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all aggregations of men for business purposes are amassing wealth at the expense of the people without rendering any adequate equivalent. How mistaken this notion is, only those can say who are in a position to know that hundreds of the corporations to-day doing business in this country never have declared a dividend. Hostility based upon such real ignorance of all the facts may be pardoned, but it is none the less difficult to reason with.

In the popular sense of the word the term “franchise” means the right to do anything, no matter how adverse to the best interests of those who in the beginning granted that franchise.

The average man has come to look upon every privilege thus given as a practical confiscation of the public property with many attendant injustices; whereas it is in fact only the right to do certain things under the most careful restrictions. All these forms of business the people might do themselves if they thought best; and the fact that they do not so decide should not arouse so much a feeling of antagonism as a determination to surround the privileges from time to time bestowed upon corporations or private individuals with the most stringent safeguards, and then insist that these regulations shall be lived up to at all times and in all places.

We in the United States have not yet become as lax in the granting of franchises as has the mother country; nor have we been as vigorous in placing restrictions upon those we do grant as we probably will be in the future; and in the main we have been content to place simply a nominal value upon many of the most valuable privileges. And this value has been given until recently to the visible assets of the various concerns affected; such, for instance, as the track and the rolling-stock of a railway company. It is only quite recently that we have been so bold as to think of placing a tax upon the franchise itself, separate from the visible assets. The proposal to do this has called forth some of the most remarkable legislative battles of the century; and in some of the States the status of the franchise as a species of taxable property is even now not very clearly defined.

The argument in favor of the taxation of franchises would seem to be so evident that little real opposition should be made to it. The most ardent friend of the street railway, for example, operating

under a private charter, must admit that the true value of the line lies not in its rolling-stock, its electric plant, or its track-bed, although all these primarily have a greater or lesser intrinsic worth. The person or the corporation using the streets for this purpose derives his income from the right he possesses to do business over and upon the public highways. This right has always been considered real estate, being classed as an incorporeal hereditament. Not that such property can be said to descend from one corporation to another, for a corporation is considered to be a thing which has an endless life; but when an individual possesses this right it becomes as certainly real property as the house in which he lives. And yet, although endowed with all the rights and powers of real estate, and recognized as such from all legal standpoints, the franchise has, until within the past few years, wholly escaped taxation in this country:

Some of the States, foreseeing the time when the public franchises they granted would be a source of immense wealth, wisely incorporated in their constitutions clauses reserving the right to require that class of property to bear its just share of the public burden. Thus the State of California, in section 8 of article 12 of its constitution, expressly says:

«The exercise of the right of eminent domain shall never be so abridged or construed as to prevent the legislature from taking the property and franchises of incorporated companies and subjecting them to the public use the same as the property of individuals, and the exercise of the public power of the State shall never be so abridged or construed as to permit corporations to conduct their business in such manner as to infringe the rights of individuals or the general well-being of the State.”

In California, at the present time, all franchises are taxable. The control of these rights was originally placed with the legislature, but at present local authorities may grant them. Franchises for street railways must be advertised and sold at public auction to the person or the corporation offering the highest percentage of the gross earnings. During the first five years no tax is imposed.

Ohio grants permission to use the streets of her cities by local authority after due notice has been given in the public prints, and then only to the person or corporation agreeing to carry passengers at the lowest mill

fare. Taxes are also levied upon the real and personal property the same as upon individuals. An additional tax for excise purposes is also piaced on the total value of the stock. The payment to the city of certain sums per lineal foot may in addition be demanded for the privilege to run cars over a certain route.

Up to the present year, in New York, in cities of more than 1,250,000 population, franchises were sold at auction to the person promising the largest proportion of gross receipts. Roads built since 1884 in cities of about the same size must pay three per cent of their gross earnings for the first five years of their existence, and five per cent afterward. In the smaller cities and towns local authorities have the right to demand not to exceed three per cent of the gross earnings; while the State exacts a franchise tax of one fourth of a

per dollar for each one per cent of dividend. Besides this, street railways must pay every year one per cent upon their gross earnings, and if their dividends amount to more than four per cent, then three per cent.

At the session of the legislature of New York in 1899 the proposition was made to include in the definition of taxable real estate all public franchises. A counter proposition was made to call such franchises personal property and assess them accordingly. The former of these amendments prevailed, and there was placed upon the statute books a law requiring the owners of all public franchises to submit to the same taxes as all other classes of real property. The niethod of determining the value of these privileges is proving to be a most troublesome question to the tax commissioners of the State, with whom rests the duty of assessing such properties. Attempts are to be made to have the law declared unconstitutional, upon the ground that the tax commissioners of the State cannot legally perform the duties which really belong to the local assessors. The point is made that the Constitution gives this power to the assessors of the various districts of the State, and that it should be a part of their work to decide upon the value of the franchises throughout their respective territories. It is further held that it is wholly outside of the prerogative of the State commissioners to fix the value of any property within the boundaries of the State.

On the other hand the advocates of the law assert that if the matter of determining the value of franchises were to be left to the local assessors there would be as many different opinions about the worth of this kind of property as there are assessors. The plea is made that these assessors would be far more subject to the undue influences sometimes used to affect assessments than would the State commissioners; or, what the corporations dreaded more than all else, that the question of assessments might be made a giant weapon in the hands of certain political powers which happened to be in control in great cities, and outrageous burdens might be placed upon them. It is not likely that the gloomy prospect of the owners of franchises would be realized, no matter with whom the right of assessment might be left; for if some companies were unjustly taxed while others escaped comparatively untouched, such outcries would go up from the aggrieved parties that a speedy correction of any wrongs which might have been done unintentionally or otherwise would soon follow. It would seem, however, that men of experience, such as the State commissioners might naturally be supposed to be, would be more competent to judge and affix the worth of franchises than men scattered up and down the State, most of whom are from the ordinary walks of life, accustomed to appraising such property as comes under their actual observation, and that only.

Whatever may be the result of these various proposals to break down the new law, it is not at all likely that the State will ever be content to go back to the old way. For the theory of the taxation of franchises is decidedly popular with the people. As a matter of fact there is no reason why a reasonable tax should not be levied upon this species of property. The more severe the struggle to bring it upon the tax rolls, the more evident will it be that it ought to be the subject of taxation.

The great forward step taken by the Empire State will no doubt be followed sooner or later by other States. There is reason to believe that the time is near when New York herself will go even further in this matter. The chances are in that direction rather than that any retrogression will be made.

EDGAR L. VINCENT.

MAINE, N.Y.

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HE world has become better able to

feed itself since the great modern

revolution in methods of preserving foods. Millions of men

in past ages have perished with hunger because they did not know how to keep through the year the supplies of harvest. Armies have faltered and fallen on their marches, countries have remained unimproved, explorations have been unmade, and whole tribes have been effaced because of such ignorance. A great step was taken in progress when the primitive methods in this respect were put in practice. But it remained for the nineteenth century, among its other triumphs, to discover and apply methods by which whole nations can, if necessary, be made independent of fresh food products and defy all seasons.

The part that canned foods play in modern times is of vast importance, and the proportions of the business of preparing them have grown into something colossal. Canned stuffs have become one of the leading factors in the feeding of the world; ships carry much of their supplies in this form; travellers into remote places equip themselves for all emergencies with this sort of material; armies are provided with vast stores of these goods; and every household purchases portions of its supplies of this kind. The industry of canning is carried on in many lands, and almost all kinds of foods are thus preserved. Something of this industry is found in many of our States; but there is no State where more attention is given to canning than in Maryland, or where there is a greater variety of materials prepared in this manner. We can thus best illustrate the subject by localizing our account, and describing the canning industry in that State.

Maryland is an exceedingly fruitful land, and its waters are equally abundant in their food-producing capacities. From its soil and bay edibles of many kinds are sent forth daily in their natural condition to all parts of the country, and indeed to many other regions of the world. Fish and oysters, ducks, crabs, terrapins, clams, peaches, tomatoes, corn, and many similar staples and delicacies, are thus shipped in their respective seasons. But Maryland is also a land of preserved foods, and its empty cans may be seen in the gutters of

Pekin or Melbourne. It yields vastly more provisions than can be consumed by its own people and by the markets to which its goods are sent in their freshness. It is a land of cans. Its towns and cities, its fields, the banks of its streams and the shores of its bay, abound in establishments erected for the purpose of encasing in metal a portion of its many valuable aliments. The gleam and flash of tin are seen throughout its length and breadth and along all its waters.

Time was when tobacco was its main product, but fields bearing this crop are now few and far between. On its acres, once exhausted by the narcotic plant and slave-labor, but again rendered fertile by assiduous attention to scientific fertilizing, now are found chiefly those harvests that nourish man and beast. Once distilleries were attached to half of its apple and peach orchards; now they are to be found almost exclusively in the cities. This revolution in the products of a State has been brought about by the modern demand for preserved foods, which has become something vast.

In early times the only methods of saving perishable pabulum for any considerable length of time was by drying it in the sun or at a fire, or by smoking or salting it. The Indians “jerked » their venison; they dried the flesh of buffaloes, reduced it to powder, mixed it with meal, and then baked it for keeping. The Peruvians gave us the word “jerked” (in this meaning) from their word "charqui, which signifies prepared dried meat. The buccaneers derived their name from a peculiar method of curing beef, which was termed buchanning.” There was a regular trade between the native coast tribes of America and those of the interior in desiccated oysters, clams, and other shellfish. Savages and barbarians of all countries have had similar customs, and some still maintain them. The general fashion in our rural regions of drying apples, peaches, and other fruits is familiar, as well as the smoking of bacon and hams, the pickling of meats, and the salting and smoking of fish. A method of preserving vegetables that has long been extensively used in America is by boiling them for a proper time, and transferring them to cans or bottles and sealing immediately.

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But the method of sealing cooked provisions in airtight metallic cases, which is now so largely in vogue, is of comparatively recent invention, and has been brought into use only during the present century. In 1810 Augustus de Heine took out a patent in Great Britain for preserving food in tin and other metal cases by simply exhausting the air by means of an air-pump; but it was unsuccessful. It was followed by a number of other efforts by various persons, all of which were more or less failures until Werthenner's patents, which were three in number, from 1839 to 1841. By his plan the provisions of whatever kind are put into metal cases and closely packed, and the interstices filled in with water or other appropriate liquid, such as gravy in the case of flesh food. The lids are then soldered on very securely; two small perforations are made in each lid, and the cases set in a water bath in which muriate of lime is dissolved; then heat is applied until the whole boils and the air is expelled through the small openings in the lids of the cases. When this is complete the small holes are quickly soldered up. Henry Gunter, Stephen Goldner, and others patented plans similar in principle, but varying in their mode of application.

This is a general statement of the history and principle of modern canning, which finds so wide an application in many places, and which is at the foundation of a number of great industries in Maryland. Of the several kinds of foods preserved in cans in that State, the tomato is one of the most important, and a description of the process of rendering this fruit an all-the-year-round possession will suffice to give an idea of the method of procedure in regard to other products.

There are some differences between the rural and metropolitan methods of canning tomatoes, and we shall first speak of the former. The art of preserving this vegetable in tin was invented by a man named Baker, late of Harford County, Maryland. He began his experiment in a very small way upon his own kitchen stove, and when he had become successful to a degree he carried specimens of his work to Baltimore. There some demand was soon created for his goods, which gradually increased to considerable proportions. When the market for canned tomatoes became larger, the industry was taken up by other farmers in the same part of the State, and thence spread over

Maryland and far beyond its borders. Since that time many farmers have found fortunes in their canning-houses, while many others — a larger number — have found failure and ruin. Now these factories can be seen in active operation in the season on multitudes of farms; while multitudes more contain ruins of similar buildings, with rusting and unused machinery. A few years ago this line of effort became a craze, and there are scarcely any farmers to be found in that region who have not tried their hands at it; but overproduction and poor quality of goods have driven many of them out of the business.

The tomato-plants are grown in immense hotbeds, usually by the men who intend to raise the fruit, although others produce plants for the general market. When ready for setting, ten, twenty, fifty acres of the plants are set out by the farmer, according to the size of his property or the capacity of his factory, so that strangers travelling Maryland roads will feel themselves in a land of tomatoes. For persons accustomed to see tomatoes only in the garden patch or at most by the half acre, it is curious to note these immense fields of the fruit, and to see the same crop on such a large proportion of the farms. The owner of a canning-house, although he may have a large farm and may have planted many acres of fruit of his own, seldom finds the products of his fields sufficient for the use of his factory. Many persons who are not directly employed in canning, and many who have but small farms, are engaged to plant their own acres with tomatoes and to supply certain quantities at a fixed rate of payment, usually from fifteen to twenty-five cents a bushel. Tomatoes will yield from three hundred to five hundred bushels an acre.

When the fruit is about to ripen the canners visit Baltimore and hire large numbers of Bohemians to go into the country and work for them, the home-labor of negroes and the poorer white people not being sufficient to supply the necessities of the season. These Bohemians enter Maryland in multitudes to find employment at the various industries in their season,-in the winter among the oysters, and in summer and autumn among the peaches, corn, and tomatoes,-going from one labor to another according to the time. At any of the railway stations, at the beginning of the season, one may see the Bohemians arriving, dressed in their

native peasant costumes. They are packed

boiler and fall into hot water. The auger into immense wagons and hauled away to catches them and lifts them gradually out. their destined places of work. There they At the open end of the boiler is a spout, make their homes in rough sheds near the and through this they slide into buckets canneries, and proceed to establish them- that are brought under it by means of a selves in their own peculiar way, making table with a revolving top. Thus they little ovens in the ground or in the hill- are thoroughly washed, and most of them sides, and living in a most primitive fash- have had their skins removed. A man ion. At night they fasten gasoline torches carries the buckets to the peelers, who to trees, and amuse themselves by danc- stand about a long oval table, the top of ing, music, and card-playing; thus a bit which is kept in circular motion. Each of European peasant-life is introduced vessel has a number, and, as it comes bodily into the background of Maryland. around to the peeler whose number is the

The canning-houses on the farms are same, it is taken from the boards to a usually little more than large sheds, forty place in front of the peeler. He then or fifty feet long, each containing a fur- takes each tomato and removes the skin, nace, an engine, and the necessary ma- throwing the fruit into one pail and the chinery. Wagons come and go from the skins into another. When the vessels are fields, where the pickers are engaged in full, he sets them on the movable part of filling the boxes in which the fruit is the table, and they are run back to the measured. The tomatoes are thrown into end, where they are dumped into a bin. immense iron crates, which by means of The next process is the filling. Into the cranes are thrust into vats of boiling spout at the side of the filler, tin cans are water. When thus cleansed and the skins

thrust, and the tomatoes, having been loosened, the crane carries the fruit along thrown into the box, are forced downward to those whose business it is to remove by a plunger into the mouth of the can the skins by hand and place the tomatoes which is slipped beneath. When the can in cans. These cans are slid along to is full, it is automatically forced out, and others who put on them the tin lids and an empty can slips into its place. The bits of solder. They are then passed on filled cans, six at a time, are then carried to the sealer. From his hands the filled onward by a belt to the capper.

Suction and capped cans are put into another

pumps, resting in acid, fill themselves crate, and the crane carries this to an- and cast the acid on the lid. The cans other vat of boiling water, where the are returned to their places, where steel fruit is partially cooked, the air escaping cups, the size of the lid, and made very through small punctures in the lids. When hot by gas flame, reach downward. Just the fruit has been cooked, the punctures before they touch the top of the cup a bit are sealed. Then the cans are boxed, and of solder is thrust upward through a little stored in the warehouse. When the fruit hole, and touches them. The melted has all been packed, there starts the long metal runs down to the can, and the procession of wagons laden with boxes to cup-edges press it in place. The cans are the railroad station, and thence by cars then loosened and sent in the direction of to the markets of the world. The tomato the cooker. The other parts of the propack of Maryland alone amounts annually cess in the city canneries do not differ mato millions of bushels.

terially from those in the country, except The canneries in Baltimore differ from in the use of more elaborate machinery. those on the farms mainly in size and The canning of corn is also one of the completeness of machinery. Those in the immense industries of Maryland: many country turn out four or five thousand thousands of acres are devoted to the cans per day, while those in the city fac- cultivation of sweet corn for this purpose. tory will fill thirty to sixty thousand cans. Often the same canneries are employed The tomatoes are brought to the city can- in caring for the corn as for the tomatoes, nery by farmers and dumped into bins. as the corn crop comes earlier. In the The tomatoes are put first in a machine corn canneries the ears, as they come in that loosens their skins. This is like a husked, are fed into a little machine havhuge steam boiler, set up at one end three ing wheels armed with blunt knives. As feet from the floor. Inside a big auger is the ear is pushed forward the knives cut kept boring away. The tomatoes are off the kernels and drop them into a rethrown into a hole at the lower end of the ceptacle below. They are then fed into

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