"It is the telephone which does most to link together cottage and skyscraper and mansion and factory and farm. It is not limited to experts or college graduates. It reaches the man with a nickel as well as the man with a million. It speaks all languages and serves all trades. It helps to prevent sectionalism and race feuds. It gives a common meeting place to capitalists and wage-workers. It is so essentially the instrument of all the people, in fact, that we might almost point to it as a national emblem, as the trade-mark of democracy and the American spirit."

"What we might call the telephonization of city life, for lack of a simpler word, has remarkably altered our manner of living from what it was in the days of Abraham Lincoln. It has enabled us to be more social and cooperative. It has literally abolished the isolation of separate families, and has made us members of one great family. It has become so truly an organ of the social body that by telephone we now enter into contracts, give evidence, try lawsuits, make speeches, propose marriage, confer degrees, appeal to voters, and do almost everything else that is a matter of speech."

Herbert Newton Casson
The History of the Telephone (1911)