Archivist Laura Smith featured in Hartford Courant story about 1880 telephone directory

hc-1880-phone-book-cover-20151023In a recent news story in the Hartford Courant, archivist Laura Smith was asked to share her knowledge and expertise relating to a historical curiosity — an 1880 Hartford telephone directory listing the few hundred households with telephones, including that of “Clemens, Samuel L., author, 95 Farmington” aka Mark Twain.  The item appeared last week in an online auction catalog.  Spencer Moore is the owner of the artifact. Moore inherited the directory from his grandfather, Carlan Goslee, who died in 1970.  “Goldin Auctions, based in West Berlin, N.J., lists Moore’s artifact as the second-oldest telephone directory in existence, which is not accurate,” according to reporter Susan Dunne.

“Archives and Special Collections at University of Connecticut Libraries owns one of two existing original copies of the oldest phone directory in existence, according to UConn archivist Laura Smith. The single-sheet director was produced in February 1878 by the District Telephone Company of New Haven, the world’s first commercial telephone exchange, which had been established the month before.”   Read more…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *