Items of Interest

The coal investigating committee of the New Jersey Assembly has submitted a report to the House that eleven big railroad companies control 87 per cent of the total anthracite mined; that there is a general combination between these companies to fix prices, and that the coal sales companies are owned and controlled by the railroads and are devised by the carriers for the purpose of technically avoiding the commodities clause of the Hepburn railroad act. The report asserts that these companies also control a large proportion of the acreage of all the anthracite producing regions. The committee declares that the prepared sizes of anthracite coal, such as stove, egg, and chestnut, used almost exclusively by the small consumers, are sold at the enormous profit of upward of 300 per cent. The committee further asserts that the business of mining and selling this 87 per cent of hard coal is controlled by a combination of forty men.

The George Walter Vincent Smith art collection, valued at more than one million dollars, has been deeded to the city of Springfield, Mass., by Mr. Smith and his wife. The only conditions are that the collection shall be open to the public at reasonable times, that the donors shall have the right to make substitutions and additions, and that the gift shall be known as the George Walter Vincent Smith collection. This collection, which ranks as one of the best of its kind in the world, represents the life-work of Mr. Smith, and it contains ceramics, arms, bronzes, lacquers, paintings, textiles, laces, books, manuscripts, jades, and notable curios. Many of the objects represent the only examples in existence of certain phases of art, and have been unsuccessfully sought for famous collections in both Europe and America.

Connecticut has spent over fifteen million dollars in nineteen years on what Director Page of the Federal Good Roads Bureau calls, all things considered, the finest state roads system in the United States. The state has some fifteen thousand miles of roadways, of which about a third lend themselves to becoming part of the state system of improved highways. Approximately two thousand miles of the latter are included in the trunk-line system, which gridirons Connecticut, providing town to town communication.

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Going to Heaven
April 11, 1914

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