The Telephone Book () - Rotten Tomatoes
BT is putting its entire archive of old phone books online for genealogists, The phone books date back to and contain million names. The first phone book contained names but no numbers - callers were. Old Telephone Books - Possibly the world's largest online collection of phone books Therefore, the most important attributes of a telephone book are what sections it . It's vital to know the date of a phone book, because the book quickly becomes By , the Bell System operating companies were. Today, we're going to explain the history of the telephone. . By , Erna Schneider Hoover had patented the first computerized telephone.
A free typescript supplement, Addenda and Amendments…, to date is also available. Some early trade directories are classified as rare items and proof of identity is required before these volumes may be consulted. The Library continues to add to the collection by purchasing items through the second-hand market or on microform.
Trade directories are an excellent source for tracing businesses and professions. From the mid-nineteenth century a separate Court section was included which lists private residential addresses. Ordinary working people who did not own their own business will not usually be found in these directories.
Many editions have useful sections covering official, municipal and public transport information as well as addresses for educational and religious institutions, hospitals and lists of clergymen, bankers, lawyers, etc.
Maps, town plans and advertisements are often included although the latter tend to be limited until after when the tax on advertisements was abolished. Directories for large industrial cities or spa towns like Bath were published with increasing regularity from the late s and the first national directories date from Individual county and provincial town directories began to appear from c.
However, some areas like Islington and Croydon have directories dating from as early as The Post Office London Directory ceased publication in although its coverage of residential addresses and listings by street is limited from the s. Many of the trade directories are available in hard copy, but some are in very poor condition and have been replaced by microfilm. The Library has a complete set of London directories on microfilm, as well as National and Local Directories, and a wide range of provincial directories on microfiche.
The latter are filed with the Miscellaneous Microfiche at Fiche 4 and Fiche 68 respectively. There is also a collection of directories on microfilm for Dublin and Edinburgh which supplement the volumes held in hard copy. In addition to town and county directories, Guildhall Library has a range of trade directories relating to specific industries e.
In Westchester County, New York, each subscriber got a telephone book with "Westchester" on the cover, but with one of seven sets of localized yellow pages inside. On request, you could also get a book with only the white pages, or seven small books with each of the yellow page sections.
This situation was so common that we felt we needed a word to describe it. We chose the word "slock", which was short, easy to say, and didn't seem to be used for anything else. For example, I might say, "Do we have the Waukegan? That would be the closing date for new or changed listings to appear in the directory.
This is the most specific date you're likely to find. There is usually a month and year, or just a year, or a two-year period e. When I specify the date of a phone book on this Web site, I choose the earliest year printed on the cover in my example.
The date printed on the cover is typically a month or two later than the "corrected through" date, and tells when the book is scheduled to be distributed to customers. Issuing company Alexander Graham Bell's patent on the telephone gave his company, Bell Telephone, a monopoly from to During that period, the company opened exchanges in most of the large cities of the United States. It organized a number of regional operating companies.
Trade directories and telephone books
InAmerican Telephone and Telegraph became the parent company. Bythe Bell System operating companies were: They were reorganized into seven companies known as the "Baby Bells": US West is now part of Qwest. Telephone books published by any of these companies can often be identified by the bell on their cover. After the Bell Telephone patents started expiring inindependent telephone companies began to spring up in small towns not yet served by Bell, or sometimes in direct competition with Bell for the same territory.
Old Telephone Books: Telephone Book Varieties
In most cases, the well-established Bell companies were able to force their direct competitors out of business or buy them up. It has been estimated that there were nearly 6, independent telephone companies in the U.
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Large holding companies or loose associations grouped many of the independents into "systems" mimicking the Bell System. The General System, like Bell, organized itself into regional operating companies. The United System evolved into Sprint Telecommunications. At first, there were no telephone numbers; operators simply knew which plug to use for each subscriber. Telephone numbers were introduced in Lowell, Massachusetts in late Party lines were popular, because of their lower cost, in the first half of the 20th century.
Telephones on a party line were electrically connected, so that they would ring simultaneously, and transmit the same sounds. A specific pattern of rings was used to identify each phone on the same party line.
The telephone book listing usually gave a phone number, a hyphen, and a code to identify the pattern of rings. The number of digits in a phone number was variable, since the numbers were only used as identifiers.
In rural areas, they might range from one to three digits.
In larger cities, a telephone number would consist of an exchange name and a five-digit number. Uniformity came about slowly. Ina Boston telephone number consisted of a three-letter exchange, a four-digit number, and for party lines, a ring code J, M, R, or W.The Telephone Book (1971) Obscene Phone Caller Confession
All-number calling was introduced inso that the digits 0 and 1 could be used. Some telephone number listings immediately changed to seven digits, although exchange names continued to appear alongside them until late in the decade. Within each area code, every seven-digit phone number would be unique.
When long-distance dialing was first implemented, it could only be used by operators placing calls for customers. Customer dialing was phased in as each central office invested in the necessary equipment.
Generally, area codes were first announced in telephone books in the late s. City directories predate the telephone by many years. Obviously, the early city directories had no telephone numbers. Most city directories are hardbound, and many have a leather-look spine.
Donnelley Company corporate history page click on "Company History" says that Donnelley published a Chicago telephone directory on May 15,for the Chicago Telephone Company; this is "generally acknowledged as the birth of classified telephone directory advertising, a medium that we know today as The Yellow Pages.
A widely published timeline says that the first telephone directory featuring classified business advertising on actual yellow paper was issued by the Michigan State Telephone Co. The listings and ads were printed on yellow paper, so the story goes, because the printer had run out of white stock. These "proprietary" phone books go back well before World War II.
In the United States, the official telephone book will usually clearly identify the telephone company that published it. Sometimes it gets hard to tell which is the official telephone book and which is the proprietary one for a given city.
During the Cold War, telephone books were classified documents in the Soviet Union. No one except government officials could possess them. For corroboration, read this lecture by a librarian use your browser's Find function to search for "telephone". Physical dimensions In the U. As a city or region served by a miniature phone book grows in population, when it reaches a threshold usually around to pagesit moves up to the larger page size.
Other countries use sizes that are close, but rarely equal, to the two U.