1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Boston
BOSTON (see 4.290). The pop. of the area incorporated as the “City of Boston” was in 1920, 748,060; in 1910, 670,585, an increase of 77,475 or 11.6%, being by far the smallest percentage of increase in the history of the city, and the smallest numerical increase for 50 years. But the two figures are not precisely comparable, as the municipal area was increased from 43 to 48 sq. m. in 1912 by the inclusion of Hyde Park which in 1910 had a pop. of 15,507. During the five years 1915-20 the increase of pop. was less than 1%. The “metropolitan area,” constituted by the Legislature of Massachusetts for certain purposes of common action, includes in addition to municipal Boston 38 adjacent cities and towns and had in 1920 a pop. of 1,641,756 (according to the provisional U.S. census returns), and in 1910 1,423,439. The percentage of pop. in “the city” as compared with that of the “metropolitan” area thus decreased from 47.8% in 1910 to 45.5% in 1920.
Commerce. — Boston's coastwise trade is important, the tonnage being much larger than that of its trans-Atlantic commerce. Boston is still second only to New York in export of meat and dairy products; and is the largest leather, wool, and fish market in the world. The port's foreign commerce is shown in the following tables: —
|Vessels in Foreign Trade|
|Number||Net Tonnage||Number||Net Tonnage|
This shows a falling off in 10 years of: vessels entered 20%; tonnage entered 26%; vessels cleared 25%; tonnage cleared 30%.
|Imports and Exports of Boston District|
Manufactures. — The following table shows the value of products and of materials and the amount paid in wages in the years 1909, 1914 and 1918: —
|Manufactures of Metropolitan Boston|
|Year||Value of Products||Value of
|1909||$ 510,583,337||$284,354,062||$ 93,125,349|
First in importance among manufactures is outer footwear $216,392,449 (leather boots and shoes $101,811,715, boot and shoe cut stock $70,105,251, and rubber boots and shoes $44,475,483). Next in importance are: slaughtering $98,047,504, machinery and foundry products $91,155,376, printing and publishing $51,193,923, men's and women's clothing $41,670,694, confectionery $37,988,668. These are the industries in which growth has been most rapid, but not rapid enough to overcome the slowing down as compared with other industrial centres. The increase in value of product due to the World War in the years 1914-8 was rapid, but did little more than keep pace with the increase in prices. The total increase in the number of persons thus employed from 1913, before the war, to 1918, the period of highest production under war pressure, was 40,235, following which, however, a large number of employees was laid off. With immigration of foreign workers, the constricted industrial opportunity has caused increasing numbers of native born to move away from Boston. The actual increases in population have been largely in the ranks of the immigrant peoples, 35% of the inhabitants of municipal Boston being in 1915 foreign born (24% of them Irish, 17% Russian, 16% Italian, 5% English, 3% German, 35% all other nationalities). Of the municipal pop. in 1915, 72% was wholly or in part of foreign parentage.
Railways During the 10 years 1910-20 the subway system was enlarged. The Boylston addition from Arlington to Kenmore street (1911-4) and the extension under the Common over the Charles river basin and underground in Cambridge to Harvard square (1914-8) developed a system 9 m. long, at a cost of $36,368,000. These new subways with the elevated system have given central clearance and ease of transfer throughout the district. The cities and towns have permitted several of their interurban lines to be abandoned. They have permitted many of their roads and streets to go into disrepair, but the motor transport service by private initiative has been greatly increased. The second transportation requirement — the need for equipment to keep in touch with outside markets — has not been met. Boston has failed to provide adequate terminal and storage facilities: and it is constricted in its railway service. There are three railway systems that look to Boston for clearance and outlet: the Boston & Maine, the Boston & Albany, and the New York, New Haven & Hartford. But the lack of facilities for transfer from one system to another makes Boston virtually three ports instead of one — competitors with each other instead of with outside ports. The cities to the north (as Lowell, Lawrence, etc., only a few miles from Boston) often find it of advantage to ship via New York. The same is true for freight originating on each of the three systems.
Education. — The public-school system is under state guidance and patronage (see Massachusetts). The growing interest in higher education is reflected in the table below. It is significant that Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which have undertaken to provide technical and professional train- ing to students who meet entrance requirements, have increased their student enrolment far more than any of the other institutions.
|Registered Attendance at Chief Colleges and Universities.|
|Harvard||M. I. T.|| Simmons
The trend of higher education has been toward increasing opportunity for the masses. This is shown not alone by the increasing number of full-time college students, but also by the rapid growth in the number taking part time “University Extension Courses.” In Harvard, for example, the number taking these courses increased 96% from 1910 to 1920; in Boston University, 187%; under the direction of the State Department of Education the number increased from 1,360 in 1916 to 24,231 in 1920, nearly one-half of these students being registered in metropolitan Boston. The estimated number for 1921 was 30,000.
Municipal Boston in 1920 had 264 permanent and 137 portable school houses, besides 21 rented quarters for schoolroom use; provided 130,669 school sittings; and employed 3,413 teachers; also 97 assembly halls and 15 drill halls and gymnasia. It had 52 park and 32 schoolyard playgrounds; employed 153 recreation teachers, 46 school physicians, 48 school nurses, and 25 attendance officers, In 1919 it registered 122,452 regular day-school pupils; 8,260 in evening schools and 9,651 in continuation schools. The registration in normal, high and latin schools for the same year was 17,018. Of the pupils 82.6% were in public schools, and 17.4% in private schools.
Buildings, Libraries and Museums. — In 1910 the old Museum of Fine Arts was demolished and on the site was erected the Copley Plaza Hotel, built at a cost of $3,800,000 and opened in 1911. The new building of the Museum of Fine Arts, erected on Huntington Ave., was opened Nov. 15 1909, and a second section opened Feb. 3 1915, the total cost at that time being $3,900,000. To the State House east and west wings were added during 1914-9, at a cost approximating $3,000,000. John Sargent's series of panels in the public library was practically completed in 1916, when he added a third sequence, the “Theme of the Madonna.” In Jan. 1919 the public library contained 1,197,498 volumes (922,348 in Jan. 1908). It continued to be the largest free circulating library in the world, with a circulation of 2,300,732 for 1919 (1,529,111 for 1907). The New England Conservatory of Music remained the largest in the United States, having in 1919 3,700 students. The Boston Opera House was erected on Huntington Ave. in 1909.
History and Finance. — Boston, as a metropolitan district, has retained much of the institutional structure of the old towns which have grown together and become consolidated for certain purposes by legislation. Several things have happened in the 10 years 1910-20 indicating a drift toward political unification. What was called the “Boston 1915” movement resulted in better business leadership, in more ample support given to the chamber of commerce and other trade bodies; and legislation looking toward a unified harbour place. A new charter adopted in 1909 gave to the city a small council (9 members) elected “at large.” In 1920, under the leadership of Mayor Peters, a first effort was made to consolidate the several independent cities and towns under a “Greater Boston” charter. In many ways the whole metropolitan district had developed the habit of acting together, as was exemplified in the Liberty Loan and Victory Loan drives, the results of which were as follows: First Liberty Loan $133,790,360; Second Liberty Loan $147,259,650; Third Liberty Loan, $77,202,500; Fourth Liberty Loan, $139,008,150; Victory Loan, $83,852,700; total amount subscribed $581,113,350.
Boston's per capita expenses continued to be the largest of any American city; but in the l0-year period ending in 1918 the net debt increased only 17.11 %. The average yearly expenditure for the five years ending in 1917 was $32,990,507, excluding payments on funded and floating debts. The running expenses per capita in 1917 were $31.68 (New York, $25.64; Chicago, $22.26). The Metropolitan Water Board, of whose expenditures Boston bears only a share, expended from 1900 to 1919 $22,463,201. The system has a capacity of 80,000,000,000 gallons. The city park system cost from 1899 to 1919 $1,954,738. The city debt in 1919 was $80,908,397 (gross debt $124,410,101); this included the debt of Suffolk county, which in 1919 was $1,435,335. The chief objects for which the city debt was created were in 1919: highways, $21,600,000; parks, $10,750,000; drainage and sewers, $21,540,000; rapid transit, $36,340,000. Boston paid in 1919 27.4% of all state taxes, and about 32.65% and 81% respectively of the assessments for the metropolitan sewer, parks and water service. The city's tax valuation in 1919 was $1,528,153,778, of which only $198,863,678 represented personalty.