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The Minneapolis journal. (Minneapolis, Minn.) 1888-1939, August 31, 1901, Image 15

Image and text provided by Minnesota Historical Society; Saint Paul, MN

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045366/1901-08-31/ed-1/seq-15/

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3ECKETi&¥ yOKMn,
An Army of 3,000 Commercial Travelers Re
quired for the Northwest—Even the Trusts
Can't Do Without Them.
There are 3,000 commercial travelers In
the northwestern states. This is the lar
gest number of any year since the north
western trade has had a history. Mem
bers of the fraternity are confident that
the commercial traveler is here to stay.
They "nave completely recovered from the
ghosting of a few years ago, when the
rigidly multiplying trusts led some to be
lieve that something must be done at
once to stop the trust or the commercial
traveler would soon be forced to stop
Pierre Lorillard, the late tobacco manu
facturer, Is credited with a statement that
is sure to become history among com
mercial travelers. When the tobacco
trust was born, Lorillard was quoted as
saying that one benefit to trade wrought
by the trust was the "fading" of the
traveling man. America has numerous
trusts, but traveling men "point with
pride" to their Increasing numbers. They
look upon the trust as no friend of the
fraternity. Its purpose is monopoly. It
is competition that begets the traveling
man. \ . =-y
Away up In northwestern North Da
kota, In that new country Just forming
the acquaintance of the plow, is a place
called Bisbee. A branch line train of
J. J. Hill's makes Bisbee three times a
week. , The commercial traveler is not
"cutting corners' 'as In the old days, but
is "making" nearly every town, no mat
ter what may be the inconvenience. The
commercial traveler who makes Bisbee
must use a team. As a result of that
condition, there were for a time two com
peting •'" livery barns in. business there.
The commercial-traveler on arriving at
Bisbee was formerly "tackled" as soon
as he reached town by representatives of
each of the -livery barns seeking the job
of driving him to the next town. Four
of the regular men who travel in that
country, on arriving at Bisbee a few days
ago, were surprised to see no livery barn
representative In sight. One of the party
was so struck by the fact that he went
down to the nearest barn to inquire. He s
found it closed. He went over to the
other bam and found.the proprietor out
in front enjoying himself with a pine stick
and a jackknife. ''; '*- ";
"Where the dickens are these fly livery
barn agents that used to meet us at the
train?" asked the commercial man.
The livery proprietor cut a few shavings
from his stick, spat at a near-by knot- ]
hole and replied: yyy
"Wall, you see, competition was gittln'
too keen. *We had to get together on
some kind of a deal to save expenses. * So
we combined and fired our. traveling men.
I You fellows can come down to the barn
after this." - :^:^: :- ''-'*■"
But the trusts have not fired all of
their traveling salesmen. Those few like i
the sugar trust which have reached
somewhere near a monopoly or absolute
control of the situation send no men to
the retail trade. But the largest trust
America has, the Standard Oil company,
still employs a large number of road men.
There is still enough competition in that
industry to force the company to send
its missionaries to the trade instead of
telling the dealer to "come down to the
barn after this." It would be supposed
that with all of its wealth in money and
facilities, the Standard Oil company would
be in a position to do away with its
traveling force if it desired. But the ex
tensive line of oils and other products It
manufactures, brings. It into competition
with various other lines, and consequently
its traveling salesmen visit every section
of the continent. "Kerosene wars" caused
by the Standard and an independent com
pany coming together hard in the race
for business are still a feature of the re
tall trade. As long as these conditions
hold, the Standard Oil company must have
traveling men.-.:-;
No one industry in the palmy days of
the Independent factory, employed more
traveling salesmen than the tobacco indus
try. Hundreds of tobacco men invaded the
northwest at regular intervals. One man
now takes the merchants' orders for a
long list of brands represented formerly
by nearly as many different men. There
still remain independent manufacturers of
tobacco, and as long as they are in the
field the trust must employ a field force of
considerable numbers to look after Its in
terests. But the tobacco trade has seen
its force of traveling men greatly reduced.
There are some merchants in the north
west who are advocates of a system of
trade which would" employ no - traveling
salesmen. Their argument Is that the
expense of soliciting business comes out
of the profits of the retailer and the pock
ets of the consumer. In answer it is said
that the tobacco trust is taken as a fair
test. - To-day the merchant makes less
money on his tobacco than in the old days
when the 'country, swarmed .with tobacco
salesmen.- The consumer pays as much for
his tobacco as In those days. The trust
is "salting the velvet." Vy.yy
The Bulge of Prosperity.
The wonderful bulge of prosperity which
the west: has experienced in the past five
years has brought the traveling salesmen
Into great demand. Good -men who lost
t-helr positions through the consolidation
of big enterprises and the organization of
trusts have been in demand. \ To-day the
man who,has demonstrated his success as
a traveling salesman is > not crying for a
job. The manufacturer has eliminated
the traveling salesman-in some Instances,
but the business is being handled by the
jobber and *he must' have traveling repre
LeadinO FiGures In
sentatlves. New territory is being
opened by immigration and development,
each man's territory is being confined to
smaller area, new houses are entering
the field, and the trade is being canvassed
more closely. All this has required the
addition of more commercial 'travelers to
the 'staff of nearly every house in the
west. The jobbers are making money and
the salesmen are doing well.
Plenty of Competition'
Where there are traveling salesmen
there is competition. Throughout the
northwest there are numerous inland
stores.far removed from railroads. The
time was when traders in this class of
stores would send in mail orders or go to
market occasionally.
. No inland store is now too far removed
to escape the commercial traveler and
his team. On the other hand competition
Is so keen that the merchant sends in
fewer mail orders.
Ht« Future Secure.
O. C. Wyman, of Wyman, Partridge &
Co., is a firm believer In the traveling
salesman's future in American trade. Mr.
Wyman also maintains that the standards
In the traveling fraternity are continually
improving. He says.
The dry foods trade and nearly every other
line of jobbing requires active and" able rep
resentatives on the road. The system of
going after trade is the American Idea.
American trade will never. go back to the
system of the merchant's going to: market.
Traveling salesmen will always be an im
portant adjunct to a successful wholesale
business. A -first-class • traveling salesman
can be not only a profit-maker for his house,
but he can be of great benefit to the cus
tomer. He sells the goods and keeps his
house supplied with valuable information
concerning business conditions in his terri
tory. If he is a first-class, up-to-date man,,
he supplies the customer:with ideas that
prove money-makers. Many, retail merchants !
owe their success In business to the * coaching j
and assistance given tb/m by traveling sales
men. I believe that" the'-next ten years;
will see the general qualifications required of:
the commercial travelers of a the northwest
raised to a still higher standard.- Men will
be employed who are thoroughly able to rep
resent their houses from every point of view,
not only In the sale of the goods, - but |in
other matters connected with the business.
The "traveling fraternity will .contain fewer
men who are not fitted for the work, and
more men trained for that special occupa
tion. The merchant will always .come to
market more or less, but he will never cease
to appreciate the traveling ..salesman. This
much must be remembered—wholesale houses
have prospered without employing " traveling
salesmen, but not to th« extent'of those
houses in the same lij_e which have pushed
their, business with the aid of good represen
tatives. '* -■ ' „
__) mJSS_!
A. E. Bezoier, a prominent northwest
ern comercial traveler, says:
Most of the men affected by the trusts
were specialty salesmen, selling goods, to be
shipped direct from the manufacturer to the
retail merchant, and which now pass through
the hands of the wholesaler. But the gen
eral results are not as disastrous to the
traveling fraternity as was predicted a few
years ago. Various branches of the whole
sale trade have been compelled to increase
their traveling forces. Increase in popula
tion in the older districts and the opening
of new territory have made more traveling
salesmen necessary. Another reason for this
increase is the need of better department
representation on the road by many houses.
The man of known ability has found no dif
ficulty in securing a desirable line and ter
There are more men on the road to-day
than ten years ago. Air business has seen
an advance and an improvement in methods.
The traveling man has not stood still. He is
invaluable to the. wholesaler and necessary
to his success. He is progressive, resource
ful, and a" medium of information for the
house he represents as well as for the cus
tomer. . ' ,
■Among the methods offered by those who j
would do away with the traveling man: _ :
the system of bringing the trade to market,
thereby reducing the expense of selling goods,"
presumably, and making lower prices to j tho
merchant. But it will readily be. seen that
this system-would demand large additions, to
the number of house salesmen. Then the
customers would undoubtedly] expect ■ the
houses to defray their expenses. This would
more than offset the .expense• of -traveling
salesmen who could ' transact • business with
a score or more merchants at practically the
same expense. The house that continues to
send. a complete line of I sample merchandise
to the dcor ,of- the merchant will secure the
business. It is the natural. way for the mer
chant to buy. He has his stock at hand and
can j make \ his purchases more intelligently.
It, furnishes him 3 with the best 'opportunity
of gauging competing lines, and that without
expense or loss of time. s The country mer
chant. would the quickest to combat any
effort to eliminate] the traveling man. '.' In
addition tor the. benefit he derives from their
visits he" realizes that. they" are a financial
.benefit to ; every. town they [ visit. Were, it
possible to place merchandise, in. the hands
of . the country merchant without the aid *of
the traveling salesman, it would have beer
done years ago. Your trust can think of 'no
scheme outside of absolute monopoly that the
jobber has not thought of. .Many trust prod
ucts are represented on. the j road by a com
plete traveling force.. The man with the
grip is essentially American, and he is here
to v stay. y;"j ' ■"' }^*}*']]^- r:::i'^''~-rj~^^^
A "Type's Opinion. '- -'y,-'
On one :of . the Northern Minnesota
trains a j few days ago " I ' met one of ' the
typical commercial travelers of the north- j
west. 'Terry McCosker; comes . from ,a long 1
line of the best there was in Ireland.
Terry puts it this way:
Not until the trade of this country is all
dominated by trusts will the traveling man
disappear, and If he is ever forced to beat
a retreat, it will be a retreat in good order.
The traveling man has done his part toward
creating the wealth now controlled by great
enterprises. He has been the steam that has
pushed the business ahead; that gave the
trust promoter something to work on. As
long as there is ambition in any business
man or corporation, he will be seeking new
fields to conquer, end that will always be the
case unless he has a monopoly. Under these
conditions traveling salesmen must be em
ployed. The northwest has more traveling
salesmen to-day than ever before. Trusts
have been able to cut down their traveling
force, but good men are in demand to-day
i everywhere.
, . No Fear of a Change.
So the "traveling man" fears no change
of "system," and little cares for the in
roads of the trust. He believes that the
fraternity is progressing toward a
brighter future.
. ———
Doctors Would Often Rather Advise
Than to Give Medicine.
American Medicine.
'The importance attained by health re
sorts in Europe is shown by the fact that
the ' German and Austrian medical pro
fession with the co-operation of the gov
ernments of those countries has appointed
a committee to arrange; cheap excursions
which will j give, physicians and medical
students an opportunity of visiting and
examining the health resorts of the two
countries. This committee includes two
famous medical men, Professor yon Ley
den * and Professor Liebreich. The first
excursion - party will visit the seacoast
resorts in September. y :•'yy-.y-
It may be the result of the above con
ception of the scope of medical treat
ment that in these-countries It seems to
be true that a physician* will often give
his patient nothing but sound advice and
the patient; be satisfied that the doctor
has done his duty." Unfortunately should
a physician here forget to add a pre
scription the chances are ! that the pa
tient I would seek another more circum
spect practitioner. Of course a busy per
son or one of < limited means will ever
hope that a "forced, often expensive, vaca
tion- may not be necessary and equally
good results attained by a course of medi
cal treatment. In America the over
worked, patients ; and unfortunately their
; name is legion, -need- rest and recreation
much more than iron, quinine, strychnia
or phosphates, and - their needlessly ex
aggerated opinion of the value of these Is
one - of the chief ; obstacles In ; the path • of
1 a doctor who tries to help them.
Or Have You Been Taken Care Of—Simple
Story of Rank Injustice That Will Reach
Flesh and Blood Minneapolitans.
To the Editor of The Journal.
I noticed in your yesterday's Issue, a
statement purporting to come from Mr.
Earling, president of the Chicago, Mil- i
waukee & St. Paul railway, to the effect
that "sometime" in the future Minne
apolis is to have fair treatment in the
matter" of service on the lowa & Minne
sota division. It is rather discouraging
to note that this last promise of Mr.
Earling's is not as satisfactory as the one
made to a committee of our business men
who called on him In Chicago a few
months ago regarding this and other mat
ters. As I remember the report made at
that time, he promised a correction of
wrongs at once. As nothing has been
done since that promise was made, it Is
time for another promise, and the in
definite way in which this Is worded
should make the situation satisfactory to
Minneapolis for sometime, after which
we can ask him to "please" make -us
another promise.
Here we have a city furnishing that
road more than twice the business St.
Paul does, a business more valuable than
that of any other station outside of Chi
cago, and I am sure the great majority of
our business men and shippers are ignor
ant of the imposition practiced upon this
city for years in the matter of running
the I. & M. division trains; otherwise,
they would have demanded . justice, and
would, if necessary, have made It ex
pensive for that road to longer persist in
Its rank discrimination against this city.
In order that the situation may "be
known to all, I wish to relate a recent
experience. Thursday morning I boarded
the train which is scheduled to arrive
here at 11:05 a. m. at a station in the
southern part of the state. ,It is one of
the trains that is supposed to detach a
car" at Mendota : for Minneapolis,' though
there is no sign on the cars, as there
should be, to indicate which car.goes to
this city. Before arriving at Mendota,
the brakeman notified us that the entire
train would go through to St. Paul, where
we arrived at eight minutes ' before 11.
On inquiry, I found that the car" which
is scheduled to come to Minneapolis Is
usually pulled up here from Mendota by
a switching crew, after it is detached from
the train,, but that crew was probably
busy, I presume switching freight for
Minneapolis business men. "
At St. : Paul we were notified that all
bound for Minneapolis would take a cer
tain car. This, of course, necessitated
Detroit Free Press.
The Visitor—Of course you know noth
ing of yellow Journalism, up here. - -
The Villager— the ed'ter of the
"Banner" he now'n agin put in Items up
side deown so's tew make folks read 'em.
I reckon that's sorter buff like, ain't It?
Baltimore American.
"Tell me," he sighed, "tell me, beau
teous maiden, what is In your heart." •
». Miss Henrietta Bean, of Boston, , gave
him a look icy disdain, and then vouch
safed the monosyllabic reply:
part IX
those in the other car gathering up their
satchels, band boxes, babies, etc., and get*
ting the best accommodation they could
in the crowded car which was coming to
Minneapolis. Immediately on arriving in
St.. Paul, the conductor and brakeman left
the train, as it was the end of their run,
without turning the seats, and as about
half of them were locked, a considerable
number of the passengers were obliged to
ride backwards until the new conductor
came through the car, which occurred
some time after we left St. Paul, and not
until I noticed two ladies and a child car
sick, doubtless as a result of the rid*
backwards. There probably was a brake
man on the train but neither he nor tho
conductor appeared during the huriy burly
incident to transferring to the Minneapo
lis car, and the few gentlemen on the car
were kept busy turning seats, and trying
to turn seats that were locked. -.;,,.
After a wait in the St. Paul depot of ex
actly eight minutes, we started for Minne
apolis, where we arrived at 11.26. Forty
one* minutes before, we were at Mendota,
less than five miles from Minneapolis;
our train arrived in Bt. Paul on schedule
time, and thirty-four minutes later Bwo
reached Minneapolis, twenty-one minutes
behind schedule time, after being sub
jected to all the annoyances I have de
scribed. r .:*--, '. 'y ■ '.
Is it any wonder the passengers who;
came to Minneapolis were almost entirely
women and children? Would any business
man living on that line come to Minne
apolis on business if he could avoid it?
Certainly not, for two very good reasons:':'
In the first place, the discomfort of such
a trip and loss of time would deter him;
and in the second place, he would have no
confidence in the business ability of a
community that: would tolerate such [e\< :
service. ...
I had intended to sign this "One of the
Donkeys," but the writing of my experi
ence has, I believe, changed my disposi
tion, and I shall sign It "Shipper," and
add that from now on I am one of the,
shippers who proposes to divert evelS"
pound of freight possible from the Mil
waukee, as well as the Omaha, until those
cum of Justice, even though one or two
cum of Justice, even thought one or two
of our largest shippers are presum
ably well satisfied with the confidential ar- ;
rangements they have with the railroads,
and usually travel In private cars or on |
passes, and a seemingly semi-official rail
road publicationcontinue to advocate the
"Please and promise" policy. ;
. * Shipper.
Chicago News. .
Rural Visitor Doesn't it <!bai an awful
lot to live in the city? - '
Urbanltc—No; it ■ doesn't <*_t much to =
live; trying to keep up appearances Is y
what paralyzes a man's bank account.
Chelsea Gazette. - _
Mrs. Jones—Will you please mall this
letter for me? y
Letter Carrier—Certainly, madam.
Mrs. Jones Are you a married man?
Letter Carrier Yes.
Mrs. Jones Well, never mind. I'll mall
it myself. • - '„ „ - *.-

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