Statistics of Electrical Manufactures

[Trade Journal]

Publication: Western Electrician

Chicago, IL, United States
vol. 34, no. 1, p. 13, col. 1-3



Despite the reduced volume of trade in the electrical and closely allied industries which was evident in the last quarter of the year just closed, it is gratifying to note that the total value of electrical and auxiliary manufactures in the United States in 1903, as shown by the Western Electrician's estimates, given in tabular form below, was greater than in 1902. The total for 1902 was $221,165,000, while the corresponding amount for last year stands at $234,750,000 an increase of about 5% per cent. To be sure, the increase from 1901 to 1902 was nearly 15 per cent., but in view of the generally diffused opinion that the high-water mark of commercial prosperity has been reached and that the country has entered on an era of less pronounced activity, it will be a welcome surprise to many to learn that in the electrical industries at least, the country not only held its own in 1903, but even surpassed the remarkable record of 1902. It is evident that while there has been a decrease in the late of growth, the falling off has been much less than many persons supposed. There can be no question, therefore, that the cheerful tone shown in nearly all the "Business Review" letters published elsewhere in this issue is justified by the actual situation.

The estimates given herewith have been prepared with the usual care which the Western Electrician bestows on its New Years statistics and are rendered possible by the assistance of many collaborators, whose co-operation is thankfully acknowledged. As the years go on, the figures presented become increasingly accurate and authoritative, and those for 1903 are confidently laid before the electrical public in the belief that they are substantially correct approximations of the volume of business in the lines indicated.

Many branches show only comparatively slight variations from the 1902 figures. The largest single item is "dynamos and motors," given as $52,000,000, showing a healthy growth. However, if all classes of wires and cables be considered together, the total is over $60,000,000, being the largest item that enters into electrical construction. Here, too, a steady improvement has been shown. After wires and dynamos and motors the third largest entry is opposite the telephone output, valued at $19,500,000. Some falling off is shown in this department, the estimate for 1902 being $21,000,000. Reciprocating steam engines for electrical plants show a slight decrease, but gas engines and steam turbines exhibit gains, more pronounced in the case of the latter. Undoubtedly "steam turbines" would be still larger if all the work in sight could be counted in the output of the year 1903.

For the first time "vapor lamps" appear in the list, the estimate being $30,000. Electric fans show a slight decrease, probably due to the cool weather of last summer. "Circuit-breakers" have taken a decided jump, but perhaps in this case the estimate of 1902 was too low. "Nernst lamps" and "space-telegraph apparatus" are comparative newcomers that show good gains.

Not included in the classification, but nevertheless of present-day interest, is the valuation of central-station heating plants installed in connection with electric-light installations. One authority states that the value of this class of apparatus made in 1903 was $1,500,000, and this is undoubtedly a good estimate.





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