The pay-envelope army that moves to work every morning in Telephonia would be a host of one hundred and ten thousand men and girls, mostly girls, as many girls as would fill Vassar College a hundred times and more, or double the population of Nevada. Put these men and girls in line, march them ten abreast, and six hours would pass before the last company would arrive at the reviewing stand.
It is strung out over fifty thousand cities and communities. If it were all gathered together into one place, this Bell System, it would make a city of Telephonia as large as Baltimore. It would contain half of the telephone property of the world. Its actual wealth would be fully $760,000,000, and its revenue would be greater than the revenue of the city of New York.
Not all the men in New York State could shoulder this burden of wire and carry it. Throw all the people of Illinois in one end of the scale, and put on the other side the wire-wealth of Telephonia, and long before the last coil was in place, the Illinoisans would be in the air. What would this city do for a living?
If the Telephonians wished to use these poles at home, they might drive them in as piles along their water-front, and have a twenty-five thousand-acre dock; or if their city were a hundred square miles in extent, they might set up a seven-ply wall around it with these poles. Wire, too! Eleven million miles of it! This city of Telephonia would be the capital of an empire of wire.