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bridge-building is also growing rapidly. American steel makers are shipping bridge material all over the world.
Among the varied new uses for steel, the wire mills have found a very large share. The wire-nail industry is a big one in itself. Our output of wire nails is more than twelve million kegs a year, or twenty times what it was two decades ago. Still more remarkable is the increase in the output of fence wire. Many American millionaires have made their fortunes out of barbed wire. The fence wire output was three hundred and fifty thousand tons in 1897, or eight times what it was only five years before.
The astonishing growth of the American steel industry could not have been possible without men of energy, ambition, and genius to blaze new trails. All the natural resources of the land would never have been developed at such an astounding rate had not this country been prolific in producing men with a genius for grappling with material problems.
It has been full of rich opportunities. No other industry has paid such lavish rewards to men who have invented new processes, or cheapened the cost of manufacture, or who possessed the genius for organization. Hundreds of men have amassed great fortunes in the smoke of Pittsburg, while thousands are earning the highest wages paid to workingmen anywhere in the world. And the opportunities to-day are greater than ever before. The American steel industry never before was in more need of men who can do things, or better able to pay for them.
"A young man who intends to go into the steel business must be prepared to find conditions there different from those of many other lines of business that he might enter," said a prominent steel man, recently. "It is a business that must be learned from the ground up. A new man can not 'get familiar with the line' in a few weeks or months. His equipment should include a knowledge of the very basic elements of the manufacture of iron and steel. To master the subject thoroughly, a man must have some specialized training in the chemistry of the subject, and then should enter the shops and begin his intimate acquaintance with the actual processes of production.
"Pittsburg and other steel centers are full of young men of excellent education and special training who are working in the shops and foundries from early in the morning until late at night, at very meager wages, — seemingly a useless and unnecessary hardship. But they are learning the actual processes and preparing themselves for preeminence. The large companies take on a lot of young men every year, preferably college men of technical bent and training, putting them, in many cases, on the footing of 'apprentices,' and giving them what is, in effect, a practical course of instruction in the business. Of course, a certain number of these men fall by the wayside or drift away. The companies expect this, and aim to gain to their service out of the whole number a few good men who will be worthy of being advanced to the highest places.
"Advancement comes rapidly in some cases. And the rewards are great, not only to the executive heads, but to the workmen, as well, who have become skilled. Out in the mill towns of western Pennsylvania a visitor sees many comfortable, and, in some cases, quite pretentious houses, and is astonished to find that they are the homes of workers in the steel mills. An expert roller can easily make twenty dollars a day, — a yearly wage as great as that of the general manager of many a smaller industrial
THE ARMOURS' PACKING INDUSTRY1
By ARTHUR GRAYDON
S the jolting 'bus which rumbles through the streets of "Packingtown," pounding back and forth between the doors cf offices and the arched stone gateway that commands entry to this stronghold of the packer, skirted the reaches of stock pens, the man who had halted on the narrow planking marking the pedestrian way pointed to the trim figure of an aggressive-faced, keen-eyed passenger, youthful appearing despite his forty-four years, who was seated well forward in the vehicle.
"That man could out-trade his father," was his terse comment. "He's got the 'stuff' in him that 'does things.'"
And this, colloquially put, is the Union Stock Yards' estimate of J. Ogden Armour, son of the late Philip D. Armour and head of the great establishment, with its present business volume of $200,000,000 annually, which stands as the creation of that giant of business genius.
That this estimate of his ability and accomplishment has come to J. Ogden Armour is due in great part to the commercial training that came from father to son — and its supplementary force since acquired, business system of the modern industrial era. For what the individualism and innate business genius of Philip D. Armour created has been extended to broader fields than its aggressive founder ever foresaw, through organization and business methods, calculated and sure, worked out by the sciencetrained mind of the son.
1 By courtesy of the author and " System." Copyright, 1907.
Not that the elder Armour was given to doing business by chance. For, having fought his way by sheer force of will, wonderful capacity for work, and superior keenness of foresight through that period of business disorder and go-as-you-please that marked the early days of the West, Philip D. Armour in his later years followed carefully the road of systematic business procedure.
"In business, chance or accident never accomplished anything lasting," asserted this industry builder in an extended interview given me five years before his death. "At least, I never accomplished anything worth while that way. In these days it is system and careful, wellplanned business method that accomplish things."
Nevertheless, to men of the elder Armour's generation business organization was a personal attribute, not the machine-like regulator of to-day. Between the early-day methods of the father and the present-day methods of the son extend the yesterday and the to-day of business procedure.
The name of Philip D. Armour rings synonymously with the day of the "long-horn" and the old-time cowboy. It conjures before the eye the countless herds of the Western grazing reaches, and it strikes into the ear the thunder of the hoofs of rushing cattle, drowning the roar of the puffing locomotives which first threaded the Western prairies. It stands, too, for those early days of the packing industry when profits were great and waste tremendous. It leads to the threshold of this day of small profits and great economies, of great business volume and the utilization of every portion of raw material that comes to the hand of the packer.
From the day when, stirred by the tales of gold, Philip Armour flung down the pitch-fork on the farm near Stockbridge, New York, where he was born, packed his satchel and started West, there came into evidence that tremendous physical force and strength of will which characterized the elder Armour's every act through the years of business up-building. That was the day of the growing, untamed West, — a youthful giant leaping to maturity and wilful in the strength and power which had not yet been measured. It was the period when brutal capacity for effort and square-jawed tenacity were among the chief elements required to draw forth the wealth of result lying dormant in the countless opportunities at hand. It was the day when adventures were initiated which later became well-grounded business enterprises. It was the glorious day of profit and waste. Men were young and the West was young and results were wrought by the strength and endurance of youth. The beggar of to-day was fortune's favorite on the morrow. In this school Philip D. Armour won his first real business experience.
Returned to Stockbridge with profits of $4000 made in the California gold fields, again the call of the West — the pondering over the limitless field of supply in this land of great distances and of the need of that supply in the congesting population centers of the East — brought the senior Armour to Milwaukee, where his partnership in the early '60's with John Plankinton and the building of a pork-packing concern marked his first entry into the packing field.
In the greater portion of that yesterday Philip D. Armour was the business. He kept every detail at his fingers' ends. His hands held and guided every thread of the warp and woof in his loom of business activity. He created all and shouldered all. Individual genius, tremendous capacity for work, force of will, and personal disposal of every phase of business controlled under the