Sign In | Register
Telephone Despatch Company by TELEPHONE DIRECTORY - 1880 - from Heritage Book Shop, LLC and

Telephone Despatch Company


Condition: See description

The First Telephone Directory of Boston, And Earliest Obtainable Telephone Directory [TELEPHONE DIRECTORY]. Telephone Despatch Company. Catalogue of Subscribers. Boston: J. N. George, Manager, July 1st, 1880. First telephone directory of Boston. Octavo (9 1/4 x 5 3/4 inches; 233 x 148 mm). [40] pp. With two pages "Suggestions to Subscribers" and thirty-eight pages total of "Lists of Subscribers." The Boston Exchange is twenty-six pages, the Edison Exchange is nine pages and the Brookline Exchange is three pages. Advertisements printed along lower margins, and on verso of front wrapper and on both sides of back wrapper. We could find no other copies of this at auction in over 50 years, nor could we find any copies on OCLC. This is the earliest obtainable telephone directory at present. No other copies beside the present copy of any earlier telephone directories have been sold at auction since 2008. This directory was printed just a year and a half after the first ever directory was printed in New Haven, Connecticut on February 21, 1878. A copy of the New Haven directory (a later printing from November, 1878) sold at auction in 2008 for $170,500. Original printed green paper wrappers. Staple bound. Edges of wrappers chipped, but not affecting text. Wrappers have been coated with a protective tape to prevent further chipping. First leaf a bit toned and partially detached, but still holding. Some chipping and flaking to edges of leaves, not affecting text. Overall a very good copy of this rare item. The scarcity of this item can be factored by its fragility as well as the fact that they were supposed to be discarded regularly as there were new, updated versions printed every three months. "This Catalogue will be issued regularly hereafter, once in three months. Supplementary lists will be printed as new names are added, and sent to the subscribers." (From the Suggestions to Subscribers). Of the three exchanges listed in the copy, only the Boston exchange contains residential subscribers. The other two only contain business subscribers. Because this is the first telephone directory in Boston,there are instructions for placing phone calls in the "Suggestions to Subscribers." "Subscribers will, in all cases, use the numbers in calling for connections, giving their own number last, viz.: 785 with 436. Where no number appears, give name and address." The fact that this is the first telephone directory in Boston is particularly interesting as Boston is the home of Alexander Graham Bell, the commonly accepted inventor of the telephone. The first telephone lines were placed between Boston and Somerville, MA. "The Charles Williams, Jr. House located on Arlington Street, Somerville, is the location of the first residential telephone line. The phone inside the house connected to Mr. Williamsí office at 109 Court Street in Boston, about 3 miles away... Most notably, 109 Court Street is where Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1875 and just one year later, uttered the lines to his assistant Thomas A. Watson, ìMr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.î (Atlas Obscura). HBS 68003. $7,500
  • Bookseller: Heritage Book Shop, LLC US (US)
  • Bookseller Inventory #: 68003
  • Title: Telephone Despatch Company
  • Book condition: Used
  • Publisher: J. N. George, Manager
  • Place: Boston
  • Date published: 1880


Review this book (Want a chance to win $50? Log-in or create an account first!) (You'll be automatically entered for a chance to win $50!)


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:
The paper covering on the outside of a paperback.  Also see the entry for pictorial wraps, color illustrated coverings for...[more]
A defect in which small pieces are missing from the edges; fraying or small pieces of paper missing the edge of a paperback, or...[more]
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing...[more]
The page bound on the left side of a book, opposite to the recto page.
A new book is a book previously not circulated to a buyer. Although a new book is typically free of any faults or defects,...[more]
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...[more]
Very generally, "leaves" refers to the pages of a book, as in the common phrase, "loose-leaf pages." A leaf is a single sheet...[more]


$3.99 shipping to USA

More shipping options >

A Brief Introduction to the History of Childrens Books

Collecting Children's Literature

Children's books are among some of the most popular themes to build a book collection on. Learn a bit more in our  Brief History of Children's Literature.

2018: Uncommonly Good Books Sold this year

Another year in the books...

...and 2018 seemed to last far longer than a mere twelve months. Despite the rollicking ride of our current social, economic and political climate, the rare and collectible book trade seems to be booming. Here are some of the most interesting books sold by Biblio booksellers in 2018: