Page images
PDF
EPUB

five battle ships, Indiana, Massachusetts, Oregon. Iowa and Texas; six monitors, Puritan, Miantonomoh, Terror, Amphitrite, Monterey and Monadnock; four special types, Dolphin, Vesuvius, Katahdin and Bancroft; two first-class torpedo boats, Cushing and Ericsson. The total displacement of all these vessels is 180,478 tons. They carry ninety 4-inch, sixty-eight 5-inch, one hundred and twenty-six 6-inch, sixty-six 8inch, twenty-two 10-inch, twelve 12-inch and twelve 13-inch rifles, making three hundred and ninty-six guns in all. In addition to these they carry five hundred and fifty small rapid-firing guns and three 15-inch dynamite guns."

IS THE WEST DISCONTENTED ? AN interesting study of the "contented classes ”H or shall we say “masses"-of our great West, particularly of Nebraska, is contributed to the Forum. by Chancellor Canfield of the Nebraska State University. “Local color” is the prime quality, we should say, of Chancellor Canfield's article. It is impossible to reproduce here the instances cited from real life in Nebraska to prove the writer's contention that “ the plain people" of the West are, as a rule, content, with their lot. We give his conclusion, based on personal conversations and correspondence with hundreds of men and women of all callings and conditions.

“There is some discontent within the limits of Nebraska. In a new State, and especially in a rich State like our own, where all natural resources seem to be within the easy grasp of each and all, there have been great opportunities for acquiring a competence and even wealth. In most of these Western States money-getting has been easy. In the pursuit of wealth, some, by reason of extraordinary diligence, extraordinary shrewdness, or good fortune, have been more successful than others. With the unsuccessful, even though they have done more than fairly well,

fairly well, the sense of not being as far along in the race as those with whom they made the start is irritating. The rapid rise in values has unquestionably unsettled many men and made them discontented with conditions which we all know to be more nearly normal. The tenth commandment is undoubtedly often and badly shattered in Nebraska ; but I fancy we are neither the only sinners nor the chief of sinners in this respect. Our people do not always wait to be deprived of necessaries before they complain, but are apt to speak, and speak sharply, if what may be termed the lavishness of supply is lessened. Men here, as elsewhere. are in haste to get rich ; not simply to secure a competence. With many others the present complaining is hereditary, and comes to them with their New England blood. Most well-organized, normal New Englanders are alway' on the road to the poor house.' The only difference between New England and Nebraska seems to be that, whereas in the former people go cheerfully and willingly and seem rather to enjoy the prospect (they rarely get there, of course,—those who are always talking

about it never do), their descendants in Nebraska, with the same prospect in view and entertaining it just as sincerely as do their ancestors (which is not sincerely at all), grow rebellious at the very thought. With all this, however, it is quite a difficult task to avoid making out a case for contentment in one's own locality when the existing facts and conditions are studied carefully and in detail. Suffering, deprivation and discontent are much like the ague,—' over in the next township'; and it is not at all unusual to find an audience applauding a speaker who tells them they are pauperized, when very few men in the audience would part with their possessions short of a sum represented by a big unit and three ciphers.

“The discontent which really does exist, however, to any great extent and with any great power, is not so much discontent with one's individual lot as with the existing order of things. In our haste to build an empire in a night, we have not always guarded carefully the interests of all the people. We have only ourselves to blame for this, and part of our present ill-humor comes from a secret consciousness of this fact. Much, if not all, legal inequality might have been prevented by wise forethought and unselfish action on our part. It would sometimes seem as though our children could not possibly govern themselves any worse than we have governed ourselves, and that if they do not vastly improve in all methods of public administration they will suffer more than we do.

“Out of such bitter experiences, however, and out of this kind of rational discontent are evolved all human improvement and all advancement of the race. This kind of discontent seems to have naturally and properly become a powerful factor in American public life. But as for ourselves and our neighbors as individuals, and in our own individual and private interests and affairs, it is safe to say that 95 per cent. of the people of this State fall easily under any thoughtful definition of the expression contented classes.'”

THE RAILROAD STRIKE IN CALIFORNIA. COME of the peculiar phases of the great strike of D last summer on the California railroads are discussed by Prof. Thomas R. Bacon, of the University of that State, in the Yale Review. That the strike had certain features in California which it did not have elsewhere in the country was due, says Professor Bacon, to the Southern Pacific's monoply of transportation throughout most of the State, and to the condition of public feeling toward the company.

“ The Southern Pacific Company, a corporation organized under the laws of Kentucky, controls all the railroads in the State, north of the Tehachapi pass. A glance at the map shows that this includes the whole State, with the exception of that comparatively small part which is commonly known as Southern California. The only exception to this general statement is found in the case of some small local roads, which open up some agricultural and mining regions. It is impossible to get out of Northern Cali. fornia by rail, except by passing over the lines of the Southern Pacific. This corporation does not own a single foot of real estate, but leases the lines of the Southern Pacific Railroad, the Central Pacific Rail road, the California and Oregon Railroad, and their various branches and adjuncts. A tie-up of the South ern Pacific lines means, therefore, the paralysis of all railroad traffic through this immense territory.”.

PEOPLE VS. RAILROAD. The damage to business interests in the State caused by the strike was immense ; farmers were left with their fruit rotting on the ground ; thousands of men were kept from their daily work; manufacturers were threatened with ruin. Nevertheless, Professor Bacon affirms that sympathy with the strikers was general, even among the people most injured. The reason for this state of feeling he finds in the “unanimous hatred of the people of California toward the Southern Pacific Company."

“According to common report, the Southern Pacific runs political conventions, influences elections, controls legislatures, owns railroad commissioners, and frustrates justice. It is the arbiter of trade, fixes the prices of most commodities, determines who (if any) shall prosper and who shall go to the wall, dictates the waxing and waning of prosperity in every community within its grasp. It pursues individuals with petty spite, from which great corporations are supposed to be free. Its policy seems still to be that which has been pursued in the past of wrecking rail. road corporations for the benefit of those who control them. Some of these charges are proved, more of them are known to be true, all of them are believed. There are no indications that the company has learned anything from recent events. Indeed, there is evidence that it regards the suppression of the late disorder as a corporate triumph, and that it is free to be just as mean, just as unscrupulous, just as oppressive as ever, and that it is going to try to be meaner, more unscrupulous and more oppressive than before, if it is possible to be so. Perhaps what I have said will partly explain why California spmpathized with the strike. Such sympathy was unreasoning, but it was human.”

track and overhead line, is more substantially built, as a result of past experience.

“ Previous to this year the manufacture of electric railway apparatus occupied a peanliar position among the other industries of the country. The profits relative to the factory cost of apparatus were enormous and the ordinary laws of competition in trade did not seem to apply here. At the same time, it may be said in explanation that the amounts spent in experimenting and in making sales were also enormous. Why this condition of affairs existed for so long a time under competition is difficult to explain. However, it was not until the latter part of 1893 that this state of the business began to change, and 1894 has seen a grand crash of prices that has entirely removed the basis upon which the manufacture of electrical appliances formerly rested. Electric railway appliances are now made and sold in very much the same way that other standard articles of manufacture are sold. That is, there is the closest competition and everything is figured on a small margin of profit. In fact, it is said that many contracts are now being taken at a loss. During 1894, prices on railway motors have been cut in two, and while other apparatus has not taken so serious a drop, the reduction is below what would have been thought possible last year. How long prices will continue at their present low ebb it is impossible to say, but it is certain that they will never go back to where they were before the cut throat competition of the panic forced them down.

IMPROVED EQUIPMENT.

[ocr errors]

THE GROWTH OF STREET RAILWAYS IN 1894. IN a review of the year's progress which appears in

1 the Street Railway Review, the fact is brought out that the business has been only slightly retarded by the financial depression, which has had the useful effect of preventing the building of many non-paying roads. The tendency to place fictitious values on electric railway properties having been partially checked, the industry is now on a sounder basis than ever before, in the opinion of the writer. In roundnumbers there are about ten thousand miles of electric road and about twenty thousand electric motor cars in present use. During the year many improvements were introduced in the details of construction, and everything used in street railway work, especially

“One important move made this year by railway motor makers was the lightening of the equipment by using cast steel or something closely allied to it, in place of cast iron. The movement was begun in 1893, by the appearance of the General Electric 800 motor. Early in this year the Westinghouse No. 12 appeared, closely followed by the Walker motor. Both of these are light motors and have, in addition to the improvement of decreased weight, devices for suspending the motor by springs and relieving the axle of its dead weight. About the middle of the year the Card and Steel motors were announced as on the market.

“ The most revolutionizing change in the electric railway field this year has been the increasing use of generators directly connected to engines. They were introduced to the public at the World's Fair and the number installed this year has exceeded the expectations of the most enthusiastic advocate of that type of apparatus. They are growing so in popularity that it looks at present as if it would not be many years before they are used on all new work. Not only are they being built in the large sizes, but in the smaller units. The largest railway power plants in Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Chicago are being supplied with them. One company has this year built and installed thirty-six thousand nine hundred horsepower of these generators and is building twenty thousand horse-power more.

last year and is yet to be finished. The general apheaval of Chicago horse lines did not begin until half of '94 was gone, but taken altogether it is probably safe to say that the work of changing over is now about half accomplished. However, this does not mean that half the electric lines are opened for traffic.

The electric welding of the joints on many miles of street railroad track has been a prominent feature of the year's work. The Johnson Company opened up the season by welding three and a half miles of straight double track at St. Louis. Some track was welded at Boston in '93 but about 10 per cent. of the joints broke near the weld. The method of welding was then radically changed and the work done in 1894 may be said to stand by itself as an important experiment, the results of which we will know ere many days of '95 have passed. On the Nassau Railroad of Brooklyn, thirty-two miles of track have been welded. The Cleveland Electric Railway and the West End Street Railway, of Boston, have also been favored with visits by the Johnson welding cars this year. . . .

A notable addition to the list of practical railway appliances is the Sperry electric brake. The inventor has been working on this brake for many years, but it has not been put forward for commercial use until this year. This brake has probably attracted more attention than any other single , electric railway device brought out this year because it is such a radical departure from any previous commercial braking apparatus. The interest was not lessened by the fact that Mr. Sperry waited until the brake was an assured commercial success before announcing his work to the technical world.

THE CONDUIT SYSTEM. “ About October 15 work was begun on a section of conduit electric road for the Metropolitan Traction Company of New York, by the General Electric Company. This is notable as being the first electric conduit road to be built for commercial operation by any large American electrical manufacturing concern. The principal manufacturing companies have in times past been too careful of their reputations to get tangled up in any underground conduit roads except in their own experimental yards. Although the New York conduit has the best prospects of success of any system yet laid, there is no probability that such a success will create the revolution in electric railway practice that some expect, as its cost is enormous, being greater per mile of track than that of the cable system. This being the case, its use will be limited by commercial considerations to very heavy traffic, such as is served by the cable, and hence it will never come into very extensive use, though it may serve a limited field. . . . .

“ The three-wire system has been operating for several years on two or three roads of the country. The results were first publicly announced this year through the columns of the Review and considerable interest aroused.

CONSTRUCTION IN GREAT CITIES. “The year has been one of great activity in electric railway construction in Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Chicago. Brooklyn has been putting the finishing touches on its extensive systems. Philadelphia has undergone a great transformation, which was begun

ROBBER-PROOF EXPRESS CARS.

RITING in the North American Review on the VV subject, “Brigandage on Our Railroads," Hon. Wade Hampton suggests ways of making our express cars robber-proof.

“If,” he says, “every car had, in addition to its ordinary door, an independent one made of strong iron grating, which could remain closed should the outer door be broken in, any robber making an attack would be confronted with a serious obstacle in the shape of the iron door, should they succeed in forcing the outer one. Let every express company place one brave, determined man, in addition to the ordinary messenger, who should be of the same character, in the car, and let each be armed with a repeating shotgun, each carrying seven rounds of buckshot cartridges. Two brave men armed in this way would be a match for four times their number of men who, like these train robbers, are generally cowards. Should an attack be made on any express car, and the outer door be broken in, the first man showing himself in front of the iron grating could be shot down, while the men inside could be behind cover. A few such receptions to train robbers would bring the business into disrepute, and any of the perpetrators who would be killed would, in the judgment of all lawabiding citizens, have met a fate they richly deserved. There would be no difficulty in securing the services of proper messengers, and no more formidable firearms can be placed in the hands of such men than the weapon I have mentioned, for its seven loads can be discharged in a few seconds. This is the mere outline of a plan to protect trains, and perhaps modifications of it can be made judiciously ; but I feel assured that by a comparatively moderate outlay the express companies could make their cars almost, if not quite, unassaila le.”

A NEW USE FOR DOGS. In addition to these means of protection, ex-Senator Hampton suggests the use of dogs trained to follow men. He corrects a misapprehension prevalent throughout the North that the dogs employed for such purposes are bloodhounds. He denies that there are a half-dozen bloodhounds in the United States, or that any have ever been used in the pursuit of fugitives except in the fable of “Uncle Tom's Cabin." The dogs used, he tells us, are ordinary fox hounds, that will follow a trail, but will not attack the fugitive. They only indicate his route of flight so that parties following on horseback can come up with him. Most of the penitentiaries in the South keep these dogs, as do the managers of convict farms and camps.

THE MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL. . then have made an offer for the uncompleted works. A N interesting account of the engineering enter. Under such an arrangement it might have freed the n prise which has resulted in the great water- undertaking from some of the onerous obligations way connecting Manchester with the Irish Sea is with which it is now encumbered.” contributed to the Yale Review by Mr. Edward Porritt. As the REVIEW OF REVIEWS has heretofore

THE NEW CZAR. described the canal, we confine our extracts from TN the Freie Bühne or Neue Deutsche Rundschau Mr. Porritt's article to his comments on the present 1 for November, a Russian writes a brief character financial prospects of the undertaking, which are not sketch of the new Czar, Nicholas II, which we conhope-inspiring.

dense as follows: "Since it became possible to form an estimate of He was born in 1868, and his father wished him to the traffic, the position of the canal has been causing be educated as a national Russian, and therefore ensome anxiety in Manchester. The waterway is capa- gaged only Russian tutors. The military governor, ble of receiving steamers of a size and class which General Bagdanowitsch, seems to have exercised the includes nineteen-twentieths of the ste im tonnage of greatest influence over the future Czar. When Alexthe world ; sailing craft of almost any size can be ander himself was young, he had foreign tutors, who towed up and down the canal with only the slight kept the outside world informed of his character and inconvenience which attends the lowering of top- the progress he was making. With Nicholas that has masts ; and, so far as navigation is concerned, there not been the case. The Russian tutors were expected is nothing to stand in the way of its use. But while to exercise much discretion in this matter, therefore all this is so, the immense inward and outward traffic the world does not know what to expect from the which in the eighties its enthusiastic and sanguine new ruler. promoters conceived as waiting for the canal is as It is unfortunate that the two most powerful emyet nowhere in sight. This present comparative lack pires of Europe are governed by young rulers, neither of traffic, taken in conjunction with the fact that the of whom has ever witnessed a battle. The young canal has cost at least one-third more than was ex- Czar has not inherited the seriousness which was so pected, and that the charges for maintenance, espe- characteristic of his father ; rather he has the nervcially for dredging, are likely to be much higher ous, irritable temperament of his mother. than was anticipated, form the ground for the uneasi. In his youth he was delicate, but the first time he ness in Manchester. The shareholders have long attended a court ball was in 1886, and on this occaago given up any hope of immediate return. Their sion he engaged the daughter of a general for a waltz uneasiness is at an end. The anxiety has transferred and danced so long with her that the young lady itself to the rate payers of Manchester, who, if the almost fainted. When he conducted her to her seat Canal Company defaults, will have to meet the inter- he remarked quite loud : “I beg your pardon for est due on the city bonds. Sir John Harwood has tiring you so, but I wanted to prove that Russia has declared in the City Chamber and elsewhere that de- a Crown Prince who is capable of living, and was fault is inevitable, and that, as a consequence, the not so delicate as he was made out to be.” Since citizens will have to pay a canal rate which he esti- that time nothing more has been heard of his delimates cannot amount to less than 1 shilling and 8 cate constitution. pence in the pound on the ratal value of all property On the other hand, when a few years ago Panin the city limits.

slavist feeling ran high, it was undoubtedly true that “The friends of the canal insist that Sir John Har- both the present Czar and his brother were in close wood has taken too gloomy a view of the outlook; connection with the movement, and Nicholas was and they are now doing all they can to prove that he sent away for the usual spell of travel. is wrong in his opinions and his estimates. Every It is quite inconceivable how the German papers day for months past there have been columns of dis- can say the new Czar will be more friendly to Gercussion in the Manchester press, the burden of which many than his father was. Equally stupid are the has been, What can be done to increase the oversea utterances about his English sympathies. In his traffic of the canal ?' Between 1880 and 1885 the earliest childhood he was certainly much attached to cry was, “The trade is here, let us make the canal. an old English governess who used to give him In 1894 it is, The Canal is here, where is the Scott's novels to read. As to his German sympathies, trade?' . . . In no sense was the Canal em. it should be remembered that he was most tenderly barked upon as a philanthropic scheme. Its prac- brought up by the most anti-German of mothers, and tical municipalization is the outcome of a series of it is not likely that his German bride will make any accidents, and the conditions under which this serious difference to his feelings toward Germany. municipalization was brought about will not allow Alexander III's children have always had the exthe Canal a fair chance as a municipal enterprise. ample of a happy married life before their eyes, and There was perhaps a tinge of philanthropy and of they have learnt to love their parents as other children civic pride in the action of Manchester in comiug to do in plain, piow homes. The Czar has already the aid of the Canal in 1891 ; for had Manchester de shown that the fifth commandment is sacred to him, sired to make the best possible bargain from a com- and, in consequence of this, some are hopeful that he mercial point of view, it would have allowed the will be influenced in all his actions by the memory of Canal Company to have gone into bankruptcy, and his father.

"THE LOVELIEST QUEEN IN EUROPE.” which she has cheerfully taken upon herself. She

receives the directors of charitable institutions ; the A Character Sketch of the Queen of Italy.

committee of some working women's guild ; she conIN the Woman at Home Mr. Arthur Warren pub- siders a project for organizing an industrial or art 1 lishes a copiously illustrated sketch of the Queen exhibition ; she receives deputations from undertakof Italy. It begins thus :

ings which seek royal patronage ; she discusses some “ Marguerite of Savoy, Queen of Italy, walks be- new scheme of philanthropy ; she encourages art in fore breakfast in the palace gardens and gathers a all forms and assists women's work ; she visits hosbunch of flowers for the study table of her lord pitals, asylums, orphanages, bazaars ; she lends her the king. If the weather be wet, or the season presence, or her help, to any important organization winter, she goes to the conservatory for the nosegay. which seems to her to be designed for the welfare of Often in the afternoons she enters the glass veranda humanity. So in the afternoon she makes her visits which opens upon the King's study at the Quirinal, through the studios, the charitable institutions and and there she tends the blossoms and plants which the rest. But, for all that, she contrives to get time His Majesty is fond of cultivating. In the north, at for her own pleasures ; a private audience for disher country villa in Monza, Queen Marguerite spends tinguished persons ; a little reception for her personal inuch of her time in the royal gardens. So much friends; and then, about half-past four, she goes for does she love flowers, that she says, “Indeed, I can a drive through the city to some public park. never have enough of them !' Her favorites are “ The Queen goes back to the Quirinal from her carnations, violets, lilies of the valley, and the dark drive in the grounds of the Villa Borghese, and she red velvet rose. And the violet is her favorite per- proceeds to the King's study, where she sits for an fume.

hour with her husband. She reads to him, or talks “ Marguerite of Savoy is the loveliest of the with him, or plays, perhaps, on one of the musical queens of Europe. She is not only the best looking instruments with which she is an expert performerqueen, but she is the best educated one in Europe. the piano, the mandolin, the lute or the lyre. The She knows English, French, German, Spanish and King and Queen make it a point that nothing shall Latin thoroughly, and she speaks them as flnently as interfere with this hour which they spend together she does her own Italian. She is a good Greek before dinner. The dinner is served at seven, and the scholar. She is not only acquainted, but she is party is usually a small one, comprising their Majesfamiliar with the masterpieces of European literature; ties, the Prince of Naples when he is in town, the she quotes Petrarch, Dante and Goethe, and she is so Marchesa Villamarina, a gentleman in waiting, and fond of Shakespeare that she has written for her own a guest or two." amusement a little work on his heroines." A ROYAL MOUNTAINEER.

LORD SALISBURY ON THE PRIME MINISTER. The article is full of details as to the Queen's

THE National Review enjoys the distinction this amusements and mode of life. The writer says: “In

1 month of an article by the Marquis of SalisRome she is the Queen ; at Monza she is the country

bury. He furnishes a sardonic criticism of “Lord gentlewoman ; in the Alps she is a daring mountain

Rosebery's plan" of procedure against the House of climber. She has that absolute indifference to all

Lords, a criticism less slashing but more searching risk and danger which charaterizes the members of

than some of the writer's recent platform utterances. the house of Savoy. On the mountains she will lead

He begins by girding at the closing words of Lord where few care to follow-over glaciers, to the verge

Rosebery's Bradford speech—“We fling down the of precipices, on narrow, dizzy paths and treacherous

gauntlet, it is for you to take it up”-and insists that ledges. She does not care for hunting, fishing, rac

the policy the Premier propounded was really a de

fiance to his followers. ing ; mountain-climbing is her favorite sport. At

They demand the abolition

of a Second Chamber, Mr. Asquith declaring for a Monza, too, horticulture is something more than a hobby with her. The gardeners say that she under

single House, whereas Lord Rosebery is avowedly a stands flowers and their cultivation as thoroughly as

a Second Chamber man. The writer opines that from if she had made this the sole business of her life.

the Radical standpoint Mr. Asquith takes the juster There are flower beds at Monza which she permits no

view, having thought the matter out, as “his chief one but herself to cultivate during the period of resi

probably has not done,” and expects that the Second dence there. She works in her garden every morn

Chamber will go the way of “the predominant parting and then she has it literally to herself for all the ner.” It is only by ending and not by mending the members of the household, without exception, are ex

House of Lords that the avowed objects of their clnded."

party can be accomplished. A ROYAL DAY'S WORK.

WHY LIBERAL PEERS TURN TORY. The following is Mr. Warren's account of the The sin of the peers in the Premier's eyes is simply Queen's work-a-day life: “ Before noon she has fin- that “on several occasions they have left his Govished her correspondence, and then, until the luncheon ernment in a ludicrous minority.” Lord Salisbury hour, she is engaged in some of the special labor does not wish to deny the charge, or dispute the fact.

« PreviousContinue »