This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Statistics of Communications Common Carriers (SOCC). This publication, the first issue of which covered the year 1939, was initially known as the Statistics of the Communications Industry in the United States. The book, prepared by the Commission's Accounting, Statistical, and Tariff Department, originally contained a section on broadcast financial data. That section was dropped in 1950 and the publication was renamed in 1957. Prior to 1939, some of the common carrier statistics were included in the Commission's Annual Reports to Congress and some were released in mimeographed form.
The 1939 publication (printed in 1941 and sold for 25 cents) contained information that had been filed by 91 telephone companies. These carriers, which accounted for about 97 percent of the total operating revenues of all U.S. telephone systems, reported $347 million of toll service revenue and total operating revenues of $1.2 billion. About 18 million telephones were in use at year-end, and the percentage of households with telephone service (based on census figures, as utilized by AT&T) stood at 36%. Telegraph companies reported about $140 million in operating revenues.
The Statistics of Communications Common Carriers is the only permanent record of common carrier activity published by the U.S. Government Printing Office and sent to Federal depository libraries throughout the United States. This publication can be purchased by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, DC 20202-9328, or by calling GPO's Order and Inquiry Desk at (202) 512-1800.