Standards of Service (Apr, 1917)

Standards of Service

In rural communities clusters of mail delivery boxes at the crossroads evidence Uncle Sam’s postal service. Here the neighbors trudge from their homes—perhaps a few yards, perhaps a quarter mile or so—for their mail.

Comprehensive as is the government postal system, still the service rendered by its mail carriers is necessarily restricted, as the country dweller knows.

Long before rural delivery was established the Bell System began to link up the farmhouse with the neighboring towns and villages. One-fourth of the 10,000,000 telephones in the Bell System are rural. They reach more places than there are post offices. Along the highways and private lanes the telephone poles lead straight up to the farmer’s door.

He need not stir from the cheerful hearth ablaze in winter, nor grope along dark roads at night for friendly news or aid in time of trouble. Right in the heart of his home is his telephone. It is the American farmer’s key to the outside world, and in no other country is it found.

American Telephone and Telegraph Company And Associated Companies

One Policy
One System
Universal Service

4 comments
  1. Hirudinea says: April 30, 20122:51 pm

    But could you make a cross country call for $.03?

  2. quadibloc says: April 30, 20125:33 pm

    In Canada, the province of Alberta began stringing up telephone lines in rural areas in 1907, because Bell, providing telephone service there, did not do so, believing such service to be unprofitable. So we ended up with Alberta Government Telephones, now known as Telus.

    So in 1917, the United States was not quite the only nation on Earth with rural telephone service.

  3. Toronto says: April 30, 20127:06 pm

    Quadi: in Nova Scotia the farmers ran “barbed wire telecos” – Kings Co. alone had dozens and dozens. Some lasted – with upgrades – until the late 1960s/early 1970s until MT&T finally bought them out.

    But they did have phones!

  4. Toronto says: April 30, 20127:19 pm

    Hiru: How about 3 messages on individual penny postcards. A short conversation, granted.

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