Back in the day we had to use a phone book if we wanted to find a certain business in the area.
If I wanted to find a new used book store I had never been to before, I had to get the phone book out and open the yellow pages.
The yellow pages were for businesses while the white pages were for residents in the area. This is generally how you’d find a friend’s phone number if you lost it or had moved back to the area. But residents always had the opportunity to remain unlisted if they so wished. I’m sure journalists probably took full advantage of the information in phone books back in the day, because usually addresses were listed as well. And you started by looking up last name first before you matched it with a first name. The yellow pages were roughly the same with businesses. However, instead of listing everything by business name and going in alphabetical order, the yellow pages in the phone book categorized everything based on business type. There’d be a section for restaurants, another for grocery stores, and individual sections for florists, sporting goods stores, and doctors’ offices just to name a few. At this point the categories were in alphabetical order while the businesses within each category were also put in alphabetical order. When I had a disaster in my basement years ago, I needed an emergency boiler rental or my pipes would have frozen. The only place I could turn to in searching for boiler rentals was the yellow pages. To my luck, I found an HVAC business that offers rentals for boilers and chillers.