National Geographic : 1912 Apr
The Chain of Communication EACH Bell Telephone is the center of the system. This system may be any size or any shape, with lines radiating from any subscriber's telephone, like the spokes of a wheel, to the limits of the subscriber's requirements, whether ten miles or a thousand. Somewhere on the edge of this subscriber's radius is another who requires a radius of lines stretching still further away. On the edge of this second subscriber's radius is still a third, whose requirements mean a further extension of the lines, and so on. This endless chain of systems may be illustrated bya series of overlapping circles. Each additional subscriber becomes a new center with an extended radius of com munication, reaching other subscribers. However small the radius, the step-by-step extension from neighbor to neighbor must continue across the continent without a stopping place, until the requirements of every individual have been met. There can be no limit to the extension of telephone lines until the whole country is covered. There can be no limit to the system of which each Bell telephone is the center, up to the greatest distance that talk can be carried. Because these are the fundamental needs of a nation of telephone users, the Bell System must provide universal service. AMERICAN TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY AND ASSOCIATED COMPANIES One Policy One System Universal Service "Mention the Geographic-It identifies you."