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Do Not Put All the Responsibility on the Kiln---Intelligent Operation An Absolute Necessity---Use of Common Sense---Methods Vary With Material By A. B. MAINE


EW men would ever think of having a heating plant installed in their houses without first investigating its possibilities, then learning how it should be properly operated. Yet some of these same men in the furniture making industry will have a dry kin installed with no preliminary investigation as to the type best adapted to their individual requirements. They will learn nothing of how it should be properly operated themselves and turn the whole thing over to an operator, who either learns how to care for it in a superficial manner, or is so crowded with other duties that he cannot attend to it as he should. The man who has charge of a dry kiln is as important in this place as is the engineer in his room, and if he has other duties they should be of such nature that they can be neglected on occasions Proper attention to the drying equipment should have his first and most careful attention.

Knowledge Essential

Now, a lumber dry kiln is an installation of equipment that is used to season lumber artificially. Among other things it is first supposed to take the moisture from lumber so that it will not perceptibly swell or shrink under ordinary climatic conditions, either while it is being worked or after it is in the finished product. In order that this drying operation may be performed successfully some knowledge of individual conditions is essential. There are some woodworking industries wherein any type of a dry kiln can be operated successfully, but these cases are few, and the time has passed when any conscientious engineer will attempt to install his particular kiln without first studying the case brought to his attention. When once the kiln maker has completed his installation he is not satisfied to turn it over to the operator with a few verbal instructions. No, indeed, the engineer takes the operator in hand and instructs him thoroughly in all the principles involved. When he goes away he leaves printed instructions behind, and he goes with the understanding that if the slightest question needs to be solved he will be immediately called again

Awakening to the Problem

This condition has been caused to some extent by the furniture manufacturer himself, who is gradually coming out of the state of somnolence, which has characterized his industry for so long, and is now beginning to realize that the old proverb, “A penny saved is a penny earned," is more or less of a misnomer, particularly as applied to ultimate results. At the same time he insists that he get results for the money invested, which naturally forces the manufacturer of dry kiln equipment to make good or lose his reputation So with one manufacturer insisting that results be obtained and the other getting requirements we are reaching the state in lumber seasoning by artificial means where the operation is conducted in a reasonably scientific manner that produces the best possible product.

Common Sense Necessary

Common sense is a necessary factor in all operations, and none the less in the proper drying of lumber, which is not a very complicated matter, but based upon principles which may be readily absorbed and understood by

any one who wishes to exercise a little thought and study to understand same, and, once their meaning has been grasped, the rules and instructions supplied for the proper operation of the several types of kilns will assume a plain and simple meaning, not soon to be forgotten

No matter what the name, type, design or construction of the kiln, the lumber to be dried must be surrounded by certain conditions of heat, humidity and circulation if it is to come out of the kiln in any state of perfection within the shortest possible time. Green lumber that is fresh from the saw should be treated differently from the lumber that has been partially air dried. The same kiln may be able to give both these treatments, but it stands to reason that both treatments cannot be given at the same time, in the same kiln. So it is with the many other conditions that confront the manufacturer of furniture in his kiln drying problem. To solve them successfully he must know more about lumber. This knowledge is coming, but like other good things it is coming too slowly.

By Way of Illustration

Some time ago a furniture man told the writer that his dry kiln was not giving satisfaction and asked what was considered the best kiln for the furniture man. He in turn was asked if he was sure it was the fault of the kiln or its operation. This started something, you may be sure, for the man was inclined to be touchy on the subject, but when the smoke had cleared away he got rational. After calling in the original engineer and going over the whole problem he decided to spend something less than a hundred dollars on a chance, and he recently wrote me that he did not believe there was a better kiln in the country than the one he had. He might have thrown it out, installed another and said the same thing. So no recommendation is made herein for any particular kiln. Find out the one that meets your requirements, operate it with some degree of intelligence and you will get results.

Commercial Travelers in South America


AXES imposed by South American countries on commercial travelers are far from being prohibitive to the average exporter. While various license fees are prescribed by law in those countries, their purpose, as explained in a report just issued by the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce of the Department of Commerce, is chiefly to prevent unfair competition with local concerns, which are themselves subject to similar taxes. By associating himself with some local house, the traveler may obtain exemption from all but a few of the more moderate taxes. The rates of license fees and the conditions under which samples may be temporarily admitted free of duty in practically all the countries of South America are shown in the report entitled, "Commercial Travelers and Samples in South America," (Tariff Series No. 19A), copies of which may be purchased for 5 cents each from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office. (Postage stamps not accepted.)


Dangers Which Lie in Direction of Haphazard Extensions---Importance of Charting Movement of Material---Re-arrangement May Give Needed Room



ANY of the large factories, especially those that have enjoyed a rapid growth from a modest beginning, are like Topsy, "They jes' grew." They have had no bringing up and the general arrangements within and without show it. The process of evolution has not been applied to the physical development of industrial plants to any great extent. The average manufacturer thinks hard along the old line of the creation idea, instead of the evolution theory. He builds his plant, in his mind, instead of letting it grow there. In other words, he waits until an overcrowded condition forces him to the conclusion that something must be done and then he begins to think of an addition, or a new plant.

Such cases give the efficiency engineer a problem that furnishes him with plenty of food for thought. He will find

a plan, representing an ideal plant for the work in hand. That is, as nearly as is possible, with human limitations and from a re-construction of old buildings, when this is necessary.



many of these plants presenting a haphazard group of buildings, making an arrangement of departments and equipment for efficiency, practically, an impossibility. Material must be carted the entire length of the plant to find sufficient light, or strong enough floors to support required machinery, or for ventilation, or power transmission, etc., for required operations. This long haul may be for one operation only, then back it goes. Probably the material must be unloaded and reloaded onto trucks, making extra work and loss, through damage, on this account. It may be that the inefficiency is not so pronounced in any one feature, but that it consists in numerous little inconveniences and retracing of steps, the accumulated cost of which is a surprising sum.

Poor Arrangement Responsible

It is not uncommon to find a factory crowded to the limit, while casual observation presents no relief, except through additional floor space. Yet a careful analysis may show that poor arrangement is the primary cause of the congestion and that sufficient elbow room may be obtained by a re-arrangement, utilizing all waste spaces. It may be that the building conditions will not permit of a better arrangement and that the only hope lies in re-construction of the same. An analysis will, at least, show up the facts and it will often suggest a remedy.

The analysis of the conditions of a plant in this respect can not be reached through a cost system, or a superficial consideration of general facts. Surprising results may be obtained, however, from a chart, consisting of a drawing to scale of all floor space, with lines tracing the course of material in its process from raw state to finished product. Such a chart has scarcely no limit to the extent it may be carried to bring out the movements and handling of material. The amount of detail that will pay, can only be determined by individual circumstances and conditions. A chart showing the general movement of the material within each department and from one department to another, offers opportunity for such an analysis as must precede scientific re-construction.

By scientific re-construction, I mean a gradual development in the right direction. The right direction is toward

Many good sermons have been preached, and many more will be, on the value of an ideal in character growth and development. Many good articles are being written on the value of a goal, or ideal, in the growth and development of a business career. The same value, from an efficiency standpoint, attaches to a goal or ideal as a guide in the growth and development of the industrial plant. It should go further: the ideal for the industrial plant should take on the more definite form of being carefully laid out

on paper.

The evolutionary process applies the same as in character development; the ideal never stops long enough to let the development catch up, or, at least, stay caught up.

Business institutions, like human characters, have individualities made up of many more or less minute peculiarities. The ideal cannot be constructed, on general principles, by an outsider and be made to fit with any such degree of perfection, as will be developed from within, by the evolutionary process.

Evolution From Within

I speak of the work being done by an efficiency engineer and at the same time recommend the evolution from within? Certainly. The efficiency engineer should not be an outsider. It matters not whether he spends all his time in one institution or not, he should be as much a part of the organization as any clerk, bookkeeper or department head. His duty is to study for constant improvement of the methods and systems that affect the efficiency of the institution with which he is connected. It is the accountant's duty to keep the books for the institution with which he is connected. The cases are parallel, except that the one pertains to routine and the other to betterments. The efficiency engineer, although considered a regular member of the organization, should never be hampered with routine. His efforts might better cover more than one factory.

The factory plan should be laid out under existing conditions and then improved from time to time, as conditions change or new ideas occur to the engineer, or other parties concerned. If this is done, ideas will be thought of that could not be created, at will, or within a given time. The engineer should take up his new ideas, with other interested members of the organization, as they come to him. He may find his ideas increased a hundred fold, either by improvement or addition, if he will do this.

When the lay-out for the ideal plant is completed to the point of showing the relation of each department to the others, then the arrangement within the various departments begins. This feature presents numerous important problems, such as arranging of machines and benches, so that succeeding operations will require the least retracing and the shortest travel in the movement of stock. The rela

tion of machines and benches to elevators, doors, stockrooms, toilets, etc., must be considered. The question of heat, light and ventilation would seem too obvious to mention and yet how often they are slighted, as of secondary importance. The size of rooms affecting the volume of work that can be supervised by one executive, is of no minor import.

If a new building is under consideration, an important factor of perfection is the relation of space required, for movement of material, to space required for workmen and machines or benches. This applies, especially, to buildings more than one story in height, where daylight must all enter from the sides and not from skylights. For instance, a building that is too wide requires that work must be done too far from windows, or else a waste of space in the center of the room. In the systemless factory, such space is easily filled by the accumulation of stock in process, which for some reason does not proceed. Such stock is not allowed to linger in the workroom of the up-to-date, progressively managed plant, and consequently this problem enters into the making of the ideal plan. A too narrowly constructed building necessitates the scattering of workers and an inconvenient arrangement is inevitable.

With the ideal plan for reference, the management will find it very easy and satisfactory to make all minor changes and additions to plant and equipment, in conformity with the general scheme. This may mean a considerable saving, both of time and money, not only when the time of new construction, or re-construction comes, but at every step of the way. That is, by the elimination of the cut-and-try process for every little installation of equipment, etc.

There will be no hesitating, guessing, doing and undoing, because every move is carefully planned in advance, not only as to its own value, but as to its bearing on other and subsequent developments. There is a feeling of assurance in the permanency and wisdom of every improvement because it harmonizes and is a part of the great central scheme, which is ultimately to be realized.

The management will be saved no end of nerve-racking hurry and worry. They will, on the contrary, derive an infinite amount of satisfaction in the construction of a new plant or large addition in accordance with an ideal, which has been developed from perhaps years of study of their peculiar needs. The employes, who have had a hand in evolving the ideal, will share this satisfaction; and their added interest all along the line will be of no small value

I believe in the independence of employes, but there must be a feeling of proprietary interest in the institution, in which they are employed, if efficiency and economy are to be stimulated. Nothing will incite such interest more than the feeling that their ideas and suggestions receive consideration and, finally, become part and parcel of the plant's development. The human factor figures in all industrial activities and should never be lost sight of.


Keep Still

HEN trouble is brewing, keep still. When slander is getting on its legs, keep still. When your feelings are hurt, keep still-till you recover from your excitement, at any rate. Things look differently to an unagitated eye. In a commotion, once, I wrote a letter and sent it, and wished I had not. In my later years I had another commotion, and wrote a long letter; but life rubbed a little sense into me, and I kept that letter in my pocket against the day when I could look it over without tears and without agitation. I was glad I did. Less and less it seemed necessary to send it. I was

not sure it would do any hurt, but in my doubtfulness I leaned to reticence, and eventually I destroyed it.

Time works wonders. Wait till you can speak calmly, and then possibly you will not need to speak. Silence is the most massive thing conceivable, sometimes.-Dr. Burton.


Safety and Sanitation


HE great causes that underlie the misery of the world are said to be ignorance, neglect, prejudice, poverty, sensuality and appetite. All are interwoven into one vast network of associate factors, but it would seem that the one which obstructs most the path of progress, that which is responsible, to a great extent, for the other causes, and of itself for more than half the world's troubles, is ignorance. Such being the case education is the most important factor in solving the fundamental problems of human life.

Education in the sense used here does not mean a knowledge of languages, theorems or astronomy, but simply a knowledge of those beneficial things which make for the betterment of the industrial worker, in the protection of health and life, and which may be assimilated from environment and example.

Those ignorant of existing conditions are prone to rave about the unsanitary conditions of factories and the nonobservance of common sense rules for safety. They place the blame wholly upon the heads of factory owners, when the truth of the matter is that for years by far most of the owners have lamented about these conditions and endeavored to put their several plants on a better plane, both as regards safety and health. They have found that educating the bestial instinct out of man is a very difficult matter and it is no wonder that many of them lost their patience and gave up the problem in disgust.

Take the matter of sanitation. One would naturally think that when an employer took the trouble to install modern toilet and wash-room facilities the employe would appreciate the improvement sufficiently to use it properly and with some care. Yet the writer has known of cases where the workman has deliberately thrown sawdust and shavings into the bowls, thereby plugging the pipes and causing an overflow that made more or less of a mess and not a little damage. Instead of using cuspidors the management provide, many men prefer to see how close they can come to hitting a hinge in the toilet room door or a crack in the work-room floor.

These actions are not prompted through any particular ill feeling for the boss, but because the employe who commits the act is ignorant of how much benefit he may derive from the usage of sanitary appliances and conditions.


The safety proposition seems to work out in a similar The employe apparently thinks that a guard of any kind placed on a machine is more or less of a nuisance and of no particular service to a man used to operating a machine.

The writer is not making these statements from hearsay. He has been there and seen operators who through ignorance try the patience of the well meaning employer to the limit. Still the good work goes on and both sanitary and safety regulations are being observed more and more.

The employe is rapidly learning that these improvements are as much for his benefit as for that of his employer and when that fact is once driven home there is no more trouble.

The Glenville Upholstering Co., Glenville, O., recently organized, will occupy the plant vacated by Vincent Bros.

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Subscription price $1 per year in the United States, Mexico, Cuba and the American colonies; $1.50 per year in Canada, postage paid, and $ per ye in all foreign countries, postage paid. ns are payable strictly in advance. THE FURNITURE MANUFACTURER AND ARTISAN is never mailed regularly to anyone without a semed order for the same.

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The rate in the classified advertising page is 3 cents per word for
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charge. $1. Cash should accompany order.

Entered at the post-office in Grand Rapids. Mich., as mail matter of the second class under the act of Congress of March 3, 1879.


Furniture Making in the Schools

T HAS come to be recognized that manual training, as it & possible to teach it in the public schools, is ltural rather than vocational. The educators have reathed the conclusion that nothing short of technical or trade sehools can fit a boy to build furniture or make patterns, or do a lot of other things which it was at first thought might be taught in the public schools, and secure a measure of eficiency. The short unit school for the Tan on the job" with practical and not theoretical men in charge is another proposition. In the woodworking line the activities among the manual training schools has been dipened almost altogether in the making of furniture. Now of all the state which have engrafted upon their of education vocational or manual training Wisconsin is in the lead. The German voters in that state-of which there are many-were ready for the system which has done so much for the Fatherland. The wille school system of Wisconsin gets its impetus from the State University at Madison, and the University is fortunate to have at the head of the Department of Manual Arts F. D. Craw-haw, a man of vision.

Mr. Craw-haw has recently sent to all superintendents of school- and all teachers of manual training in Wisconin a letter which is interesting and significant. "The man al arte,” he says, "are an outgrowth of one of a few fondamental human activities-they are a natural result f attempting to direct, educationally, a child's instincts to manipulate and construct. If mistakes have been made the part of the school in this direction, it has been - probably, to over-organization which has led to elization. We find in most of our manual arts work Kame tendency in all school work, viz., a desire to rgen we teaching material about 'subjects' rather than

Me Thus we have in wood work, for example, the on of bench working, furniture making, wood turnjerz making, etc. Quite often, regardless of the retional interests of a community, an

instructor will require of each pupil that he construct a series of small articles which he himself has made while in training school, or which may be advocated by some institution or teacher."

Mr. Crawshaw thinks that in schools where a majority of the students are from the surrounding country, things which have rural as well as urban significance should be made that "carpentry and framing occupy a larger place in woodworking than does furniture and cabinet making," and so he urges that the construction of serviceable things like crates, feeding boxes, egg and grain testers, model parts of vehicles, neckyokes, benches, bins, kennels, small sheds, etc., be taught with correlated courses in drawing. "It seems almost impossible to get away from saltbox, tie-rack and coat-hanger type of work," he adds, and then goes on to demolish the oft-repeated argument in behalf of the construction of beautiful objects for the home, such as the articles above named, or furniture, the basis of which argument is that these things give expression to the aesthetic.

Mr. Crawshaw believes that much may be done toward industrial intelligence by teaching things about the material used. He suggests that, as concrete is likely to have a larger place in building than lumber in the future, knowledge concerning cement and its use might be imparted. He lays particular stress upon the importance of keeping the time of employes and maintaining a time record and a system of cost accounting. "Few wellregulated commercial shops and drafting-rooms fail to use a system by which the time of employes and the routing of a job and the cost of production are accounted for. This is good practice, at least in a modified form, for the teacher to follow in his class work. It is also true that commercial shops and drafting rooms are examples of good discipline. Employes are economical of their time. Tools are kept sharp and in their particular places. Machines are kept clean and in repair. This is all educational and should be especially so for individuals in their formative period of development."

This is all good doctrine and will increase the respect of practical manufacturers for what is being attempted in our public schools. Mr. Crawshaw's suggestions should be adopted by teachers in these manual training and industrial schools.


An Affiliation of Associations

T SOME of the recent meetings of the various associations among the manufacturers of furniture the proposition has been bruited of some form of affiliation among the several organizations, seeking to improve the conditions in the various branches of the manufacturing industry. There are organizations among the manufacturers of case goods, the makers of tables, the makers of fancy tables, the metal bed and spring manufacturers, the makers of upholstered furniture and of chairs. There are several branches to the National Furniture Manufacturers Association, under which name the case goods makers now maintain an organization. These branches are determined by location chiefly. Then there is the organization among the parlor frame makers and the manufacturers of commercial fixtures. Now all of these associations have many things in common. But they have been meeting at different times in different cities. present plan is to maintain the identity of these several organizations, which is entirely right and proper—absolutely essential-but provide that the various associations meet in the same city, at the same time, at least once a year, and after each of the associations has transacted its business, to gather all the manufacturers into one general conference on problems of common interest. The


principal exponent of this plan has been R. W. Irwin, who has delivered addresses on the subject at a number of recent meetings among the manufacturers. As a result, representatives were appointed to a joint committee of conference and this committee has decided to call such a meeting for May 14, to be held in Chicago. Meantime the several existing associations will call meetings for dates within the same week.

Some of the arguments set forth by Mr. Irwin in his addresses are printed in another place.


In Favor of One Line a Year

L. CORNELL, of the Jamestown Lounge Co., is in line in support of the step which has been taken by the Berkey & Gay Furniture Co. to provide an opening of their sales season early in the year. This was expected, because the company named is one of the manufacturers in agreement with the makers of parlor frames, in producing but one set of patterns annually, and it was Mr. Cornell's associate, Chas. F. Reilly, who was responsible for the strong argument in behalf of such a general policy made before the Upholstered Furniture Manufacturers Association at its recent convention. Mr. Cornell's utterances on this subject has brought from Mr. Spratt, of the New York Furniture Exchange, a further expression on the same subject. Three years ago, Mr. Spratt undertook to make the opening date for the New York show in May or early in June, but was unsuccessful in making the change. But he is apparently still a believer in the logical and economic features of such a plan, for in a communication to all the furniture trade papers, he says: "It is very interesting to me to see the comments of Mr. Cornell on the 'one line a year.' Mr. Cornell is one of the progressive, aggressive, deep thinkers of the furniture business and to have him practically reiterate the arguments that I put forth nearly three years ago in anticipation of the opening of our new building, urging the advance of the summer season by gradual periods until it should reach May 1st is very gratifying to me. The opposition we met at that time by many of the better class of manufacturers who exhibit at the New York Furniture Exchange compelled us to abandon the project which seemed to appeal to both manufacturers and dealers, in the interest of economy and efficiency, both in the production of furniture and in its marketing, both by the manufacturer and dealer.

"Mr. Cornell speaks of the large buyers who would welcome this change. We found in our investigations previous to attempting to bring about this change that the larger buyers found the sale of close-outs at the end of every six months caused a serious depreciation in the value of their stocks on hand, and this reason-as well as the desire to reduce to a minimum the actual expenditure of time in the markets-made them very strong advocates of the one-line-a-year plan. The result of our rather extended efforts in this direction seemed to show that both manufacturer and buyer are in favor of it, but that the inherent fear of each other which seems to dominate the business policy of the furniture manufacturer has interfered with bringing the desired change to a successful issue. The combination of different branches of the manufacturers into effective organizations within the past two years will, we hope, soon remove this only obstacle, and an active campaign, backed by a few men of the caliber of Mr. Cornell, will bring about this desired change."

In a further letter to the writer of this, in commenting on the outcome of the season at the New York Exchange, Mr. Spratt says: "In some cases I know the most important trade of some of the exhibitors placed their orders in

November and December, before the Exposition opened at any of the markets. This latter development is proving a great factor in exposition results every season and fits exactly the situation as outlined by you in regard to Berkey & Gay's step. I am told by several of the representatives of the more important outside lines shown in the Rapids that they will follow Berkey & Gay's lead, so that I am convinced now that some one has had the moral courage to take the initiatory step, that May 1stand once a year-is an accomplished fact, and it is only a question of perhaps a single trial when it will be universally adopted by both dealers and manufacturers. There is always that element to contend with who try to hold a check rein upon progress, and who stick to the dogmas of the past with a tenacity that would be worthy of a better cause. History repeats itself so often in the overwhelming of such obstructions that I think we need have no fear of its result in this trade, which needs the reformation as to seasons and frequent change of patterns so badly."

Mr. Spratt certainly has the courage of his convictions.


The Opening for Birch

T SEEMS to us that the field which is particularly open to the manufacturers of birch lumber is largely that which is now occupied by oak. Oak is steadily increasing in cost. The manufacturer of furniture is even now compelled to make practically the same price for an article in oak as the same article in mahogany. Birch has the same sturdy, durable qualities as oak. Its grain is closer and it will stay in place better. The grain is not so strongly marked, it is true, but the characteristics of the wood have yet to be developed by suitable finishes. These finishes are yet to be developed. Thus far birch has been very largely used as an imitation of mahogany. The manufacturers of Mission furniture have in recent years been the largest consumers of oak-oak in a distinctive role. The fuming process and fumed finish have contributed immensely to the popularity of Mission furniture. May not finishes be found which will bring out all the latent beauties of birch? We think they will be, for birch, which is considerable cheaper than oak, with nearly all its good qualities, must come into use again.

Is it not possible that the Germans and the Austrians, to whom our designers are now looking for some of their inspiration, and from whom we got our silver or Kaiser gray, have something to offer? The whims of the buyers of furniture change frequently. The manufacturers of furniture think they follow these whims, but, as a matter of fact, they create them to a certain extent. It is possible the interested manufacturers of birch may create some new fashions in furniture with birch lumber as the basis.


Black Walnut Revival

T IS interesting to know, in connection with the apparent revival of interest in American black walnut that the traffic in this wood is almost entirely in the hands of a few men who, for a good many years past, have busied themselves in buying small lots of the black walnut logs as offered, assembling the same, and after the logs have been prepared, shipping them abroad. Germany has been the largest purchaser of American black walnut, although both France and Great Britain have made constant demand. One of the largest dealers in black walnut for export is located in Kansas City--a curious condition, considering that Kansas City is in the midst of a prairie district and is many miles removed from the ocean. In recent years this dealer has done a very considerable business in collecting butts of black walnut logs from which

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