Zenith Number

A Zenith number is a special type of toll-free telephone number which allowed a calling party to call the number's owner at no charge by ringing the operator and requesting the specified "Zenith", "Enterprise" or "WX" number.

Introduced in the 1950s, a Zenith number was listed in local directories in each community from which a business desired to receive calls. In that era, direct-dial numbers were commonly published with telephone exchange names followed by digits (such as "Pennsylvania 6-5000"). The letter Z originally did not appear on the telephone dial, but suggested the 0 (operator) dial position, indicating that the caller had to call the operator (by dialing 0) to place the call. The operator looked up the city and regular number in that city corresponding to the Zenith number, typically in a paper book kept at the switchboard and completed the call as if it were a collect call to the regular number

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