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Columbia Firsts

On June 23, 1926 the Jefferson Hotel hosted a grand Southern Bell Telephone Company affair honoring Columbia's original telephone subscribers. The 1880 subscribers were mostly deceased but family members, the governor and city officials were on hand to celebrate Columbia's telephone subscriber pioneers. Listed in the first telephone book were eleven city residences, including the governor's mansion. Lorick and Lowrance were among the first businesses to dial up, as well as attorney F.W. McMaster, cotton buyer P.H. Haltiwanger and ice dealer C.C. Habenicht. The State Lunatic Asylum also had a telephone but only in the female building. It is not clear if that is an indication of a woman's capacity to talk or if that was just a convenient location. In all 63 businesses, government entities and homes were listed in Columbia's first telephone directory.