Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/405

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coming back to land .... We have at present very modest aims. I should prefer for some time to simply develop lines like the one at Glynde; but I am quite sure that in future, when more capital than we have had at our command is employed to develop the system, we shall have trains of skeps passing down empty into coal-mines and along the workings, to be filled by the men as they dig the coal from the face, coming back to the bottom of the pit, and, moving up a vertical rod, passing on to the ordinary lines at the surface, and then without stopping, except perhaps to be labeled, traveling along, shunted from point to point by men properly stationed, who will know what to do with each train by the ticket upon it, until they will eventually reach the door of the customer who is to use the coal. The immense amount of worry which there has been in the development of telpherage, even as we now see it, shows me that its grandest developments can not come in my own time; but that it must come in the long run; and that telpherage will be a general system of distribution of goods is a fact which is fixed in my mind so securely that no amount of disappointment or worry can remove it."


THIS, the smaller half of the New World, has at least four fifths of its area within the tropics, and hence yields chiefly tropical products; but here as elsewhere the temperate area, relatively to its extent, furnishes a greater abundance of commercial commodities, and it is in this part of the continent that the rate of increase in the production of such commodities, and the development of means of distribution for them, are now most rapid, and European immigration is most constant.

The lofty chains of the Andes, on the west side of the continent, form an important climatic barrier. In the latitudes in which the trade winds prevail they arrest the moisture-laden winds from the Atlantic, draining the moisture out of winds that had already been partly drained in their course over the continent farther east. The Andes also constitute a great obstacle to communication between the east and west coasts. There is as yet, no railway that completely crosses any part of them, though there are railways which reach a height of upward of fourteen thousand feet before attaining the table-lands between the principal chains of these mountains.

  1. From the author's Handbook of Commercial Geography, recently published by Longmans, Green & Co., London and New York.