Click image to zoom in (opens new window)
August 19. 1899.
lÃ®ECOTÃ®D AJVD GUIDE.
Biaoftsi jublHEUBS or Cei^Q)^ iKioiFsio
PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS.
Published every lalui-day.
Commun ica tiona should be addressea to
C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Btreet.
J. 1. LTND8BT, Business Manager.
" Entered at the Post-0Â£iee at New York, ff. T., asseewid-classna'ier."
AUGUST 19, 1899.
DEALINGS on the Stock Bxchange are increasing in bulk as lE
there would he a pretty heavy demand for stocks as soon
as the vacations are over. It is not to be presumed that we will
then see another movement like that that ciosed last spring, hut
a great deal of money must now be amaking ln all lines of busiÂ¬
ness, and the question avises, what wiil he done with it? Some,
of course, will go into further extensions and developments of
industrial enterprise, hut some, large in hulk, will seek investÂ¬
ment in WaU street. This raises another question; What direcÂ¬
tion will this take? The supply of Government and municipal
bonds Ã®s small and largeiy flows to institutions and trust funds.
The income return on such bonds is too small to attract any but
a small percentage of outside investors who are likely to seek
profitable uses for their money more among quoted securities than
Â«Isewhere. Wlth this pressure under quotations it is impossible
to conceive of a hear market in the near future, the movement
must be upward. That some securities are selling for more than
they are worth on conservative estimÃ¢tes counts for nothing at
the moment, later its effects will tell sharpiy. While money conÂ¬
stantly flows into the market and confidence in the business sitÂ¬
uation is maintained prices must advance. Moreover, the marÂ¬
ket is constantly reminded that the time is one of commercial and
industrial activity and expansion. New comblnations are conÂ¬
stantly being made under the promise of profit, or the necessities
of enterprise. New agencies for the transaction of business are
suddenly demanded, in support of which may be cited the numÂ¬
ber of the new trust companies that hÃ¢ve been estabiished right
hÃ¨re in New York in the past year, and the Ã©vident prospect of
their profitable opÃ©ration. Nothing like this development in the
financial world was ever seen before; it is truly phÃ©nomÃ©nal, and
it is in overlooking the phenomenaÃ®ity of the occurrences of the
times as they relate to commercial and financial development,
that those who bave been trying for the past month or two to
work up a bear market bave made their mistakes. To-day must
not be judged by yesterday, but by the conditions it individually
prÃ©sents almost wholly.
EUROPEAN politics are always in a more or less mixed state
to the sight of the outside observer, Just now the muddle
â– seems to arise out of the imminent collapse of the Franco-Russian
and the Triple alliances. The situation seems to hÃ¢ve led the GerÂ¬
man Emperor to believe that he must seciu-e a rapprochement
with France or a revival of the Dreikaiser-bund, preferahly the
latter. A. Franco-German union would throw Russia and AusÂ¬
tria, and probably Italy together. This arrangement would seÂ¬
cure peace as effectively as the old alliances did. An underÂ¬
standing among the three Emperors, however, would leave France
in a bad position and dÃ©pendent on what support she could
obtain from Britain and Italy in the event of attack, either diploÂ¬
matie or military, This ie an additional reason why she should
at this moment rise superior to injustice and internai discord.
Except that the conviction and punishment of Dreyfus in the first
place throws doubt upon the ability of the French to see straight
in any case, there is reason to believe that the resuit of the proÂ¬
ceedings at Rennes will be a triuraph for justice. The foreign-
correspondents there appear to hÃ¢ve caught the French sensi-
tiveness to passing impressions so that their alternating fear and
confidence should hÃ¢ve little weight and cause no anxiety. A
week bas not changed the business situation in Europe. Money ia
a little easier, and there is no immÃ©diate prospect of an advance
in rates. Figures for the German export trade show for the first
-half year an increase of $30,000,000, considerably less than the
â– increase for France, and not half as much as that for Great
Britain. An improvement in the trade to this country is noted,
"experts hither increasing $10,000,000. The imports of pig and
scrap iron were very large. .Shares of the Creditanstalt, by which
the feeling of the Vienna Bourse is gauged, continue steadily to
rise as do also the most reprÃ©sentative spÃ©culative issues. GovÂ¬
ernments, however, as elsewhere fail to attract, the return they
offer not being enough in a time of trade activity and confidence.
In Roumaui-a a desperate state of affairs has set in in consÃ©quence
of the droughts of spring. Nearly the entire harvest is Jost, and
the Government is taking measures to provide for the cattle
which the peasants are about to sell and for next year's sowing.
The payment of rents and taxes was prolongea, and maize an4
hay were distributed. "The gÃªnerai position and outlook" at
Buenos Ayres, says a capable but always pessimistic critic, "in a
commercial and financial sensÃ©, is becoming more unsatisfactory
and threatening every day, and the inÃ©vitable crisis that waa
bound to spring from the sudden reaction from the eurrency in-
fiation of the past few years is now looming up fast, and will, tt
is to be feared, prove quite as disastrous, if not more so, than the
long sÃ©ries of troubles the country has gone through since 1890,"
The Australian news is generally good. Gold production of the
first five months of the year increased by 289,002 ozs. and a total
production of 4,000.000 ozs. is antieipated for the year. Confidence
has been revived in the position of the banks whose shares are
rapidly advancing in the market. It is thought that the first
fÃ©dÃ©ral parliament will come into existence about eighteen
months hence, Under the constitution it will hÃ¢ve two years to
frame a uniform customs tariff, Probably, therefore, three yeara
will elapse before the great tariff change will take place.
QUITE a discussion has been raised by the little ceremony
that took place outside the Tower Building last week, and
the correctness of the statement borne on the face of the tablet
then unveiied has been challenged by Chicago. At the same time
a claim has been set up for that city as the birthpiace of skeleton
construction, which, fortunately for the claims of New York, is
contradicted by the facts brought forward in its support. The SoÂ¬
ciety of Architectural Iron Manufacturers had fully examined
the whole matter and had indubitable Ã©vidence that the Tower
Building was the first complÃ¨te spÃ©cimen of "skeleton construcÂ¬
tion," before the idea of affixing a tablet on its portais to eom-
memorate the epoch in building it timed had been thought of,
This construction had a long line of progenitors behind it with
which it had racial resembiances, but it brought the line to perÂ¬
fection by individual characteristics that made it, to use an exÂ¬
pression of the horticulturists, a "sort," and deserving of a dis-
tinctive cognomen. It grew out of "cage construction," but as a
higher form of cultivation, The diffÃ©rence between the two is
quite marked, and, although stated before, their dÃ©finitions may
be given again in order to make the matter quite clear: Skeleton
construction is a framework of iron or steel columns and girders
wbich carry the weight of the outer enclosing brick walls toÂ¬
gether with the floors down to the foundations at initial points.
Cage construction is a framework of iron or steel columns and
girders also, but one carrying the fioors only and leaving the
outer walls dÃ©pendent on themselves, The Home Life Building
in Chicago which is put forward to claim priority for that city
in this method of building is of the latter form of construction
and therefore cannot impugn the claim made on behalf of New
York by the Society of Architectural Iron Manufacturers in the
permanent form of a bronze tablet securely fixed to the exhibit
they offer in Ã©vidence, The erudite in such matters tell us that
the principle involved in skeleton construction is very ancient,
the Coliseum being a development of it in masonry; that it apÂ¬
pears in parts of several New York buildings that antedate both
the Home Life Building of Chicago and the Tower Building itÂ¬
self, but that the latter was the first in which it was employed
throughout. This is what the Society of Architectural Iron ManuÂ¬
facturers of this city and the architect of the building assert. One
of our most respected contemporaries, momentarily but humanly
weak, however, supports the Chicago contention, and fears that
as many cities will claim the honor of being the birthpiace of the
perfected steel construction as do that of being the birthpiace of
Homer, and that contention and confusion will therefore arise.
We bave no such anxiety. The trouble with the Homer dispute
arises from the neglect of vital statistics among the early Greeks.
but there is no such trouble in this case, the certificate of the
birth of "skeleton construction " is in New York, safely deposited
in the archives of the Department of Buildings of this city, in
the form of the plans of the Tower Building.
SUPPORT to the belief, expressed a week ago in this column,
that a war between Britain and the Transvaal would mean
the end of the independence of the republic is found in the text
of a speech in Parliament, delivered by Lord Salisbury, at the
close of the session. He said, in rÃ©fÃ©rence to the agreements with