THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY
of the telephone movement; and in its annual report for the year 1883 stated that:
The same difficulty in gathering statistics was experienced by the respective secretaries of the National Telephone Exchange Association, and by the committee allotted the work of gathering statistics. At the meeting held at the Continental Hotel, in Philadelphia, in September, 1884, Mr. W. D. Sargent, chairman of the committee on exchange statistics, presented a comprehensive report of great value, and representing an enormous amount of individual work, covering the number of exchanges, of subscribers, circuits, methods, wages, etc. Yet of the 906 exchanges belonging to members of the association, he was only able to secure reports from 310. Single exchanges formed the basis of 200 of these reports and included 30,421 subscribers, or an average of 152 subscribers to each exchange. But 79 of the 200 reported less than 50 subscribers; 49 reported between 50 and 100; 31 between 100 and 200; 14 between 200 and 300, and 10 between 300 and 400.
The editor of the Electrical World, in referring to the financial conditions prevailing during 1884, wrote:
Referring to the financial condition of the local companies at the close of 1884, the parent Bell company, in its annual report to its fourteen hundred stockholders, said:
Nearly all our licensed companies are in good condition, and many of them continue to pay regular dividends in spite of the general dullness. It has not, however, been a year when new enterprises of any kind could be easily pro-