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vice to the community became the keynote of banking.

A young man with a past experience in several large cities came to a small town of less than 2000 population, and purchased the weekly newspaper. He transformed the paper and tripled its profits. The cashier of one of the banks kept his eye on him. Finally convinced that this young man was well schooled in advertising and selling, he asked him to become one of his bank directors, even though he was only 32 years old. In less than four months the young publisher had grappled with one of the pressing risks of the bank and changed it into an asset. None of the other directors had given such a possibility a thought. Yet it was comparatively easy to do when studied by an experienced man. A small factory in the town was more than $5000 in permanent debt to the bank. The young publisher was able to reconstruct the factory's selling and advertising policy so as to wipe out its debt, and change the account from a liability into a going business of $50,000 the first year with a balance running to four figures. Undoubtedly he is continuing that kind of value to the bank.

The sharp contrast between the old and the new methods is brought out by the respective treatments of a young hardware merchant by the two banks in one small town. This young fellow inherited several thousand dollars before he had learned the rudiments of business management, and had bought a retail store. His financial affairs soon went from bad to worse. He had reason to believe that the cashier of the First National Bank, where he kept his account, intended to press him and knowing what that would do to him at the particular moment, the hardware man called on the president of the Second National Bank and poured out the whole story. For several nights each week, the president went to the hardware store and acted in an advisory capacity. Under his careful and tactful tutoring, the young man placed himself on a limited weekly budget; started a strenuous

campaign to collect his book accounts; and wrote confidential weekly letters reporting his financial progress to all He creditors except the other bank. was delighted by the cooperation he received all around and made rapid progress toward a sound footing. When the disgruntled cashier of the First National Bank served notice a little later, the young merchant's affairs were in such good condition that the Second National Bank was justified in taking over his account, and saving the day for him. But that wasn't the best part of it. The best part is that America has one more young retailer who is capable and successful. That's national wealth!

I could cite case after case of this new way of doing things. One banker in a small town said to me:


"The country bank is fast becoming not merely a repository for community funds, but the fountainhead of town business development. In the future its main idea will not be the making of money. It is reorganizing its directorate so as to secure business brains, experience, breadth, and activity. pecially activity. This makes it equal to its appointed job of showing every kind of business man how to take advantage of the best methods, and t make and to have more money-not more debts at 6 per cent per annum. The day is coming when even small bank will consider another official than the cashier essential. This man will be the manager of the promotion, or business-building, or business-aid department. All towns do not have the men needed on their bank directorates. Some banks will have to import that kind of talent. And when that kind of a man is finally at the head of a recognized department in all banks, then we will cut commercial failures to the minimum.”


The country banker has found that he grows only as the whole community grows and prospers. So he is studying and working to that end.


What to Do with the Virgin Islands?

Condensed from The North American Review (December, '25)

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OR eight years we have been holding the Virgin Islands. Bought during the war to shut Germany out of a possible submarine base, it seems not unreasonable that we should now ask ourselves what we intend to do with them.

Our connection with the Virgins dates back to the Civil War. The blockade of the Southern ports would have been vastly more effect8ive if the Government had had a base in the Caribbean. As soon as peace was declared, negotiations > were opened for the purchase of the islands; Denmark agreed; the islanders voted almost unanimously their willingness to transfer their allegiance; but at the last moment Congress killed ratification of the treaty. After the Spanish War negotiations were again almost comEpleted, but this time the Danish

Parliament rejected the treaty, presumably because of German influence. The building and possible defense of the Panama Canal made the acquisition of the islands a constant subject of discussion, but the clinching argument was the sinking of the Lusitania. With such a base as the Virgins, German submarines could have done unthinkable damage to cur commerce. Negotiations were put through quickly. For sovereignty we paid $25,000,000-or $300 an acre for land worth for peace-time purposes possibly $20 an acre.

Every move for the purchase of the Virgins has been in connection with war, but now that we nave them we have taken no steps to develop them as a military outpost. St. Thomas is an unfortified Gibraltar. But with the desire of the American people to develop friendly relations with Latin America, there is little likelihood that public sentiment would permit any threatening

fortification; but until we give evidence of other policy every demagogue in Latin America can-and does-point to St. Thomas as an outpost of aggression.

If we are not to make the Virgin Islands a mere naval base, we have the alternatives of selling the islands to some other Power, of turning them loose, or of considering them a part of the nation and adopting a constructive policy which will make them eventually regular members of the national family.

To avoid any more complications than already exist we wish no new Power to acquire territory in the Caribbean. On a peace-time basis no nation is anxious to acquire the smaller islands of the Caribbean as none of them are revenue-producing. For this reason to turn the Virgins loose would not be an act of emancipation but a matter of turning them out, into a friendless world.

At the present time the Virgin Islanders are citizens of the islands only. In the absence of a stated principle as to what constitutes fitness for a people to be made a part of the nation, we may reasonably assume that the standards required of a people should be fairly similar to the standards of individuals who ask admittance to our shores. Suppose we apply such standards to the Virgin Islands.

As to disease the islands would probably pass muster today. Along with other improvements we have constructed reservoirs to provide a

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Crime exists in about the same proportion as in small communities in the States. With British islands within rowboat distance, bootlegging is inevitable, but drunkenness is rare. Crimes of colored men against white women are unknown. A day

in the police court is usually an airing of neighborhood squabbles before a judge, usually dismissed with a scolding all around. The administration of justice is hampered by the fact that some of the islanders are not unwilling to go to jail, where food is plentiful; and to avoid this complication fines are often imposed without alternative of jail sentence, and the court is frequently placed in the undignified position of running accounts with offenders, collecting its fines in 25-cent installments.

As to literacy, the census taken in 1917 indicated that 25 per cent of the islanders were illiterate, a percentage much better than the rate existing in Porto Rico after 20 years under American rule.

In considering the points of morality and self support we must remember that 90 per cent of the islanders are of African descent, held in complete slavery up to 1848. Behind them they have a tropical lack of industry, and a dependence upon masters and a masterful government. Monogamy is not an African tradition, and the slaves were introduced into conditions which did not teach it. Partial censuses of former days show as high as 85 per cent of illegitimacy.

For the past 50 years the Virgin Islands have not raised enough revenue to pay for their own administration; and for their support next year Congress has voted $395,000.

If we are to hold the Virgin Islands in a form of political dependence until they can pass the tests of admittance, what type of control shall we exercise? At the present time they are governed by a naval officer assigned by the President to act as Governor, who has also a staff

of naval officers. Legislative functions are in the hands of the Colonial Councils, the majority elected by the islanders, and a minority-also islanders-appointed by the Governor. The judiciary, appointed by the President or Governor, are qualified lawyers and not naval officers. However, assignment to duty in the Virgin Islands is for a period of not more than two years, and much of the eight years during which we have owned the islands has been spent in educating the six Governors who have occupied that position.

The Virgin Islands are probably the only territory which we have occupied where the accusation has not been made that American corporations were unduly interested; but all the land and concessions are owned by Danes or Virgin Islanders, and virtually the only Americans on the islands are the officials, the detachments of Marines and the Navy people at the Navy Yard. The Danes/ complain that we are not paternalistic

enough, but many Americans would consider that the free medical, maternity, hospital and dental services, the long lists of pensions given to islanders, the gift of water and sewer systems, and the general extension of school and public works at Federal expense, were possibly too paternalistic.

To make the Virgin Islands, and the islanders individually, self-supporting, will be no quick and easy task. However, if we can give money outright each year, we can afford scientifically planned investments.



Denmark allowed the islands run down; but Denmark was a small country with little money to invest. We have the islands now, with chance of getting rid of them and excellent reasons for continuing to hold this strategic position, with plenty of money to invest in legitimate development, and everything to gain in prestige and friendliness with Latin America, if we can demonstrate our intelligence and sincerity in handling the problem.


Lighthouses Without Keepers

A Picturesque Character Is Vanishing
Condensed from The National Spectator (March 13, '26)

LASKA seems to reach out her

arm to pat Japan on the shoulder where the Aleutian Islands thrust themselves into the Pacific for a distance as great as that between New York and New Orleans.

Along that dreary, far-away, northern reach there are 210 lighthouses that the Government down in Washington, 10,000 miles away, keeps trimmed and burning throughout the endless nights that hang like a half-year pall over that part of the world.

Where the Hawaiian Islands sit in the mid-Pacific, further from any continental areas than any other land on earth, they are today trimmed as might be a Christmas tree with incandescents that blink out there in the vast to whatever wandering mariner may have lost his bearings.

There is a lighthouse at Rock Station, off the mouth of the Columbia River, in Oregon, that stands on a single bare rock and access to which can be gained only by swinging one ashore by the arm of a huge crane that lifts him from a choppy sea and E deposits him on the tower-capped ridge.

There are lighthouses like that at Minots Ledge, just outside Boston, which stands on a rock that is submerged except at low tide and that knows only the eternal surge of the


In fact the Government's system of lighthouses is a far-flung agency covering half the world and rendering a service quite different from that of killing potato bugs for the farmer or testing brake linings for the automobilist.

Yet this ancient institution of the lighthouse is not altogether what it used to be. The isolation of it, for example, is being mitigated by that

modern entertainer, the radio set. Of late, in fact, a campaign has been on to secure radio sets for all isolated lighthouse keepers who cannot afford to purchase them for themselves.

When the lighthouse tender Cedar next spring begins the 5000-mile cruise along the Alaskan coast, carrying supplies to last those hundreas of isolated stations through the year, she will be well stocked with tubes, A and B batteries and other paraphernalia of the listener-in.

But more vital and revolutionary is the tendency to make lighthouses automatic, to set a light in such a way that it will go on blinking for six months or a year with never the touch of a human hand. The service will never become entirely automatic, for many large stations require constant attention. But every year considerable numbers of stations are converted to the type that works by itself.

The first lights burned on towers to guide the mariner were fires of wood or coal or pitch. Among the first of American lights was that at Boston, established in 1716. By that time the oil-burning lamp had found its place in a developing world. It consisted of a solid wick dipped in fish oil. It was surrounded by glass, somewhat inclined to become sootcovered of a windy night.

In a hundred years the light of the seaman had developed only to the point where whale oil had been substituted for fish oil and reflectors had been installed to direct the rays of light sea-ward. As late as 1877 lard was the chief illuminant in the lighthouse service.

Then came coal oil and revolutionized lighting. It was a much better illuminant, and cheaper and handier in use. This was not so long ago

yet it was prior to the discovery of the incandescent oil vapor lamp. In this lamp kerosene was still the fuel used but it was burned in the form of a gas, lighting an incandescent mantle such as is still used in gas lights. The vapor lamp has had much to do with the development of the automatic lighthouse.

The second element that has contributed most largely to the development of the lighthouse has been the lens. The first step toward it was the use of reflectors, concentrating the light and throwing it in any desired direction. The lights can be made to flash at stated intervals. Mariners know their position by the peculiarities of the lights.

In the great lamps of the tended stations kerosene is still the basic fuel. It is converted into a gas and burned within incandescent mantels. The lenses are so powerful that the light is thrown 20 to 30 miles to sea. The light at Navasink, N. J., 710,000 candle-power, is the strongest in the world.

Despite the tendencies toward automatic lights three keepers are still retained at Navasink and such stations of the first class. They work four-hour shifts day and night. The huge lens is revolved by clock work. Weights are wound up on drums to keep it revolving. The keeper has an opportunity to demonstrate at intervals the strength of his back in winding this gigantic clock.

The second grade of lighthouses are those at which there is a single attendant. They have no great revolving lenses but burn fixed lights. Yet they are strong lights at important points and no chance of their going out can be taken. They are tending strongly toward the mechanical light. They have a device, for instance, for calling the keeper out of his bed. If the light gets to burning too strongly, a mechanical finger creeps up until it makes an electrical contact. This contact sets off an alarm which arouses the keeper. In the same way, if the light burns too

low the mechanical finger makes another contact and starts the alarm going. These one-man lights call for help whenever anything goes


Acetylene, however, has done more to change the old-scheme of personally-tended lighthouses than any other element. Acetylene, it will be recalled, first became well known when it was used three decades ago to operate the light on a bicycle. The gas is made by putting calcium carbide in a container and slowly dripping water on it. A gas is evolved which is burned as it passes off.

The lighthouse bureau installs a battery of acetylene cylinders at a lighthouse, and the light will burn automatically for half a year, even for a year. It is this development that is transforming lighthouses that have hitherto required attendance. The old and romantic figure which has hitherto held its place on many a jutting promontory along our coasts is disappearing. The little lighthouse at the end of the jetty has become almost universally automatic. Even the ancient lighthouse at Sandy Hook, the entrance to New York Harbor, has recently gone on an automatic basis. So have 60 per cent of that string of lighthouses that mark the Aleutian chain. As many as 74 lighthouses have been changed from man-operated to automatics in a single recent year. As the old chaps come to the retirement age or die off adjustments are likely to be made that will make it unnecessary to put on new lighthouse-keepers. This romantic figure, long a favorite of the fiction writer, the parent of that popular melodramatic character, the lighthouse keeper's daughter, is tending to disappear. He will always remain at certain stations that are of major importance, but the isolated, stormbeaten watchlight is likely to burn in future largely because a patent contraption for generating gas is stored in the cellar and keeps dripping water into a sort of black dust.

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