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Title: Checking the Waste - A Study in Conservation
Author: Gregory, Mary Huston
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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by the Library of Congress)





* * *

_What you would weave into the life of the nation,
put into the public schools._


* * *


* * *


CHAPTER                   PAGE


II SOIL                     10

III FORESTS                 42

IV WATER                    86

V COAL                     124

VI OTHER FUELS             144

VII IRON                   164


IX ANIMAL FOODS            198

X INSECTS                  217

XI BIRDS                   236

XII HEALTH                 265

XIII BEAUTY                302

XIV IN CONCLUSION          312


Much has been said and written on the subject of conservation and many
excellent ideas have been advanced, but as yet too little has been
accomplished in the way of practical results. Probably this is due
largely to the fact that most people think of conservation as a problem
for the federal and state governments, mine owners, great lumber
companies, owners of vast tracts of land, and large corporations; and
have not realized how much the responsibility for the care of our
natural resources and the penalty for their waste rest with the whole
people, that every one has a part in this work which has been called
"the greatest question before the American people."

One cause of the failure to realize this personal responsibility is that
while there have been college text-books and scientific treatises on
various branches of the subject, such as Forestry, there has been no
book treating of the entire problem of our natural resources, their
extent, the amount and nature of their use, their waste, and what may be
done to conserve them, prepared in a way that can be readily understood
by the ordinary reader, and dealing with the practical, rather than the
technical, side.

It is to supply the need for such general knowledge, and to show how
such saving may be accomplished, that this book has been written. It is
designed as a short but complete statement of the entire conservation
question, and should be of service for study in teachers' reading
circles, farmers' institutes, women's clubs, the advanced grades in
schools, and for general library purposes.

Every statement of fact bears the weight of authority, for no facts or
figures are given that have not been verified by government reports,
reports of scientific societies, etc.

Information has been gathered from many sources, chief among them being
the Report of the Conference of Governors at the White House, in May,
1908; the Report of the National Conservation Commission, the Report on
National Vitality, the Report of the Inland Waterways Commission, of the
Geological Survey, the Census Reports, and many government departmental

M. H. G.

Indianapolis, November 24, 1910.

* * *




A Nation's Riches lie both in its people and in its natural resources.
Neither can exist in its highest estate without the other. Goldsmith
predicted the certain downfall of lands "where wealth accumulates and
men decay," but, in the truest, broadest definition, there can be no
national wealth unless the men and women of the nation are healthy,
intelligent, educated and right-minded. On the other hand it is equally
true that if the people of a country are to make the most of themselves
in mind and body; if they are to get the most comfort and happiness out
of life and to become in the highest degree useful, they must develop
its natural resources to the greatest possible degree.

The United States is particularly fortunate in its abundant riches of
soil, forest and mine, and in the fact that from the beginning of the
nation these have been the inheritance not of a people slowly learning
the use of tools and materials, and emerging from ignorance and
savagery, but representing the most advanced and enlightened ideas and
spiritual ideals of the time.

The result of these conditions has been inventions and discoveries that
have developed a great nation at home and have done much to better the
condition of the world. But the very magnitude of our natural wealth has
made us careless, even prodigal, in its use, and thoughtful men are
beginning to realize that with the natural increase of population which
is to be expected, we shall, if the present rates of use and waste
continue, find ourselves no longer rich, but facing poverty and even
actual want. But it is not too late to save ourselves from the results
of our past extravagance. We are only beginning to see the danger into
which we have almost plunged, but we see enough to make us realize that
every one must do his part in checking the waste. Before this can be
intelligently accomplished we must understand something of the great
national movement for the conservation of our national resources.

Let us go back for a moment to the beginning of our history as a nation,
the days of Washington.

Invention at that time was little advanced over what it had been three
hundred years before. The same type of slow-sailing vessels carried all
the commerce. Wind and water were the only powers employed in running
the few factories. Only a little iron was used in this country, and in
fact almost its only use anywhere at that time was for tools. There was
little machinery, and that of the simplest description.

Anthracite coal was known in this country only as a hard black rock.
Bituminous coal, gas, and oil were unknown.

The forests stretched away in unbroken miles of wilderness. The wood was
used for the settlers' homes, their fuel, and their scanty furniture,
but they needed so little that it grew much faster than it could be
used. The man who cut down a tree was a public benefactor. The trees,
though so necessary to life, were regarded as a serious hindrance to
civilization, for they must be cleared away before crops could be

To the pioneers as to us the soil was the most valuable of all
resources. The rivers were necessary to every community for carrying
their commerce, and turning the wheels of their saw and grist mills;
while the fish, game, and birds made a necessary part of their living.

Under these conditions, with every resource to be found in such
abundance that it seemed impossible it could ever be exhausted, and with
a small scattered population to draw on all these riches, careless
habits of using were sure to spring up. Our forefathers took the best
that the land offered, and that which was easiest to get, and gave no
thought to caring for what remained. Their children, and the new
immigrants who came in such numbers, all practised the same wasteful

In the century and a quarter that has passed since then, a great change
has come over the world. By the magic of the railroad, the telegraph,
and the telephone, all the nations of the earth are bound more closely
to one another now than were the scattered communities of a single
county in those days, or than the states of the Union before the Civil

The forests have been cut away and in place of endless miles of
wilderness there now stretch endless miles of fertile farms, yielding
abundant harvests.

Slow-going sailing vessels have given place to steamboats which now
carry the river and lake commerce. But men are no longer dependent on
the rivers, for swift railway trains penetrate every part of the
country. The stage-coach is replaced by the trolley-car, and the
horseback rider, plodding over corduroy roads with his saddle-bags, is
succeeded by the automobile rider speeding over the most improved

Farm machinery of all descriptions has revolutionized the old methods of
doing farm work. The fish, game, and birds are largely gone and in
their place are the animal foods raised by man. Modern houses, filled
with countless devices for labor-saving and comfort, have replaced the
simple homes of colonial days.

What has brought about this change? The energy and industry of American
men and women, aided for the most part by American inventions, and made
possible by the wonderful natural resources of America.

No one could wish to have had our country's development checked in any
way. These great results could be obtained only by using the materials
that could be had easiest and cheapest, even if it meant great waste in
the beginning. Labor was scarce and high in this country, abundant and
cheap in Europe. In order to make goods that could be sold at prices
even above those of European countries, it was absolutely necessary to
have cheap lumber, coal and iron.

But the time has come when we can no longer continue this waste without
interfering with future development. Some of the resources have been so
exhausted that a few years will see the end of their use in large
commercial quantities. Others, such as coal and iron, will last much
longer, but when they are gone they can never be replaced; and so far as
we can now foresee, the country will cease to prosper when they can no
longer be had for use in manufacturing. The length of time they will
last at the present rate of use can be easily calculated. It is a long
time for us to look forward, for it is longer than the lifetime of any
man now living, or of his children, but it is within the life of his
grandchildren, and that is a very short time in the history of a nation.

It may be said that while other nations have passed into decay, none has
ever exhausted its resources so early in its history, and surely this
great rich nation can not so soon face actual need. But we must remember
that no other nation has ever used its resources as we have used ours.
We are using in years what other nations have used in centuries.

It is not possible now, it probably never will be possible, to use every
particle of a resource. This would be too expensive, would mean a labor
cost far beyond the value of the thing saved.

In the beginning, as we have shown, the vast wastes were not wanton, but
absolutely necessary, and we have not yet reached the point where we can
afford to use the low-grade ores, to use all lumber waste and to
practise many other economies that may sometime become necessary. But in
the case of the forests we should provide enough trees for use in coming
years, and in the case of all minerals, the refuse should be left in
such condition that it can easily be ready for possible future use.

If conservation meant leaving our resources untouched, and checking
development in order that there might be an abundance for future
generations, it would be both an unwise and unacceptable policy; but it
must be thoroughly understood that this is not what is desired.

Conservation does not mean the locking up of our resources, nor a
hindrance to real progress in any direction. _It means only wise,
careful use._

It does not mean that we shall cease to cut our timber, but it does mean
that we shall not waste two-thirds of all that is cut, as we are doing
at present. It means, too, that we shall take better care of articles
manufactured from it, and most of all, it means that, when a tree is cut
down another shall, whenever possible, be planted in its stead to
provide for the needs of the future.

It means that we shall not allow the farms of our country to lose five
hundred million dollars in value every year by letting the rich top-soil
drain off into our rivers, because we have cut away the trees whose
roots held the soil in place. It also means that we shall not steadily
rob the land of the elements that would produce good crops, and put
nothing back into the soil.

It means that we shall not kill the birds that destroy harmful insects
and thus invite the insects to destroy the crops that we have cultivated
with such care.

It does not mean that we shall let our mines of coal and iron lie
unused, as the miser does his gold, but that we shall, while taking what
we need, leave as little waste in the mine as possible, and shall use
what we take in the most economical way. This means a saving of money to
the user, as well as a conservation of resources. It means, too, that we
shall not allow our water-power to remain unused, while we burn millions
of tons of coal in doing the work that water-power would do better.

It means that we shall not allow enough natural gas to escape into the
air every day to light all the large cities in the United States. It
means that we shall take better care of the life and health of the

This is the true conservation.

In the following chapters we shall take up each of the great resources
in turn, shall see what we have used, what we have wasted, what remains
to us, how long it will continue at the present rate, how it may be used
more wisely, and how it may be replaced, if that be possible, or what
may be used instead of those which can not be renewed.

We shall study how we may make the most of all that nature has given us
and develop our country to the highest possible point, how we may rise
far above our present level in comfort, convenience, and abundance, and
yet do all these things with much less waste than we now permit.



The soil is the greatest of our natural resources. We may almost say
that it is greater than all the others combined, for from it comes all
of our food; a large part of it directly as plants which grow in the
soil and which we eat in the form of roots, leaves, grains, berries,
fruits, and nuts; and a part of it indirectly as animals, which have
received their food supply from the plants.

But this is not all. The soil supplies almost every known need. We build
our homes from the trees of the forest; combined with the iron that
comes from the soil they furnish our fuel, our ships, our cars, our
furniture, and countless other things. Our clothing is made from the
cotton or flax which grows from the soil, the wool from the sheep that
feed on the pastures, or from the silk-worms that feed on leaves.

So it is to the earth that we turn for every need, and Mother Nature
supplies it. But it is of the soil as it gives us our food supply that
we shall speak in this chapter, and we must first learn the nature of
the soil, and the process of its making, in order to understand the need
of extraordinary care in its management, and also how to use it so that
it will not wear out, or become exhausted, but will increase in value
for years and even centuries, as it will if properly cared for.

The earth's surface is constantly being renewed. Although the great
formative movements occurred ages ago, yet earthquakes, volcanic action,
wind, frost and water are working continual changes. Hills and mountains
have been thrown up, and nature has gone to work at once to shave down
the mountains and fill up the valleys. The whole earth is as carefully
adjusted and balanced as the wheels of a watch, but these adjustments
take place in long periods of time. In a lifetime, or even a century,
the changes of the earth's surface seem few and small, but they are none
the less sure.

The soil or humus, that is, the upper layer of the earth's crust which
is used in farming, has an average depth of about four feet, and has
been formed by decay, first and most important of all by rock decay
which is constantly going on under the surface of the earth and in
exposed places everywhere, and is caused by the action of air and water.
This process is very slow. In places where the rock is already partly
ground up, or, disintegrated, as we sometimes say, it is more rapid, but
the average growth of the soil from beneath by rock decay is scarcely
more than a foot in ten thousand years.

Some waste of this upper layer is constantly taking place from above,
caused by wind and floods, and considerable additions are made to it by
the decay of animal and vegetable matter, but in order to keep the soil
at its best, the average soil waste should not amount to more than an
inch every thousand years.

When this humus is once exhausted there is no way to repair the damage
but to wait for the slow rock-decay. In the river valleys there is no
immediate danger of exhausting the entire body of the soil, but on the
hills and in the higher regions the soil-depth is very much less than
four feet, and the danger of waste much more serious. There are parts of
the earth that were once almost as fertile as ours where great cities
once stood, but where now nothing is left but the bare rock.

So we know that the end is sure, even for the life of man upon earth,
unless we learn to conserve our soil.

The value of our farm crops can not be overestimated. In food value they
are the life of the nation; in money value, our greatest national
wealth. For the year 1909 the total value of farm products was the
amazing sum of $8,760,000,000. It may give some idea of this vast amount
to say that if we could have it in the form of twenty-dollar gold
pieces, stacked in one pile, the column would reach seven hundred miles
high. If they were laid flat, edge to edge, they would extend from
Alaska to the Panama Canal, with enough left over to reach from New York
to San Francisco. If the money could be distributed, it would give us
all, every man, woman and child in the United States, one hundred
dollars apiece. The corn crop was worth $1,720,000,000; the cotton
$850,000,000; wheat comes third with a value of $725,000,000; then come
hay, oats, and other crops in vast amounts worth hundreds of millions of
dollars. The cotton alone was worth more than the world's output of gold
and silver combined. The corn would pay for the Panama Canal, for fifty
battleships, and for the irrigation projects in the West, with a hundred
million dollars left over.

And this is all new wealth. If we build a house, we have gained the
house, but the trees of which we build it are gone. The same thing is
true of every article we manufacture. Something is taken from our store
in the making. But after we have taken these wonderful crops from our
farms the land is still there, and the soil is just as ready to produce
a good crop the next year, and the next, and the next, if we treat it

This matter of soil conservation is of the greatest importance to every
one of us. If you are to own a farm, or rent a farm, or till a garden,
or plant an orchard ten years from now, it will make a great difference
to you whether the man who owns it from now until then knows how to care
for it so as to make it produce well, or whether, by neglect, he allows
it to become poorer each year. It will make a far greater difference if
twenty years elapse.

It makes a difference to the farmer whether he gets twelve bushels of
wheat to the acre, or whether he gets twenty, for the cost of producing
the smaller amount is just as great as the cost of producing the larger,
and the extra bushels are all profit. It makes a difference whether a
garden furnishes all the fruit and vegetables needed by the family, or
whether it does not even pay for cultivation, and the food must be
bought at high prices. It makes even more difference to the dweller in
the city, who must buy all that he eats, whether food is abundant or
not. If food is abundant, prices are low, but when the yield is small
the demand is so great that prices become high.

Not only the men, but the women and children as well, are affected by
these food values, because it is from the extra money left over after
the actual cost of living is taken out that the clothing, the
house-furnishings, books, pictures, music, travel and all the pleasures
of life must come.

Great as are our harvests, we are not raising much more than enough for
our present needs. Each year we are using more of our food at home, and
have less to export to other countries. In a few years more the public
lands will all be taken, and there will be comparatively little more
land than we now cultivate to supply a population that will be many
times as great as at present.

Men who watch the great movements of the world tell us that the time is
coming before many years when there will not be food enough to supply
all our people, when we shall be buying food from other countries
instead of selling to them, when we shall have famine instead of plenty
unless we realize the danger and at once set about to make the most of
every acre of our land.

James J. Hill, the great railroad builder of the Northwest, and one of
the best informed men of the country on food production and the increase
of population, is doing a great work in pointing out these dangers to
the people on every possible occasion.

Watching the great food-producing region of the country, he has noted
that each year the yield per acre is growing less, and the population
steadily more. He tells us that when our first census was taken only
four per cent. of the people lived in cities, that fifty years ago
one-third of the people lived in cities, and two-thirds in the country,
that is, two-thirds of the people were furnishing food to the remainder.
Now conditions are almost exactly reversed. Only one-third remain in the
country, and must supply the food, not only for themselves, but for all
the two-thirds who are not food producers, so that the food supply is
lagging far behind the demand. The price of corn has advanced from
twenty-five cents to sixty-five cents a bushel in ten years, and this in
turn raises the price of live stock. And so all along the line. Prices
are growing higher all the time because not enough food is being
produced to supply the demand.

So we can see that it is absolutely necessary that the soil be properly
cared for if we are to continue to increase and prosper, for as
Secretary Wilson has said, "Upon the fertility of the soil depends the
whole business of agriculture."

The soil is exhausted in two ways: (1) By erosion, or the carrying away
of the entire soil itself. (2) By so using the soil that one or more of
its principal elements are worn out. We shall consider this form of soil
exhaustion first, because it more directly concerns the work of every

By a fertile soil is meant one that has an abundance of plant food in
the proper proportions. The soil contains all the elements that are
needed to support life, but they are in an inorganic form, that is, they
are lifeless. Plants alone can take these inorganic substances from the
soil, and change them into starch, sugar, fats, and protein. All
animals, including man, must get these substances through plants, or
through other animals that have already absorbed them from plants.

The soil contains ten elements that are absorbed or assimilated by
plants. These are: (1) lime, (2) magnesia, (3) iron, (4) sulphur, all of
which are found in most plants in very small proportions, and are
present in most soils in quantities far beyond the needs of crops for
ages to come; (5) carbon, which is obtained by plants through their
leaves directly from the air and the sunshine; (6) hydrogen and (7)
oxygen, which are taken from the water in the soil and carried to the
leaves, where they also help to take the carbon from the atmosphere.
With none of these elements, then, does the farmer need to concern
himself in regions where the water supply is abundant, as they are, and
will continue to be, plentifully supplied by nature. But the other
three, (8) nitrogen, (9) potassium, and (10) phosphorus, are needed by
plants in large quantities, and are taken from the soil far more rapidly
than nature can replace them.

All these elements are necessary to plant life, but some plants require
a large amount of one element, others a small proportion of that, but a
large amount of some of the others. No two varieties of plants require
exactly the same proportions, so it is easy to see that the plant that
takes out of the soil any one element makes the soil less capable each
year of producing a good crop of the same kind.

In the early days of farming in this country, it was the custom to grow
a single crop, which had been found to give good results, year after
year in the same field. In Virginia and other near-by states nearly all
the best land was given every year to the cultivation of tobacco, which
exhausts the soil rapidly. In the states farther north other crops were
planted in the same way. As a result, some of the most fertile soil in
Virginia, the Carolinas, Massachusetts, and other eastern states has
been so exhausted that it is no longer worth cultivating. Everywhere
throughout the New England states are to be found these worn-out farms,
and, while they were never so fertile as the lands of the Mississippi
Valley, each one was rich enough to support a family in comfort, with
something left to sell; but because they were required to produce the
same crops, and so take the same element from the soil, year after year,
they have become so lacking in one of the essential elements that they
are unfit for cultivation, and have been abandoned.

It is wisdom and good business policy for farmers to study carefully
this question of plant food and to learn what each crop is taking from
the soil, so that it may be replaced. It has been found by long and
careful experiments, that when land has been "single cropped," as this
abuse of the land is called, for a long time, the soil has been almost
entirely deprived of its nitrogen. As you know, nitrogen is one of the
elements of the air, so that there is a never-ending supply, but most
plants are unable to take it from the air, and until the last few years
the task of replacing nitrogen in the soil was considered impossible.
Recent discoveries, however, have shown that there are two ways in which
it may be done. By means of electricity, nitrogen may be directly
combined with the other elements of the soil. The other method is
nature's own plan, and so is easier and cheaper. It has been found that
while most plants exhaust the nitrogen from the soil, one class of
plants, the legumes, of which beans, peas, clover, and alfalfa are the
best known, have the power of drawing large stores of nitrogen from the
air, and, by means of bacteria attached to their roots, restoring it to
the ground.

So farmers have learned that if they plant corn one year, it is wiser
not to plant corn in the same field the next year, but to sow wheat,
which requires less nitrogen, and the following year to sow clover, so
that the nitrogen which the corn and wheat have taken from the soil, may
be put back into it. If the land be naturally fertile, and has been well
cared for, the soil is then ready to produce a good crop of corn again.

If the soil has become worn-out and the farmer is trying to improve its
general condition, he can gain better results by keeping the field in
clover a second year, when a profitable crop of clover seed may be had
from the land. This system of changing each year, and alternating cereal
crops, which take the nitrogen from the soil, with leguminous plants,
which restore it to the soil again, is called "rotation of crops," and
if regularly followed will preserve a proper balance of nitrogen in the

In some parts of the West there is a lack of decaying vegetable matter
in the soil, because the few plants which naturally grow there have
small roots, and leave little vegetable material behind when they decay.
For this condition one of the best crops to employ in rotation is
sugar-beets, because they strike many small roots deep into the earth.
As these decay, each leaves behind a tiny load of vegetable mold deep in
the earth, and also makes the soil more porous. As the principal
elements of the soil needed by sugar-beets are carbon and oxygen, which
are absorbed from the air and sunshine, and as the beets can be sold at
a good profit, it is an excellent crop to employ in rotation. In the
United States records in various states show that where sugar-beets are
used in rotation, the wheat and corn yield is increased from two to four
times, and in Germany they are largely used to restore the fertility of
the land, even if the sugar-beets themselves are sold at a loss.

It is most important that farmers should understand the principle of
rotation of crops, because nothing is taken from the soil so quickly or
in such large quantities as nitrogen, and nothing is so easily put back;
while, if it is not so replaced, the land becomes worthless.

A comparison of the results of single cropping and the rotation of crops
has been clearly shown at the Experiment Station of the Agricultural
College of the State of Minnesota, where for ten years they have planted
corn on one plot of ground. For the first five years it averaged a
little more than twenty bushels per acre, and for the last five years,
eleven bushels.

On another plot, where corn was planted in rotation, the average yield
was more than forty-eight bushels, the difference in average in the two
plots being thirty-two bushels, or twice the value of the entire average
yield on the exhausted ground. The corn grown at the end of the ten
years was only about three feet high, the ears were small, and the
grains light in weight. But it cost just as much to cultivate the land
that produced it as it did to cultivate the land that produced
forty-eight bushels.

Of the other two elements, potassium is found abundantly in most soils.
It is also found in a readily soluble form in various parts of the
United States and is sold at a very low price. But even if these
deposits were exhausted we could still use the rocks which are very rich
in potassium, and are very abundant, in a pulverized form, or potash
could be manufactured from them.

The only remaining element of the soil is phosphorus. This element was
discovered in 1607, the year of the first English settlement at
Jamestown and was first noticed because of its property of giving off
light from itself. The name which was given it means light-bearer. It
was at first thought to be the source of all power, to heal all
diseases, and to turn the common minerals into gold. Although we have
long ago learned that these ideas are absurd, yet we have also learned
that its real value to man is far greater than was even dreamed of then.

It is the most important element in every living thing, for no cell,
however small, in either animal or vegetable organisms can grow or even
live without phosphorus. It is found in the green of the leaves, and
helps to make the starch. It enters largely into the grain and seeds of
plants, and is necessary for their germination, or sprouting, as well as
their growth. Three-fourths of all the phosphorus in a crop of cereals
is in the grains, giving them size and weight. It will thus be seen how
necessary it is that the soil which feeds our plants, which in turn
become the food of animals and of man, should contain a sufficient
amount of phosphorus.

Phosphorus is taken from the soil in large quantities by every kind of
crop. In parts of Wisconsin which have been farmed a little more than
fifty years without fertilizing, it is found that about one-third of the
phosphorus has been taken out of the soil, which would mean that in one
hundred and fifty years, or a hundred years from now, the soil would be
incapable of producing any living thing, and long before that time the
crops would not pay for the labor of producing them. Almost every acre
of land that has been farmed for ten years without fertilization is
deficient in phosphorus, that is, so much has been used that the soil
can no longer produce at its former rate.

It may be asked, if this be true, why the soil of America, which before
it was cultivated had borne rich forests and fields of waving grass, has
not become exhausted long ago. We must remember that nature always
adjusts itself; that, in the wild state, all plants decay where they
grow, and the same elements are returned again to the soil. But when the
entire product of vast areas is removed year after year, the soil has
nothing except the slow rock-decay with which to renew itself.

In tropical regions it is not necessary to feed domestic animals at any
season of the year, but in those countries where the natural food can be
found only during a part of the year, the need of artificial feeding is
seen at once, and it becomes a part of the regular expense of farming.

It would be considered the height of folly for a man to allow his
valuable animals to starve to death because of the expense of feeding
them, but few people recognize the fact, which is also true, that it is
equally bad business policy to allow the valuable crops of wheat, oats,
and corn to starve for want of plant food.

The phosphates (that is, phosphorus) are the only large items of
expense, and in a large measure this may be lessened by raising live
stock, for which high prices can be obtained either as meat or dairy
products, and returning the manure, which contains a large amount of
phosphate, to the soil. If all the waste animal products could be
returned to the land, Professor Van Hise says, three-fourths of the
phosphorus would be replaced. All animal products are rich in
phosphates. The packing houses manufacture large quantities from the
bones and blood of animals.

The garbage of cities, when reduced to powder, yields large returns in
phosphorus. It is said that if the sewage of cities, which in this
country is often turned into rivers and streams, polluting them and
causing disease, was reduced to commercial fertilizer, it would supply
the equivalent of from six to nine pounds of rock phosphate per year for
every acre of cultivated land in the United States. And this valuable
product is now totally lost, and worse than lost, since it menaces the
life and health of great numbers of our people.

There still remain to be considered the rock phosphates, the form in
which phosphorus is found in separate deposits. The only large deposits
that have been used are in Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and
from them about two and a quarter million tons were mined in 1907.
Unfortunately, however, there is no law that prevents its export from
this country, and almost half of this found its way to Europe, where it
is eagerly sought at high prices.

Within a short time valuable phosphate beds, more extensive than any
before known to exist in this country, have been discovered in Utah,
Wyoming, and Idaho. Professor Van Hise, who is one of the highest
authorities on the subject, says of these deposits that with the
exception of our coal and iron lands, they are our most precious mineral
possession; that every ounce should be saved for the time which is
coming when the population will have outgrown the capacity of the land,
and means of increasing its fertility in order to prevent famine will be
sought from every possible source.

The other great waste of the soil is by erosion, or the wearing away of
the soil by stream-flow. We can all see this in a small way by wandering
along the shore of any swift-running stream and noticing how the banks
are worn away, and what deep gullies and ravines are cut into them by
the water running down from the fields above. Another way in which we
can observe the effect of this waste is by noticing the muddy yellow
color of streams during floods and after heavy rains, and comparing it
with the clear blue of the same stream at ordinary times.

When we realize that this muddy color always means that the water is
filled with soil, all that it will hold in solution, that it is carrying
away the top soil, which is best for agriculture, and, finally, that
every little streamlet and creek, as well as the mightiest river, is
carrying this rich soil-deposit downward toward the sea in its flow, we
begin to see how great a factor erosion is in the wasting of the land.

The Missouri River, which drains a large area of wheat and corn land, is
notable as a muddy, yellow river at almost all seasons. Do you
understand what that means? It means that this great productive region
is growing poorer each year, and that as the population increases, and
the need of great harvests increases, the land is becoming less able to
produce them. The Mississippi River is said to tear down from its banks
more soil each year than is to be dredged from the Panama Canal. At the
mouth of the river is a delta many miles in extent, formed wholly of
land that has been carried down the river. The soil in lower Mississippi
and Louisiana is almost black, and is in many places seventy feet in
depth, and it has all been left there by the river, which took it from
the higher lands.

It is estimated that our rivers carry out to sea one billion tons of our
richest soil each year. The ancient Egyptians worshiped the Nile because
each year the spring floods left behind the rich soil deposits that
fertilized their fields and gave them an abundant harvest. Entire fields
and even whole farms along the upper stretches of the Mississippi and
Missouri have been carried away, not the top soil only, but the land
itself, by the swift current of the springtime floods as they cut a new
channel for the river.

Canaan, the "land of promise" of the Bible, was once an abundant region,
"flowing with milk and honey" in the language of Moses, with its grapes,
its vast forests of cedar, fir, and oak, its treasures of wheat,
olive-oil, and other rich agricultural products. Now all are gone. The
entire country seen by the traveler in the Holy Land to-day is one of
the most desolate regions on the globe, where the few inhabitants are
scarcely able to obtain a scanty living.

We wonder what has brought about this change, and we have not far to
seek in answer to our questioning. The preservation of the forests means
the preservation of the soil, and the destruction of the forests means
the destruction of the soil. This is the universal law. First the
forests were cut down and the hillsides left bare. Then the streams wore
great ravines down the unprotected hillsides. Steadily the work of
destruction by erosion has gone on, until time beyond our possibility to
comprehend must pass before the land can be made productive again. The
hills and valleys of China have been devastated in the same way, and
many of the older regions of the earth that were once the sites of great
cities and extensive commerce are now marked only by the ruins of the
civilization that has passed away. They have almost ceased to support

In the days of Rome's greatness, Sicily was known as "the granary of
Rome" because from this little island came the grains to supply her vast
armies. 12,000,000 bushels of grain was the tribute that Rome claimed of
Sicily each year, and yet Sicily had enough left to make her rich. She
built splendid cities and became great. But the same story of
destruction is to be read in the history of Sicily. Now the entire
island does not raise a million and a half bushels of wheat altogether.
The soil is barren. The cities have nearly all fallen into ruin. The
people are scattered. Thousands have come to America, seeking a poor
living at the lowest wages because at home there was no chance to earn
even the little they require. They allowed the soil to become exhausted
by lack of fertilization and by erosion and it long ago ceased to
support the people. All the rest followed naturally.

In many parts of our own country this same danger is coming on us. It is
only the beginning, but the end is as sure for us as for those far-off
Eastern countries.

Millions of acres have already been destroyed in the East and South. The
Appalachian mountain system lies not far from the coast, and the rivers
on the eastern slopes are short and swift. It is necessary, then, to
exercise the greatest care of the forests in order to prevent the floods
in this region from carrying away the lands in their swift rush to the
sea. North Carolina was one of the richest states in the Union in
natural resources a hundred years ago. Now it is low on the list in
agricultural products. The forests on its mountain tops were valuable
for their lumber, their turpentine, pitch, and other products, and great
lumber companies have almost denuded the hillsides, regardless of the
fate of the lands they cut over. The people of the state are powerless
to prevent this except by buying all of these lands and replanting the
forests. They have been pleading with Congress for power to stop the
destruction of their forests and the wasting of their lands, but so far
have received no assistance and meanwhile the land grows poorer each
year. The same conditions are to be found in many other states that now
rank high agriculturally, but in North Carolina we are beginning to see

In order to understand exactly how the damage is done to the land, let
us suppose a case which has actually occurred in hundreds of places. A
farmer owned a farm on the mountain side. Much of it was good wheat
land, but the top was covered with forests. At last he decided to cut
and sell the timber, and use the land for raising more wheat. He did
so, but now there was no spreading foliage to check the dash of the
heavy rains as they fell to the ground. As they sank below the surface
there were no masses of tangled roots to hold the moisture in the soil
and to carry it up into the air again through the trees.

As the water penetrated deeper, the soil became softened, and was
carried away down the hillside. It was only a muddy little stream, but
it took away some of the richest soil from the fields, and the next
year's crop was not quite so good. Every rain that fell carried more of
the fertile soil down the hillside, and the next year the farmer
wondered that the yield was still less. After a few years he ceased to
sow the field because it had never paid for its cultivation, and was
constantly growing poorer. But it was too late then to repair the damage
that had been done. There were no seeds of forest trees left in the
ground and the farmer did not plant them, so the ground lay idle and
desolate. The rain wore deep gullies down the hillside, which, as they
grew larger, became more of a menace to the lands below them. The
streams soon grew large enough to take the top-soil from the fields
lower down, and in a few years more the whole farm had grown so
unproductive that the farmer, tired of the struggle, left the farm and
went to the city to make a living.

In the meantime the land in the valley below had been growing more
fertile, for each year the spring floods had left a rich soil deposit
behind them. The farmer down there had been innocently stealing the land
above him, but not all of it, for much had been carried out to sea.

It is not possible to prevent this entirely, but much of the loss might
have been avoided by leaving the hilltops, which are never well fitted
for cultivation, covered with forests. In this way the soil-wash from
above is prevented and the streams run gently and with only a small
amount of muddy deposit, forming proper drainage for the soil.

The preserving of the forests on the great mountain ranges of the
country, where nature has placed them, will mean in the one matter of
soil-wash, fruitful lands and bountiful harvests, instead of barren,
wasted lands, desolated by floods and seamed by great ravines, carrying
desolation to the lands below them.

But in many cases the trees are already cut away. Here replanting
becomes necessary and should be done in every case where soil-wash is
beginning on the mountain tops. It is almost equally desirable to plant
small shrubs and bushes as an undergrowth, so that the roots may form a
thick mat below the ground to hold the water in the soil, and permit it
to filter through slowly.

In Massachusetts, the tracks of the Boston and Albany Railroad are
depressed so that trains may pass below the level of the highways. In
order to protect the banks from erosion, the sloping sides of this
roadway have been planted with trailing rose-bushes and other vines
which have thickly matted roots. These serve a double purpose in
preventing landslides and washouts on the tracks, and in adding greatly
to the attractiveness of the scenery along the railway.

The poorest land of a farm is always found on the hilltops, because even
with the greatest care there is always considerable waste of the
top-soil. This land, then, should never be used for field crops. It
should constitute the woodland, or if this is not possible, the
pasture-land of the farm, for the grass roots protect the soil and
prevent it from washing away, and the profits on the hay are at least as
great as any other crop which could be grown on hill land.

But when erosion has been checked and the top-soil preserved, when the
soil is thoroughly fertilized, and a proper rotation of crops
established, there are still other lessons to be learned in order to
make our country as productive as it might be, as it will _need_ to be
to support the population that we shall have by the end of the century.

As a nation we undertake to farm too much land and do it carelessly.
The invention of labor-saving machinery has made it possible to farm
hundreds and even thousands of acres together with little physical
labor. This has made farmers heedless of small amounts of land wasted.

A man often only expects to make a comfortable living on one hundred and
sixty acres of land, while in Europe he would expect to grow rich on two
or three acres. It is often said that a French family would live off of
an American farmer's neglected fence-corners. In France, in England, in
Holland and Belgium every bit of land is tended and made useful. We have
the best natural soil in the world, the most fertile river valleys,
watered by abundant rains. The fertility of our lands is the envy of the
civilized world, and has drawn thousands to our shores in the hope of
finding comfort and plenty, and yet the total value of our farm products
was only eleven dollars and thirty-eight cents per cultivated acre
according to the last census, while in the little island of Jersey, just
off the English coast, the average annual value of products is over two
hundred and fifty dollars per acre.

Germany has been cultivated nearly eighteen hundred years, the soil is
not naturally so productive nor the climate so favorable as ours, but
the wheat yield there averages more than twice as much as in this

When the most fertile land in the world produces so much less than
poorer lands elsewhere it plainly shows that we are robbing the soil in
order to get the largest cash returns in the shortest possible time and
with the least possible labor.

The American farmer needs to cultivate a much smaller amount of land
thoroughly, to have a soil analysis made of his land in order to know
what crops are best suited to it and what elements are lacking to make
it produce the best. In Illinois more than half a million acres had
become unfit for cultivation. Analysis showed that the soil was too
acid. By mixing limestone dust with the soil the trouble was corrected
and the land reclaimed.

Often it is only necessary to find the cause of some deficiency, or
lack, in the soil, and the remedy will be found to be simple and cheap,
while the result of its use will be to double the crop. Nothing else so
quickly and easily responds to proper treatment, no other resource is so
easily conserved. All the soil needs is proper treatment.

Every bit of waste land should be cultivated for either use or beauty,
or both. If all the lanes and neglected places could be planted with
fruit and nut trees, berry vines, and bushes, herbs or flowers which
need little cultivation after they are planted, our food, in variety and
quantity, would be greatly increased. "The hedge-rows of Old England"
are famous for their beauty and the air of comfort and prosperity they
give. They take the place of the weeds that grow by the country
roadsides in America and which constitute one of the greatest nuisances
of the farmer.

Another thing that should be considered is the marketing of farm
products. Near a city or near a canning factory the soil can be most
profitably used for the raising of vegetables, for which the cost of
cultivation is great, but which yield far larger profits than farm

Within the last few years a new system of farming has been developed in
the West, which is of great interest to all of us, both because it is
opening up for production a large part of our country that has seemed
valueless, and because the lessons that have been learned there are of
the greatest advantage in every part of the country.

West of the one-hundredth meridian, which crosses North and South
Dakota, the western part of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, and
including the states west of them, lies a vast region that used to be
known as the "great American desert." It comprises almost half of the
United States. Here the noble forests of the eastern states and the
prairie grasses of the plains were replaced by sage-brush and cactus.
The soil was light in color and weight, and the rainfall very scanty.

It seemed impossible that it could ever be fitted for agriculture. But
there were a few great rivers, rich mining districts, and excellent
grazing lands. These attracted settlers, and to them some cultivation of
the soil became almost a necessity. The waste waters of the rivers were
used for irrigation and the land when watered was found to produce
remarkably fine fruits and agricultural products. Yet there were
hundreds of thousands of acres that could not be irrigated for lack of
water, and the problem of finding a use for these barren, semi-arid
lands remained unsolved for many years.

But here and there in different states and under varying conditions,
after many experiments and failures, men began without water to grow
successful crops on these semi-arid lands, where the rainfall was
scarcely more than ten inches per year. Others following this method
found success, and it began to seem possible that all this territory
might some day become a great farming region.

By comparing the methods employed in different states, the few general
laws have been worked out which must be applied in order to farm
successfully in this region, though the details differ with local
differences in altitude, climate, soil, and rainfall. Here farming is
being reduced to a science. In other parts of the country a man sows his
seed and nature cares for it, and gives him his harvest; but here he
must wring from nature all that he gets, so it is only the man who farms
according to fixed laws who can hope to succeed.

This system is usually called "dry farming," though "scientific farming"
would perhaps be a better name, for the same principles that are
absolutely necessary here will greatly increase the yield anywhere. The
most important principle is to conserve every particle of moisture in
the soil. It is necessary to go deep into the soil to find the
underlying moisture. The seed-bed is made very deep. Plowing is from
sixteen to nineteen inches deep, while in well-watered regions it is
only about six inches. This deep seed-bed is thoroughly cultivated to
make the soil porous, the soil being reduced to a fine powder. After
sowing the seed, the ground is packed as solidly as possible. This is
done by especially designed machines. The surface of the soil is kept
broken all the time to prevent the escape of the moisture. This rule
applies equally to all soils in dry weather, and will often save a crop
of corn in any part of the country during a drought.

These are simple rules, but the practice of them is opening up the great
semi-arid regions, not of the United States only, but of the whole
earth. Western Canada, a large part of Australia, the Kalahari Desert of
Africa, and many parts of Asia, which are all semi-arid, will in time
become productive instead of barren.

It must be remarked that the grains of the East could not
withstand the severe winters in a large part of the Northwest, so
the Department of Agriculture sent men all over the world to find
drought-and-cold-resisting grains. They found a hard winter wheat, the
most nutritious in existence, which is now growing all the way from the
Dakotas to the Pacific Ocean, producing crops far above the yield of the
eastern states. 50,000,000 bushels of this wheat was raised in 1907.

The soil is the natural disintegrated rock, rich in the mineral
elements, but lacking in decayed vegetable matter. The crops soon
exhaust the nitrogen, and as clover and the common alfalfas can not grow
there, the problem of finding legumes has been the most serious one
facing this new region; but in Siberia the Agricultural Department has
recently found a new clover and three varieties of alfalfa that will
stand the cold, and Secretary Wilson believes that these will solve the

Every acre brought under cultivation adds to the world's food supply.
Can we even dream of what it will mean when 200,000,000 acres are added
to the farm lands of this continent? It means prosperity for the farmers
themselves, homes for those who are now crowded in cities, work for the
idle, and food for the hungry. It means wealth and happiness for
thousands now living and millions yet to come.


Lands. Report National Conservation Commission.

Soil Wastage. Chamberlain. Report White House Conference of Governors.

Conservation of Soils. Van Hise. (Same.)

Commercial Fertilizers. Dept. of Agriculture Bulletin, 44.[A]

[Footnote A: Department of Agriculture bulletins are free unless a price
is indicated, and may be obtained by application to The Department of
Agriculture. Washington, D. C. Postage is free in the United States.
These bulletins contain the latest scientific information and result of
research work by the government.]

The Liming of Soils. Dept. of Agriculture Bulletin, 57.

Renovation of Worn-out Soils. Dept. of Agriculture Bulletin, 245.

Soil Fertility. Dept. of Agriculture Bulletin, 257.

Management of Soils to Conserve Moisture. Dept. of Agriculture Bulletin,

Fertilizers for Cotton Soils. Bureau of Soils Bulletin, 62.

Work of the Bureau of Soils. Bureau of Soils Bulletin.

Exhaustion and Abandonment of Soils. Bureau of Soils Bulletin. Whitney,

Phosphorus. Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin.

The Present Status of the Nitrogen Problem. Yearbook Dept. of
Agriculture Reprint, 411.

The Search for Leguminous Forage Crops. Yearbook Dept. of Agriculture
Reprint, 478.

Leguminous Crops. Yearbook Dept. of Agriculture Bulletin, 278.

Progress in Legume Inoculation. Yearbook Dept. of Agriculture Bulletin,

A Grain for Semi-arid Lands. Yearbook Dept. of Agriculture Bulletin,

The Sugar-Beet. Yearbook Dept. of Agriculture Bulletin, 52.

Dry-Land Problems in the Great Plains Area. Yearbook Dept. of
Agriculture Reprint, 461.

Reports of Dry Farming Congress.

The Natural Wealth of the Land. J. J. Hill, Report Governor's

National Wealth and the Farm. J. J. Hill.



Aside from the soil itself, which supports all life, there is no other
resource so important to man as the forests, with their many uses
covering so wide a range.

The beauty and restfulness of a forest, the grace and dignity of single
trees, the shade for man and animals, the shelter from storms--all these
things appeal to our love for the beautiful, and touch our higher
nature. The person who loves trees is a better person than the one who
does not. As the poet expresses it:

    "Ah, bare must be the shadeless ways, and bleak the path must be,
    Of him, who, having open eyes, has never learned do see,
    And so has never learned to love the beauty of a tree.

    "Who loves a tree, he loves the life that springs in star and clod,
    He loves the love that gilds the clouds, and greens the April sod,
    He loves the wide Beneficence; his soul takes hold on God."

Trees have played an important part in the history of our country: The
"Charter Oak," in the hollow of which the original charter of
Connecticut remained hidden from the agents of the king; "Eliot's Oak,"
under which the gospel was first preached to the Indians; the
wide-spreading elm under which William Penn signed his treaty of peace
with the Indians.

But no tree has held so dear a place in the hearts of the people, or
been so watchfully cared for as the old "Washington Elm" still standing
in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Under it Washington took command of the
continental army. It is visited every year by hundreds of persons, who
stand with uncovered heads beneath its spreading branches. Many years
ago it was struck by lightning and the upper part torn off, but all the
broken edges have been sealed with pitch to stop decay. It has been
covered with fine wire netting to prevent the bark being chipped off by
relic hunters. It is carefully guarded from damage by insects, and the
boughs are stayed by strong wires.

And so we might name many instances of trees that are loved and cared
for on account of their beauty, stateliness or some event connected with
them, but it is the usefulness of trees that we shall mention in this

In the larger use of forests is included their effect on climate and
rainfall. It is generally believed that clouds, passing over the damp,
cool air that rises from a forest, are more likely to be condensed into
rain, and so we can establish the general rule that the country which is
well wooded will probably have a larger rainfall than the one which has
few trees.

Twenty-five years ago Kansas was a prairie state with few trees, and the
semi-arid plains extended half-way across the state, but thousands of
acres of trees have been planted, and crops have been cultivated, and
the more forests and crops the farmer plants the more rain comes to
water them. The great droughts which used to ruin their crops year after
year no longer disturb them. The hot winds which could undo a whole
season's hard work in a day are seldom heard of now. Kansas is no longer
in the semi-arid region. It is one of the most productive states in the
Union, and this has come, not by dry-farming, but by the cultivation of
the soil and by the planting of trees.

Though rainfall increases, destructive floods become fewer, for the
humus and the leaves on the ground in the forests hold the water as in
a vast sponge, and, as we have seen in the preceding chapter, they keep
the waters in check and distribute the rainfall gently and evenly on the
lands below. They thus prevent erosion of the hillsides and balance the
water supply of rivers.

Trees supply us with food and medicine, and greatest of all their direct
uses, they furnish lumber for all kinds of manufacturing.

We can not think of life without the comforts and conveniences that we
get from wood; but interior China affords a striking example of what it
means for a nation to have a very small supply. There is no wood for
manufacturing and the natives search the hillsides for even the tiniest
shrubs to burn and even for grass scratched from the soil. Once this
part of China was a great forest region, but century by century the
forests have been used, not rapidly, as in this country, for China is
not a great industrial nation, but surely, until there is hardly a twig

China is not the only nation that has suffered in this way. Many of the
ancient peoples have entirely passed away; and the destruction of their
forests, as we have seen in the previous chapter, was the first cause
leading to their extinction.

Denmark was originally almost covered with forests. These were cut down
for fuel, for lumber, and to make way for agriculture. For a long time
there was no attempt to restore them, and now a large area, once
productive, has become a sandy desert. In the same way, large parts of
Austria and Italy have become valueless because the growing forests were
cut down.

In France the forests at the head-waters of the Rhone and the Seine were
cut down and fierce floods began to pour down the valleys each year,
bringing destruction to property and crops all along their way. But
France has long ago learned the lesson of forestry, and as soon as the
danger was seen, the mountain sides were replanted with trees, and since
then conditions have been gradually changing for the better.

France has had another experience in forestry that has taught her what
can be done to save her waste lands. Near the coast were great
sand-dunes. The winds drove them each year farther inland, and the sand
was gradually driving out the vineyards and farm crops. In 1793 the
planting of forests on these dunes was begun. Of 350,000 acres, 275,000
have been planted in valuable pine forests. More than half of these
belong to private owners and there is no record of their value, but the
portion belonging to the government has yielded a large income above all
expenses, and is worth $10,000,000 as land; and this was not only
valueless but was a menace to the surrounding country. In the interior
of France a sandy marsh covering 2,000,000 acres has been changed into a
profitable forest valued at $100,000,000.

A hundred years ago all the eastern part of the United States and the
Rocky Mountains and the Pacific coast region were covered with thick
forests hundreds and hundreds of miles in extent. Evergreens--the pines,
hemlocks, cedars and spruces--grew near the coast in great abundance,
while farther inland were found the most magnificent hardwood forests in
the world.

Unfortunately, the first needs of the early settlers required them to
cut down these mighty forests. The soil, which was very fertile, could
not, of course, be used for farming purposes until the land was cleared,
and so this was the first necessity.

The wood was used to build the cabins, to make the rude furniture, the
wagons and ox-carts, and for fuel, but this disposed of only a small
amount of the wood that came from the clearing of a farm. No man could
give it to his neighbor when all had more than they could use, and there
was no market for its sale. The trees were burned in large quantities to
clear the land for the planting of crops.

Wood was of the greatest value to the first settlers, but it was also
the greatest hindrance to their making homes, so they took no care
whatever of what they could not use. It was burned or left on the
ground to decay. As towns sprang up, there began to be a demand for
lumber for houses, for furniture, for vehicles and for fuel from those
who had no trees of their own. This made a market for the best grades of
lumber at a low price, but almost every farmer would give away trees of
the best hardwood to any person who would cut and haul them away.

Conditions have changed very slowly, but very surely. In every state, in
every county and in every township there has been a steady clearing of
the land as it fills with new home-makers. At the same time the demand
has grown enormously each year from the dwellers in cities.

The opening up of railroads and telegraph lines in the middle and latter
part of the century made a great demand for wood. The building of ships
and steamboats, the opening of mines, the establishing of telephone and
trolley systems, the building of great cities, all these have called
steadily and increasingly for wood.

The time has long passed when wood was a hindrance to progress. For a
long time there has been a ready market at high prices and it is rapidly
reaching the point where we shall face an actual shortage of timber.
This is not true of all parts of the country, of course. Maine,
Washington, and parts of Oregon, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi,
Wisconsin and some other states, still have vast quantities of lumber,
but trains and ships carry it to all parts of the world so there is no
lack of a market.

The change from plenty, even great excess, to need, has come so
gradually that few persons, even those living in the forest regions,
have realized until within a very few years how general is their
destruction. Those who, riding about a small portion of the country
familiar to them, have been struck with the disappearance of the woods
and the cultivation of the lands, have looked upon it wholly as a sign
of progress, and have not realized that the same thing is going on in
every part of the country.

The wholesale destruction of the forests, without replanting, has come
mostly from ignorance. We have had all our resources in such great
abundance that we have not hitherto needed to learn the lessons that the
Old World has learned, sometimes at the cost of whole nations, but the
time has come when we _do_ need to learn them.

The first lesson is to study the various uses of the forests, to find
how they are being affected by present use, their wastes, and the best
means of preserving them. When all the people have learned these
lessons, they will, undoubtedly, gladly set about righting the wrongs
that have been done in the past.

The original forests of this country covered an area of about
850,000,000 acres, with nearly five and a half trillion board feet of
"merchantable," that is, salable, timber according to present standards.
(A board foot is one foot long, one foot wide and one inch in
thickness.) Considerably more than half the original number of acres are
still forested, but most of the land has been cut or burned over, some
of it several times, and the amount remaining of salable timber, which
includes only the best part of the trunk, is from two to two and a half
trillion, that is from 1,400 to 2,000 billion, feet. The yearly cut for
all purposes, including waste, is now over two hundred billion board
feet;--some authorities place the amount as high as two hundred and
seventy-five billion feet. This, however, probably includes firewood,
one of the largest uses of wood, but taken very largely from worm-eaten
wood that could not be cut into lumber. It also probably includes
boughs, and other unsalable parts of the tree.

The timber cut doubled from 1880 to 1905, is still increasing at almost
the same rate, and, if we had the timber, it would doubtless double
again by 1930. But even at the present rate, the forests now standing,
without allowance for growth, would be exhausted in from ten to sixteen
years. The yearly growth of timber in our present forests is estimated
at from forty-two to sixty billion feet, and the yearly cut at from
three to three and a half times the amount added for growth.

That is, we are using in four months at least as much wood as will
naturally grow in a year. The other eight months we shall be using our
forest reserves, and each year there will be less forest land to produce
new growth, as well as less old wood to cut.

Mr. R. A. Long, an expert lumberman who spoke before the first
Conservation Congress, estimated then that the forests, making allowance
for growth, would not last over thirty-five years. The government
figures indicate that they will last about thirty-three years, at the
present rate, but as the rate has been doubling every twenty-five years,
many persons who have studied the situation believe that the supply will
not continue in commercial quantities for manufacturing more than
twenty-five years.

We must understand, must think, what the destruction of our forests
would mean to us. It would mean fierce droughts and fiercer floods. It
would mean the gradual drying up of our streams, a scarcity of water to
drink, as in China to-day. It would mean that the manufacture of wooden
articles would practically cease. The thousand conveniences that we
enjoy as a matter of course would become rare and costly. It would mean
that only the rich could build houses of wood, and this would force the
masses of people into crowded quarters, not only the poor, but the
well-to-do also. These are only a few of the many disasters that would
follow the loss of our forests, and all these things might come to pass
before we ourselves are old!

If we knew that at a certain time a tidal wave would engulf our homes,
how we should work to save all that we could before the calamity
overtook us! And we should set about the saving of our forests with
equal care, for their destruction means distress for every one of us.

Fortunately, this is only the dark possibility. The methods of
prevention are well known to those who have studied the history of the
nations that have fallen, and the nations that have risen to power. It
is only necessary that all the people should know these things and
realize their importance, in order to keep conditions as they are at
present or even to better them.

The methods of prevention are five. They are:

(1) To use the trees in the most careful and conservative way without
the great wastes now common.

(2) To save the vast areas of forests that are now burned each year.

(3) To prevent loss from insects.

(4) To use substitutes: that is, to use other and cheaper materials to
take the place of wood whenever possible.

(5) To plant trees and to replant where old ones have been cut, until
all land that is not fitted for agriculture is covered with forests.

These are only the rules that good sense and good business would teach
us to follow, but we have not followed any of them in the past, and now
it will be necessary to do all these things if we are to continue to
have enough wood to use to keep pace with our progress in other

As an example of the rapid rate at which we are consuming our forests,
we use nine times as much lumber for every man, woman and child as the
people of Germany use, and twenty-five times as much as the people of
England use. This is due to several causes, many of which we would not
wish changed.

To begin with, this was a new and undeveloped country, a large part of
which had never been inhabited, and all the land, as fast as it was
occupied, must be built up with entirely new homes; and because wood is
the cheapest building material it is the one generally used.

The growth of all European countries is mostly by the increase of their
own people, while this is only a small percentage of our growth, which
comes largely from immigration from other countries, so the increase of
population is much greater here and the proportion of new homes needed
is far greater. Improvements of all kinds, public buildings, churches
and bridges were built in almost every European community long ago,
while in this country these things are being done each year in thousands
of places.

Wages are higher in this country, and more people are able to afford the
luxuries of life, vehicles, musical instruments, and the large variety
of small conveniences to be found in almost every American home but seen
in few homes of the poorer class in Europe.

These are a few of the reasons why we use such a large amount of lumber
each year. They are all conditions that mean a larger, better nation
than we could otherwise have, with a higher standard of living, and
while in some particulars, as we shall show, there should be changes
that would conserve our forests, the great wastes do not lie in the
_use_, but in the _abuse_ of the forests.

Now let us see what use is made of all the wood that is cut every year.
The greatest use of all is for firewood, but this is largely the
decaying or faulty trees from farmers' wood-lots, or the waste product
of a lumber region, so this does not constitute so heavy a drain on the
forests as the fact that 100,000,000 cords a year are used, would

Twenty times as much of the salable timber is sawed into lumber as is
used in any other way. Nearly 40,000,000,000 board feet are thus used,
but lumber is used in a variety of ways, while the other cuts are
confined to a single use.

The first and greatest use of lumber is for building purposes, for
houses, barns, sheds, out-buildings, fences, and for window-sashes,
doors and inside finishings of all buildings, even those made of other

Next comes furniture of all kinds,--chairs, tables, beds, and all other
house, office, and school furniture; musical instruments, pianos, etc.,
vehicles of all kinds,--farm wagons, delivery wagons, carriages and
other pleasure vehicles, including parts of automobile bodies,
agricultural implements, plows, harrows, harvesters, threshing machines
and other farm implements. Though these are built largely of iron, yet
one-fourth of the implement factories report a use of 215,000,000 feet
of lumber a year, so the entire output of these factories calls for a
large amount of wood from our forests.

Car building is the other really great use for lumber. Freight cars,
passenger cars, and trolley cars use each year an increasingly large
proportion of the product of our saw-mills.

After these come the various smaller articles, which, though themselves
small, are used in every home and are turned out in such vast quantities
as to require a very large amount of lumber each year.

An empty spool seems a trifle, but the making of all the spools requires
the cutting of hundreds of acres of New England's best birch woods.
Butter dishes, fruit crates, baskets, wooden boxes of all kinds, tools
and handles, kitchen utensils, toys and sporting goods, picture molding
and frames, grille and fretwork, excelsior, clothes-pins, matches,
tooth-picks,--all these are mowing down our forests by the thousands of

The lumber cut includes all kinds of both hard and soft woods. A very
large percentage of this is of yellow or southern hard pine, of which
several billion feet a year are used.

An almost equal amount is used for hewn cross-ties for railroads and
trolley lines. Many sawed cross-ties are included in the item of lumber.
The hewed cross-ties are made from young oak-trees, or from hard-pine,
cedar and chestnut. Without them no more railroad or trolley lines could
be built, and the present systems could not be kept in repair. Many
other materials have been tried, but wood is the only one that has ever
proved satisfactory and safe for this purpose.

The next largest use of lumber is the grinding of it into pulp to be
used in making paper for our books, magazines and newspapers, wrapping
papers, etc. The woods used for this purpose are mostly spruce and
hemlock. The great sources of supply of pulp-wood are Maine and
Wisconsin, and large amounts are imported from Canada, which greatly
lessens the drain on our own forests.

Next in importance comes cooperage stock for the making of barrels. When
we consider the many uses of barrels,--that vinegar, oil, and liquors
are all shipped in tight barrels, which are mostly made of the best
white oak, and that flour, starch, sugar, crackers, fruits and
vegetables, glassware, chemicals, and cement are shipped in what are
called slack barrels, made of various hardwoods, the hoops being always
of soft elm, a wood which is rapidly disappearing, we can see the size
and necessity of this industry.

Round mine timbers, largely made of young hardwood trees, are used to
support the mines underground. Mining engineers say that on an average
three feet of lumber are used in mining every ton of coal taken out.
Assuming that 450,000,000 tons of coal are mined each year, this would
mean that almost a billion and a half feet a year are used in the coal
mines, and this is about the amount shown by the government report.

After this comes wood for lath used in building. This product is usually
taken from lower class wood or logging camp waste. Then comes the wood
for distillation into wood-alcohol for use in manufacture and to furnish
power in engines.

Next in quantity used comes veneer, which has two entirely different
uses. The highest grade woods are cut to about one-twentieth of an inch
and glued to cheaper woods as an outside finish in the making of
furniture. The other use is for veneer used alone, when a very thin wood
is desired. This is employed for butter dishes, berry baskets, crates,
boxes and barrels.

Next on the list come poles--electric railway, electric light,
telegraph, and telephone poles. Every pole that is erected for any of
these purposes, every extension of the service, and all replacing caused
by wind or decay, means the cutting of a tall, straight, perfect tree,
usually cedar or chestnut. If we think of each pole of the network that
covers the entire continent, as a tree, we shall better realize what our
forests have done in binding the nation together.

Leather is stained by soaking the hides in a solution containing the
bark of oak or hemlock. Sometimes an extract is made from chestnut
wood. This has caused one of the most criminal wastes of trees, for a
great deal of timber was cut down solely for the bark, and the wood left
to decay in the forest. But now, as the price of lumber advances, more
of it is used each year and less left to waste.

The bark and extract of the quebracho, a South American tree, are being
imported for use in tanning, and are still further reducing the drain on
our own forests.

Turpentine and rosin do not in themselves destroy the forests any more
than does tapping the maple trees for their sap, but in the making of
turpentine trees that are too small are often "boxed" and the trees are
easily blown down by heavy winds or are attacked by insects and fungi.
Many destructive fires also follow turpentining, so that on the whole
the turpentine industry is responsible for the destruction each year of
large areas of the southern pine forests. The methods of turpentining
introduced by the government result in the saving of thirty per cent.
more turpentine, and also protect the trees so that they may be used
fifteen or twenty years and still be almost as valuable as ever for

Twenty millions of posts are cut each year in the Lake States alone, and
the entire number used is probably two or three times as great.

These constitute the greater uses of wood, not a full and detailed list;
but it plainly shows that all the uses are not only desirable, but
necessary for our comfort and happiness, and that we would not willingly
sacrifice one of them, and in order that this shall not become
necessary, let us see what abuses we can find in the management of our
forests. And here we find the most startling figures of all.

Great and important as is our list of products made from wood, we are
surprised to learn that of all wood cut fully two-thirds is wasted in
the forests, left to decay or burned. The largest forests are now all
located far from the great manufacturing regions, and that means far
from the lumber market. The cost of transportation must be added to
every car of lumber sold. The freight on a car-load of lumber from the
South to Chicago or other points in the middle West is not less than a
hundred dollars, and from the Pacific coast it is very much higher.

It does not pay to send low-grade lumber when the cost is so great, and
as there is no local market a large part of each tree is burned. All the
upper end of the trunk and all branches are thus destroyed, although
much valuable timber is contained in them.

At one mill in Alabama a pile of waste wood and branches as high as a
two-story house burns night and day throughout the year, and that is
probably true of all the larger mills.

If the timber could be conservatively managed as are live-stock
products, so that all the waste could be utilized, all the small
articles, shingles, lath, posts, tan-bark and extract, pulp-wood, wood
for distillation and small manufactured articles would be made
by-products of the larger cuts.

Much has been said of the greed of large lumber companies in causing
wholesale and reckless destruction of the forests, and much of it is
doubtless true, but the lumber companies cite the fact that no farmer
will gather a crop of corn which will not pay for the labor cost of
gathering, and say that at the present prices of lumber they can not pay
the present freight rates to the factories. It seems therefore that a
certain amount of waste is unavoidable unless wood-working plants are
established near the forest regions.

The first great step in conserving our forests is to stop the
unnecessary wastes in use. The next step is to take measures to prevent
the great destruction of our forests by fire.

Those who have never lived in a great forest region can have little idea
of the extent of the damage caused by these great forest fires. The loss
of life of both man and animals, the sweeping away of houses and crops,
the homelessness and misery of those who have lost everything they had
saved, are not to be taken into account here, but only the loss of the
forests themselves.

It is estimated that the loss by fire is as great as the entire amount
cut for use in the entire United States. The National Conservation
Committee reports that 50,000,000 acres of woodland are burned over
yearly. This probably includes all burned-over lands, in much of which
the standing timber is not destroyed, but the saplings and seedlings are
killed as well as the grass for grazing and for the protection of the
roots. Much land is burned over in this way year after year until hope
of future growth is gone, though the damage to the large trees has not
been great. In one way this loss is even more serious, as it shuts off
the hope of future forests, but the loss of our full-grown standing
forests is grave.

In 1891 this loss amounted to 15,000,000 acres, or nearly forty thousand
acres every day in the year. Since then the work of the Forest Service
in fighting fires and the great clearing of the forests, has reduced
this somewhat, but it still amounts to no less than 30,000 acres of our
best salable timber a day. This is the really great and serious loss of
the forests.

All the wood that is used goes to make our country a better place to
live in, to make its people more comfortable and happy, but all that is
lost by fire is a loss to all the nation in comforts for the future, and
in the present it means high prices for lumber because our forests are
disappearing so rapidly.

And we are letting them burn at the rate of thirty thousand acres every
day! More than enough to supply all our needs. If any one could gather
together in one vast pile our houses and barns, our furniture, our
wagons and carriages, our farm implements, all our home conveniences,
our railroad cross-ties, our trolley and telephone poles, our papers and
magazines, and burn them all, the whole world would be roused by the
fearfulness of the loss. But we sit idly by and see the materials of
which all these things are made and must be made in the future, and with
them our shade, our water-sheds, the soil of the forest-lands itself
destroyed, with never a word of protest.

In a paper prepared for the National Conservation Congress, it was
stated that in some years government survey parties were unable to work
in the Rocky Mountains for whole seasons on account of the dense smoke,
and the fires were allowed to burn till the snows of winter put them
out. The writer further stated that he believed from observation that
the Forest Service, by checking fires in their beginning, has in the
last few years saved more timber than has been used for commercial

Private owners of large tracts should be compelled to use the same care
in preventing fires that is exercised by the government. This care, and
the breaking up of the forests into smaller tracts by clearing the land
in alternate sections would soon reduce the fire loss so greatly as
almost to save us from anxiety for the future of our timber lands.

The next great loss to the forests is from insects. When insects have
bored into wood it becomes honey-combed by the canals cut by the little
insects and is utterly valueless. The loss to fruit and forest trees
will be taken up more fully in the chapter on insects. At present it is
only necessary, in order to show how much our forests suffer in this
way, to state that the yearly loss from this cause is placed at no less
than $100,000,000 a year, and the loss to fruits is counted at one-fifth
of the entire crop. Some slight idea of the danger to our forests will
be seen by the simple statement that forty-one different species of
insects infest the locust tree, eighty the elm, one hundred and five the
birch, one hundred and sixty-five the pine, one hundred and seventy the
hickory, one hundred and eighty-six the willow, while oak trees are
attacked by over five hundred!

This is exceedingly difficult to control and can perhaps never be
entirely checked. Some remedies will be suggested later, and by having
smaller forests, more carefully watched, some personal care can be given
to the trees. In Germany the trees are as closely watched as are other
crops, and the saving in value well repays this extra care and expense.

A much smaller loss comes from the winds that sometimes level all the
trees over many square miles. This can not, of course, be prevented,
except possibly in the turpentine forests, but care should be taken to
use all the wood, never allowing it to decay where it fell, and also to
replant the land with trees, unless it is fitted for agriculture.

A great saving of the forests may be effected by what is called
preservative treatment, which consists of treating railroad ties,
piling, mine timbers, poles, and posts with creosote or zinc chlorid to
prevent decay from the moisture of the ground or from injury by
salt-water borers. The use of creosote is almost double the cost of zinc
chlorid, but it is much more effective and durable. A fence post can be
treated with creosote for about ten cents, a railroad tie for twenty
cents, and a telephone pole for from seventy-five cents to a dollar. In
every case the timber treated will last twice as long as it would
without such treatment and in view of the present high prices it is bad
business policy to use timber in such a way that it will need replacing
soon. It is estimated that if all timbers which could be profitably
treated were so cared for, it would mean a money saving to the owners of
$47,000,000, and an annual saving in wood equal to 4,000,000,000 board
feet of lumber.

The next point in the conservation of the forests is to seek substitutes
to take the place of wood. There are many uses of wood which nothing
else will satisfactorily supply. For example, no railroad cross-tie has
ever been designed of other material that does not increase the danger
of railway accidents, though over two hundred kinds have been patented.

There is nothing that will take the place of wood in furniture, and in
many small articles. Some articles might be replaced in metal, but it
makes them too heavy or too expensive. But in certain lines there is an
excellent opportunity to use other materials to great advantage.

Cars are now being built of steel, and of combinations of metal with
asbestos. These are not yet entirely satisfactory, but it is hoped that
they can be perfected soon. Cement and concrete are taking the place of
wood to a great extent in building, and their use will doubtless
increase rapidly.

When veneer is used for barrels and boxes it affords a saving of nearly
two-thirds in the amount of wood required. This is a line of use where
cheaper substitutes should always be used if possible, because a package
is usually used only once, never more than twice, and then discarded, so
that the wood is put to little real service compared with other wooden

When possible, small articles of wood should be made only in a forest
region or near saw-mills to use the scraps and save an unnecessary drain
on the more valuable grades of lumber.

One of the most important lines in which substitutes are practicable is
in the making of paper and box-board or pasteboard. The latter is
sometimes called strawboard, because it is made from wheat straw, and
where it is manufactured, uses a large amount of straw that would
otherwise be wasted, but the great wheat fields of the West still have
immense quantities of unused straw, which, if made into strawboard,
would not only bring more prosperity to that region but would lessen the
drain on the forests.

A box bound with wire and made of corrugated paper now takes the place
for many light articles of the wooden packing-case. The strawboard also
takes the place of wood-pulp for smaller paper boxes. Rice-straw, hemp,
flax-straw, cotton fiber and peat have all been tested in a small way
and found to make excellent paper, and it is thought corn-stalks can
also be used, but none of these is now manufactured in the United States
on a large scale. This is largely because the price of pulp-wood is low,
and the cost of experimenting with new materials is great with the
results uncertain.

This brings us to the last one of our preventive measures for the
decline of our forests, the one which needs the most careful attention
of all--the replanting of the lands that are not fitted for agriculture,
and planting trees about houses and unoccupied spaces.

Many farmers have planted orchards on a part of their farm-lands and
many trees have been planted in town and country, but until a few years
ago there was no organized effort to plant trees.

Now many states have set apart a day which is called Arbor Day, for this
purpose, but in no state does it hold so important a place as it should.
It is observed by the schools but not by the general public.

In Germany there are regular tree-planting days in which all the people
take part. Every one who is not too poor--and he must be poor
indeed--plants a tree in his own garden, or in front of his home, in the
forest or in the highway; for himself or for the general good.

Each child plants a tree on his or her birthday every year, and watches
and cares for it as it grows. The roadsides are lined with fruit or nut
or flowering trees which have been planted in neat, orderly rows. These
things are in striking contrast to the observance of Arbor Day in this
country, where one tree suffices for an entire school, or at best each
class has a tree of its own. It is all a matter of enthusiasm and

In considering the best trees for planting we come to the last great use
of trees of which we have not spoken. Fruit and nut trees supply us with
large quantities of the most wholesome and delicious food. The apple,
pear, peach, plum, and cherry grow in the central part of the United
States, and oranges, lemons, figs, olives and apricots in the warmer

By planting these trees in suitable places one may have a rich harvest
for many years to come. If a small fraction of the seeds of fruit trees
which are wasted each year were planted, the general food supply would
be greatly increased, and many benefits would be derived from the trees

Have you ever heard the story of "Apple-seed John," the man who,
according to tradition, went through what is now western Pennsylvania,
Ohio and Indiana while the country was still a wilderness and planted
orchards for the settlers who, he was sure, would come later?

So many stories have been told of him that it is hard to discover how
much of the tale is really true. At least one poem has been written
about him, and the Reverend Newell Dwight Hillis has woven the facts and
fancies of his career into a charming book, _The Quest of John Chapman_.

The story is that he spent his winters in the settlements near the
Atlantic coast teaching the children or working at small tasks about the
farms, and taking his pay always in the seeds of apples, peaches, pears,
plums, and grapes. The farmers and their families saved all their seeds
for him and when spring came he filled his boat with seeds and started
down the Ohio River. When he reached a suitable landing-place he took
his bags of seeds on his back and trudged through the forest.

Whenever he came to an open space he planted an orchard, built a fence
of boughs about it, and started on again. And so he traveled on and on,
through all the spring and summer months, year after year, planting his
seeds for those who would come after him, until he grew too old to work.

The first settlers in those states found the orchards and vineyards
awaiting them, and a few trees are still standing that are said to have
been planted by Apple-Seed John. The story of this man who in his humble
way devoted his life to others is one that may well be told and
imitated, for while none of us can do the work he did, it may inspire
us with a wish to make some spot on earth better by planting our few
seeds or plants.

In carrying on this work in the schools as well as by the general
public, a regular plan should be followed. Much can be accomplished with
no expense at all, even in cities. In all cases the expense will be very
small compared to the good accomplished.

Seeds may be planted and later transplanted. This will require no
expense and little labor. Every child, large and small, in city and
country, can learn to do this work and can thus perform a real service.
Small saplings which are growing close together, where they can never
develop, may each be planted in a place where it will have a chance to
grow into a thrifty tree. Most farmers would be entirely willing to
allow the pupils to take such saplings from their wood-lots if the work
were properly done. This is an excellent work for country schools to
undertake, both for the good it will accomplish and for the training of
the pupils themselves in practical work.

Fruit trees of suitable size for planting may be had for about twenty
cents each. Most American children could easily save that amount from
money spent on candy, sweetmeats or toys so as to have a tree ready for
planting on Arbor Day which would yield them fruit as they grow older,
and be a source of pride and pleasure. Such trees will of course usually
be planted at the children's own homes, but it would be an excellent
idea to follow the German plan of planting public orchards just outside
the town. When the trees are old enough to bear, the children are
allowed on certain days to go and gather and eat the fruit and carry it
home in baskets.

The older boys in every school, whether city or country, should be
taught to plant and transplant trees in the best way. The following
directions for the work are sent out by the Department of Agriculture at

"The proper season for planting is not everywhere the same. When the
planting is done in the spring, the right time is when the frost is out
of the ground and before budding begins.

"The day to plant is almost as important as the season. Sunny, windy
weather is to be avoided. Cool, damp days are the best. Trees can not be
thrust carelessly into a rough soil and then be expected to flourish.
They should be planted in properly worked soil, well enriched. If they
can not be planted immediately after they are taken up the first step is
to prevent their roots drying out in the air. This may be done by piling
fresh dirt deep about the roots or setting the roots in mud.

"In planting they should be placed from two to three inches deeper than
they stood originally. Fine soil should always be pressed firmly--not
made hard--about the roots, and two inches of dry soil at the top should
be left very loose to retain the moisture."

The reading of such poems as Lucy Larcom's "He who plants a tree plants
a hope," or William Cullen Bryant's, "Come, let us plant the apple
tree," and suitable talks or papers on trees, dealing with their kinds
and uses, on the benefits of forests, and on practical forestry, should
be a part of the Arbor Day exercises.

In many communities a tract of land which is not well suited for general
agriculture may be obtained for the benefit of the school, and some
simple work in forestry may be undertaken by the pupils. Sometimes a
farmer may be induced to give a small bit of waste land where the
experiment may be tried. Sometimes such land can be bought by the school
in one of the following ways:

A series of entertainments may be given by the pupils, the proceeds to
be applied to the buying of the land, and the pupils may also obtain
money in other outside ways to bring to the general fund. If only one
acre can be bought and cleared by the pupils, and properly planted, a
little at a time, a tree for each child's birthday, or by obtaining
small seedlings and saplings from the forest, it will be a source of
keen interest, and will give an added pleasure to the school work.
Watching the growth of the trees and caring for them will keep this
interest alive year after year, and in time it will become a valuable
property belonging to the school. Sometimes the school officials will
set aside a sum from the public money to purchase the land. In one High
School, one acre is thus bought each year, and every pupil in the senior
year gives and plants a tree. Sometimes the farmers or the merchants of
a community may unite in buying the land, which will, of course, become
public property, and set it aside for improvement after the manner of a
city park.

Sometimes women's clubs become interested in such a movement and will
raise the funds necessary for beginning it. It then becomes the duty of
the school, year after year, to plant and care for the land. After a
time the school will have a valuable property to sell, or can have a
yearly income from the sale of timber.

Such plans may be carried out in many schools. Every school can and
should do something to forward this great work. All school yards should
be well planted and care taken that the boy with a new knife does not
try it on the bark or that the bark is not rubbed from the trees in
careless play. Many trees planted in school yards have been destroyed
in this way.

But we shall not be safe if only the schools plant trees. Farmers and
lot owners should take up the work in earnest, adding as many trees as
possible each year. In this way they could insure an abundant supply of
fruit, nuts and timber for the future, could increase the value of their
property, and provide a steady income besides.

Farmers' institutes would find this a most important work to undertake,
arranging for a common plan to be carried out in an entire neighborhood,
and setting aside days in which all the members may work together to set
out trees by the roadsides. This brings us to the question of what kinds
of trees are best to plant.

For town or city lots, fruit trees should always be chosen, because they
bear in a short time and will add to the family food supply, and so
lessen the cost of living and increase the variety of food. Every farm
should have a good assortment of fruit. Any nurseryman's catalogue will
furnish lists of kinds so that a wise choice may be made. In selecting
fruit trees, great care should be taken to choose the best varieties.

For streets and roadsides, nut or wild fruit trees are best, for the
trees are generally graceful in appearance and will yield some return,
as the more popular maples and poplars will not. The chestnut is one of
the best trees for such planting, though it is of a rather slow growth.
English or American walnuts, pecans, mulberry and persimmon trees can be
grown in most parts of the United States.

One town in Kansas is planting fruit trees on all its streets, so that
in a few years there will be an abundance of fruit free to every
passer-by. This is a most excellent plan, but individuals would be
likely to find the fruit molested if only a few trees are planted in a

Barn-lots and lanes should be planted with wild cherry, haws, elder,
dogwood, mountain-ash, and other wild fruits to serve as food for birds,
poultry, and hogs.

Where the banks of streams need to be protected from erosion, probably
the best tree for planting is the basket willow, which thrives well near
the water, has a heavy network of roots, and is valuable for weaving
into baskets and furniture.

For all hillsides and rocky places, as well as wood-lots, the hardwoods
which sell best for timber should be planted in the North and West, and
the evergreens near the sea-coasts and in the South. Forests of oak,
hickory, walnut, maple (especially the sugar maple, which yields a
steady return during the lifetime of the tree), elm, chestnut, and
locust will sell for a good price, and are always salable. It requires
many years to grow large timber, but by proper management several years
can be gained in its growth, and it is always a valuable investment for
a farmer to make for his children.

Not individuals only, but states and the national government as well,
should provide forests for the future, and this is the greatest duty of
all, for much of the most important work can only be done by a power
that can control the entire watershed at the head-waters of a

For example, the Appalachian Mountains are the source of hundreds of
streams which flow east, west and south, and pass through many states.
These mountains were originally covered with a heavy forest growth, but
they belong largely to private companies who are cutting the forests at
a rapid rate.

The effect of this is seen in bare hillsides, washed by mountain
torrents which are causing disastrous floods on the lowlands, filling up
the streams, and carrying away much of the most fertile soil of some of
the southeastern states, and in the drying up of the small tributaries.

This can not be remedied by single companies nor by the states that
suffer most. The only remedy is for the government to buy the land at
the head-waters of the rivers and reforest it. The same conditions on a
smaller scale are to be found in every mountainous region where the
forests are cut away.

The United States owns a large amount of forest but not nearly enough to
insure a supply of wood for the future. The public forest lands are
nearly all in the West. They consist of national forests, national
parks, Indian and military reservations and land open to entry as timber
claims. In all they contain nearly 100,000,000 acres, or about half as
much as is contained in farmers' wood-lots and about one-fourth as much
as the amount owned by large lumber companies.

The United States, on its public domain, is setting about a careful
system of cutting and replanting. This system is known as forestry. It
has been worked out by some of the more advanced nations of Europe who
saw that destruction was coming on them through the cutting away of
their forests. Now forestry is practised by every nation except Turkey
and China. The principles have been well proved and the results of
scientific care of the forests are known to be even more sure than in
farming or live-stock raising.

The Department of Agriculture will send complete directions for planting
trees in rows at proper distances, will tell what kinds are best suited
to each region and condition, how to make them grow rapidly, and when to
cut. All these things should be thoroughly understood by every land
owner, large or small, but at present forestry is practised on only one
per cent. of all land in this country, owned by private persons or
companies, though it is practised on seventy per cent. of all public

The countries that show the best results in forestry are some of the
German states, particularly Prussia and Saxony, and France. In Prussia
the rate of production is three times as great as it was seventy-five
years ago. There is three times as much saw timber in a tree as there
was at that time, and the money returns from an average acre of forest
are now nearly ten times what they were sixty years ago. In Saxony the
state forests are receiving two dollars and thirty cents per acre a year
above all expenses from forests on land not fitted for agriculture, and
the profit is increasing every year.

France and Germany together spend $11,000,000 a year on their public
forests and receive from them an income of $30,000,000, or nearly three
times as much, while the United States spends for its public forests
more than ten times as much as it receives.

Many of our states are taking an active interest in forestry and are
buying tracts of land of low value for state forests. New York is taking
the lead in the work of planting forests, but even here the amount done
is much less than it should be. The state forester says that one million
trees are planted each year while twenty millions should be planted.

The National Conservation Commission reported that the entire United
States should plant an area larger than the states of Pennsylvania,
Ohio, and West Virginia, in order to supply our future needs, but that
we have actually planted an area less than the state of Rhode Island.

This, then, is the lesson we should learn in regard to our forests: To
guard against waste in cutting and use, fire, and insects, and to plant
trees until our future supply of timber is assured, till the head-waters
of our streams are protected and our waste lands made into valuable
forest tracts; till every farm has its wood-lot, and every community its
fruit and shade. It is a work in which every one of us may take some
part and from which good results are certain to come.


Another phase of tree-culture that does not, strictly speaking, come
under the head of forestry, but which should be considered here, is the
cultivation of orchards, either for home use or for commercial purposes.

In a few sections, fruit is the most valuable of all crops. Oranges in
Florida and California, peaches in some of the southern states, and
apples in the northwest, are more profitable than any field crops, and
their cultivation is made the subject of careful scientific study. But
there are many other states where the raising of fruit in commercial
quantities is almost altogether neglected, and to which almost all fruit
is shipped from other sections. This is particularly true in the rich
corn and wheat producing states of the Mississippi Valley.

The early settlers each planted an orchard for home use, and these
produced the finest quality of fruit in abundance; but usually, after
being planted, the trees were left to take care of themselves, while the
farmer's time and attention were given to his fields of grain.

As time passed, plant diseases and insect pests increased, winds broke
down many of the unpruned trees, frosts often blighted the entire crop
of fruit, and the uncultivated, sod-choked trees produced fruit that was
less in quantity and poorer in quality each year.

In recent years the highest grade of apples have all been shipped from
the West. These are grown on irrigated land; a high price being paid
both for the land itself and for the water-privilege, and the orchards
are seldom more than ten acres in extent. Wind and frost may cause as
much damage here as in the eastern states and plant diseases and insect
enemies are equally liable to injure the crop.

But here orcharding is carried on in a scientific manner. The small size
of the orchard makes it possible for the owner properly to care for
every tree, and each one must be made a source of profit. Every
condition that tends to affect the crop is carefully studied, and the
remedy found and applied.

There is no reason why the same care and labor should not produce
equally good results with far less expense in the well-watered regions
of the eastern and central part of the United States. The neglected
orchard will prove a failure anywhere, as surely as will a neglected
garden, and success will come only by giving to fruit the same
intelligent care that would be bestowed upon any other crop.

The cultivation of apples should receive particular attention in the
north central states, because they have great food value, are not
perishable, can be shipped long distances, and the demand, both at home
and abroad, is always greater than the supply. The home orchard,
however, should contain many kinds of fruit, and the same general rules
in regard to the care of the orchard apply to all of them.

First, the orchard should not be located on land that is fitted to
produce the best farm crops, but it must not be too steep and hilly to
be cultivated. A sunny sloping hillside is best suited to orchard crops.

In most cases little fertilization is needed except the planting of
clover or some other leguminous crop. If corn be planted in young
orchards, as is often the case, potash should be used as a fertilizer
after the crop is gathered, since both corn and fruit trees draw very
heavily on the potash in the soil.

Old orchards sometimes need a single application of a general fertilizer
containing all the principal soil elements. All fertilizers should be
applied not merely around the base of the trunk, but as far from it as
the tree spreads its branches in all directions.

The trees should be carefully pruned and special attention paid to
trimming the tops low to prevent damage from winds, and also to make
spraying easy.

The soil should be deeply cultivated the first few years in order to
make the roots strike deep into the ground, and afterward the soil
should receive some surface cultivation every year.

When there is danger of frost after the trees have bloomed, brushwood
fires are lighted and a dense smoke is raised over the orchard by
burning pots of crude oil. This smoke is helpful in preventing the
formation of frost, and will often be the means of saving the crop.

The other great causes of failure to grow large quantities of perfect
fruit, if the varieties are well chosen, are plant diseases and damage
by insects. The methods of their control are given in the chapter on
Insects, and include principally the disposal of all decayed fruit, the
raking up and burning of all leaves in infected orchards, arsenical and
lime sprays, and, above all, such attention to pruning and cultivation
as will keep the trees in good condition.

Lastly, the keeping of bees in the orchard will pay well, not only for
the honey they produce, but because they assist greatly in carrying the
pollen from flower to flower, and so increasing the crop of fruit.


Forests. Report National Conservation Commission.

Forest Conservation, Papers and Discussions, Report Governor's

Arbor Day, Forest Service Department of Agriculture Circular, 96.

Tree Planting on Rural School Grounds. Forest Service Department of
Agriculture Circular, 134.

Practical Assistance to Tree Planters. Forest Service Department of
Agriculture Circular, 22.

How to Transplant Forest Trees. Forest Service Department of Agriculture
Circular, 61.

Forest Planting on Coal Lands. Forest Service Department of Agriculture
Circular, 41.

Forestry in the Public Schools. Forest Service Department of Agriculture
Circular, 130.

Primer of Forestry. (Pinchot). Forest Service Department of Agriculture
Circular, 173.

The Use of the National Forests. (Pinchot.)

What Forestry Has Done. Forest Service Department of Agriculture
Circular, 140.

Forest Preservation and National Prosperity. Forest Service Department
of Agriculture Circular, 35.

Forest Planting and Farm Management. Forest Service Department of
Agriculture Circular, 228.

Facts and Figures Regarding our Forest Resources. Forest Service
Department of Agriculture Circular, 11.

Drain Upon the Forests. Forest Service Department of Agriculture
Circular, 129.

The Waning Hardwood Supply. Forest Service Department of Agriculture
Circular, 129.

Timber Supply of the United States. Forest Service Department of
Agriculture Circular, 116.

Forestry and the Lumber Supply. Forest Service Department of Agriculture
Circular, 97.

How to Cultivate and Care for Forests in Semi-arid Regions.

Forest Service Department of Agriculture Circular, 54.

Paper-making Materials and their Conservation. Bureau of Chemistry, 41.



Water is an absolute necessity to man, as much as the air he breathes or
the food he eats. Water comes to us in the form of rain or snow. We
usually think of it as unlimited, but we must come to think of it as a
resource that can be abused and wasted or made useful and profitable as
is the soil itself.

The amount of water is fixed and passes in an endless round from cloud
to river or land and back to the clouds again. The average yearly
rainfall of the United States is estimated at thirty inches, about forty
inches in the eastern half, an average of eighteen inches in the western
part, and in many places not more than ten or twelve inches. One inch of
rain would amount to nearly one hundred and one tons per acre, or on a
roof twenty feet long by twenty feet wide, one inch of rain would be two
hundred and fifty gallons. With a rainfall of forty inches, this would
amount to 10,000 gallons in a year, or an average, over every bit of
land twenty feet square, of twenty-seven gallons for every day in the
year. This is about the quantity that falls in the eastern part of the
United States.

It varies slightly from year to year, but there is no more--there is no
possible way of adding to it, though we may lessen it by allowing it to
rush out to sea, giving no service to the land. As the land waters
diminish the rainfall also grows less.

This two hundred trillions cubic feet of water which falls on our land
every year constitutes our entire water resource, is the source of all
our rivers and streams, of the moisture in the air, of our rains and
snows, and our water for plant and animal growth.

To understand how much this is, we may say that it is about equal to ten
times the amount of water that flows through the Mississippi River
system. The water of the Mississippi and its branches is nearly half of
all the water in the United States that flows through waterways to the
sea. This water that flows through our streams is sometimes called the
run-off. The run-off is increasing every year as we cut our forests and
cultivate our land. It is used for navigation, irrigation and power, but
the increase is not an advantage for these purposes as might be
supposed, because it comes in disastrous floods, tearing away dams,
ruining power sites, and not only preventing navigation during the flood
season, but by filling up the rivers and changing the channels, making
navigation difficult and dangerous throughout the year. The run-off is
controlled to some extent and may be brought under almost as complete
control as may be desired.

As much as the water of five or six Mississippis, or a little more than
half of our supply, is evaporated to moisten and temper the air, to fall
as rain or snow, or to form dews. This is sometimes called the fly-off,
and except for some changes caused by management of the land, is
entirely beyond control.

A part of the remainder sinks into the soil below the surface. A large
portion of this helps to cause the slow rock-decay that forms the soil,
and which is known as ground water. It is estimated that within the
first hundred feet below the surface of the earth there is a quantity of
water that has seeped down; and that would form, if it were collected, a
vast reservoir sixteen or seventeen feet in depth spreading over all the
3,000,000 square miles of the area of our country. This is equal to
about seven years' rainfall and is a very important part of our water
resources. In many places it forms into underground streams or lakes. It
feeds all the springs and many of the lakes. Our wells are dug or
drilled into this underground water system. It carries away the excess
of salts and mineral matter from the soil, the trees strike their roots
deep into the earth and draw from it, and last and most important of
all, that which sinks immediately below the surface supplies all our
plant growth. So that it is this last portion, that which sinks below
the ground, and which is sometimes termed the cut-off, amounting to
about one-tenth of all our water resource, or about the quantity that
flows through the Mississippi River system, that forms the really
important part.

On this depends all that makes a land habitable, the water for drinking
purposes and for plant and animal growth. On it depends the rate of
production of every acre of farm and forest land and the life of every
animal. Every full-grown man of one hundred and fifty pounds takes into
his system not less than a ton of water each year, and every bushel of
corn requires for its making fifteen or twenty tons of water.

Of the importance of this Professor Chamberlain says: "The key to the
problem of soil conservation lies in due control of the water that falls
on every acre. This water is an asset of great value. It should be
counted by every land owner as a possible value, saved if turned where
it will do good, lost if permitted to run away, doubly lost if it also
carries away the soil and does destructive work below."

The uses of rainfall are given thus:

A due portion should go through the soil to its bottom to promote rock
decay. Some of it should go into the underdrainage to carry away harmful
matter, another portion goes up to the surface carrying solutions needed
by the plants. A portion goes into the plants to nourish them, and still
another part runs off the surface, carrying away the worn-out parts of
the soil.

Crops can use to advantage all the rain that falls during the growing
season; and in most cases crops are all the better for all the water
that can be carried over from the winter. There are many local
exceptions, but in general crops are best when the soil can be made to
absorb as much of the rainfall and snowfall as possible. This also
causes the least possible amount of wash from the land.

Doctor N. J. McGee says: "Scarcely anywhere in the United States is the
rainfall excessive, that is, greater than is needed by growing plants,
living animals and men. Nearly everywhere it falls below this standard.
In the western part the average rainfall is only about eighteen inches;
in the extreme eastern part the fall averages forty-eight inches. In the
western part much of the land is unable to produce crops at all except
when artificially watered. The eastern part might produce more abundant
crops, develop greater industries and support a larger population with a
rainfall of sixty inches than it is able to do with a rainfall of
forty-eight inches." As may readily be seen, the fly-off can be
controlled only in a very small degree, by conserving the moisture that
is in the soil, and so preventing it from evaporating too rapidly.

The cut-off can be controlled to a considerable extent through forestry
and scientific farming and it is very important that the supply should
be as carefully conserved as possible.

But it is in the run-off that the great waste of water occurs, and also
that great saving is possible. It has been found by careful estimate
that from eighty-five per cent. to ninety-five per cent. of the water
that flows to the sea is wasted in freshets or destructive floods.

We are not accustomed to think of the water as wasted, since it seems
beyond our control, but as we are taking a careful account of stock, and
seeing how our forests, our fuels and our minerals are disappearing, and
our soil being carried out to sea by the rushing waters, it is well to
consider, also, whether this great resource may not be so used as to
benefit mankind in many ways and at the same time lessen the drain on
other resources.

The water of streams may be divided as to use into four great classes.
The most important is that used by cities for general supply, for
household and drinking purposes; next, that which is used for navigation
and the running of boats to carry commerce; third, that which is used
for artificial watering or irrigation, and lastly, that which is used
for power in manufacturing.

In the past, when water has been used it has seldom been employed for
more than one of these purposes, but as we come to understand more the
nature, value and possibilities of this great resource, we shall learn
to make the money spent for one of these lines of activity supply
several other needs.

As we study each of these separately we shall see this interrelation
among them.

The cities of the United States have expended $250,000,000 in waterworks
and nearly as much more in land for reservoirs, and for canals for
conveying the water from these reservoirs to the cities. The better
managed systems protect the drained lands from erosion by planting
forests or grass and the water is completely controlled, so that all the
water, even the storm overflow, is saved. There is very little waste in
these city water systems until it comes to the consumer, where, except
when it is sold through meters, the waste is often great.

The failure to provide the greatest good lies in the fact that the
water systems have been used for water supply only and have not been
made profitable in other ways. The drainage basins should be heavily
planted with trees, which will in time yield a large return, or with
hay, which can be marketed each year. Whenever possible, the canals
carrying the water supply should also be used to furnish power.

The city of Los Angeles, when it had a population of only 150,000,
undertook to provide pure water from a point two hundred and fifty miles
distant. To do so it must take on itself a debt of $23,000,000, a large
sum for a city ten times its size. Yet the people were ready to assume
this great burden to insure an unending supply of pure water, for they
realized that without it their city could not continue to grow. It was
not until the plans for piping water to the city were almost completed
that the value of the water-power along the route was realized. It has
been disposed of at a rate that pays ten per cent. interest on the debt
each year, and has made what seemed a dangerous risk, a profitable
business arrangement. All these other uses of water which are
profitable, help to lower the price of water to the users.

The matter of supreme importance in the water supply, however, is not
whether the water is cheap, but whether it is pure. If refuse from
factories is allowed to drain into a stream, the water becomes loaded
with poisonous chemicals, acids, or minerals. If city sewage or
barn-yards are allowed to drain into it, the germs of typhoid and other
fevers enter the water supply. To insure the purity of water supply from
a stream, no factory waste, city sewage or country refuse should be
allowed to enter any part of the stream. In addition to this it should
be carefully filtered.

The disposal of waste is a serious problem, and the easiest way is to
divert it into the nearest water course and trust to the old maxim,
"Running water purifies itself."

This, while true as a general fact, has so many exceptions that it is
not safe to trust to it. The Sanitary District Canal of Chicago has
proved positively that even the most heavily germ-laden water becomes
pure by running many miles at a regulated speed through the open
country, but the conditions are altogether different from those of an
ordinary river. First, in a river, sewage may enter at any point
down-stream to add to the germs already present in the water, while
nothing is allowed to enter the Drainage Canal after it leaves the city.
Second, some germs live for several days and may be carried many miles.
Only a microscopic test can prove whether water contains such germs.
Usually such tests are not made and water is used without people knowing
whether it is pure or not, but the water of the Sanitary Canal is tested
at many points to determine its purity. Each hour and each mile of its
journey it grows purer. This proves that although running water does
purify itself, a stream that is drained into all along its course is not
a fit source of water supply.

Factory refuse, instead of being allowed to pollute the waters, should
be turned to good use by extracting the chemicals, which form valuable
by-products. All farm waste should be taken to a remote part of the
farm, placed in an open shed or vat with cement floor and screened from
flies to form a compost heap for fertilizers for the farm. This will
amply repay the extra trouble and expense by increasing the farm crops.
The sooner such refuse, especially manure, is returned to the land, the
more valuable it is as a fertilizer.

In cities the sewage should be disposed of in such a way as to yield a
profit to the city, and also promote the health of the people. The
sewage of a city of 100,000 people is supposed to be worth, in Germany,
about $900,000 a year for fertilizer on account of the phosphorus it
contains. The city of Berlin operates large sewage farms, using as
laborers men condemned to the workhouse. The expense for land and sewer
system was $13,000,000, but it pays for the money invested, with $60,000
yearly profit over all expenses.

On the other hand the cost of impure water to the city of Pittsburg was
reckoned at $3,850,000, and in the city of Albany, New York, the annual
loss was estimated at $475,000.

In the early settlement of our country all towns were built on streams,
and the ones which grew and flourished were all on rivers large enough
to carry commerce by boat. After the invention of steamboats, daily
packet lines were run on all the principal rivers.

Albert Gallatin planned a complete system of improved waterways,
including many canals, that was intended to establish a great commercial
route. Many canals were built and put into actual operation and dozens
of others had been planned, when the building of railways began. This
new system of transportation at once became popular. Not only were no
more canals dug and no more steamboat lines built, but many of those
actually in operation were abandoned.

In order to encourage railroad building and develop new regions, the
government has given land and money to the extent of hundreds of
millions of dollars, until now the railroads form one-seventh of all our
national wealth, having 228,000 miles of tracks and earning
$2,500,000,000 each year, while the waterways owned by the government
have fallen into disuse.

Within the last four or five years another change has come about in the
general attitude toward the waterways. At the time that the crops are
moved in the fall, and when coal is needed for the winter supply, there
are not nearly enough cars in the country to handle the volume of
business, neither are there enough locomotives to move the necessary
cars, nor tracks, nor stations. In short, the railways are entirely
unable to handle the vast products of the country during the busiest
seasons. Many persons in the West have suffered for fuel, and commerce
has been greatly checked by the shortage; and the situation is growing
worse each year as production increases.

James J. Hill estimates that the cost of equipping the railroads to
carry the commerce of the country would be from five to eight billion
dollars. This means a heavy tax on iron and coal and timber as well as
on the labor resources of the country, and it would then be only a
question of time until still further extensions were needed.

With these facts in view, interest in the waterways of the country has
been revived.

It is estimated that it will require five hundred million dollars, or
fifty million dollars a year for ten years completely to improve the
waterways of the country. This is not more than one-tenth of what would
be needed to equip the railroads. The cost of carrying freight by rail
is from four to five times that of carrying it by water.

Much of the heavy freight of the country,--coal, iron, grain and
lumber,--should be carried in this way, in order to reduce freight rates
and so, indirectly, the cost to the people, and further to relieve the
burden on the railways.

The railways, it might be added, would still have a large and increasing
package-freight business, besides the handling of heavy freight in parts
of the country where there are no navigable rivers.

For these reasons it would seem clearly the only wise policy to adopt a
general plan for waterway improvement and carry it into effect at once.
But there are many things to be considered.

Millions of dollars (in all about five hundred and fifty-two millions)
have been spent for the improvement of waterways. Some of it has
resulted in great gain, but a large part of it has been wasted through
lack of an organized plan. Work has been begun and not enough money
appropriated to finish it. In the course of a few years much of the
value of the work is destroyed by the action of the current or by
shifting sands, or if a stretch of river is finished in the most
approved manner, often it is not used much, in some cases actually less
after than before the work was begun, and these things have created a
prejudice against waterway improvements.

The other reason is that in spite of the overcrowding of the railroads,
the traffic on many of our large rivers is steadily growing less. The
Inland Waterways Commission finds as a reason for the decrease, the
relations existing between the railways and the waterways. A railway,
they consider, has two classes of advantages. First, those that come
from natural conditions. A railroad line can be built in any direction
to any part of the country except the extremely mountainous parts, while
a river runs only in a single direction.

If a new region distant from a large water course is opened up, as is
being done rapidly in the West through irrigation and dry farming, the
people are entirely dependent on the railways to develop it, to bring
them all the conveniences of the outside world, and to carry the
products of their land to the market.

Branch lines and switches can be built to factories and warehouses,
while boats can reach only those situated along the water-front.

Another advantage of the railroads is that they bill freight all the way
through, and that freight is much more easily transferred from one road
to another. It is much more difficult and expensive to load and reload
freight from boats and barges on account of the high and low water
stages of the river. This difference amounts to as much as sixty feet in
the Ohio River at Cincinnati. Railways make faster time, and the
distance between two points is usually shorter, though sometimes during
the busy season of the railways the river freight reaches its
destination much sooner.

The other class of reasons relates to the railways themselves, which
have always been in open competition with the waterways, and to gain
traffic for themselves, usually charge lower rates to those points to
which boats also carry freight. In many cases they have bought the
steamboat lines so that rates might be kept up, and then, unable to
operate the two lines as cheaply as one, have abandoned the steamboat

Another method by which the railroads have driven out the water traffic,
is by charging extremely heavy rates for freight hauled a short distance
to or from boats, making it quite as cheap as well as more convenient to
send freight all the way by rail.

Lastly, railroad warehouses, terminals and machinery for handling
freight are all much better than those of inland steamboat lines, except
at some points on the Great Lakes where the traffic is very heavy.

Some of these disadvantages might be overcome by law. In France, where
the waterways are managed better than in any other country, the law
requires that railroad rates be twenty per cent. higher on all heavy
freight than the rates on the same freight if carried by water, and in
several countries railroad companies are not permitted to own or manage
a steamboat line.

These measures are suggestive of what may be done by law to correct
abuses, but laws alone can not accomplish everything. The rivers belong
to all the people, and every one who wishes may operate steamboat or
barge lines, but before these can become profitable, and before first
class warehouses and machinery are installed, there must appear on the
part of the people a desire to patronize them. The best results are
found in those cases where there is harmony between the railways and the
steamboat lines; those in which the steamboat lines relieve the railways
of much of the heavy freight which they are not able to handle without
greatly increasing their present equipment.

There should be coöperation on the part of the people. The towns and
cities along the banks of many European rivers provide suitable
terminals, warehouses and wharves with free use of the service. In other
cases this is done by private capital with a charge for use to shippers.
Sometimes it is done by the steamboat companies themselves, but unless
one or the other method is assured all along the river it is not wise
for the government to undertake the improvement of a stream.

Intelligent improvement of the waterways of the United States demands
first that a careful survey of the needs of the whole country be made,
then that a systematic plan be carried out providing for the improvement
of important streams first.

The state and nation should work together, and any work that is begun
should be completed as promptly as possible so that its full benefit may
be realized.

Certain work, such as the improvement of the channel, should be done by
the national government, since the waters belong to the nation; but the
expense of constructing levees or dykes should be borne by the land
owners along the banks, because the land thus protected is greatly
increased in value; or by the state, which gets the return in increased

In many instances, the improvement of a stream would be a great benefit
to one state or part of a state, but it would be impossible in many
years to improve all the desirable streams, so that the larger ones of
most general importance must be considered first.

In such cases the improvement is often undertaken by the state. Some
navigable rivers have been thus improved and many canals are the
property of states or of private companies.

Only a few rivers have a steady flow throughout the year at a depth
sufficient to carry large boats. On most streams destructive floods at
certain seasons and low waters at others interfere with navigation
during a considerable part of the year. Most rivers have sand-bars,
sunken rocks or logs in the channel, making the passage of boats
difficult and dangerous. Others are well suited for navigation, except
at points where rapids and falls make it impossible for boats to pass.
The Ohio, the Tennessee, the Missouri and the upper Mississippi abound
in such dangerous places and these should be canalized. It is the
improving of rivers in these ways, dredging harbors to make them safer,
and digging canals to provide a short passage between two bodies of
water, that constitute what is known as the Improvement of Inland

If you look at a map showing the navigable streams of the United States
you will see that nearly all of them lie in the eastern part.

The Mississippi is like a great artery with branches extending in all
directions, east and west. The Great Lakes, with their outlet, the St.
Lawrence River, and the many important rivers emptying into the Atlantic
Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, such as the Merrimac, Hudson, Delaware,
Susquehanna, Potomac and Rio Grande, form great highways for all the
commerce of the eastern part of the country, while the Columbia,
Sacramento and Colorado Rivers, with their branches, are the only
navigable streams of any importance west of the Mississippi River

In some places a small portion of land divides two important water
areas, and canals dug through this neck of land change the commercial
routes of the whole world. Such are the Isthmus of Suez, eighty-seven
miles wide, through which a canal was cut that saves a sailing distance
of 3,700 miles from England to India. Only the Isthmus of Panama,
forty-nine miles in width, divides the Atlantic from the Pacific Ocean.
When the canal across this narrow strip is completed, the sailing
distance from New York to San Francisco will be shortened 8,000 miles,
the entire distance around South America.

The Sault Ste. Marie Canal, connecting Lakes Superior and Huron, is only
a little more than a mile and a half long, but it opens up the entire
iron, copper, lumber and wheat resources of the Northwest to cheap water
passage through the other lakes to the manufacturing region of the East.

The Erie Canal, by connecting Lake Erie with the Hudson River from
Buffalo to Albany, New York, makes the only water passage from the Great
Lakes to the ocean that lies within the borders of the United States.

If you will turn to the map again, you will see still other places where
a short canal may open up an entirely new and important water route.
From Chicago to Lockport, Illinois, is only thirty-seven miles, but
Chicago is on Lake Michigan, while Lockport is on the Illinois River, a
branch of the Mississippi. This canal, a large part of which is now in
operation, is a part of the Lakes to Gulf waterway. One plan is to
broaden and deepen the channel so that large vessels may pass, without
unloading, from the Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

Another proposed canal which would be undertaken largely by individual
states and a part of which is already completed, would afford a safe
inside passage connecting the many bays, channels and navigable rivers
of the Atlantic coast.

Still another proposed measure is the cutting of a canal from the
southern end of Lake Michigan to the western end of Lake Erie at Toledo,
Ohio, to avoid the long haul up Lake Michigan and down Lake Huron again.

The United States now has 25,000 miles of navigable rivers and a nearly
equal mileage of rivers not now navigable but which might be made
commercially important; five great lakes that have a combined length of
1,410 miles, 2,120 miles of operated canals, and 2,500 miles of sounds,
bays and bayous, that might be joined by tidewater canals easily
constructed, less than 1,000 miles long altogether, and making a
continuous passage from New England to the Gulf of Mexico.

In all, our waterways at the present time are 55,000 to 60,000 miles
long, the greatest system in the world, but almost unused.

The most important waterway improvement so far completed, is the Sault
Ste. Marie, or the "Soo" canal which cost $96,000,000. A depth of eight
feet was increased to twenty-one feet. The traffic has risen in sixteen
years from a million and a quarter tons to forty-one and a quarter
million tons.

A large proportion of the United States is not naturally fitted to be
the home of man; at least, it is not fitted to produce his food, and
except on the lofty mountains the reason for this will almost always be
found to be either a lack or an excess of water.

In some parts of the country, there is, as we have seen, little
rainfall. These arid or semi-arid lands must be provided with water for
drinking purposes and for agriculture. The diverting of water courses
into canals and ditches so that water can be carried to these waste
lands is called irrigation.

In other parts of the country where rains are abundant, serious floods
occur every year, often many times in a year. Thousands of acres of
land thus subject to overflow are lost to use. The holding back of these
flood waters in the upper part of the rivers, and so preventing these
overflows, is termed storage of waters.

In still other regions the rainfall is abundant, and the land low-lying.
Large areas are always covered with water. Such lands are called swamps
or bogs, and when drained, they become the richest of agricultural
lands. Irrigation, storage and drainage are the three methods employed
to make waste lands valuable and useful. The land is saved or reclaimed,
so all these methods of balancing and distributing the water supply are
called reclamation.

In general it may be said that irrigation is more generally needed in
the West, storage of flood waters in the central and eastern states, and
drainage in the South.

By thus distributing the rainfall, hundreds of millions of acres have
been or may be reclaimed, and large regions, formerly unfit to inhabit,
have been turned into profitable farms. Three-fourths of one per cent.
of our total rainfall, or two per cent. of all that falls in the West,
is used for irrigating 13,000,000 acres.

There are several methods of irrigation which are adapted to different
regions and different crops. The rice fields of South Carolina,
Georgia, Louisiana and Texas are irrigated by allowing the land to
remain continually flooded to a depth of several inches. When the
irrigation season is over the levees are opened, and the water runs off
rapidly, and the crop is soon ready to be harvested. Tidal rivers are
used to supply water in most cases, but in Texas many flowing wells are
employed for irrigation.

In Florida, where irrigation is used largely for intensive farming,
various means are employed, some of which are also used in the western
and southwestern states. Mechanical pumps, operated by turbine wheels,
pump the water from the rivers if a lift be required. Sometimes the
water is pumped direct to the fields in iron pipes and applied by means
of hydrants and hose, as in a city water system.

Overhead pipe lines are now recognized as the most perfect and
satisfactory form of artificial watering. Two-inch pipes are run over
frames several feet in height. These are arranged in parallel lines all
over the fields about forty feet apart. At intervals of forty feet, a
small iron pipe, ending with a fine spraying attachment, extends upward.
The water is turned on in the evening and comes out of the sprayer in a
fine mist and falls upon the plants like a gentle rain.

By another form of irrigation, the fields are divided at regular
intervals by wide wooden troughs from which water is directed between
the rows of plants. Main canals leading from the streams and intersected
by short canals extend in all directions through the fields and
orchards, and are distributed in various ways. This system is in general
use throughout the arid portions of the West. The methods are said to be
the most scientific and varied in southern California.

When water for irrigation is supplied from wells some underground system
is generally used. One common method is to lay continuous pipes from the
wells all over the fields and distribute from hydrants, plugs and

By still another system, the water is carried below the surface through
pipes which are broken every few inches and laid in beds of charcoal.

In the eastern states irrigation is only employed in dry weather to
increase the yield of vegetable crops. In the arid western region it
transforms what would otherwise be a dreary desert into fertile valleys.

William J. Bryan, speaking at the first Conservation Congress, said,
"Last September, I visited the southern part of Idaho and saw there a
tract that has been recently reclaimed. I had been there before. I had
looked upon these lands as so barren that it seemed as if it were
impossible that they could ever be made useful.

"When I went back this time and found that in three years 1,700,000
acres of land had been reclaimed, that where three years ago nothing but
sage-brush grew, they are now raising seven tons of alfalfa to the acre,
and more than a hundred bushels of oats; when I found that ten thousand
people are living on that tract, that in one town that has grown up in
that time there are more than 1,900 inhabitants, and in three banks they
had deposits of over half a million dollars, I had some realization of
the magic power of water when applied to these desert lands."

The same thing might be said of other regions throughout the West. In
the Salton district of California a marvelous change has been brought
about by irrigation. A few years ago that was one of the most desolate
and forbidding regions on our continent. Now it is covered with several
thousands of acres of alfalfa and other crops, and it bids fair to be a
great fruit region. Of southern California it is said, "The irrigation
systems of this part of the state are known all over the world, and have
created a prosperous commonwealth in a region which would be a scene of
utter desolation without them."

This locality presents a better opportunity for the scientific study of
farming by irrigation than exists anywhere else in the world. Here all
land values depend directly on ability to obtain a water supply. So
precious is the water and so abundant are the rewards that follow its
application to the soil that the most careful consideration is given to
the various sources of supply and distribution.

As land becomes scarcer and the cost of living greater on account of the
increase in population, men are turning more and more to irrigation to
solve the problem of food supply.

As showing what may be accomplished by irrigation, the report of the
last census says: "The construction of large irrigation works on the
Platte, Yellowstone and Arkansas Rivers would render fertile an area
equal to that of some eastern states. Engineers are grappling with the
great problems of conserving the flood waters of these streams, which
now are wasted and help to increase the destructive floods of the
Mississippi. The solving of these problems will change a vast area of
country, now practically worthless, into valuable farms."

The "Great Bend" country, drained by the Columbia River, contains
several million acres of land which only requires water to make it of
great agricultural value.

The Gila River basin contains more than 10,000,000 acres of fertile
land, capable of producing immense crops if irrigated, but without
irrigation it is a desert land where only sage-brush and cactus

From arid lands capable of producing excellent crops but lacking in the
magical element of water, we pass to the consideration of lands where
the richest of soils are shut off from productiveness because they are
covered with water. On the lower Mississippi the soil is richer than in
any other part of the United States, but much of it is overflowed so
frequently that it is unfit for cultivation. Dykes and levees have
reclaimed thousands of acres of such overflow land. Many states control
large marshy sections that have been or may be reclaimed.

In southern Florida lie the Everglades, a vast country which has been
worse than valueless; a malarial region abounding in alligators,
rattlesnakes, scorpions and other dangerous animals and insects. The
state of Florida has undertaken the work of draining this great swamp,
and when the task is completed, Florida will have added to its resources
3,000,000 acres of the richest soil for the raising of winter vegetables
and fruits.

Florida is engaged in another great project--the digging of an inside
passage connecting its inland tidal waters by a canal system which will
open to navigation a continuous inland waterway six hundred miles in
length. In digging these canals through the marshes bordering the
coast, thousands of acres of exceedingly fertile land have been
reclaimed and are now producing valuable crops.

The Kankakee marshes in Indiana have been drained, adding many thousands
of acres of rich soil to the agricultural area of the state.

In all, about 80,000,000 acres are so wet that they must be drained in
order to make them produce good farm crops, but which, while now covered
only with marsh grass or undergrowth, is capable of being made the most
fertile of all land.

This swamp land is ten times the area of Holland, which supports a
population of 5,000,000 people. It is therefore easy to see how greatly
we may add to our productive territory and our national wealth by
reclamation through drainage.

We now come to the use of water as power; and although in the last fifty
years this subject has received little attention, as manufacturing
increases and as fuel decreases and becomes higher, the value of water
becomes more evident, and water-power sites are being eagerly sought.

Our age may come to be known in the future as the age of power, because
through the application of mechanical power man has gained such
marvelous control over the world about him. Wind and water led in the
production of power until about 1870, since which time they have
scarcely increased at all, the greater advantages of steam and
electricity having driven them out.

As long as all factories had to be built by the side of streams having
suitable water-power, the number and size of factories were always
extremely limited. With the introduction of steam it became possible to
build factories at mines, in forests, in fruit or grain regions,
wherever the supply of raw material was plentiful, and to multiply
factories of all kinds in cities near the markets for their product, or
where labor was cheap and abundant. But power could only be used where
it was developed, and the size of the power plant depended on the amount
of business done by each individual user.

Now a new era of power has again enlarged the possibilities of
manufacturing. By means of electricity the work, not only of factories,
but also of the home and the farm may be done in any place where
electricity can be installed. We must bear in mind that electricity is
never a source of power, but is only the agent that carries power to the
user. The source of all electric power is either steam or water,
produced by water-wheels, turbines, steam-engines or gas-engines. The
economical way to furnish electric power is to establish central power
plants, and electricity may be conveyed from them for many miles. An
electric railway, telegraph, or telephone system many miles in length
is operated from a single power plant. Electric light and power are
transmitted all over the largest cities. It is no longer necessary that
a factory be of any specified size nor that it have any waste power. If
it be within reach of the electrical current it may use as much or as
little as is needed.

The cheapness of electric power must always depend on nearness to the
source of supply or to the market. Until a short time ago it was
customary to locate electric power-houses near the market, that is, in
cities. But the benefits to be derived from having the electric plant
near the source of power, so that the cost of production is greatly
lessened, are becoming better recognized. This will make water-power
increasingly valuable.

It is even now practicable to develop water-power, wherever located, for
the production of electricity. Although the lowest grade coals are used
for electric power at the mines yet they can now be used for still other
purposes. Coal or other fuel once used can not be replaced, but when
electricity is derived from water-power only energy otherwise wasted is
used. This energy, if derived from water-power, is all added to our
assets instead of being lost.

For many years the amount of power used for manufacturing and other
purposes has doubled about once in ten years, and the steady pace kept
by different lines of development shows how closely they are related.
Our power, our forest cut, the use of our iron and other minerals, our
coal and petroleum, the railroad earnings, freight and passenger
traffic, and our agricultural products all double themselves every ten
years. This means that in ten years we shall require twice as much power
as now, but will have far less coal to use. This raises the
question,--have we available water-power to conserve our coal supply?
Let us see. It is estimated that we are now using 26,000,000 horse-power
of energy derived from steam, 3,000,000 horse-power derived from water,
and 800,000 from gas or oil, a total of 29,800,000 horse-power. It is
also estimated that there is now running idly over dams, falls, and
rapids 30,000,000 horse-power of energy. In other words, we are wasting
every day enough water to run every factory and mill, and to turn every
wheel, to move every electric car and to supply every electric light or
power-station in the country.

The amount of water-power is gauged solely by the low-water stage of the
stream. A river is considered to produce only as much power as it can
furnish at its season of lowest water. At other times factories may be
operated more actively, but usually most of the extra power is wasted
during a large part of the year.

If these storm or flood waters can be stored in reservoirs, the
stream-flow throughout the year can be made fairly uniform and the power
possibilities greatly increased. The Geological Survey believes that by
storing the flood waters and regulating the flow of the streams, the
large rivers of the United States may be made to furnish 150,000,000
horse-power, enough, if it could be utilized, to supply every power need
of our country for many years to come without using a ton of our coal,
and without in any way decreasing the water.

Of course this can never be practicable. Much power will always be
needed where no stream for power is available. But the lesson is plain
that where water can be used it should be, both in order to save the
coal and because it can be produced more cheaply. The 30,000,000
horse-power now available, if produced in our most modern electric
plants, would require the burning of nearly 225,000,000 tons of coal,
and if in the average plant run by steam-engines, more than 650,000,000
tons of coal, which is fifty per cent. more than all the coal that is
now produced in this country. At three dollars per ton it would cost
$2,000,000,000 a year to supply the coal to furnish the power that we
might have, one might almost say, as a by-product from the improving of
the rivers for navigation. The development of the water-power
possibilities of the country is now going forward at a rapid rate,

Dams on the Susquehanna River will soon make 30,000 horse-power
available, which could be increased to 200,000 by building storage

A dam just begun at the rapids of the Mississippi River at Keokuk, Iowa,
will, when completed, furnish 200,000 horse-power. Niagara is producing
56,000 horse-power on the United States side. The Muscle Shoals Falls
rapids in the Tennessee River is furnishing 188,000 horse-power.
Illinois will greatly increase its possibilities for offering cheap
power to factories, when the Lakes to Gulf Canal with 173,000,000
horse-power worth $12,750,000 yearly, and the Chicago Drainage or
Sanitary Canal, which has nearly 60,000 horse-power, are complete. Both
of these projects were undertaken by the state.

In California 250,000 horse-power is now in operation, and 5,000,000
horse-power might easily be developed in that state alone, which at the
price of coal would be worth a billion dollars a year.

New England has the oldest system of water-power control, because before
the era of steam it was the chief manufacturing region of the country.
The Merrimac, flowing through New Hampshire and Massachusetts, is the
most carefully conserved river in the world, and Governor Dingley of
Maine said that the water-power of Maine is equal to the working energy
of 13,000,000 men.

The money value is counted at twenty dollars a year per horse power, but
it frequently brings as high as one hundred or even one hundred and
fifty dollars a year in a good manufacturing region, so that the value
of our water-power facilities can hardly be computed.

An ideal picture of the harmonious development of our water resources
for all purposes is one that is not too difficult to realize. It is the
ideal that should be always before us in the improvement of our
waterways, and we should bear in mind that although the expense will be
heavy, it will not cost more than one-tenth as much to improve all the
important waterways as to equip the railways to carry the traffic they
will be called on to carry in the next ten years; and also that in the
past, for every dollar that has been spent on waterways, almost
twenty-five dollars has been spent on railways. The railways are a great
and important part of our national development, but the waterways should
not be neglected. Rather, the two should be so harmonized and adjusted
as to make one great commercial system that will furnish cheap and
abundant transportation for all our commerce.

The most complete plan for conserving our waters is as follows: First,
build storage reservoirs along the upper stretches of the river to hold
the overflow waters of the flood season which are to be turned into the
main channel when the water becomes too low for ordinary navigation.

These storage reservoirs should be on the lowest grade of land, that
which would be least productive. The reservoirs should be well stocked
with the best varieties of fish to make them profitable. The banks
should be planted with forest trees and made as attractive as they can
be made to form public parks and pleasure grounds for the people, where
boating, fishing and bathing may be enjoyed.

The next point is to remove all obstructions from the river, to canalize
it at shallow places or rapids, so that the whole river will be
navigable, and, if necessary, to deepen the channel so that it will
carry large vessels between two important points.

Dams should be built to take advantage of every opportunity for
water-power. One of the worst mistakes in the past has been the failure
to use the power that might have been developed in improving the streams
for navigation.

Rivers should be made profitable still further by stocking with fish and
should be kept clear of factory refuse and sewage. Soil-wash should be
lessened by planting trees and shrubs along the banks; and where
overflow or erosion lowers the value of the land or repeatedly ruins the
crops, dykes and levees should be built.

The rivers most important commercially should be improved first. Canals
should be cut between waterways where large benefits will result;
overflow and swamp land should be drained, and in arid regions every
particle of water conserved for irrigation purposes.

The irrigation canals may also be used to supply water-power, and the
canals may be used as are other canals for towing barges. If electric
power is produced, electric towing is cheap and very desirable as a
means of transportation.

In short, our water supply should be as carefully used and with as
little waste as the land of forests. The most important improvements
needed are, a Lakes to Gulf Waterway that shall be safe and practicable
at least for vessels of moderate size; the improvement of the Ohio,
Missouri, Tennessee and Upper Mississippi Rivers; an inner coast passage
from New England to Florida, and in navigable rivers dredging and
deepening if necessary, to make many outlets to the sea which will
afford cheap transportation.

In the West, the Columbia, San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers with their
branches should be made navigable. Many western rivers have been almost
ruined by filling with rocks in hydraulic mining, but this is now
prohibited by law and if the channels were cleared they would again
become navigable.

Appropriations for much of this work have already been made by Congress,
but the work is not systematically planned. The cost of all of it would
be about sixty-two and a half cents a year for each man, woman and child
in the country and every one would receive some benefit.

The National Conservation Commission on Waterways found that the average
family pays for transportation or freight on all its food and clothing
and the necessities of life, nearly or quite one-third their actual
cost. "It is estimated that the direct benefits would be a yearly saving
in freight handling of $250,000,000, a yearly saving in flood damage of
$150,000,000, a saving in forest fires of at least $25,000,000, a
benefit through cheapened power of fully $75,000,000 and a yearly saving
in farm production of $500,000,000; a total of $1,000,000,000, or twelve
dollars and fifty cents for each person--twenty times the cost! And this
does not take into account the benefits from irrigation, drainage, and
the lessening of disease by a pure water supply."


Waters. Report of the National Conservation Commission.

Report of Inland Waterways Commission, 1908.

American Inland Waterways. H. Quick.

Waterways and Water Transportation. J. S. Jeans.

Waterway Transportation in Europe. L. G. McPherson.

Highways of Progress. J. J. Hill.

Navigation Resources of the United States. (Johnson.) Report, Governor's

Conservation of Power Resources. (H. St. Clair Putnam.) Report,
Governor's Conference.

Florida's Waterways. (Miles.) Report, Governor's Conference.

Our Water Resources. (Lyman Cooley.) Report, Governor's Conference.

The Lakes-to-Gulf Waterway. (Randolph.) Report, Governor's Conference.

Water Resources. (Kummel.) Report, Governor's Conference.

Necessity for Waterway Improvement. (Austin.) Report, Governor's

Report Congressional Committee on European Waterways. Senate Document,

River and Harbor Bill. Senate Document. Burton, 1910.

Forests, Water Storage, Power and Navigation. (Taylor.) Proceedings of
the Am. Hydrochemical Society.

Our Inland Waterways. (McGee.)

Outlines of Hydrology. (McGee.)

Natural Movement of Water in Semi-arid Regions. (McGee.)

Irrigation in the United States. Dept. Commerce and Labor Census Bureau.

Irrigation Projects of the U. S. Reclamation Service.

Reports of Irrigation in various states. Apply to Governor.



When we begin to study the mineral resources of the country we pass to
conditions altogether different from those which we have been
considering. Heretofore we have been dealing with resources that can be
renewed, the soil by proper management, the forests by replanting, the
waters by nature's own processes; but the fuels, the iron and many other
mineral resources once used are gone for ever.

As to their importance Andrew Carnegie says: "Of all the world's metals
iron is in our day the most useful. The opening of the iron age marked
the beginning of real industrial development. To-day the position of
nations may almost be measured by its production and use. Iron and coal
form the foundation of our prosperity. The value of each depends upon
the amount and nearness of the other. In modern times the manufacturing
and transportation industries rest upon them, and with sufficient land
and a fertile soil, these determine the progress of any people."

We are sometimes told that we need have no anxiety about the future,
that new discoveries and inventions will take the place of the present
fuels, and even substitutes for minerals will be devised long before the
supply is exhausted. This may be true, and in a way the future must take
care of itself, but until new inventions have actually been made it is
criminal to waste present resources and blindly trust that time will
make our folly appear good judgment and foresight.

We have vast mineral resources unused; the present generation, even its
children and its children's children need have no fear of a shortage.
But in the use of those resources that are steadily and for ever
diminishing we must look a long way into the future. We are under the
most solemn obligation to take only our part of the store, and leave the
rest untouched and unspoiled for those who are to come after us. When we
consider what these mineral resources have done for our country in the
last fifty years, when we realize that it is only by having cheap and
abundant coal, iron, and copper that our railroads, our various electric
systems, and our great manufactories have been developed, we can realize
our duty to give the coming generations an equal opportunity to develop
their ideas.

The yearly products of the mines of the United States are now valued at
more than $2,000,000,000. Sixty-five car-loads of freight out of every
hundred carried by our railroads are made up of mineral products. More
than a million men are employed at the mines, and more than twice that
number in handling and transporting mine products.

Of every one hundred tons of coal mined in the whole world, the United
States produces forty-three tons. We supply forty-five tons out of every
hundred of iron ore, twenty-two tons of gold, thirty tons of silver,
thirty-three tons of lead, nearly twenty-eight tons of the zinc, about
fifty-five tons of the copper, and sixty-three tons of the petroleum
consumed by all civilized countries.

This would be a cause for great national pride if we did not need also
to consider the shameful fact that our wastes or losses in the mining,
handling, and use of our mineral products are estimated at more than
$1,500,000 per day, or, for the year, the gigantic sum of $547,500,000.
That is, more than one-fourth of the entire output is wasted!

Of all our minerals, the fuels which supply heat, light, and power for
domestic and manufacturing purposes, are the most necessary and
important. Other materials can not be manufactured without their aid.
Almost every particular of modern life would be changed if we no longer
had plenty of fuel. Its use means its immediate and complete
destruction, which is true of no other resource, and the use of fuels is
increasing and will increase so rapidly that their conservation is
becoming a serious problem.

The principal fuels are coal, gas, oil, peat, alcohol, and wood, and of
these, coal is at present by far the most important. The first record of
coal mined in this country was in 1814, when twenty-two tons of
anthracite, or hard coal, were mined in Pennsylvania. An increasing
amount was mined each year, but until 1821 the production was less than
five hundred tons per year. In 1822 the production advanced to nearly
60,000 tons, and since that time has increased by leaps and bounds.

During the seventy-five years from 1820 to 1895, nearly 4,000,000,000
tons were mined by methods so wasteful that 6,000,000,000 tons were
destroyed or allowed to remain in the ground so that it could never be
recovered. Within the next ten years as much was produced as in the
entire seventy-five preceding years, and in this period 3,000,000,000
tons were destroyed or left in the ground beyond the reach of future
use. Up to this time the actual amount of coal used has been over
7,500,000,000 tons; the waste 9,000,000,000 tons.

Experts estimate that in the beginning there were somewhere about
2,000,000,000,000 tons of available coal, so that we have now, with all
our wastefulness, used less than two per cent. of our original
inheritance. But we must remember that in the ten years closing with
1905, we used as much as during the entire history of our country up to
that time, and the rate of consumption is still increasing. In 1907 the
amount mined was about 450,000,000 tons. Counting on a continuance of
the same rate of increase, in 1917 it will be 900,000,000 tons a year,
and if the same conditions should continue for twenty years we should be
using and wasting in one year as much as we have used in all our history
up to the present time. By that time more than one-eighth of our
original supply will be gone, and in less than two hundred years nearly
all of it will have for ever disappeared.

That is a long time to look forward, but a short time in looking
backward. It carries us back only to the childhood of Benjamin Franklin
and others prominent in our early history; and if this nation could look
forward to only an equal period of prosperous development in the future
the time would seem short indeed.

But the danger of our coal supply becoming exhausted lies not so much in
its present use as in the rapid increase in its consumption. Fifty years
ago (about the time of the Civil War) we were using an amount equal to a
little more than a quarter of a ton for every man, woman and child then
in the country. Now the rate is five tons, or twenty times that amount,
for each person of all our greatly increased population.

The Pittsburg Coal Company owns about one-seventh of the great
Pennsylvania anthracite fields. From the amount it is now mining each
year and judging from the amount of coal it is able, with present
methods, to reclaim from an acre of coal land, the estimate is made that
this Pittsburg field will be exhausted in ninety-three years. A like
comparison of all the eastern fields indicates that by the beginning of
the next century there will be practically no cheap fuel left in the
entire Appalachian basin.

The Geological Survey reports that, taking into account the available
coal which can be reached and mined by present methods, and supposing
the present conditions of use, waste, and increase to continue, the coal
supply will be exhausted by the year 2015 A. D., but taking into account
the probable improvements in its use, the year 2027 A. D. is estimated
as the time when the present coal fields will be exhausted, and the
middle of that century as the time when all coal fields in the United
States will be gone.

This true story well illustrates the need of conservation and the folly
of careless waste. High in the hills of the Pittsburg region a thick
bed of excellent coal was found by the early settlers. It was impossible
for them to build roads up the steep cliffs, so some method of getting
the coal down to the valleys had to be devised. Buffaloes roamed the
western plains in countless millions, and were so abundant about
Pittsburg that the supply seemed inexhaustible. So the pioneers killed
the buffaloes, filled each skin with a few bushels of coal, sewed it up,
and tumbled it down the mountain side.

This was the way they marketed their coal--by destroying their
buffaloes. For many years no one dreamed that there was any end to the
supply of buffaloes. And so both east and west they were killed for
their skins, which sold for a few cents, for their horns, for a supply
of steak, or for mere sport; and then one day people woke up to find
that the buffalo had disappeared, not in one settlement only, as they
had supposed, but everywhere. There are a few remaining, carefully cared
for by the government. They are among our most valued possessions, and
yet only a few years ago they were destroyed, wasted, by millions.

This passing of the buffalo, the skins of which, as common then as
burlap bags are now, were used to market our first coal, carries with it
a deep lesson as to what will happen to the coal itself, even within
the present century, unless our people awake to the consequence of what
they are doing and make a determined effort to stop all unnecessary

Let us see where and how these wastes occur. The first serious loss of
our coal occurs at the mines. There are three great wastes in mining.

(1) A coal bed is not made up entirely of pure coal, especially if it be
very thick. Sometimes there are layers of shale or clay, which makes a
large amount of ash. This can never be sold as regular marketable coal;
but it is rich in carbon, and much of it might be used if it could be
marketed near the mines and sold as low-grade coal. In the past there
has been almost no market for it, and if it were either in the roof or
bottom of the coal bed, it has been left unmined. If mixed with pure
coal, the low-grade coal was thrown into great heaps at the mouth of the
mine. This refuse coal is called culm. The amount varies from one-tenth
to one-half of the coal in nearly every coal bed, and would probably
average one-fourth in all the mines of the country.

This material is rich in carbon, and when used in gas-engines will
furnish more power than the best Pocahontas coal when steam-engines are
used. Thus one-fourth of all our coal is wasted at the mines simply
because steam-engines instead of gas-producer engines have been
employed. If in the future installation of power this fact is taken into
consideration, it will make the cost less to the user, and at the same
time utilize a large proportion of our impure coal and save the higher
grades for other purposes.

(2) In the mining of coal it was formerly the unfailing custom to leave
supporting pillars of coal for the over-lying rocks to rest upon, to
make suitable working-rooms, etc. These pillars, twelve to eighteen
inches square, and higher than a man's head, are scattered throughout
the entire mines and are usually of the highest grade coal. In many
mines, also, a roof of coal a foot or more in thickness must be left
because the material above the coal is not solid enough to prevent
cave-ins. When the mine is abandoned and closed these pillars and
roofings remain untouched, because removing them constitutes one of the
greatest dangers to life, and is one of the frequent causes of mine
accidents. It is improbable that the coal thus left in abandoned mines
will ever be reclaimed, because not enough is left to make it profitable
at present prices to re-open the mines; and frequently the rocks cave in
about these pillars and make the task almost impossible.

(3) By careless blasting an unnecessarily large amount of coal is blown
into powder,--the slack which has not been marketed at all until within
the last few years. Much of this slack, which is the best grade of coal
in a pulverized form, is left inside the mines. These wastes in
abandoned roofing, pillars, and small-sized coal, together make a total
which for all the mines in the country will average fully one-fourth
more of the coal that is in the ground.

It is to be noted, however, that conditions are changing for the better.
The most modern mines use fewer supporting pillars of coal, and these
are of larger size, so that there is less danger of accidents. Wherever
possible they use timbers of wood instead of these smaller pillars of
coal. They also mine as near the top of the seam of coal as can be done
safely, and so regulate the blasting that much less slack is made than
by the heavy discharges. These changes in mining methods save a far
larger proportion of coal, and also prevent many accidents, which are
the most unfortunate feature of coal mining, and the one which should
receive most careful consideration. (See chapter on Health.)

One large mining company in Kentucky raises its own timbers by planting
trees in straight, close rows on its coal land, thus making the land
produce its own mine timbers to conserve the coal below. This company
claims to have lost but one life in ten years, and to save seventy-five
per cent. of its coal. This is a striking illustration of what better
mining methods will do for both the miner and the mine owner and of how
forestry may be an aid to the conservation of coal and also of human
life in the mines.

We have already shown how half of the coal is wasted, but there still
remains another source of waste at the mines. This is a large but
unknown quantity. Coal usually exists in beds or layers with shale or
rock between, much as a "layer-cake" is made, the layers of cake being
represented by the coal and the icing between by these "rock-partings,"
as they are called. In rich fields, there are from three to ten of these
rich layers or beds of coal, one above another. It often happens that
the thickest and best layer is the lowest, and when this is the case, it
is usually mined first, regardless of the fact that some, and possibly
all, of the higher beds are dislocated and broken or filled with deadly
gases. Nearly all this loss could be avoided by simply mining the upper
stratum first.

So much for waste at the mines. This is serious enough if it were all,
but it is not all, it is only the beginning. Let us see now what becomes
of the coal that is marketed. The railroads are the largest single users
of coal, and here we are confronted with the surprising statement that
our locomotives consume three tons of coal in doing the same work that
is performed by English locomotives with one ton. This difference is
said to be due to different construction of the engines themselves, and
to more careful stoking, or firing. Our locomotives use 100,000,000 tons
per year, and by even the best methods known a large proportion of the
heat units is wasted. Great effort should be made to improve the
locomotives so that they will consume less coal; but as long as the
railroad companies own the coal mines, as they do in many instances,
they can obtain coal so cheaply that the cost of the improved form of
engine is greater than the amount saved.

Another great use lies in the manufacture of coke, which is used in the
making of steel, and here, too, we see where great wastes have existed.
The old form of coke-oven was called the bee-hive on account of its
shape. These old style ovens consume all the coal with the exception of
the fixed carbon which is left behind as coke. At the prices which
prevailed in 1907, the value of the by-products wasted in bee-hive
coke-ovens was a little over $55,000,000--surely a loss worth
considering. A different form of coke-ovens is much used abroad and is
coming into use in this country. This is the retort or by-product oven,
sometimes called the recovery oven.

The bee-hive ovens are usually located near the mines where the cost of
coal is low, with small expense for transporting it. On the other hand,
the by-product ovens are established near the larger cities in order to
dispose of their gas and other by-products. Here the cost of
transportation must be added to that of the coal, but the products are
marketed near by instead of at a distance, as in the case of the
bee-hive ovens. The most improved by-product ovens produce not only coke
and gas, but coal-tar, pitch, ammonia, and creosoting oils, all
extremely valuable and adding greatly to the value of the output of the

Electricity is another form of light and power which involves a large
waste of the energy of coal; only one-fifth of one per cent., that is,
one-five hundredth of the value of the coal is used in electricity, and
there is at present no known remedy for this.

There are methods, however, of lessening even this waste, and these are
constantly receiving more attention. One is for the electric plants
located in cities to sell their exhaust steam or water heated by the
coal as it is converted into electric power, as a by-product. The
electric power-house thus becomes a central heating plant to supply
stores, offices, and residences. Another system being tried abroad,
though scarcely past the experimental stage in this country, establishes
great electric power-houses at the coal mines to use the culm,
low-grade slack, and lignites, the lowest form of coal, in short, all
the waste of the mines. Still another plan is the manufacturing of
electricity by water-power, as we have seen in a previous chapter.

The manufacturing industries of the country waste a large amount of fuel
annually, but here the waste is mostly due to expensive methods of
producing power, and to careless stoking, and is largely preventable. As
we have shown, gas-engines are a far more economical form of producing
power than are steam-engines. Steam uses from five to ten per cent. of
the heat-units of coal, gas-producer engines use fifty per cent. and
burn a lower grade of coal.

One of the great problems of cities is the heavy volume of bituminous or
soft coal smoke that hangs over the entire surrounding region, levying a
heavy tax in cleaning and laundry work, making the air difficult to
breathe, and shutting out the daylight itself. Every residence adds its
mite, but the factories and public buildings are the worst offenders.
There are several good smoke-consuming devices on the market that have
been thoroughly tested by the government, which will furnish their names
on application.

If factory owners who use steam power could realize that the gases, the
highest heat-producing part of the coal, escape with the smoke, and
that by using smoke consumers they not only prevent all the evils of
the smoke nuisance but save fully half of the value of their coal, they
would gladly put in this equipment. What manufacturer would not eagerly
welcome any device that would cut his fuel bills in half?

The other cause of waste of coal in the manufacturing industries is
recklessness in the use of fuel, filling the furnaces with the drafts so
disposed that much of the heat is wasted. Every factory owner should
learn (from the government reports if he has no other means of learning)
the best methods of firing furnaces, and should employ them in his

The last great waste of coal is in households. In stoves and furnaces,
and to a certain extent in kitchen ranges, this waste is through
carelessness in firing, as it is in factories. There still remains a
large amount of wasted energy in cooking that is unavoidable. The amount
of coal consumed before certain articles can be cooked, the heat
remaining after the meal is prepared, are wastes that it seems
impossible to prevent, though wise management will prevent undue waste
even here. Fireless cookers, an invention of recent years, go far toward
solving the problem of waste by long hours of cooking single articles,
and each year we see more prepared food bought in order to save the
cost of heat. Housekeepers find that it does not pay to bake their bread
themselves, since a dozen loaves can be baked in a large oven with the
fuel used in baking one at home.

Briquettes are a new form of fuel made from coal, principally for
household use. They are made from the low-grade coals, culm, slack and
lignites, blended with coal-tar pitch. They are commonly used not only
in households, but for locomotives and ships, in several European
countries, especially Germany; but in this country the cost of making
them--about a dollar per ton--makes the retail price higher than the
cheaper grades of coal, and their general introduction at the price of
the higher grades is rather slow.

Let it always be kept in mind that we must not check the careful use,
only the waste, and the best way to avoid an unnecessary drain on the
coal and at the same time increase our manufactures is to substitute
other power. Coal is only a form of energy that came originally from the
sun. The same causes that produced coal still exist. Scientists tell us
that coal is still being made, but it will take thousands of years to
perfect it. If we could only learn to take the sun's heat directly and
use it for our heat, light, and power, it would be one of the greatest
discoveries in the history of the world, greater even than the discovery
of electricity.

Many attempts have been made to produce power directly from the sun
through solar engines, or by concentrating it in furnaces. At the St.
Louis Exposition a few years ago, a Portuguese priest exhibited a solar
engine called a heliophore, in which, by means of the sun's rays, the
temperature was raised to 6000 degrees F., and a cube of iron placed in
it melted like a snowball. The sun helps to raise the tides and some day
they may be used to produce power. Many experiments are being made with
both solar and tidal energy, some of them successful in a small way, but
nothing that is ready to stand the test of every-day use has been

Doctor Pritchell says that on a clear day when the sun is high, it
delivers upon each acre of the earth's surface exposed to its rays, the
equal of 7,500 horse-power working continually. If the extra energy not
needed for the growth of plants and animals could be used, all the work
of the world could be done and the problem of fuel supply would be
solved for ever.

But the greatest conservation of coal possible at present lies in the
use of the water-power which now goes to waste, and which, if employed,
would, as we have seen, give us 30,000,000 horse-power, or more than all
that is now produced from fuel by all our engines combined.

Alabama offers a striking illustration of this failure to take advantage
of our opportunities, for Alabama has both coal and water-power.
Engineers estimate that the three principal rivers have power equal to
436,000 horse-power. At Muscle Shoals, on the Tennessee River, there is
now developed 188,000 horse-power, second only to Niagara--and if the
waters were conserved, the figures would reach 1,084,000 horse-power on
the three rivers. This means that, according to the amount of coal
required to produce each horse-power of energy, it would require
11,201,000 tons of coal each year to produce by steam as much power as
these streams might easily be made to produce.

Alabama, as we have said, is also a great coal state. It is now mining
about 14,000,000 tons per year and only four states produce a larger
amount. It will be seen that four tons out of five mined in this state
will be needed to produce by steam the power that is going to waste in
its rivers. The Honorable W. P. Lay, of the Alabama Conservation
Commission, in calling attention to this fact, says:

"Suppose for a moment that the coal fields of Alabama were sliding down
an incline and pouring off over a precipice at the rate of 11,201,000
tons per year, how long would it take the people of the United States
to do something to try to stop such a waste? Yet what else are we doing
when we sit idly by and let the water of these streams go to waste over
a precipice while we ourselves burn up the coal?"

And what is true in Alabama is true to a lesser extent in most of the
states. Wherever water-power is going to waste, coal is being used to
take its place, and that coal is needed in some place where there is no

On a certain stream in one of the central states was a fine waterfall.
The early settlers built a mill there. The water turned the mill-wheel
and then passed on to water the valley and turn other mill-wheels. But
one night the old mill was destroyed by fire. It was not rebuilt, but
some distance from the stream a new steam mill was built, the motive
power of which was natural gas. When, after a few years, the natural gas
was all gone, the miller began to use coal, and he still uses
coal--hundreds of tons of it--while the water which once turned the
wheels, runs idly over the falls. This is an example of wholly useless
waste of coal, and just such waste is to be found in hundreds of places
in our country.

If wise mining methods be put into operation, if proper care be taken in
its use, particularly in manufacturing, if the low-grade coals be
utilized, and if other power be substituted wherever practicable, there
need be no question of shortage. There is enough coal in the ground, if
used rightly, to last for ages to come. But because we have wasted vast
quantities of it in the past, and are still wasting it, so that if the
same conditions continue we can distinctly see the end in sight, it is
important that every one understands what these conditions of use and
waste are, and how the abuse may be corrected, so that mine owners and
consumers may all work together to preserve this most necessary


Coal is King. Hewette.

Economical Burning of Coal Without Smoke. Bement.

Coal and Coal Mines. H. Green.

International Library of Technology. Vols. 37 and 38.

Reports of Geological Survey.

Report National Conservation Commission.

Conservation of Mineral Resources. (U. S. Report.)

Production of Coals in the U. S. in 1908. Advance chapters available.




Wood, which was formerly the only fuel used in this country, has now
largely given place to other fuels. In rural districts and in lumber
regions it is still used extensively; but in the cities, larger towns,
and manufacturing regions, it is not used in commercial quantities. Its
use for power production is limited to the wood-working factories which
have a large amount of waste lumber and which employ this by-product to
furnish heat for steam boilers.

The wood used for fuel or for power usually represents what would
otherwise be lost, the dead trees and the unmarketable timber of the
farmer's wood-lot, the refuse of lumber regions or the waste of
wood-working factories. So that the use of wood as fuel now generally
means the conservation of our coal supply, and a use for the low-grade
parts of the forest.

In some cases, however, farmers cut for fuel fine young trees that
would grow into excellent timber. Liberal planting of trees so that wood
shall become plentiful in all parts of the country will tend to bring
about again a larger use of wood as fuel, which will thus once more
become a factor in the saving of our coal. Every farmer should learn to
save all valuable trees for lumber, and to use only undesirable ones for


Peat is said by geologists to be only "coal in the making," carbon that
is in the state of changing from vegetable matter to coal. It is
probable that in the course of centuries this would become coal, and in
its present state it has many of the properties of coal, though it has
not nearly so high a heating value.

In this country we have had such a wealth of fuel resources--coal, wood,
oil, and gas--that up to the present time we have done little to develop
our peat beds, although in European countries ten million tons are used
annually for fuel, as well as large quantities for other purposes. From
the earliest times peat has been the principal fuel of the common people
of Ireland and some of the countries of northern Europe.

Now, however, people are trying to make the best of many resources not
heretofore developed, coal prices are steadily advancing and the two
causes combine to turn people's attention to the peat beds of America.
One point that is worthy of notice is that peat is found mostly in
regions where there is no coal, oil, or natural gas. The development of
peat beds in those regions, it will be seen, would give them a great
advantage in the matter of cheap fuel.

Large peat beds are found in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York,
New England, New Jersey, Florida, the Dakotas, northern Iowa, Illinois,
Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, eastern Virginia, the Carolinas and
Georgia; and near the coast in the gulf states, and a narrow strip along
the Pacific coast, from southern California to the Canadian border. They
cover an area of about 11,000 square miles and are supposed to contain
not less than 14,000,000,000 tons of air-dried peat. At the rate of
three dollars per ton, which is a reasonable price in the states having
no coal, this peat would have a value of more than $40,000,000,000.

Peat is prepared for use as common fuel in two ways: (1) By cutting it
into blocks or bricks, which are air-dried by exposure to sun and wind
for a few weeks. This is called "cut peat," is bulky and easily
breakable, and can be used only for local consumption. (2) By digging
either by hand or machine, and grinding it in a mill. It is put in wet,
ground, cut with rapidly turning knives, and passed out of the machine
as a thick pulp that is cut into bricks as it comes out. It is then
stored several weeks until thoroughly dried. This is called "machine
peat," "pressed peat," or "condensed peat."

Peat is being used in many ways. (1) Air-dried peat is used for fuel
only. (2) Dry peat without a binder, or mixed with coal dust and tar or
pitch is used for the same purpose. (3) Machine peat is used for many
purposes, among them making into briquettes, peat charcoal, and peat

It has been found practical to make illuminating gas of peat, but a far
more general use is for running gas-engines and producer-gas furnaces.
This is a practical use for it, since it will conserve the coal now used
for that purpose, furnish satisfactory power without smoke or dirt,
provide cheap power in regions that have no coal mines, and lastly may
be made to yield valuable by-products: ammonia, acetic acid, paraffin,
tar, creosote, and wood-alcohol. If all the peat in the United States
could be used in producer-gas engines the ammonia yielded would alone
have a value of $36,000,000,000.

Peat is also used for packing material, as a fertilizer, for
manufacturing paper, for coarse cloth and mattress filling. By mixing
wet machine peat with cement it may be made into blocks for paving and
other construction work. The most promising uses are for fuel, as
bedding for stock, as a disinfectant, in briquettes for burning lime,
brick, and pottery, in which it is finding a large use, and for which it
is said to be particularly well fitted; and most satisfactory of all,
its use in gas-producer engines. In Florida an immense plant is being
built to manufacture electric power, using air-dried peat as fuel, the
power to be transmitted to Jacksonville.

Machine peat is supposed to have sixty-five per cent. the value of the
same weight of Pocahontas coal, but on account of the lack of waste in
peat its real value is higher than would appear from the comparison.
From two to two and a half pounds will produce one horse-power per hour
in gas-producer engines. By this estimate, we can see that the peat beds
of this country, if properly used, may be largely employed, either now
or in the future, as a substitute for the vanishing coal.


Of all the fuels, natural gas may be said to be the ideal one. Coming
from the ground, it is piped a greater or less distance and distributed
to the home or factory for light, heat, or power; for all of which it is
equally desirable. It is ready for our use at the turn of a key, is
absolutely clean, having neither dust, ash, nor unconsumed portions. It
requires no kindling other than a lighted match.

Natural gas is found over an area which, if combined, would cover almost
10,000 square miles. It exists in twenty-two states--Alabama,
California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana,
New York, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon,
Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia,
Wyoming. In some of them the area has been large and the production very
heavy, in others the field is small and unproductive. Until the last two
or three years there have been no statistics as to the quantity of gas
piped, but an account of its value has been kept for many years. For the
twenty years beginning with 1888 the value is given at nearly

It must be remembered that much of this represents extremely low prices,
only the amount actually paid for its use. When gas is newly discovered
in a region it is not considered an opportunity for the residents of the
community to have cheap light, power and fuel for themselves, but
instead as an opportunity to develop the country, to increase the
population and attract new factories. In order to advertise and boom
their communities free gas is usually offered to factories. So in
dozens of instances large factories have been operated for years without
a cent having been paid for fuel. For this reason no proper estimate can
be made of the quantity of gas consumed, nor of its value even at a
nominal price. In 1907, (the last year for which complete returns have
been published in government reports) the amount of gas consumed was
given at 404,000,000 cubic feet, which at present prices is valued at

It is impossible to determine in any way the future production of
natural gas, or to guess at the quantity remaining in the earth. It may
be much less or much more than present conditions would indicate; but
the present known fields are limited, and the pressure is growing
steadily less in all of them.

The Conservation Commission reports, "It is safe to predict that the
known fields will be exhausted in twenty-five years." The decrease of
natural gas is strikingly illustrated in Indiana. This state, perhaps
more than any other, profited directly by the discovery of its natural
gas about twenty years ago. Here, the mineral maps show, is by far the
greatest natural gas region in the United States. With the discovery of
natural gas, established towns grew to ten times their former size and
new ones sprang up everywhere. Indiana, which had been chiefly an
agricultural state, bade fair to become one of the foremost
manufacturing states on account of its cheap and abundant fuel. In 1902
Indiana produced nearly $8,000,000 worth of natural gas, but for 1908
the State Geologist's report contained no figures for this product. It
had ceased to be a prominent factor in the wealth of the state! There is
no resource that has been so shamefully, so hopelessly wasted as our
natural gas.

With even more recklessness than characterizes the waste of our forests
and our coal, we have allowed this perfect fuel to escape. To the
dwellers in each region where natural gas is found, it seems that the
supply is inexhaustible. The roar of the wells, which makes the very
earth tremble; the flames springing high into the air; the undiminished
pressure after months of use, appearing to indicate a boundless
reservoir below; the opportunity for whole communities to grow rich by
its use; all these things tend to promote recklessness on the part of
all who handle it. In the beginning the wells are usually not tightly
cased, and there is a considerable quantity of gas escaping about every
well. New wells are frequently lighted to show the volume of gas. In
some cases the well has become uncapped on account of heavy pressure and
to prevent the escape of unconsumed gas into the air it is kept burning
night and day. The strongest wells are often kept burning for months in
order to advertise a new gas field. In this way immense quantities of
the most perfect fuel in the world have been wantonly wasted. From a
single well in eastern Kentucky there flowed a steady stream of gas for
twenty years which at present prices would be worth $3,000,000, and the
same story of waste from burning wells comes from every natural gas

In a new region where gas is abundant there is also a great waste from
leaking pipe lines laid on the surface of the ground, from open
flambeaux, and from careless home and factory consumption. In many
communities the open flambeaux have been employed to light the streets,
and allowed to burn day and night to avoid the expense of a man to care
for them. Where natural gas is abundant, meters are not usually
installed; instead, gas is sold by the month. The consumer is under no
obligation to save the gas, in fact, he usually acts on the common
American principle of wanting to get all he can for the money and so
burns his open tip lights, and open burner stoves day and night. The
factories waste in the same way, using open furnaces which are never
banked during the season because it is easier and costs no more.

This, it seems, should be the whole history of natural gas waste, but
the greatest source of loss still remains to be spoken of. In every gas
region of any importance oil is found sooner or later, usually after the
heaviest gas pressure has been exhausted; and the oil driller is the
greatest of all foes to the life of a natural gas region. He finds that
the gas interferes with the flow of oil, spraying it into the air and
causing loss, and that the danger of fire is much increased by its
presence. This frequently causes explosions, tearing out the side of the
well or blowing out the casing, and making the oil-well useless. The
surplus gas is usually piped to one side out of the reach of danger, and
then burned to get rid of it. Drillers often try to force the gas out in
the hope that it will be followed by a rush of oil.

This is the heaviest drain on the gas. In the Caddo field in Louisiana
alone the loss is seventy million cubic feet per day, enough to light
ten cities the size of Washington, D. C., and equal to ten thousand
barrels of petroleum per day. In Indiana a few years ago fourteen wells,
all within a space of a few acres in extent, were burned by oil drillers
continuously for six months, the light being visible twenty miles away.

Greater care in the management of the wells and slight additional
expense for casing are all that is required to stop the waste of gas
from oil wells and heavy pressure gas wells.

All of these wastes taken together constitute a fearful loss. In 1907,
more than 400,000,000 cubic feet were used and an almost equal number
wasted. In other words, the daily waste is over a billion cubic feet, or
enough to supply every city in the United States of over one hundred
thousand population.

The heating value of a billion feet of gas is equal to a million bushels
of coal. If some great conflagration were sweeping away our coal fields
steadily every day in the year, and destroying our best coal at the rate
of a million bushels per day, how quickly we should all arise to aid in
checking it! And yet this imaginary case is actually true in regard to
the best fuel in this country, which is burning uselessly an equal value
in coal, and our coal must some day be used to supply the loss.

We are apt to ignore the greatness of this loss because the gas escapes
into the air and we can not see it, or it burns and we see only its
effect, not the loss of fuel, but if we could see it in the form of oil
we should find that a billion feet of gas is equal to more than a
hundred and sixty thousand barrels of petroleum. Think of it, the
equivalent of one hundred and sixty thousand barrels of oil, for which
no price is paid and of which no use is made, for ever destroyed every
day in every year! Would the oil companies permit it? Would we not all
assist them in saving their property from destruction, and shall we not
ask of them equal help in saving the fuel that in turn conserves our
coal supply? Little objection can be made to the present method of using
gas in the older regions. The waste in domestic use is comparatively
small. Much is used for lighting with incandescent burners, and asbestos
grates and gas ranges have replaced the open-burner stoves and grates.
These are all efficient methods of use, and but little could be done in
the way of further conservation. In factories the gas-engine is in many
instances replacing the open furnace, which requires many times as much
gas to produce an equal amount of power. They should be used in every
factory, and gas companies should also require the use of the best
devices for saving gas in places where meters are not used.

Until last year but one state--Indiana--had an effective law preventing
the waste of natural gas by oil companies. This law says in substance
that a man can not take the oil from the ground where nature has safely
stored it, unless he also provide a market for the gas which accompanies
it. It also says that neither the producer nor the consumer shall be
allowed to waste this valuable fuel, as such waste is against public

Mr. I. C. White, of West Virginia, in discussing this question at the
Conservation Congress said, "This Indiana statute should be enacted into
law in every state where these fuels exist." Since that time
Pennsylvania and Ohio have passed laws, which are said to be effective,
for the conservation of natural gas.

Much has been accomplished by gas companies, who, since they became
alive to the danger of loss of their investment, have been extremely
watchful of their property. In West Virginia the gas companies buy the
gas which has been obtained in the drilling of oil wells, thus providing
a market for the waste gas and making it possible to continue the oil
business and at the same time to furnish cheap gas.

Another hopeful sign is the pumping of all of the product of a well.
Formerly as soon as a well dropped greatly in production it was
abandoned, but now it is pumped until dry.

One method by which the gas from oil wells may be utilized consists in
compressing it in steel cylinders for shipping. This in a small way has
been found to be successful.

Experiments are being tried on a large scale in Ohio to prove that gas
may be returned to reservoirs within the earth which are tight enough to
hold it under heavy pressure.

Fuel gas made from low-grade coal is a satisfactory substitute for
natural gas. Like the natural product it may be piped for long
distances. Some natural gas companies have bought up the culm banks and
heaps of refuse coal, so that if the natural gas becomes exhausted they
can manufacture cheap gas at the mines and pipe it to the cities they
now serve.


Petroleum, or rock oil, is a dark greenish brown liquid which when
refined yields gasolene, naphtha, benzine, kerosene, lubricating oils,
and paraffin. The name petroleum applies only to the crude petroleum as
it comes from the ground, and the word oil is applied to the products
obtained by refining.

The early history of the petroleum industry in this country is
interesting as showing what great results spring from small beginnings.
From salt wells in Pennsylvania there was an occasional flow of
petroleum, but it had had no commercial value. Samuel Kier, of
Pittsburg, had salt wells at Tarantum from which he had accumulated so
much petroleum (fifty barrels) that he decided to try to dispose of it,
but there was no market. No one knew what to do with it. He then partly
refined it, making a poor quality of kerosene, and introduced a lamp
with a chimney. This proved so popular that A. C. Ferris, also of
Pittsburg, undertook to sell this in other cities, and these two men
not only sold the fifty barrels and the other petroleum that accumulated
from the salt wells, but they had created such a demand for the new
light that they could not supply enough oil, and in 1859 Colonel Drake
drilled at Titusville the first well solely for petroleum. In the
half-century since that time nearly two billion barrels, or almost two
hundred and fifty million tons, worth one and three-quarter billion
dollars, have been produced.

Petroleum is now mined, or drilled, in many countries besides the United
States, but the United States furnishes sixty-three barrels out of every
hundred produced in the world. Russia produces twenty-one barrels,
Austria four, and the East Indies three barrels, Roumania two, India and
Mexico one each, Canada, Japan, Germany, Peru, and Italy each less than
one barrel; so we can see that the United States is the one great
producer of petroleum, and that it is to this country that we must look
for the principal world supply for the present, and as far as known, for
the future. Let us see, then, what we may expect the United States to do
to supply this demand.

The known petroleum lands cover an area of about 8,500 square miles and
are in six large fields and several smaller ones. The largest and best
is the Appalachian, of which the best known is the Pennsylvania field.
It has a grade of petroleum that differs from any other thus far found
in the world. It is most easily converted into kerosene or lamp oil, and
contains a larger proportion of such oil. It is the finest petroleum in
the world, except that found in Indiana and Ohio, and that costs more to

The Appalachian field includes, besides Pennsylvania, western New York,
West Virginia, a narrow strip in eastern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
These southern oils are of a much lower grade, but are better than the
Russian or other foreign oils.

The next great field is called the Lima-Indiana, and covers a
considerable portion of northwestern Ohio and eastern Indiana. This
petroleum contains less gasolene and less lamp oils, and more sulphur,
which makes refining difficult. The Illinois field lies next. Here, in a
strip about thirty miles long and six miles wide on an average, an
enormous quantity of petroleum is produced. This oil is slightly lower
in quality and contains considerable asphalt.

The mid-continent field lies in Kansas and Oklahoma. This petroleum also
contains asphalt and other chemical products. Such immense amounts are
produced here that it has not been possible to care for all of it,
either in the matter of storage tanks or cars for transporting it, and
as a result large amounts have been wasted. In Oklahoma within a space
of less than two square miles one million barrels of forty-two gallons
each of petroleum were wasted in the year 1906.

The Gulf field lying in Texas and Louisiana has been developed entirely
since 1901. The first well was drilled near Beaumont, Texas, as an
experiment to determine whether oil could be found. Small storage tanks
were provided and it was hoped to find oil enough to make drilling
profitable. The well proved to be a "gusher" of such magnitude that
before sufficient tanks could be provided, or the flow checked, more
than half a million barrels were wasted on the ground.

The Gulf petroleum contains a large amount of asphalt and a small amount
of gasolene and lamp oil. It has been used principally for burning as
crude oil in locomotives and has sold as low as ten cents per barrel;
but lately methods of refining have been perfected which produce good
lubricating oil and a gasolene of high value from these low-grade oils.

The last great field is found in California. The oil is similar to the
Gulf oil, and investigation has shown that the quantity is greater in
this field than in any other. It is used largely for fuel and power on
account of lack of other fuels in that region.

In addition to these fields there are small ones in Colorado and
Wyoming, and promises of fields in New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Montana,
Oregon and Washington.

Estimates of the amounts of petroleum yielded are made by computing the
amount usually produced per acre, which varies from eight hundred
barrels produced in Pennsylvania, to eight thousand barrels per acre
produced in Illinois. In most of the fields it is about a thousand
barrels per acre. Even then the amount is extremely difficult to
estimate. The Geological Survey concludes that the lowest probable
calculation of the entire amount stored in the rocks of the United
States is ten billion, and the highest a little less than twenty-five
billion barrels. The last report officially published shows that we are
producing one hundred and seventy million barrels per year. If the same
rate of production continues, we might expect our petroleum to last from
fifty-five to one hundred and thirty-five years, according to the amount
found; but tables of statistics show that throughout the life of the
petroleum industry, as much has been produced each nine years as the
entire product before that time. For example, up to the present, we have
produced one billion eight hundred million barrels and if the present
rate continues, in the next nine years alone we shall produce an equal
quantity again. The causes of such rapid growth are many. One is the
great increase in the use of some of the products, such as gasolene,
which has increased many fold since the automobile became popular.
Another, and the greatest cause, is the ease with which any quantity of
oil can be sold for cash at any time, and at prices much above the cost
of production.

Another reason is based upon the nature of the product. In pumping from
one well oil is apt to flow in from other leases, under other farms, and
exhaust them without the holders of those leases having received any
compensating benefit. It is therefore necessary for each lessee to get
his share before it flows away. Under these circumstances, it is
impossible to prevent an entire field from being drilled over very
rapidly, unless there is a combination of all the interests; or unless
the law limits the amount that each producer shall extract per acre
within a given time.

Pennsylvania and New York have declined to one-third their former value
and yet it is only seventeen years since they reached their highest
point. This would seem to indicate that the life of that field will not
exceed ten years. West Virginia is producing only a little more than
half its former yield and is rapidly declining. Ohio and Indiana are
declining more rapidly than Pennsylvania. Texas is also in the rapidly
declining class, and in Kansas the production is only a fraction of
what it was formerly. On the other hand, Illinois, Oklahoma, and
California can be expected to increase steadily for several years.

Taking into account all these factors, it is estimated that the entire
supply now known to exist would be exhausted before the middle of the
present century. It appears more probable, however, that increasing
prices long before that time will help to conserve the supply; and that
petroleum will be produced for a long time to come, though not in
sufficient quantities for industrial and general use.

The principal uses of petroleum are for burning as crude oil in furnaces
and under boilers, particularly in locomotives. The refined products
have various uses. Probably the most important is the lubricating oil.
This is necessary in the development of all kinds of power. At least
one-half pint of lubricating oil is used for every ton of coal consumed
for power. All engines, all street and steam railways, steamships,
sewing-machines, clocks, watches, and automobiles, in fact all operating
machinery requires its use; so that a large amount of oil must always be
conserved for lubricating purposes.

Coal oil, or kerosene, may be regarded as absolutely necessary for the
lighting of houses or other establishments not connected with gas or
electric supply.

Gasolene is sometimes used for lighting, though such use is not common.
It is largely used for cooking, and still more largely used in the
various types of gasolene engines.

Naphtha is used for power, especially for motor-boats, and for cleaning,
in which it is very valuable by reason of its power to dissolve dirt.

Paraffin is used in polishing, in laundry work, for waxing floors, and
as a covering to exclude air in preserving articles.

Waste has been markedly absent in the petroleum industry. It is
necessary that oil drilling outfits shall contain steel storage tanks
for holding the oil when it is reached. Usually the supply is large
enough, but sometimes, as in the case of the big well at Beaumont,
Texas, the oil gushes forth in such volume that the drillers are not
prepared to take care of the overflow, and much is wasted before the
well can be capped. In general there is no waste in storage in this
country. In European countries where there is oil, the loss through lack
of tanks and by using wooden tanks which leak, is very great.

Another form of waste which is common in foreign countries, but which
has been avoided in the United States, is evaporation of gasolene and
similar light products when the petroleum is exposed to the air in open
tanks. This is the most valuable part of petroleum, and if it be exposed
to the sun a single day it loses greatly in value.

The refining processes of the petroleum industry are probably carried
out with better system and less waste than in any other resource, owing
to the fact that the business is controlled by large companies. There is
no waste material in its manufacture, except some slight residue that
might be used for oiling roads, instead of using the crude oil. The
principal waste lies in its use. In view of the fact that the supply is
not unending, is, indeed, rapidly disappearing, the uses should be
confined only to the necessary lines for which there are no substitutes
at similar prices. These are for lubricating oils and for the lighting
of homes. The unnecessary uses are for burning in locomotives and for
the development of power.

Whenever new petroleum fields are opened up, there is a corresponding
drop in price. In order to dispose of it quickly such petroleum is
usually sold for the lowest grade uses, and the price for this crude
petroleum is not more than one hundredth as much as for high grade
petroleum products. The report of the National Conservation Commission
is so excellent that it is quoted almost word for word.

"At present more petroleum is being produced than is necessary for the
demands of the industry. Within ten years the present fields will be
unable profitably to produce enough for these requirements. The only
direction in which production can be checked is with the petroleum
contained in public lands.

"Offering such public lands for entry at a low price is nothing more
than temptation to the private citizen to waste petroleum by over
production, since lands yielding hundreds of dollars per acre in this
product can be obtained for a small sum. Every acre of public land,
believed to contain petroleum or natural gas, should be withdrawn from
public sale and leased under conditions that regulate production.

"Its use for power is justified on the Pacific coast, if used in
gas-producer engines."


As a substitute for other fuels, wood, or denaturated alcohol, will
probably come into greater use each year, and is regarded by many as the
great fuel of the future, because the materials of which it is made are
waste vegetable products and will always be plentiful.

It is made from cellulose, the woody part of plants, and may be
manufactured from sawdust when freshly cut from live trees, from small,
and refuse potatoes, from inferior grain that is not worth marketing,
and from low-grade fruits and vegetables of all kinds. It is even said
that the hundreds of acres of sage-brush in the West that have always
been considered worse than useless can be made into wood-alcohol and
thus become a valuable product.

It can be used for any purpose that gasolene can, although a different
style burner is required. It must be made much hotter before it is
changed into vapor, and on account of this it has been difficult to make
satisfactory burners for all the kinds of heating, lighting, and power
work; the machinery being far from perfect as yet. Wood-alcohol can not
yet be made cheaper than gasolene, and is not so easy to burn, so that
it is slow in reaching an important place in the industrial world; but
gas and gasolene prices will advance, and better methods of
manufacturing and burning alcohol will be found, and then we shall have
a fuel that can take the place of either coal or petroleum for lighting
or power.

It is thought that wood-alcohol will be of especial use to the farmer,
since he has so many waste vegetable products, has so much need of power
in small quantities and is far from the sources of public service
power, such as electric and gas plants. Alcohol-driven motors can be
used to take the place of the labor of both horses and men on the farm.
On level farms they can run the heavy machines, such as mowers, reapers,
and binders, plows and cultivators. On any farm they may be used to run
stationary engines, to chop and grind food for live stock, to pump
water, churn, run sewing-machines, operate fans, drive carriages and
wagons and do many other things.

Wood-alcohol produces ammonia as a by-product, is used in the
manufacture of dyes and coal-tar products, of smokeless powder, of
varnishes, and of imitation silks made from cotton.


Report National Conservation Commission.

Reports of Geological Survey.

Conservation of Ores and Related Minerals. (Carnegie.) Report Governor's

Conservation of Mineral Resources. (U. S. Government Report.)

Industrial Alcohol and Its Uses. W. H. Wiley. Bulletin, 269.

Production of Peat in the U. S. in 1908. U. S. Government Reports.

Production of Oil in the U. S. in 1908.

Production of Gas in the U. S. in 1908.

Waste of Our Fuel Resources. (White.) Report Governor's Conference.



We have already stated the importance of iron in our modern life. It can
not be overestimated. All the many articles of iron and steel, our
tools, our machinery, our vehicles, our bridges, our steel buildings,
and a thousand and one other things are dependent on our iron supply.

Of all the elements that make up the earth's surface only three are more
plentiful than iron, so that we might think that we should always have
an abundant supply of it; but when it occurs in small quantities, as is
usually the case, it can not of course be profitably mined. It is only
when enough of it is found together to permit it to be mined to
advantage that it is called iron ore.

Iron ore is found in only twenty-nine states of the Union, and eighty
per cent. of the present production is in two states, Minnesota and
Michigan. We can see that iron is very unevenly distributed, and it is
on a few regions that we must depend for all the future.

Before we can calculate how much iron we have we must understand that
it is not found in pure form, but mixed with various other substances:
clay, shale, slate, quartz, sulphur, phosphorus, etc. These must all be
removed, some by washing, but most of them by roasting, or "smelting,"
in blast furnaces, after which it is called pig iron. This of course
requires large quantities of fuel.

It is these things and also the position of the ore that must be taken
into consideration in estimating the amount of iron in the country. If
ore yields a large per cent. of iron in smelting, with a small amount of
waste, it is, of course, far more valuable than if the amount of iron in
every ton of material taken from the ground is small.

In all minerals, the relation of supply to price is marked. The cost of
labor and of power is exactly the same whether ore yields fifty-five
tons of pure iron to the hundred, or whether it yields only thirty tons,
but the price received is little more than half.

So if the price is low, it may cost more to mine and smelt the one
hundred tons of earth than will be paid for the thirty tons of iron that
the low-grade ore would yield. So the lands that produce only thirty
tons to the hundred will never be mined till the price of iron is so
high that it is above the cost of producing--that is, till it can be
worked at a profit.

The Lake Superior iron found in Minnesota is usually more than
fifty-five per cent. pure iron. That is, if a hundred tons of earth be
mined, more than fifty-five tons of pure iron would be obtained from it.
This is the highest grade of ore. Some ore is mined that yields only
forty tons or less. There are vast quantities, billions of tons, of iron
ore in the United States, that would yield less than thirty tons of iron
to the hundred. These low-grade ores and the ones known to lie so deep
in the earth that the cost of mining them is more than the finished
products of iron, are classed as "not available," that is, they can
never be profitably mined under present conditions. But we must remember
that as the higher grade ores are exhausted it will become necessary to
use the lower grades, and that prices will steadily advance as a result.

Iron is sometimes found almost directly under the ground, at other times
deep in the earth. That which is found just below the surface is, of
course, mined much more easily, more safely, more cheaply, and with far
less loss than that which requires deep mining. Such conditions are
found in the Lake Superior region, and there is almost no loss at all,
the low-grade ores being piled up at one side where they can be easily
reached in case of need.

On the other hand some iron mines now in operation are as much as two
thousand feet in depth. In these mines, as in coal mines, pillars are
left to support the rock above. A roof of the iron ore is often left
also. The low-grade ore is left in the ground and no effort is made to
preserve it for future use. These constitute the principal waste in iron

The pure iron of the ore is separated by washing out the clays and soft
elements, but the harder substances must be smelted by means of heat. In
the beginning this was done by charcoal, which is still used in Sweden.
The latest method is to employ electricity manufactured by water-power,
but most of the iron smelting in this country has been done by coal.
Every ton of iron smelted requires its portion of coal for firing. If
low-grade fuels in gas-producer engines, or water-power can be used it
will be a great aid in conserving coal.

If a limited supply of rather low-grade iron exists near a coal region,
it can often be mined profitably, when, if it be far from an abundant
fuel supply, it must be shipped to distant blast furnaces. The cost of
shipping causes ore containing a small percentage of iron to be classed
as "not available."

Sometimes a large company with many mines has several varieties of ore
of different strength and hardness. If these can be mixed to produce a
medium grade by adding a small amount of high-grade ore to a large
amount of lower grade, the value of the product will be doubled.

Sometimes, too, the by-products can be made extremely profitable by
manufacturing large amounts when the expense of undertaking the work is
too great to be attempted with a small amount. So if iron mines are
owned by a small company much ore may be classed as "not available" that
could be used by a large company. All these things must be considered in
estimating the iron resources.

The first smelting of iron ore in this country was done at Lynn,
Massachusetts, in 1645, using the low-grade bog-ores and smelting with
charcoal from the surrounding forest.

Now if we look over an iron map of the United States we shall find that
there are four hundred and eighty blast furnaces, but that only nine of
them are west of the Mississippi River and most of these are in
Missouri. The greatest of all the iron regions now lies in upper
Michigan and Minnesota. This furnishes eighty tons out of every one
hundred mined in the United States, but the smelting is done along the
southern shores of Lake Michigan. The reason for this is that the iron
region itself is far distant from a cheap fuel supply. Pittsburg,
Pennsylvania, has been the great iron city of the United States on
account of its nearness to great supplies of both coal and iron.
Birmingham, Alabama, is the heart of the great smelting region of the

The iron is divided into districts as follows:

(1) The Northeastern, comprising the states of Vermont, Massachusetts,
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio,
supplies a little more than five per cent. of the iron mined in the
United States.

(2) The Southeastern, containing Virginia, West Virginia, eastern
Kentucky, and Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama,
gives us twelve per cent. of our iron.

(3) The Lake Superior district, containing the northern parts of
Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, supplies more than eighty per cent.

(4) The Mississippi Valley district contains western Kentucky, and
Tennessee, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas. This region furnishes
less than half of one per cent. of the total supply.

(5) The Rocky Mountain district contains Montana, Idaho, Wyoming,
Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, western Texas, Washington,
Oregon and California; and all this great region now supplies but a
little more than one per cent.

The official report, which is as thorough as can be made but is
naturally subject to mistakes, gives the amount of available iron, that
is, that which can be mined under present conditions, as nearly five
billion tons.

Let us see how long this may be expected to supply the demand.

Before 1810 the amount of iron ore produced was so small as to be
scarcely worth considering. From 1810 to 1870 a little less than fifty
million tons were mined, from 1870 to 1889 nearly 154,000,000 tons, and
from 1889 to 1907, 475,000,000 tons, or altogether nearly 680,000,000
tons. The production has been found to double itself about every nine
years. In 1907 alone it was 52,000,000 tons or about one-thirteenth of
all that has been mined.

In 1880 we used 200 pounds of pig-iron for every man, woman, and child
in the country; in 1890, 320 pounds; in 1900, 390 pounds, and in 1907,
696 pounds. According to the rule of increase, by 1916 we shall be using
104,000,000 tons a year; by 1925, 208,000,000, and by 1934, 416,000,000
tons, and if the same rate of increase should continue, by 1940 we
should have required for our use in the meantime, six billion tons. But
we have less than five billion tons of what is now classed as available
ore, which means that before that time (when the school-boys of to-day
are business men) we should have exhausted all our good and cheap ore,
and be obliged to depend only on the low-grade ores, the cost of which
will be very great.

Unlike coal, the forests, and the soil, there is no great and entirely
useless waste of iron. But the uses of iron are so many and so varied,
and the supply of high-grade ores which can be cheaply mined is so small
in proportion to the needs of the future, that we should in all ways
lessen the drain on it by substituting other cheaper and more plentiful
materials when possible.

The chief use of iron is for the carrying of freight. Here are some
figures given by Mr. Carnegie. Moving one thousand tons of freight by
rail requires an eighty-ton locomotive and twenty-five twenty-ton steel
cars, or five hundred and eighty tons of iron and steel to draw it
over--say an average of ten miles of double track with switches, frogs,
spikes, etc., which will weigh more than four hundred tons. Thus we see
that to move a thousand tons of freight requires the use of an equal
weight of iron. The same freight may be moved by water by means of from
one hundred to two hundred and fifty tons of metal, so that if freight
were sent by water instead of by rail the amount of iron needed for this
service would be reduced at least three-fourths, the amount of coal
would be reduced not less than half, and at the same time the coal used
in extra smelting would be saved. No single step open to us to-day would
do more to check the drain on both iron and coal than the use of our
rivers for carrying heavy freight.

The next great use of iron is for buildings and bridges. The greatly
increasing use of cement and concrete is reducing this and will reduce
it still further. Cement is made from slag, or the refuse of iron
ore--the clays and shales--and the cost of this valuable product is
little more than the former cost of piling it away. By making the
useless slag into cement the cost of iron production is lowered and at
the same time the drain on the iron is lessened.

A large use of steel of the highest quality is for battleships, cannon,
and war supplies. If the great nations of the world would agree to
reduce their armament, one of the great drains on the world's iron,
coal, and wood supply would cease, and these materials be put to
improving the world.

The worst feature of it is that these war supplies are continually
changing. They must be of the latest pattern, or they are of small value
for fighting purposes. The construction of battleships differs greatly
year by year, and the older ships are discarded to make place for newer
and larger ones. It is said that our newest battleship alone could with
a few shots destroy all of Admiral Dewey's fleet. The following is from
a recent magazine article:

"It is admitted by naval officers that the ships of ten years ago are of
obsolete type and would be useless against the new vessels. It is
admitted that within ten years or less the new types will in turn become
obsolete, and will be useless against the type of vessel certain to be
evolved. That is, as soon as a vessel costing millions of dollars leaves
the docks, she enters into active competition for a place on the junk

The greatest improvement that can be imagined in the iron situation will
be in the discovery and use of alloys or mixtures of iron with other
materials. Steel, the strongest of all forms of iron, is an alloy of
iron and carbon, and for various purposes these are further mixed with
nickel and silicas. Many other alloys have been discovered within the
last few years, and each makes possible new uses for iron requiring
greater strength. One of the best of these is a mixture of iron and
silicon, called ferro-silicon. Silica is one of the cheapest and most
abundant materials of all the earth's products, so its combination with
iron will greatly lengthen the life of the iron supply; and it is
probable that in the future combinations of other materials will yield
better and cheaper metals than any thus far produced.

The amount of metal which can be reworked is constantly increasing. Most
of the iron factories remelt large quantities of old iron, to be used
with the new, and this will lessen each year the demand on the ores. It
is also possible that new deposits of iron ore will be found and these
will greatly increase the supply. But from the whole iron situation we
may draw the following conclusions:

First, the amount of iron remaining in the ground is very uncertain. It
may be more, or it may be less, than the present estimate.

Second, if the estimates are nearly correct, and if the present rate of
increase continues, all the high-grade ores will be exhausted by the
time the small boys of to-day are the business men of the nation.

Third, the best methods of reducing the drain on the supply are, (a) The
use of old iron as a mixture; (b) Carrying a part of the freight by
water to reduce the amount of iron required by the railroads; (c) The
larger use of concrete and cement to take the place of steel in
buildings; (d) Lessening the amount used for war; (e) The use of alloys.
This opens a large and promising field for invention. (f) More care in
preserving articles made of iron. This is a practical thing for every
person in our country to do. Every farm implement, or tool, that stands
out in the rain or is left without shelter during the winter, every
article carelessly lost or broken, has its part in making conditions
worse. All that are well cared for help to make the iron supply last a
little longer.


Iron and Steel at Home and Abroad. (Andrew Carnegie.)

Conservation of Ores and Related Minerals. (Carnegie.) Report Governor's

Report National Conservation Commission.

Reports Geological Survey.

Mineral Resources of the U. S. in 1908. Advance chapters available.




Iron, in its usefulness to man, stands in a class to itself; but there
are dozens of other minerals that have their part in the comfort and
convenience of our daily life. Most of these, however, are found in
comparatively small quantities and have few uses.

The minerals which are in constant use by nearly all people and that are
found abundantly in the United States, are gold, silver, copper, lead,
zinc, and the elements used in manufacturing building materials.

Gold is valuable chiefly because it has been made the standard of money
value of the world. Africa produces one-third of the world's supply,
next come the United States and Australia, producing almost equal
amounts, Russia and Canada each produce a limited amount, and various
other countries together produce about one-sixteenth of the whole. (In
the statements of the gold supply of the United States the territory of
Alaska is included.)

Gold is not found alone but contained in quartz rock or sand. The method
of taking gold from the rock is first by blasting, and afterward
grinding the rock in a stamp mill, which reduces it to powder, after
which the gold is separated by refining processes. The gold which occurs
in the sand, gravel, or clay soil, is washed out. When done on a small
scale this is called "panning." The larger operations of this kind are
called "placer" and "dredge" mining. There is also a considerable amount
of gold obtained as a by-product from copper mining.

Generally speaking, quartz mines are in the mountains and placer mines
in the river valleys. Placer mining by powerful water pressure, called
hydraulic mining, destroys the banks, and also fills up the river beds
with masses of rock and gravel. Some of the large rivers of California
have been made unfit for steamboat traffic, and serious damage has been
done to the harbor of San Francisco. For this reason hydraulic placer
mining has been stopped by law. This has greatly lessened the gold
production of California.

In 1907, the United States produced $94,000,000 worth of gold. Of this,
Colorado produced more than any other state. Next in their order come
Alaska, California and Nevada. Each produced from $15,000,000 to
$20,000,000 worth. Together they furnished nearly four-fifths of the
entire supply. The remaining one-fifth comes from Utah, South Dakota,
Montana, Arizona, Idaho, and Oregon, with very small amounts from the
southeastern states, the two Carolinas and Georgia, New Mexico,
Washington, and Wyoming. South Dakota has the most profitable single
gold mine in the United States. It has produced nearly $60,000,000 in
gold, and is now turning out about $5,000,000 worth a year.

The United States has many unworked gold mines, "gold reserves" they are
called, whose value can not in any way be exactly estimated. The value
of the placer mines can be better judged than that of the lode or quartz
mines. The placer mines are chiefly in Alaska and California. These
mines may yield gold to the amount of a billion dollars. There are
lesser, but important resources of placer gold in Montana, Idaho, and

The placer gold mined in 1907 was valued at $24,000,000, and it is
thought that about this quantity can be supplied for a long time.

The amount of gold yielded in the reduction of copper ores was about
$5,500,000. It is probable that this amount will be gradually increased,
and can be relied on to last many years. From the lead ores a little
over $2,000,000 worth of gold was taken. This will probably slowly
decrease for the next ten or twenty years. From gold and silver-bearing
quartz mines $55,000,000 was taken.

No calculation can be made as to the amount of gold contained in quartz
mines. New discoveries are always probable and many new mines are opened
up each year, but their value can only be estimated as the work in them

Just how long they will last nobody knows, but it would seem that their
decline is far off. The government report says, "Unless very important
new discoveries are made it is thought unlikely that the production of
gold in the United States will rise much above $110,000,000; nor is it
likely that it will sink below $60,000,000 within a long period of

The amount of gold used in the United States is about equal to the
production. Nearly $80,000,000 is coined into money, and about half as
much is used in the arts,--that is, for jewelry, tableware, in
dentistry, in bookbinding, and various chemical processes. The quantity
used in the arts has doubled since 1900. In 1907 the stock of gold coin
in the United States, according to the Director of the Mint, was
$1,600,000,000, which is almost exactly one-fifth of the gold coin of
the world.

The production of gold is rapidly increasing. Since 1850 we have mined
three times as much gold as in all the previous time since the
discovery of America. Such rapid production greatly shortens the life of
the gold supply. When the gold fields of southern Africa were first
opened they were said to be inexhaustible; but they have been mined so
rapidly, and the supply has proved so far short of the first excited
estimates that experts say that the entire region will be almost
exhausted within twenty years. The loss of gold in mining and refining
is comparatively small. In extracting gold from the cheaper ores the
percentage of loss is large; but as only a small part of the gold is
gained in this way the total loss is relatively small. By other methods
ninety-five per cent. or more is saved. In many cases the loss is too
small to be considered.

Unlike other minerals little gold is destroyed by use. It is melted and
remelted, all scraps are used, even the sweepings from the mint and from
manufacturing goldsmiths' shops are saved and the gold used. The waste
of the world's gold and silver would be much greater but for the use of
paper money, bank checks, and notes. Their very general use keeps the
gold as a reserve, held in banks and storage vaults much of the time. If
it were in constant use, the continual rubbing together of the coins
would mean a no less steady, though slight, wearing away of their
surface. This is very noticeable in old silver coins, which are kept in
more constant circulation.


The conditions in regard to silver are entirely different from those of
the other resources. The production of silver is not increasing, in
fact, the mining of silver alone is decreasing and the reason is not
because the supply is lessening, but because the price is too low to
make a larger working of the mines profitable, and the supply is kept
down to the level of the demand. A great number of silver mines have
been closed for the last few years. The production could be greatly
increased at any time to meet an increased demand.

The highest production was in 1902, but there have been only slight
changes since 1895; the production being a little less than 60,000,000
ounces, or about one-third of the world's supply--Mexico being the only
other great producer. In many countries with a small supply the output
is growing less each year on account of the low price, and the
difficulty of competing with the United States.

The states now producing the most silver are Colorado, Montana, and
Utah; each of these produces about one ounce out of every five ounces
mined. Most of the remainder was produced by Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, and

Although nearly 60,000,000 ounces were mined in 1907 only one and a half
million ounces were mined for the sake of the silver alone. The rest was
obtained as a by-product in the mining of gold, lead, copper and zinc,
or, as is often the case, it was distinctively silver ore, but could not
be profitably mined unless some other ore could be obtained at the same

The richer regions seem to have been exhausted, and as the process of
extracting the ore is expensive the lower grade ores will probably be
held for several years till prices advance. A great silver region has
recently been opened in northern Canada. This contains immense
quantities of very rich ore, and will probably keep the price down for
many years.

So the care and conservation of silver is not an important issue for the
people of the present generation. As silver is now obtained largely as a
by-product, there is almost no waste.

The United States sends considerably more than half of its silver to
other countries, principally to India and China, which use much silver
coin, but have little in the way of silver resources. The amount used at
home is divided between coinage and manufacture. The quantity coined
varies greatly from year to year, eight million ounces being about the
average. For manufacturing, jewelry, tableware, chemicals, etc., about
twenty million ounces, of which one-fifth is remelted silver, are used.
The demand for silver in manufacturing has doubled since 1898, and may
lead before many years to the reopening of the silver mines.


The conditions of copper mining are exactly opposite from those of
silver. The Indians used almost no metal except copper, and for three
hundred years white men used the old Indian mines and refined the copper
by Indian methods. Better methods of mining copper and extracting it
from the ores have been employed for the last fifty years, but within a
dozen years the refining of copper has been revolutionized by electric
methods. An enormous amount has been produced, but production has been
kept down on account of the high prices. It is said that if the price
could be reduced one-half, ten times as much copper would be used. Most
of the uses of copper have arisen in the last twenty-five years. Its
greatest use is for electric wiring. Nothing can take its place, and the
use is increasing astonishingly.

Copper is used largely in alloys. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin,
and its use has greatly increased in castings, fittings for buildings,
tablets, and statues.

A much more useful alloy is brass, made from copper and zinc. Brass is
very extensively used for parts of machinery, engines, automobiles, and
also for fittings for buildings. Sheet copper is used for sheathing for
ships, for boilers, and for various chemical processes carried on by
electricity or by acids. Very many of these processes have been
discovered within ten or fifteen years, and have largely increased the
uses for copper. One of the older uses of copper which is less common
now was for cooking utensils. Copper is used by the government for
coining one-cent pieces.

No single country compares at present with the United States in the
production of copper, but if reports be correct there is enough copper
in central Africa to supply the world for years to come. Next to the
United States, Spain mines the largest amount at present, and Japan
ranks next.

For many years the rate of increase was enormous. In 1845, 224,000
pounds were mined; in 1888, 226,000,000 pounds. Eight years later, in
1896, it had doubled; after another ten years, in 1906, it had doubled
that quantity, and reached 918,000,000 pounds. In 1890 we were using
three pounds of copper for every man, woman and child in the country.
And in 1907, six and one-half pounds.

Michigan, Montana, and Arizona produce the bulk of the copper. Utah,
California, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nevada each produce
copper in amounts ranging from the 66,000,000 pounds mined in Utah to
the 2,000,000 pounds mined in Nevada. It is probable that the use will
not increase so rapidly in the near future. Much old copper will be

There are large areas of copper lands which are now classed as
"available" with copper at about its present price of thirteen cents a
pound. If the world production should grow so great as to cause a
decided drop in the price, much that is now considered available could
not be mined at a profit, and the copper supply from this country would
be greatly reduced. If, on the other hand, copper should rise to fifteen
or twenty cents or higher, the amount of available copper land would be
vastly increased. The report on the Conservation of Mineral Resources
says in effect: "The copper resources of the United States are believed
to be large enough to allow for a number of years for a demand
increasing at the rate of 30,000,000 pounds a year. Should this demand
continue for a long period the scarcity would be felt and result in a
rising price, which would open up a market for these low-grade ores and
also cause the use of other metals, like aluminum, to take the place of
copper whenever possible."

There is no great waste in the mining of copper, but in the extraction
of copper from the ore the waste is often as much as thirty per cent.,
and it is not easy to avoid this on account of the chemical changes that
take place.


The United States produces about one-third of the lead in the world. The
remainder comes from Spain, where the production remains about the same
from year to year; from Germany, where in spite of higher prices
production is growing less; and from Australia and Mexico, in both of
which the supply is rapidly decreasing.

These facts show that the lead resources of the United States will be
drawn on heavily in the future. The production of the United States
increased from about 70,000 tons in 1880 to 365,000 tons seventeen years
later, and if continued the yearly production by 1920 will amount to
580,000 tons, or more than a billion pounds.

The principal lead-producing states are Missouri, Idaho, Utah, and
Colorado. In Missouri it is probable that the present rate of increase
could be kept up for at least fifty years. The other states could keep
up the present production for many years but could not greatly increase
it without exhausting the supply.

As with most mineral resources in the United States, it is only the
richest ores that are now drawn upon (except where lead is a by-product
extracted with some other ore). If prices would advance, so as to make
the low-grade ores profitable, the amount of our resources would be
greatly increased.

There is little waste in the mining or smelting of lead ores, and the
slag, the waste, is always ready to be used again. In the refining and
concentrating of lead the loss often amounts to as much as fifteen per
cent. or twenty per cent. The best way to prevent final loss is to store
all refuse until such time as the reworking becomes profitable.
Improvement in methods has been great in the last fifteen years but more
economical methods everywhere will be one of the necessities of the
future. We can see that the lead resources of the United States are not
large and that when our own supply is exhausted we can not turn to the
rest of the world.

The waste in mining is not large, and most of it can not be avoided at
present prices; so that for the conservation, which we see is so
important, we must turn to the uses of lead. The most necessary of these
is for lead pipes in plumbing. Another use is for war supplies, which
not only makes heavy drains on our stores of coal and iron, but also on
lead, which is much less plentiful.

One ton out of every three produced in the United States is used in the
manufacture of white lead and consumed as paint. This, of course, is
entirely lost, and it seems that some other material might be used,
instead of so valuable a mineral, especially when the resource is not
abundant. White lead is used more than any other substance for paint,
although zinc white has come into considerable use in the last few
years. No other nation uses lead paint to such an extent as does the
United States, partly because no other nation could afford so general a
use of such an expensive material, and partly because so many wooden
buildings are erected. By using brick, stone, or cement, of which we
have practically an unending supply, to take the place of wood, our
store of which is rapidly disappearing, we could avoid much of the drain
on our mineral resources which are used for paint.

As production and price advance a greater quantity of lead is remelted.
About 25,000 tons are returned to use each year.


Zinc is a whitish metal. It is used in galvanizing iron to prevent its
rusting. It is used also in the manufacture of white paint, which
consumes about one ton out of every six tons mined. This, of course, is
permanently lost, but the price and its value as a resource is much
lower than lead. This takes more than half of the entire product. The
remainder of the output is about equally divided between brass and sheet
zinc. All these uses are extremely necessary and it is believed that the
production of zinc will rapidly increase for many years.

The United States is the largest producer, Germany ranks second. Large
amounts are mined in Australia, and very large deposits, entirely
undeveloped, are said to exist in Africa. In 1880, the United States
produced 23,000 tons of zinc; in 1907, 280,000 tons. This indicates the
rapid rate at which we are increasing our use of zinc.

If the same rate should continue, in 1920 we should be using 475,000
tons, or almost a billion pounds, and if zinc oxide should take the
place of white lead in painting to the extent that now seems probable,
the quantity would be still further increased.

Missouri is by far the heaviest producer of zinc, having a little more
than half of the output. New Jersey ranks next, then Colorado, Wisconsin
and Kansas. Some of the other western states each produce small amounts.
Most of the pure zinc ore is mined at a depth of from one hundred and
fifty to two hundred and fifty feet and occurs in sheets, but a large
part of the ore is a by-product obtained from the reduction of other
ores. In New Jersey the zinc alone is found in a single region, where it
was estimated a few years ago that there were eight million tons, of
which two and a half million tons have been mined since 1904. The zinc
in Missouri, Wisconsin and Kansas is found alone or underlying lead
deposits, while that of the western states is almost always found in
limestone, and is mixed with silver, copper, lead, and, more rarely,
gold. In these states there has been little attempt to discover zinc; in
fact, ores containing zinc have been rather shunned because of the
difficulty in extracting them.

It is thought that our resources of zinc, especially in the West, have
just begun to be developed, and that the supply, even at the present
rate of increase and at present prices, will last many years. However,
with increasing use for the product, we can not be sure of supplies for
more than a generation; and in view of the importance of zinc it becomes
necessary to inquire into its wastes.

In no mineral is the waste more startling than in zinc. In Missouri it
is necessary to leave supporting pillars as in coal mining. This can not
be remedied, as the use of timbers is too expensive, but it causes a
heavy loss. In the West, owing to the expensive treatment and shipment,
much of the low-grade ore is left in the ground. In refining the loss is
enormous, often as much as forty per cent. In order to produce zinc at a
low cost there must be a heavy loss of metal. Better plants and
equipment for refining, and the saving of all refuse for later use will
be necessary if we are to conserve the zinc supply for future


The supplies of many of the materials used in buildings and bridges,
such as stone, gravel, clay, cement and lime are so great that they
appear inexhaustible, and need of care in their use is not so much to be
considered as is their development to take the place of other resources.

In the past they have not been used freely because wooden buildings have
been so much cheaper; but cement, concrete and brick are now
manufactured much more cheaply, on account of improved methods, while
the price of lumber has been increasing rapidly. Within the last ten
years, the value of cement manufactures has increased nearly six times.
In 1900 we used seventy pounds of cement for each person; in 1907, two
hundred and twenty-eight pounds. The value of brick and other products
made from clay has doubled in the same period and is now $160,000,000,
while the value of building-stone quarries is three times as great as it
was ten years ago. There are many reasons why these materials should
take the place of wood; as they are stronger, more durable, do not
require paint, and are so much less liable to loss by fire.

The waste of minerals used in building is due to improper and reckless
methods of taking them from the ground and preparing them for market and
in careless methods in manufacturing.

Of such minerals as quartz, grindstone, millstone, emery stone, mineral
paints, talc and salt, there seems to be enough to meet the needs of the
future as well as the present. Such supplies as sulphur, asphalt,
magnesia, borax, and asbestos, as well as coal and iron, are not very
plentiful. If used carelessly, they will be exhausted in a few years; if
wisely, they may be expected to last beyond the limits of the present

Our supplies of quicksilver, antimony, graphite, mica, tin, nickel,
platinum, and many minerals less well known, as well as our petroleum,
natural gas, copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc, and phosphate rock will
be almost exhausted well within the present century unless large new
deposits are discovered.


Report of National Conservation Commission.

The Conservation of Mineral Resources. U. S. Government Reports.

Report of the U. S. Geological Survey.

Production of Gold in 1908. U. S. Government Reports.

Production of Silver in 1908.

Production of Lead in 1908.

Production of Zinc in 1908.

Production of Structural Materials.

About twenty pamphlets on other minerals.




Food is of two classes: vegetable, which comes directly from the earth,
and animal, which has fed on vegetable life. This is, of course, a more
concentrated form of food, and much less of it is needed to sustain

For the plentiful supply of vegetable food we must depend upon the
fertility of the soil, as we have seen. Our animal food can not be
classed among our natural resources, but as a product of them, and
requires the same care and wise use.

In the early history of our country natural animal food was abundant.
Fishes swarmed in the sea, lakes, and streams. Wild turkeys and other
game birds, deer, and bison formed a large part of the food of our
forefathers. But these have been gradually disappearing. We have caught
and destroyed so many fish that we have only a fraction of our former
number. The game birds have disappeared either because they have been
killed in great numbers or because their nesting-places have been
destroyed. Of the big game nothing is now left except in a few remote
regions, and it is growing less plentiful each year.

Although large quantities of fish and game are marketed every year at
certain seasons, they form a small fraction of the animal food required
in the country, and we must now depend for most of our animal food, not
on that which was at first given us for a natural resource but on that
raised by man.

The poultry--the chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys; the cattle, beef
and dairy, the hogs and the sheep that are raised in such vast numbers
have taken the place of wild game. The cultivated varieties have higher
food value, and are far more satisfactory, since they are ready for use
at any time.

The conservation of our animal food resources presents a different
problem from any other. It is true that we have wasted and exhausted our
natural food supplies, but we must remember that to a certain extent
their preservation was neither possible nor desirable. They have been
driven out by advancing civilization.

Wild birds and animals leave as the forests are cut out, destroying
their natural homes. Many of them can not be kept in captivity, so this
supply never could have been regulated. It was necessary to destroy
some of them to insure man's safety, and others were needed for his use.
But we can take their places with other animals which are better fitted
for our food, and it is the task of keeping up a sufficient supply of
these on the most suitable land and under conditions that will yield the
best results, that constitutes the problem of the conservation of our
animal food resources.

The raising of poultry and live stock on a large scale is a separate
occupation, usually followed in a scientific manner and it is not of
that industry that we need to speak, but rather of the benefit to every
farmer and to the dwellers in small communities, of raising at least a
part of the animal food used by the family.

Every farm has some bits of unoccupied land that can be fenced off for
poultry. The gleanings from the fields will supply their food, and they
will furnish meat and eggs for the family throughout the year, with
enough left to sell to provide other comforts.

Live stock, cattle, sheep and hogs, as well as goats, horses and mules,
are profitable to every farmer. Many farms have woodland; land that
overflows at some seasons, and so is unfit for raising crops; or some
rocky unproductive land where stock can be raised more profitably than
anything else, and if every farmer would use all the land not suitable
for farm crops for pasture land the problem of an abundant meat supply,
of dairy products and of fertilizers to enrich the soil would be largely
solved. Some farming experts advocate letting each field in turn be used
for pasture every five years, because the stock raised on it is equal in
value to any other farm crop, and because the rest and fertilization
almost double the value of the succeeding year's crop.

In the West and Southwest there are large tracts of public land
untilled. Much of the land can never be used for agricultural purposes,
because it is arid or mountainous.

This land is well adapted to grazing and the government has allowed free
use of it to stockmen as pasture lands.

These public pasture lands are called "ranges." In the early years when
this part of the country belonged to Mexico, the ranges were traversed
by Indians and Mexicans who tended the herds of wild cattle and horses,
raised mostly for their hides. But in the last quarter of a century the
business has fallen into the hands of Americans who have introduced
better breeds of higher value. In California, Arizona, and New Mexico
there are now on the open ranges eight million sheep, nearly three
million cattle and nearly a million horses, worth much more than one
hundred million dollars. Wyoming and Utah have great sheep ranges and
do much to keep up the wool supply. On Texas, with its great cattle
ranges, we depend for a large part of our beef and leather. In all these
states where stock is fed on public land, there are many questions as to
ownership of animals, rights of rival rangers, and other points to

In some of these states the government has set aside national forest
reserves. Within these is much good grazing land. In order that the
government may have some revenue from the land, a regular price has been
set on these forest lands. The charge is forty cents a year each for
horses, thirty-five cents a year for cattle, and twelve cents for sheep.
The land is properly divided, so that each kind of stock has suitable
pasture. Each person who pays this tax is given a certain range and no
one else is allowed to use it. There is sufficient pasture for each so
that it need not be too closely cropped. A man may lease the same range
year after year, may put down wells to supply his stock, live on it, and
do many things to improve it.

The forest rangers who patrol the forest to watch for fires or for
timber thieves also protect these stockmen in their rights and prevent
trouble about grazing privileges.

Outside the forest reserves the grazing is free, but the advantages
offered by this system are so great that nearly all rangers now wish to
use the forest reserves.

As each ranger has his land assigned to him and no one else can use it,
the grass is not overcropped as it often is in regions outside the
forests. If pasture is good, so many herds are pastured there that soon
the grass is all trampled down and eaten off. Large areas are so badly
injured that it will not naturally resod itself.

Cattle men are asking that the same rules that apply to the national
forests be applied to other public lands, so that the pasturage may be
improved and each man may have protection in his rights.

If all grazing lands could be thus leased, it would give the business a
far more permanent character, better breeds of stock would be raised,
and individual owners would direct their efforts to improving both stock
and pasture, after the manner of stock raisers on private lands.

So large a part of our animal food, our wool, our leather and many
smaller needs depend on this industry, that every effort should be made
to encourage it, and to provide the wisest laws and best methods both
for conserving and developing it.

In conclusion it is interesting to note that the Department of
Agriculture is making a study of food birds and animals in various parts
of the world, and trying to domesticate them, to add to the variety of
our food supply. The quail, the golden pheasant and some species of
grouse among birds, and two or three species of deer, including the
reindeer, appear to be adapted to domestic life in this country, and
may, before many years, become a part of the animal industry of the
United States.


One who has never seen the big catches of fish brought in by a mackerel
fleet or visited a wholesale fish market can have little idea of the
importance of that industry, nor of the immense amount of food that is
taken from the waters of the United States every year.

The word fish is made to include not only fish proper, but oysters,
clams, scallops, lobsters, crabs, shrimps, and turtles. Fish is liked by
most persons, is more easily digested than meat and is nourishing. As a
food resource, it is different in many respects from any other. It does
not exhaust the soil, nor take from the earth anything of value, the
food of fishes consisting of water plants and animals that are not used
by man in any other way. Fish also purify the water in which they live,
and so cause a great, though indirect, benefit.

It is so plainly the wise thing, then, to keep our rivers stocked with
fish and to use them for food only, that it seems that this valuable
resource has been more seriously and unnecessarily wasted than any

Fish are wasted on inland streams in the following ways: (1) By
dynamiting. If a charge of dynamite be exploded on the bed of the river,
great numbers of fish, killed by the shock, rise to the top of the water
and can be taken. This practice was quite common at one time, but is now
prohibited by law in several states.

(2) By seining. A seine or net is placed entirely across the stream, and
all the fish which come down the stream are caught. In several states
seining is not allowed at all. In others it is allowed only at certain
seasons. And in still others the meshes of the seine must be large
enough to allow all fish below a certain size to slip through.

(3) By catching with a hook, (angling) more fish than can be used or
catching small fish and then throwing them away. This is a very common
custom among sportsmen, but should be prohibited by law. From a certain
small inland lake, it is said that during the entire season an average
of five thousand fish a day is taken. These are almost all caught by
summer residents, and it is unlikely that a large per cent. of them are
eaten. In a few years the lake will be exhausted, and will cease to
furnish fish for the people of the community, and there will, of course,
be no more fishing for the sportsmen. Equal waste is going on all
through the summer at every resort where good fishing is to be had. Some
states have laws regulating the size of the fish that may be caught and
the number that one person may take in one day, and all states should
have such laws.

(4) The worst waste of our fish is caused by turning large quantities of
sewage or refuse from factories into streams. All the fish for miles up
and down a river are often destroyed in this way. As we have seen, this
is only one of the bad results of allowing such refuse to drain into
streams; every state should have strict laws prohibiting it.

From the waters of the New England states more than five hundred and
twenty-eight millions of fish are taken each year. Here are the great
cod, mackerel, and herring fisheries. From the Middle Atlantic states,
the great region for oysters, lobsters and other sea food, come eight
hundred and twenty million more; one hundred and six million come from
the South Atlantic states; one hundred and thirteen million, including
the much sought tarpon and red snappers, come from the Gulf states; two
hundred and seventeen million are caught in the Pacific states,
including the great salmon catches; ninety-six millions are taken from
the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and one hundred and sixty-six
millions, largely salmon, from Alaska. The Great Lakes, with their
pickerel, and other fine fresh-water fish furnish one hundred and
thirteen millions and the small inland waters at least five millions

When they are taken from the waters the 2,169,000,000 pounds of fish
caught in the United States are worth $58,000,000, but by canning,
salting, and other processes of preserving, the value is greatly

Fortunately, there is a method of conserving our supply of fish and not
only preventing it from growing less, but of greatly increasing the
number and improving the quality. The United States government has a
thoroughly well organized fish commission, and many states and counties
and even private clubs carry on the same work, which is a general
supervision of the fish supply.

The government maintains stations which are regularly engaged in
hatching fish, keeping them until the greatest danger of their being
destroyed is past, and then placing them in various streams all over the
country. These fish are always of good food varieties, and are carefully
selected to insure the kind best suited to the stream, as to whether it
is warm or cold, deep or shallow, clear or muddy, fresh or salt, slow
and placid, or swift and turbulent, for each kind of stream has certain
varieties of fish that are especially adapted to it.

With all these things taken into account, stocking only with the best
food varieties, if a state has laws which require that a stream be kept
free from sewage and refuse, that no tiny fish be taken from the water,
and that only a stated number can be taken in a day by a single person,
hundreds of small streams, ponds and reservoirs all over the country may
be made to yield food supplies for the entire community near by.

Governor Deneen, of Illinois, in urging that streams be improved for
navigation, says, "No estimate of the benefits to flow from stream
development would be complete without allusion to the fisheries which
have been established on the Illinois River, largely by restocking with
fish from hatcheries. The fisheries located on that stream are second in
value only to those of the Columbia River.

"Our experience thus far indicates that the food resources of the water
may be brought up in value to those of the land. The Illinois valley
contains 80,000 acres of water area and yields a fish product worth ten
dollars an acre each year, very nearly all profit. The average value of
the land product near by is a little less than twelve dollars an acre,
and the labor, cost of seeding, and exhaustion of fertilization of the
land must all be counted before there can be a profit."

In 1908 the United States Fish Commission distributed nearly two and a
half billion of young fish and half a million fish eggs. These were such
excellent varieties as salmon, shad, trout, bass, white fish, perch,
cod, flat fish and lobsters.

The Bureau of Fisheries has its fish-hatching stations, its boats for
catching fish in nets and its tank cars for carrying the young fish and
eggs to the streams that are to be stocked.

Some of the most important work is interestingly described in a history
of the Bureau of Fisheries issued in 1908. Among other things it tells
of the lobster industry in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Lobsters are not found naturally in the Pacific, but shipments of
lobsters have been made from the Atlantic coast. At the last shipment,
after carrying them across the continent packed in seaweed, more than a
thousand lobsters were safely placed on the bed of the Pacific Ocean.

On the Atlantic coast the lobsters were rapidly disappearing when the
work of artificial "planting" of young lobsters and eggs began. The
results can be seen now, for more lobsters are being caught each year,
and the price to users is growing less as the supply becomes more

The shad and the salmon are considered the finest of all fish for
eating. Both are salt-water fish and both have the habit of going some
distance up fresh-water rivers to lay their eggs. No eggs are ever laid
in salt water. The mother fish goes up beyond where the tide comes in,
so that the baby fish may have fresh water, which is necessary for them.
Salmon and shad are never caught in the sea, but in the rivers, where
they go in large numbers to lay their eggs in the spring. This, of
course, means the destruction of both fish and eggs,--the present and
future supply.

Shad eggs, or roe are sold in large quantities. The Bureau of Fisheries
has planted three thousand millions of young shad in streams along the
coast, and the eggs from which these fish were hatched were all taken
from fish that had been caught for market, and would have been totally
lost if the Bureau had not collected them from the fishermen.

Shad have been planted in the Sacramento and Columbia Rivers flowing
into the Pacific Ocean. From these two sources they have spread until
now they are found as far south as Los Angeles, and as far north as
Alaska, a coast line of 4,000 miles, and it is said that more shad could
now be caught in the Sacramento and Columbia Rivers than in any other
water courses.

In addition to supplying the streams with young fish, it is necessary to
leave a part of each river clear so that some of the fish may find their
way up-stream to deposit their eggs. The salmon have been almost driven
out from the waters of New England, except in the Penobscot River, where
they have been kept by the watchfulness of the Fisheries Bureau. It is
believed that the entire salmon industry in Maine would be wiped out in
five years if fish culture should cease, and in the West, where the
drain on the salmon for canning purposes is so heavy, artificial
planting is used very largely to keep up the supply.

The experiments with oysters are full of interest. In Chesapeake Bay,
where the best natural oyster beds were found, the demands on them were
so great that the supply began to fail. In 1904 only a little more than
one-fourth as many were produced as in 1880. The natural oyster beds
were then marked and set aside as public fishing grounds.

These are to be used by whoever wishes but under strict protective
rules. All other ocean beds may be planted with oysters by any one who
leases the privilege from the state, and the right to collect the
oysters from a certain bed belongs to the person who leases it as fully
as does property on land.

Louisiana had a small number of natural beds. About ten years ago the
planting of oyster beds began, and soon 20,000 acres had been planted.
Conditions were particularly favorable, and within two years after the
eggs or spawn were placed it was found that oysters three and a half to
four inches in size had grown in quantities of 1,000 to 2,000 bushels
per acre. For a long time it has been the custom of fishermen to fatten
their oysters by transplanting them to new beds where the food is
abundant, and in a short time the oysters are much plumper, it takes
fewer of them to make a quart and they also sell at a higher price,
because they are of the finest quality.

These rich food beds are not plentiful, and many dealers are compelled
to put small oysters on the market. The Bureau of Fisheries has made a
study of these food beds, and by using fertilizer, such as farmers use
on their land, have been able to make such beds of sea-plants grow where
they do not naturally exist. These experiments have been tried only a
short time, but the results have been entirely satisfactory, and it is
hoped that before long, rich oyster beds may be made to grow in any part
of the ocean where oysters will thrive.

In the Great Lakes the fishing is so heavy that it is probable that the
supply of perch and white fish would be very low by this time if
fish-culture had not been carried on to so great an extent. White fish,
lake trout, pike and perch may be hatched in such large numbers as to
keep the fisheries up to their present yield.

Another important work of the Fisheries Bureau is to keep up the supply
of cod for the great fisheries on the New England coast. For the last
twenty years profitable shore cod fishery has been kept up on grounds
that had been entirely exhausted before and also where cod had never
been found before. At the wharves, government officers from the
Fisheries Bureau board the fishing boats when they come in and take the
eggs from the fish. These are taken to the government hatchery and
either the eggs or the young fish are put back into the sea, and so keep
up an unending supply.

Alaska is one of the most important fishing regions of the world. For
this entire Territory, the United States paid Russia $7,200,000 and many
thought that the money was practically thrown away, since it apparently
bought for us nothing but barren, ice-bound shores. But since it became
a part of the United States, Alaska has yielded fishery products alone
amounting in value to $158,000,000--twenty-two and a half times the
price paid. Of this, $49,000,000 came from the fur seal fishery,
$86,000,000 from salmon and $23,000,000 from other fish.

About $1,500,000 worth of sponges are now taken from Florida waters each
year. Naturally the failure of the industry would be a serious loss to
the state. But the natural sponge beds are being rapidly exhausted, and
the Bureau of Fisheries is convinced that the continuation of the sponge
fisheries must depend on artificial planting. Sponges can be produced
from cuttings at a cost much less than that of taking them from the
natural beds.

Rhode Island has been successful in cultivating soft-shell clams and in
increasing the area of its clam beds.

The Mississippi and its branches are subject to great floods in the
early spring and occasionally in summer. After these floods millions of
fishes are left in small pools some distance back from the river. These
pools gradually dry up; the larger fishes are caught and the smaller
ones die. The state and National Fish Commissions are now collecting
these fishes in large numbers, and using them to stock ponds and rivers
in other parts of the country.

They are used to supply many parts of the West and South and there is
much greater demand for them than the Commissions can meet. Not that
there is a lack of fish, for millions are left to waste because the
Commissions can not distribute them rapidly enough to save them. If
large storage ponds could be established to collect and keep the fish
during the flood season, so that all the time might be spent in
collecting fish during the overflow, and they could be sent out later,
the amount of fish saved would be increased many fold.

The fish thus saved are being made to serve another useful purpose.
Pearl buttons are made from the shells of mussels or fresh-water clams.
This business, which is now worth $5,000,000, can not last many years
unless some means of increasing the supply of mussels can be devised.

Now these men, who are always studying new plans, have thought of a
wonderful way in which to let the fish help in carrying on this work.
They obtain the mussel eggs, and when they are hatched place them in the
pools with the fish from the overflowed lands. The tiny mussel larvæ
attach themselves to the fish and are carried to the rivers and ponds
with the fish. Soon they are ready to drop to the bottom and find food
for themselves.

In this way 25,000,000 mussels were carried last year to streams where
mussels are known to thrive. If these mussel-bearing fish can be
obtained by farmers having private fish ponds, the ponds can be drained
each year and the mussels gathered, thus adding considerably to the
owner's income, and also keeping up the pearl button industry, in
addition to the food supply which he gains from the fish.

Enough has been said to show clearly how desirable and how possible it
is to conserve and increase our fish supplies. With the coöperation of
all who waste the fish at present, and those who might aid in stocking
the streams, we could add greatly to the food supply of the nation at a
less cost than in any other way.


Grazing Lands. Report National Conservation Commission.

Grazing on the Public Lands. (Jastro.) Report Governor's Conference.

The Grazing Lands and Public Forests of Arizona. (Heard.) Report
Governor's Conference.

Grazing Problems in the Southwest and How to Meet Them. Bulletin, Dept.
of Agriculture, 5c.

Reports of the Bureau of Animal Industry. Dept. of Agriculture.

Distribution of Fish and Fish Eggs. Dept. Commerce and Labor.[B]

[Footnote B: All Bureau and Commission reports are free.]

Reports of the Commission of Fisheries.

National Fisheries Congress.



If we look at a watch, we see that one wheel can not move until the one
next in order to it moves, and that, in turn, must be set in motion by
another wheel. In the same way nature adjusts itself in its various
parts. Before man enters a region, the balance is perfect. Plants crowd
each other out of the way, the weaker giving place to the stronger; then
insects come to destroy them. These insects are destroyed by birds,
small mammals or other insects. The birds are killed by animals and
other birds, which in turn are the food of larger animals. And so
through all nature runs this law of balance; nothing increases in too
great a proportion.

But when man comes, he thinks only of his own needs and wishes and
begins at once to upset the delicate balance. Year after year, he plants
large fields of a single crop, and, calling other plants weeds, because
they hinder the growth of his grain, he drives them out entirely. The
insects that feed on these plants, finding no food, soon disappear,
while the ones which feed on the farmers' crops, finding food so
plentiful, are able to increase in great numbers. They increase all the
more rapidly because man, not knowing or not caring to know who his real
helpers are, has killed and driven away the birds that would feed on

In order to readjust matters, he must learn how to destroy the insects,
or he can not have crops. Both the plant enemies, the weeds, and the
insects are always trying to bring about nature's balance again by
driving out the over-abundant field crop, so he must constantly fight
them in order to secure his harvest.

In no country is more harm done by insects than in the United States.
The losses to live stock and to plants, both growing and stored,
resulting from insects are greater than all the expenses of the National
Government, including the pension roll and the yearly maintenance of the
army and navy.

Immense as is the value of our farm products, it would be much greater
if it were not for the work of these insects. Careful calculations
indicate that this loss will amount to not less than the enormous sum of
$1,100,000,000 annually and probably far more. The loss is usually
estimated at ten per cent. of the crop, but often is much heavier than
this, and many indirect losses are not taken into account in this table,
though we shall speak of them later.

Most insects pass through four stages: (1) the egg; (2) the worm or
larvæ; (3) the chrysalis, cocoon, or pupa; (4) the full-grown insect or
imago. Butterflies, moths and beetles are examples of insects in this
last stage.

As eggs, they are, of course, harmless, and during the chrysalis state
they lie perfectly inactive and are harmless, but many of them are very
destructive when they are worms or larvæ, others do most injury in the
full-grown state.

The insects that man has most reason to dread are: (1) Plant-lice, tiny
insects with soft bodies, usually green. They attach themselves to the
stems and leaves of plants and suck their juices, leaving them to wilt
and die. They are found on many kinds of plants--on corn, wheat and
other grains. They also flourish on garden vegetables and flowers.

(2) Scale insects. These are flat and appear to be only a scale on the
stem or fruit. They are usually covered with a hard crust-like covering
and are found on trees and bushes. They are usually the color of the
bark on which they are found.

(3) Worms and caterpillars are soft-bodied, the bodies being in
segments, and either smooth or covered with short bristly hair. They
spend nearly all their time in eating, and do immense damage to the
foliage of trees and vegetables and to fruit. The adult is a moth or
caterpillar. This class is among the farmer's worst insect enemies.

(4) Borers attack trees and tough-stemmed plants. The eggs are laid on
the stems, and after hatching, the larvæ bore into the stem or under the
bark, causing the foliage to wilt and die. We are all familiar with what
we call "worm-eaten" wood, with canals that have been eaten by these
borers running through it in all directions. This completely ruins some
of the best forest trees for lumber, and makes one of the greatest
losses of the forests.

(5) Beetles are insects in the adult state. They have hard, shiny
wing-covers. Many of the borers are beetles, and there are other
varieties which do great damage, though other kinds are useful to man in
destroying harmful insects.

(6) Bugs have their mouth parts prolonged into a sharp beak with which
they puncture the skin or bark, instead of chewing the leaves, as do
beetles. Flies, gnats, and other similar insects do not usually injure
vegetation so much as do some other classes of insects, the principal
damage being done to fruits; but they have been found to be the cause of
some of the most serious diseases in both man and the lower animals.

The Department of Agriculture divides the injuries done by insects into
classes according to the products injured, and in the list they place
first the injury done to cereal crops.

The insects which damage the corn crop most seriously are the corn-root
worm, which feeds on the roots of young corn, causing it to fall over
and die, and which sometimes takes the whole corn crop of a large
region. The next most important is the boll-worm or ear-worm. Most
persons have seen this worm in the ears of sweet corn; ninety ears out
of every hundred contain a worm which destroys from one-tenth to
one-half the corn. Some years every ear in large regions is infested. In
the South the field corn is attacked as badly as the sweet corn, but in
the great corn states the injury is much less. Even here, however, the
total loss is very great.

Almost equally important is the damage wrought by the chinch-bug, which
is also one of the greatest pests in wheat and oats.

Every year in different sections of the country, bill-bugs, wire-worms,
cutworms, cornstalk borers, locusts, grasshoppers, corn plant-lice and
other insects, destroy millions of bushels of corn.

Of the cereal crops, wheat suffers most from insects. Of the large
number of insects that attack wheat, the three important species are the
Hessian fly, the chinch-bug and the grain plant-louse or green-bug.

The Hessian fly has been known to destroy as much as sixty per cent. of
all the wheat acreage of a state. Fortunately, this damage is done early
in the year, so that when whole fields are destroyed they can be
replanted with other crops and only the cost of seed and labor is to be
counted as a loss. But more often the field is only partly destroyed by
the fly; it is not necessary to replant, but the yield is small, often
not more than one-third. Some years the loss from the Hessian fly is
very heavy, at other times comparatively light, yet there are few years
when the loss is less than ten per cent. of the total crop from this
insect alone,--which meant last year a loss of 72,500,000 bushels.

The chinch-bug is responsible for the loss of five per cent., or one
bushel out of every twenty. It attacks the straw, causing the heads of
wheat to fall over and wither away.

The injury done by the green-bug comes just as the wheat begins to
ripen, the tiny green creatures attaching themselves in great numbers to
the heads of the wheat. Other insects which prey on the wheat crop are
grasshoppers, the wheat midge, cutworms and army-worms.

If it were not for the attacks of these various pests the wheat crop
would be at least one-fifth larger than it is. Instead of 725,000,000
bushels, it would be 870,000,000; which, with wheat at a dollar a
bushel, amounts to a loss of nearly $150,000,000. Further, the world
loses all this valuable bread-stuff.

Oats, rye and barley suffer far less than wheat from insect ravages but
they are all attacked by the same insects, and on the whole, much damage
is done to them each year.

Hay, clover, and alfalfa have their enemies which destroy a considerable
part of the crops. The locusts and caterpillars, the army-worms and
cutworms are the best known, but the tiny leaf-hoppers, which spring up
at every step as we walk across the path or lawn, and the web-worms and
grass-worms and grubs which work about the roots of the plants all do
their part in lowering the production.

The principal insect enemies of cotton are the cotton boll-weevil, the
boll-worm, the cotton red spider, and the cotton-leaf worm. The control
of the boll-weevil is considered one of the most serious problems
confronting the agricultural men of the country. In the first years
after its introduction, it reduced the cotton crop fully fifty per
cent., and was the cause, not only of serious loss to the farmers, but
of the closing of the cotton mills in New England, of a scarcity of
cotton cloth and a decided rise in its price. The boll-weevil is a
beetle about a quarter of an inch in length. This little beetle eats
into the heart of each boll, which soon falls to the ground.

The cotton-leaf worm formerly caused heavy damage, as much as
$20,000,000 to $30,000,000 a year, but the loss has been greatly reduced
by the war which farmers have waged against it. It is still estimated at
from $5,000,000 to $10,000,000.

The boll-worm is chiefly destructive in the Southwest and does damage to
the extent of $12,000,000.

All in all no article of commerce is more seriously affected by insect
ravages than cotton, on account of its necessity, and the fact that it
can be raised only in certain regions.

Tobacco is one of the principal crops in several states and it suffers
heavily from insect damage. The large, showy tobacco-worm and the tiny
tobacco-thrips cause serious injury to the leaves.

Sugar-cane has its insect enemies which take on an average one stalk out
of every ten raised in this country, and reduce the crop in the same

The cranberry is another valuable commercial plant that has been greatly
affected by an insect known as the cranberry fruit worm, but by
spraying, growers have been able to reduce the damage from sixty per
cent. down to fourteen per cent.

Garden vegetables suffer more than anything else from insects. Potatoes
are attacked by two species of insects, both destructive unless held in
check. One is the reddish brown blister-beetle. The eggs are laid on the
ground, and do not become adult insects until the second year. The other
is the striped Colorado beetle, the eggs of which are laid on the under
side of the leaves, and develop into adults in a short time. Two broods
of this beetle develop in a single season. Thus it may be seen that the
two are entirely different, though they are often supposed to be the
same. The Colorado beetle, by the immense damage it was doing to a
necessary food crop, first led to a regular method of fighting insects
in this country. This potato-bug is not feared as it was in the past,
since farmers have learned to control it in a great measure, but they
have only been able to lessen the evil, never to drive it out

Other insects that destroy garden vegetables are the well-known green
cabbage-worm, the harlequin cabbage-bug, the cabbage hairworm, the
asparagus-beetle, the squash-bug, the squash-vine borer, the striped
cucumber or melon beetle, the melon aphis, the corn boll-worm, the
cornstalk borer and many others.

In addition to these insects that attack special plants, all vegetables
are preyed on by the grub-worm, the cutworm, the aphis and various tiny

The grub-worms which work about the roots of plants are, in the adult
state, the June-bugs or cock-chafers which fly about our lights in the
spring and early summer, and which themselves do considerable damage by
eating leaves of trees and bushes.

Orchards and small fruits suffer heavily from insect pests, both on
account of the direct loss and on account of the expensive treatment.
There are several hundred insects which ravage fruit trees, attacking
the roots, trunk, foliage and fruit.

Among these are the scales, of which there are many species, but of
which the most widely known and dreaded is the San Jose scale, so called
because San Jose, California, was its starting place in America. It is
the only one of the scales which, if not checked, will, in two or three
years, completely destroy the tree on which it feeds. It attacks the
citrus fruits, orange, lemon, grape-fruit, and the apple, pear, and
peach as well as small fruits, particularly currants.

Among the many varieties that do serious damage are the black olive
scale, plum scale, hickory scale, locust scale, frosted black scale, red
oak scale, the cottony maple scale, greedy scale and oyster shell

The woolly aphis injures the roots of our fruit trees; the trunk and
limb borers, the peach tree borer, the apple borer, all stand ready to
assail the life of the entire tree. The various leaf worms attack the
life of the tree also. The grape-leaf skeletonizer eats every particle
of green from the leaves, leaving only the veins. The canker-worms and
the destructive tent-caterpillars also cause the death of many fruit

Of insects which attack the fruit, the list is long. The codling-moth of
the apple causes a greater money loss than any other enemy of fruits.
Various estimates of the loss have been made, and in general it is
believed that it causes the loss of one-fourth to one-half of the apple
crop of the United States each year.

The plum-curculio attacks nearly all stone fruits. Its natural food
plant is probably the native wild plum, and the plum continues to be its
favorite food, consequently this fruit suffers most from the attacks of
the insect. In years of short crops very little fruit remains on the
tree to ripen. But peaches, apricots and cherries also suffer heavily,
and apples and pears in a less degree.

The insects which injure the hardwood forest trees are principally the
leaf-eaters, such as the gypsy and brown tail moths, which have almost
stripped the New England shade trees, and done great damage to the
forests; the elm leaf beetles and the numerous borers, both beetles and
grubs, which from eggs laid in or just beneath the bark, hatch into
larvæ which burrow into the wood, destroying its usefulness for lumber.
Among the borers which do most injury in destroying valuable timber are
the hickory-bark beetle, the bark-boring grubs which kill oak, chestnut,
birch and poplar trees, the locust borer, the chestnut timber-worm and
the Columbian timber beetle.

All these represent the loss from insects to the growing product; but
when it is stored, there is seemingly no less danger of attack by a
different class of insects. These include grain weevils and beetles,
flour-moths, the small fruit and vinegar flies, buffalo-moths and dozens
of others.

After these comes the loss to man and animals from insects. The cattle
tick alone, through the dreaded Texas fever, causes a loss of from
$10,000,000 to $35,000,000 in various years. The ox warble also preys on
cattle and causes a loss of probably $3,000,000 more. The buffalo-gnats,
gadflies, and other flies do on the whole a large amount of damage each

Man has only discovered in recent years how serious a factor in his own
health as well as comfort, is the insect life about him. This subject is
more fully treated under the subject of health, so for the present we
need only say that flies, mosquitos and other insects are supposed to
cause some of our most serious diseases, and to be the indirect cause of
the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars and many human lives each

Having thus summed up the damage done by insects, let us see what may be
done to prevent their spread and if possible drive out the most harmful
species entirely. Unfortunately, that seems almost impossible; so far
all man's efforts have only resulted in saving a larger or smaller
proportion of the various crops each year.

In insect control we turn first to the natural means of destruction.
Chief among these means are birds,--of which we will speak in another
chapter,--snakes and toads.

Toads live entirely on insects and catch large quantities of them. It is
estimated that a single toad is worth almost twenty dollars a year in a
field or garden. English gardeners are said to pay high prices for them
and to keep as many as possible in their gardens. Toads will eat almost
any kind of insect, are absolutely harmless, and should be carefully

There is one class of insects which, so far from being an enemy to man,
combines with him to kill the harmful insects. Among these are the black
beetles which feed on cutworms and other larvæ which injure the roots
of plants. Lady-bird beetles destroy large numbers of plant-lice, and
the Asiatic lady-bird has been found to be the natural destroyer of the
San Jose scale. These little insects are now being hatched in this
country, and it is hoped through them to stamp out the pest. A number of
larger insects prey on the smaller ones.

Other insects, such as the Hessian fly, the green-bug or spring grain
aphis, the army-worm and various species of grasshoppers are killed by
tiny parasitic insects whose eggs are laid in the bodies of the larger
insects, but which, after being hatched, feed on them.

To these natural methods of control man has added others. Cultivation is
one of these methods. As insects flourish when given an unusually large
amount of food of a particular kind, and starve when that food is taken
away from them, so rotation of crops proves to be one of the best means
of getting rid of those insects which can not travel far for their food.
Farmers who practise rotation of crops are much less troubled with
insects that injure the roots of plants than those who do not.

One of the best means of preventing damage from the Hessian fly is to
sow a narrow strip of wheat all around the edges of the field several
weeks before the main crop is to be sowed. The flies will gather in
this strip and lay all their eggs in the early wheat. Just before the
main crop is sowed, the narrow strip is plowed up and thoroughly
harrowed and the larvæ perish for want of food.

The best known means of getting rid of grasshoppers is to destroy the
eggs. This should be done by plowing and harrowing all roadsides, ditch
banks, uncultivated fields and grassy margins around fields in the fall
or winter.

Fall harrowing and deep spring plowing will prevent many of the bugs and
beetles which spend the larval state in the ground from hatching. This
method will also destroy the plum-curculio in orchards.

In attempting to control the boll-weevil of the cotton fields, it has
been found that the best method to pursue is the simple one of planting
the crop very early, so that the cotton passes the danger stage before
the insects emerge, and removing all the plants in the fall.

Worms that infest fruit can be checked for the following year by fall
plowing in the orchard and by destroying the decayed fruit as it falls.
The farmer who lets his decayed fruit lie on the ground is preparing for
a heavy crop of insects to eat his fruit the following summer.

Fruit and forest trees are both protected by a burlap band or a band of
"sticky" fly-paper placed around the tree, to prevent insects from
crawling up.

The use of poison in destroying insects is now the one most generally
and successfully employed by farmers and fruit growers.

Poisons may be liquid or dry. The liquid is made by mixing with water,
and for large plants and trees is put on with a spray or force-pump that
carries the poison to every part of the plant.

Some insects, such as beetles, caterpillars and grasshoppers, chew the
leaves or stems of plants, and the poison may be applied to their food;
but others, such as plant-lice, scale insects and all bugs suck the
juice, usually from the stem or bark. Poisons must be applied to the
insect itself to be effectual in this case.

These are some of the insect poisons most in use:

Paris green, which will kill all insects that chew the leaves, may be
used in small quantities in gardens by mixing one-half teaspoonful to a
gallon of water, or in large quantities with one pound to one hundred
and fifty or two hundred gallons of water.

White hellebore is used to destroy currant worms and is usually dusted
on dry.

Pyrethrum is used as a spray, mixing one ounce to two gallons of water,
to destroy cabbage-worms and many other garden insects. If the dry
pyrethrum powder is blown from a bellows into a tightly closed room, it
is said to destroy all the flies.

Bordeaux mixture is made by dissolving four pounds of copper sulphate in
hot water and mixing with an equal quantity of a solution made by mixing
four pounds of lime with water. This is then mixed with fifty gallons of
water. Paris green is sometimes added. This mixture is largely used in
orchards and for destroying insects on a large scale. It is also useful
for curing diseases of plants.

An excellent spray for orchards both for removing fungous diseases and
scale insects is a home-made lime-and-sulphur solution. Enough for
spraying a large orchard is prepared as follows:

Add three gallons of boiling water to fifteen pounds of lime. Then add
ten pounds of sulphur and three gallons more of hot water. Allow this to
boil about twenty minutes in its own heat, then add enough water to make
fifty gallons of the mixture. Dilute with water in the proportion of one
part of the solution to seventy-five of water.

Small quantities are made by using a fractional part of this recipe.

Whale-oil soap dissolved in water and used as a spray is an effective
remedy for the San Jose scale.

Kerosene emulsion is used to kill the insects which suck the juices of
plants and trees. It is made by mixing a half-pound of hard soap with
one gallon of hot water and stirring into it, so as to mix thoroughly,
two gallons of kerosene oil. This may be kept on hand for use, and is
mixed with ten parts of water to one of the emulsion.

For use in large orchards force-pumps operated by compressed air and
drawn by two horses are used. The spraying should be done as soon as the
blossoms drop, and many orchards are sprayed three times in a season,
but the work should never be done while the trees are in blossom.
Vegetables should be sprayed many times through the season.

A careful study of these methods of control, adapted to the various
plants and the insects which prey on them, with the natural enemies of
insects encouraged and protected, would go far to prevent the
wide-spread and serious damage now affecting our crops, our vegetables,
our orchards, and our forests.


Circulars of the Bureau of Entomology. Dept. of Agriculture. List
furnished on application.

Annual Loss Occasioned by Destructive Insects. Yearbook 1904.[C]

[Footnote C: Some of the Yearbooks of the Dept. of Agriculture contain
very instructive reports on Insects and on Birds. Reprints on various
subjects have been made from them which are available in pamphlet form,
or the entire Yearbook may be had in many cases.]

Value of Insect Parasitism to the American Farmer. Yearbook 1907.

House Flies. Dept. of Agriculture. Bulletin 71.

The Grasshopper Problem. Bulletin 84.

The Boll-Weevil Problem. Bulletin 344.

The Most Important Step in the Control of the Boll-Weevil. Bulletin 95.

The San Jose Scale. Yearbook 1902.

The Plum-Curculio. Bulletin 73.

The Apple Codling-Moth. Bulletin 41. Price 20c.

The Gipsy Moth and How to Control It. Bulletin 275.

The Brown-tail Moth and How to Control It. Bulletin 264.

The Spring Grain Aphis or Green-Bug. Bulletin 93.

The Army-Worm. Bulletin 4.

The Hessian Fly. Bulletin 70.

The Chinch-Bug. Bulletin 17.

The Principal Household Insects of the U. S. Bulletin 4.

Insects Affecting Domestic Animals. Bulletin 5.



Birds give us pleasure in three ways: by their beauty, by their song and
by their usefulness in destroying animals, insects or plants which are
harmful to man.

But although they are among man's best friends they have been greatly
misunderstood, so that to the many natural enemies that are constantly
preying on birds, we must add the warfare that man himself wages on
them, and the cutting down of their forest homes. This work of bird
destruction has gone on until all the best species are greatly reduced
in numbers and some species have been almost entirely driven out.

To see how serious a matter this is we must study the food habits of
birds, and we shall find that although the different species eat a large
variety of food, in almost every case their natural food is something
harmful to man.

The large American birds, the eagles, hawks, owls and similar kinds, are
called birds of prey because they feed on small birds and animals. Some
of these are of the greatest benefit to the farmer, while others are
altogether harmful. Another large class of birds lives almost entirely
on injurious insects and this class is entitled to the fullest care and
protection from the farmer.

Still another class lives largely on fruits, wild or cultivated, and on
seeds, which may be either the farmer's most valuable grains, or seeds
of the weeds that would choke out the grain.

It can not be denied that birds often do serious damage through their
food habits; but the great mistake that has been made in man's treatment
of birds has been in hastily deciding that if birds are seen flitting
about fields of grain they are destroying the crop. A better knowledge
of their food habits will lead to proper measures for destroying the
harmful kinds and protecting the useful ones.

Successful agriculture could hardly be practised without birds, and the
benefit to man, though amounting each year to millions of dollars, can
hardly be estimated in dollars and cents, since it affects so closely
the size of our crops, the amount of timber saved for use in
manufactures, and even the health of the people.

Here again we see the careful balancing that runs through nature; how
carefully each thing is adjusted to its work. Naturally the balance
between birds, insects and plants would remain true, no one increasing
beyond its proper amount. But when man begins to destroy certain things,
and to cultivate others, this balance is seriously disturbed. The birds
that destroy weed seeds being killed, weeds flourish in such vast
numbers as to drive out the cultivated crops. The birds which destroy
mice, moles, gophers, etc., being killed, these animals become a
nuisance and cause serious losses. If insect-destroying birds are driven
out, the farmer will be at the mercy of the insects unless he employs
troublesome and expensive methods of getting rid of them. Certain
favorable conditions cause large numbers of birds to gather in a small
region and they become a pest. Very careful observation has shown that
in nearly every case the favorite food of the birds is something which
is not valued by man, and if this food is provided, the farm grains and
fruits will not be seriously molested.

Few birds are altogether good, still fewer are altogether bad; most
species are of great benefit, even if at the same time they do some
harm. Some birds do serious damage at one season, and much good at
another. The most notable example of this is the bobolink, which in
northern wheat fields is loved no less for his merry song than for the
thousands of weed seeds and insects he destroys; while in the South he
is known as the reed-bird or rice-bird, the most dreaded of all foes to
the rice crop.

Flying down on the fields by hundreds of thousands these birds often
take almost the entire crop of a district. The yearly loss to
rice-growers from bobolinks has been estimated at two million dollars.

If crows or blackbirds are seen in large numbers about fields of grain
they are generally accused of robbing the farmer, but more often they
are busily engaged in hunting the insects that without their help would
soon have destroyed his crop; and even if they do considerable damage at
one season they often pay for it many times over.

Whether a bird is helpful or the reverse, in fact, depends entirely on
the food it eats and often even farmers who have been familiar with
birds all their lives do not know what food a bird really eats. As an
example of the misunderstanding that is often found in regard to birds,
when hawks are seen searching the fields and meadows, or owls flying
about the orchards in the evening, the farmer always supposes that his
poultry is in danger, when in reality the birds are quite as likely to
be hunting for the animals which destroy grain, produce, young trees,
and eggs of birds.

In order to correct such mistaken ideas the Department of Agriculture
has made a most careful and accurate study of the habits of birds, and
it is the results of these observations that are recorded here.

Field workers from this Department who have observed the habits of the
principal birds that live among men, have watched them all day and from
one day to another as they fed their little ones, and, to be more
certain of their facts, they have examined the stomachs of hundreds of
birds, both old and young, to learn exactly what each bird had eaten. In
this way they have proved absolutely that many species that are supposed
to eat chickens, or fruit or grain, in reality never touch them, but are
among the farmer's best friends.

Among other things they have learned that while they are feeding their
young, birds are especially valuable on a farm. Baby birds require food
with a large amount of nourishment in it that can be easily digested.
Almost all young birds have soft, tender stomachs, and must be fed on
insects; as they grow older, the stomach or gizzard hardens and is
capable of grinding hard grain or seeds. The amount of food required by
the baby birds is astonishing. At certain stages of their growth they
require more than their own weight in insects. And the young birds are
to be fed just at the season that insects do the most injury to growing
crops of grain and young fruit and vegetables.

Birds vary so much in the kind of food eaten, not only by different
varieties of the same species, but by the same birds at different
seasons, that it is necessary to make a careful study of each bird to
know whether, if he is sometimes caught eating cultivated fruit and
grains, he helps in other ways enough to pay for it.

When insects are unusually abundant, birds eat more than at other times
and confine themselves more strictly to an insect diet, so that at such
times the good they do is particularly valuable.

Birds of prey may do harm in a particular place, because in that region
mice, rabbits and other natural food are scarce, and they are driven to
feed on things that are useful to man, while in places where their
natural food is plentiful the same birds are altogether helpful.

In the same way, birds which naturally eat weed seeds frequently find
these almost altogether lacking where the farms are most carefully
cultivated, but in their place are fields of grain whose seed also
furnishes them desirable food. Is it any wonder, then, that, their
natural food being taken from them, they turn to the cultivated crops?
The fruit eating birds seem always to choose the wild fruits, but where
these are not to be had they enter the orchards and soon become known as
enemies of the farmer.

A careful examination of the harm done by birds leads to the belief
that the damage is usually caused by a very large number of one species
of birds living in a small area. In such cases so great is the demand
for food of a particular kind that the supply is soon exhausted, and the
birds turn to the products of the field or orchard. The best conditions
exist when there are many varieties of birds in a region, but no one
variety in great numbers, for then they eat many kinds of insects and
weeds, and do not exhaust all the food supply of one kind. Under such
circumstances, too, the insect-eating birds would find plenty of insects
without preying on useful products, and the insects would be held in
check, so that the damage to crops would be slight.

The following are examples of the food eaten by birds and the good that
they thus accomplish to man:

During the outbreak of Rocky Mountain locusts in Nebraska, a scientific
observer watched a long-billed marsh wren carry thirty locusts to her
young in an hour and the same number was kept up regularly. At this
rate, for seven hours a day, a nest-ful of young wrens would eat two
hundred and ten locusts a day. From this he calculated that the birds of
eastern Nebraska would destroy daily nearly 163,000 locusts.

A locust eats its own weight in grain a day. The locusts eaten by the
baby birds would therefore be able to destroy one hundred and
seventy-five tons of crops, worth at least ten dollars a ton, or one
thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars.

So we see that birds have an actual cash value on the farm. The value of
the hay crop saved by meadow-larks in destroying grasshoppers has been
estimated at three hundred and fifty-six dollars on every township
thirty-six miles square.

An article contributed to the New York _Tribune_ by an official in the
Department of Agriculture estimated the amount of weed seeds annually
destroyed by the tree sparrow in the state of Iowa on the basis of
one-fourth of an ounce of seed eaten daily by each bird. Supposing there
were ten birds to each mile, in the two hundred days that they remain in
the region, we should have a total of 1,750,000 pounds, or eight hundred
and seventy-five tons, of weed seed consumed in a single season by this
one species in the one state. In a thicket near Washington, D. C. was a
large patch of weeds where sparrows fed during the winter. The ground
was literally black with the seeds in the spring but on examining them
it was found that nearly all had been cracked and the kernels eaten. A
search was made for seeds of various weeds but not more than half a
dozen could be found, while many thousands of empty seed-pods showed how
the birds had lived during the winter.

In no place are birds more important than in the forests, where they
save hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of valuable timber each
year. In forests there can be no rotation of crops and no cultivation,
and spraying, which keeps down the insect pests in the orchard, is
impossible here because of the expense. It would not pay to spray two or
three times a year a crop of timber that requires a lifetime to grow. So
in the forests the owner must depend entirely on birds for his
protection. How great the destruction of our forests would be is shown
by the fact that the damage at present is estimated at $100,000,000, in
spite of the fact that a vast army of birds is working tirelessly,
summer and winter, to devour the insects! The debt of the forester to
the birds can hardly be estimated.

A full variety of birds will thoroughly protect a farm and orchard. The
sparrows will destroy the weed seeds; the hawks and kites, flying by
day, will catch the meadow mice and other small mammals, and the owls
will pounce on those that venture forth at night. Of the insect-eating
birds, the larks, wrens, thrushes and sparrows search the ground for
worms, eggs and insects under leaves and logs everywhere. The
nuthatches, vireos, warblers and creepers search every part of the tree,
while the woodpeckers tap beneath the bark for grubs and worms. The
fly-catching birds catch their insect food on the wing among the trees
and branches, and, last of all, the swallows skim high in the air and
catch the few insects that rise high above the tree-tops.

Thus each family has its part of the work and the good they do is almost
too great to calculate. Without this check it would be impossible for
any green thing to flourish. So vast an amount of food is required to
feed the great army of insects that the task would be impossible in any
other way.

A brief description of some of the common birds and their food habits is
given here that farmers may know their friends, and that people
everywhere may learn to protect the useful birds and drive out the few
that do the mischief.

All of these observations have been made by field workers from the
Department of Agriculture, and no statement has been made that has not
been proved by the examination of many bird stomachs at different

Highest of all in the list come the bluebirds. They are among the most
beautiful of our native birds, with their bright blue coats and soft red
breasts. They are sweet singers, and are among the first to return in
the spring to tell us of the return of summer. In addition to this they
have many good habits and absolutely no bad ones. More than
three-fourths of their food consists of insects,--beetles, grasshoppers
and caterpillars. The remainder is weed seeds and fruit, but there were
no reports of cultivated fruits being eaten by bluebirds. On the
contrary they eat the most undesirable of the wild fruit, chokeberry,
pokeberry, Virginia creeper, bitter-sweet and sumac, as well as large
quantities of ragweed seeds. Other birds are equally useful but none
combines usefulness with so much beauty and sweetness of song.

The tiny wrens are another class of wholly useful birds. Their food
consists almost entirely of insects with a very little grass-seed. They
search every tree, shrub, and vine for caterpillars, spiders and

Sparrows are almost equally useful. The tree sparrow, song sparrow,
chipping sparrow, field sparrow and snowbird or junco are all great
weed-seed destroyers. Many of them remain throughout the winter, when
they feed entirely on the seeds of weeds. Each bird eats at least a
quarter of an ounce of seeds per day, and they are often found by
thousands in a region. At least a half dozen varieties of birds are
feeding in the same ratio all over the country, reducing the crop of
next year's weeds. During the summer they turn to a diet composed partly
of insects and here again they help the farmer by eating the weevils,
leaf-beetles, grasshoppers, bugs and wasps that infest his crops.

The various species of swallows rank high as insect-eating birds. The
tree, bank, cliff and barn swallows and the purple martins all eat small
beetles, mosquitoes, flying ants and other high-flying insects, and the
number destroyed is almost beyond our power to imagine.

The most important service performed by swallows, however, is in the
South, where they migrate for the winter. There they feed largely on the
cotton boll-weevil, one of the most destructive of all insects, as we
have seen. The Department of Agriculture is urging strongly that farmers
in the North protect the swallows so that they may winter in the South
in large numbers to feed on the boll-weevil, which, if allowed to
flourish, will affect not only the southern planters, but every user of
cotton goods, and every one who profits in any way by the sale and
manufacture of cotton goods.

Among swallows, the beautiful and graceful purple martin is most worthy
of protection. Both North and South, the swallows are among the most
useful of all birds to the farmer and fruit grower, and should be
protected from English sparrows and encouraged in every possible way.

The seventeen species of titmice which inhabit the United States, and
many of which remain all winter, are all insect eaters to a great
extent, eating large quantities of tent-caterpillars, moths and their
eggs, weevils, including the cotton boll-weevil, plum-curculio, ants,
spiders, plant-lice, bugs and beetles. They also eat small seeds,
particularly those of the poison ivy.

The bush-tit feeds largely on insects that destroy grape-vines and on
the black olive scale. Other species eat most of the scales which infest
fruit and forest trees.

The rose-breasted grosbeak, while it eats a few green peas, is to be
classed among the wholly beneficial birds, for it is the great natural
destroyer of the Colorado potato beetle. In fact, it eats enough
potato-bugs at a single meal to pay for all the peas eaten in a whole
season. One family of grosbeaks, nesting near the field, will keep an
entire patch cleared of potato-bugs throughout the season. In some parts
of the country the grosbeak feeds largely on the plum scale, the hickory
scale, the locust and oak scales and on the tulip scale, which is very
destructive to shade trees. The black grosbeak is another variety that
deserves encouragement in every way, for it eats the chrysalis of the
codling-moth that is so serious a foe to our apple crop. It eats also
many other injurious insects, such as wire-worms, many of the most
harmful of beetles, caterpillars, and scales.

Among the most useful birds, we must mention the phoebe, which nests
near houses and lives almost entirely on harmful insects which it
catches on the wing.

Night hawks eat flying ants in great numbers, as many as eighteen
hundred having been found in a single stomach. They eat insects that fly
by night and are classed among our most useful birds.

Quails are almost unequalled as weed-destroyers. Throughout the fall and
winter they spend the time destroying weed seeds. In summer they eat
Colorado potato beetles, chinch-bugs, cotton boll-weevils,
squash-beetles, grasshoppers and cutworms. The mother quail, with her
family of twelve to twenty little ones, patrols the fields thoroughly
for insects. Quails should be prized as among a farmer's most valuable
helpers and protected at all seasons.

Similar in the good work it does is the meadow-lark. Grasshoppers,
caterpillars and cutworms form a large part of its diet, and its
vegetable food consists of weed seeds or waste grain.

King-birds are useful in protecting poultry and song birds from hawks,
and are also great fly catchers, taking many beetles on the wing.

Doves eat great quantities of seeds of harmful weeds. They also eat some
grain, but almost altogether after the crop has been gathered. Old
damaged corn and single grains scattered along the roads are eaten, but
there is no complaint of doves doing injury to fields of growing grain.

The orioles are beautiful, are sweet singers, and no exception can be
taken to their food habits. Caterpillars are their principal article of
food, but plant-and bark-lice, spiders and other insects are also eaten.
Orioles do not eat much vegetable food. They have been accused of eating
peas and grapes, but there seems no evidence to show that this habit is

The food habits of cuckoos render them very desirable, since they eat
hairy caterpillars, particularly tent-caterpillars, for which they seem
to have an especial fondness, fall web-worms and locusts, besides other
injurious insects, but they are accused of bad habits in relation to
other birds, and can therefore hardly be classed among the wholly useful
birds. Warblers and vireos are among the most helpful birds in an
orchard, devouring large quantities of insects.

There is no class of birds concerning which it is more necessary that
the farmer should be well informed, than the hawks and owls, since some
of them are wholly good, and of the greatest possible benefit to him and
the fruit grower, while others are extremely harmful in their food

The harmful varieties live almost entirely on poultry and wild birds,
and include the goshawk or partridge hawk and the Cooper hawk, which is
a true chicken-hawk and should be recognized by all farmers at sight.

The goshawk and chicken-hawk, in the amount of damage done, far exceed
all other birds of prey. The sharp-shinned hawk rarely attacks
full-grown poultry, but preys heavily on young chickens and song birds.
In fact, it is known to eat nearly fifty species of our most useful
birds. There is no question that these birds are a serious pest and
should be destroyed, but they should not be confused with other members
of the family which are among the best friends that a farmer has in
keeping his farm clear of small enemies.

Owls and hawks eat the same class of food, the hawks flying by day and
the owls by night. Owls remain North in winter, while hawks fly farther

The small species of both eat large quantities of insects, such as
grasshoppers, locusts and beetles. The larger ones are the farmer's
great protection against the meadow-mouse, the most destructive of all
animals to farm crops. It tunnels under fields and eats the roots of
grass, grain and potatoes, eats large amounts of grain and does even
more damage by girdling young trees in orchards. Rabbits injure trees in
the same way, often during the winter ruining an entire orchard in this

Squirrels, ground-squirrels, gophers, prairie-dogs, and other small
animals do serious damage in the course of a year on almost every farm.

The rough-leg hawk feeds entirely on meadow-mice, but if the supply
fails, it eats mice, rabbits and ground-squirrels, but in no instance
attacks birds. Its cousin, the ferruginous rough-leg, lives largely on
ground-squirrels, rabbits, prairie-dogs and pouched gophers. This
species also never attacks birds, and neither do any of the four members
of the kite family.

Another large class of birds,--the marsh-hawk, Harris hawk, red-tailed
hawk, red-shouldered hawk, short-tailed hawk, white-tailed hawk,
Swainson hawk, short-winged hawk, broad-winged hawk, Mexican black hawk,
Mexican goshawk, sparrow-hawk, barn-owl, long-eared owl, short-eared
owl, great gray owl, barred owl, western owl, Richardson owl,
screech-owl, snowy owl, hawk-owl, burrowing owl, pigmy owl and elf
owl--live mostly on destructive mammals, insects, frogs and snakes, but
they eat some birds and some of them occasionally catch poultry. Young
ones do much more harm than the full-grown ones, probably because they
find poultry and birds easier to obtain than other food. These species
all do great good on the farm and in the orchard and if their natural
food is plentiful and the number of the birds of prey limited, they
should be allowed to remain, even though they occasionally do harm; but
they can not be allowed to increase greatly in a region without becoming
a nuisance.

In another class the golden and bald eagles, pigeon and Richardson
hawks, prairie falcon and great horned owl do considerable harm, and the
good and bad qualities about balance. In a poorly settled region, where
there is plenty of natural food, a few of these birds will bring forth
little complaint, but in a section where there are few ground-squirrels,
prairie-dogs, gophers, rabbits and woodchucks, where poultry is raised
extensively, and useful birds are numerous they will do great harm and
farmers will usually want to keep them down entirely.

The gyrfalcons, duck-hawks, sharp-shinned hawk, Cooper hawk and goshawk
live almost entirely on food that is desired by man,--poultry, game
birds and many varieties of our best insect-destroying birds, and they
eat almost nothing that is harmful to man. The numbers of these birds
should be reduced as much as possible: but in general it may be said
that the birds of prey--the hawks and owls--are among the most, if not
the most, valuable birds that are engaged in helping the farmer by
destroying the natural enemies of agriculture.

Among the smaller birds which do much good, but of which complaints are
made because they eat some fruit and grain are the woodpeckers,
including the flickers, cedar-birds, robins, cat-birds, thrashers, crows
and blackbirds.

The woodpeckers are the great natural protection of the forests by
waging constant warfare on the wood-boring insects and ants beneath the
bark where no other birds can reach them. They are equally useful in an
orchard except that here man may only at great trouble and expense
partly hold them in check. Downy woodpeckers are also great eaters of
scales, and the fruit grower need not begrudge the red-headed woodpecker
a meal of cherries or apples, especially as it will usually be found
that it is the wormy fruit that is attacked.

The flicker or gold-winged woodpecker lives largely on ants, of which he
eats immense quantities, seeking them not only in the trees but on the

Robins are so well loved for their cheery song, for their friendliness
to man, and their red breasts coming as a touch of color in returning
spring, that except where they are present in great numbers, there is
little complaint of the fruit they eat, even without taking into account
the good work they accomplish as insect eaters. In fact only four per
cent. of a robin's food is cultivated and a little less than half of it
is wild fruit not prized by man. The remaining half consists of
caterpillars, beetles, spiders, snails and earth-worms.

The cat-bird is also known as a cherry-eater and he frequently helps
himself from strawberry and raspberry patches. He eats a larger
proportion of cultivated fruit than the robin, but about twice as much
wild fruit, including the sumac and poison ivy. The cat-bird eats many
injurious insects, which constitute only a little less than half of his

The cedar-bird is sometimes called the cherry bird, and is accused of
being a great cherry-stealer, but an examination of stomachs showed that
only nine birds out of one hundred and fifty-two had eaten any cherries
and that cherries formed only five per cent. of the food of these few.
There is even evidence that this bird prefers wild fruits, which form
its principal food though it eats a few insects.

The crows and blackbirds are accused of many bad habits, such as pulling
up young corn, destroying large quantities of grain and injuring much
fruit by pecking holes in it which are later entered by insects. Crows
eat fruit to some extent, but the greater part of it is wild. Both crows
and blackbirds are accused of robbing the nests of other birds.
Blackbirds are injurious chiefly because they gather in such large
flocks that when they descend on a field they can eat a large amount of
grain in a short space of time. The greatest good accomplished by the
blackbird is in the spring when it follows the plow in search of
grub-worms, of which it is extremely fond. It also does much good in
destroying insects in the early summer, the young birds being fed almost
entirely on insect food until they are grown.

Of the crow, Doctor Merriam, who is at the head of this branch of work
in the Department of Agriculture, says, "Instead of being an enemy of
the farmer, as is generally believed, the crow is one of his best
friends and the protector of his crops. True, during corn-planting time,
the crow's bill is turned against the farmer during one month, and one
month only is he his enemy. But during the other eleven months the crow
is really working overtime for him. It eats thousands upon thousands of
destructive insects and bugs every week, and when it comes to feeding
its young, gives them a diet composed almost entirely of worms and
insects that prey upon the crops."

Another government report says, "The crow should receive much credit for
the insects which it destroys. In the more thickly settled parts of the
country it probably does more good than harm, at least when ordinary
precautions are taken to protect young poultry and newly planted corn
from it." It is probable that in many parts of the country some farmers
will find it desirable to reduce the number of crows and blackbirds on
their farms.

The brown thrasher is a beautiful singer and eats many insects, mostly
injurious. It eats some cultivated fruits. It also eats a small amount
of newly planted corn, but at the same time clears the field of May
beetles. Altogether it is a useful bird but not one of the highest

There are a few species of birds of which but little good can be said,
and which it may be desirable to attempt to drive out in many parts of
the United States. Chief of these is the English sparrow. It is of a
quarrelsome disposition and is much given to driving other birds from
their nests. In some districts it has completely expelled some of the
most useful kinds of birds. It exists everywhere in such numbers as to
render it a nuisance, and it may be said to be the greatest pest among
American birds. Its favorite food is dandelion seeds, and it destroys
many thousands of seeds, but as the dandelion does no real injury this
habit does not offset all the harm done. It also eats other weed seeds
but the greatest thing to be said in its favor is that it feeds on the
cottony maple scale. It is probable that in small numbers the English
sparrow might be classed among the useful, or, at least, one of the only
partly harmful birds, but there is no bird whose numbers it is more
desirable to reduce.

The common blue-jay is accused of some very bad habits, among them
eating the eggs and young of small birds. It is a fruit eater and also
a grain eater and frequently robs corn-cribs and injures newly planted
fields. However, it eats some insects, mice and other small enemies of
the farmer and as it is nowhere very plentiful, and does not live in
flocks, there is not much cause for complaint. However, its cousin, the
California jay, has an extremely bad record. It is a great fruit eater,
and devastates prune, apricot, and cherry orchards. It is a serious
robber of the nests of small birds and hens, and though it eats some
grasshoppers and a very few weed seeds, it is thoroughly disliked by
western fruit growers. It should be greatly reduced in numbers. Another
California bird that has gained a bad reputation is the house finch or
linnet. It does serious harm in the cherry and apricot orchards, not so
much by eating as by pecking at the fruit. It probably pecks, and thus
destroys, five times as much fruit as it eats. As the bird is very
abundant, it sometimes causes the loss of almost the entire crop of a
small fruit grower. It does not deserve protection, for it eats the buds
and blossoms of fruit trees and does little to compensate for all the
harm done. Its best habit is eating woolly plant-lice.

No article on birds would be complete that does not dwell on the
enormous destruction of birds for trimming hats. As one writer puts it,
we pay eight hundred million dollars a year for hat trimmings, assuming
the insect ravages to be due to the killing of our birds for millinery
purposes. While this is exaggerated, it is undoubtedly true that this is
the largest cause of the destruction of the birds of America.

The Audubon society says that we, as a nation, use 150,000,000 birds a
year for trimming hats alone and that this single item would save our
crops from insect destruction and largely rid our fields of weeds.

If a few hundred dollars are stolen from a bank, the greatest efforts
are made to catch the thief, and if possible to get the money back; but
the great army of insects destroy each year, almost as much in money
value as all the national banks in the country have on deposit, and this
wholesale destruction might largely be prevented if every woman and girl
took (and kept) a pledge not to use wings, breasts, or birds on her
hats. There is no objection to the use of ostrich feathers, which are
carefully plucked from the live birds. The feathers grow again, just as
the wool grows on sheep that have been sheared. Neither is there any
objection to using the feathers of the barn-yard fowls which are killed
for food.

Only a little less is the loss caused by so-called "sportsmen," men who
kill only for the pleasure of shooting, or who, because they like the
taste of quail, shoot as many as they can in a day instead of only
enough to satisfy hunger. Often a farmer sells for a very small amount
the privilege of hunting on his farm, thinking he is making money when
in fact he is losing ten dollars for every one he makes.

The quail, sparrows and other birds on the farm are destroyed. As a
result the weed seeds are not eaten and a big crop comes up in the
spring. In the summer there are no quail on the farm to destroy insects.
The insects and the weeds together make the crop poorer, and the owner
feels that farming is growing less profitable, when in fact he has
failed to take ordinary precautions to obtain a good crop by protecting
the birds.

With the huntsman and his bag of birds we may class the small boy with
his rifle or sling-shot. A single boy does little harm but all the boys
in the country taken together do a grave amount of damage.

Last in the list comes the egg hunters, who by robbing nests can kill
four or five birds at a time, simply for mischief. A party of boys can,
by a day's sport, make a serious difference in the number of birds in a
region where they are not plentiful and thus have a large share in
damaging the crops.

If, then, birds play so large a part in the welfare of the farm and in
turn in the prices of farm crops, fruit, lumber and cotton cloth, it is
most desirable that every effort be made to reduce the numbers of
harmful birds and to encourage the useful species.

Many of the states now have excellent laws for the protection of birds;
but without a large number of game wardens, it is difficult to enforce
the laws closely unless the public sentiment is strongly against the
killing of birds. Laws should be made to protect birds against the egg
hunter, (except for the purpose of study, and then a license should be
required), sling-shots should be prohibited, as they already are in many
places. All hunters should be required to have a license, the number of
birds killed by a single person in a single day should be limited, and
certain birds should always be protected by law. These laws should be as
nearly uniform as possible in all the states and there must be a desire
on the part of all the people to see these laws obeyed.

The boys and girls should be banded together in the schools or in
societies and pledged to protect birds and not to destroy them. The
girls should pledge themselves not to wear birds for ornament.

Women's clubs might do much to popularize the movement for the
protection of birds, and to that end should try to establish a sentiment
among their members against their use for millinery.

All these agencies working together will make a vast difference in the
number of birds, and as a result, in the good that they do, but the
great work must be done by farmers themselves. They will need to protect
themselves in certain ways against the harm done by many of the birds
that on the whole are extremely useful.

To protect poultry from owls do not allow it to roost in the trees; to
protect from hawks, keep the young ones near the house, and if possible
cover their runways with wire netting.

To protect against grain eating, use scarecrows or put up a dead crow as
a warning. Mixing seed corn with tar so as to coat it will prevent crows
from pulling it up at planting time.

To protect against fruit eating, plant wild fruits. The best of all
trees for this purpose is the Russian mulberry, which ripens at the same
time that cherries do and is particularly relished by all fruit-eating
birds. If planted in barn-lots, chickens and hogs will eat all the fruit
that falls to the ground, making it serve a double purpose. The fruit of
wild cherry, elder, dogwood, haws, and mountain-ash are eaten by birds,
and if a farm be planted with such trees and bushes in the barn-yard,
along the lanes or in some of those unproductive spots that are to be
found on every farm, birds will be attracted to the farm and will pay
well for themselves, and the farmer's crop of cultivated fruit will be
protected. Birds themselves distribute many seeds, particularly of wild

The farmer who keeps several cats must pay for it in the loss of birds,
for birds will not nest where they are constantly watched by cats. Boxes
for martins and other birds, bits of hay, horse-hair and string
scattered about will often encourage birds to build about an orchard or
farm. A wood-lot, besides paying in other ways, will afford nesting
places for a large number of birds. To place a drinking and bathing
place near the house is one of the best methods of attracting birds,
which will use it constantly.

By all these methods and a little winter feeding with crumbs, apple
peelings or waste fruit and grain, the farmer will be able to induce a
good variety of birds to nest on his farm, and will receive in return
great protection from the small mammals, insects and weeds that would
lessen the amount of his harvests.


Relation Between Birds and Insects. Yearbook 486.

Annual Reports of the Smithsonian Institution.

Annual Reports of the National Audubon Society.

Bird Day. How to Prepare For It. C. C. Babcock.

Bird Neighbors. John Burroughs.

Bird enemies. John Burroughs.

How to Attract the Birds. N. B. Doubleday.

The Food of Nestling Birds. Yearbook 1900.

Does It Pay the Farmer to Protect Birds? Yearbook 1907.

Birds as Weed Destroyers. Yearbook 1898.

How Birds Affect the Orchard. Yearbook 1900.

Value of Swallows as Insect Destroyers. Yearbook Reprint.

Birds That Eat Scale Insects. Yearbook Reprint.

Birds Useful for the Destruction of the Cotton Boll-Weevil. Dept. of
Agriculture Bulletins 57, 64.

Hawks and Owls From the Standpoint of the Farmer. Dept. of Agriculture
Bulletin 61.

Some Common Birds in Their Relation to Agriculture. Dept. of Agriculture
Bulletin 54.

Four Common Birds of the Farm and Garden. Yearbook 1895.



When we have improved our soil and replanted our forests and learned the
most economical methods of mining our great deposits of coal, iron, and
other minerals; when we have made the waters do our work and carry our
freight and water our waste places; when we have learned to care for our
birds and our fishes, and taken measures to stop the ravages of insects;
when we have preserved our natural beauties and increased them by
planting trees, shrubs, and flowers, and filling unsightly corners;
there still remains to be considered the greatest subject of all,--the
people who are to enjoy this wonderful inheritance. If they were to be
weak and sick, suffering from all kinds of diseases, dying in great
numbers, all these things would count for little. But men and women, as
they are learning how to conserve their natural resources, are thinking
far more than ever before of health and how to keep it. It is necessary
to think of these things, for as people crowd into cities, where they
live a life different from that which nature intended, sickness and the
death-rate increase greatly.

Health, by which we mean the possession of a strong, well body, free
from pain, should bring with it great power to work and to think and to
benefit the world; and should also bring great happiness and enjoyment
to the person who possesses it, for though sick people may be happy, and
well people unhappy, yet it is a general rule that to be strong and well
is the first great step toward being happy.

The question, "Is life worth living?" was once happily answered, "It
depends upon the liver;" and it is true in both senses, for not only
does happiness depend on what one gets out of life, but on good
digestion. It is only the person who feels well who really enjoys life.

The person who can get up each morning able to do a day's work or have a
day's enjoyment, is the one on whom we must depend for the world's work
and invention. We seldom find a strong, vigorous mind in a weak body.

On the other hand, the invalid is the idle member of the family or the
community. He can not find pleasure for himself nor do anything to help
others, and not only that, but he must be cared for by others, thus
taking the labor of the sick person himself and of his nurse. It is
coming to be seen that this is a great waste of time, of money, of
work, and of happiness, and people are determining that if these wastes
can be stopped, it is well worth all the time and thought and money
necessary to bring about the change.

People everywhere are thinking about health, and because of this,
Christian Science, the Emmanuel Movement and the various sects which
practise faith or mental healing have sprung up.

Hospitals and health officers are doing much for the public health.
Doctors themselves are changing their ideas and are teaching us not only
how to cure but how to prevent disease.

Doctors are also seeking not only to prevent disease but to find new
ways of treating it. They are discarding drugs in as many cases as
possible, frequently using serums in which cultures from the disease
itself are used for its cure.

Health means more ability to work, more means of learning, of
accomplishing great things, more pleasures in every day that is lived;
and so it is as important to preserve health, in order to enjoy life, as
it is to prevent death. We can realize how few persons have perfect
health by noting the common salutation "How do you do?" or "How are

Serious sickness is such as renders a person entirely unable to work.
Benefit societies have found that the average number of days of sickness
per year from each person under seventy years of age is ten, of which
at least two are spent in bed.

About a million and a half people die each year in the United States,
and it is estimated that twice that number, or three million persons,
are constantly unable even to care for themselves. The effect of this is
felt on the patient himself, in suffering, in loss of time in which he
is unable to earn money, and in the amount spent for doctors, medicine,
and nursing. It is felt on the family, in which the household machinery
is thrown out while the wife and mother nurses the sick members of the
family, or is herself too ill to work, or when the father's income stops
on account of sickness.

The entire community suffers from the constant idleness of three million
persons, as well as from the deaths which withdraw a still larger number
of persons from actual work for a period of two to five days during the
time of death and burial of the bodies of members of the family.

Then there is all the long train of small ailments, which do not make us
seriously ill, often do not even keep us from work, but which do take
away from the pleasure and enjoyment of life, which render work a burden
instead of a delight, and lessen our ability to work by many degrees.

Not only this, but they all have within them the possibility of
developing into serious diseases. Such lesser troubles are colds,
headache, catarrh, dyspepsia, nervousness, neuralgia, sore throat, skin
eruptions, rheumatism, toothache, earache, affections of the eyes,
lameness, sprains, bruises, cuts, and burns.

Civilization has brought us great blessings but it has also brought with
it many dangers to health. Professor Irving Fisher of Yale says:

"The invention of houses has made it possible for mankind to spread all
over the globe but it is responsible for tuberculosis or consumption.
The invention of cooking has widened the variety of man's diet but has
led to the decay of his teeth. The invention of the alphabet and
printing has produced eye strain with all its attendant evils. The
invention of chairs has led to spinal curvature, etc., etc. Yet it would
be foolish even if it were possible to attempt to return to nature in
the sense of abolishing civilization.

"The cure for eye strain is not in disregarding the invention of
reading, but in introducing the invention of glasses. The cure for
tuberculosis is not in the destruction of houses but in ventilation. It
is a little knowledge that is dangerous. Civilization can, with fuller
knowledge, bring its own cure, and make the 'kingdom of man' far larger
than the 'nature' people can ever dream of."

Until within the last few years, sickness and death were regarded from
a religious standpoint. All sickness was to be borne with patience and
resignation because all our sufferings were sent by an all-wise
Providence. But since science has clearly proved that typhoid fever is
usually caused by an impure water supply, and that boiling the water
would prevent the suffering, expense and possible death; that the
dreaded yellow fever can be banished from communities that destroy the
eggs of certain mosquitoes; and many other facts in regard to health
have been learned, a great change has come over the popular belief. It
is seen that, to a great extent, man holds his own fate and is
responsible for his own suffering, and people are eager to learn more
about their own bodies, how to cure them and how to keep them well.

This knowledge has already done much to prolong life. The average length
of life in India, where no attempt is made to check disease, is
twenty-five years. In England the length of life has doubled in a few
generations. In Sweden, where the people live a sanitary life, the
average is over fifty years, in this country, forty-five years.

Insurance companies and benefit societies keep close watch of their
members and they report that a person ten years old may now count on
living to be sixty years of age. That is the average age, whereas a
hundred years ago the average expectation of life at that age was only
fifty-three years.

And this is true in spite of the fact that people have been crowding
into cities, that they are living on richer foods, taking less exercise
in the open air, living in houses which shut out the fresh air, and
doing dozens of other things that have tended to lower rather than to
raise the average.

We can scarcely realize the possibilities of life if, with all the
present scientific knowledge of disease and health, we could have a
generation of people living according to nature's laws.

Life can be not only lengthened but strengthened. There are many
instances of frail, feeble children who have developed into
exceptionally strong men and women. One of the most noted is Von
Humboldt, the great scientist, who as a child was very weak physically,
and, he himself says, was mentally below the average, but who lived to
the age of ninety, and developed one of the greatest minds of his

Doctor Horace Fletcher, noted for his theories in regard to eating, was
rejected at the age of forty-six for life insurance but so strengthened
his constitution by careful living that by the time he was fifty he not
only obtained his life insurance but celebrated his birthday by riding
one hundred and ninety miles on his bicycle.

If we could imagine a person who all his life had lived in a locality
where the air was pure; in a house where fresh air entered day and
night, and which was heated to a uniform temperature; whose food had
always consisted of the most pure and nutritious material prepared in
the most wholesome way, eaten slowly and in proper quantity; if bathing,
sleep, rest, exercise, brain work and pleasure had each its due
proportion; if he could be always guarded from contagion and accidents,
we can imagine that such a person would be free from disease and that
death might be long deferred. Of course, death can not be prevented,
only postponed, but disease can be prevented, and so we can increase the
chances of postponing death. Doctors tell us that under ideal conditions
there would be only one cause of death--old age.

There is no question that under such conditions life could be prolonged
far beyond what is now usually considered its span. One hundred years or
more might easily, we imagine, become the average of life, instead of
the great exception.

We can hope for these things in the future though it will take several
generations at least to bring them all about, but we need not wait so
long for some of the best results. There are many things that can be
done at once to prolong life and prevent illness. Since we know that
many diseases are preventable and we know the suffering and sorrow, as
well as expense, that come from sickness and premature death, we should
all eagerly unite in doing all that we can to stop these ravages.

There are two agencies that will help to bring this about: individual or
private means, and general or public means. Both are absolutely
necessary if we are to be successful in stamping out disease. Professor
Fisher says: "Personal hygiene means the strengthening of our defenses
against disease. Public hygiene seeks to destroy the germs before they
reach our bodily defenses."

In the first place, in order to learn what we may do to lengthen the
span of life we must learn something of the nature of disease. Doctors
tell us that diseases are of two classes. The first are hereditary, or
inherited; those which pass from parents to their children and often run
through an entire family. It is more often the _tendency_ to disease
that is inherited, rather than the disease itself, and so even these
inherited diseases may often be prevented by careful living.

Diseases which may be inherited include rheumatism, gout, scrofula,
diabetes, cancer and insanity. This class of diseases is the most
difficult to prevent and to cure. For some of them no cure has been

The other class comprises the diseases of environment, or personal
surroundings,--that is, our manner of living both as regards our private
life and our relations to other people. These diseases are largely
preventable and it is with them that most of the work of prevention is
to be carried on.

A disease is considered preventable if, by using the best known means of
treatment, it might be prevented or cured, so that either the disease or
the death usually resulting from it would be avoided.

Of course, not all deaths from a given disease could be prevented even
with the best known means. Infant diseases constitute one class which is
considered most hopeful of betterment through a pure milk supply and
better hygiene; and yet many authorities believe that not more than half
the deaths could be prevented owing to the large part played by weather
conditions, feeble constitutions, and other unchangeable conditions.

Preventable diseases may be divided into six classes:

(1) Diseases caused by lack of proper hygiene.

(2) Diseases caused by bad habits.

(3) Contagious diseases.

(4) Diseases caused by insects.

(5) Accidents, wounds, or operations and their resulting diseases.

(6) Diseases remedied by slight means.

We will treat each of these in turn.

(1) By proper hygiene is meant the proper treatment of the body as to
breathing, eating, drinking, sleeping, bathing and rest. This treatment
includes plenty of fresh air, both day and night, keeping outdoors as
much as possible, and in well-aired houses the rest of the time.
Vigorous but not violent exercise, brisk walking, regular physical
exercise, such as is practised in gymnasiums, will go far toward keeping
the body in good condition.

The question of fresh air in the home is one of the most important
points to be considered. The bedrooms, the living-rooms, and the kitchen
should have the air changed constantly, not once or twice a day. In
order to prevent drafts, and that the house may not be kept at too low a
temperature in winter, a board, eight to twelve inches in height, may be
placed across the bottom of a window that is raised.

Many diseases, not only of the throat and lungs, but of the other
organs, may be prevented by the constant introduction of fresh air into
our rooms day and night.

Tuberculosis causes more deaths than any other single disease in
America, and the sickness and disability continue longer than with most
diseases. It is extremely contagious, being a germ disease, and not an
inherited one, as was formerly supposed. It increased very rapidly for
a few years but is now slightly decreasing, owing to better knowledge of
its cause and cure.

Its prevention and its cure both lie largely in fresh air. Physicians
say that no one who lives an open-air life with plenty of fresh air
night and day will contract it. The cure which is restoring hundreds to
health is to find a place where the air is pure, and live and sleep
practically outdoors; to eat as much milk, raw eggs, and meat as can be
digested and to observe the other rules of hygiene. Incipient cases,
those in the earliest stages, may sometimes be cured while continuing at
work by following the other rules as nearly as possible.

On account of the extremely contagious nature of tuberculosis, special
care should be taken to prevent its spread. The sputum coughed up from
the lungs is the principal carrier of the disease, and the person who,
having tuberculosis, even in its earliest stages, spits in a public
place, is an enemy of mankind, for he endangers the lives of hundreds of
others. The only excuse for this is that he usually does it through
ignorance, but the knowledge of the danger should be so impressed on all
the people that no one could plead ignorance, and for a consumptive to
spit on the street should be counted as much a crime morally as for a
smallpox patient deliberately to expose others to the disease.

Great care should of course be taken in the home of a consumptive
patient to prevent the infection from spreading through the family.
Separate sleeping-rooms, thorough disinfection, and the use of paper
napkins which are burned at once, to take the place of handkerchiefs,
should be some of the means employed.

Pneumonia, pleurisy, bronchitis, grip, colds, and catarrh are some of
the other ailments which may be largely banished by living the outdoor
life. The method of treatment is medical, is different in each case, and
should be decided by the family physician. The constant habit of
breathing impurities, day after day and year after year, brings about a
gradual change in the tissue of the lungs.

In the same way, simple food to take the place of the rich, heavy foods
eaten in large quantities, will prevent many of the diseases of the
stomach, liver, and kidneys, and improve the general health and
strength. A diet of less meat and more eggs has been tried by football
teams in training and found to give an equal amount of strength with
greater endurance. A diet of milk, cereals, vegetables, nuts, and
fruits, raw or simply cooked, with a small amount of animal foods, will
perhaps give the best results in this climate. Food fried in fats, rich
pastries and gravies are the hardest to digest, and better health will
usually follow discontinuing them.

The purity of the food eaten should receive careful consideration.
Artificially preserved foods are usually more or less dangerous, for
although dealers urge that the poison contained in them is too small to
do harm we must remember that it is not the single dose that does harm,
but the many foods each containing a very small amount of poison, taken
day after day.

Pure food laws, national and state, have done great good in driving
adulterated and impure foods out of the markets by requiring all foods
to be properly labeled.

Thorough mastication or chewing of the food is only a little less
important than the character of the food itself. Rapid swallowing
without chewing in childhood lays the foundation for many of the
digestive diseases of later life. If food be thoroughly masticated much
that would otherwise be hard to digest can be eaten without bad results.
One of the best known examples of this is meat, which, while full of
nourishment, sets up in the large intestine a condition known as
"auto-intoxication," a species of digestive poison. If meat be eaten
slowly and chewed thoroughly, this condition is almost entirely absent.

Pure drinking water is almost as necessary as pure food. We take water
into the body for three principal purposes: first, it is needed to
dissolve and dilute various substances and carry them from one part of
the body to another; second, it forms a large part of the blood and
other important fluids of the body, and is a part of many substances
formed in the body; third, it serves to carry from the body the worn-out
and useless tissues, the waste products of the body.

These are extremely poisonous and must be promptly disposed of to
prevent sickness. This can not be done except by an ample supply of
water. Few persons, especially grown persons, drink enough water. Ten
glasses of pure water are needed properly to supply the body.
"Insufficient water drinking is perhaps the commonest cause of the
interruption of the normal life processes," says Doctor Theron C.

But the common drinking cup in public places probably causes far more
disease than the drinking itself prevents.

Particles of dead skin and disease-germs are left in the cup by each
drinker. Some of the most serious diseases may be carried in this way. A
cup made of heavy waterproof paper, cheap enough to be thrown away
after being used once, is a recent invention that is highly recommended
for use by school children and those who are obliged to drink away from
home. The water in a public drinking-fountain should come out in a small
steady stream so that those who have no cups may drink from the stream
itself as it rises. Many school-houses are so equipped.

Sleep is a necessary part of good hygiene. It promotes health and
prevents disease. It is largely in sleep that the system renews itself,
that growth takes place, that waste products are thrown off, and the
body repairs its wastes. No less than eight hours for grown persons and
ten for children should be employed in sleep. Late hours and sleepless
nights are the frequent cause of nervousness, eye strain, nervous
prostration, and the beginning of brain troubles and insanity.

Bathing is also necessary to good health. The pores of the skin play a
large part in carrying off the wastes of the body, through the
perspiration, and if these become clogged, this poisonous material
remains in the system. We have all noticed how a bath refreshes and
gives tone to the entire body by opening the pores.

The skin is composed of minute scales, arranged in layers like fish
scales. The tiny crevices between these form a lodging place for dirt
and germs. If these remain, our own bodies are constantly exposed to
their infection, if they drop off, as some are constantly doing, we may
spread the contagion to others. This is strikingly illustrated by
scarlet fever, smallpox, and similar diseases where these minute scales
are the sole source of contagion.

Exercise is another necessity of health. Regular physical culture in a
gymnasium will develop any muscle or part of the body almost at will,
but if this be not possible much can be accomplished in developing the
body by simple work. Gladstone found health in chopping wood, Roosevelt
in a daily tennis game, and President Taft in golf. Many find it in
gardening or farming. These all help to develop vigorous bodies.

Anything which brings into moderate play any set of muscles, which
increases the circulation, or stimulates the secretion is beneficial.
House-work, which, in its various forms, brings into use all the muscles
of the body, is a wholesome exercise for women. Those who do no
house-work seldom substitute for it any other active exercise, and many
diseases which are caused by deposits of waste tissues that are not
thrown off by the body, are the result.

Rest--recreation--pleasure--these are as necessary to health as
anything else, but the American people are slow to learn the need of
them. We hear much of nervous prostration as an American disease. It is
due to a variety of causes,--high living, late hours, ill-ventilated
rooms, and climate; but chief of all the causes is the long hours of
work under strong pressure. Work done in a hurry and without rest may
accomplish many things, but it invariably causes a corresponding loss of
nerve force. Fatigue, by checking bodily resistance, gives rise to all
kinds of poisons in the system. Every part of the body feels the ill
effect of continued exhaustion.

Of the diseases caused by bad habits, it can only be said that all the
evils they cause, directly and indirectly, are entirely preventable;
that they are usually wrong morally, and that the suffering which
results is sure.

Under this head come the effects of drinking, of the use of tobacco and
drugs, and of bad personal and social habits. It is only necessary to
refrain from these bad habits to prevent all the diseases that arise
from them, with all their train of suffering, poverty and crime.

It is not the province of this book to deal with scientific temperance,
but merely to state a few of the most serious results of the use of
alcohol and other poisons. The white corpuscles of the blood have been
called our "standing army," because they are natural germ-destroyers.
One class of the white cells has the power of motion, and another class
has the power of absorbing outside matter, such as disease-germs. One
destroys the germs and the other moves them through the blood and
carries them off with the waste products of the body.

The white corpuscles thus stand as the defenders of the body, ready to
destroy the germs as they enter, and are, for each individual, the best
of all preventives of germ diseases. The person whose blood is lacking
in white cells is always liable to "catch" contagious or infectious
diseases, and the one who has that element of the blood in proper
proportion is best fitted to withstand disease.

Leading physicians believe that the greatest harm that comes from the
use of alcohol lies in the fact that nothing else so weakens the
resistance of the white corpuscles, and that therefore the person who is
an habitual user of alcohol lacks the power to repel all classes of
disease. English and American life insurance companies give us almost
exactly the same figures, which show that of insured persons, the death
rate is twenty-three per cent. higher among those who use alcohol than
among total abstainers. It is probable that the proportion of persons
carrying life insurance is much less among the drinking classes and that
if we had complete statistics the difference would be far greater than
appears in the life insurance tables.

Of time lost by sickness, directly and through other diseases caused by
alcoholism, drugs and other bad habits, the percentage is very great,
according to all hospital records.

The number of prominent persons who have died of "tobacco heart"
indicates that the rate of those whose heart action is weakened by the
use of tobacco is probably very large.

Doctor Morrow says that if we could put an end at once to diseases
caused by bad habits it would result in closing at least one-half of our
institutions for defective persons, and almost all of our penal

There is another long list of diseases which are contagious, that is,
which one person may transmit to another. These are usually serious but
their spread may be largely prevented by keeping the sick person alone,
except for the necessary nurses, quarantining the house and disinfecting
everything when the period of infection is past.

In this class are smallpox, diphtheria, scarlet fever, measles, mumps,
chicken-pox and whooping-cough.

These latter are the so-called "childish diseases" which it was formerly
considered impossible to escape, and little attempt was made to guard
against them. Now they are recognized as serious, whooping-cough for its
close relation to brain and spinal trouble; measles for their effect on
the eyes and lungs; chicken-pox for its similarity to smallpox, and
mumps for its general lowering of the tone of the system, allowing other
diseases to gain a foothold.

Special serum treatment for diphtheria and vaccination for smallpox have
greatly reduced the danger from these once greatly dreaded diseases.

Of preventable diseases none should receive more attention than typhoid
fever, because it is a great scourge and yet it can be prevented by
simple means. If we understand that typhoid is a dirt disease, that it
comes only from dirt, we shall feel it a disgrace to have an epidemic of
typhoid, though one of the saddest features about it is that we must
suffer for the sins of others. The one who is attacked by typhoid fever
may not be the one who has left dirt for the disease to breed in.

Typhoid fever germs are bred chiefly in manure piles, sewers, or
cess-pools, and would not be transmitted to man directly, but there are
several indirect ways in which they may be carried. Flies also breed in
the same places. Their legs become covered with typhoid germs, and then
they fly into houses directly on the food and cooking utensils. This is
one of the most common ways in which the disease is carried, and
doctors tell us that the common house-fly should be known as the
"typhoid fly" so that people may know the serious danger that lurks in
what was formerly considered as nothing worse than an annoying foe to
clean housekeeping.

If houses are thoroughly screened, if cess-pools, manure piles and
garbage are kept tightly covered, screened, or, still better,
disinfected with chloride of lime, there will be no breeding-places left
for flies and this will remove one of the greatest dangers.

The other danger lies in a polluted water or milk supply. Every sewer
that is carried into a stream, every manure pile that drains into a
water course is a menace to health.

Very frequently the farm well for watering stock is near the barn,--near
the manure pile, which, as it drains, carries down millions of typhoid
germs to the water-level below. The well becomes infected, the family
drink from it, and soon there may be several cases of typhoid fever in
the home.

Worst of all, the milk pails are rinsed at the well, and all the milk
that is poured into them spreads the germs wherever the milk may be
sold. In this way an epidemic may be carried to an entire town, and to
persons who themselves have taken every precaution against the disease.

Drinking water should be boiled unless one is sure of the water-supply,
and surface wells are never safe unless we know that they drain only
from clean sources, and then the water should be analyzed frequently.
Boiling absolutely destroys typhoid and other germs, and well repays the
extra work it makes. One case of typhoid fever causes more work than
boiling the water for years, if we consider the work only.

If you can not buy pasteurized milk, and are not sure of conditions
about the dairy, your milk should be boiled, or, still better,
sterilized at home by putting it in bottles or other containers, and
placing in a vessel of hot water, keeping the milk for several hours
about half-way to the boiling point, then cooling gradually.

All these means of prevention are troublesome and require time and work,
but as the result in health for the family is sure, every housekeeper
should gladly take this extra burden on herself if it be necessary. In
some states and many cities, the laws governing dairies are now so
strict that there is no need of doing this work in the home. This care
in the dairies should be insisted on everywhere, even if it raises the
price of milk, because it means the saving of many doctor and drug bills
and also raises the standard of public health.

Yellow fever was formerly dreaded more than any other single disease
because it was so wide-spread, so fatal, and was thought to be violently
contagious, but during the Spanish-American War it was proved that it is
not contagious at all, but comes only from the bite of a certain
mosquito, the stegomia, which is usually found only in hot climates. It
is conveyed in this way: the mosquito bites a yellow fever patient; for
twelve days it is harmless, but after that time it may infect every
person that it bites.

If every yellow fever patient could be screened with netting to prevent
his being bitten, we could prevent the yellow fever mosquito from
becoming infected. Further, if we can prevent healthy people from being
bitten by fever-infected mosquitoes, they will escape the disease, and
still further, if we can destroy the eggs of mosquitoes, we can entirely
obviate all danger of yellow fever in a community.

The mosquito breeds only in water; by having all cisterns, rain-water
barrels, and other water containers carefully covered, and by spreading
the surface of pools of standing water, especially dirty water, covered
with greenish scum, with a thick coating of kerosene oil, we can prevent
the eggs from hatching. This has been done in many communities in Cuba
and the southern part of the United States, and has resulted in
completely stamping out the disease in those places.

Malaria is caused by another mosquito, called the anopheles and while
malaria is seldom fatal as is yellow fever, it causes much suffering and
loss of time, and strong efforts should be made to prevent it. The same
measures that are used to prevent yellow fever will banish malaria from
any community. They are the screening of patients to prevent spreading
the disease; screening all houses closely and keeping close watch for
mosquitoes in the house, and covering all ponds in the neighborhood with
oil. New Jersey mosquitoes were formerly known far and wide, but such an
active campaign has been waged against them, that they have been almost
completely driven from the state.

The ordinary mosquito has never been found to do any harm beyond the
discomfort of its bite.

Of other diseases caused by insects, an affection of the eyes called
pink-eye is carried by very tiny flies, and the dreaded bubonic plague
is supposed to be transferred from sick people to well ones by the bites
of fleas, which in turn are brought to this country by rats.

The hook-worm which affects so many persons in the South is often called
"the lazy disease" since the persons afflicted with it are not totally
disabled, but are lacking in energy and vigor because the small insects
take from the blood the red corpuscles which should carry the digested
food all over the body. These insects can be destroyed by medicine, of
which only a few cents worth is required to cure a case and make the
patient fit for work and enjoyment. In Porto Rico almost 300,000 cases
have been treated by the United States government in the last six years.

Another matter which should receive careful consideration is the large
number of preventable accidents. Mining accidents come in a few cases
from failure to provide the best appliances in the mines, but in many
cases are due to carelessness or ignorance of the operators themselves.
There still remain a large number of accidents which occur in the best
regulated mines, and when no instance of special carelessness can be
traced. For years these disasters have puzzled mining engineers, but
within the last few months it has been discovered that the minute
particles of coal dust in a dry mine completely fill the air, so that
the air itself is ready to burn.

When a light is taken into this coal-filled atmosphere, it bursts into
flame, causing a violent explosion. Sprinkling the mines, forcing a fine
spray of water through the air of every part of the mines, it is
thought, will prevent this class of accidents, which have furnished long
lists of killed and injured each year.

Reports show that one miner is killed and several injured for every one
hundred thousand tons of coal mined. The mining accidents of one year
total 2,500 killed and 6,000 seriously injured.

Other industries do not cause such wholesale injuries, but there are
thousands of individual accidents each year where the injury varies from
mangled fingers to death.

When the cause is failure to provide suitable safeguards to machinery,
or to warn employees of danger, the penalty to the employers should be
made severe, so that no consideration of money will prevent them from
taking precautions. More often, however, the injury is due to the
carelessness of the men or to the fact that they try to run machines
with which they are unfamiliar.

Manual training schools, night schools for working-men, with a short
apprenticeship in the running of machinery and an explanation of the
dangers, will go far to prevent this class of accidents, but the fact
will still remain, that often those who are most familiar with machinery
become careless and are more liable to injury than beginners.

The number of accidents that have been added to the world's list by
automobiles, both to those riding and to persons who are run over by
them, is great and is in a large measure due to carelessness in handling
the machine or to reckless driving.

The entire number of accidents in the United States, including railway
accidents, reaches the immense total of sixty thousand killed and many
times that number injured. A most appalling waste of life and labor

Professor Ditman says, "Of 29,000,000 workers in the United States over
500,000 are yearly killed or crippled as a direct result of the
occupations in which they are engaged--more than were killed and wounded
throughout the whole Russo-Japanese War. More than one-half this
tremendous sacrifice of life is needless."

Until the last quarter of a century there was a large addition to the
death rate each year from the blood poisoning following operations and
injuries making open wounds. It was not until the discovery of the germs
which cause septic poisoning that deaths from these causes could be
checked. The use of antiseptics, such as carbolic acid, alcohol, and
various other preparations, the boiling of all surgical instruments, and
the boiling or baking of all articles used in the treatment of open
wounds and sores has reduced the death rate at least one-half.

The rate could be lowered much more if all sores were treated as
surgical cases and carefully sterilized from the beginning. About
eighty-five deaths out of every hundred from these causes might be

Every Fourth of July a great many entirely preventable deaths and minor
accidents occur. The toy pistol has come to be considered almost as
deadly as the larger variety. The tiny "caps" that are used in them are
fired back into the hand of the person shooting them, tiny particles of
powder enter the skin, burrowing into the flesh, and the skin closes
over them, shutting out the air. If these particles carry with them
tetanus germs, as is often the case, because these germs are found
chiefly in the dirt of the street where most of this shooting is done,
lock-jaw or tetanus, a severe form of blood-poisoning, results, and is
usually fatal. The same results come less frequently from fire-crackers
and other explosives, and in addition many accidents which injure hands,
eyes, and other parts of the body, are the result of the use of the
heavier explosives.

The Pasteur Treatment is saving many lives each year by treating cases
of infection from "mad dogs" and other animals affected with

Among the diseases which can be remedied by slight means are enlarged
tonsils and adenoid growths back of the nose, both of which can be
removed by a slight and almost painless operation, but which, if allowed
to develop, often cause serious throat and lung troubles, deafness, and
weakened minds. Slight defects of the eyes can be remedied by the
wearing of glasses, but which if unchecked give rise to various nerve
and spinal diseases as well as more serious eye troubles. It is believed
now that most of the blindness of later life could be prevented by
proper care of the eyes in early life and by prompt attention to slight
defects of the eyes when they begin.

Doctor Walter Cornell, who has made a study of eye strain says, "Eye
strain is the chief cause of functional diseases. It is almost the sole
cause of headache, is the frequent cause of digestive diseases, of
spinal curvatures, and indirectly of neurasthenia and hysteria."

Decayed teeth in children, slight in themselves, give rise to more
serious troubles in later life,--ill-shaped mouths and jaws and crooked
teeth result from teeth that have been drawn too early in life. Decayed
teeth lead also to many stomach and digestive troubles.

Medical inspection in the schools shows a surprising number of children
suffering from these minor troubles. About 80,000 children were
examined, and the records show that out of every one hundred children
examined sixty-six needed the services of a doctor, surgeon, or dentist,
and some needed all three.

Forty out of each hundred had badly neglected teeth.

Thirty-eight had enlarged glands of the neck.

Eighteen had enlarged tonsils.

Ten had growths of the nose.

Thirty-one needed glasses.

Six needed more nourishing food.

This meant that more than 52,000 of the number needed some medical care
that they would not have received at home because their parents had
never noticed the need of it. Every one of them could by prompt
attention, a small dentist's bill, a slight operation of the throat or
nose, or the use of glasses, (almost 25,000 needed glasses) be saved
great suffering or inability to work in later life.

As we learn more of disease, and especially of germ diseases, we are
oppressed by the feeling that we are in constant danger, but we must
bear in mind that it is the weak and unfit that are attacked, and that
fitness, while partly inherited, is almost altogether a matter of proper
hygiene. Keeping our bodily defenses in good condition against disease
is as much a matter of necessity and good policy as keeping the defenses
of a city in fighting condition in time of war.

That life may be prolonged and so strengthened that the average height,
weight, and endurance will be increased, admits of no doubt. The same
rule of cultivation runs through all nature. The original or natural
apple was a small, sour, bitter crab. The difference between that and
the finest products of western orchards, is altogether a matter of
cultivation, selection, and proper treatment. In 1710 the average weight
of dressed cattle did not exceed three hundred and seventy pounds. Now
it is not far from one thousand pounds. An equal change could be made in
the human race, but because we believe so fully in personal liberty to
live our lives as we choose, little has actually been done to raise the
human standard.

The care and hygiene of children is receiving universal attention, with
the result of a wonderful reduction in the sickness and death of
children, but as yet comparatively few grown persons apply these lessons
to their own lives, and the rates for older persons remain almost

When individuals have done all that they can, there still remains much
that must be done by the city, the state, and the nation. Boards of
health can do much toward controlling epidemics by placing infected
households under quarantine, by compelling householders who are ignorant
or careless to clean their premises and to take other precautions for
the public health.

Hospitals, both public and private, have done excellent work, not only
in curing disease but in gaining more definite knowledge of the nature
of diseases through the study of large numbers of cases.

The cleaning of streets and the removal of garbage regularly are among
the great factors in keeping a city in a sanitary condition. New Orleans
and some of the cities of Cuba and Porto Rico show strikingly what may
be done in that direction.

Medical inspection of schools is a new and valuable aid to health.
Epidemics of childish diseases which sweep through the schools with a
fearful record of illness and a lesser one of death, may often be
checked entirely by the close watch of the medical inspector, who
removes the first patients from the schools when the disease is in its

Public playgrounds for children in cities have an influence that it is
as good for health as it is for morals, providing, as it does, fresh air
and active exercise for children. Open air schools for tubercular
children are being operated in several cities with excellent results in
health and school work.

Many states are making an organized effort to fight tuberculosis by
establishing fresh-air colonies where, with pure air, rest and plenty of
the most nourishing food, patients are restored to health.

Care of epileptics and the insane by the state, with proper hygiene and
treatment, accomplishes many cures.

The nation is doing excellent work in a few lines, notably the Pure Food
Bureau and the Marine Hospital Corps, but perfected organization of all
the forces is lacking. The Department of Agriculture has done a
wonderful work in investigating and curbing insect pests that injure
farm crops and trees, and in stamping out disease among live stock.
Forty-six million dollars have been spent and well spent in the work in
the last few years, but it is a matter of reproach that more pains are
taken to save the lives of cattle and farm crops than human lives.

There should be a strong central Bureau of Health with power and money
scientifically to investigate disease, to distribute information as the
Department of Agriculture does to farmers, and to carry out their ideas,
as do state and city boards of health.

We have dealt with only one side of the question--the suffering and
sorrow; but in a work on conservation, we must consider also the money
question, the loss to the nation in time and money of these great wastes
of health and life.

There are no trustworthy statistics as to wages. The average yearly
earnings of all persons, from day laborers to presidents, is estimated
at seven hundred dollars; but as not more than three-fourths of the
people are actual workers, three-fourths of this amount, or five
hundred and twenty-five dollars is taken as the average wage.

From these figures the money value of a person under five years is given
at ninety-five dollars; from five to ten years, at nine hundred and
fifty dollars; from ten to twenty years at $2,000; from twenty to thirty
at $4,000; thirty to fifty years at $4,000; fifty to eighty at $2,900
and over eighty at $700 or less. The average value of life at all ages
is $2,900 and the 93,000,000 persons living in this country would be
worth in earning power the vast sum of $270,000,000,000. This is
probably a low estimate but is more than double all our other wealth

Now let us see how much of this vital wealth is wasted. As the average
death rate is at least eighteen out of each thousand, we have 1,500,000
as the number of deaths in the United States each year. Of these,
forty-two per cent., or 630,000 are classed as preventable--so that a
number equal to the entire population of the city of Boston die each
year whose deaths are as unnecessary as is the waste of our forests by

If some great plague should carry off all the people of Boston, not the
people of the United States only, but of the whole world would be roused
by the appalling calamity and every possible means would be employed to
prevent other cities from sharing such a fate; but because these
preventable deaths are not in one city, but are widely scattered, we
have long remained indifferent to this terrible and needless waste.

Then there are always 3,000,000 persons ill, 1,000,000 of whom are of
working age. If, as before, we count only three-fourths of them as
actual workers, we find a yearly direct loss from sickness of
$500,000,000 in wages. The daily cost of nursing, doctor bills, and
medicine is counted at one dollar and fifty cents, which makes for the
3,000,000 sick, a yearly cost for these items of more than
$1,500,000,000. What should we think if nearly all of the people of the
city of New York were constantly sick, and were spending for doctors,
nurses, and medicine as much money as Congress appropriates to run every
department of the government!

It is estimated that sickness and death cost the United States
$3,000,000,000 annually, of which at least a third, probably one-half,
is preventable. Is it not well worth while, then, from a money
standpoint alone, to use every effort to conserve our national health?
Conservation of health and life, going hand in hand with conservation of
national resources, will give us not only a better America, but better,
stronger, happier, more enlightened Americans. What a new world would be
opened to us if we could have a nation with no sickness or suffering!
That is the ideal, and everything that we can do toward realizing that
ideal is a great step in human progress.


Report on National Vitality. Committee of One Hundred. (Fisher.)

The Nature of Man. Metchnikoff.

The Prolongation of Life. Metchnikoff.

The New Hygiene. Metchnikoff.

Vital Statistics. Farr.

The Kingdom of Man. Lankester.

Cost of Tuberculosis. Fisher.

School Hygiene. Keating.

Economic Loss Through Insects That Carry Disease. Howard.

Report of Associated Fraternities on Infectious, Contagious, and
Hereditary Diseases.

Conservation of Life and Health by Improved Water Supply. Kober.

Backward Children in the Public Schools. Davis.

Dangers to Mine Workers. (Mitchell.) Report Governor's Conference.

Tuberculosis in the U. S. Census Report 1908.

Industrial Accidents. Bureau of Labor Pamphlet, 1906.

Factory Sanitation and Labor Protection. Dept. of Labor, No. 44.

How Insects Affect Health in Rural Districts. Dept. of Agriculture.
Bulletin 155.

Public Health and Water Pollution. Bulletin 93.



America has another resource that differs from all the others, and yet
is no less valuable to us as a nation, for it is upon natural beauty
that we must depend to attract visitors and settlers from other
countries, and also to develop love of country in our own people, and to
arouse in them all the higher sentiments and ideals.

The love of romance and poetry is awakened only by the sight of
beautiful objects, and that nation will produce the highest class of
citizens which has most within it to kindle these lofty ideas. The
savage cares only for the comfort of his body, but as civilization
advances, man devotes more and more thought to those pleasures that come
only through his mind and the cultivation of his tastes.

The United States is particularly fortunate in this respect, for here is
everything to inspire a love of beauty. There is the beauty of changing
seasons, of our wonderful autumn forest coloring, of rivers, mountains,
lakes, sea, and shore.

In addition to the beauty of our landscapes, which is everywhere to be
found, there are many special beauties which are among the world's
wonder-places, and which are visited yearly by thousands of sight-seers,
and each year they attract a greater number of visitors from other
lands. Some of the most remarkable of these are Niagara Falls, the
Yosemite Valley, with its crowning glory, the Yosemite Falls, the
Hetch-Hetchy Falls, Mammoth Cave, the Garden of the Gods, the Grand
Cañon of the Colorado, the Agatized Forests of Arizona, Yellowstone
Park, The Natural Bridge of Virginia, Great Salt Lake, and dozens of
others, less wonderful, but scarcely less beautiful, and equal to the
most talked-of beauties of Europe, such as the Palisades of the Hudson,
Lake Champlain, the Shenandoah Valley, the Dalles of Oregon, Pike's
Peak, Mount Rainier, Lookout Mountain, the Adirondacks, and the entire
Rocky Mountain region.

To these must be added the relics of ancient civilization, the homes of
the Cliff Dwellers, the work of the Mound Builders, and such fragments
as still remain of the occupation in various times and places of certain
Indian tribes, and of the Norsemen and the Spaniards.

All these are to be valued for their beauty or historic interest, and
are also valuable as a source of wealth to the community.

The money spent on tourist-travel in Europe is said to be more than
half a billion dollars a year. This vast amount is spent because in
Europe there is so much to delight the eye, because the cities are made
beautiful with artistic buildings filled with art treasures, because
historic places are carefully preserved, because the villages are neat
and well-kept, and the intensive farming which is practised almost
everywhere leaves no waste places to grow up with weeds, and lie

There are parts of Europe, of course, where this is not true, but they
are not included in the line of tourist-travel, and in general it may be
said that Europe is visited almost solely because of its beauty:--the
natural beauty that man has preserved, the beauty that he has created,
or the relics of past greatness.

Modern Greece would attract few visitors for its own sake. It is the
ruins of a mighty past,--the Acropolis at Athens and the places made
famous in mythology and literature draw thousands to its shores every
year, and add greatly to the wealth and prosperity of the country.

The same thing is true of America wherever we have preserved and made
beautiful our natural scenery. During three months in the summer, the
New York Central Railroad derives about $200,000 in fares from its
Niagara business alone. Since it became a state reservation in 1885,
more than seventeen million persons have visited Niagara, and the
amount of money that has been spent there at hotels, for carriages,
automobiles, side-trips, souvenirs, etc., is almost beyond calculation.

In the Adirondack Park there is between $10,000,000 and $15,000,000
invested in hotels and cottages. The 15,000 clerks and helpers receive
about $1,000,000 in wages, the railroads receive another $1,000,000 in
fares, and hotel guests spend between $5,000,000 and $6,000,000. All of
these advantages to the region are entirely apart from the practical
uses of the forest.

These are examples which show the great amount of wealth which can come
from preserving our natural beauties, and the same conditions exist
everywhere, not only in the state and national parks, but wherever some
beautiful spot has been set aside by a city, a railroad company, or some
private enterprise. People flock to these resorts in large numbers for
rest or recreation, and to satisfy their love for the beautiful, and the
result is a gain in health and morals, more desire on the part of those
who visit them to make their own surroundings beautiful, and at the same
time a great gain in money value to the city or company that promotes
such an enterprise.

Most of the larger cities of the United States have given particular
attention to the subject of public parks during recent years. They are
the breathing places for the dwellers in the city, often the only place
where children can have fresh air and plenty of exercise, and the parks
constitute one of the greatest attractions to draw summer visitors to
the city.

Nearly all steam and electric railway companies own some park or
pleasure resort from which they derive a large income in fares, and many
steamboat companies find their largest profit from their excursion

All these facts show clearly that if we consider only the gain in money,
it is altogether a wise policy to include natural beauty among our
national resources, and to conserve it carefully, while if we look at it
from the larger standpoint of preserving for future generations the same
beauties that we enjoy, the need of such conservation is still more

In our future development the United States will largely be made over.
We shall no longer have the same natural conditions that we have had in
the early years of our history, and the physical appearance of the
country will grow better or worse each generation.

It is possible for us to make America the most beautiful land the world
has ever seen, for we have the natural beauty, and greater knowledge in
setting about the work of building than has ever been possessed by any
other nation during its time of greatest growth.

We shall go far toward realizing our ideal of a beautiful America if we
understand that the conservation of our resources means beauty, and that
waste means ugliness. Proper conservation of our mineral resources will
include the removal of the ugly, unsightly piles of culm, slag, and
other refuse that lie about the mouth of the mines, and disfigure some
of our most beautiful mountain scenery, for, as we have shown elsewhere,
this should be used and not wasted. The proper use of coal would solve
the smoke problem of cities, one of the worst foes of cleanliness and
beauty, and the use of water-power would serve the same purpose. The
complete utilization of our water resources that has been suggested
would make all our waterways contribute greatly to the beauty and
attractiveness of the landscape.

In conserving our forests we not only increase our timber supply, but
add one of the greatest of all beauties, the trees which give variety
and tone to every picture that our eyes rest upon. We shall have the
shady roads, the long green hill-slopes, the quiet woodlands, the glory
of autumn coloring, the delight of blossoming orchards.

Conservation of the soil, and utilization of every part of the land
mean even more. Picture the contrast between a country where the
hillsides are worn into gullies, where rocks are everywhere to be seen
cropping above the barren soil, where the crops are scanty, the
vegetation stunted; and one where every field yields a rich harvest,
where the grain hangs heavy and golden, where every wayside nook holds a
flower, where there are no neglected fence-corners, no piles of
rubbish,--what we truly call "a smiling landscape." Lastly, in
conserving health, we do more toward promoting personal beauty and
advancing the standard of the race than in any other way.

We should not be content, however, with the beauty that comes only from
the conservation of our other resources, but should have a definite plan
for the conservation of beauty as a valuable resource in itself.

The city of Washington should be made the center of this movement toward
national beauty. There is now an organized effort on the part of those
in charge of the erection of public buildings, to make Washington the
most beautiful capital in the world, and a model for other cities.

The federal government should set aside as national parks all of our
greatest natural wonders, as Yellowstone Park is now held.

The states should follow the same line and set apart in the same way
those objects of lesser interest, either natural or historic, which are
to be found in every state--those that are not of sufficient importance
to merit national recognition, but that will add interest to the state
as a place for tourists to visit.

Few states are visited in this way more than is Massachusetts, and it is
largely because not only the state, but the various communities have
preserved historical places, buildings and objects so carefully, have
erected monuments to commemorate them; and have thrown these various
objects of interest open to the public free of charge. These communities
in turn have gained the original expenditure many times over from the
money spent by the steady stream of visitors.

There has been a great movement toward the beautifying of cities and
villages in the past few years. Besides the good work done by park
boards in cities there has been a great improvement in the matter of
cleaner streets, better sidewalks, the planting of more shade trees, and
a far greater attention to the beautifying of private grounds. The
adorning of front yards and porches with vines and flowers is increasing
enormously every year.

Many causes have been at work to produce this result: the broadening
influence of travel, which brings people in touch with what is being
done in other places to promote public beauty, the work of schools,
newspaper and magazine articles, and more time and money to spend on
luxuries,--even the post-card, which makes a souvenir view of every spot
of local beauty or interest; but probably no other one agency has
produced such good results in public beauty as has the woman's club
which has taken up this line of work.

The "cleaning-up" movement, with a public house-cleaning day twice a
year when all refuse is carted away, and streets, alleys and back-yards
cleaned, had its origin in this way. The care and beautifying of
cemeteries is another branch of the work.

In many places, flower and vegetable seeds are distributed free or at a
nominal cost among the school children, prizes are offered for the best
garden, the largest vegetables, the most attractive back-yard, the best
arranged flower-bed, and other good results; the work is examined by a
committee, and the prizes awarded at the end of the season either by the
club or by merchants who have become interested in the contest.

This provides the children wholesome outdoor work and exercise
throughout the summer, and promotes a pleasant rivalry among them,
besides increasing their knowledge of plants, and the results have been
found to be far-reaching, for not only the pupils, but their parents as
well, are interested in neater, more orderly methods of living, and in
beautifying their homes.

In the movement for public beauty, as in all other progress, it is the
work of individuals that counts most. Every house that is built with a
thought for its beauty, every home, farm-building and fence kept in good
repair, every neat back-yard and flower-surrounded home has its part in
making America more beautiful, and this influence in countless homes is
certain to count in the making of better citizens.

A country where beauty meets the eye at every turn will invite the
tourist and the home-seeker, will be deeply loved by its own people, and
will be an inspiration to poetry and art. It rests largely with the
people of to-day to decide whether we shall make of our own land such an
ideal place.



No one can read the record of facts presented in this book without being
impressed by two things: (1) How these resources depend on one another
and that proper care of one results in the saving of another, and, (2)
the fact that every one of our most valued resources is decreasing so
rapidly that its end is in sight, even though far in the distance. When
the end comes we know that it will mean the end of progress for our
country in that direction.

It is also plain that the great, in fact the only, reason for this
scarcity lies not in use but in waste. And lastly we see that there is
yet time to prevent serious shortage in most directions if we set about
a general system of good management and thrift.

In the meantime we are sure to have higher prices, for the supply is
growing less and the demand greater for almost every material. In many
lines, unless something be done to check this shortage, prices will rise
so high that only the rich can afford what are now considered the
necessities of life, and the lives of the poorer classes will become
like those of the peasants of Europe:--a scanty living on the plainest
food, poor homes, hard work, less opportunity to develop mind and body.

Let us sum up how the various resources may be used to conserve one

The soil is saved from erosion by the planting of forests, and by the
storing of the flood waters of rivers. Waste land is made fertile by
proper control of the rivers through drainage, storage and irrigation.
Farm crops and also the forests are increased in value by insect

The insects are largely kept in check by encouraging the nesting and
increase of certain birds. Birds play a large part in the conservation
of the crops, by destroying insects, weeds, and small mammals. The birds
themselves are sheltered and thrive only where trees are abundant.

The grazing lands are conserved by proper forest control, and the supply
of animal food depends largely on the grazing lands.

Fisheries are dependent on proper care of the waters, which in turn
depend on forest control, and on proper care of the by-products of

Coal is conserved by the use of lower-grade fuels, by using waste from
the forests, and by substituting water-power.

Gas and oil will also be saved by the greater use of water-power.

Coal-mining is made safer to human life and much saving in coal is
effected by the use of mine-timbers, which involves the planting of
forests. Forests regulate to a great extent the stream-flow of rivers.

Beauty can only be conserved by the planting of trees, by keeping the
waters pure and clear, by using waste products so that there will be no
unsightly piles of refuse.

Health depends, among other things, on pure water, air unpolluted by
coal smoke and poisonous gases which should be used as factory

And lastly, the life, happiness, and prosperity of man is conserved by
all of these things.

The first step in this system of conservation must be education on this
subject, education not only of the children but of the men and women
also, on the need and methods of saving. There would be no danger of a
scarcity of coal if manufacturers all knew the value and economy of
electric water-power or low-grade fuels, and of smoke-consuming devices.
There is no reason why insect destruction should cost the nation so
dearly if the birds were protected, and a few simple methods of
prevention understood. All the various water problems could be met and
solved if one general plan were adopted and carried out, and so all
along the line.

We have taken note of the great natural wastes: how two-thirds of the
wood cut is wasted, and how insects and fire destroy the standing
timber; how the soil is washed down into the valleys, taking the best
from the farms; how we are steadily robbing the soil of its most
necessary elements; how our waters are unused and we pay for this
non-use by the use of other resources that we can ill afford to spare;
how millions of acres of land which might be profitably farmed lie
useless for lack of water and other millions are useless because they
are covered with water. Consumers pay high freight rates and the
railroads are so overcrowded that they are unable to care for all the
business, while the rivers, the cheapest of all carriers, flow idly to
the sea.

We have seen how one-fourth of the coal is left in the mines, and how
small a part of that which is mined is actually turned into heat, how
gas is allowed to escape unchecked into the air. And greatest and most
serious of all, the useless waste of human life and health.

But there are scores of other wastes and extravagances that all growing
boys and girls should think of, so that when they enter active life,
they may do their part to prevent them.

It is going to be necessary to learn to economize in every department of
life as all the European peoples do. We must learn, in this new
country, to do things more with the idea of the future in mind. In all
European cities, there are hundreds of houses that have lasted many
centuries, but there are few houses in America that are built in an
enduring way. This building up and tearing down taxes not one, but many,
resources heavily. As the housewife learns that a good kettle that costs
a dollar and lasts five years is cheaper than a poor one which costs
fifty cents but will wear out in one year, so people must learn the
lesson that in building poor light houses of wood which will last a
comparatively short time, they are really paying the higher price; that
in putting in poor roads, cheap bridges, badly-constructed public
buildings, that cost less heavily in the first place but that will need
to be renewed in a few years, they are really paying much more than if
these had been substantially built in the beginning.

The fire loss of the United States amounts to over half a million
dollars a day, and all insurance men agree that most of this might be

The remedies are to build fewer wooden houses, especially in crowded
districts, to exercise greater care in the building and management of
chimneys, greater care in electric wiring, and general watchfulness in
handling matches and lighted cigars.

For the forest fires which mean so much to all of us the remedy lies in
forest patrol. The amount usually set aside for fighting fires was not
allowed by some states in 1910, and the fires which cost hundreds of
millions of property and many lives were the result.

Much of the most fertile land in our country is used for raising
tobacco, and grains that are made into alcoholic liquors. As these can
never be considered necessities it is well to think to what better uses
the land might be put.

The yearly bill of the United States for pleasure is gigantic, and a
large proportion of the pleasure tends to lower rather than raise the
standard of American life and morals.

The greatest of all wastes is the waste of time and labor. The waste of
time by drunkenness, by poor work that must be done over, and by
idleness, makes a large item of loss in every line of business.

Proper education will teach every child to work neatly and with perfect
accuracy, will teach eye, hand and brain, will teach the value and
pleasure of work, careful management and economy and a regard for the
general good.

A study of the great facts of our national possibilities that have been
gathered together in this book should arouse in the heart of every
American, old and young, the feeling that here is a work for every hand
and every brain, not only to save, but to use wisely; to develop all the
possibilities of our great resources no less than to conserve them. In
searching for new by-products or machinery for checking the waste and
adding to the usefulness of these resources there is a field for
invention that will not only bring wealth to the inventor, but
prosperity and length of life to the nation.


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