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“Half Rates for X-mas Telephoning”

Written by Dick Perue

The above headline, an article and advertisement in the Dec. 22, 1911 issue of the “Grand Encampment Herald” proclaims:

Probably the most popular, as well as the most beneficial innovation ever made by any great corporation in this country is that announced by the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph company, wherein their thousands of miles of toll lines are thrown open, at half rates, to the general public on Christmas day.

This company, whose lines traverse one-fifth of the United States, and reach into the cities, towns, camps and ranches of Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and New Mexico, is certainly doing its part toward making it indeed a “Merry Christmas.”

Since the merger of the various telephone companies, bringing into one great family all of the mid-west states, the management has been doing many things that go to prove they have the best interests of their patrons at heart; and so on Christmas day, from eight o’clock in the morning until noon, the public is invited to use the toll lines freely in talking to the “dear ones at home” or whispering a “Merry Christmas” into the ear of some friend far away. And next to the joy to come from such a unique and unusual yuletide greeting is the fact that this company will stand one-half the cost, bringing it within easy reach of thousands of people who, perhaps, otherwise, would not take this means of transmitting a good cheer blessing.

It is certainly a departure from the ordinary methods of public utilities, and the public will appreciate this practical application of the Christmas spirit. While this reduction for the half day will mean a great deal of extra expense and extra work to the telephone company, it will make many hearts glad and, in a measure, dispel the general idea that “all corporations are soulless.”

In another part of this paper is the reproduction of a scene, as pictured by the artist, where son, grandchild and grandmother are having a little talk over the long distance. It will be interesting to know how many thousands of calls will be made on Christmas morning because of the reduction in charges by the telephone company.

Unlike the editor of the 1911 “Herald,” we pray that you will keep “Christ” in Christmas, and may you have a most glorious Merry Christmas.