in each particular branch, and that he would also consult and make use of lexicons.
_ It is hoped that this Conference will not adjourn without hearing an ex-
pression from the General Director of the Pan American Union to use his good
offices for the establishment of some means of inter-communication with engineers
and custom house officers for the purpose of arriving at some common under-
standing regarding the use of technical words. An agreement regarding the use
of a certain word by such authorities would, of course, have little value unless at
the time of the agreement the custom house authorities and other Government
officials be inclined to accept the word which might be selected or to admit by
suitable proclamation the word chosen as indicative of the things or articles referred
to, even though those things or articles be legally defined in some other terminology
in the Arancel Aduanera or tariff lists.
THE PAN AMERICAN ENGINEER
BY WM. Louis DUNNE, EXPORT SERVICE ENGINEER, THE DESELEKTRO COMPANY,
WASHINGTON, D. C.
Commerce, it has been said, follows the flag; but it is the pioneering spirit
of the engineering profession that points the way and first raises the flag. Pan-
Americanism in the engineer's life is simply ^ a matter of habit, and the ^North
American engineer has been as much at home in the mountain mines and railroads
334 SECOND PAN AMERICAN COMMERCIAL CONFERENCE
of Colombia, Chile, Peru and other of the South American countries as he has
been in the Rockies of the United States. No less acquainted with the works of
the technical men from the north are the peoples of the cities of Buenos Aires,
Rio Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Lima, Santiago, Havana, Mexico and other populated
The older civilization of the great peoples antedating the advent of the
conquistadores was predominantly that of the engineer, as was found by those who
came to the lands of the Incas and the Aztecs. Ancient works in irrigation, in
mines and in architecture are found in all of the Latin-American countries and
where found are marvels in execution. Canal systems centuries old arouse the
admiration of the modern engineer from whatever nation he may come.
Whatever of difficulty there may be on the part of the visiting banker,
manufacturer or merchant to readily reach a plane of common thought with his
South American friend, between the engineers of North and South America there
is no long preliminary to acquaintance and friendship, for they meet on the basis
of fellow technicians and mutual appreciation. The South American sees in the
industrial development in the United States the fruition of his day dreams for his
own country and the North American finds in the southlands every opportunity
to spend his lifetime in accomplishment.
The outstanding feature of the relationship ''between North and South
Americans in the engineering professions is found in the fact that many hundreds
of the technically trained men of the South American republics are products of
American colleges. Our institutions like the Universities of California, Texas,
Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Utah, Michigan and Columbia are alma mater to hun-
dreds of civil engineers from the southern nations of Pan-America, and in the
mining districts of the southern continent there will be hardly an operation that
will not number among its technical officers graduates of Colorado, Cornell, Massa-
chusetts, Lehigh, Georgia Tech. Mackey School of Mines or equally known techni-
cal institutions in the United States.
The Latin American excells in technical design. Particularly in the field
of hydraulics the opportunity for practice has been wide and there are many works
from Mexico to Chile that have brought deserved commendation from world
authorities. In the field of industrial engineering the South American engineer
in recent years has been working toward high ideals, and it is the rule rather than
the exception that in all of the countries the most modern ideas and equipment
find place in new industries, when entirely in the hands of the native engineers of
The engineer, whether of North America or South America, is a potent
force in Pan-American relations. In South America, more than in the United
States, the engineering profession furnishes to the nations not only the leaders in
thought, but leaders in action, and it is by no means unusual for the Argentine,
Brazilian, Chilean, Peruvian, Cuban and Central American engineer to enter the
field of diplomacy and politics, and the better understanding between all of the
countries of Pan America is due in large part to the broad views cultivated by the
engineer-statesmen in many of the Latin American countries, for the engineer's
training embraces enough of the principles of international equity in viewing all
things from the practical standpoint with practical political economy, to make him
remain apart from the narrowness of parochial thought.
To those who, like our bankers, and manufacturers, are interested largely
in trade development I could make no better suggestion than that they consider
that future relations between Pan-American countries rests largely upon the en-
S'neering profession. There are something like nine hunded young South and
entral Americans now in technical schools in the United States and Canada.
They are in the colleges being trained as civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical and
agricultural engineers. In a few years they will be the deciding factors in indus-
trial and commercial development in their countries. No more patriotic American
thing could be done than to make opportunity for these young men to secure their
first practical training in the United States. The cumulative results are obvious.
I am sure that you will find that Director General Barrett and the Pan American
Union will readily assist any effort to bring to you the opportunity to acquaint
your product to the young engineer.
ENGINEERING AIDS TO COMMERCE 335
LINKING TOGETHER THE TWO CONTINENTS WITH A HIGHWAY
BY DR. S. M. JOHNSON., DIRECTOR OF THE BANKHEAD NATIONAL HIGHWAY,
WASHINGTON, D. C.
(Read at the Afternoon Session of Friday, June 6)
Last October a company of gentlemen of the Managing Board of the "Bank-
head National Highway" were guests of the Republic of Mexico and the Chamber
of Commerce of Juarez, Chihuahua, at a banquet at Juarez, just across the Inter-
national boundary at El Paso, Texas. The business which took us to El Paso
was the establishment of a National Highway beginning at Washington, traversing
the south, passing through El Paso and reaching the Pacific Ocean at San Diego,
At the banquet the representative of the Government of Mexico stated that
his government together with the Governors of the several interested States were
cooperating to continue the highway which we were establishing, from Juarez
to Mexico City, and that considerable portions of the road were already in con-
dition for use by rapid-transit vehicles.
As one of the Directors of the Bankhead National Highway, I desire to
say that I am sure that the utmost encouragement would be given in this country
to an organized effort to extend this highway from Mexico City to South America,
thus linking together the two Continents, the twenty-one republics and the people
of the western hemisphere.
The Bankhead Highway is now definitely located from Washington to El
Paso, a distance of about 2400 miles. Automobiles are now using every mile of
this road every day, and by far the greater part of it can be used with ease every
day in the year, the remaining parts being dirt roads which are hard to travel after
a rain. The dirt-road sections are now being improved by the concentration upon
them of Federal, State and county road-construction and within two years it is
probable that one may leave Washington in an automobile and travel thus to El
Paso over this national highway reaching El Paso in advance of the passenger
who leaves Washington at the same time and makes the journey by railway.
Within a short time, permanent sign-posts will be placed along this road
throughout its entire length. These will be of concrete. The marking will be done
by the National Highway Marking Association, of Washington, D. C., which is
establishing a uniform system of permanent highway marking throughout the
In addition to this line of travel, there are several other lines reaching from
Portland, Maine ; Montreal and Toronto, Canada ; Chicago ; Winnipeg and Van-
couver, Canada, to El Paso, all of which are now in usable condition for rapid-
transit vehicles. These main-lines may be reached by automobiles from every one
of the more than 3000 counties in the United States.
On these highways the people of the United States are now using for
business and pleasure over 6,000,000 automobiles and a half-million motor-trucks.
This number is being increased so rapidly that the manufacturers cannot keep up
with the demand. The United States has now entered on a program of road
construction exceeding in magnitude anything of the kind known to history. At
this moment 22,000 motor trucks are being shipped by the federal government
to the 48 states for exclusive use on the highways ; while shipment will soon be
made of many thousand of trailers to go with the trucks. The machinery bought
with the proceeds of our Liberty Bonds is to be brought back from Europe to
be used in building roads at home; roads to serve the ends of peace. With
rapid-transit highways covering in one vast network the entire national domain,
it takes no stretch of the imagination to see the day when the entire population of
the United States can step into its automobiles at a given signal and without
crowding enjoy a national joy-ride. At this present moment this could be done
in the State of Iowa, which has millions of inhabitants ; and one-third of the
population of the United States could now be transported at one time from one
place to another in privately owned automobiles.
A similar development of the rapid-transit highway and the use thereon
of the rapid-transit vehicle throughout the other republics of America is inevitable.
The linking together of the highway systems of North and South America would
therefore seem to be most desirable; an undertaking of vast importance; in the
336 SECOND PAN AMERICAN COMMERCIAL CONFERENCE
same category with the opening up of lines of transit on the sea and in the air.
The enterprise is worthy of immediate consideration.
As the wonderful panorama of South American scenery, including the
world's greatest water- fall, and the many objects of deepest interest shown at this
Conference, where thrown on the screen, I could not help asking myself "Why
were ^all these things fashioned by a benevolent Creator, if they were not to be
seen?" And I came to the conclusion that one of the greatest assets of the
American Republics was the attractions they offered to those who desire to travel
and see the wonderful and beautiful things of the earth traveling freely in the
The idea of touring-trips from the United States to South American coun-
tries by parties traveling by automobile may seem wildly visionary. Such trips
will become reality just as soon as the highways are put in usable condition. Such
long-radius trips are now commonplace in the United States.
On July 1st, if present plans do not miscarry, the War Department of the
United States will send two companies, consisting of 209 men, traveling with
equipment overland by motor-truck and other motor vehicles over the "Lincoln
Highway" from Washington to San Francisco. The itinerary calls for the com-
pletion of the trip in 47 days. Motion-pictures will be taken from air-planes of
the start, probably from the "White House," Washington, and along the route,
and careful records will be made of road-conditions, costs, etc. This army-maneuver
on land corresponds to the practice of the Atlantic fleet last spring in Cuban waters
and to the mapping of air-plane routes across the continent and across the Atlantic
ocean. It emphasizes the concern of this Government in the development of con-
tinuous highways and the use of motor-driven vehicles in long-distance travel. It
is the direct outgrowth of the breakdown of railway transportation from Chicago,
Detroit and Buffalo to the Atlantic seaports under war-demands. This led to the
use of the motor-truck on the highways. In the convoy movement by motor-
truck from the points named and in the period from January to November 11, 1918,
the Motor Transport Corps of the War Department used 32,403 vehicles and
transported a cargo-weight of 6,350,730 pounds of war material to the coast. The
truck-train transcontinental maneuver films will be shown throughout the world.
The Associated Press will tell the story. The fact will be made known to America
that such trips are feasible. This undertaking should stimulate interest and effort
in the proposal to link the two Americas together in a new bond of international
amity by a highway.
Since the State of New Mexico, which I have the honor to represent at this
Conference, has a citizenship about equally divided between Spanish-speaking and
English-speaking people, I desire to call your attention to the fact that we in my
State have succeeded in doing in our small way, what the Pan American Union
is trying to do in a large way, that is, to bring about good understanding, kindly
relations and cooperation in the work of advancing civilization among the repre-
sentatives of the latin and the anglo-saxon types. For seventy three years these
two types have lived together in amity in New Mexico. Hand in hand they have
erected the structure of a noble statehood. They share in equal terms the re-
sponsibilities and honors of leadership. Our two United States Senators are of the
anglo-saxon stock ; our Representative in the Congress and our Governor are
Spanish-Americans. All New Mexico is proud to have at the head of our State
our present Governor, O. A. Larrazolo, who was born in Chihuahua of Castilian
stock, a man of great ability and strength of character, leading the State to a
foremost position in the improvement of the schools and highways, in providing
for returning soldiers and in everything that uplifts.
New Mexico, therefore, looking back over 73 years of life, work and pro-
gress sends greetings to all the other commonwealths, expressing the hope that
the same kindly spirit which binds the latin and the anglo-saxon types together
may bind together .the representatives of these two types throughout the length
and breadth of America. We are sure that the beneficent results which have fol-
lowed from our cooperation here will follow that larger cooperation which the
Pan American Union is bringing to pass.
ENGINEERING AIDS TO COMMERCE 337
THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY WATERWAYS AND THE LATIN AMERICAN TRADE
BY JAMES E. SMITH OF ST. Louis, PRESIDENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY
I am pleased to respond to Mr. Barrett's request, as the people whom I
represent are anxious to increase their trade relations with our neighbors in the
countries south of us.
That portion of the United States known as the Mississippi Valley is the
most fertile, the most productive, and the most prosperous portion of our country.
It contains more than one-half of our country's entire population. -It produces
more than two-thirds of our exportable products, and in turn, it consumes a large
proportion of the products which are imported from the countries with which we
In the past both our exports and imports have been largely handled through
our Atlantic ports, greatly to the disadvantage of our people. Having been brought
to a realization of the handicap with which we have been burdened, we are now
preparing to handle our Central and South American shipments through the port
of New Orleans, which is our natural outlet to the sea as we have water com-
munication with that port, which is more than 700 miles nearer the Panama Canal
than is New York.
The Mississippi Valley contains the greatest system of natural waterways
in the known world. The Mississippi River and its tributaries embjace 16,000 miles
of navigable rivers. Through the neglect of our national Government, water trans-
portation has been allowed to be driven from these natural channels of commerce,
but during the past few years there has been a general demand for its restoration,
and it is now being re-established.
Water transportation has already been revived between St. Louis and New
Orleans, affording us low water rates between these points, and we can now
deliver the products of the Mississippi Valley to the countries south of us more
quickly and at much lower freight rates than we have been able to secure in the
past, and in turn, our people. can now obtain the products of those countries at
lower cost by shipping them direct to our Mississippi Valley markets by the all-
water route by way of the port of New Orleans.
Arrangements are also being made for regular steamship service between
the port of New Orleans and the ports of Central and South America to the end
that we may deliver the products of the Mississippi Valley at reasonable freight
rates to all of the countries lying south of the United States.
The merchants and manufacturers of the numerous important cities located
in the Mississippi Valley are looking forward to the establishment of closer and
more friendly relations with the business interests of Central and South America,
and let us hope that these expectations may be fully realized in the near future.
A GDANCE AT PROGRESS ON THE PAN AMERICAN RAILWAY
BY W. A. REID, TRADE ADVISER, PAN AMERICAN UNION.
From 1910 to 1914 about 156 additional miles of track were added to the
Pan American Railway. Very few miles of road that will form links in the inter-
continental system have been constructed since the latter date, at which time hos-
tilities in Europe checked the usual flow of capital from that part of the world to
Latin American enterprises. The progress to date is approximately as follows :
The distance of 26 miles separating the Mexican road at Mariscal from
tapping the Guatemalan road at Ayutla has been reduced to about two miles, or a
gain of 24 miles.
The road building from La Union, Salvador, toward the Guatemalan rail-
ways has progressed approximately 100 miles.
The road being constructed from Cuzco, Peru, northward toward Santa Ana
makes only about three miles a year, and work was suspended for a number of
months after the curtailment of Peruvian activity in 1914. Completed, about 15
The gap of 177 miles between the southern end of the Bolivian road and
railhead at La Quiaca, Argentina, has been decreased by 60 miles.
338 SECOND PAN AMERICAN COMMERCIAL CONFERENCE
Branch of Chiriqui R. R., Panama, from David to La Concepcion, 18 miles.
Constructed from 1910 to 1918 217 miles, which, deducted from 3,672, leaves
to be constructed 3,455 miles.
The distances follow :
New York to Buenos Aires 10,116 miles
New York to Buenos Aires constructed \ 6,661
New York to Buenos Aires to be constructed 3,455 "
(New York to Panama Sections}
New York to Mexico City (standard gauge) 3,026 miles built
Mexico City to Guatemala 843
Total standard gauge track 3,869 "
From the border of Guatemala, near Ayutla, to Panama the distance given is
1,184 miles; of this distance the reports in the Pan American Union show that
there are in operation approximately 632 miles of railways. All of these roads are
of narrow gauge, those in Guatemala, Salvador and Honduras having 3-foot gauge.
Nicaragua and Costa Rica have the 3-foot 6-inch gauge,.
The approximate number of miles of railway needed as connecting links in
Central America to afford continuous rail from New York to Panama is 552.
In order to run a standard gauge train from New York to Panama it would
be necessary to btoild 1,184 miles of standard gauge track. The addition of a third
rail to the 632 miles of narrow gauge road now in operation would not make a
track suitable for standard gauge traffic, as on most of the narrow gauge roads a
very light rail is used, which answers for the light freight and passenger cars in
Summary. Standard gauge track New York to Guatemalan border, 3,869
miles in use; narrow gauge track between Guatemalan border and Panama, 632
miles in use; approximate distance of new roads needed to fill links, 552 miles.
In addition to the railroad mileage actually constructed the following ex-
tensions have been planned or started :
The extension in Ecuador southward from Huigra, a station on the Guaya-
quil and Quito Railway, to Cuenca, 93 miles, has been started.
Between Tupiza, Bolivia, and La Quiaca, Argentina, a distance of 60 miles,
a French firm is engaged in construction work in preparing roadbed. The English
company which held a concession for building between Atocha and Tupiza, Bolivia,
about 60 miles, was compelled to abandon work on account of shortage of cap-
Considerable progress has been made in other railway construction in So'uth
America during the last decade, all of which has a bearing on the progress of the
Pan American Railway. One may now travel by rail from Lake Titicaca to Puerto
Montt in the far south of Chile ; the traveler may also go over railways from Lake
Titicaca to Rio de Janeiro via the Chilean Longitudinal, the Trans-Andine, and the
several lines connecting Montevideo and Buenos Aires with the railroads of Brazil.
THE EFFECT OF SANITATION IN DECREASING MUNICIPAL DEATH RATES
BY GEORGE A. SOPER, PH.D. (NEW YORK), MAJOR, SANITARY CORPS, U. S. A.
(Read at the Afternoon Session of Thursday, June 5, 1919.)
If we take up a consideration of the ways in which communicable diseases
of different types have been combatted, we will note that there have been three
general fields of effort. It is necessary to consider them all in order that the field
occupied by sanitation may be viewed in its proper relations.
Sanitation Compared With Other Health Measures. The first may be called
the field of personal precautions. Whether the effort is made in the city or coun-
try, in the tropics or temperate zones, in highly civilized countries or in the remote
parts of the world, the essential elements of these precautions are the same. The
reason for this is that they are based on purely personal instinct purely personal
experience and little else.
Every one exercises certain precautions, consciously or unconsciously. They
are a part of the education vyhich we get in the school of experience. We learn
to avoid the presence of the infectious sick and such common causes of illness as
undue exposure, excessive fatigue and improper food.
The second field of effort in the control of disease is board of health work.
The intention here is for the government, national, state and municipal, to exercise
a wholesome supervision over the public health. This is done by the enforcement
of laws and ordinances which relate to the collection of statistical and other data
to indicate the birth and death rates and the prevalence of infectious and other
causes of death. To attain their greatest value vital statistics should record the
cases as well as the deaths, but we have not yet reached that point of development
where the importance of this matter is generally appreciated.
Board of health work includes, beside the collection, tabulation, interpreta-
tion and publication of statistical facts relating to population, sickness and death,
the supervision of food and drugs, the regulation of quarantine, the performance
of vaccination and inoculation for the prevention of disease, the distribution of
curative sera, and the sanitary education of the public through bulletins, lectures,
reports and other methods of publicity. Education as a means of reducing the
death rates is one of the most promising of all public health measures, but so far
it is in its infancy.
The third great field of effort is that of sanitation. Sanitation is mentioned
last here although it is, in point of fact, the most important. It is pre-eminent for
a number of reasons.
By sanitation is meant that branch of systematic health work which requires
plant and a force to maintain it. Examples are works for the procurement and
distribution of wholesome drinking water, the collection ancj disposal of liquid
sewage and the gathering and final disposition of kitchen waste, ashes and other
discarded material. These are obviously sanitary undertakings but the list of