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Secretary Eglin read invitations from the Consolidated Gas, Electric Light and Power Company, of Baltimore, and from the McCall's Ferry Power Company, to visit their plants; also an invitation from Dr. Clayton H. Sharp, president of the Illuminating Engineering Society, for the members to attend the annual meeting of that society, to be held in Boston, July 30
The secretary also read invitations to hold the next annual convention at Asbury Park, N. J., at Atlantic City and at Boston.
The PRESIDENT: We shall next receive the report on progress, Mr. T. Commerford Martin, of New York, editor.
Mr. Martin presented an abstract of the following report:
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PROGRESS
GENERAL STATISTICS OF GROWTH
In the period during which this committee has had laid upon it the duty of reporting, there has been no year more marked with "progress" in every direction than 1906-7. The revival in the lighting and power industry noted about a year earlier expanded and became intensified until every part of the country was embraced within its influence and the rate of advance became sharply accelerated. Of this fact, perhaps no more striking illustration could be cited than that afforded in the production of incandescent lamps. It is well known that only a year or two ago the demand for lamps had slackened perceptibly; while it is equally true that, owing to the enormous demand pressing upon all the facilities for manufacture, an actual shortage stared the central-station companies in the face not many months since. Such a situation, happily relieved, is in itself eloquent of a prosperity brought about largely by the efforts of the companies themselves in developing new business, and in creating an appetite for light that "grew with what it fed upon." All this has happened, too, in face of a competition with cheaper and better gas, and possibly in some degree because of that, it is becoming imperative also for the advocates of electricity to cultivate the field more thoroughly and to furnish the public with lamps of a higher economy and with electrical energy at a lower price per unit. Some features of the technical and publicity campaigns thus waged will be noted later; meantime it may be said that central-station companies were never more alive to their responsibilities as agents for public-service utilities and never more anxious to meet such obligations. The change in affairs was well summed up last December in the data then given by Mr. J. Robert Crouse, Jr., as to the results of the work of the Co-operative Electrical Development Association, which he has fostered so zealously and successfully. Up to that time, the total amount expended by the association in carrying on its work was $28,256.41, and in addition thereto about $60,000 had been expended by other interests working in co-operation with the association. As indicating the results achieved through the activity of the association, it was stated that during last year 96 central stations had organized new business departments, only 58 such departments having been previously in existence; 165 central stations added 331 solicitors during the year; 193 began advertising last year, as against 17 previous to that year, and 232 began newspaper advertising, as against 29 the previous year; 195 increased their advertising, 43 of which reported their increase to be $42,250; 165 opened up display-rooms, only 38 having existed previously, and 188 installed electrical signs, as against 8 the previous year. It is estimated that over one-half million dollars was expended by the central stations reporting to the association, in going after new business. As another indication of the benefits of such work it was stated that the gain in the incandescent-lamp business during 1906 was 25 per cent over 1905, as contrasted with a gain of 8 per cent in 1905 over 1904 and 5 per cent in 1904 over 1903.
The number of new central-station enterprises for 1906 is difficult to determine, but was probably in excess of 300. The Central Station List for March, 1907, reported 138 for the preceding six months and a total of 4902 for the United States, Mexico and West Indies. The total does not increase in proportion with the new plants, because the constant tendency toward consolidation operates steadily in the direction of lessening the gross number. The same tendency toward consolidation lias had the effect of increasing capitalization, however, on account of the new money thus brought into the industry and the larger body of securities that can be floated and made profitable by the ensuing economies and higher efficiencies. Assuming that the capital increased 20 per cent during the year, it would appear that the total at the end of 1906 invested in the American centralstation industry was $850,000,000. The gross earnings for 1905 were estimated last year at $135,000,000. For 1906 they may be put at $165,000,000. Many of the larger companies experienced and have reported a growth above 20 per cent. Total operating expenses at 70 per cent would represent about $115,000,000, leaving, say, $50,000,000 net or, roughly, 6 per cent on the whole investment and capitalization. In view of the risks, changes and high executive skill demanded, this can not be regarded as in anywise excessive. No private enterprise, such as a dry-goods store or a grocery, could be run on such a narrow margin.
Some idea of general activity is presented by the figures of such a system as that of the New York Edison Company. The excellent bulletin of that corporation for February stated that at the close of 1906 the system was supplying electrical energy through 66,033 meters to 2,461,261 incandescent lamps, 32,320 arc lamps, 139,168 horse-power in motors. Additional installations in storage batteries, heating appliances and other devices bring the total installation of Manhattan Island alone to 4,762,218 equivalents of 16 candles. The net increase for the year of 1906 was 10,618 customers, 477,590 incandescent lamps, 7978 arc lamps, 31,483 horse-power in electric motors and other equipment, which brought the total increase of the year to 1,007,383 16-cp equivalents. The corresponding increase for 1905 was 525,670 equivalents. During the month of December alone 1607 additional customers, having 89,576 incandescent lamps, 1148 arc lamps and 4230 horse-power in motors and other equipment, were connected with the Edison system. The total net gain for the month was 165,008 16-cp equivalents; and 24,873 contracts were signed on Manhattan Island alone for an aggregate of 2,200,000 16-cp equivalents. This result includes 1,191,281 incandescent lamps, more than 10,000 arc lamps and 63,359 horsepower in motors. It is understood that during the current year this growth has been maintained ; and it may be broadly regarded as indicative of American central-station advance in general.
FOREIGN DATA AND CONDITIONS It has been the practice of the committee, hitherto, to report on conditions in other countries. But as the years go by it becomes more and more evident that in electrical development the United States stands in a class by itself, whether as regards electric lighting, traction or telephony. Hence the data from Europe must be taken as illuminative and encouraging rather than instructive. The development of the theoretical and experimental side of the art still finds there its best expression, while here the swift reduction to practice and commercial adoption is exemplified. The central-station statistics of England up to the beginning of the year enumerate 275 stations, as compared with 267 in the preceding year, showing, indeed, that the curve of increase has nearly reached the point of saturation. As to the supply of electrical energy, there has been a notable increase in motor connections. The motor load naturally depends very much upon the character of the town. Thus Dublin, which is an industrial city to a slight extent, with a population of 291,000, has only 400 horse-power of motors and 128,000 lamps of 8 candle-power on its alternating-current mains, the rate for electricity being 6 cents and 2 cents per kilowatt-hour. Coventry, , on the other hand, which is essentially a manufacturing home of the bicycle and the automobile, but with a population of only 85,000, also with an alternating-current supply, employs no less than 2346 horse-power of motors and 127,000 lamps of 8 candlepower. Most towns now offer a flat rate as an alternative to some form of maximum demand, and there has been a general reduction in price for both lighting and power. In London Bermondsey supplies electricity for light at 7.5 cents, Fulham and Islington at 7 cents and Hammersmith at the low price of 6 cents; many of the London councils and companies now supply energy for motor power at about 2 cents per kilowatt-hour. Among the projected stations it is noticeable that a large number are preparing to take electricity in bulk instead of generating for themselves. Incidentally it may be noted that the London County Council has been equipping on the Thames at Greenwich one of the largest central stations in Europe, viz., with a capacity of 52,000 horse-power, of which a generating plant of 14,000-kw capacity has already been installed with reciprocating engines. This energy is intended, however, for traction rather than lighting, and the grandiose scheme of a municipal power plant for all London, involving some $25,000,000, is not likely to be hastened by the recent tremendous vote by the citizens of the British metropolis against adventures of this character with the taxpayer's money.
Turning to Germany, the most conspicuous illustration of growth is Berlin. The steady increase in the consumption of electricity in Berlin is shown by the annual report of the Berlin Electrical Works, having a practical monopoly of the sale of electricity in Berlin and some of its suburbs. This company reports a consumption of above 128,000,000 kilowatt-hours