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The Telephone Directory today

Not only a stepping stool or something to fix that wobbly table, the telephone directory has for years provided us with this vast pool of knowledge, outlining the obscure names and telephone numbers of those people we need to contact. Often considered as resourceful and as imperative as the Bible by some, the telephone directory has a deep and varied history that very few seem to know about... or perhaps want to know about. Of course, you are not one of those people, otherwise you wouldn’t be here! Our previous blog on the history of the telephone directory flicked through the pages and circled the most key points in the telephone directories journey, starting first in 19th century America and ending with BT’s loss of a monopoly on the UK telephone directory market.

If you’ve ever come across a telephone directory, you’ll have noticed that they all share the same quality, that being its size and thickness; drop it on your toes, and bruising them is the least of your worries. Surprisingly, though it must have been obvious how impractical it is to own a large, heavy book just to search for someone’s number, it was not until 1981 that the first electronic telephone directory was created. Achieved in France with the help of an internet system called Minitel, it is simply named “11” after the access number. The creative imagination of the French is astounding.

Telephone Directory

Photo By: Lauren Dawes

The Telephone Directory Today

The history of the telephone directory is interesting enough, but let's take a look at the rather grim reality of printing these bulky books. It’s arguably much more interesting.

In 2008, it was estimated that 19 million trees were used in the USA to create 500 million telephone directories,also consuming 7.2 million barrels of oil and 3.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity to create the finished product. You must be asking yourself, as you tie a green bandana to your head and go all eco-warrior, how can it be, when it is also estimated that Canada generated 650,000 tons of paper waste from telephone directories in 2009, that we still carry on printing millions upon millions of ruinous telephone directories in 2014?

Well, primarily, it is because of the huge profit to be had on the printed ads in telephone directories. In an article from 2010, addressing the future of the telephone directory, it was stated that investors are still receiving profits of 14 to 1 on printed ads, and that 79% of consumers will contact a business via a telephone directory. These sorts of figures show that, though the internet often takes over everything, it still hasn’t entirely replaced the telephone directory. Bizarrely, people are still willing to risk pulling a muscle to pick it up, and that itself may be testament to the everlasting presence of these colossal books.

That being said, there’s not a doubt in our minds that everyone can appreciate the easier, quicker, and more efficient option when trying to find a telephone number. Here at White Pages, UK telephone number finder, we can assure you that our search database will answer with rapid information. Providing you with a more expansive range of telephone numbers, we help you make informed choices and find exactly what and who you are looking for. We do away with wasteful pages to save you a great deal of time and effort. Bookmark our site and you can help make printed telephone directories a thing of the past.