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The following comes from "History of Manufactures in the United States, Volume II, 1860-1893, by Victor S. Clark.

History of Manufactures in the United States
Volume II, 1860-1893
Volume III, 1893-1928
Victor S. Clark
With an Introductory Note by
Henry W. Farnam
1929 Edition

Volume II, 1860-1893

Railways and Rail Making

(Page 73)

Our metallurgical industries were first and foremost the handmaids of transportation. During the early decades of the century, foundries and shops for the manufacture of steamboat machinery were to be found at every important river town of the interior, while larger engine works were established at our leading seaports. Indeed, the period when steam was applied exclusively to water transportation might be called the foundry era of the American iron industry. Then came railways and with them the rapid development of the rolling mill. Thereafter, for most of the remainder of the century the market for rails was the barometer which measured the prosperity or depression of iron and steel manufacturing.

Within five years of the date when Bessemer steel was first produced in America, it was generally recognized that this metal was destined to displace iron, not only upon railways but wherever iron had previously been employed for structural uses. Although the T rail had by this time been generally adopted, the railway iron of the Civil War period was different in weight and pattern from that used today. Prior to 1864 no western roads, at least, had rails more than 25 feet long, while those of 21-foot and even 18-foot dimensions -- the maximum lengths that most mills could roll at a single heat -- were common. Fish-plates were just beginning to be used and their value was but imperfectly appreciated. In 1866 the general manager of a prominent western railway expressed the opinion that the chief value of fish-plates was to anchor bridges; for on his line bridges crossed by rails united by fish-plates remained on their abutments after a recent flood, but the others sailed down stream.[1] By the end of the decade the practice of sampling and testing each converter lot of steel and each ingot was followed in some works.[2] The usual weight of rails at this time was 56 pounds a yard.[3]

The eight years between the restoration of peace and the panic of 1873 were a period of rapid railway building. Prior to the Civil War the year of maximum construction was 1856, immediately before the previous panic, when over 3,600 miles of new line were built. This remained the record until 1869, when there was a sudden jump to 7,745 miles of new construction, which was approximately equivalent to the entire railway mileage of the country 20 years before. During the four years beginning with 1869, nearly 25,000 miles of new line were built, adding considerably more than 50 per cent to the country's previous mileage.[4]

Capital for these new roads and extensions of old roads was partly found abroad, and came to this country to no small extent in the form of Bessemer rails. Between 1865 and 1870 British rail exports to this country rose from 63,000 to 472,000 tons a year. We also received some steel rails from France and Prussia.[5] These imports continued to increase until shortly before the panic.

The first American Bessemer rails were rolled at Chicago in May 1865, at the time the American Iron and Steel Association was meeting in that city. The steel was produced at the Wyandotte works near Detroit.[6] This incident calls attention to the important influence sometimes exercised upon a great industry by a single individual. Captain Eber B. Ward, an iron manufacturer of Detroit and promoter of the steel works at Wyandotte, had operated at the latter point one of the earliest rail mills in the West. In 1858 he completed mills in northern Chicago to re-roll rails for the railroads centering in that city. Later he became interested in the iron works at Milwaukee. This group of enterprises, each of which was operated independently, but all of which owed their origin or success largely to the enterprise of a single individual, did much to give character to the iron and steel industry of the West for the next twenty years. Indeed, the great steel industry at the head of Lake Michigan may be said to have had its beginning at this time. In 1870, immediately after the completion of two blast furnaces erected the previous year, the North Chicago Works decided to add a Bessemer plant to their establishment. The work was interrupted by the great fire, but in April 1872, the first Bessemer steel was produced in Chicago, and from that time dates the rapid expansion of steel manufacturing in the West.[7]

Meanwhile the works at Troy, and others in Pennsylvania, began to roll steel rails. They were first made commercially in 1867, when the product was slightly over 2,000 tons. Two years later American mills rolled more than 8,000 tons. New works brought the product up to 30,000 the following season, to 84,000 tons in 1872, and to 115,000 tons in 1873. Even the ensuing panic did not lessen the output, which increased regularly for every year of the following decade.[8] In 1873 there were seven rolling mills in the United States that manufactured Bessemer rails. Those east of the Alleghenies were at Troy, New York, and at Johnstown and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Ohio had one establishment at Newburg. Illinois, however, led the Union in number of steel mills, and equaled Pennsylvania in capacity, having two such establishments in Chicago and one at Joliet. Later in the year the plant at Bethlehem went into operation and the Edgar Thompson Steel Works were under construction near Pittsburgh, forecasting Pennsylvania's future precedence in this industry.[9]

[1] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXVII, 194, Sept. 5, 1894.
[2] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, IV, 41, Oct. 13, 1869; Commercial and Financial Chronicle, IX, 528, Oct. 23, 1869; cf. also American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, VII, 493, Nov. 12, 1873.
[3] Scientific American, XVII, 310, May 16, 1868; American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, III, 179, Feb. 10, 1869.
[4] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, IV, 275, May 4, 1870; VII, 477, Oct. 29, 1873.
[5] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, III, 99, Dec. 2, 1868; III, 281, May 12, 1869; VI, 19, Sept. 20, 1871; Commercial and Financial Chronicle, XXIX, 329, Sept. 27, 1879. For the poor quality of imported rails see American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, III, 163, Jan. 27, 1869; Van Nostrand's Eclectic Engineering Magazine, III, 128, Aug. 1870.
[6] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XVII, 209, Aug. 8, 1883; Swank, Iron in All Ages, 413.
[7] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXX, 26, Feb. 1, 1896.
[8] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XIV, 36, Feb. 11, 1880.
[9] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, VII, 293, May 14, 1873.


(Page 93)

In 1867 an American locomotive received a gold medal at the Paris Exposition, largely, it is said, through the influence of the British member of the international jury.[10] This long-established industry was enjoying a period of great prosperity, due to the rapid extension of railways in the West, and new works were springing up at many points. In 1867 the first locomotive ever built in Pittsburgh was delivered, and about the same time Booth and Company, of San Francisco, entered this industry. The Schenectady works had become producers, and the Burnside Rifle Works at Providence were reorganized in 1866 as the Rhode Island Locomotive Works. Two years later this establishment, on the eve of an enlargement designed to double its existing output, was making five locomotives a month. Other New England makers were declining orders because their entire capacity was engaged.[11] Though the price of locomotives and other railway equipment declined by the end of the decade,[12] there was no abrupt check to this activity until the panic of 1873, which was temporarily disastrous to the industry. The Baldwin Works, which had long been the largest in the country, made but 160 locomotives in 1874, as compared with 500 the preceding season, and such orders as they received during the following depression were largely from foreign buyers.[13]

In 1866 a locomotive built at East Boston for the Lehigh Valley Railroad, weighing 30 tons and capable of drawing 200 five-ton cars of coal, was regarded as a "monster," pointing to a "revolution in the freighting business of the country." Other locomotives of this type were being built for the Central Pacific Railway.[14] Eight years later what was said to be the largest locomotive in the world was put into service on the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. It had 12 four-foot driving wheels and weighed 60 tons without the tender.[15]

[10] Scientific American, XVI, 360, June 8, 1867; cf. id., 334, May 25, 1867; U. S. Commissioners to the Paris Exposition, 1867, Report, IV, (Steam Engineering), 13.
[11] Scientific American, XIV, 48-49, Jan. 20, 1866; XVI, 302, May 11, 1867; XVI, 327, Aug. 17, 1867, XIX, 262, Oct. 21, 1868; Van Nostrand's Eclectic Engineering Magazine, I, 95, Jan. 1869; I, 666-667, July 1869.
[12] Massachusetts Railroad Commissioners, Report, 1872, p. ccxix.
[13] American Iron and Steel Association, Annual Report, 1875, p. 6; Trumbull, Industrial Paterson, 123.
[14] Commercial and Financial Chronicle, II, 728, June 9 1866.
[15] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, VIII, 222, July 16, 1874; cf. id., XXXV, 97, July 10, 1901; cf. Van Nostrand's Eclectic Engineering Magazine, IV, 330, Mar. 1871.

Portland Cement

(Page 492)

Among the many industries established during this period that subsequently became important was the manufacture of Portland cement. To be sure hydraulic or natural cement had been made in America for half a century, ever since the construction of the Erie Canal, and its manufacture was already a business of considerable extent; but the fact that the rocks and marls suitable for Portland cement in America differ somewhat in both composition and appearance from those employed abroad delayed the introduction of the latter industry. At length, shortly before the Centennial Exhibition, true Portland cement was manufactured both experimentally and commercially in Pennsylvania, and two firms exhibited this product at Philadelphia. These pioneer makers were already producers of natural cement and merely added the required proportion of limestone to the materials they had employed in manufacturing the former to get the new product.[1] This developed into the dry, or American, process, which was generally adopted by eastern makers, who employed large plants for its preparation. The year after the Centennial, works were erected in Indiana to make Portland cement from local marls, thus initiating the wet process, which was carried on as a rule in smaller establishments widely scattered throughout the country and serving chiefly local markets, but eventually was supplanted almost everywhere by the dry method. No slag cement was made until 1893. Indeed even at the latter date the industry was only on the eve of the great expansion that was to follow the adoption of reinforced concrete construction.[2]

After the production of Portland cement began to make real headway, American makers rapidly improved the technique of its manufacture. In 1889 the Atlas Company at Coplay, Pennsylvania, a pioneer in this branch , of the industry, experimented successfully with revolving kilns, which had been patented in England, but had not proved satisfactory in that country. This labor-saving device, reinforced by the use of producer gas and crude petroleum as fuel, greatly reduced the cost of production and increased the output of American plants.[3] The per capita consumption of cement in the United States is supposed to have about tripled between 1870 and 1890. It was again to triple during the following ten years.[4]

In 1882 the manufacturers of both natural and Portland cement were prominent among the petitioners for additional protection. By this time the "mysteries thrown about the manufacture" had been brushed away. It was known that vast quantities of excellent cement material existed in many parts of the Union and the promising future of the industry was clearly foreseen. The principal centers for making natural or Rosendale cement were in Ulster County, New York, where suitable rock was first discovered in 1823, and in the neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. Natural cement had also been made for a long period from rock taken from the Potomac River, by works that supplied a considerable portion of that used by the Government.

By 1876 nearly or quite 2,000,000 barrels of natural cement were already made annually in the United States, but the output of Portland cement hardly exceeded 5,000 barrels. Not even in 1893 had Portland cement overtaken the older product, as it was destined to do later, for though the total cement output of the country had quadrupled, reaching 8,000,000 barrels per annum, less than 600,000 barrels of this amount were made by the Portland process. Nonetheless the technical basis of the latter industry was already laid, and the rapid percentage increase in its product during the years immediately preceding prophesied the immense development that was shortly to follow.[5]

[1] U. S. Centennial Commission, Reports and Awards, III, Group II, 150, 154, 159, 172.
[2] Mineral Industry, VI, 91 et seq., XI, 88 et seq.; U. S. Tariff Commission, 1882, Report, I, 705, 708, II, 2275-2276; Willis and Byers, Portland Cement Prices, 76; cf. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Transactions, IV, 388-403.
[3] Mineral Industry, VI, 107, Willis and Byers, Portland Cement Prices, 76-77.
[4] Mineral Industry, XIII, 43
[5] Tariff Commission of 1882, Report, II, 2276; U. S. Committee on Ways and Means, 1893 Tariff Hearings, 116, 125, 134, 136; U. S. Bureau of the Census, Mines and Quarries, 1902, pp.839, 842; Sunderland, Fifty Years of Portland cement, in Philadelphia Record, Jan. 8, 1923.

Flour Milling

(Page 504)

During the seventies flour milling, which has always been one of the country's largest and most widely distributed industries, received two notable improvements from abroad. These were the middlings purifier, a French invention brought to Minneapolis in 1870, and the roller process, already familiar in Europe for nearly half a century, which was introduced in the same city four years later. The new method of milling thus inaugurated consisted in multiple grinding with reduced speed and pressure so as to prevent heating and discoloring the flour, and to preserve the gluten, lying just beneath the bran, which forms one of the wheat berry's most valuable constituents.[1]

This process was far better adapted to making merchantable flour from spring wheat than the old milling process, and the spring wheat area of the North American continent, lying in the northwestern prairie states, was at this time on the eve of the great development that it witnessed during the next three decades. As early as 1878 a solid train of cars carrying 2,500 barrels of flour reached New York after an unbroken trip from Minneapolis, to make connection with a steamer which would deliver the consignment in London sixteen days from the time it left the Falls of St. Anthony.[2] In 1881 Minneapolis manufactured 3,125,000 barrels of flour. Three years later its annual output was 5,100,000 barrels, and by 1890 it manufactured flour-mill products to the value of nearly $31,000,000.[3] But though that city had by this time become the greatest flour-milling center in the United States and probably in the world, that did not imply a greater relative centralization of the industry, so far as we can form an estimate from our inadequate statistics, than existed at an earlier date when Richmond or Philadelphia or some other eastern town was equally prominent as a center of this industry.

Several efforts were made to combine the flour mills of a particular city in a giant corporation or trust. English capital was back of some of these schemes, partly perhaps because British importers were interested in the American flour trade and were encouraged by their familiarity with the distribution of the product to ultimate consumers to extend their control to grain buying and milling.[4] Parenthetically, a similar trend toward consolidation also appeared about this time in the principal flour-using industry, when shortly before 1893 a large number of bakeries producing crackers, gingersnaps and other package goods were amalgamated, as the New York Biscuit Company, which had 14 factories in New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and smaller eastern towns.[5]

[1] Robinson, The Wealth of Minnesota, 103-104; Northwestern Miller, quoted in American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XVI, 179, July 5, 1882; U. S. Commissioners to the Paris Exposition of 1889, Reports, IV, 516-517.
[2] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XII, 133, June 5, 1878.
[3] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XVII, 195, July 18 and 25, 1883; XX, 157, June 16, 1886; Eleventh Census, Report on Manufactures, II, 345.
[4] This was particularly true of Minneapolis; for consolidations at St. Louis and New York, cf. American iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXIV, 2, Jan. 1 and 8, 1890; Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LV, 215, Aug. 6, 1892
[5] Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LVIII, 304-305, Feb. 17, 1894


(Page 507)

Other notable improvements in the canning industry were the introduction of the autoclave, which made possible cooking temperatures as high as 500'; the invention of machinery for preparing fruits, vegetables and fish for canning and also for sealing cans; and some progress toward chemical and bacteriological control of products.[18] Machinery for making cans was likewise perfected, so that by 1885 their manufacture was becoming a separate industry demanding specialized plants.[19] Canneries were built in all parts of the country, but Maryland and California were the leading states in this industry.

In 1891 when the McKinley Law levying a high duty on tin plates was enacted, opponents of protection made much of the argument that this tax would increase the cost of canned goods to consumers.[20] The controversy is chiefly important here as illustrating how large a place this industry already held in the household economy of the people. As a matter of fact the cost of cans had declined, largely in consequence of the introduction of labor-saving machinery, until it was a relatively small item in the retail cost of the food they contained. They were quoted in 1891 at from $1.80 to $3 per hundred.[21]

[18] Collins, The Story of Canned Foods, 20-23.
[19] Collins, The Story of Canned Foods, 34-36.
[20] Cf. Stanwood, American Tariff Controversies, n, 290-291.
[21] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, xxv, 307, Oct. 21, 1891.


(Page 509)

Between 1880, when the slow recovery from the Civil War setback was over, and 1893 the cane-sugar crop of the United States was normally between 100,000 and 150,000 tons, except when the two-cent bounty paid by the Federal Government under the McKinley Act caused it temporarily to double.[26] The principal technical improvement was the introduction of the diffusion process in the late eighties. For a time this was expected to replace entirely the old method of crushing the cane in mills -- a hope destined to be disappointed because mill extraction was so rapidly improved.[27] Practically all the cane-sugar grown in the United States came from Louisiana, but cane continued to be planted in small quantities elsewhere along the Gulf Coa st." Two or three new sugar companies were organized in Florida in 1887, but the Federal census of 1890 reports but a single mill working in that state.

During the eighties there was a revival of interest in sorghum sugar. The cane had been raised in this country since 1853 and the crop had been rather a favorite with the Federal Agricultural Department for many years. An experimental farm near Washington distributed seed to farmers, and agents of the Department gave their aid in other ways to those who undertook its cultivation. Nevertheless after the Civil War interest in sorghum growing rapidly waned, although sorghum syrup continued to be manufactured for household and neighborhood use, especially in the western prairie states. The renewed attention given to this crop in the middle eighties was due to the expectation that a method would soon be perfected for manufacturing a dry sugar free from the sorghum taste, instead of merely syrup as heretofore. Two professors of chemistry at the State University of Illinois developed a process for crystallizing the syrup, and a factory was erected at Champaign which in 1893 actually produced some 80 tons of white sorghum sugar.[28] Another factory was established in New Jersey, whose legislature in 1881 granted a bounty of $1 a ton on cane and a cent a pound on merchantable sugar made from cane raised within the state. During the following four years this bounty was paid on more than 22,000 tons of cane and nearly 600 tons of sugar. Two factories in Kansas also made sorghum sugar at a reported profit. In 1887 even the agents of the Federal Government, who had hitherto been skeptical, were inclined to regard the experiment as at last successful. Congress continued to make appropriations to aid the industry and in 1888 allotted $80,000 for this purpose, which was divided among the eight or ten sorghum factories in the country which were actually making sugar. Investigations had then been underway intermittently for 25 years and the Government cautiously reported that with wise management, careful control and proper selection of locality, sorghum sugar industry might be financially successful.[29] Nevertheless by 1892 the industry was confined entirely to Kansas, whose citizens received a bounty under the McKinley Bill upon over 1,000,000 pounds of sorghum sugar.[30]

Naturally, the existence of a large and flourishing beet-sugar industry in Europe was known to the farmers of the United States and efforts had been made at intervals for 50 years to establish the industry on this side of the ocean. But American farming methods, the high cost of labor and the fact that early experiments were not always made in favorable localities prevented permanent success. In 1877, Maine offered a bonus of one cent a pound on all beet sugar manufactured in the state and a bounty of $7,000 a year for 10 years in addition as general encouragement for a beet-sugar factory. As a result such a factory was established in a sugar refinery at Portland, Maine, and went into operation in 1880.[31] Delaware likewise made a small appropriation in 1877 to encourage the experimental raising of sugar beets and the legislature recommended state aid to a beet-sugar factory. As a consequence such an establishment was erected near Wilmington, which also commenced operation in 1880.[32] Both this mill and the one in Maine drew their beet supply from a wide area, some coming even from Canada. The same year a mill was reported about to start in Franklin County, Massachusetts.[33] The Portland company ceased operation at the close of the 1881 campaign "on account of the unfitness of the soil for the production of beets," and a new company was organized to transfer the mill to the Mohawk Valley.[34]

All these eastern enterprises, like those in Illinois and Wisconsin ten years or more earlier, eventually failed; but meanwhile a permanent industry was slowly taking root in California, whither the machinery of the first Wisconsin factory was transferred about 1870.[35] Despite one failure of this original enterprise, the manufacture was almost immediately resumed and by 1880 it was on a commercial basis.[36] Thereafter progress, though slow, was sure. In 1883 the Alvarado factory in California made 500 tons and its profits reached 40 per cent.[37] There was an important step forward in 1888, when Claus Spreckels, a millionaire who had made a fortune raising cane sugar in Hawaii and had subsequently become interested in the refining industry both in California and at Philadelphia, went into this business. His first factory, at Watsonville, California, represented an investment of half a million dollars and its operations were on a scale comparable with that of the large cane-sugar mills of the South.[38] Three years later the Oxnards, already experienced sugar refiners, organized companies and erected large mills in Nebraska and Southern California.[39] The McKinley bounty came at a favorable time to stimulate this movement. In 1891 some 8,000 tons of beet sugar were produced, half at the Spreckels factory at Watsonville, the rest distributed among other mills in that state, Nebraska, Utah and Virginia.[40] In 1892, by which year the crop had risen to nearly 14,000 tons[41] representatives of six beet-sugar factories met in San Francisco and formed an association to encourage the industry, an indication that it was already on a paying basis.[42]

Sugar refining had long since become a highly centralized business confined to a few big companies. Its operations required a large liquid capital, tied up for a part of each season in raw sugar and therefore demanded the banking facilities afforded by a large city. Moreover, refineries could be most economically operated on the coast accessible to their raw materials, which mostly came by sea, and to distributing facilities. New York, Boston and Philadelphia were the refining centers of the Eastern States. New Orleans had refineries both as an importing city and as an adjunct to the Louisiana cane-sugar industry, although the product of the neighboring plantations was largely marketed to consumers in the form in which it came from the mills. Refineries had also been built in California, to refine the Hawaiian crop, which under the reciprocity treaty of 1875 entered this country free of duty. The geographical concentration of the industry, the speculative dangers that attended it when competition between refineries became over-active, the fact that the prosperity of refining depended upon a complex and technical system of import duties and drawbacks,[43] had from an early date encouraged more or less cooperation and close understanding among the refining interests of particular cities and sections of the country.[44] Nevertheless, price wars attended by heavy losses had occurred among refiners. So it was natural that when the trust movement swept over the country in the eighties and nineties sugar refining should be one of the first branches of business affected.

The initial attempt to consolidate and monopolize the industry occurred in 1887 when the "Sugar Refineries Company" was organized. This was a trust, controlling sixteen of the principal refineries -- in fact all in the country with the exception of two in Philadelphia, one in Boston and one in San Francisco.[45] Spreckels was at this time fighting the Trust, and had recently erected one of the independent Philadelphia establishments which was reported to be the largest in the world.[46] The Sugar Refineries Company was attacked in the courts by the Federal Government for violating the Act of Congress prohibiting trusts and monopolies, and was placed in the hands of its own organizers as receivers.[47] This caused it to be dissolved in 1890 and to be succeeded by an ordinary corporation which took over all its properties. The new corporation, "The American Sugar Refining Company," had a capital of $50,000,000 and it immediately made terms with Spreckels and other outsiders that gave it virtual control of the refining business of the country.[48] Its secretary and treasurer, testifying in a Federal suit to dissolve the Company in 1893, stated that it refined 90 per cent of all the sugar refined in the United States. Only five wholly independent establishments were in operation, one at Boston and four at Philadelphia. A majority of the refineries owned by the new company were closed down and in some instances dismantled; so that the effect of unified control was to concentrate the business in fewer and larger establishments.[49]

Glucose, or sugar made from starch, became an important industrial product during this period. The chief seat of the early manufacture was at Buffalo, where thousands of bushels of corn were converted into starch which was treated with sulphuric acid to produce a sugar which could be marketed at from 2 to 3 cents a pound, or very much below the cost of cane sugar or beet sugar. It was much used by confectioners and brewers, and as bee-food and in making artificial honey, but principally in the manufacture of syrup. In 1880 there were 7 glucose factories in the country with a product valued at $4,500,000, or equal to about one-third that of the cane-sugar crop.[50] Ten years later the chief seat of the industry was Illinois, and the product had increased to $7,757,000.

[26] Department of Commerce and Labor, Statistical Record of the Progress of the United States, 1800-1907, p. 28; Commercial and Financial Chronicle, XXVIII, 492, May 17, 1879; American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XX, 153, June 16, 1886; XXI, 25, Feb. 2, 1887; XXV, 209, July 22, 1891; National Association of Wool Manufacturers, Bulletin, XVII, 61, Jan. 1887.
[27] Cf. Louisiana Planter and Sugar Manufacturer, LXVI, 195, Mar. 26, 1921.
[28] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XVI, 315, Nov. 29, 1882; XVII, 315, Nov. 14, 1883.
[29] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XVII, 261, Sept. 19, 1883; XVII, 285, Oct. 10, 1883; XVII, 309, Nov. 7, 1883; XXI, 307, Nov. 2 and 9, 1887; XXIII, 269, Sept. 25, 1889; XXIII, 329, Dec. 4, 1889.
[30] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXVI, 69, Mar. 9, 1892; XXVI, 253, Aug. 31, 1892.
[31] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XI, 53, Feb. 21, 1877; XI, 202, Aug. 1, 1877; XIII, 218, Sept. 3, 1879.
[32] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XIII, 25, Feb. 5, 1879; XIII, 205, Aug. 13, 1879; XIV, 205, Aug. 18 and 25, 1880.
[33] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XIV, 300, Dec. 8, 1880.
[34] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XV, 75, Mar. 23 and 30, 1881; Blakey, The U. S. Beet Sugar Industry and the Tariff, 34; U. S. Commissioner of Agriculture, Report, 1880, p. 9: id. Report, 1881, p. 675.
[35] Blakey, The U. S. Beet Sugar Industry and the Tariff, 34.
[36] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XV, 106, Apr. 27, 1881.
[37] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XIX, 58, Mar. 4, 1885.
[38]American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXI 138, May 25, 1887; XXI, 317, Nov' 16, 1887; XXIX, 5, Jan. 4, 1888; XXIII, 219, Aug. 14, 1889; XXIV, 149, May 28, 1890.
[39] Blakey, The U. S. Beet Sugar Industry and the Tariff, 35; American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXV, 117, Apr. 23 and 30, 1890; XXIV, 293, Oct. 15, 1890; XXIV, 317, Nov. 5, 1890; XXIV, 371, Dec. 31, 1890; XXV, 245, Aug. 19, 1891.
[40] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXV, 218, July 29, 1891.
[41] U. S. Commissioner of Agriculture, Report, 1892, 467.
[42] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXVI, 33, Feb. 10, 1892; XXVI, 82, Mar. 23 and 30, 1892.
[43] Cf. Commercial and Financial Chronicle, XXII, 98-100, Jan. 29, 1876; Vogt, The Sugar Refining Industry in the United States, 26-33.
[44] Vogt, The Sugar Refining Industry in the United States, 34-35.
[45] Vogt, The Sugar Refining Industry in the United States, 35-36; Van Hise, Concentration and Control, 147; American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXII, 117, Apr. 11, 1888.
[46] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXIII, 209, Aug. 7, 1889; Vogt, The Sugar Refining Industry in the United States, 43-45.
[47] Commercial and Financial Chronicle, XLIX, 617, Nov. 9, 1889; LI, 646, Nov. 8, 1890; LI, 681, Nov. 15, 1890; Vogt, The Sugar Refining Industry in the United States, 42-43.
[48] Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LI, 115, July 26, 1890; LII, 120-121, Jan. 17, 1891; LII, 535, Apr. 4, 1891; Van Hise, Concentration and Control, 148.
[49] Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LV, 177, July 30, 1892; cf., however, Vogt, The Sugar Refining Industry in the United States, 48.
[50] Tenth Census, Statistics of Manufactures, 999, 1001, 1002 (Report on the Manufacture of Chemical Products and Salt, 9, 11, and 12 footnotes); Popular Science Monthly, XIX, 251, June 1881.

Volume III, 1893-1928


(Page 118)

Even after other forms of steel acquired in the aggregate relatively greater importance, the rail business continued to be the largest single branch of the industry. The outstanding features of its history during these twenty years were the rolling of rails of heavier weight and greater length than heretofore, the rapid increase in the production of heavy girder rails for electric lines, the remarkable increase in the use of open-hearth steel in preference to Bessemer steel, especially for rails of the heavier type, and the increasing employment of nickel, vanadium and other alloy rails, as already described, on track exposed to unusually heavy service. Meanwhile the geography of this industry did not change materially. Colorado continued to manufacture rails in considerable quantities for Western roads. With the growth of our export trade in iron and steel, beginning in the middle nineties, and with the application of drawbacks to steel manufactures made from imported iron for export, the rolling of rails for export markets, especially in the tidewater district, was encouraged. As previously mentioned, American steel plants shipped girder rails and heavy rails for railway service even to Great Britain, and contributed largely to the needs of builders in South America, Japan, Australia, India, South Africa and nearly every colony and rail-importing country where construction was at this time active. The most notable addition to our producing districts was Alabama, which for a period was our largest manufacturer of open-hearth rails; though rails of this material were also made in Colorado and Pennsylvania, and ultimately in large quantities in Illinois and elsewhere.

We have seen previously that the rail business was controlled during most of this period by a pool, which fixed prices and allotted output to its cons.tituent firms. This organization, which dated back to 1885, had a stormy career and was temporarily terminated on various occasions.[1] Prior to the organization of the United States Steel Corporation it was dominated by the Carnegie Steel Company and the Illinois Steel Company, which usually worked under an agreement that made them virtually a pool within a pool. When they fell out the pool was disrupted, as happened in 1897, and this dangerous rivalry was one motive for organizing the United States Steel Corporation, thus bringing together under single management the two most powerful competitors in this industrial field.

In 1894 the Pennsylvania Railway increased the standard weight of steel rails on its main line from 85 to 100 pounds per yard.[2] With the introduction of heavier locomotives and rolling stock and of larger rail sections, rail tests became more exacting. It was this condition that speeded up the transition from Bessemer to open-hearth steel as soon as it was discovered that the latter material was likely to prove the more reliable and uniform when worked in large masses.[3] Yet as recently as 1900 more than two-thirds of the rails made in the United States weighed less than 85 pounds per yard; and of nearly 2,400,000 tons produced that year, only 1,333 tons -- and these in lighter sections -- were made of open-hearth steel. Iron rails had practically disappeared, less than a thousand tons being made that year.[4] In 1907 the Harriman lines placed their largest orders, amounting to 150,000 tons, with the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company, which made only open-hearth rails.[5] Two years later the increase of rails of this character was the most notable feature of the season. For years the defects of Bessemer rails had been discussed by engineers and railway men, and the result was a general turning to the open-hearth furnaces for materials. Even at that date the greater part of the open-hearth rails produced in the United States were made at the Ensley, Alabama, works of the Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company.[6] In 1910 when we rolled 3,636,000 tons of rails in this country -- a figure not exceeded prior to the World War except in 1906, when we produced just under 4,000,000 tons -- Bessemer steel still out-ranked open-hearth steel, though by only 13.5,000 tons. By 1914 we produced well toward five times as many open­hearth as Bessemer rails, and the Bessemer output had sunk within four years from nearly 2,000,000 tons to 324,000 tons -- though it should be observed there was a heavy decline of 50 per cent in our total output of rails during this period. A new item in rail statistics at this time recorded a modest beginning in the production of rails from electric steel.[7]

[1] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXVI, 44, Feb. 20, 1897.
[2] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXVIII, 253, Nov. 3, 1894.
[3] Cf. American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXI, 245, Nov. 1, 1897.
[4] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXV, 116, Aug. 10, 1901.
[5] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XLI, 61, May 15, 1907.
[6] Mineral Industry, XVIII, 406.
[7] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin XLV, 20, Feb. 20, 1911; Mineral Industry, XIX, 413; XXIII, 410.

Locomotives And Rolling Stock

(Page 136)

No branch of our engineering industries suffered more from the panic of 1893 than the manufacture of locomotives, cars and other railway equipment. During the years immediately preceding, American works had made over 2,000 locomotives annually; in 1894 the number fell abruptly to 695, of which more than 80 were built for export. The number of railway cars constructed declined from over 50,000 to some 17,000 in a single year. The latter figure is still more striking if we recall that the number of cars built in 1890 well exceeded 100,000. The year 1894 was marked further by a dramatic strike at Pullman, Illinois, where a number of standing grievances were brought to a head by measures taken by the Company to reduce costs of production in order to keep their plant at least partially employed. The earnings of the Michigan-Peninsular-Car Company, probably the largest manufacturer of rolling stock other than locomotives in the United States, fell within twelve months from $867,000 to $36,000.[1]

Recovery from this depression was very gradual, though the building of locomotives for export was fairly active, especially at the Baldwin Works. In 1894 the number completed in the country increased to 1,109, while the number of freight cars nearly doubled. An agreement was entered into between the Baldwin Works of Philadelphia and the Westinghouse Com­pany of Pittsburgh for the manufacture of el6ctric locomotives, the former firm making the bodies of the engines, the latter the electrical machinery to supply the motive power.[2] In 1896 the Baldwin Works completed eight electric locomotives for the Chicago Elevated Railway.[3] Steel cars, whose introduction was to be one of the most notable improvements of this period, first began to attract attention this year. Steel was first employed in the form of channel underframes for flat cars, although practically at the same time that this construction was introduced the Carnegie Company made hopper bottom cars of steel throughout, as well as composite flat cars with steel frames and wooden floors. Iron continued to be used for car wheels, although charcoal iron was no longer employed to the same extent as a few years previously. This was due to the fact that steel makers found that the tested mixtures used in old car wheels were an even more reliable material than the pigs fresh from the furnace, and therefore much scrap was employed in this branch of foundry work.[4]

By 1897 the worst of the depression was over. American firms were exporting locomotives to China, South America and Europe. The Baldwin Works closed orders within a single week for fifty-nine locomotives to be delivered to five countries outside the United States. Output was still far below the record figures prior to the panic, however, the number built in 1897 being 1,251 as compared with some 2,300 in 1890. Compound loco­motives were becoming more common, and the export business steadily gained upon the domestic business. The number of cars built was less than 44,000, as compared with 103,000 in 1890. The low price of steel hastened the adoption of all-steel cars, cost having been the principal obstacle to its earlier use. In 1880 a steel car cost several times as much as a wooden car; by 1897 it could be built for about the same sum as a wooden car per ton of carrying capacity. Naturally, steel cars were roost rapidly adopted upon the roads running out of Pittsburgh, where they were used for carrying ore.[5]

In 1898, when 1,875 locomotives were built by works outside of carshops, it was noted that 20 per cent were compounds, as compared with but 11 per cent even a year before. Twelve electric locomotives were made this season; and exports continued to grow. The average size of locomotives was increasing, as it had been consistently since the first railways were constructed in this country, and the largest now weighed 115 tons. The Baldwin Works still shipped locomotives to Russia, which had been a customer of American makers from the time her first railways were built. The same works also supplied locomotives for British railways, partly because they could make prompter deliveries than English firms. The two leading establishments building steel cars were rushed with orders; and the assertion was repeated with significant insistence that these could be built as cheaply per ton of carrying capacity as wooden cars. The Carnegie Company erected a large plant at Homestead especially for this branch of manufacture.[6]

In 1899 the number of locomotives made in the United States exceeded the number in 1890 for the first time since the panic. Within five months British cperated railways in England and India ordered 130 locomotives of American makers, partly because they could be bought for less money in the United States than at home. This was also a record year for the manufacture of freight cars, the total number approximating 124,000.[7] Naturally car building did not escape the movement toward consolidation that was so marked in most industries at this time. In 1899 the American Car and Foundry Company was organized under the laws of New Jersey to combine thirteen of the most important plants in the United States. During the first five months of its existence the new Company, whose ca­pacity was about 7,500 cars a month, made over 26,000 cars, in addition to a very large quantity of replacement parts and car findings.[8] Another consolidation brought together the two largest makers of pressed steel cars in the United States, the Schoen Pressed Steel Company and the Fox Pressed Steel Equipment Company, as the Pressed Steel Car Company with a capital of $25,000,000. The new amalgamation controlled important patents registered in the United States and abroad, and its annual capacity was 12,000 steel cars per year, plus truck frames, bolsters and smaller articles which were used on wooden cars. The Company at once added to its plant at Joliet, increasing the capacity by 30 cars a day, and extended its business in other directions.[9] It had competitors, however, the Carnegie Company filling single orders for as high as 2,000 steel hopper and gondola cars. The Southern Car and Foundry Company had extensive works in the South. The same year the International Car Wheel Company, the American Switch Company and the American Railway Equipment Company, each embracing a group of firms engaged in the manufacture of certain special lines of railway equipment, were organized, and the Pullman Palace Car Company and the Wagner Palace Car Company were consolidated.[10]

With the beginning of the century a new era of large output for all classes of railway rolling stock began. In 1900 the number of locomotives built abruptly rose to 3,153, of which the Baldwin Locomotive Works alone made 1,217. Steel car making, though still less than four years old in America, was already a prominent industry. Similar cars had been employed in Europe for twenty or thirty years, but new principles of construction and, above all, much larger units were used in the United States. In 1900 the Pressed Steel Car Company erected separate works near Pittsburgh for making wooden cars on steel frames, thus raising the capacity of its plants to 180 cars a day; and its orders on hand at the close of the year aggregated nearly 18,000 cars. The Cambria Company also made steel cars in considerable quantities. The American Car and Foundry Company, the enormous organization with $60,000,000 authorized capital formed the year before, made street cars at some of its plants. Last of all, the Southern Car and Foundry Company, an amalgamation of several works, erected a plant at Birmingham, in close alliance with the Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company, with a capacity of 10 wooden and 10 pressed steel cars a day.[11]

By 1902 the number of locomotives made in the United States for the first time exceeded 4,000, of which 47 were electric. Early this year the Baldwin Works celebrated their seventieth anniversary and the completion of their twenty-thousandth locomotive. The number of steam railway cars built by independent plants, that is, not including railroad shops, was nearly 165,000, of which 15 per cent were steel. This year the Pressed Steel Car Company had completed its 60,000th car, five years after the first modern steel car was made in the United States. At this time two types of steel car construction had been introduced -- that covered by the patents of the Pressed Steel Car Company, in which the parts were shaped with the aid of hydraulic presses, and fabricated cars employing ordinary structural shapes, such as flat plates and beams. Cars of the latter type were made by the Cambria Company and by the Sterlingworth Company, of Easton·, Pennsylvania.[12]

Rapid as had been the increase of rolling stock during the first years of the century, it was estimated in 1905 that while the number of locomotives in the country had increased from 31,000 to nearly 45,000 in 15 years, or about 40 per cent, and the number of cars had risen from 1,100,000 to 1,550,000 or in about the same proportion as the locomotives, the volume of freight moved during the same period had increased 153 per cent. While locomotives and cars were of heavier construction and capacity in 1905 than in 1890, these figures seem to show a decided decline·in equipment as compared with the service rendered by it. This year the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the first time in their history made more than 2,000 locomotives. It will be recalled that this was about the maximum output for the entire country ten years before. Of these locomotives 85 were operated by electricity and 300 were compound.[13]

By this time all the locomotive works in the United States, with the exception of the Baldwin Company, were combined under the control of the American Locomotive Company, a fifty-million dollar corporation, which owned establishments at Paterson, New Jersey; Providence, Rhode Island; Manchester, New Hampshire; Schenectady and Dunkirk, New York; Pittsburgh and Scranton, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; and Montreal, Canada. At Paterson the Company owned two plants, the Cook Locomotive and Machine Company and the Rogers Locomotive Works. These nine plants made only a few more locomotives than the Baldwin Works alone, the total output of the United States and Canada in 1905 aside from those built at railway shops being 5,491.[14]

By 1906 about 45 per cent of the cars made in the United States were either entirely of steel or had steel underframes, and the total consumption of steel for this single purpose was estimated at more than 600,000 tons. Indeed, an even larger proportion of the cars made would have been of this material had it been possible to obtain steel promptly. Of course the proportion of steel cars in the total freight equipment of the country was not so large, because the older wooden cars formerly exclusively in use were still in service; nevertheless, all-steel or part-steel equipment was now about 12 per cent of the total. Simultaneously the size of cars had increased rapidly, those of fifty-ton capacity being the standard of the Pennsylvania Road, and largely employed on the Harriman system, while forty-ton cars were in common use on other lines. It was now possible to build wooden cars of the latter capacity by careful body trussing, and since such cars could be delivered several months earlier than steel cars, on account of the scarcity of steel just mentioned, many roads that were pressed for rolling stock ordered the latter. Furthermore, the fabricated or structural steel underframe car was gaining upon the pressed steel car, because of the waste of material in forming the larger members by pressing and the difficulty of repairing them. Even the wooden car of this period often contained light steel sections in place of wood.[15]

During 1906, also, the Pennsylvania Railway Company ordered the first all-steel passenger coaches regularly contracted for in the United States. The next year the same company placed orders for 200 steel passenger cars, since only steel coaches were to be used in the tunnels of the New York terminal, which were at this time approaching completion. Three years later the number of such cars in service was 1,228. The United States Steel Corporation, through the American Car and Foundry Company, erected one of the largest steel-car plants in the United States at Gary, Indiana. During 1907 the Baldwin Works built 2,663 locomotives. This equalled numerically the entire output for the first thirty years of the firm's history and, measured by traction power, of course, greatly exceeded it. The Company completed its thirty-thousandth locomotive that year, and within a quarter of a century it had raised the capacity of its works from 300 locomotives per annum to nine locomotives a day.[16]

This period of extraordinary activity was followed by a sudden setback in 1908, when the car works of the United States built only 27 per cent as many cars as the previous year, while the number of locomotives constructed fell from 7,362 to 2,342. This depression continued into 1909. During the spring of that year but two of the ten plants of the American Locomotive Company -- those at Schenectady and at Montreal -- were in operation. The Baldwin Works were at this time incorporated, having hitherto existed as an unlimited partnership, under which form they had operated since 1832.[17]

Between 1900 and 1913 the tonnage carried by the railways of the United States more than doubled, exceeding in the latter year 300,000,000,000 tons. This tonnage was naturally transported with far fewer locomotives, cars and trains than at the earlier date, and the possibility of this development was due, to a very large extent, to the progress in steel making, which had made it practicable to use heavier rail sections, larger locomotives, and steel cars. In the manufacture of rolling stock, as well as of rails, alloys were now used to some extent. Seventeen roads employed vanadium steel frames in locomotive construction, and ten used chrome-vanadium more or less experimentally for piston rods, axles, crank pins and other machinery parts.[18]

[1] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXIX, 10, Jan. 9, 1895; XXIX, 108, May 10,1895; Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LIX, 28-29, July 7, 1894; LIX, 717, Oct. 27, 1894; LIX, 778, Nov. 3, 1894.
[2] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXIX, 107, May 10, 1895; XXX, 10, Jan. 10,1896; XXX, 29, Feb. 1, 1896; Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LXI, 1132-1133, Dec. 28, 1895.
[3] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXIX, 181, Aug. 10, 1895; XXX, 77, Apr. 1,1896; cf., Boston Journal of Commerce, XLII, 262, July 29, 1893.
[4] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXX, 11, Jan. 10, 1896; XXX, 153, July 10, 1896; XXIII, 5, Jan. 1, 1899.
[5] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXI, 75, Apr. 1, 1897; XXXI, 109, May 10, 1897; XXXXI, 261, Nov. 20, 1897; XXXII, 11, Jan. 15, 1898; Boston Journal of Commerce, XLIX, 232, Jan. 9, 1897.
[6] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXII, 42, Mar. 15, 1898; XXXII, 155, Oct. 15, 1898; XXXII, 189, Dec. 1, 1898; XXXII, 11, 13, Jan. 15, 1899; Commerial and Financial Chronicle, LXVIII, 57-58, Jan. 14, 1899; Boston Journal of Commerce, LIV, 318-319, July 29, 1899.
[7] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXIII, 33, Mar. 1, 1899; XXXIII, 84, May 15, 1899; XXXIV, 12, Jan. 15, 1900.
[8] Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LXVIII, 280, Feb. 11, 1899; LXVIII, 668, Apr. 8, 1899; LXVIII, 1029, May 27, 1899; LXIX, 542, Sept. 9, 1899; LXIX, 908, Oct. 28, 1899.
[9] Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LXVIII, 131, Jan. 21, 1899; LXVIII, 188, Jan. 28, 1899; LXIX, 745, Oct. 7, 1899.
[10] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXIII, 25, Feb. 15, 1899; Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LXVIII, 826, Apr. 29, 1899; LXVIII, 974, May 20, 1899; LXIX, 130, July 15, 1899; LXIX, 227, July 29, 1899; LXIX, 854, Oct. 21, 1899.
[11] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXIV, 115, July 1, 1900; XXXV, 5, Jan. 10, 1901; XXXV, 11, Jan. 23, 1901; Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LXX, 1000, May 19, 1900; LXXI, 1273, Dec. 22, 1900; LXXI, 1312, Dec. 29, 1900.
[12] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXV, 45, Mar. 25, 1901; XXXVI, 29, Feb. 25, 1902; XXXVI, 50, Apr. 10, 1902; XXXVII, 3, Jan. 10, 1903; XXXVII, 53, Apr. 10, 1903.
[13] Manufacturers' Record, XLVII, 263, Apr. 13, 1905; American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXVIII, 21, Feb. 10, 1904.
[14] Manufacturers' Record, XLVII, 25, Jan. 26, 1905; American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXIX, 5, Jan. 5, 1905.
[15] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXX, 13, Jan. 19, 1906.
[16] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XL, 90, July 1, 1906; XLI, 18, Feb. 22, 1907; XLI, 61, May 15, 1907; XLII, 14, Feb. 1, 1908; XLIII, 3, Jan. 1, 1909.
[17] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XLIII, 3, Jan. 1, 1909; XLIII, 14, Feb. 1, 1909; XLIII, 62, July 1, 1909.
[18] Iron Age, XCIV, 186, July 6, 1914; XCIV, 273, July 30, 1914.

The Cement Age

(Page 253)

While the lumber industry was reaching its maximum output and begin­ning to decline, a new building material, and one better suited than timber for the constructions of a nation fast becoming a people of city dwellers and factory workers, was beginning to take its place. This was cement, the rapidly expanding manufacture of which during the first years of the century was attributed "in no small part to its substitution for wood in public works and for structural purposes;"[1] and indeed we may say that the nineties witnessed the true dawn in America of the age of both cement and structural steel, although there had been earlier premonitions of its coming.

In 1894 the United States produced about one-fifth of the forty million barrels of cement of all kinds made annually in the world, but stood a poor third to Great Britain and Germany in this industry. Thirty years later it manufactured about half of the world's output, and four times as much as Great Britain, its nearest rival. Notwithstanding a duty of 32 cents a barrel, large quantities were imported throughout the early nineties, partly because buyers had a pronounced preference for the foreign article. In 1892, just before the panic, American plants made only 547,000 barrels of Portland cement, while five times that amount was brought from abroad, and during the years immediately preceding several works had been either abandoned or had run at a loss. The foreign product was brought to the United States practically at ballast rates, so that the European producer often enjoyed lower freights than his American competitors to our coastal markets. Natural or hydraulic cement commanded only 25 cents a barrel in bulk in some sections of the country and there was a marked depression in the entire industry.

At this time the old-fashioned high kilns were still used in many places for burning cement, and a large amount of labor was necessarily employed in handling materials. But the rotary kiln, which was to accomplish so much in lessening labor costs, and eventually in economizing fuel and accelerating production, had recently been installed successfully at several plants. Indeed what was to be the American system of cement manufacture was already foreshadowed, although not yet generally adopted or fully perfected.[2]

By 1896, when there were twenty-four Portland cement works in the United States, half of which had rotary kilns, costs had been so far reduced that both the importation of Portland cement and the manufacture of natural cement were decreasing. During this and the following year plants to make cement from furnace slag were installed at the North Chicago Works of the Illinois Steel Company and at the steel works at Sparrows Point, Maryland.[3]

By this time the rapid growth of the industry was foreseen, although the proportions it was to assume within a very few years could hardly have been anticipated. The rotary kiln, which had been handicapped ever since its introduction in 1889 by expensive fuel, had been improved ten years later so as to permit the use of powdered coal instead of crude petroleum, which had cost at the works from 30 to 40 cents a barrel. The effect of this was to reduce the cost of production in America to less than that in England, and practically to the level in Germany. With the cheapening of the product, a rapid expansion of its use occurred. Railways were its earliest large consumers. During 1899 New Jersey nearly doubled its product, and Michigan appeared for the first time as a large producer. The total output of Portland cement made in the country rose from slightly over 3,500,000 barrels in 1898, to well toward 6,000,000 barrels the following year. The output of natural cement, which was shipped in somewhat smaller containers, again increased, and rose the latter year to more than 10,000,000 barrels. About this time the industry was established in Kansas, where natural gas was used as fuel and caused a great expansion of both cement and brick-making in that section. Indeed in 1910 the largest individual plant in the United States was in this state.[4]

At the turn of the century the output of Portland cement for the first time exceeded that of natural cement, which entered upon a permanent decline after the peak of 1899, and the era of startling growth began that was to carry the product from about 3,000,000 barrels to about 80,000,000 barrels within a decade. The two largest manufacturers of Portland cement at this time were the American Cement Company, organized as a Pennsyl­vania corporation in 1884 and as a New Jersey corporation in 1899, which operated six mills in the former state and in New York and turned out 1,200,000 barrels a year, and the Atlas Company, which also had its seat in the Lehigh Valley, where most of the Portland cement works of the ceuntry were situated. These two companies accounted for nearly half of the total production of the United States. By the opening years of the new century American manufacturers had virtually conquered the home market and the domestic product was generally considered better than that imported. Contemporary records of the industry consist of little else than statistics of its marvelous expansion. Slag cement, though relatively less important in tables of output, occupied a prominent place in contem­porary technical discussion.[5]

This period of growth was accompanied by the erection of many new plants in the West and South, near the great consuming markets afforded by the numerous engineering and construction enterprises of these rapidly developing sections, and also by a marked decline in prices. In 1900 the industry was alarmed because Portland cement quotations had fallen to $1.40 a barrel; five years later an average price of 90 cents a barrel was not considered ruinous and natural cement sold as low as 50 cents a barrel.[6] The trend of the industry toward the West and South reduced the lead of the Lehigh Valley as a producing center. Between 1887 and 1914 the proportion of the country's output manufactured in that region fell from 75 per cent, to 28 per cent, notwithstanding the fact that in the meantime the output of the Lehigh Valley mills had quadrupled and was larger at the later date than that of the whole country eleven years before.[7] The growth of individual concerns is illustrated by the Universal Cement Company, which employed Bessemer slag and limestone as its raw materials and increased its output from 32,000 barrels in 1900 to about 6,000,000 barrels eight years later.[8]

The technical advance of the industry was in two directions -- better machinery and better chemical control of products by the careful selection and combination of raw materials. The early rotary kilns were 30 feet long. They had doubled in average length by 1905; and Thomas Edison had installed two kilns 150 feet long, which reduced coal consumption per barrel of cement by more than half,[9] and in 1914 46 kilns of this length or longer were in use. More powerful grinding machines and finer grinding lowered the cost of production and simultaneously raised the quality of the product. With the employment of this material in large buildings, bridges and engineering works, new methods of testing and new reliability standards had to be devised. It was necessary to create a science of cement construction parallel with the science of cement manufacture.[10]

In 1914 the total output of cement of all kinds was more than 87,000,000 barrels. It had reached nearly 90,000,000 barrels, its maximum for this period, the previous year. The amount of natural cement made had declined from the 10,000,000 barrels mentioned at an earlier date to three­quarters of a million barrels; and the production of Puzzolan cement, which was made from slag and lime, was small and decreasing. Pennsylvania still manufactured well toward one-third of the country's output, followed at a long interval by Indiana, which had the largest individual plants in the United States. But the industry was widely distributed, its geography being determined largely by the presence of cheap fuel. Coal was chiefly used, but nearly 8,000,000 barrels were made with oil and a quarter of a million barrels with natural gas.[11] In 1900 the United States produced about one-tenth as much cement as pig iron; ten years later this proportion had risen to 47 per cent. In several states the consumption of Portland cement exceeded one barrel per capita annually.[12]

No trusts or corporations exercising monopoly control were formed in the cement business; but about 1904 manufacturers organized a national body known as the Portland Cement Association. The purpose of this society resembled in a general way that of the associations formed among lumber producers. It standardized commercial practices and attempted to establish standards of product. The latter function eventually necessitated setting up a great research and testing laboratory at Chicago, which contributed largely to the technical advance of the industry.[13]

[1] Mineral Industry, XV, 100, 107.
[2] U. S. Geological Survey, Mineral Resources of the United Slates, 1892, 739-745; Mineral Industry, III, 90; Committee on Ways and Means, 54th Cong., 2d sess., Tariff Hearings, I, 182-183.
[3] Mineral Industry, V, 64; American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXX, 157, July 10, 1896; Manufacturers' Record, Aug. 1, 1897.
[4] Mineral Industry, VII, 113-114, VIII, 83-85; Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LXXI, 1015, Nov. 17, 1900.
[5] Mineral Industry, X, 80-82, 89; XI, 85-87; XII, 41; Commercial and Financial Chronitle,
LXIX, 1249, Dec. 16, 1899.
[6] Mineral Industry, IX, 77; XIII, 49-50.
[7] U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Resources of the United Stales, 1915, II, 198.
[8] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XLII, 130, Dec. 1, 1908; cf., Mineral Industry, XX, 440; U. S. Ge<ilogical Survey, Mineral Resources of the United States, 1915, II, 205.
[9] Mineral Industry, XV, 112-113.
[10] Cf., Willis and Byers, Portland Cement Prices, 76-82.
[11] U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Resources of the United States, 1915, II, 195, 205.
[12] U. S. Geological Survey, Mineral Resources of the United States, 1915, II, 202; Willis and Byers, Portland Ce111e11t Prices, 18.
[13] Willis and Byers, Portland Cement Prices, 23-53; Hungerford, Observations on an Outstanding American Industry, 30-36.
[14] Mineral Industry, VI, 153; VIII 101.

Flour Milling

(Page 266)

Although our wheat lands have by no means reached the stage of maximum production and threatened progressive exhaustion that apparently has arrived in case of our forest resources, it is significant that during the first two decades of this century the wheat flour output of the United States increased only half as fast as the population, despite the stimulation of war markets and of a growing demand in all consuming countries. Nevertheless the milling industry showed a steady growth and the quantity of wheat ground increased faster than that of corn, oats and the minor grains that contributed to its total product. Minnesota far outranked any other state in value of output, although New York, which held second place in this manufacture, ground more corn, oats and buckwheat than its northwestern rival; and early in the century Kansas advanced within five years from the tenth to the third position among flour-making states. Establishments increased steadily in size as well as number, their average capacity much more than doubling during the half century before the World War.[12]

No such radical improvement as the introduction of the roller process in the seventies marked the technical advance of the industry at this time; nor was its geography affected by new influences like the extension of wheat raising into the northwestern prairies during the preceding decades. Our great merchant-milling areas were the tier of states next to the Canadian border from Minnesota to the Pacific Coast, and the cluster of states tributary to Kansas City in the heart of the Union, both of which regions manufactured far more flour than they consumed. On the other hand important and populous sections of the country, like New England and the Central Atlantic states, and the cotton-growing district from North Carolina to Texas, produced less flour than they used. In general the greatest excess of production above local consumption was in the hard-wheat area of the Northwest, which manufactured about nine barrels per capita, as compared with less than one-tenth of a barrel per capita in New England or in the cotton region.[13] A matter of historical rather than statistical interest was the continued prosperity of Richmond, Virginia, as a flour­milling center, a rather unique instance of the survival of an important industry drawing its raw materials from the farm on the same site for well over a century. In 1914 the Gallego Mills of that city were filling the largest export orders recorded in their 116 years of active operation.[14]

About the time the roller process was introduced in the United States, conflicting patents for flour-mill machinery burdened the industry with so much litigation that the leading producers formed a protective association to defend themselves against this flood of lawsuits. Eventually the original motive for the existence of this society, which was known as the Millers' National Association, lost its former importance, and it assumed other functions, such as looking after railway charges and claims for its members,

[12] Twelfth Census, Reports, IX, 357; Bureau of the Census, Manufactures, 1905, III, 345; Thirteenth Census, Reports, X, 406-407; Bureau of the Census, Manufactures, 1914, II, 395, 401; Federal Trade Commission, Commercial Wheat Flour Milling, 7.
[13] Federal Trade Commission, Commercial Wheat Flour Milling, Map I.
[14] Manufacturers' Record, LXVI, 44, Oct. 8, 1914.

standardizing products and maintaining prices. Local mill consolidations occurred at Minneapolis, which was the country's greatest flour-manufac­turing center, and elsewhere, but never acquired national importance until 1899, wheu some twenty-four important mills, at points as far apart as New York City, Minneapolis and Superior, were brought together in a single corporation. This combination, the United States Flour Milling Company, had an output of 40,000 or 50,000 barrels a day when its mills were running to capacity; but it did not exercise an appreciable control over prices. In general the big milling companies were the most extensively engaged in the export trade; while custom flour mills or gristmills, and the small local merchant millers, supplied a relatively larger share of the domes­tic consumption.[15]

[15] U. S. Industrial Commission, Reports, IV, 240-246; Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LXIX, 1010, Nov. 11, 1899.

Cereals, Bakery Goods, And Miscellaneous Grain Products

(page 268)

Closely allied with flour milling in respect to raw materials and markets, and sometimes associated with the latter industry under common ownership, was the manufacture of breakfast foods, which attained large proportions during the decades we are describing. But this manufacture had a distinct technique and its marketing methods, particularly in respect to intensive advertising and the featuring of brands and trademarks, were at first different from those of the flour business. In 1899 an attempt was made to combine the larger companies into a single corporation, including about 95 per cent of the mill capacity of the country, which was estimated to be between 14,000 and 15,000 barrels a day. Although this project was not realized as originally planned, great firms, utilizing patented processes and formulas and controlling widely advertized brands, were characteristic of the industry. Most of the more important plants were in the Central West, between Niagara Falls and Minneapolis; but there were also large establishments in Canada.[16]

Consolidation was also the order of the day in the baking industries. By the middle nineties several large companies, representing for the most part combinations of plants associated by their location or by common sources of capital, occupied conspicuous positions in this business at New York City and at other important population centers. In 1898 the New York City Biscuit Company, The American Biscuit and Manufacturing Company, The United States Baking Company, and the United States Blscuit Company consolidated as The National Biscuit Company with a total capital of $55,000,000. There had been severe competition in the industry for some time previously, and the combined companies from the first operated as one. The new corporation controlled the cracker and biscuit trade between the Atlantic Ocean and the Rocky Mountains, operating 139 plants, or about 90 per cent of all the larger bakeries in the country. It started out with a settled policy of reducing its percentage of profit but of simultaneously increasing its total profit by multiplying its sales. In spite of the large share of the commercial baking business, at least in certain lines, that the consolidation controlled, the first report of the President said:

"We have no monopoly...We always expect to have a great deal of competition. We purpose to get the business and to hold it by selling better goods, by furnishing them in a better condition to consumers and at lower prices...than our competitors are able to do."[17]

A very large increase in sales testified to the wisdom of this policy -- so large, indeed, that it was at times impossible to fill the demand for goods. This was accounted for partly, however, by scientific advertising and the distribution of products in attractive sanitary packages. Within two years the combination's annual consumption of flour exceeded 2,000,000 barrels. At this time the National Biscuit Company was said to have a working agreement with the Pacific Coast Biscuit Company, which was organized almost simultaneously and controlled the biscuit, cracker and cake trade of the three Coast states, not to operate west of the Rocky Mountains, while the Pacific Coast company shipped none of its products east of that boundary. Notwithstanding the existence of these large corporations, however, many small cracker-manufacturing companies were formed during the next few years, particularly in the South.[18]

Starch, like casein, is employed in the industries as well as for food, but its manufacture falls into the category we are now considering because it is made largely from Indian corn in America, and because other food products, like glucose and maize oil, are usually produced in connection with it. Little need be added to what has been said in previous chapters concerning the statistics and technology of its production; but a certain degree of interest attaches to the fact that this industry, like so many branches of the food manufacture, fell into the hands of two large corporations, which united in 1900 to form the National Starch Manufacturing Company. The United States Glucose Company, which was in turn a large stockholder in the United States Sugar Refinery, also joined this combination, which two years later became the Corn Products Company, controlling about 84 per cent of the starch output of the country. Two other reorganizations followed before this amalgamation emerged as the present Corn Products Refining Company.

The manufacture of glucose was a well-established industry before 1890, but until the late nineties it was dispersed in relatively small establishments scattered throughout the corn belt. The quantity of sugar obtained per bushel of corn was comparatively small, and many valuable by-products were lost on account of the technical imperfections of the plants and lack of expert scientific control of processes. In 1898, several of the more important companies formed a consolidation known as the American Glucose Sugar Refining Company, later incorporated in the Corn Products Company. This new combination, or trust, set chemists at work perfecting processes and investigating new products and their possibilities. A hopeful essay was made in the direction of producing artificial rubber from corn oil, and a fairly successful rubber adulterant or dilutant was discovered. The products of the trust, which used over 20,000,000 bushels of corn in its operations, consisted of more than 500,000,000 pounds of glucose, 100,000,000 pounds of sugar, 120,000,000 pounds of starch, 2,500,000 pounds of dextrine, and 160,000 tons of residue. Altogether, the glucose companies turned out over thirty commodities entirely derived from corn, and the demand for glucose itself from confectioners, brewers, fruit driers and pre­servers was described as practically unlimited. Within a few years improvements in machinery and processes nearly doubled the quantity of glucose secured from a bushel of corn.[19] In few industries was the concentration of production in large plants more marked than in this one. Though the two were closely associated, the manufacture of glucose made much faster progress than that of starch. The value of their product was about equal in 1889; but twenty-five years later the output of the former was worth nearly three times that of the latter.[20]

[16] Commercial and Financial Chronide, LXVIII, 328-329, Feb. 18, 1899; LXVIII, 821, Apr. 29, 1899; LXXI, 1273, Dec. 22, 1900.
[17] Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LX, 348, Feb. 23, 1895; LXII1 363, Feb. 22, 1896; LXVI, 82-83, Jan. 8, 1898;· LXVI, 288, Feb. 5, 1898; LXVII, 274, Aug. 6, 1898; LXVIII, 327, Feb. 18, 1899; U. S. Industrial Commission, Reports, I, 959; XIII, 719-720.
[18] Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LXVIII, 928, May 13, 1899; LXIX, 442, Aug. 25, 1899; LXIX, 796, Oct. 14, 1899; LXX, 326, Feb. 17, 1900.
[19] Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LXV, 327, Aug. 21, 1897; LXV, 729, Oct. 16, 1897; LXVI, 182, Jan. 22, 1898; LXVII, 272, Aug. 6, 1898; LXVII, 319, Aug. 13, 1898; LXVII, 484, Sept.3, 1898; LXVII, 1263, Dec. 17, 1898; LXVIII, 1134, June 10, 1899; U. S. Industrial Commission, Reports, XIII (Testimony), 73-79; Vogt, The Sugar Refining Industry in the United States, 65-69.
[20] Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LXX, 742-743, Apr. 14, 1900; U. S. Industrial Com­mission, Reports, XIII, 66-80, 671-674; Twelfth Census, Reports, IX, 576-579; Bureau of the Census, Manufactures, 1914, n, 412.


(Page 270)

Among the outstanding developments in the canning industry, which increased the value of its output from $99,000,000 to $243,000,000 during the twenty-five years ending with 1913, were the establishment of pineapple canning in Hawaii; additions of the first importance, like condensed soups, to the older range of products; increased·specialization of plants and processes; and the extension of scientific control to all stages of production, from the vegetable field and the orchard to the warehouse for finished goods. Unlike so many other food manufactures, canning did not fall into the hands of a few great corporations, although certain packing firms entered this field on a large scale; and in some localities, like Alaska, California and Hawaii, where the business was highly standardized and was centralized geographically, big company control was the rule. In addition to these large corporations, trade associations of canners were organized, which performed numerous services, such as standardizing prices, securing favorable freight rates, and conducting joint publicity campaigns for their members. In 1907 a National Canners' Association, embracing companies in all parts of the country, was formed, which in addition to the usual functions of such a body maintains a laboratory to study problems of practical interest to the industry. A similar association, also with a special research depart­ment, was organized by canners using glass containers.[21]

Among the largest corporations in the business were the Alaska Packing Company, whose chief product was canned salmon, and the California Fruit Canners' Association. The latter company was organized in 1899, with a capital of $3,500,000, to consolidate the principal plants in that state canning fruits and vegetables. When in full operation throughout the season its output was more than 50,000,000 cans annually, or three-fourths the total product of California, which was the leading state in this industry. Although the growth in the West was relatively greater than in the older sections of the country, the canning of certain products, like oysters, lobsters and shrimps, was of necessity confined to sections of the Atlantic seaboard where these abounded. Maine, which had many lobster and sardine canneries, was also a leading vegetable canning state, sweet corn being its principal product. As late as 1901 many Maine canners still made their own cans, but the American Can Company, which had plants in the vicinity of the principal canning districts and controlled patents for can-making machinery, speedily dominated the latter business. Maryland which was a great oyster-canning center, also packed large quantities of tomatoes, which were the most popular canning vegetable, taking precedence even of sweet corn. Wisconsin, on the other hand, was a leading pea-packing state.[22]

Peaches, which were canned largely in Maryland and California, and pineapples, which began to be packed extensively in Hawaii during the first decade of the present century, were the most popular canned fruits. By the end of this period growers raised certain fruits and vegetables, like pineapples, peaches and tomatoes, of uniform size to fit standard containers. Plant selection had also enabled the grower to produce crops that ripened simultaneously, as in case of peas, where it is important that all the pods on a vine should mature at the same time for easy harvesting. During the period we are discussing, machinery was invented to shell peas without taking the pods from the vine, to husk corn, to peel tomatoes, and to perform other preparatory cannery operations that previously required manual labor. Notwithstanding these technical improvements, however, the greatest advances in this branch of food preparation were due to the chemist and the bacteriologist, whose labors insured a more wholesome and palatable
product than before.

[21] Collins, The Story of Canned Foods, 24, 26, 165-166, 186-187; Bureau of the Census, M anufactures, 1914, II, 364.
[22] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXV, 139, Sept. 25, 1901; XXXIX, 197,Dec. 30, 1905; XL., 174, Dec. 1, 1906; XLII, 5, Jan. 1, 1908; Maine, State Board of Agriculture, Annual Report, 1900, 198-199; Commercial and Financial Chronide, LXIX, 284, Aug. 5, 1899.

Cane Sugar

(Page 272)

No important change occurred during this period in the production of cane sugar upon the mainland of the United States, but the annexation of Hawaii and the acquisition of Porto Rico after the Spanish-American War brought under our jurisdiction areas destined to produce, with the assurance of a protected market, well toward 1,000,000 tons of sugar annually. The Philippines contained sugar lands of great potential capacity, although they were but superficially developed, and Cuba secured preferential treatment in our market that encouraged large investments of American capital in her plantations. Altogether the effect of the War, therefore, was to make the United States an important cane-sugar producing country, and to give it a direct interest in the largest single cane growing area in the world. This new situation did not materially affect the industry in Louisiana, whose crop, except for seasonal fluctuations, remained about stationary.[23]

It would take us too far afield to record with sufficient detail to be intelligible the technical improvements made in the manufacture of sugar during this quarter of a century. They consisted in refinements of existing processes and machinery rather than in radical changes in methods of manufacture. More powerful and elaborate mills increased the proportion of juice extracted, and perfected apparatus and treatment added largely to the quantity of sugar recovered per unit of juice. So efficient are the crushers used in a modern mill that more than 98 per cent of the sugar in the cane finds its way to the juice tanks, and so completely is the crystallized sugar taken from the molasses that the latter is no longer a palatable food product. These improvements were accompanied by increasing centralization in large establishments many of which manufactured sugar from cane grown by outside planters.[24]

[23] Rolph, Something about Sugar, 174, 181, 188.
[24] Rolph, Something about Sugar, 24; Vogt, The Sugar Refining Industry in the United States, 77-80.

Beet Sugar


Simultaneously with this great expansion of cane-sugar production under the folds-or at least under the shadow-of our flag, the output of domestic beet sugar also rapidly increased. It will be recalled that this industry, which had made several futile starts at earlier periods, finally showed signs of stable prosperity in California during the eighties. By 1893 there were seven establishments in the United States, making about 20,000 tons of beet sugar annually, of which three-fourths was produced in the state just mentioned.[25] Despite some discouragement when the sugar bounty, which had been in effect since 1890, was repealed by the Wilson Law four years later, the output continued to increase. In 1897 it had acquired sufficient importance to induce the American Sugar Refining Company to conclude an arrangement with Claus Spreckels, the principal manufacturer in this country, for an amicable elimination of competition between their respective products, and ten years later the refiners were said to control more than one-third of the beet-sugar output of the country. The Watsonville Factory, in California, for several years averaged 8 and 10 per cent per annum profit on its investment; and it was argued in behalf of beet farmers that three dollars worth of beets made ten dollars worth of sugar, thus opening a debate upon the outcome of which the future of the industry was to depend even more, perhaps, than upon the tariff.[26]

Several states offered bounties, which they by no means invariably paid, to encourage the erection of beet-sugar factories within their limits; but such artificial inducements had little influence upon the ultimate geography of the manufacture. This legislation, however, combined with the high duties upon sugar imposed by the Dingley Act in 1897, caused several factories to be built in Michigan and elsewhere in the Central West, comparatively few of which were immediately successful. It is significant that when the American Beet Sugar Company was organized, in 1899, to take over enterprises whose proved earning power had won the confidence of financiers, the only factories it acquired were in California and Nebraska. To these it promptly added a new plant of large capacity at Rocky Ford, Colorado.[27]

Notwithstanding a temporary reaction after the activity of the late nineties, to which agitation in favor of a preferential tariff upon Cuban and Philippine sugars contributed, the quantity of beet sugar made in the United States increased from about 80,000 tons in 1900 to over a quarter of a million tons five years later. By this time a small but growing market had been established for beet pulp and molasses, by-products which were used as stock food. During the decade following 1905 the output of our beet sugar factories increased at the rate of about 50,000 tons per annum, passing the three-quarters of a million mark in 1914 and reaching 874,222 short tons the following season. Colorado, California and Michigan were the principal contributors to these figures. During this progress the quality of beets had been improved so as to add about 2 per cent to their sugar­content and to supply a juice purer and more easily and economically worked than that with which the pioneer establishments had been forced to deal. Thus within a little more than a quarter of a century a new industry was created, which employed a capital of nearly $150,000,000 and turned out an annual product valued at well toward $60,000,000.[28]

[25] American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXVIII, 75, Apr. 1894; Engineering M agazine, VII, 85, Apr. 1894.
[26] Cassier's Magazine, VII, 504-515, Apr. 1895; American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXVIII, 203, Sept. 12, 1894; XXVIII, 245, Oct. 27, 1894; XXXI, 11, Jan. 10, 1897; XXXXI, 147, July 1, 1897; Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LXIV, 841, May 1, 1897; Vogt, The Sugar Refining Industry in the United Stales, 61-63.
[27] Rolph, Something about Sugar, 155; American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XXXI, 243, Nov. 1, 1897; XXXII, 45, Mar. 15, 1898; Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LXV, 1070, Dec. 4, 1897; LXVI, 132-133, Jan. 15, 1898; LXVIII, 280, Feb. 11, 1899; LXIX, 1149, Dec. 2, 1899; LXIX, 1249-l250, Dec.16, 1899; LXXI, 700, Oct. 6, 1900; Cassier's Magazine, XVII, 348-349, Feb. 1900; Twelfth Census, Reports, IX, 546-547, 550-551; Bureau of the Census, Manufactures, 1905, III, 451-452.
[28] Rolph, Something about Sugar, 159-162; American Iron and Steel Association, Bulletin, XL, 70, May 15, 1906; XLIV, 106, Nov. 1, 1910; Bureau of the Census, Manufactures, 1905, III,
450, 451; Manufactures, 1914, II, 429-431; Thirteenth Census, Reports, X, 472, 475; cf., also, Blakey, The United Stales Beef,Sugar Industry and the Tariff, and U. S. Dept. Agriculture, Special Report on the Beet-Sugar Industry in the United States, 1898, passim; Vogt, The Sugar Refining Industry in the United States, 64-65.

Sugar Refining

(Page 274)

In 1914 the eighteen refineries in the United States reported a product of three and a third million pounds of refined sugar and 36,000,000 gallons of sirup and molasses, over 57 per cent of which was the output of six establishments.[29] This concentration was due largely to the control which one great corporation, The American Sugar Refining Company, exercised over the industry. We have already described the earlier history of that combination, whose antecedents and inception date from the eighties and early nineties. No other important "trusts," to use a popular but incorrect term, was less liked by the public or more vigorously attacked in the courts. The result is that its operations are recorded so voluminously as almost to be obscured in the minutes of numerous legislative and judicial hearings. This testimony contributed little that is novel or significant to the general history of manufacturing. We learn how unified control accelerated the adoption of technical improvements and business economies; how obsolete refineries were scrapped and new ones erected to do their work; and how dependence upon an imported raw material encouraged the industry's concentration in highly capitalized establishments situated at strategic seaports. On the other hand this evidence records a long tale of overcapitalization, exorbitant promotion profits that became a permanent burden on consumers, railway rebates and other unfair commercial practices, and even admitted frauds against the Government.[30] The Company's history was enlivened at times by struggles with powerful and aggressive rivals, but these "sugar wars" were invariably followed by a period of profitable peace.[31] Between 1894 and 1914 the proportion of the country's annual consumption supplied directly by this corporation declined from over 75 per cent to the neighborhood of 40 per cent.

In respect to economic doctrine the founders of the American Sugar Refining Company were out of alignment with most of their contemporaries in the world of great consolidations. Although as insistent as the others upon adequate protection for themselves, they were not enthusiastic supporters of high duties upon raw sugar, such as were demanded by the planters of Louisiana and Hawaii; albeit, to be sure, their attitude on this subject grew slightly less heretical after 1901, when their Company began to acquire an interest in beet-sugar factories. At one time, indeed, Congressmen and Government investigators were astonished to hear this Company's president trace the paternity of all trusts but his own to the tariff.[32]

While a modern refinery is as a rule a much larger and better equipped establishment than its predecessor of 1890, and many labor-saving devices have been introduced during the interval, processes and machinery are the same in principle that they were at the earlier date. The most notable innovation has been in packing. Refined sugar, instead of being sold to household consumers from bulk containers-usually barrels--as was the custom only a generation ago, is now distributed in sanitary cartons, like breakfast foods and innumerable other table products. Furthermore a greater variety of sugars than formerly, ranging from wrapped cubes to the finest types of pulverized, is now supplied to the general public; and with the introduction of containers that go directly to the purchaser the advertising importance of special brands has vastly increased.[33]

[29] Bureau of the Census, Manufactures, 1914, u, 435, 437.
[30] Cf., Van Hise, Concentration and Control, 13, 147-150.
[31] Commercial and Financial Chronide, LXIII, 1008, Dec. 5, 1896; LXVll, 632, Sept. 24, 1898; LXIX, 441, Aug. 26, 1899; LXX, 1096, 1098-1099, June 2, 1900; LXX, 1151, June 9, 1900; U. S. Industrial Commission, Reports, I (testimony), 141, 158; American Sugar Refining Company, Conditions in the Sugar Market, January-October, 1917, 31; Vogt, The Sugar Industry in the United States, 49-54, 82-106.
[32] U. S. Industrial Commission, Reports, I (testimony), 101; cf., Commercial and Financial Chronicle, LXVI, 132, Jan. 15, 1898.
[33] Rolph, Something about Sugar, 74-75; U. S. Industrial Commission, Reports, I (testimony), 91, 106, 141; American Sugar Relining Company, A Century of Sugar Refining in the United States, 1816-1916, pp. 16-21.