An 1878 New Haven telephone book that was one of the first directories in the USA has been sold for $170,500 at Christie's in New York.
Auctioneers had expected the phone book to fetch between $30,000 and $40,000, but the price skyrocketed in a battle among six collectors.
The dingy white New Haven directory is no thicker than a junk mail flyer and lists 400 merchants, lawyers, doctors and others who subscribed to the phone service in 1878.
Christie's auctioneer Tom Lecky says the bidding war came after new details about the book emerged. He says additional research showed that an earlier Chicago directory is a reproduction and an earlier San Francisco book is less comprehensive than New Haven's.