The first 1906 San Francisco Temporary Telephone Directory – with rare extra supplement!

Temporary Telephone Directory with Supplement, San Francisco May 12, 1906


In stock

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist
SKU: NL-01692 Category: Tag:
Date: May 12 & 26, 1906
Place: San Francisco
Dimensions: Octavo. 8.5 x 5.75 inches.
Condition Rating: VG+


A fascinating record of San Francisco’s initial recovery from the earthquake and fire of 1906.

Perhaps the earliest telephone directory to appear as San Francisco recovered from the devastating earthquake and fire of April 18, 1906, this is a remarkable document of the city’s attempts to reorganize following the catastrophe that occurred less than a month prior.

The directory reflects both the ad hoc nature of the recovery and the tremendous efforts undertaken to reestablish some normalcy to daily life quickly. The situation was so fast-changing that the makers of the directory listed numbers where telephones were ordered but not yet connected, with the expectation that by the time readers saw the directory, the numbers would be connected. Other numbers were acknowledged as temporary, especially in the ‘burned district’ that was devastated by the fires following the earthquake.

Additionally, as referred to on the cover, a supplement needed to be published almost immediately after this directory to account for changed and additional reconnected numbers. The supplement, included here, ran to forty-four pages and was published on May 26, several days ahead of schedule. Even still, an entirely new directory had to be issued in June to keep up with the re-establishment of services throughout the city.



This directory was issued by the Pacific States Telephone and Telegraph Company on May 12, 1906. Due to inconsistent cataloging and confusing the directory with its later supplement, a complete census of this directory is difficult to establish. This edition, issued May 12, 1906 (OCLC 38704760), is only verifiably held by Yale University and Stanford University.

Condition Description

Light blue wrappers; cream self-wrappers. Hole punched in upper left corners as usual; remnants of a cord. Just a bit of minor spotting to the cover of the primary directory. A fine copy. Supplement is very good (complete) with the cover lightly stained a small sections torn away at fore edge and upper corner.