Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Making the hours of work and the tractive force agree with those of Trautwine, the average horse would draw 110 tons one mile on the railroad, or for his whole distance of 25 miles in 10 hours he would draw 4 4 tons. The locomotive above described then draws as many tons as 331} horses could pull on the same railroad, and as it draws them at four times the speed of the horses, it does as much work in the same time as 1,325 horses.

The total miles of railroad included in the returns made to the Massachusetts railroad commissioners for 1877, adding the double track but not the sidings, is 3,124, of which 2,295 are in Massachusetts. The whole number of locomotives used by the corporations reporting as above is 1,031 ; and the proportion due to the miles in Massachusetts is 757. The average weight of the locomotives is not given in the report for last year; for the previous year it is given, sometimes in tons, sometimes in pounds. Supposing the tons to mean 2,000 pounds each, 886 locomotives reported averaged 58,839 pounds each. But we do not know how much of this was carried by the drivers, which shows the effective power of the engine. Some of the engines were tank-switching engines, carrying all the weight on the drivers; some were heavy freight engines with 6, 8, or 10 drivers, and having eight or nine-tenths of their whole weight effective; but probably all the passenger engines and many of the freight engines were of the common style, carrying from ø to R of their whole weight on the drivers. For the purpose of this calculation, we will take the average weight of the engines, 58,839 pounds, and consider f of it effective, i. e., 38,245 pounds. An engine having this weight on the drivers should be able to haul, at an average speed of 10 miles per hour on a level road, 925 gross tons, exclusive of engine and tender. To haul this load on a good common road, at the rate of 24 miles per hour, wonld require 557 horses; to haul it at the same rate of speed the locomotive does would take four times as many, or 2,228. To haul it on a level railroad by horse-power at the rate of the locomotive would requrie 840 horses. It is not necessary here to consider curves or grades. The engine is capable of doing that amount of work on a straight and level road, and, exerting its full power, will do what is equivalent to that on the curves and grades, though it may be with a smaller load or at less speed; and it would require the number of horses above given to do the same work which the locomotive is capable of doing. It is not to be forgotten, also, that while the horses can do this work for only 10 hours per day, the locomotive can do it for nearly the whole 24, deducting only the time necessary to take in fuel and water.

We found the number of engines proportionate to the miles in Massachusetts was 757. Of this whole number, of course, a part are in the shops for repair, and another part may be in the stalls waiting orders. I will deduct 10 per cent. of the whole number on these accounts, which will leave 682 engines constantly at work, without doubt averaging as many hours per day as was allowed for the horses; and I think it probable they average more. 'Now, as it would require 840 horses to do the work of an average locomotive on a level railroad, to equal these 682 engines in effective power on the railroad would require 572,880 horses; and to accomplish the same effect on a good common road would require 1,519,496 horses. It is also to be borne in mind that this calculation applies merely to the annount of freight and cars which could be hauled at a moderate rate of speed; and that it would be simply impossible for any number of horses to haul the heavy passenger trains at the rate of 40 or 50 miles per hour, which some of our locomotives are constantly doing.

The above calculation shows the number of horses required to do the amount of work which our locomotives are capable of doing. Let us now examine the returns to see how much they actually performed.

The number of tons of freight hauled one mile by the roads reporting to the Massachusetts commissioners for the year ending September 30, 1877, was 684,810,604; and the average dead-weight hauled one mile as per commissioners' table was 3.146 tons for each ton of paying freight, making the total weight hauled one mile 2,837,855,143 tons (of 2,000 pounds each, I suppose). In proportion to the miles of railroad in the State, the amount would be 2,084,784,748 tons. The rate of speed of freight trains is not given in the last report; in that of the previous year it varied on the different roads from 7 to 22 miles per hour, and averaged very nearly 13 miles per hour; we will suppose it the same for the last year. As 25 miles per day is the distance for which the average horse can haul his load, the number of tons, freight and cars hauled one milo will be equal to 83,391,390 tons hauled 25 miles. Assuming 350 days as the average number of working days in the year for freight trains, we shall have 238,261 tons to be moved 25 miles each day. And as the load of the average horse was put at 4po tons on a level railroad, it would require 54,150 horses to haul this load at their rate of speed of 24 miles per hour. As the locomotives haul the same load at an average of five times the speed of the horses, it would require'five times as many, or 270,570 horses, to equal the effective force which the locomotives have exerted the past year in transporting freight on our railroads; and this estimate is on the supposition that the railroads were lovel for their whole length. To accomplish the same amount of work on good level commou roads, 717,655 horses would be required.

It would be desirable to know how much to add to the numbers of horses above given on account of grades and curves. But the reports since 1870 have given no returns whatever on these subjects, and those previously made were so imperfect that they could not be used as a basis for computation.

Let us see now what the locomotives on our railroads accomplished in carrying passengers the last year. The number of passengers carried one mile by the roads reporting last year was 103,278,126. Estimating their average weight at 150 pounds, we have 7,745,859 tons (of 2,000 pounds each) of passengers hauled one mile. Add to this 2,091 tons of dead-weight for each passenger, as per commissioners' tables, we have a a total of 319,232,687 tons of passengers and cars hauled one mile. The proportion of this for the length of roads in the State is 234,519,531 tons. These passengers were carried at rates of speed varying from 15 to 38 miles per hour, including stops, averaging very nearly 25 miles per hour.

In old stage times, a rate of 10 miles per hour on a good smooth road was full as much as the stage lines expected to average, and to do this it was necessary to change horses every 10 miles. Haswell says that a horse can only travel 13 miles a day, at the rate of 10 miles per hour, drawing a load; but probably this means a continuous poll. To be sure that we credit the horses with all that they can do, we will suppose that they have one or more rests, and thus accomplish 15 miles per day, at the rate of 10 miles per hour, drawing a load. The horse's tractive power diminishes as his speed increases, and at the rate of speed proposed would not exceed 25 pounds, enabling him to pull but ito of a ton on a good level common road; and calculating, as before, in regard to freight, he would be able to pull on a level railroad 1 tons at the rate of 10 miles per hour for 17 hours per day, and this wonld be his whole day's work.

Fifteen miles per day being the distance allowed for each horse in the passenger service, the number of tons of passengers and cars hauled one mile will be equal to 15,634,635 hauled 15 miles. Divide this by 365, as there is hardly a day in the year on which some passenger trains do not run, and we have 42,834 tons per day. At if tons per horse it would require 32,949 horses to keep this weight moving at the rate of 10 miles per hour on a level railroad. As the locomotives move the same weight at an average rate of speed 24 times as great, it would require 82,372 horses to do the same amount of work in the same time. The actual work in kind and quality done by the locomotives could not possibly be done by the horses. I only estimate the equivalent of it to be done by the horses in some manner within their power. To perform an equivalent amount of work on good common roads would require 261,182 horses.

Adding together the results ascertained in the freight and passenger service as actually done by the locomotives, it would require 352,962 horses to do an equivalent amount of work on the railroads of the State, provided they were all straight and level. I have no means of ascertaining the additional number required on account of grades and curves ; every one must estimate this for himself. My own opinion would be that an addition of one-third would not be too much. And supposing an amount of work to be done by horses on good level common roads equivalent to that which has been done by the locomotives on the railroads, 978,837 horses would be required. That is the result of calculation. Now taking into consideration the average quality and condition of the common roads of the State, and the great amount of ascents to be overcome upon them, it seems to me it would not be setting the number too high to say that it would require 1,500,000 horses to do work upon the existing common roads of the State equivalent to that which has been done the past year upon our railroads by the locomotives. VIEWS OF MR. J. H. WALKER.

NEW YORK, August 27, 1878. Mr. J. H. WALKER appeared before the comunittee by invitation. He stated in reply to the chairman that he resided in Worcester, Mass., that he was a manufacturer of boots and shoes in Worcester, and a manufacturer of leather in Chicago; that the volume of his business in Worcester was a little over half a million dollars a year; and in Chicago about a million and a half; and that he employs 497 persons.

Mr. Rice. Have you yourself been a workingman in the boot and shoe business?
Mr. WALKER. I have been. I have never worked at anything else.
Mr. Rice. Did you begin at the bench !
Mr. WALKER. I did.
Mr. Rice. Have you worked in all the branches of the bnsiness yourself?

Mr. WALKER. I have not worked as a journeyman in all branches of it, although I have done work in nearly all parts of it.

Mr. RICE. Did you inherit any capital or business, or have you made your business yonrself? Mr. WALKER. I had $4,500 when I was 32 years old, which I had saved.

Mr. RICE. What have you to say as to the importance of the boot and shoe business compared with other businesses ? State its magnitude, the amount invested in it, and the number of persons employed in it.

Mr. WALKER. The statement is made in various quarters that, next to agriculture, the boot and shoe business is, in its volume and in the number of persons employed in it, the largest in the country; and it is conceded to be such.

Mr. Rice. Do you mean to say that that is a fact as to the conntry at large, or as to the State of Massachusetts only!

Mr. WALKER. I mean to say as to the whole United States. The reason why I put it in that way is, that that includes all branches of the business from the taking off the hides to the delivering of the shoe to the wearer. Whether if the cotton business or the woolen business were computed in the same way it would leave the boot and shoe interest the largest, I am not able to say; but the statement made by writers on the industries of the country is, that the boot and shoe industry is the second largest in the United States.

Mr. Rice. It is sufficient that it is one of the very large interests, and that you are familiar with it in all its branches. You make your leather in Chicago, transport it to Worcester, manufacture it there, and sell your products wherever you can find a marketi

Mr. WALKER. I use, myself, only a small portion of the leather which I make; but it is true of what I do use.

Mr. Rice. The committee would like to know some things in regard to the condition of the leather and shoe business now, as compared with its condition in the past, say from 1850 to 1860—whether it has depreciated since then, and, if so, to what extent; whether there are as many persons employed in it; or whether those who have been accustomed to be employed in it now find employment in it. If it is depressed, state what are the causes of that depression, so that we may have an idea of the condition of the business as compared with those periods in the past.

Mr. WALKER. I have before me the statistics of the shipments of cases of boots and shoes and rubbers from Boston, which is a fair indication of the business in all the country. In 1872 there were shipped from Boston 1,452,000 cases. In 1873 the number of cases had fallen off 115,000. In 1874 they had increased 54,000 cases over 1873; in 1875 they had increased 59,000 over 1874; in 1876, they had increased 72,000 cases over 1875; in 1877 they had increased 237,000 cases over 1876. These shipments represent a very large proportion of all the goods made in New England.

Mr. RICE. So that there has been an increase in the volume of business to that extent?

Mr. WALKER. Yes. Up to this time in 1878 there has been a decrease of 157,400 cases over shipments up to the same period in 1877; but that decrease is accounted for by the fact that the sales of rubbers have not taken place as usual, and by the fact that, this year, the jobbers are not buying goods in anticipation of the wants of the consumers, but are buying only as they need them from the manufacturers. It is the universal opinion of the trade that the manufacture of boots and shoes this year throughout the country will be larger than it was last year.

Mr. Rice. So that, on the whole, the volume of business has increased steadily for some years past; and you do not admit that it has fallen off during the past year!

Mr. WALKER. It certainly has not.

Mr. Rice. Now, in regard to the prices, or the profits, of this manufacture, what would you say about them! Have they increased or have they fallen off ?

Mr. WALKER. I think that, on the whole, there has been no money made in the manufacture of boots, shoes, and leather since 1873. In other words, I think the manufacturers have shod the people since 1873 to a great loss to themselves. Their distribution of capital from October, 1875, to October, 1876, to their workmen and the consumers was between four and six millions of dollars on solo-leather alone.

Mr. RICE. Owing to what?

Mr. WALKER. Owing to the depression of prices. It was owing to exceptional circumstances; but, on the whole, from 1873 to the present time, it is possible that that loss may cover the whole. Possibly $6,000,000 of capital would cover the whole loss to the manufacturer for that period. The capital employed in the sole-leather business alone has been decreased $6,000,000 by losses-by shrinkage.

Mr. Rice. That does not include 'any real estate or plant, but merely loss in the manufactured stock?

Mr. WALKER. That is my estimate from the best sources I can reach. I think that there has been an equal loss of capital by the manufacture of upper-leather.

Mr. Rice. Has the boot business during that time been carried on for the benefit of the capital employed in it, or for the benefit of the workingmen who have been fur. nished employment by the business being carried on, and who have thereby been able to obtain means of subsistence (I mean since 1873)?

Mr. WALKER. It has been carried on for the benefit of the workingmen. There has been a hope of gain which has not been realized, in any profit to the capitalist; on the other hand there has been a loss.

Mr. Rice. Is machinery used in the manufacture of leather as extensively as it is in the manufacture of other raw fabrics ?

Mr. WALKER. No, sir; it is not. The machinery used in cotton and woolon goods exceeds that used in leather. Still machinery is used extensively. It has been introduced almost wholly within the last thirty years.

Mr. RICE. What has been the effect of the use of machinery in making boots and shoes, on the persons who have been employed in the business on their wages, their condition, their modes of living, and the labor employed !

Mr. WALKER. Their wages and condition have steadily improved. In 1840 the wages of journeymen were slightly over a dollar for thirteen hours' work. That is, workmen were expected to go to the factories in the morning before breakfast. They went home to breakfast, dinner, and supper, and worked as long as they could see, just as farmers work. That was in the summer. In the winter the shops were lighted in the evenings. Wages gradually increased up to 1860, when they were about double what they had been in 1840. During the war the highest rate of wages was about fifty per cent. more than in 1860; and at the present time wages are a small percentage higher than they were in 1860.

Mr. RICE. And how many hours do laborers work now?

Mr. WALKER. I know of no factories that run over ten hours. Occasionally they run twelve or thirteen hours, with extra pay; but ten hours is the rule.

Mr. RICE. You heard the testimony of Mr. Wright—that there are some seasons when the factories are closed ?

Mr. WALKER. The factories are closed on the average for two months in the year.

Mr. RICE. When the wages have been as you have stated, what have been the fluctuations, if any, in the prices of the necessaries of life for the workmen ?

Mr. WALKER. I have not those statistics; I depended on their being collected by somebody else.

Mr. Rice. Is it your idea that the purchasing power of the wages of labor is as great now as it was in 1860 ?

Mr. WALKER. I do not think it varies materially. I think it is a slight percentage higher now-no more, however, than the wages are higher than they were in 1860.

Mr. RICE. Some have said here that the effect of the introduction of machinery is to take away the work from the manual laborer; and it tends to overproduction. What have you to say on this point, in your particular line of business?

Mr. WALKER. I think that, on the whole, the exact opposite is the fact.
Mr. RICE. Give your views on that subject in your own words.

Mr. WALKER. In making the boots and shoes there is a great deal more work put into them now than there was formally. It would be impossible to make boots and shoes in their present form by hand. And so, to a greater or less extent, with all other things produced by the aid of machinery. The number of pairs of boots which can be produced by a man per annum, as they are sold to-day, has increased about 124 per cent., and of shoes about 20 per cent., by the use of machinery, and of leather probably 15 per cent.

Mr. Rice. So that one hundred men in a factory, working with machinery, now will produce about that rate more of boots and shoes than could be produced by the same number in old times, before the introduction of machinery.

Mr. WALKER. There are not nearly as many women and children employed now in the business as there were formerly. The present number employed in boots and shoes more nearly represents adult labor.

Mr. RICE. I understand you to say that the effect of machinery has been to render one man's labor on boots to be 15 per cent. greater than it would be without machinery.

Mr. WALKER. If they were made in precisely the same form as formerly, it would very greatly increase one man's power; but in the form in which they are made the average of increase is as I have stated. A very much larger proportion of the people wear boots and shoes all the year round than formerly. There is now a larger proportion of the people engaged in producing them than in 1840.

Mr. RICE. But they are made now in an improved form.

Mr. Walker. Yes. Before the introduction of machinery, women wore low shoes, without heels, coming to their ankle; but now they wear shoes, some of them, eight inches high, with heels, and with a good deal of stitching and other workupon them.

Mr. RICE. Do these shoes cost her any more now than the old kind she used to wear ?

Mr. WALKER. I think they do. On the other hand, ladies' feet are protected by the present style of shoe, but in the old time they were not.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there a demand for a better class of goods now than there wag formerly

Mr. WALKER. Decidedly.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that the power of the community to pay for better clothes and goods has made any advance since 1860 ?

Mr. WALKER. Certainly. Mr. RICE. What is the result of your observation as to the effect of the introduction of machinery on the condition of society ?

Mr. WALKER. It holds the same place which higher education holds to society. Yon cannot increase mental strength and culture without its physical accompaniments. The one is necessary to the other. The people to-day are, in my judgment, 50 per cent. better off than they were in 1840 in regard to the comforts which they enjoy.

Mr. Rice. And in regard to their ability to procure them, of course?
Mr. WALKER. Certainly.

Mr. Rice. You heard the interesting discussion between the chairman and Mr. Wright as to the effect of machinery in ultimately over-populating the world, as illustrated in the cases of Belgium and England, and as having attained the limit, perhaps, in China and India. Have you anything to say about that?

Mr. WALKER. I never supposed machinery assisted in over-populating China or India. Mr. Rice. I should not imagine that either; but how in regard to Belgium !

Mr. WALKER. The absolute necessaries of a man never increase. His relative necessaries and luxuries of course increase. I believe that more can be produced from the soil with the careful culture of the spade and hand than by any other contrivance, and that machinery will never add any power to the productiveness of the land to make it support an increased population to the square mile. But machinery enables the earth to produce (so to speak) and to support a greater and very much higher order of men and women.

The CHAIRMAN. You think that a larger population can be maintained in the world by spade culture and hand culture ?

Mr. WALKER. Yes; if simple physical existence is the criterion. Certainly there can be. There is no question about that. This is so well understood that in some countries of Europe, where labor is excessively cheap, no plows are used, nothing but the spade. In Northern Italy I have seen twenty men in a field and as many women spading up the ground, just as it was done a century ago.

The CHAIRMAN. What is the condition of the people who have to adopt that mode of culture? Is it equal to the condition of the people of England, where machinery is used more extensively ?

Mr. WALKER. The condition of the people of Central and Southern Europe is such and wages are so low that existence can only be maintained by the work of men and women and children, all having to work. The women frequently have loads with donkeys and universally working in the field.

The CHAIRMAN. You have seen women hauling loads with animals ?

Mr. WALKER. Yes; even the dogs are made to work all through Germany. In fact, everything is made to work. The horse is put to work there at two years old. He must earn his living.

The CHAIRMAN. Then your conclusion would be that, if our people were driven by necessity to be as industrious and economical as the people of Central Europe, there would be no distress at present in this country?

Mr. WALKER. I do not think there wonld be any physical distress; but there would be a condition of life which no lover of his country wants to see.

The CHAIRMAN. But at the same time there would be no such thing as starvation in the country, if its present resources were even approximately used as the resources of the people of Central Europe are used i

Mr. WALKER. The same condition of the population would produce the same results as there.

The CHAIRMAN. But with our immense resources, and with the great breadth of country that we have, no portion of the population would be reduced to anything like the poor condition of the people of Central Europe. If our people who are clamoring for employment would resort to the same mode of living, and would go upon the land with spade and hoe, would there be any trouble in sustaining the population of the country *

Mr. WALKER. Not the slightest. The question to-day is the question of the kind of work and the amount of wages rather than the want of work or the inability to secure it. People who are unemployed demand to be employed in a specitic kind of work at a particular rate of wages and in a particular place. That is the cause of the continnance of our trouble a hundred-fold more than the absolute want of work.

The CHAIRMAN. You do not think (from what you have seen abroad) that the capacity of this country to support its population is anything like exhausted ?

Mr. WALKER. I do not think it is.

The CHAIRMAN. Suppose the pressure in Massachusetts was very great, conld a very much larger population be supported there off the soil than is now supported off the soil 1

Mr. WALKER. I believe that the soil of Massachusetts is better than the soil of Switzerland, and it is certainly better than the soil of Germany; and I believe that a population can be supported from the soil of Massachusetts larger in proportion to its area than most countries of Europe can support.

The Chairman. As a matter of fact, the want of progress in the agriculture of

« AnteriorContinuar »