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Memories of Directories Past

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Memories of Directories Past

We don’t know if it’s true with the online media, but we do know — after 33 plus years of churning out print publications — that momentum plays an important role in the public’s perception of a publication. Put out a thick, prosperous looking paper for 5 or 10 years and you can rest for a while but not forever on your laurels.

Your publication may dwindle in size and look much less prosperous, but the public will largely recall the golden past, not the gloomy present. We don’t feel we are resting on any laurels here at U.S. 1, but we do know about the momentum possessed by some publications. We have felt it in the past month or so, fielding calls and e-mails from people in the community, wondering when the new U.S. 1 Business Directory is coming out.

Business directory? Some on our staff have no idea what we are talking about. But as longtime readers will recall, from 1988 to 2011 we produced an annual compendium of all the businesses in the greater Princeton community (excluding retail stores, health and fitness practices, and dining establishments, which were the subjects of separate directories). At its peak our book was 312 pages and listed more than 5,500 enterprises in more than 220 categories, fine tuned to reflect the dynamics of the information age.

But it all came to an end, six years ago on this very day, when our founding editor (and we had thought indefatigable directory creator) Richard K. Rein announced that there would be no print directory that year and probably not ever again. Rising costs, a reduced advertising base, and the proliferation of virtual companies that may or may not have really been part of our community all contributed to its demise.

We took some solace six years ago in the fact that one week before our announcement, the Encyclopedia Britannica announced it would no longer publish a print edition. And today we take more solace in the fact that some people still fondly recall the old U.S. 1 Directory. It’s a lasting memory, but only a memory.

To the Editor: Why Is Ulm So Late?

As the person who brought Robert Berks’ grand Einstein statue to Princeton, I claim a few words about the March 4 Between the Lines column surrounding Albert Einstein. Dana Lichtstrahl, a life-long Princetonian, was in fact the organizer and architect of the mini-Museum at the rear of Landau’s store, and surely deserves recognition for its artful execution. Both Dr. Stanley Levy, and Robert and Henry Landau can attest to that.

Furthermore, one can but wonder why it has taken some 113 years for Ulm, the town of Einstein’s birth, to finally come around to honoring him with a Discovery Center, whatever that may be. Indeed, why Ulm is so late in honoring Einstein does give one to wonder.

Melvin A. Benarde, Ph.D.

Princeton

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