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November n, 1899.
RECORD AND GUIDE.
De^TED to REALE:.STATE.EîllIL01flG ^RcKlTEeTŒ^E.KûUSEliOLDDEQCifîATlOïf,
BUsiiJESS Alto Thèmes or CeiIzi^^I. !WTEn.ESi.
PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCEItSIX DOLLARS.
Puàiisficd every Saturday.
TELEPHONE, Cortlandt 1370.
Qmbdbiui Ica tlons nhould b« addreM«d t«
a w. BWSÎBT. 14-16 V«M7 Street.
■/. 3. LINDSEY, Business Maiiaf/cr.
•'Entered at the J'OB'.-O!)iot atNew Sork, N t., as secona-Class-matter."
NOVEMBER 11, 1899.
DIVESTED cf its sensational features, the stock market has
resolved itself into a traders' market pure and simple.
The good buying noted a few weeks ago is no more to be
seen. The bond department, whieh usually moves ahead ol the
stock department, has been all along disappointingly dull; this is
lîot to be wondered at considering the way bonds hâve advanced
in the past two years, and the présent tightness of and high
rates for money, compared with the ease and low rates of but a
récent past. It militâtes against another bull movement în
stocks for the time being, that the interior demand for money is
not so much due to agricultural requirements as to commercial
demands and business expansion. An illustration of this is found
in the report of nineteen new blast furnaces being under con¬
struction with a capacity estimated at 2,600,000 tons per annum.
This, taken with the gênera! conception of the improvement in
business throughout the country, explains why the return flow
of money to this centre has not yet made itself apparent, though
it is probable that signs thereof will soon appear. It is certainly
necessary that they should, else how are the year's end settle¬
ments to be DieL withcut a further advance in rates? The stock
market is directiy affected by these conditions; prices must dé¬
pend upon the volume of money available to the market and
move with the quotation of rates. The best that can be ex¬
pected with any show of confidence is that meritorious issues
will hold their own. Railroad earnings continuing to be satis¬
factory will help to hold up railroad issues and, as they imply
profitable activity in gênerai business, other issues also, provided
in either case that quoted values are really not inflation due to
NOT even Lord Salisbury's remarks will prevent the press
from seeing probabilities of European intervention to end
the struggle in South Afriea; the thing is too valuabie as a news
idea to be thrown away simply on the statement of the chief of
one of the governments engagea. He is too prejudieed and too
swayed by wishes that beget thoughts to be considered in the
matter; his ability to obtain information may be better than that
of the newspaper correspondents, but what does that matter?
The press notwithstanding, any sensible man can see that ali
France and Russia fear is the création in South Afriea oC a tried
and vétéran force that can be thrown into the Far East to in¬
fluence the diplomatie battle now waging for control of the trade
of China and of the Indian Océan. The latter is brought into
View by the suggested Franco-Russian north and south railroad
through Persia and its appearance at this time indicates clearly
the nature of Slav-Gallic views on the Boer question. To turn
to another matter, the war's influence dominâtes finance in Lon¬
don; it keeps the guiding discount rate at a high flgure and its
cash requirements are likely to monopolize all available funds.
The foreign governments, the municipalities and the colonies that
hâve been borrowing on an average £60.000,000 to £65,000,000 an-
nualy in the London market for some years past will hâve to
retire and leave the fleld open to the home government, and ln
this way tbat market will be enabled to meet the latter's de¬
mand without much further disturbance, but with a loss of a
considérable factor to activity. Apropos of South Afriea. M. Le¬
roy Eeaulieu estimâtes that the relative holdings of Great Brit¬
ain, France and Germany in South African mines are in the
proportions of eight, six and four, and upon this he urges the
French holders to put an end to the prédominance of British
représentation on the boards of the mining companies. An or-
ganization is in course of formation to protect German interesta
in the mines, The German government has in préparation a bill
to increase the fractional silver eurrency from 10 to 14 marks
per head of population, taking the silver necessary for the in¬
crease from the existing stock of thalers. While this may hâve
nothing directiy to do .with the présent advance in the price of
silver, it has an indirect bearing in showing the natural causes
for growth ih the demand for that métal. What applies in Ger¬
many will apply elsewhere where there is no reserve stock to
draw upon. The German bicycle industry is in the midst of a
Sharp crisis, similar to those already experienced by the same in¬
dustry in this country and in Great Britain; iron and coal shares
in Vienna hâve slumped and a building trade crisis at Budapest
caused the government to come to the relief of the trade by
giving out orders for work. These are telling indications of the
turn in European business affairs. Among other items of inter¬
est from abroad, we find that the Brazilian Minister of Finance
has prepared a report attributing the flnancial distress of Brazil,
primarily, to the enormous émissions of paper money, and for
which he proposes the natural remedy ol a contraction of this
form of eurrency. He gives a table showing that this eurrency
muitiplied four-fold in ten years, and that the appréciation of
gold kept pace with this increase. The Indian jute crop is esti¬
mated at about 5,000,000 baies, or 400,000 more than the estimate
of last year.
Masonry vs Skeleton Construction
xo change THROUGH EITHER THE RISE IN PRICES OR THE
PRESUMABLY no one will deny that the building industry is
suffering from one of those checks that come at intervais
in all industries, which do not stop progress—that is not quite the
right idea—but which create sueh radical modiflcations in the
problem to be solved, that a new solution becomes necessary, and
for which time is required. The interval is generalized as a dull
time. That generalization meets only the requirement of a
common deflnition of outward appearances, but as a matter of
fact it is incorrect, inasmuch as the interum is occupied in re-
adapting means to meet the new conditions; these means may be
physical or economical, or both. The greatest obstacle that
building has now to overcome is undoubtedly the rise in priées
of materials as great in degree as small in point of time, which
with other obstructions similar in their tendencies, such as the
appréciation in the value cf land and, as far as New York City
is concerned, a substantial appréciation also on tax values, makes
the hait in building opérations that our statistics reveal easily un¬
One of the suggestions made to lessen cost of construction is a
change of practice, through a rearrangement of materials guided
by their respective costs. This suggestion, while interesting,
has so far not advanced the solution of the problem very far.
Probably the range of choice is not great enough to secure sat¬
isfactory results, and above all each case differs in merit and
requirements which détermine the final sélections. As the rise
in the price of steel has been proportionately much greater than
that of brick, it naturaily follows that attention should be first
directed to those two to see if, by substitution, the desired econ¬
omical resuit can be produced. But if brick is used instead of
métal, rentable space is lost, and that is a permanent loss likely
to be unacceptable to the owner, while increased cost in construc¬
tion will be no loss at all so long as the prices of materials remain
as high as they were at the time of construction, and would be
a gain in the event of further advanees, or stand a chance of be¬
ing compensated by an advance in the values of rentable space.
In very high buildings there can, of course, be no manipulation
of materials; steel construction is their imperative requirement,
and the rise in the price of material has suspended work in their
direction, pending either a reactionary movement in the material
market, or a favorable change in the économie conditions which
are their raison d'être.
In buildings of médium height, where the loss of rentable space
liy the substitution of masonry for steel construction would be
comparatively small, and with steei ûdyanced 100%, as against
20% in brick, at first sight it would appear that something could
be gained that way; but there the individual, as well as gênerai
conditions, come in to make that doubtful. In the Loeser building
in Brooklyn, erected this year, the architect, Mr. F. H. Kimball,
while under no necessity to use steel, chose that for his front for
several reasons. The time allowed for construction was short,
an interval between two active seasons in the retail dry good-s
trade; every additional foot of opening for Iight was an advan¬
tage as for some stories there was no side light, and the interior
was 125 feet long; the métal offered obvious advantages bere in
the superior carrying capacity of the piers for a given widLh over
masonry piers; finally, the métal offered opportunities for décora¬
tive treatment which could only otherwise be found in the use
of terra cotta, and that would then bave had to be supplemented
for strength, probably to an estent that wouid hâve neutralized