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So this came today

In case it isn’t clear, “final edition” means the last ever final printed Yellow Pages, like, ever. I’ve bought magazines that were thicker.

The Yellow Pages as such have only existed here for around fifty years, so they aren’t quite the venerable institution they are in the States. I don’t think we used it even when we were in London and the internet was younger. I can’t imagine what anyone might use them for in CURRENT YEAR and out here in the country. There are so many other local directories that do a fine job with less drama.

Is the phone book still a thing in the States?

Thanks to everyone who helped identify my eBay instrument haul (especially Muldoon, whose pronouncements had the ring of authority). It looks like I got me a set of surgical bone mauling tools.



Comment from F X Muldoon
Time: May 17, 2018, 10:31 pm

Phone books – even though I don’t have a land line (other than a VoIP), the local phone company tosses one on my driveway. It is about 6X8 inches, and both the white and Yellow Pages, maybe 3/4 of an inch thick (small town). That may be an aberration, but when I travel, big towns still have big Yellow Pages.

Surgical instruments – keep looking, the variety is amazing, and there are no end of things good for grabbing, holding, cutting, clamping, spreading, or you name it good for model making, jewelery making, musical instrument repair, or damn near anything – I have some alligator forceps which are perfect for reaching into a sidedraft carburetor. There are things called curettes that come in different sizes if you want to make perfect melon balls the size of BBs or smaller.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: May 17, 2018, 11:01 pm

RE: Phone Books, still a thing.
Personally, I HATE phones. The only calls I get are spam/scammers. The only reason why I have a phone is that it comes with the internet package, and I need to call the propane vendor to tell them the driveway is clear of snow and they can make a delivery.

The propane dealer takes email now. So…

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: May 18, 2018, 12:36 am

Here in a suburb of Dallas, the Yellow Pages seem to have finally faded away completely. I actually met a guy about a decade ago who was excited because he had just purchased the rights to publish the local Yellow Pages. I thought he’d made a bad choice at the time, and I thought so every time for years afterwards as I took the Yellow Pages straight from the porch to the recycling bin. The Age Of Paper is over, I think. We receive a free daily “newspaper” but it’s actually four pages of news and a bunch of coupons. I am glad to get it as I find newspaper to be the best thing ever for cleaning windows… but I can’t remember ever reading it. I did buy a hardback printed book a month ago though. The reason was simple – Amazon wanted $17.00 for the digital version, and the hardback was $5.99 with free shipping. I thought that was informative.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: May 18, 2018, 1:31 am

Well you can’t properly interrogate people without a phone book.
So I’ve heard.

I’m with Some, though if I’m on the way in at the end of the day it sits in the front hall until Mrs Durned insists I walk around the side of the house to the recycle bin.
If I said Josey Lane to you Some, would it mean anything?

Gee, I sound like a lazy bugger, even to myself. But I feel bad for the publisher and the advertisers.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: May 18, 2018, 1:21 pm

I’d be fine with a Yellow Pages, and a White Pages for that matter. But not every company is listed in the YP. We have one that’s for the main city, one for the suburban Jeff Parish but on the East Bank of the Miss. River, one for the West Bank; and half the time, a company/restaurant/service that I know exists in the present day is NOT to be found in any of them. Apparently the YP charges companies for listings, and the companies figure the return is not worth the cost, so they don’t list.

There used to be a thing called the “city directory,” the reverse-listings people. You could look up an address in a given city, and find out what business was there and what phone number they had. Same for individuals. It was a great resource for private investigators, and if you’re writing a historical story, you can find the book for that year and see just what existed in a given block of Broadway in, say, 1962. Are those still published?

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 18, 2018, 3:20 pm

When the chicons explode a thermonuclear device over us, books will be worth their weight in gold.

Comment from Eirik
Time: May 18, 2018, 3:45 pm

I had a salesman pigeonhole me at my front desk and give me a long sales pitch for a large ad in the yellow pages. After he left, I asked a woman in her 80’s who had heard the whole exchange when was the last time she had picked up the phone book.

“Why would I do that? I have the internet.”

Didn’t bother to buy the ad.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: May 18, 2018, 4:38 pm

After the thermonuclear device detonation, internet devices and phone books will achieve parity in usefulness.

Drinkable water will be all the rage though.

Comment from Jon
Time: May 18, 2018, 5:03 pm

Phone books show up every so often by the front door, but not all of them are taken. Funny how much could be saved on printing if it was discontinued.

Comment from AliceH
Time: May 18, 2018, 9:21 pm

In my rural area, people and businesses are very spread out, and there are at least two telephone companies (not directly competing, unfortunately. Just adjacent regions.)

What this means, apparently, is I “need” three different telephone directories. Every year. Two of them are combination yellow and white pages, the third is the official All Yellow yellow pages.

I do use them sometimes because a lot of businesses just don’t bother with having a presence on the internet here, and it’s a crap shoot getting a phone number online when the business owner doesn’t use the internet themselves. (My plumber doesn’t even own a computer. His wife takes messages and he follows up … if he doesn’t lose the sticky note.) Those few that have started building a web presence generally use Facebook – which I personally avoid.

Don’t get me started on our messed up cell service, where AT&T and Verizon and Consumercellular each exclude the other in “their” service area. (My tree guy has 3 cell phones so he can have at least one usable phone wherever he is working that day.)

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: May 18, 2018, 9:55 pm

Wolfus Aurelius @ May 18, 2018, 1:21 pm:

There used to be a thing called the “city directory”, the reverse-listings people…

I never heard of that kind of “city directory”; what I’ve heard of (and seen snippets of) were directories which listed every business and resident of the town in alpha order with street address, sometimes with occupations for people. Such directories antedated the telephone by many years; and they continued long after the introduction of the telephone, as it was quite a while before phones were commonplace.

Such directories are often useful to genealogists and historians.

(Investigating, I find that many of the older “city directories” had both name-alpha-order listings and street-address-order listings.

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