TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Very Early Modems

Re: Very Early Modems

Chris Kantarjiev (
Tue, 17 May 2005 16:52:14 PDT

> As we recall, many large organizations, especially railroads,
> maintained their own privately built and maintained telephone networks
> and such users could of course attach anything they wanted. Railroads
> could use this IBM system to send in freight car movements punched at
> remote locations to a central site.

Don't forget that SPRINT originally stood for "Southern Pacific
Railway INTernal communications" ...

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: That is what I thought, and still
maintain also however some people have said that is not the case. It
is true that Southern Pacific RR _was_ the original owner, and the
telecommunications company was originally the railroad's telecommuni-
cations department up to sometime in the 1960's. The railroad did a
major overhaul of their telecom stuff, and the end result was so much
excess capacity the railroad decided to sell the excess capacity to
business places (but not the general public). Some people have said
that when the railroad decided to sell their excess telecom capacity
(after the overhaul and remodeling of it, etc) they eventually decided
to go public with the stock, treating the new entity as a wholly owned
asset of the railroad and that a 'contest; was held to figure out a
new name, but that 'Sprint' (as in running fast) was only coincidentaly
only an acronym for Southern Pacific Internal Telecom. Now, I dunno.
I have heard it both ways and like yourself, prefer the acronymn,
coincidental or not. PAT]

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