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Updated: April 15, 2024 A Look Back

A Look Back: How people found phone numbers before Google and iPhones

Mainebiz has always sought out the latest business trends. Take for example the July 1995 issue of Mainebiz, which touted “a new phone book, with all the dull stuff removed.”

First, we should explain that phone books were things people used to find phone numbers, what we now call landlines. Phone books were typically quite fat and were used to boost up small children at the dinner table.

Back in 1995, the phone book in question — the one “with all the dull stuff removed” — was smaller than the standard phone book, just 5-by-8 inches, and featured larger print than the standard phone book.

Yet, at 700 pages, it’s not hard to see why it didn’t survive the advent of Google, which was founded in 1998.

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