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RAILROAD CARS AND DISEASE.
Methods Used by the Companies to Prevent Contagions Maladies. A great epidemic of contagious or In fectious disease must make many per sons wonder what the officers of rail roads do to prevent the spread of dis ease by the constant movement of trains back and forth. Obviously, a railroad car is well adapted to convey germs. The plush cushions, the hang ings, the carving, and in the case of sleeping-cars, the bedding, all furnish good lodging-places for dust or any fine material which may be flying about In the air; and the common use of the tumbler or drinking-cup is very effi cient in spreading diseases. A railroad surgeon has lately report ed an Instance uncommon, let us hope of the scattering of diphtheria through a wide region. A child having diphtheria was carried two hundred miles In an ordinary day car. The next day a number of school-teachers, re turning from a teachers' Institute, trav eled In the same car. Shortly afterward diphtheria broke out in the schools In four different places along the line of that railroad, and the evidence which the railroad surgeon was able to collect pointed to the spread of the disease by these teachers, who, when examined, ;were found to have diphtheritic organ isms In their throats, although they did not actually have diphtheria. Perhaps the child had left infected saliva on the arms of the seats, or on the window ledges; or, what is more probable, the infection may have been conveyed through the drinking vessel on the car. In fact, the railroad companies take elaborate and costly measures to pre vent the spread of disease. One meth od much resorted to Is the use of for maldehyde gas. When a car arrives at the cleaning yard all apertures are carefully closed, the toilet-room doors are opened, and If it Is a sleeping-car the berths are lot down, and then formaldehyde gas Is injected through a keyhole In an out aide door. The car is kept closed for four or five hours, then opened and Ventilated. Then the floors, water tanks, etc., are thoroughly scrubbed. Many parts are cleaned with a solution of formaldehyde gas In water. In other cases an antiseptic wash Is used for the floor and woodwork, then a solution of formaldehyde Is sprayed by the use of compressed air Into the surface of the plush and into accessible places. In the case of sleeping-cars great care Is taken to wash the linen after every trip, and to air the berths and mattresses. In suburban service, however, the proper sanitary care of railroad cars Is much more difficult, because It is im possible thoroughly to clean and disin fect them after every trip. They can only receive this care at considerable intervals, and meantime, harm is no doubt often done by the distribution of disease germs. There are some precautions which travelers can easily take, and ought al ways to take, for themselves. If the Journey is short they need not drink during the passage. If the Journey is to be longer, every traveler should pro vide himself with a drinking-cup, or else abstain from drinking while on the car. If he expects to spend the night in a car, it is wise for him to car ry his own soap and towels. Bad cases of ophthalmia have been traced to the toilet-room of a sleeping-car. Youth's Companion. NEED OF THE CANAL. NICARAGUA DITCH WOULD SAVE TIME AND MONEY. As a Business Ventare Alone the Proposed Artery, It Is Claimed, Would He a Big Bonanza in the Way of Tolls and Lock Charges. That the proposed Nicaragnan canal is : vital to the interests of the United States was emphatically demonstrated during the recent war with Spain when our bat tleship Oregon was compelled to make her long voyage down around the Horn to reach the scene of naval operations. The apprehension of the American people dur ing the long detour was painfully and just ly excited, while the Government was de prived of several weeks' service of its finest man-of-war during the time it re quired to sail down the west coast of South America and up on the eastern side. i Then, again, the commercial benefits to be derived by the completion of the proposed short-cut waterway are inestimable. A most comprehensive article on the subject of the Nicaraguan canal has been written by Henry I. Sheldon, a Chicagoan. This is said by experts to be the most complete study of the canal question yet undertak en. Mr. Sheldon visited Nicaragua three years ago and traversed the entire route of the projected waterway, examined the work done, and secured reliable data as to cost and methods of construction. Mr. . Sheldon went not as the agent of any com- : pany or of the Government, but merely as an individual having no interest, pe cuniary or friendly, with the present com pany constructing the canal, and was careful to incur no obligations which : would prevent his taking an unbiased view. "It may be well to say at the outset." writes Mr. Sheldon, "that I reached the conclusion that the canal in Nicaragua is practicable, and can be constructed at a cost on which fair returns can be earned. It also seems clear that, for many reasons, it is not a suitable work for private cap ital to undertake, and that it will be bet ter that our Government should assist the undertaking. There are strong equities on the side of national aid, inasmuch as . the chief benefits will never be the tolls collected from passing vessels. The canal I may so develop our trade with Eastern Asia that a single year of that trade will exceed in volume the total cost of its j construction. Its opening will double in value almost every acre of agricultural i land in California, Oregon and Washing- ! ton, and the population of those States will be more than doubled. For many ! years I have occasionally visited the Pa J cific coast, for either business or pleasure, ; and always the most striking aspect of I its condition has been the absence of sat- Isfactory markets for its products. Not a bushel of its large wheat crop comes to i the Atlantic coast by rail, as wheat can- not bear the cost of so long carriage. Neither can its lumber or ores come by 1 rail. In many places, after the farmer or 1 the fruit grower has paid the charges of transportation companies, there is little , or nothing left for him. The population ; continues small because the markets are ' so inadequate. Twenty-five years' trial ' has demonstrated that if railroads are to be the sole means of communication the ; development of the Pacific States will be very slow. The only promise of relief is in securing for these States some shorter ! transportation to the Atlantic States, and also to Europe, by water. Now, every thing carried by water must pass around Cape Horn. The only shorter route, ap parently practicable, is by way of a ship canal across the isthmus, through Nieara ; gna. This will save 10.000 miles of the ' distance around Cape Horn, and will en j able an ordinary steamer to go from San ! Francisco to New York in fourteen days. MAP ssliOWl-NU I'j.EaEXT ROUTE AKOUND THE HORN AND THE SHORT CUT MADE BY THE PROPOSED CANAL. and the Germans do not engage in such exportation, finding other activities to be more profitable. A glance at the principal food-exporting countries shows the truth. They are such countries as Southern Rus sia, India and, latterly, the Argentine Republic, and they are poor, and they stay poor. We need to keep our wheat, feed our operatives with it, and send abroad the products they manufacture. The change cannot come suddenly, but we should plan and work for it. Some neg lected markets are near us. The Rio Grande is quite a small stream. One can ride a horse across it from Texas into Mexico and entering the first hotel, one finds an English cloth on the table in the dining room. The cups and plates are English, the cutlery from Germany and the waiters wear a suit of German clothes. There probably will not be an article imported from the United States in the house except a sewing machine. The demand is there, but we have carelessly, almost good-naturedly, made no effort to sell. "In building up a foreign trade our nat ural course will be to begin with the coun tries where we shall meet least competi tion. In order to be profitable, trirde re quires to move along the lines of least resistance. Our geographical situation is such that we are the natural producers for all countries bordering on the Pacific ocean. The relative distance of European manufacturers, as compared with our own. gives us a great advantage. The idea of trying to sell much of our products to China and Japan is new to our people: people of our gulf States are so unani mous for a canal in Nicaragua, is that it will open an additional market for their cotton. The United States is the chief producer of the world's cotton, and prices for this product have been deplorably low of late years, entailing great privations in many Southern homes. It is the old story. We have been producing more cotton than we could find markets for. The new buy er of cotton is Japan. That country is going strongly into the manufacture of cotton goods, such as are used by the peo ple of the warm countries, and now not only exports these goods to China, bnt undersells the English manufacturers in their own dependency of India." Favors Government Ownership. Mr. Sheldon takes strong ground in fa vor of absolute ownership and control of the Nicaragua cnnal by the United States Government. "Congress could prescribe the tolls to be paid by ships using the canal, making the charges sufficient to meet the expenses of operation and a suit able interest on the capital invested in the undertaking and also, if considered advis able, for an annual payment into a sink ing fund, to meet, at maturity, any Gov ernment bonds which might hare been issued. "As commerce increased, the tolls could be lowered, and any other reduction in favor of American ships, found desirable as an aid in building up our carrying trade, could be made by the same author ity. If any European complications as to the use of the canal arose, our Govern ment would not be hampered by the exist- Unconventional. The simple ways of the unobtrusive : rector of a small country parish in En- gland bad endeared him to the hearts i of the people to whom he ministered. He was eccentric, and in conducting the services of the church, unconven tional. Says a writer in the Cornhill Magazine: From the reading-desk could be seen the fields stretching away to the rec- ; tory gates. One morning, instead of i beginning the service as usual, he an nounced: "As I see my sister, somewhat late, approaching the church through the fields, I shall postpone the commence ment of divine service till her arrival." In very cold weather he would invite the congregation to come and warm themselves at the stove before leaving the church. Under other conditions of weather his tboughtfuluess for the comfort of his flock took a somewhat different form, and at the end of a half hour's sermon he would sometimes say: "As the weather is still so inclement, I will, my dear friends, lengthen my discourse somewhat, in the hope that it may clear later.' I 1 If n NX , i'vv w . IVS AT í IT I iDf Pf a ni. i iv wv w íini. i s -v kvv x XBITC Sfum Ve v Cía UalMji ') ATLANTIC OCEM MAP SHOWING ROUTE OF THE PROPOSED NICAR AGUAN CANAL. What He Wanted. "Didn't you know It is against the law to beg for money?' said the lady to the tramp at the back door. "I wasn't goiu' to beg for money, ma'am,"' was the reply of the bumble wanderer. "It's Just as b.id to beg for bread." "I wasn't goin' to beg for bread, ma'am." "What were you going to beg for, then, pray?" "Only for one of your pictures, ma'am." Yonkers Statesman. What the chrysanthemum needs to make it a handsomer flower, is a box of hair pins. The exact distance, by such canal, will be 4.70U miles. The ordinary railroad freight service consumes from seventeen to twenty-one days. The canal line will be only about CO per cent longer than the rail line. Needed in the Time of War. "Our country is so widely extended, 8,000 miles from east to west, that cheap and speedy water transportation like this is almost absolutely needed to bind and hold it more ciosely together. At present, in time of war, such parts of our growing navy as might be on either the Atlantic or the Pacific side would be for a consid erable time of no use on the other ocean. The canal, when built, will promote the development of better markets for our manufactures in foreign countries border ing on the Pacific. These are less exposed than those on the Atlantic to European competition. This nation cannot be con sidered a first-class power when our peo ple are only buyers from the rest of the world. Exporting agricultural products does not make a great nation. The French but those countries are entering on a ca reer of great development, and why should not the American people have a share in supplying their wants? The trade reports tell the story of their awakening. The purchases of their silver were: In 1885 $28.000.000 In 1894 113.U-XI.UUU China bought from foreign countries: In 18S5 $132.000.MM) In 1S94 243.0OU.0UU "We have not been alive to this demand. Of Japan's purchases abroad of $113.000, 000 in 18D4. we sold her only $11.U00.Ü00. We excelled in paying money to her. how ever, for in that year we bought of her goods amounting to $143.000,000. Of China's purchases from, other nations of $243.000.000 in 1894, we supplied only $10,000.000. We were good buyers, how ever, taking $20,000,000 of her products. Our diplomatic agents report that with more alertness and enterprise we could have furnished to Japan, and at a reason able profit, CO per cent of all her foreign purchases in 1804. One reason why the ence of a canal company, nor by being obliged to obtain the current action of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, but would be in a position to decide for itself what course to take.- The possible claims of England to joint control of the canal un der the Clayton-Bulwer treaty should lie ignored. Those claims could never be al lowed, and we probably would hear little of them after we had constructed the ranal with our own money and were in full possession. The Suez canal has been neutralized by an agreement between the great powers, but that waterway is close ly connected with the Eastern question, the balance of power, and other large sub jects involving the nations of Europe. There is no analogy as to neutralization between the situation at Suez and that at Nicaragua." Estimates of Probable Revenue. Mr. Sheldon's estimates of the probable revenue to be derived from the canal are encouraging. "As the conditions are so similar, it is necessary, in taking a broad view of probable earnings, to consider the business transacted by the Sues canal. The results there shown are more helpful than mere estimates: they are ascertained facts. That company deals with the world's commerce, just as will be done In Nicaragua. In 1805 its business amount ed to S.440.000 toiis. It had then been in operation twenty-five years. The first year, 1ST0. its business was only 430.000 tons; in 1871. 700.000 tons: in 1872, 1.100. 000 tons, and there has been a fairly steady increase ever since, up t the amount in 18115. During all this time the volume of the world's commerce has stead ily increased. Not only has trade more and more adjusted itself to the Suez route, but also the aggregate amount of trade has become much larger. Some allowance should be made for the advantages pos sessed by the Suez canal as a now well established route. Taking its business eight years ago may be a fair offset for this item. The amount for 1888 exceeded Ci.000.UU0 tons. The earlier Suez tolls were $2.77 per ton. which have been gradual ly reduced the past twenty years, and trailic is not prepared now to stand heavy charges in any direction. A moderate tariff will be in every way desirable. A favorable, but approximate, estimate of the possible revenues in Nicaragua would be as follows: With tolls at $1.50 per ton at the outset, and a business of at least 6.000.000 tons after the canal is fairly in operation, a gross income of $9.000.000 would be obtained. Administration, main tenance and operation for 1S95 cost the Suez canal about $1,800.000. Taking Into account all the dam and embankment work at Nicaragua, as well as the heavy rainfall, an allowance of $3.000,000 as an annual average for expenses may be fair, leaving a net income of $0.000,000. An undertaking of this character is to be gone into only as a long-term investment, and the earnings for the first few years after it is completed are not to be consid ered as sufficient for a final judgment. The greatest earnings will come later on. "The canal route, as at present project ed, is to be 174 miles long from Brito on the Pacific to Greytown on the Atlantic. The first half mile from Brito is at sea level. Then in two miles the canal rises 110 feet, through three locks to the sum mit level. 151 miles long, then in 4 miles it descends, through three locks, to sea level again, and then continues at sea level 94 miles to Greytown. The esti mated time required for an ordinary steamer to cross from one ocean to the other is twenty-eight hours. Electric lighting is to make passage by nigt quite feasible. The allowance for passing through locks is forty-five minutes for each lock. Only twenty-six miles of the ICS miles of canal is to be through excava tions. Some twenty-one miles is through basins, and 121 miles through the lake and the river. . Provision should be made from the first for increasing the accommo dation when it shall become necessary. Widening can be carried on at the same time that vessels are passing. So can deepening. To increase the size of the locks, however, will cause all traffic to be suspended. The locks in the present plans appear to be too small for permanent use. They are each to be 650 feet long, 70 feet wide, and 2S feet deep." History of the Canal ?rh?m-. In December, 1SS1, Senator Miller of California introduced a bill in Congress to incorporate "The Marine Canal Com pany of Nicaragua." with the purpose of constructing the canal. Gen. V. S. Grant, Howard Potter, E. D. Morgan. H. J. Jew ett and other prominent capitalists were concerned in the proposed enterprise. The bill met with bitter opposition in Congress, and was utterly defeated by the failure of the Marine Bank of New York, in which the Grants were ruined financially. The Nicaragua Canal Company was in corporated in 1SS7, with former Senator Warner Miller as president, and for a time made good progress. Its success in duced opposition, and in 1889 the Mari time Canal Company of Nicaragua, which received the sanction of President Olevetj land, was incorporated. Hiram Hitch cock was the first president, but he was subsequently succeeded by Thomas B. Aikins. The work of digging the canal was begun and continued until financial misfortune overtook the enterprise, the construction company failing in the terri ble panic of 1893. The contract for the construction was then awarded to Warner Miller Nicaragua Company, which still holds its concession. Many attempts have since been made to secure the aid of the Government, but the bills have failed to pass both houses. Congress, however, au thorized the appointment of a technical commission of civil engineers to re-examine the canal line, and it is the report of this commission which will be presented to Congress in December. The principal authorities on transporta tion statistics have made estimates that the Nicaragua route should divert from 2.000.000 to 3.01X1.000 tons of low-rate freight, such as Hour, dry goods, machin ery, coal. etc.. from the overland traffic. Suppose 2.500.000 tons were diverted to steamship lines from the Atlantic and gulf ports, going by the canal route. With the usual ocean tonnage from New York to the Pacific, and other vessels which would go through the canal, a conservative cal culation places the annual freight at 7.000.0U0 tons. At the lowest Suez canal rate this would give an annual revenue of $12.810,000. The route in favor runs from Greytown on the Atlantic coast, via the San Juan river and Lake Nicaragua to Brito. on the Pacific. The total distance is 174 miles, divided as follows: Miles. Brito to lake 17.27 Lake Lajas to San Juan river 50.50 Slack water in the San Juan CS.54 San Francisco Basin Ochoa to East ern divide 12.01 Cut through the Eastern divide 3.00 Canal to Greytown ....16.48 Thunderstorms in Jamaica. At Port Royal, Jamaica, for six months In the year thunderstorms are of almost daily occurrence, and guests to picnics ami garden parties are usu ally Invited to assemble "after the thun derstortn." The French may be fickle in every thing else, but they are always falthfui in their love of change.