Anonymous on Sat Apr 21 00:07:24 2001

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Parcel Post was established in 1912 over the objections of small town
merchant. They saw it as a subsidy to Sears Robuck.


In many places, every evening about 7:00 the farmers on a party line would
pick up their phones and have a community meeting.  The main news of the day
would be read. Problems would be discussed   and plans laid for joint
activity. Indeed setting up the phone system itself wasoften a cooperative

Hendrick. "Telephone for the millions"McClure's  Magazine  October 1914
REA Rural Telephone Service 1960
Use of phone to track commodity prices.

Wm McKinley was the first whoused the telephone extensively. He ran his 1896
campaign by telephone from Canton, Ohio, including listening to the
proceedings of the Republican Convention in Chicago. p.73.

In Budapest a service operated from 1893 until after World War I, using a
formula much like that of radio today, delivering news, mucis, financial
information, and announcements to subscribers. About 1912 an unsuccessful
service of the same sort wase established in Newark, NJ.
p 81-2

Everyone had made erroneous predictions or missed a surge in popularity for
others. The first patent for a fax was in 1843 (Alexander Bain in GB) 33
years before Bell'sinvention, but it only really caught on in the
1980's.About 1910 there was a lot of talk about the convergence of telephone
and telegraphy systems and later withthat of radio, but it has not happened.

S.C. Gilfillian. "The Future Home Theatre" The Independent.  Oct. 17,1912.

There are two mechanical contrivances...each of which bears in itself the
power to revolutionize entertainment, doing for it what the printing press
did for books. They are the talkingmotion picture and the electric vision
apparatus with telephone. Either one will enable millions of people to see
and hear the same performance simultaneously, ...or successively from
kinetoscope and phonographic records...These inventions will become cheap
enought tobe every home...You will have the home theatre of 1930, o ye
of little faith."

p 121-122
Operators served as disseminators of information,primarily time and weather.
NYC in the late 30's got 20 thousand weather requests and 60K time. Inthe
1980's 145K weather;  time  129k. Where metering existed more information
services were introduced. Paris and shanghai offered shopping info.   After
automatic dialing was introduced recorded information was offered to
"relieve the trauma for their customers of the disappearance of the friendly
operator." In general, information services declined as operators were

Suzanne Keller: The telephone produces communities without contiguity.
Writers dating back to 1909 were shocked to discover young people using the
phone for conversations of a kind in which they would not engage face to
face. In the Victorian era there were many jokes about sexual happenings on
the phone.

In 1894 Frank Perrine in Electrical Engineering noted a marked difference
between electrical engineers and other engineers in the spirit of social
reform. This was due in part to the unlimited horizons of electrical

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