THE UNSEEN COURIERS OF THE SPOKEN WORD (Jul, 1931)
THE UNSEEN COURIERS OF THE SPOKEN WORD
The familiar telephone that stands upon your desk at the office or in your home is only a very small part of the great communication system that enables you to talk across the miles with such surprising ease.
Behind it are complicated exchanges, a carefully trained organization of more than four hundred thousand men and women and eighty million miles of wire. These are the forces that make efficient telephone service possible. These are the unseen couriers of the spoken word.
Tirelessly, day or night, without rest or sleep, the Bell System awaits but the lifting of the receiver to carry your voice to any one of thirty-two million other telephone users in this country and abroad, and on ships at sea. It is done so quickly and with so little trouble that few people stop to consider what goes on between the giving of the number and the completion of the call.
Some time every day—perhaps many times a day —you use some part of a telephone system that has taken fifty years and more than four thousand million dollars to build.
The simple words “long distance,” which you speak so casually into your telephone, place millions of dollars of equipment at your disposal. Yet the cost of a call from New York to Chicago is only three dollars and but a fraction of that for lesser distances.
Equipment of comparable cost is also needed to connect your home with the thousands or hundreds of thousands of other telephones in your town or city. Yet the charge for local service is only a few cents a day.
In relation to service rendered, the cost of the telephone is one of the smallest items in the monthly business and family budget. Few things purchased are of such real, constant and increasing value.
AMERICAN TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY