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A NEW ENGLISH SUBMARINE TORPEDO BOAT ON ITS TRIAL TRIP IN STOKES BAY.

under the fairest conditions, and with a care that gives it an official accuracy, the course having been marked out by the experts of the Coast Survey.

The best previous performance of the Arrow was a sprint at the rate of 36 statute miles an hour. In this country the yacht Vamoose had made a speed of 24 miles an hour, the torpedo boat Porter a speed of 33 miles, and in England, the turbine boat Viper had reached 42 miles in a private trial; while the swiftest German torpedo boat had come within a fraction of this speed.

On September 6, the Arrow was stripped for the fray, and fed with several tons of the finest anthracite egg coal, in order that no power might be lost in imperfect combustion. Both of her boilers were utilized, instead of the single one ordinarily used. At the stage of the tide known to maritime people as high water slack," the vessel dashed into the course, and covered the nautical mile in the astonishing time of 1 minute

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Photographed for Collier's Weekly.

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and 32 seconds, or at the rate of 44.13 statute miles an hour.

Mr. Flint's wonderful boat is a twin-screw yacht 130 feet long, with a beam of only 124 feet; the displacement is 78 tons, and the two engines can develop 4,000 horse power. What such a power means in this slip of a boat can be imagined when one remembers that the screw engines of the Great Eastern of over 20,000 tons displacement, and therefore more than 250 times the displacement of the Arrow, developed only 4,000 horse power.

One of the most gratifying features of this remarkable exhibition, so far as it had any practi cal significance as to torpedo-boat possibilities, was the excellent behavior of the little vessel under the fearful strain. She ran straight and true, with comparatively little vibration, and no ominous wake. With such an enormous power driving so light a vessel this is perhaps the most remarkable feature of the trial.

MR. CHARLES H. FLINT'S BOAT "ARROW," THE FASTEST BOAT AFLOAT.

(On September 6, the Arrow steamed over a measured course of a nautical mile in 92 seconds, or at the rate of 44.13 statute

miles an hour.)

OUR PUBLIC PLEASURE GROUNDS.

BY M. O. STONE.

(Secretary Park Commission, Rochester, N. Y.)

FIFTY years ago there were no great public

country, and most of the large park systems have been developed within the last twenty-five years. Of the 159 cities of the United States, each having a population of 25,000 or more, there are 37 that have no public parks. The population of these cities ranges from 25,000 to 42,000. Forty three cities with from 30,000 to 102,000 inhabitants have parks, the smallest park area being threefourths of an acre, the largest 48 acres, and the average park area for each of these 43 cities is 10 acres.

The number of cities having parks and park systems varying in size from 50 acres up to Greater New York's grand system of parks, comprising about 7,000 acres, is 79. Up to about 1866, when Central Park began to show some degree of finish and beauty under the wise direc tion of park commissioners of high character and intelligence and the almost magic touch of those great landscape gardeners, Frederick Law Olm sted and Calvert Vaux, public pleasure grounds were generally considered undesirable, if not unattainable, luxuries. But at this time the question of park making was not being seriously considered in many cities. Soon after Central Park was opened to the public it became immensely popular, and was visited by thousands from all parts of the country. From this time munici palities seemed to gradually realize that liberal expenditures for the purchase and improvement of public pleasure grounds were not only legitimate, but were demanded in the interests of public welfare. In some cities a few strong men worked persistently for parks, contending in many cases against local newspapers, prominent business men, and a united saloon influence.

PARKS ENHANCE REAL ESTATE VALUES.

But in the end the park promoters were successful. Probably not one of the cities that did not take kindly to the creation of public parks when the agitation was at its height, but finally accepted the idea, would, if it were possible, part with its parks for twice their total cost. It has been found in some cities that the parks have earned money for the taxpayers, and from a financial point of view are good investments. Attractive parks now occupy large areas that for

years were obstructions to the extension and material prosperity of many cities; and, as these unsightly and waste places were gradually improved and beautified, the value of land in those neighborhoods soon began to rise. Twenty-two officials, representing parks in thirty-three cities, state that real estate near their park territory has increased in valuation greatly beyond the average increase in other parts of their cities. Ten years ago the Board of Park Commissioners of Boston reported that the increase in the value of lands near the Back Bay" system had been over 300 per cent.; during the same time the value of lands in the rest of the city had increased in value but 18 per cent. Land values have also risen enormously near Central and other New York parks; and everywhere, though perhaps not to such an extent as in Boston and New York, appreciation in the value of real estate near parks has steadily increased, and must continue to do so as parks are developed and grow more beautiful. Many park systems are but partially improved, and some years may be necessary to show their value in this direction.

The improvement and beautifying of any section of a city by the erection of handsome buildings, especially when surrounded by beautiful grounds, immediately causes surrounding prop erty to become more valuable, and attractive public parks in a still greater degree have the same effect. The phenomenal growth of our cities during the last ten years should arouse municipalities to the necessity of securing land for park purposes before the most desirable tracts are taken for residential and manufacturing pur poses. There is little reason to fear that rapidly growing cities will obtain more park lands than will be required, and the danger of delay in buying is illustrated in many cities which find, when they are forced to consider the question of providing public parks, that the cost of procuring suitable land has increased enormously; in some cases the most desirable tracts, that could have been bought at reasonable figures a few years ago, cannot now be secured at prices that will permit of their acquisition for park purposes. There are in many cities large open spaces near poor and overcrowded sections which should be taken at once for park purposes and for great playgrounds.

PRIVATE GIFTS FOR PUBLIC PLEASURE GROUNDS.

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Perhaps there is no way in which men of wealth could so directly benefit so large a number of people as by gifts of land for public pleasure grounds. Magnificent sums are given to colleges, libraries, and other public institutions. Why should not money be as freely given to create great parks for the betterment of all sorts and conditions of men"? The accumulation of great fortunes has been made possible only through the toil of those who most need the pure air and rest afforded by large rural parks. The largest gift of land in this country for park purposes was that of 3,717 acres to the city of Los Angeles, Cal. Hartford has received by gift 830 acres; Minneapolis, 790 acres ; St. Louis, 435 acres; Cleveland, 395 acres; Spring field, Mass., 360 acres; Allegheny, 313 acres ; Toronto, Ont., 225 acres; Detroit, 194 acres ; Worcester, 150 acres; Peoria, 140 acres ; Omaha, 130 acres, and Providence, 121 acres. A few other cities have received donations of land for parks varying in amounts from 2 to 90 acres.

MUNICIPAL PARK FINANCE SYSTEMS.

It would be impossible to overestimate the value of public parks to the physical and moral health of the people. The great urban pleasure grounds are coming to be considered as essential to a city's welfare as are pure water, well-lighted streets, public baths, and public schools, and the park officials of three-fourths of the cities which have public parks say that the greater part of their taxpapers favor liberal appropriations for the purchase of park lands, their improvement and proper maintenance. The legislative branches of nearly all city governments grant appropriations for the maintenance of their parks, the park departments annually stating to them the amounts deemed necessary. In some cases maximum amounts have been fixed by State legislatures beyond which appropriations cannot be made for parks in those cities. The parks of Hartford and San Francisco are annually provided with funds raised by a tax of not less than one-half of a mill on each dollar of value of all property taxable for municipal purposes. Paterson, N. J., maintains. her parks with an annual appropriation obtained from a tax of two-fifths of a mill levied on assessed valuation of taxable property. Minneapolis receives her annual appropriation for parks through a Board of Tax Levy," with a limit of one mill on the assessed valuation of property to be taxed.

The parks of Peoria, Ill., are maintained from an annual tax levy of six mills, which provides her parks with the most liberal appropriation

granted in this country. There are 330 acres in the four parks of Peoria. The method by which the parks of Paterson are annually maintained would undoubtedly be the best one for nearly all cities. The fixing of annual park appropriations would cease to be subject to the caprice or political bias of city councils, and park boards would be assured of certain amounts annually, thus being in a position to act intelligently and upon business methods.

EFFICIENCY IN PARK ADMINISTRATION.

The wonderful results in making and maintaining parks that have been accomplished everywhere by park commissions when entirely free from hurtful political influences, have attracted general attention and praise. In many cases large park areas have been secured, while funds necessary for their development and annual maintenance have been quite inadequate. But, fortunately, nearly all park boards have succeeded in conducting their departments on business principles.

Competent superintendents have usually been secured and retained. These superintendents have employed and discharged park laborers with little dictation from any source, and honest, intelligent service has been the natural result. Men employed in planting and caring for trees, shrubs, and flowers ought to be something more than ordinary unskilled laborers, and should be trained to do special work.

A very large proportion of the money expended for the improvement and maintenance of parks is used for labor, and this labor cannot be honestly and carefully performed when partially under the direction of outside influences. If the same degree of efficiency and application of business principles had always been found in the various departments of our city governments as has prevailed in most of the park boards of this country, many municipalities would not now be carrying burdens of indebtedness so great as to suggest the possibility of bankruptcy. Of the thirty largest park systems in the United States, twenty-five are under strictly non-partisan commissions; in the other five cities the administration of park work is less under the control of political organizations than any other departments of the city government, and but two of these have park commissions.

ECONOMICAL MANAGEMENT BY COMMISSIONS.

The management of park affairs under commissions largely accounts for the economical and satisfactory development of our largest park systems, and the feeling is general that full value has been received for all park expenditures. In

In

30 cities representing the finest parks of this country, the average annual tax rate per $1,000 for park improvement and maintenance has been, for the last five years, 40 cents. The rate for each of these cities varies from 13 cents in Cincinnati, with 422 acres of parks, to $1.33 in Peoria, with but 330 acres of parks. Choosing 10 cities that have especially fine park systems, and whose park commissions have been independent of corrupting influences, we find that their tax rate on $1,000 has been but 30 cents. these 30 cities the average annual cost per capita for improving and maintaining parks during the last five years has been 34 cents. It should be remembered that park commissioners, usually busy men of affairs, have given years of gratui tous service in this work, but have often received harsh and unjust criticism. While the position of park commissioner is every where considered an honorable one, and the organizers and mem. bers of park boards are generally men of broad and philanthropic aim, their official lives have been filled with many vexations.

The work of laying out and improving parks is being done in nearly all cities under the direc tion of efficient landscape gardeners. Commissioners accept the plans made by these men and endeavor to acquire lands and improve them as directed by their retained advisers. These plans require large expenditures of public money, and as years are necessary for plans to materialize, partly because of lack of funds and because trees and shrubs and good roads will not spring into existence in a year or two, some citizens are unreasonable and demand results that only time and fair appropriations of money can accomplish.

SIMPLICITY AND

RESTFULNESS IN LANDSCAPE EFFECTS.

Because of the constantly increasing expenses of modern municipalities, and through an imperfect and crude understanding of legitimate park needs, it is difficult in many cities to secure annual appropriations large enough for anything beyond the bare maintenance of the parks. This condition of things in so many cities should lead to the making of parks where the strong features are quiet landscapes with great stretches of meadow, and where the naturalistic planting is restful to all the senses. The cost of developing and maintaining great urban pleasure grounds. where the pastoral idea is uppermost is very much less than for the making of those that are more pretentious and artificial. Park roads and walks must be made and a few buildings erected; but the true artist limits their number to the bare necessities of the case, and conceals them as far as possible by skillful planting. Rare trees,

shrubs, and plants in profusion are costly and too frequently are out of harmony with their surroundings. Large plantings of a limited variety of hardy trees and shrubs, naturalistic in their broad effects, cost very much less to grow and properly care for than the rare and striking ones. In some of our most attractive parks effective plantings have been made of great masses of dogwoods, viburnums, sumacs, and other native shrubs; these are easily, quickly, and cheaply grown, and are always pleasing. The parks that the American public enjoy best are those that have cost the least to improve and sustain.

HARMONY IN DESIGN THE GREAT DESIDERATUM.

These are the great public pleasure grounds created by men who have worked lovingly and wisely on Nature's canvas, having clearly in their minds pictures of one harmonious whole that could only be realized after many years. In some cities it has been difficult to prevent the placing of many things in public parks that were not considered in the original designs, and the question is continually arising as to whether there shall be a strict adherence to the carefully prepared plans of those who have for years studied the essentials of great parks. There should be no difference of opinion in this matter. When plans drawn by professional landscape gardeners of acknowledged ability are accepted, they should be closely followed. From a business point of view, nothing less can be done.

THE POLICING OF PUBLIC PARKS.

In many large park systems the police forces are small. On Sundays. holidays, and special occasions immense throngs gather in the parks, yet the order generally maintained is good and the harm done to everything that beautifies is slight. The development of a strong public sentiment which frowns upon depredations and hoodlumism in public parks has apparently kept pace with the growth and embellishment of the parks. When park property has been injured, the of fenders have not always been found among the socalled "lower classes." Women riding through parks in their luxurious carriages have been known to order their coachmen to gather flowers, and have calmly directed the despoiling of shrubs and trees.

A little more than one-half of the parks of this country are policed by men under the control of and paid by the park departments. In the other cities regular policemen are detailed for park duty. In four good-sized park systems there are no regularly detailed police, but from the employees of each park are chosen a sufficient number who are commissioned as special peace officers.

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