Statistics of Electrical Manufactures

[Trade Journal]

Publication: Western Electrician

Chicago, IL, United States
vol. 32, no. 1, p. 13, col. 1-3



The Western Electrician's estimates of the value of electrical and auxiliary manufactures in the United States in the year 1902, more accurate and complete than those in any former table, it is believed, are presented herewith, the figures of former years being given for comparison. The total estimate, $221,165,000, shows an increase of almost 15 per cent. over the $192,470,000 of 1901. These estimates are prepared with much care and effort, with the assistance of a large number of the leading authorities in the electrical and allied industries. They are not the result of guesswork, but are based on figures supplied by men who, as experts, can give very close approximations of the value of the output under the various entries. As the years go by, constantly growing interest is taken in the Western Electrician's effort to present this statistical information, more collaborators are secured, and the figures presented become increasingly accurate and authoritative. Figures showing the extent and growth of electrical manufactures and manufactures dependent upon electricity are not available elsewhere and can be secured in no other practicable way, from year to year, than that selected by this journal. The publication of the United States census report on the manufacture of electrical apparatus and supplies during the year ended June 30, 1900, which was made in August, 1902, enabled a comparison of some value to be made between the Western Electrician's figures for the calendar year 1900 (published January 5, 1901) and the government's report. The periods covered by the two sets of figures were only coincident for the first half of 1900, of course, but, as was pointed out in an editorial in the Western Electrician of September 6th, the striking agreements between the timely estimates and the carefully collected census returns show that the former were substantially accurate. And substantially accurate, to an even greater degree, we feel confident the figures here presented for 1902 are. The amounts stated are no more than they pretend to be estimates ; but they afford a valuable insight into the extent and relative proportion of the branches of electrical manufacturing.

As in former years, the largest single item is "dynamos and motors," $48,000,000, but if all classes of electrical wires and cables are considered together, the total is larger, over $53,000,000. The third largest, item is telephone apparatus, $21,000,000. Nearly every class of apparatus shows a healthy increase. It is fair to say, however, that the increases in the valuations of cars and trucks and of rheostats, car controllers and motor starters are due in part to more exact estimates in 1902. In like manner the decrease in water-tube boilers may be partially accounted for. Three new entries of exceptional interest make their appearance this year Nernst lamps, valued at $350,000; space-telegraph apparatus, $200,000, and steam turbines, $500,000. The classification is not as minute as might be made, but there is a sufficient number of entries to make a formidable list, and further division might lead to confusion.

Not included in the table, which relates exclusively to new machinery and apparatus marketed during the year, are estimates of the trade in second-hand appliances. It is interesting to note, however, that an authority in this line states that there was probably $3,000,000 worth of second-hand electrical machinery sold by dealers and possibly $1,000,000 additional sold directly by electric power plants disposing of old material.

Another interesting side-light on the state in the art is contained in the following statement of a gentleman in a position to speak with knowledge: "The nature of the apparatus used by electrical plants has changed to such an extent that comparatively a small amount of shafting and pulleys is now being used. Many plants which were formerly equipped with transmission machinery are now belted direct or coupled direct to the engine, doing away with all intermediate shafts. The introduction of the high-speed engine coupled direct to a generator or dynamo for small plants has done away with the necessity of shafting, and, of course, the high-speed engine belted direct requires no shafting."

The greatest activity at the present time in the electrical business is shown in the electric-railway and telephone fields. Regarding the former a collaborator makes the interesting statement that a low estimate of the value of motor equipments sold in 1902 would be $10,000,000.





Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:March 19, 2009 by: Bob Stahr;