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Made in USA. America's Most Enduring Industry.

Allan Wayne

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A chicken in every pot. A phone book in every driveway. Don't be a doom and gloomer. Just look around. America is ahead of the world with its robust telephone book manufacturing and delivery system. Over six hundred million books a year.  Even Grandpa and his spinster daughter are excited. Get to know your neighbors, all of them if you have the time. It's the phone calls, stupid. America has resources-trees, telephones, and compulsive talkers-to dominate the industry for countless generations to come. Our unique culture of talkers, tweeters, and texters can keep phone books, our number one publishing industry, flowing fluently, like fish spawning up the Swannee-like in the old days, when you could land a chinook salmon with a pitchfork, only not on the Swannee. And they're plastic wrapped.

Mark my words: telephone book tree farms will re-carpet the clear cut logging sites. Paul Bunyan and his ox, Babe, might return. What I am saying is that when it comes to telephone book delivery, it is nothing short of a miracle: we go to sleep with a dog-eared book one night, and in the morning, a glossy yellow-back greets us like a golden goose egg, right up the driveway. Careful, you might trip.

Who drops off these freebies? Why, no one knows. They appear magically; there has never been a documented case of someone actually putting one in a driveway. How is that for efficiency? Sure, there have been tales of strange lights at night, and a reoccurring yellow aura associated with the book. But the fact is that book marketing folks are so damn smart, they know that the first thing that happens when your pet dog spies one is his hind leg is lifted, and... well you know. Why do you think they call 'em Yellow Pages? It's preemptive color camouflage strategerie!

So keep on America! Plug every driveway. Pile every foot path. Use 'em for book stops. If you took all the phone books, and stacked them, it would form a stairway to Venus, and wrap around Saturn's rings six times. That is impressive mass marketing.

The history is tear jerking. Like Rome it started with an Alexander. Or maybe that was Greece...


The First Telephone Book

Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent on his telephone in 1876. He demonstrated it to visitors to the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition that same year. In early 1878, he installed the first telephone exchange, in New Haven, Connecticut. The first telephone "book" - actually just a single 14 cm. x 21 cm. sheet - was issued in New Haven in 1878.

By the way, a New Haven telephone book issued later in 1878, containing numerous pages and including advertisements, sold at auction in 2008 for $170,500. This was purportedly the first telephone book with more than one sheet of paper.

We have come a long way. Let us continue the journey together. Delete those browser bookmarks. Pick up your phone books. Call a friend! Text a stranger! Tweet Tom Cruise! Use your keypad for Penelope Cruz! And keep our spirit strong! Forget about search engines. Use the Yellow Pages! God bless America, and God bless telephone books!