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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/610

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

dent, therefore, that the masses of the United States during the continuance of these taxes did not have all the spices they would like, to make their food more palatable and savory; that trade between the spice-producing countries and the United States was restricted; and, as all trade is essentially an exchange of product for product, that the labor of the United States gained under the new conditions, either by sharing in the greater abundance of useful things, or through an increased opportunity for labor in producing the increase of commodities that the increase of exchanges demanded.

The original cost of the suspension-bridge between the cities of New York and Brooklyn was $15,000,000, entailing an annual burden of interest at five per cent of §750,000. When first opened to public use in September, 1883, the rates of fare were fixed at five cents per ticket for the cars, and one cent per ticket for foot-passengers, no ticket being sold at any less price by packages. The total receipts for the first year (1883-'84) from all traffic sources were $402,938, and the total number of car and foot passengers was 11,503,440; 5,324,140 of the former and 6,179,300 of the latter. The results of the first year's operations were not, therefore, encouraging as to the ability of the bridge to earn the interest on the cost of its construction. During the second year (1884-'85), the rates of fare remaining the same, the increase in the aggregate number of passengers was comparatively small, or from 11,503,440 to 14,051,030; but in February, 1885, the rates of fare were greatly reduced—i. e., tickets for the cars (when sold in packages of ten) from five cents to two and a half, and tickets for promenade (when bought in packages of twenty-five) from one cent to one fifth of a cent. The results of this reduction immediately showed themselves in a remarkable increase for the year of 71 per cent in the number of car and foot passengers, or from an aggregate of 14,051,630 in 1884-'85 to 25,082,587 in 1885-'86, and this aggregate has gone on increasing to 30,604,726 for the year ending December 1, 1887. Concurrently also the bridge receipts from traffic have increased from $565,544.45 in 1884-'85 (the last year of high fares) to $850,724 for the year ending November 30, 1887, with a net profit on the operations of the year of $495,319, or nearly enough to pay two thirds of the interest on the original investment; or, the result of the bridge operations since the reductions of the rates for its use has been accompanied by an increased passenger movement—car and foot—of 108 per cent, and a gain in receipts of 50 per cent.

A further analysis of the experiences of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge since its construction also reveals some curious tendencies of the American people in respect to consumption and expenditures. During the first year the bridge was open to the public, the number of foot-passengers paying one cent was 6,179,300, and the number of car passengers paying five cents was 5,324,140. The next year, fares remaining unchanged, the number of foot-passengers declined to 3,679,-