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MILLIONS OF 'NET TONS

MILLIONS OF NET TONS

MILLIONS OF NET TONS

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FIGURE 24.–Average production of soft coal per working day for each week, 1921–1923

Sustained demand-
for storage 1
throughout summer

1923 Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

2.4 0.0

1922 Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. . Oct. Nov. Dec.

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Apr. May June July

1921

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Railroad shopmen

strike

Acute car
29 shortage non-
union fieldst

Cleveland
agreement

All strong union
districts at work

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Car shortage

- Brief suspension

of anthracite mines

Aug. Sept.

Market softenin,

Oct.

Consumers stock up, fearing
railroad strike November

Mines closing

Nov.

Railroads greatly

improve service Miners' election -Car shortage

Consequent reaction

Christmas

Dec.

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FIGURE 25.-Total commercial stocks of bituminous coal, October 1, 1916, to January 1, 1924. Figures represent millions of net tons and include coal in the hands of

railroads, industrial consumers, public utilities, and retail dealers. Coal for steamship fuel, on Lako docks, in transit, and in the bins of householders is not included.

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Jan Feb Mar Apr. May June July Aug Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. FIGURE 26.-Montbly production and consumption of soft coal in 1923. Production was very steady in

1923, but consumption showed the characteristic summer drop. The interval between the two lines of the diagram represents changes in stocks, including reserves on the Lake docks. These changes are shown in more detail in the succeeding diagram

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Jan Feb

Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct.. Nov Dec FIGURE 27.-Monthly changes in stocks in 1923. Storage of very large quantities during the summer explains the steady production

of soft

coal in 1923. Some coal was drawn from stocks during the traffic congestion of February, but additions to stock (shown by the columns above the zero line) were made in every month thereafter until December. The maximum addition was made in July, when the railroads alone put into storage 3.4 million tons. Figures in columns represent millions of net tons

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JAN.

Business

boom

JULY

Panic of 1907

JAN.

JULY

JAN.

Two years of

depression

6061

JULY

JAN

JULY

General suspension

and wage increase

JAN

JULY!

Sharp competition

JAN.

2161

JULY

British miners strike General suspension in U.S. General business

lactive

JAN.

JULY

Business reaction

JAN.

116!

JULY

1907 1908 FIGURE 28.- Monthly average spot prices of bituminous coal 1. o. b. mines, 1923, as quoted by Coal Age. Data in Table 62, p. 621

1915 1916

1918 1919

JAN.

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JULY

JAN

JULY

JAN

Coal shortage U.S enters war President fixes price

JULY

JAN.

O JULY

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JAN.

Government prices listed

JULY

Price

JAN.

General strike all union miners

+ Runoway market

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Acute business

depression

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scale in the number of mines working full time. By November, 1923, 14.8 per cent were working practically at capacity, and this included a large share of the biggest mines.

Thus before the agreement of 1923 had run its span of one year the competitive forces of unsettlement in the bituminous-coas industry began to reappear. Even in a period of active demand the market could not absorb the potential output of the existing mines. Overdevelopment was forcing intense competition, and already the nonunion fields, free to reduce costs by cutting wages, were beginning again to press hard upon the union fields operating on a fixed wage scale. Of this tendency more was to be seen in 1924.

PER CENT OF MINES IDLE AND WORKING:
WEEK
ENDED IDLE, I DAY 2 DAYS

3 DAYS 4 DAYS 5 DAYS 6 DAYS OCT. 28.1922 4.2 88 3652

25.01

137

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FIGURE 29.-Per cent of idle, part-time, and full-time mines in nine representative weeks, 1922–1924.

This chart is based solely on mines reporting weekly to the U.S. Geological Survey, of which there are about 2,500. They represent about one-half the output of the country. Though not complete, the figures show the trend

ANTHRACITE TRADE IN 1923 Labor relations. In the anthracite industry, on the contrary, the chief events of 1923 centered around labor relations. An appraisal of the merits of the controversy between operators and miners would be out of place in this report, and reference will be made only to those events which immediately affected the supply and demand for the product. The agreement of September, 1932, was felt to be in the nature of an armistice rather than a permanent settlement. It was to run for one year. Months before its expiration the miners presented demands for further increases in wages, the check off, and other modifications of the working conditions. Negotiations for a new contract were opened in the usual

way,
but little

progress made. On July 27 the joint conference at Atlantic City came to a deadlock, and the negotiations were broken off.

was

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