Page images
PDF
EPUB

of the Nation's resources along all few large centres, accompanied by lines through improved methods of modern means of refrigeration, most production and transportation. of the meat product of the country

A few figures will serve to illustrate entered into interstate commerce. the extent of this development and, in Between 1870 and 1905 the value of the absence of detailed data, will en- meat products increased from $75,able us to appreciate the enormous 000,000 to nearly $1,000,000,000, and growth in the volume of interstate of this amount at least 15 per cent. traffic. In the 40 years from 1870 to was exported from New York, Boston 1910 the production of wheat in the and Philadelphia. In fact, as regards United States increased from nearly all leading agricultural staples, there 235,000,000 to more than 695,000,000 now prevails the system of concentratbushels; of corn, from 1,094,000,000 ing them at great terminal centres like to 3,125,000,000 bushels; and of oats, Chicago, Minneapolis, Duluth, Kansas from 247,000,000 to nearly 1,127,000,- City, Omaha, St. Louis, etc., and then 000 bushels. Of these respective crops redistributing the same to the eastern in 1910, statistics show that about 54 or foreign centres. per cent. of the wheat, 22 per cent. of In the mineral and manufacturing the corn, and 30 per cent. of the oats business the development since 1860 were shipped out of the county where has been even more phenomenal, algrown, by far the largest portion though space permits only a few facts of them entering into the interstate to illustrate this tendency. American commerce of the country. The pro- copper production in 1870 amounted duction of cotton increased from 4,- to only 12,600 tons, whereas in 1910 352,000 to 11,965,000 bales, and the the production approximated 485,000 movement of this crop as explained in tons, practically all of which enters detail elsewhere,* is chiefly interstate into interstate commerce. Iron ore in character. Prior to 1860 the meat production increased between 1870 industry was conducted mainly in a and 1905 from 3,000,000 to 49,000,000 large number of localities, and, owing tons (1,500 per cent.); and the yield to the lack of refrigeration and the of mineral oil from almost nothing to refrigerator car and steamer, com- 130,000,000 barrels. In both instances paratively little of the products was the product enters mostly into intersent abroad or to distant States. With state commerce. Similarly, the manuthe movement of the live-stock-raising facturing industries multiplied greatly business to the West and the concen- in number and increased their capactration of the packing business in a ity along all lines. The iron and steel of the Nation's industrial develop with the average rate on all American ment; and here it may be stated that railroads, of .878 cents in 1893 and the production of pig iron increased .753 cents in 1910. from 1,665,000 tons in 1870 to the tre- The

business, entering into so many other * S. S. Huebner, The Derelopment of the Inter

lines of manufacture, is usually restate Commerce of the South, in The South in the Building of the Nation, vol. vi., p. 357. garded as the best barometric index

changes just enumerated mendous total of 27,074,000 tons in clearly indicate the tremendous pro1910; while during the 35 years be- portions of our internal trade, but it tween 1870–1905 the capitalization of is a regrettable fact that no statistics the iron and steel manufacturing busi- exist by which to trace the tonnage ness increased from $210,000,000 to movement of freight between the leadnearly $949,000,000, and the value of ing sections of the country. The the annual product from $296,000,000 limited data available, however, shows to nearly $906,000,000.

that the growth of freight movements Along with this greatly increased has been large in all sections. In production, the Nation witnessed a 1890 the railroads of the country great extension of railway mileage carried a total of 745,000,000 tons of and steamship tonnage in all sections freight, or approximately 11 tons for of the country and a remarkable lower- every man, woman and child. In 1910 ing of freight rates. Whereas in 1860 the freight carried on our railroads the railway mileage of the country aggregated 1,850,000,000 tons, while amounted to only 30,635 miles, the the original tonnage, not including total single track mileage now totals freight secured from connecting lines, nearly 250,000 miles. The sail and exceeded 881,000,000 tons. The aversteam tonnage on the Great Lakes in- age length of the haul is given by the creased from 684,704 in 1870 to 2,062,- Interstate Commerce Commission as 147 tons in 1905. According to the 249.6 miles, and it is estimated by Reports of the Commissioner of Navi- various authorities that of the total gation, the total gross tonnage of tonnage only about 15 to 25 per cent. documented vessels engaged in domes- is intrastate in character. tic trade in 1896 was 3,858,927 and in Complete statistics of the coastwise 1906 5,735,483 tons, an increase of 48 trade are lacking, because vessels enper cent.

gaged in this trade are not required to For the year 1873 Mr. Moseley re- report their cargo tonnage. For the ports the average freight rates to be year 1910, however, the United States 412 cents per ton per mile on the Balti- Bureau of Statistics reported the more and Ohio Railroad, 7 cents on coastwise coal shipments from New the Boston and Lowell and the Win- York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Norchester and Potomac, and 10 cents on folk and Newport News to be nearly the Petersburg, and Portsmouth and 43,500,000 tons, with most of this Roanoke lines. These rates seem ex- freight destined to ports of other traordinarily high when compared States. The coastwise receipts of lumber at New York, Boston and est part of this trade — probably ninePhiladelphia during 1910, mostly from tenths — is interstate in character. It

. Southern ports, are reported at over may be added that government statis1,000,000,000 feet. In 1910 800,000 tics place the freight tonnage on the tons of cotton are reported to have Delaware at nearly 21,000,000 tons, been sent from Southern to Northern on the Ohio River and its tributaries ports by water, and the shipments of at 20,000,000 tons, and on the Missisoil from Texas to Northern ports are sippi River at approximately 5,000,000 given as nearly 8,000,000 barrels. The tons; but in no case is it possible to coastwise shipments between the 48 separate the interstate and intrastate leading ports, extending from Bangor traffic. * (Me.) to Newbern (N. C.) are given

* In addition to the works cited in the above by the United States Corps of En

article, the following may be consulted: Philip gineers as amounting to nearly A. Bruce, The Rise of the New South, vol. vii., of 144,000,000 tons. From the same

The History of North America (Philadelphia,

1905); Clive Day, A History of Commerce; G. source we learn that the coastwise G. Huebner, Trade, Transportation and Commushipments and receipts of the eight nication, in The American Year Book for 1911, ,

pp. 537–567; S. S. Huebner, The Interstate Comleading Pacific ports aggregate nearly merce of the South Prior to 1865, in The South 19,000,000 tons; but it is impossible in the Building of the Nation, vol. v., pp. 404–

412; and The Interstate Commerce of the South to tell what proportion of this is inter

since 1865, in The South in the Building of the state in character.

Nation, vol. vi., pp. 357–363; Edward A. Moseley, On the Great Lakes the shipment

Interstate Commerce in Depew's One Hundred

Years of American Commerce, chap. iv.; Report from all the ports aggregated nearly of the Commissioner of Corporations on “ Trans87,000,000 tons in 1910. Of this vol- portation by Water in the United States” (WashCHAPTER IX.

ington, 1909); Reports of the Commissioner of ume ore and minerals represented

Navigation (Washington); Internal Commerce of nearly 47,000,000 tons; coal, 24,680,000 the United States, published periodically by the tons; and flour, grain and lumber,

Department of Commerce and Labor in the

Monthly Summary of Commerce and Finance of nearly 7,000,000 tons. By far the larg- the United States.

1865–1912.

DEVELOPMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS.

Demoralization of the railroad business by the Civil War - The revival following peace — Transcontinental

lines — Vicious railroad competition and consequent consolidation - Recent railroad problems — Present condition of steam railroads — Our merchant marine after the Civil War – Ship-building at the close of the last century -- Increase in our domestic shipping in the present century - Street car transportation The first electric railway and the subsequent extension of electric lines.

Following the Civil War there was wood where once had been stations, an immediate and great expansion in freight houses and cars. the railroad business of the country.

Great plans had been made before Not only had the war shown the neces

the war for railroad extensions in the sity of railroads, but the check put West and the policy of governmental upon construction by the Civil War land-grant subsidies had done much and in the years immediately preced

to encourage these movements. Iming resulted in a dearth of facilities

mediately after peace had been sethat had to be overcome at once.

cured, this work was again taken in Besides, the general inflation of busi

hand and vigorously pressed. In the

next 15 years all the Western States ness, and especially the quick develop

and Territories hitherto without railment of manufacturing, when those

roads fell into line -- Nevada in 1868, who had long served in the field re

Montana and Utah in 1869, Colorado, turned to their former pursuits,

Indian Territory,

Wyoming and created a new demand for transporta- Oregon in 1870, North Dakota and tion. Moreover, in the South the rail

South Dakota in 1873, Idaho in 1874, roads which existed before the war

New Mexico in 1878, and Arizona in had to be completely rebuilt. Indeed,

1879. Of later origin were the first they hardly existed save on paper as railroads in Oklahoma and Alaska. legal corporations. The physical But the introduction of railroads property had disappeared. Naught

Naught into States previously devoid of them was left save scrap heaps of iron

was only part of the wonderful railrails, engines and wheels; roadbeds road growth of this period. Everywashed out or buried beneath rock where in the country the work of exand dirt; and piles of ashes and rotted pansion and improvement went on. It began in 1864 and in two years each period of five years was 100 per was progressing with unprecedented cent. These figures and comparisons rapidity. By 1869 it had gathered indicate that at the end of the first such momentum that in each of the decade of the Nineteenth century the two succeeding years the increase was railroads were still behind the normal 8,000 miles. But this pace could not be demand for transportation and travel maintained forever. Railroad build- service. They had more nearly caught ing was overdone, reckless competi- up with the needs of the country than tion ensued, and the end came with in the years preceding the Civil War, the financial panic of 1873, for which but there still remained regions unthe railroads themselves were cultivated and unserved by them. largely responsible. Railroad increase The idea of a transcontinental raildropped off 75 per cent., but there was road which should link the Atlantic a quick recovery, and in 1886–1887 and Pacific coasts and eliminate the nearly 13,000 miles of new trackage long ocean voyage around Cape Horn was constructed. From this point the and the plodding, dangerous prairierailroads settled down to a normal schooner trip across the Rockies, was growth, which lasted until the business considered as early as 1850 — less depression of 1893, when, for the first than 20 years after the first crude time in the history of the United attempts at railroading had been States, there was a decrease in the made. It required 20 years and the number of miles operated. The miles exigencies of Civil War conditions of road in operation in this period when the necessity of closer alliance were 30,626 in 1860, 52,922 in 1870, between the East and the Far West 93,926 in 1880, 166,706 in 1890, and was made manifest—to bring the idea 190,082 in 1900.

to realization. For this purpose the After 1900 the annual increase was Government heavily subsidized the generally greater than in the years Union Pacific and the Central Pacific immediately preceding, and during the roads with bonds and land grants in decade it reached 236,777 miles, in 1862. Work was begun in 1865 and 1909 the annual average being over the line was completed by a junction 5,000. This increase was less in an- of the two roads near Ogden, Utah, nual gross amount than in some of in May of 1869. the “boom ” years between 1865 and Other transcontinental lines were 1890, but it was more than the average built within the next 15 years; the of those years. The percentage in- Northern Pacific from Lake Superior crease, however, was smaller, and to Puget Sound; the Atlantic and very much so, when compared with the Pacific, in connection with the Atchiearly period of railroad building. son, Topeka and Santa Fé, and the From 1835 to 1860 the increase for St. Louis and San Francisco Railway;

« PreviousContinue »