The earliest Alliance telephone book owned by Rodman Public Library is the October 1923 edition. In addition to Alliance, listings for Atwater, Marlboro, and Sebring are also included. As the cover declares, “Station-to-station service with low evening and night rates has brought Long Distance within reach of everyone.” Mabel (whose name is mispelled Mable) Hartzell’s phone number was 7992 and Col. Morgan had two listings, one for his garage and one for his home (Glamorgan Castle):

  •     Morgan W H gar 203 Glamorgan Av – 2257
  •     Morgan W H Col r 1025 S Union Av – 3107

The first rotary dial telephones were implemented in 1919 but not put into service by the Bell Telephone Company until 1923. Previous to that, one had to connect with an operator to place a call.

Since telephones in the home were still a novelty, the information in the 1923 phone book includes this advice to novice telephone dialers:

  • How to Dial: To dial any digit, place your finger firmly into the hole of the dial through which that digit is seen. Pull the dial around to the right until your finger strikes the finger stop. Remove your finger and without touching dial, allow it to return to rest.
  • Dialing Cautions: Be sure to keep the receiver off the hook while dialing.

It’s hard to imagine today, but the original telephones didn’t have dials or number buttons on them. One would place a call by turning a crank or clicking the reciver cradle to reach an operator who would then connect your call.

Telephone books included phone numbers and advertisements and were published for Alliance by the telephone companies Ohio Bell through 1986, Ameritech/Ohio Bell from 1986-2000, Ameritech/SBC from 2001-2005, and AT&T from 2006-present. Although phone books are still produced, they may disappear someday with the proliferation of online services offering a simple tap on a number to dial it on your cell phone.