Cultural Objects, Photos and Documents

1929 Telephone Directory

Maker/Creator: Unknown
Floyd County


  • Length: 10 ½ inches
  • Width: 7 inches

This eighteen-page directory was published before telephone lines were extended to all sections of Floyd County. It begins with a list of nine rules and regulations and explains the Ringing Code of “longs and shorts” used on party lines. Phone numbers are listed alphabetically within each of these separate exchanges: Floyd, Thomas, Alum Ridge, Sowers, Lilac, Pilot, Locust Grove, Oety, Riner, Bent Mountain, and Willis. Central operators in neighboring communities are also listed (Burks Fork, Indian Valley, Reed, Harris, High Peak, Childress, Christiansburg).

The only local advertisers are The Floyd County Bank and the Hotel Brame; additional ads appear at the top and bottom of directory pages from businesses located in Roanoke, Christiansburg, and Cambria.

Telephone directory, telephone exchange, central telephone operator, party line

Around 1913, the first telephone line to Rush Fork (Burks Fork District) was run from Hotel Brame to George W. Slusher’s store. From there another line was eventually extended to Rufe Harris’ store at Conner’s Grove. Community members walked to these stores when they needed to make phone calls. George Slusher apparently took the first rule listed in the phone book quite seriously, “Do not use telephone during a thunder storm, as it is very dangerous.” One stormy summer day, the telephone in his store began ringing. No one in the store would go near it. The phone rang and rang; eventually, thinking there must be some emergency, he gingerly picked up the receiver and held it just as far from his ear as the cord would allow. Rufe Harris was the caller.  He cried, “George! George! The fire is just a’ flying out of this here telephone! What must I do?” George responded, “Hang up, you old fool, and get just as far from it as you can!”