Item #55373 Official directory of the Providence Telephone Exchange Company. Providence Telephone Exchange Company.

Rhode Island's first telephone book

Official directory of the Providence Telephone Exchange Company

[Providence]: published by Kellogg, printer, [1880]. 8vo (8½" x 6"), pp. 48; bifolium letter from the company regarding "extra-territorial" service tipped in before the title page; additional tall folding folio broadsheet with "extra subscribers" tipped in after the penultimate leaf; many advertisements for local businesses throughout (with an index to advertisers and a classified business directory at the back); original pictorial gray wrappers; wrappers chipped at extremities (no loss of letterpress); mild dampstaining throughout; otherwise very good. Rhode Island's first bound telephone directory. OCLC notes: "Undated but apparently the first year of telephone service in Providence." "Less than a year ago the idea of establishing a telephone exchange in Providence was ridiculed by many ..." (p. 5). Includes "Directions for Using the Telephone," subscribers for both the Providence and Pawtucket Exchanges, and also a few names for the Woonsocket, Franklin, and Nayatt exchanges. A note on p. 43 concerns messengers, and telegrams, and presages the pending consolidation of the Providence Telephone Exchange Company and the Providence District Telephone Company. Greg Sargeant on Dennis Markham's website, ClassicRotaryPhones, provides the following information on what became the Providence Telephone Company, "which was formed out of the consolidation of two smaller interests, one Bell and one Western Union." The Bell concern was the Providence Telephone Exchange Company. They issued a directory of subscribers on October 29, 1879 in broadside form, in which they announced a new office in the Brownell Bldg. In 1880 they published an Official Directory of the Providence Telephone Exchange Company (as here). The Western Union concern was the Providence District Telephone Company. In 1879 they issued a Prospectus and had offices on the 3rd floor of the Butler Exchange Building. In 1880 the company was chartered by an act of the General Assembly in association with the Western Union/Edison interests. Thus, these two individual companies were consolidated as the Providence Telephone Company in 1880. On January 1, 1881 they published this List of Subscribers. It is unnumbered, and there is no indication that another List preceded it. On January 1, 1882, Directory No. 3 was published. And by 1885 Directory no. 9 was published, so these were not published annually. Rare. Not found in NUC; RI Historical only in OCLC. Item #55373

Price: $2,500.00

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