HistoryofScience.com Blog

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

First Phone Book Gets a Lot of Pre-Sale Publicity

Two works in the forthcoming auction of the library of our former client, Richard Green, are getting a lot of pre-sale publicity. The first, a superb copy of Copernicus' De Revolutionibus (1543), is hardly a surprise, as it is one of the greatest and most famous books ever published. The second is more unusual and could not be more different. It is the only surviving copy of the world's first telephone book, published in New Haven, Connecticut in 1878. When this was on the market during the 1970's interest in it was relatively slight as might seem appropriate for a work that is decidely ephemeral. Presumably current interest reflects the growing impact of electronic media--including cell phones-- in our lives.
The auction will be held at Christie's, New York on June 17 .

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