ITEMS OF INTEREST

The federal government has filed a civil antitrust suit against the Aluminum Company of America which will be the basis for an agreed decree designed to restrain the so-called aluminum trust from monopolizing the manufacture of aluminum and its products, including cooking utensils. In a petition in equity to the United States court for the western district of Pennsylvania, the company is charged with being a monopoly restraining interstate and foreign commerce in violation of the Sherman law. It is declared to have acquired a substantial control of the aluminum industry in the United States and to have charged unreasonably high prices and profits on its products. The dissolution of the corporation is not sought, but the court is asked to issue nine broad injunctions against alleged unlawful contracts, combinations, conspiracies, and practices. The government concedes that the company's ownership of more than ninety per cent of the known deposits of bauxite (base of aluminum) in the United States and Canada suitable for the manufacture of the metal, is not "within itself" unlawful. The extent of other bauxite deposits in the United States is not known at this time, but it is pointed out that there are inexhaustible quantities abroad which could be placed at the disposal of competitors for aluminum manufacture if the restraints upon the trade were removed. The history of the aluminum cooking utensil industry in the United States, says the petition, is a history of shipwrecks "caused chiefly or contributed to by the arbitrary, discriminatory, and unfair dealings of the defendants." The Aluminum Company of America, incorporated in Pennsylvania originally as the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, has grown, it is pointed out, from a twenty-thousand-dollar capitalization in 1888 until its assets now are estimated at twenty-seven million dollars. A stock dividend of five hundred per cent, or sixteen million dollars, was declared in 1909.

Plans have been completed by the Boston & Maine railroad for a unique summer hotel to be erected on the summit of Mt. Washington, and to be reached by a scenic electric railway almost twenty miles long, which, in its course traversing the slopes of Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Clay, will reach of the points of interest in the approach to the summit and encircle the summit itself two and one half times, giving in this way extended views in all directions from the cone of the mountain. The total cost of the improvements is estimated at one million five hundred thousand dollars. The old cog railway which carries passengers in summer to the top of Mt. Washington climbs thrity-eight hundred feet in a distance of less than three miles. The new electric railway climbs some forty-seven hundred and fifty feet in travelling a distance of 19.95 miles. The grade of the new road will be uniformly six per cent.

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THE USE OF A TEXT-BOOK
May 25, 1912
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