Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/306

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carried seven hundred miles more than a direct haul! Surely one would say that rates devised so loosely as to render Mr. Mack's plan worth adopting discredit the officials responsible for them. Among the remarkable cases of discrimination proved were the following: Babbitt & Co., soap-manufacturers in New York, ascertained that Crouse & Co., of Syracuse, had a special rate of eight cents per box over the New York Central road; Babbitt & Co. asked for a similar reduction, which was refused, the rate charged them being twelve cents to Syracuse, and this while their shipments over the New York Central and Hudson River Railroads aggregated 1,346 tons in the year preceding the session of the committee. In the winter of 1877 Jesse Hoyt & Co. and David Dows & Co., of New York, two large grain firms, controlled the market by having obtained freights from the West two and a half to five cents per hundred less than any of their competitors. Their facilities for freight exceeded their purchasing power, so they actually sublet their privileges to other houses in the trade.

Towering far above all the wrongs under the head of discriminations ever perpetrated by railroads must be placed those committed in favor of the Standard Oil Company. This monopoly, the strongest of the kind in the world, controls the production of petroleum in the United States, the second largest export of the country; its relations with the railroads are such that it obtains freighting at an immense reduction from the terms charged to other customers of the roads. In August, 1879, the Erie and New York Central roads charged the Standard Company about ten cents for hauling a barrel of three hundred and ninety pounds somewhat more than four hundred miles, empty cars having to be hauled back over the lines. Contrast this with the charge of forty-five cents for bringing a can of ten gallons of milk weighing ninety pounds but sixty miles! The proportions are as 1 to 130. From January to October, 1879, the total shipments from the oil-regions were 12,900,240 barrels. All shipments to the seaboard might have borne one dollar more per barrel than they did, yet all these millions of dollars were lost to the roads by a policy for which their officers are accountable. The Central Pacific Railroad Company is another against which discriminations of an unwarrantable character have been proved. While one shipper was charged 65 cents from Ogden to Toano, another shipper was charged $3.35 for the same service. Vegetables were carried for different firms at rates as various as 55 cents and $1.36. Through rates from New York to San Francisco were to some shippers one half those charged to others. The complainants take good ground when they declare that discriminations in favor of particular localities and firms create deficiencies which shippers generally are taxed to equalize; and, as mercantile competition becomes yearly more severe, the unjust discriminations of railroads unfairly discount the legitimate returns of business enter-