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How finding someone has changed since the 80s

Technology has radically changed how we get in touch with each other over the last 135 years.

Why 135 years? Well, 1880 was the year that the first UK phone book was launched (there’s more detail in our blog post on the history of the telephone book if you’re interested). It had just 288 names and addresses - but no phone numbers were included. That’s right, no phone numbers. You had to give the name of the person you were calling to the operator who then connected you.

When it comes to finding someone today, it’s easy to overlook how much harder it was in the days before the internet. But thankfully, the internet and access to multiple data sources has changed all that. For example, our results include information from the Telephone Directory, Electoral Roll and Land Registry.

To show you how things have changed in the space of a generation, we’ve depicted how you might have looked for someone in the 1980’s to how you search today.

We hope you enjoy it!

How to find someone

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