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forward embodies a great many of his ingenious points and ideas, and which are protected by his patents, yet the motors, the method of suspension, and a great deal of the other work is done purely and entirely on the Thomson-Houston system and principles.
Mr. Sinclair: I ask the question for this reason: I am told that the road at Montomgery, Alabama, has had a number of serious accidents resulting from the electrical conductors.
Mr. Mansfield: That road was built by Mr. Van Depoele before the Thomson-Houston Company decided to go into the field. They have absolutely no connection with the road, and the question of danger cannot be thrown upon their system any more than on
1 presume the only danger you had reference to was the liability of the construction wire to fall, or something of that kind; or possibly the question of shocks from the potential used in a very leaky conductor. The potential which we have used varies; in some instances it is four hundred, and in some cases six hundred volts; it usually averages about four hundred and fifty. That question was very carefully considered, and gone into in detail by the Committee appointed by the United States Senate; and that Committee decided that the Thomson-Houston system was not dangerous at all; and, therefore, granted the permit to put it up. In regard to the only accident which I have ever heard of personally, occurring at Montgomery, I believe it was caused by the falling of some wire, telegraph wire or something of that kind, which came in contact with the overhead wire of the railway, and then a portion of it fell to the ground; and some man driving his horse upon the wire, had his horse receive a shock.
We protect our wires by means of guard wires, so that any falling wire cannot touch the conductor; and our methods of construction are so well known and are so perfect that no road need have any accident of this nature. The Thomson-Houston Company means to do what is right, and to throw every possible safeguard which the ablest of electricians and engineers can devise around their system.
LETTER OF INVITATION FROM MR. ROSS THOMPSON TO
VISIT THE CYCLORAMA—"THE BATTLE OF SHILOH.” The Secretary then read the following letter of invitation from Mr. Ross Thompson, to visit the Cyclorama, “ The Battle of Shiloh:"
OFFICE OF THE CYCLORAMA,
WASHINGTON, D. C., October 18, 1888.5 E. V. Cavell, Esq., Manager, STREET-RAILWAY GAZETTE,
Dear Sir:- Permit me to extend to you, and through you to the delegates of the American Street-Railway Association and their ladies, the courtesies of the Panorama of the Battle of Shiloh, during your stay in our city. The white button worn by the members of the Association will secure an entrée.
The President: The Chair will request the Secretary to acknowledge the invitation.
Mr. Wason, of Cleveland : I would like to say just one word. I am one of the representatives of the East Cleveland Railroad Company. Mr. Sprague spoke of equipping a portion of our road with electricity ; and for the benefit of the Association I wish to substantiate what he has said. We are not a West End Company, though we have a very creditable plant in the “ Forest City;" and of our twenty miles of line, we expect to equip about eight single track miles with the Sprague system of electricity ; and that with the hope that in the future we shall see our way clear to equipping the entire road. Our power-house is of sufficient dimensions to supply power for the entire line, which we contemplate operating with electricity; and if in the course of the next month or six weeks any of the gentlemen are passing through Cleveland, we should be very glad to show them the system, which we are in hopes of having in operation by that time.
REMARKS OF MR. HENRY W. SAGE ON HORSE ROADS.
Mr Sage : Mr. President, it strikes me that we are getting off the track. At St. Louis we heard mostly of horse railroads ; at Cincinnati we heard a great deal about cable roads ; at Philadelphia it was hardly anything but electricity; and at this Convention are hearing nothing but cable and electricity. Throughout this beautiful city we see nothing but horse railroads, yet at this Convention we hear nothing about running horse railroads ; we hear nothing about the kinds of cars we should use; we hear nothing about accommodating passengers ; we hear nothing about lighting or heating cars; we hear nothing about coming down grades and holding our cars; we hear nothing
any of these things, which I have come a great distance to hear about. I am ignorant of the best methods of running a horse railroad and I came here to be instructed. It is not very instructive for these gentlemen to tell you how to run a road by electricity or cable. It requires a great deal of money to undertake these things, which most of us have not. Perhaps all we have is in our horse railroads, and we want to know how to manage them with the greatest economy and success. I am practical fellow, and I run a railroad with horses. I want to know how best to feed horses, how best to accommodate passengers, whether there is any better method of lighting cars, how to come down steep grades and keep from killing horses and passengers I want to know all these things at this Convention, and instead of that I hear nothing about them. At our Convention at New York City we heard about cleaning our tracks from snow and ice; and we got more practical knowledge from that meeting than any other. Why is it that the New York gentlemen do not come to these meetings any more ? Is it not because they do not run their cars by electricity or cable, and they do not care to hear about them? Why is it that we do not hear from our friend Richardson any more? We used to get information from him, and now we get nothing. What is the use of my coming here? I say that we ought to get a little information as to running our cars by horses, which some of us must always do. I have a road at home four miles long; and the same conditions will not apply to that road which will to one fifty miles long. Now let us get back to the first principles for which this Association was formed; to teach us something. I want to be taught; I want to learn; I want to put money in my pocket, which I have never been able to do yet in running a street-railway. I want something practical; I do not want theories. I want to consider the present circumstances in which we find ourselves.
Mr. Eppley, of Orange: I would like to ask whether this discussion will be renewed after lunch? I would like to ask the gentleman a conundrum.
Mr. Eppley was assured that the discussion would be resumed at the afternoon session.
On motion, adjourned until two o'clock.
The President called the meeting to order at 2:20 P. M:
DISCUSSION RESUMED ON ELECTRICITY AS A
The President: The gentleman who wished to ask a question, Mr. Eppley, of Orange, is entitled to the floor.
REMARKS OF MR, FRANCIS M. EPPLEY RELATIVE TO OBTAIN
ING CONSENTS OF PROPERTY OWNERS.
Mr. Eppley, of Orange: Mr. President, I wish to call the attention of the meeting to a question which has arisen in my mind as to whether the Companies which use the electric systems will not be liable for damages to property owners along the line of the road. I will cite an experience of our Company in the city of Orange, New Jersey. We concluded to try a motor, and the experiment was made on one of our tracks. On this track we operated the motor car for about two weeks, and finally in extending our tracks my Company came to the point where it had to cross the tracks of the Delaware and Lackawanna Railroad Company. I asked consent to cross the tracks of that Company, and they said no. If you will pay three hundred dollars a year for the expenses of a watchman at the crossing, we will let you cross the tracks. After considerable wrangling over the matter they filed a bill in chancery, and in this bill they prayed for an injunction restraining us from crossing their tracks, on the ground that we were going to cross their tracks with an electric motor, which had not been recognized by the municipal authorities or in law, and that, therefore, they were not compelled to allow us to cross the tracks with that motor, and prayed for an injunction restraining us.
I consulted with my associate counsel in the matter, an ex-Governor of the State, and we came to the conclusion that we would settle. At that time we expected to run all our cars by electricity; we thought that it was the coming power ; we were about the first in that field. In March, 1887, we started. Many of you are aware of the suits in New York against the Elevated Railroad Companies. In one instance the case went twice to the Court of Appeals, and that Court decided that notwithstanding the fact that the New York Elevated Railroad Company came into Court fortified with an Act of the Legislature, granting them the right to erect the structure in the streets, and to propel cars by steam, and notwithstanding the road had secured a franchise from the municipal authorities which gave them this right, the Court held that the Act of the Legislature was unconstitutional, as it was a taking of private property without just compensation, and that the Railroad Company was liable in damages to property owners. Every property owner along the line of the road has an easement in the street, that is, the right to an unrestricted enjoyment of light and air consistent with the proper use of the street.
I claim that you have no right to erect poles in front of any man's property without his consent; and in doing so you take private property without the right to do so. There are two cases in the Court of Appeals, and I will cite them here, so that before you put in your electrical plants it will be well for you to consult your attorney, to see that you start well. The cases are Story vs. The New York Elevated Railroad Company, and Lahr vs. The Metropolitan Elevated Railroad Company, 104 New York Court of Appeals Reports, page 260. I am not opposed to electricity, but am in favor of it. It is only a question of damages, and there are lots of lawyers who will take a case on speculation and give trouble to railway companies. I think it would be a good thing for all street-railroad men .to know of these cases.
It would prompt many of them to secure consents before undertaking to construct the roads, which would be a very wise thing, and as I have abandoned the law and taken up the street-railway business, I feel that I am justified in making this statement to you, in the hope of saving trouble and expense.
Mr. Wm. Richardson: As supplementing the remarks of the gentleman, it may be well to state right here that the members of this Association will find both the cases which he refers to, which have been decided by the New York Court of Appeals, in their own collection of street-railway decisions, issued monthly by the Secretary.
Mr. Eppley: Perhaps all the gentlemen here do not read as much as Mr. Richardson. [Laughter.]
Mr. Sinclair: Would not that statement apply equally to telephone and telegraph companies, and have there not been decisions in cases where damages have been claimed and recovered for the erection of telephone or telegraph poles ?