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outside on the hill. And that is the way a ther-
mometer tube is blown and drawn. It requires
only a moment in cooling, and then it is broken
up into short lengths and sent to the ovens for

A New Industry Created 223

tempering and annealing. In these rooms also are
blown the finest glass for chemical apparatus, for
incandescent gaslight chimneys (30,000 of these
per day), and for other purposes requiring high-
grade glass.






Professor Abbe and his Profit-Sharing System

WITHIN the next few years the world,
particularly that part of it which is
engaged in the task of bettering the
condition of the wage-earner, is des-
tined to hear much of the extraordinary experiments
in practical philanthropy carried on by Professor
Abbe of Jena. In the preceding chapter I have
given some account of the glass and lens works of
Jena, and how they were created in typical Ger-
man tashion through the remarkable scientific experi-
ments of Professor Abbe and Dr. Schott. These
manufactories, though conducted on thorough busi-
ness principles and yielding large profits, partake
more of the nature of public institutions than of en-
terprises for private gain; they indicate perhaps what
may be the future condition of all great business

Professor Abbe lives just across the street from
the huge buildings of the lens manufactory. His


Seen in Germany

home is a little one-and-a-half story building, old-
fashioned and German-like. It is thickly surrounded
with trees and shrubs and laid out with flower beds.
At the time I saw it the lilacs were in tull bloom, and
the fragrance drifting across the street filled the rooms
where the glass polishers bent low to their work.

Professor Abbe

Here Professor Abbe has worked year by year in
his favorite fields of optics, mathematics, social econ-
omy, invention; and although now well along in years
he is not lacking in his zest for new and more diffi-
cult problems. Every summer he takes a short va-
cation in Switzerland, where the people of the village
at which he stays know him merely as " the German
professor." Thus quietly he has lived, watching the

A Venture in Practical Philanthropy 229

factories rise around him and win him a fortune.
From the first he was deeply interested in the welfare
of the workingman, — an interest hardly second to
his love for science, — and out of this interest grew
the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (institution) named from his
friend Carl Zeiss, which now controls the entire lens
manufactory with its 1,200 or more workmen, and
owns a half-interest in the glass works with its 400

The Stiftung is unique among institutions. It is
the creation of a law of which Professor Abbe was the
author, and it is in the nature of a corporation under
state control. To this Stiftung Professor Abbe
turned overall his interest in both of the great plants
at Jena, retaining only a directorship. A com-
missioner ot the Grand Duchy visits the works every
week and assists the local directors in carrying out
the tenets of the law. The purpose of the Stiftung
is twofold. First, it provides for the comfort of the
personnel of the works, from the directors to the
lowest apprentice boy, by means of a unique system
of pensions, sick benefits, profit-sharing, and educa-
tional advantages. Second, it provides for large
contributions toward the advancement of science.
No one connected with the institution receives any
of the private profits of ownership. Professor Abbe
himself receives merely the salary of a director, which,
according to the law controlling the Stiftung, can

230 Seen in Germany

never be more than ten times the average salary of
workmen aged more than twenty-four years and
for more than three vears in the service of the firm.
And this class of workmen now receives less than
I500 a year. But Professor Abbe is entitled to a
pension when he shall cease his active connection
with the business, the same as every other employee.
If it should be absolutely necessary to discharge a
workman, he must not only be given due notice, but
the Stiftung must pay him, if he has been employed
for more than three years, a sum equal to his total
wages for from six months to two years, according to
the length of time he has been in the works. And
after five years' service every workman who retires
for age or invalidity receives a pension, or should he
die, his family is pensioned. In this way he is
absolutely secure in his work. The Stiftung sets
aside a certain definite sum from its earnings every
year, and this is so invested outside of the busi-
ness that it will pay all pensions and discharge ad-
vances, thus making the pension system independent
of the vicissitudes of the business, for even though
the business fails, money will be on hand to pay
the regular pensions of old and faithful servants.
Every workman is given a two weeks' vacation every
year with pay for half of it, and he is also paid in full
for all holidays except Sundays. Moreover, the
whole lens manufactory, with Professor Abbe at its

A Venture in Practical Philanthropy 231

head, is like a great family. Every month a delegate
from each of the departments, thirty in all, meet with
the directors and discuss the conduct of the work.
These delegates are never foremen, but represent the
men themselves, and the suggestions they make are
from their own point of view, not from that of the
foremen. Last spring the subject of shorter hours
of labor came up, a subject of which Professor Abbe
and the other directors had already been thinking.
The workman delegates to the conference suggested
eight and one-half hours a day : the directors
promptly responded, "Why not try eight hours?"
Every workman was questioned, and six-sevenths of
them asserted that they could do as much work in
eight hours, working faster than they could in the
longer day. Lens-grinding is very confining work,
especially fatiguing to the eyes and even more so to
the nerves. So on April i, 1900, the experiment of an
eight-hour day — a very great innovation in Germany
— was begun. The hours of work were from 7 to
11.30 A. M. and from 1.30 to 5 p. m., the long noon-
ing giving the men ample time to go home to dinner
and to rest thoroughly for the afternoon's work.
Director Fischer informed me that the plan so far as
it had been tried was a great success, fully as much
work being accomplished in the short day as had
hitherto been accomplished in the long day ; and he
thought that the work was of better quality, although

232 Seen in Germany

the experiment had not then been in progress long
enough to permit of positive assertions.

In addition to these advantages to the personnel
within the works themselves, the Stiftung has spent
large sums of money in other directions. 1 visited
an extensive and highly popular free reading-room,
said to be the largest institution of its kind in
Germany, the Germans having always depended on
the cafes for their periodical literature. A fine library
building to contain a good collection of books as well
as this reading-room is soon to be constructed. The
Stiftung also contributes largely to the local hospitals
that its workingmen may be cheaply treated ; it has
established special courses of instruction for its men
in mathematics, physics, drawing, mechanics, and in
the German, English, and French languages ; it has
instituted a free swimming bath in the Saale River;
and it is helping to build walks and summer houses
along the mountain-sides and in the forests around
the town, — those strolling and social spots which a
German so dearly loves.

All of these advantages help to attract to the lens
manufactory an unusually intelligent and productive
class of workmen — and Indeed for these fine opera-
tions great intelligence is required. So far as possible
young men are taken and specially trained to the
requirements of lens-making ; and as they grow older,
the cumulative advantages of the pension and profits

A Venture in Practical Philanthropy 233

system, as well as the short hours, tend to keep them
where they are, even though tempted elsewhere by
offers of higher wages.

These are by no means all the advantages which
the Stiftung offers its workingmen, but they will
suffice to indicate its purposes in this direction. In
its other activities, science has already felt the influ-
ence of the Stiftung. It has established and equipped
a fine astronomical observatory in the University of
Jena ; it has founded a new chair of mathematical
physics and will build a fine laboratory for experi-
mental physics; and it is a large contributor yearly
to other departments of investigation at the Univer-
sity of Jena, Professor Abbe still filling the chair of
astronomy and natural philosophy in the University.
Nor are its interests confined to Jena alone, but ex-
tend to science in general, even to the considerable
assistance of a recent Polar expedition. Such activi-
ties as these — and they are as much a part of the
business of the Stiftung as the making of glass and
lenses — seem odd enough as looked upon from the
exceedingly practical point of view of ordinary busi-
ness life.

The Stiftung has now, 1901, been in existence ten
years with great success. The profits of the business
have been large, and its activities in science and in
benevolence have been correspondingly large. It was
the state that helped the work in the beginning by the

2 34 Seen in Germany

liberal contributions of money that enabled Professor
Abbe and his associates to carry on their experiments,
and now the German people, and indeed humanity in
general, are reaping the reward. And in case the
Stiftung should ever go out of business, for whatever
reason, one-half of the proceeds remaining after the
debts are paid will go to the city of Jena, to be used
for the good of its inhabitants, and one-half to the
University of Jena. Not a cent is reserved for
private disposal.

Professor Abbe devotes most of his time to the
working out of this great philanthropic idea. Antici-
pating at the time he drew up the law governing the
Stiftung that forethought could not provide for every
possible condition, he reserved to himself the right,
until the year 1906, to make changes in the statute.
In this way he is able to correct any errors or in-
justices as time and experience point them out.
After 1906, however, there can be no more changes :
the law will be absolute and perpetual ; and as long as
lenses are made at the Carl Zeiss works, so long will
its workmen enjoy advantages almost without equal
anywhere in the world, and so long will science have
a strong and faithful ally.





The Vulcan Shipyard of Stettin

THE Vulcan shipyard at Stettin is sig-
nificant of the New Germany, — the
navy-building, ship-loving, world-trading
Germany which had its birth almost
within the reign of the present Kaiser. The Vul-
can's first vessel slipped from its cradle into the
Oder as long ago as 1852, at a time when the
ships of the Clyde and the Severn and of our
own Bath and Gloucester controlled the seas. Ger-
many was not then a sea power, nor indeed a united
nation. She possessed few ambitions beyond the
land limits of Prussia, and Bismarck and von Moltke
had only dreamed ot the empire that was to be. For
more than thirty years the ships from the Vulcan
yards were few and small, — sometimes one or two a
year, sometimes none at all, and once, during our
Civil War, there were ten, although the tonnage of
this entire number was less by far than that of many
a single modern ship.

Shipping the Rudder

How the Germans build Ships 239

All this has now been changed. No longer must
Germany go to England for liners and warships.
She has produced her own cunning ship-builders, men
trained in her own yards, and yet conversant with
every improvement known to the shipyards of
America or England. Not only does she build her
own vessels, but so eager is she for that self-sufficiency
which marks every great and warlike nation that she
insists that German workmen shall also make the
steel for the plates of her ships, and build the engines
and boilers, forge the great shafts, design the electri-
cal devices, and decorate the interior with German
paint and tapestries.

" If we have war," says the Kaiser, " and have
need of ships, we must depend on ourselves, not on

And so it has come about that Germany has built
some of the greatest shipyards in the world: the
*' Vulcan " at Stettin, the " Schichau " near Dantzig,
the " Germania " at Kiel, and the " Blohm und Voss "
at Hamburg. In the 13 years from 1882 to 1895
statistics show that the number of workmen in
Prussian shipyards alone nearly doubled, rising from
13,161 in the former year, to 25,343 in the latter,
and the increase from 1895 to 1901 has been even
larger. Germany has now the two greatest steam-
ship lines in the world, — the Hamburg-American
and the North German Lloyd, — and in the tonnage

240 Seen in Germany

of its merchant steamships it stands second only to
England. The marvelous growth of the German
navy is a matter of such common report that it need
hardlv be mentioned here. All this growth in ship-
ping has served to stimulate German ship-building and
to crystallize the German ambition to control the seas.
The German may be said to have developed
a ship-building art of his own. This has been the
result of the thoroughness which is a characteristic
of his race, the minute and scientific study of details,
which has enabled him to bring to final perfection
the best-known processes, so that his vessels possess
a distinctive character and completeness. This de-
velopment and progress has been fostered by the
parental solicitude of the German empire, which
coddles its favored industries in ways absolutely
unknown to such a government as that of the United
States. For instance, the imperial government pays
large postal subsidies to German steamship com-
panies upon condition that new ships shall be built
in German shipyards, in so far as possible; special
rates are made on the railroads (which are owned
by the government) on materials to be used in
ship-building, and the duties on certain materials
from foreign countries to be used in ship-building
are entirely remitted. These are only a few ot
the many ways in which the government encourages
its ship-builders.

How the Germans build Ships 241

The Kaiser himself, who is as much a sailor as
he is a soldier, knows to the last detail every capa-
bility, and one might almost say, every piece of
machinery, in such works as those of the Vulcan.
And so it has come about that the Germans are
great ship-builders, — a fact but just dawning on
the world.

I visited the Vulcan works in April, 1900, and
I hope by giving an account of what I saw there
to convey some idea of the character and importance
of the German ship-building industry. The Wilcan
works are located within the ancient town of Bredow
on the banks of the river Oder, where the Norse
vikings once beached and caulked their ships. They
are about twenty minutes by electric car from the
heart of Stettin, constituting in themselves a verit-
able city of grim brick shops flashing with the light
of forges and resounding with the din of hammers.
At noon the wooden soles of seven thousand work-
men clack on the cobble pavements that lead from
the works, now the greatest on the continent of

At the time of my visit there were no fewer than

nine huge vessels in course of construction, seven

yet on the ways, and two in the water. And all

about new shops were building and new machinery

was being set up to accommodate the necessities of

expanding enterprise. Of the nine ships seven were


242 Seen in Germany

for German steamship companies and one a ship
of the line for the German navy, such an addition
of high-chiss vessels as few of the great nations of
the world can boast. The other two were war
vessels, — one a cruiser for Russia and the other,
the " Yakuma," then just completed, for Japan. Of
the German liners two were the greatest ships in the
world with a single exception, and both were designed
to have a speed greater than that of any existing
merchant ship. And it is significant as showing how
closely the government works hand in hand with
the great captains of German industry, that these
splendid vessels, although intended for the Atlantic
passenger service and to be fitted with a degree
of luxuriousness hitherto unapproached, were all
being constructed under the requirements of the
German navy. On the deck there were beds for
the mounting of great guns, the rudder and screws
were especially protected from the possible harm
of shots, and apparatus was provided for steering
below decks in case the upper works were carried
away. Guns are always ready at Hamburg or at
Kiel, the crews are organized, and in a fortnight,
should the empire need them, these peaceful pas-
senger ships could be made terrible engines of war.
It may be said that Germany learned this lesson
from her English cousins; now she might give
instruction to her instructors. Where Germany

How the Germans build Ships 243

thinks once of her industries and commerce, she
thinks twice of possible war.

In 1898 there came from the Vulcan works what
was then the largest and swiftest of all ocean steam-
ships, the "Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse " constructed
for the North German Lloyd Steamship Company.
While she was building, there were those who
prophesied disaster, — first because of her size and
her required speed, and second because she was
coming from German works. Could these Germans
thus take the lead of England ? These prophets
had seen in the " Campania" and " Lucania," built in
English yards during 1892 and 1893, the last degree
of perfection in ship-building. The great success
of the " Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse" did more than
any other one thing, perhaps, to establish the world
fame of the German ship-builder. Hardly had she
been well tested when a still greater and still swifter
ship was planned, — the " Deutschland," for the
Hamburg- American line, just being completed at
the time of my visit. The " Deutschland " is not
as long, nor quite as broad as the " Oceanic," then
recently from the yards of the Irish builders at
Belfast ; but she is next to her in size and much
switter, — indeed, she is the fastest merchant vessel
that ever sailed the seas, as she was the most costly
in her machinery and equipment. But the su-
premacy of the " Deutschland " was even then chal-

244 Seen in Germany

lenged by the Germans themselves. On the ways
of the V^ulcan works there was a long brown spine
of steel, knobbed with rivets and almost ready
for the ribs. It was the keel of an unnamed ship
which was to be as large as the " Deutschland " ;
and another was then being planned to surpass even
the " Oceanic." A few years ago builders said
confidently that the limit of size ot vessels had been
reached ; now, there is none who would venture
to name a limit. The time may come when an
ocean steamship will have so many decks that
passenger elevators like those in a modern " sky-
scraper " will become a necessity. Nor is this
improbable when one realizes that the " Deutsch-
land " is in reality a six-story building, to say noth-
ing of its deep basement and its root garden.

The time has come in ship-building when the addi-
tion of half a knot of speed is an epoch, and the
Germans seem determined to keep in the lead. The
builder is so hemmed in and set about with problems
that the half-knots beyond 22 — and there are only
a few 22-knot merchant ships — mean a vast outlay
of money, time, and skill. And yet these fractional
knots are paying investments. A shrewd old captain
of one of the German ships said to me :

" The American likes to feel that he is making a
fast passage. He likes to reckon on the day's run,
and loves nothing better than to boast of a record

How the Germans build Ships 245

trip. Yet he does n't seem to mind an extra day out
any more tlian a German."

In this catering to the demand of the foreigner
whose business he seeks, Hes one of the great secrets
of German business success. Whether he is sup-
planting the American lamp-trade in China by supply-
ing a lamp bearing Chinese characters, whether he is
studying just the needs of the Brazilian native, or serv-
ing the American with a gorgeously decorated ocean
greyhound, he is the same accommodating, gentle-
manly shop-keeper who wins trade because he can
satisfy his customer's demands better than his rival.
He goes to a country, learns its language, and studies
the characteristics of its inhabitants with singular pa-
tience, then he calmly acquires its trade. The Eng-
lish trader has never bent to this method ; he has been
content for the most part to talk to his foreign cus-
tomer through an interpreter, and he usually takes the
attitude that goods which satisfied the British market
are quite good enough for any foreigner. So Germany
has been going up and England down.

It is probable that if a great steamship company
should order a 750-foot ship to make 30 knots an
hour, the builders would take the contract, — ea-
gerly, too, such daring has success engendered. But it
would be in a spirit of solemnity. The steamship
companies are not ready, however, to go forward so
rapidly as that, — the money involved is too great.

246 Seen in Germany

Yet in the " Deutschland " they have built a vessel
686^2 feet long, 67 >^ feet broad, 44 feet deep with a
record speed of over 23 knots (about 26^2 miles) an

In order to force such an enormous mass of steel,
machinery, and coal through the water, the builders
must of a necessity construct engines such as no other
ship ever had, — indeed, the greatest engines in the
world, either on land or on sea. Few people will
realize what that means. It requires 33,000 horse-
power to drive the " Deutschland " so that she will
make a fraction of a knot more of speed than the
" Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse " or the " Campania."

The greatest German warship, the " Kaiser Friedrich
III.," has only 18,000 horse-power ; the " Oceanic,"
the greatest of ships in size, has only 27,000 horse-
power; the " Campania " has 30,000 horse-power. It
was therefore unknown ground that the Vulcan
builders covered when they undertook to build the
world's greatest engines. But there was no uncer-
tainty about it. Indeed, in ship-building almost
everything depends on experience. The builders
knew to almost the last detail just what was necessary
to the construction and operation of such enormous
machinery, the strength of every bit of metal, the
sizes of the parts that would give the greatest effi-
ciency, and yet occupy the smallest space, the proper
location in the ship of the vast weights of the boilers.

How the Germans build Ships 247

the coal bunkers, and so on, — all of these facts had
been established by years of experience with smaller
craft. And yet it seems a marvel that such a ship
with its hundreds of engines and pumps, its electrical
system, its air-power system, its cunning devices for
preventing accidents, and its thousand and one other
important details could be planned complete in six
months' time. It required the continuous work of
over a score of draughtsmen to do it, to say nothing
of the greater work of the men in whose brains the
beautiful lines of the ship were first traced, and who
planned the engines and solved to a nicety those
wonderful problems of strains, and of vibration and
balance, a single mistake in which might have ruined
the entire creation. When one realizes how com-
pletely a great ship must be built in a man's brain
before it rises in steel within its wooden scaffolding,
one feels like calling this monster the mightiest work
of human conception, — a work involving in its lines
the highest type of beauty and symmetry and in its
construction the deepest scientific and mechanical
knowledge. A ship — man's greatest mechanical ac-
complishment I Nothing could better gauge the
height of a nation's industrial accomplishment than
the state of her ship-craft. I have felt, therefore,
that in giving a clear idea of what was required in
brain, brawn, and material resource in constructing
the world's fastest and costliest merchant ship, I

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