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five shares for that time. She manages to save five dollars a month, and merely considers it as so much money laid away in the bank. Suddenly she finds a chance to start a nice little shop on her own account. do this she must have some ready money; not a month hence, but immediately. She goes this very evening to the secretary of her association and tells her story. He hears her patiently, asks about the new business, the probable value of her new venture, the names of the people she hopes to deal with, and, in fact, becomes a friendly business adviser. It is mutual, for, in reality, they are partners in the bank. He consults her account, and finds that she has deposited $180 in the three years just ending. And there is the premium of withdrawal $7 on a share, or $35 on the five shares. This added to the $180 gives $215. Will she give notice of withdrawal? When could she have the money? Perhaps in a month? Oh, that would never do; she must have some money now. Why not borrow the money on the five shares? She had thought of that, but had never been in debt before, and hesitates to commit herself. Perhaps she might find it hard to repay the loan. Still, it is such a good chance to better her condition, and it would break her heart to lose it. Has she no friends, no money or other property? No; none. Nothing, save her two hands and two suits of clothes, and one is worn-just a little. Couldn't he help her in the matter? She never attended one of the association meetings, and wouldn't know what to do. Yes; he will help her. The association is always ready to lend a helping hand to its members. They are all partners in the bank together. He will bid for her. The auction takes place to-morrow night, and if she will attend he will arrange it for her, and gladly. How much money does she want? Perhaps $125 would answer. Oh, if that is all, it can be easily arranged; and the girl goes home feeling comparatively happy.
On the evening of the morrow she appears at the little hall where her bank sells its money. The sale is active at first, and she fears her little loan will fare hardly among all these eager men. At last it calms down, and she hears the secretary bid for one share. It starts at twenty, and climbs slowly up to twenty-five, six, seven. It keeps on up to thirty, and there it is knocked down to the secretary. Again and again the secretary bids for single shares, and she wonders how many other poor girls like herself are
appealing for loans through him. At the end of the sale a number of men and women press round the secretary to hear the fate of their bids. He manages to speak an encouraging word to her, and, having paid one dollar for the new share, she goes home happy.
Perhaps that very evening the directors consider, and allow her little loan, and the next day she calls at the secretary's office, signs the proper papers and gets a check for $140. She transfers her five shares as collateral security, and the secretary explains the transaction to her. She, or her agent, bid for a loan of $200 on one share in the last new series, and gave her shares, now worth $215, as security. as security. The premium was thirty per cent. This has been taken out and leaves $140. She has now to pay one dollar a month on the new share, the installments on her five shares, and the interest on two hundred dollars at six per cent. This she pays, a dollar at a time, each month if she wishes. That is $7 a month in all, and if at any time she wishes to repay the loan she can do so by giving in the money or by withdrawing some of her shares, or she need not pay it at all, but merely let it pay itself out of her profits in the association. She thanks the old gentleman, though not without a shade of doubt. Only $140 and her shares, if she had withdrawn them, would have brought $215. But then they have a face value of $60 each or $300. By borrowing instead of withdrawing she has saved all that.
A whole year passes, and she again call; on the secretary to see how her affairs stand. She has made a little something and would like to repay part of her loan. The secretary examines her account and finds that it presents this cheerful aspect: the interest has been paid, so that is happily out of the way; the installments paid on her five shares, now held by the association, amount in the four years to $48 on each, and the declared value of a share is $81, or $405 for the five; the installments paid on the one share she borrowed upon amount to $12. Then her debt is paid twice over? Well, perhaps not. We must only consider the withdrawal value if she wishes to pay up in that way. The last premium offered on withdrawal was $12, so her five shares may be withdrawn and will bring her $300; this, with $12 on the new share, will make $312. In other words, if she gives notice of withdrawal her debt will be declared paid, and she will receive $112 in cash, with a trifle more as interest on the $12 paid on the new
share. She is greatly pleased at this showing, and says she will withdraw. Stay a moment! Will she not lose as much more? Yes, the bank will gladly pay her $300 for five shares, for they are worth $81 each, or $405 in all. She can do as she pleases in the matter. She considers this a moment and then asks if she may not repay part of the loan. Yes, but why pay at all? Does she not need the money in her business? Yes, very much, but she does hate to be in debt. Oh! that is nothing serious. It is quite as much for her interest not to pay it as it is for the bank's.
Another year passes and she calls again. This time she feels she really must withdraw. She confesses with a blush that she is going out of business-John, he-that is -well, what does the secretary think about it? What are her six shares worth now? The first five are now declared to be worth $110 each. The year has been a prosperous one for the bank, and her share of the profits makes her five shares worth $550. The one share, now two years old, has a face value of $37.50. In all, her shares are valued at $587.50, or $387.50 more than her debt. Her eyes sparkle at this brilliant financial statement, but she wants more ready money, she must withdraw her shares. Ah! yes, the withdrawal premium is $20 on those first shares. The installments paid amount to $60; so for the five she can withdraw $400, or in other words, pay her debt and have $200 besides. The bank will gladly do this for her; as a friend, he would advise her not to withdraw and lose so large a slice of that $550, but to keep on paying the interest and let the debt remain unpaid.
She thanks him and says perhaps the shop fixtures will bring something. Besides, she intends to give John the shares, and let him pay the dues and interest till they mature. The shop fixtures are sold at an advantage and John prospers. Of course he does. Such girls always have prosperous husbands. Finally the five shares mature, and her debt is paid in spite of herself. The last and most happy report of all declares her five shares worth $200 each. The debt is taken out and declared paid. The interest has been extinguished, a dollar at a time, and the sum of $822.50 is paid the young couple in good legal tender. Besides this, there is the one share, now five years old and declared to be worth $135.282.
It may be here noticed that she would have received more ready money by withdrawing the one share. In that case she
would have had a clean bill for her debt and a check for $983, and she would have been no longer a member of the bank. The premium she paid, it may be remarked, had been extinguished gradually by her yearly share of the profits of the association.
In this way any manner of man or woman may at any time and for any length of time borrow a sum equal to the paid-up value of the shares he or she owns, and with no other security than the shares themselves. The merchant turns in his shares for a loan to meet a note. When next in funds he may return the money and receive back a portion of the premium paid and resume his shares. This he can do as often as he wishes, and every year he can make larger and larger loans. The music-teacher may put up her shares to purchase a piano, and may repay the loan when convenient. Or she can (as the association much prefers) let it rest till the withdrawal, or ultimate value, covers loan and premium, and then it is considered paid. In fact, it is paid all the time, for the borrower only takes his own money. If the piano is destroyed by flood or fire, or if the owner is no longer able to pay the dues, the association takes her shares, and both they and her debt are extinguished at once. She loses the money paid in and all the profits. The bank recovers both, and its claim is adjusted.
Next to these, come the borrowing members who can give real estate as security for loans. A certain man has held ten shares four years and has paid dues amounting to $480. He wishes to buy a house, valued at $2,000. He can get it for $1,500 down, and the rest may remain as ground rent, or, in other words, on a first mortgage to the owner. He bids for $2,000 on his ten shares. He offers a liberal premium, but as he is an old member he gets an abatement on this, and, his security being satisfactory, he gets his loan of $2,000, less the premium, or $1,500 in money. With this he buys the house, and installs his family in it. He transfers his ten shares to the association, insures the house for its benefit, and gives a second mortgage of $2,000. Instead of rent he now pays each month his dues of ten dollars, the interest on both mortgages, the taxes, water rates, etc., and, in all, his expenses do not exceed the rent of such a house, more than about 10 per cent. In this manner he goes on paying dues and interest each month. In five years his shares mature. The ten shares are declared to be worth $2,000, but instead of the money he
receives a release of his mortgage, and his debt is declared paid. The house is now only subject to the ground rent. When that is paid the house will be his. He has paid $10 per month for one hundred and eight months, and the interest on $2,000 for five years, or $1,680 in all, and the debt is extinguished. In other words, he made $320 by the operation. To clear away the ground rent, he buys more shares. There being only that interest to pay, he can afford to carry twenty or more shares, and very soon he borrows the money on them, and the house is his own. This loan pays itself by the installments and profits, and in this easy and simple manner he saves the total loss of the rent, has the use of the house all the time, and eventually owns it outright.
Another, a poorer man, wishes a small house. He buys a lot of land on ground rent. He finds a contractor who will put up a house on the land for $1,500
cash. Sometimes the owner will do this. He then buys ten shares, at one dollar each, of some association, and bids for $2,000 on them. He offers a premium of 30 per cent., and he gets $1,400. His employer advances him $100 to make up the price of the house, and becomes his bondsman that the dues and interest shall be paid (say) for three years. He has now, in place of house rent, to pay his dues, the interest on the loan of $2,000, the ground rent, taxes, water rates, insurance, and his loan of $100. Each year sees the debt reduced, and in eight or nine years it is declared paid. Another venture of the same kind clears away the ground rent, and the house is his.
for the immediate use of the money. He receives $700, and the association retains the $300. This is at once put up at auction, and gains a further profit of 30 per cent., or $90. This money is again loaned, and yields a profit of $27. Each borrower in time gets his money, less the premium, and the association makes a triple profit of $417 in one evening, and the entire $1,417 loaned out begins to draw interest from that day. Next to this must be noticed the compounding of interest upon interest every month. All the dues, premiums, fines, and interest received each month are put together and sold, and the gross sum draws interest at once. One dollar paid in at the meeting in the form of new capital, is in a few minutes sold out and begins to draw interest. It earns a premium, and that is again sold at a premium, and that also draws interest. Besides these, are the profits on withdrawals. If a two-year-old share is worth $39, and can be bought by the association for the dues paid in and a premium of $3, it is plain that the association makes $12 by the purchase. There is one share less to draw $200 at the end, and the final division will be reached so much the sooner. This explains the eagerness these associations display in buying up their own shares. As a large part of the shareholders and nonborrowers in any series withdraw before the eight years' term is up, the profits on the withdrawals increase the general capital rapidly.*
This ground rent system is peculiar to Philadelphia. Any person desiring to build on a lot of land can, instead of buying it, hire it for all time. If, at any time, he wishes to pay for it, the price can be offered, and the owner cannot decline it. The owner can never claim payment during the lease, so long as the rent is regularly paid.
It seems difficult of belief. How can these building associations make money so fast? They have several sources of income: First, the installments paid in; next, the fines for neglect of payment. Then there is the profit derived from the premiums. At a stated meeting some borrower bids for $1,000. He is willing to pay 30 per cent.
Philadelphia may point with pride to her hundred thousand homes, but it is not alone in these things that the chief interest of this subject lies. These associations have done more than help the people build houses, buy pianos, sewing-machines, land, or what not. Their moral are greater than their material results. It is not that they help to build a city that they may be chiefly recommended, but as savings banks, as inspirers of thrift, as liberal aids to industry, and as strong defenses against the stormy days that come in every life. No signal service can give even a probability of these, no cautionary flag flies before such storms, and to many a family these associations have been a sure anchor with which to outride the gale.
* See "How to Manage Building Associations, Edmund Wrigley, Philadelphia, 1873."
BEDS AND TABLES, STOOLS AND CANDLESTICKS. III.
STILL MORE ABOUT THE LIVING-ROOM.
HARDLY any piece of furniture is more troublesome to bring into harmony with the conditions of our modern room than the book-case. And one may well despair of bringing any help to those who are puzzling themselves over the problem. If a man a large student and a great accumulator of books, necessity solves the problem for him. He takes a room to himself, lines the walls with shelves, and covers all his available space with books. But that is not our problem. We want to have our books in our living-room, and we want pictures, and "objects," and furniture, and comfort, too. We want our books, not necessarily as Leigh Hunt said he liked his, "where he could lean his head against them," but in close companionship, and where we can get at them easily, and where we shall be often tempted to get at them. Cut No. 1 shows how this difficulty has been met in one case, and it is a way that is by no means the invention of the owner of this particular book-case, but one that has found favor with many another lover of books. The present example was made to fit into a certain room where it was fondly hoped it would remain for a half-dozen May-days or so at the least. But it has since found itself at home in two other rooms, and, on the whole, shows itself a man-of-the-world in accommodating itself to what it finds at hand. It is made of plain white pine, brought to a good surface and shellacked, and its third year finds it with a most beautiful color, only distinguishable from satin-wood by a richer tone. It is twelve feet six inches long, the top and bottom being each one piece, and it is about three feet high. The bottom of the lowest shelf is four inches from the floor, and the ends run up nearly five inches above the top, and are connected by a strip at the back of the same height. This makes a low wall of protection for whatever may be set upon the top of the book-case, and "finishes" it, as the slang phrase is, at once usefully and handsomely. This book-case is divided into four by three upright partitions, on each side of which slots are sunk for the ends of the shelves to rest in, these shelves being plain boards all of the same thickness, of course, and, what is unfortunately not "of course," sliding in and out
with perfect ease, whether weighted with books or not, and each one fitting like a glove into any two of the one hundred and four slots that it may be necessary to slide it into. I have found this way of supportbeing the shelves a very good one, and it is an additional point in its favor, when once its practicalness has been admitted, that it looks well, the front ends of the slots, in which no shelves rest, showing black, and alternating with the uncut portion of the wood, -an effect which was not sought for in the design, but which, when the work came to be executed, rewarded the designer for having tried to solve his problem of shelf-support in a straightforward, natural manner. Cut No. 2 will explain this little detail to the eye. This book-case will hold easily four hundred books; nearly five hundred, if ordinary small octavos and duodecimos are to be accommodated-the lesser number, if one hundred and odd of them are large octavos and folios. Moreover, the shelves being a foot deep, as many more books or pamphlets that are not to be discarded, but are only wanted semi-occasionally, can be ranged behind the other books and pamphlets.
The top of such a book-case as this will be found an excellent place on which to set many useful and ornamental things that find their natural home in the living-room, and which yet, under ordinary circumstances, are apt to be in the way. It may be consecrated to the utilities or to the ornamental, or, as is best, no doubt, it may offer to both a fair field and no favor. Here, at one end, is the convenient Japanese chest of drawers without doors, made of unlackered wood, a capital hold for writing paper, envelopes, etc., or for small precious objects that one likes to have at hand, and yet which must not be left about. In the other corner next the window is the favorite cast, too small for a pedestal, but lifted here to a convenient height and safe from all ordinary accidents, whether from four-footed cats in fur, or from two-footed cats in petticoats wielding dusters and feather whisks. Between these there is room for many pretty and curious things, to say nothing of drawings or photographs in passe-partout that one doesn't care to hang up, but which can be easily set a-tilt against the wall, and lightly moved or changed at
the floor left free and unincumbered for whatever use can be made of a wall. The books, with their various bindings and their varied shapes, make a handsomer wainscoting than can be else designed, and one that gives force and richness to the decoration of the wall above. In the arrangement of this wall, dignity should be aimed at, by giving up the field to one or two large objects-large, I mean, in proportion, and putting in the remaining space such things as will harmonize with them or set them off. And this will be found a good rule for decorating our walls in general; there is too great a tendency to spot the wall all over with little things-little pictures, little brackets with little vases or figurines, confusing the eye, and making it impossible to enjoy any one thing out of the whole pimply lot.
Some persons may object to leaving books unprotected either by solid doors or by doors with panes of glass instead of panels. It VOL. XI.-32.
is, of course, proper to protect gentlemen's libraries in this way, as they are rarely intended for use, but are only a part of the general upholstery and furnishing of the house, the same as the pictures and the bric-a-brac. The architect in planning the house put in a "Library," as of course, and what is a library without "books?" The
library was not made for the books, but the books were bought because there was a library. A library without books would be as unmeaning as a cellar without wine. There are many tricks played in the matter of wine; profound talk of "green seal" and "yellow seal" and other mysteries, and cobwebs and dust added to bottles that will not grow old as fast as our knowing-ones in wine can drink it up; but the wine, whether good or bad, whether really out of one's own cellar, or only "bought at our grocer's," cannot escape being tried. The books, on the other hand, in the so-called "library" may not be books at all, but only backs of books glued on to bits of wood,-an artifice by no means uncommon. But, whether so, or only books never read because unreadable, or books in editions and bindings too costly to be used or lent, the book-case that holds them may as well be protected by doors, and locked up with a lost key.