Sunday, September 11, 2016


1890's Three Jug Telephone.

Cortland Evening Standard, Friday, February 3, 1893.

From the Seat of War.
   A STANDARD reporter has interviewed E. E. Mellon, Esq. again on the telephone controversy, and Mr. Mellon said that there was no special change in the situation. To him there were a number of strange things connected with the controversy. Some of the telephone subscribers seem unable to grasp the situation as it now exists, and are continually losing sight of the fact that the paid agents of the telephone company are misleading them in stating certain conclusions which are nicely framed for the purpose of carrying out the game of bluff that has been played by the company for the past thirty days.
   The whole scheme of the company has been to break the combination between the old subscribers by getting them to return to the use of the telephone one by one. In going over the ground it has been found that, in order to accomplish this end, the company has resorted to every means possible—notably to threats and statements cunningly made up for the purpose of misleading the people. While perhaps it would not be fair to charge them with making statements that are absolutely false, the statements made are quite a good ways from being correct.
   Every subscriber should remember that every one who orders his telephone connected is striking a blow at the committee, who have nothing but the good of the people of Cortland at heart, and that the committee can see but one reason which the Telephone company can have in attempting to force this matter at the present time, and that is that upon the expiration of the patents on July 1st the Empire State Telephone company will be at sea, not knowing what the future has in store. The company, therefore, is seeking to fasten its grip on all the subscribers here, so that no new company will come in; for certainly no new company would build lines when all the telephone subscribers were tied up with the Empire State company for the year. It would seem that people are blind to their own interests when they cannot see the object the company has in view, which is simply to use them for its own benefit for the six months from July 1st 1893, to January 1st, 1894, during which time it might get arrangements made for the purpose of controlling the telephone business for years to come.
   Some of the friends of the telephone company say, "Why the company can never grant what the committee asks, because it would affect the company's interests in other towns." They seem to lose sight of the fact that the company has no franchise, no rights as a common carrier under its articles of incorporation to run a line in Cortland county, and that the only rights it has, come from the statement in its articles of incorporation that it desires to connect lines in certain towns and counties.
   To me it seems strange, after the work of the committee without any reward and with only the interests of the community at large in view, that people can be induced by statements entirely incorrect to break contracts made with their business associates, and be bulldozed into making contracts for the use of the telephone at a price which they have agreed not to stand, thereby aiding this company in its desperation.
   That the company is desperate is shown by the fact that it is using all the influences in its power. When the United States Express agent in Cortland would not connect his telephone, an order to do so was sent to him by the general superintendent in New York, and it looks to me very much as if the telephone people had used men outside of their own company for this purpose. It may be possible that the Express company needs the telephone more than it does the people of Cortland, but in my judgment it will be the loser in the end.
   One of the most common statements that the agents of the company are making, for the purpose of inducing the late subscribers to have their telephones connected, is that other parties in the same line of business are either having, or are going to have, their telephones put in, and that this is the last chance that will be given them to do the same. When you investigate these statements you find that they will not hold water. This is particularly true in reference to livery stables. What people are thinking about I can hardly imagine. With a very few phones in use, and with the almost absolute certainty that this company will never be able to operate one-half the number of phones that it was operating six weeks ago, it seems sheer lunacy that people should pay one-fourth more than they did then for something that is not one half as valuable.

Reception at the Normal.
   The reception given by Principal and Mrs. F. J. Cheney to the "A" and "B" classes, the local board and other invited guests occurred in the parlors of the Normal building last evening. There were about two hundred guests in all. The brilliantly lighted parlors looked very handsome last night and were much admired by all, particularly by those who had not heretofore had an opportunity of seeing them. The display of handsome costumes worn by the ladies were also very striking and added much to the brilliancy of the occasion.
   Dr. and Mrs. Cheney were assisted in receiving by Prof. and Mrs. Bardwell, Prof. and Mrs. Hendrick and Prof. and Mrs. Banta. The Misses Rose A. Hubbard and Cora E. Peck and Messrs. J. A. Bowen and R. E. Corlew, as representatives of the four societies in the school, kindly acted as ushers. Very nice refreshments were served in the kindergarten room, which was admirably adapted to the purpose. The refreshments were furnished by Mrs. Dora Brown and were served by members of the two ladies' societies.
   The room was prettily decorated with flags and with the colors of the four societies. Four pillars in the room which support the floor above were wound with the colors, each society having one pillar. From a point in the ceiling midway between them all the colors were looped to the tops of the pillars, the colors of Athenae and Gamma Sigma being looped together and those of Corlonor and the Y. M. D. C. being joined. The Normal hall and some recitation rooms in the building were lighted and the guests took pleasure in inspecting them. It was a late hour when the company separated.

Another Fire at the Messenger House.
   Mr. Samuel Young, the porter at the Messenger House, was cleaning the furnace shortly after 11:30 o'clock this morning. He had taken two scuttlefuls of ashes out the rear cellar door, had returned to the furnace and was going to the ash heap in the rear of the house when he discovered a fire directly under the kitchen and in the line of his previous path with the ashes. It is supposed that he must have dropped a live coal where it could kindle a fire.
   An alarm was immediately sent in from box 432, on the corner of Main and Port Watson-st,, by Mr. Ollie Ingraham. Before the alarm was responded to the employees of the hotel had formed a "bucket brigade," using pails, dishpans and anything that could be procured that would hold water and soon had the fire under control. The Orris hose boys arrived on the scene in short order and had a stream in the cellar in just two minutes after the alarm was sounded. The other companies also responded, but their services were not needed. An empty kerosene oil barrel which had caught fire caused so dense a smoke as to render it very hard to get at the fire. It was soon extinguished, however, and the large crowd which nearly filled the back yard dispersed.
   Dinner was necessarily delayed a short time on account of the smoke. It is impossible yet to estimate the damage, though it will not be very large and is entirely covered by insurance.

                                        The 1893 Columbia.
   Mr. F. I. Graham has on exhibition in one of the front windows of his drug store in the Grand Central [building] a Century Columbia bicycle of the 1893 design. This is the wheel known among cycling men as the "Model 32." It is three pounds lighter than last year's pattern. The head has been lengthened an inch and one-half and the machine is fitted with the band brake which acts upon the axle of the rear wheel. This does away with the complaint so common upon pneumatic wheels of all designs, that the brake injures the tire. The felloes have been narrowed up a little, which gives more spring to the tire. Altogether it is very fine looking machine, and there is every prospect of a great sale for them this year.

   —Mr. C. F. Thompson has just received a fresh supply of limburger cheese.
   —The Cortland Cart & Carriage Co. were connected with the Telephone exchange to-day.
   —Attend the lecture at the Y. M. C. A. rooms this evening, given by Edward Morgan Sheldon of Cornell university.
   —Remember the lecture by Mr. Edward Morgan Sheldon at the Y. M. C. A. rooms to-night. Subject—"Through the British Isles on Foot."
   —A robin was seen yesterday on the corner of Crandall and Elm-sts. Perhaps he came to observe whether the old bear could see his shadow.
   —The case of R. F. Randall vs. C. J. Coleman, to recover the-value of a family washing was called this morning. It was adjourned till Feb. 16.
   —Cortlandville grange will visit the Allbright grange at East Homer Saturday evening. A conveyance will leave Mr. R. B. Fletcher's residence at 115 Clinton-ave. at 6 o'clock sharp. All members are invited to go.
   —We have arranged to run our semi-weekly editions on Monday and Thursday evenings, starting the press at about 8 o'clock, instead of on Tuesday and Friday morning as heretofore. Visitors are always welcome at the STANDARD office.
   —Mr. F. E. Wright, The STANDARD’S collector, will visit McGrawville next Monday to collect the subscriptions now due. He will esteem it a favor if our subscribers will be prepared to pay him promptly, so that he can finish up his work there in one day.
   —In Justice Dorr C. Smith's court this morning, Charles, alias DeVere, Richer pleaded guilty to the charge of public intoxication and was sentenced to 75 days in the Onondaga Penitentiary. He was taken up on the 10 o'clock train this morning by Sheriff John Miller.
   —The annual meeting of the Central New York Trotting association was held at the Vanderbilt in Syracuse yesterday afternoon at 3 o'clock. Messrs. F. N. Harrington and C. F. Wickwire were present, and Mr. Harrington was elected president of the association for the coming year.
   —There will be a meeting at the rooms of the Women's Christian Temperance union on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 3 o'clock. Miss Sara E. Collins will read a paper on "Heredity and Physical Culture." She will also lead the consecration service at half past 2 o'clock, with Bible selections on Christian Athletics. It is hoped there will be a large number present.
   —The concert by the East Homer choir under the direction of Mr. M. D. Murphey, Jr., assisted by the Truxton choir will occur at the Methodist church in Truxton, to-night. Mr. Dana W. Foley will also assist. Mr. Foley intends to drive to Truxton. He thinks he would rather trust a horse than a railroad train, as he did two weeks ago.

The Burden of Taxation.
   ALBANY, Feb. 3.—Hon. J. Newton Fiero and Professor C. A. Collin, appointed by the governor under the provisions of last year's statute to investigate and report with reference to a tax law for the state, have filed their report with the draft of a bill.
   The report discusses the different claims with regard to the basis of taxation as to real and personal property and calls attention to the fact that there is a difference of opinion among those who think real property only should be taxed as to the method in which it should be assessed. Among those who claim that it should bear the entire burden of taxation one class favors the assessment of the land alone and the other that of the lands and improvement. One class favors an income tax as supplementary to the taxation of real estate while others insist that all personal property should be entirely free from taxation.
   Commenting upon the theory that corporations should pay the state taxes, attention is called to the fact that under the laws of Pennsylvania, where this system is carried out, corporations are entirely exempt from local as well as state taxes and that it is not probable that the different localities would consent to relieve corporations from bearing their proportion of the local taxes.
   It is urged that the deduction allowed for debts is the chief obstacle to assessment of personal property. A case of a bank in New York city is cited, the assets of which property taxable amounted to over 15,000,000, while four and a half millions are deducted therefrom by reason of the shareholders claiming they are personally indebted to that amount, leaving a little over half a million dollars of the five millions actually subject to taxation.
   While this view is very strongly urged in the report it is not embodied in the draft of the law submitted to the legislature for the reason that it is not believed that it would meet with general acceptance.
   A board of tax commissioners with office in Albany and the comptroller as its chairman is recommended which shall have general supervision over all matters of taxation in the state except those relating to the assessment of corporations and the collection of the taxes on taxable transfers which are retained in the office of the comptroller, where they are now efficiently administered. The comptroller is highly complimented on the manner in which he enforced these taxes.
   The bill accompanying the report which was submitted by the commission presents a complete revision of the tax laws of the state and embodies all the suggestions and recommendations referred to in the above abstract of the report, which are the most important features of the bill.

The Difference.
   When John L. Sullivan was whipped by Corbett last fall, he exclaimed mournfully: "I tried it once too often. I was too old." Sullivan was 34. All prize ring experts agreed with him that he was past the age when man is at his best physically. In brief, man is getting old at 34, according to prize ring judgment.
   Mr. Jay Gould died in the 57th year of his age. Nobody called him old. It is to be noted, however, that nobody spoke of him as being called from life too soon—before his best work was done. Probably nobody thought so except his own children and immediate family, who were tenderly attached to him. His greatest work had been accomplished. A little more than a month after Mr. Gould there died in Boston a man who was 57 years old in December, the month the millionaire took leave of this life. It was Bishop Phillips Brooks, considered by many the greatest preacher of his time after Beecher.
   Bishop Brooks was 5 months older than Jay Gould. Yet at his death, chief after expression of loss at the departure of so great and good a man, was the lament that he had been snatched away in the prime of his life with his grand powers in full noontide. It was counted an irreparable loss, the untouched years before him, which he would have filled full of work for mankind. He preached the gospel of brotherly love, the theology of the brotherhood of man, and it was counted that he died young, all too young.
   So here we have the three—the prizefighter who is an aged man at 34, the millionaire who had finished his life work at 56, and the preacher whom men loved dying young at 57. "Who knows the names of the millionaires of even a century ago?" asks somebody. And yet, which would the average man rather be, the millionaire or the preacher?
The Jewish Colony in New Jersey.
   Early in the year 1891 the American agents of Baron Hirsch bought 5,100 acres of wild pine lands in southern New Jersey. This was in anticipation of the arrival of a large number of Russian Jewish exiles. They came, and the real colony was founded in April, 1891. Most of the men had been tradesmen in Russia, but it was partly to keep them from overcrowding still more the field of peddling and small merchandising among their race in America that the attempt was made to put them to farming. The 5,100 acres were divided into 30-acre plots. which represented the farm that was to be allotted to each family. It was a very small farm, according to American ideas; still the result shows that the founders of the colony calculated correctly. The families were settled upon the plots with the privilege of buying them, being allowed twelve years to pay for them.
   The result thus far has been gratifying in all respects. The first work done by the colonists was to chop down the pine trees and clear the ground; the next was to cultivate the soil. Professor B. L. Sabsovitch, a learned Russian Jew, who came to America some years ago, gave up his place as professor of chemistry at the Colorado state agricultural experiment station to take charge of the farming operations of the exiles in New Jersey. Cloak and trousers factories have been established besides the farming industry, and the Russian Jewish colony promises to add substantially to the wealth of southern Jersey. There are now about 1,000 people in the colony. Woodbine is their postoffice and railroad station. Many of them have taken out preliminary naturalization papers.

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