Albert Perry Brigham.

Commercial geography online

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The object of this text is the exposition of the principles of
commercial geography as based on a knowledge of its more im-
portant facts. It is regarded as necessary and advantageous to
treat products and regions in a single volume, if perspective is
observed and if both products and regions are made contributory
to the unfolding of principles. To this end minor commodities
and regions must surrender their place to facts of larger meaning.

Part I offers an inductive approach to principles which are
formally stated in Chapter VI. The author holds it wise to avoid
an introductory statement of abstract relations, and has therefore
chosen five products or staples of world-wide interest, treating
them broadly as world products and as typical of all others in
the geographic principles involved. No materials of commerce
are more significant in themselves, or in their relations, than
wheat, cotton, cattle, iron, and coal.

Part II relates to the United States and opens with a brief
review of physical features. To the usual account of plant,
animal, and mineral substances, a chapter on water is added.
This is amply justified by the importance which water has now
assumed as a part of our natural resources. The chapters on
concentration of industry, centers of general industry, transpor-
tation, communication, and government relations afford a return
to vital principles, unfolding them more fully than was possible
in Chapter VI, and offering considerations which are of uni-
versal application, though here developed in special reference
to our own country.

Part III deals with foreign countries. Canada is taken first,
owing to its close geographic and commercial relations to the
United States. It is followed by the chapters on the great in-
dustrial and trading nations of western Europe. Grouping the




minor with the greater countries, southern and eastern Europe
follow, and a single chapter is given to each of the remaining
continents. For an elementary text to be used in American
schools it is believed that this allotment of space is wise. The
closing chapter summarizes the history of commerce and sug-
gests some of its larger aspects.

It has been sought to place orderly and cumulative emphasis
on general principles ; to concentrate, so far as possible, the
treatment of each topic ; to use sparingly statistics of temporary
value ; to give little attention to industrial processes except as
they have geographic meaning ; and to present industry and
commerce as organic, evolutionary, and world-embracing, re-
sponding to natural conditions and to the spirit of discovery and
invention, and closely interwoven with the higher life of man.

The illustrations consist of views, diagrams, and maps.
These stand in close relation to the text, and the maps are so
planned that each may exhibit one or a few things in a legible
and simple manner.

The thanks of .the author are due to Mr. Chester M. Grover
of the High School of Commerce, Boston, who has read the
proofs and made many welcome suggestions ; and to Mr. R. J. H.
Deloach, Professor of Cotton Industry in the Georgia State
College of Agriculture, who has performed a similar service for
the chapter dealing with cotton. Obligation is acknowledged
also to Professor G. G. Chisholm of the University of Edin-
burgh, whose ' Handbook of Commercial Geography " and
whose numerous special papers are useful to every worker in
this field.

Among those who have aided in the illustration of the vol-
ume, thanks are given to The University of Chicago Press for
permission to use several maps from the series of base maps
prepared by Professor J. Paul Goode ; to Professor J. McFar-
lane of the Victoria University of Manchester ; Mr. George L.
Buck, Chicago ; Mr. James Warbasse, Gloversville, New York ;
Dr. Charles F. McClumpha, Amsterdam, New York ; Dr. L. A.
Bauer, Director of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism,


Carnegie Institution ; and Professor Ralph S. Tarr of Cornell
University. To Messrs. Gregory, Keller, and Bishop of Yale
University the author is indebted for permission to use, in
slightly modified form, several maps from their " Physical and
Commercial Geography " ; these are, Physiographic Regions of
the United States, New York Harbor and its Approaches, and
the maps showing the ocean routes of the world and the routes
and centers of ancient commerce. Many government bureaus
and the officers of several agricultural experiment stations have
rendered generous assistance.






I. Wheat l

II. Cotton 22

III. Cattle Industries 4°

IV. Iron 5 8

V. Coal 79

VI. The Principles of Commercial Geography .... 92



VII. Physical Features of the United States m

VIII. Plant Products of the United States 120

IX. Animal Industries of the United States '45

X. Mineral Industries of the United States .... 160

XI. Water Resources of the United States ... .180

XII. The Concentration of Industries 2 ° 2

XIII. Centers of General Industry 2I 7

XIV. Transportation 22 9

XV. Communication 2 47

XVI. Government and Commerce -5 6

XVII. Foreign Commerce of the United States 271





XVIII. Canada 287

XIX. United Kingdom 3°3

XX. France and Belgium 3 21

XXI. The German Empire and the North Sea Coun-
tries 335

XXII. Southern Europe 353

XXIII. Eastern Europe 3 6 9

XXIV, Asia 3 8 4

XXV. Australia and New Zealand 402

XXVI. Africa 412

XXVII. Latin America 422

XXVIII. The World's Commerce 440





Plowing for wheat in Manitoba 2

Annual production of wheat, United States, 1899-1908 3

Spring wheat grown at Sitka, Alaska 4

Movement of the center of wheat production, United States 5

Wheat harvest in Manitoba 6

Wheat in the shock on the prairies 7

Threshing on the prairies 8

Flour mills of Minneapolis 10

Village elevators in the Northwest 11

Wheat production and price, United States 13

The " wheat pit," Chicago 14

Map of world's wheat production 16

Proportion of lands under wheat in Russia 18

Cotton bolls, unopened and opened ■. 22

Cotton fibers, attached to seed 23

Map of cotton production, United States , ... 24

Percentage of cotton grown in each state 25

World's average cotton production, 1903-1907 26

Mill supply of cotton by countries contributing 27

Areas reporting sea-island cotton, 1909 28

Cotton picking 29

Fulton bag and cotton mills, Atlanta 30

Cotton levee, New Orleans 31

Spinning room of Lancashire cotton mill 32

Consumption of cotton by manufacturing countries 34

Cotton production, United States, 1790-1912 35

Relative importance of six textile fibers 38

Cattle other than milch cows, United States, 1899-190S 41

Roping calves for branding on the western plains 42

The stockyards, Chicago 44

World's cattle, including dairy cows 48

Sources of the milk supply of New York City 50

Sources of the milk supply of Boston 52

City inspection of milk 53




Bacteriological laboratory, State Dairy School, Ames, Iowa 54

Decrease in death rate of children, District of Columbia ....... 55

Furnaces near Pittsburgh 60

Distribution of iron deposits, United States 62

Duluth, Mesaba, and Northern ore docks 64

Ore unloader at work, Buffalo 65

Sources, routes, and destination of Lake Superior iron ores 66

Birmingham iron district, Alabama 67

Ore boat below the " Soo," returning empty 68

Plant of Lackawanna Steel Company, Buffalo 69

Bessemer converter in action 70

Open hearth mill, Lackawanna Steel Company 71

Pig iron in various countries, 19T4 72

Production of iron ore, pig iron, and steel, United States 73

Truesdale coal breaker, Scranton, Pennsylvania 80

Delaware and Hudson coal storage, Delanson, New York 82

Coal barges at Pittsburgh 86

Coal fields of Great Britain 87

Production of coal, United States, 1820-1915 89

Distribution of population, United States, 1790 93

Distribution of population, United States, 1850 94

Distribution of population, United States, 1900 96

Density of population, United States, 1910 98

Westward migration of centers of population, etc 102

Population in agricultural pursuits, United States 103

Hand and machine labor compared 104-105

Percentage of improved land, United States 108

Relief and drainage of eastern United States 112

Prairie and woodland, original distribution in Illinois 115

Distribution of chief agricultural products, United States 121

Annual production of corn, United States 123

Rice production, United States, 1870 124

Rice production, United States, 1904-1908 124

Harvesting rice, Louisiana 125

Date palms, Tempe, Arizona 126

Apple production, United States, 1910-1916 127

Digging potatoes near Greeley, Colorado 129

Potato cellar near Greeley, Colorado 13°

Production of cane sugar, United States 131

Production of beet sugar, United States 132

Sugar factory ; sugar beets at Blissfield, Michigan 133

Tea bush, Summerville, South Carolina 134

Tea factory, Summerville, South Carolina 134



Annual production of tobacco, United States 135

Harvesting alfalfa, Port Conway, Virginia 136

Flax at harvest time, Pigeon, Minnesota, 1909 137

Hemp at harvest time, Lexington, Kentucky, 1907 138

Distribution of forests in the United States 139

Wasteful logging, Tyler County, Texas 14 1

Lumber, United States, 1916, by kinds of wood 14 2

Lumber cut by states in 1916 143

Average annual number of sheep, United States, 1899-1908 146

Average annual number of swine, United States, 1S99-1908 147

States and provinces prohibiting export of game, 1905 149

Principal fishing grounds of the Atlantic coast region 150

Salmon waters of Pacific coast region 15 2

Oyster bed near Brunswick, Georgia 1 53

Gloucester harbor and fishing vessels 154

Average annual number of horse: on farms and ranges, United States,

1S99-1908 158

Number of horses, all countries 1 59

Production, Pennsylvania and New York oil fields, 1890-1915 .... 162

Annual production of petroleum, United States, 1860-1915 ' 163

Salt works near Ithaca, New York 166

Portland cement plants, United States 170

Portland and natural cement production, United States, 1S90-1915 . . 171

Production of gold; the world and principal countries, 1800-1915 . . . 175

Mean annual rainfall in the United States 181

Humid, semiarid, and arid regions of the United States 182

Diagram illustrating the principle of the artesian well 184

Death rates from typhoid fever in seventy-three cities, grouped according

to sources of drinking water 186

Mohawk and Hudson cities and towns in relation to Hudson River ice . 187

Basins affording water supply for New York City . . 188

Manufactured ice in 1914 190

Hydraulic laboratory of Cornell University 191

Falls of the Passaic River, Paterson, New Jersey 192

Transmission lines, Niagara Falls Power Company 193

Hydroelectric plant, Puyallup River, Washington 194

Diversion dam, Truckee-Carson irrigation project, Nevada 195

Location of chief government irrigation projects 196

Swamp and overflowed lands east of the Rocky Mountains 198

Traction ditching machine, experimental farm, Cornell University . . 199

Gauging river flow, West Carson River, California 200

Distribution of cotton manufacture, United States 204

Distribution of slaughtering and meat packing, United States .... 205



Operatives in knitting mill, Amsterdam, New York 207

Centers of collars, cuffs, and knit goods in eastern New York . . . . 208

Preparation of skins, Gloversville, New York 209

Cutting room of glove factory, Gloversville, New York 210

Distribution of manufacture of boots and shoes, United States .... 2 1 1

Distribution of manufacture of agricultural implements, United States . 214

New York harbor and its approaches 216

Chicago and vicinity 22 °

Philadelphia and Baltimore, with hinterland 224

The Manretania in New York bay 230

Railway net of the United States • -33

Increase in railway mileage, United States, 1832-1910 234

Principal routes of interior navigation, United States 235

The Barge-Canal route of New York 236

Cross sections of well-known canals 238

Electric railways about Cleveland, Ohio 239

Electric (interurban) railways of Indiana 240

Two animals drawing one bale of cotton on a bad road 241

Two horses drawing twelve bales of cotton on a good road 241

American vessels in coastwise and Great Lake trade 243

Steamships in the locks at the " Soo " 244

Tonnage of vessels passing Soo Canal, 1S55-1916 245

Principal transportation routes of the world 246

Interior of Southern Pacific steel postal car 249

Rural free-delivery carrier and mail wagon 250

Increase in rural free-delivery routes, 1897-19 18 251

Wireless-telegraph station, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia 253

Standard-time belts in the United States 257

The nonmagnetic ship, Carnegie 263

Agricultural experiment stations, United States 266

Samples of grain, Alaska experiment station 267

Growth of foreign commerce, United States, 1860-1916 272

New Orleans and Mississippi delta 274

Galveston and its harbor 2 7S

Ports of Puget Sound region 276

Foreign trade of Cuba for fiscal year, 1908-1909 278

San Francisco and San Francisco Bay 280

Commerce of United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom ... 281

Exports of United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom .... 282

Imports of United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom .... 283

Douglas firs, British Columbia 289

Salmon catch, Fraser River, British Columbia 291

Canada ; isotherms for the year 293



Halifax harbor 295

Montreal harbor 296

Canadian Pacific Railway station and docks, Vancouver 297

Sealing fleet, Victoria harbor, British Columbia 298

Winnipeg, looking west along Portage Avenue 300

Snow sheds, Selkirk Mountains 301

Eddystone lighthouse, English Channel 304

Card room, Lancashire cotton mill 307

Picker room, Lancashire cotton mill 3°S

English centers of cotton and woolen manufacture 309

Landing stage, Liverpool 3 11

Chief British railways, ports, and sea routes 313

Industrial map of the Scottish Lowlands 315

Chief wine-producing areas of France 3-3

Lyons, showing junction of Rhone and Saone 3 2 4

Railways, sea routes, and industrial centers of France 326

Interior waterways of France 328

Marseilles and harbor 33°

Exchange and wharves of Bordeaux 331

Havre and the mouth of the Seine 332

Shipping in the harbor of Antwerp 333

Production of rye, all countries, average, 1903-1907 337

Production of potatoes, all countries 338

Sugar-beet map of central Europe 339

Production of beet sugar, all countries 34°.

Production of beet and cane sugar compared 34 l

Harbor of Hamburg 34 2

Water routes and commercial centers of Germany 344

Harbor of Rotterdam 34$

Harbor and fish market of Bergen 35°

Chief railways and certain industries of Sweden 35 1

Montreux and vineyards, Lake Geneva 354

Spiral tunnels of St. Gothard Railway 355

Chief routes, centers, and industries of Italy 356

Southern entrance to Simplon Tunnel 357

Drying macaroni, Amain, Italy 35$

Production of raw silk, all countries 359

Genoa and its harbor 3°°

Chief routes, centers, and industries of Spain 362

Harbor of Barcelona 3°4

Wharves at Oporto 3^5

Wharf and shipping of Piraeus 3°^>

The Corinthian Canal 3 6 7



Water routes and industrial centers of Austria-Hungary 370

Danzig, the port of Poland 373

The Danube Canal, Vienna 374

Budapest » , 375

Harbor of Fiume 376

Principal routes, centers, and industries of Russia 377

Flax fiber; production, 1903-1907 378

Flaxseed ; production, 1905-1907 379

Harbor of Odessa 380

Smyrna and its harbor 386

Routes and commercial centers of southwestern Asia 387

Bombay harbor with mail boat arriving 390

Railways, irrigation canals, and agricultural products of India .... 392

Harbor of Calcutta 393

Singapore, Collyer Quay 394

Eastern Asia 396

Harbor of Hongkong 397

Vladivostok, — harbor and terminus of Siberian Railway 401

Annual rainfall of Australia 403

Railways and ocean routes of Australasia 406

Number of sheep, all countries 408

Harbor of Sydney 409

Nile dam at Assuan 4*5

Port Said and the entrance to the Suez Canal 416

Sorting diamond gravels, Kimberley 419

Building of Pan-American Union, Washington, District of Columbia . . 423

World's average annual production of coffee, 1904-1905 to 1908-1909 . 424

Coffee and rubber regions of South America 424

Exports of Brazil, 1909 4 2 5

Imports of Brazil, 1909 4 2 5

Rainfall, railways, and wheat region of Argentina 426

Exports of Argentina, 1908 4 2 8

Imports of Argentina, 1908 4 2 9

Distribution of population in South America 430

Exports of Latin America, 1909 43 1

Imports of Latin America, 1909 43 2

Drying coffee, Costa Rica 435

Products of Mexico, Central America, and West Indies 436

Products of Mexico in an average year 43^

Modern shipping in the harbor of Venice 44 2



Panama Canal Frontispiece

Coal Fields of the United States 82

Physiographic Regions of the United States 116

Petroleum and Natural-Gas Fields in the United States . . 160

Chief Submarine Cables of the World 252

Progress of Topographic Surveys in the United States to 1909 . 258

Hydrographic Surveys of the Coasts of the World, 1904 . . 260

Lighthouse Map of the Chesapeake Region 262

Lines of Magnetic Declination 264

Resources of Canada 290

Sunshine in Summer Months in Canada 292

Transcontinental Railway Systems of Canada 302

Territories of Great Britain, United States, and Germany . 31S

Africa 4 r 4

Intercontinental Railway, North and South America . . . 422

Routes and Centers of Ancient Mediterranean Commerce . . 440

Venetian and Hanseatic Routes and Centers of Trade . . . 444






If one should follow a handful of wheat from the yellow field,
by wagon and freight car or ship, to the flouring mill, the pro-
vision merchant, the bake oven, and the loaf of bread, he would
understand one of the chief themes and acquire many of the
principles of commercial geography. Food is the first need of
man, and wheat, which has been called the " international
grain," is perhaps the most important of foods. We therefore
study wheat for itself and for its general illustration of the laws
of production and exchange.

1. History of wheat. Wheat, like other cereals, belongs to
the order of grasses. It has been modified from some wild
grass, but the time when this improvement took place is beyond
the memory of man, and the wheat plant as we know it has
never been found growing in a wild state. Some scholars think
it had its beginning in western Asia and spread eastward to
China and westward to Egypt and the countries of Europe.
The Swiss lake dwellers raised wheat before the days of writ-
ten history, and it grew in the valley of the Nile from ancient
times to the classic days when " corn " ships sailed from Alex-
andria to Rome. Wheat growing has now spread over Europe
wherever the climate permits, and the grain was brought in
the sixteenth century to North America. As new lands have


been subdued by civilized man, wheat has moved into the tem-
perate regions of the southern hemisphere and is now an im-
portant crop in South America, South Africa, and Australia.
The wheat map of the world (fig. 12) shows two irregular belts
of wheat countries in the temperate latitudes on both sides of
the equator.

2. Varieties of wheat. In the earliest times all wheats may-
have been alike, but differences of soil, climate, and culture tend
to make kinds of wheat with distinct qualities, each breeding
true for a long period. Thus there are red and white, bearded
and bald, winter and spring wheats. After wheat became very

Fig. 1. Plowing for wheat in Manitoba

important, men began to breed varieties by crossing good sorts
in the hope of producing something better. Wheats were better
if they were suited to a wider range of climate, if they gave
larger yield, could resist disease and pests, or had higher value
for food.

In Europe new varieties of beet have increased the amount
of sugar that can be obtained from a field. In California, Luther
Burbank has bred remarkable fruits and flowers. In the Minne-
sota Agricultural Experiment Station and other similar stations
new wheats are raised and samples of seed sent out to farmers
for testing. The Canadian government has a farm at Ottawa,
on which special effort is made to breed wheats that will mature


in a short season, in order to extend the Canadian wheat belt as
far north as possible. The Department of Agriculture at Wash-
ington sends " agricultural explorers " to all lands to seek new
and useful plants. They send home wheats that thrive and yield
well in lands of small rainfall in the Cordilleran region.

3. Climates and soils suited to wheat. This grain does not
thrive in very hot or very cold regions. It needs a cool and
moist period for germination and early growth, but it matures
best in bright and comparatively dry weather. We can thus

Fig. 2. Average annual production of wheat in millions of bushels,


understand why Egyptian and American wheats are bright,
plump, and valuable. A cover of snow is favorable to a good
crop of winter wheat, while an open winter, with exposure of
the roots to severe changes, is harmful. The soil should be
neither too light (sandy) nor too heavy (clayey), but loamy and
well drained, with a surface suited to modern plowing and reap-
ing machines. Such conditions are best met on the great plains
of temperate latitudes, as on the prairies of the United States,
the plains of Canada, the pampas of Argentina, and the plains
of southern Russia. Wheat requires warmer summers than rye,


barlev, or oats, and hence is not found as far from the equator
as these grains. It does not need as much heat as Indian corn,

Fig. 3. Spring wheat grown at the United States Experiment Station,
Sitka, Alaska, latitude 57 degrees

and thus the center of the corn belt is further to the south than
that of wheat.

In North America wheat reaches from southern Mexico to
Alaska and to Fort Simpson on the Mackenzie River (62
degrees), but the bulk of the crop lies between 35 degrees
(Chattanooga, Memphis, Little Rock) and 55 degrees (central


Saskatchewan and Alberta). In the Old World wheat extends
to Trondhjem, Norway, latitude 63 degrees, and in Russia to 60
or 62 degrees. On the south it crosses the Mediterranean to
Algiers, about 36 degrees. In India wheat grows south of the
tropic of Cancer to about 21 degrees. The high slopes and
plateaus of India carry wheat in that country almost as far south
as the city of Mexico, and give this cereal a latitude range of
over 40 degrees in Eurasia.

The traveler need not fail to find a ripened field of wheat in

Online LibraryAlbert Perry BrighamCommercial geography → online text (page 1 of 35)