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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ring Up Yer Dead

Ancestry.com now has British Phone Books 1880-1984, with listings (in this first release) from 430 books. These at one time included job descriptions, making them a sort of city directory for the wired classes.

The first to go online are the phone books for Greater London, from 1880 to 1984, which contain many startlingly familiar names: Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula and business manager of the Victorian superstar actor Henry Irving, was at Victoria 1436 by 1910. Harry Houdini, the escapologist, was at Gerrard 1312 in 1916: renowned as an inspired self publicist, he had himself listed as Harry Houdini, Handcuff King. By then Buckingham Palace, Victoria 1436, had four phone lines. Four years later Viscount and Lady Astor needed a phone number each at 4 St James's Square to cope with their hectic social lives. [Link]
I was hoping to search for "Jack," occupation "Ripper," but a last name is required.

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