The Area Code Project

One new idea for every day in 2011. We're talking big, small, local, international, in action, and on the drawing board. Here's today's -- what's yours?
The Area Code Project

McQuade launched The Area Code Project as a celebration of community but also as a nod to the numbers' historical significance. 

After World War II, he writes, the government introduced area codes to expedite long distance phone service. But those numbers also introduced a hierarchy of geographic importance; bigger cities had area codes that were lower on the rotary dial because they were easier to dial (as "big city" people deserved an easier dial). 

The end products of McQuade's mission are physical and rooted in each of the 269 area codes that currently divide the United States; he's created posters, accessories, and "art ventures" as well as a collection of stories about people's area codes. 

Check out The Area Code Project website, which currently includes products from Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, California, Michigan, and Ohio. There you can share stories about your past and current area codes (and let him know why Arizona should be included!). 

"Today, our identities and our communities, our stories, live within the (parenthetical) of the area code ... Ask someone from Los Angeles about the difference between 310 and 818. Ask a Manhattanite why he wants a 212. Have someone from Peoria tell you about 309. There's power in the pride of place," he writes. "What do those numbers represent?"

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter.

Upcoming Events

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >