Statistics of Electrical Manufactures

[Trade Journal]

Publication: Western Electrician

Chicago, IL, United States
vol. 42, no. 1, p. 17, col. 1-3



Below are given in detail the Western Electrician's estimates of the value of the electrical and auxiliary manufactures in the United States for the year 1907, with corresponding figures for the four preceding years. As was to be expected, the total for 1907, $315,920,000, does not equal the aggregate for the record-breaking year 1906, when the value of electrical manufactures in this country reached the highest figure in the history of the industry. However, the total for 1907 is by far the largest of any year except 1906. The decrease from 1906 to 1907 is a trifle less than 10 per cent.

While there is this decrease in the aggregate and in most of the items, some of the entries show satisfactory gains. It is to be remembered that for three quarters of the year the volume of electrical business was very large. It is evident that had it not been for the check caused by the financial depression of the last quarter the electrical manufactures in this country for 1907 would have equaled in value those of 1906 and perhaps exceeded them. Prices as well as volume of goods affect the value expressed in dollars, and the prices obtained for electrical apparatus in the year just closed have been good.

The figures seem to show that the decline has been in new construction rather than in existing central stations or other electrical plants, which have done a good business, generally speaking. But there has been less electric" railway and telephone construction, for instance, in 1907, compared with 1906, and the result is seen in the figures for wires and cables, underground conduit, dynamos and motors, telephones, cars and trucks, poles and the like.

On the other hand, incandescent lamps and electric-heating apparatus made good gains, indicating that the great activity of many central stations in securing new business has borne fruit during the year. Arc lamps show a slight falling off, and if it were not for considerable sales of the new magnetite and carbon flame arc lamps it is likely that the discrepancy would have been more pronounced.

Gas engines show over 20 per cent. increase, although reciprocating steam engines fell back somewhat and steam turbines are stationary. Water-wheels also show a creditable gain. A number of very large gas engines for driving generators were manufactured during the year, which partly accounts for the increase indicated.

It will be noticed that a substantial increase is shown in electric-lighting fixtures. Part of this is due to the extension of electric lighting, but it is also true, apparently, that fixtures have been estimated too low in the past. One fixture man, indeed, thinks that the total value of fixtures produced in the country in 1907 was $30,000,000, of which he does not hesitate to ascribe 40 per cent. to electric fixtures. But it is believed that this estimate is rather high. In electrical glassware, also, previous estimates were too low perhaps. Grouping the figures given below for 1907 and 1906 on broader lines the following comparisons are available:




As in former years, these estimates, made by the Western Electrician, are based on underlying estimates furnished by men who have expert knowledge of the various branches of the electrical and closely allied industries. Blank forms are provided for this purpose, and after eliminating all estimates evidently based on misunderstanding of the inquiry there remained for this year's report 95 estimate sheets furnished by as many persons connected with the leading electrical manufacturing enterprises of the United States. To these gentlemen, whose assistance enabled it to present the figures given, the Western Electrician returns its very cordial thanks.





Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:October 5, 2009 by: Bob Stahr;