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Northrop, E. B.; Chittenden, H. A., Jr. (ed.) / The Wisconsin lumberman, devoted to the lumbering interests of the northwest
(July, 1874)

Hot facts for lumbermen. Our correspondent states facts and arguments worthy of particular attention--$5,000,000 losses to Michigan manufacturers alone--the state of the trade--losses on common lumber--forced sales of 3,000,000 feet daily at the Chicago market--the remedy for existing evils,   pp. 355-356 PDF (684.9 KB)

Page 355

17w Wisconmi
Our correspondent States Facts and Argu-
ments Worthy of Particular Attention-
su,ooo,ooo Losses to Mchgan Eanufc-
turers Alone-The State of the Trade-
Losses on Common Lumber-Forced Sales
of S,OOo000 Feet Dally at the Chicago
Market-The Remedy for ExIstIng Evis.
Ceamspidcs of tae Wisconin Luhmu ath
CHICAGO, July 11, 1874.
No business can be conducted with
comfort in this latitude with the mer-
cury above 100° any place outside
an ice-house; and the lumber trade
least of all others, as actual labor
constitutes so large a share of it.
Logs once put afloat in a stream
are sure to reach a market in the form
of lumber, as neither drouths nor
freshets, panics or prosperity, can
prevent their onward march to the
consumer. The log famine of the
past winter has resulted in a full sup-
ply, and the feast of lumber that is
being sawed the present year bids
fair to sicken some of the participants
-not unto death, I fear, which, in a
business sense, could but result in a
great benefit to the general lumber
Time is the great adjuster of such
matters, and there is reason to hope
that some of the younger members or
existing lumber firms may live to see
sales of lumber again made in this
market at a profit.
The gradual decline in values since
the financial troubles of 1873, ha
caused much complaint in all depart
ments of business, and but few house
claim to have added materially to
their assets. There seems, however
a desire to curtail the operations o
lare producers of most staple arti
cle, and the result is a large reduc
n Lumbermu                  355
tion of indebtedness, and a better
outlook for the future. What would
have been the state of the iron mar-
ket to-day had an increased amount
of ore been forced upon the market?
Clearly the result would have been
forced sales of iron at a ruinous loss,
and a cessation of business until the
surplus stock was consumed.
What would have been the condi-
tion of the lumber market had each
manufacturer reduced his product
during the past winter instead of in-
creasing it? No one can doubt that
three-fourths the amount being mar-
keted the present season would have
been a full supply for the actual re-
quirements of trade, and that a larger
sum of money would have been re-
ceived for that quantity than for the
amount now being rushed upon the
market. When lumber is sawed for
forced sale, by cargo, afloat, by par-
ties who cannot protect it, and the
amount gradually increased, it be-
comes simply a matter of time when
a crash will come; and when from
this cause the market is broken down,
seldom recovers speedily. This over-
stock is not confined to any locality,
but extends throughout the whole
lumber-producing section.  A de-
pressed market at all lumber centres
3attests this state of the trade, and I
estimate a loss to Michigan manufac-
3turers alone of $5,000,000, caused by
over-production, this sum being the
- saving made of timber had a smaller
quantity been marketed.
The same state of trade may be
looked for in 1875, and probably in
f 1876, as there is too much sawing
- capacity, and unfortunately too much
- wealth, controlling it. There exists

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