Charting our own course (Nov, 1961)

Charting our own course

Over the years Gen Tel has become a large and important part of the nation’s vast communications network.

In fact, Gen Tel is today the largest of the many Independent telephone companies that supply a substantial share of America’s great and growing communications needs.


This reminds me of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy


Telephone subscribers in a number of eastern cities may now avail themselves of a service that undertakes to keep the instruments free of germs. Once a week, a uniformed representative calls, undoes a kit resembling a physician’s case, and applies an antiseptic paste that is said to keep the telephone in sanitary condition.

‘America Calling’ (Jun, 1938)

Given all the steps involved, twelve minutes to set up a call doesn’t seem that long. I wonder what the call cost.

It’s kind of amazing to think that my iPhone has far more capacity than the entire “overseas” telephone network had at this time.

‘America Calling’

How A Transatlantic ‘Phone Call is Made


1. Within an average of 12 minutes after an American subscriber puts in a call for a party in London, the connection is made and conversation is carried on as clearly and easily as if the called party were only a few blocks away. Behind this commonplace occurrence (an average of 50,000 overseas calls are made yearly, 60 to 65 percent of them being transatlantic), there is a vast array of technical developments and their application, aimed toward maintenance of service and speech quality.

WHAT IS THE AT&T? (Feb, 1931)


All that most people see of the telephone company are a telephone and a few feet of wire.

But through that telephone you can talk with any one of millions of people, all linked together by the web of equipment of the Bell System.

All its efforts are turned constantly to one job—to give better telephone service to an ever-increasing number of people, as cheaply as it possibly can.

He’s using the telephone that lends an extra hand (Dec, 1954)

He’s using the telephone that lends an extra hand

For people who want to keep both hands free when they telephone, Bell Telephone Laboratories engineers have devised a new telephone with a sensitive microphone in its base.

To use it, simply press a button. The microphone picks up your voice and sends it on its way. Your party’s voice comes to you through a small loudspeaker. Both hands are left free.

Your handy phones away from home (Jul, 1958)

Your handy phones away from home

Quick, easy way to keep in touch and get things done wherever you are. Convenient public telephones save you time, money and trouble.

A LIGHT IN THE DARK —More and more outdoor telephone booths are being placed at convenient locations and are available for service 24 hours a day. They supplement the hundreds of thousands of public telephones in buildings, stores, hotels, gas stations, airports, railroad stations and bus terminals.

“Hellos” by the Millions (Jan, 1934)

“Hellos” by the Millions

RECENT figures compiled by the Bell System show that there is more than 145 million miles of telephone wire in the world, or enough to reach from the Sun out past the planet Mars; and about 60% of it is in the United States, where it was used for more than twenty-seven billion conversations over the wire last year. (At three minutes each, this is 154,000 years of talk.) That is, every man, woman and child in the United States made 220 calls; or, rather, leaving out those who can not use the telephone, there was an average of only about one call a day. In the use of the telegraph, the United States is a shade less pre-eminent; it has only a third of the world’s 6,773,500 miles of wire.

More Telephone Service for more people (May, 1947)

More Telephone Service for more people

From The 1946 Annual Report of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.

1. In no year since the telephone was invented was there such a remarkable increase in the amount of telephone service furnished to the American people as in 1946. The net gain in the number of Bell telephones was 3,264,000, or more than twice the gain for any previous year. Additional telephones were installed at a rate averaging more than 25 a minute every working day.



MR. GEORGE TANKARD is shown below with his new invention that is designed with an eye to speeding up the efficiency of a busy man. This invention is balanced on the shoulder by the form fitting holder. The receiver is placed in the holder and then adjusted to the shoulder so that the ear gets the best results. It is interesting to note that this device has been produced in London, where the American type of speed efficiency has been taking a very strong hold in the last few years.

The Microwaves Are Coming! (Nov, 1947)

The Microwaves Are Coming!

Invisible network will handle phone rails, telegrams, television, FM and AIM broadcasts, complete newspapers—even carry your mail.

By Martin Mann
PSM photos by Robert F. Smith

COMMUNICATIONS are being revolutionized faster than you think. The humming wires beside the highways already are rivaled by new systems, capable of transmitting more spoken or written words and more still or moving pictures from coast to coast. The difference between these new systems and those of the past is as great as that between oxcarts and stratoliners.