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The prices paid range from $1,67 per 1,000 to $5,00 per 1,000. Several million are bought at $4,50 per 1,000. Estimating the average cost to be $2,50 per 1,000, the annual cost will be $25,000.
This large outlay ought not to be made without reflection, and the opportunity is now presented for making a very great saving. The Secretary can supply message heads, printed on good paper, equal to that used by any line in America, at $1,20 per 1,000. If all the lines would use the same paper as the Magnetic Company, the message heads could be furnished at $1,10 per 1,000. The proposals are arranged to meet the diversified opinions of companies.
The reduction in the cost of message heads, from the prices named to $1,20 per 1,000, will occasion a gain to the enterprise of a startling amount. The price paid now as an average is $2,50 per 1,000 on 10,000,000-$25,000; the price proposed $1,20 per 1,000 for 10,000,000-$12,000. Net gain, $13,000!
The quantity of envelopes used is not as great as that of message heads; the amount will be considered 6,000,000. Of this, there are about 4,000,000 white and 2,000,000 buff. The cost of the white will average $2,50 per 1,000. The cost of the buff will average $1,70 per 1,000. The cost of buff has ranged from $1,37 to $2,50 per 1,000. These estimates are upon white embossed, and printed buff envelopes. The annual cost, at the above prices, would be for white embossed $10,000; for buff and printed, at $1,70 per 1,000, would be $3,400; making an aggregate of $13,400.
The Secretary is now prepared to furnish white envelopes embossed, equally as good as the best now used by any line in the United States, at $1,60 per 1,000, and the buff printed at $1,20 per 1,000. If the buff are embossed, the price will be $1,10 per 1,000. The aggregate estimate upon these prices will be for the white envelopes $6,400; for the buff envelopes $2,400; making a total of $8,800. Net gain, $4,600.
The prices now proposed are greatly under former rates. The proposal contemplates the supply of all the lines, and hence the reduced rates.
Arrangements have been made for procurimg a superior quality of clock, from one of the most extensive manufactories in Connecticut. The face is about twelve inches in diameter, gilt frame, having the time of the hour, minute, second, and day of the month, all represented on its face, and to run eight days.
Made to run lying on the table, hanging on the wall, or in course of transportation. The manufacturer says, he "will warrant them to keep the time correct, as to day of month, hour, minute, and second, and that he will start them with genuine Connecticut time, and tumble them over railroads, wagons, steamboats, drays, and by hand, and land them in Halifax, or St. Louis, still running with the correct dial time of New-England. He will mark the moment of shipment, and its time of delivery will indicate how long the clock has been wandering to its new home." The price is $10 each. The stamp American Telegraph will be on the face of each one, and all will be warranted.
The prices paid for pencils have been from 50 cents to $1,00 per dozen, and often a very inferior quality purchased. The number used per year exceeds 50,000. Supposing the average cost to be 60 cents per dozen, the total will be $2,500. The Se cretary can furnish the best pencil made at 22 cents per dozen for Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4. At this price, the cost in the aggregate will be $916,66. Net gain, $1,583 34. The pencils are to be well made, capable of making the finest point, without waste. They will be manufactured in Germany.
There are millions of pens bought by the various lines. No one consulted places the aggregate less than 4,000 gross. Price paid from 60 cents to $1,25 per gross, average about 90 cents, total $3,600. These pens can be purchased for the lines at 30 cts. per gross. For the same quality, form, and stamp, manufactured by the same firm in Birmingham, England, I paid in Louisville, St. Louis, &c., $1,25 per gross. It will be seen that on this small item the net gain will be large. Thus, cost at 30 cents $1,200. Net gain, $2,400. They will be stamped in England, American Telegraph Pens.
The lines use a very large quantity of black ink, being about 4,000 quart bottles per annum. The best quality is retailed in New York at 75 cents per bottle. In the West and South it is sold at $1,00 to $1,25. Put the average at 80 cents and the total will be $3,200. The same ink thus sold, the Secretary will furnish at 28 cents per quart bottle, well corked, sealed, and labelled. At this price the total will be $1,120, making net gain $2,080. The ink will be labelled American Telegraph Ink.
The Secretary is not prepared to submit estimates of the cost of the many other kinds of materials required by the lines, such as red ink, inkstands, files, screw-drivers, battery brushes, instru
ment oil, magnet springs, screw-nuts, register paper, foolscap and letter paper, copper wire, plyers, solder, soldering-lamps, registers, magnets, keys, catgut, circuit breakers, lightning-protectors, repeaters, circuit-shifters, message-files, paper clips, &c., &c., embracing everything used in the management of the telegraph. The subject has been sufficiently investigated to warrant the assertion, that in the purchase of every article a saving can be realized.
REGISTERS AND MAGNETS.
Relative to registers, magnets, keys, and other parts of the machinery, there will be vast improvements submitted. Not by the introduction of fanciful ideas or the application of new principles, but by the proper construction of machines, calculated to make them last, and prove serviceable, totally disregarding all freaks of fancy in the peculiar scroll, harp, fiddle, or banjo construction of the instrument. There is no reason why a machine should not wear twenty years, as certainly as the varieties of machinery common in mechanics. The re-supplying of lines every few years is a heavy tax. To re-supply the offices of America with machines will cost at least $75,000. The breakage of an instrument has frequently occasioned more loss than the price of a dozen, and generally this loss is occasioned by the application of fanciful ideas, without regard to utility. The enterprise throughout the country may depend upon this subject receiving from the Committee the most careful consideration.
Materials. Nitric Acid
AGGREGATE ANNUAL EXPENSE.
Having considered the cost of the various materials common. in the telegraph service, the annexed summary is presented, as being worthy of the most candid reflection.
Net Gain. 6,988 80 1,500 00
1,050 00 .13,000 00
. $33,862 14
Net gain, $33,862,14!! What argument could be more commanding? Look at this immense saving, and then who can doubt the general utility of a concentration of the purchase by the lines? Not only is the gain in money as presented, but the
pure and unadulterated material is procured, and more efficient service obtained. Some of these estimates will appear large, but they are based upon an average scale, procured from reports of various lines. The lowest estimates have been taken in all cases where there was a difference of opinion, and experience will, beyond all doubt, establish the fact that the table of costs is really below the true sums now paid.
In procuring the articles from the Secretary, there will be no nitric acid mixed with oil of vitriol to increase its scale of degrees, and at the same time rated as equal in value to the pure article. No sulphuric acid with false gauging, and mixed with exhausted acid. No zincs, alloyed with lead, tin-solder, and iron. No quicksilver alloyed with 20 per cent. of lead, tin, or other base metals, destroying its usefulness and durability. No porous cups made of brick-dirt or clay, of density preventing a flow of nitric. No tumblers, almost as thin as wafers, causing breakage of 50 per cent. per annum. No platinum alloyed with metals of half value, thereby preventing durability. No mes sage heads at enormous rates and waste of revenue. No envelopes at double prices for inferior quality, and of every species of paper. No pencils of inferior lead, causing a great waste in pointing.
Such are the views entertained by the Secretary, in the fulfilment of the important resolutions submitted to the American Telegraph Convention, as herein before recited.
The following are the prices now proposed, and upon which the lines may depend in every particular, viz.:
The straw-color envelope is a very superior article. The die will emboss that color of envelope better than the white. If generally adopted, the manufacturers contract to place watermarks in the paper, indicating it as the telegraph paper, and granting the lines its exclusive monopoly. The same idea will be proposed as to message-head paper.
The Secretary has no power to contract debts without being individually responsible. The rates proposed are cash prices. No proposals were sought on the credit system, because no means could be devised to meet the case. The cash principle is the only plan to insure success.
The lines can estimate their supplies for the coming quarter, or year, and the whole shipped under one invoice. This will be a point in economy. The arrangements are such, that an order for all the materials, and for any quantity, and even for a million of message heads, can be placed in transportation within twenty-four hours after the time of its reception by the Secretary.
All orders must be addressed to the Secretary, at Washington City, and any requiring the action of the Committee thereon, will be promptly submitted.
That there may be increased confidence in the arrangements herein proposed, the Secretary will give such bonds as may be deemed necessary by the Committee.
The cost of the dies for embossing the envelopes will be $5 each. The cost of electrotypes to print the envelopes will be $1 to $2 each. The cost of electrotypes for printing message heads will be $1 to $2 each, and for duplicates 50 cents each. These expenses will be extra, and they will remain as the property of the Company.
Before closing, the Secretary would state that he is now wholly employed under the directions of the Committee, appointed by the late American Telegraph Convention, in carrying out the actions of that body. Their counsel will form his course of duty, and his energies will be untiring in the service of the enterprise. He feels too much interest in the general prosperity, to allow any part of his duty to remain unperformed. His determinations are, to render all service possible calculated to elevate the Telegraph, and the accomplishment of deeds tending to promote the general and universal weal.
TAL. P. SHAFFNER,