The First Telephone Directory

firstTelephoneDirectoryToday in 1878, George Willard Coy and a group of investors from the District Telephone Company of New Haven published the world’s first telephone directory, a single sheet with only 50 names. Yes, another thing we don’t have because of technology. Here’s a sample of what people had to say about it since 1878:

“Telephone books are, like dictionaries, already out of date the moment they are printed….”―Ammon Shea, The Phone Book: The Curious History of the Book That Everyone Uses But No One Reads

“I would rather be governed by the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand people on the faculty of Harvard University”–William F. Buckley, Jr.

“The telephone book is full of facts, but it doesn’t contain a single idea”–Mortimer Adler


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