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construction, looked like the veriest toys when compared with the new steam shovels, just as the French dumping-cars seemed like toy cars when compared with the long


train of huge cars dumped by steam plows, which are now in use." Steady progress has been made in the amount of earth taken out: In August, 242,000 cubic yards; in September, 291,000 cubic yards, and in October, 325,000 cubic yards. "The most advanced methods, not only in construction, but in railroad management, have been applied in the Zone, with corresponding economies in time and cost."



Here the President sums up his general impressions of the commission itself by saying: The whole atmosphere breathes honesty as it breathes efficiency and energy. Above all, the work has



(This is the clearing house, on the Atlantic side, for the trains of excavated material from the Culebra Cut.)

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(The circle at which the two men are standing is the depth reached by the French. The square in which the motor car stands is the present American level, 65 feet below.)

been kept absolutely clear of politics. I have never heard even a suggestion of spoils politics in connection. with it." The slanderers of the work, when they are of foreign origin, Mr. Roosevelt declares he has no concern with.

Where they are Americans, I feel for them the heartiest contempt and indignation; because, in a spirit of wanton dishonesty and malice, they are trying to interfere with, and hamper the execution of, the greatest work of the kind ever attempted, and are seeking to bring to naught the efforts of their countrymen to put to the credit of America one of the giant feats of the ages. The outrageous accusations of these slanderers constitute a gross libel upon a body of public servants who, for trained intelligence, expert ability, high character, and devotion to duty, have never been excelled anywhere. There is not a man among those directing the work on the Isthmus who has obtained his position on any other basis than merit alone, and not one who has used his position in any way for his own personal or pecuniary advantage.

As supplementary to the President's own words, the message, as printed, includes: Mr. Roosevelt's address to the employees of the Canal Commission at Colon, November 17; reports from Dr. W. C. Gorgas (chief sanitary officer), Mr. John F. Stevens (vice

W. G. Bierd, general manager; the scale of wages paid in the department of engineering and construction; a table of population, employees, deaths and death rates on the Isthmus, and pertinent communications from Surgeon-General Rixey and Chairman T. P. Shonts.

In his speech to the employees of the Canal Commission (at Colon, November 17), the President said, in part:

I go back a better American, a prouder American, because of what I have seen the pick of American manhood doing here on the Isthmus. You will have hard times. Each of you will sometimes think that he is misunderstood by some one above him. That is a common experience of all of us, gentlemen. Now and then you will feel as if the people at home were indifferent and did not realize what you were doing. Do not make a mistake; they do realize it, and they will realize it more and more clearly as the years go by. I cannot overstate the intensity of the feeling I have (and therein I merely typify the sentiment of the average man of our country) as to the vital importance of the task that you are doing: and to each of you who does his share of that task there will come in the end the proud assurance of vital duty well done. This assurance can come to but a limited number of gratulated that you are among that limited nummen in each generation; and you are to be con




A DOZEN years ago the horseless vehicle

was as strange a sight in America as an airship is to-day. At that time there were only five automobiles in the United States, imported at fabulous prices. Even five years ago the invention was regarded as a play toy for the amusement of a few millionaires.

To-day there are over 100,000 machines in use in the United States, of which 25,000 were new cars sold last year (1906). It is safe to say that 50,000 more American automobiles will be purchased in 1907. Consumers will pay perhaps $75,000,000 for these cars. Averaging the capacity of the more than 100,000 cars in use in America this year at four

passengers each, there will be nearly half a million people speeding over the country in automobiles. For the year ending June 30, 1905, there were 653 foreign automobiles imported "for consumption," aggregating in value $2,297,104. For the nine months including September, 1906, there were 922 machines imported, aggregating in value $3,116,045. In 1895 there was not a single factory in this country turning out cars for the market. During the year ending June 30, 1905, the exports alone of American cars aggregated $2,481,243.

This amounts to a revolution in private transportation methods, and the mere extent of the revolution is a witness to the fact that



(This car produced something of a sensation at the end of 1906 as a cheap runabout that was actually practicable. The design is excellent. The company making it expects to turn out 100 a day.)


the automobile has in this short time become a practicable vehicle for the average man. The amazing growth of the industry in America during the past few years is no longer based upon a popular fad nor on evanescent experiments to meet it, as was, more or less, the first popularity of the horseless carriage here a decade ago, which was given its impetus chiefly by the cheap steam runabout, an unsatisfactory type. Indeed, it is only within the past two or three years that the production of anything like permanent types and stand



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Is it a profitable vehicle for me, or is it so expensive to own and run that its use is confined to men of wealth?"

ardization of construction is to be found in the American automobile industry. What went before really amounted to experimentation and learning the trade from the older The best way to answer these questions, and more expert foreign manufacturers. It which thousands of Americans are now askis now quite possible to turn out good cars ing themselves, is to give the actual facts of in this country, and our manufacturers, more my own experience extending over seven and more of late, have abandoned freak years' use of double that number of cars in models, and instead of striving for "some- all conditions of road and weather, and thing new " have confined their attention to throughout most of the States east of the the superior construction of types that ex- Mississippi,-and, most important of all, reperience has proved to be serviceable. The corded in a fairly accurate account of exside-entrance touring car, varying in solidity penses. of construction according to the power to be developed, has become the standard to which all types are approximated.


The prospective automobile purchaser must realize that even though he buys a runabout, -the smallest type of motor, carrying the driver and one other passenger, he is not going to be able to keep the car in operation But despite the general evidence of the for $5 or $10 a month. It has often been motor car's practicability, the man who has said, and truly, that it is not the first cost of not tried it is still inclined to wonder what an automobile that counts so much as the all this automobile business means and to ask maintenance expense. It may be possible for himself if it will not cost him more in the a man with a small car who motors modestly end to try it than to stick to his familiar horse to get along with an expense of $20 or $30 and wagon. The country doctor with his a month if he has good luck and handles his widely separated visits, the suburbanite who car carefully and considerately, but the averwants to live further from the station, the age cost of maintenance will be from $50 to grocer, the butcher, or the baker who wants $300 and even more a month. Here are a light and rapid delivery wagon, are all in- some figures from bills I paid while the terested from a purely personal standpoint owner of a car of the runabout type with a in the present status of the automobile. The single cylinder 8-horsepower engine and conmain question with the average man is, vertible body carrying two or four passen

months, from April to November, when I covered nearly 10,000 miles. My bill for April follows:

April 1. Four hours' time on adjustments.
One gallon of cylinder oil..

Two inner tubes..
Extra fan belt.




October $63.40. The total expense, then, for this period of seven months was $397.20, or $56.85 per month. The original investment was $1300, and the interest on this at .75 6 per cent. for seven months is $45.50. I es15.00 timate that the car depreciated in value 25 75 per cent. from the original cost, making an 4:50 additional charge of $325.00. An additional 2.00 $50 for a year's liability insurance made the 75 total expense for the seven months $817.70. This made the cost per mile of operation, 8 12.00 cents, or 2 cents a mile for each person carried. The expense met with in this car would probably be duplicated in almost any other car of the runabout type, depending, of course, on the mileage and the kind of usage the car has.




Next in popularity to the runabout is the touring car, costing from $1500 to $2500, and we will take the car costing $2500 as an example: The yearly depreciation in a car of this sort would be $625. The yearly tire expense will vary from $200 to $500, according to the mileage and luck. As a happy medium it is safe to place it at $300. Luck in dodging broken glass, sharp stones, and nails always plays an important part in tire expense.

If a chauffeur were employed the expense would be higher, of course, and the total expense may be approximated as follows:

6. Repairing puncture.

10. Repairing puncture. 12. One auto jack..

14. Four hours' time adjusting.

18. Half gallon cylinder oil. 21. Patching inner tube.

23. Two hours' time adjusting. 26. Extra spark plug. 30. One month's storage Gasoline for the month.



My bill in May was $67.22 and was made up chiefly for mechanics' time in making adjustments, as I was not then familiar enough with the car to do this work myself.

This item of adjustments mounts up almost before a man realizes it. The owner of the motor forgets when he orders little adjustments made at the garage that he is going to be charged with the mechanics' time, but the man at the garage never forgets it, as the monthly bill shows. In some garages the owners are not as particular as they might be in charging up correctly the time spent on a car. On this bill of $67.22 I demanded to see the men's time cards, but the garage man was unable to account for all the time, as in truth it had never been put in on the car, and he was forced to make a reduction of $25. The owner of a car should take enough interest in his machine to know about how long a repair should take, and if he does this he will not be robbed.

My June bill was $41.55, July $65.25, August $90.30, September $38.60, and in

Chauffeur's wages at $25 a week, etc.
Gasoline for 1000 miles of use.
Lubricants, carbide, etc..

Tire expense..

Repairs and replacements of parts.

Liability and fire insurance.



$1,300 300


75 200

625 100


To this sum might be added an almost unlimited amount for buying extras for the car, robes, special clothing, and for the expense of entertaining one's friends when out riding, which is no small item. Living up to an automobile sometimes drains the purse considerably.

My experience with a 20-horsepower touring car is interesting: The market price of this double-cylinder car, with the extras added, was $2360.

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