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toward a wider and stronger governmental control than could possibly have been anticipated a quarter of a century before.
The condition of the steam railroads
of the country in the first decade of the Twentieth century is shown in the following summary:*
With the close of the Civil War it was natural to expect that our merchant marine would quickly return to the condition of prosperity which it had known before 1860. Shipbuilding had been considerably stimulated by the demands of the war. The merchant marine, ships and sailors, were drawn into the service of National defense, and naturally commerce was destroyed. A great fighting fleet was created and at the end of the war the United States owned 600 war steamships. Engineering skill was not lacking; the shipyards were better equipped than ever before in material, in experience and in workmen; and commerce with the world was revived. But the American merchant marine did not reinstate itself. Foreign trade which had been diverted to foreign bottoms did not return. In 1861 our merchant marine tonnage was 5,539,831; not until 1902 did it reach that
figure again, that year being 5,797,902 tons, the figures including sail and steam, foreign, coastwise, lake and river, and fisheries. Various explanations of this condition have been offered - the protective tariff, internal revenue taxation, manufacturing and railroad demands upon capital, and the competition with a subsidized foreign marine. The question of "free ships "- that is, the admission to American registry of Americanowned iron ships built abroad-and the question of mail subsidy to American ocean steamships were in agitation before the public mind and in Congress in the first years of the new century, and they seem as far from solution now as they were in 1890.
In the meantime the United States did not stand still in ship-building. Although iron ship-building was moribund in 1875, it revived before the end of the century. In 1901 the average output of American ship-yards was 1,491 vessels of 468,831 gross tons. American shipping engaged in foreign trade that year aggregated 879,595 tons. This was in excess of any of the preceding six years, but less than that of 1891, 1892, 1893, and 1894 - the last year, with its tonnage of 988,719, leading the decade.
Our domestic shipping outdistanced our merchant marine engaged in foreign trade during this period. In 1906 the number of vessels engaged in water transportation in the United States was 37,321, with a tonnage of 12,893,429, as against 30,485 vessels,
with a tonnage of 8,359,135 in 1889. The shipping of the Great Lakes in 1906 was 2,900 vessels, of 2,392,863 tonnage; of the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico, coastwise and foreign, 20,032 vessels, of 4,851,421 tonnage; of the Pacific Coast, 2,537 vessels, of 977,687 tonnage; of the Mississippi and its tributaries, 9,622 vessels, of 4,411,967 tonnage.
In 1909 the total tonnage of our merchant marine was 7,388,755, the largest since 1870, and an increase over that year of 3,194,015, or over 40 per cent. Of this gross amount for 1909, the tonnage engaged in foreign trade was 878,523, of which 575,276 was steam; in coasting, 6,451,042, of which 4,151,557 was steam; in fisheries, 59,190. In 1910 there was a still further advance, the gross tonnage of that year being 7,508,082, of which 6,668,963 was coastwise, 782,517 foreign, and 56,602 fisheries. These figures show a growth in our coastwise merchant marine and a decided falling off from 1860 in our tonnage engaged in foreign trade. In 1860 our gross tonnage, coastwise and foreign, was 5,353,865, of which 2,379,396 (or nearly one-half) was engaged in foreign trade. In 1870 the United States was second in the tonnage of its merchant marine only to Great Britain. During the 40 years following, that relative standing did not change, but in percentage increase the United States, with its 44 per cent. increase, fell behind Great Britain with 170 per cent., France with 80 per cent., Norway with
100 per cent., Sweden with 200 per cent., Denmark with over 350 per cent., Holland with 160 per cent., and Germany with nearly 355 per cent.
For urban passenger transportation, street car lines were installed in all the cities and large towns of the country after 1860. This service is along the streets by elevated, surface and subway lines. A short elevated railway was built in New York City in 1867, but it did not become the established system of that city before 1872. Subsequently elevated railway lines. were erected in Brooklyn (New York), Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other cities.
A street railway, with cars drawn by horses, was operated in New York City in 1831-32, but not until 1852 were other lines of this character constructed in the metropolis. Horse-car street railways appeared in Boston in 1856, in Philadelphia in 1857, and within the next 25 years in nearly all the large cities of the country. Street railways operated by underground cable were first built in San Francisco in 1873 and 1876, and afterward (in 1882) in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and many other cities. In 1893 there were over 70 cable street railway lines in the United States, with about 700 miles of trackage. After 1890, by the introduction of electricity as a motor power for street railways, the cable was rapidly displaced. Within seven years its mileage had fallen off more than one-half.
The first electric railroad was built
by Thomas A. Edison at Menlo Park, New Jersey, and in 1888 an actual test of the electric system was made in Richmond, Virginia. Immediately after, the street railway lines of Boston and Philadelphia were electrified, and within three years nearly every large city of the country had its overhead trolley lines. In 1890 the electric street car lines had 1,261 miles of trackage; the cable lines, 488 miles; the horse car lines, 5,661 miles; and the steam power lines, 711 miles. The capital stock of all these lines was $163,506,444. In 1894 the total mileage was: electric, 10,363; cable, 632; horse, 1,914; miscellaneous, 679; total, 13,588. At that time there were nearly 1,000 street railways in operation, with a capital stock of $748,014,206. In 1907 the number of street and electric railways was 1,238, the mileage 38,812, the capital stock of the corporations $2,251,425,882, and their funded debt $1,872,408,516. Electrification of steam railroads began in this decade. Notable examples of this change from steam to electricity were seen in the New York City suburban service of the New York Central, the New York, New Haven and Hartford, and the Long Island railroads. The problem of electrification over long tistics, Treasury Department (Washington).
distances was also under serious consideration, with unreserved prediction of ultimate success. In New York, Boston, and Chicago extensive systems of subways were built to supplement the street car lines in meeting the increasing travel demands of the congested centres of population.*
* Rowland Hazard, The Crédit Mobilier of America (Providence, 1888); Arthur T. Hadley, Railroad Transportation, Its History and Its Laws (New York, 1885); W. J. Abbott, American Ships and Sailors (New York, 1902); Charles Francis Adams, Jr., Railroads, Their Origin and Problems (Boston, 1871); John P. Davis, The Union Pacific Railway (Chicago, 1894); J. L. Ringwalt, Development of Transportation in the United States (Philadelphia, 1888); A. P. C. Griffin, List of References on Mercantile Marine Subsidies and List of References Relating to Railroads in Their Relations to the Government and the Public (Library of Congress, Washington, 1903 and 1904); Report of the United States Industrial Commission (19 vols., Washington, 1900-02); Edwin A. Pratt, American Railroads (New York, 1903); Emory R. Johnson, American Railroad Transportation and Ocean and Island Transportations (New York, 1903 and 1906); W. L. Marvin, The American Merchant Marine (New York, 1902); Henry Fry, History of North Atlantic Steam Navigation (New York, 1896); William W. Bates, The American Marine, Its Rise and Ruin (Boston, 1902), and The American Marine, The Shippers' Question in History and Politics (Boston, 1893); David A. Wells, Our Merchant Marine (New York, 1887); W. T. Dunmore, Ship Subsidies (Boston, 1907); Poor's Manual of the Railroads of the United States (New York, 1865-1912); census reports, 18701910; The Statistical Abstract (Washington, 1900-1910); monthly and yearly reports of Commerce and Finance issued by the Bureau of Sta
DEVELOPMENT OF SYSTEMS OF COMMUNICATION.*
The advent of the telegraph
Its early development - The first American-British Atlantic cable pansion and consolidation of the telegraph business - The spread of Atlantic and Pacific cables of the telegraph and its importance in modern business The advent of the Bell telephone - Rival telephone systems and companies — Rural telephones - Present extent of the telephone The wireless telegraph.
In the closing years of the Nineteenth century and after the telegraph and telephone came to rival all previous instrumentalities for bringing the country together in social and business unity. They constituted, with the railroads, a trio that revolutionized modern life in all of its branches of activity. At the outset there was intense rivalry between the two systems of communication. As the time went on, however, it was realized that one supplemented the other and that the two, together, worked most efficiently. The telegraph was well established nearly 25 years before the telephone came into existence, but the younger invention surpassed its rival in public favor before the end of the century. It came into wider and more public use than its predecessor, occupying an entirely new field, creating and meeting new needs.
In the history of the telegraph in
Prepared for this History by Herbert N. Casson, author of American Telegraph and Telephone Systems, etc.
this country, the years immediately following the Civil War were particularly noteworthy for the gradual consolidation of the various companies into larger, more compact, and more serviceable corporations, the perfecting of the trans-Atlantic cable system, and the improvement of the transcontinental line. The feverish haste of promoters and contractors to preëmpt unoccupied territory continued with little, if any, interruption; and the demands of the country and the world for the service grew every year. Hence scores of new companies (some of them of minor importance and others of strong character and great aims) were organized.
In 1865 the International Ocean Telegraph Company was organized to lay cables to the islands of the West Indies and thence to Central America, South America, and under the Atlantic to Madeira and Lisbon. This was the beginning of an important extension of a service which was absorbed eight years later by the West
ern Union Company. In 1866 came the Pacific and Atlantic to connect the leading cities of the North and South, from New York and Boston to New Orleans and San Francisco. Several Several were organized
small companies within the next two or three years in Pennsylvania and the South to be feeders of the Pacific and Atlantic trunk line. In 1869 the Southern and Atlantic connected New York and Washington with Southern cities, but, within a few years, this, as well as the Pacific and Atlantic, was absorbed by the growing giant, the Western Union. In 1879 came the American Union Company, established by Jay Gould to overthrow the Western Union. It had the advantage of running its wires along the lines of the railroads owned or controlled by Gould and his associates. But in two years it went the way of the others, and in 1881 became part of the Western Union system.
In 1885 there were 217 companies in the country, of which the Western Union, controlling two-thirds of the wire mileage, was the principal. This supremacy had been brought about largely by the merging of the American Union and the Atlantic and Pacific companies in 1881. The lines of the New York Mutual Telegraph Company, the Baltimore and Ohio Railway Telegraph, the American Rapid Telegraph, and the Northwestern Telegraph companies had also been taken over. At the opening of the Twentieth century the telegraph business of the country was controlled by
the Western Union and the Postal Telegraph-Cable companies. In 1901 the Western Union had 193,589 miles of pole and cables, 972,766 miles of wire, and 23,238 offices; the Postal Telegraph Cable had 43,850 miles of pole and cables, 243,423 miles of wire, and 14,870 offices. In 1904 there were in the United States over 250,000 miles of pole and cable, 1,250,000 miles of wire, and 40,000 offices. The public sent upward of 70,000,000 messages, for which it paid over $30,000,000. These figures show to what astounding proportions this business had grown in sixty years. But the increase in the next few years was even more remarkable. In 1911 the Western Union had 1,487,345 miles of wire and the Postal 390,139. There were nearly 50,000 offices in the country, which transmitted over 90,000,000 messages.
A second American-British Atlantic cable was laid in 1866, a third from Ireland to Newfoundland in 1874, and a fourth from Ireland to a terminus on the coast of New Hampshire in 1875. The cable of 1866 was a permanent success and the problem of telegraph communication between the two continents was completely solved by that enterprise and those that closely followed. During the next quarter of a century Atlantic cables between North America and Europe became almost commonplace. Among the great lines of that period was the commercial cable, laid in 1883 and 1884 from Ireland to Cape Canso and thence to Rockport, Massachusetts and Coney