Obrázky stránek


and extension and of financiering; but the New York which are now being electrified have running of its trains almost always behind time ordered steel cars for their new equipment. and the frequency of accidents have for many The Southern Pacific Railroad and the Southyears been too great. Of course, the road ern Railway itself have even built some ordinary has been overworked by the magical increase passenger cars of steel. The new cars of the of travel and traffic in the South; but its opera- Philadelphia subway and elevated service are tion also has been undisciplined and bad. of steel, and the street cars of San Francisco

A noteworthy fact of that sad accident was and other places are made with steel frames. the wrecking of a day coach which was the The awful fatality of railroad wrecks will be fourth car from the rear of the train where the greatly reduced when the use of automatic collision occurred, although Pullman cars safety devices and steel cars becomes general. between it and the rear escaped destruction.

THE CENTENARY OF GENERAL LEE This day coach was "of lighter construction.”

In the best railroad practice, we are about ANUARY 19th is the one-hundredth to make another long stride in safety. For anniversary of the birth of General instance, a number of devices have already Robert E. Lee. He was the most heroic been put in use on the New York subway and figure of the Southern Confederacy and the the Boston elevated road, which will auto- only Southern man brought into prominence matically stop a train before it can pass a signal by the Civil War whose character has taken a set against it. Since these devices are ac permanent hold on the imagination and the cessible, it is inexcusable that two trains should admiration of the whole nation. There were collide in a block, or that any railroad should other Confederate soldiers whose achievements maintain the savage derailment device which won them military fame-"Stonewall” Jackson plunges a whole train of passengers off the to a preëminent degree. But it is not only as track as the penalty for the neglect of a careless a soldier that General Lee won a secure place engineer.

in American history, nor perhaps chiefly as a The new safety system to be employed on the soldier. electrified zone of the New York Central marks There will, perhaps, forever be dispute the greatest advance that has been made in whether he did right to resign from the United signal systems. All the signals will be operated States army and take up arms against the by electricity and the lights supplied from the Union; but no disputant now doubts his power-house. For trains running forty-five sincerity. It is difficult for this generation miles an hour, the blocks are 1,200 feet long; to understand the attitude of men in 1860 tobetween forty-five and sixty miles an hour ward the States. In the minds of one great 2,500 feet long; and sixty miles an hour 3,000 party, a man's state stood as first claimant on feet long. Electric lights will be used. Auto his loyalty, the United States next. It was in matic stops are provided to operate whenever a this school that General Lee was reared, as signal stands at danger.” On the New York, most other Virginians were. In a sense, he New Haven, and Hartford and the other had no sympathy with the. Confederate moveelectrified lines entering New York City, auto ment. He was not an original “Secessionist.” matic devices will be used. The lines will be He knew at an early time, if not from the made as safe from collisions as all the machinery beginning, that the Union armies would win. that human ingenuity has thus far created can His desperate fighting was of battles that he make them.

knew would at last end in defeat. But he Steel cars, both freight and passenger, are regarded his duty to his state-his duty to being adopted more and more widely. Side- Virginia—as his first duty; and in obedience entrance steel cars were used on the Illinois to this he sacrificed a career that might have Central Railroad in 1904 even before a few made him the principal military figure of the were used in the New York subway. Steel

Steel Union cause. postal cars have been introduced on the Erie Whatever difference of opinion men may Railroad, the Santa Fé, the Harriman lines, and hold about his decision, there has come since many other roads. The Interborough Com his death a settled judgment of him as a man. pany, which operates the New York subway, His conduct after defeat-his dignified and has been severely criticized for not having all sincere acceptance of the result, his abstention its cars of steel, for all the railroads entering from politics, his refusal to degrade his name

AN WORR whether the earnings of life

and fame for commercial profit, his giving times running them along fences. And all his closing years to the training of youth, the this went on while the Bell system was doubling high mind and dignity of the man shown by the number of its patrons every few years. The his bearing and conduct and revealed in his number of telephones continues to increase. familiar letters—these things have peculiarly It is becoming almost a national characteristic endeared him to the Southern people and to have one. And a significant fact is that this is made him the type, to all the world, of the best not a contest between the Bell and the indethat Southern life produced. The very general pendent interests but that the American people celebration of the centenary of his birth is a have been keen enough to recognize, as no other fit acknowledgment of the force of great people have, the social and economic power of nobility of character.

the telephone and to demand its universal




something like this when President as they formerly were.

Roosevelt came home from Panama: “There No. In the first place, so far as the New was a feeling of relief when he reached WashYork companies are concerned, the amended ington in safety.” Yet you cannot point out law forbids the payment of commissions to any danger that Mr. Roosevelt encountered on agents on the former very generous basis.

that journey one whit greater than the danUnder the old system the agents were paid in gers that surround him every day in Washingproportion to the yearly premium. Under the ton; and a warship is safer than a railroad new law, their commissions are a percentage of train, and Panama than a hundred crowded the face of the policy. For this reason, those American cities that he has visited. kinds of policies which yielded the largest com It was a very sensible thing to do—for the missions—the various forms of endowment President to go and inspect with his own eyes policies with their high yearly premiums-are the most important physical work that the not likely at any early time, if ever again, to Government is doing during his administration. enjoy their old forced popularity.

His presence gave a stimulus to the men who The insurance agent of the future will have are doing the job and his visit gave authority the insured man for his client, rather than the and earnestness to whatever he has said and insurance company; and, while he will have

may hereafter say about it. an opportunity to earn a fair income, he will

He has regarded the great undertaking with hardly make a large fortune, as many a one did the utmost seriousness and made the superduring the period of the popularity of endow vision of it as nearly his personal work as ment insurance. The business will be more

possible. reputable and less lucrative.

The President has also concentrated respon

sibility by making Mr. Shonts the head of all THE TELEPHONE A NATIONAL HABIT

the work and by giving the heads of depart'HE history of the telephone in the United ments under him the greatest power possible.

States points plainly to the fact that our This means in effect the taking of the task out people put a higher value on their time and

of the hands of a large commission—a change convenience than any other people in the world. that Mr. Roosevelt wished long ago to make in When the Bell patents expired, telephone com form as well as in effect, but which Congress did panies were organized all over the country. not then assent to. By going to the Isthmus,

These independent companies competed Mr. Roosevelt did an unprecedented thing, but with the Bell system in many cities, and supplied the Canal itself is an unprecedented thing; service to towns which had had no telephone at and the people have the greater confidence in all before. They were responsible for the in the prosecution of the work because of his direct troduction of the automatic central, or, as they personal interest in it. But there is no denying call it, the" cussless, waitless, out-of-order-less, the prodigious difficulties, the enormous cost, girl-less telephone.” Companies of farmers and the long time that will be required to comand ranchmen strung wires to keep themselves plete it. The people will have to use a long in touch with each other and the world, some patience before ships ever go through it.




[ocr errors]

URING the last few months there has the vast majority of these mining propositions are mere

been a new outbreak of the craze for prospects, at the best exploration schemes, the character mining stocks. On the “curb” mar

of this speculation is disclosed. It would be remarkable ket in New York, on the markets of Toronto,

indeed if 5 per cent. of these stocks should turn out paying

investments. Denver, San Francisco, Goldfield, Nev., and

“A high-class mining engineer said three years ago to several other centres, there has been wild spec

the writer: "There are just two classes of persons who are ulation in these stocks; new high prices have

entitled to enter into mining enterprises: (1) The practical been made for many of the securities that have

miner who makes mining his life business; and (2) The been in existence for some time, and hundreds

rich capitalist who can afford to take extraordinary risks. of new stocks have come to light to cater to the For everybody else, mining is a perilous gamble.' extraordinary demand of the people for mining

Almost at the same time, Mr. Daniel Gugstocks.

The WORLD'S WORK has been beset with genheim, president of the American Smelting queries from investors, asking for advice with & Refining Company, made this remarkable regard to the purchase of these stocks. To

statement: one and all, the reply has been that the small investor should by no means purchase mining “Even where there are undoubtedly surface indications stocks. These stocks are to be regarded as

of ore values, it should be borne in mind that 1 in 300 is a

conservative estimate of the proportion of prospects that utterly unfit for the investment of savings. We shall make no exception to this statement. It

eventually fulfill their promise. The two hundred and ninety

nine failures are forgotten in the one success, and that one applies with almost as vital significance to the

is made the bait with which the public is tempted to three stocks of the Anaconda, Calumet & Hecla, and

hundred more ventures." Amalgamated Copper as to the thousand new, glittering, alluring prospects that parade them It is as well to state categorically the reasons selves day by day in the advertising columns why the public, or at any rate that part of the of the press

public which has only small savings to invest, This judgment will stand until such time as should not under any circumstances purchase the mining industry puts off forever the “wild- mining stocks. These reasons follow: cat” character under which it lives at present (1) Out of every hundred mining stocks that and has lived in this country since its beginning. are advertised for sale, not more than five That there are good mines, no one can deny. represent mines which are actually producing That there are golden fortunes to be gathered gold, silver, or copper; and out of these five, from the purchase of mining stocks at present, not more than one or two will ever produce is extremely probable. The investor must enough to pay dividends on stocks or give any forget this, and must shun the chance for such permanent value to those stocks. fortune for the reason that less than one per cent. (2) The laws of the states in which 99 per of the so-called mines which parade themselves cent. of these companies operate are not sufliin the public prints will ever return one cent of ciently strict against actual fraud, against the the money put into them, let alone pay divi- issue of stocks on alleged mines which do not dends to their stockholders.

exist at all. Hundreds of stocks are created On this point there is abundance of testi every year, and sold as mining stocks, with no mony. In a recent editorial the Wall Street mining property behind them at all. Journal said:

(3) In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred,

these stocks must be bought almost entirely on “Eighteen new mining stocks appeared on the “curb” one day this week. The par value of the mining stocks

the "say-so” of promoters themselves interauthorized in the United States and Canada this year has

ested in the stock, and without the chance of an been estimated as high as $900,000,000. Inasmuch as actual personal investigation of the property

represented. Even if such examination be disappear before ore in paying quantity is possible, the non-expert can learn nothing produced. whatever from the investigation of a mining At a recent mining conference in Colorado, claim, or even an open mine.

Governor Pardee, of California, framed a law (4) When mining stock booms occur, they which should go on the statute books of every are inevitably led by new stocks. The small state. It makes it a felony to publish in a book, stocks which you bought in the boom of 1900 prospectus, notice, or report any statement were hardly heard of in the boom of 1906. false or wilfully exaggerated and tending to The "popular" list of 1900 on the Colorado give a false value to properties or securities. Springs Exchange is now showing prices from Such a law is very badly needed. The honest 50 per cent. to 99 per cent. lower than in 1900. leaders of the mining properties in Colorado

(5) The whole business of promoting mining and California endorsed the belief of Governor stocks is on a moral plane extremely low. The Pardee that the business of mining is debauched old adage that a Western mine is “a hole in and degraded by the fraudulent practices of the the ground with a liar at the top” holds good unprincipled promoters, and endorsed this in a remarkably large proportion of cases. intended law. Until it is in existence, the

(6) Emotion plays too large a part in the mining business will continue to be permeated business of mining stocks. Enthusiasm, lust with fraud. for gain, gullibility are the real bases of this The third reason is clear enough. As to the trading. The sober common-sense of the value of a non-expert examination of a mine, intelligent business man has no part in such it is perhaps enough to point out that hundreds investment.

of millions of dollars of English money were (7) If you buy a prospect which turns out tempted into Colorado mines not so many well, the chances are still against your ever en years ago by inviting examination. When the joying the fruit of this success. In a large examining “experts” arrived, the mines were majority of cases, the people whose money “salted” for their inspection with ore obtained first opened up the great successful mines of from other mines. On their favorable reports Montana, Arizona, Colorado, and Rossland their clients invested heavily. If even the

“shaken out” as soon as possible after most competent expert can be fooled so simply, the promoters of the mines discovered that the of what value is the layman's examination ? mines were really rich in copper, gold, or All that can be seen in the case of a “prospect” silver. You, as a small stockholder, cannot is the surface. The odds, as pointed out above, know whether the mine be successful except as are at least four to one against even the real the officers are willing to tell you. In three expert correctly reading the surface indications. cases out of four they will not tell you of suc A lesser danger, of the same character, is cess until they have "gathered in” as much of the matter of title. Only a month or so ago, the stocks as they can induce you to sell. the Guggenheims of New York, probably the

(8) The information contained in the pros most deeply experienced mining firm in the spectus of a mining company is generally all United States, took an option on a large amount the information you will ever get. Out of a of the stock of the Nipissing mines at $25 per list of ten stocks largely advertised for sale in share. They had sent their expert, Mr. John one New York daily paper in the boom of 1900, Hays Hammond, to that region to report, and it is now impossible to find a trace of eight on his report had taken this option and put up stocks. One of the others is listed as a “fake.” about $1,750,000 for the first installment of The stock of the tenth is selling at two cents per the price. A couple of weeks later, questions share. It was sold to the public in 1900 at a arose as to the title covering the property. The dollar.

Guggenheims asked thirty days in which to These reasons are the result of a careful study investigate. The sellers refused. The New of this business as carried on in Wall Street York firm thereupon sacrificed the $1,750,000, during the last five years. The first of them is and refused to make a second payment. The said to be recognized by mining men as one of stock of the Nipissing Company collapsed from the cardinal truths of the business. It arises $33 per share to $15 and lower. If the Guggenout of the very nature of the mining industry. heims can be caught this way, what chance Out of every five mines that start from the has the average outsider? surface rich in gold, silver, or copper, four will On the fourth reason, the following list of





53 05










72 03 27

stocks is taken from the New York Herald decline in the prices of copper—the metalquotations of November, 1900, to show that and the latter to the swift rise in that price, the boom of 1906 has not brought back the coupled with wonderful new discoveries in the faded fortunes of those who bought Colorado Anaconda mine. Even so, the result is the stocks in 1900. Similar lists can be obtained covering other markets for the same period : There is no real publicity in mining literature.

Annual reports are extremely rare. Perhaps 1906 a dozen companies can be named, out of thou

sands, which give to the stockholders even a Jackpot

pretense at such reports. The alleged statePinnacle

ments that have come from the Amalgamatcd Portland

336 N. Haven


Copper Company, the Anaconda, the Green

Consolidated, and others do not give to the C. C. & M.

121 024 analyst enough information to form an inIsabella

telligent opinion. Of its very nature, the minGolden Age

oof ing industry cannot be outlined in reports. Work

221 The future is too intangible. The reports can Findley

164 791 barely outline the past and hope for the future.

This subject can hardly be dropped without This list is partial, but it contains all of the a passing reference to the hundreds of "Dogs,” 1900 list for which ready comparison is obtain- “Queens," Coins,” “Crowns" and other able. Some of the 1900 stocks have been peculiar things that are advertising themselves “consolidated,” some have disappeared from in the Sunday papers, the cheap magazines, trading, others have dropped entirely out of the mining sheets, and by millions of circulars sight. It may also be interesting to note that sent out "on the odd chance" to the public. in the boom of 1900 Mr. Thomas W. Lawson, If they are copper prospects, they are free to of Boston, gave the public a rare chance to buy confess themselves “another United Verde,” Trinity Copper at $25 per share. It is now or “another Calumet & Hecla.'

If gold or quoted around $11.

silver risks, they parade their chances of beThe reason for this seems to be that when a coming another Tonopah, or, just now, another mining boom springs up it is generally based Nipissing. They tell you that their property upon discoveries of metal in some new region. is on the same vein" with the United Verde, The boom of 1906 follows the discovery of gold the Tonopah, or the Nipissing. in Nevada and silver and cobalt at Cobalt, Avoid them. In nine cases out of ten they Ontario. The 1900 boom was probably are the merest prospects, gambles of the most started from the Rossland excitement, more insidious kind. than anything else. Le Roi stock, representing If you are tempted to indulge in the luxury a gold mine in Rossland, sold at $50. People of fliers in these stocks, buy a copy of one of the have since been glad to get a few cents for it. Denver mining papers. Read it through as a

The seventh reason should be carefully matter of curiosity. Then turn back to the borne in mind at all times. To illustrate it, editorial page. In the November issue of the the history of Amalgamated Copper since 1900 Financial Bulletin, of Denver, is a list of comwill do as well as anything. The wild enthusiasm panies about which the editor is asked to make of the subscription, the 8 per cent. divi- reports. The list contains 118 names. The dends following that public participation, were letters that asked about these concerns were so in turn followed by a long period of decline many “agony calls," representing in many which "shook out” the public stock at prices cases the tears of those who had “invested" from $10 to $60 below the first subscription their money in the stocks of the companies price. The “inside interests” bought huge listed. Such letters come in thousands to the amounts of the stock at low prices. Then editor of every financial publication every year. came recovery, until at last the old 8 per From experience, we can say that in over 90 cent. dividends were resumed, and the stock per cent of the replies concerning the stocks sold higher than ever before.

of small companies the anxious inquirer is told Of course, the decline and the rally are to be that the stock is "worthless," or that the comascribed to natural causes, the former to the pany “cannot be found.”

« PředchozíPokračovat »