CWRU Links

SOCIAL REGISTER

The SOCIAL REGISTER for Cleveland was a separate local edition formerly published by the New York Social Register Assn. New York's Social Register was founded in 1887 by Louis Keller, who compiled his list of socially acceptable families from Mrs. Astor's famous "400," as well as from other lists. Over the years separate editions were published for up to 13 other cities, including Philadelphia, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. Cleveland's edition of the "little black book of the blue bloods" first appeared in 1910. It was issued annually thereafter, kept up to date by a local representative assigned to record births, deaths, and marriages as well as to adjudicate on the propriety of names recommended for listing. Though the name of the local representative was never divulged, 2 Clevelanders rumored to have fulfilled that function were Edith Bingham and Mrs. Charles Vilas. By 1974 the listings for Cincinnati and Dayton had been folded into the Cleveland edition, with Cleveland comprising 130 pages of the book and the other 2 cities 120 pages, numbered inwardly from the reversed back cover. After Malcolm Forbes purchased control of the Social Register in 1976, the listings for all 9 surviving local editions were combined in a cost-saving move into a single volume. At the time there were 2,100 names left in the Cleveland edition.


See also CLEVELAND BLUE BOOK.