Statistics of Electrical Manufactures

[Trade Journal]

Publication: Western Electrician

Chicago, IL, United States
vol. 38, no. 1, p. 17, col. 1-3



The general prosperity of the country is well reflected in the increase of value of electrical and closely allied manufactures in the United States for 1905, as shown by the annual New Years estimates of the Western Electrician, given below in tabulated form. The total is $268,075,000, which, compared with the $230,510,000 of 1904, shows the large increase of $37,565,000, or over 16 per cent. It is to be remembered, however, that in 1904 there was a slight falling off in electrical and allied manufactures compared with the year before, so that the increase shown by the figures of last year is larger than it would have been were it not for the comparatively poor showing of 1904. Taking the period from January 1, 1904, to January 1, 1906, the increase was something over 14 per cent., which, distributed through the two years, shows a rate of growth which is not abnormal in the electrical business. Furthermore, the figures given express the value of the output in the various lines in dollars, so that prices as well as volume of product affect the result. But, no matter how the figures are analyzed, it is pleasing to reflect that the year just closed witnessed a larger total value of electrical apparatus and apparatus made necessary by the use of electricity than any year that preceded it.

In nearly every one of the classifications adopted for the following table there is shown a good gain and in some instances a surprising increase. Indeed, in only one item is there a marked decrease, and this is in reciprocating steam engines used to drive electrical machinery. Here the falling off is no doubt due to the advance of the steam turbine and perhaps of the gas engine. Reciprocating engines dropped from $14,500,000 to $13,350,000, while gas engines used for a similar purpose rose from $1,800,000 to $2,500,000, while steam turbines jumped from $2,500,000 to $4,000,000.

Cranes and hoists, electrically operated, show a marked increase, as do electric elevators. In both cases, however, the figures are based on very excellent authority, as is also the case with electroplating and other electrolytic apparatus another instance where the estimate for 1905 is much greater, proportionately, than for 1904. In the case of electric elevators the volume of business is much greater than would be supposed by one who has not made an investigation of the subject. It is also growing very rapidly. So far as the electrolytic apparatus is concerned, it is possible that the value of output for 1904 was underestimated. Indeed, in all cases, estimates are more apt to be too low rather than too high. Continued experience in gathering information of this character impresses on one that the United States is a big country and the electrical business is a big business.

Nernst lamps show an increase in value of output of over 100 per cent. This jump, too, will arrest attention, but the authority for the figures is unimpeachable. The same may be said of mercury-vapor lamps. In both cases the influence of prices as well as volume of output is to be considered. Shafting, pulleys, clutches, etc., used in electrical stations, is another item that shows a large proportionate increase. But here, probably, there was an underestimate for 1904.

Space telegraphy shows an increase of but a little over five per cent. The practical utilization of this truly marvelous invention seems to be proceeding but slowly.

Telephone apparatus shows a good increase over the year before, although the figure is in nowise startling when considered with the reports of preceding years.

All kinds of wires and cables show good gain over 1904. Taking bare and insulated wire for electrical purposes and electrical cables together the total is