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St. Paul daily globe. [volume] (Saint Paul, Minn.) 1884-1896, June 07, 1885, Image 11

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Bepresentatives of Both Parties of the
Minneapolis Cooper Controversy
in Interesting Variety of Notes from
the Mills and Shops of the
Plonr City.
rhrough. tlie Omalm Sli ops- -Division
ol Life into Tliirds--St. Paul
The Great Iron Strike— lts Causes
and the Probable Conse
Intelligent Statements From Both
Sides— General Cooper Notes.
There are always two sides to a story, and
in order that the public may get something
like a definite understanding of the compli
cations of the affairs of the coopers of the
pity, which have of late attracted so much
attention, the Globe yesterday interviewed
representatives of both the co-operative and
journeyman coopers.
C. MeC. Reeve, the manager of the Hall
& Dunn Barrel company, which is the larg
est "boss" shop in the city, was asked to
give his views upon the situation, and re
sponded about as follows.
"In Minneapolis the coopers are divided
into two classes— co-operatives, who own
their own shops, and the journeymen
coopers who are employed by the boss
shops. The co-operative shops, if they
make anything during the year, divide the
profits pro rata; if they lose they assess
themselves to make up the deficit. If the
boss shops sell their barrels for less than
cost the loss comes out of the pockets of the
proprietors, or "bosses" as they are called,
and is not assessed upon the men. Suppose,
as an illustration, that oak barrels are sell
ing at 42 cents, which allows lo cents for
making, and the bosses and the co-operatives
agree to stick to that price for a certain
length of time. Suppose, again, that when
be agreement expires we cut to 40 cents
and we find we are losing 2 cents a barrel,
and say to our men, 'We can only pay 14
cents.'" The co-operatives have also been
losing 2 cents a barrel, but they will assess
their loss back upon themselves. They will
say to our men, 'Strike if they cut you to 14
cents. We are paying I<> cents and the boss
shops can do it if we can.' And they will
pay 10 cents too, but at the end of the
year or expiration of the contract they will
assess their loss back upon themselves, so
they have in reality been making but 14
cents. If our men strike it makes us trouble,
for the mill men can't be bothered without
difficulties, and will go to the co-operatives,
who 'never strike.' It has taken the jour
neymen two years to get onto the way in
wiiich the co-operatives assess themselves
for the losses they stand in 'keeping up
prices,' and now that they understand
the situation I think there will be no more
"Last fall we all entered into a contract
with the mills to make barrels for 42 cents
to May 1. This shop was equipped with
machinery and wus supplying the Pillsbury
A mill. In the meantime the Sixth street
and North Star shops, the largest co-oper
ative shops in the city, put in machinery
and before the expiration of the contract
they go to Pillsbury A and offer to furnish
barrels at 40 rents. We of course cut to
40 cents to meet them, but are compelled to
reduce the price for making 2 cents. Then
the journeymen say to the co-operatives,
'How comes it that you are cutting down
the price for making?' The co-operatives
answer, 'We are not cutting; we are going
to pay 16 cents just the same, but we have
got machinery and find that we can save
the 3 cents there that we are going to lose
by the cut.' This brings us to
another - point in the controversy. When
we get 16 cents, we charge 5 cents
for the machine, and allow
11 cents for the hooping, Now these two
co-operative shops claim that it only costs
from 2Jj to 3 cents to work off a barrel by
machinery, and as 5 cents is allowed they
claim they can make the 2 cents here
which they cut ©n-tlie price they make to
the mills, * We claim that it costs from 4 to
5 cents and that is just the difference be
tween us. We have had our machinery for
three years, and know that it can't be done
for any less. The co-operatives have just
got theirs, and don"t know within 3 cents a
barrel how much it is going to cost them.
Now they have asked for a conference and
submit the matter of how much shall go to
the machine and how much for hooping
to an
consisting of disinterested parties who know
very little about the business. Now I
imagine this arbitration will go about as
follows: The North Star and Sixth street
chops will say it only costs 3 cents to turn a
barrel off, and we will say it costs
about 5 cents. The arbitratorsjwill think
that the co-operatives have the advantage
of lately improved machinery, and that we
should get in the same kind. But this is
not the point. The co-operatives don't
know how much it will cost them, and we
do. as we have had three years' experience.
Their machinery is new, and you know a
new broom sweeps clean at first. After
awhile they will have constant expenses for
repairs, which must be charged up to ma
chinery. For instance: We have a Corliss
engine of the best make, but have been com
pelled to pay §800 in the past year for re
pairs upon it. The expense of tress hoops
alone is $200 a year, and we pay SI. 75 a
day on an average for new belts. The co
operative machinery is new, and just now
they don't have these expenses. Now in
refusing to submit to this arbitration I have
simply refused to pit our experience against
their theory concerning the expense in mak
ing a barrel by machinery to a committee
which will not fully understand the matter.
"There is another way in which I
Slaim our men are given an
advantage which enables them to make
more money than the co-operatives can at
the same pay. In our shop we deliver the
stock into the building and soak the hoops.
The co-operatives have to get their own
stock and soak it or else pay to have it
done. There are a number of other- ex
penses, such as removing ashes, etc., which
co-operatives have to stand from which our
men are free. I claim that our men make
more than the co-operatives by 15 per cent.
as a rule, and will only make one exception —
the Phoenix shop — in which the men receive
the highest pay in the city. This is a small
shoo where they make barrels by hand,
and" the Crosby mill buys all they can
In making the statement that the co
operative shops do not know within 3 cents
the cost of working off a barrel by ma
chinery, Mr. Reeve said he spoke figura
tively, and did not mean to be understood
as literally saying that. He did mean,
though, that the co-operatives have had no
experience with machinery and are not in a
position to judge of what the cost is going
to be.
From the following interviews with some
of the leading co-operative coopers it will
be seen that the statements of Mr. Keeve
are not only denied, but facts are brought
forward to contradict them. It is only in
tended at this time to give each side a fair
hearing, and thus allow the public to learn
something concerning the perplexities of a '
situation which involves nearly every phase
of the labor problem of the day. The co
operatives are at the same time employers
and employes, and while this seemingly
paradoxical position would appear calcu
lated to produce complications of an embar
rassing nature, their past success in the face
of difficulties which have been cleared away
points to their successful solution of an ex
periment which can be applied to other
branches of manufacturing.
F. L. Batcheldor, manager of the North
Star shop, said the company had always
been opposed to the introduction of machin
ery, but had been compelled to adopt it or
jo out of business. When they made bar
rels by hand he was satisfied that the ma
chine shops had an advantage of about 2K
cents a barrel. That is, they were allowed
5 cents for machinery when the work could
be done for 2}£ cents. Now the North Star
has machinery which will turn off three
times as many barrels as any other shop.
With a single tresser Thursday 2, 300 barrels
were made. Concerning the arbitration
Mr. Batcheldor said the co-operative coop
ers have no grievances to adjust. They are
getting full pay, 16 cents, and have a con
tract to supply the Pillsbury A mill for six
months, and mean to fill it. The ones wno
want an arbitration are the journeymen
coopers who have been cut l}£ cents. As
loug as the co-operative shops . pay the
regular price of 16 cents they are
open to censure, because they have en
deavored to obtain contracts to furnish
themselves employment. In receiving the
Pillsbury A contract, he said, the North Star
shop was only getting back what ,it was
cheated out of by the managers of the Ball
& Dann shop. Concerning the statement
that the journeymen ■ coopers are better off
and receive more pay, Mr. Batcheldor said
this was not true where the conditions
were the same. It stands to reason that
the co-operative men, who own their own
shops receive a profit in addition to their
regular wages, and conduct their business
as inexpensively as possible, should receive
more money than the journeymen who only
work for hire, and give what profit there is
to their employers. As far as conveniences
for work are concerned, the coopers of the
North Star have every arrangement to save
them time and unnecessary trouble. Their
hoops are soaked and the stock is delivered
at each man's berth. Mr. Batcheldor said
that thus far the cost of. working off by
machinery has not exceeded 8 cents per
barrel. When the men get accustomed to
the work he expects that the cost will not
exceed 2}£ cents, including a margin for
o. E. i>u eois, - . V ■/'; fj-r
treasurer of the Hennepin Co-operative
Barrel company, was highly amused at the
assertions made by Mr. Reeve and intimated
that the statements would hardly stand the
light of truth. The Hennepin shop has
been using machinery for five years and
thus offers a practical test as to the cost of
working off. Mr. Dv Bois said this e< st
had not exceeded 3 cents, including repair*.
It might cost the Hall & Dann shop 5
cents, but he doubted it. That establish
ment is run at a greater expense than any
of the co-operatives. It occupies an ex
pensive site, has a high-salaried manager
and the coopers are not careful to work up
stock as closely as the co-operative men.
The statement that the journeymen were
making 15 per cent, more pay than the co
operatives was too absurd for denial. He
was willing to wager that a comparison of
the pay rolls would show that the co-oper
ative men have received 15 per cent, more
wages than the journeymen. Another
thing, the Hennepin shop has earned a div
idend of 30 per cent upon its investment
during the past year, and paid its men IX
cents more than the Hall & Dann men get
now. The trouble with Mr. Reeve is that
he has been making plenty of money,
and now that he is compelled
to make a cut, he wants it to come out of
the pockets of the men, instead of the pro
prietors. Concerning the matter of the ar
bitration, Mr. Dv Bois said the journeymen
find fault with the North Sta* and Sixth
street shops for making the cut The co
operative men believe, however, that they
were justified in so doing as long as they
do not cut the pay of the men. Then again,
there was something back which induced
those shops to make the cut. Several years
ago, while one of the proprietors of the Hall
&Dann shop was up town signing an agree
ment to keep prices up, another was at the
Pillsbury A mill offering In cut under the
prevailing price. In this way the North
Star and Sixth street shops, which were
then supplying the Pillsbury A, were
euchered out of their contract. Now they
have got it back, and he was glad of it.
Concerning the convenience for turning
out work, Mr. Dv Bois said the Hennepin
is the best arranged shop in the Northwest,
each man having plenty of room, with his
stock soaked and brought to him. Even
the shavings are carried away for the men,
and there was nothing lacking in the way of
Mr. Kobler of the Sixth Street shop said
that the machinery has only been running
for a few days, and it is not known what
the cost of running the machinery will be.
It was not anticipated, however, that it
will amount to more than 3 cents. It has
not cost the Hennepin more than that, and
in New York and Philadelphia only 2 cents
is allowed the machinery. He. could not
see how it. had cost the Hall «fe Dann shop
5 cents, and . considered the statement to
that effect the veriest bosh. The co-opera
tive men have not sought any arbitration, '
but are willing to submit their side of the
question to any fair-minded men, with per
fect confidence as to what the decision will
be. The co-operative men have never
urged the journeymen to strike. He believed
that the latter should stand up for their
rights and should put the blame where it
really belongs — the bosses and not the
co-operatives. ;■ f'y ;.-'.*
Manager Muir, of the Doud shop is quite
Coopers are agitating the question of an
annual picnic.
Notwithstanding the backset of its April
fire, the Minnesota shop is doing well.
The family of President Dv Bois of the
Hennepin shop is visiting in Oswego, N. Y.
The Phoenix is making more barrels than
it can sell and is storing them for the time
when the mills will resume. • "•„ />.
The Acme company, operating the Stev
ens shop, is not doing much business dur
ing the inactivity of the mills.
The Sixth street and North Star shops
are the only ones that have all they can
comfortably do, but the Hennepin and
Northwestern are running steadily; /. V
National Cooper: An exchange, tells us
that Minneapolis has a manufactory of
paper barrels just getting under way with
some novel machinery. A number of citi
zens are interested in the project, and some
of its most sanguine promoters claim that
paper barrels will soon be substituted for
wooden ones in many of the leading flour
mills of this country. All of which sounds
very nice, but is highly improbable.
North western Miller: The sales and man
ufacture of barrels both took a drop again
last week, and have left some of the shops
pretty short of business. There are, how
ever, two or three that continue to run to
full capacity. The sales and manufacture
of barrels for t\»e past four weeks, and for
the corresponding time in 1884, are shown
in the appended t\ble:
,■■■■■'. Sold, Bbls. Made, Bbls.
"Weekending— 1884. 1885. 1884. 1885.
May 30 54,000 48,000 49,000 52,000
May 23 49,500 59,000 49,500 71,600
May 16 55,870 78,900 53,000 80,700
May 9 45,500 87.700 57,400 80,800
May 2 ........ . .62,800 84,000 54,000 • 80,000
April 25 . ... . . . 59,000 82,300 36,700 73,000
A Day Off at the Milwaukee Car
Personal Mention.
Ed R. Bristoff, watchman at the Milwau
kee shops, is the proud father of a fourteen
pound boy which arrived last Wednesday
Ed Page has returned from Kansas and
has resumed his. old position in the engine
room at the Milwaukee shop.
Thomas Cummings of the boiler shops on
Wednesday was struck in the right eye by
a flying piece of steel while corking a boiler.
The injury, while painful, will not impair
his eyesight, but Tommy says it is as near
as he cares to come to "having his eye
knocked out"
The game announced to take place at
Snort Line junction last Saturday between
nines from the boilermakers of the Milwau
kee and Manitoba shops did not come off
owing to rain. The match will be played,
however, during the month.
Work at the Chicago, Milwaukee & St.
Paul shops has been very slack, and as a
result five boilermakers and four helpers
were laid off, and the day following seven
carpenters were given notice to quit. It is
feared that more discharges will follow.
McCartin and Ho yt --Two More Min
neapolis Head Millers.
; The two masters of mill machinery whose
genial countenances are presented to Globe
readers this morning were not among the
idlers by the stoppage of the mills last week,
though both of them may have time to play
marbles this week. Charles G. Hoyt is not
as old as he ' looks, but Is old enough to
know how to successfully run the largest
flouring mill in the world, the big Pillsbury
A. The light hair on the summit \of his
head gives him an appearance of baldness
which is really not there. Of his 37 years
— nearly 88 — of existence he has spent six
teen in the employ of C. A. Pillsbury &
Co.. and well earned' the confidence reposed
in him. He was born in Portland and came,
or was brought, to Minneapolis at the ten
der age of 7 years, and was too young to
participate in the war. When it closed
he began a miller's career in
the Union mill, remaining there
until he went into the employ
of the Pillsburys in 1869. For two years
he was interested in the old Hennepin mill
but went back to the Pillsbury company
and was made the head miller. When the
big mill was completed, he was' placed in
I charge of it. Personally, Mr. Hoyt is as
genial and clever a gentleman as the mill
ing district contains. When the conductors
visited the mill, last week, he gave them a
treatise on llourmaking that was worthy of
preservation. In his family relations he is
happy and contented, though a cloud passed
over his home last fall, in the death of a
bright child.
Joseph McCartin of the St. Anthony and
Union mills is the youngest of the coterie
of head millers, being now in his 30th
year and having spent but ten years in the
business. He is built like a young Hercules,
but has the genial disposition of a mill
ionaire. His youth is no drawback, for the
firm of Morse & Sammis has the reputation
of making the best of flour. A Scotch im
porter, recently in the city, paid this high
compliment to Mr. McCartin. Born in
Rhode Island, thirty years ago, he has spent
most of his life in Minneapolis, becoming a
miller in 1875 in the Union mill. In 1881,
he was given charge of the mill, and last
year when the firm bought the St. Anthony
mill, he.succeeded to that also.
A Jolly Good Time Assured—Pro
g-rantofthe Day.
There is really very little more to be done
toward the millers' excursion to Minne
tonka on June 20. The steamer, Belle of
Minnetonka, capable of carrying l,soo.pas
sengers, has been chartered for all day, and
will make periodical trips around the lower
lake. It was arranged for the trains to
start from this city at 8 o'clock a. m., go
ing through to Hotel Lafayette without
stop. The dancing will occur in the hotel
parlors, and will be prolonged into the even
ing. In returning, the main train will
leave the lake at 6p. m., and a special at
11 o'clock. C. M. Palmer, A. W. Howard
and A. S. Dimond were appointed a com
mittee to arrange for a regatta by the Min
netonka Yacht club, to be assisted by Messrs.
Huinason, Lockerbie and Wright, these
gentlemen being empowered to offer suita
ble prizes. It was decided to offer £7, 85
and $3, and $5, §3 and $2 as prizes for a
tub and sack race respectively. Messrs.
Thomas Clark, J. F. Stephens, Davins,
Tamm, Lockerbie and McCartin were
chosen floor managers. J. H. Miller, Matt
Walsh and C. M. Palmer were appointed a
committee on reception, to see that outside
millers shall have no difficulty in getting ac
quainted. •An excursion train will start
from St. Paul and tickets will be placed on
sale there. Tickets are $1 for the round
trip. - ' , ?-lr*
Minneapolis Millers.
Washburn C, fully repaired will start up
on Monday.
The output of flour will be very small
this week from the present outlook.
The base ball nine of Pillsbury A ex
pects to carry off the cup at the head mil
lers' picnic.
Mercurial thermostats have been placed
in Washburn A mill. No more fire alarms
sent in by officious dudes.
Any changes in the West side canal will
be made in July, as the millers prefer
shutting down the mills at that time.
Henry Smith of Washburn B lost one of
his children last week, and James Early
and Bert Hager of the Paliside, each had an
addition to his family.
A special meeting of the head millers
will be held Tuesday evening to further
consider the annual excursion. The Globe j
is indebted to Secretary Clark of the asso
ciation for information furnished.
The Miller: The mills shut down Wed
nesday were the Washburn C, Standard,
Union, Holly, Cataract, Minneapolis,
Northwestern, Pettit and Dakota, repre
senting a total daily capacity of 8,500 bar
rels, The Crown Roller was to close down
the next day, and statements were made at
that time by millers that the proprietors of
the Pillsbury A and Washburn A had
agreed to shut them down Saturdey. These
are the Goliaths of the platform, and would
make : a hole in the daily output of about
10,000 barrels. Of this, however, 2,000
barrels may be taken off by the Washbum
C starting up early in the week. Two
firms of this city have been making the
major part of the flour turned out, and the
smaller millers, whose mills have been
closed down, have complained a good deal
about these parties keeping their mills in
operation in the face of the present demor
alized condition of the flour trade, and have
threatened to start in and contribute their
share toward flooding the market
Turning 1 on the Fire Alarm in a
. . Washbnrn Mill.
In milling circles they tell a good story of
the doings of one of the dudes in the Wash
burn office, who is unacquainted with the
machinery of the firm's mill. Having, an
errand to some one in the mill he rushed
down to C and climbed to one of the upper
stories. Looking about him he could not
only not see the man he wanted, but could
notice nobody on the floor. In his search
he noticed on one of the upright stanchions
an electric push-button, and, concluding. he
could summon the entire force to his will,
gave it a vigorous push and waited the re
sult. It came, but not in the exact form he
had anticipated. The push-button was the
electric fire alarm and unknown to himself
he had turned in an alarm. Instantly
the ' ; machinery stopped and the en
tire force of the mill, with experience and
discipline, ; prepared ; to fight ■;; the fire.
The office dude, who had i unwittingly
given the alarm, was paralyzed to see a fire
brigade rush upon the floor where he was,
with hoserbuckets and fire extinguishers
ready for action. . They did not duck him,
though the temptation was strong, when he
explained with official dignity, he only de
sired to summon the men. The result was
more serious than anticipated. Ordinarily,
before the machinery is checked, the mill in
allowed to empty itself to prevent a clog
ging of the elevators, which is always more
or less trouble when the machinery is sud
denly stopped. Nothing much was said,
but what the head miller thought would
never be put, by the officious youngster, on
his family escutcheron.
thinneapoZisilaSor notes.
Items of liiii* rest from the Shops and
An effort is to be made to organize the
carpenters of the city.
J. Wiseman had two fingers taken off
while coupling cars in the Omaha yard Mon
day night.
Work at the Minneapolis & St. Louis
shops seems to be fairly active. Neverthe
less, eight men have already been dis
The employes of the manufacturing de
partment of Dale, Barnes, Morse & Co.
held their annual picnic at Lake Harriet
E. C. Cauvet and J. S. Kearney are the
Minneapolis delegates to the National Asso
ciation of Master Plumbers, which meets at
St. Louis June 33.
Martin F. Mcllale, a member of the
Stonecutters' association, has been ap
pointed inspector of the masonry of the new
Washington avenue bridge.
The boycott of the Fuller, Warren com
pany stoves, in Minneapolis, is rather un
necessary, as upon careful investigation
not a single retail store in the city has been
handling goods manufactured by this firm.
The workingmen of Minneapolis are in
vited to bring their families to Harrison hall
Monday evening and listen to the lecture of
Hon. C. H. Litchfield of Marblehead.Mass.,
upon the Mission of the Knights of Labor—
the Cause for and the Benefits of Organi
zation. •
Ed O'Brien, Minneapolis delegate to the
National Typographical convention, has in
troduced a measure to provide for the burial
of a member of the union in case he hap
pens to be traveling, and for the time being
not a member of any particular union.
At the meeting of the Trades and Labor
assembly Friday evening it was reported
that there are several buildings in this city
in the upper stories of which a number of
women and girls are employed. • There are
no provisions whatever for fire escapes, and
should a fire break out the Cincinnati horror
would be repeated. The committee upon
factory and work-shop inspection will make
an investigation, and if this culpable negli
gence is found to exist, active steps will be
taken to remedy the fault.
A Trip Through T iieni Discloses
Curious Things.
A representative of the Globe put in
several hours a day or so ago in going
through the shops of the Omaha road, situ
ated at the foot of Webster avenue, beyond
the Short line crossing at West Seventh
street. A visit to these shops is well worth
any person's while who is interested at all
in the industries of a great and growing
city. While not as extensive, perhaps, as
other shops of the kind in the West, they
are as well equipped as any in the North
west. There are now employed in the dif
ferent departments 105 men, and their
wages range from .92.75 to S3 per day. Of
course, the apprentices are at first given a
nominal figure, and are increased as they
beeoine proficient in the business. Under
the escort of Engineer C. M. Douty, a peep
was taken into each department, from the
foundry, where all the castings are made,
through the storehouse, oil rooms, black
smith shop, paint shop, boiler room and
round house, to the machine shop, the lat
ter being the largest building of the num
ber. In the roundhouse there are stalls for
twenty different engines, and thirty-three can
be accommodated altogether in various
quarters. The engineers and firemen are
not included in the number mentioned as
composing the employes, as this class of
attaches are on the line of the road most of
the time, and are only about the shops
when coming with their engines to the
round house, or when coining to run the
machines out for a trip.
In the blacksmith shop the occupants
were making myriads of sparks fly in every
direction, like a rainfall of miniature stars,
as they played upon the red-hot iron with
their hammers, while to one side an enor
mous steam hammer was pounding away
and a curious sort of poimderous machine
was turning out complete bolts at regular
intervals. In the boiler room great ma
chines were shearing off rods of iron with as
much ease as a pair of sharp scissors can
cut paper. The machine shaft is where the
largest number of men work, and it is here
that the most intricate work is done. Down
one side of the glass-roofed building are all
kinds of lathes and drills, which are boring
holes of every description through iron and
brass. With these machines various pieces
are made to fit together with the utmost
nicety. At a drill one man is engaged in
turning down the tire of a palace car
wheel— a paper wheel with a tire of steel
fitted closely to it. The tire is turned per
fectly time throughout its circumference, as
by so being the wheel will wear much longer
and it insures an easier ride to the passenger.
Beside this is a like machine, but on a
larger scale, and it performs the same ser
vice for locomotive driving-wheels that its
smaller neighbor does for the car wheel.
Near these machines is the tool room, a
wire inclosure in charge of two workmen
who repair and make tools and who issue
them to the machinist. For instance a
workman wishes some particular implement
of his calling; it is necessary for him to go
to the tool room, his want is at once ful
filled and the tool charged against him
until it is returned. All tools are required
to be returned before 6p. m. This may
seem somewhat like red tape, but the plan
works with little delay and is found to be a
saving in the wear of the tools and insures
more careful usage. On the oppo
site side of the machine shop
are half a dozen locomotives for repairs.
No engines are built by the company, but
it does its own rebuilding and repairing. A
locomotive will run eight months or a year
with ordinarily good usage before it is nec
essary to send -it to the shops, and the aver
age life of a locomotive is twenty years. Of
course parts of the machine will be utilized
long after this period. In fact there is an
engine boiler now in use as part of a con
struction engine which was at one time in
use on the New York & New Haven rail
road at a period to which the memory of the
oldest attache runneth not back. About
the yards are piles of iron and car-wheels
in numberless profusion— rusty-looking
wheels, but worth a sum which is a sur
prise to the uninitiated observer. But to
gain all the information which is to be
gleaned about this branch of industry one
must make a visit and see for himself. It
needs but the asking at the office to go
about and see all that is to be seen, and it is
well worth the time spent.
Little Things Concerning- St. Paul
Billy Fohlson has abandoned the ranks of
the bricklayers and has gone to contracting
for work in that line.
P. J. McClelland, secretary of the typo
graphical union, is suffering with one of
Job's pets upon his neck.
The Knights of Labor have appointed a
commissioned organizer for the city, whose
duties are to advance the membership of the
society, as the name implies. The gentle
man appointed is also state organizer for
Local Assembly No. 1998, Knights of
Labor, initiated twenty-one new members
on Wednesday evening last.
Gus Deguela, ex-president of the cigar
makers' union, was recently wedded to
Miss Bertha Fleck, an estimable young lady
of La Crosse, Wis.
Ephraim Airman, one of St. Paul's brick
layers, made a trip to England a month or
so ago and returned with his wife for per
manent residence in this city.
At the last monthly meeting for June of
Knights of Labor Assembly 1998 there will
be an election of officers, and a full attend
ance is called for on the occasion.
Dominick Feeley, an old member of the
bricklayers' union, has contracted for sev
eral new buildings and considers the out
look very good for the rest of the season. /.
The St. Paul Typographical union 'will
meet this afternoon at 3:30 '; at :' its hall on
Bridge square. ? '■■".■'
The Plasterer's union is in good working
order and numbers among Its membership
most of the . members of : that craft in the
city. \
\ Dan Mahoney, formerly foreman of the
defunct Day, will took of „the me
chanical department of the DispatcJ" res
terday. ', Dan shaved off his mustache
recently, which gave him such a clerical ap
pearance that he has since been called
"Father" Mahoney by his friends.
James Burns, machinist, but more re
cently in the employ of the Electric Light
company, while working in one of the mills
at Minneapolis last Tuesday, was knocked
from 'a' step ladder by a j careless truckman
and sustained such a severe sprain of the
right arm as to be incapacitated for duty.
Fortunately no bones were broken.
. The employes of the Omaha shops gave a
picnic last year which was so much of a
success that it has been decided to continue
them annually hereafter. The one this year
is being talked of for some time about the
middle of July, and with the effort that
will be put forth will no doubt be as pleas
ant as the one of last year. The day and
date will be announced in these columns as
soon as decided upon.
Sketch of the Amalgamated Asso
' elation, Party of the First Part.
There is not a reader of the - Globe who
gains his livelihood by his hands and who
owes allegiance to any branch of organized
labor, but will feel a deep and abounding
interest in the struggle — the almost annual
straggle now in progress between the iron
workers and the mill owners throughout all
that broad stretch of country over which the
Amalgamated association spreads its
Briareus ' arms. Nor is there a workman,
interested in the cause of labor, but will
regret what seems to be a decadence of that
once invincible labor organization — the
largest and most powerful, limited to one
branch of industry, the world has ever
known.. One year ago, when William
Weihe, the champion puddler of Pittsburg,
was elevated to the position of its president,
the amalgamation claimed a membership of
75,000, with as many more of kindred
branches clamoring at its door for admis
sion. The great strike which began on June
1 is simply the rejection by the amalga
mation of the proposed reduction of 25 per
cent, over last year in the "sliding scale" of
prices by which it is governed under the
laws by which it it is held together. The
history Jof the amalgamation, with a sketch
of the general plans of its operation, as well
as the dangers of disruption which now
menace it, would not be out of place in this
column and would be of interest here in the
Northwest, where the powerful union is
unknown: and especially as there is a proba
bility that Minneapolis will number a bar
or sheet (and perhaps rail) mill among her
industries at no future day.
The oldest, best organized and most re
spected of all of the organizations of iron
workers, was the Sons of Vulcan, now ab
sorbed by the Amalgamation, of which it
was really the corner stone. It was formed
in : ante-bellum days and drew for its
largest membership on Wheeling, when that
city first came into prominence as an iron
center. It was composed exclusively of
puddlers, and though importuned for years,
steadily refused to admit rollers, heaters
and others, even of the forge department.
Its organization was perfect and in every
agitation in iron circles it was looked up to
as the recognized leader. Headquarters
were established at Pittsburg and Wheeling
became a district only. Less than ten years
ago, after other branches of iron workers
had formed unions, it became apparent that
a general organization was necessary to the
well-being of the workmen. Forge and
finishing departments occasionally differed
in their ideas of justice in work and wages
and at this time, when the ten large nail
mills of Wheeling rose and forced that city
to the front as the nail center of the world,
other unions sprung up to assert their
rights. " An important strike utterly failed
for want of harmony, and this was a poten
tial factor in driving the different branches
together. A delegate convention was held
at Pittsburg and :^;>-
of iron, steel and tinworkers of the United
States was formed, swallowing up every
other organization of mill workers. Grad
ually the scheme of organization was per
fected until, in 1878, the association was a
power in the land never before known in
labor circles. It included every leading
branch of iron and steel work, whether bar,
sheet, pig, muck or nail, except feeders, and
extended its jurisdiction from Philadelphia
on the east, to Bellville, 111., on the west,
and from Erie on the north to Wheeling,
W. Va., on the'south. Six districts were es
tablished, each having a vice president in
charge whose special duty was to arrange
and settle difficulties that might arise be
tween employers and members of the order,
as will be better explained hereafter. Each
district is divided into subordinate lodges,
the lodges usually being made up of one
class or workers and having a pro rata rep
resentation in district assemblies. In its
perfect entirety, the amalgamation was
similar to a national political convention,
the lodges being, represented as are the
states in the body named. After several
costly experiences, the amalgamation per
of wages, which affected every member of
the organization, and based the wages to be
paid on the selling price of iron. The
pound of pig iron was made the unit and
regulates the price of labor, the scale be
ginning: "When iron sells for 2 cents, the
price for puddling shall be $5 a ton," the
scale limning up to a 5-cent rate for iron.
The iron scale affected all but the nail de
partments,- where the selling price of nails
determined the wages of nailers. The
Pittsburg price for puddling on "boiling"
was the general unit, Wheeling i paying an
advance of 50 cents per ton, for the differ
ence in coal and in the system of paying
"helpers" and "third hands" at the boiling
furnace. The scale is printed and its pay
ment becomes a contract between millown
ers and the amalgamation, the "signing of
the scale" announcing a season of quiet for
a year. The scale ■ runs from June Ito
May 31, so that only once in every year can
a general trouble be brought about.
•During the great strike of 1881, when for
months all of the great mills lay like sleep
ing giants, the manufacturers realized the
advantage organization gave to the amalga
mation and after a series of meetings re
solved themselves into an offensive or de
fensive union, or protective union, as they
called it, pledged to stand together on the
matter of the scale. This union was ig
nominiously routed by a combination of
circumstances. During the long period of
enforced idleness new mills sprang up all
over the West and old ones increased their
capacity. Seeing the trade steadily supplied
with nails and iron and ] foreseeing a loss of
their prestige in the market, Wheeling and
Pittsburg were forced to yield and the amal
gamation gained its point. This ended the
protective union, practically, and left in ex
istence only the Western Nail association,
with headquarters at Pittsburg, which reg
ulated the card rate of nails.
V In April of each year the preliminary
steps are taken by the amalgamation for
fixing a scale for the year beginning June 1.
Lodge meetings are held and each lodge
formulates its ideas and sends its delegates
with instructions to its district assembly.
At the district assembly delegates are
chosen to represent the various lodges in the
general convention, which meets in Pitts
burg in May, and at which the full
and final scale is - prepared. ;At ■ a
stated . time this scale is submitted to
each mill for signatures, and on the result
depends v the r running lof the mill. Mill
owners consult, and if the scale is accepta
ble it is signed; but if it is not, a confer
ence is requested and committees from the
amalgamation and the . mill owers meet
and discuss the matter. If the : first day of
June finds the scales unsigned, the mills
are shut down and a lock-out ensues, to
continue until an agreement is arrived at by
a concession on one side or the other. It is
the policy of the amalgamation to Induce
the mills of one or more districts to run,
pending a [ general - c settlement, ' the reason
for ! which Is obvious. By so running, a
portion of the amalgamation is . kept <in
:■-?..,'.. ■ ..■ •"-.■_;•■■',.■■■.■■.;•.
steady fund* and the nail market is sup
plied, to the detriment of the trade of the
locked out mills. The amalgamation pre
pares for war by accumulating* money dur
ing steady runs, and it was its boast in
1881 that its treasury contained thej snug
sum of $150, 000.
Four years ago when the enormous and
unhealthy profits of 35 per cent in the
nail business induced capitalists in the
West to put up nail machines, Wheeling
began to feel her prestige, as the great
enter, slipping from her. To retain it, the
steel nail came to the front, and to-day the
thirteen large mills in that district are all
making or preparing to make steel nails.
The result threatens a disaster to the amal
gamation. Heretofore "boilers" and
"heaters" have been its backbone and
sinews, the Sons of Vulcan having been its
foundation. The steel nail, by doing away
with the forge department, eliminates
puddlers, rollers and heaters from the
amalgamation, depriving it of its princi
pal support. The forge departments of a
mill is that department which converts the
pig into nail plate; for the steel nail the
mills will procure steel nail all ready from
the machines, thus entirely disposing of the
forge department. Without a voice or in
fluence in the councils of the amalgama
tion it once controlled, the forge men must
now retire, while the nailers come to the
front, the letter having already reorganized
as the United Nailers with headquarters at
Bellaire. And this change is a potent
factor in the strike which began last Mon
is a repetition of those in the past. Early
in the year it became apparent that, keeping
pace with industry all over the East, mill
owners would demand a heavy reduction.
Heedless of this, the last year's scale was
presented by the amalgamation, but re- (
jected by the employers, who demanded
what is equivalent to a 20 per cent, hori
zontal reduction. For the most part the
mills are closed, some few having signed,
and the situation being daily outlined in the
telegraphic columns of the Globe.
In order to ascertain what would be the
effect of the strike on the iron trade in gen
eral, and]in this part of the country in partic
ular, a Globe reporter recently interviewed
several men in St. Paul acquainted with the
iron industry, with results as follows:
The general manager of the Minnesota
Iron company, Mr. George C. Stone, §aid
the trade Avas in a terrible condition. There
was too much iron produced. He didn't
look for an improvement this year. The
iron men had to produce at the lowest
figures and sell at the lowest prices ever
"I am unable to see any signs of improve
ment this year," continued the gentleman.
"Business of all kinds is dull. Whenever
the iron business is good all other branches
are good. The iron trade is the best ba
rometer of industries there is. No observing
man will deny that when iron is prosperous
all other lines of trade are in good condi
tion. Even during this dull year the con
sumption of iron has been enormous, and
you'll be surprised to hear that it has been
within 10 per cent, of what is called a good
year. Iron men expect to sell their ore at
less than it has ever brought. Few mines
are getting the cost of their ore at the pres
ent time."
"The effect of these difficulties between
the manufacturers and the laboring men
will be very slight indeed upon the country
at large. Of course, about the works
themselves many thousands of men will be
out«f employment. The strike will injure
not only the strikers themselves, but a good
many people in that immediate locality
in which they have been dealing. Ido
not see how it could operate to produce
failures in any other part of the countiy.
No doubt the manufacturers were perfectly
satisfied to have the strike commenced, and
were perfectly willing, probably, to shut
down. Stocks are large and they were
manufacturing more goods than they could
sell. If the scale of prices paid by
the manufacturers in the district east
of Pittsburg was the same as
that paid in the district in Pittsburg and
west, then it would be no benefit to the
manufacturer to ask for the reduction of
the price of labor, because whatever they
take from the laborer they give away to the
dealer and the dealer then gives it to the
consumer. The manufacturers undoubtedly
desired to shut down and only wanted an '
No. 17 E. Third St.,
Cor. Pine & 7th Sts,,
Is Where the two Mammoth Stores of
There are No Better Places in the Northwest to Buy
The Goods in these Stores are all selected with great*
care by Mr. Matheis, and bought in such quantities as to f
enable him to sell at the lowest possible prices.
Large Invoices of New Goods
Have been received during the past week, and a rare op*
portunity is offered to those who wish anything in this
line. Go and see them whilst they are fresh. Eemem-ber>
he sells nothing but
excuse to do so. If they could market their
goods readily they would- yield to the de
mand of the workmen and go on. The re
sult, probably, will be that certain lines of
goods will be scarce and the price stiffened
up. The manufacturers will mark up all
goods on hand and as soon as the surplus
stock is worked off at the advanced price
and a lively demand is developed for goods,
they will start up again. The
price of iron nails has already
been advance about 20 cents per keg, and a
jurther advance may be looked for. No
one can tell anything about how long it will
last. It may continue for a week and it
may last for two months. The strike
may cause an advance in other goods not
immediately connected with it providing it
continues long enough, but there is no
probability that it will last sufficiently
long, as before that time is reached there
will undoubtedly be a compromise."
••It is pretty difficult to make a statement
about the matter for the reason that no
one knows enough about the facts to war
rant a conclusion. No doubt the effect will
be to put up the price of goods. Nails
have already made a sharp advance of 20
cents per keg, and an advance of 10 per
cent right straight through on iron. It has
stiffened prices up materially all around.
The stocks in the city, I should judge,
would be equal to a thirty days' supply. As
I said, the great trouble about saying any
thing in regard to this matter is that we do
not know enough about it. The parties
may settle the difficulties between them at
any moment, and may not settle it at all.
As far as lam advised the manufacturers
are not going to sign, and it is probable
that they wanted the strike to take place.
I do not think the strike can have any ef
fect at all among the people generally. It
certainly will not among the wholesale
merchants. If the iron men and the
Amalgamated association do not come to an
understanding within two weeks it will
probably be a lock-out for two or three
months, and that means high prices.
The'effect upon the countiy, generally,
will be very slight indeed. The men who
are out of employment will suffer and all
the dealers in the locality of the strike, and
who have been supplying the 50, 000 or more
that are out of employment with groceries,
provisions, wood, <fee, will also suffer, for
they will be cut off from the monthly pay
ments that they have been receiving from
the strikers. Of course, if the strike lasts
long enough, many of the smaller and
weaker ones will go to the wall. Outside
of the locality •where the strike occurs there
will be no results from it at all. The nat
ural effect of the strike will be to raise the
price of all stocks on hand. When it comes
to the point where present stocks are about
exhausted, the manufacturers will naturally
be anxious to resume work, and the strikers
will feel that it will be more advantageous
to them to go to work. Consequently they
will be likely to come to an understanding.
No failures will be caused by the strike ex
cept in its immediate vicinity.
Gathered front tiie Industrial Cen
ters of the Country.
A fire in the Mudge shoe f actory, at Pea
body, Mass., throws 200 hands out of wots.
The seventeen special agents of the labor
bureau, recently appointed by the govern
ment, have received their commissions -and
are now on their way to the places assigned
to them.
In the international convention of prin
ters at New York on the 4th, the plan for
the benefit of printers traveling in search,
of work, by which they should receive
mileage and per diem, as is the system in
vogue with the cigarmakers, was voted
down. The proposition to re-establish the
sub-list system was lost. The delegate*
were banquetod in the evening.
On June 3 a type setting match occurred
in New York between Joseph McCann oi
the Herald and Ira Somers of the World for
a purse of $500. The men set for three
hours, McCann putting up 6,325 ems of
solid minion, without paragraphs, and Som
ers 5,022. McCann is an old-timer, aged
about 33, while Somers has never before
participated in a race, being a young felloe
aged 22. The latter was nervous and set
his first stickful in sixteen minutes, while
his last was emptied in thirteen minutes.
Both men beat the previous record. It is
thought Somers can beat McCann, and
another match will probably result.

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