By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Roadtown
Author: Chambless, Edgar
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Roadtown" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.





  _All rights reserved_



This book is dedicated to J. Pierpont Morgan, a _straight_ player of
a _crooked_ game, who, it is said, played his usual role in the Wall
Street manipulations of the Central Railroad of Georgia securities,
which adroitly and legally absorbed the small savings and happiness of
many unsophisticated investors--an action which, in my case at least,
proved to be a blessing in disguise, for it made me _suffer_ first and
then made me _think_. Hence the gratitude and consequent dedication to
Mr. Morgan for starting the train of thought, which finally resulted in
the invention of Roadtown, a plan for side-stepping the _crooked_ game
as now played so that henceforth whosoever will may become a _straight_
player of a _straight_ game.


Nineveh, Babylon, Rome, London, New York,--all cities from the twilight
of the past to the high noon of the present have been constructed
on one plan, which is no plan at all. Like Topsy, they jest growed,
with no further aims in view than to huddle together for the sake
of companionship and self-protection against enemies. A map of the
haphazard streets straying crookedly through them looked like cracks in
an earthenware dish. The siege-walls which until recently surrounded
them emphasized the prisoner-like existence of their inhabitants.
Noise, dirt, disease, suffocation and confusion, crime--these spirits
of evil took up their abode in the midst of them, never to be
dislodged, and students of political economy, hygiene, decency and
morality wasted eloquence and logic in showing how bad it all was,
and in suggesting picayune and transient remedies. The true Moses,
with the effectual remedy, which will lead us out of our long Egyptian
bondage, arrives only to-day, and if we will but follow the teachings
of the gospel contained in the ensuing pages, we may be free, healthy,
wealthy and happy forevermore.

This Moses of ours, contemporarily incarnated as Mr. Chambless,
arrives at the psychological moment when we are all ready for him. The
Jeremiahs of rotten conditions and the Cassandras of impending woe had
prepared us for the necessity of change, and the Edisons, Teslas and
Lodges of electrical and other inventions had supplied the means for
it. The great riddle was ripe for the guessing: and Mr. Chambless has
guessed it.

Transportation, distribution, and the middle-man,--what a waste of
time, energy, economy and common sense are involved in our present
handling of these elements? The domestic servant problem,--how sorry
and slipshod a solution of it are the hotel and boarding house of
to-day? The elimination of the open country from our children’s
training and from our own opportunities for peace and sanity,--what a
paltry and impotent substitute for it is the hybrid suburb? Personal
independence, social harmony, full value for work done, adequate
leisure after toil,--does not this sound like the Millennium? Read Mr.
Chambless, O ye captives of Civilization, and burst your shackles!

He takes a map and a ruler and draws you a straight line from the
Atlantic coast to the Alleghanies, thence on to the Mississippi, so
across the prairies to the Rockies, and down to the very sands of the
Pacific. What does this line stand for? It stands for the site of
the New City; and there may be as many more of them as you can make
straight lines from any given point to any other, in any direction
along and athwart the continent. A single line of houses, superimposed
upon three lines of railway, one on top of the other, underground,
two stories of living and working rooms above-ground, a continuous
promenade along the roofs, and gardens and country front and back
all the way. Concrete “poured” houses (Edison’s patent); smokeless,
noiseless, unintermittent, arrow-swift trains, local and express,
bearing you at all times, in no time, to your precise destination and
back; telephones, telegraphs, teleposts, parcel-carriers, freight
service, compact, punctual, prompt, accurate, enabling you to live
along the line from part to part and from end to end, and be served
with the best at the cheapest at all times, while sitting in your
easy chair; house-work done mechanically, and your private trade or
profession followed in your own workrooms at minimum expense of time
and effort and at greatest profit; rent reduced, taxes minimized,
slums exterminated, pure food, fresh air and exercise ad libitum;
politics purified, cut-throat competition supplanted by rational
coöperation,--in short, the means for erecting mankind to its full
stature and rendering everybody free, useful, happy and wise can be
secured by Mr. Chambless’s Roadtown, and the moment to begin is Now!
Read his book and get together. Have we not waited long enough? He
has spent half a lifetime perfecting his plans; they are as practical
as they are attractive, and his only opponents are shiftless habits,
stupid inertia, and blind prejudice.

But before the first Roadtown has been built out ten miles into the
wilderness, it will have become an object-lesson before which all foes
will gladly transform themselves into friends, and all critics become
eulogists. Aviation has a mighty future: but the grand step forward
in Twentieth Century civilization is Roadtown, for not only is it
an incomparable benefit in itself, but it affords all other useful
inventions their best medium toward perfection.

                             JULIAN HAWTHORNE.



It was about two years ago that a tall, gaunt, pale young man entered
my church study and said, in quite confident terms--“I want a long talk
with you, sir, for I’ve got something that I believe will interest you.”

Being not wholly unused to the ways of agents, promoters, inventors
and various kinds of visionaries, I felt somewhat impatient at this
unhesitating demand for a liberal share of my time; but I told my
visitor, as pleasantly as possible, to be seated and to describe the
thing which he thought would “interest” me. This was the beginning of
my acquaintance with Mr. Edgar Chambless, the author of this book, and
the opening words of my introduction to Roadtown.

At that time, Roadtown was nothing but a dream,--a crude and imperfect
idea, as compared with the careful and well-tested conception which is
here given to the public. To its inventor it appeared even then, in its
original form, to contain the solution of most every perplexing problem
of modern social life,--to me, to whom it came not as a slowly dawning
idea but as an immediate revelation, it appeared to be only one more
extravagant and utterly impracticable vision, akin to that invention,
once laid before me by a dear old man, whereby light and heat might
be endlessly generated without the combustion of any fuel, or to that
other wonderful idea, commended to me by a devoted enthusiast, whereby
the drama was to be made the oasis of all ethical instruction and the
theater the school of morals.

Something in Mr. Chambless’ personality, however, held my attention
and won my sympathy. In our first talk together, I was made to believe
in him even while I could not find it within reason to believe in the
revolutionary possibilities of his conception, and so I asked him to
call again. And from that time to this, I have met him and talked
with him frequently. I have seen his dream become transformed from an
ill-conceived vision into a well-conceived and thoroughly practical
idea. I have seen the man himself rise from the position of a visionary
dreamer, seeking the ears of any who would listen, to that of a
recognized genius, welcomed in the offices of editors and publishers,
and received on equal terms by the best known architects and inventors
of the nation. I have seen Roadtown subjected by competent men to the
most rigid mechanical and economic criticisms, and beheld it emerge
triumphant. I have seen Mr. Chambless convert architects, mechanics,
charity workers, philanthropists, and cost-of-living experts from
scoffing impatience to enthusiastic faith. I have had the privilege,
in a word, of watching the triumphant progress of a great and original
idea, and the heroic personal victory of a true inventive genius.

During all of this time I have done nothing but “lend my ears” to Mr.
Chambless. Unable to help him to work out his ideas in any practical
way, I have tried to serve him as a friend and confidant. To me he
has unfolded his joys and his sorrows--revealed his feelings of
alternating despair and hope--told the tales now of success and now of
failure. For two years past, I have watched and listened, and all the
while my faith in Mr. Chambless has grown ever stronger and my sympathy
with his endeavor ever deeper. Indeed, for some months it has been
my feeling that I had no higher duty than that of helping as best I
could, by the word of good-will, the handclasp of friendship, and the
listening ear of personal faith, one of the few men I have ever met
in my experience who was truly laying down his life for the sake of a
great and unselfish idea.

Mr. Hawthorne, in his Foreword, has testified to his belief in the idea
of Roadtown; I would here testify, in my Foreword, to my belief in Mr.
Chambless. He is made of the stuff of heroes--those who have sacrificed
home, friends, social positions, money, personal comfort, yea life
itself, in the service of humanity. His is the spirit of perfect
devotion to an ideal. He represents in his person the type of valiant
martyrdom, which I have read about a thousand times in books, but have
met not more than a half-dozen times in real life. As to whether his
scheme is practicable or not, I cannot say. Experts, not accustomed
to being swept off their feet by bursts of enthusiasm over chimerical
ideas, have testified that it is. As to whether his conception will
solve all the problems of social life which he says it will solve,
I again cannot say. Experience teaches that every original idea has
revolutionary possibilities.

But as to Mr. Chambless himself, I can say, and say with enthusiasm,
that he is a man deserving of the confidence of men. Mr. Hawthorne
commends Roadtown to the earnest consideration of all thoughtful
persons for itself. I commend Roadtown in a similar way for its
inventor. Prove him wrong if you can, but first master his ideas.

  Church of the Messiah, June 15th, 1910.
      Park Ave. and 34th St.,
        New York City.



  WHEN I BEGAN TO THINK                             17
    How I came to invent Roadtown                   18


    Transportation in nature                        23
    Our disjointed civilization                     27


    Transportation determines the form of cities    33
    Building in one dimension                       35
    A line of city through the country              38


    To be built of cement                           41
    The railroad will be noiseless                  43
    Speed possibilities                             46
    The street upon the roof                        53


    Water                                           63
    Sewerage                                        64
    Heating                                         65
    Refrigeration                                   65
    Drinking water                                  66
    Bath and toilet                                 67
    Gas                                             68
    Vacuum                                          68
    Disinfecting gas                                69
    Electric light                                  69
    Electric power                                  69
    Telephones                                      70
    Dictograph                                      71
    Telegraphone                                    72


  ROADTOWN HOUSEKEEPING                             74
    Woman’s work not specialized                    74
    No laundry work at home                         76
    Dusting and sweeping                            78
    Making beds by machinery                        79
    Coöperative cooking practical                   81
    The end of household drudgery                   84


  THE SERVANT PROBLEM IN ROADTOWN                   89


  ROADTOWN AGRICULTURE                              90
    Sufficient land to support population           93
    Elimination of the middle man                   99
    Coöperative ownership of farm tools            100


  INDUSTRY RETURNS TO THE HOME                     102
    Wage slavery doomed                            103
    A work room in every home                      105
    A new type of factory                          110
    A special message to women                     112
    The end of monotonous labor                    114


    Also a Mecca for the individualist             117
    The Roadtown department store                  119


    Roadtown athletics                             125
    Education for old as well as young             126
    Eyes to be used less and ears more             128
    Mothers for public school teachers             131
    Lowest death rate in history                   133
    A home in the truest sense                     137


  WHO WILL BUILD THE ROADTOWNS                     139
    Home rule for Roadtowners                      142
    Detached villas practical but undesirable      145
    Builders of Roadtown take minimum risk         148
    The cost of the first mile of Roadtown         150
    Economy increases with length                  157
    A real remedy for congestion                   161


    Shall we miss them                             165
    The Roadtown religion                          168




In the panic of 1893 I was in the city of Los Angeles. I had received
word from the East that my small fortune had vanished as a result of an
ingenious Wall Street railroad “reorganization.” I had drawn my last
dollar from the bank and had spent it. I was out of a job. I didn’t
know where or how to get one, for I had been troubled with eye strain
all my life, and had little experience in the work of the world. The
city was thronging with experienced and trained workmen, out of work
like myself. I did not know where the price of my next week’s board
was coming from--in short, I was stranded in a stagnant world. It was
Sunday afternoon. I was sitting on a rock on top of a hill in the
heart of the city. The ground about me was vacant, yet I could have
thrown a stone over the precipice into the principal street of the
city. I began to think--I needed money--there was no opportunity to
get a living by working with my hands. I grasped eagerly at any _idea_
that had within it the possibility of creating value, wealth, money,
bread, perhaps butter and a new suit of clothes. The ground where I was
sitting was vacant and comparatively worthless. I asked why? The answer
was, lack of transportation. There was no convenient way for people to
get on top of the hill.

Time passed. I finally located in New York City and became a patent
investigator. I continued to think of transportation and its relation
to land value.

_How I Came to Invent Roadtown._

In my business as a dealer in patents I became acquainted with all
manner of inventions and inventors. I found that most inventions were
worthless, that a very few were practical and were promoted and
utilized in the usual fashion. Another group I found to be practical
and workable in themselves, but not available for use because their
adoption would throw into the junk heap millions of dollars worth of
old machines, and hence they were bought up and “shelved” by the vested
interests. And still another group could not be utilized because they
would require new franchises which men with little capital could not
purchase of the political franchise jobbers. To these were added a last
lot of inventions that could not be utilized to anything like their
full capacity because they could not be fitted into the crude mechanism
of the present style of city construction.

So I began to dream of new conditions in which some of these shelved
inventions might be utilized to ease the burden of life for mankind.
One plan after another was abandoned until the idea occurred to me to
lay the modern skyscraper on its side and run the elevators and the
pipes and the wires horizontally instead of vertically. Such a house
would not be limited by the stresses and strains of steel; it could be
built not only a hundred stories, but a thousand stories or a thousand
miles--in short, I had found a workable way of coupling housing and
transportation into one mechanism, and a human way for land-moving
man to live--I would not cure the evils of congestion by perfecting
congestion as is the case with the skyscraper--I would build my city
out into the country. I would take the apartment house and all its
conveniences and comforts out among the farms by the aid of wires,
pipes and of rapid and noiseless transportation. I would extend the
blotch of human habitations called cities out in radiating lines. I
would surround the city worker with the trees and grass and woods and
meadows and the farmer with all the advantages of city life--I had
invented Roadtown.



When I use the word transportation in relation to Roadtown I do not
mean what the term usually implies. You often hear the expression,
“our transportation systems,” but your conception of its meaning is
limited to railroads, boats and street cars. The other crude links
in our transportation system are invariably called by other names
such as trucks, carts, delivery wagons, dumb-waiters, elevators, etc.
It is true that these last named links are sometimes referred to as
transportation devices, but not as a part of a comprehensive system of

Roadtown transportation includes all the links in the system of
transportation automatically coupled into one system. This is what I
mean by a _new conception of transportation_.

The functions of housing and transportation are fully coördinated by
Nature in the individual animal--legs are her vehicle of passenger
transportation, talons and arms are her freight system, the animal body
is the house. Housing and transportation exist together, being mutually
interdependent. They are inseparable, the building is worthless without
transportation and conversely there would be no need for transportation
without the house.

There is no better illustration of the need for a proper combination
of transportation and housing than that of the human body. The baby’s
first task is to learn to use its transportation devices, otherwise
its house or body is useless. Life is full of lessons of the necessity
of the harmonious combination of the functions of transportation and
consumption. The monkey was provided with means for transporting
himself up the banana tree and an efficient means of getting the
banana from the stalk to his mouth. Gold carried from mines in Peru to
a jewelry shop in Madrid; men carried from their homes in Brooklyn
to their offices in Wall Street; food carried from a farm in Canada
to a dining-room in a Boston hotel; gas carried from retorts to the
burner in a parlor chandelier; electricity carried from the generator
in Niagara to the motors in Rochester; a pound of steak carried by
the delivery boy to the basement of your house and pulled up in a
dumb-waiter; a letter carried by a postman; the song of a Prima
Donna sent scintillating through the air by a wireless phone--all
these things and a million others are but a civilized man’s arms and
legs--his means of transportation.

_Transportation in Nature._

The game of life in wild nature is but the getting of food and water to
the consuming plant or animal, or getting the more adaptable animal to
the food or water or some warm spot, or the society of his fellows. So
the life of man, whether it be the family with the single house or the
city with its many houses, shows a similar relation--things needed by
the inhabitants, things taken from the place where they are and to a
place where we want them--that is transportation.

Start out in the morning, number your every minute’s occupation, watch
what your neighbors are doing. The man on the stairs, the wagon on the
street, the rumbling subway train in a three million dollar a mile
right of way, the elevator in the skyscraper, the office boy at beck
and call--it is all transportation. Run over in your mind the work of
the office and brain workers in a city business section, how many of
them are engaging in planning, directing and accounting the various
forms of transportation.

In fact, every hour of existence we are performing some act of
transportation except when asleep. If we allow eight hours for rest we
find that two-thirds of our lives are spent in transporting ourselves
to our wants or our wants to ourselves.

The basic principle of Roadtown is a plan to give the social body
proper arms and legs, to make them not as they are, separate and
uncoördinated functions, but as part, in fact the most important part,
of the scheme of civilization.

The members of society are all engaged in transporting themselves
and their belongings a goodly portion of their time, and besides a
large group is exclusively engaged in the work of transportation.
Moreover, the so-called productive labors are at every step interwoven
with operations of transportation. Analyze for a moment the work of
the factory, of the farm--how much of it is production, how much is
transportation? Could we, like Aladdin, rub a mystic lamp and cause
things to be created from nothing, we would indeed be well served. But
could we command the génie of transportation, the will to wish what
is from where it is to the place where we want it, our power would be
equally miraculous and quite as useful.

Our methods of production, though still extremely wasteful, are
constantly growing in efficiency. In this age a minority of mankind
produce for the entire population. A constant stream of people from the
farm pours into the city. These people produce nothing and expect to
live by distributing goods to each other; but congestion of population
in large cities introduces insolvable mechanical difficulties in
distribution, until railroads, ware houses, trucks, wholesale and
retail stores, delivery wagons, grocery boys and dumb-waiters, become
congested; the machine clogs and thus the growing efficiency of modern
production is lost through a more rapidly growing waste in distribution.

The increasing number of those who get their living by taking a slice
of profit and the growing expense due to the ever increasing mechanical
difficulties in distribution are evils that aggravate each other.

As the makers of law live principally by the profits of distribution,
they will not change the scheme, nor can the wealthy, with their
country villas legislate the modern city tenant back to the loneliness,
long hours and lack of conveniences of farm life. A proposition that
would combine cheaper rents, greater conveniences and give all an
opportunity to engage in productive work would be a real solution for
the high cost of living. Roadtown eliminates all possible waste and
relieves the army of distributors of nine-tenths of their present work,
thus throwing these people into productive labors.

Labor which results in the creation of a concrete product--something
that can be eaten or worn is generally appreciated. Transportation, the
far greater necessity, is not so readily appreciated as a source of
wealth, nor is the waste in transportation so quickly seen or remedied.

_Our Disjointed Civilization._

Our factories and our farms--the places of production--our houses
and cities--places of consumption, and our railroad trucks, delivery
wagons and dumb-waiters, means of transportation, have been developed
by separate minds--they work together--clumsily--wastefully.
Civilization is a black cabinet of plates and doughnuts, arms and
legs, and consuming mouths dancing around in an uncoördinated fashion,
occasionally getting together and serving each other, but more often
missing the mark--two hands going to one mouth, another hand missing
the mouth altogether; there is no plan, no unity, no harmony, no mind
behind it all. The farm and factory, the railroad and the city grow
separately, each to serve the other it is true, but the machine as a
whole is woefully disjointed and inefficient. We may liken our present
system of living to old style harvesting. A binder, wonderful enough
in itself, left the bundles of grain strewn about the field. They were
shocked by hand. Later they are gathered into wagons and hauled to
the farm yard and built into stacks. Then the thresher comes and with
another complex machine delivers the grain, loose, through a running
spout, where men weigh it and sack it and load it into wagons, which
are as crude as the threshing machine itself.

Compare this system, wonderful though it be, with the combined
header-thresher, which at one operation cuts, threshes and delivers
the grain weighed and sacked into the wagon. In the combination of
the previous operations many of the steps, the binding and hauling
and stacking and weighing drop out. The machine simplified the whole
process, it eliminates waste, it represents a unity of plan, a harmony
of operation.

Our modern complex systems of production, transportation and
consumption, like the old-fashioned method of harvesting, require many
separate machines. Take the one product of butter for illustration:
the farmer produces milk, the milk hauler carts it to town, the
creamery man manufactures the butter, then packs it into tubs and
sells it to a dealer; the dealer ships it to the city by rail and then
another truckman delivers it to a jobber which means more trucking;
the jobber molds the butter into prints and boxes them. A wagon takes
it to a grocer where it is again stored, sold, and goes the round of
another wagon, a dumb-waiter, a pantry, a waiter, a table, and at last
consumption. This is a sample story of civilization, a heterogeneous
mass of independently acting individuals and separate mechanisms, full
of mechanical waste, full of human waste, full of financial waste. The
butter fat as is now wastefully produced is worth twenty cents in the
farmer’s milk pail, it cost two cents to skim it and churn it, the rest
is transportation. It is worth forty cents at the grocery store and
fifty cents to one dollar on your table, according to how much of your
household distribution is done by your wife who gives services gratis
and how much by servants whose arms and legs move only in response
to the rattle of the shekels. And how much would this service of
transportation cost if production, transportation and consumption, like
the modern header-thresher, were built upon a plan of coördination,
that is, if the farmer’s dairy was on a transportation line with the
creamery, and the creamery on a line with the kitchen where machinery
and specialized labor are available, and the kitchen was on a line with
the consumer’s dining-room, and the only expense of transportation was
the cost of power to move the material object and the cost of labor
to perform the actual processes of manufacture that intervene between
production and consumption.

The Roadtown is a single unified plan for the arrangement of these
three functions of civilization--production, transportation, and



Civilization growing up in a separate and disjoined fashion has
resulted in a certain arrangement of the population upon the face of
the earth. At first savage men roamed the plains and forests seeking
food. The advent of civilization, industrial and social coöperation,
taught men the advantage of gathering themselves into cities. At first
these cities were provisioned from the country by means of humans
or animal beasts of burden, then water transportation caused the
development of greater cities on rivers and harbors. With the advent
of the railroad, together with the transportation agencies already
mentioned, the provisioning of cities became limited only by the
ability of the country district to support its own population and that
of the city.

The occupation of the city people was chiefly that of manufacturing,
trading and grafting on the farmer and on each other. The invention of
steam power made it economical to assemble workmen into large factories
which added another cause to the growth of cities. The use of this
steam power forced the city worker out of his home and into the more
economical factory, thus developing the factory system.

The continual growth of cities soon filled the land with large groups
of houses, crowding each other for room. As the houses were built
closer and closer together, the amount of light and air was shut out,
in order that the distance the workers lived from their work might not
increase. At first workers went from their work to their houses on
foot, later by means of the horse car, still later by steam car and now
the electric car is supreme. As these transportation facilities first
used to get provisions into the city and the manufactured product out
of it were utilized to get the workers to and from their work, the
houses began to follow the transportation lines.

_Transportation Determines the Form of Cities._

As time and the expense of transportation rather than distance were the
elements that governed the distance from the heart of the city that
could be used for workers’ homes, the utilization of fixed lines of
traffic resulted in the city building out along main streets, trolleys
and railroads. Along main lines of traffic, as between two important
cities, the population began to group itself into lines.

This is the state of the distribution of population to be found in the
world to-day. But the present distribution is imperfect. The trolleys
carry people to the street corner but make no provision for getting
them into their homes or for getting the meals on the sideboard, the
book from the library to the center table, or the camphor from the drug
store to the sick room.

The means of conveying the necessities of civilization is almost wholly
that of rails, pipes and wires. The former is the means of transporting
people and parcels, the second of liquids and gases, the third of
electricity in its various forms.

These mechanical servants have been placed in the streets which were
first built as roadways for carriages. In the streets, the pipes and
wires must be buried beneath the pavement at great expense. Through
these streets, frequently full of curves and angles which offer little
trouble to the free moving horse-drawn vehicle, the rails must be bent
and the cars slow down for curves. From beneath the pavement the pipes
and wires must be separately led into the basements of each building
and up through successive stories to the apartments above. Within the
building, separate vertical car lines called elevators, must be built
and city transportation becomes a matter of three dimensions with train
service running in from principal outlying points, cross-town trolley
lines and vertical elevators, all separate schemes of transportation
requiring changes and delays, endless duplication, colossal expense and
criminal waste.

Now rails, pipes and wires can be most economically laid in continuous
straight lines. In the case of railroads, the greater the speed
without stops the more the necessity for straight lines. A car running
at a speed of forty miles per hour has sixteen times the force for
derailment as a car at ten miles, and there is a like increase in the
cost in power and time to stop the car. Moreover, to be efficient the
railway should be where nothing will obstruct the passage of trains.
Pipes must be kept from freezing, live wires from giving shocks and
yet all must be available for new installation and repairs. None of
these needs are filled by present city conditions; all can be fulfilled
if the city is planned to fit the rail, pipe and wire civilization of
to-day instead of the pedestrian and equestrian civilization of the

_Building in One Dimension._

The Roadtown is a scheme to organize production, transportation and
consumption into one systematic plan. In an age of pipes and wires,
and high speed railways such a plan necessitates the building in one
dimension instead of three--the line distribution of population
instead of the pyramid style of construction. The rail-pipe-and-wire
civilization and the increase in the speed of transportation is certain
to result in the line distribution of population because of the almost
unbelievable economy in construction, in operation and in time. The
people will return to Mother Earth because it is in every way desirable
for them to do so and not because some merchant prince, railroad king
or social worker says they ought to go.

In modern life an office building, store or apartment house is
considered especially fortunate if it has a rapid transit station
near or better still within the building. All the inhabitants of the
Roadtown will live upon the main line and be near the station. They
will live there because the utilities of civilization can be provided
there more economically than elsewhere. But the line distribution has
yet another significance of as great importance as the more safe and
economical distribution of people, parcels, fluids and electricity.

The development of cities was originally brought about by the desire of
men to get close together for industrial needs and social fellowship.
This same want for ready communication and distribution of men and
things I have shown can now be most completely fulfilled by the city
which will be strung out in a line. In other words, the very laws which
built the congested cities will, with the construction of the first
section of the first Roadtown, surely mark the beginning of their
gradual dissemination. Such a tendency can already be seen at work, but
its development has not progressed far because of the isolation of the
functions of house construction and horizontal transportation devices.

As soon as horizontal transportation is put in the house, the
skyscraper on its side, and is pointed towards the endless country
instead of up against the force of gravity, and the wonderful
transportation devices now available are installed, you will see the
cities spread out in lines amidst the fields and farms, as if by magic.
Indeed it will be the magic of economy, the natural force to which all
of humanity always promptly responds.

The height of the skyscraper is limited by the stresses and strains
on the steel, by the instability of the foundation, by congestion of
the elevators. The length of the skyscraper on its side has no limit
for it is built on solid ground, it has no lighting and ventilating
problems. Its transportation system by the aid of local and express
service, by the fact that it can run trains, not single cars, and can
run many trains following each other on one track and not require a
whole shaft for a single car as in the case of the elevator, removes
the mechanical limitation of length of the horizontal skyscraper. We
can build not only a thousand feet, but a thousand miles and have every
story connected with every other story by rails, pipes and wires.

_A Line of City Through the Country._

The Roadtown will start at the end of the present subways or other
rapid transportation systems of present cities or tap these lines
far enough out to get comparatively cheap land and build out in
the direction of other cities, passing near enough to the smaller
cities, towns and villages to summarily attract much of their
renting population. This movement will surely mark the “beginning
of the end” of such wasteful loafing centers for the few, and the
stagnant pools of wasted energy for the many. It will be a line of
city through the country. It will take the apartment house to the
farmer and incidentally free the farmer from the necessity of feeding
the well-meaning townsfolk who give him in return scant clothing, the
use of a hitching post for his team--sometimes; a place to get his
weekly paper and a little social fellowship on the sidewalk Saturday
afternoons. It will give the suburbanite all that he seeks in the
country and all that he regrets to leave in town. It will enable him
to play at farming, do real farming or retain his city job. The people
will go to the land and take the best things of the city with them,
take in fact all that is good in the city to-day and in addition much
that is now pigeon-holed as unused patents, because the conglomeration
of isolated homes and the crude horse paths called streets, owned by
“hold-up men” called politicians, do not permit of the general adoption
of these great inventions.



The first problem in making a village or a city house is the excavation
for foundation and cellar. In the case of isolated houses the cellar is
dug by hand labor and dirt carried away by horse-drawn carts. Witness
the difference in method between such excavation and that of a canal,
the grading of a railroad or any other project that is to be made in
line. In the latter case the steam shovel replaces the spade, and the
work train, the dump cart.

Those familiar with city subway construction will at first think the
idea of a railway in the basement is an expensive luxury. But the
excavation of the Roadtown basement should be compared with the New
York State canal, not the New York Subway.

_To be Built of Cement._

The Roadtown will be built of cement, fire proof and vermin proof.
Modern so-called fire proof buildings are frequently destroyed by
fire. This is because they contain combustible material. If material
in a large building gets on fire and through stairways and air shafts
sets fire to other combustibles, the whole building is heated to the
ignition point.

The horizontal Roadtown house, only two stories high, cannot be
destroyed in this fashion. Even if a Roadtown were built of Carolina
pine, it would still be a safer fire risk than modern fire proof
buildings in cities. A fire raging in a continuous house could as a
last resort be stopped by two sticks of dynamite. In the city the fire
line must be fought on all sides of an ever enlarging circle. Dropping
this theoretical point we can say that the really fire proof Roadtown
can be made at a fraction of the cost of making a building of similar
enclosing space semi-fire proof, which experience has shown is the
best that can be done with city buildings of the box or tower type.
The Roadtown very likely will not carry fire insurance nor maintain
a fire department, as every house will have a fire hose which can be
instantly applied. The frightful expense and loss of life (and recently
the source of graft) that our present civilization suffers because of
fire, will be told to the Roadtown children as we now tell about Indian

Roadtown will be proof against the “cyclones” that are the evil
genius of country life in the South and West. As for earthquakes, San
Francisco’s experience proves that reinforced concrete is the best
earthquake resister known.

Any building material may be used, but we will here consider cement,
poured into moulds, as a standard.

Thomas A. Edison, whose efforts at perfecting a method of molding
complete houses by pouring cement into molds, has attracted world-wide
attention, has donated to the Roadtown the use of his cement house

The Roadtown, like the railroad, will get much of its building
material, such as sand and stone, along the right of way, and haul it
to its place in the structure on the railroad which will be the first
part of a Roadtown to be constructed. Thus the expense will be greatly

Wagon hauling and hand mixing, the heaviest items of expense in cement
construction, are entirely eliminated in Roadtown where the concrete is
mixed and poured from a machine located on a work train.

_The Railroad will be Noiseless._

The essential of the Roadtown being the combination of transportation
and house construction, the Roadtown if invented in any age before the
present one would have been worthless. The horse-pulled vehicle or the
steam or gasoline engine would be a nuisance in any part of a building
used for a dwelling. Electrical transportation, on the other hand, is a
perfectly refined method of locomotion and well suited for indoor uses.

Of the various systems of transportation devised and now available, I
believe the Boyes Monorail to be the most applicable to the needs of a
continuous house, and I have prevailed upon Mr. Boyes to donate the
use of his patents to Roadtown.

This wonderful invention was perfected after many years of intense
application by a thorough mechanic and electrician. It has been
demonstrated and found to be thoroughly practical and is far in advance
of either the present two-railed electric railroads, or the Gyroscopic
types of Monorail cars which have lately attracted considerable
attention because of their seeming disregard of the law of gravity.

The Gyroscopic Monorail, at a great expense and complication,
eliminates one rail, but there is no particular gain in so doing, in
fact there is a distinct loss for the thing that limits the speed of
the ordinary electric car, is the loss of grip on the rail, and in the
Gyroscopic Monorail the bearing surface of the steel wheels is reduced
to just one-half that of the ordinary car.

The Boyes Monorail uses the principle of the gyroscope used in the
Brennan Monorail with a difference that where the Brennan gyroscope
acts as a top the Boyes Monorail is kept true by the heavy drive wheel
which acts on the principle of a hoop or rolling wheel. The Boyes train
is made in short cars or sections rigidly coupled together with rubber
padded couplings. Each car or section rides on a single concave leather
faced wheel that runs on a broad convex steel rail. This wheel is set
up within the body of the car, thus permitting the car to straddle the

There is a door on either side of each eight-foot car or section, which
is opened and closed electrically. Only six people enter at a doorway,
thus eliminating all delays and jams at crowded stations.

The leather faced wheel grips the track to such a great degree that
it is practicable to build the cars as light per passenger as is the
bicycle, thus giving great efficiency and power. A train of the Boyes
type to carry the same passengers as the subway cars of New York,
weighs one-thirtieth as much. The power is electrically fed to the
train from a small “third” rail.

_Speed Possibilities._

I hesitate to make any predictions as to the speed attainable in the
Boyes Monorail. As is generally known, the world’s speed records are
now held by automobiles, not railway trains. The record to date is
about one hundred and thirty-two miles an hour made by Oldfield, at
Ormond Beach, Florida. It is the traction grip in the rubber tired
wheel that makes this speed possible. The Boyes car will have this grip
and instead of sand to run on will have a rail from which it will have
to jump thirty inches to be derailed. The car cannot skid, jump the
track nor upset. It does not carry the weight of its power creating
apparatus. It has no heavy parts but the single wheel and its casings.
The inventor states that with the power now used on the New York Subway
trains a Boyes train carrying the same number of passengers will attain
the speed of two hundred and fifty miles an hour. I recently asked an
automobile manufacturer what, at present, set the limit on the speed
autos. He replied, “The nerve of the driver.” The bearing parts of the
monorail can be made many times the strength required for the speeds
intended and thus reduce accidents from broken parts to a minimum. I
have asked a number of engineers to give me a reason why the speed
predictions of Boyes could not be attained. One replied, “It’s never
been done.” Another said, “Municipal politics.”

Because I have spoken in favor of the Boyes Monorail I do not wish the
reader to infer that the development of the Roadtown depends upon the
progress made by this invention. We have noiseless electric automobiles
to-day and noiseless bicycles that serve well to demonstrate the
feasibility of building a noiseless service for the purpose of Roadtown
and such a later system will indeed probably be installed in the first
demonstration section. No man of a mechanical turn of mind will doubt
for a minute that noise in transportation can be eliminated where it is
desirable to do so.

The Roadtown transportation system will be in the cellar. This idea
will at first seem strange, and many people will suggest that it be
put above ground thinking thus to save expense and have the “view.”
I think a little explanation will show that the basement is the only
logical location for the Roadtown transportation line.

If it is above ground it will have to be fenced off or elevated to
prevent loss of life. If it is fenced it will keep people from the
land. If it is elevated the stations will be expensive and an eyesore.
As for the idea of a view, we can say that the Roadtown railroad is not
for sightseeing any more than an elevator in a hotel. If placed beside
the house line it would destroy the natural “view” and privacy of the
home, and the roof is reserved for a better use.

The basement is clearly the only logical place to have the monorail
where it will be absolutely convenient and yet free the house from
the nuisance of living beside an elevated railroad track. The expense
of the basement, where steam shovel and work train are utilized, as
already explained, will be comparatively small, and the house above
will provide a continuous covered passageway from the door of one’s
apartment to the station. As for ventilation, which is a puzzling
problem in city subways, it will be solved by a continuous opening made
by building the house three or four feet above the ground; the Roadtown
trains will therefore run in a covered trench rather than in a subway.

Because of the rail straddling plan the Boyes car must be entered from
both sides. Three tracks will be required and these will be arranged
one beneath the other. The reason for this is obvious: if arranged
side by side, passengers would have to climb up the height of the car
and down again. Arranged vertically, they need climb only up or down.
Because the distance from rail level to car floor level is practically
eliminated in the Boyes car, this climb will be but seven or eight
feet instead of twelve as with present train service. The upper track
will be for local service. Passengers will walk from their house along
a continuous platform or hallway to the local stations, which will be
located about 100 yards apart. The object of having definite stations
or stopping places is simply one of gaining speed by having the people
in groups. The platform will be continuous and the trains can be
stopped at any house desired if there be a good reason for so doing.

About every five miles there will be an express station. Here the
people will climb down eight feet, or sixteen if going the opposite
direction, and board a train that is not bothered with frequent stops
and can hence make very high speed.

The following is a sample specification of Roadtown train service
as submitted by William H. Boyes, using the Boyes Monorail System
at a speed of only ninety miles per hour. Line from New York to
Philadelphia, ninety miles. Daily traveling population, one to a
family, 250 per mile, 11,250 to go each way. 3,916 per hour for three
rush hours. Speed, ninety miles per hour; time of round trip, two
hours; trains five minutes apart; stations, five miles apart. Trains,
twenty-four; seating capacity per train, 336; capacity of express
service, 4,032 hourly. Local trains oscillating between express
stations each to carry 224 passengers per hour, eighteen required.

This specification submitted by Mr. Boyes gives a remarkably small
equipment for the traffic handled compared with present figures. The
chief difference is due to the high speed. There are many who will not
believe that a ninety-mile schedule will be maintained, not so many
perhaps as would two years ago have refused to believe that man could
fly from New York to Philadelphia, an account of the accomplishment of
which lies on my desk as I write. For those to whom seeing is necessary
to believing, the speed above may be cut in half, which will then be
about that in the New York Subway. The express trains will then run on
a two-and-a-half-minute schedule and twice as many will be required,
but the cost will still be much lower than present day commuting
service and efficient enough to make the entire Roadtown from New York
to Philadelphia as accessible for commuters as is now a suburban home
fifteen miles from New York and a half mile from the railroad station.

The single train on the local track will make a round trip between
express stations about every fifteen minutes. Those near the middle
of the section will catch the train going in either direction, as the
time for the express to travel the distance of one express station is
negligible. In each Roadtown home there will be an electric buzzer
which, when the switch is so turned, will announce the approach of a
train in sufficient time to allow one to get to the station. The buzzer
will have two distinct sounds, one for trains in either direction.

Roadtown parcels, such as are not cared for in a small mechanical
carrier described in Chapter VI, will be hauled on the local trains.
Roadtown freight service will be at night on the express tracks, the
trains stopping at stations located at suitable distances and distinct
from the passenger stations. At these freight stations there will be
elevators or inclines delivering freight to or receiving it from the
land outside, while furniture, etc., for the houses will be elevated
to the platform above and carried on the very early trips of the local
trains to one’s door.

Wrecks on such a railroad system can only occur from actual breaking
of some working part, a comparatively rare cause of present wrecks.
The local track collision cannot occur as there is only one train in
a section. On the two express tracks, “tail-end” collisions will be
prevented by a block system that turns off the power automatically when
trains approach within a certain distance of each other. This system is
in operation in the New York Subways.

_The Street Upon the Roof._

Private stairs from each home will lead down to the monorail platform
and up to the roof. In the center of the roof will be a promenade which
will be covered, and in the winter enclosed with glass panels and steam
heated. On the outer edges of the roof will be a path for bicyclists
and skaters, who will use rubber tired roller skates. The monorail,
which is the business transportation system of Roadtown, will be placed
out of sight and run at high speed, but the roof promenade will be the
“street” for recreation and pleasure. In winter the promenade will be a
continuous sun parlor; in summer a shaded walk. There will be benches
in alcoves along the way and occasional towers over the promenade and
tower effects along the edges of the roof beyond the cycle paths or
some other architectural effects to break the monotony. These towers
will be used as coöperative centers, such as stores, cooking and power,
recreation, schools, nurseries, etc. The tower effects are matters of
architectural ingenuity, and many architects are already interested in
finding ways to lend variety and beauty to the Roadtown as they have to
our existing public ways.

Certainly no street or boulevard in the history of the world was
ever more uniquely located. The splendid view to be obtained from
such a promenade in a dust-free and smoke-free country can hardly be
pictured to a city bred man or a countryman jogging along the hedge
and weed throttled country road. The view across the near gardens and
more distant grain fields, and back over woods and hills to the dim
line where land meets sky, will cure forever a score of Latin-named
diseases which the eye specialist tells us come from gazing through
the dust-laden street or across the dingy court into our neighbor’s
kitchen window.

It is upon the roof that the Roadtown will be upon dress parade. Here
maids with their lovers will stroll of evenings and matrons with their
baby carriages on Sunday afternoons. It is here that children will
have never ending sport. Skating and cycling can have an unprecedented
opportunity to develop for health and pleasure. It is here that Easter
hats will be shown and neighbors’ crops discussed and new acquaintances
made and local pride developed.

The question naturally arises as to the sound of conversation from the
roof reaching the living-rooms or the sound from the rooms reaching the
roof. The cement walls are practically sound proof and for sounds to be
heard from roof to house or house to house requires that it pass into
the open air and bend through a 180 degree angle. Sound does not travel
in that way as one may readily prove by trying to shout around the
corner of a ledge of rock or over a stone building. With all windows
and doors wide open in the Roadtown home, the only sound of ordinary
magnitude to be heard will be from the singing of birds and the play
of children in front of the window. The uncanny noise of city streets
and of quarrelsome neighbors across the air shaft will be missing.
People who cannot content themselves with the quiet of a Roadtown home
will have to use the telephone, electric music, roof promenade or go
to the social center. Promenaders cannot stare into nor listen at
their neighbors’ windows. The Roadtowner’s home is his castle in the
truest sense of the word, and more private, notwithstanding the close
proximity to neighbors, and hence more consecrated to family life than
any previous style of dwelling known.

The Roadtown will have no streets because it will need none. As it is
built through the country, there will, of course, be roads as well as
streets to cross. Here the monorail will run under, and the roof bridge
over the roads. At such road crossings and such other places where
roads are built back into the country, stables and garages will be

The natural desire to drive one’s own vehicles up to the door of his
own house will cause an occasional remonstrance against the plan at
first, but as people find that there is no need of such roadways they
will come to consider the Roadtown road crossings as their front door,
when viewed from the auto or equestrian’s standpoint, and no more think
of the necessity of a private roadway to their own house than that of
having their auto sent up the tenth story of an apartment house.

Those who wish to pay a visit to a Roadtown home will come to the
nearest point where the railroad crosses the Roadtown or if traveling
by horse or auto where the public road crosses the Roadtown and will
leave their vehicle in charge of a caretaker and have their name
’phoned in as one does at an up-to-date apartment house or hotel. If
the Roadtowner is at home, the caller will then take the monorail or
the roof promenade as the distance or his inclination dictates, and
thus reach the door of his friend’s home.

Such a system will give the humblest Roadtowner the opportunity of
the high class apartment house dweller to say that he is not at home
to unwelcome visitors, and yet the Roadtown home built on the ground
floor with its windows looking out into a private garden will have all
the home-like simplicity of a cottage, and at the same time modern
conveniences and luxuries which cannot be found in any King’s palace.



The economies of a continuous house under one roof and of railroad and
steam shovel, rather than hand and dump cart methods, are sufficient
to make the line construction far more economical than any method now
in vogue, but even they are greatly exceeded by the additional saving
involved in the installation and operation of the pipes and wires of
the Roadtown.

Witness the present situation. The farmer’s house is alone in the
middle of his farm. For every pipe, wire or rail utility with which he
is supplied, he must have a plant of his own. If he wishes steam heat,
he must put in a boiler; if he wishes electric lights, an engine and

In practice the farmer, with the occasional exception of the rural
telephone, is limited to the products of civilization that can be
hauled home in a wagon.

The city man is a little better off. City dwellers are close together,
close enough that one electric, gas or steam producing plant will do
for many hundreds or thousands of families, but by the present plan
which enables them to have these improvements, they pay not only
the expense of periodic tearing up of the pavements and the house
foundation, but a far greater price in the loss of air, sunlight and

The Roadtown has these God-given utilities of country air and light on
two sides of the house. Upon the other two sides it has blank walls,
but the examination of the average isolated residence will show that
there is little to be gained in light or air by the two extra sides and
much to be lost in privacy. Upon the two remaining sides, _i. e._, the
top and bottom, the Roadtown house has its sidewalk on the roof and
its transportation by rails, pipes and wires that are now in the city
streets, it has on a far better and economical plan in the basement,
now used principally to store old trunks, rubbish and coal.

Picture the installation of a new pipe line through a paved street. The
expense and the unsightliness, the danger to human life--and this has
nothing to do with getting the pipes into a private house.

Now suppose you are a resident on that line and conclude a couple of
months later to install the utility in your home. Again the pavement is
torn up, a gang of laborers spend several days on the job, and you as
consumer will pay the bill either in a lump or as stiff rates on the
utility sold. The result of this clumsy system has been that pipe and
wire utilities in the city are limited to those people who use them to
a sufficient extent to stand this criminal waste and expense.

Moreover, in all large cities the matter of installing pipe or
wire conveyed utilities is also a question of reckoning with
franchise-selling politicians and private monopolists who generally
work “hand in hand.”

Compare these conditions, mechanical and political, with the Roadtown
where all pipes and wires will be bracketed in a runway beneath the
floor of a machine-made house on land at farm prices. To put in a new
pipe conveyed utility will cost the price of the twenty-one feet of
main and a branch pipe leading to the apartment above through suitable
openings made when the building is constructed. The expense will be
about equal to that of maintaining the red lanterns which are now
placed about the torn up city streets.

As a result of these differences there will be added to the Roadtown
home--and I mean to the home of the man of average means--a number of
utilities now available only to the rich, or not available at all.

Beginning with the following paragraph I will enumerate some of the
inventions that will be available in the Roadtown home. I may include
in this list some inventions which, while demonstrated on a small
scale, may for some reason not now discernible, develop an objection
or difficulty in its use. But for every such a one that I may here
include, there will be several others that science has already or will
yet devise and which can be installed in Roadtown as soon as perfected
and demonstrated with no more expense than there would be if it were
put in when the houses were built. This feature alone is a tremendous
argument in favor of the Roadtown, for every previous form of house
construction once finished is set in its equipment and soon gets behind
the age and must be torn down to make room for the new. At this time
considerable humorous comment is being made in the newspapers over the
tearing down of a twenty-two story building in Wall Street to make
room for a forty story one. The old one is only thirteen years old.
The Roadtown will always be “modern,” and increase in efficiency as it
increases in length while the separate building is a complete unit with
its height and utilities stationary.


The water systems of great cities are enormously expensive, as it is
usually necessary to build great conduits dozens and even as much as
one hundred and fifty miles long. The trouble with such cities is
that a very large population must be supplied with water from a very
limited area. The Roadtown with a population of about 1,000 to the mile
will be able to get its water supply from suitable sources all along
the way. The length of line to be supplied from one public station will
not be great, but the entire main may be opened so that one station can
relieve another in case of excessive use of water at any given point.


The sewage system of the Roadtown will, like the water system, be built
in comparatively small units, and will require none of the large and
expensive sewers seen in city systems. Wherever the Roadtown crosses a
natural valley in the land the sewage can be led off to a reasonable
distance from the house line in pipes and used in irrigating non-food
crops. The income to be derived from the use of this sewage for
fertilization and irrigation will be a considerable source of profit
and wholly without the expense attached to city sewage disposal works
because of distance from the land and the fact that the point of the
city sewer outlet is almost always below the level of land available
for such uses.


The Roadtown heating system will be of hot water circulated by pumps.
The heating plants will be located every two or three miles, which,
according to the engineers’ figures will be more economical than to
have them either at greater or less distance. The temperature will be
regulated to suit each and every tenant by the use of the thermostat
with a push button regulator in each room of every apartment. This
simple, but marvelously useful device, is now in general use in
thousands of first class hotels.


The refrigerating system of Roadtown which will be required for food
and drinking water purposes could be turned into the radiators and a
circulation of cooled water or brine pumped through the houses. I do
not say that such house cooling will be established, for the Roadtown
house, through which the breeze will have a full sweep, and in which
the electrical fans will be plentiful, will have little need for a
system of house cooling, but if the people in hot countries wish it and
care to pay for it, eventually they can have it.

_Drinking Water._

The next utility for the Roadtown house will be that of pure, cool
distilled water for drinking purposes, cooled _only_ to a healthful
temperature. Because of the small expense for piping, this separation
of the system of drinking water from that used for bathing and for
spraying the lawn will mean that no method known to science for
purifying the former need be spared.

In present city life the peddling of so-called “spring water” in
bottles, is a farcical affair, which would have about as much chance
to survive in Roadtown as an independent oil producer shipping oil in
barrels would have in competing with the trust’s tank cars and pipe
lines. If the Roadtown is piped for refrigeration, cooling will be very
simple. If this is not done the coolers may be placed in the basement
and filled with ice manufactured at the central refrigeration plant and
distributed by train. In either case, the efficiency will be great as
compared with any present system.

_Bath and Toilet._

It goes without saying that every home in Roadtown will be provided
with good bath and toilet facilities. Because of the fact that the
house is of cement and has no lath and plaster ceiling to get soaked,
shower baths will probably be much in vogue in Roadtown. If at any time
it proves desirable to give up the space for the purpose there can
be shower baths installed in every sleeping-room at a cost of only a
few dollars for each. The soap for bath and wash basin will probably
be liquid, and while there will not be enough used to make it worth
while to pipe it, it can be supplied ten gallons at a time by a man
who will make the rounds and fill the reservoirs at each home. This is
comparatively a small matter and I merely mention it to show the extent
to which the natural coöperation of line house building will gradually


For light cooking and local heating in the Roadtown home, to such
extent as is desirable, gas will be used.


During the last few years a great vacuum sweeper craze has swept the
country. We are literally deluged with every type of apparatus, from
systems for installation in hotels and office buildings, or wagon
outfits that chase about the street and run a hose into the parlor
window, to the little pop gun arrangement that is worked by hand. The
ease of adaptability of the best features of vacuum cleaning systems
to Roadtown is too apparent to need comment further than to say that a
small pipe, with an opening at each home, and a suction fan every half
mile, will be sufficient to give the best possible results.

A further use of this vacuum may be made in connection with automatic
movement of windows, doors, etc. Compressed air is now frequently used
for this purpose as in elevator doors in office buildings. Vacuum will,
of course, work equally well.

_Disinfecting Gas._

A pipe dream of Roadtown that is absolutely practical, cheap and a
crying need, will be gas for disinfection.

_Electric Light._

Electricity for lighting will, of course, be available in Roadtown at a
fraction of the present cost.

_Electric Power._

Electricity will be used for fans, vibrators for massage, shoeshining,
and other household devices that may demand it as time rolls on.
Besides this there will be an industrial use for power which I will
discuss in a later chapter.[A]

  [A] Until some cheaper source of power is developed electric
      heating will remain an expensive luxury.


Electric buttons and signals and bells can be used for the “top”
and “bottom” doors of the house, signaling to central stations when
preferable to the telephone. The telephone, the cheapest of the pipe
and wire group of civilizing agents, common though it is, has not
yet come into universal use. In New York City alone there are over
three million people who have no telephones and in the United States
there are 60,000,000 deprived of that great necessity. In Roadtown
the cost of installing telephones will be practically the cost of
the instruments, switch-boards and twenty-one feet of wire. If the
automatic system is used, which is likely, in local service between a
public service center and the houses they wait upon, the cost will be
but those of interest on installation and cost of repairs. A telephone
expert has estimated that the system complete would be less than ten
dollars per family, and that the expense of operation or telephone rent
less than one dollar a year, net, per family, or eight cents per month.


At the present date there is in practical operation a loud speaking
telephone called the dictograph. If this modern invention is installed
in the Roadtown home, it will be possible by simply pressing a button
to talk over the telephone while sitting in a chair or lying in bed.
This instrument has been most successfully utilized in conveying
music, which, if received through a horn can scarcely be told from the
first-hand product. This wonderful invention, as many other similar
ones that now exist, cannot be put into practical use on a large and
systematic scale, because of the present city construction, the conduit
and other trusts.

Since the preceding paragraph was written, M. K. Turner, the inventor
and proprietor of the dictograph, has donated the use of all of
his wonderful patents to the Roadtown, and in addition has offered
to design an entire system of loud speaking telephones especially
adapted to Roadtown use, because of the great uplifting influence he
recognizes in its principles when put into practice.

This donation, together with the house pouring scheme of Mr. Edison
and the Boyes Monorail, gives to Roadtown fundamental patents on house
building, transportation and intelligence transmission--the three great
essentials of a new civilization.


The telegraphone, or recording telephone, is also a most wonderful
invention. The telegraphone records any sound sent over a telephone by
means of magnetic changes in a disc or wire. These steel disc records
or wire records can then be reproduced any number of times with no
loss of distinctness. As the dictograph may be used to give a sermon,
lecture or piece of music to any number of people at one time, so the
telegraphone may be used to record and repeat it any number of times.

I could add other inventions to the list, but will not, for these
already given, though all practical existing devices, will be so
wonderful in application that I will not extend the list to any less
thoroughly proven inventions, lest the reader who can but judge from
the viewpoint of the present imperfect city civilization, confuse the
Roadtown which is the plan grouping of proven inventions with the
dreams of novelists who revel in inventions yet to be.



Though it is true that some work, which in the past rested heavily
upon the shoulders of women, has been taken into the factory, notably
the spinning, weaving and clothes making trades, and on the farm the
making of butter, still the bulk of labor of the women of the average
household comes in that group of washing, ironing, dusting, sweeping,
scrubbing, making beds, cooking and dish-washing. This is woman’s work
in the most of our homes, and a servant’s work in the homes of the rich.

_Woman’s Work not Specialized._

Industrial progress has not yet applied to this work of women the
specialization and labor saving machinery that has sent forward
the general work of the world at such a rapid pace. Another way
of expressing the same idea is to say that in at least nine-tenths
of the households, the woman is the household servant. If the work
be assigned to outsiders, then the privacy of the family circle is
broken up and the dearest ties of earth are disturbed by intruders.
At present there are two ways out of the difficulty. The way of the
rich is the employment of household servants. To counteract the
disturbance of family life an elaborate system of servant etiquette
has been established by means of which the servant is made to
resemble, as much as possible, the cookstove or the family horse.
This satisfies the family, but is disagreeable to the servant, and
incidently keeps a worker out of productive effort, raises the cost of
living to everybody, and deprives her of the most normal expression of
womanhood--that of marrying and coddling her own children.

The second solution is for those too poor to employ servants. It
consists in eulogizing the “homely virtues” and writing poems about
the duties of women in the home and artfully associating the scouring
of a brass kettle with the instinct of motherhood. This effort to
satisfy the women in the home in playing the personal servant to the
rest of the family by enshrining the dish-rag and broom is nothing new
in the history of the world. Those who have benefited from the work of
others have always been quick to quote scripture to keep the worker on
the job, and as long as there is no other way to get the work done,
this plastering over of dirty work with beautiful thoughts is indeed
a makeshift virtue, but one of which we shall some day be thoroughly

In the Roadtown, this problem, old as civilization, will be solved,
not by bringing in outside workers to break up family life, but by
sending most of the present work out of the home and simplifying that
which must remain until the task becomes so light that each member of
the family will perform his share of the housekeeping just as he now
dresses himself, or walks to catch the trolley car.

_No Laundry Work at Home._

The first function, washing and ironing, has long since been made an
industrial function by the rich everywhere, and also by the middle
class in our cities. Farmers’ wives and the wives of the city laborers
still do home laundrying. In the Roadtown, with its perfect system
of transportation, the trouble of sending soiled clothes to the
coöperative laundry will be very simple as compared with the present
wasteful method of city collection of laundry. The service will indeed
be so cheap that I fancy Roadtowners will vote to add the expense of
the laundry to the charge for rent, thus doing away with the cost of
accounts and collections. This would put a premium upon cleanliness,
to be sure, and might result in a slight increase of the total expense
since our clothes would be washed more often.

In connection with the laundry will be a pressing and cleaning
establishment which will likewise be run coöperatively. The pressing
machine now used by clothing manufacturers will keep people looking
spick and span for a mere trifle.

How far the Roadtowners will carry the idea of a blanket rate to cover
the cost for all these things depends on traits in human nature that
are pretty hard to anticipate. We force people to coöperate, to build
parks and statues to beautify our cities. Do we want to tax them for
a chance to be well groomed, or do we prefer to see the other fellow
slouchy so that we will look better by comparison? I for one, believe
in allowing civic pride to include live citizens as well as marble
statues of the dead.

_Dusting and Sweeping._

Dusting and sweeping must be done at home, we cannot send the house
out, but we can pipe the house for suction sweeping and discard forever
the broom, clothes brush and that arch nuisance, the feather duster,
which is used to chase the dust from room to room without getting rid
of it. Scrubbing and mopping will be greatly simplified by the cement
construction and the convenience of water and sewage. These periodic
tasks will be grouped into trades, so that they can, when desirable,
be given over to professional cleaners as is window washing in city

_Making Beds by Machinery._

The care of the beds is the next item on our list. The Roadtown
sleeping-room will in the daytime have the appearance of a sitting-room
or library. One essential piece of furniture will be a couch or divan
with good springs upholstered with fire proof material. Plush, leather
and linen divan and chair covers will be used alternately to suit the
seasons and varying requirements. The divan forms the foundation of the
bed. The bedding including a light pad or mattress will be made about
a foot longer than is customary. At the foot this bedding and pad will
be fastened together by a metal clasp, or “bedding hanger” on the order
of a trousers-hanger. In the morning instead of making up the bed--that
is, carefully folding up all the germs and foul odors, the bed will be
suspended by the hanger in an adjoining fresh air closet. By reversing
the action of the rod supporting the bedding, which describes an arc
over the unfolded divan, the bedding is spread neatly in place--the
bed is made. This closet in which the bedding hangs freely exposed
to the air has one side, or rather edge, against the outside wall of
the building. This wall space will be formed of shutters which admit
of free circulation of air, thus the bed is aired _every day_ and _all
day_. But there are certain species of “germs,” as every housekeeper
can testify, that will survive this fresh air device, for them another
provision will be made. This closet will be piped for a certain kind
of gas which will be selected by the Roadtown biologist. At stated
intervals the outside shutters will be tightly closed as well as door
of the closet and the bedding fumigated instead of aired. This method
can also be used to disinfect clothing.

There will be few rats or mice in the Roadtown home, for there will be
little food left around to attract them, and no places for them to gnaw
through or build their nests. In the average city building used for
factory purposes, the damage from rats and vermin, I am told, is often
over 10 per cent of the gross sales.

_Coöperative Cooking Practical._

Coöperative cooking, in spite of the first natural antipathy, has
gained considerable ground in city life. We find it in two forms, the
dining-out habit and the delicatessen habit. The first is expensive of
time and money, and destroys the most delightful hours of home life.
The second is likewise expensive and results in a diet consisting
chiefly of bread, cheese, cold meat and pickles. The weakness in both
systems is in the matter of imperfect transportation. In the first case
the people must be taken to the food, and hence out of the home. In the
second, the food must be brought into the home by a system of delivery
that greatly increases expense and limits the quality, quantity, and
variety of the available meal. The Roadtown, built in the one straight
horizontal line, will make possible the use of a mechanical delivery
system which is not now available even for hotel service.

The mechanical carrier will be on the order of that used in the Library
of Congress as a “book railroad.” It is inexpensive, noiseless, and
can by means of a “key” be set to switch automatically at the house for
which the “car” or “carrier” is intended.

The Roadtown cooking will not be done in a single kitchen, but in a
number of large establishments, such as bakeries, creameries, boiling,
roasting establishments, etc. The prepared foods will then be sent
in suitable quantities to serving stations located about half a mile
apart, and there kept hot in the warming closets. Here the frying,
broiling, and other such types of cooking will be performed to order.

The bill-of-fare will be sent out by Roadtown mail. The people
will order by ’phone and the foods will be on the sideboard in the
Roadtown dining-room in less time than it takes to bring it by the
two-legged route from Delmonico’s kitchen to his dining-room. But in
the dining-room a difference arises. The carriers must be opened and
the dishes and food arranged upon the table by the women folks--a
homely virtue left that the household poet may not be entirely without

The usual meal will require two carriers, one of which will be heated,
and the other containing butter, milk, ices, etc., will be chilled.
Many changes of fashion will be required in the form and material of
dishes for containing and serving food--changes that will doubtless
“upset” the good dames who have found virtue in soup tureens that can
slop over, but it is needless to add that their Roadtown daughters will
be more “upset” at the thought of a return to present customs.

At the close of the Roadtown meal, the dishes, food remnants and soiled
linen, will be put into the carrier, and dropped down a little chute
where they will travel merrily to the public dish-washery. Here a few
men with the aid of machinery will do the work which now occupies
half a hundred mothers while their families adjourn to the library,
music-room or to indulge in a nap.

In the Roadtown household there will be no furnaces to tend, no ashes
to haul out, and no marketing to do. The garbage waste will be only
the table refuse which will be placed in a paraffined paper receptacle
and sent back with the dishes. A bag for waste cloth and paper will
complete the waste disposal system.

_The End of Household Drudgery._

In such an environment with the baby cared for by experts in the
nursery or kindergarten only a thousand feet away, the mother will have
time to operate an electric sewing, knitting, or one of many other
automatic and noiseless machines, work in the garden, read, visit, or
attend the theater, lecture hall or church. Indeed the Roadtown woman
will be free to do anything and everything she chooses except home

The Roadtown idea will at first produce a long low wail from the
thousands of men readers which will begin and end with a plea for
“mother’s cooking.” The Roadtown cookshop is coöperative, but the
dining-room is not. And the cookshop will be there to fill the need of
the coöperators, not to make money. If there is demand it will have
uncooked food to send out as well as cooked food. Nor will there be
any law against the bringing into one’s home the fruits of one’s own
garden, berry patch, and poultry yard. Roadtown folks that keep a
cow can take their choice between setting the milk in the spring and
letting the cream rise or sending the milk to the creamery where it
is aërated, chilled, pasteurized, and bottled, and the fat contents
standardized, and thus sent back as 4 per cent milk to drink and 20 per
cent cream for the strawberries. Personally having tasted both kinds I
prefer the scientific product.

Every Roadtown home will have a boiler for hot water, a chafing dish
and as much more cooking apparatus as may be desired. The wealthy
matron of to-day keeps alive the sentiment of mother’s cooking by
making the tea, frosting the cake or making the salad dressing. The
Roadtown mother can do the same, and as much more cooking as she likes,
but once the opportunity is given for people to find the actual economy
of coöperation and to see the folly of heating up a whole house to do
one family’s cooking, the amount of cooking mothers will do will be
decidedly limited.

Sentiments can bar out progress for a while, but where there is a
great economical saving with nothing to lose but sentiment, economy
generally wins. How would you, Mr. Home-is-sacred-man, like to thresh
or flail the wheat by hand in order that the family might eat pies made
of hand threshed wheat as well as to eat mother’s pies made of machine
prepared flour?

This game of jollying mothers into playing household flunkies by
complimenting their products is getting thin, and a lot of mothers are
beginning to see through it.

The coöperative preparation of food will have many indirect effects. A
Roadtown ten miles in length could well afford to have its own canning
factory, cold storage, and, if the trusts become too dictatorial,
also its own packing house. The Pure Food Law in Roadtown will be a
dead-letter, for the buyers will be food experts and will have nothing
to gain by defrauding the people, or helping to keep them in ignorance.
With a double cause for watchfulness, economy and health, it is hardly
likely that such a buyer would find it worth while attempting to go
in partnership with food adulterators. Certainly the inducement to
adulterate is much greater in the world to-day, for every man involved
in it, profits by the practice, the consumer alone, woefully ignorant
of the whole subject, is the only dupe.

Not only will the Roadtown buyer get pure food, but he will get all
food at wholesale rates. The frightful waste, due to the putting up
of food in small cans, bottles and cartons, is little appreciated. I
recently tested this principle by buying olive oil. The oil was priced
me at $1.80 a gallon, but the oil I secured in fifty cent bottles I
found cost me $7.00 a gallon. Cotton seed oil was priced at sixty cents
a gallon. I purchased a five-cent bottle and found that I had paid at
the rate of $2.25 a gallon. These are indisputable facts and they could
be multiplied indefinitely. In barrel or car lots the above gallon
prices would be greatly reduced.

All Roadtown foods can be bought in bulk direct from the makers at
makers’ rates. The vegetables will be crisp and fresh from the Roadtown
gardens. The profits of the middlemen, of retailers, of adulterators
and advertisers, the cost of bottles and cans, of delivery boys and
bad grocery bills will certainly be eliminated with one fell swoop.
It will reduce the cost of living, mark you, at such a rate that the
unsophisticated will confuse a Roadtown meal with a charitable soup
kitchen. But if you don’t believe this, write to your country cousins
and find out just what is the producer’s price on the material out of
which a meal is made.



There will be no servant problem in Roadtown, as there will be no need
for servants.



Market gardens near our cities are worth several hundreds of dollars
per acre. But there are millions of acres of land more fertile than a
Brooklyn market garden that cannot be used because there is no way to
get fertilizer to it or products away. Transportation is more important
to land values than fertility.

A modern city of a hundred thousand inhabitants is about six miles in
diameter, within “an air line” mile of the edge of that city will be
about twenty square miles of land, but this land will average three
and one half miles from the markets which are usually clustered in the
center of the city, but if the street system is of the checker-board
type, the edge of the city between the compass points will be five
miles by street from the markets.

A Roadtown with a hundred thousand inhabitants will have within a mile
of its house line “edge,” or “center,” two hundred square miles of
land area, ten times as much as in the above case, and this land will
average but half a mile from the market to which the gardener must
needs transport his produce, which is only one-tenth the distance under
the present day conditions.

Another advantage of Roadtown for intensive agricultural development is
that, because of the numerous other functions that transportation is to
serve, Roadtown agriculture has a perfected system of transportation
immediately at its service to say nothing of an immense consuming
population on the line.

The first impression of a casual reader when Roadtown agriculture
is mentioned, will be that reference is made to the play-farming,
chrysanthemum and chicken breeding indulged in by suburbanites. On the
contrary, though suburbanites living in Roadtown will undoubtedly play
at farming much to their physical and mental betterment, we are here
speaking of the agriculture that will be the leading industry of the
fully developed Roadtown.

The trouble in grasping the possibilities of Roadtown agriculture
comes from the difficulty of renouncing our old viewpoint. The typical
farmer with his house in the middle of a quarter section of land,
half of which is fallow, and on the other half of which he carelessly
grows food for live stock of which only 6 per cent of the nutriment
is recovered in the form of meat, will be inclined to make light of
the idea of farm houses being built touching each other. On the other
hand the city dweller, especially of the older Eastern cities, which
were located chiefly in reference to navigation and are more likely
to be surrounded with water, swamp, rock and sand than by soil, find
that when the little remaining land has paid toll to railroad and coal
yards, millionaire villas, and deer parks and land held by speculators,
who discourage its agricultural improvements, there is little remaining
to give one the picture of the close proximity of the consumer and the
food supply.

In spite of the previous bias of these two viewpoints, those familiar
with the possibilities of intelligent agriculture will see nothing
strange in the prediction that the farmer of the future will live next
door to the “city” consumer of his wares.

_Sufficient Land to Support Population._

In the first place, the locations of Roadtown will be through districts
where there is little loss through uncultivatable soil. With twenty-one
foot houses, there would be almost two and one-half acres per family
for each mile one goes back from the Roadtown line. Thus within a mile
(counting both sides) of the house line will be five acres per family.
But in no section of the Roadtown will all the families be engaged in
agriculture. In typically agricultural sections of the country to-day
about one-third of the population live in villages and towns. This
population is composed of retired farmers, traders and professional men
who serve the farm population. In Roadtown civilization this population
would live in Roadtown lines. Near cities the commuting population
and everywhere the manufacturing population who are only engaged in
agriculture on a small scale, or not at all, will release more land
for the Roadtown farmer. If the proportion of agriculture to other
enterprises is the same as in the country at large, the area available
to the support of an agricultural family within a mile of Roadtown will
be about twelve acres.

But we have limited our calculation to land within a mile of the house
line--why? Evidently for argument’s sake only, for there is no other
reason. In the country districts children frequently walk two or two
and a half miles to school. The average distance from the post office
is three or four miles. The average haul to the railroad, five to
seven. The average distance to the other good things of civilization
is so great that the farmer doesn’t go at all, he is often referred
to as a “Hayseed,” unsophisticated, civilized to the extent of the
civilization that can be shipped by rail and be hauled home in a
wagon. The Roadtown will pour into the farm home all the luxuries and
refreshments of civilization at its best. In return it brings him
a new problem in the relative location of his home to the land he
cultivates. The result will be a wonderful rearrangement of the whole
scheme of agriculture. The land, whether owned by private individuals,
the Roadtown corporation or the Federal government, will be cut up into
plots, larger and larger in size as the distance from the Roadtown

Next to the house on both sides will be plots or gardens about the
width of the house, and probably partitioned from the neighbor’s by
trellises of vines or hedges of shrubbery. These plots will be of
sufficient depth to give ample privacy to one’s doors and windows.
These front yards--there are no back yards or back alleys in
Roadtown--are but the outdoor part of private homes, and will perhaps
be devoted to shade trees and lawn on one side, and to garden stuff on
the other. Though these yards in Roadtown etiquette will be strictly
private as far as an outsider’s presence is concerned, they will still
be within easy view of promenaders on the roof, and for the same reason
one is not allowed to dump rubbish on the front stoop in the city, the
Roadtown yard will be under the general oversight and supervision of
the Roadtown landscape gardener.

Beyond the private gardens will be vegetable gardens, then chicken
yards, greenhouses or pigeon flies. Beyond these in larger plots will
be berry patches and coarser vegetables, and then orchards and dairy
barns and pastures, and farther still, grain fields, and beyond that,

The distance back which land will eventually be tilled by farmers
living in the Roadtown, is a matter on which I hesitate to express my
opinion for fear it will discredit the worth of my judgment in the
minds of those who have given the matter no thought, but I think I can
carry the points by examples: Imagine yourself to be a farmer of the
future, and accustomed to the luxury of civilization; suppose you wish
to raise flax as a main crop, and breed pigeons and grow dew berries as
side issues. The pigeons and berries you could have at a few minutes’
walk from your Roadtown home. The flax would require your attention,
plowing and seeding a couple of weeks in the spring, and harvesting
again a week or so in the summer. Would you prefer to go five miles
to that field every day for fifteen or twenty days, or even take a
tent with you and go twenty miles and camp there, and for the rest of
the year enjoy the coöperative and waste eliminating features of the
Roadtown home life, or would you live in a frame house on the land and
wash your face in cold water and get up winter mornings to start a
fire and drink impure water from a polluted well and make your wife a
kitchen scullion, isolated and lonely, and send your children two miles
through the storm to an inefficient country school?

Two of the most immediate advantages of the Roadtown for agriculture
are heat and water for lawns, greenhouses and gardens. How far this
water service can be extended from the Roadtown main will of course
depend upon the nature of the supply. But it has been abundantly proven
that water for irrigation, even in the most moist sections of the
United States, was a wonderfully profitable investment. Sewage will
find a special use as fertilizer as before mentioned, and the Roadtown
garbage disposal works will doubtlessly have a residue for the land.

Horse manure as a fertilizer is gradually vanishing from industrial
life, and the Roadtown will eventually depend upon the chemical
fertilizers, “green manure” crops, and from the animals upon the land
for fertilizer.

The distribution of fertilizer as well as the receipt of heavy freight,
will require a freight station located about every quarter or half
mile. The opening of the ground for access to the tracks will disturb a
yard or two which will lessen the rental value of the house above, just
as the rental value of thousands of city houses have been diminished by
the presence of elevated roads. In practice such locations in the house
line will doubtless be used for some of the numerous non-residential
purposes for which room will be occasionally planned to suit the local

Transportation will enable the better development of coöperative
features, such as creameries, hatcheries and nurseries that now
thrive under adverse conditions and will doubtlessly encourage the
development of others not now anticipated.

_Elimination of the Middleman._

The markets of Roadtown can hardly be compared to present conditions at
all. Where the farmers of to-day go to the railroad station with their
produce, Roadtown farmers will leave theirs in the warehouse of the
food department. The 25 to 75 per cent of the price that now melts away
between the producer and consumer will of necessity be divided between
the producer and the consumer.

The Roadtown, either through its central coöperation or in the form
of individual citizens will be a great consuming market for the
Roadtown farmer. Certain products, however, for which the locality is
especially adapted must necessarily be sold outside the Roadtown. For
such, salesmanship coöperation as is now carried on in the Ontario and
California fruit belts and in the creameries of the Middle West and
trucking districts of the South will be brought into play, and with
the Roadtown transportation system and storage warehouses its farmers
will surely not fail where the former have succeeded.

_Coöperative Ownership of Farm Tools._

Well managed coöperation will also find another field in Roadtown
agriculture in the form of coöperatively owned tools. I fully believe
in the electric plow, for instance; an invention which the writer
worked out some years ago in the form of a flexible cable which would
unwind from a cylinder on the plow as the plow moves out from the
electric plug, and will rewind as it returns. Such a device as I
propose is entirely practicable and has simply failed to be developed
because of lack of cheap electric power near the land to be cultivated;
however, the old reliable horse will be used back from the Roadtown
line and as near to it as he proves economical and desirable.

The use of electricity for agricultural power, is a part of the future
programme of the world as the land becomes more thickly settled and as
land to raise horse food gradually diminishes. How fast the change will
come will depend upon how rapidly the storage battery and the means of
conducting electric power are cheapened through invention. At present
the electrical truck competes successfully with the gasoline truck,
and Edison storage batteries are now replacing the horse cars in New
York streets where the traffic does not warrant the regular electric
car. I believe the most economical agricultural conveyances in Roadtown
will in a short time, if not from the outset, be light electrical
storage wagons and that the use of such vehicles as well as electrical
cultivating instruments will gradually extend back from the Roadtown as
intensive agriculture develops and electric power is cheapened.



An influential factor in the development of manufacturing was the
invention of steam power. The industries that use machines were forced
out of the homes and into the factories. There was no alternative.
The steam driven machines produced goods so cheaply that the hand
power, or home machine could not earn its owner a livelihood. Thus the
factory system developed, partly because of the mechanical necessity
of concentration where the power from one engine could by the use of
shafts and belts be made to run a great number of machines, and partly
because of the natural tendency of the man with the most money to
acquire possession of the factory and have others work for him.

Later the invention and perfection of the electric generator and
motor made possible the distribution of power and the machine, with
its motor attached, again became feasible for individual ownership.
Difficulties, however, exist. These difficulties are the present
capitalistic ownership of the material and machines, a lack of
properly organized coöperatively conducted sources of power, present
land ownership, house arrangement, and of getting this power to the
worker; and what is of much more moment, the complete possession by
capitalistic interests of the entire system of trade or distribution
from the great railway combination to the retail shop, through which
the individual worker must market his products.

_Wage-slavery Doomed._

The ideal--and as I believe--an attainable ideal in a large number
of Roadtown manufacturing industries is coöperation in the use of
land, machines, power supply and transportation of products, and
individualism in the actual operation of the machines and working the
land. This will forever solve the labor question by abolishing the
wage-system. Let us look at the details as they will be worked out in
the Roadtown.

The first essential in such a system of coöperative individual
producers is power. For this the Roadtown will have to compete in the
markets of the world.

Roadtown will possess great advantages in this respect where it passes
water power and coal fields and can buy them. Roadtown power plants,
coöperative stores and cooking plants, will be located where railroads,
canals or rivers cross the Roadtown, when practicable, to save the
double handling and freight on coal. Otherwise the coal will be loaded
into Roadtown cars by steam shovel and hauled at night to the power
houses where the monorail coal cars will be dumped directly into the
stoker reservoirs. The same heat will be used for generating power,
heating the building, cooking the food and for whatever other purpose
heat is required and the chimneys of Roadtown will be miles apart.
There will be no wagon haulage of fuel in Roadtown life. Other sources
of power, such as water, wind or waves, when developed will become
available for the Roadtown.

The transmission of Roadtown power will involve none of the losses from
which exposed transmission systems suffer because of the weather. The
actual cost per horse power used will be far less than in present city

_A Work Room in Every Home._

Every room in Roadtown will be wired for light and power, but the
general building plan will presume that all regular industrial
operations are to be conducted in a room on the lower floor of the
house which will be equipped with power sockets and bolt plates in the
floor and a non-vibrating foundation installed for machines. This room
will be located where it will have ready access to the transportation
lines, probably by a trap through the floor through which a case of
goods can be dropped to a position where it can be automatically swung
aboard a slowly moving “pick-up” car at night, something after the
manner a mail-bag is now snatched from a post beside the railway track.

This work room will be separated from the rest of the house by
sound-proof walls. Of course no room can be made absolutely sound
proof, for where fresh air goes sound goes also. Very noisy industries
as well as those that deal in bulky or malodorous substances must of
necessity be out of and at a safe distance from the resident portion
of Roadtown. The Roadtown work room, like the coöperative cook shop,
though it is there to be used and will be equipped for a work room, yet
its use as such is not obligatory. The power socket may be plugged, a
rug thrown over the bolt plates and the work room used for a children’s
play-room, a sun parlor, a palm garden, or a living-room. It is rented
with the house, equipped to receive suitable machines, but if the
tenants have other uses for their time, it is their affair.

The following industries will come early to the Roadtown: clothing
manufactures, knitting, lace and needle work, millinery, artificial
flowers and other decorative work, including all art and the so-called
art crafts, jewelry, toilet articles and small household notions of
all sorts; wood and cold metal workings, toys, hats, gloves, shoes,
book-binding, and many similar types of light manufacturing.

The Roadtown corporation will have machines for suitable Roadtown
industries made of certain standard sizes to fit the workroom
described. These machines will be for sale or to rent to the tenant.
Under the old system of industry, men, constantly fraught with the
fear of losing their jobs, are always anxious to buy and own the tools
of production. In Roadtown practice there will be nothing to gain by
private ownership over publicly owned machines. The corporation will
charge just enough rental to maintain and repair the machinery and
replace with new ones when the old are out of commission. The operator
of the machine will find it more profitable to invest his savings in
the bonds of the corporation than to make his own repairs or to replace
his own machines. Another advantage of renting your machine is the
option you have at all times, that of exchanging it for some other kind
of machine.

Whether the factory is brought into the home, or the man induced to go
to the factory will, of course, depend upon the nature of his work.
Sometimes it will be cheaper to move the product, sometimes cheaper to
move the man. In either case the perfected system of transportation is
of equal importance.

The selling of farm products coöperatively is practical, as is being
abundantly proven in the United States and to a greater extent abroad.
There is no valid argument that can be put up against coöperative
buying of the raw material and selling of the finished product of the
Roadtown workers. Such coöperative buying and selling should not for
a moment be classed with the graft tempting work of the municipal or
government buyer. In the case of the government the money which is
used to buy cavalry horses, for instance, is raised by revenues upon
diamonds or cigars. There is here no relation whatsoever between the
man who pays the taxes and the buyer of the goods. In coöperative
buying the connection between the man who pays and the price that is
paid will be close indeed. The buyer of leather for Roadtown glove
makers would be held even more closely responsible for honest buying
by the consumers of the leather than by the stockholders of a present
corporate glove factory, for in the corporation factory there is a
chance to hide poor buying behind good selling in the final report
to the stockholders. Every move of the buyer and seller of Roadtown
workers is then and there made known to the Roadtown workman or group
of workmen who has the immediate right to recall the blundering
representative. The trouble with government officials is that they are
too far removed from the people who supply the money which they spend.
In Roadtown that connection will be close and quick in action. It will
be corporate industry with interest to small or large investors, but
control and profits for and by the workers.

The bondholders will have an ever vigilant and directly interested
army of workers who must of necessity safeguard their mutual welfare.
The worker cannot avoid this service to the bondholder, hence he is
the best protected bondholder in all the world. I do not here refer to
values; that is covered elsewhere.

_A New Type of Factory._

I believe there will develop in Roadtown a form of factory that is
intermediate between the large privately owned factory as it exists
to-day and the individual work room of Roadtown. I refer to the small
coöperative factory, organized by a band of workers whose separate
operations are needed to complete a single article. For illustration,
suppose a group of employés of a shoe factory are dissatisfied. Instead
of going on a strike they would organize a coöperative Roadtown
Association and move into Roadtown. They could arrange for houses
adjoining and throw their individual work room into a continuous work
room large enough to accommodate them. They could elect their own
foreman and decide the proportion of profits to go to different grades
of work and embody these conditions in their charter. These inner
coöperators would buy and sell through the central organization of
the Roadtown, as will the individual workers. Here we will have the
mechanical saving of the combination of the several operations--the
commercial saving of centralized buying and selling, and the profits
going to the workers, not the least of which would be the satisfaction
of independence.

Once Roadtown becomes an established fact, single workers, little
groups of workers, and whole armies of workers will be seen leaving
the old system for the new. It will be a strike for all time, a strike
from which the hiring of strike breakers will be an empty retaliation,
for the Roadtown worker will not only work better but his products will
be less destroyed in the mill of competitive selling--he can undersell
the strike breaker, being employer, and because the food and house and
things he buys of the other workers will cost him less and serve him
better; the workman who joins this final general strike can work and
live better, yet cheaper, than his successor in the old factories.
It is the beginning of the end of the barbarous so-called “factory
system”--and the end is that each work will be performed in a way that
is most economical to society as a whole.

_A Special Message to Women._

The Roadtown has a message not only for men, but for women, and most
especially for young unmarried women who are looking forward to the
time when they can fulfill their highest mission on earth, that of
establishing a home and raising a family. You need not put off the
wedding any longer than the time when you can pay a couple of months’
rent on a Roadtown home, a deposit on a machine, enough to buy raw
material to keep you and the machine busy for a couple of weeks and
enough seed to plant the garden. If “John” has a position he can retain
it and commute without leaving you to stare out the window of a city
apartment with nothing to do all day or frightened and lonely in an
isolated farm house. If he hasn’t a job he may run a machine and work
the garden also. If he is good to you, you will be happy, and he is apt
to be, for he knows you are not dependent upon him for a living now
that you are freed from household drudgery and can earn as much as he.
The Roadtown will enable you to marry the man of your choice regardless
of his ability to thrive in the present unfair struggle for a marriage
portion and enable you at all times to free yourself from him on
account of your economic independence, if he proves to be the wrong man.

The saving in coöperative buying and selling is going to be the means
of throwing many men out of employment, just as has been the case with
the inventions of all labor saving machinery and methods. When a man
in middle life has to fill a new occupation it is indeed a serious
matter, but one against which it is useless to fight. If a man had
been sent down the track swinging a lantern to warn an approaching
train of a broken rail, we would hardly countenance the holding up of
traffic after the rail was repaired, because the man wished to continue
swinging the lantern. The Roadtown makes no apologies to the workers
whose services it will render useless. When we get well, we dismiss
the doctor. It is said that some doctors keep us sick to keep their
jobs. Be that as it may, certainly there is no denying that he who
opposes coöperation, in an attempt to preserve wasteful or unnecessary
operations is a malpracticing economic physician. To the man Roadtown
throws out of a job, it offers a chance to engage in productive labor
where one cannot get out of a job, because so long as men receive
the full fruits of their toil, with free and untaxed exchange,
over-production as an economic calamity is an absolute impossibility.

_The End of Monotonous Labor._

Thus far we have discussed agriculture and manufacturing as industries
to be engaged in by different sets of workers. In practice, I believe
they will be bountifully intermingled. A man may work at a shoe
stitcher for three hours, turn off the power and go out and hoe
potatoes. Likewise his wife may run the same machine, or a lace machine
for a while, and for a change of occupation operate the electric hoe
(something on the order of a dentist’s drill, only much larger) in the
vegetable or flower garden. Not only will Roadtown free the factory
worker from wage slavery, but it will free both farmer and machine
worker from long hours of toil at monotonous work. It will free our
civilization from the curse of making machines out of men; it will
sift out the indolent and place them at the bottom of the scale of
life’s good things. It will reward the industrious as much as man can
be rewarded without being given power to enslave his fellows. It will
make men free; it will abolish machine men, factory and sweat shops,
and child labor and woman’s economic dependence on man that makes her a
sexual slave. And such work, such making of children into men and women
instead of automatons, may lessen the speed at which some machines are
fed, and may even make tissue paper flowers on hats dearer, but it will
certainly make cow butter and big red apples cheaper and real flowers
more abundant and raise the per capita valuation of human life.



In the modern world there is no such thing as an absolute
individualist, or an absolute coöperationist. The most rabid enemy
of socialistic and coöperative movements sends his children to a
coöperative school, puts his mail in a coöperative post office, and
pays the coöperative preachers; he drinks coöperative water and
uses the coöperative sewage system and drives his automobile on a
coöperative road. On the other hand, the most enthusiastic socialist
wants to write his own books and paint his own pictures and sign his
name to them and get the glory. Why, then, should the poultry breeder,
or the skilled bookbinder cast the individuality of his labor into the
melting pot of coöperative production?

In Roadtown the lamb of socialism shall lie down with the leopard of
individuality and a child of the common good shall lead them.

_A Mecca for the Individualist._

The Roadtown corporation will stand ready to sell the product of the
individuals or that of the coöperative producers, but it will not
prohibit them from selling individually if they so desire. If, for
illustration, a man should wish to complete the making of a glove,
though he accomplished but one-fifth of the combined work of four
men, yet if this man prefers to take less pay or work longer hours in
order to have the satisfaction of working for himself and seeing one
piece of work completely through to the finish, the community would
have no complaint--he would pay his own way and would get his pleasure
from the independence in his work. In so doing he may develop in
himself or in his child the latent qualities of art that machine-like
application would blot out forever. In like manner, men with strong
social temperaments, to carry out their ideal would sometimes attempt
to conduct agriculture, or artistic work together that could be run
at greater total productiveness individually. If the difference were
greater than the lessening of consumption, the venture would fail.
But if the difference were slight both types of workmen would produce
better when doing the thing they wish to do and the community would get
better work, and what is more important, better men.

The Roadtown by opening up the highways of exchange to all, and
preventing the development of huge privately owned corporations, gives
opportunity for the free play in both individual and coöperative
production. The trust system of industry we have to-day allows only
such forms of privately owned industries to exist as cater to its
own need. Coöperative retail stores are commonly boycotted by the
wholesalers, a notable example of which was the coöperative store
organized by the federal employés at Washington. On the other hand,
wholesalers commonly dictate the retail prices at which their goods
may be sold by so-called competitive retailers. The retailer who cuts
his price is boycotted. There is no individualism, all are tools and
puppets of the trusts.

_The Roadtown Department Store._

The Roadtown will supply the wants of the people through coöperative
stores. This does not mean that Roadtowners will be prohibited from
buying outside of Roadtown or from selling his own product inside or
outside of Roadtown, but it does mean that the general game of private
merchandising will in Roadtown be a coöperative function and that
the wasteful multiplication of the small shops will be eliminated.
The various departments of the Roadtown department stores will not
all be in one place, but will be strung along the line at intervals
of great enough length to give the greatest economy in delivery. At
every food serving station will be a store supplying the common daily
needs, especially those that are almost always ordered by telephone.
These will likely be located about every half mile. Other classes of
merchandise less frequently called for will be located at greater
distances; thus men’s haberdasher shops might be every three miles
and millinery stores every two miles, while one artist’s material shop
would suffice for an entire hundred miles of Roadtown.

The same system of varying lengths of units will apply to all Roadtown
utilities. The units will be made of such length as is found to be most
economical. The population which patronizes three serving stations may
all get their heat from a single heating plant, while the length of two
heating systems might be found a profitable unit to be put under the
charge of one landscape gardener.

This feature of Roadtown offers great economies over the single large
building. For instance, in an apartment house accommodating one hundred
families, light, heat, telephone, sweeping systems, etc., must all be
one hundred family systems, regardless of whether that is the most
economical unit for the system or not. Roadtown utilizes every utility
in length which gives the maximum efficiency for that particular
device. The foregoing sentence consists of fifteen words, but the truth
expressed therein is of tremendous economic significance. Think it

Coöperative features of Roadtown which require special centers will
be located where special towers or façades can be built to break the
monotony of the house line.

The advantage of the universal transmission of intelligence will be
seen in all the industries of the Roadtown. The entire industrial and
living system will be equipped with telephones just as are the various
departments of a large factory. For illustration: The Roadtown will
employ an agricultural expert. At his office will be kept soil maps
of the entire Roadtown area, and he will be in a position to advise
freely with the farmers along the line what to plant, where to plant,
and when to plant. Or if a farmer finds a new kind of bug eating up the
cabbage leaves, he will simply pick a few bugs, put them in a bottle
and send the bottle by mechanical carriers to the agricultural office.
The agriculturist will then advise him by ’phone as to what course to

The same close touch with the producers on the line will apply in the
case of the supply of food growing in the gardens along the line.
The gardeners from day to day can ’phone the chef what they will have
to offer, and he can arrange the bill of fare accordingly, while the
manager of the store can keep the Roadtowner posted on the probable
demand for various goods made in his work room.



An ideal social life is one in which people can be together when they
wish to be together, and alone when they wish to be alone. The better
the transportation facilities, the more nearly of attainment is such a
condition. The Roadtowners in all thickly-populated sections will be
within commuting distance of nearby cities and the attractions of these
centers will be open to them. But such social life, even for those
who live in the city, is sadly deficient. City people have theaters,
libraries, churches and crowds, but they do not have neighbors with
common interests. The Roadtowners who get the food at the same kitchen,
and hear the same band play, and sell their products coöperatively,
and promenade on the same endless roof garden, and send their children
to the same instructors, are going to get acquainted if they so
desire. The entire Roadtown will be in connection by the loud speaking
telephone, and folks can call on each other on a stormy night without
so much as getting out of their comfortable rockers, but, for that
matter, while there will be more to keep a Roadtowner at home, there
will be less to keep him from going away from home when he wants to. If
anyone is lonesome in Roadtown, it is simply because he has no friends,
and if he has no friends, it can scarcely be anyone’s fault but his own.

But the social life of Roadtown will not be limited to city trips
and neighborly calls. The Roadtown will have coöperative amusement
centers, just as it will have coöperative kitchens and stores. At
spots where the Roadtown crosses streams or passes the mountains or
the sea shore and at certain distances apart, amusement parks will be
located. Here will be the athletic grounds, swimming pools, gymnasiums
and the means of entertainment common and uncommon to like resorts. At
more frequent intervals in the Roadtown, and so distributed as to give
picturesque variety to the house line will be museums, art galleries,
theaters, lecture halls and dance halls. All such features that are
supported by the corporation must, of course, be open to all residents.
Organizations that are not for the benefit of the majority of the
inhabitants will be supported by their adherents. The halls of the
association will be open to all meetings, religious or otherwise, where
nonconflicting dates can be arranged.

The Roadtown will offer opportunity for the revival of athletics upon a
scale unheard of since the Olympian games of ancient Greece.

_Roadtown Athletics._

The Roadtown community, because of the spirit of coöperation and
mutuality which will pervade all phases of life, will extend into
mature years the institutional patriotism which forms such a large part
of modern school and college life. Under such conditions we may expect
to see developed a grand series of meets in all manner of competitive
arts and sports. The winners of the local meets or exhibitions will
again compete at the grand athletic and art centers.

The Roadtown will bring the opportunity to indulge in the sports and
recreations much nearer the life of the whole people than in the
present civilization.

There is no reason why every boy, big and little, should not attend the
ball games and athletic meets on the home field as well as the grand
finale in which his team participates.

Transportation will cost him nothing, the ball ground will be owned by
the community and the hours of Roadtown labor will be set by the will
of the worker and not by the greed of the capitalist’s purse.

_Education for Old as Well as Young._

Roadtown education will apply to all ages of both sexes. The whole
living scheme of Roadtown will be a vast school. The modern school,
a place where we send our children to be herded in immense droves
under the care of girls who use the teaching profession as a makeshift
until an opportunity of marriage arrives, is far from perfection as a
means of child development. The disciplinarian system of education
which crushes out individuality and molds all children in the
industrial-political virtue of being bossed, is likely to vanish as a
population is freed from economic slavery.

Roadtown will provide instruction for those who wish to learn and
citizenship prizes and privileges will go to the educated, and
compulsory education and graded schools in time will have no excuse
for existence. These are striking statements and I am simply calling
attention to the change that I believe will come about naturally and

The Roadtown will have to pay county taxes, but on account of its 1,000
population to the mile will influence the location of these schools in
Roadtown. At first the use of the present public school methods must
necessarily be employed; gradually as the Roadtown gains influence and
better teachers are secured the educational system can be adapted more
closely to Roadtown life.

In the first place, the Roadtown home will be an enlightened one. The
Roadtown library will be a book store house, not a reading-room. If
the citizen wants a book or magazine he telephones the library and in
a few minutes the book is delivered to him by mechanical carrier. The
kind of free library we have to-day requires ten cents car fare and
much time to get a book.

There will be a library of telegraphone records, which do not have to
be duplicated for every household, but one set at a central office will
suffice, where one girl can run a complicated programme of music and
lectures for many homes.

_Eyes to be Used Less and Ears More._

Excessive reading is hard on the eyes and it lacks much of the
efficiency that auditory methods have of conveying ideas. Our education
has been entirely too much from the printed page and too little from
the use of the ear. The Roadtown dictograph and telegraphone will
change all this. The child who has not yet learned the letters can be
taught to speak German and told stories of nature and history. And
in all this education the parent will learn along with the child and
become fascinated by such a wonderful process. The significance of
this telegraphone and dictograph will never be appreciated until we
have it in operation. The telegraphone is not a cheap instrument to
build, but when operated on a large scale will be extremely economical
for each family. From a programme announced in advance a choice may be
had from a hundred pieces kept playing at once. More than one wire can
lead to each house if desired. The family may be in the drawing-room,
listening to grand opera or a lecture on philosophy, and Jimmy may be
upstairs, tucked in bed with ear muffs clapped over his curls, being
put to sleep by Sinbad the Sailor or the Twenty-third Psalm, according
to his mother’s idea of child psychology.

Outside of the visual and auditory library in the home, the second
great new feature in Roadtown education will be the home work of the
child’s parents. In work room and garden the child will learn what the
world is for. About the most pitiable thing imaginable is a child whose
parents do not believe in child labor. I do not mean the killing of
children in mines and mills, but the child labor such as you see on
the wholesome farm, where the child does his part along with the rest
of the family.

The present system of keeping a child from all work until his body and
mind are formed and then plunging him into industrial life is only
exceeded in folly and cruelty by the child slavery system commonly
known as “child labor.” “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,”
but all school and play and no work makes Jack a jackass.

The Roadtown child will learn his parent’s occupation, and his uncle’s
and aunt’s occupation, and his neighbor’s occupation, and will have
more ability to take care of himself when he is ten years old than the
present city-bred college man of twenty.

But the community as a whole has some claim on the child’s life and
the child’s future as well as the parents--a fact that all intelligent
parents will recognize. For this reason instruction outside the family
is desirable and will be arranged by the Roadtown public school system.

The occupation of housekeeping having been eliminated, the
kindergarten teaching force of Roadtown will be composed of women of
mature minds, many of whom will have borne children and are therefore
equipped with actual experience in caring for them.

With the entire population to select from more real or natural-born
teachers will be found than under the present régime, where most
married women are limited in occupation to family food manufacturer and
household drudge.

_Mothers for Public School Teachers._

To these instructors the children will go at hours as arranged for.
One woman will take little tots into her home to amuse and care for
them while their mothers are away or at work. Another will instruct the
children in mathematics. The man skilled in botany will instruct groups
of children in his garden, and the chemist and mineralogist in their
laboratories. Instead of grade schools we will have child universities;
instead of college degrees there will be citizenship examinations,
with rewards of positions of trust in Roadtown management. Instead of
college young folks and old fogy old folks there will be an industrial
university and universal athletics and sports. The Roadtown school
system will be the most versatile imaginable. It will develop the
greatest geniuses the world has ever known and save the most money.
Pounding literature into the head of a natural born mechanic is both
economic and mental waste. The universal query in Roadtown will not be
what does he know, but what can he do.

Physical education will be fully as much a matter of public concern
in Roadtown as mental education. It ought to be, for disease is
contagious, ignorance is not. The Roadtown child will play in the open
country like farm boys. He will be brown and sturdy and fall out of
trees and go swimming in the creek, but he will not be a wild animal,
or a pet to be taken out and aired by the nurse--distinguishable from
the poodle only by the absence of the chain.

_Lowest Death Rate in History._

The Roadtown death rate will be the lowest in the history of the world.
Roadtown will give the freedom to choose from the work and play of
city and country, the exercise and rest, which is necessary to the
development of a good physique. The Roadtowner will eat pure food,
drink pure water, breathe pure air. His bedding and clothes will be
aired and when necessary fumigated. His laundry will be disinfected.
His house will be made germ proof. The result will be that consumption
and typhoid and pneumonia will disappear with the first generation.
A few diseases which are transmitted by contact and the occasional
cripples that are born so will persist, but sickness and premature
death in Roadtown will be so rare as to cause wonder. Dissipation and
the use of patent medicines and narcotic drugs cannot be prevented,
but with co-operative industrial organization and no one profiting by
the trade, these and other health-destroying fakes will have far less
chance to grow or even survive.

The public utilities of Roadtown will include hospitals and nurseries.
Public sanitary officers will supervise and consult with residents.
Private physicians will be available if there be any demand for them,
and when a doctor is wanted he will be able to come quickly. For the
liniment and bandage for a cut thumb, a speedier service than the
monorail will be available, for the telephone and the mechanical
carrier will be brought into play. No one in Roadtown can live more
than two or three minutes from the drug store.

With all the coöperative utilities and mechanical perfections that
Roadtown offers there is a very natural tendency to associate the
essentials of home life with certain forms and locations of houses that
our experience connects with the best home life we have known rather
than to get down to the real causes and principles involved.

Much of our present sense of house architecture is indeed destined to
be quite lost, for the Roadtowner enters his home from above or below,
and the pleasurable emotions aroused by the view of one’s cottage as he
comes up the walk must be attached to other sensations. But home is a
place for companionship as distinct from the swirl of business and the
jostle of the crowds; nor is all companionship necessarily human. A
lawn to keep and some chickens and garden to care for are far closer to
the essence of home than the gable on one’s cottage.

In the first place the Roadtown will be freer from noise than either
city or village. There will be no lumbering vehicles and no tramp
of either horse or man upon unshielded pavement. All stairs, roof
promenade, hallway and monorail platform will be matted; while the
noiselessness of the transportation service is one of the fundamental
conceptions of Roadtown. There is no clanking furnace in the Roadtown
dwelling. There is no common dumb-waiter through which one receives
unwelcome knowledge of his neighbor’s business. That the sound will not
enter from the roof above or the open windows of one’s neighbor’s was
explained in a previous chapter. To be spied upon by one’s neighbors is
even more objectionable than to be overheard. In this respect Roadtown
is superior to any type of dwelling yet devised, for in all other forms
of residence the windows of the house look out upon the street. The
Roadtown passersby are above and below and no one may look into the
windows unless he is in a private garden. This unique arrangement gives
the Roadtown home a sense of privacy and a freedom in the use of light
and air now known only upon isolated farms.

The actual nearness of strangers to the Roadtown homes is of no
concern, since one has no knowledge of their presence. That we meet
them upon the roof promenade or at the monorail station is certainly
not an objection.

The Roadtown inhabitants rent of the community, not of a private
individual. Such a lease will be permanent as long as the lessee
pays the rent and does not offend the rules of the commonwealth.
Sales for taxes and arrest for the breaking of the civil law are
present limitations to individual liberty, from which the principles
of Roadtown departs not one iota, but simply extends it in keeping
with the greater number of common projects in which the community is

_A Home in the Truest Sense._

The only further sense that attaches to the idea of home is as a
protection from the poverty of old age. A plan whereby the Roadtown
corporation will give permanent rent to a person who has paid a
sufficient sum into the corporation treasury may be developed
co-operatively by the tenants. But a place to live in is only half
insurance against poverty of old age, and we can hardly doubt that a
community trained in coöperation, as the Roadtown community will be
trained, will not only ultimately insure its aged inhabitants’ rent but
a sufficient sum to keep them in decent comfort. The first generation
will never quite forget the egoistic pleasure that is derived from our
present forms of deeds for houses and lands, but the sentiment of home
ownership as we now know it will die with the generation.

The individual pleasure of house construction will be lost in Roadtown,
just as we have already lost the pleasure of vehicle construction.
The man who argues that people will not live in Roadtown because they
cannot build and own their own homes is a lineal descendant of the man
who said they would not ride on railroads for similar reasons. The
Roadtown inhabitant will simply transfer his sentiments and put his
individuality into other arts. The builder of a modern private railroad
car furnishes trucks and couplings which will enable him to be carried
by engines and over rails used in common.

Carriages, railroads, automobiles, in their time, were at first opposed
by the artists of the day.

The Roadtown now looks like a Chinese wall--when it is realized it will
look like a Roadtown, and Roadtown will mean comfort, contentment and
prosperity, and new sentiment and new art will replace the old.



My many friends have advised me to sell the Roadtown patents or form
a company and sell stock. But these people have failed to realize
the comprehensiveness of the Roadtown project. Indeed, should I have
promoted the Roadtown as a monopoly for private gain I would have
unquestionably been the meanest man on earth, for in me and my backers
would have been combined all the despotism of the landlord, the
railroad magnate, the factory slave driver, the wasteful middle-man,
the extortionate retailer and half of the commodity trusts. The private
owners of the Roadtown would be absolute master of the inhabitants in
every phase of life.

I know no better way to explain to my well-meaning friends who wear
dollars instead of lenses in their spectacle frames why I do not care
to make a private monopoly of Roadtown, than to say that I was raised
in a country town and know the sad limitations of human aspirations
due to the loneliness and narrowed horizon of isolated existence, and
that I have also lived in the congested districts of New York and of
other large cities and know the pain and misery of the life of the
city, and that for me to think of promoting Roadtown as a private graft
would be exactly comparable to the idea of the discoverer of diphtheria
antitoxin keeping the secret for selfish gains.

The Roadtowns will be built by the people who believe in its principles
and who have money to invest at 5 per cent, or the market price of a
security better than municipal bonds. The Roadtown corporations will
each be chartered with a nominal capital stock which will bear no
dividends. I will at first hold this stock in trust. This stock will be
the voting stock of the corporation, hence, I or trustees I might name
will have control of the policy of the company within the limitations
of the charter. I wish this stock to be non-dividend paying so the
Roadtown can never be made to pay profits to me or anyone else and to
pay interest on bonds only to those who are cash investors. My object
in holding or trusteeing this stock is to keep the control of the
Roadtown out of the hands of those who may use such control as a means
to the numerous forms of graft commonly present in corporations. I wish
to stand between the bond holders and the residents of Roadtown and the
grafters, and this privilege is the reward I ask for the invention of
Roadtown--I want no promoters or monopoly profits, no inventors’ stock,
and no fancy salary, but I do want the opportunity to see that no one
else gets any such advantage over the Roadtowners.

My reason for wishing to control the voting stock of Roadtown is that I
do not believe a democratic organization can be created at once in its
entirety but that it will have to evolve naturally. If an oligarchic
form of control was established now it would doubtless be perpetuated
for generations and become corrupt as are present corporations and
governments. I believe that during my life time, I, with the aid of
good advisers, can evolve a purely democratic form of control and thus
permanently prevent it from falling into corrupt hands. I confidently
expect the coöperation of men of the highest national reputation in
matters of trusteeships.

_Home Rule for Roadtowners._

The Roadtown management will have to grow and develop starting perhaps
with one-half mile section and adopt such rules as are necessary to the
protection and comfort of the tenants. They will be consulted about
whatever concerns them directly and thus gradually evolve into a plan
of self-government. When I say self-government I mean as regards the
things that under our present system they haven’t a word to say. They
go to the polls occasionally and vote for somebody but can seldom trace
any benefit from the vote. In Roadtown direct legislation, initiative,
referendum and recall will enable a man to really have a say.

The control of the local affairs in Roadtown will be wholly a matter of
local option and the suffrage will be exercised by both sexes.

There will be no definitely set districts as townships or municipal
wards, but each question to be voted upon will be submitted to the
parties concerned, for illustration: the steward will be elected
or recalled by the people whose food the preparation of which he
superintends. They will also determine his salary. If they vote him
a high salary and he hires an expensive set of helpers and sets a
luxurious table the people who elected him can eject him if they do
not approve of his extravagance, but if they desire to live wastefully
they can do so and the people of more moderate tastes can move into a
section which is known to be moderate. By such opportunity for local
option, people will be given the chance of finding sections to suit
their tastes and purses.

Roadtown will be a great equalizer of present life by the removal of
special privileges of the rich and those who are “in” to reap where
they have not sown, but there will be no tendency to dictate to the
people how they should spend the money they have equitably earned. You
now have to ask the gas trust, the ice trust, the milk and meat trust,
the middlemen’s trust and many others even if it is permissible for you
to marry and live a normal life.

The original price of Roadtown rents will be made to vary with the
desirability of the location. Favored localities will be settled by
people with the money to pay for it, and these people will naturally
vote for high class service and this in turn will be added to the
original price of rent. In this manner certain sections of Roadtown may
become more expensive and so the various grades of society will find
their wants readily supplied.

Roadtown will possess a leveling influence, it will hasten the equality
and brotherhood of man and the Kingdom of God upon the Earth, but it
will not reduce man to a single level at one operation, and if these
natural laws of human nature should be outraged by an enforced leveling
programme, the full Roadtown development would be seriously retarded
for a generation.

_Detached Villas Practical but Undesirable._

In my earlier work of planning on Roadtown I thought it would be
necessary to cater to the wishes of the well-to-do by discontinuing the
house line in some sections and breaking it up into detached villas.
By carrying the monorails and all pipes and wires in a trench from
villa to villa the full benefit of the co-operative functions could be
attained, but of course with the additional expense of the extra land,
extra length of the trench and its contents, the extra wall and the
loss of the roof promenades. I know of nothing that will give a better
conception of the wonders of Roadtown than to consider for a moment
this villa construction. By the continuation of the Roadtown trench
between villas it would be possible to give to a modest ten or twenty
thousand dollar villa facilities that would cost half a million if
installed in a single country or suburban home.

But when we had such a villa completed what advantage would we have
over the continuous house? A few added windows on two sides of the
house that would look out into the other fellow’s windows across the
lawn and instead of passersby on a grand promenade above our heads
entirely removed from our sight, or we from theirs, we would have a
sidewalk by the door where our neighbors who became curious as to our
domestic affairs could stroll and stare into our windows and doors.
In practice more light and air could enter the two freely open sides
of the Roadtown house than through the carefully shuttered windows on
four sides of a “private” villa. I am satisfied that very few if any
sections of Roadtown will be built in villas because they will offer no
advantages that I am aware of to offset the disadvantages. People will
accept the uniformity of the exterior of the roofs and walls as they
now accept the uniformity of the street. Their personal tastes will be
put on interior decorations or in beautiful gardens that may be seen
from the roof promenade and enjoyed by all.

Before the bonds are offered for the development of any section of
Roadtown the matter of municipal franchise, and options from suburban
land owners and farmers for the right of way and for garden sites will
progress as much as is practicable and a statement will be issued
showing the appraisal value of this land, the status of the franchise
matter, together with architects’ drawings and engineers’ plans, and
specifications setting forth the estimated cost of a certain finished
structure with equipments in a certain locality. This will give the
prospective bond buyer an exact knowledge of the property upon which he
may secure the mortgage in exchange for his money which will be held
by trustees until the required amount is raised and then disbursed by
them according to the specifications. That this will be an excellent
security will be assured by the fact that the options will be secured
at a very low rate because of the competition raised between rival
land owners all of whom desire transportation and the other Roadtown

This principle has been made use of thousands of times in railroad and
trolley promotion and has poured millions of dollars worth of watered
stock into the hands of crafty promoters. As there is no promoter’s
graft in Roadtown the bidding of land owners for this line of city
through their neighborhood or property will turn to the benefit of the
bond holder in enhancing the solidity of his security and to the land
owner in bringing a strip of city to his farm.

_Builders of Roadtown Take Minimum Risk._

The wonderful economies of the Roadtown construction, such as cheap
building material, principally rock and sand from the farm, steam
shovel excavation instead of hand shovel, work train instead of cart
hauling and poured cement construction instead of hand labor, the
economies of open piping and wiring, and the valuable patents that are
being donated because of the humanitarian bases of promotion, will give
a better building for the money than can possibly be made under present
conditions anywhere and make the first mortgage on Roadtown, including
as it does transportation, telephone, water, gas, electric, sewage and
other franchises, real estate mortgage and a mortgage on a permanent
fireproof house, will make it the best possible form of security
known, and no inflated land values. Don’t forget that feature. Such
a bond will be virtually a municipal bond as the people living in
Roadtown can be taxed in the form of rent to meet the interest. No one
who has fully grasped the principle of Roadtown will doubt for a minute
that it can be built, for it is not a complicated mechanism which must
fail if one part proves faulty, but simply the grouping together of
inventions already in use. And even if some of these should prove to be
unfeasible they would hardly be missed in the total.

The whole question of the value of the Roadtown bonds depends upon the
question as to whether or not people will live in the Roadtown after it
has been built. I have spent a hundred pages telling of the comforts,
conveniences, social and industrial advantages of Roadtown life.
Heretofore I might have fallen into minor errors, but no sane and fair
mind can reason away the fact that Roadtown life will be wonderfully
attractive to the vast majority of mankind. As proof of this, over a
hundred high class families have spoken for apartments in the first
section, if it happens to be built near New York. But suppose we admit
for the sake of argument that the Roadtown house was no better and no
worse to live in than a typical suburban house of to-day. Clearly then
the worth of the Roadtown bonds will depend wholly upon the price of
Roadtown rent which in turn will depend upon the original cost and the
cost of operation.

_The Cost of the First Mile of Roadtown._

With a view of answering this question I submit the following letters
and figures from Frank L. Sutton, a consulting engineer of 80 Broadway,
New York City. These figures are based upon the cost of the first mile
of Roadtown. These figures show that it will not be necessary to build
a long section of the Roadtown before it can underbid the rental of the
isolated house or city apartment and thus secure population and begin

It goes without saying that as the length of the Roadtown increases the
cost per mile and the cost per house both in construction and operation
will decrease.



                                                    80 Broadway,
                                      New York, November 12, 1909.

  _Mr. Edgar Chambless,
               150 Nassau Street, New York City._

  DEAR SIR: Referring to the report hereto attached giving
  a general description and the estimated cost of the mechanical
  and electrical equipments for the Roadtown, as well as the cost
  of construction of the building and equipment, and further
  the cost of operation, would say that these results have been
  carefully computed and there is no doubt but that the Roadtowns
  can be built and operated for the figures given in the report.

  On account of the arrangement of the building and the convenience
  by which raw material can be transported, the proposition is
  without doubt the most economical and efficient form of good
  construction that can be devised.

                            Very truly yours,
                                    FRANK L. SUTTON.



The following calculations are based on the construction of two
hundred and fifty (250) two-story houses in a continuous row. This
also includes a continuous glass enclosed roof promenade 10 ft. wide
and 8 ft. high. The estimate gives the complete construction of these
buildings, including the tunnel for the proposed monorail road, also
a central power plant, including kitchen, laundry and such other
equipments as may be necessary for the proper maintenance of such an
establishment. It further includes all mains, pipes, wires, so that
when the plant is completed it would be ready to turn over to the
occupant in a completely finished condition.

Each house will be equipped with hot water heat furnished from a
central station; electric lights, electric power, telephone connected
with central station, vacuum sweeping system, complete plumbing and
water supply.

The calculations which are given herewith are fairly close and without
doubt under proper management and accessible facilities for getting
material the work can be done for the estimate given.

  250 houses, 21´ wide × 20´ deep, with seven
    rooms well furnished as per illustration
    @ $1,800 each                               $450,000
  Five coöperative centers, tower-like in effect  50,000
  Wiring houses based on $50 per house            12,500
  Heating,  ”     ”   ” $150  ”    ”              37,500
  Plumbing, ”     ”   ” $125  ”    ”              21,250
  Laundry machinery                                8,000
  Cooking apparatus                               12,000
  Boiler plant and heating apparatus              40,000
  Refrigerating plant                             10,000
  Electric plant and switchboard, telephone       40,000
  Wiring, feeder mains, etc.                      12,000
  Brick Chimney                                    4,000
  Sewerage system                                 20,000
  Water supply and mains for irrigation and
    domestic use                                  40,000
  Gas and vacuum producers and holders            10,000
  One mile of house--equipped                   $777,250

  Cost per house--equipped                        $3,109

The principal fixed charges for labor, coal, interest on the investment
would be as follows:

  Chief engineer                                  $2,400
  Two (2) assistant engineers, $80 per month,
    $960 each                                      1,920
  Four (4) firemen, $60 per month, $240 each       2,880
  Two (2) extra men, $50 per month                 1,200
  Chef, $75 per month                                900
  Three (3) cooks, $40 per month                   1,440
  Four (4) helpers, $20 per month                    720
  One (1) laundryman, $100 per month               1,200
  Ten (10) women, $20 per month                    2,400
  Total labor cost                               $15,060

  Coal                                             4,000
  Oil and waste                                      500
  6% interest on $581,250[B]    $34,375
  7%    ”     ”   196,000[B]     14,550           48,852
                                 ------           ------

  Total expense for one year’s operation,
    interest and depreciation                    $68,385

  [B] The lower rate of interest is charged upon the house and
      fixtures, the higher rate upon the plants and machinery.

Or each tenant’s rent for year to be $22.76 per month or $3.25 per
room, exclusive of charge for food but inclusive of furniture, power,
cooking, heat, light, water, vacuum sweeping, laundry and the delivery
of all food, parcels, produce, etc.

The population could without doubt be increased by 500 to 1,000 houses
more without any material increase in the principal items for labor,
such as engineers, firemen and heads of departments. The only extra
increase would be for help in these departments which would be governed
by the amount of work required.


  _Using Autos_

  Four (4) electric autos for passengers and
    food                                         $12,000
  10% interest, depreciation and repairs          $1,200
  Six (6) men @ $75 per month                      5,400

For 250 families $1.70 per month.

Mr. Sutton has not included the Boyes Monorail in his report because he
was asked to make an estimate for a single mile of Roadtown. For this
length the auto service is the more economical. Mr. Sutton, however,
finds no fault with the Monorail, as is seen from the following letter:

  _Mr. Edgar Chambless,
                New York City._

  DEAR SIR: In reference to the adoption of the Boyes
  Monorail system for Roadtown would say that I have carefully
  examined the drawings and general outline of the scheme designed
  by Mr. Boyes and believe it to be well adapted as a means of
  rapid and noiseless transportation, and further believe that the
  operating expenses of this system and the cost of construction
  will be extremely reasonable. The design of the system from a
  mechanical and electrical standpoint is entirely practical.

                            Very truly yours,
                                    FRANK L. SUTTON.

The total cost for building and operating the Boyes monorail system
between New York and Philadelphia or for ninety miles is estimated by
Mr. Boyes as follows:


As submitted by Wm. H. Boyes using the Boyes Monorail system.

  Line from New York to Philadelphia--90
  miles. Cost of the double express and
  single local track, not including
  excavation, cement work, nor power
  plants which are figured in general
  cost of Roadtown, 270 miles at $15,000
  per mile                                    $4,050,000
  24 express trains at $28,000                   672,000
  18 local trains at $5,000                       90,000
  Total cost of equipment                     $4,812,000

  Interest and upkeep at 7½%                    $360,900
  126 motor men at $1,000                        126,000
  75 guards, ticket men, etc.                     60,000
  Total                                         $546,900
  Monthly cost per family $2.

_Economy Increases with Length._

The Roadtown becomes more efficient as it grows in length, but the
argument that it cannot be started because it will be too tremendous
an investment to build a house a hundred miles long is wholly without
meaning, for a Roadtown of a hundred apartments would show an
advantage over a box style apartment house of the same room capacity
and this efficiency would increase with every added apartment. The
first Roadtown bonds will be floated for a mile or half mile unit and
will require funds well within the cost of one apartment house. To
this beginning house units will be added as fast as needed and more
utilities put in as the increasing length warrants it.

Suburban land owners will donate rights of way and garden strips,
farmers will donate larger gardens, and ranchmen immense farms. Each
will be governed somewhat by the bidding on proposed competing routes,
but it is safe to predict that they will all recognize the enormous
increase in land values that a strip of city will bring with it and bid
accordingly. It is interesting to speculate on the size of their bids
for such a wonderful advantage in view of their very liberal gifts to
steam and trolley roads which have given them so little in comparison.

The location of the first Roadtown will be determined by the people who
give the new form of civilization the warmest welcome. If you have any
inducements or practical suggestions to offer, write, I’ll be glad to
welcome and consider them. It may be in Long Island or in California or
in Japan, but the locations of the subsequent Roadtowns will be more
easily predicted: they will be wherever there is enough population to
make coöperative house construction worth while and sufficient wealth
and enterprise to execute such an undertaking.

The logical location for early lines of Roadtown will be at the end of
present rapid transit or commuting facilities of our cities or will
tap these lines far enough out to avoid high land values. Thus there
will be ample vacant ground to start a Roadtown at the uptown end of
the New York Subway that could build right through to Boston. Real
estate within or near the city will, of course, be higher in price,
but as such Roadtown dwellings will be able to compete in every sense
with the present prevailing forms of two story houses seen in such
districts, and have in addition all the Roadtown advantages including
indoor rapid, noiseless and dustless transportation, they could afford
to pay for the extra value of such land and still be the object of envy
by the outside residents. As soon as it has passed beyond the present
suburban or speculative belt, the Roadtown will at once take on the
life of the city in the country as pictured in this book, yet all the
inhabitants will have quick and cheap transportation services into the
old cities.

The demand for such Roadtowns for commuting purposes will be so great
at first as to prevent the earlier structures from coming into their
full use as homes for a population that shall support itself by work
within the Roadtown proper. How quickly this demand will be filled is a
matter of speculation. The economic incentive will readjust wisely. It
never fails. At present, with all the suburban development, the heart
of the city is becoming more and more densely populated. We have not
been able to get people out of the city as rapidly as the population
increases. The Roadtown will materially aid in this fight to get the
people out of the city to live.

_A Real Remedy for Congestion._

But with the development of the Roadtown a new factor enters this fight
against congestion. The suburbanite must depend upon the city for
his livelihood, the Roadtowner need not. The result will be that the
Roadtown as soon as built will begin to take people away from the city
to work as well as away to sleep, and this means a real relief of city
congestion, not simply the frantic piling up of humanity twice each day
at the gates of the city.

You might ask, what will be the ultimate place of the Roadtown in
the civilization of the world? The answer is as impossible as would
have been an answer to the ultimate place of the railroad in the
civilization of the world had that question been proposed seventy
years ago. The railroad is a great civilizer. It carries with it all
the material aids to civilization that can be hauled in a freight
car. The Roadtown carries into the home what the railroad takes only
to the freight and express office, and it carries in addition the
civilization of pipes and wires which the railroad cannot transport. It
would have been a wonderful vision for a man of the first quarter of
the last century to have attempted to picture the ultimate effect of
the railroad--but his vision would have fallen short of the reality.
Try for a moment now to take the railroad out of civilization and
substitute the methods of 1825. I believe the Roadtown will be to the
twentieth century what the railroad was to the nineteenth and that my
present efforts to predict its future would fall just as far short of
the reality as would Stevenson’s dream of the railroad civilization of



The only effective way to fight the trusts is to cease to patronize
them and the only way to cease to patronize them is to move into an
environment which is more economically efficient.

Every labor saving invention in the history of man has thrown someone
out of work. The grain binders were broken and burned by the old
fashioned harvest hands. The hand type-setters opposed the introduction
of the linotype. But the economic invention came in spite of this
opposition. The Roadtown is a new arrangement of civilization, a new
plan for all commerce and all city building; it will do for the entire
programme of transportation what the linotype did for the type setting
industry. The entire industrial life of the world will desert the
present economic system just as the farmers deserted the old scythes
and flails. As a result a large proportion of the people who now work
with the crude systems will be thrown out of employment. Who are these
people? They are teamsters and expressmen, and clerks, messengers, and
bookkeepers, and others too numerous to mention, but these people are
merely the servants of private corporations. And the corporations own
the warehouses, wholesale and retail stores, and the little shops,
and street cars, and cabs, and conduits, and the gas and electricity,
and hundreds of other things. These, corporation or trust owners, and
their political henchmen who live on the fat of the land and who by
employing a lot of servants distribute our goods and intelligence to
us by a crude, wasteful, dishonest, and disorganized system, will also
eventually lose their jobs. The men who drive the wagons will learn to
raise vegetables, and the girls behind the hat counters will learn to
make hats. But their bosses with appetites whetted to luxury will be
out of a job “for fair” for with the exception of the mines and foreign
commerce, the Roadtown will leave them no chance to graft off the
producer and consumer by the aid of a privately owned and barbarously
inefficient mechanism of distribution and house construction.

Verily, there will be weeping and wailing, and soft hands blistered,
and fair names of the privileged families without prestige in the
world, for the trusts will have lost their jobs, and there will be but
one trust, and that will be owned by the people.

_Shall we Miss Them?_

The Roadtown is remarkable for the new things that it will add to
civilization, but it is even more remarkable for the things that will
be conspicuous for their absence. In the Roadtown there will be no
streets, no street cars and no “subway air”; no kitchens, no coal bins,
no back yards or back alleys full of crime and tin cans; no brooms, no
feather dusters, no wash day; no clothes line, no beating the carpet
or shaking the rug out the window; there will be no clothes brushes,
no pressing clothes by hand, no lugging the beds out to air them;
the Roadtown home will have no dish washing, no cooks, no maids, no
janitors, no furnace, no ashes, no dust, no noise, no kindling to
split nor buy for five cents a bundle; there will be no moving vans,
no coal wagons, no ice wagons, no garbage carts, no ash carts, no milk
wagons, and no delivery wagons; no horses except for pleasure drives
and no need for a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals;
in Roadtown there will be no fire engines, no cabs nor taxi-cabs, no
mixing of pedestrians and vehicles, no street car blockades, no grade
crossings and no “death avenues”; there will be no bargain rushes, no
small shops, no middleman’s profits, no bill boards, no advertising
of useless and harmful articles, no waste of money for little bottles
and cans and bags, no adulterated food, no wilted vegetables, no
unsanitary “loose” milk, no systems of cesspools and wells to spread
typhoid and other disease germs; for the Roadtown farmer there will
be no hitching the horse to go to church nor driving to town to get
the mail, no kerosene lamps, no slipshod ungraded country school, no
lightning rod peddlers and no book agents; in Roadtown there will be
no need for umbrellas, rubbers nor overcoats in the daily routine of
business--such protection from the weather being only required by the
keepers of live stock and upon occasional visits to the old style city;
there will be no snow to shovel, no slipping of horses or humans on icy
streets, no street cleaners, no water wagons, no swill tubs, no rain
barrels, no manure carts, no dumb-waiters to pull up, no popping and
sizzling steam radiators (hot water heating instead); no beds to make,
no expensive strings of funeral carriages, no fire escapes, no waiting
in rain or snow to catch a car, no canned goods, no delicatessen diet;
in the Roadtown there will be no unemployed problem and no men out of a
job except those who are too lazy to work, and yet there will be many
changes in occupation, for the Roadtown will have no news boys, no
messenger boys, no mail carriers, no traffic policemen, no teamsters,
no cabbies, no street car conductors, no expressmen, no delivery boys,
no peddlers, no push cart men, no waiters to tip, no insurance agents;
no organ grinders, no rag pickers nor old clothes men, no street fakirs
nor sandwich men; no beggars, no liveried flunkies; no sweat shops, no
child labor, no wage slavery, no rent on fictitious land values, and no
trusts to gobble up the fruits of labor.

The history of civilization shows that mechanics control economics,
that economics control morality, and that the morality of the time is
expressed through the law; and conversely law does not control morality
nor morality economics nor economics mechanics. Mechanics is the
foundation of all that is good and bad in civilization, law the paint
on the finished structure. The painters who are constantly retouching
the exterior get credit for a good deal of change but their work is
of little real moment compared with the changing of the fundamental

_The Roadtown Religion._

A tremendous step toward the perfection of civilization will be made
when the world recognizes the two following principles:

(1) That cities should be built in long continuous lines.

(2) That housing, as a _framework_, and scientific transportation, as
a _compact mechanism_ to fit therein, should be developed as a single

The Roadtown will tend to perfect transportation as applied to people,
commodities and intelligence. Highly perfected transportation means
opportunity to get together or to get apart. It means socialism for
the socialist, together with all the advantages of individualism, and
individualism for the individualist, together with all the advantages
of coöperation.

The mission of the Roadtown is to assist in the development of the
physical, mental and moral qualities of mankind through the gradual
elimination of all physical, mental and moral waste, thus creating
an environment where selfishness and inequality of opportunity will
gradually disappear and where man will finally enjoy all the fruits of
his labor.

The above expresses the principles of the Roadtown religion--a faith
which holds that the Kingdom of God can be realized on this earth and
points a practical way by which such realization may be attained.

If you accept these principles and can add them to the faith of your
present religion you are indeed a Roadtowner.

The Roadtown is as humanitarian and revolutionary in its principles
as is Single Tax or Socialism and like these is destined to become a
great social movement enlisting the minds and hearts of those who have
developed the social conscience--who believe in it and are willing to
work for a civilization wherein the equitable distribution of wealth
may be realized. But these other movements depend for their results
largely upon the conversion of the majority of the population to
their creeds. Roadtown will be a great social “movement” but it will
be more than a movement--it will be a realization and that speedily.
In fact the object of the author in painfully preparing this little
volume (for I am a round peg in a square hole at book writing) is
to lay the Roadtown plan before the public to a degree that will
stimulate the active interest of enough people to accomplish through
their coöperation the financing, and building the first section of
Roadtown. The first section built, no human power can stop the Roadtown

So if you find in the spirit of Roadtown a response to the feeling
within your own soul write to the author that you may be counted upon
as a Roadtowner to believe and to perform.

If you do not understand the mechanics of Roadtown, write. There
are engineers who do and who can explain this to you. If you are an
architect or an engineer, an inventor or an agriculturist with a
criticism or practical idea that will make Roadtown better, write. If
you live in a locality suitable for the construction of a Roadtown
line, write. If you know of any one else who can help the cause write
to them to write.

Whether you be preacher, carpenter or publicist; bookkeeper, broker
or blacksmith, if you wish to play a part in founding the new
civilization, talk, preach, speak, write or publish the Roadtown
gospel. Send the book to one friend and advise the rest to buy it.
Write an article on the subject and get your editor friend to publish

If you fear that the crookedness of finance that has blackened many
a fair gift to humanity may smirch this latest boon--make it your
business to investigate fully; consult with men of wide experience and
unquestionable honor who are well posted on this particular subject who
may help you to establish in your mind the true nature and phenomenal
significance of this movement. And above all if you are but a man among
men toiling at your allotted task and taking the stinted portion which
the “system” allows you, write, that your name may be filed on the
waiting list as one of those to whom the occupancy of a Roadtown house
may be offered as soon as the cement of the first section has hardened
and the civilizing currents have been turned into the arteries of “A
New Heaven and A New Earth” here on this God plowed and human harrowed
planet in this the early years of the Twentieth Century.


Transcriber’s Note:

Variations in spelling, computations in the table on page 154,
and word usage in "rent of the community, not of a private" on
page 136 have been retained as published in the original.

Changes have been made as follows:

  Page 51
    accomplisment of which lies on my desk _changed to_
    accomplishment of which lies on my desk

  Page 87
    woefuly ignorant of the whole _changed to_
    woefully ignorant of the whole

  Page 92
    dear parks and land held by speculators _changed to_
    deer parks and land held by speculators

  Page 120
    foregoing sentence consists of eighteen words _changed to_
    foregoing sentence consists of fifteen words

  Page 123
    better the transportation facilites _changed to_
    better the transportation facilities

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Roadtown" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.