Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

road in four years' time? I believe that would be subdivided enough that a man the result is that at the end of four years would become more of a specialist. the man is still far from being a special NEW PLAN FOR TECHNICAL COURSES. ist. He has a general idea of these things These courses should be arranged to but he has not been in any one depart cover the following work: First-Car ment long enough to become thoroughly building and repairs. The four years' familiar with it. The field he has been work could be divided as follows: Six trying to cover is too large to be covered months in the freight-car shop on truck

VALUE OF PROPER MANAGEMANT OF

LABOR.

and body work; six months in the pas risen to his position from a mechanic. senger-car shop; four months in the paint shop; four months in the wood mill; four months in the car blacksmith shop; six

The latter man will probably have, on months in the car machine shop; four

account of his having risen from the months in the yard; four months in the

ranks, one decided advantage over the drawing-room; four months in the test

special apprentice. He will understand room, and the last six months at large.

his men better. He has worked by their Second-Locomotive building and re

sides and lived with them.

He will appairs. The four years' work could be

preciate their likes and dislikes and andivided as follows: Ten months in the

ticipate their ways of thinking and lookmachine shop; six months on the floor;

ing at things. The better an officer is nine months in the boiler shop; nine

acquainted with the men under him the months in the blacksmith shop; four

more successfully will he be able to deal months in the drawing-room;four months

with them. This is a fact which is lost in the test-room and the last six months

sight of to a great extent in the special at large. Third-Locomotive operation.

apprentice course. The four years' work could be divided as follows: Three months in the round

Very often it is the case that where house as helper; two months in truck

two or more of these men are employed gang; one year as fireman; three months

in the same shop, they will live together as boiler washer; six months with boiler

and practically ostracize themselves from

the other men. This condition should maker; eight months with machiņist; four months in drawing-room; four

not exist. The special apprentice should months in test-room, and six months at

live the same as the regular apprentice.

He should associate with them, and, in large. The last six months of each course

fact, become one of them. By so doing

he will learn to know them better. He could be devoted to such work as the master mechanic saw fit. For instance,

will know their ways of thinking and of there might be one department in which

looking at things. He will know how he intended to place the man at the com

they will be apt to receive any order or pletion of his

innovation which is introduced in the

The last six months could very profitably be spent

shop. It will enable him to look at all in that department.

questions of shop management from two By confining the special apprentice to

diametrically opposite points of view. one of these three lines of work he would

He will not be nearly so liable, when the doubtless be of more value at the end of

time comes, to give orders to do things his apprenticeship than he is under the

which will antagonize the men in the present system. He would be a special- shop if he knows and understands them ist in the particular line of work he has

thoroughly. followed. There would not be the hesi It is a notable fact that, as a rule, men tancy there is at present about placing

who have come up from the ranks are him in a position. He would surely be more successful in the handling of men more competent under this system than

than the technical graduate. This, we he is under the present one.

It is true believe, is due to their better knowledge he would not have had experience in all of the persons with whom they have to the departments, but at the same time

deal. he will not be entirely ignorant concern The successful man is not so much the ing them. If he has been at all obsery man who can do a great deal himself, but ant he will have a general idea of the rather the one who can manage and diwork in the other departments.

rect the other men to concerted action rate, he will in all probability have a bet and thus quickly attain the desired reter idea of the work outside of the de sult partments in which he has worked So long as we insist on having a spethan will a master mechanic who has cial apprentice system, I believe that bet

course.

At any

one man. Let us make a specialist of him and a specialist who can be used.

In the meantime, let us not forget the regular apprentice. First of all, let us be more careful in the selection of these boys. Too often there is practically no attention paid to the boy himself. He is often the boy who could not get along at school, or would not go there, or probably his parents have not been able to manage him at all. As a last resort he

ter results can be obtained by following the course as outlined above.

To my mind, however, the special apprentice system is, at least, a poor one. The technical graduate is put in the shop and is given the best of opportunities to learn. He is given a great deal more attention than the ordinary apprentice. He is favored, and what is worse he expects it. On this account I am afraid that in a great many cases we turn out men who would have been a great deal better off if they had been given to understand that their advancement depended entirely on their own exertions. We favor them and turn out a hothouse plant which, when finally transplanted, can not stand the cold blast of competition. At the same time that the special apprentice is being favored, the general effect on the shop is not good. When the other men in the shop see the technical graduate rushed ahead, they are not liable to be nearly so energetic as when they see that all men are being treated alike.

The more you take away from a man his prospect for promotion, the less valuable he becomes. If every man in the service feels that his chance for promotion is as good as that of any one else, you will have an organization which will do business and be free from discord.

[graphic]

THE NEED FOR TECHNICALLY

TRAINED MEN.

MINERAL SPRINGS (Idaho Springs)

Courtesy Colorado & Southern Ry.

Technical men are needed in railroad work, and the need becomes greater every day. The question is how to get them and keep them. If it is possible to hire these men without offering them any special inducement or making any promises, I believe it would be the best way. This can frequently be done where a man is wanted for special work. He should be paid what he is worth the same as any other man. By doing this the apprentices' and journeymen's ambitions are not stifled, and at the same time the technical man is put on his mettle, because any advancement which he receives will be due solely to his own efforts. If this can not be done, and it is absolutely necessary to have special apprentices, let us not attempt to do so much with

is sent to the shop to learn a trade, not because of any ability he has shown or is liable to show, but it may be he has some influential friend who has spoken for him, or probably his father is working for the railroad and he is employed because he is the son of his father. This turns the shop into a reform school.

It may be that the apprentices' wages are not high enough to draw a desirable class of boys in all communities. If such is the case it would pay to increase them

en

NEW

UNIT FOR

and then insist upon a certain standard.

After we have done this, let us make the regular apprentice feel that we are interested in his welfare.

Let us courage him to improve himself technically. Let us help him in every way we can and make him fee he stand in line of promotion. By doing this I believe we will be able to obtain just as good men in the future as we have in the past, and the technical graduate will be at the front with the rest if he proves himself worthy.

OPERATING STATISTICS. The committee on Ton-Mile Statistics: Credit for Switch Engines expressed the belief that the next step in the evolution of basic units for operating statistics will be the use of a power unit instead of the ton-mile unit, just as the latter superseded the train and engine mile, the reason for the probable change being found in the fact that the power unit will supply the one element missing in the ton-mile necessary to make it ideal, this missing element being speed.

Referring in particular to switch engines, the report, among other statements, says: “It is a comparatively simple matter to determine with reasonable accuracy the ton-mileage made by locomotives in freight and passenger service, but it is practically impossible to do this for engines in switching service. For this reason roads which base the statistics of their locomotives in road service on the ton-mile have not done this for their switch engines. It would, of course be a simple matter to credit an arbitrary ton-mileage, in the same way that an arbitrary credit of miles per hour is now made, but this would have no advantage over the arbitrary credit of mileage, except that the statistics for all classes of locomotives would be on the same basis.

“It will be quite generally conceded that the best basis for railroad operating statistics is that which most closely measures the work done. The almost universal basis for switch engines is a credit of six miles an hour. It will require but little investigation to demonstrate that this credit does not even approximate the work done, and is far from ideal.

If the actual number of ton-miles per hour could be accurately or even approximately determined, it is evident the unfairness and injustice of the present credit would be remedied, but so far no one has been able to develop a practical method of doing this. However, a unit has been proposed which, while by no means all that could be desired, we believe will result in a credit fairly approximating the facts and proportional to the work done, because proportional to the power of the engines. We refer to a credit of ton-hours, which is found by multiplying the weight of the engine, expressed in tons, by the number of hours it is in service.

“The ton-hour as a basis of statistics for switch engines has a number of advantages over the present credit of six miles an hour. The ton-hour is not arbitrary, but has a logical and reasonable basis; it is as easily figured as the mileage and will require the keeping of no records not now kept; it is a reasonably accurate measure of the work done and gives a basis from which to determine costs, which is proportional to the work done by the engines' because it takes into consideration both their power and the length of time they are at work."

For these reasons the committee recommend the adoption of the ton-hour as the credit for engines in switching service, instead of a credit of miles per hour.

[graphic]

BAFFLED!
BY LOVE AND BLACK DIAMONDS.

CAPT. GEO. W. BARBER, SR.

When you

on

The office of Joel Meadows & Co.,

lent my

late dear father money-lenders and financial agents, money and took

the mortgages stood in a dark side street that branched our home and the farm in the adjoining off from St. Mary's Avenue, one of the suburbs, you said you would never ask main thoroughfares of the old city of for the principal as long as the interest Parkersburg, West Virginia.

was paid; but now, when I come to pay It was a dingy place at the best of the interest, you inform me that you times; for even in summer scarcely a ray must have the money or the property of golden sunshine penetrated into its will come to you by the first of January, recesses; or if by any chance a sunbeam 19—, and you know as well as possible wandered into its gloom, it seemed quick that we could not find it in that time." ly to feel that it was out of place, and de “My dear Miss Caskey," said Mr. parted to some more congenial surround Meadows, rubbing his hands together ings.

softly,''I am sorry, very sorry if anything I The office consisted of one large room, have said has distressed you, but you facing the street, whose windows were see business is business, and I find that protected by wire blinds from the curi

your property is going down in value; ous gaze of outsiders. This was labeled in fact, I lent your father too much "Office," and a smaller room behind, money at the time, and unless I can get upon whose door, that had known little

my money back or realize, I shall be the of the painter's art for years, the legend, loser; but,” he continued, looking straight “Manager's Room- Private," was writ at the face before him and then at his own ten in bold but yet fading letters. reflection in a glass opposite, “there is one

In this private sanctum one morning way in which we might arrange the matin the year 19—, upon the hard and un ter.” “What is that?"said the young lady, comfortable chairs provided for clients, looking with her clear eyes into his and sat a young lady of twenty-one years a ray of hope shining in her face. The of age, or thereabouts; and facing her, money-lender shuffled in his padded behind a table with deal top, stained to chair uneasily for a moment. resemble mahogany, sat Joel Meadows Do you think I am an old man, Miss & Co., rubbing his hands.

Caskey?" he said at length, hesitating Mr. Meadows (for the Co. was but a in most unusual manner for him. myth) was a large, portly man with an “What age would you suppose me oily, smooth face, around whose corners be?" a smile seemed to be always playing;'a The girl looked up again, wondering steady, trading smile that meant many what had made the conversation take this things, according to the class of clients turn. “I should think you were about with whom he was dealing.

a

to

forty, Mr. Meadows." The young lady opposite him was of “I am forty-one this month," said the medium height, with eyes like the clear noney-lender. blue of an Italian sky, that lit up as beau There was a pause, and then Miss Castiful a face as man could wish to see; but key said, a touch of impatience in her now it was set to a sad expression, and voice, “Excuse me, Mr. Meadows, but I the tears, like April rain, were brimming do not see what this can have to do with and coursing down her lovely

my business.”

“No, perhaps not; but cheeks.

I do," said the man. Let me put the “Mr Meadows,” she said, taking her matter plain to you. I am getting tired handkerchief and hastily drying her eyes of single blessedness, Miss Caskey, and "I did not think you could be so hard. am fairly well off. I am a man of few

19

over

« PreviousContinue »