Skokie and Niles Center Telephone Directories, 1924-1953

Collection Metadata


Skokie and Niles Center Telephone Directories, 1924-1953

Alternative Title

Skokie Phone Books


Only nine years after its invention, the first telephone was installed in Niles Center (Skokie) in 1886, probably in the home of Henry Harms, in the 5300 block of Oakton Street. It cost 25 cents to place a call.

Other toll stations were added in subsequent years until 1910 when the first telephone switchboard was installed in the home of Martha Kindt, on the south side of Galitz Avenue near Niles Center Road. Kindt was the switchboard operator, providing services to 70 phone lines in Niles Center in 1910. The number of lines increased to 326 by the end of 1925.

In response to a increased population, Illinois Bell opened a two-story central office in 1929 at 8231 Niles Center Road. By the end of 1930, there were 1,252 telephone lines in the community.

This is a collection of telephone books from Skokie and surrounding communities, from 1924 to 1953. Communities include Morton Grove, Lincolnwood, Niles, Glenview, and Northbrook. Directories from 1959-1987 will be added in the future.

The original phone books in the Skokie Public Library collection were preserved on microfilm and then more recently the microfilms were scanned to create the digital files in this collection.
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