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What is the Origin of the Criss+Cross Directory?

The term “Criss Cross” was coined prior to 1932 by W.L. Haines, founder of Haines & Company, Inc. It refers to a single cross-reference directory containing both addresses in sequence (arranged alphabetically by street within zip codes), and phone numbers in numeric order.

The first directory was published in 1932. The words “Criss Cross” and “Criss+Cross,” as well as the logo were trademarked by Haines & Company, Inc., which still holds the trademarks today.

Criss+Cross Directory

The directory soon became a vital research tool used by police and fire departments, as well as libraries and government agencies. It also grew into a powerful resource that has allowed businesses to market to homeowners and consumers for more than 80 years.

In 1956, Haines & Company, Inc. was one of the founding members of the International Association of Cross Reference Directory Publishers. Member companies banded together to share technical information regarding accurate data compilation and establish guidelines for the responsible and ethical management of consumer and business data.

For years, these annually published cross-reference directories — covering complete cities and suburban areas — have provided more up-to-date listings per dollar than any other source.

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