Established in 1898 in printed form as Thomas’ Register named after founder of the company, the name soon changed to Thomas Register, and formerly, the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers, and sometimes also called “Thomas Registry,” and was a directory of industrial product information and manufacturers consisting of over 80,000 categories. The Thomas Register grew to 36 volumes and in 1998 was 100% paid circulation that was quickly diminished by the online market. The Thomas Register was widely available and publicly known as “the big green books” by buyers which many considered the “bible of industry” since it was the only national publication that had a comprehensive list of companies in alpha order. The Thomas Register consisted of hard bound books measuring 16” high, 10” wide, and 4” thick and would need a large bookshelf area.
As the print demand started crashing in the early 2000s, and Linda Rigano, their marketing directory declared in 2003, “All our buyers are online”, the print circulation plummeted and was given away at no charge. Even at no charge, buyers wanted to be online and the last print run was 2006. The same circumstance was happening to their sister regional publications knows as the “Thomas Regional Directory”. Around 2005, the Thomas Regional Directory and Thomas Register combined their sales forces and databases and created Thomasnet.See Press Releases section for the full article.