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The routine of business will be, in a general way, as follows: In every city there will be a central transmitting and receiving office, and there may be a number of branches similarly equipped, but we will consider only the central office. Connected therewith by ordinary wires will be small local offices where letter-telegrams can be handed in, but from which deliveries will not, until after later developments, be made. At each of these local offices a telegraph operator will have a Morse key which operates a tape-punching apparatus at the central office. If the Government owned the system, all this would be arranged in connection with the postal stations.
At the central office the punched tapes are immediately run through the line transmitters, at a speed of 500 to 1,000 words a minute, or faster for short distances. With such rapid transmission, there must be an immense amount of business before there can be a moment's delay in sending off a message. For example, a single instrument, on one wire, will do all the business that can be provided by 50 men constantly working Morse keys. It will require a very large development from the present business before 50 Morse operators will be kept continuously at work sending messages to any one city. If such a result should be realized, between such important cities as New York and Chicago, the immediate running of another wire would be advisable. That may happen after a while. When a wire is worked to anything like its carrying capacity by this system, it will be earning so much money that, under Government control, there will be either a large profit or a reduction of the 15-cent rate to 10 or even 5 cents for 50 words.
Now we will follow the message to its destination. At the distant city it is recorded in Morse characters on a tape. In the ordinary course it will be written out on a typewriter, inclosed in an envelope, stamped and addressed, and deposited in the post-office.
The system involves important details in the convenient and systematic manipulation of the tapes, and the method of distribution of messages to distant parts of the city, which need not be dealt with here.
An important feature of the system is that it affords absolute secrecy for all correspondence, whenever this is desired. For Government business, as well as for some private correspondence, this is worthy of consideration. The only way to insure secrecy is to prevent any employee of the telegraph company from knowing the words of the communication. The tapes may be punched by confidential clerks in private offices. Whenever such confidential business has to be transacted, suitable apparatus for this purpose can be leased from the telegraph company. There are several ways of punching the tapes, and employees can quickly learn to do the work. Such tapes will be rolled in compact coils, in the usual way, and carried to the transmitting office, where, in the presence of the messenger, they are run through the machine, automatically coiled up as before, and handed back. Not a word of the message can be read.
At the receiving station the tapes are also automatically coiled as they come from the machine. When a message of this secret character is received, the tape must be sent to the address without uncoiling. Any person can soon learn to translate the Morse characters on the tape.
Now, in regard to the policy to be pursued by the Government in securing a postal telegraph, it seems to me, in the light of facts herein presented, that the purchase of the properties or securities of the existing telegraph corporations would be highly inexpedient. If the entire plant of the Western Union Company could be reproduced for $25,000,000, or less, as is confidently declared by persons who know about such things, the people of the country should not be called upon to pay a hundred mions for it merely to protect investments. It is easy to predict ruin to the business of that great monopoly when confronted with a competitor too strong to be bought up. And if the purpose of such competition should be the ruin of the existing companies, it could succeed in its aim. But industrial disturbances and revolutions, predicted by enthusiastic advocates of new systems, seldom bring sudden disaster to established business. Usually there is time for a natural readjustment to meet the changed conditions. The canal boat still competes with railway traffic. Doubtless the present telegraph companies will continue in fairly profitable business, parallel with the Delany system, although to do so they must adopt a more liberal and enlightened policy than in the past. They will lose all the general telegraph business, but this, which should have been their main source of revenue, they have made no effort to develop. Indeed, they have systematically restricted it to the public necessities by excessive charges. They will also lose the press business. But there is enough of other business remaining which would seem to be undesirable for the Government to undertake.
Doubtless the simplest course for the Government to pursue in the introduction of this system would be to enter into an agreement with the owners whereby the latter shall construct the first line-between Washington and New York, for example-with complete equipment, and operate it for 6 months or a year, for their own
profit, at 10 and 15 cent rates for 50 and 100 word messages. If, at the end of the time, it has been shown that the working is satisfactory, as provided in the specifications, the Government is then obligated to take over the line, paying an advance of 10 per cent on the construction cost. neer in some way associated with the construction. It would be well to have a Government engi
It may be asked, What evidence can be adduced that the Delany system can practically accomplish the results claimed for it? If the evidence were not beyond question there would be a weak point in my whole argument. But there is no such weakness. Nothing has been asserted that does not rest upon indisputable facts of experience, which are capable of demonstration at any moment. At a meeting of the Franklin Institute, at Philadelphia, November 20, 1895, the Delany system in its first practicable form was shown and later received the Elliott Cresson medal. The following quotation is from the journal of that date: "At this point Mr. Delany made several experimental transmissions through an artificial line. fectly legible records were obtained at a speed of 1,200, 1,800, and finally to 2,400 words per minute, as timed by Mr. Thomas Shaw, M. E., and others.-The Secretary." The apparatus has been operated at a speed of 8,000 words per minute, but this has no commercial significance.
Finally, gentlemen, if there is any solid basis for industrial innovations, if there is any sound, safe, and sure foundation upon which we can rely in these days, either for the encouragement of an industrial enterprise or the investment of our precious money in it, that must be in the profound and accurate knowledge of men thoroughly grounded in the knowledge and methods of physical science.
It is upon such high authority that I have ventured to thus boldly and confidently advocate the Delany system before you, and I think the Government of this progressive people should be quick to recognize its merits and utilize them for the public good.
RAILWAY REGULATION UNDER FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC LAWS.
PREPARED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION
B. H. MEYER, Ph. D.
Intersections, junctions, and consolidations.
Vote of shareholders.
Part IV.-Present general railway legislation.
Conditions under which railway companies may be organized.
Contents of articles..
Significance of certificates and articles
Corporate life and reserved rights of the State.
Determination of route..
Quality of service
Through trains, routes, and bills of lading.
Consolidation and pooling
Tickets: Scalping, redemption of unused tickets, passes
Long and short hauls..
Rates: Publicity and revision.
Annual and other reports.