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September i, 1900.
KECOKD AJSD GUIDE.
PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
TELBPHONK, CORTLANDT 1370.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street.
/. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
â€¢Entered at the Post-Office at New York, N. 7.. as second-class nwti^r.-
SEPTEMBER 1, 1900.
IN Wall street there are few new developments and no inÂ¬
crease of business to cheer brokers. We hear exaggerated
reports of foreign loans and of the demand for American coal
abroad. Seemingly reporters and writers on Wall street topics
will not he content with a natural, though somewhat slow adÂ¬
vance either in the way of loaning money or selling commodities
abroad, but must treat both subjects sensationally. Probably
their readers require to be astonished. However that may be,
progress will be slow we may be sure great changes do not
come without a careful preparatory process. As to brokerage
business there is a feeling that with the closing of the vacations
some improvement may be looked for. This is based largely
on the fact that in spite of repeated requests, so to say, to do
so, security holders refuse to scare over election probabilities.
Not only that but if stocks weaken at all a buying movement
comes to restore quotations, keeping up on the whole the
somewhat exasperating, but at the same time satisfactory,
steadiness that has prevailed for several months, in fact since
the recovery from the June break. Besides this continued
steadiness of prices, there are other small features that serve
to keep up the faith of those who believe in higher prices in
the near future. The fear of dear money has passed away under
an inability of bankers to employ much of the funds in their
bands even at the low rates prevailing; the improvement in
the iron trade, though not bringing with it any increase in
prices except on manufactured articles, is distinctly and perÂ¬
ceptibly growing, and such assistance as can come from the
signs of extension of our foreign trade is clearly to be had.
If the colossal foreign orders for iron and coal of the report-
orial imagination do not materialize, there are others of suffiÂ¬
cient magnitude to provide that needed outlet for a surplus that
a development of mines, works and appliances has created
beyond our own needs and which in a sense is all profit. The
only things that vex are the sporadic labor troubles, home
politics (how slightly the influence of the last is shown by
Mr. Bliss' recent remarks) and complications abroad.
1â€”J RBDICTIONS on the time when the Boer war wil! end are
X"^ about as safe as those made regarding a settlement of the
Chicago strike, but it does seem now that the end is near.
The Transvaal Republic officially embodied has been pushed so
close to tbe Portuguese border that it seems that it must now
take that step across the line which will end its functions and
existence. In China, too, the logical expectation is that the
American official view of the situation will prevail and that the'
vanishing government will appear again to make amends for
past misdeeds and resume control of affairs. These two things
are desired, because one means an increase in the world's gold
supply and each and both together a large increase' in the
world's trade. If the latest British railroad dividends threw an
unfavorable reflection upon the business situation, the bank
dividends of the same date do not, for we notice that these
have on the whole been increased: Lloyds' from ITVa to 20
per cent, the London & Westminster's, Joint Stock's, City's and
Midland's each by 1 per cent. Increased dividends by the banks
may be taken as a fair offset to reduced dividends by the railÂ¬
roads, especially as the latter were due rather to the increases in
the items of expenses, wages and fuel, than to diminished gross
receipts. Regarding the reported action of the Prussian state
railways in inaugurating rates that will encourage shipments of
coal from this side of the Atlantic, it may be stated that the
coal owners and the state railways have for some time been
involved in a dispute on prices for coal for the coming season.
The action of the latter may be intended to induce the home
miners to come to terms. While complaints of general business
are rife in Europe it is admitted that in coal there is no lesÂ¬
sening of activity. This is somewhat contradictory seeing how
much the one is dependent on the other, though special purÂ¬
chases of coal by the various Powers may help to reconcile
the two statements. The more probable explanation, however,
is that general business is dull because of the season and coal
Is active because of preparations to make other lines so when
the holidays are over.
PUBLIC WORKS IN PARIS AND NEW YORK.
ii ~r HEY do these things better in Prance." This, the opening
* line of Sterne's masterpiece, must occur to American visÂ¬
itors to Paris during this year of the Exposition and at no time
more forcibly than when contemplating the great works ot
public improvement that make Paris the darling city of the
world. Among these improvements the one that strikes the
visitor of to-day most is the new bridge over the Seine. The
American especially is struck by this structure because it beÂ¬
longs essentially to a class of bridges practically the creation
of American engineering genius and evolved out of the circumÂ¬
stances attending material development in his own country,
namely, the steel bridge; and yet it is not only not ugly but
Not only is the Alexander HI. Bridge beautiful, but
a competent authority describes it is one of the most
remarkable erections of the kind in modern times.
Structurally it is a steel bridge forming one large arch of very
flat lines, but these flat lines were dictated by artistic requireÂ¬
ments, the level of the roadways having to be kept aslowaspos-
sible, consistently with getting the requisite headway over the
river, in order not to obscure the view of the facade and dome
of the Invalides which closes the vJsta at the southern end.
This instance of calculating flnal consequences shows the care
that was taken to procure the best results, so that in doing one
thing another should not be spoiled, but everything brought into
harmony. With this spirit presiding over the work it is not surÂ¬
prising that the result is good. Why this is so is because the auÂ¬
thorities went to work in the right way. They entrusted the
main design of the bridge totwoeminentarchitects.MM.Bernard
and Cousin, and two eminent engineers, MM. Resal and Alby;
the first were made responsible for the details of the design
and the second for the structure. The work of these was supÂ¬
plemented by that of others, as for instance the massive bronze
lamps standing on the bridge, which are the work of one of the
most gifted young sculptors of the day, and the various sculpÂ¬
tured designs and figures are the work of artists of the first order
"That is," says our authority, "what goes to make a new bridge
in Paris," and he asks, being an Englishman himself, "Is it not
enough to make every Englishman who cares about art blush
for his country, where for a similar work an engineer and a
stonemason would be thought sufficient?" We may still more
justly ask the same question of the American and of his
Take New York now and note how few artistic works or
memorials we have and how the attractions of our improvements
depend more on external agencies for their effects than their
own artistic merits. How much better all these things could
have been had we taken a little thought of probable appearÂ¬
ances to the cultured eye. Beginning with a very small matter,
the connection of the elevated railroad with the Brooklyn
Bridge, what a blessing an architect in coadjutation with the
engineer would have been. Our bridges especially need thia
union of the two varieties of talent, the practical and the
aesthetic. The first bridge over the East River is saved from
utter condemnation by the curve of its arch, the graceful lines
of its supports, and the sturdy massiveness of its piers; but its
entrances are simply hideous. The new bridge is likely to
prove an eyesore because of the substitution of the open iron
work piers for the stone ones. Those who uphold the nude in
art have never gone so far as to clamor for the skeleton. The
latest instance of the unsympathetic baldness and nakedness
that characterize all our public engineering is found in the
Manhattan Valley viaduct, the details of which will be found
elsewhere in this issue, which like its predecessor is the work
of an engineer acting alone and without the assistance of the
In fact with few exceptions every piece of engineering we
have has a vulgar taunting expression as if it would say: "I'm
ugly but I'm utile and cheap," and this will remain so until we
follow the French example and make them composite works conÂ¬
taining the expression of the artist as well as the usefulness of
the mechanic. Until a better way of securing this is devised the
designs and plans for every future bridge, viaduct and in fact