One of the first telephone books in the United States, published in Connecticut in 1878, is expected to fetch between $30,000 and $40,000 at an auction today.
New Haven's early phone book, published by the Connecticut District Telephone Co., is the earliest to come on the auction market, said Tom Lecky, head of books and manuscripts at Christie's, the New York auction house that is selling the small piece of history.
It was no thicker than a junk mail flyer, but it offered more than telephone numbers. It advised callers to speak slowly and distinctly, greet the person on the other line with "Hulloa!" and end the conversation with "That is All."
The early directory, printed on a sheet of cardboard, listed 50 subscribers.