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must go through the first firing process, after which it is inspected, brushed, dipped in a liquid glass, and again put into the kiln for a second burning. The ware is then sorted, carefully inspected, and is in a marketable condition. The process through which the ware must pass is slow and the turn over of the money invested is correspondingly slow, so that if a manufacturer can turn his investment one and one-half times in the year he is doing extremely well. The average, however, would not be more than one and one-fourth times the investment; for example, a pottery investment of $100,000 would do well to produce $125,000 in the year.
COST OF PRODUCTION.
In considering the cost of production we have a number of elements to be considered, each of which when compared with conditions abroad show to the great advantage of our foreign competitors. In considering the cost of production of pottery ware the following elements must be taken into consideration: First. The relative amount of capital investment necessary. Second. The relative cost of materials. Third. The relative cost of labor. Fourth. The relative fixed charges, and overhead expenses. Fifth. Trade conditions. Under these heads I have subdivided the various subjects as follows:
I. Plant.--1, Land; 2, building; 3, machinery; 4, tools and implements; 5, blocks, casks, and molds; 6, saggers, or firing cases; 7, wareboards.
II. Working capital.-1, For carrying merchandise and stock in the process of manufacture; 2, for carrying book accounts and credits.
1. Materials used in the construction of the ware itsell, and in decorating the same.-1, China clays; 2, ball clays; 3, quartz; 4, feldspar; 5, Cornwall stone; 6, carbonate of lead; 7, oxide of zinc; 8, soda; 9, borax; 10, boracic acid; 11, paris white; 12, decorating colors; 13, liquid bright gold; 14, coin gold; 15, decalcomania, chrome, or transfer sheets.
II. Materials used in the process of making, but not part of the ware itself.--1, Coal; 2, wood; 3, plaster of Paris; 4, sagger clay or marl; 5, wad clay.
1. Wages paid to the producing help-all those through whose hands the ware passes in the process of making:-1, For preparing the body and glaze; 2, potters, or tho who form the ware; 3, kiln or oven workers; 4, biscuit and glost warehouse workers; 5, decorators.
II. Wages paid to the non producing help—all other help necessary in operating the plant.--1, Modeling and mold making; 2, sagger making, etc.; 3, engineers and firemen; 4, superintendents, foremen, etc.; 5, office help; 6, teamsters, stable help, and odd labor.
FIXED CHARGES AND OVERHEAD EXPENSES.
1, Taxes; 2, insurance; 3, interest and discount; 4, repairs, etc.
1, Proportion of male and female labor; 2, age limit of child labor; 3, hours of labor; 4, apprenticeship regulations; 5, trades-union regulations: 6, government regulations.
As in all other lines of industry, the cost of production varies according to the country in which the goods are produced. We must therefore consider the cost in the various countries, comparing the same with the cost of similar articles made in the United States.
The wages paid in England being the highest of European countries, we will first consider the various items of cost from the English standpoint. Permit me to state that such a thing as an exact comparison of cost in many respects is an absolute impossibility, and the best I expect to accomplish is to give you a clear and fair statement of facts and figures as they exist, adjusting differences in conditions and money value to bring the comparison as far as possible to a uniform basis.
COMPARATIVE Cost OF PRODUCING EARTHENWARE IN ENGLAND AND AMERICA.
The methods used in producing earthenware in England and America are almost identical. Very accurate comparisons can therefore be made. The figures following are based upon information secured by me officially while occupying the position of American consul in the great pottery center of England. These figures were confirmed in some cases by examination of the books of the factories. To further verify the figures I submitted the completed report to one of the leading manufacturers of England, who pronounced it accurate and fair in all its details.
I have since verified my original figures on two separate occasions, making such alterations as had occurred during the interim.
AMOUNT OF CAPITAL INVESTMENT.
I. Plant investment.
From actual valuations of land similarly situated, and from builders' estimates on the same plans, I have found that a plant costing $60,000 in England would cost $80,000 in the United States. These figures include fixtures and machinery.
In addition to the above, it is necessary to have certain additional implements for the operating of the plant, which properly go into plant investment, viz: Saggars (or fire-clay cases), molds (plaster of paris), and ware boards.
As these items are made piecework, the exact difference can be ascertained and are shown in following table:
II. Working capital investment. In making the following statement, I do so based on the factories doing business with the United States, or for such part of their business as they do with the United States.
The necessary investment is considerably greater in the United States for the following reasons:
(1) The greater cost of materials and labor necessitates a greater cash outlay.
(2) The foreign manufacturers make their goods largely on order for immediate shipment, whereas the American manufacturers have to carry large stocks of finished ware ready for immediate demand. The American manufacturer has to warehouse his merchandise for the great majority of his customers. This, of course, necessitates the locking up of a much greater amount of capital.
(3) Many of the foreign manufacturers receive prompt cash for their shipments upon presentation of invoice and bill of lading to the foreign banker, whereas the American manufacturer as a rule has to carry large book accounts.
(4) In considering the additional investment required in the American manufacture, we must also consider the greater rate of bank interest prevailing in America than in Europe, interest in England being from 4 to 5 per cent, whereas in America it is from 5 to 6 per cent-generally 6 per cent.
(5) The fire insurance rates are enormously different in the two countries. In England the usual pottery rate is 3s. 6d. per hundred pounds sterling, or about 17 cents per hundred dollars. The minimum rate for the best risks in America is 75 cents per hundred dollars, whereas the underwriters inform me that the average risk is $1.50 per hundred.
MATERIALS. The following table indicates the relative cost of the several materials laid down at the factories in Staffordshire, and in Trenton, N. J., based on 2,000-pound tons, with the exception of coal, which is based on the long ton, 2,240 pounds.
England. America. China clay: England..
14. 42 North Carolina
14. 78 Ball clay, England.
do.... 5. 75
8. 80 Quartz: Ground flints.
11. 76 Ground rock.
8. 40 Ground sand.
11. 76 Cornwall stone.
13. 44 Feldspar
11. 76 Saggar clay: England..
90 Mixed American.
2. 75 Wad clay, England..
do. Wad clay, American.
do... Coal, English: Cockshead.
2. 10 Slack.
3. 45 Wood, for kindling.
.. per cord..
4.00 Plaster, 300 pounds.
1. 90 White lead.
051 Zinc oxide.
. 12 Borax.
.06 Boracic acid.
.04 Paris white.
per 100 pounds..
.65 The argument has been set forth that the western pottery manufacturers have great advantage in the use of natural gas. This was true when gas was first introduced, but to-day
the gas is metered at a cost exceeding the cost of coal, the price being 13 cents per 1,000 feet, or a cost of $45.81 per kiln for the first or biscuit firing of a 16 foot 6 inch kiln, and $37.70 for a glost 16 foot 8 inch kiln.
LABOR. Under this head we have two groups: 1. The producing help. By that I mean the actual makers and placers of the ware.
II. Nonproducing help, or those who have some part in the process of manufacture and the placing of goods in condition ready for market.
Producing help. The wages to producing help will be considered under two headings:
(1) A comparison of amount of wages earned by the various trade branches under similar conditions.
(2) By comparing in detail the piecework prices.
The following figures are based on journeymen's wages. Where blanks occur opposite the wages of women, they indicate that women are not employed in America.
The figures indicate the net earnings to the operative, having deducted therefrom the amount paid by him to his assistants. Average net weekly earnings of the operatives in their respective branches.
England. America. Plate makers.
$6.90 $27.30 Jiggerers.
29.01 Dish makers.
24. 60 Cup makers: Men..
None. Saucer makers: Men.
None. Basin makers.
24. 60 Pressers.
18. 59 Printers.
18. 90 Transferrers, girls.
30. 22 Saggar makers
26.00 Mold makers.
27.23 Handlers: Men.
29. 41 Women
Confirming the above figures, the report of the English Board of Trade gives the following general statement of the weekly earnings paid to the potters of Staffordshire.
Potters, clay workers, per week, 258. to 358. ($6.08 to $8.51).
The piecework prices have been reduced to a common basis of American currency, and to dozens, counting 12 to the dozen, for each item.
The average percentage of difference considering the proportion of each item ordinarily manufactured is about 111 per cent.
ls. unhd Covered dishes:
7-inch. 8-inch. 9-inch.
10-inch Covered casseroles:
68. cable gs, cable,
4s. 6s 123 24s.
10-inch. Soup ladles. Parlor spittoons. Sugars:
36s. Teapots, 24s. Soup stand:
24s. 30s. 36s.
9 inches inside.. Cups, sponged.. Saucers:
Toy block.. Mugs:
.0698 .0698 .0793 .0997 .0997 .0997 . 1107 .1197 13
13 15 . 10
18 . 20 22 29 37
29 43 38 20 30 50 34 50
. 1795 . 1995
69 62 85