Local Sends in 1912 Water Bill

Courtesy photo    This 1912 water bill contained some philosophical pointers on the reverse side.

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.