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Learning Through Necessity

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Under the old rule that "it s an í 11 wind that blows nobody good" the coal famine has taught Chicago at least oue useful lesson. Haven't the residents of this town observed that the Blries have been i er of late? Haven't they takeu notice of the f act that the peaks of the tall j ings have not been so deeply clouded i with banks of floating smoke, from j which the black and sooty flakes feil on i the victims in the shaded streets? Welcoming the glad transformation, have thcy asked themselves the reason for it? i In, 1894, for the flrst time in years persons ascending the Masonic ( Temple or Auditorium tower were abled to see on a working day the green clnmps of Garfield park far to the west i and the big, rambling building of j ingtown at the stock yards, four miles to the southwest. They were visible throngh a veil of smoke, it is true, but it was a veil and not a wall of foggy, impenetrable darkiiess. The same stacks i that had coughedut volcanic columns of dense smoke now sent the faintest j gray wreaths curling upward. It was like Sunday. Had the factories been closed and the fires banked? Was there less demand for working power in the big buildings. No to both questions. The fact was that coal had become very scarce and the price had increased. Every man who burned coal was having it fed into the fire boxes a mere spoonful at a time, so as to make the supply last as long as possible. In other words, he was getting almost perfect combustión, and consequently there was little, if any, smoke pouring out of the stack. He was getting the fnll value of his coal, and this, it niight seem, would be a good thing for him to do whether or not there was a coal famine. To some minds the late improvements in smoke consumers is proof positive that if fnmaoes were fed economically at all times the smoke would almost disappear. It is the reckless stoker who stuffs the furnace and then takes a long rest who causes most of the suffering. He did his duty when the coal famine began because his employer metaphorically stood over him with a club to 6ee that he wasted no fuel. Then the smokestack reforraed, as did its neighbors. Temporarily, at least, the horror was abated, and the prolonged strike of the


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News