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Polk's Oakland California City Directory - 1939 and 1943 - Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, San Leandro, Etc...

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Telephones420 of 891insulator holder	 cross member of old telephone pole 10-12' lengthHawaiian Mutual Telephone Company
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Posted 5 years ago


(2703 items)

Polk's Oakland California City Directories for 1939 and 1943. I like these for their graphic quality - very industrial, but w/ lots of victorian / country flair to them. i've used them to look up old businesses too. i showed them to an old-timer friend who grew up here and he got all teary-eyed looking through them. Interesting weird statistics too - 'white population' vs. 'colored population'.


  1. Oldies1199 Oldies1199, 4 years ago
    These city directories are just terrific! I find these old directories to be very interesting and helpful
  2. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 4 years ago
    thank you oldies1199. i would add that they also look really cool. i love how they are so stuffed w/ ads and info that they look like very active bulletin boards.
  3. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 3 years ago
    i still think these are really cool!
  4. Alan2310, 3 years ago
    Yes they are cool, and not easy to find in such good condition.
    I love it, congrats
  5. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 3 years ago
    thanks Alan2310!!
  6. Pencil-necked-geek Pencil-necked-geek, 3 years ago
    What many younger folks may not realize is how indispensable these Polk directories are to historical & genealogical research. I was trying to trace the lost history of a small business back east that made items that I collect and had to go to that town's library to access their Polks to find out the years in which they operated & where they were located. But ya know what? It was right there! I used the information to try to track down any decendents too, but had less luck - ran into a dead end. But thru happy fortune, I did connect with the person who was the general manager of the company - despite it having been out of business for over half a century by that time. Never would have happened without volumes like these.

    One used to find these in every library, but now they reside in local historical societies - but fewer & fewer are even aware of their potential value. How long, though, before these tomes are relegated to the dustbin as being 'worthless'? It will be a great loss if/when it happens.
  7. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 3 years ago
    so true Pencil-necked-geek! the 'google' before the internet!
  8. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 2 years ago
    i like these city directories even more than telephone books. lots more interesting info in them.

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