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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/448

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by a partial failure of the corn crop in the southwest, such as the Atchison and the Rock Island. Reports that rain was likely to fall in Kansas caused a rally from the low figures. During the week ending July 20, in spite of the short corn crop, the large wheat yield made it evident that the cereal production of the west as a whole would furnish abundant traffic for the railroads. The appearance of rain in parts of the west led to considerable repurchasing of railroad stocks by capitalists who had sold Granger and Pacific stocks on the unfavorable crop outlook of two weeks before. Atchison common stock rose ten points; Rock Island was a very strong feature, 'and the Grangers generally responded promptly to the improvement in the corn-crop outlook.'

The highest non-corner prices for corn since 1894 were paid during the week ending July 27. The damage to crops in the territory tributary to the Union Pacific in Kansas and Nebraska 'raised strong doubts as to the possibility of any increase in the four per cent, dividend on the common stock.' Union Pacific was one of the most prominent stocks in volume of transactions, and sold down very sharply from 10412 to 93112. St. Paul fell from 164 to 15212, and the other Grangers were similarly affected.

Under the influence of the extreme heat, summer travel was reported as the heaviest in years; this gave the transportation interests large earnings, while the hotels and stores in sections frequented by summer visitors did an excellent business. Much money was left in summer resorts, and collections there were consequently good during succeeding months. While the carriage of wheat and of live-stock by the Granger roads during July was very heavy, the shipments of oats and corn fell off sharply, the movement of corn to seaboard points declining 72 per cent, as compared with that in July, 1900. Foreign commerce was seriously affected. In Scotland, Russian and Algerian maize practically supplanted American corn. The heat interfered with building, so trade in paints, oils and other building requisites was checked. Meats were in less demand, and wholesalers in some cases reduced prices in order to move fresh meats in storage. The hot weather was unfavorable for the curing of fish. The consumption of milk increased, and there was a scarcity in many cities. The demand for ice was so great that there was difficulty in chartering vessels in which to ship ice from Maine.

After about a month of intense heat and of drought, lower temperatures and good rains were experienced over most of the drought-stricken districts. The relief to trade was immediate and general. In the great corn States, more than usual of the year's crop had been planted late, and this late corn improved greatly, although early corn was practically ruined. A large spring-wheat crop was assured by the rains. Cotton-crop conditions at the south were also improved, and