Imagini ale paginilor

equal opportunity to honest dealing with the consuming public.

Other resolutions adopted were as follows:

Resolved: That it is the sense of this meeting that the rules of the National Hardwood Lumber association, in force in 1912, be specified by individual members in buying lumber and that the secretary be instructed to notify members of this action; also, that if any member of this association is without a copy of these 1912 rules, the Secretary be instructed to secure one for him.

Whereas, The members of the National Association of Furniture Manufacturers of America market a large product, which as raw material and as finished product is dependent for its movement on the railroads, and

Whereas, There is now pending before the Interstate Commerce Commission a petition of the railroads in official classification territories for increases in freight rates, under titles-"Investigation & Suspension, Docket No. 333" and "Interstate Commerce Commission, Docket No. 5860," combined, and

Whereas, The country is now experiencing an industrial depression. Therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is our opinion that one of the most important factors in relieving this condition lies in an early decision of the 5 per cent. (5%) advance in railroad rates, now pending, and it is our judgment, based upon our business experience, that an horizontal advance of 5 per cent. (5%) in the present rates should be granted.

The following recommendations of the executive committee were also adopted:

We desire to emphasize at this time the importance of the provision that no article sold as a close-out be offered at less than 25 per cent. discount.

In view of the restricted demand for furniture for the spring season, with no prospect of early improvement, we earnestly recommend conservatism and caution in production until conditions improve.

The committee on cost accounting were able to present nothing further than a form for ledger headings, the adoption of which was recommended as a step in unifying and making all embrasive the burden charge and also making possible the reports which are required of all corporations. Considerable time was spent in discussing this phase of the association's work.


The Chair Manufacturers

HE National Association of Chair Manufacturers held a session at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago on Friday, May 15, following the session of the Federation of Furniture and Fixture Associations.

The leading feature of this meeting was an address by G. A. Buckstaff, of Oshkosh, on the lumber inspection rules. This was an elaboration of the address given before the Federation on the previous day, and because it was given in a smaller room, it was possible to illustrate it with charts and with boards which had been brought for the purpose. The difference between the 1912 and the 1913 rules was shown. The charts have been reproduced by the association office and can be had on application, addressing 601 Monadnock Building, Chicago, Ill.

Very important matter on freight classification was brought up and a standing committee was immediately appointed to look after freight matters. This committee consists of Messrs. W. B. Baker, of the Peru Chair Co.; A. C. Hahn, of the Phoenix Chair Co., and J. B. Fenton, of the Buffalo Chair Works.

The secretary's report indicated an increase in membership of 50 per cent. within 90 days. Also that 21 factories had installed the associations official cost method. This report also showed a large interest on the part of the southern manufacturers, so great that the executive committee decided to hold the annual meeting in November at Asheville, N. C.

The treasurer reported all bills paid and a handsome balance in the treasury.

A special mid-summer meeting will be held at some point near Boston about August 19.

The meeting went on record as in favor of one exposition a year, and the following resolution was unanimously passed:

The National Association of Chair Manufacturers in convention assembled, May 15, 1914, desires to express that it is the sense of this organization that it would be a benefit to the furniture industry to have but one exposition a year and the opening of the exposition to be May 15. Upholstered Furniture Manufacturers


HE National Association of Upholstered Furniture Manufacturers held a meeting in Chicago at the LaSalle Hotel, commencing on the morning of the 12th. The session was largely given over to verbal discussions and reports, although there were two set features in the way of addresses. One of these was the paper by Chas. E. Spratt, on "One Exposition a Year," which is printed elsewhere. At the close of this address the following was adopted:

Resolved, by the National Association of Manufacturers of Upholstered Furniture in convention assembled, May 13, that it is the sense of this organization that the furniture industry would be benefited in all its branches if but one exposition be held in each year, the opening date to be about May 15.

It was ordered that this resolution be presented to the mass meeting called to federate the various manufacturers associations.

H. K. Brearley, of the Dean-Hicks advertising service department, gave an illustrated address on advertising.

There were short addresses also by A. C. Brown, the first secretary of the association, who complimented the association on the work it had accomplished, and by by J. Newton Nind, who spoke briefly of the bills pending in Congress by which it is proposed to supplement the Sherman anti-trust law, and create a Commerce Commission. Mr. Nind pled for a broader appreciation of the necessity for trade organizations, and for the protection of legitimate profits.

There were discussions during the session on the finishing-room, on the introduction of varnish-drying apparatus and sprayers, and other modern improvements.

But the real feature of the sessions of this association was the results which had followed the introduction of the uniform, or standardization of cost accounting which had been potential in bringing the members of the association to realize the price at which their goods should be sold. Unmistakable evidence was given that the associa tion has been the most successful of the lot in improving the conditions of its members. Several additions were made to the membership of the association.

The secretary, J. L. Maltby, gave a very comprehensive report of the work he had been doing since the previous meeting.

The officers elected for the ensuing year were as follows:
President-C. J. Kindel, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Vice-President-F. E. Shearman, Jamestown, N. Y.
Treasurer-C. S. Kimmith, Chicago.

Secretary J. L. Maltby, Chicago,

All this was accomplished at the sessions of the association on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The program provided for a morning session on Tuesday and a drive over the boulevards of Chicago in the afternoon, but rain prevented, and this latter feature was postponed until the afternoon of Wednesday when the weather was fine. The ride was much enjoyed. About forty miles of boulevard were covered in the trip.

It was decided to hold the next meeting of the association in Atlanta, Ga., in November.


HOSTAL TABI ES-Can you tell who makes hospital ails such as white metal top tables. Andrews Bros. Co., ta, Ga.

AR Patons AND MATTRESSES-Will you kindly give imes of concerns that make air pillows and mattresses? F. L. Shepherd, Batavia, N. Y.

STEFL SETTEES FOR PARKS-Please give us the address of some firm that makes steel settees for public parks. Shockey & Landes, Abilene, Kans.

WANT CATALOGS-We want catalogs and price lists on edium and low-priced furniture of all kinds. T. H. Wrigins Sons Co., Ocean City, N. J.

COLONIAL MIRRORS-Please inform me of the addresses of two or three manufacturers of a good grade of Colonial mirrors. J. W. Darrin, Corning, N. Y.

DINING-ROOM SUITES.-We would like catalogs or photographs of the best grade dining-room suites at once.Wiggins Furniture Co., Ocean City, N. J.

CIRCASSIAN WALNUT CHINA CLOSET-Will you refer us to some factory that makes a line of china closets in Circassian walnut? Gunn & Shaffer, Cuthbert, Ga.

LOOKING FOR A LOCATION-H. M. Jenkins, of Preston, Ia., writes that he contemplates going into the retail furniture business if he can find any suitable location.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

RII FURNITURE-Can you furnish us with the names man facturer who make a specialty of church furnitalne ene! Woodrum Home Outfitting Co., CharlesP&

KITCHEN CABINETS.-Can you give us the names etern. Ilaxing all-metal kitchen cabinets and Ievar Cinton & Jeffcoat Co., 435 Penn avenue, Pa.

HEAL MIRROR.-Will you kindly furnish us name of a manufacturer who makes a cheval rin bird's-eye maple? The J. E. Will Co., L...

56 TABLES-Will you kindly give us the that makes wicker dining tables? www.tamped envelope for reply. R. Rogers &

[ocr errors][merged small]

at you furnish us the address of the conhe woke from baby crib or bed that swings at red! We enclose a postal for reply. Druitt K 4, Ind.

Foto DASE SPORT- -Kindly advise us if you *** *he manufacturers of a three fold vd ea.of the "Thermo.” Mayer & Co., 417 W, Washington, D. C.

Will greatly appreciate it if you convenient where we can obtain Enclosed please find stamped envelope The mandard Furniture Co., Centerville, Ia. I am inquiring for the names of gon of medicine cabinets. Will you please give toas facturers and instruct them to


send me a catalog and price list? H. C. Mather, Austell, Ga.

DESK TABLE WITH DROP SIDES-Will you give us the name of some factory making a desk table with drop sides? We have a customer who wants a piece of this kind, but do not know of any firm making the same. The Klick Co., Erie, Pa.

VANITY DRESSER-I have a customer who wishes to get a vanity dresser in mahogany with a drawer below the glass. Will you kindly give me the name of some manufacturer who makes a dresser of this type. Theodore S. Coy, Great Falls, Mont.

eter. article.

CENTER SETTEE. Please put us in touch with some manufacturer of center settees 60 or 70 inches in diamWe would prefer something in medium priced Same must be upholstered in leather. Cobb House Furnishing Co., Mason City, Iowa. HOWARD BREAKFAST TABLE-Will you let us know by return mail, if possible, where we can get the Howard Breakfast Table? We have an inquiry for such a table and have never heard of it before, but know it can be bought in Chicago. Williams-Keith Co., Rockford, Ill.

WHITE CEDAR PORCH FURNITURE-W. B. Sommerville, of 1718 Palmer Avenue, New Orleans, who is apparently not a dealer, is looking for white cedar porch furniture. Manufacturers who have anything of the sort should communicate with some dealer in New Orleans with the information concerning the possible purchaser.

CHILD'S NURSERY CHAIR-We are looking for a child's nursery chair, a sort of slip seat that fastens to the toilet seat and has a bar in front to hold the child. This chair is similar to an attachment for a high chair, with an opening cut in, so that it can be fitted to a toilet. Kremer Bros., Fond du Lac, Wis.

INEXPENSIVE COUCH BED-We have a customer for a couch that has a canvas back. It is made so you can put a throw or rug over it, and it has no head. We do not know of any firm making such a couch and we write you to see if you can advise us. Foster Furniture & Hardware Co., Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

BRASS AND WOODEN NOVELTIES-We have opened a novelty furniture store and would like to add to our wooden novelties brass novelties, such as jardiniers, etc. Also we would like the address of firms making cheap and medium priced novelties in wood. Novelty Furniture Co., 9708 Cedar Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.

CHILD'S NURSERY CHAIR-Will you please advise where I can purchase small stools with back, such as used for children, to be placed on regular stools in the closet? I am not able to find these in any of the catalogs, therefore enclose stamped envelope and would appreciate information if you can give it. Melvin S. Halverson, Stoughton, Wis.

FLOOR COVERING-We are remodelling our show window and are looking for a light floor covering, or imitation flooring for use in our display window, such as was described in THE RECORD recently. We are not satisfied with linoleums and other imitation floorings, but want to find something different and better. Winship Furniture Co., Phillipsburg, Kans.

COMMUNION TABLES-Can you tell us the factory which can supply an individual communion table? This is a small table 20 to 24 inches high and 24 inches long by 20 inches wide, having a small rack in the rear for communion glasses, and also a narrow strip of velvet in the front, the idea being to use from 20 to 24 of these individual tables behind the rail. We do not have any

such thing in this part of the country, but we understand it is used extensively in the churches in your state. "Address furnished on request."


MACHINERY FOR TOOTH PICKS-Can you give me the name of a firm making machinery for making tooth picks? EARL E. DUNAWAY, Atlanta, Ga.

GLASS KNOBS FOR FURNITURE-Please advise us where we can obtain small glass knobs for furniture. THE BUCKEYE ALUMINUM COMPANY, Wooster, O.

BRUSHES. Do you know of an automatic machine for manufacturing small brushes like the sample sent you?— J. A. BRANDT, 4720 McMillan St., St. Louis, Mo.

SLAT MACHINE-Will you kindly give me the name of a maker of a machine for making lath for wood or Venetian blinds? H. GOODMAN, 328 Bryan St., Savannah, Ga.

BIRCH CHAIR SEATS-We would like to have the names of two or three factories manufacturing birch chair seats. WICHITA, WHOLESALE FURNITURE Co., Wichita, Kan.

PORCELAIN LININGS.-Can you furnish us with the address of one or more manufacturers of porcelain steel linings for refrigerators? C. M. WARE COMPANY, Millville, N. J.

DRAWER EXTENSIONS-I should like to know where I can get some good drawer extension slides-anti-friction, ball bearing or any really good extensions. V. M. RUSSELL, State Normal School, Platteville, Wis.

TWIST TURNINGS-Where can we get twist (rope) turnings made for the front legs of chairs and the stumps of arm chairs? We understand there are two or three different parties who make a specialty of this work. HALE COMPANY, 14 Stone Street, New York.

PARLOR FRAMES.-Can you advise us where we can get a line of chair frames similar to the ones pictures of which are sent you? We would prefer to get the frames only, as we can do our own upholstering. THE SCHIERHOLTZ FURNITURE Co., Ltd., New Hamburg, Ont.

TRIMMINGS FOR KITCHEN CABINETS.-Will you advise us if you are able to furnish us with the names of manufacturers of trimmings for kitchen cabinets; also frosted glass for doors, nickeloid to cover the tops, and tin boxes to be used as bread drawers. THE HANSON Co., 3521 W. Grace St., Chicago, Ill.

SLIDING DOOR FIXTURES-We would like the address of manufacturers of sliding door fixtures for kitchen cabinets. We are now using the regular swing door, but our trade is demanding the sliding doors, and if you can give us the names of manufacturers of fixtures we will appreciate it. THE M. BROWN Co., Wapakoneta, Ohio.


OFFICE AND HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE.-An American consul reports that the leading furniture dealer in the city in which he is located desires catalogs and prices c. i. f. city of destination of office desks and office and household furniture. Correspondence must be in Russian, and prices must be quoted c. i. f. city of destination.

MACHINERY FOR VENEER FACTORY.-A foreign business firm doing the largest timber business in a certain city, is contemplating the erection of a veneer factory and would like to receive catalogs from American manufacturers of machinery suitable for this purpose. An American consul states that it is the intention of the firm to cut the veneer only and not to make plywood. Correspondence may be in English, prices and shipping weights should accompany catalogs, and, if possible, freight rates to the city of destination should be given.

HOUSEHOLD ARTICLES AND KITCHEN UTENSILS.-A wholesale house in a European capital desires to form connections with an export commission house in the United

States which will undertake to keep the firm promptly informed when any novelties in household goods and kitchen utensils are put on the market by American firms. Correspondence may be in English. An American consular officer writes that this firm has been importing American office furniture for some years and has a good commercial standing. It is now opening another department for wholesaling kitchen utensils and household articles and intends to send salesmen throughout certain countries.

News of the Trade

The plant of the Bison Table Co., Buffalo, N. Y., was damaged to the extent of $1,000 by fire, April 6.

The Double Duty Chair Co., Cleveland, Ohio, capital $10,000, has been incorporated by Fred Desberg and others.

Wage difficulties prompted the strike of 500 employes of the Heywood Bros. & Wakefield Co., Wakefield, Mass., April 21.

The factory of the Grand Ledge Chair Co., Grand Ledge, Mich., was damaged to the extent of $1,000 by fire, April 23.

An addition will be built to the factory of the Penn Furniture Co., Conneautville, Pa., to accommodate a new office and shipping room.

The Gillett Manufacturing Co., Clio, Mich., capital $10,000, has been incorporated to manufacture and sell household furniture, specialties and supplies.

The plant of the M. A. Hunt Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, will be remodeled at a cost of $50,000. A new office building and addition to the present factory will be built.

The Union Furniture Manufacturing Co., Albany, Ore., A. H. Sandstrom, president, recently went into voluntary bankruptcy, listing assets at $28,931.66 and liabilities at $36,727.41.

Preparations are under way to promote Evansville, Ind., as a furniture market during the first two weeks of July. Plans abandoned because of the 1913 flood will be carried into effect this year.

The E. J. Robinson Adjustable Bed & Couch Manufacturing Co., Chillicothe, Mo., will remove its plant to St. Joseph, Mo., where a factory affording 8,000 square feet of floor space will be constructed.

Two warehouses of the Frederick Walpert Co., bedding manufacturers, Baltimore, Md., were destroyed by fire on April 9 and 10, causing a loss of $15,000. Incendiarism is suspected and the origin of the fires will be investigated.

The Sheboygan Upholstering Co., Sheboygan, Wis., capital $25,000, has been incorporated by Charles Honaold, William Kaufmann and A. W. Muehlenberg. The property formerly was known as the Central Upholstering Co.

The Appalachian Furniture Co., Bluefield, W. Va., will be sold at public auction unless a reorganization movement, now under way, is successful. It is reported that Bluefield interests are considering the purchase of the Appalachian plant.

Asserting that the funds of the New Cabinet Co., Evansville, Ind., are being dissipated by a set of pretended directors paying themselves large salaries, Daniel P. Roberts filed suit against the company April 22, claiming $1,728.40 due him as commission for the sale of stock.

Ferguson Bros. Manufacturing Co., Hoboken, N. J., will build a five-story brick structure opposite its present plant to afford additional manufacturing facilities. The new building will be 100 x 180 feet and will furnish employment for approximately 200 employes in addition to the 400 now on the company's pay roll.

Trade is Still Dull, but Conditions Have Been Improved by Splendid Crop Report---Influences Which Are Playing a Part in Making Buying Conservative



LTHOUGH there has been a decided improve

ment in the weather throughout the country, and summer is well upon us, there has been little or no improvement in the volume of business which is coming to the manufacturers. Instances are rare where the factories are being run more than four days a week, and there is little or no business in anticipation. The establishment of greater confidence in the future, through the assurance of a splendid crop, a surcease from legislation believed to be adverse to business, the assurance that as a nation we are not to be enmeshed in a long and expensive war, the granting of the advance in rates asked for by the railways-any or all may contribute to the restoration of confidence and start things going again. How soon one or all these things are achieved, or happen, will undoubtedly have a decided influence upon what is done during the July furniture season which is near at hand. The preliminary season in Grand Rapids, for which the Berkey & Gay Furniture Co. was responsible, reflected more than anything of recent occurance the lethargy which prevails in the furniture trade. Prominent buyers who had planned to visit Grand Rapids were held at home by the edict of merchandise men who were under instruction to put the lid on until things cleared up. Fewer of the "job" hunters have been visitors to factory points than is usually the case at this season of the year.

The financial condition of the country is excellent. A prominent financier has expressed it in this way: "Money is easy, but credit is not." But the clearing house reports begin to disclose that there is some reaction in business. The report which it will be possible to make a month later, it is hoped, will be even more encouraging.

A very important factor and one closely affecting trade in all departments is the crop situation. No more favorable crop report has ever been issued than that sent out by the department of agriculture on May 7. All crops were reported in first-class condition at the date of May 1. but the most important crop at this date is winter wheat and in ordinary years of normal conditions in the business world there would be a responsive acceleration of trade in the announcement that the condition of winter wheat was the best ever known on that date and indicated the greatest yield ever known-630,000,000 bushels. Not only that, but the condition improved between April 1 and May 1, being 95.6 on April 1 and 95.9 on May 1, an unprecedented record, there being nearly always more or less deterioration shown heretofore in the crop between those two dates. Last year the crop indication on May 1 was 513,000,000 bushels and the crop harvested was $23,000,000. The condition on May 1, 1913, was 91.9, so that this bids fair to be an exceptional year, as the crop is well along and it is only six weeks to harvest. The total wheat crop, winter and spring, is likely to approximate 900,000,000 bushels, as against 753,000,000 bushels ir. 1913.

If anything can avail to help business, the splendid Cones, protolan should have a great deal of influence in that

,, there is so much pessimism in the atmosi dobtful if anything short of the increase town, gater and the adjournment of Congress with

out action on the anti-trust bills will avail in counteracting it.

The situation is far better in the West than in the East. It should be almost needless to say that the manufacturers of distinctively summer goods are at the height of their spring trade, with the promise that their stocks will be entirely depleted. Summer goods do not run into money very fast, but it is encouraging to know that the retailers are not without some trade, and that not all the loose money is going into outdoor vehicles instead of some of it finding its way into outdoor furniture. Our New York correspondent writes of the situation in the East as follows: "Spring business among the retailers of New York City and vicinity can only be described as indifferent, although a material improvement over conditions which have prevailed of late. If it were possible to total up retail sales it would probably be found that the actual volume of business is fairly satisfactory, although it lacks the snap and spontaneity which merchants would like to The demand is chiefly for staples and articles of actual necessity, and high-priced goods have been somewhat neglected for the plainer and cheaper lines. A wave of thrift seems to have swept over the country and permeated all branches of business. Money is now the cheapest item in business. Dealers in commercial paper complain that there is none to be had, owing to the reluctance of manufacturers and merchants to make future commitments. The statement of one of the largest international banking houses along this line is interesting:


"The country is living economically and there is less extravagance than there has been at any time in years past. People are not inclined to speculate, and so far as the Wall Street market is concerned, trading has been largely professional. These conditions cannot last forever, and it is well to remember that the liquidation that has been witnessed in securities, in business, and in labor has been immensely helpful in strengthening underlying conditions and putting the country upon the safest basis seen in years. It is a transition period and things are at a standstill, because people are waiting for something to happen. Things happen so quickly in the United States that the situation is likely to shift any moment, and as things are now at lowest ebb, it is not unreasonable to expect that the next turn will be in the direction of better business."

A leading manufacturer is quoted as saying: "Thrift now superseding extravagance temporarily makes bad business. Until we become adjusted to the new idea of responsibility and caution which the American public seems to have learned, business will not reach its former high volume."

THE LUMBER MARKET Hardwood and Veneers

Reports at hand since the first of the month as to the status of the hardwood lumber industry are widely at variance. There are none, however, among either manufacturers or wholesalers who are so rash as to assert that the demand is either active or satisfactory, though a few say that they have been marketing their lumber without

particular difficulty and with about the usual margin of profit. Some of the northern concerns have been fortunate in having sold all or most of their reduced production early and are therefore contented to hold whatever stock they may accumulate in future or now have remaining on hand for a better market. Southern operators, as a rule, have felt the full effect of the stagnation prevailing in manufacturing circles since the first of the year and are not now having, nor have they had in the last several months, sufficient demand to absorb the greatly reduced output of their mills. The net result has been that in the month the market has been fairly well held, while in southern woods there has been more or less demoralization.

It is pretty well settled in the minds of business men that governmental affairs have had a great deal to do with the recent dullness and with the uncertainty prevailing in all departments of industry as to the future. The agitation over the proposed 5 per cent. advance in freight rates has been one of the most weighty factors in causing the dullness, for the railroads were determined not to buy supplies or make improvements until the question of an advance or otherwise was settled. The decision of the Interstate Commerce Commission, whether favorable or unfavorable to the roads, will be a good thing for general business and, as a matter of fact, a definite opinion of some kind from the Commission is believed to be better than the existing uncertainty. That the latter will be compelled to enter the market for absolutely necessary equipment and supplies after a prolonged period during which the orders to their purchasing agents were "buy nothing," appears to presage a comfortable volume of business in the very near future, regardless of the advance in freight rates. Already a number of the roads have come into the market for lumber in fairly large quantities, but their orders are mainly for repairs or badly needed equipment. One order, last week, was for bridge material totaling 3,250,000 feet for the Frisco.

The hardwood lumber market has remained in a depressed condition through the last several months, but not perceptibly worse recently than a month ago. Quartered white oak has held better than most other woods, values ranging well up to what they were early in the year. Plain oak has suffered considerably from the extended stagnation, being fully $5 off from the March quotation. Good cottonwood has declined a few points, while cull remains firm. Red gum is still weak in the upper grades but there is a fair demand, at good values, in the lower. Ash is in about the best demand of any of the southern woods. Birch is steady and being in strong hands is likely to be well sustained. No. 2 and No. 3 common are in better shape than other grades. Maple is quite firm, all things considered, and it is reported that a good part of the season's cut is sold, except the two-inch, which is something of a drug on the market. There is no life in either rock or soft elm and stocks of both woods are low. There is an excellent demand for No. 3 elm for crating purposes, however. Basswood has been showing some firmness lately, but stocks at the mills are small.

Mahogany and the other foreign woods are moving in relatively good volume, as compared with the earlier months, although values on mahogany have fallen off to the extent of about $10 a thousand, being now quotable around $160 and $165, whereas a year ago they were up to $170 and $175. The heavy exportation of mahogany lumber and logs from Gulf ports visible during the last four or five months, has dwindled down for the moment to small proportions, though a revival in this new kind of traffic may be looked for almost any time, as European buyers evidently have a preference for the high quality of stock shipped in from Central America by manufacturers in this country. The veneer market is picking up to some extent and the output is fairly well absorbed. In glued-up panels there is moderate, activity and the industry is in good shape. Prices have not been greatly deflected during the recent dullness.

With a quickening of general trade, such as is likely

to occur with an expected early settlement of two or three important transportation and economic matters, a big grain crop, the starting of the federal reserve banks and a more active foreign policy, the lumbermen are looking forward to considerable trade by fall, if not sooner, provided most of these solutions are favorable THE METAL MARKETS Steel

The leaders of the steel industry now make no secret of the fact that conditions in that industry are most deplorable. One of the most prominent men in the line recently characterized the situation as "the most serious in the history of the American steel industry." By the end of the first week in May the entire steel trade was running on a half time schedule, with the single exception of tin-plate mills. These are running approximately on full time, as there is a big demand for their product at present. The report of the United States Steel Corporation for the first quarter of 1914 shows a deficit of over $6,000,000. It is estimated that the volume of unfilled orders on their books has been decreased approximately 300,000 tons during April. New business is at a premium, and seems to be steadily falling off with minor exceptions. In certain wire specialties there has been a slight revival, and the steel tube demand has been fair, but these lines, together with tin-plate, make up about all there is to the steel industry today. In the consequent keen competition for business, the independent mills have led the scramble, cutting prices right and left, and forcing important concessions upon the leaders. Crude steel has declined to last year's minimum of $20 a ton for billets and $21 for bars. Even on this basis, it is understood that production has been considerably in excess of demand latterly. Concessions have also been made in nearly all other lines of steel, but without noticeable effect in stimulating orders. The railroads continue to hold back and buy merely for actual requirements. Structural steel is in light demand and is to be had at a low figure. There are several large contracts in sight which are expected to help out this branch of the industry materially. Prices on wire products have been fairly well maintained, although signs of wavering are now reported.


Similar conditions obtain in the pig iron trade. Curtailment of production has become more and more prevalent and eight blast furnaces ceased operations during the last week in April alone. It is understood that the production of pig iron by merchant furnaces is now considerably below 50 per cent. of capacity. What new business is coming in consists mainly of small scattered orders and the only large item in sight is the large contracts for the New York City subway tunnels. Prices are falling steadily and the market appears to be without support. The smaller producers have led in the pricecutting movement, but are now complaining that selling prices are below the cost of production. The steel companies are taking very little iron and other manufacturing lines are extremely dull also. There has been scarcely enough business recently to establish prices, but there are reports of transactions as low as $12.50 valley furnace for No. 2 iron. This can hardly be termed representative and probably $13 would be nearer the mark. It is apparent, however, that price shading has extended all through the market. The outlook is distinctly gloomy at present.

Copper and Brass

The copper and brass trades are quiescent in sympathy with the other metal industries. The demand for copper by consuming interests has been at a minimum for so long that it no longer excites comment, but is nevertheless the most important factor in the situation. Stocks of copper are beginning to accumulate alarmingly, in spite of curtailed production, and the total absence of receipts from Mexico, where the American plants have all been closed down. Producers and dealers now seem a little more anxious for business and slight concessions have been made, but it seems impossible to

« ÎnapoiContinuă »