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is an increasingly valuable medium thro

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Votume XXX.




The second week of the new year has been like the first in the iron trade—an interval of weak prices and contracted business, of much searching for indications concerning the business of the year, but with no promise of immediate demand. Hope- fulness marks all calculations, and the accumula- tion of unused money, with cheap money rates, is ground for the belief that under a favorable tariff and the assurance of a regime under which industry may launch out, there will come investments that will bring business to mill and foundries. The position of wheat and the possibilities of further ad- vance, in view of the large foreign demand that must be supplied from the United States before an- other harvest, and the success of our export cam- paign in other lines, are other encouraging factors. Yet at home the railroads give no great promise for 1897, and the tall building has been in such favor as an investment in the past four years that it would not be surprising if the pace were not kept up. It has been figured that the railroads, in buying goo,- ooo tons of rails in 1896 only renewed about half the track that needed renewing, figuring the average life of a steel rail at from 12 to 15 years. But the question still comes, whether the policy of 1897 will approach any nearer to the demands of theoretically safe railroading. Meantime, the uppermost problem with every producer is how to lower cost, and the movement in the Pittsburg district that has set the whole iron trade agog will bring a general recast- ing of furnace mixtures and a general reduction of freights, first on raw materials and eventually on finished products. The developments in the Chica- go district will be watched with interest, particular- ly in view of changes of organization that are promised. It is known that the delivered price of non-Connellsville coke will be considerably lower at Chicago in 1897 than ever before. The past week has brought a continuation of the conditions in Bessemer iron and steel billets at Pittsburg, with which the year opened. Sales of $10 iron in the valley have been made and reports are going, with- out details, of purchases even below the $9.75 figures given in connection with one transaction last week. The average furnaceman is holding aloof and quoting $10.50 as minimum for prompt iron. Steel billets are less active and mills are quoting $16, Pittsburg, though $15 and $15.25 sales are still reported. Southern producers of pig iron are shading former quotations and now name $8, Birmingham, for No. 1 iron, $7.50 for No. 2; $7.25 for No. 2 soft and $6.75 for gray forge; but these figures still keep them out of territory in easy reach of Pittsburg and the two valleys. There is practically no buying either by mills or foundries. Finished products are weak and in little demand. Steel bars at 95c, Pittsburg, and tank plates for East-





| ern shipment at but little above rc, Pittsburg, indi


cate something of the eagerness of mills for prompt business to tide over the wait. The prices agreed on structural material and bar iron are no stimulus to The beam pool has a meeting on Friday The billet pool committee

buying to discuss the situation. has propositions from a number of mills in the Cen- tral West for the transfer of allotments and an alter- native proposition for the purchase of plants will be entertained by several.


The statistics given elsewhere of the output of Lake Superior mines in 1896, including the all-rail shipments, show a total quite too near the 10,000,- ooo-ton mark. The all-rail shipments were about 100,000 tons more than in 1895, indicating a large1 output of Lake Superior charcoal iron last year. Speculation as to the basis for Bessemer takes a

| considerable range between the price of last year

and that of 1895, when the basis was $2.90 for Bes- semer soft ores. Some of the sellers of iron in the valleys and Pittsburg seem to be discounting the lowest ore price ever made. But conditions as they exist are admittedly no criterion for the year. The season of ore shipping will be well along be- fore the new rail freight to Pittsburg will be opera- tive, and 1897 ore will thus not receive the full benefit of the cheap transportation that is ahead. If reports are to be believed, the Carnegie-Rocke- feller deal involved a proviso that insures a com- bination rail and lake freight from the mine to Conneaut of $1.20. Whichever way the distribu- tion is made there is still a fair profit left, both to the road and the vessel line.

More sales of low-priced Bessemer iron have been made, and some of the Pitts- burg deals heard of verge on the lowest price ever touched in the valley. A considerable transaction was closed on a $10 basis, early delivery. Fur- naces represented in Cleveland have quoted $10.50 valley as minimum for promptiron. There is a great excess of pig iron production in the valleys under conditions likely to exist in the near future. Foundry iron is getting lower, but there is little buying to speak of. No. 2 iron went below $ro val- ley on one transaction the past week, but the aver- age furnace quotes $10.50, and for No. 1, $11. Gray forge at $9, valley, is $1.25 below the quoted basis for Southern, delivered at valley mill. We quote:

Pig Iron

DOSSCTRCT 2c ccccssees ose ceoseceee $10 65@11 oo Valley Scotch No. 1....... $11 65 No. 1 Strong Foundry.....11 40@11 65 Valley Scotch No. 2 .....ccceessscees 1115 No. 2 Strong Foundry.....10 90@11 15 GIAY POTBE......000..-00ccccccees 656 99 NO. 3 FOUMATY......000-.-..-.10 4O@I0 65 Lake Superior Charcoal..... ...... 13 50

Business comes up very slowly and rolling mill running schedules are irregular and Conservative sellers are not

Finished Material. uncertain. meeting the lower prices reported, but the extent of the cuts some mills are making is disquieting. Little is done in structural material, though one large local block is sure to go up in the spring. Bar steel has sold at 1c, Pittsburg, and below, with the Cleveland quotation 1.10c. On sheets 1.95¢ to 2c for No. 26, 2c to 2.10c for No. 27 and 2.15c to 2.20c for No. 28 have been quoted. Low-priced steel has pushed down the price of wire nails. Sales at $1.40, Cleveland, are reported, and $1.35 is said to be available. Old material continues very dull on the basis of $11 for No. 1 wrought, $14 to $14.50 for old iron rails, $7.75 to $8 for cast scrap and $11 for old wheels.

[January 14, 1897.


Or Ficr or The /ron Trade Review, \ 1142 MONADNOCK BLOCK, Jan. 13.

Last week was little if amy more active than the week previous. Sales of all kinds of material were very small, and judging from the inquiry in hand, the tonnage closed in the coming week or ten days will not be much larger. The mar- ket is dull, but it would not take a great amount of business to infuse new life into it and make dealers more hopeful. Producers and consumers alike would welcome any change, but no one dares to make any prophecies as to the immediate future. Every one had been expecting that business would be very much improved by the middle of this month, but that time is upon us with no visible betterment of the situation. The trade continues to look forward hopefully,

however. Pic Iron.—While there have been some few inquiries, they

have not been large enough or frequent enough to induce the belief that business will be much improved immediately. In the absence of any such transactions as would really test the market, prices appear to be about as firm as could be ex- pected. It is difficult to say whether any changes would be made in quotations were the market to become active:

Lake Sup. Charcoal...... $13 50@11 00 | Southern No. 2 Soft...... $10 90@I1t 40 Local Coke Fdy. No. 1... 11 75@12 25 South’n Silveries Nq. 1. 12 15@12 65 Local Coke Fdy. No. 2.. 11 25@11 75 South’n Silveries NO 2. 11 65@12 15 Local Coke Fdy. No. 3... 11 oo@11 25 | Jackson Co. Silveries ... 14 00@16 05 Local Scotch Fdy. No. 1. 11 75@12 25 Ohio Silveries No. 1...... 15 OO@I5 55 Local Scotch Fdy. No. 2. 11 25@11 75 Ohio silveries No 2...... 14 50@I5 05 Local Scotch Fdy. No. 3. 11 oo@11 25 Ohio Strong Softeners... 14 00@14 28 South’n Coke No. r....... 11 65@r!1 90 Alabama Car Wheel...... 16 65@I7 (5 South’n Coke No. 2....... II 15@1t 40 Malleable Bessemer ...... 12 75@13 50 South'n Coke No. 3....... 10 90@I1 40 Coke Bessemer.............. 13 0OO@I3 50 Southern No.1 Soft...... 11 15@1t 40

Bar Iron.—This branch of the market is quiet and sales have been small. There is no prospect of any immediate change in the situation. Prices are well maintained. Quota- tions are made as follows: Common iron, 1.25¢ to soft steel bars from strictly billet stock, 1.20c to 1.30c.

RaI_s AND TRACK Suppiies.— A fairly good run of small orders was closed last week, but nothing of any size was taken and no large business is as yetin sight. Prices are made: Rails, $26; splice bars, 1.40c to 1.45c! track bolts with square nuts, 1.95c to 2c; hexagon nuts, 2.05c to 2.10c; spikes, 1.65¢ to 1.75¢.

BILLETS AND Rops.—The market is lifeless, with no sales of either billets or rods made in the last week. No quotations are made upon either of these products, but rods are probably worth about $23, Chicago.

STRUCTURAL MATERIAL.—A few small contracts for bridge material were placed last week, including one order of 400 tons. General business has been very quiet and no contracts of any size have been placed or are in sight. Quotations are as follows: Beams and channels, 1.73c to 1.80c; angles, 1.25¢c to 1.30c; plates, 1.25c to 1.30c; tees, 1.50c to 1.55¢. Small lots from stock are quoted Kc to 4c higher.

P.iates.—No business of any consequence was placed last week, and as the demand has been light it is not expected that orders will show any improvement immediately. Prices are made as follows: Tank steel, 1.25c to 1.30c; flange steel, 1.45c to 1.55c; fire-box 2c to sc.

Sueets.—Both black and galvanized sheets are in light de- mand and are not expected to improve much before the first of next month. Quotations are weak at 2.20c to 2.25c, for No. 27 black and 80 to 80 2% percent discount for galvan- ized.

MERCHANT STEEL. —Very little business of any kind was closed last week, but dealers are inclined to think orders will be more plentiful the latter half of this month. Prices are as follows: Open-hearth spring, tire and machinery steel, 1.85¢ to 1.95c; smooth finished machinery steel, 1.60c to 1.65c; smooth finished tire, 1.55c to 1.65c; tool steel, 5.50c to 7.50c: specials, 11c and upwards.

Otp MareriaL.—No transactions of consequence took place last week and the demand continues light. In the absence of business prices are only nominal. Quotations are made at $13 and $14 for old iron rails, $10 to $11 for old steel rails, and $11.75 to $12.50 for old wheels. Miscellaneous scrap is quoted about as follows: Railroad forge, $11.50 to $12; dealer’s forge, $10.75 to $11.25; No. 1 mill, $8; heavy cast, $8 to $8.50; malleable cast, $8 to $9.50; axles, $14.75; cast borings, $4; wrought turnings, $5.50; axle turn-

I. 30C;

ings, $6 to $6.50; mixed steel, $7.50; stove plates, $5.75 ; heavy melting steel, $9.25 to $9.75.


Orrice or 7he /ron Trade Review, )



Continued uncertainty characterizes local conditions in iron and steel. Market information continues a matter of rumor and estimates as to conditions and prospects vary widely. Iron in considerable quantities has sold at prices believed to be near $10.65, Pittsburg. Steel 1s still moving, but in smaller Both buyers and sellers show timidity, regarding the Finished material has

lots. future and uncertainty been in no demand, with prices tending in almost all lines

is general.

toward weakness.

Pic Iron.-—— The situation in Bessemer, instead of clearing, has grown even more uncertain in the week just closed. Not- withstanding denials and protests of furnacemen and dealers generally, reports are not few of iron at and below $10.65, Pittsburg. In view of the continued secrecy maintained re- garding transactions, the exact truth is not known. The week, however, has seen a very considerable tonnage of iron sold, and at prices certainly not above $10.75, Pittsburg. One lot of several thousand tons is known to have sold at $ro in the valley and other lots are reported sold below this figure. Ru- mor places the extreme of low prices even below that men- tioned last week ($10.40, Pittsburg), but in every case the re- port lacks confirmation. The situation, in short, is but a con- tinuation of the uneasiness and uncertainty of last week, aug- mented by being prolonged, with no definite indication of a turn. The prospective reduction in the cost of making pig iron has apparently been more than discounted by some sellers. The tendency seems to be even in the discussions of the matter to jump at conclusions and to exaggerate the pos- Extreme weakness, with enforced Gray forge

sibilities of cheapness. sales here and there, help to complicate matters. is not as weak as currently reported and has held its own well

in the week past. Foundry irons are lifeless. We quote

Bessemer No. 1 Foundry No 2 Foundry.... No. 3 Foundry.. Sie EE SID cn tetistncrccemnsncrscenemncceeeestse eseceneeminesessentes | anenmnneneeneess

* ganas manent i1.§0 to 11.75 11.00 tO 11.25

Bittets.—The week in steel, as in iron, has developed no relief from the disquiet and puzzling conditions of the first week of the year. Reports of sales are confined to uncon- firmed rumors, differing widely in character and largely un- Local mills are believed to be well booked, as there Extremely low

reliable. is little struggle for the tonnage placed. prices are spoken of, and $15, $15.25 and $15.50 are said to be paid for the material taken. Mulls, on the contrary, quote $16 to $16.50, but concede that these figures are shaded on de- made that even lower steel Sheet bars at $17 and

sirable orders. Predictions are will be seen in the next ten days. $17.50 have been in less demand, and it is believed require- ments are well covered until July.

STRUCTURAL MATERIAL.— The Columbia Bridge, to be let on Friday, absorbs attention and is the only large contract in sight. The week in structural material has been unimportant and no changes are noted, prices on angles and universal We repeat quotations: Beams 24- uni-

plates continuing very low. and channels, 15 inches and under, 1.55c; 20-inch, 1.70c; inch, 1.75c; angles, 1.10c to 1.15c; tees, 1.35¢ to 1.40C; versal plates, 1.10c to 1.15c; zees, I.30¢ to 1.35¢.

Bars.—Steel bars are reported as selling, below rc, Pitts- burg, for prompt specification, although local mills claim to be maintaining 1.05c on all fair-sized orders. Some business has been reported placed at .g5c, but the quantity is not large. Bar iron has shown a little life, but the orders are of small proportions. The reaffirmed association price, 1.15c, Cleve- land and Youngstown, seems to be maintained. Muck bar, owing to reduced values in billets and in steel bars, and the increasing competition of the latter with iron, is reported weaker at $19 to $19.50.

PLaTEs.—Some demand fire-box steel and an occasional small requirement for tank. Tank, I.1oc to 1.15c; shell, 1.25c to 1.30c; flange, 1.35c¢ to 1.40¢.

PipE AND SKELP. Eastern demand, for cast pipe has been considerable, but in wrought pipe neither iron nor steel has

is noted in We quote

January 14, 1897]

been moving to any extent. lots continues at 5 tens and 5 per cent, and on smaller lots s tens is asked. Steel is held at six tens. Naturally there is no demand for skelp. We quote Grooved steel skelp, tc to 1.02%c; sheared, I.10c to 1.15¢; grooved iron skelp, 1.1744c to 1.20c; sheared iron skelp, 1.30¢ to 1.35¢.

Sueets. Galvanized sheets have been the more active line Prices,

Iron pipe for less than carload

of late, and we note a sale of 500 tons in the week. however, are weaker and good orders secure quite low figures. Black sheets

Eighty and 10 per cent off list has been done. continue to

are fairly active, but also weak in price. We quote: No. 26, 1.95¢ to 2c; No. 27, 2.05c to 2.15§c; No. 28, 2.20¢ to 2.25¢.

MERCHANT STEEL.—We continue to quote 1.20c; machine straightened tire, 1.35c to 1.30c to 1.35C; open hearth spring, 1.55c to 1.60c; machin- sleigh shoe,

Soft steel bars, 1.45C; spring,

ery, 1.30c to 1.35¢; toe chalks, 1.55c to 1.60C; 1.45¢ to 1.50¢.

Otp MATERIAL. Wrought scrap is reported weaker and in A general falling off in values is noted,

occasional demand. Short

although there are no sales upon which to base prices. steel rails have sold in the week and also some No. 1 wrought Wrought scrap, $11; cast scrap, $10 to

scrap. We quote $10.25; car wheels, $11.50, gross; old steel rails, $13 to $13.25; coil spring, $10.75 to $11, gross; hammered iron

axles, $16 to $16.50, net; rolled iron axles, $14 to $14.50; heavy melting stock, $12.50 to $13; machinery cast, $9.75 to $10.

CoNnNELLSVILLE Coke.—The leading Connellsville interests continue to quote $2 per ton of furnace coke. Other cokes

are being offered at $1.50 to $1.60.



The business of the first fortnight of the new year has given few indications that can be made the basis of general statements. It is certain that little has come up, and the tendency is naturally toward weakness. The purchase of 6,000 tons of foundry iron by one company is re- ported, and the plates and shapes for the Japanese cruisers, amounting to about 6,000 tons, are the only orders of note. The latter, it is reported, went at somewhat below 1.20¢c, sea- board. Immediate business is greatly wanted by the mills, and they are quoting low prices to get it, since the start is not looked for in the coming month. Rail business in 1897 is ex- pected to show a decided improvement over last year’s, when the tonnage was goo,ooo for standard sections, with light rails and girders probably bringing the total up to 1,100,000 tons. Sellers find no signs of the revival which is so generally pre- dicted for this year, and buyers seem quite of the opinion that current prices will be available a little later, with a chance that they can cover at something below to-day’s basis. . In pig iron, while two fair-sized contracts are reported, general buying is slow and foundries hereabout are still looking for the promised improvement. If the melt of iron is a trifle greater, prices in some lines are the lowest. Pig iron produc- tion is still gaining, and this is not conducive of higher prices. We continue to quote $12 to $12.50, seaboard, for No. 2 found- ry iron, $11.50 to $11.75 for No. 2 plain, and $10.75 to $11.25 for mill irons. In steel $18 is quoted, but it is understood that $17.50 is*a possibility. done on a basis corresponding to $15 to $15.50, Pittsburg, but the lower price is not quoted now. In finished material little new busi- ness has come into the market this month, and the fact that Pittsburg is able to take a good share of any large contract is a constant reminder of what may be expected from that source until demand grows much larger. A basis below re for bars, at Pittsburg mill, and in the neighborhood of tc for tank steel is reporte 1 in connection with some recent business. On carloads, seaboard delivery, the local market is 1.15¢ to 1.20c for bars, 1.25¢ to 1.35¢ for plates and angles, and 1.70c up to 2c for beams and channels.

The week has been a very quiet one. no business whatever is being done in pig iron, most of the consumers being either closed down for the pur- pose of, or their officials engaged in, the usual annual inven- tory. In the absence of actual transactions, prices remain


Some business was

» « . ; .e . Buffalo. Practically

unchanged and until a heavy demand springs up are likely to With no margin to the producers there is no op-

remain so.


portunity of lowering figures and without a lively demand there no We quote, on a cash basis, f.o.b. cars Buffalo, as follows: No. 1 No, 2, $11.75 to

to $12.60; No. 2

would be justification in advancing them.

foundry, Lake Superior ore, $12.25 to $12 50: $12.35 silvery, No. 1, $14.25

No. 2,

12; Ohio strong softener, No. 1, to $12.10; Jackson County $15.25; Southern No. ft, $11.75 to $12; Lake Superior charcoal, $14 to $14.50.

The first week of the new year has not developed anything out of the usual run of trade in the iron market. Buyers are able to cover their early requirements at about so cents per ton off of prices ruling a month ago. A few large orders were placed during the past week, one of 1,500 tons gray forge. We quote for cash f.o.b. St. Louis Southern coke, No. 1, “$11; No. 2, $10.50; No. 3, $10; gray forge, $9.75 ; Tennessee charcoal, No. 1, $13.25; Lake Superior coke, No. 1, $14; Lake Superior car wheel, $15.25; Southern car wheel, $15.25.

The manufacturers throughout this district con- tinue a careful, conservative course, and are de-

soft, $12.25 to $12.50;

St. Louis


voting unusual time to liquidation, shaping their affairs, and perfecting plans and policies for the future. Unfortunately, the conditions of general business afford ample time for planning and adjusting, but those informed of the prosperous period Great Britain and Germany have enjoyed the past year and are still enjoying at the expense of American industries and factories, are becoming impatient in the protracted de- pression this country has been and is suffering. It is better that the recuperation of trade be slow, steady and healthy, and there is sufficient evidence of improvement to impart en- couragement. While the market continues inactive, there is a better demand for pig iron, which it is hoped will gradually enlarge as steadily as the earlier risings of the sun each day, and ‘ere spring shall come, fresh impulses of renewed life be felt and seen on every hand.

For the moment prices are somewhat elastic, as quantity and delivery are important factors as to figures. For current business the prices below represent the market here: South- ern coke, No. 1 foundry, $10.75; No. 2, $10.25; No. 3, $9.75; gray forge, $9.50; mottled, $9.50; No. 1 soft, $10.50 No. 2, $10: Hanging Rock charcoal, No. 1, $15 to $16; Tennessee char- coal, No. 1, $13 to $14; Jackson County silvery, No. 1, $13.50 to $14; Standard Alabama car wheel, $14.75 to $15.50; Ten- nessee car wheel, $13.50 to $14.50; Lake Superior car wheel

and malleable, $14.75 to $15.25.

Increased British Rail Shipments.

Business in rails between the United Kingdom and foreign buyers showed considerable improvement last year. The ex- ports to Nov. 30 reached 532,030 tons, as compared with 344 - 027 tons in the corresponding period of 1895, and 314,027 tons in the corresponding period in 1894. The shipments made to Japan in the first 11 months of 1896 increased to 47,338 tons, as compared with 27,270 tons; those to Egypt advanced to 14,867 tons, as compared with 10,863 tons, and those to Mexico to 17,554 tons, as compared with 5,667 tons. The Argentine demand for British rails was again heavy, having amounted in 1895 up to Nov. 30 to 70,914 tons, as compared with 12,877 tons. There were sent to South Africa 43,077 tons of rails to Nov. 30, as compared with 19,965 tons in the corresponding period of 1895, and 58,424 tons were forwarded to the Austral- asian colonies, as compared with 34,095 tons. The great in- fluence, however, which helped up last year’s exports, was the largely increased demand from British India, the ship- ments to that quarter to Nov. 30 having been 226,415 tons, as

compared with 128,154 tons.

Tue saw mill of the American River Land & Lumber Co., which is located close to the power house at Folsom, Cal., of the Folsom—Sacramento Power Transmission, was started suc- cessfully in December, cutting 50,000 feet of lumber a day. The saw mill is the first in the country and indeed in the world, which is operated by electricity. The current is three- phase, taken from the power“house at Folsom, and the motors are all of the induction type, the installation having been made by the General Electric Co. The motors are one of 75 h. p., one of so h. p., both running at 720 volts, three of 30 h. p. and one of 5 h. p., operating at 200 volts.


[January 14, 1897




CLEVELAND, 27 VINCENT STREET: G. H. GARDNER, President. A. I. Finp.Ley, Editor. CHICAGO: PITTSBURG: 1142 MONADNOCK BLOCK. B. M. GARDNER, Associate Editor and Western Manager.


JAMEs R. MILLS, JR., Manager.

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The Cleveland News Co. will supply the trade with THE IRON TRADE REVIEW, through the regular channels of the American News Co.


JANUARY 14, 1897.

Tariff Hearing on Metals.

While Saturday, Jan. 9, was “devoted by the Ways and Means Committee of the House to oral hearings at Washing- ton, of representatives of interests affected by the rates on metals, the most important communications on the metal schedule will be submitted in writing. On behalf of the iron industry, General Manager Swank, whose argument before the Wilson committee was a strong protest against what seemed quite certain to be done, and an answer to what Grover Cleveland and others had been preaching in the cam- paigns immediately preceding, will present to ihe considera- tion of a majority friendly to the principle of protection, the considerations that should weigh in determining iron and steel rates. All the data needed for a complete statement on behalf of the American Iron and Steel Association were not in at the time of the oral hearing, but the iron statement will go into details fully. The iron ore interests, for example, took no action unitedly. The sentiment among producers in the Lake Superior district varies from satisfaction with the present 4o-cent rate to a desire for an increase to the 75-cent of the McKinley bill, while there is a feeling, also, that an ad- vance to, say, 50 cents would be the proper action.

The pig iron producers of the East had several representa- tives present at Saturday’s hearing. Wm. A. Ingham, of the Rockhill Iron & Coal Co., Rockhill Furnace, Pa., and of the Andover Iron Co., Andover, N. J., spoke for the Eastern Pig Iron Association favoring a return from $4 to $6.72 a ton, the old rate. He was referred by a member of the committee to the fact that 70,000 tons of pig iron had been exported from Alabama to England recently. ‘‘Yes, I have heard that some pig iron had been exported to England from Alabama or Tennessee, but I think it was probably unsalable stock, and might as well have been dumped into the Atlantic Ocean as exported,’ was the reply, which indicated that Mr. Ingham's information on this particular phase of the subject is far astray. Continuing, he said that he had known of cnly two or three Southern furnaces that had been successful—a state- ment that had reference, no doubt, to dividend: paying suc- cess. In reply to a question, he said that the selling price of pig iron in England now is about $8 a ton, which was pretty close to the cost of production in the Southern States. The producers wanted the duties raised to avert any danger that might hereafter arise on account of a decline of prices of pig iron in England, and an advance at the same time of prices in the United States.

J. M. Shimer, another representative of the Eastern manu-

facturers of pig iron, also advocated an increase of the duty to $6.72 a ton. He admitted that the existing rate was suffi- cient at this time, but that was due, he said, to ‘‘the abnormal condition of the iron trade,"’ prices being relatively higher in England than in the United States. The decline in prices here was due to the general depression of business and to close and sharp home competition. At present prices the fur- naces of the United States would all be cold but for the fact that wages had been reduced 25 per cent since the enactment of the law of 1894, and toa point lower than he had ever be- fore known . He had blown out his own furnaces tn Septem- ber, 1892, because he feared Cleveland would be elected and they had remained out of blast 20 months, when operations were resumed with wages 25 per cent lower than in 1892. ‘“‘I shut down again in September, 1896, because I feared Bryan would be elected, but the furnaces will be lighted again on Monday,”’ continued Mr. Shimer.

Joseph E. Thropp, chairman of the executive committee of the Eastern Pig Iron Association, and the principal owner of Everett Furnace, at Fverett, Pa., also urged the restoration of the duty of 1890. Existing conditions are abnormal, he said, low prices at home being due to reduced consumption, in the general stagnation. He believed in providing against foreign competition in the future.

J. G. Battelle, of Piqua, O., appeared in behalf of the sheet iron and steel manufacturers. The industry has $14,000,000 invested and employs 15,000 hands. He filed a written state- ment arguing in favor of higher duties on the grades of sheets which come into competition with Russian sheets, and on taggers sheets. The rates on these were fixed too low in 1894, he said.

The committee of the Tinned Plate Manufacturers’ Associa- tion, to have in charge the tariff hearings before the Ways and Means Committee, had been named by President Graham, as follows: W. C. Cronemeyer, United States Iron & Tin Plate Mfg. Co., Demmler, Pa.; George Grier, New Castle Tin Plate Co.; H. A. Bishop, Ellwood Tin Plate Co., Ellwood, Pa.; A. N. Marshall, Marshall Bros., Philadelphia; C. M. Stuart, Morewood Co., Gas City, Ind.; W. B. Leeds, American Tin Plate Co., Ellwood, Ind.; Wm. Banfield, Wal- lace Banfield Co., Pittsburg; President Graham and Secre- tary Jno. Jarrett, ex officio. The report presented was chiefly in manuscript and was largely statistical. A sub committee, consisting of Messrs. Cronemeyer, Stuart, Battelle, President Graham and Secretary Jarrett, presented the report.

The tin plate manufacturers want the advance in duty graduated according to the quality of the product. On tin plates the advance desired is to 1.5c per lb. In the differential for black plate over common sheet iron an advance from \¢c to Kc is asked. Mr. Cronemeyer, in addressing the commit- tee, said that wages had been reduced ro to 25 per cent on ac- count of the Wilson bill cut in the tin plate tariff, and that the workmen yielded only after a long strike. Only the reduc- tion in the price of steel allowed the mills to run even then. The domestic output of tin plates has largely decreased, and in 1896 the proportion of foreign black plates tinned in the United States did not exceed three percent. Mr. Cronemeyer complained of the provision which allows a drawback of go per cent of the duties on all imported tin plate that 1s re. exported. He said that 80 per cent of the total drawbacks paid was on this account, and it was a serious injury to