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Side, at Madison and Robey streets. It was opened September 21st, 1896, at an expense of nearly $500,000. Its assets are $1,600,000, nearly $1,000,000 of which arc in revenue-producing investments. This school is designed to furnish a practical education at a nominal cost, and occupies a field specially inviting to the poor but studious and ambitious young man. There are now 3,000 volumes on its shelves, and books are coming in rapidly.

In the reference libraries of the public schools there are more than 200,000 bound volumes. The Art Institute has a valuable collection of 1,600 volumes. Ten Catholic educational institutions report 47,000 volumes in their libraries.

BOOK TRADE.

The book trade in this city is an extensive one. One firm printed about 2,000,000 bound books in 1896 and nearly 3,000,000 paper volumes. Until recent years, few juvenile books were printed in Chicago. Most of the books for the young used in this country were printed in Germany. Now, however, this city is doing a large business in this class of publications. One firm issued 800,000 "juveniles " in 1895 and 1,200,000 in 1896. This concern has about 500 employes on its pay rolls. There are at least two large firms in the field, each with a separate and complete series of school books embracing the best thought of advanced educators. Three or four other houses also print school books, according to the demand. Chicago leads in map engraving and printing, and has the largest house in this line of trade in the world. This firm printed 30,000 maps, including railroad folders, in one year, though its output for 1896 fell below that figure. During several years Chicago furnished railroad maps to two of the principal railroads in England. Chicago has the largest book distributing house in America. This firm reports about the average business during 1896 in their book department, and that 30 new titles, bearing their imprint as publishers, were issued during the year. The fact that good reading is in constantly increasing demand in the west is proven by the library associations that are being founded, even in small villages, and also by the statistics of the trado showing that the better class of books in a literary sense are being more widely and generally circulated.

A careful canvas of the leading printing houses, lithographers and binders, shows an increase of over 1,400 names on the payrolls as compared with 1895. About 35,000 bound books, ranging from large sized encyclopedias, dictionaries and atlases down to little 12-mos., school books and "juveniles," was the dailyaverage of Chicago publishers in 1896. Add to these, paper covered series published, and the production for the year represents in value between $23,000,000 and $24,000,000 at jobbers prices. This valuation is strikingly significant and indicates that our leading publishers have invaded every market in the country, and that Chicago bookmen are found wherever a demand for books can be created. The publication of the works of popular authors on the subscription plan and sales of books on tho installment system, if not an original Chicago idea as claimed, is being prosecuted here very successfully. More subscription! books are printed here than in any other city in the world. It is noteworthy, in this connection, that the displacement of skilled labor in printing offices by the introduction of laborsaving machinery—notably the Linotype machine for type setting — has resulted in the establishment of several small printing plants by those thus thrown out of employment. Omitting many small shops, that employ from two to four persons, we find that the printing trades gave employment during the year to 10,750 persons, as against 9,386 in 1895. Of this total, 2,751 were women, and 100 boys and girls under the age of 16. In the figures here given, no account is taken of those employed by the various Chicago dailies, which in their various departments afford employment to thousands of high class and well paid workers.

The foregoing facts, together with the corresponding ones of previous years, presenting a phase of Chicago's life often overlooked, account in large measure for the development and greatness of Chicago, and for that resourcefulness which, more than once in her history, has surprised the world.

The Chicago Public Library, the John Crerar Library and the Newberry Library have adopted a joint system of classification, which will not only unify them and add greatly to the convenience of the general reading public, but will also greatly increase their respective special efficiencies and book-purchasing capacities by the prevention of unnecessary covering of the same ground.

The following is the general classification:

Public Library—All wholesomely entertaining and generally instructive books, especially those which are desired by the citizens for general home use. Also, collections of newspapers, patents, government documents, books for the blind and works on architecture and the decorative arts.

Newberry Library—Literature, language, history, sociology, philosophy, religion, fine arts in part, medicine.

John Crerar Library—Philosophy, physical and natural sciences, useful arts, fine arts in part, sociology. Medicine is omitted from the scope of the John Crerar Library and included in the Newberry Library because of the value of the collection already made by the Newberry. The demand for literature on the subject of sociology is so great that it is included in the fields of both reference libraries.

It is expected that a general catalogue of all three libraries, and iilso of the Art Institute and Chicago University libraries, in accordance with the new classifications, will be published during the present year. By means of the union catalogue, the Chicago citizen will be able to learn where he can at once find any book contained in the great libraries of the city.

WHEAT.

The year opened with a stock of about 21,200,000 bushels of wheat in store as against 26,000,000 upon the corresponding date in 1895, and a visible supply in the United States (excepting California) and Canada of 69,S42,000 bushels, as against 87.SS6,000 bushels in 1895. The opening price was 57 cents per bushel for No. 2 spring, which was about 4 cents per bushel higher than upon the corresponding date of 1895. From the first of the month of January, prices grew steadily stronger, closing upon the 31st at 63£ to 64 cents per bushel. The improvement continued through February with the same steadiness, and sales were made on the latter days of the month at from 66 to 67 cents per bushel. During the month of March, however, the market became weak and prices declined to 61 cents per bushel on the 20th, and on the 31st, sales were made at from 62J to 63 cents per bushel. During April the market was dull and unsettled as a whole, but about the 10th, when the government report of condition of winter wheat was given at 77.4 per cent, against 81.4 per cent, on the previous April, prices improved from 3 to 4 cents per bushel. The strength thus imparted was soon dissipated and a period of gloom soon followed, under the influence of which prices receded to 61f cents per bushel on the 30th. The weakness continued throughout the month of May and became pronounced under the influence of a general liquidation of May contracts. Sales were made on the 29th of the month at 5S cents per bushel. Speculation was at this period at a very low ebb, and in its absence the market drifted in an utterly aimless and hopeless manner.

Throughout the month of June the market continued in the same listless condition, and prices dropped down to 54 cents for No. 2 spring on the 29th of that month. No material change occurred until the latter part of July, when a stead}' advance was reached of about 4 cents per bushel; this was maintained, however^ but a short time, and on the 15th of August sales were made at 54 to 54} cents. A trifling reaction came during the latter portion of the month, and sales on the 31st were made at 564, cents. The dullness and weakness of the summer market were due principally to depressed financial conditions which prevailed throughout the states, causing the retirement of capital from many investments and business enterprises, and its accumulation in safety deposit vaults. But September brought news of a considerable shortage in the supplies of the United States as well as of othor parts of the world. The market responded quickly to the effect of these reports, and from the first of the month prices strongly advanced. Sales on the 1st of October were made at 694 cents per bushel, and on the 19th at 77 cents. Winter wheat, throughout the year, brought a higher price than Spring wheat.

The following is a statement of the extreme prices each year for thirty-two years, indicating the month in which such prices obtained:

WHEAT.

Months the lowest prices
were reached.

December..
February...

August

November..
December..

April

August

November..
September .

October

February...

July

August

October

January

August...

January

December..

October

December..

March

October

August

April

June

February...

July

October....

July

July

January

August

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Months the highest prices were reached.

January.

November.

May.

July.

A ugust.

July.

Feb*y, April and Sept.

August.

July.

April.

August.

December.

May.

April.

December.

January.

October.

April and May.

June.

February.

April.

January.

June.

September.

February.

August.

April.

February.

April.

April.

May.

November.

CORN.

The crop of corn raised in 1896 was the largest ever grown in this country, aggregating 2,283,875,105 bushels produced on 81,027,156 acres; its farm valuation, estimated by the United States Agricultural Department, was $53,000,000 less than that of the crop of 1895, though the crop that year was 132,000,000 bushels less than the crop of 1S96. On page 182 may be seen a statement of this crop by states, and the totals of nine years preceding. Receipts in this market aggregated 92,722,348 bushels, of which 19,685,761 bushels came over the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, 14,388,200 bushels over the Chicago, Rock Island

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