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The continent that became a neighborhood
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The continent that became a neighborhood
An Advertisement of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company [National Geographic, November 1930]

Through slim wires etched against the sky ... through cables laid in the earth under cities and fields ... million of Americans, miles' or days' journeys apart, speak to each other as readily as though they stood face to face.
    Over her telephone, a housewife in a Wisconsin town inquires about a dress pattern from a friend which lives nearby. Over his telephone, a business man in Philadelphia talks to another in Denver. Over her telephone, a mother in Kansas asks her son in college fifty miles away if he will come home for the week-end. Over his telephone, a cabinet member in Washington gives instructions to an assistant in Seattle. Bell System logoRegardless of distance and the complexity of modern living, they talk directly and immediately with any one, anywhere, at any time they choose.
    The function of the Bell Telephone System is the vital one of making it possible to maintain social and business contacts in cities that contain many times more people than this nation once boasted ... in a neighborhood which the Census reports to hold 127 million people. Year after year from its beginning, the Bell System has increased its facilities, its personnel and its usefulness. Looking ahead and planning for the future, it has forwarded the growth of this national by meeting its communication needs fully and economically. Today it overcomes the hindrances of distance and time ... and unifies a civilization geared to the habit of instantaneous communication.
    Because it serves all who call on it, by enriching their lives and helping to make their enterprises more successful, the telephone plays an increasingly useful part in the every-day activities of the American people.