First-Ever Phone Directory and Instruction Manual to Be Auctioned

This is the world's first phone directory—and it's going up for sale next month in New York at Christie's auctioneers. The Telephone Directory, Volume 1, Number 1, for New Haven, Connecticut, aptly enough, is, at 20 pages, more of a pamphlet than the kind of thing that big strong men rip in half to make the ladies swoon (and us geeks shrug and say, "SFW?") But the funniest thing about The Telephone Directory (apart from the estimated price) is the first eight pages—which are instructions on how to use the telephone.

Should you wish to speak to another subscriber... you should...commence the conversation by saying 'Hulloa!' When you are done talking, say 'That is all!', and the person spoken to should say 'O.K.' ... While talking, always speak slow and distinct, and let the telephone rest lightly against your upper lip, leaving the lower lip and the jaw free..."


The directory dates back to 1878 and is expected to fetch between $30,000 and $40,000 when it goes under the hammer, on June 17. Oh, and it also states that profanities or improper language should be reported immediately. That is all. [Christie's via Daily Mail]

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