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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

of the telephone movement; and in its annual report for the year 1883 stated that:

With the acquirement of large interests in our licensed companies comes the necessity of more oversight of the business, and, as far as it can be obtained without absolute ownership, an exact comparison of results. The organization of the company should be shaped to meet these requirements, and with proper watchfulness and effort on our part, we may expect steady growth and improvement in the character of our business in all its branches.

The same difficulty in gathering statistics was experienced by the respective secretaries of the National Telephone Exchange Association, and by the committee allotted the work of gathering statistics. At the meeting held at the Continental Hotel, in Philadelphia, in September, 1884, Mr. W. D. Sargent, chairman of the committee on exchange statistics, presented a comprehensive report of great value, and representing an enormous amount of individual work, covering the number of exchanges, of subscribers, circuits, methods, wages, etc. Yet of the 906 exchanges belonging to members of the association, he was only able to secure reports from 310. Single exchanges formed the basis of 200 of these reports and included 30,421 subscribers, or an average of 152 subscribers to each exchange. But 79 of the 200 reported less than 50 subscribers; 49 reported between 50 and 100; 31 between 100 and 200; 14 between 200 and 300, and 10 between 300 and 400.

The editor of the Electrical World, in referring to the financial conditions prevailing during 1884, wrote:

Our country, equally with the other parts of the civilized world, has passed through a crisis of depression and distress. Commerce has languished, the busy hum of factories has ceased; costly machinery has rusted in idleness; banks have succumbed to the drain upon their reserves; mines have been shut down, and toilers by the hundreds of thousands have sought in vain for employment at the merest pittance. But amidst all these signs of dull times, and while suffering a natural sympathetic restriction, electrical industries of all kinds have prospered in the main and grown apace. . . . In January, when reports were current of a proposed deal between the Bell and Drawbaugh interests, the price of Bell stock was about 200. Then as the year and the hearing of evidence in behalf of Drawbaugh, in Pennsylvania, progressed, the price fell, until in May, at the time of the panic in Wall Street, it reached 150. That was the turning-point, and it rose gradually until Judge Wallace handed down his decision, when it jumped from 195 to 265.

Referring to the financial condition of the local companies at the close of 1884, the parent Bell company, in its annual report to its fourteen hundred stockholders, said:

Nearly all our licensed companies are in good condition, and many of them continue to pay regular dividends in spite of the general dullness. It has not, however, been a year when new enterprises of any kind could be easily pro-