Local Sends in 1912 Water Bill
The Alameda Sun received this letter with an early 20th century water bill attached.
Hello Dennis and Eric!
I have enjoyed reading your series on Thompson Avenue’s namesake and his water company. Attached please find the front and back of a 1912 Alameda water bill sent to my great-grandfather Anton (although his last name and Alameda are misspelled).
“Read Carefully The Other Side” for sage advice on life from the water company.
For the Corporation
- Render good and adequate service.
- Establish fair and reasonable schedules.
- Give no special or privileged rates.
- Urge the necessity of liberal treatment.
- Let obedience to law be strictly observed.
- Advocate justice to both Company and Consumer.
- Test every regulation by the judicial standard.
- Invite fair and honest criticism.
- Oppose political trickery.
- Never break promises or agreements.
For the Public
- Give the public utility the same confidence and encouragement you give to other businesses.
- Openly and fairly encourage the giving of a fair profit to the corporation.
- Look with disfavor on the agitator and demogogue.
- Do not fail to recognize and commend improvements in service.
- Expect no special favors because you are “a prominent citizen.”
- Never be unreasonable in demanding large and unprofitable expenditures.
- Remember to pay your bills promptly.
- Utilities can only succeed by fair and reasonable treatment.
- Let all legislation affecting utilities be considered with great care and without prejudice.
- Encourage capital to seek investment by assuring it freedom from vicious and partisan legislation.