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for the past year, which denotes a gain of 16,500,000, or nearly 15 per cent. Although the company had net earnings of $1,243,000, as compared with $1,110,000 last year, it distributed the same dividend, namely, 10 per cent; as for 1904-5. It has now reached its productive capacity with its existing generating stations, and proposes to erect an additional station with a capacity of 15,000 horse-power. The company now has a total capital of $19,000,000, which will probably be increased soon to pay for new construction.

An interesting insight into German and average European conditions is afforded by a study, made last year by Dr. Dettmar, of data from the German Association of Electricity Works. The point is again emphasized that our American conditions are not a fair subject of comparison. He classifies as bad all plants that do not show at least 8 per cent of gross earnings on the capital invested, the gross earnings being the receipts less the full operating and maintenance charges, including all salaries. Of 64 electric plants in places of 1000 to 5000 population investigated by Dr. Dettmar, just one-half fell into the “good” category, and of this number 17 showed gross earnings better than 10 per cent, which would not be considered a satisfactory return upon the investment in this country unless the conditions of growth were promising; but since some prospectively "good" plants would probably be found in the "bad" column, it may be within proper bounds to say that a quarter of the plants reported are to be considered as good investments. The question to be solved is the cause of the unhappy status of the rest. As nearly as can be judged, the largest factor in the answer is, as would be the case in American towns, good judgment in proportioning the coat to fit the cloth.

The absolute population of the place appears to have only a minor effect on the result, since the 17 plants on better than a 10 per cent basis included both the largest but one (4800) and the smallest (1200) towns in the whole list. It is in the investment per capita that significant facts are reached. The average for the whole list is $12, while only one of the 17 exceeds this figure and only by $1.00 at that. In the list of "bad" plants one finds many cases of $15 to $20 investment per capita. The receipts per capita in the successful plants are not conspicuously high, the average for the group being less than 11 cents per annum per capita above the average for the whole 64. The successful plants, then, do not owe their fortune to being in selected places where the sales of energy are abnormally large so much as to severe keeping down of capital and current charges. In the successful plants the wage and salary account is, on the whole, notably small as compared with the general operating account. But the wage and salary account in the profitable plant is very small compared with that in American plants under similar conditions; smaller, in fact, than mere difference in rate of wages would suggest. For instance, the total wages and salary account of one plant in a town of 4500 people, which made gross earnings of a little over 16 per cent on an investment of about $4,500, amounted to only $900. One point, of course, is that German towns are very compact.

Dr. Dettmar studied also the results obtained in a group of cities of 10,000 to 20,000 inhabitants. These form a class in which American experience would indicate the possibility of fair returns when the enterprise is economically carried on. Taking average figures, the group showed only 60 per cent of the investment per capita found in the smaller towns, relatively less wages and salary account and somewhat diminished sales per capita, which averaged about $1.25 annually, as against about $1.87 for the smaller towns. This discrepancy is only in part explained by the competition from gas, which is the rule in the former

The average return in the larger places was above 10 per cent gross on the same basis as above. The relatively less labor cost in the larger plants is a considerable advantage. One derives the impression from Dr. Dettmar's figures that in many of the cities considered the actual distribution is much less extensive than is usual here. A capital account of $3.75 per inhabitant does not conform very closely with American conditions.

As to recent central-station practice in Europe, a very interesting account was given a few months ago before the Western Society of Engineers by Mr. P. Junkersfeld, of the Chicago Edison Company. He found that in London the central-station situation was in a deplorable condition owing to the great number of small companies serving different districts of the city. As


a consequence London does not enjoy the benefits of improved service and reduced rates. Bills have been introduced into Parliament at two past sessions authorizing a large power company to build a large central plant to supply all these smaller companies and generate power for all customers desiring it. Both these bills have failed to pass, so that there is no relief in sight The largest of the London electric light and power companies has a maximum capacity of only 12,000 or 14.000 kilowatts. In Berlin he found practice much more up to date. The city is served by a few large power stations. The practice differs from that in this country, however, in that the whole system of power-hou and distribution lines is not tied together in parallel as would be done here. The distribution is sectionalized so that not even all the output of one power plant goes to the same feeder system.

A great deal has been said in this country about gas-engine practice in Europe and the progress made with gas engines there. He did not find that European managers were taking much interest in gas engines. They talked of it, as we do here, as a matter for the future, but something not to be given much consideration at present. There is, however, great interest in the steam turbine.

His observations on lamps and lamp renewals were that English practice is in a very bad way. Customers buy their own lamps from hardware stores, and nearly all lamps are of 4 watts per candle. English lamps are, as a rule, nowhere near the quality of American lamps. In Berlin and Vienna the incandescent-lamp situation was much better.

Lamps of 3.1-watt consumption, as in America, were common. Many tantalum lamps were in use, and the tungsten lamp was beginning to appear. One reason that special forms of arc lamps as well as other high-efficiency lamps have been so easily introduced in Germany is that the German shopkeeper is a natural born mechanic and tinker. He would rather trim and look after his own arc lamps than have any one else fussing around his store to do it for him, and he takes an interest in his lamps that no American storekeeper would take. Large arc lamps for advertising purposes are common, arcs of 20 amperes being frequently seen. In Paris gas lighting seems to have things its own way, as but little electric light is seen.

It is hoped that at no distant date we may be in a position to compare the relative consumption of electrical energy in the chief cities of Europe and this country. Such data are already available as to gas. According to figures given by the Progressive Age, the output of gas in Paris, France, in 1855 was 1,439,973,000 cubic feet, and in 1905 13,946,711,000 cubic feet, which would indicate an annual average increase of 250,000 cubic feet for 50 years, although the actual percentage increase over 1904 was 4 per cent, or 5.19 and 7.62 per cent for the two previous years, due to the reduction in price, the average price. now being $1.46. This means that Paris used about 5000 cubic feet per inhabitant per year, as compared with 1165 in 1855, 3800 in 1889 and 4400 in 1900. These figures do not compare unfavorably with such cities as Philadelphia, 6600; Baltimore, 4769; Denver, 4790; Cincinnati, 5500; Detroit, 6150; Birmingham, England, 8300, or German cities such as Bremen, 8530; Hanover, 8400; Hamburg, 7314; Munich, 3528, and so forth. Some French statistics recently published state, however, that Lyons used but 2260 cubic feet per inhabitant; Marseilles, 1940, and Bordeaux, 2719. On the other hand, Glasgow, Scotland, uses 6449 cubic feet, and New York city uses about 6800. These compare with the Italian cities of Milan with 3400; Turin, 3000; Naples, 700; Rome, 1660, and Venice, 970. All these cities have progressive management and show how directly the quantity of gas used depends upon the price. During about a decade the percentage increases per year of Italian cities have been: Milan, 8.9 per cent; Rome, 4.9 per cent; Naples and Turin, 1.4 per cent. In England: Sheffield, 5 per cent; Birmingham, 4.8 per cent; Manchester, 3.2 per cent; Edinburgh, Scotland, 3. I per cent, and Glasgow, 4.2 per cent. In the United States the growth is generally much more apparent: Philadelphia, 9.7 per cent; Denver, 12 per cent; St. Louis, 24.7 per cent; Detroit, 58 per cent; New Orleans, 13.3 per cent; Cincinnati, 7.6 per cent, and Baltimore, 5.2 per cent. Gas is evidently still very much with us, if not simply as an illuminant, then increasingly for heating, cooking and motive power.

NEWER CENTRAL-STATION WORK It would seem that to put in a central-station plant at this late day purely for arc lighting is poor practice. It sounds like an anachronism. But in the record of newer work is to be noted the creation of just such a plant at Lynchburg, Va. Perhaps we should not be surprised to find that it is a municipal plant, but in general it illustrates modern practice, although the private central-station manager condemned to a simple arc-light service would feel that he was invited into the prize ring with one hand strapped behind his back. On the other hand, commercial supply from a municipal plant has its dangers and drawbacks, and seems better let alone.

The Lynchburg plant utilizes the flow of the James River and an old pumping station that was part of the water supply before the new gravity system was introduced. Hence it is a proper utilization of waste, and a reclamation of public property. The operating head of only 12 feet has been skilfully employed by Mr. Lamar Lyndon, the consulting engineer, and the plant is laid out for series alternating current so as to avoid the use of transformers between the generators and the series circuits. The dynamos are 2-phase and designed to supply 15 amperes per phase at 4200 volts. The lamps are supplied with 7.5 amperes at 80 volts. This gives two circuits per phase with 50 lamps on each circuit or 200 lamps per generator. The generator voltage being adapted for the potential required by the lamp circuits, no transformers are needed or will be used. An inductive regulator is placed in each circuit which will, automatically, maintain a constant current of 7.5 amperes through the lamps. Since the generator voltage will start at a certain value and be gradually increased as lamps are added in the circuits, the only suitable source of current for lighting the station buildings with incandescent lamps is from the exciters, and these machines are of sufficient size to carry this lighting load as well as to perform their required duty of supplying the generator magnetizing current.

One interesting departure is that made by the Toledo (Ohio) Gas, Electric and Heating Company, in the adoption of a 4600volt system of alternating-current distribution. The transformers on the system are wound for 4600 primary and 115-230 volts, 3-wire, secondary distribution. Current is generated 3-phase, but the distribution is single-phase. The generators are starconnected with the neutral grounded. The transformers are

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