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steel hardening metals are comparatively rare, and are correspondingly costly, the price at present ranging from about forty cents to six or seven dollars per pound. Not only this, but special processes are used in the manufacture of the steel to secuve perfect homogeneity and uniformity. While, therefore, ordinary carbon tool steel can be had for something like two cents per pound, high-speed steel sells for sixty-five to seventy-five. Even at this price, however, considering what it does, and the savings it is capable of effecting in many kinds of cutting jobs, it is by far the cheaper in the end. In a certain case (extreme, of course) it has been found that a small high-speed tool costing about eight cents has made it possible to dispense with the labor of one of three men employed on a job, and thus to effect a saving of the man's wages in connection with the manufacture of that particular piece. If such a saving were possible in all cases, the industrial revolution certainly would be not only at hand, but very quickly accomplished. As a matter of fact, however, in most manufactur
ing processes involving the machining of metal parts, the actual time required for cutting is but a part, sometimes relatively insignificant, of the whole time necessary. So that the new tools when put to allround work do not effect economies such as would be possible were most of the operating time devoted to cutting. Nevertheless it is a rather rare case where the cost of production could not be cheapened in the tool maintenance account, even if not in the actual time and labor saving.
The new high-speed steels are indeed a marvel; but they are as yet only in the infancy of their development and usefulness. Only a bare six years old, they are, but they have already had a marked influence upon productive industry, and nothing is at present more evident in the metal working trades at least than that an actual revolution is in process—not so rapid indeed, relatively, as the performances of the steels themselves, but nevertheless in a way still comparable to it— and in a fair way to be accomplished within a very few years. In fact, every day is seeing a new stride toward it.
Government Ownership in
By Herbert Vanderhoof
E3UXICIPAL ownership is bore fruit. In the wake of these
K not a campaign cry in West- cities came Calgary, Prince Albert, Ed
ern Canada. It is a condi- monton, Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat.
tion that excites no com- And the first failure is yet to be recorded.
ment. It had no spellbinders to blaze its way. It is coeval with the cities wherein it exists, and that is to say in almost every town from Port Arthur on Lake Superior to Calgary in p the foothills of the Rockies, and Edmonton at the northern outpost of steam railway transportation.
While older communities spend idle hours wondering if it is possible for municipalities to own their public utilities, the cities of Western Canada step boldly in. Forty years of national obscurity gave Canada good preparation for future performance. The government machinery, municipal, provincial and national had been well tested before it felt the strain of a rapidly increasing population. Therefore, it was not hampered by Old-World traditions or handicapped by New-World inexperience. Fort William attempted municipal paternalism, and the attempt was successful. . Port Arthur was not to be outdone, and her efforts, too,
Here they begin at the beginning; they
of cheap land in Western Canada there occurred a tremendous migration of homesteaders. As the hitherto unknown, or at least unappreciated, possibilities of the new country were realized, the small stream of immigrants became a flood. But they were not drawn into the northwest by gold, as were the forty-niners of California, but by wheat. It will be interesting to compare the development of the west and the northwest, and to see whether or not history will repeat itself in the way in which the two localities have handled the problems incident to their growth.
The picturesque features of the Wild West, the wide open frontier towns, the gambling resorts and the shooting scrapes, which Bret llarte has handed down and preserved in American literature, are lacking in the northwest. Unquestionably the fact that a different class of men are drawn into gold camps, is largely responsible for this. Another reason is that a body of eight hundred effi
cient men—the Royal Northwest Mounted Police—keep a tract of land larger than Europe in as peaceful, law abiding a condition as one would today find in a quiet little Ohio village.
As a striking result cities springing full grown in a season on the rich plains swing into the advanced line of municipal government with municipally owned street car lines, water works, telephone systems and electric lighting plants. Single tax is being tried, and with success, in more than one community. To an observer fresh from the decade-old wrangles in cities of the states over the untried problem of city ownership, the way in which the Canadian towns rush into things is amazing. These people actually seem not to care to raise political issues. They carelessly begin undertakings in a day that would furnish material for a hundred campaigns and secure untold numbers of fat offices in American cities.
These new ideas are being made ap
plicable, in a sense, to the larger governments also. While the Dominion government is helping to build railways, the provinces are churning the butter for the farmer and marketing his eggs for him. Eighteen creameries operated by the Alberta provincial government, in one year manufactured one and one-half million pounds of butter and marketed it at twenty cents a pound. There ane as many creameries operated as private enterprises as there are government creameries, but their total product is not so large.
The provincial government establishes refrigerators or warehouses for storing the butter, and holds it under insurance without expense to the farmer until there is a market demand. The chief warehouse is in Calgary, but there are branches in other towns. The provincial government superintends the work; sees that the buildings are properly constructed, and supplies the administration for the enterprise. It educates butter
makers, and giVes their services gratis to the creameries. It sees that there is a sufficient supply of pure water and suitable drainage. The government stamp, which is a guarantee of purity and sanitation, goes on every pound of butter manufactured.
The operation of the provincial creameries has been remarkably successful, because of the quality of the butter offered for sale. Better prices are received for it and a surer market provided than would be possible through individual enterprise. It is the belief of the dairy commissioners that as great or greater progress will be made in the building of creameries during the next few years than has been made during the last five years, when the number has trebled. One of the great advantages to the farmers is in the educational features of the government plan.
The popular demand for municipal ownership of public utilities is universal through the new northwest. As these towns' grow and face the conditions of the future, the attention of the world will be upon them.
Fort William and Port Arthur are adjoining cities. In fact the two are practically one. In this double city the people operate and own the water, electric light, telephone and street car systems. Tort Arthur has owned its street car system for fourteen years and during the last few years has paid all operating expenses, one-half the city taxes, and has laid away a certain amount for a sinking fund, all of which the profit arising from the street car system has enabled them to do. t ■
Meanwhile, their citizens use their present energies in a healthy rivalry and in devotion to their municipal ownership experiment. Every stranger who comes into Port Arthur has to make acquaintance with the town's manner and method of doing business before anything else is done. If he comes to talk about wheat he must hear first how the city telephones are run. Every citizen of Port Arthur carries about with him the last quarterly statement of the railway and light commission. He .knows how much profit there was in the operation of the waterworks and the telephone system. Inci
dentally he will explain that Fort William is helping to pay the taxes due on Port Arthur real estate. When a Fort William citizen pays five cents to the street car conductor he contributes a mite to every individual taxpayer in the rival town.
Although the street railroad charges a five-cent fare, the telephone service .is much less than the old rates charged by a private company. The old company used to charge thirty-six dollars a year for a business telephone, unlimited service, which is now supplied for twentyfour dollars, and a residence telephone costs only twelve dollars a year.
Port Arthur is the only town on the American continent which owns and operates all of its utilities. The most conspicuous citizen of the town is a member of the railway and light commission. The membership of the commission is restricted to three, and one is elected each year. It is a greater honor to be a member of the commission than it is to be mayor or alderman. The citizen who has been honored by his municipality as a member of the board must serve without pay. He is not allowed to issue a pass for a ride on any of the lines, not even to a member of his own family.