BACK in the early days of the telephone, practically all wires were
carried overhead on poles or on house-tops. Some of the tallest poles
carries as many as thirty cross-arms and three hundred wires.
If the old system were in use today the streets
of our larger cities would scarcely have room enough for their canopy
of wires. Traffic would be impeded, telephone service subjected to the
whims of nature.
Better ways had to be found and the Bell System
found those ways. As many as 1800 pairs of wires are now carried in a
cable no larger than a baseball bat. Ninety-four per cent of the Bell
System's 80,000,000 miles of wire is in cable; sixty-five per cent
of it is beneath the ground.
This has meant a series of conquests of space,
and insured greater clarity and dependability for every telephone user.
But it is only one of many kinds of improvements that have been made.
The present generation does not remember the
old days of the telephone.|
Service is now so efficient that you accept it
as a matter of course. It seems as if it must always have been so.
Yet it is would be far different today if it were not for the Bell
System plan of centralized research, manufacture and administration--
with localized operation.