[PHOTOS] Passing time with a 1962 Sylacauga-Childersburg phonebook and its yellowing pages

SYLACAUGA, Ala. – A copy of the 1962 Sylacauga-Childersburg phonebook illustrates how different life was 59 years ago.

The small format was much like a Reader’s Digest magazine. Its introduction and telephone number listings spanned 58 pages, with another 83 devoted to a Yellow Pages business directory.

Published calling rates show that a three-minute chat with a pal in New Orleans would have cost $1.00 per minute on weekdays and $.75 at night and on Sundays. Adjusted for inflation, that’s equivalent to between $6.78 and $9.04 today. Calling friends in Los Angeles: more than double.

Operators were always referenced as females. To make a long distance call, instructions were to “Dial ‘Operator’ and give her the area code (or city) and telephone number you are calling”. You could make station-to-station or person-to-person calls, or even call collect so the receive party would pay.

In your home, you could “enjoy the convenience of step-saving extension telephones” which came “in many beautiful decorator colors”. The Princess phone, with its unique light-up dial, was particularly popular.

Separate paid ads for 47 local businesses appeared in the business section. Only two of them still exist -– Earlyne’s Flowers and Jackson’s Trace Motel — with only the latter in the same location.

Click on any of the ads for a full view. What’s now at these addresses?


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