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EXHIBIT “H.” Showing the Number and Disposition of Reinspections and Appeals from Sept. 1, 1895, to Aug. 31, 1896.
at Minneapolis, Duluth, St. Paul and St. Cloud, During the Crop Year Ending Aug. 31, 1896.
1896, by Grades and Roads, and Showing Percentages..
REPORT OF STATE WEIGHMASTER AT MINNEAPOLIS.
State of Minnesota, Office of State Weighmaster,
Minneapolis, Minn., Sept. 1, 1896.
To the Railroad and Warehouse Coinmission,
Gentlemen: I have the honor to submit herewith the eleventh annual report of the Minneapolis Weighing Department for the grain year ending Aug. 31, 1896.
The year has been the second largest in the history of the department, that of 1892 only surpassing it in number of cars weighed, but this year's receipts are greater, as compared with 1892, on account of the increase in the fees of five cents per car for weighing.
The total revenue for the year has been $49,765.63, and disbursements $47,736.37, leaving a surplus of $2,029.28. It has therefore been possible to give, at all points where we weigh, the very best of service by assigning two weighers to some of the larger elevators during the busiest season and giving equally good attention to the minor by having one man constantly stationed at the place assigned to him. The condition of our finances during the preceding two years necessitated the curtailing of all expenses, and wherever possible one man was made to do the work of two. The attention we have been able to give to all points in the way of closer service during the year has therefore been highly appreciated by the trade and been a source of great satisfaction to us. Business interests demand prompt facilities, and any lack of these are soon felt and become annoying. Our aim has constantly been to meet demands and to increase the efficiency of the state service wherever possible. The just recogrition of the value of the work of the department is received by the appreciation and confidence bestowed by interior shippers and trade interests at terminal points. It is conceded that state service is indispensable to such interests, and should the same be abrogated, it could not be replaced by any other system and give such universal satisfaction as is afforded by the present, for in a grain market of the magnitude of ours there must of necessity be a system for weighing, and also a central office or bureau at which official weights can be obtained. The state in its supervision of the weighing of cereals consigned to terminal points stands in a position of arbitrator between shipper and receiver; it treats both with equal fairness and protects their interests alike. Differences arising are adjusted after a careful and exhaustive examination has been had as to probable cause, and the decision arrived at and rendered thereupon is as a rule accepted by either side without question. Every complaint of a supposed shortage in weight receives attention at our hands, and no pains are spared to locate the cause of trouble, if any exists. Any irregularity, either in scales or in the manner of handling at points in the city where state weighing is had, cannot escape detection very long. The constant passing of grain from elevators to mills in the district affords the very best of checks on these places, and the uniformity in weights at points of loading and unloading proves the accuracy and care the handling of all grain receives. Our scales are under the supervision of an expert scaleman, whose sole duty is to see that they are at all times ac-curate and reliable. These scales number 200.
Shortages complained of are, as a rule, found to be without justification, and are mainly caused by false estimates of weights when shipper possesses no facilities for weighing and in the inacuracy of his scales when he does, or in discrepancies in the manner of his handling. When repeated complaints from one point are received, so as to justify an investigation, the state makes an examination into shipper's facilities and most always is able to point out to him the irregularity. Instances of such a nature are numerous in our experience. Actual shortages occur through using imperfectly coopered cars for shipment, through leaks of the same, and in the use of bad order cars as well as cars having their floors covered with manure, lime, coal dust and other offensive ingredients. By proper exercise of care in these respects, shippers can largely prevent loss to themselves. An observance of the law requiring shippers to place inside of the car a card stating the weight of the commodity he ships will also be of benefit to him, as it will instantly call attention to any discrepancy in nis weight and the weight obtained at destination, and the cause for same, if any, can then more readily be detected should the same occur at point of unloading. We tind, however, that this law is not heeded to any great extent, as but few shippers' cards are found in cars. When an actual shortage occurs, it can as a rule be traced to some of the causes mentioned, but many of them are confessedly due to pilfering and stealing from cars in railroad yards. I have in my former reports dwelt at considerable length upon the importance of checking this evil, and have suggested that the railroad companies exercise more care in the protection of property intrusted to them. The railroad yards in the city are so extensive that they afford to the thief excellent opportunities for theft and which he apparently is not slow in availing himself of. The department cannot be held responsible for losses caused by theft, and can only call attention to the fact that losses do occur from this cause. Although we have no fund at our command which can be devoted to the suppression of the evil mentioned, this department has nevertheless done much to check it and has been instrumental in securing several convictions for the commitment of this very offense. Cars left with open doors are more subjected to such depredations than those sealed; cars should therefore always be protected by having the doors securely fastened and sealed, even if they are only to be left out for a few hours.
The year marked the destruction by fire of Elevator A 2, but it is being rebuilt and will soon be ready for the reception of grain again. Woodworth Elevator 2 has been built and added to the jurisdiction, as have two oil mills, one belonging to Archer & Co. and the other to Douglas & Co. The Northeast Feed Mill also receives state service in the matter of weights, so that in all four new places have been added to the system during the year. The force of the department has been increased in number by two, necessitated by the addition to the system of these new places, and is composed as follows: One state weighmaster, one assistant weighmaster, two clerks, one stenographer, one scale expert and forty-three weighers.
Following is a list of elevators and mills in the city to which state service in the matter of weights has been extended:
A 1, A 2, Atlantic, Elevator B, Elevator C. Central, City, Consolidated. Diamond, Elevator E, Great Western 1, Great Western 2, Interior 1, Interior 2. Interior 3, Interstate, Elevator K, Monarch 1, Monarch 2, Midway 1, Midway 2, Pillsbury Elevator, Pillsbury B, Republic, St. Anthony 1, St. Anthony 2, Shoreham, Standard, Star, Security, Transfer 1, Transfer 2, Union, Victoria, Woodworth 1, Woodworth 2, and Elevator X; total, 37.
MILLS. Anchor, Cataract, Crown Roller, Columbia, Dakota, Excelsior, Galaxy, Humboldt. Minneapolis, Northwestern, Northeast Feed Mill, North Star Feed and Cereal Mill, Occidental, Palisade, Pillsbury A. Pillsbury B, St. Anthony, Standard, Washburn A, Washburn B, Washburn C, Zenith, Archer & Co. Oil Mill, and Douglas & Co. Oil Mill; total, 21.