National Geographic : 1915 Jul
The Price of Progress THE Panama Canal stands as one of the most marvelous achieve ments of the age. Into its construc tion went not only the highest engi neering skill, but the best business brains of the nation, backed by hundreds of millions of dollars. Suppose conditions not to be fore seen made it necessary to replace the present canal with a new and larger waterway of the sea-level type, to be built in the next ten years. Also suppose that this new canal would be the means of a great saving in time and money to the canal-using public, because of the rapid progress in canal engineering. This sounds improbable; yet it illustrates exactly what has happened in the development of the telephone, and what certainly will happen again. Increasing demands upon the SAMERICAN TELEPHONE AND AssocI One Policy One telephone system, calling for more extended and better service, forced removal of every part of the plant not equal to these demands. Switch boards, cables, wires and the telephone instrument itself were changed time and again, as fast as the advancing art of the telephone could improve them. It was practical to do all this because it greatly increased the capacity of the plant, reduced service rates and added subscribers by the hundred thousand. In ten years, the telephone plant of the Bell System has been rebuilt and renewed, piece by piece, at an expense exceeding the cost of the Canal. Thus the Bell System is kept at the highest point of efficiency, always apace with the telephone requirements of the public. And the usefulness of the telephone has been extended to all the people. AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY ATED COMPANIES System Universal Service "Mention the Geographic-It identifies you."