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Match-makers Combining

Match-makers Combining image
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Within a few days there has come to he knowledge of the Ilerald somefacts elative to what appears to be the most omplete monopoly yet organized. The lew schenie in an attempt to control he match tr;wle of the United States ind may in time include Canada. A ïiatch is a trilling tliing, to be sure, ut tliere is no substitute for it now in use. Lwst July a conimittee of congress visited Canada for the purpose of inrestigating complaints that Canadian maten manufacturera were exporting their goods to the United States, undorvaluing thum to escape the tariff, and thus were enabled to undersell American manufacturen. There are in the United States about twenty-eight establishments, large and small, dcvoted to the manufacture of matches, about 5,000 persons being employed in the business. The trade, however, is monojx)lietl by six or seven more prominent concerns, of which the Barben match company of Akron, is the largest. Tliis establisnment twrns out probablv a fifth or a sixth of all matches used In the United States. It becauu; evident tliat tlie market price of matclies was 50 per cent. higlier than the price the Canadian dealers billed their goods for export. The Canadian dealers wero paying the ghls employed in their factories from 10 to 25 cents perday, while American manufacturera were paying from 75 cents to $1 per day. The duty was 35 per cent. ad valorem, but the Canadians, with fcbeir cheap labor and undervaluation of their goods, came to the United States, and competed successfully with American manufacturera. The congressional co;nmittee was powerless to send for persons, or to take testimony umler oath, and the Canadians, tney were led to believe, misrepresented mattcrs. Xothing came of the journey, and, as the Canadian coinpetition had alrcady lowered the price from $7.80 per case of three gross to $7.50 within a year, and the Americana were in no mood U allow tlieir trade to be swept away now that prosperity was beginning to dawii Opon the land, th' Diamond Match ('onipany was temed, by which the members of the oiganization agreed to pool their issues and divide the proceéds pro rata. They were thus enabled to control the trade of the United States, for those not in the ring amountcd to very little, comparatively spenking. Alter the scheme had taken deiinite shape, the Consolidated company found itself master of the situation. The Canadian competition had ceased af ter tlie f all to $7.50 per case, and it was resolved to advance the price to the former figure, $7.80, to take effect upon the lst of January. Some of the firms gave to favorite ciistoiners a hint that an advance would take place in prices, and advised them to purchase before many days. As a result some of the establishments received more orders than they could fill by the lst of January, and under their agreement with the stockholders of the Diamond Com pany, are obliged to make up the deliciency in price to the other members of the company for all the matches sold at the lower figures. Should the Canadians persist in their competition, the plan is to go to Canada, to buy up or establish opposition manufactories, and thus by iuaking it warm for the Canucks upon their own soil, prevent them from exporting to the United States. It may be that if an advance in prices is sought, competition at home will be aroused, but for this the company is prepared with abundant capital to either buy or by underselling starre out the opposition. - Cleceland Herald.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat