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August S3. 1884
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
Published every Saturdav,
191 BroadwT^ay, N. Y.
ONB TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communicatloiui should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. IJHDBBY, BuslnesM Manager.
AUGUST 23, 1884.
In June we Tentured to predict that stock values in Wall street
would show a decided advance in July, and early in the last named
month we said August would see stilt higher quotations. Kor
were we mistaken. So far the advancing tide of prices gives evi¬
dences o( no retiring ebb. Should there be no disaster to the com
crop, September will be another bull month. Sometime ago it was
said that Wall street was the only blue spot in the country. But
the current stock speculation makes that locality the most cheerful
and hopeful of all tbe busineea centres.
The bears keep on croakiug, with all the factors in the street
operating on the bull side. The public, they say, is not in the
market. This may be true enough, but somebody owns the stocks
in Wall atreet. These are held at figurea generally below their in¬
trinsic values, and the owners form a public themselves large
enough to maintain prices. It is further stated that at the present
price of grain the farmers are impoverished and not benefited by
large crops. But this is nonsense. A great crop here, no matter
what the price ia, fills the barns and elevators and gives the farmer
credits if not money. His stacks of wheat and corn is his bank, for
some time during the year it will pay to sell it. The shrinkage of
all prices haa practically made money more valuable. The farmer
can buy more with tbe wheat he sells at 80 cents a bushel than
he could when wheat was 25 per cent, higher, for he can purchase
more cotton and woollen goods, tools, groceries and other neces¬
saries than he could two years ago. Price is a relative term, A
penny could buy aa much in the reign of Edward IV. as could
hatf-a-guinea in Victoria's reign. Just as soon as the com crop is
assured up will go stock values.
The three letters of acceptance of the presidential candidates are
now before the public. That of Jamea G. Blaine was by far the
ablest. It was not a candid statement of the issues before the
country, but it waa full of suggestion, and its style was luminous.
The assumption that the prosperity of the country waa due almost
exclusively to the tariff was, it is true, a trifle abourd, but on the
whole the Blaine acceptance waa a document its author could well
afford to be proud of. Butler's letter was a disappointment. In a
way he is quite as great an adept as Mr. Blaine in the art of putting
thinga. But this ex-Eepublican and double ex-Democrat is conscious
that he cuts a ridiculous figure as a labor reformer. He is, in fact, a
man without any convictions, and has but one political programme
—how to advance the personal fortunes of Ben. F. Butler. His
letter is the plea of a lawyer making a case where there is none.
Mr. Cleveland's letter evinces no ability whatever. Anxious to
please all factions he uses platitudinous phrases which may mean
anything or nothing.
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Readers of the three letters of acceptance will notice how anx¬
ious ar^'all the candidates to placate the workingmen. In what¬
ever else they differ Messrs. Blaine, Butler and Cleveland unite in
declaring their anxiety to approve any measures for the benefit of
the toiling millions. Thia ia all the more curious in view of the
past inability of the working people to make their influence felt at
the polls. Workingmen's pattiea have been tried time and again,
but their votes always figure among tbe scattering after the election
is over. There are workingmen in the French Assembly and in
the English Parliament, but no laboring main was ever chosen to
our Congresa. Yet to read the letters of the candidates one would
suppose that the day laborers were the most influential aection of
the voting population. The demagoguery of the three candidates
in this matter is simply nauseating.
Can we cry Eureka ? Has the air navigation problem really been
solved? Captain Renard, in Paris, has, itseema, propelled a balloon
against the wind; it obeyed the rudder at every point of the com¬
pass. This is really the moat important event of thia century.
Scientists have said all along that air navigation would be
practicable whenever a powerful motor could be used ia a ma¬
chine of light weight. In thia case, it seema, the force was
obtained from au electric accumulator motor of ten-horse power, the
balloon beine; cigar-ehaped. The inventor claims that he can carry
a hundred men anywhere through the air. It is only a matter of
time and money. From thia time forth we may expect that
prodigious efforts will be made to bring about aerial navigation.
Houses and Railroads.
While we can know and tabulate every mile of railroad ever
built in the country and give ita cost, we are quite in the dark as to
the existing number of houses, their cost, aa well as the annual
supply needed by our growing population. The periodical finan¬
cial panica have been traced to the locking up of vast sums of
floating capital in such improvements, yet no one seems to have
realized that house building consumed as much capital as railroad
building, yet such must be the case.
Mr. Edward Atkinson, of Boston, has just published an interest¬
ing paper on " Railroad Buildmg," in which he estimates that
under normal circumstances we will build 6,000 miles of railroad
annually, at a coat of $150,000,000. This, he thinks, will meet the
requirements of the two million which is yearly added to our
population. But, add;i Mr. Atkinson, we will need to spend
1300,000,000 per annum in the construction of new houses, without
countiQg the coat of the repairs and additiona to the old houses.
If this estimate ia anywhere near correct we muat have spent over
$300,000,000 on new structures aud repau-s during the paat year,
but it is probably less than the truth.
In this city it ia known that over $40,000,000 is spent per annum
in new residences, stores and factories. As New York contains
something over 1,500,000 inhabitanta, a corresponding expenditure
in the rest of the country, with its 56,000,000 of inhabitanta, would
give us a sum total of over $1,000,000,000 for building purposes.
Of course there haa been no such outlay of money, for there is
no correspondence between the costly structures of the metropolis
and the cheaper edifices put up elaewhere ; but, taking the data of
New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, Denver
and other growing cities, Mr. Atkinson's $200,000,000 for new
structures ia far too low an estimate. We have no doubt that for
the year ending July 1, 1884, more than $400,000,000 muat have
been expended on new atructurea and the betterment of old ones.
Hereafter, in accounting for depressed times by capital being
changed from a floating to a fixed form, it will be necessary to
keep in mind house building as well as railroad making. So far
economists and statisticiaua have overlooked the importance of
building statistics in accounting for the temporary withdrawal of
capital in land and building improvements.
Our Near-by Summer Resorts.
New York is fortunate in being so situated that it affords a greater
variety of attractive resorts in the summer than any other
great city on earth. It has the ocean at its doors, a noble river
with scenery equal to tbat of the Rhine on ita west, and a great
sound to the east. Railroads run north and west, penetrating all
sorts of regions, and giving the excursionist a choice of mountain,
valley and stream surroundings.
Thia advantage over other cities ia proven by the enormous local
passenger traffic to what may be called near-by watering places.
Every ferry and railway station is thronged in the evening with
tens of thousands who sleep over night eight to forty miles away
from the city. The growth of some of these near-by abodes haa
been simply phenomenal. Anyone who recalls Long Branch, for
instance, ten years ago and compares it with the present time, will
be filled with amazement. Ocean avenue waa a fine drive even
then, but from Sandy Hook to Deal there were but few hotels, and
the cottage population was very small. The sand heaps on each
side of the drive vi ere absolutely forbidding in appearance. To-day
they are covered with charming residences, surrounded by grounds
of surpassing beauty. The drive from Seabright to lower Elberon
is probably the finest of the kind in the world, and the owners of
the villas are among our richest New Yorkers.
The region about Babylon and beyond on the south side of Long
Island has also wonderfully improved within the past aeven years,
and yet ita growth has apparently scarcely begun. The number of
traina run duriug the summer months on the west half of Long
laland is surprisingly large, but the population as yet haa not
increased in the same proportion aa it has on the seacoast on New
Jersey below Sandy Hook. It would seem as if improvement on
the latter must continue until the whole seacoast between Long
Branch and Cape May will be developed after the pattern of Sea-
bright, Elberon, Asbury Park and Ocean Grove. There seems less
and lesa need for New Yorkers leaving town in the hot weather
when they can spend their nights in the hilly regions to the north
and weat, or be rocked asleep by the ocean aurgea on the eastern
coast of Jersey, or the southern shorea of Long Island.
It ia understood the directors of the Broadway Underground
Railroad are considering a proposition to go right on with their
work under their present chatter, which authorizes a tuimel for