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August 14, 1886
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 Broad-TArav, IST. "S".
Onr TeleplLoue Call Is.....JOHN 370.
ONE YEAR, in adyance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LESDSEY, Business Manager.
August 14, 1886.
A volume which should be in the hands of every huilder, con¬
tractor, architect, and owner and dealer in real estate, is now
ready and can be procured at the offlce of The Record and
Guide. It is a new edition of the law relating to huildings in
the City of New York, with added matter, marginal notes and
colored engravings to illustrate the subject. It contains the law
limiting the height of dwelling-houses, also the existing Mechanics^
Lien Law. This work is edited hy William J. Fryer, Jr., whose
original and well-thought-out comments give it a special value.
The volume tvill also contain a complete directory of architects
in New York, Brooklyn, Jersey City, Newark and Yonkers. The
book is handsomely hound in cloth, and is sold at the low price of
seventy-five cents, hy mail eighty-five cents.
The business situation has taken on a new phase during the past
week. Money has suddenly become tight—that is to say, loans
which could have been made at 2% per cent, last week have been
ruling at 5, 6 and 7 per cent, during the last few days. Some of
this increase is entirely legitimate and is due to the greater demand
for money in business circles to start new enterprises or extend
industries already established. Should the use of money continue
high we will doubtless soon see shipments of gold from abroad, for
the rates of interest rule low on the other eide of the water and
money would come over here for more profitable employment
should it seem probable that the rate of interest here would con¬
tinue at the present rate.
It seems that what the banks have lost in reserves during the
past year, about $55,000,000, has been gained by the treasury.
Money is being made artificially scarce by being locked up in the
government repositories. No one is advantaged by this abstraction
of money from circulation but the national banks, which are now
able to ask from 5 to 7 per cent, for loans, and if the present
government treasury policy is continued money will rule at a pre¬
mium over the legal rate of interest, as the business community are
all borrowprs. Practically they are taxed for the benefit of the
national banks and the-money lenders, hence the popularity of the
Morrison surplus resolution in the last Congress. The complaint of
the West and South is that it is national bank officers, Messrs.
Manning and Jordan, who control the policy of the treasury in the
interest of the national banks. How strange a fact it is that our
Eastern press in this matter, as on the wlver question, work in the
interests of the banks and not in that of the commercial com¬
Still, no matter what the policy of the Treasury Department, the
rate of interest on money was certain to rise during the coming
business season. Not only is there a better demand for money for
industrial enterprises, but there is a steady shrinkage of the
volume of national bank currency. Were it not for the relief
given by the continued coinage of silver, and the issue of certifi¬
cates thereupon, money would soon become very tight and com¬
mand an excessive rate of interest because of the steady contrac¬
tion of the paper circulation. One good effect would follow were
money to command 5 or 6 per cent. It would draw gold from
Europe. Another good result might be a check to speculation in
Wall street, for 3 and 4 per cent, securities will not look so
attractive if money can be loaned out at 5, 6 or 7 per cent. This
is a matter Wall street people should bear in mind.
never exacted any such commitments from his candidates for
Mayor, from the fact that all of them—Wickham, Ely and Grace,
etc.—went back on him after being elected. Our city politics is a
very dirty puddle which it d.^es not seem possible to purify.
Senator William M. Evarts delivered himself of a short speech on
the silver question just before the last session closed, in which he
urged that our government should sound other governments as to
what they were willing to do in establishing a metallic currency
to which all the commercial nations could abide by. Mr. Evarts
tried to correct a very curious hallucination common among
thinkers and writers on this subject, that adding to the number of
grains of silver in a dollar would restore the parity between the
two metals and solve the problem of the standard of value. In the
absence of any ratio being established for the coinage of both
metals it is clear that the two will keep on " parting company" and
that gold will steadily appreciate, a fact which will show itself by
the continuous decline in silver as well as the price of all articles
which gold measures. Certain papers have criticised the New
York Senator as a fiat money advocate, because he said that it
would require a positive law to uphold the price of silver as com¬
pared with gold. Yet that law can give a value to silver is Rhown
by the willingness of every trader to take silver dollars of 4123^
grains and the universal rejection of the trade dollar weighing 420
grains. Mr, Evarts is quite right. Adding to the weight of the
silver dollar would create endless confusion and would not prevent
the continuous decline in the value of the white metal.
Notwithstanding the assumption of virtuous indignation by the
press in the unearthing of the Squire-Flynn le:;ter it is notorious
that similar documents have been employed to keep politicians who
have been given profitable offices in the traces. Chester A. Arthur,
John Kelly, as well as Hubert O. Thompson must have made the
appointees to lucrative positions which they controlled sign papers
which put them in the povs^er of their patrons. Of course neither
Kelly's or Arthur's name ever appeared in those documents. There
was always some go-between, like Plynn in Thompson's case. This
Squire-Flynn letter was undoubtedly modelled upon hundreds of
letters of the same character. It is also clear that John. Kelly
The commission appointed by the Tory government of last fall
to inquire into the cause of the depression in trade in Great Britain
have found that the distress has been caused not by any diminution
in the volume of trade, but because of the falling off in prices.
Great Britain manufactures and exports more goods than ever
before in its history, but the return in the money it receives there¬
for is not nearly so large as it was ten, or even five years ago. The
commission, however, reports that tho condition of tho working
classes have improved during the last twenty years, due to the
cheapening of goods without a reduction of wages, which last
fact they attribute to the infiuence of trades unions. These work¬
ingmen's organizations, by the way, are commended, and a plea is
made against any extension of the hours of labor; this last because
there has been overproduction. Hence this Tory commission
agrees with the extreme labor reformers that a reduction in the
hours of labor would be desirable, in that it would put a check to
the multiplication of goods which the market cannot absorb. The
commissiftn carefully avoids discussing the question of bi-metal-
lism, yet it is as clear as the sun in the heaver s that the adoption
of gold monc-metallism by the commercial nations has been the
main cause of the steady lowering of prices for the past fifteen
years, and that the failure to rehabilitate silver as a money metal
will cause poignant distress among all who deal in the commodi¬
ties required in the international trade of the world.
The interviews with our architects, apropos of our puWic build¬
ings, emphasizes a defect which New Yorkers should be ashamed
of and should try and correct in the future. Our school buildings,
police stations and some of our courts are very unattractive and
in many cases are very shabby structures. People in the West
take a special pride in having handsome school houses. A well-
proportioned edifice is not necessarily any more costly than is a
building rnodelled upon the lines of a barn or an out-house. St.
Luke's Hospital, for instance, is one of the most imposing build¬
ings in the city, yet it is of cheap construction and without orna¬
ment. We employ policemen to plan our station houses, while our
schoolhouses are put up in so penurious a spirit tiiat they discredit
our educational system. The interviews on this subject with lead¬
ing architects, which we give elsewhere, touches upon this and
other interesting topics.
Among the most remarkable events of this century must be
accounted the arrival of the air-ship Torpillier in London, after
a voy-age across the British Channel from Cherbourg. M. L'Hoste,
the inventor and navigator, will hereafter rank with Mongolfier, if
not with Watt, Fulton and Morse. It may be set down as a demon¬
strated fact that an aerostat or flying-machine can, under favor¬
able circumstances, be driven or guided through the air from one
spot on the earth's surface to another. There are many and very
great difficulties to overcome, but enough has been accomplished
to show that man will, in time, navigate the air as successfully as
he has heretofore propelled himself over the land or floated over
the ocean. How curiously blind are our daily journals to the vast
importance of this conquest of the air; yet,we should have been pre¬
pared for it by the balloon and by the successful experiments of
Renard in France, Baumgarten in Germany, and Baronovski in
Russia. This is not the place to describe the kind of vessel that
will navigate the air. It must not be a balloon, however, which