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

Consular reports, Issues 224-227 online

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within the next six months.

The city of Odessa is at present engaged in extending its water
supply. I mentioned in my last annual report * that an American
firm had secured a large order for water pipes, and stated that in
my opinion American firms would eventually secure another large
order, as I did not believe Russian manufacturers would be able to
keep up to their contract with the city to furnish a large quantity of
pipe. My opinion was correct; the contract with the Russian firm
was recently canceled upon payment of a large sum of money to the
city, and the town authorities are now in communication with Amer-
ican firms asking them to furnish the pipe required. A curious in-
cident in connection with this contract for water pipes for Odessa
was the action of the French Government through its ambassador
at St. Petersburg. The ambassador asked to have the contract
taken from the American firm and given to a French firm, on the
ground that the close relationship existing between Russia and
France entitled them to favors of this kind. The Russian Foreign
Office took the matter up, and the governor of Odessa was in-
structed to investigate and see what could be done. The governor
was obliged to report that the town refused to change their arrange-
ments, being quite satisfied with their contract with the Americans,
whose pipe was in many respects better than that of their competitors,
and also cheaper. It was pointed out that the specifications called
for water pipes of a certain kind and quality and of a defined shape.
The French did not have pipes of this shape, nor could they make
them. The ambassador requested that the specifications be altered
to suit the French pipe; but the town declined, for the reason that
the best engineering skill favored the shape required by the specifi-
cations, which was the shape used by the Americans.

Thos. E. Heenan,

Odessa, April 2^^ iSpp, Consul,


The municipal council of Nicolaiev, in the province of Cherson, invites respon-
sible parties in Russia or abroad to undertake the construction of waterworks in the
city of Nicolaiev, on the following conditions:

(i) The water for the works must he taken from the water-bearing stratum lying
at a depth of from 10 to 15 fathoms. The water-collecting galleries and the water-
collecting basin must be constructed either in the southwestern part of the penin-

*See Commercial Relations, 1898, Vol. II, p. 538.

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sula adjoining the town, near the railway station, or in the locality called **Levada"
(marked on the plan of the city). The selection of the locality will be made by
means of driving bore holes and testing the quality and quantity of the water.
The decision of the question as to which of the places indicated must be chosen for
the construction of the water-collecting galleries rests with the municipal adminis-

(2) The dimensions of the galleries will be fixed with the stipulation that the
city be supplied with 600,000 vedros* (1,949,400 gallons) of water per diem during
eighteen working hours.

(3) The water-pipe system in the streets is contemplated to measure about 94
versts (329,000 feet), not reckoning the lengths of the pipes leading into the court-
yards, the construction of whicli will form the subject of special agreement.

(4) The municipal council imposes on the successful bidder the duty of con-
structing the waterworks complete, including excavation, erection of the buildings,
laying of pipe, etc.

• (5) The parties making proposals must place before the municipal council a
sketch, on which must be marked the entire water-pipe netWork, the situation of
the water-distributing and fire cocks, the water-pressure towers, the machine stations,
the water-collecting galleries and water-collecting basin.

(6) The sketch must be accompanied by an explanatory statement and an

Details of the project,

(i) The place for the water-pressure tower is selected so as to insure a minimum
expenditure on the construction of the water-receiving network and the tower.
The height of the tower must be calculated so that from each fire cock, distant 50
sagenes (about 350 feet) from a house, the water, through a 3-inch hose, shall rise to
an elevation of 10 sagenes (70 feet) and discharge itself to the quantity of 20 vedros
(nearly 65 gallons) per minute.

(2) The station must be erected near the water-collecting basin and must consist
of a solid stone building, accommodating two engines, boilers, repair workshop,
stores for fuel, lubricants, and the requisite reserve parts. In the general building,
or near the same, must be constructed a dwelling for the engineer and his as-
sistant, two firemen, and the watchman. Near these dwellings must be constructed
cemented and perfectly tight refuse pits and sewers.

(3) The steam engine must be of the newest system, compound, with condensers
with steam envelopes, with the latest distribution connections, and with automatic
greasers. The consumption of steam must not exceed 8 kilograms (17.6 pounds) (>er
indicated horsepower per hour.

(4) The pumps must be of the best system. Direct connection of the machines
with the suckers is permissible.

(5) The boilers must have water tubes of the system of '*Babcox and Wilcox/*
supplied with improved appliances.

(6) The steam conduit must be tested with double the working pressure. All
connections must be effected on lentil rings, and all steam pipes must be isolated
against cooling.

(7) The water-reception and the water-pressure network must consist of cast-iron
tubes, tested with 20 atmospheres pressure, and asphalted within and without.

(8) The water receptacle must contain no less than 60,000 vedros (194,940

* Consul Heenan estimates the vedro at 3.349 (gallons. In the official table of weifi^hts and meas-
ures introductory to Consular Reports, and in all preceding: reports from our consuls in Russia, the
vedro is and has been ^ven as equivalent to a.707 (gallons.

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(9) In places of the city to be indicated by the municipal council, there must be
constructed fountains with cemented basins up to 5 sagenes (35 feet) diameter.

(10) In the Odessa quarter and the Moscow quarter of the city, the distributing
network must have T pieces inserted, so that without the least disturbance of the
conduit, water may be turned on in every house. In various parts of the town,
there must be constructed ten troughs for watering cattle and as many as twenty
drinking stands.

(11) All fire plugs must be fitted with nonfreezing cocks and with uniform
branches for screwing on the hose.

(12) The workshop at the station must be supplied with turners' lathes for cut-
ting screws, a cross planing and boring stand, three pairs of locksmiths' vises
fixed to the worktable, a blacksmiths' furnace, two fires with a ventilator blast, an
anvil, a portible furnace, a differential block for i ton, a wooden screw jack, and
a full set of blacksmiths' and locksmiths' tools.

(13) The water-pressure tower must be joined to the station with an electric au-
tomatic appliance, to indicate the level of the water in the reservoir. *

• (14) The network, in all its parts, must be fitted with branches for the insertion
of control manometers, for the purpose of testing the pressure.

Besides the above points, each bidder must keep in view:

(i) After the presentation of his plan, together with the explanatory statement
and the estimate of cost, and after an agreement has been made with the municipal
council regarding the price of the construction, terms, time, and other conditions,
the bidder must present a fully worked-out project with detailed drawings, calcu-
lations, and estimate. Such fully defined project, after its confirmation by the
municipal council, is printed, and 100 printed copies of the project, with the corre-
sponding drawings, are handed over as the property of the municipal council.

(2) The commercial administration of the city may, if it desires, effect a settle-
ment with the contractor for the construction of the waterworks in bonds of the
town loan, at a rate of exchange previously fixed, or it may authorize the contractor
to realize the loan with a fixed minimum.

(3) After the construction of the waterworks, the contractor must undertake, for
a fixed annual rate, to manage the entire water supply of the city up to a term of
three years, taking upon himself all expense for administration and repairs and
pecuniary responsibility for all eventualities which may result from an insufiScient
supply of water for the population.

(4) The final acceptance of the bid and the full settlement with the contractor
will be effected after a test of the entire construction under the management of the
contractor; and the contractor is obliged to obviate all defects and to replace badly
working mechanism and appliances.

Remark. — Any differences of opinion on this subject are to be decided by a com-
mission composed of a representative of the city, a representative of the contractor,
and a representative of the administrative authorities. All these persons must
possess the highest technical education, and will decide by a majority vote, and
such decision will be considered as final.

(5) The communal administration of the city will accept such tenders from con-
tractors as comply with the requirements of the specifications within six months.

V. A. Datsenko,


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The export from this district for the quarter ended March 31, 1898,
slightly exceeded the export for the same quarter in the year 1899, the
total values being $352,535 and $331,027.85, respectively. The im-
ports into this district are not ascertainable, no statistics being
kept here. Trade conditions are better than a year ago, a number
of enterprises having been projected which will give employment to
many more laborers and offer opportunities to American manufac-
turers of machinery and electrical appliances to introduce their

This market has evidently been entirely overlooked by American
exporters. Our manufacturers who have entered the European
market have generally established agencies in London, Paris, and
Berlin, and some few at Vienna. During the last few years there
has existed in Bohemia, the greatest producing state in Austria, a
bitter strife between the Czechic and German nationalities, which
has resulted in a movement to boycott as much as possible the Ger-
man tradesmen and manufacturers. As nearly all public enterprises
and a great many private ones are under the control of the Czechs,
it can readily be seen that German houses can not efficiently promote
American exports to this market. Our exporters should establish a
sample warehouse here, or at least open an agency.

There is at present a great demand for electrical supplies in this
district, a number of electric-car lines having been projected. Agents
from the United States should he sent here.

Slate is another article for which there is a market. It is
produced in Bohemia in very small quantities and in two colors
only — blue and green. It is used for roofing purposes, but the pro-
duction does not nearly supply the demand. The slate used is
in the form of rectangles and hexagons, the sizes being from 12
by 6 to 21 by 11 inches, and so far the demand has been principally
supplied from England, some also coming from France, Germany,
and Switzerland. The last two countries send school slates as well.
The first four carloads of American slate were brought here a few
days ago through the firm of Josef Umlanft & Co., in Bodenbach,
Bohemia. So far as this market is concerned, our exporters have
shown a certain apathy, possibly the result of the immense de-
velopment of our exports during the last two years. This very-
extension of our trade will cause increased activity on the part of
foreign manufacturers, and our exporters should cover every field
possible and establish themselves firmly. It is conceded on all sides

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that American articles are superior to others of like kind ; and, once
the people in foreign countries are accustomed to use them, it will
not be easy to introduce other goods, even though these may be a
trifle cheaper.

It is well known that the wages paid in Bohemia are very small,
especially in the linen factories and some of the branches of the
glass industry. Labor unions are being formed, which have de-
manded an increase in pay. A recent strike at Nachod on the part
of the linen weavers resulted in a riot, in which business houses were
plundered. It was finally quelled by the military.

Hugo Donzelmann,

Prague, ^April 14^ iSpp, Consul,



The German beer industry has grown year by year, and the in-
creasing capacity of the establishments has made it necessary for
the brewers to search for new markets where their overproduction
could be disposed of. • The home consumption, of course, is de-
pended on as giving the first and greatest chance to sell the different
kinds of beer, but the larger brewers, especially those who increased
the capacity of their establishments more or less after the style of the
big American breweries, have had to find customers in foreign coun-
tries. Their efforts for some time met with good results, and Ger-
many's beer industry had an export market for its products which
seemed to be all that could be expected.

In the year 1885, the export of German beer reached its high-
water mark, amounting in that year to 1,318,000 hectoliters (34,821,-
560 gallons), representing a value of 24,000,000 marks ($5,712,000).
The next year, however, showed a decrease, and since then the ex-
port has gone down to about one-half of what it was in 1885. The
reason given for this decline is that the countries which were Ger-
many's best customers (France, Belgium, and the Netherlands) have
increased their output sufficiently to nearly meet the home demand.
The high duty placed on foreign beers by France has also had the
effect of considerably reducing the import of German beers into that

In all those years, the export of German beer in bulk (barrels)
has been greater, contrary to general belief, than in bottles.

German beer once had nearly a monopoly of the beer trade of
South America; but there also, it is stated, the demand has decreased,

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while at the same time, according to trade papers, the demand for
United States beer has increased. The decline of the German beer
trade in Brazil alone during the years 1896 and 1897 is given as
amounting to fully three-fourths of what the German brewers had
exported to that country in former years.

It is a noticeable fact that, while the export has declined year by
year, the production of beer in Germany has advanced steadily,
showing that the home consumption has greatly increased. At
present, the United States is the best foreign customer for German
beer, importing 522,138 gallons in 1895 and 689,456 gallons in 1896.
The export of beer from Germany to Venezuela, Japan, and China
together did not in the years given amount to one-half the exjwrts
to the United States alone. Brazil and British India, as consumers
of German beer, come next to the United States.

The German brewing industry has strong hopes of entirely sup-
planting the English in Australia and other English colonies.

Max J. Baehk,
Kehl, May 77, i8gg. Consul.


The German iron, machine, coal, and chemical industries are
scarcely able to meet the demands made upon them. The prices
quoted for shares of the more important of the textile factories show
that this branch is also slowly growing again, after having suffered
for a long time, chiefly from American competition. The develop-
ment of the German copper trade is connected with the exceed-
ingly favorable condition of the electric industry; the caoutchouc
industry is also connected with the latter, and with the large output
of cycles.

Great activity prevails in nearly every branch of manufacture.
The inland market is unusually absorptive, and efforts are being
made to recover in new territories what has been lost by some of the
branches in the export trade — the textile industry, for instance.

Special reference should be made to the great activity of some
of the German consuls. About a year ago, the well-known German
commercial writer Dr. von Vossberg-Reckow stated in his essay on
** Consular reform" that the Government of the United States could
point with pride to the most efficient consular service, and that our
way of gathering interesting news and giving information should be
followed in Germany. Though a consular reform, properly speak-
ing, has not been brought about in Germany yet, the hints thrown
out by Dr. von Vossberg-Reckow, and by some of the chambers of

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commerce within the last few years, have had a very salutary influence
upon the activity of the German consular officers. In consequence
of consular hints to German manufacturers, a strong effort is being
made to enlarge the trade in German leather and shoe ware in the
Japanese market. Interested parties in the United States should
promptly take notice of this, for these are the very articles in which
American exportation to Japan has been steadily growing. So far,
the German export of leather ware to Japan has, on the whole, been
confined to the better class of goods, as manufactured at Berlin and

Here are the latest statistics of German exports of manufactures:


Iron and iron goods...

Machinery, tools, etc


Colors, drugs, etc

Cotton goods

Wool and woolen'goods......

Silk goods

Copper and copper goods....

Caoutchouc goods

Glass and glassware

Leather and leather goods.



First quarter
of Z898.

First quarter
of 1899.



$21, 100,000






4X, 500, 000




































Bamberg, May 12^ iSpp.

Louis Stern,

Commercial Agent.


It seems to be generally admitted that German beet sugar, when
once it comes into competition with the Cuban product, must go to
the wall. In casting about for some way of saving the industry
from utter destruction, many plans have been proposed, but the
most available seems to be to ** increase home consumption." To
this end, it is proposed to issue sugar as a ration to the soldiers and
to encourage farmers to feed it to stock, especially to hogs. Of
course, this will necessitate the cheapening of the article, and the
only Way this can be effectually accomplished is to abolish the taxes
now paid on sugar consumed in Germany, and reduce or entirely
discontinue sugar bounties.

The following statistics of the consumption of sugar in Europe
and America, taken from the last monthly report of Herr Licht, stat-
istician of the beet-sugar industry of the German Empire, show

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conclusively that there is ample room for a large increase of its use
in Germany:





Sweden and Norway.















All Europe

United Sutes










Sugar used
per capita
per annum.



12. 6x





Hanover, April 24^ /<Ppp.

W. K. Anderson,



The efforts made by Mr. Mason * and other consuls to get Ameri-
can manufacturers of shoes to introduce their wares into this Empire
are bearing fruit. They are, however, as was to be expected, meet-
ing with opposition. How true this is will appear from the following
translation of an article concerning the importation of shoes from
the United States:

According to official publications in America, it appears that the exports of
American shoes to Germany are increasing. ♦ ♦ ♦ The letters of two German
business men handling such shoes prove how little German firms care to protect
German shoemakers. It looks as if an understanding among interested parties
should be arrived at before Germany is flooded with American shoes. It is recom-
mended that shoemakers' guilds in the large cities make manufacturers and peo-
ple aware of the efforts to introduce American shoes into the Empire, and point
out the losses to the shoe industry and to the buying public that must grow out
of such sales. It would not only be a useful thing to specify the bad qualities of

* Reports on openin^^s for United States shoes in Germany by Consul-General Mason have ap-
peared in Consular Reports No. igo (July, 1896), p. 508; No. 194 (November, 1896), p. 450; No. 205
(October, 1897), p. 251; No. 211 (April, 1898), p. 490; No. 2x3 (May, 1898), p. 133; and No. 215 (August,
>B98), p. 609.

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American shoes in the technical daily papers, but to advise the local unions, the
manufacturers, merchants, etc., to procure samples of American shoes, show
the quality of same by separating the leather from the paper, and examine the
soles sewed on in long stitches with binders twine. The results should then be
published in the papers and put before customers. According to the opinion of
Germans living in America, the durability of American shoes is at best no more
than one-fourth or one-third that of Germany's well-made ones. But the elegance
of American shoes, even the low-priced grades (Schleudersorten) — and these, be-
cause of their cheapness, are the only ones worth considering in Germany — make
them favorites with loafers. The working people are not satisfied with them.
German-American shoe merchants in Washington admit that American shoes are
of much poorer quality than the German; but their finish and apparent fineness
make business lively.

If a word were wanted to prove the oft-repeated statements of
consuls that Germans will endeavor to ** knock out" any goods that
we may send here just as soon as these begin to secure success, it is
spoken in the above extract. This epitomises what has appeared
day after day in the Empire's public press ever since propaganda
for American shoes began. It goes to show what our merchants
and manufacturers will have to contend with in their work to make
sales in Saxony or any other part of Germany.

What are the facts? Hundreds of Germans who visit the United
States **load up" with American shoes before they return. A shoe-
maker in this city, to whom a pair of American shoes was given to
be mended, took them apart to study the workmanship, made a last
from them, and is now using them as a model. One of my acquaint-
ances, seeing the superior workmanship, elegance, etc., of some
shoes sent me from the other side, ordered fourteen pairs for him-
self, family, and friends. Between American shoes and those made
in this Empire there is actually no comparison. One pair of ours
will outwear two pairs of German make; at least, that has been my
experience. Every effort is being made to make our shoes unpopu-
lar in this market. Some of these efforts— the foregoing article, for
instance — seem unfair. Our shoes are notoriously the best offered
anywhere for the price. I have seen shoes bought in Boston for J3
(12.60 marks) a pair outlast — keeping an elegant appearance all the

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 77 of 92)