National Geographic : 1912 Oct
A Proverb of Bell Service Once upon a time there dwelt on the banks of the holy river Ganges a great sage, by name Vishnu-sarman. When King Sudarsana appealed to the wise men to instruct his wayward sons, Vishnu-sarman undertook the task, teaching the princes by means of fables and proverbs. Among his philosophical sayings was this : "To one whose foot is covered with a shoe, the earth appears all carpeted with leather." This parable of sixteen hundred years ago, which applied to walking, applies today to talking. It explains the necessity of one telephone system. For one man to bring seven million persons together so that he could talk with whom he chose would be al most as difficult as to carpet the whole earth with leather. He would be hampered by the multitude. There would not be elbow room for anybody. For one man to visit and talk with a comparatively small number of dis tant persons would be a tedious, dis couraging and almost impossible task. But with the Bell System provid ing Universal Service the old proverb may be changed to read: To one who has a Bell Telephone at his lips, the whole nation is within speakingdistance. AMERICAN TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY AND, ASSOCIATED COMPANIES Every Bell Telephone is the Center of the System. "Mention the Geographic-It identifies you."