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1886 Providence Telephone Company Directory

Started by Sargeguy, December 12, 2014, 01:56:51 PM

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About 8 years ago one of these came up for sale on eBay and I was outbid.  I have been looking for one ever since.  This time I was successful: 

This is the first directory issued to customers that included phone numbers.  The company apologizes that the operators can no longer look up the name for every call, because of increased call volume, and requests that customers refrain from vulgarities and profanity lest there equipment be confiscated. 
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409


A bit of the history of Providence Telephone, which was formed out of the consolidation of two smaller interests, one Bell and one Western Union.

Providence Telephone Exchange Company
1879-Providence Telephone Exchange Co. publishes list of subscribers 10/29/1879, announces new office in Brownell Bldg. licensed by Bell.
1880-Official Directory of the Providence Telephone Exchange Company

Providence District Telephone Company
1879-Prospectus published and small exchange founded on the 3rd floor of the Butler Exchange.
1880-Company chartered by an act of the General Assembly under the name "Providence District Telephone Company" in association with the Western Union/Edison interests

Providence Telephone Company
1880-Two companies consolidated under the name "Providence Telephone Co."
1882-Directory No. 3 published January 1, 1882 by Providence Telephone Company
1885-Came to an agreement with the American Bell Telephone and began leasing their equipment.  Published directory No. 9 on  4/1/1885.
1886-Directory No. 12 published 11/16/1886
1893-Built the Telephone Building in downtown Providence which still stands today
1906-Expanded building by adding two floors
1917-Abandoned building for a larger space. 
1919-Ceased to exist as a separate entity, gobbled up by N.E.T&T and its parent A.T.&T. 
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409