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 no less than $61,750,000, larger than the $60,000,000 estimate for dynamos and motors, which is the largest single item on the list. But of course a large portion of the wires and cables is used for telephoning and telegraphing, where dynamos and motors cut but little figure. Again, there are many installations, such as factory equipments, where the motors or generators constitute the bulk of the cost, the wiring being comparatively unimportant. It is interesting to note that dynamos and motors on the one hand and wires and cables on the other are so nearly equal in value. Together they constitute 45 per cent. of the total value of the electrical and auxiliary manufactures of 'the United States.

Electric welding apparatus is classified separately in this year's table for the first time. The estimated value for 1905 is $95,000.

Great pains is taking in preparing these estimates to make them as nearly accurate as possible, avoiding duplication or exaggeration. The figures are precisely what they purport to be estimates but they are based on the judgment of a large number of gentlemen in the electrical and allied industries who are appealed to as experts. They are based on knowledge and may be accepted as close approximations of the actual values. Moreover, they are presented while the mass of information is fresh and of value in taking account of progress.

To the large number of friends who assisted in the preparation of the estimates herewith submitted to the electrical public the Western Electrician returns its hearty thanks.





Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:March 20, 2009 by: Bob Stahr;