Items of Interest

A total of eight hundred and twenty-two conventions and congresses will gather during the two hundred and eighty-eight days of the Panama-Pacific international exposition at San Francisco. It is estimated that the total attendance at the conventions will top the half million mark by one hundred thousand. Of the eight hundred and twenty-two conventions and congresses, five hundred and twenty-five are national, fifty-seven international, one hundred and seventy-two state, and sixty-eight Pacific coast. During August, the main convention month, two hundred and forty-eight separate organizations will hold sessions. July will have one hundred and thirty-three gatherings, June eighty-one, and September eighty-six. There will be an average of nine conventions a day throughout the exposition's life. By far the largest convention, in point of importance and number of accredited delegates, is that of the great National Education Association, to which more than thirty thousand men and women educators, teachers, and thinkers of America will go. Oakland, the beautiful city which is just across the bay from San Francisco, and which is within a few minutes' ride of the exposition, will be the scene of the gathering, Aug. 16-28 inclusive.

Because the European supply of willow rods has been largely cut off, several American manufacturers of willow furniture and baskets have asked the department of agriculture for the addresses of persons in this country who have taken up willow growing. For some years the department has distributed willow cuttings of imported varieties with a view to developing the production of high-grade willow rods in the United States. The usual imports of willows come chiefly from England, Belgium, Holland, France, and Germany, but these sources have been practically closed for several months. One manufacturer reports that Japanese osiers are taking the market formerly supplied by Germany, at a slightly higher price. Finished willow baskets from Japan have come in where split bamboo was the only Japanese basketware on sale before the war. As a consequence of the shortage of imported osiers, it is said, the price of American willows has increased, and growers here are meeting with a heavy demand for their product.

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