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rapidly, and were very expensive. To decrease the electrical resistance and prolong the life of the carbons, we electro-plated them with copper, which is still done. This little scheme of covering the carbons with just enough, and not too much, copper was the only easy invention that it was my good fortune to make; and it paid fairly well, considering the effort involved, which was very small. It yielded, if I remember, something like $150,000 in cash royalties before the bottom fell out of the carbon business. The early carbons were sold at the rate of $240 a thousand. I say at the rate of $240 a thousand, because nobody ever thought of ordering a thousand carbons at once. They thought they could not use so many in a generation. Fifty or a hundred were ordered at one time. As the business increased a little, we were able to reduce the price of the carbons and we did reduce it at one step to $150 a thousand. This involved a loss for a time, but then we held our own, and after
wards made a little money. We subsequently reduced them from $150 to $62.50, on the theory that cheaper carbons would stimulate the growth of the electric light industry, and our theory was proven correct. Their use was stimulated and the business increased enormously; so that while we lost money on the carbons for a good while at that price, later we made a handsome profit. Others seemed to grasp the situation. about that time, and competition sprang up, and it knocked the profits of the carbon business all to pieces. I presume that now you can get your carbons for next to nothing a thousand, with "a beautiful chromo in each box;" and I have no doubt that, if you insisted, you could get a nice gold frame with each of the chromos. This is a pointer for you.
As to electric lighting at the present day, most of
you know more about it than I do, for I have been accumulating rust for several years; so I will not attempt to tell you anything about it, but will simply thank you for your attention.
PRESIDENT FRANCISCO'S ADDRESS.
Gentlemen of the National Electric Light Association: By the ceaseless revolutions of the wheel of time, we have arrived at another epoch in our association, and meet to-day to celebrate our tenth anniversary and place a record upon the tenth page of our history.
Mr. Brush being the inventor of the double arc lamp now in use, and the Brush Electric Company, of Cleveland, the first manufacturers of the same, it seems eminently proper that the National Electric Light Association should celebrate the present anniversary at the home of this pioneer in the field of electricity. We knew that the people of the "Forest City" were noted for their culture, conservatism, industry and wealth, and the large number gathered here to-day afford sufficient proof of the wisdom of holding our eighteenth Convention in this city.
Ten years ago, a few men gathered in Chicago for the organization of a national electric light association. How momentous the evolutions of science, and what gigantic strides have been made in electric lighting, during the short cycle of time that has since elapsed! Millions of lights now
"Shine with holy oil that was never pressed
From olive tree in east or west;
That burn without a touch of flame:
A light beyond all light; the same
At the beginning of the present decade, the association was represented by a few courageous men who believed in future enlargement and success, and the results far exceed the wildest dreams of any one of that group. To-day, we are an association whose members are numbered by hundreds; who represent the entire continent, from the Atlantic to the Golden Gate, and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Queen's dominions on the north. We have even invaded those dominions and appropriated one of her most loyal and enterprising subjects to serve as our second vicepresident, besides reaching across 3,000 miles of ocean and securing the most talented of England's scientists. In addition to this, we have gained two faithful allies, the ladies and the press, the two powers that control the world. Such is our record of membership.
The financial progress is a marvel, even in this Nineteenth Century. The first arc lamps used required a separate circuit and a dynamo for each. After awhile, dynamos were constructed to run two lamps; and when the time came that they could run four lamps from a single dynamo, it was considered a wonderful achievement. At the present time, many stations are using as many as 120 arc lights on a single dynamo. With a nucleus of about 100 central stations in existence ten years ago, we have to-day 2,500 such stations, representing assets of over $300,000,000, not including 7,500 isolated plants, valued at $200,000,000 more. Ten years ago, the total number of arc lamps could be counted in a moment's time; now they are like "Father Abraham's Army-500,000 strong.'
The first central station for incandescent lighting was established in the Fall of 1882 The building was frame, one story, fifteen by eighteen feet, with a capacity of about 250 lights. Volt and ammeters.
were not in use and the lamps were regulated by their appearance and the judgment of the station engineer. In case of trouble with the lights, the station was shut down and all hands turned out to hunt and repair damages. While this was going on, customers mused in the dark dark over the wonderful mysteries of electricity. That blessed time, with its indulgent customers, has passed into oblivion, and now the electric light manager has reason to think many times when accidents occur that Hades has been removed to his special locality and very near his station. To-day, we have single stations furnishing 150,000 lamps and it would be almost as difficult to count the incandescent lights in use as to number the stars in the sky. In 1884, an experimental street railway was started in this city, using one car. To-day, there are nearly 1,000 electric railways in operation, with 10,000 miles of track and assets amounting to $600,000,000.
It will thus be seen that electrical industries have caused an investment of over $1,000,000,000, not including the millions invested in telegraph, telephone, mining, etc. If the employees of these industries. could be called together they would dwarf the largest armies of the world.
Electricity has converted the thunders of Niagara, which has been aimlessly beating against its rocky shores for ages, to the uses of commerce and will soon sound its reverberations over hundreds of miles. of wire into distant cities, there to exert its mysterious power for the benefit of the busy toilers in their race for gold.
When this association was organized, not an educational institution of high grade had a course of study in electrical engineering giving practical