Before ... 1995 France in the early Internet years

Time has come to put
Paper Whitepages online

White Pages
Yellow Pages

The expressions "Whitepages" and "Yellowpages"
exist since the late 19th century and are used
on printed Phone Books all over the (English Speaking) World.
Chesapeake Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages from 1936
by the Chesapeake and Pontomac Telephone Company

Cleveland White Pages
White Pages from 1980 by Ohio Bell
Cleveland Metropolitan Area

1982 France has White Pages on the Minitel
As already mentioned before France is the first country
to have an online directory.
In 1982 the French PTT launch the Minitel in France.
Every French phonesubscriber can use the system
to find national phonenumbers.
Popularity is growing rapidly.
The name of the directory is 11, later 3611

Sony It A 550
Minitel site for Electrica for Sony, today Cremerie de Paris

1991 it becomes possible
to add information pages behind a Phonebook Listing.
Above screenshot shows the entrance pages
of a "prehistoric 100 page Minitel Site"
once created by the editor of this article.

France is "online" before anybody else
but not on the World Wide Web,
only on the "prehistoric" France based Minitel system.

In the late 1990s Minitel is so popular
that France has difficulties to adopt the competing
US born Internet system.

1994 Australia by Testra

1994 Australia is the first country where telephone directories
go on the web first
followed by
both edited by Sensis, once a division of Telstra,
the once Australian State owned phone company.
Also see the Sensis / story
Beautiful Australian White Ad has made a very beautiful TV
commercial, pointing out the world "hi"
part of the world "White Pages"
have a look at it

1996 USA
by Swedish immigrant Alex Algard

Alexander Algard
young Internet Pioneer Alexander Algard,
founder and owner of was first registered
at an unknown date after 1991 and before 1995.

Algard imigrated
from Sweden when he was 13 years old.
According to the legend, while being a student
he uses almost all of his savings
to buy the domain for $ 900.
This happened 1996, April 8.

Whitepages is the expression
used in the United States for Residential Directories.

Algard never resells the domain
and uses his IT scills and charisma
to build one of America's most popular Telephone directories,
edited from Seattle, Washington. by AT&T

Dane Madsen
Internet Pioneer Dane Madsen,
co-founder of was registered 1996 April 4
by 3 friends from from Los Angeles,
Dane Madsen, Bill Povodonra and Roland Oister.

The domain name had
also been registered before
but the first owner forgot to pay the domain renewal charges.

In November 2004 SBC and Bell South (both later AT&T)
bought the website. The SBC directry
and the Bell South directory merged with
See the

1997 French Minitel Directories
come online as Pages

ODA edites printed paper directories (annuaire papier)
and the Minitel Directories now called "Pages Zoom 3611".

Pages Zoom 3611
Pub pour Pages

1996 Wanadoo decides to launch
an internet version of their
very successfull Electronic Minitel Directory 3611. is the first French Phonebook
online since 1997
It is launched under the management of Laurent Souloumiac. becomes the new brand for the Internet Directory
a brand which was chosen as is was already associated
to Minitel Directory 3611 for a short period.

Zoom Pages including Yellow Pages & White Pages
Pages Zoom - including Pages Jaunes, Pages Blanches


The directory exists in both French and English
mentionning "White Pages " and "Yellow Pages"
or "Pages Blanches" and "Yellow Pages"

1999 Rebranding Pages Zoom
as "Pages Jaunes" and "Pages Blanches"

After a while the people from Wanadoo people decide
to rebrand their Directory from Pages Zoom
to Pages Jaunes (Yellow Pages)
and Pages Blanches (White Pages)

White Pages
Yellow Pages

All over the World Telephone Directories are called
White Pages and Yellow Pages
an expression

In some countries the universal expression
is translated into the local language:
French = Pages Blanches / Pages Jaunes
Spanish = Paginas Blancas / Paginas Amarillas
Italian = Pagine Bianche / Pagine Gialle
German = Weisse Seiten / Gelbe Seiten

So the Wanadoo people decide
to rebrand their Directory from Pages
to Pages

Les Pages Zoom s´appellent maintenant Les Pages Jaunes

1998 July Wanadoo completes negociations with Havas
to buy all remaining shares of ODA (Office d´annonces in charge
of selling advertising in French phonebooks).

Registration of .fr domains is restricted and very complicated
only company names or trademarks can be registered by their respective owners

France Telecom registers the domains
as they are the
(until 2004 Mai 11)
1998 November 25 is registered
1998 December 30

Pages Jaunes, once the directory of France Telecom
Pages Jaunes, once the directory of France Telecom

The new directory becomes and
The english version is called Yellow Pages and Whitepages

but the URL is a little complicated to remember by heart ...

2004 Mai 13
Like a miracle ...
Registration of
and for France

1999 / 2000 / 2001 / 2002 / 2003
While designing the Phonebook of the World
we had realised that the English version
of the official Phonedirectory
of the fromerly state owned French Phonecompany
was using the international expressions Yellow Pages and White Pages.

But the logic .fr domain names did not resolve.
Due to restriction of .the .fr domains we could not register them ...

2004 May 11 Liberation of French Internet domains
any company based in France could now register
any available .fr domain

Cremerie de Paris
From the "messy" desk at the Cybercafe de Paris
from where we sold Call Back Phonelines,
handled Internet cafe customers
were manually filled out 2 registration forms
send by fax in the early morning of May 11
one for
another one for

Registring the Phone Book of the domain
a few years before had already been electronic

Cremerie de Paris2004 Mai 17 We receive an email informing us
that the domains
had been granted to the Phone Book of the World.
A registation fee of 25 euros was charged
per credit card for each of the domains.

Cremerie de Paris
Spirit of Telecommunications
of the old Posmasters Louis Leon Pajot
and Anselm Franz von Thurn und Taxis
must have helped ...

Cremerie de ParisThe gate you see in the red circle of the map
and on the right side of the Cybercafe de Paris
is still the same.
In the years 1671 to 1738 letters and posthorses were passing through the gate,
thanks to the internet the exact same location
is now handling directory inquiry request from all over the World.

Cremerie de ParisAs a little wink (clin d'oeuil) to our history
the old Postmaster Anselm Franz von Thurn & Taxis is part of our Logo

2005 July Registration of
for Brazil

2005 July a friend inherited from the Thurn & Taxis
Aimée de Heeren comes to the Cybercafe de Paris
to take internet lessons ...

Aimee de Heeren
Aimée was already a little older
and she wanted to be able to tell her friends
that were 20 / 30 years younger
(and that though they were too old for the internet)
that "of course she was "online"

Aimee de HeerenAlexander Graham Bell

Aimee de HeerenThomas Edison
Aimée de Heeren and Thomas Edison, inventor of electric light and many other things

Aimée had quite an unusual Telecom CV
friend of the inventors Alexander Graham Bell
and Thomas Edison as a young woman
she had come to Paris as a Brazilian Secret Service agent in 1938
influencing the president of her country to get away from Germany.

When telephone counrty codes were attributed in 1964
she helped her country to get the double digit country code +55

Among her friends were also the people that had been on the first flight to the Moon,
Johannes Thurn and Taxis
and without realsing who she was,
the editor of the whitepages.

Aimée was amused that her young friend had succeded
to get the domain

but what about Brazil ?

Don't you think English speaking people might need numbers in my country ?
Not everybody knows Paginas Brancas (portugeese for Whitepages) ..."

Only in Brazil,
just like in France and many other countries
it was very complicated to get local Internet domains
You needed to have an adress in Brazil
and fill out all kind of requirements.

Aimée de Heeren:
"You must get White for Brazil.
I want to pay half the registration charges,
whatever it costs
and if you need to fly there
you have to go.
Just look for a cheap plane ticket
and if you don't have enough I pay half of the ticket."

Cremerie de Paris2004 Mai 17 We receive an email informing us
that the domains
had been granted to the Phone Book of the World.

Cremerie de Paris
The domain
was finally granted in 2005 september 26
by the Comitê Gestor da Internet no Brasil.

Aimée de Heeren in front of the Cybercafe de Paris

"how wonderful you managed to get,
If only Alexander Graham Bell
would still be there.
He and his young assistants
would be so amused
that the "little Aimée"
that hardly spoke English at the time
has been able to give a little push for a Directory of his telephone ...

You have to continue the project
and expand it to many more

Next ... 2006 Liberalisation of 12, French Directory Assistance
France Telecom sells Pages Jaunes / Pages Blanches