"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
"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)