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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/450

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444
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

winter supplies at cities situated in the region of maximum temperature deficiency. Coal and stoves became active. While the greater part of the country was unusually cool, the North Pacific coast averaged slightly warmer than usual. And we note that retail trade at Portland, Ore., was quiet because of the 'continuance of summer weather' Railroad earnings in September were adversely affected by the lessened grain movement in the west, and by the damage done by the hurricane on some of the southern railroads.

October was warmer and drier than usual throughout nearly the whole country. This being a month when cool weather is needed for 'seasonable trade,' the keynote of the month may be found in the statement that where cool, trade conditions were good, and coal, furs, winter clothing, stoves, liquors, etc., were active, and where abnormally warm, retail merchandise distribution was retarded, but the handling of crops, and outdoor work, including building, were helped. The later on in October the warm weather continued, the more unfavorable were its effects on 'seasonable trade.' Towards the end of the month, hot weather interfered with the 'kill' of cattle, and caused a scant offering of hides; hence prices held well. The shortage in freight cars, which was a conspicuous feature throughout October and the following months, did not cause any serious inconvenience in the case of coal, because of a small demand due to the high temperature. Failures for October showed an increase in the south, where the backward state of cotton checked trade and delayed collections.

The colder weather of November stimulated trade in heavy clothing, shoes and groceries, and caused an increased demand for oysters and for coal, but rubber footwear was quiet throughout the month, owing to dry weather. The cold weather also started the tide of winter travel to California. Eggs rose in price. At the south, the backward cotton crop was a check to trade. A warm wave during the second week of November checked retail demand in the lower Mississippi Valley, and thence east to the Atlantic Ocean, the depression in trade accompanying the warm wave in its eastward progress. The car shortage in the east, already referred to, was complicated by the unusual movement of corn and oats west to the drought-stricken states, but it was seen that lower temperatures would relieve the situation by stopping lake transportation, and restoring thousands of cars to inland traffic. Abundance of snow in Maine at the end of November facilitated lumbering and caused a demand for sleighs, and distinctly colder weather put the market for anthracite on a firm basis.

Between the 14th and 19th of December, the minimum temperature records for the second decade of that month were broken in all districts from the South Atlantic and Gulf coasts northwest to the upper