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Record and Guide.
e^ - £STABLISHED''^«AI«:H21*-^I868.
DivbTED TO I^l Estate BuiLoif/o Ap.ti<iTECTvjnE .Household DEQOR/^Tioii.
Bi/sii^Ess Mb Theme.*- of GeKeiv-L I^tei^est
PRICE, FER VEAR IIV ADVIIVIE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
fELEPHONE - - . - Cortlandt 1370.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 14 & i6 Vesey St
J. 1. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
AUGCJST 8. 1891.
The publication offices of The Record and Guide liave been
removed to Nos. 14 and 16 Vese.i/ street, over The Mechanics' and
IVaders' Exchange, a few Jeet west of Broadway.
THE NE^ ARCHITECTURAL MAGAZINE.
The first number of The Architectural Record is issued to¬
day, and may be purchased at the Elevated Road stands, or book¬
sellers, or it may be ordered at the offices of publication, Nos. 14 and
16 Vesey street. It is not too much to say that eiery one who takes
an intelligent interest in the Architecture, the construction or the
embellishment of the buildings he lives in or frequents sh( uld sub¬
scribe to this magazine, which treats of all of these matters from
the highest point of view, yet in a popular and intereating way.
The contributors are men of repute—experts in the matters of
which they treat. The maga'.ine is profusely illustrated, contains
sixty-four large plates of interiors and exteriors of buildings, new
designs in electrical fixtures, furniture, etc. The paper used is of
the best quality, and the printing, which has been done by " The
Record and Cruide " press, is ati excellent example of the highest
modem typography. Annual subscription: one dollar.
DURING the past week stocks have sJiown that they could go
up as well as go down, and a comparison of the closing prices
ot last week with those of Friday evening show a sliglit strength¬
ening of the most important stocks on the list, excepting Union
Pacific. There has been so much bear talk of late that it is well to
keei> the more encouraging aspects of the situation in mind. The
operators on the short side of the market rehed almost exclusively
on the quickening of apprehensions sflready excited and in the cir¬
culation of rumors. Meanwhile, the general conditions, apart from
the money raarket, have distinctly been gri)wing more encourag¬
ing. Large crops do not always p educe large railway earnings,
but in the present year there will be practically no increase of
mileage to create competition, break rates and destroy tbe oppor¬
tunity of a big income.
"^"OT only the London Stock Exchange, but the different branches
-i-^ of English trade is in a stagnant state just at present. A
condition of apprehension prevails the business of the whole king¬
dom and takes the life out of the market. Similar statements are
in the main true of France, Germany and Austro-Hungary, the
flrst of these still continuing apparently the most prosperous. "With
the exception of the Northern, all the great French railway com¬
panies show an increase in iheir receipts in the first six months of
the present year, compared with 1890, both in the gross amount
and in the mileage. The Lyons company gains 3,733,535 francs;
the Westem. 1,005,329 francs; the Orleans, 1,792,709 francs; the
Eastern, 1,488,103 francs; the Southern, 635,188 francs; and the
State lines, 506,490 francs. Spanish and Italian railways are
also doing better than any one would expect from*
the recently depressed condition of their country's flnancrs.
The enormous increase in the traffic of the
Suez Canal still continues. The total receipts from January 1st
have been 47,980,000 francs, an advance of 10,150,000 fi'ancs from
the flgures of last j ear. It is not surprising uuder the circum¬
stances tbat the price of the company's securities is steadily aug¬
menting in value. In Berlin the depression has been deepened hy
the insecurity created by the swindling of the Deutsche Bank. The
public look with distrust on the course of events; and even if this
were not bo, declining trade and advancing money rates would
suffice to stifle any attempt to animate business. The harvest pre s-
pects are most unsatisfactoi-y. and it is now feared that the home
production of rye. a most important article in Germany, may this
year come to only about 30 per cent, of what is considered a good
medium harvest. Then the position of the banks is anything but
sati^actory. For about a year or .w they have done their best to
increase their stock of liquid reserves; yet, though they were suc¬
cessful in a measure, it is doubted whether they were so to the
full extent of their requirements. They are supposed still to hold
large amounts of stock resulting from loan and syndicate opera¬
tions, and in any case they could not afford to go into the market
as buyers, except with the object of maintaining prices.
WHEN Mayor Grant, a year ago last spring, appointed the Bel¬
mont Rapid Transit Commission The Record and Guide
indicated tbe uo wi,sdom of putting into the hands of business men the
solution of a question that turned mainly on engineering difficul¬
ties. The advice of a good engineer isnot sufficient; it would have
been wiser to have selected the Commission from among the best
members of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Neverthe¬
less, when under the terms of the new rapid transit act, the Mayor
appointed another Commissior of the same kind, we did not ca,re
to press the criticism, and in the ensuing months the Commission¬
ers have proved themselves to be so trustworthy that any objection
to their personnel would be the merestcavilling. The only stricture
that could reasonably be made is that if the Commissioners had been
Civil Engineers employed by the city to devote their whole time to
rapid transit, the work might have been expedited. As it is, the
manifold private interests of every one of the Commissioners, and
the time these interests demands, must of course delay the com¬
pletion of the task. As yet, however, the engineering problems
have not been fairly tackled—that is, not in the reports which the
Commissioners have m?de to the public. We are informed, more¬
over, that before they are given to the public, all the details of
construction will be submitted to competent experts in the several
departments. This is certainly a very wise measure. It shows
that the Commissioners are not foolish enough to think that they
know everv thing; they are willing to supplement their own knowl¬
edge by calling in expert opinion. Furthermore, it is wise
for another reason. No matter what the plan
of construction upon which the Commission decides, it is very sure
to provoke some opposition. A large number of pushing men are
peculiarly interested in particular systems and ideas. It will not
be difficult for them either to convince or to persuade the news¬
papers that there is only one proper and adequate system of con¬
struction, and hence any plan, as we have said, will meet with crit¬
icism. Under such circumstances it is well that the Commis¬
sioners should be backed by a consensus of competent opinion, for
the public authorities are undeniably sensitive to newspaper clam¬
oring, w hen such clamoring does not deny sacred political obliga¬
tions. What the effect of such a howl may be we all know from
the experience of the Manhattan Railway Company. If the modest
request of that corporation to improve its terminal facilities had
been acceded to by the press we do not think that Mayor Grant and
the Legislature would have proved to be stubborn.
LATE in June the commercial world was somewhat startled on
reading in the daily press that an inland-built steamer of a
peculiar construction called " whalebacks " had left Duluth, Minn.,
en route for Liverpool with a cargo of 95.000 bushels of grain. On
the 21st of July, a cablegram from London announced the safe
arrival of the vessel. Accompanying this announcpmentT:ame the
further piece of news that her cargo was "the first grain cargo
shipped from a lake port direct to Liverpool without being re-
handled." The wires flashed, and inside of twenty-four hours
every live daily paper in the land had repeated the news, and stick
full upon stick full of editorials had appeared on " the ' whaleback '
as a new agent in commerce." It was gravely maintained by many
writers that the new steel vessel would revolutionize ocean traffic,
for at last direct waterway communication had been opened be¬
tween the great Northwest and Europe.
IN the light of the frigid facts all thecommotion over the "whale-
backs" becomes exceedingly ludicrous. In the first place the
carj:,o of the stpamer in question—by name the Charies W. Wet-
mure—was not carried "direct to Liverpool without being
rehandled." To believe for a moment that such a feat could be
accomplished I'y a loaded vessel built on the lines of the Charles
W. Weimore betrays ignorance of the nature of the route to be
traversed. No large vessel drawing over seven feet of water can
possibly descend the rapids of the St. Lawrence in safety. The
Charles W. Wetmore with her cargo draws not less than fifteen.
The facts are that in entering the rapids she was lightened to flve
feet and her cargo conveyed by smaller boats to Montreal and there
reloaded. The success of this voyage is not as it has been circulated
through the daily press, " evidence that the proposition to establish
direct communication between European and other ports and the
port of Chicago is feasible." It demonstrates merely that vessels
suitable for ocean service may be so constmcted as to
pass unloaded down the rapids of the St. Lawrence River.
That such empty vessels may make the voyage without risk is not
even shown, as yet. One of the "whalebacks." which accompanied
the Charles W. Wetmore down the rapids, was so badly damaged