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September 6, 1885
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
Our Telephone Call is
OIVE FEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
€. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
SEPTEMBER 5, 1885.
guns. This was made evident by the spirit of incredulity with which
the threats of our civil war were received. We are peacefully inclined
and do not believe in belligerents. But we are not always wise in
our incredulity, and to the extent that our belief in peace prevents
our cities being placed in a good condition of defense we are decid¬
edly culpable. It is suggested now that it is not safe to keep the
government deposits in any of our seaboard cities; that their storage
in New York, for instance, might invite attack from some impe¬
cunious foreign power with one powerful ironclad in its navy, and
not money enough in its treasury to pay for keeping it in commis¬
sion. The suggestion is a good one; but unfortunately the banks
in New York offer as tempting a lure as the sub-treasury. The
citizens of this city should not rest until Congress has made appro¬
priations for putting our harbor in a state of complete defense.
The testimony of Dr. Norvin Green before the Electrical Sub¬
way Commission does not indicate that the Western Union Com¬
pany is very much oi>posed to the project for placing telegraphic
wires under ground. He seems very favorable to the movement
indeed, although his remarks hardly shed much light on the best
means of surmounting the difficulties in which the subject is
involved. His statement that it would be impracticable to place
electric light wires in the same conduit with telegraph wires, ou
account of their stronger current, is suggestive. The electric light
system which, for reasons to be found in considerations of cleanli¬
ness, health and comfort, we wish to see rapidly adopted, will be
very slow in its growth if it is to be made more expensive through
elaborate and costly works of construction. The slow growth of
the Edison system is no doubt in great part due to the costliness of
the plant, entailing charges for the use of the light which renders
competition with gas very difficult. The electric light companies
are young, and not generally very strong; and if they are to be
handicapped in the begiuningof their operations by the necessity for
securing an immense capital, we shall have to wait a long time
before the use of their illuminant becomes anything like general.
In fact the Western Union Company, unless we except the Bell
Telephone Company, is the only electric service organization in the
country that can afford to bury its wires. A necessity tliat will
cripple other companies may prove to the Western Union Company
only its opportunity. This is a field over which we should move
slowly and cautiously.
We are constantly hearing that the early closing movement,
urged by clerks and salesmen and endorsed by many merchants, ia
on the point of being adopted; but if you walk along the Bowery at
midnight there are not tnany signs to be seen of the much coveted
rest. All the night long on that thoroughfare the electric light
blazes like noonday, and it is hard to say with certainty that some
of the stores there are not perpetually open. The early closing
movement does not promise to be soon successful on the Bowery.
We are told now that it promises good results in Brooklyn. But
before it can be anywhere successful within easy distance from the
Bowery that street must be captured. It would be a good thmg for
all concerned, as well for proprietors as clerks, were all stores,
except those perhaps which supply provisions, etc., to close at six
o'clock. But early closing can never be made a custom except to
the extent that it becomes universal in the different specialties of
trade. For the majority of people evening is the most convenient
time for shopping, and the stores that keep open late, all other
things being equal, will always secure much the larger proportion of
the trade. If the early closers can capture the Bowery, however,
they can soon win at all points.
It is unfortunate that the promoters of new devices cannot wait un¬
til their inventions are completed before offering them to the public.
That cables can be made to draw street cars with speed, safety and
economy has been demonstrated in several American cities. With
the unfortunate experience thus far of the single cable road that
is now operated in New York, it will take a loug time to convince
the public of this city that cable roads are goorl for anything.
When the Tenth Avenue road "was first opened ior traffic, with
cables and stationary engines, the managers, instead of making sure
that everything was in working order, invited a number of guests
and started a train. Having failed to provide any means of grad¬
uating the motion, they were disgusted to perceive that the cars
started at once at a high rate of speed and stood the honored guests
on their heads. The projectors of the new cable road encountered a
similar mortification last Saturday by reason of one refractory car.
The conduct of this car proves nothing against the system, but then
the object of the excursion was to prove something in its favor.
The rascality exposed in this city by the assassination, by a
partner, of a dealer in the '* queer," was only one of those dra¬
matic episodes in crime for which criminals must be always pre¬
pared. But the cool manner in which a brother of the murdered
man tells the story of the incident, withholding nothing that can
criminate any of the parties concerned, including himself, is
refreshing. There appears to have been no honor among thieves
in this instance, and if there is anything that a rascal will not
stand, it is dishonorable conduct on the part of another rascal. It
seems queer that a man, without any sentiment of honor or hon¬
esty in bis own bosom, should be the most prompt and fierce in
the punishment which he is ready to mete out to other men who
display a lack of the same qualities in their dealings with himself.
It is thus probably that he seeks to prove to his own conscience, if
he has any left, that he is not altogether a reprobate ; but he fails
of proving it to the world. It is the brutal and selfish instinct of
the animal only that has been aroused, and the criminal has not
made himself in any respect the champion of fair play.
Bismarck is accused of wanting the world, but we doubt very
much if he wants the Island of Cuba so badly that he will make
any extraordinary efforts, either by diplomacy or arms, to secure
possession. He will certainly not appeal to arms, for in the event
of war he would find the United States a not disinterested specta¬
tor. There is no change possible for Cuba except in the direction
of independence, unless under certain and not probable contingen¬
cies when we might take possession ourselves. We do not
want Cuba, but would have to be excused for a slight disposition to
play the dog in the manger were any considerable power to try and
obtain possession. We would have taken Canada away from the
English long ago had they not withdrawn their naval arm from
the great lakes and conducted themselves in a very quiet and sensi¬
ble manner. Cuba is secured to Spain as long as she desires to hold
it as against everything but her own revolutionists. Toward all
that class of people we confess to a fellow feeling that makes us
The opening of the Tenth Avenue Cable road will unqestionably
prove of great benefit to the section of the city that lies along the
route. Heretofore that locality has been the least accessible part of
New York, the annexed district and even many parts of Westchester
County beyond having been more easily within reach. It is equal
to a mile walk on a level pavement to climb the steep hill that con¬
fronts the passenger at almost every station between One Hundred
and Tenth street and the Harlem River. As a consequence of this
disadvantage the section of New York traversed by the cable road,
though delightful in scenery and possessing unrivaled advantages
for drainage, is less well knowu than any other part of the city,
some of the oldest inhabitants seeming to regard it as a sort of
It is a peculiarity of the American people that they never believe invisible and mysterious land only to be visited by great explorers
in the possibility of w^r until they begin to hear the thunder of the 1 in search of new features for the next geography, The opening of
The facta furnished by Manager Swank, of the American Iron
and Steel Association, on the general improvement in trade in
Pennsylvania, will be especially gratifying since they come from a
man well placed for taking observations, and who has many year's
experience in this special field. Only two months ago, he tells us,
there were no signs of improvement in the iron industry ; but since
the first of July the price of steel rails, wliich at that time were
only $27 per ton, have advanced to $30 per ton. At the latter quo¬
tation large sales have been made at the mills. In other iron
specialties, also, she improvement is noticeable. The gratifying
feature of this report will be found, of course, in the statement
that prices are advancing, for we have been listening a long time
to accounts of large sales and small profits. But when we hear of
advancing prices we know at once that the conditions are at hand
which will give us large sales and large profits, the conditions
inseparable from general prosperity. The iron industry, it is very
well known, is the best gauge of the general industrial situation in
the country, a revival in irou being always followed by a revival in
woolen, cotton and every other heavy industry. Our iron interests
are so large, in fact, and influence so many subsidiary interests that
they cannot be depressed or buoyant without reacting widely over
the general commercial situation.