Re: from Risks Digest 20.90 - SPRINT

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From: Dave Long (
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 11:03:42 PDT

My grandfather was an engineer for SP back in the days when a bad day
for an engineer could include being steamed alive in a Mallie cab,
rather than just frequent exposure to a reboot screen. According to
my grandparents, Sprint started out life as the "Southern Pacific
Railroad Internal" network, and the excess capacity was largely used
as chat lines by railroad families until deregulation.


Has anyone seen Robert W. Fogel's _Railroads and American Economic
Growth: Essays in Econometric History_? I ran into a review
recently from EH.NET which claimed:
> On the one hand, although the work
> immediately generated substantial controversy, and even today one might
> quibble about a few days or a few months, in the long run, there has been
> little question about the book's major conclusion - that the level of per
> capita income achieved by January 1, 1890 would have been reached by March
> 31, 1890, if railroads had never been invented. Moreover, Fogel's work also
> indicated that there was no other industry that was likely to have been
> more important than the railroads; and, thus, if not railroads, no other
> industry could have played the role that historiography attributed to the
> rails.

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