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Title: A Terminal Market System - New York's Most Urgent Need; Some Observations, Comments, - and Comparisons of European Markets
Author: Black, Madeleine
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Terminal Market System - New York's Most Urgent Need; Some Observations, Comments, - and Comparisons of European Markets" ***

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)

Copyright, 1912, by Mrs. Elmer Black

A Terminal Market

New York's
Most Urgent Need

Some Observations, Comments
and Comparisons
of European Markets



Member of the Advisory Board of the New York
Terminal Market Commission



Foreword                                     3
The Markets of the United States             5
The Markets of the British Isles             5
The Markets of the German Empire            13
The Markets of France                       23
The Markets of Austria-Hungary              29
The Markets of Holland                      30
The Markets of Belgium                      30
Comments                                    31


Covent Garden Market                         6
Smithfield in the Olden Days                 8
Delivering Meat at Smithfield Today          8
Inside Smithfield Market                    10
Billingsgate Fish Market, London            12
Berlin's Terminal Market                    14
Interior of the Berlin Central Market       16
Ground Plan of the Munich Market            18
Munich's Modern Terminal Market             20
The Paris Halles, exterior view             24
The Paris Halles; Keen Morning Buyers       26
A Drastic Inspection                        28


In the belief that the establishment of a first-class _Terminal Market_
system, worthy of twentieth century requirements, is a matter of vital
importance to every family in New York, I have spent considerable time
during the past few months investigating markets on both sides of the

As a result I am more than ever conscious of the need for an
enlightened public opinion to support the efforts of the Terminal
Market Commission to secure this benefit for our community. I am
convinced that our fellow-citizens will approve the requisite
expenditure once they are roused to a realization of the inadequacy of
our food-distributing centers.

In the hope that my investigations may aid in the accomplishment of
this reform, I have prepared these observations, comments and

It is true that the problem of the high cost of living is afflicting
the old lands of Europe, the newer countries like New Zealand, as well
as our own wide territories of the United States. The causes vary,
according to local conditions; but everywhere it is agreed that a
potent force for the amelioration of the condition of the consumers is
found in the establishment of efficient Terminal Markets under
municipal control for all progressive cities. With wise administration,
stringent inspection and sound safeguards, these municipal markets
benefit both producers and consumers. They eliminate considerable
intermediate expense, delay and confusion. Last but not least they
return a profit to the city treasury.

It is because our New York markets achieve none of these beneficent
results that I issue this plea for the establishment of an adequate
_Terminal Market_ system. I appeal to all who have the welfare of their
city at heart to add the force of their opinion to the accomplishment
of this civic improvement.

[Illustration: Madeleine Black (signature)
                  (MRS. ELMER BLACK)]

United States

NEW YORK, with over 5,000,000 inhabitants, has no effective market
system. The buildings are out of repair, there is little or no
organization, and the superintendent has testified before the New York
Food Investigation Commission (March 12, 1912) that on their
administration last year there was _a loss to the city treasury of
$80,000_. To that must be added due consideration of the inconvenience
to the consumers, producers and dealers, and the extra cost of handling
entailed by the lack of modern market methods. The city has almost
quadrupled its population in a generation, but the markets remain about
as they were. Many other cities in the United States not only testify
to the value of municipal markets as a means for lowering prices to the
consumer, but so guard their interests as to provide a very different
balance sheet.

Boston has a profit on its markets of $60,000, Baltimore $50,000, New
Orleans $79,000, Buffalo $44,000, Cleveland (Ohio) $27,507, Washington
(D. C.) $7,000, Nashville (Tenn.) $8,200, Indianapolis $17,220,
Rochester (N. Y.) $4,721, and St. Paul (Minn.) $4,085.

If the following facts concerning municipal markets are studied, also,
it will be seen that no city in any way comparable to New York fails to
make the municipal markets yield advantages both to the community and
the city treasury.

The British Isles

LONDON naturally serves as a starting point for a tour of European
investigation. The British capital has, indeed, features that render it
comparable in a peculiar degree with New York. The population of both,
including their outer ring of suburbs, is over five millions. In each
case there is access to the open sea by means of a noble waterway over
which passes the commerce of the seven seas. Railroads supplement the
water-borne cargoes with home-grown produce, fresh from the farms for
the use of urban kitchens.

London's markets do not afford the unbroken example of municipal
control that they would if a new system were to be created at the
present day. Precedent looms large in British administration and even
now there are only two ways of establishing a market--by Parliamentary
authority and Royal Charter. King Henry III covenanted by charter with
the City of London not to grant permission to anyone else to set up a
market within a radius of seven miles of the Guildhall, and this
privilege was subsequently confirmed by a charter granted by Edward III
in 1326. But of late years the City Corporation has waived its rights
and allowed markets to be established in various districts wherever a
real necessity has been shown to exist. In fact the markets of London
have grown with the city, keeping pace with its requirements.


The Morning Rush of Farm and Garden Produce for London Consumers.]

There remains, however, the fact that certain Corporation markets and
Covent Garden market serve as great wholesale terminals, connected more
or less unofficially with the numerous local markets in the outlying

Chief among the Corporation markets is Smithfield, covering about eight
acres, and costing altogether $1,940,000. There are to be found
wholesale meat, poultry and provision markets, with sections for the
sale, wholesale and retail, of vegetables and fish. In the last twenty
years the development of cold storage processes has lowered the
quantity of home-killed meat and remarkably increased the importation
of refrigerated supplies. Last year the wholesale market disposed of
433,723 tons of meat, of which 77.2 per cent came from overseas.

Ten years ago the United States supplied 41 per cent of the Smithfield
meat, but now these supplies have fallen off enormously and the last
report of the Markets Committee says: "The United States, in particular
for domestic needs, is within measurable distance of becoming a
competitor with England for the output of South America." South America
and Australasia are, indeed, the chief producers today for the British

This has developed a great cold storage business in London. All told
London can accommodate 3,032,000 carcases of mutton, reckoning each
carcase at 36 pounds. Over 41 per cent of England's imported meat
passes through Smithfield, and railroad access is arranged to the heart
of the market. The Great Northern Railway Company has a lease from the
corporation on 100,000 feet of basement works under the meat market,
with hydraulic lifts to the level of the market hall, and inclined
roadways for vehicular traffic.

Most of the tenants at Smithfield are commission salesmen, who pay
weekly rents for their shops and stalls at space rates, all the
fittings being supplied. Last year these rents brought in $427,920.
There is a toll of a farthing on every 21 pounds of meat sold, which
together with cold storage, weighing and other charges amounted in the
same period to $241,635. The meat sales are entirely wholesale, except
on Saturday afternoons, when there is a retail "People's Market," where
thousands of the very poor buy cheap joints.


From an Old Print Dated 1810.]


There is an inclined road by the tree in the center of the picture,
leading to the special railroad freight depot. Cars are also run
directly under the market and their cargoes are delivered by hydraulic
lifts to the stands above.]

The inspection is very strict, every precaution is taken to ensure
cleanliness, and breaches of the regulations are punished by fines or
imprisonment. All condemned carcases are sent to a patent Podewill
destructor to be reduced by steam pressure and rolling to a powder,
which is disposed of as an agricultural fertilizer.

On these central meat markets there is a _profit of about $100,000_.

The Corporation also controls a great live cattle market at Islington,
covering seventy-five acres. Over $2,500,000 have been spent on this
market and the modern slaughterhouses attached thereto. These
slaughterhouses are not regarded as a remunerative concern, but are
provided because they afford hygienic methods, and private
slaughterhouses in London are decreasing rapidly. Last year 37,670
cattle, 101,646 sheep, 11,722 calves and 34,981 swine were slaughtered
there, the charges being 36 cents a head for cattle, 4 cents for sheep,
8 cents for calves, and 12 cents for hogs. Mainly on account of the
extensions and improvements, this market is not being run at a profit
at present, but its public utility is held to justify the outlay. Nor
does the Deptford Cattle market, of thirty acres, maintained on the
banks of the Thames to deal with live cattle imported from abroad, pay
its way. But there has been a serious decline in imported stock in late
years, especially from America. At this market extreme precautions are
taken to prevent the entry of cattle disease that might spread
infection to British flocks and herds. All animals landed there must be
slaughtered within ten days and submitted to rigid inspection. All
hides and offal are immediately disinfected. Five hundred cattle can be
unloaded from vessels at Deptford in twenty minutes. Last year 104,351
animals were killed, the meat being sent for sale to Smithfield and

Billingsgate, the famous fish market of London, is also administered by
the Corporation. Its records cover over six hundred years. It is
hampered by narrow street approaches, but a very expeditious system of
direct delivery of fish from the Thames side of the market building
enables the licensed auctioneers to dispose of supplies very quickly.
Steam carriers collect the fish from the fleets around the coast and
deliver them packed in ice at Billingsgate every night. Billingsgate
market has cost the city $1,600,000. Stand prices are high, but there
is keen competition whenever a vacancy occurs. Last year the receipts
amounted to $182,455. The auctioneers dealt with 194,477 tons of fish,
of which 120,905 were water-borne and 73,572 land-borne. _The City
profited to the extent of over $40,000_ on this fish trade.


The City of London Corporation's $1,940,000 Terminal--one of the Aisles
with Wholesale Stands on each side.]

On the wholesale and retail meat, fruit, vegetable and fish market at
Leadenhall there is also a profit of over $5,000.

_On the entire municipal market enterprises of the city there is a
profit of $156,000._ The markets are regarded with especial interest by
the Corporation and the Committee which regulates them is considered
one of the most important in the whole administration of the city. In
order to keep abreast of the times most of the profit is expended on
improvements and extensions.

Covent Garden, London's great fruit, flower and vegetable market, is
owned by the Duke of Bedford, whose family have held it for hundreds of
years. In the past century they have spent $730,000 on extensions and
improvements. Of the present modern buildings, the fruit hall cost
$170,000 and the flower building $243,000. Formerly the producers were
chiefly concerned in the market, holding their stands at a yearly
rental. But with the expansion of London the growers have gradually
given place to dealers and commission men, who pay twenty-five cents a
day per square foot of space, and on the produce, at a regular scale,
according to its nature. On flowers there is no toll, but each stand
holder pays a fixed rental. Though this market has direct access
neither to river nor railroad, it still retains its premier position
among the wholesale markets of England. As the approaches are extremely
narrow, most of the produce has to be carried on the heads of hundreds
of porters from the wagons outside into the market buildings. As it is
under private ownership, no figures are issued, but there is known to
be a huge profit on the market. For outer London there are fruit and
vegetable markets at Stratford, in the east, Kew in the west, the
Borough in the south and two railroad markets in the north.

BIRMINGHAM, England's chief midland city, has owned its markets since
1824, administering them through a markets and fairs committee. Since
1908 the profits have been somewhat reduced, owing to outlay on
improvements and extensions; but although the city has expended
$2,156,362 on the markets, the profits have paid off more than half of
that indebtedness, besides relieving taxation in other directions.

Not far away is the small city of KIDDERMINSTER, that may be mentioned
as affording a demonstration of provincial municipal enterprise, under
more restricted conditions. On its vegetable market it makes a _profit
of $1,000_, and on its butter market _a profit of $1,500_. The
population of the city is only 25,000. Another midland city,
WOLVERHAMPTON, makes a _profit of nearly $20,000_.


The Thames Side of the Market, Showing the Steam Carriers Unloading
their Cargoes Direct into the Sale Room.]

LIVERPOOL, the great northern port on the Mersey, has spent $1,242,534
on six municipal markets. The only market to lose money is the cattle
market, which shows a deficit of $8,000. Liverpool has a cold storage
capacity for 2,176,000 carcases. On the whole municipal market
enterprise, in this city of 700,000 people, there is an average annual
_profit of $80,000_.

MANCHESTER serves not only its own area but surrounding industrial
centers, with a total population of nearly 8,000,000. There are twelve
markets and four slaughterhouses. Since 1868 the city has benefited by
their administration to the extent of _$3,250,000 profit_.

Next to that of London, the fish market here is the largest in England.
Its annual profit is well over $10,000, in addition to heavy extension
payments in late years.

DUBLIN, the capital of what is often called 'the distressful isle,'
makes _a profit of $14,000_ on the food market and _$12,000 more_ on
the cattle market, while EDINBURGH, Scotland's chief city, makes about
_$15,000 a year on municipal markets_.

Statistics are available of something like 150 other British towns and
cities, ranging from a population of 5,000 upwards, where there is the
conviction born of experience that municipal markets pay not merely in
profits, but in convenience to the community, and they have a powerful
influence in keeping prices down.


Perhaps more than any other country in the world Germany places
reliance on municipal markets, because of the peculiar pressure of the
problem of the high cost of living in the cities of the Fatherland. On
several occasions, during the last twelve months, the butchers' stalls
have been raided by women in protest against the ten per cent increase
in one year on the price of meat. And when, to meet the clamor, the
government reduced the hitherto prohibitive import duties on meat by
one-half and the inland railroad charges by one-third, it was on
condition that the meat brought in should be for delivery to municipal
markets or co-operative societies only. The result has been an
immediate fall in retail prices ranging up to fifty per cent.


An Outside View of One Section of the $7,250,000 Central Market that
Caters for the Needs of Consumers in the German Capital.]

BERLIN'S two million people since 1886 have had a splendid terminal
market on the Alexanderplatz, consisting of two great adjoining halls,
with direct access to the city railroad. One of these halls is entirely
wholesale, while the other is partly wholesale and partly retail. Meat,
fish, fruit and vegetables are dealt with under the same roof by
upwards of 2,000 producers and dealers.

The whole market cost $7,250,000, of which $1,920,711 was for the main
market and $4,852,862 was for the slaughterhouses, which are most
elaborately equipped to ensure sanitation and cleanliness. Great as the
market is, the pressure of business has grown so much that a project is
on foot to construct more accommodation at a cost of $15,000,000. The
market is maintained by stand rentals and administrative charges and by
a fund established for the improvement and extension of the system. On
the entire enterprise, when all charges have been met and interest
paid, there is _a profit of over $135,000 a year_.

A committee of eleven, partly city councillors and partly selected
representatives of the public, administer the markets with ninety-three
officials to ensure the carrying out of their orders. The regulations
are most elaborate, especially as regards the inspection of foods,
which is conducted by a department having a staff of six hundred.

A healthy competition is created by the system of sales, which may be
conducted by the producer himself, or through an approved wholesale
dealer, or through one of the six municipal sales commissioners. These
municipal sales commissioners have to give bonds on appointment and are
not allowed to have any interest in the trade of the market beyond a
small percentage on sales. Producers living at a distance can have
their business carried through by them under conditions so well
understood and respected as to ensure confidence. Though the municipal
sales commissioners handle less than a quarter of the sales, they
nevertheless act as a check on the private dealers, especially as they
issue a regular report on the average wholesale prices. Moreover the
purchasers benefit by these market arrangements, for if they buy from a
regularly authorized dealer they can file a claim with the
administration if the supplies delivered are faulty and if their case
is proved the account will be rectified.

About fifty railroad car loads can be handled at once at the market,
but when extended accommodation is provided it is intended to deal with
two hundred carloads simultaneously. On supplies thus delivered a
railroad tax is collected from the receivers for maintaining rail
connections, and this yields an annual profit of $11,000.


The Fish Section of the Great Municipal Market of the German Capital.]

Of the stand holders, nine-tenths are monthly tenants, and the
remainder pay by the day. The highest charge is 9.5 cents per square
meter a day for meat stalls. The fish sold comes mainly from
Geestemunde, at the mouth of the Weser, and is sold under the strictest
conditions, only a small commission being allowed to be added by the

The slaughterhouses deal with 800 wagons daily and for the use of the
butchers and the market generally 2,000 square meters of distilled
water are produced every day, valued at four cents the square meter.
Eight thousand pipes conduct the water to every part of the market. To
ensure cleanliness, bathrooms and rooms for drying clothes are
established for the use of the butchers, who are charged two and a half
cents a bath. In inspecting the carcases the veterinaries take the most
minute precautions. From every animal four samples are taken, at
different parts of the body, and each of these samples is submitted to
tests for twenty minutes.

In an average year 14,000 carcases are condemned and destroyed, as well
as 400,000 diseased parts. Whenever possible the inspectors cut away
diseased portions, and the remainder of the carcase, after being
sterilized, is sent to the markets known as the Freibank, for sale to
the very poor. This proportion is not so startling when it is
considered that something like two million animals are slaughtered
every year, of which more than half are pigs. Until recently Germany
used to export a large number of prime animals to the London market,
but the demands of home consumers now prevent this and the export trade
has practically ceased. In fact Germany, in common with the rest of
Europe, is now competing for the world's refrigerated supplies.

Storm doors and windbreaks are provided at the entrances to the markets
and wagons are only allowed inside at certain hours and through
specified doorways. Thus there is an absence of dust, and a carefully
arranged series of windows ensure ample ventilation. All dealers have
to unpack their stock at least once every seven days, for the
destruction of unsound articles. All supplies of unripe fruit,
horseflesh and artificial butter have to carry labels disclosing their
real nature. Attached to the market is a hospital with skilled
attendance, for cases of sickness or injury happening on the market

As in most other centers, the establishment of the market led to the
peddlers entering into outside competition. They bought their supplies
wholesale inside, and then offered them cheaply outside, free from
stand rentals and other charges. This menace to the prosperity of the
market grew so great that the peddlers' traffic in adjacent streets was
prohibited and strictly limited elsewhere. This measure, in fact, is
deemed essential in every city where municipal markets are conducted


In front is seen the toll-house and receiving station, then the great
market hall and, in the upper part of the picture, the restaurant and
administration offices. The sidetracks on the right facilitate the
rapid distribution of produce sold at the market. Under the great
market hall are large refrigeration chambers connected directly with
the railroad.]

COLOGNE completed a million dollar market in 1904, with a cold storage
plant and connections with the state and narrow gauge railways. Nearly
half the space is taken up by wholesale dealers in fruit and

The chief fault of the market is the remoteness from the center of the
town. At first it had a great success but, on this account, it has not
been entirely maintained. Encouraged by that initial prosperity, the
city authorities bought a nearer site, but the subsequent decrease in
the market's popularity has caused the postponement of extensions.
Though the market does not pay the five per cent on capital that is
required, the present administration, even with its drawbacks, does
succeed in making a profit of about three per cent on the capital
invested, last year's income amounting to $535,200.

HAMBURG is peculiarly situated as to its market conditions. The market
halls of Hamburg and Altona adjoin, but while the former is under the
control of the Hamburg senate, the latter is subject to the laws of the
Prussian government and administered by the Altona city authorities.
Each has a large hall, with a considerable portion of the space used
for auctions. The senate of Hamburg appoints two auctioneers and Altona
one; but, while the latter is a salaried official, the former are two
Hamburg auctioneers approved by the government for the special market
business, on undertaking not to trade on their own account. The trade
of the chief market is in fish. With the Altona market, the Hamburg
market and the Geestemunde market, the sales in this section of Germany
are the most important in the Fatherland for fresh sea fish, and salted
herrings. About a fourth comes in fishing cutters or steam trawlers
direct alongside the market halls, while the remaining three-fourths
come from Denmark by rail or by ships from England, Scotland and
Norway. Often there are three or four special fish trains from the
north in a day, while twenty-five to thirty steamers bring the regular
supply of imported fish.

The auctioneers derive their revenue from a four per cent charge on
sales of the cargoes of German fishing vessels and five per cent on
imported supplies. Out of this they pay half of one per cent to the
government on the German and one per cent on the foreign sales. No fees
are charged to importers and dealers using the auction section of the
fish market. Out of the percentage paid to the government by the
auctioneers is provided light and water, the cleansing of the halls and
the carting away of refuse for destruction. Strict regulations govern
the inspection of the fish and to ensure the destruction of those that
have deteriorated they are sprinkled with petroleum immediately on


The World's Most Modern Distribution Center for Foodstuffs.]

Steam fishing boats using the market quays pay 48 cents for 24 hours'
use, seagoing sailing cutters 24 cents, river sailing cutters 6 cents,
and small boats 3 cents, in which charges the use of electric and other
hoists is included.

From these markets almost the whole of Germany receives its sea fish
supplies, for the distribution of which most of the leading dealers
have branch houses in the principal cities.

There are also two markets--one in Hamburg and one in Altona--for the
sale of farm produce, mostly transported thither by boats. Besides
these, there is a big auction for imported fruit, conducted by private
firms. All these Hamburg markets are prosperous, and their utility to
the community is universally acknowledged.

FRANKFORT'S market system dates back to 1879, when the first hall was
erected at a cost of $375,000. It has 548 stands on the main floor
renting at $1.08 per two square meters a month, payable in advance,
while there is space for 347 more in the galleries at 84 cents per two
square meters a month. Nearby is a second hall, built in 1883 at a cost
of $143,750. A third hall followed in 1899 at a cost of $38,500, while
in 1911 further extensions were determined on and there are fresh
projects now under consideration. Besides these covered markets the
city has a paved and fenced square that has been used since 1907 as an
open market, where stands are rented at 5 cents a day.

Sixty per cent of the stands in the market halls are rented by the
month and forty per cent by the day. Tuesdays and Fridays are reserved
for wholesale trading. A market commission rules the markets and the
police enforce their regulations, the violation of which is liable to
cost the offender $7.20 in fines or imprisonment up to eight days.

MUNICH, with a population of half a million, has the most modern of all
the European municipal markets. It was opened in February, 1912, and
embodies the improvements suggested by experience of market
administration in other cities.

The total cost was $797,000, of which $510,000 was spent on four
communicating iron market halls, with their cellar accommodation
underneath, $190,000 on a receiving and toll department, $52,000 on a
group of adjacent buildings, including a post-office, restaurant and
beer-garden, and $45,000 on roadways. The whole establishment covers
46,500 square meters, of which the market halls occupy 37,100 square

At the northern extremity of the buildings is the toll and receiving
department, where produce is delivered at special sidings connected
with the south railway station of the city. Next comes a succession of
lofty halls, with covered connections, terminating in a small retail
section and the administration offices. At the northern end of the
great market is a section where express delivery traffic is dealt with,
while the western side is occupied with sidings for loading produce
sold to buyers from other German centers.

Below the toll house and the market generally are vast cold storage
cellars and refrigerating plants for the preservation of surplus
supplies till the demand in the market above calls for their delivery.
Each market hall is devoted to a separate section of produce, and the
cellars below are correspondingly distinct, so that there is an absence
of confusion, orderliness is ensured, and rapid deliveries facilitated.
Across this underground space from north to south run three roadways,
while down the center, from east to west, a further broad aisle is
provided, with an equipment of great hydraulic lifts. There are nine of
these lifts altogether for heavy consignments, while each stand-owner
in the market has, in addition, a small lift connecting his stand and
storage cellar.

Both market halls and underground cellars are so constructed as to
facilitate ventilation and complete cleanliness. The floors are of
concrete and every stand is fitted with running water, with which all
the fittings have to be scoured every day. There is both roof and side
light, and ample ventilation, while the entrances are wind-screened, to
prevent dust. Electric light is used underground, and the cellars are
inspected as strictly as the upper halls, to ensure due attention to
hygiene. In the center of each market hall there are offices and
writing rooms for those using the markets. In the restaurant 150 can be
served with meals at one time, or they can be accommodated with seats
in the beer-garden.

Associated with this market establishment is a great cattle market and
range of slaughterhouses on a neighboring site. The live cattle market
dates back for centuries, but the present accommodation was only
completed in May, 1904, at a total cost of $1,600,000.

Last year 809,508 animals were sold, including 432,159 swine and
234,457 calves. In the slaughterhouses 713,228 of these were killed,
besides 2,619 horses and 97 dogs. About twenty-five per cent of the
animals reach the market by road from neighboring farms, while
seventy-five per cent come by rail. For the inspection of all flesh
foods there are very strict rules, enforced by the chief veterinary
surgeon, Dr. Müller, and a staff of specially trained assistants. As in
Berlin, extensive bathrooms are provided for the slaughterhouse staff,
and baths are available at nominal charges. Though the new market halls
have not been established long enough to provide a definite financial
statement, the live-cattle market and slaughterhouses do afford an
indication of the success of municipal administration in Munich. Last
year the income was $416,500 and the expenditure $410,100, thus showing
a profit of $6,400. The new produce halls are certainly the best
equipped in the world, and the only element of doubt as to their
success arises from the fact that three old-fashioned open markets are
nearer the center of the city and for that reason are even now
preferred by many retailers. This fact emphasises the importance of
selecting a central position in establishing a municipal terminal


PARIS has one of the most skilfully organized municipal market systems
in Europe. The chief food distribution center for the 3,000,000
Parisians is established at the Halles Centrales, a series of ten
pavilions covering twenty-two acres of ground and intervening streets.
Altogether this great terminal market has cost the city more than

Most of the pavilions are entirely for the wholesale trade, but some
are used as retail markets to a limited extent. Retail traders are
being decreased gradually, so that whereas in 1904 there were 1,164
retail stands there are now only 856.

The total receipts of the Halles Centrales and thirty local markets
amount to $2,100,000, of which _about $1,000,000 is profit_. There is a
general advance in the wholesale trade, but the local covered markets
or marchés de quartier, are not progressing in the same way, so the
city does not quite maintain a steady level of market profit.


An Outside View, Showing How the Supplies Overflow into the Adjacent
Streets, Notwithstanding the Provision of Twenty-two Acres of Covered

The reasons given for the falling off of the retail trade are various,
but the principal causes appear to be (1) the growth of big stores,
with local branches, that deliver the goods at the door, thus relieving
the purchaser of the necessity of taking home market supplies; (2) the
number of perambulating produce salesmen, who sell from carts in the
street at low rates, having neither store rent nor market tolls to pay,
and (3) the growth of co-operative societies.

A complicated and severe code of regulations governs the markets.
Commission salesmen at the Halles Centrales must be French citizens of
unblemished record and must give a bond of not less than $1,000 in
proof of solvency. Producers may have their supplies sold either at
auction or by private treaty, as they prefer, and as none of the agents
are allowed to do business for themselves the distant growers have
confidence in the market methods.

In the retail markets each dealer in fresh meat pays just under $6.00 a
week in all, while dealers in salted meats, fish, game and vegetables
pay a much lower rate. All, however, in the covered markets pay three
taxes--one for the right to occupy a stand, one for the cleaning and
arranging of the markets, and one for the maintenance of guardians and
officials. In the open markets the stands are rented by the day, week,
or year, the rate for the day ranging from ten to thirty cents,
according to space. Several of these local markets have charters dating
back to pre-revolution days, that cannot now be annulled.

It would be difficult to devise a more thorough system of inspection.
An average year's seizures include half a million pounds of meat,
17,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables and half a million pounds of salt
water fish.

Thus the Paris market arrangements provide an admirable central
clearing house, where supplies are inspected and sold under such
conditions as to prevent the artificial raising of prices. It also acts
as a feeder to the marchés de quartier, to the great convenience of
local consumers. Moreover the producer is safeguarded, for on his
supplies a small fixed percentage only can be charged by the salesman,
and the current market prices are made public by agents especially
detailed for that purpose.

HAVRE, the well-known French seaport, with a population of 130,000, has
a profit of over six per cent on the Halles Centrales and ten per cent
on the fish market. All told there is _a profit of $27,000_ on the
twelve municipal markets.


In the Game Section of the Paris Halles Centrales.]

The Halles Centrales occupy an entire square in the center of the city
and cost $75,000, exclusive of the site. Gardeners and farmers are not
permitted to sell their produce on the way to the market and are only
allowed to deliver to storekeepers after the wholesale markets are
closed. Here, as elsewhere where the markets are successful, every
precaution is taken to avoid the prosperity of the market being
dissipated by sales in the surrounding neighborhood. The annual rents
for butchers are very moderate, ranging from $57.90 to $154.40,
vegetable dealers $42.85 to $92.64; dairy produce dealers $52.11 to
$85.11, fishmongers $23.16 to $86.85. In the wholesale markets there is
an annual trade turnover worth well above $1,000,000, of which fish
represents $280,000. So far from the fishermen finding the fish market
detrimental to their interests, they welcome it and cheerfully observe
the rule forbidding sales on the quays or transit sheds except under
special permits.

LYONS, with a population of half a million, may be taken as the best
example of a flourishing French provincial city at a considerable
distance from the sea. The principal market, La Halle, is known all
over France for its public auctions. Accommodation is provided for 276
stalls, rented at 14 cents a day per square meter for fruit, vegetables
and cheese, while other stalls for meat and fish are rented at 33 cents
per square meter.

At the morning auctions, held at the rear of the hall, are sold immense
quantities of fish, oysters, lobsters, game, poultry, butter, cheese,
eggs, fruit and vegetables. There is a rule that all supplies must come
from outside Lyons, so that local store men cannot there dispose of
surplus stocks, but dealers in other French cities often thus relieve
themselves when overloaded. These auctions not only enable local
dealers to distribute supplies at cheap rates to the small stores all
over the city, but wide awake housewives can frequently tell just what
the stores gave wholesale for the produce offered to them retail later
in the day, so a check can be kept on overcharges.

The auctioneers are given a monopoly of selling for ten years, on
binding themselves to pay to the city a sum equal to two per cent on
the total annual sales. The minimum is fixed at $1,930 for one stand or
$5,650 for four stands, to be paid to the municipal treasury. Two per
cent is added to the purchase price of every payment made by buyers at
auction, and if this does not amount to $1,930 per stand for the year,
the auctioneer has to make up the difference. The poorer classes
benefit largely by these sales, banding together to buy wholesale and
then dividing their purchases.


Of Refrigerated Chinese Pork at the Port of Liverpool.]

There are also seventeen markets for general retail trade in Lyons. The
Terminal Market of La Halle cost the city $886,980. The company which
built it was given a concession for fifty years, on a division of
profits arrangement, but within sixteen months the utility of the
market as an advantageous enterprise for the city was so clearly
demonstrated that the municipality bought the company out.


VIENNA, with 1,700,000 people to supply, has a magnificently managed
system of forty-five markets, seven of which are located in large,
well-ventilated halls, all kept spotlessly clean.

Market commissioners appointed by the municipality conduct the business
of the markets according to strict regulations, enforcing a rigid
inspection of all products as well as weights and measures. Violations
of these rules are punishable by fines of about $2.00, imprisonment for
24 hours or exclusion from the markets. Such penalties are enforced
when buyers are defrauded, dealers oppose the market authority, or
exceed the charges that are posted in the market.

Not merely land and water produce, but general farm and household
requisites, are sold at these markets. Outside buying is strictly
controlled, owners of boats on the Danube or wagons on the public
streets paying toll to the municipality on any sales.

_Over $60,000 profit_ is the average annual yield of the markets to the
city treasury, and it is generally agreed that the market system tends
to keep down the price of foodstuffs to normal levels.

BUDA-PESTH has 715,000 people and a very complete market system, under
which, though only nominal rentals are charged, there is _a profit of
over $100,000_.

There is one large wholesale terminal market, while six local markets
cater for the retail requirements of all quarters of the city. All
salesmen are carefully selected; criminals and diseased persons being
rigidly excluded. Though a wide variety of articles are sold in the
smaller markets besides farm produce, storekeepers are not allowed to
rent stalls, so the market men and farmers alone have the use of the
buildings. The regulations under which they trade were drawn up by a
market commission and confirmed by ministerial decrees. These
regulations are regarded in Europe as a model of comprehensiveness and
their observance ensures close attention to hygiene. Among the rules is
one insisting on the placing of all waste paper in the public refuse
receptacles, while another compels the use of new, clean paper only in
wrapping up food products.

Stalls are rented from four to ten cents a day, according to the
accommodation. Supplies come by boat, rail and wagon, and when there is
pressure on the interior market space sales are allowed from the boats
and wagons at a toll of ten cents a day. Otherwise only merchandise is
allowed to be sold outside the market halls. Not only must no fish,
game, meat or poultry be sold without first being passed by the
veterinary inspectors, but none of these articles of diet must be
brought to market packed in straw, cloth or paper. Unripe fruit must
not be sold to children.

Every day a bulletin issued by the market commission sets out the
wholesale prices, while a weekly list gives the retail prices, but in
the latter case the note is added that the market commission will not
be responsible for any controversy that may arise. All the stocks held
by the market traders are insured by the municipality, though not to
their full value.

Not only have these markets proved beneficial to the consumers
generally, but the market men are unanimous as to their advantage, for
they afford a ready and inexpensive means of doing a large business.


AMSTERDAM, with a population of 510,000, has all the local markets
under the control of the municipality. They are divided into five
districts, each managed by a director or market master, responsible to
the city council.

Two of the markets are covered, but the remainder are open and are
situated by the side of the canals, along which the produce is brought
in boats from the farms around. On the administration of the markets in
an average year there is _a profit of $36,000_, but there is a law
against making a profit on municipal enterprises, so the surplus is
spent on local improvements.

ROTTERDAM, another great Dutch seaport, operates its markets under
similar conditions and makes _a profit of $34,000_, of which $23,000
comes from the cattle and meat markets.


BRUSSELS, possessing a population of half a million, reaps considerable
advantage from its picturesque municipal markets, four of which are
covered, while several are in the open air.

The renting of space to standholders at the central market is according
to the highest bidder, provided the price is not below $11.58 per month
for meat, $9.65 for poultry and game, $5.79 for fruit, vegetables,
butter and cheese.

Both producers and dealers sell at these markets, all their supplies
being subjected to drastic inspection regulations. All meats are tested
by the municipal veterinary surgeon and his staff, while a communal
chemist regulates the milk, butter and general dairy produce. The
cleansing of the markets is done by the department of public
cleanliness. Some of the public markets are managed by a contractor,
who receives $250.90 a year for setting up the stalls and keeping them
in good order. He deposits a security on undertaking his contract and
in default of a satisfactory performance of his work the commune does
it and charges him with it.


It has been testified that New York's annual food supply costs, at the
railroad and steamer terminals, $350,000,000. But the consumers pay
$500,000,000 for it. The balance of $150,000,000 does not necessarily
indicate that any particular section of middle-men have been exacting
excessive profits. It merely demonstrates that too many people handle
the produce between the farm and the fireside. The provision of an
adequate Terminal Market system for New York would apply the remedy.

New York stands alone, for a city of its importance, in having to face
an annual deficit on its markets. The results elsewhere prove that the
deficit could be turned into a profit by the creation of a Terminal
Market system, equipped and administered on twentieth century lines.

America is exporting less foodstuffs than formerly. The annual value
has fallen $126,000,000 in eleven years. The growth of the
manufacturing population and the relative decrease of the agricultural
population, together with the gradual impoverishment of much of our
farm land, will soon make conditions worse unless we organize our food

The first step for New York is the establishment of a Terminal Market
system. It is estimated that New York's population will continue to
grow at the rate of fully 100,000 a year, so this problem admits of no
further procrastination.

In natural resources America is the richest country in the world. Other
nations have to import vast quantities of produce because of the
restricted area of their territory, the comparative unfruitfulness of
their soil, or their adverse climatic conditions. We have a wide land
of boundless fertility, never wholly in the grip of winter's cold. Yet
we no more escape the high cost of living than these less favored
peoples overseas. They have partially compensated for their
disadvantages by organizing their markets, while we have neglected that
important branch of civic enterprise.

Everywhere in Europe, the provision of adequate terminal markets under
municipal control is pointed to as a powerful aid in keeping food
prices down. There is a lesson in that for New York and other American

There is a lesson also for growers in up-state districts, for
experience shows that with adequate markets, supplying produce at lower
rates, there comes a demand for more farm and garden stuff and a
greater variety of it. This directly aids in developing rural
prosperity and enhances the value of agricultural land.

I believe a marked improvement will be shown if a bureau is maintained
to inform farmers as to the demands of the market and the best method
of packing, preparing and despatching their produce so as to reach the
market in prime condition. Not only will that aid the market, but it
will have a powerful influence in arresting "the drift from the land"
to the cities.

The municipality should select central positions for its markets, with
rail and river access. It should have effective control not only over
the markets but the adjacent streets, wharves, and railroad sidings, so
as to obviate evasion of the market tolls. The rentals should not be
high, and no sub-letting should be allowed under any circumstances.

Under such conditions, with wise administration, New York's Terminal
Market system could be made a model that would be studied by other
cities in an age when economic questions absorb the attention of all
our public-spirited men and women.

In the interests of the people's health and happiness, no less than in
consideration of the municipal finances, all should rally to the
support of those who are seeking to secure the consummation of this
urgent reform at the earliest possible moment consistent with a full
consideration of all its aspects.

The Willett Press, New York

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Transcriber's Notes

Moved illustrations to paragraph breaks.

Removed period from "per cent" for consistency.

Removed hyphen from "to-day" for consistency.

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