By Tim Soles
This article was originally published in the December 2000 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society.
Kelly's can be traced back to 1799 when His Majesty's Inspector of Inland Letter Carriers compiled the first edition of the 'Post Office London Directory'. In 1835 Frederic Festus Kelly was appointed His Majesty's Inspector of Inland Letter Carriers thereby acquiring the copyright of the directory. In 1845 Festus began the publication of provincial directories.
In succeeding years he published for an increasing number of counties around London. Each volume a topographical account of every city, town, village, hamlet and parish. In 1875 'Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes' was published, swiftly followed by the first edition of the 'Merchants, Manufacturers and Shipper's directory in 1877. In 1802 the name of the company became officially known as 'Kelly & Co Ltd' changing in 1897 to Kelly's Directories Ltd.
Today, after 200 years of history, the company is still producing a Business Directory using all the latest technology and the Internet.
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