Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, December 28, 1902, Image 26

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(Copyright, Ii2, by Knmk . Curpi-nU-r.)
V'XS' H' lulum, Dtc 17. (Special
I Corrcupoiidcticu of Tho Ucp.) I
nave ronio ironi wn ZiTlHIKl
acruHs Kruiu'o to Hi IkUiiii anil am
now In Moiih, on tho Houthrrn
imIrp of thin country. Moiih him 2.",000 pro
pln, but tho country about Is one com in
uoiir vIUiiko, ami I can hoc tho poHHlblllllca
of an pnnrinoiiH coiiHiimpt Ion of Amorlcan
KooiIh. IIi'IkIuiii Ib oiio of tho niimt thickly
populntoil parts of tho world. I lmvo truv
oloil amoiiK tho iiiIUIoiih of Chlnu ami India,
but nowhere havo found tho people much
thicker than hero. The country roads are
Hpottci! with blockH of one and two-story
houses anil at every mile or so tliero Is a
village. I took a day's walk through tho
country last week. Every hour or bo I
went by a coal mine with a mountain of
refiiso behind It and a large collection of
miners' houses under lis shadow. The rendu
aro thronged with men, women and chil
dren. Nearly all walk, and a common sight
Is a woman and a dog dragging a curt, har
nessed up side by side. Sometimes tho dog
Is In the shafts and tho woman pulls out
side with a rope; at others the woman Is
In I ho shafts and the dog toils along behind
under tho bed of the cart, hitched on tho
nxlo. Tho fields are full of women work
ing. They spado tho ground; they dig and
hoe. Sometimes they carry great loads
along the roads or across the fields on their
backs, like very beasts of burden.
I doubt If many Americans have ever been
here. The tourists pass Mons by. although
It Is one of the oldest towns of northern
Europe and full of historical Interest.
Julius Caesar had a fortress here when ho
was fighting the Gauls, and Mons was
bathed in blood In the struggle of the
Spaniards and William of Orange. There
Is a cathedral in the city, which was
building when Columbus started out to dis
cover America, and a monument to ltaldwin
IX, who took part In the crusades and who
in 1205 became emperor of Constantinople
while trying to wrest his so' I from the
devil and the holy land from the Turks.
The Mons of today, however, is more In
terested In the fires of the living than In
the brimstone fire of the damned. It Is tho
center of (he chief coal mining section of
nelgium. Mountains of coal waste rise up
everywhere about It, standing like great
cones high above the fields and villages.
The city Is one of hills and hollows. Its
winding streets are of cobble and its
buildings such as you would expect to find
In a coal mining center.
I took a room at the Grand Hot 'I de
Schmlts, near the depot, and then started
out to see If I could find some evidences of
the American Invasion. I did not expect
much, for I knew that most of the people
were miners and many of them exceed
ingly poor. This Is my first city In Bel
gium, and aa the town has no American
consul I could find nothing about It In our
State department reports. My knowledge
of French Is not over good, and that of
my ion Jack, a high school boy, who la with
me. Is little better; still we were not long
In finding the American tracks. The first
store we entered was that of a tobacco
nist next door to the hotel. I dropped In
and asked for soma American cigarettes.
The maiden In charge promptly handed me
three different boxes, all made In Virginia,
and later on told me that she sold chiefly
the wares of our tobacco trust.
A little lurther on I saw a large sales
room filled with American sewing ma
chines, and next door was a store selling
photograph cameras from Rochester, N. Y.
I was wondering as to American foodstuff
when Jack called me across the afreet to
ace a grocery where the hens lay eggs fur
you while you wait. I went over and
looked In? In the glass window upon a
round crate of egga aat what looked like
a live ben In the act of laying. The fowl
Shoe Tramps Its Way in All Parts
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had gcnulno feathers, a blood-red comb and
real hen's eyes. The eggs were genuine,
and It took me twelve seconds before I
realized that the dominlck was only stuffed
and that It was merely to advertise tho
freshness of the eggs. Nearby were yellow
porcelain butter rolls and in an adjoining
window I saw the words "Welsso Oats"
and some bags of "self-raising flour" from
New York.
In tho hardware stores I found American
tools and a lawn mower which was exhib
ited In a window and to which was nailed
tho words, "Veritable l'hiladelphia."
Turning the corner, I was directly oppo
sito tho HneHt of tho new buildings of Mons.
This is a great telephone structure, with
a wall of porcelain, in which are set the
names of Dell and other American In
ventors. In a store not far away I saw
American notions and spinning tops
painted red, white and blue.
1 did not expect to find American shoes
here. The Netherlands, which, broadly
speaking, include Holland and Uelgtum, are
tho homes of the wooden shoo. Tho com
mon people, wear clogs, but, nevertheless,
American shoes and Dclglan Imitations of
them aro Bold. The shoes are labeled
"Veritable Amerlcalne." In, some of tho
stores I saw shoes marked "V'eau Amer
lcalne," which Jack promptly told me
meant American veal, but which I rather
think was Intended to convey the Idea
that they wero of American calfskin. The
leather was undoubtedly a poor imitation
of ours, but the fact that it was adver
tised as such shows what Is thought of
American leather. Indeed, I got one of
the merchants to give me a label. It reads:
"Recomande Veau Amerlcalne Solidite
Garantle Souple Impermeable."
Which evidently means that these shoes
are especially recommended as of genuine
American calf, guaranteed for 1U dura
bility, softness and Impermeability as to
Another shoe store advertised Ronton rub
bers, and In a barber shop next door I saw
a razor strop for sale marked "Made in
There is no doubt but that a good cheap
American shoe will sell here. The better
classes will buy It, and If cheap enough it
might command some trade among the
miners. Still, no leather shoe can compare
In price with the wooden clog which the
most of the poorer people wear. During
my walk In the country I bought a pair of
shoes for 10 cents. They were clogs largo
enough to fit a 10-year-old boy, and I have
Been hundreds of boys wearing similar
shoes. I priced a pair of man's clogs which
had padded leather insteps. They were
offered for 32 cents, and I tried them on.
They were not uncomfortable, and I bought
them. Indeed, clogs are not bad to wear,
after all. They are much lighter than hob
nail boots or even than heavy leather
shoes They are Impervious to water and
more durable than leather, lloth men and
women wear them, and save for the clatter
they make they do very well. The chil
dren have no trouble In getting about la
them I see them running and Jumping
and climbing trees with clogs on, and as
far as I can see they succeed quite as well
as our American children shod with leather.
It must make a difference with the family'
expenses of the miner, who makes per
haps from 40 to 10 cents a day, and who,
therefore, cannot afford to pay from 50
cents to $1 to have his own or his chil
dren's shoes half-soled every few weeks.
I have been much Interested In the Euro
pean Invasion of the American shoe. It Is
an article that has walked Into the hearts
of the people, notwithstanding the anger
of the shoemakers and shoe dealers of
France, Germany, Switzerland and Eng
land. I found large American shoe stores In all
the big English cities. There are scores of
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them In London, and their business is
enormous. The English shoe manufac
turers have been importing American
leather and American machinery, but never
theless they are not able to make shoes
equal to ours. . There are towns in Eng
land, like Leicester, which are almost
given up to the making of boots and shoes,
Leicester having 11,000 members In its
Hoot and Shoe Trade association. Such
towns seriously feel the effect of Ameri
can competition, for it was only a few
years ago that Leicester was shipping
shoes to America. Now that town has
American shoe-sewing machines and other
machinery from Boston and elsewhere. It
Is using American leather, copying Amer
ican styles and It has, I am told, a num
ber of American workmen to teach the
English hands how to make the genuine
American article. Its shoes are often
sold as American shoes.
American shoes are sold In Holland side
by side with clogs, and some of the local
factories there have imported American
machinery. I found American shoes In
Switzerland, and It is no trouble to buy
them in Paris.
One of the most Interesting men I have
met In connection with this shoe business
Is Mr. W. S. Greeves, an English leather
expert, who Is connected with one of the
biggest ULnerles of Europe, situated at
Lyons, France. Mr. Greves has been mak
ing and selling leather all his life, and his
father was a tanning expert. Said he:
"The leather business is rapidly chang
ing In all parts of Europe. Until lately
everything was done by Individuals or In
small factories. We had an Infinity of
little tanneries and petty shoemakers. This
wns so to some extent In America, but
the Americans were first to grasp
the idea of the big tannery and the big
factory. They had plenty of hides and
also the hemlock forests which furnish the
bark, so that they could produce leather
In quantity at a cheap rate. Their Ubor,
however, was poor, and the first leather
Bent to Liverpool was so ugly and stiff
that the English would not have It. Now
leather of that quality, better finished. Is
shipped over In vast quantities. It fur
nishes the soles of our boots, and we buy
It for Bristol, Leicester and Leeds.
"Later on." continued Mr. Greeves. "the
Americans invented machinery to finish
their leather They took a French inven
tion for splitting leather and Improved upon
It and out of that grew the great Bplit
leather trade of today. You Americans call
It satin hide and split leather. You finished
It artistically and sent It over here In such
quantities that it injured our trade with
England and elsewhere."
"How about France?" I asked.
"France does not use much American
split leather," said Mr. Greeves. "It is
too hard and greasy for this market. If
your people would modify It in these re
spects, which they could easily do, you
could sell It for 15 per cent more than
you are now getting in England and Ger
many. Your manufacturers, however, don't
seem to know It."
"But the French have the reputation of
making excellent leather," said I.
"So they do. They make the French kid
and the French calf, which Is tanned with
the bark of the evergreen oak. Our kid
was once exported to America and all ports
of the world, but the Americans applied-the
chrome process to kid and made the vicl or
glazed kid, which is superior to French
kid. With this leather you have driven out
our calf and kid and you now send kid here
to Franco."
"The chrome process was an American
invention, was It not?"
"No," said Mr. Greeves. "The process
was Invented by a German, but the Ameri
cans made It a commercial success. It was
in 1854 that a German, named Knapp,
found that pelt could be turned into leather
by bichromide of potash and an acid. He
did nothing with the discovery, but a German-American
named Schultz used it to
make covers for corset ribs. Then a Boston
firm put forth a chrome-tanned leather and
called It box calf and willow calf. They
made Knapp's discovery a commercial suc
cess and their work has been used In all
parts of Europe. The Germans have taken
It up and they bid fair to monopolize the
European trado in such leather.
"Just here," said Mr. Gree.ves, "I want
to eay that you Americans make a great
mistake in giving away your ideas and ex
perience. You sell your leather-making
machines to us, and we are now making
American split leather In all parts of Eu
rope. The American brain la now going
all over the world and the Americans are
getting nothing out of It. Europe is fat
tening upon It and It will be more so In
the future. You even send your experts
here to show the people how to use your
machinery. You give away your trade se
crets, and upon the basis of these the Eu
ropeans are establishing factories which
will eventually lead to the loss of .your
foreign trade."
"I don't believe wo will lose our foreign
trade," said I. "We are making new ma
chinery all the time and we shall continue
to improve faster than Europe can copy."
"You may," said Mr. Greeves, "but it
seems silly to give so much when you get
nothing In return. The English go to
America and the secrets of the workshop
are shown them. Americans come to Eng
land and they can't get inside the doors.
I know a big English tanner who went to
the United States and visited the largest
tanneries. After going through one where
he had been especially well treated he said
to the proprietor: 'I hope you will come
to England and let us show you what we
are doing.' Two years later the American
did come. He was received with kind
words and offered some hospitality, but not
a word was said about the tannery. At
last the American asked to go through the
" 'Ah!' replied the eon of John Bull, with
a grin, 'I should like to oblige you, but we
English never show our machinery anl
methods to our rivals in trade. We really
can't do that, you know." r
" 'But,' said the American, 'when you
were in our country you asked for permis
sion to go through our works, and got
" 'Yes,' said the Englishman, 'but this
Is our rule, and we can't go back on it.
" 'Well,' replied the American, 'if you
ver come back I shall assuredly see that
you are kept out of the shops. We are
not afraid of your competition. We have
thrown most of the machinery you saw on
the scrap heap, and have invented better.
I bu poose you have cepied the old shop.
At any rate, no Englishman shall ever
enter the new one.' And he left."
The conversation here turned to th!
American shoe, and Mr, Greeves said:
"The American Bhoe is the easiest and
most stylish shoe made. The uppers are
thinner and more durable than ours, but
the soles are too thin for the English mar
ket. I am surprised you do not sell more
shoes In France. You ought to have a
greater trade here than in England, and if
you will use the same energy to capture
this market as you havo used in England
you will have much better results. Your
people ought to send out drummen who
can speak French. German and English,
As It is, the English anil Germans sell more
ehces here than you do, although the better
classes of the French would surely prefer
tho American shoe. At present they hve
most of their shoes made by hand by the
old-fathtonc d shoemakers. The shoes cost
of Europe
more than yours, and they are not so
Ia talking about leather the question of
durability came up, and Mr. Greeves gave
me a recipe which will probably decrease
my shoe expenses. Says he:
"The first thing one Bhould do on buying
a pair of shoes is to give the soles a good
greasing. You can do this with neatsfoot
oil, greasing them at, night and rubbing
them off In the morning. This greasing,
if repeated every month or bo, will keep
out tho water and make the shoes wear
twi-e as long. They will be softer to
your feet, and if you are an average walker
they will last you at least a year without
Fat Sharpshooters
At many of the shooting tournaments this
fall in rifle ranges, armories and tho field,
says Leslie's Weekly, it has been remarked
that fat men are coming to the front as
sharpshooters, and there has been much
speculation as to tho reason. There is no
good reason why the men of superfluous
tlesh should not excel in this scientific and
delightful pastime If they give attention to
It. Nervous energy plays little part in
marksmanship. To become a sharpshooter
one must have a good eye, steady nerve
and be an excellent Judge of distance. It
had been my experience that fewer fat men
wear eyeglasses than do their thin and
nervous neighbors. Shooting from prone
or reclining positions appeals to the stout
shooter, and he consequently does his best
work at distances of 500 yards or over.
While a man with .a shooting eye can
handle any sort of a weapon with more or
less skill, the sharpshooter with his rlflo
Is seldom expert with the shotgun, and
vice versa. It Is the nervous and thin man
who generally makes the best bag In the
field with the shotgun.
A Mean Balance Sheet
There are certain things about finance,
and especially about making money, says
the New York World, that no woman ap
parently can find out.
An Instance is furnished in the belated
news of the club women's exhibition held
In Madison Square garden for two weeks
In October. The ehow was a good cne of It?
kind and enjoyed a generous patronage.
Everything went merrily and many of the
women were probaly perplexed as to what
should bo done with the proceeds of the
big show.
Then came a preliminary showing of ex
penses and income, which was a rude
shock. And now, after a period for sober
reflection, comes the announcement that
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Professional Woman's league will re-flj' i
e "less than $1,000 and more than $150"
as its profit from receipts amounting to
No wonder the managers do not want to
talk about the profits! It is a painful sub
ject. But the women had a good time nev
ertheless, though it will probably always
remain a wonder to them how the l.'iO.OOO
could evaporate so quickly and leave su-h
a small sura as Its resldum.
Didn't Know His Peril !
Boston Courier: Frallnmn Ah. doctor! 1
I called to ask for your bill against me for L
service during my recent illness.
Doctor Yes? That's strange, for I was jt
Just about to make it out.
Frailnian What U the amount?
Doctor It's Just an even $300.
Frailnian What! You don't tell me it's
that much: why, I believe if I had known
I was as sick as that it would have killed '