Page images
[graphic][merged small]

edge it can get to hold its own, to make to use the new weapon in carving out the most of its resources and opportuni- a slice of the trade for themselves. ties.

The railroad world is deeply troubled It was a strong and active traffic these stirring days. Great, radical bureau that enabled Stockton, a city of changes are impending in the compli30,000 inhabitants seventy miles inland cated structure of the eighty billions of of San Francisco on the San Joaquin separate rates that clutter the tariffs of river, to take advantage of the opening the carriers. During the past twenty left by San Francisco and Los Angeles years the primary object of governin their squabble over the San Joaquin mental supervision has been the prevenValley trade. Stockton was nearer to the tion of discrimination between shippers, valley than either of the contending an attempt to protect the small shipper parties. On the broad and deep San against deviations from the published Joaquin there was water competition, rates in favor of his more powerful combut without a traffic bureau to play the petitor. In a measure, this object has trumps in the hand of Stockton it would been attained, at least so far as it is poshave been left out in the cold while the sible of accomplishment under present two big cities divided the spoils. By in- conditions. Just now a second era of tervening in the quarrel, by making its regulation is beginning, an attempt to voice heard and by cleverly leading its remedy some of the most glaring exhigh cards, Stockton pulled out an ad- amples of discrimination between comvantage, a differential over San Fran- munities rather than betw.een individual cisco that it could not have obtained had shippers. it relied upon the individual jobbers to This new problem in regulation pretake expensive action. In the meantime sents ten times the difficulties of the old the fight of the big cities—and the suc- rebate question, but it must be solved. cess of the small ones in gaining rate Already the uprising of the communities advantages-stimulated Fresno and Bak- discriminated against is beginning, esersfield, the two largest towns in the val- pecially in the West, from the Canadian ley, into action. Both of them have or- line to Mexico. The traffic bureaus, all ganized traffic bureaus and are preparing of them organized but recently, of half a dozen inland cities, of Reno, Spokane, only one factor in manufacturing. To Tucson, Phoenix, Boise, are busy follow- compete successfully with goods sent ing up the advantage gained by the re- from the East via the canal, the labor duction of freight rates ordered by the cost must be reduced. Through the PanInterstate Commerce Commission in ama canal a flood of cheap European favor of Spokane. All of these cities, all labor is expected, but to be sure of taking the communities of the vast territory be advantage of this flood, capital is entween the Rocky Mountains and the Pa- gaged in a struggle with labor to assert cific, have to pay higher freight charges its supremacy against the hour when ten for a shorter haul than the Coast cities times the present supply of labor will be whose terminal rates are lowered by needed. water competition. The Coast cities, of It will be impossible to eradicate all course, are fighting against the reduction the flagrant discrimination in freight in favor of inland towns, fighting hard rates between communities. An attempt on the side of the railroads. They are to introduce a tariff based solely upon fighting for their vested right, for a low distances would ruin the industries of freight rate, long continued, becomes a New England and of Pittsburg, would vested right. Upon it factories and be a remedy worse than the evil it is to warehouses are built. Shift it to some cure. But a readjustment within cerother point, and the factory or the ware- tain limits is coming, and this readjusthouse is badly crippled.

ment will be in favor of the smaller Upon the Pacific Coast a sharp strug towns. Already the Texas Railroad gle between capital and labor is in prog- Commission has been weeding out disress, a struggle gaining in intensity and crimination against small towns whenspreading from Mexico to Canada. At ever brought to its attention, and many the bottom of this struggle lies the of the little Texas .communities have freight rate, or rather the readjustment taken advantage of the opportunity to of freight rates in favor of the smaller attract new industries and enterprises. inland cities of the West. So long as In Kansas, likewise, Governor W. R. the Coast cities enjoyed comparatively Stubbs is championing the cause of the low freight rates caused by nominal small town. As population follows the water competition while the interior low freight rate, he is anxious to stimupoints were smothered by back-haul dif- late the growth of the commonwealth ferentials, the Coast cities transacted a evenly, as opposed to the development of vast and lucrative wholesale business in one or two large cities. goods manufactured in the East. Now T here is still another factor working this rate supremacy is vanishing. They in favor of decentralization, in favor of begin to realize that a large share of the the smaller jobbing and manufacturing distributing business is bound to go to centers. In the large centers land values interior points, sooner or later, and they are increasing by leaps and bounds. are preparing to regain the lost ground Every year more room for terminal faby shifting from the jobbing to the cilities, both freight and passenger, is manufacturing business.

needed, and every year it becomes more Hitherto the West has been too busy costly and more difficult to provide this mining, grazing, felling timber, produc- additional room. The freight congestion ing the raw material, to pay much atten- in the yards of Pittsburg and other cention to the manufacture of the goods, of ters during the height of prosperity in the finished products it consumes. The 1906 gave warning. Every year the termarket for these finished products is minal charges at the big centers are growing rapidly and the wholesalers of growing, are eating a larger hole into the the Coast cities are preparing to supply carriers' revenues. A point will be this market with goods made at home in- reached—and in some cities has almost stead of hauling the goods across the been reached_where terminal costs will continent. What raw material cannot become prohibitive, forcing the carriers be had from the mountains, forests and in self-defense to divert some of the busiplains, the Panama canal will furnish at ness to smaller places where terminal



His assistant is receiving a message.




Y the law of the lard no vessel elers by sea so efficient and so obviously carrying fifty or more persons, needed that even a congressman could including passengers and crew, not fail to perceive the wisdom of voting may leave any port in the for it.

United States on a voyage of Even without the strong encouragemore than two hundred miles after July ment of the law, without any influence 1, unless it is equipped with wireless whatever beyond the cold logic of telegraph apparatus capable of transmit- achievement, the world's installation of ting and receiving messages over a dis- wireless telegraph apparatus had grown tance of at least one hundred miles, day to a grand total of 1,520 stations on ship or night, in charge of a competent op- and shore, exclusive of foreign warships erator.

and amateur outfits, up to October 1, No sleek and stealthy lobby, dispens- 1910, according to a directory compiled ing cigars, champagne and sophistries by the United States Navy Department. with lavish hand, accelerated the passage Of this total, 821 stations were on steamof this law. The statute was enacted be- ships, yachts and tugs throughout the cause it provided a safeguard for trav- world. Of the shore stations the United States had 206, of which eighty-eight chronometers. A still more important were on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, application of the radio-telegraph is forty-eight were on the Great Lakes, rendered possible by the Bellini-Tosi fifty-one on the Pacific coast, sixteen in wireless compass by means of which the Alaska, and three in the interior. The direction from which a wireless signal United States Navy had 344 ship and comes and also the approximate distance forty-seven shore stations, the army may be determined. This is a most valuthirty shore and sixteen ship stations. able invention, for by this means a ves

In 1909 the Marconi Company trans- sel approaching land in a fog may be mitted between ship and shore messages directed so as to avoid danger of runaggregating 519,000 words. The trans- ning ashore. Atlantic business ranges from 50,000 to . Yet it is only ten years since Marconi 75,000 words a week. The British Post- installed the first wireless telegraph outoffice Department reported that in the fit on a merchant vessel for regular servthree months ending October 1, 1910, ice. Such a growth could hardly have twice as many wireless messages were been attained in so short a time by any sent and received as in any other cor- mere money-making device. The wireresponding period. As the first step less telegraph has progressed so swiftly toward establishing a ring of wireless because to its solid commercial worth stations completely encircling the United Kingdom, the government has purchased the stations already in operation. The New Zealand government recently asked for bids for erecting five wireless stations, while fifteen new wireless stations now being constructed along the Amazon and Paraguay rivers in Brazil will be in operation before the end of the year.

This staid and perfunctory catalogue by no means includes all the activities of the radio-telegraph. It is now used for such strange and widely different purposes as keeping trawlers in the North Sea posted on the state of the fish market and for giving the correct time to vessels within three thousand miles of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. On May 24, 1910, the French government began sending out time signals at midnight, at two minutes and again at four minutes past the hour. These time signals are expected to be of value to navigators by enabling them to correct daily any

WIRELESS SERVICE ON AN EXPRESS TRAIN. possible variations in their

An experiment that was made on the Lake Shore Railway.

[graphic][merged small]

there has been added an extraordinary timated the value of ships and their carlist of spectacular achievements in ef- goes in all cases up to December 1, 1910, fecting the rescue of persons on sinking in which the wireless telegraph was used ships. It would probably be nearer the to summon assistance to vessels in distruth than such sweeping generalizations tress, at one hundred million dollars, and usually are to assert that within the ten the number of lives involved, which may years of its commercial career the wire- thus be said to have been saved, at apless telegraph has saved more lives and proximately ten thousand. more property than any other invention B ut there is one source which, while ever has in the same length of time; far from complete or satisfactory in but to support the allegation by official many of the details we should like to statistics is out of the question for the know, is specific as far as it goes; and sufficient reason that no one has ever that is the daily newspaper file. From thought it worth while to keep a record this source it is possible to learn that of the instances in which the wireless during the year 1909 at least twentytelegraph has played a part in rescuing four steamships, after accidents of disabled vessels or those on board of various kinds, sent out appeals by wirethem from the merciless action of the less telegraph which brought assistance seas.

with admirable promptness. Taking the All the government publications, year more conservative estimates, the aggrebooks and almanacs, which are so over gate value of the vessels and their carwhelmingly and minutely informative goes saved from probable, and in some concerning things that no one really instances certain, loss was in the neighwants to know, are totally

borhood of $11.775,000. Insilent regarding the very im

cluding six other cases in portant rescue work of the

which the vessels were lost radio-telegraph. Ask any of

but their passengers and the men in London or New

crews, or most of them, were York who ought to be primed

rescued, no fewer than 5,215 with statistics on the subject

persons may be said to owe and the best you can get is a

their lives to the wireless teleguess. One such guess, which

graph in the year 1909. Here has received the indorsement

is the list so far as it is ascerof several men prominently

tainable, as explained above, identified with marine interests

with the estimated value of and which may, therefore, be

ship and cargo and the numgiven for what it is worth, was

ber of persons on board who hazarded by Chief Engineer

may be said in all truth, to Frederick M. Sammis, of the


have been saved through the Marconi Wireless Telegraph His perfected apparatus direct agency of this modern Company of America, who es

marvel, wireless :


made long distance

wireless possible.

« PreviousContinue »