service and area codes didn't exist. Now, with 10 million residential phones in Los Angeles County and cell phones, pagers and Net lines gobbling numbers faster than ever, the three area codes of Greater Los Angeles--213 (introduced in 1947), 818 (1984) and 310 (1991)--are about to be supplemented with two more: 562 and 626. Already, the plucky 213 that once covered all of Southern California is exiled to nine square miles of downtown.

Before our original area code all but vanishes, it's worth recalling an earlier casualty of the telecommunications juggernaut: the alphanumeric exchanges that once blanketed L.A. Contrived so that the first two letters corresponded to the first two numbers of the phone company's local exchanges, they were evocative aliases for every byway of the basin. Many are still in use even as the exchange names fade from memory. (Anybody for a revival?) A sample:

Beverly Hills: BRighton, CRestview, OLympia

Hollywood: HOllywood

Glendale: CItrus

Inglewood: ORchard

Los Angeles: ADams, AXminster, BRadshaw, DUnkirk, LUdlow, MAdison, MUtual, NOrmandy, RIchmond, WEbster

Malibu: GLobe

Pasadena: SYlvan, SYcamore

Santa Monica: EXmont

San Pedro: TErminal

West L.A.: GRanite

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