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re: history of the list

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I am surprised nobody had this list kicking via telegraph "back in the day":
"Dear Kind Sirs, I am currently contracted to design and construct a covered bridge over the Erie Canal. Must I consider a 4 ox load wagon, or will an 8 horse equivalent load suffice? Any more news on this Bessemer process? I hope they don't expect an old chap like myself to give up trusty sawn wood beams..."  (beep beep, beep beep beep...)
I started my career in 1998 and found this list to be one of my most invaluable tools in my E.I. days. My boss was sharp but so busy with the business he was hardly ever there, so I often wanted a second opinion (or first). I was the only structural engineer in my office other than my boss so I felt on an island, and in a way, the listees were my coworkers, peers and mentors... The list taught me that all I needed was a push in the righ direction or the right reference and I could go figure it out on my own.
Scott, Dennis, Harold, Christopher, Nels, Stan, et al have helped me in inumberable ways. I have met people from this list, consulted with them privately, gotten business advice, obtained business and even a job offer. We all go through cycles and changes in our careers where we may not have the spare time to read every list, or post advice, but I think many of us try to read it most every day even if we cannot participate. And I have been entertained by Bill vs ________ throughout the years. Remember Gail from DC? What happened to her? She and Bill used to tangle on a regular basis...
Andrew Kester, P.E.
Orlando, Florida
N:Andrew Kester;PE
FN:Andrew Kester, PE