How did our area's phone numbers evolve?

We start our investigation into a time when dialing a friend involved knowing where that friend lived

October 29, 2013

Jeffrey Osman of Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood remembers a time when dialing the number a friend in Chicago meant using neighborhood names, such as "HUmboldt." Jeffrey wanted to revisit those old telephone exchanges and learn their history. Reporter Chris Bentley was game to flip through dusty phone books and history books for some answers. 

Get behind-the-scenes updates and follow Chris and Jeffrey's progress via the reporter's notebook below. 

Curious City is a news-gathering experiment designed to satisfy the public's curiosity. People like you submit questionsvote for their favorites, and WBEZ reports out the winning questions in real time on FacebookTwitter and the reporter's notebook above.