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information to the association and for answering the questions throughout the year when they are alive and as they may be raised.

MR. Alex Dow (Detroit, Mich.): During the existence of the Question Box it has been very obvious to me, as to the preceding speakers, that in very many instances a question-one of pressing need—received its answer after the need had passed; after some solution, perhaps not so good as that furnished by the Question Box, had been found. It has also been evident that

. many of the questions involved, for their proper answering, the abstracting of probably '25 per cent of the contents of an engineering manual. On the other hand, a number of questions have been answered by me directly or have been by myself directed to people who could answer them by direct correspondence. In some instances these were questions referring to matters of our own experience, of which a complete solution by experience lay under our hand. The value of the prompt answer, by correspondence through the office of the association, to the people asking the questions has been shown by letters of appreciation that have been received. In that respect, I think my experience is one with that of the other officers and members of the association.

Taking our existing Question Box, if the answers were tabulated and indexed a prompt and correct answer to inquiries made could in many cases be given from them. In every instance the committee, if not able itself to give the proper solution, would recognize that the solution desired almost certainly lay within the experience of some member company, and from that member company an inquiry would in such case bring the proper response.

In seconding this motion, I would say that it appears to me to provide for the greatest usefulness of the Question Box system, to provide for the least waste of that system, and to provide above all things for the continued recording of satisfactory answers to questions that must arise from time to time in the experience of members. It is not to be overlooked for a moment that the questions asked this year-questions that in themselves show good intent-have been answered in our experience and in the Question Box years ago, and that the association is not quite serving its full purpose of usefulness if matters of such old and common experience are not placed promptly in the hands of those to whom they would be of service.

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MR. BURNETT: I take it that the suggestion involves the proposition that the Question Box as an annual feature shall be done away with, and in its place printed answers shall be given promptly to the entire membership of the association when any inquiries of general interest may have been made. That, as a concrete proposition, is not Mr. Dow's. If agreeable, I pro

Ι pose that the incoming administration consider that method in lieu of the present one.

MR. SPENCER: It was the intention of the resolution to leave all matters of detail to the incoming officers, but the idea was that questions, while answered at once to the members asking them, would later, with their answers, be published in the form of an annual Question Bor-assuming that this meets with the approval of the new administration.

MR. W. H. GARDINER (New York city): I understand the Question Box has not been continued this year in the American Gas Institute, and that this new form of bureau of information has been started tentatively in the hope that it will work out more efficiently than the Question Box. The thought that comes to my mind is that the incoming administration might well consider this year the appointment of a board of experts who would revise our Question Bor as it exists to-day, and at the same time inaugurate and conduct such a bureau of information as is suggested. In that way we shall bring our Question Box into concrete form, and we shall have an opportunity to try out the efficiency of this method but recently inaugurated by the American Gas Institute.

The PRESIDENT: If there is no further discussion on this motion—that the matter be referred with power, to the incoming administration—the chair will put the question.

(The motion was unanimously adopted.)

THE PRESIDENT: The morning programme has been practically completed, and we still have time to take up some of the features of the evening programme. I am glad of this, as it gives more time for the discussion of the papers this evening. I will ask Mr. W. H. Blood, Jr., to present his report on insurance and kindred matters.

Mr. Blood presented the following report:



In October last your executive committee appointed me as insurance expert for the association. The duties of the position were not defined, and the title did not convey a clear idea as to the work to be undertaken. It became necessary, therefore, for your representative to apply himself to the matters which in his judgment demanded attention.

The association has for several years felt that it was handicapped at the annual meetings with the Underwriters' National Electrical Association in the consideration of the changes in the Code rules; that no one took enough personal interest in the proposed changes to discuss them intelligently with the representatives of the Underwriters, who made it an important part of their regular business.

This year your representative spent over a week in preparation for the meeting and practically a second week in attendance at all of the sessions in New York. Of approximately 1000 proposed changes only about 100 were passed, and many of them were of minor importance or simply improvements in phraseology. It is gratifying to state that your representative was instrumental in preventing the passage of several radical changes that would have worked hardships upon the lighting companies. One rule, in particular, in regard to wiring in show windows, which the electrical committee of the Underwriters approved for passage, was resisted by your representative and finally defeated. The passage of this one rule would have meant a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the lighting interests of the country, and would have affected most seriously the small and medium-sized companies, who need every dollar of income they can obtain.

As a result of the interest shown in these meetings, your representative has been appointed on several committees of the

Underwriters to report on further modifications of the rules. One of these committees is to consider the complete recodification and reclassification of the National Electrical Code.

There is a strong tendency on the part of some inspectors, and more contractors, to insist upon the most expensive forms of construction and to enact rules making such construction obligatory. This tendency is to be regretted, and should be combatted. So long as the wiring is safe, and conforms to city and Code requirements, the matter of kind should not interest inspectors. Contractors should see that to increase the cost of installations tends to decrease the use of electricity and, consequently, the number of wiring jobs and their attendant profits. On the other hand, the electric light companies should insist on nothing but safe wiring, and should resist the passage of rules requiring unnecessarily expensive construction, tending to depopularize the use of electricity without increasing the safety.

Your representative has given advice to numerous small companies belonging to the association, in regard to the best forms of insurance policies to cover their plants and properties, together with recommendations as to the wording of insurance riders, improvements in rates, and so forth.

As an expert witness in several important suits brought by insurance companies against one of our member companies, your representative has been able to render some service. This matter alone has required nine special trips to New York, and approximately twenty days of time. As to the results of these trips and the value of the services, your president is better qualified to speak.

In other cases, advice, citations of authority, and help in the preparation of court cases, have been given; all bearing on insurance trouble, fire losses, alleged faulty wiring, and kindred subjects.

The duties that might be required of an insurance expert are so infinite that your representative does not feel that he has done all that he should have done, although he has attended to every matter that has been brought to his notice.

Your representative holds himself in readiness to act upon any suggestions from members of the association, and to give his services in negotiations with the Underwriters, in the pre

sentation of new or the revocation of old rules, and, in fact, in all matters pertaining to insurance business.

Respectfully submitted,


Insurance Expert.

THE PRESIDENT: May I say, in connection with this report, that the services rendered by our insurance expert were of the utmost value in important suits in New York; in fact, we felt that a favorable decision, in that the jury disagreed, was largely due to the assistance that our expert, Mr. Blood, rendered. This report is now before you for consideration.

DISCUSSION MR. J. F. GEISER (Waynesboro, Pa.): May I ask what was the nature of the proposed rule for window lighting the adoption of which the committee was enabled to prevent?

MR. A. A. DION (Ottawa, Ont.): I would ask the representative of this association before the Underwriters if there is any chance, in the modification of the rules, that the Underwriters will take up features that appear to me quite as available as any others—the features relating to danger to life under these rules. This is a point that was forcibly dealt with in an article in a paper called Electrocraft, which some of you may read. This point of the protection of life, aside from dangers from fire, may be said not to concern the Underwriters' board; but as the Underwriters' Code is in many places the only code and the only information as to what constitutes good and proper wiring, it would seem desirable that this feature be incorporated in the Code. Inasmuch as, I believe, other interests besides the insurance interests were represented in the formation of these rules, and this association still has something to do with them in an advisory capacity, I think this point should be taken up. I should like to know from the representative whether or not it, has been discussed, or if there is any chance of its being taken up by the Underwriters.

THE PRESIDENT: In past conventions it has been shown that many of our delegates wanted to say something and afterward regretted that they did not. The executive committee is

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