Roving UHub photographer Greta Gaffin (yes, the former UHub copy desk) spotted these signs today in the back of the BU College of Arts and Sciences. Boston Edison and "despatcher" alone are enough to date them, but also notice one of the phone numbers: Andrew 8-1633.
It's from the days when local phone numbers all started with two letters - which stood for a longer name, back when phones had rotary dials and each number (save 0 and 1) had three letters associated with them. Today, you'd just dial 268-1633 (well, and you'd have to add the area code, too).
Back in the day, the Andrew exchange, which covered South Boston, was particularly known for radio ads by Adams and Swett, a carpet-cleaning company that got an Andrew 8 number when it moved from Kemble Street in Roxbury to 380 Dorchester Ave. in 1957.
How many cookies did Andrew eat?
Andrew ate 8000.
How do you keep your carpets neat?
Call Andrew 8-8000.
The company, founded in 1856, exists to this day, now in Quincy. And it still has the same number, although now it goes by the more boring version of 617-268-8000.
Boston Edison, of course, gave way to NStar and then Eversource.