Page images
PDF
EPUB

mills, and a money payment in wages reduces the volume and the quality of his very disproportionate to the increased production they do not harm the middleresults.

man, but only themselves and their The American contractor who put up fellow consumers. The remedy for what the Westinghouse works in England injustices do exist is not in shirking work found that American bricklayers were but in applying to the system of distribucheaper than English bricklayers at tion the same intelligence and similar twice the daily wages. They laid three economies to those already highly detimes as many bricks.

veloped in the American system of proTaking the census report of American duction.-New York World. manufacturers, the per capita production is three times the average of European

Pioneers of History. factories and the wages are less than twice as high.

BY REV. THOMAS B. GREGORY. Wages have a fixed limit. They cannot exceed the value of the articles pro- When George Washington was inanduced or services rendered. But high gurated the first time as President of the wages by no means compel high prices. United States there was not, anywhere in Not the amount of money paid in wages the world, any faster means of land locobut the value of the product is the de- motion than that which was afforded by termining factor in the price of an article. the stage coach.

The wage cost of raising wheat in The world went slowly those days! DisRussia with labor paid 30 to 40 cents a tance meant a great deal, and a journey day is much higher than its cost in the of any length was the event of a lifetime, Dakotas with harvesters paid $2 and something from which men figured-as more a day. Rather do high wages the old Greeks did from their Olympiads! imply cheap production and low wages Thanks to the implement maker James dearness.

Watt, distance now counts for but little; The $6,800,000,000 crops of the current is, in fact, practically annihilated, it makyear would not have been produced in ing but little difference, so far as time is the United States by cheap labor. Cheap concerned, whether the contemplated labor is neither skillful nor intelligent. journey is 300 miles or 3,000. It has no hopes and ambitions. It could The steam engine made all things new, never run a threshing machine or a revolutionized trade, politics, political steam plow or even a wheat drill. A economy and pretty nearly everythingelse, hoe and a spade are the limits of its and made possible, at once, the progress competent use. Therefore, since a hoe for which mankind had waited for thouand a spade are costly tools with which

sands of years. to till, cheap labor is expensive.

James Watt, the improver, we may al. In the iron and steel business an Ameri- most say the creator, of this wonderful can workman produces more tonnage agent of civilization, was born at Greenthan in any other land. If his wages ock, January 19, 1736. were based on the tonnage cost in Eng- Engines in which steam was used were land, he would be much better paid. known long before Watt's day. The ear

Prices are high in the United States liest of such engines was that known as today, not because of high wages but in Hero's 130 B, O. spite of high wages. Compared with the The first really useful steam engine was price the consumer pays wages are very that made by Thomas Savery, about the low-lower than in China or India. The results of the labor of American working- The engines in use in Watt's timemen are milked on the way to the con- mainly as a means of draining minessumer by successive middlemen, by the were clumsy affairs. Their usefulness trasts, the railroads, the many hands was greatly checked by the necessary through which the products of industry waste of steam at each condensation, and pass until they reach their final use. from the expenditure of heat in again

The riches which all these middlemen raising the required temperature before a have amassed represent on one hand the fresh stroke of the piston was possible. difference between the wages that Ameri- Both these obstacles were at once recan workingmen receive and what they moved by the invention of Watt. should receive, and on the other hand the It was in the spring of 1765, midst the difference between what American con- political turmoil which characterized the sumers pay and what they should pay. early reign of George III., that, as he

This, however, is no argument for any strolled on a Sunday afternoon across the American workingman to do less than he Glasgow Green, the great invention burst can do. Every man should do his best in upon him. and produce to his atmost capacity. "I had gone,” he says, “to take a walk Whenever any individual or any trade on a fine Sunday afternoon. I had en

year 1698.

tered the Green and had passed the old washing house. I was thinking upon the engine at the time and had got as far as the herd's house, when the idea came into my mind that as steam was an elastic body it would rush into a vacuum, and that if a communication were made be. tween the cylinder and an exhausted vessel it would rush into it and might there be condensed without cooling the cylinder. I had not walked farther than the golf house when the whole thing was arranged clearly in my mind.”

And thus it came about that the employment of a separate condenser, with the entire discarding of any other force in the action save that of the steam itself, changed the whole condition of the steam engine, and made it at once the most powerful ally of civilization.

Where the magnitude of Watt's invention was fairly apparent – its almost boundless capacity for human servicethe world held its breath and stood for a time in a state of bewilderment!

There was an interregnum of several years between the invention and its serious application. It was an idea so big and powerful that men were afraid of it.

But Watt could wait. He did waitand it is pleasant to know that he lived long enough to see the fruits of his genius.

In 1802 William Symmington built the first steamboat and sent her whistling and puffing along the Forth and Clyde Canal, and in 1807 Robert Fulton's "Clermont's steamed up the beautiful Hudson at the speed of five miles an hour.

Men were not now so scared of the demon as they had been. They were beginning to see that the monster, if properly handled, was quite docile!

In 1819 the first steamship, the "Savannah," plowed her way across the great deep from America to England, in 26 days.

The wind might blow now from any quarter it pleased-Man, by the help of his demon, would keep straight on his course, defying wind and wave!

And hard after the steamship came the railroad-the “ Iron Horse" snorting along his iron track, dragging after him with tireless speed his mighty load!

Watt had been dead but two years when-in 1821—the first railroad was inaugurated—the “ Stockton and Darlington;" and in 1830 Robert Stephenson sent his locomotive, the “Rocket,” a-thundering over the track of the “Liverpool and Manchester Railway,” at the phenomenal speed of 29 miles an hour!

The Space-Devourer had come! Continents and oceans were no longer to separate the tribes and nations of mankind! The “Seven-League Boots” were at last a reality!

I once heard a clergyman-a good and

well-meaning man-pause in the midst of his sermon to severely scold a locomotive, that had just gone puffing by his church, disturbing, no doubt, the thread of his discourse and the serenity of his congregation.

I wondered at the time if the minister realized the fact that that sooty, noisy locomotive was the greatest evangelist that the world ever saw, and that it had done more than any other single human agency to kill the ancient Hate and to bring in the feeling of Brotherhood between the peoples of the earth.

Isolation is ignorance; to be a stranger to other people is oftentimes to entertain wrong and hateful opinions of them; while an intelligent acquaintance inevi. tably tends toward fraternity and reciprocal good-will.

This acquaintance steam has made possible—and humanity is rapidly showing the benign results.

Ghostly Colonial Romance. In 1648 Nicholas Hervey, a near relative of the Governor of Virginia of that name and a member of the general assembly of Maryland, received from London a land grant of 1000 acres lying on the south shore of the Patuxent, then in Calvert and now in St. Mary's county.

He was a bluff old soldier, who had fought in the wars in Flanders, writes Paul Beckwith, in the Baltimore Sun. He was commissioned by Lord Baltimore's captain to prevent the encroachment of the Indians upon the new settlements. He built himself a home in a beautiful cove at the mouth of Town creek, on a sloping hill overlooking the Patuxent river and Chesapeake bay. The bricks he used were imported ballast from the mother country. Here he married and lived, respected by all for many years. He served the province in the general assembly, and at his house the courts met. He had one child, a daughter Frances, who, growing to womanhood, was wooed and won by a newcomer to the colony, George Beckwith, “gentleman and planter," as stated in the old records at Annapolis.

George Beckwith, who had emigrated to the province but shortly before, was the scion of one of the oldest and most prominent families of Yorkshire, England, It was a love match, and it was the custom of the lovers in the gloaming of the evening to sit beneath the spreading elm on the slope of the hill overlooking the bay. They had four children, a son and three daughters, whose descendants are to be found in Maryland and other States at the present time. Urgent business recalled Beckwith to Yorkshire in 1675, and

as

the family, friends, neighbors and work- vessel had all disappeared. It was shortmen of the plantation all congregated at ly afterward learned from an incoming the landing place to bid the husband, vessel that George Beckwith had died in father, friend and master godspeed when London the year before. he sailed away.

In the long 250 years that have followed The vessel, with sails ready set, lay at the two figures of cavalier and lady have anchor in the offing. The small boat, frequently been seen standing beneath manned by four robust slaves of the plan- the elm tree, always in somber black, tation, with oars raised, waited the last their eyes always directed toward the word. As the godspeeds were all said, pathway of incoming vessels. the husband taking his wife in his arms The plantation passed into other hands said in a loud voice so that all could hear: and the old brick house, long since in “ Do not weep, sweetheart, for living or ruins, was, about 1858, cleared away, and dead, I shall come back to you."

the then owner commenced to build a Months passed away and no word came modern home upon the old foundations. from the husband and father. The dis- Hardly had the framework been placed consolate wife and mother at dusk each and weather-boarded than strange noises evening took her seat beneath the elm •were heard. The building was abanded and expectantly waited the return of her and the house is still empty. There is beloved. As days passed a visible change an old tradition in the family that never took place, and gradually she became will the old plantation home be inmore frail, and at last was laid away in habited until a descendant of George and the little graveyard a few rods up the hill. Frances Beckwith becomes the owner.

It was not long before a slight and Then the manor house will be rebuilt and misty figure was seen dressed all in som- the old plantation will again bloom in oldber black, seated beneath the elm on the time style, taking its former place among lawn on moonlight nights gazing out into the baronial manors of Maryland.Plain the dim distance of the bay, and as dark- Dealer. ness drew on it would slowly vanish. Whence she came and whither she went

Average Humanity. none knew-possibly back to her resting place in the little graveyard on the hill. What do we mean by a good man or a Months had rolled into two years when, bad one, a good woman or a bad one? on a bright moonlight night, the lights of Most people, like the young man in the a large ship were seen entering the Patux- song, are not very good, nor yet very ent. More and more distinct became the bad.' We move about the pastures of form of a majestic ship of the sea, with life in huge herds, and all do the same every sail in place, of ghostly whiteness. things at the same times and for the same The news soon spread from plantation to reasons. "Forty feeding like one." Are plantation, and many persons assembled we mean?

Well, we have done some at the landing place, expecting the sad mean things in our time.

Are we genhomecoming of the husband and father. erous? Occasionally we are. Were we The ship came to anchor with all her sails good sons or dutiful daughters? We have still to the wind — so unseemly an act both honored and dishonored our parents, that a shadder passed over the onlookers. who in their turn had done the same by A small boat was seen to leave the vessel, theirs. Do we melt at the sight of misbut with only one figure, a tall man ery? Indeed we do. Do we forget all wrapped in a long mantle and his broad- about it when we have turned the corner? brimmed hat, fastened with a single black Frequently that is so. Do we expect to feather, drawn

upon

his forehead. be put to open shame at the great day of Motionless the cavalier stood, until ap- judgment? We should be terribly frightproaching the landing place, the pale, ened of this did we not cling to the hope handsome features of Beckwith were dis- that amid the shocking revelations then tinctly seen by all.

for the first time made public our little An awful stillness fell upon the visitors affairs may fail to attract much notice. at the wharf. None was prepared to tell Judged by the standards of humanity, him of the death of his wife. A gentle few people are either good or bad. I wind from the direction of the mansion have not been a great sinner,” said the on the hill was felt, and all, involuntarily dying Nelson; nor had he-he had only turning in that direction, saw approaching been made a great fool of by a woman. the figure of his wife. The figure of the Mankind is all tarred with the same husband and father sprang upon the land- brush, though some operated upon when ing and, clasping his ghostly wife in his the brush is fresh from the barrel get more arms, in a loud voice said: “As promised, than their share. The biography of a cele. sweetheart, living or dead, I have re- brated man reminds me of the outside of a turned," and as the startled onlookers coast guardsman's cottage-all tar and looked again, cavalier, lady, boat and whitewash.-Essays of Augustine Birrell.

Legal News

Express Messenger Not a Passenger.

The Federal courts (Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company v. O'Brien, 132 Federal Rep. 593) hold that an express messenger, riding in a car furnished by the railroad company to the express company, occupies a relation toward the railroad company analogous to that of one of its own employees, and in case of injury his right to recover must be determined by the ordinary rules applicable to master and servant, and not those governing cases of injuries to passengers.-Railway World.

Labor Union Boycott Justified.

In the District Supreme Court at Washington, D. C., Justice Stafford dismissed the temporary injunction against the Bakery and Confectionery Workers' International Union which had been granted to a baker who alleged that he was being harassed by a boycott and that his customers were being persuaded to trade elsewhere. The court held that while the existence of a combina. tion was evident the defendants seemed to have combined to demonstrate to Bender that he cannot conduct a profitable business with non-union help and thereby compel him to employ union help. The court held that such a combination was lawful. So long as all parties concerned were left free to follow their own choice as they decided their self interest dictated, the court said there was no infringement on the personal liberty of any one.-Railroad Gazette.

Appellate Court holds that a railroad company cannot by contract exempt itse:f from liability for negligence.--Railway W’orld.

French Labor Laws. In the Revue Scientifique M. Paul Razous gives a resume of the present state of the laws regulating labor in France. That country was the first to follow England in the restriction of the labor of children and women. Thus, by an act pas.ed in 1841, it was provided that children between the ages of 8 and 12 should not work more than eight hours a day if employed in any factory making use of power or of continuously running furnaces. If between 12 and 16 years of age they might be worked 12 hours, but no child under 16 years of age was permitted to work between the hours of 9 p. m, and 5 a. m., nor on Sundays or public holi. days. In 1848 a law was passed limiting the hours of labor in all factories to 12 hours per day; but this did not apply to railways, canals or warehouses.

In 1874 the law was altered so as to prohibit the employment in factories of children under 12 years of age, save in some special cases, when work might be commenced at 10 years of age, but in that case it must not be for more than eight hours a day. In 1892 this act was amended, and it was provided that children between 13 and 16 years of age must not be worked more than ten hours per day, and those between 16 and 18 years of age not more than eleven hours a day nor more than 60 honrs a week. Women were also not permitted to work more than eleven hours a day, but the weekly limit did not apply in their case. At the same time the legal limit for adult men was fixed at 12 hours a day save when less than 20 men were employed and no mechanical power made use of,

The last important act was passed in December, 1900, and came into force April 1, last. By its terms no men in factories where women and children are also employed must work more than ten hours per day. The employment of children of less than 13 years is prohibited unless certain educational standards are passed, and the child is physically fit, and then work may be commenced at 12 years of age. In no case, however, must the working day of women or children exceed ten hours, and these must not be consecutive, a rest of at least one hour being given. No night work for these is permitted, and they must have one day of complete rest a week. Further, the employment of women in certain dangerous trades is also pro hibited. These restrictions as to hours and night work can, however, be abrogated either tempo rarily or permanently on due cause being shown.

The hours for adult males are restricted to 12 hours a day, save in the case cited above, when, if women and children are also employed, the working day must not exced ten hours. These rules and regulations do not apply to railways, but here other regulations provide that the hours shall not exceed, according to circumstances, 10 or 12 a day, and the employee must have one day free in seven or in teu -Engineering.

Workmen May Refuse to Work.

1

Michigan Supreme Court recently gave the following decision of importance to all trade unions : “Workingmen have the right to fix a price upon their labor and refuse to work unless that price is obtained. Singly or in combination, they have this right. They may use persuasion to induce men to join their organization or refuse to work except for an established wage. They may present their cause to the public in the newspapers or circulars, in a peaceable way and wi, h no attempt at coercion. If the effect in such a case is ruin to the employer it is damnum absque injuria, for they have only (xercised their legal rights." - Artisan.

Pass No Bar to Liability.

That a railroad company is not immune from liability for damages to a person who is riding on a pass was declared in Chicago by tlie Appellate Court. The decision was given in a suit brought by George B. Purvis, an employee of the Pennsylvania Railroad, who was given a judgment of $3,000 in a suit against that company for injuries suffered while he was traveling on a pass. The

Erdman Law Again Declared Void.

tance to a repair point it must be loaded on a flat car in order that such movement may be made. It is also held that the couplers on a car must be in perfect working condition in and of themseives, and a showing that the uncoupling could be done by using the lever on the opposite side of the train without the necessity of a man going between the cars will not avail as a de'ense. The constitution. ality of the amended act of 1903, which makes the law apply to all the equipment of a carrier engaged in interstate commerce, is also upheld.Railway and Engineering Review.

In another suit brought by the Order of Railway Telegraphers against the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company on the ground of discrimination in the employment and discharge of telegraphers in violation of the Erdman law of congress a demurrer by the railroad company was sustained on November 17, by Judge Evans in the United States Court at Louisville. The effect of the decision is to throw the case out of court and to affirm a previous decision of the same court, on October 24, declaring the Erdman act unconstitutional. The decision holds : 1. That the Federal Court clearly has jurisdiction. 2. That section 10 of the act of Congress of June 1, 1896, under which this suit is brought is unconstitutional and void. 3. That even if the act is good, no proper construction of the act would entitle the plaintiff to the kind of relief sought, as the act provided for criminal prosecution and granted no right to civil redress. 4. That under the federal statutes no power existed to enjoin a person or corporation from committing a crime, even if the act complained of was a crime.-Railway Age.

Employer's Liability.

As a result of several conferences between attorneys of eastern and western railroads, an agreement has been reached to carry to the United States supreme court the first case brought by an injured employee of some road which involves the disputed points in the new law passed by the last congress entitled "an act relating to liability of common carriers engaged in commerce between the states and territories and foreign nations, to their employees," but commonly called the "employer's liability act," although confined to railroads. The plan of the railroad lawyers has been made known to the government and the attorney general has announced that he intends to ask leave to intervene in the first case brought under the law, to support the constitutionality, validity and interpretation of the act.-Railway Review.

New Decision Concerning the Safety

Appliance Law.

JUDGE Holt in the United States Circuit Court has imposed a fine of $18,000 upon the American Sugar Refining Company, which was recently convicted of accepting $26,000 in rebates from the New York Central. The defendant was given 60 days in which to prepare papers for an appeal.

Eight-Hour Law is Valid.

On February 1 Judge Fox, of the Missouri Su• • preme Court, in a decision declared the eighthour law for miners working underground, passed in 1901, to be constitutional and valid.

United States District Judge McPherson has just rendered an important decision at Des Moines, Ia., in one of the many cases recently brought by the department of justice to enforce the provision of the safety appliance law. The railroads have generally settled these cases by confessing judgment and paying the penalty, but in this instance the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway contested the matter. The government made a special effort to meet the contention of the railway company. Briefs were filed covering all the disputed points, and the attorney general appointed Mr. Luther M. Walter, the Interstate Commerce Commission's expert law officer in these matters, as special attorney to assist District Attorney Miles in the trial of the case. The result was that after listening to the evidence aud considering the ar. guments on both sides Judge McPherson took the case from the jury and ordered a verdict for the government on all counts in the complaint.

The principal point decided is that due diligence in the inspection and repair of equipment will not avail as a defense to an action for the recovery of the penalty under this law. The contention that a carrier must have knowledge of defects in a car to be guilty of violating the law is no longer tenable. The same rule applies as in the question of intent under the revenue laws and of good faith in the handling of adulterated goods.

Another important point is that it is a violation of law to haul a car not equipped with couplers, as prescribed by the statute, for any distance, no matter how short. When a car is wrecked in transit or has its couplers pulled ont, it cannot be chained up and moved in that condition without violating the law. It must be repaired on the spot, or if it becomes necessary to move it a long dis

Pullman Company Fined for Milkmen's Sin.

The Pullman Company has issued the following statement: “The cases brought against the Pullman Company by the health authorities of the state of Pennsylvania charging the sale of milk and cream containing formaldehyde were tried last week. It was not contended that the company acted otherwise than in good faith nor that it did not buy its milk and cream and use them in the belief that they were pure and free from all objectionable ingredients. Accordingly the minimum penalty was imposed, although the court found that the preservative was not put in by the defend. ant nor with its knowledge, but that the law required the punishment even in such a case in order to compel the exercise of the greater care in respect to the sources of supply.”-Railway Age.

« PreviousContinue »