National Geographic : 1914 Nov
How the Public Profits By Telephone Improvements Here is a big fact in the telephone progress of this country: Hand in hand with inventions and devel opments which have improved the service many fold have come operating economies that have greatly cut its cost. To appreciate these betterments and their resulting economies, consider a few ex amples : Your present telephone instrument had Oseventy-two ancestors; it is better and Original Standard cheaper than any of them. Bell Telephone (Bell Telephone cheaper than any of them. 1876 To-day Time was when a switchboard required a room full of boys to handle the calls of a few hundred subscribers. Today, two or three girls will serve a greater number with out confusion and very much more promptly. A three-inch underground cable now car ries as many as eight hundred wires. If strung in the old way, these would require four sets of poles, each with twenty cross arms - a congestion utterly prohibitive in -- city streets. Early Typical Telephone Present;day These are some of the familiar improve Exchange Exchange ments. They have saved tens of millions of dollars. But those which have had the most radical effect, resulting in the largest econo mies and putting the telephone within every ; one's reach, are too technical to describe here. And their value can no more be estimated than can the value of the invention of the automobile. This progress in economy, as well as in service, has given the United States the Bell If yW 8W System with about ten times as many tele Were Carried in Underground phones, proportionate to the population, as Overhead Cable in all Europe. ° AMERICAN TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY AND ASSOCIATED COMPANIES One Policy One System Universal Service "Mention the Geographic-It identifies you."