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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 18, 1905)
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UNDER THE UNION JACK
Toronto, Canada, August 14. There
are many things about Toronto to
admire, and some that wo would ad
mire more if we had known about
'cm a little earlier. Speaking about
"sitting on the lid" the "lid" on this
town is down tighter than the re
nowned Dick's hatband. Here the peo
ple have long clung to tho antiquated
notion that laws were made to be
enforced and obeyed, and the result
io that tho Sunday closing law is
enforced to the letter. Not knowing
all this the man who is telling you
about it failed to lay in a supply of
smokables for Sunday, expecting to
drop in at any old cigar store Sunday
morning and get what he wanted. But
he didn't. Somewhere, possibly, he
could have bought a cigar, but after
some little trouble he gavo up the
search. Fortunatoly for him the In
ternational Typographical Union is in
convention here, and a number of the
delegates were wise. They laid in
a supply, which was divided.
If a city tho size of Toronto, wii-h
its ever shifting transient population,
can rigidly enforce a Sunday law, al
most any other city can do the same
thing. It all depends on whether the
citizens want to enforce law and
they want to do it here.
Historians love to tell us that Ni-ag-a-rah.
is an Indian name moaning
"thunder of waters." If that is what
It means the name fits, all right. It
makes more noiso than a republican
national convention, and up until a
year or two ago accomplished about
as much. Now they are harnessing
the water and making it do man's
work. Millions of horsepower are go
ing to waste yot, but thousands have
been harnessed to machines stretched
along a territory embracing hundreds
of square miles.
While standing on a prominent spot
watching the water tumbling over the
precipice, one of those know-it-all
fiends who may bo found in every
crowd, started to tell all he knew.
"The erosion amounts to about one
and one-half inches a century," ho
said. "That is, the water is wearing
down tho falls at the rate of over an
inch a century, and in the course of
some 50,000 years there will be no
falls hero at all.
After seeing the falls we imagined
that we would like to see what things
looked like when thj river was run
.ning level, but owing to our limited
vacation time we decided not to
The falls are not the only thing
high in this immediate vicinity. The
temperature was high the day we
were there, and the prices were going
both falls and temperature one or two
Old guides around the falls always
tell you about the fellows who have
endeavored to go over the precipice
In one way or another. Usually these
adventurous individuals have con
structed a barrel after plans of their
own, then entered the barrel and
started on the pleasure trip. Up to
date no one has come back up the
river to explain his sensations or de
scribe his trip. Every time a guide
told us about this barrel business
we wero reminded of tho fact that
the barrel route to destruction is not
confined to Niagara Falls.
Tourists who come here are always
expected to do certain things, among
them being to take a trip on the
Maid of tho Mist, dive under the falls
or rather back of them and buy a
lot of pictures as souvenirs. We per
formed all of these foolish feats. In
making the trip under the falls one
dons a rubber suit and then proceeds
to creep and crawl and slip around
in the most awkward and embaras
sing fashion, undergo considerable
physical and mental strain, and self
hypnotize himself or herself into the
belief that one is having a good time.
The best part of it is the recollection
that you have done just what hun
dreds of thousands of others have
Beyond doubt Niagara Falls are the
greatest scenic wonder in the world.
One views them with astonishment,
and if there is the least bit of rever
ence in the spectator's soul he in
stinctively thinks of the Master Hand
that rent the rocks asunder and sent
the vast torrents of water over with
magnificent rush and roar. But after
one has loafed around for two or
three hours he recalls the story of
a stolid and unimaginative gentleman
who responded to the enthusiastic ex
clamations of a fellow spectator who
kept talking about the water falling,
by saying, "Well, what's to prevent
Doubtless you have heard the story
of the tourists who were gazing into
the crater of Mount Vesuvius. 0
"Isn't it really the greatest thing
in the world!" exclaimed an English
man. "Huh," retorted a Yankee; "we
could turn Niagara in on this and put
it out in five minutes."
The greatest charm about a visit
to Niagara is the trip down the great
gorge. An observation car propelled
by electricity generated by the falls
carries one down one side of the river
below the falls, and up again on the
other side. During the whole of the
trip the current is in mil view whirl
pool, rapids, rocks and all. It is a
signt never to be forgotten. And as
an engineering feat the gorge railway
is worth going hundreds of miles to
From Lewiston to Toronto by boat
makes a delightful ending of the long
trip from the far west. Between
three and four hours are spent on the
water, and delightfully spent, too. The
boats are gigantic affairs, and the
relief from the crowded trains is
something to be appreciated. There
is only one regret about the boat
trip thoy won't stand still long
enough for a fellow to fish. This is
a severe trial at first, but after a
while one succumbs to the fascina
tion of the orchestra, the coolness of
the breeze and the kalideoscopic
changes constantly going on among
the faces of one's fellow passengers.
There are about 2,000 visiting print
ers in Toronto this week, and about
half of them have their wives along.
Some Americans delight in talking
about tho slowness or John Bull, but
if they were printers and here this
week they would find that John's Ca
nadian representatives can set a
merry pace. The Toronto printers,
as well as employers and business
men generally, have left nothing un
done to make the convention a suc
cess, ft may be "talking shop," but
I can not refrain from saying some
thing about the printer man. Fifteen
years ago he was looked upon as a
confirmed wanderer on the face of the
earth; as one who loved to dally long
with tho wine when it was red, and
as one who cared little for annonr.
Jauces. But times have changed. He
is standing on a higher plane today,
and when ho meets collectively he is
welcomed with the ringing of bells
and the firing of guns.
What has wrought the change?
Well, several things. In the first place
he was never half as bad as he was
painted, and in the second place he
has "evoluted." And in the evolu
tion of the printer the union and the
linotype machine have played import
ant parts. During tho week I have
heard printers make speeches that
were full of legal knowledge and po
litical information. I have seen com
mittees handle matters of tho gravest
importance not only to tho craft but
to the whole labor world, and they
were handled with consumate skill
and ability. We who have carried
cards in the Typographical Union for
years are mighty prdnd of our organi
zation. It is one of the oldest in the
country, and it has and is setting
the pace for other labor organizations.
It is conservative, yet progressive,
and if its representatives here are to
be taken as a sample of the average
and they are then the International
Typographical Union as an organiza
tion will measure up alongside any
organization of men anywhere on the
face of the earth in point of ability
and genuine manhood. The more one
sees of a printer's convention the
prouder he is of being a union printer.
But Detroit is worthy of more than
mere mention. It is called the "City
of Straights," and it is a straight city.
If surface indications count for any
thing it is a well governed city. The
Streets are wide and clean, the street
railway facilities are ample, the
residence districts bespeak prosperity
schools are numerous and elegant, the
and happiness, and the magnificent
parks and pleasure resorts give evi
dence that the comfort of tlie poor is,
given due regard. One of Detroit's"
claims upon fame is that it was the
home of Hazen S. pingree, shoe man
ufacturer, who served as mayor for
several years and who inaugurated
the "potato patch" idea which gave
him, the name of "Potato" Pingree.
Mr. Pingree is said to have been
proud of the designation, too, as he
well might have been. The idea was
a blessing to hundreds of thousands
of poor people all over the country,
for it gave them work and shelter and
food. It is a plan that confers an
other benefit, too. It obliterates the
unsightly weed patches on the vacant
lots of a city and replaces them with
cultivated - gardens.
The spectacle of whole trains of
cars being ferried across the river
to and from the Canadian side is an
enjoyable one. At first sight one
wonders why the river is not bridged,
but after watching a while one sees
the reason. More shipping passes
through the Detroit river than
through any similar stretch of water
in the world. It would be a practical
impossibility to erect a bridge that
would not interfere with this vast
volume of water borne commerce.
Rest assured that if the bridge
scheme was at all practicable some
enterprising American would have
built one long ago.
The tonnage of the shipping, passing
through the river at Detroit amounts
to millions upon millions of tons
every year. Great, whaleback ore and
grain boats, schooners and sailing ves
sels with towering masts, lumber
rafts, fishing smacks, coal barges,
tugs, passenger steamers and launch
esthey combine to form a bewilder
ing sight. And it takes a lot of skill
and daring and signalling and all that
sort of thing to keep matters from
becoming woefully tangled.
Windsor is on tho Canadian side,
and of course the Canadian customs
officers are there. And on the De
troit side Uncle Sam's-inquisitive offi
cials stand. Talk about every man
being his own boss whv. von nn-n't
even claim privacy for your grips! '
1 But the experience with the cus-
V0LUME 5, NUMBER 3l
toms officers will be reserve tn
other time. la the nSStoJ
taking in everything in M'
Toronto-a cit thaf oSeys n,4
and a city without gra? ! ?
body ever heard of. or suspected '
I asked a Canadian acniiiM,.
if there was any mttaSSTftS
Btata S Canada to "
Owing to circumstances I will nnr
even attempt to repeat his reniy i
was fervid-in fact, torrid. He show
ed a wonderful familiarity with m
ditions in tho United States.
W" M. M.
A NEW CONSTITUTION
George W. Moore, or Detroit, Mich
igan, is quoted by an exchange ai
suggesting the following "trust re.
We, the "Captains of Industry" of
the United States, in order to form a
more perfect merger, establish trusts
insure combines, provide for our am
ple profits, promote our stock expan
sions and secure the blessings of mo
nopoly to ourselves and our corpora
tions, do ordain and establish this con
stitution for the United States of
All legislative power herein granted
shall be vested in a congress of tho
United States to be composed of our
The executive power shall be vested
in a president of the United States,
to be selected by our boards of di
rectors. ARTICLE HI.
The judicial power of the United
States shall be vested In us.
All tariffs shall be sufficiently high
to fully protect our monopolies.
Railroad rebates shall be paid, but
only to trust magnates.
All taxes shall be levied upon the
common people, and the amount shall
be sufficient to pay ample dividends
on our watered stocks.
All officers within each state shall
be appointed by our agent therein.
No state shall pass any law that wo
are bound to respeci.
This constitution shall take immedi
ate effect and shall never be amended.
PROFIT AT SACRIFICE OF LIFE
The additional precaution inaugu
rated by the Lake Shore railroad to
safeguard its New York-Chicago flyer
amount to an admission that ordinary
precautions for safety are not suffi
cient. A mile-a-minute train is to be mado
safe, even though a man must guard
every switch and signals must be in
stalled to indicate danger a mllo
For these extra and costly precau
tions the Lake Shore railroad is to
be commended. The only pity is that
they were not adopted sooner. Much
useless sacrifice of life might have
been avoided. - .
But if it is a good thing to safe
guard a mile-a-minute train, why 19
it not a good thing also to safeguard
all passenger trains?
If it is worth a switch-guards pay
to have thr switch right when tuo
fast limited whizzes by, why is it not
worth just as much, or more, to navo
the switch right wiien the slower
trains, with their heavier loads oi
human freight, go by? f
If tho special switchman can sait
guard the passengers of the Twenties
Century Limited, it is obviously tiw
duty of the railroad company to ireu
them at their posts for all trtun s.
The railroad's responsibility
those whom it carries is not RrO'U
for those riding in a palatial limw
and paying an extra fare. i'ie u
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