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Comparative prices in New York market on the first of May of the years named-Continned.

Articles

1864.

1865.

1866.

1867.

1868.

1869.

1870.

1871.

1872.

1873.

1874.

1875.

1876.

1877.

1878.

1825.

1837.

1843.

1860.

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Provisions :

Pork, prime, per bb]
Beef, mess, country, per bbl.
Beef, prime, per bbl
Pickled bams, per lb
Pickled shoulder, per lb
Lard, per lb
Butter, State, per lb
Cheese, per lb
Rice, per 100 lbs.
Salt, Liverpool, ground, per

Back
Seeds: Clover, per lb.

Timothy, per tierce

Linseed
Spices: Pepper, per lb

Nutmegs, per lb
Sugars: Cuba, per lb

Retined white, per lb
Tallow, per 16
Teas: Young Hynon, per lb

Souchong, per lb

Oolong, per lb.
Tin: Straits, per lb

Plat: 8, IC char., per box
Tobacco : Kentucky, per lb

Manufactured, per lb
Whalebone, polar, per lb
Wool: common, per lb

-blood, per 16.
Merino, per lb.
Pulled, No. 1, per lb

1 471

$23 874 $25 00 $24 00 $19 00 $23 00 $25 75 $22 00 $14 75 $11 25 $15 00 $15 00 $17 50 $17 50 $12 75 $8 25 $10 25 $13 75
13 00 14 00 20 00 16 00 20 00 12 00 11 50 14 00 8 00 9 00 10 00 10 00 12 00 12 50 10 00

8 75 13 75
7 00
23 00 17 00 15 75 16 00 12 00 13 00 13 50

13 00 14 00 12 00
151
18 171 13 181 153 153 12 10 125 11 121 13 10 071

093
15 12 091 139 13 117 061 061

078

091 071 013 145 18 20 13+ 18 18 16*

098 095 105 154 13 104 079

09 073 31 35 50 28 48 38 35

30 38 38 28 29 22 21 16 14
173 20 20 19 15

16 14 16 16 17 16 13 141 123 08 105
10 25 10 50 9 12 10 50 9 75 9 00 7 00 9 00

9 00 8 50 8 75 7 50 6 50 5 50 5 75 3 50 3 37
2 20 2 50 2 75 *2 60 1 90 2 00 1 50 1 60 1 50 1 55 1 25 90 85 60 60 2 50 1 30

12. 30 12 15 10 135 15 098 09 084 101 12 17 151 079
20 00

6 75 3 00 2 30 4 00 7 00 4 25 3 00 4 25 3 00 2 55 2 70 2 05 1 35
4 25 3 173 *2 65 *2 50 *2 27 *2 20 *2 20 2 35 *2 572 70 *2 40 *2 10 *1 85 *2 171 *1 95
43 32
29

*275 *165
18 *20 *1911 *181 183 *133 *121

19 07 1 20 *92

1 19
*90 *90 *1 00

*95 *1 12; 1 024 *90 *88 *86 2 37 1 22
12 12 127 12 12 113 091 091 087 073 071 089 077 098 071 081 06
25 193 15 15 16% 153 113

13 133 103 094 10 099 11 083 094 06
143
115
124 115 098
09 093 09.16 073 093 083 09

08 11
1 25 1 25 1 30 1 30 1 30 1 20 78 60 55 50 40 40 41

1 05
1 00 90 90 1 05 1 05 95 80 65 60 52 47 48

62 32
1 20 1 00 1 00
1 25 1 20
85 72 70 55 45

41
*26 *21 213

*34
*32 *242 *20

*163 *162

*143 18 00 13 00 10 25*9 25 *8 25 8 75 *8 75 *8 50 *14 00 +12 00 11 00 *9 50 *7 00

*6 75 *5 75
30 25 20

125
081 08 075 05 10

055 033 06 061
65 70 75

70
25 29 25 25 20 20 25 15

16
1 60
1 45 30 *91 *66 *90 *85 70 1 63 95 *95 *1 05

*1 85

22 16 70 65 65 48 45 45

48 70 45 43

38

35 35 34 45 67 50 55 54 50 50 53 75

51 54 45 42 40 77 70 62 65 57 57 82 65 55 53 48 45 43

581

59
60 64
43 37

33 38 63 45 33 35 32 30 32 35 43

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Import prices— Average value of articles imported in April.

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Argols, per lb
Camphor, per lb.
Chloride of lime, per ton
Coffee, per lb
Cutch, &c., per cwt
Gypsum, per ton
India rubber, per lb
Indigo, per lb
Madder, per lb
Rags of cotton or linen, per lb.
Silk, raw, per lb.
Soda, nitrate of, per lb
Sulphur, per ton.
Tea, per lb
Tin, per cwt.
Rice, per lb
Chicory, per lb
Coal, bituminous, per ton
Cocoa, per lb
Copper pigs, brass, &c., per lb
Cordage, per lb...
Glass, cylinder, crown, per lb
Glass, cast polished plate, not sil.

vered, per sq. ft.
Glass, cast polished plate, silver-

ed, per sq. ft

$0.14
Pig-iron, per ton

$21 35 $21 43 19 Bar-iron, per lb.

2} 23 31 78 Sheet-iron, per lb.

4 16 Jute, raw, per ton

56 92 43 68 3 80 Jute, for bagging, per lb

55 53 1 18 Lead, pig, bars, per ewt

3 49 4 67 38 Leather of all kinds, per cwt. 6 55 6 33 85 White lead, per ewt

6 93 6 41 Whiting and Paris white, per cwt 3 76 4 19 3 Salt, per ton....

3 67 3 73 5 12 Saltpeter, per cwt

4 60 3 90 1 25 Flaxseed, per bush

1 54 1 46 27 49 Soda, bicarbonate, per cwt

3 86

2 31 26 Soda, carbonate, per cwt

1 48 1 53 17 80 Soda, caustic, per cwt

2 90 3 10 23 Brown sugar, per cwt

4 30 5 40 31 Molasses, per gall

23 27 3 39 Melado, per cwt..

3 30 3 90 25 Tin, in plates, per cwt.

4 42

4 79 15 Tobacco, leaf, per lb 10 Wool, unmanufactured, per lb

18 15 4 Carpets, per sq. yd...

1 69 1 38 Dress goods, per sq. yd.

23 25 92 Zinc, in blocks or pigs, per lb

5 Zinc, in sheets, per lb

6

6 27

PRICES BELOW THE SPECIE LEVEL. Prices have tended downward very rapidly since May 1. At that time, it will be remembered, in an extended review of the changes in prices since May, 1877, we noted a general decline, and gave full tables showing that the average quantities of the different articles entering into commerce being taken into account, was 6.4 per cent. lower than the average in 1860. In other words, we had not only reached but passed the specie level, and were on the way toward that hard-pan of prices, the lowest point ever reached in this country since 1825, which was touched only in 1843, and from which the upward rebound was so rapid in the years 1844–48.

It is well known that there has been a considerable farther decline in average prices since May 1, but perhaps the full extent of the change may not be generally realized. Wheat, selling at 77 cents for No. 2 at Chicago, has touched the lowest point known for many years. It is twenty-seven years since the price has been as low in this market as it was last week. Excepting in June, 1861, corn has not sold in this market as low as 46 cents since June, 1845, and the only previous quotations as low were in July, 1828, and January and February, 1825. It is twenty-three years since cotton has sold as low as it sold last week. Mess-pork has not sold as low as it sold last week since June, 1844. These striking facts have suggested a preliminary comparison of prices in advance of the usual half-yearly review which we shall prepare in November. The method pursued is the one repeatedly explained heretofore, viz, quantities of each article corresponding as closely as possible to the quantities believed to enter into commerce throughout the country are supposed to have been purchased on the 24th of October and at other dates mentioned, at the wholesale prices in the New York market. Without giving details at this time, general results may be thus stated : The assumed quantities of about fifty leading articles of commerce could have been purchased here, May 1, 1878, for $1,974,700,000, and could have been purchased October 24, 1878, for about $1,717,800,000, a decrease of 13 per cent. The comparative cost of some of the leading classes of articles at the dates named, and in 1800, may be shown in millions, thus:

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Total
Excluding petroleum....

2,069. 1

1, 974. 7 1, 936.7

1, 717.8 1, 683.8

These figures, for which only approximate correctness is claimed, as they may be modified upon more extended comparison of quotations, point to the conclusion that the general average of prices is 13 per cent. lower now than it was May 1, and that it is 18.6 per cent. lower now than it was in 1860. But it should be stated that the figures for November 1, 1860, have not yet been prepared, and the comparison is therefore with the quotations of May 1, 1860. The advance in the general average of prices from that year to 1864 was, as was shown two years ago in this journal, about 125 per cent., so that $100 would buy as much in 1860 as could be bought of the same articles in 1864 for $225. From 1864 to 1873 the decline was irregular, but in the aggregate considerable; on the 1st of May, 1873, it is estimated that $132 would have purchased as much of the various articles quoted as could have been purchased with $225 in 1864. In 1876, the decline had proceeded much farther; it was then calculated that $112 was the equivalent in purchasing power of $100'in 1860, or $225 in 1864. In May last the average of prices had fallen below the level of 1860, and $93.60 was the equivalent of $100 on the old specie basis. Now, if these computations are correct, the decline has been so great that $31.40 svill purchase the same quantities of over fifty articles quoted, at wholesale rates, as could have been purchased in 1860 with $100. It is of course understood that in all these comparisons the quantities purchased of each article are supposed to be proportioned to the quantities of that article entering into commerce, and not to the quantity entering into domestic consumption.

If we have so far passed “the specie basis” on the downward movement of prices, what is to be expected for the future? No reason is perceived for expecting a general upward movement until after resumption has either been accomplished or has failed. Even then, the changes may neither be rapid nor easy to predict. It will be observed that, while the extreme low

price of agricultural products causes the entire difference in average prices between 1860 and 1878, the prices of all other articles quoted in the aggregate are still somewhat higher than in 1860. As usual, the main difficulty is in securing an equable adjustment of prices to the specie basis, and this does not yet seem to be altogether accomplished, nor can it be fully while two disturbing forces remain. Those forces are, first, uncertainty as to permanence of resumption, and, second, interference with prices by government through tariffs designed to hamper free exchange with foreign nations.

INDEX.

TESTIMONY TAKEN AT NEW YORK.

1
8

14
17,41
25, 42

29

42
49,81

50
51
57
61

74
75

77
83, 89

84

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Views of Mr. Thomas Rock (Journeymen Stonecutter's Association)

Hugh McGregor (jeweler),
Cornelius O'Sullivan (granite-cutter)...
Robert H. Bartholomee (Socialistic Labor party)
Isaac Bennett (Socialistic Labor party)..
Adolph Donai (Socialistic Labor party)
James Connolly (National Labor Greenback party).
William Hastings (capitalist)..
Thomas Goodwin (physician)
William A. Carsey (Greenback Labor party)
Osborne Ward (Socialistic Labor party).
George W. Maddox (Congress of Humanity)
Mrs. S. Myra Hall (Congress of Humanity).
J. J. O'Donnell a sovereign citizen)
F. Bruner (tailor)
Patrick Logan (representative of the working classes)
Robert W. Hume (American Labor League)
Morris Cohen (Socialistic Labor party)..

Alexander R. Robb (plumber)
Constitution of the Workingmen's Industrial Association
Views of Herbert Graham (Workingmen's Union)...

Horatio D. Sheppard (Land Reform Association)
Memorial of Land Reform Association...
Views of Mr. A. Strausser (Cigar Maker's Union)....

Wesley Pasco (printer)..
Valentine Becker (cooper)
Andrew P. Van Tuyl (plaster-works).
George E. McNeil (International Labor Union)
A. T. Peck (comb manufacturer)..
Merrill Selleck (student of the labor question).
Henry Kemp (produce broker)..

Henry V. Rothschild (clothing manufacturer)
Statement of the Stonecutter's Society
Views of Jacob Jacobs (student of the labor question)

William Hanson (student of the labor question)
Henry Schraeder (piano-maker and teacher)..
William Wittick (student of the labor question).
George Winter (cigar-maker)
Jeremiah E. Thomas (colored waiter)
William Wagner (cigar-maker)
A. Merwin (export business)..
Mr. Clark (engineer),
Harlan (Blue-Ribbon Temperance Organization)

Charles Sotheran (journalist)
Letter from William D. O'Grady.
Views of Mr. Goodwin Moody (student of the labor question)

Herbert Radcliffe (Business Improvement Society of Boston)
William G. H. Smart (stonecutter).
Professor W. G. Sumner (Yale College)..
Charles Francis Adams, jr. (railway commissioner)
Charles Frederick Adams (lawyer).
Charles F. Wingate (editor)
Francis B. Thurber (transporter of food-produce).

Silas R. Kenyon (inventor and practical mechanic)
Letter from John Peters, and remarks of chairman
Views of Mr. Charles H. Marshall (shipping and commission business)
Table of American tonnage from 1820 to 1877....
Progress of British shipping.

39
94
99
99
105
108
110
115
122
124
125
130
136
137
137
141
143
144
145
145
146
148
149
150
150
153
167
173
181
208
218
218
220
231
233
234
258
259

Page

262

266

299
301
321

Pauperism in England and Wales
Imports and exports of England
Wages of longshoremen, ship-carpenters, &c
Vessels launched and in process of building, 1877.
Views of Mr. Bobert F. Austin (wholesale grocer).

George Walker (Gold and Stock Telegraph Company)

Carroll D. Wright (bureau of statistics, Mass.)
Working time of Massachusetts operatives
Locomotives compared with horses
Views of Mr. J. H. Walker (leather-manufacturer).

Alanson W. Beard (collector of port of Boston).
Charles Wyllis Elliott (agriculturist)..
John Roach (ship-builder)...

Cyrus Bussey (New Orleans Chamber of Commerce)
Trade of United States with countries south
Views of Mr. George A. Potter (merchant and student of finance).

William E. Dodge (merchant and employer of labor).
Rev. J. N. Stearns (National Temperance Society).
Aaron M. Powell (National Temperance Society).
Horace White,of Chicago (journalist, student of the labor question).

John H. Hinchman (student of the labor question).
Agricultural and manufacturing statistics...
Comparative statement of occupations

343
313

561

561

594

TESTIMONY TAKEN AT SCRANTON, PA.

372, 414

Statement of the chairman....
Views of Mr. Cornelius Smith (lawyer)...

James B. Hickey (practical miner),
James O'Halloran (practical miner).
J. K. Thomas and others...

TESTIMONY TAKEN AT WASHINGTON, D. C.

415

476
491
501

515

513

Views of Isaac Cohen (Workingmen's Relief Association)...

Edward Atkinson, of Massachusetts (insurance business)
John 0. Edwards, of Pittsburgh, Pa. (iron business)
Joseph Bishop, of Pittsburgh, Pa. (iron business)

Andrew N. Perrin, of Titusville, Pa. (oil business)
Tables of production, export, &c., of petroleum...
Views of Mr. Miles F. Humphreys, of Pittsburgh, Pa. (iron business)

Charles C. Coffin, of Boston (journalist, student of the labor question).
Statistics of immigration
Imports and exports of England, France, and the United States.
Statistics of pauperism in Great Britain ..
English production of farm and pasture.
British criminal statistics..
National Bank exhibit for December, 1877
Average earnings of girls in 1838 and 1876.
Wages in Massachusetts in 1860 and 1878...
Exports of cotton manufactures in 1876...
Views of Mr. Joseph D. Weeks, of Pittsburgh, Pa. (editor of the Iron Age)..

519

513

APPENDIX.

Facts as to shoe and leather trade....
Wages and prices, 1860, 1872, 1878.
Communication from Charles Savage, Brooklyn, N. Y..

John S. Perry, Albany, N. Y
Henry C. Cady and others, Burlington, Iowa
I. Smolinski, Washington, D. C....

John Clough, Woburn, Mass..
Report of Tailors' Union No. 2, of Williamsburg
Communication from James Haddon, New York.

William H. Rees, New York.
John B. Perry, New York..
Charles H. Marshall, New York

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