Let's do the math! $1,285.29 per month is $15,423.48 per year. That's about equal to the federal minimum wage today. $3,855.87 per month is $46,270.44 per year. That's quite a bit less than the US median income today. And that's the top end of the pay scale. But there's more! I don't think the telegrapher of 1911 worked 5 days a week, 8 hours per day. Back then, the work day and work week were longer, so the actual hourly pay was much lower than today.