Telephone Line

“Nostalgia” was runner-up for Merriam-Webster’s 2014 Word of the Year (“culture” was no. 1) and we are again exploring nostalgic themes in Evansville Living. After paying a visit to Dennis and Margaret Haire (whose collectionshomes, and business, Maggie’s Memories, we have written about in the magazine), Creative Director Heather Gray arrived back at the office with a large tub of ephemera for an upcoming story. Among the treasures was the October 1957 Telephone Directory for Evansville, Chandler, McCutchanville, Newburgh, St. Joseph, and St. Philip, by the Indiana Bell Telephone Company. Evansville College is shown on front cover of the brittle book.

The inside front cover features an Indiana Bell ad promoting “Long Distance Visits,” with a chart on long distance rates from Evansville to dozens of cities. “The Details of Dialing” is covered on three pages (“It’s mighty easy to dial a call” and several pages promote new Indiana Bell products (“Every living zone should be a phone zone!”) — the speakerphone and telephone answering set.

Of course I looked up my family. My grandfather (my father had stayed in Iowa after college) was listed where I suspected he’d be, as was my husband’s grandfather and uncle.

“Yellow Pages” are included and that’s where I found particular amusement.

The most eye-catching ads were listed under Beauty Shops: “Who is the Lady with the Lovely Hair?” “Glamour for You; Air-Conditioned for Your Comfort,” “Let the Hand of Beauty Touch You.” And of course, Mr. Marcel of Paris Hairdressing Salon and Henri’s, both on Main Street are advertised.

I spent time reading through Restaurants. The Café Venice, F’s Steak House, Moon River Drive-In (Newburgh), Harold’s Stadium Inn, Double “R” Food Drive-In, Riverview Inn, Mac’s Famous Barbecue, and Wolf’s, was open then, too.

The back of the phone book is an ad promoting the bedroom phone – “All the Comforts of Home.”

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