United States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign Commerce.

Consular reports, Issues 224-227 online

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American iron and steel industry, supported by the great syndicates, is making
every preparation to gain solid footing in Europe.


In compliance with special instructions from the Department of
State,* I have to report that the duty on shoe lasts imported into
Germany is at the rate of 10 marks ($2.38) per 100 kilograms (220.46
pounds). There are two principal last manufacturers in this coun-
try — Mr. C. Behrens, whose works are at Alfeld, near Hanover, and
W. Roeser, of Erfurt, in Thuringia. Both these establishments are
equipped with the latest and most improved American machinery,
and the material principally used is the hard, cross-grained beech
wood (Buchenholz), which grows in many parts of the Empire and
is not only well adapted to machine work, but is dense and firm in
grain and susceptible of a smooth and high finish.

Practically, all lasts used in this country, either for hand or
machine shoe making, are made in Germany, and I have seen a full
line of lasts made .by Mr. Behrens for use on the machines of the
Goodyear Shoe Machinery Company which, to all appearance, were
equal in quality to the lasts of American manufacturers, after which
they had been modeled.

♦Sent, under date of January 23, 1899, at the request of an Ohio firm, 10 whom Advance Sheets
of the report have been forwarded.

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Both the manufacturers above named are in close communication
with American sources, from which they obtain sample lasts of the
latest patterns, and these are used as models, with such variation in
form as the prevailing style in Germany may require. In respect
to form, the lasts and the shoes made thereon for the German trade
are usually at least one season behind those which are in demand in
the United States; but changes of style in shoes are here, as in Great
Britain, much less frequent and extreme than is common in America.
This gives a permanence and stability to the domestic shoe manu-
facture and trade that is lacking in the United States, and not only
protects dealers from the necessity of closing out at a loss shoes
which are not of the latest model, but renders the work of the last
makers comparatively simple and easy.

For the reason that a shoe last is not an invention which can be
protected by patent or trade-mark, and because any newly imported
model which should prove popular would inevitably be promptly
and successfully copied, it would not seem probable that there is, in
this connection, any important market for lasts of foreign manufac-
ture. If such an opportunity ever existed, it was filled mainly by im-
portations from Great Britain, but it is now apparently past, and the
field, in the opinion of those competent to judge, would be limited
to small and uncertain orders.

Frank H. Mason,

Berlin, February p, i8^g. Consul- General.


I give below a translation of an article published in the Magde-
burger Zeitung, January 23, 1899, in which the Berlin correspondent
of that paper informs its readers as follows:

In enforcing the law pertaining to the use of poisonous colors, the police ordered
the chemical analyses of twenty samples of toys and thirty samples of confectionery.
At this examination, it was found that thirteen of the twenty toys and ten of the
thirty samples of confectionery contained questionable coloring matter. In most
of the cases, poisonous lead colors had been used, which, it is stated, could as well
have been replaced by other colors of a nonpoisonous nature. In some cases, it
was ascertained that zinc, mixed with other colors, had been used as a covering
color for marchpane, and other samples showed that tissue paper colored with the
poisonous chrome yellow had been utilized for the ornamentation of the confec-
tionery. This paper seems also to be used to a considerable extent in the manu-
facture of artificial flowers, though in this industry also a more harmless substitute
could be used. A singular observation was made in the fact that in one box was
found confectionery colored in various tints of very little difference, yet some of
these tints contained poisonous, while others contained entirely harmless, coloring

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matter. This would convey the impression that objectionable articles of an older
manufacture had been packed together with articles manufactured recently and in
accordance with the law.

It is notorious that no other nation exercises a more scrupulous
inspection in the interest of the public health than does the Ger-
man. No insect, however evasive and infinitesimal; no danger,
however unknown and invisible; no noxious air, however imper-
ceptible — can possibly escape the ever-vigilant German expert.

Henry W. Diederich,

Magdeburg, January 2j, i8^g. Consul.


The German Government fully appreciates the value of a good,
permanent consular service. The increasing support lent by the Im-
perial Government to commercial enterprise finds expression in the
estimates and in the growing demands for the consular service.
Additional secretaries are to be appointed to the legations at Mexico,
Pekin, and to the embassy at Washington. To the embassy at St.
Petersburg, cfxperts in agriculture and forestry are to be appointed,
in view of the importance of the Siberian Railway. New consulates
are to be established at Bahia, Santa Catarina, Curitiba, Hankau,
Sao Paulo, and Prague. Sixty thousand marks ($14,000) are de-
manded for the sending of commercial experts to the United States,
South America, and Turkey.

These items, insignificant as they may seem from a financial point
of view, prove conclusively with what keen attention the German
Foreign Office is watching and supporting German commerce abroad.

Without neglecting agriculture at home, the German Government
is making commercial interests more and more the basis of its for-
eign policy. On the continent of Europe, perhaps, that policy, to a
certain extent, is influenced by Germany's territorial relations; but,
apart from this consideration, German export trade forms the center
of gravity of almost every political transaction, and every encour-
agement is being given to it by the Imperial German Government.

Jno. F. Winter,

Annaberg, January i8y i8gg. Consul,

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At a recent meeting of the Industrial Society of Elbeuf, a report
was made by Mr. Ch. Mouchel on a new process invented by Mr.
Chedville, which is known as the **electro-calidor*' process and con-
sists of pressing cloth by means of boards heated by electricity.

A special committee appointed for the purpose examined the manu-
facture and operation of the press boards. The result is declared to
be most satisfactory, and the report is as follows:

The body of the press board is composed of asbestus paste covered by a netting
of German silver. This is again covered by paper pulp, which gives a pliable sur-
face without materially increasing the thickness of the press board* which measures
from 2 to 4 millimeters (0.078 to 0.157 inch). The first experiments were made
by applying the electric current through holes pierced in the portion of the board
projecting beyond the cloth. Experience, however, has led to the adoption of press
boards with a trapezoid projection, of which the two obtuse angles are covered with
copper. Spring clips, provided with a metal connection and attached to a pliable
conductor, serve to transmit the electric current to the copper-covered corners of
the boards, when the press is arranged for work.

The electric press boards are used in the following manner: On a plate of sheet
iron is placed a piece of cloth, between the folds of which are placed at equal dis-
tances three electric press boards; then there is another plate of slv^et iron, another
piece of cloth, and so on until the press is full. An ordinary press holds eight
pieces, the folds of the cloth being i meter (i.og yards) wide.

The Messrs. Blin employ a system of hollow presses, and an iron track, suffi-
ciently long to accommodate ten, communicates with each one of their hydraulic
presses. Against the ceiling and parallel with this track are arranged two con-
ductors, one positive and one negative. They are placed on either side and a little
beyond the line of the track. Large clips for transmitting the electric current arc
attached by pliable wires to these conductors. The hollow press is then placed
between two of these clips, each of which communicates with a movable vertical

The distributer is a simple grooved rod, the conductor being placed in the groove.
Thirty pliable wires, each terminating in a spring clip, hang at an equal distance
from this distributer.

The clips are readily adjusted to the metal corners of the electric press boards,
the positive on one side and the negative on the other. The current is thus estab-
lished and the proper degree of heat generated, the time necessary varying from
three-fourths of an hour to one hour and a half.

The required current for a press board measuring i meter (1.09 yards) by 70
centimeters (27. s inches) is 2 amperes under a pressure of no volts. A press of
eight pieces, with tweniy-four press boards, demands a current of 48 amperes to
heat the press, and the amount of electric force expended in one hour and a half
is as follows: 48X110X1.5 = 7,920 watts pef hour. The mechanical force given a

dynamo of 90 per cent working capacity is 7:^xo~q~^^*^ horsepower. The labor

expended in one hour and a half is as follows: 12.5X1.5 = 18.75 horsepower per

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Supposing a consumption of 1.5 kilograms of coal per horsepower per hour, the
quantity of coal necessary to heat a press may be estimated at about 30 kilo-
grams (66 pounds). Estimating coal at 25 francs ($4.83) per ton, the maximum cost
of heating a press would then be 75 centimes (14 cents).

Comparison being made between the amount of coal required by the new system
of pressing and the old — viz, direct heating in a special oven by means of sheet-iron
plates interspersed between the folds of the cloth — it is found that the old method is
slightly dearer than the new, as the Messrs. Blin, who used the old system with as
little waste as possible and had thirty presses per day, state that they used at least
a ton of coal a day for the heating of their plates, which involved an expenditure of
33 francs (I6.37) for the presses used, or i.io francs (21 cents) per press.

There is thus an economy of fuel, but the new system has other and more im-
portant points of superiority.

The first is the perfection of the work. The heating of each press, and even of
each piece, can be regulated mathematically, either by varying the number of press
boards or by increasing or diminishing the length of the heating. The cloth is
heated slowly and without the inequalities resulting from the old system, under
which the two ends of each piece were almost in contact with plates heated to 500°.
All manufacturers who have employed the new system speak of this point as a
great advantage.

A second advantage is the extreme cleanliness with which the pressing can be
effected. The old style of plates heated in an *oven often resulted in soiling the
cloth, which is now entirely avoided.

Another advantage is the economy in laborious handling necessitated by heating
and transporting heavy cast-iron plates. The workshops can also be kept at a lower
temperature, more favorable to the health of operators.

The heat generated in the folds of the cloth is completely utilized by the new
process, and a fraction less is lost by radiation than under the old system of heating
by plates.

If there is already an electric plant in the establishment (and few modern houses
devoted to commerce or manufacture are without one), the expense is reduced.
The boards are not costly, and with proper care will last several years.

Mr. Mouchel thinks that the process above described is, from all
points of view, a most important invention and should be generally

W. P. Atwell,

RouBAix, January 18^ i8gg. Commercial Agent.


In answer to inquiries from a Western university,* Consul-
General Gowdy writes from Paris, under date of February 9, 1899:

The *'Halles Centrales" of Paris, the great distributing point for
eatables in this city, is an outgrowth of a grain market established
in the eleventh century by Louis VI, and since that epoch has been
from time to time increased and its extent and functions so enlarged

♦Advance Sheets have been sent the correspondent.

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that at the present day it consists of ten pavilions, having a surface
of 25,272 square meters and uncovered space of 9,045 square meters,
making a total of 34,317 square meters (365,202 square feet). Three
entire pavilions and three half pavilions are devoted to the wholesale
trade of meat, poultry, game, tripe, fish, oysters, butter, eggs, and
cheese. The remainder of the covered space is devoted to the
retail trade.

The outside spaces are occupied by the fruit and vegetable
dealers. The merchandise sold in the pavilions comes from the ad-
jacent departments (or counties), Algeria, and the colonies. The
open space is occupied by the merchandise from the Department of
the Seine and surrounding district, delivery of which is made by
carts arriving at all hours of the night up to the time the sales take
place. The sales are either through private agreement or by auc-
tion, the hours varying according to the season of the year and the
nature of the merchandise.

The management of the Halles pertains to the pr6fet de la Seine,
but is under the immediate surveillance and control of the pr^fet de
police of the city of Paris. The sales are conducted by persons
called the representatives of shippers, appointed by the pr6fecture
de police, thus avoiding the commission or middle man. The books
and records of such sales are always subject to the inspection of the
proper authorities. It is evident that sales accomplished in this
manner are not only of benefit to the producer, but to the con-
sumer. I may say that in the neighborhood of the Halles there are
many commission houses, and, in fact, it is there that they princi-
pally congregate, though their business is absolutely independent
from that of the public market. They are apparently prosperous,
as a rule, and nothing prevents their purchasing on their own ac-
count from the auction sales or receiving on consignment from pro-

There is a system of caves under the entire surface of the Halles
Centrales, specially arranged for the care of the products sold im-
mediately above.

The sanitary regulations are most strict, the cleaning and disin-
fecting being carried out in a perfect manner. There is an efficient
staff of inspectors to examine all arrivals of merchandise at the
Halles, and that which is considered unfit for sale is immediately
seized and condemned.

In addition to the Halles Centrales, there are scores of markets,
both covered and open, as well as temporary markets taking place
in fixed localities on certain days in the week throughout Paris. In
many cases, the stalls of these markets are supplied with goods
originally purchased at the Halles Centrales.

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In reply to a correspondent,* Consul-General Gowdy, of Paris,
under date of February 14, 1899, writes as follows:

The paving of the Paris streets and boulevards dates as far back
as the end of the twelfth century. In the year 11 84, Philippe Au-
guste commenced replacing the beaten ground by stone paving.
The localities first treated were the square of the Chatelet, the routes
of St. Antoine, St. Jacques, St. Honor6, and St. Denis. It is con-
sidered that the department of streets and alleys, as we would des-
ignate it in the United States, is one of the most important services
in the city administration.

The streets of the city of Paris are supplied with four different
classes of paving, viz, stone, macadam, asphalt, and wood. There
are some streets still remaining of ordinary earth composition, but
they were originally the property of individuals and are fast being
replaced by other compositions, as they come under the control of
the municipal authorities.

On January i, 1896, the total amount of stone paving was 1,410,-
300 square meters (1,686,719 square yards) ; in 1897, 1,396,400 square
meters (1,670,094 square yards). The decrease between the years
was accounted for by the replacing of stone paving by wood.

In 1896, the total surface of asphalt paving was 357,650 square
meters (427,749 square yards); in 1897, 372,950 square meters
(446,048 square yards) — an increase of 15,300 square meters (18,299
square yards).

In January, 1896, the total surface of wooden paving was 907,400
square meters (1,085,250 square yards); in 1897, 1,120,000 square
meters (1,339,520 square yards).

On January i, 1896, the total surface of earth roads was 40,750
square meters (48,737 square yards); in 1897, 40,500 square meters
(48,438 square yards).

Comparison of pavements.

Nature of paving.


Macadam .



When laid down.





Cost per square
meter, t

Cost of main-









1. 16











* To whom Advance Sheets have been sent.

+ 39-37 inches.




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The paving stones are generally in block form, i6, i8, or 20 cen-
timeters (6, 7, or 7.9 inches) high, of hard stone. Paving blocks of
porphyry are not used now, being considered too slippery. The cost
of putting down this paving includes the sand bed, from 15 to 20
centimeters (5.9 to 7.9 inches) thick. Its great fault is the noise it
produces. It was estimated that up to 1897, the stone paving of
Paris had cost the city 110,484,000 francs ($21,323,412).

Macadam. — The cost of cleaning and watering is included in the
price of maintenance of this paving. The cost quoted is for a depth
of broken stones of 35 centimeters (13.7 inches), reduced to 30 cen-
timeters (11. 8 inches) by the rolling cylinders.

The macadam paving had cost the city of Paris, up to 1897, the
sum of 6,448,750 francs ($1,244,607).

Asphalt, — These roads have a foundation 15 centimeters (5.9
inches) thick of mortar, called **b6ton," composed of lime, sand,
gravel and water, and broken stones, over which is placed the layer
of asphalt 5 centimeters (1.9 inches) thick after compression. The
asphalt used in Paris comes from Ragusa (Sicily), de Mons (De-
partment du Nord), and Val-Traverse (Switzerland). The asphalt,
having been reduced to powder by the action of heat, is transported
while warm to the roadway, beaten down with hot metal stampers,
and afterwards subjected to the cylinder rolling.

The principal advantage of asphalt is that it produces no noise.
The objectionable features are its slippery condition in wet weather,
and that it can only be used in level streets. It is chiefly employed
in narrow streets or where there is great traffic. Up to 1897, asphalt
paving had cost the city 6,448,750 francs ($1,244,609).

Wooden. paving. — Wooden blocks 12 centimeters (4.7 inches) high
and 15 centimeters (5.9 inches) long are placed upon a foundation of
**b6ton,"as described above. The blocks which have given the
best results are from the pine trees of the Department of the Landes,
and these are mostly used. However, on many of the main thor-
oughfares the pitch pine of Florida has been employed with marked
success. Within a few years, trials have also been made with the
hard exotic woods, such as the kauri and teak of Australia and Java,
the Hem of Anam, the stringy bark, etc. ; but these trials have been
of so recent a date that they can not be used for purposes of com-
parison. It is estimated that up to 1897, the wooden paving of Paris
had cost the authorities 16,386,027 francs ($3,162,503).

The maintenance department of the streets and alleys of Paris
is composed of 396 agents, including i chief engineer, 8 ordinary
engineers, and 387 assistants, with a pay roll of 1,350,261 francs
($260,600) per annum.

The city spends for the maintenance of the streets, 1 2, 644, 592 francs

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($2,440,406); for sidewalks and alleys, 2,009,611 francs ($387,855);
for cleaning the streets and alleys, 9,340,082 francs ($1,802,635) ; mak-
ing a total expenditure for streets and alleys of 23,994,285 francs
($4,630,897). The figures, as above given, include the salaries of
the maintenance force.

The number of permanent workmen is: For maintenance, 1,902;
for cleaning, 3,694; total, 5,596.


At the first quarterly sale held on the 31st day of January, there
were offered and sold as follows:

Kongo: Pownds.

Hard 81,780

Soft 5.792

Angola 45.823

Gaboon 2,414

Abyssinian 1.952

Senegal and C6te d'or 789

Total 138.550

The totals for preceding years were :

1898 125, 761

i8<)7 131.656

1896 145,062

1895 135,256

1894 82.777

1893 107,004

1892 56,217

1891 55.075

1890 26.715

The prices paid showed an advance from 10 to 20 cents per kilo-
gram (2.2046 pounds) for tusks of all weights, as well as tusks for
bangles. For certain lots of scrivailles, the advance reached about
38 cents per kilogram (2.2046 pounds).

The tusks for heavy balls were the only ones which fell in price,
and showed a falling off of about 19 cents from previous sales.

The stock on hand to-day amounts to 181,074 pounds, as com-
pared with 81,750 pounds in 1898, 134,480 pounds in 1897, 268,520
pounds in 1896, 174,163 pounds in 1895, and 40,785 pounds in 1894.

The date for the next quarterly sale is fixed for the 2d of May.

Geo. F. Lincoln,

Antwerp, February 7, 18^^. Consul-General,

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The first public and technical description of an invention that is
attracting acute attention in trade circles throughout this district
was made recently at Leeds by Prof. Robert Beaumont, a brief re-
port of which is inclosed, taken from the Nottingham Post of Feb-
ruary lO.

S. C. McFarland,

Nottingham, February 14, iSpp. Consul,


The textile lecture hall at the Yorkshire College, Leeds, was crowded last even-
ing, when Prof. Roberts Beaumont delivered a lecture descriptive of the new tape
loom which has been invented by Mr. John Poyser, of Wirksworth. The loom was
exhibited in motion prior to the lecture.

Professor Beaumont noticed briefly at the outset the transition from the hand-
loom to the power loom in the weaving industry and the developments of Cart-
wright's invention at subsequent periods. He discussed the negative characteristics
of the Poyser loom, which he said he regarded as a revolutionary invention. It
did not accomplish two of the most difficult points in power-loom weaving — the
production of a variety of weave design and of a variety of weft coloring or shuttling.
It was, again, for narrow fabrics, only an inch or so wide, such as tapes, ribbons,
bindings, braids, and not for weaving pieces a yard or more in width. But it was so
distinct in its principles of mechanism from anything hitherto attempted in auto-
matic weaving that it was truly a new form, and not an old form of mechanism
modernized and changed. No expert would have been daring enough to have at-
tempted to place the shuttle containing the weft yarn behind the sleig or reed, and
to divide the latter in two for the insertion of each pick of weft, which was one of
the leading and distinctive features of the Poyser loom. In the general build, as
in the details, of the Poyser loom there were evidences of a complete departure from
the design of the ordinary loom. The old loom was 9 feet in height and 4^ to 5
feet in breadth; the dimensions of the "Poyser" were, respectively, 2 feet 9 inches
and 14 inches. Two of the most important motions in weaving were the take-up
of the fabric and the let-off of the warp, and the value of the uniform action of these

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 16 of 92)