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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Early Phone Books

Phone Book Cover 1958 – The 1958 Minot telephone book was published by Northern States Power Company, the parent company to the phone company. The picture on the front cover was of a field and a large sun behind it. The words printed across the sun were “Why Not Minot?”. Below the picture was the slogan – “ The City with a Future”. What I thought was a bit unusual is the Minot Genie is not pictured on the cover. Instead the phone book has a farmer or maybe a cowboy standing in front of the field with the sun in the background

Dial Service Instructions – One of the first pages in the 1958 telephone directory had a complete set of instructions on how to use a rotary dial telephone. I believe this was about the time the dial phones came into existence.
1. Place forefinger firmly in dial opening 
2. Turn dial around in clockwise direction until the finger strikes the finger stop
3. Remove finger and let dial return to normal position

 The instructions also explained the different signals one could hear over the phone lines…. The phone ringing signal was described as a “burring” sound…. The Busy signal a “buzz-buzz-buzz” sound.  Instructions were also there on the use of “party lines”. Long distance and out of town calls had to go through the operator. In 1958 all phone numbers were 5 digit. Example: the phone number for Steenstrup Jewelers was 36-221

 1939 Phone Book front cover
1939 - phone book back cover

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