National Geographic : 1913 Jun
Coral Builders and the Bell System In the depths of tropical seas the coral polyps are at work. They are nourished by the ocean, and they grow and multiply because they cannot help it. Finally a coral island emerges from the ocean. It collects sand and seeds, until it becomes a fit home for birds, beasts and men. In the same way the telephone system has grown, gradually at first, but steadily and irresistibly. It could not stop growing. To stop would mean disaster. The Bell System, startingwith a few scattered exchanges, was carried for ward byan increasing public demand. Each new connection disclosed a need for other new connections, and millions of dollars had to be poured into the business to provide the 7,500,000 telephones now connected. And the end is not yet, for the growth of the Bell System is still irresistible, because the needs of the people will not be satisfied except by universalcommunication. Thesystem is large because the country is large. AMERICAN TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY AND ASSOCIATED COMPANIES One Policy One System Universal Service "Mention the Geographic-It identifies you."