This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Rensselaer telephone directory 1896

Searching the Hoosier State Chronicles, which has digitized a number of old Indiana newspapers, I found the Rensselaer telephone directory from December 24, 1896.

Notice that the names are not always in alphabetical order. The names are a good part of the who's who in Rensselaer at the time.

If you would like the entire page from which this is taken, see here. I have adjusted the color in the picture above. To see the complete page, right click and you should be able to download it.

Telephones have network externalities--they become more useful as more people join. (This is what drives Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks today and why it is so difficult for anyone to start a competing service. It is also what drove the rise of Microsoft in its heyday.) There were not a lot of Rensselaer people making calls in 1896 but the phone had arrived.

I do not know much about the history of the telephone company. The building that is now Printco was, I believe, built as the telephone building, but it dates to the 1920s.

1 comment:

KP said...

very cool - thanks for posting