City Directory Don’ts…. from St.Louis, MO, 1936

Below is something I found in a 1936 St. Louis, Missouri, City Directory. I was browsing through this directory online at Ancestry and spotted this page and just had  to share it with all my genealogy friends:

City Directory Don’ts

DON’T put your Directory in an out-of-the-way place, but keep it where

your customers can see and use it without stopping some one to find it.

DON’T think that a Directory is paying for itself unless you use it any more

than an idle clerk can make you money.

DON’T look mad when a customer asks to look at your Directory.

DON’T look happy when a neighbor wants to borrow your Directory,

for if you do, he will borrow it again, and if all were borrowers,

when would the next Directory be published?

DON’T forget that an up-to-date city must have a Directory;

and a merchant that has no Directory is what?

DON’T forget that a Directory borrower today will forget to return it

tomorrow and you will call him what?

DON’T forget that the man who has a Directory pays for it and the borrower

gets for nothing what another man pays for. What do you call him?

We think of a City Directory as a past-tense resource. But to the merchants and civil servants of the day it was a valuable day-to-day “now” resource………. and one that was obtained only by paying a fee.