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go to the gas company while we take the power business, we believe our practice is unusual. We know that we get power business, which we very much want, by adopting this method; while if we insisted on getting the evening lighting the combined cost would be prohibitive. Other respects in which we think our power practice is unusual are that we have taken special pains to assist customers in keeping down constant losses, such as friction and windage, and that we regularly offer a reduction of the standing-charge item of our price in consideration of a customer undertaking to refrain from using specified parts of his equipment during the hours of our winter lighting peak.
THE PRESIDENT: On your behalf, gentlemen, I thank Miss Sheridan for preparing this paper, and thank Mr. Dow for reading it.
(The meeting then adjourned until Thursday evening.)
President Williams called the meeting to order at eight o'clock Thursday evening, and said:
We shall now have the pleasure of listening to the report of the chairman of the committee on membership, Mr. J. Robert Crouse.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON MEMBERSHIP
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the National Electric Light Association:
Your committee begs to report that its appointment was made about March 1. From that time to April 15 attention was given to sizing up the situation. The campaign was started on April 15, and up to the time of this convention twenty-four communications have been issued to prospective members.
The association appropriated $500 for the expenses of the campaign, and the members of your committee evidenced their interest in the importance of the work by subscribing additional amounts for its prosecution.
The results of your general office, and of the campaign, I have indicated in comparison with the membership of preceding years.
It may be proper to state that there are quite a number of applications for membership which, on account of special points arising, have not been forwarded to the secretary. These involve some little correspondence.
As a matter of record, I have tabulated the statistics of mem
*The figures given in this and the following table are not to be taken as accurate, being based on a count of the number of members listed in the books of proceedings for the several years. As these lists are printed some time before the end of the year, they are obviously incomplete as representing the full membership for the year, particularly as a special effort to increase the membership is usually made when the books are issued, and it is often very successful. It also takes no account of resignations or memberships lapsing because of unpaid dues at the end of the year.-EDITOR.
bership for 1902 to 1906, inclusive, being the same on the record of membership as it appears in the bound Proceedings of the conventions and classified in addition by states.
Your committee believes that the membership committee should sustain to the association the same relation as the newbusiness campaign does to a central station. It should prosecute a vigorous campaign for members continuously from one convention to the next, without let-up or loss in the cumulative effect of previous investments in this direction.
The one weakness in the campaign now being conducted, as has, doubtless, been likewise felt in previous campaigns, is the fact that we lack the facilities for actual display and demonstration, and in particular the agencies corresponding to the solicitor to clinch the membership in person where the prospect is three-quarters convinced and wavering.
To cover this defect, your committee, if continued, would like to be authorized to pursue either one or both of the following plans:
First-To add to its number five men from each state, territorially selected, one of whom would act as assistant chairman. of the sub-state committee. Prospects almost persuaded by the regular campaign could then be referred to the assistant chairman for vigorous attention by himself or some other member of the sub-committee located nearest to the prospect.
Properly organized and vigorously prosecuted, this plan could generate some state pride in the work of the different committees.
The report of the committee to the next convention could then be grouped by states, showing the results territorially.
Second-Your committee would propose to perfect a list of the traveling representatives of the jobbers and manufacturers, particularly of present Class D members, and to send them a handbook which would develop the grounds on which they themselves should take an interest in increasing the membership of the association, and, in addition, giving concretely, forcibly, and attractively all of the reasons why the central stations, manufacturers and jobbers should likewise take out membership.
This arrangement would be much more effective if provision were made for a reasonable commission in cash to the salesman