By NICK ENOCH for MailOnline
There was a time when telephone directories around the world were known as White Pages. These directories only featured residential listings. But then companies realised the benefit of being listed themselves – and the Yellow Pages was born.
But first, some history…
1878: The first telephone directory is published, two years after Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone.
1880: First UK phone book is printed, containing only 248 names – but no phone numbers. Callers were expected to call the operator to be connected.
1966: General Post Office first publishes a classified section called Yellow Pages in the Brighton telephone directory. Yellow pages were used to distinguish commercial listings from non-commercial white-page listings.
Another classic ad featured a teen who wakes to find his house a tip – and desperately needs a French polisher to sort out scratches on his parents’ coffee table
1973: The first Yellow Pages Directories – with ‘walking fingers’ logo – are rolled out across Britain and published annually.
1988: Yell, the company behind the directory, begins its digital offering with Electronic Yellow Pages.
In recent years: Yellow Pages became narrower and shorter; a new version in 2010 contained all the same listings but came in a compact version that fitted through the letter box. The move came as Yell fought claims that directories were becoming obsolete as consumers switched to the internet.
Historically, the Yellow Pages book was about the size of an A4 sheet of paper – 12 inches by nine inches. The new version was about two inches shorter and just under two inches narrower.
2017: Yell announces the death knell of the iconic publication.