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ANNUAL REPORT
OF THÉ

SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30
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1939

TWENTY-SEVENTH

ANNUAL REPORT
OF THE

SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
V

1939

UNITED STATES

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON: 1939

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C.

Price 25 cents (paper cover)

ORGANIZATION OF THE DEPARTMENT
Secretary of Commerce__________________________ H arry L. H opkins .
Under Secretary of Commerce____________________ E dward J. N oble.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce_________________ J. M onroe J ohnson .
Assistant Secretary of Commerce________________ R ichard C. P atterson, J r.
Solicitor_________________________________________ S outh T rimble, J r.
Administrative Assistant to the Secretary_______ M alcolm K erlin .
Chief Clerk and Superintendent________________ __ E dward W. L ibbey.
Director of the Census___________________________ W illiam L. A ustin .
Acting Director, Bureau of Foreign and Domestic
Commerce_____________________________________ F. H. B awls .
Director, National Bureau of Standards___________ L yman J. B riggs.
Acting Commissioner of Fisheries_______________ Charles E. J ackson .
Commissioner of Lighthouses____________________ H arold D. K ing .
Director, Coast and Geodetic Survey_____________ L eo Otis Colbert.
Director, Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navi­
gation_________________________________________ B. S. F ield.
Commissioner of Patents________________________ Conway P. Coe.

CONTENTS
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY

*
*

Page

The decade 1929-39_____
V
Recovery, 1933-37________________________________________________
vi
The-recession of 1937-38_________________________
vu
The 1938-39 recovery__________________
v iii
Lessons of the decade___________________ ________________ ;___________ ix
America’s promise: New frontiers__________________________________
x
Difficulty of the task_!____________________________________________
xi
The responsibility of government___________________________________ x iii
Fiscal implications____________________________________
x iii
The role of the Department in economic expansion_____________________ xiv
“Problem areas”------------------xv
Larger needs of the economy_______________________________________ xvi
Expansion of services now under way----------------------------------------------- xvi
Highlights of the year____________________________________
xvi
Reorganization- _----------------------------xvi
Trade agreement program----------xvm
Studies for the Temporary National Economic Committee____________ xvm
Foreign-Trade Zones Board------------------------------------------------- -------- - xix
Cooperation with Departments of Agriculture and Justice____________ xix
Business Advisory Council_________________________
xx
Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce------------------------------------- xxi
Bureau of the Census--------------------------------------------------------------------- xxiv
National Bureau of Standards-------------------------------------------------------- xxvi
United States Patent Office---------------— ---------------------------------------- xxvn
Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation----------------------------------- x x v iii
United States Coast and Geodetic Survey---------------------------------------- xxx
Bureau of Lighthouses------------------ ----------------------- -------------------— xxxi
Bureau of Fisheries------------------------------------------------------------------------- xxxn
Fishery Advisory Committee---------------xxxiv
Appropriations and emergency funds-------------------------------------------- __ xxxiv
REPORTS BY BUREAUS

C hief ClerkJ and Superintendent

Department library_______
Division of Purchases and Sales,.............
Division of Accounts___ _______
Emergency funds...........................................
Miscellaneous receipts.......................
Division of Publications_________________
Division of Personnel Supervision and Man­
agement______________________
Conferences and Expositions Section. ..........
Office of theJ-Solicttor
R eport. —..................... .................................... .

Page1

2
2
3
5
6
8
7

9

B ureau of F oreign and D omestic
C ommerce

Consolidation of Foreign Commerce Service
with State Department__________
District and cooperative office service,.........
Organization of Bureau program___________
Trade promotional and industrial service ac­
tivities...........................................................
Foreign-trade zones_____________________
Industrial economics activities____________
Domestic commerce divisions_____________
Outstanding-developments in domestic busi­
ness as revealed by domestic commerce re­
search___ _________
Foreign-trade research and statistics________
Outstanding developments in foreign trade as
revealed by foreign-trade research................
Appropriations___ _____________________
Personnel__________

12
12
13
13
17
17
17
18

20
21
24
24

B ureau of the C ensus

Page
Introduction_________ _____________
25
Preparation
of
enumeration
district"
descrip­
tions and maps________________
27
Quinquenniafcensus of agriculture-IIIIHUH 27
Decennial census of population____
29
Housing..........................
Biennial census of manufactures, 19~39~_IIIIIIII 30
30
Census of mines............... .........................
Business...............................I.IIIIIII............. 30
31
Territories and insular possessions... IIII11 III 31
Preparation
and review of schedules__
31
Field work.........................................
Research____ _______ ______ IIIIIIIIIIIIII 31
32
Biennial census of manufactures, 1937..I
33
Current statistical service...........
33
Quinquennial census of electrical industries""'
Census survey of business________________ 34
Cotton and oil reports..................................... 34
35
State and local government_______II
Vital statistics...............
” 35
36
Population____________ __________1111111 39
Statistics of crime...................................... I 40
Population indexes______________ IIIIIIIII 40
Searching of population records________
40
Photostat and microfilm laboratory_______
41
Census
of
religious
bodies............................
Foreign statistics.............................
' 41
41
Machine
tabulation..........................II.IIIIIII
41
Publications____________
_______
Annual reports_________
HHI 42
42
Special reports and releases..................
Current reports..............................
.1 42
43
Current industrial reports____________
Work done for other Federal offices and out­ 43
side organizations._____________________
Personnel.......................................................... 44
Appropriations.................................................. 44
45
III

IV

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

N ational B ureau of Standards Page
General activities............. ......... — .................. 47
Electricity---------- -------- ----------------------- 49
Weights and measures----------------------------- 51
Heat and power---------- ------------------------- 53
54
Optics................................................. ............. 56
Chemistry____________________________ 58
Mechanics and sound------------------- -------- Organic and fibrous materials..------------------ 60
61
Metallurgy-----------------------------------------63
Clay and silicate products................................ 65
Simplified practice...........................................
Trade standards............................................... 66
Codes and specifications_________ ________ 67
Building materials and structures--------------- 68
General financial statement............................. 72
P atent Office
Receipts and expenditures.................. ............. 73
Condition of the work___________________ 74
Classification of patents________ _________ 74
Patent Office Advisory Committee________ 75
Special cases___________________________ 75
Statistics______________________________ 76
Other details of business for the fiscal year. -. 80
B ureau of M arine I nspection and
N avigation

Vessel inspection division________________
Traveling and principal traveling inspectors
Local inspectors____________ _____ ____
Law enforcement and review division______
Passenger Act_____ ___________________
Ship Mortgage Act___ ________________
Collection of fees and duties.. ________
Numbering of motorboats___ __________
Patrol fleet____ _____ ______ __________
Legislation--------------- -----------------------Technical division______________________
Naval architecture subdivision__________
Marine engineering subdivision__________
Electrical engineering subdivision___ ____
Load line subdivision________ _________
Ship personnel division__________________
Licensed officer examination section________
American shipping on June 30,1939________
Laid-up vessels_______ _____ ___________
Appropriations..................................................
C oast and Geodetic Survey
Chart production___________ _____ _____
Hydrography and topography. ____________ .
Geodetic work...................................................
Tide and current work__________________
Magnetic work_________________________..
Seismology____________________________.
New and improved methods and equipment,..
Cooperative activities....... ...............................
.

81
82
83
83
85
85
85
85
86
86

87
87
90
91
92
93
93
94
95
95
99
100
103
106
107
108
109
110

L ighthouse Service
_Pag«
Administration_________________________ 121
Improvements in apparatus and equipment.. 121
123
Personnel_____________________
Lighthouse tenders______________________ 124
Lightships________
124
Progress of vessels under construction........... 125
Progress of special works________
126
Important works completed______________ 128
Work performed under allotments from the
Public Works Administration___________ 130
B ureau of F isheries
International relations.. _______
135
Halibut investigations_________________ 135
International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Com­
mission____________________________ 136
Japanese activities in the Bristol Bay fishery. 137
Conservation of whales____ ____________ 137
North American Council on Fishery In­
vestigations ________________________ 137
Interstate cooperation in fishery management______________________________ 138
Fishery Advisory Committee_____________ 138
Domestic relations_________________
139
Cooperation with Federal, State, and other
agencies____________________________ 139
Construction activities_________ ___ ____ 140
Alaska fisheries service.____
141
Administration of fishery laws and regu­
lations_____________________________ 141
Products of the fisheries________________ 142
Alaska fur-seal service___________________ 143
General
activities_____________________
143
Seal herd____
____
144
Take of sealskins______________________ 144
Sale of sealskins_______________________ 144
Foxes_______________________________ 144
Fur-seal skins taken by natives__________ 145
Fur-seal patrol____________
145
Protection of sea otters, walruses, and sea
lions______________________________ 145
Propagation and distribution of food and game
fishes__________
145
Propagation of commercial species________ 146
Rescue operations_____________________ 148
Fishery industries______________________ 148
Economic and marketing investigations___ 148
Statistical investigations_______
149
Fishery market news service____________ 150
Technological investigations____________ 151
Biological fishery investigations___________ 153
Investigations of commercial fishes_______ 153
Aquicultural investigations_____________ 158
Pollution investigations.. : _____________ 160
Construction
of fish-protective works_____ 160
Shellfish investigations_________________
160
Law Enforcement Division_______________ 161
Vessels________
162
Appropriations__________________
153

TWENTY-SEVENTH ÂNNUAL'REPORT
OF THE

S E C R E T A R Y OF C O M M E R C E
D epartm ent of C om m erce ,
O ffic e of t h e S ecretary ,

,

,

Washington December 1 1939.

To t h e C ongress of t h e U nited S tates
(Through the President) :
I am submitting herewith the Annual Report of the Secretary of
Commerce, covering the fiscal year ended June 30, 1939.
The functions of the Department of Commerce and its activities
during the fiscal year 1939 can be adequately reported only against
the background of our economic experience. The past fiscal year
brought to a close the most significant decade in the economic history
of the United States, and it is in terms of the developments char­
acterizing that decade that this Department’s functions must be
considered.
THE DECADE 1929-39

This 10-year period opened at a time of unparalleled prosperity in
the United States, at a time when the disruptions of the early post­
war years seemed to lie definitely behind us and a vista of ever ex­
panding national well-being ahead. Within a few months, however,
the stock market collapsed, and the prospect of ever-rising activity
disappeared as deflation set in and the great depression began.
During the early years of the decade, no decisive attempt was
made to use the powers of government to stop the deflation or to cor­
rect the underlying conditions. It was generally assumed that if
“automatic” economic forces were permitted to take their course, the
deflation would come to a “natural” end and the way would be cleared
for a return to prosperity.
Persistence in this view of the economy and the policies of govern­
ment which it implied brought us by 1933 to the brink of economic
paralysis. Unemployment increased steadily and reached a total far
exceeding the proportions of any previous depression. As the finan­
cial structure crumbled, banks failed, mortgages on homes and farms
were foreclosed, and millions of thrifty folk lost their life savings.
Trade dwindled and factories closed. Local governments were caught
between mounting tax delinquency and rising requirements for relief.
Between 1929 and 1932, the national income declined by more than 50
percent in money terms and more than 40 percent in terms of goods
and services.
Similar conditions in some foreign countries resulted m the sweep­
ing away of the existing forms of government. In this country, the

VI

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

overwhelming demand that the Federal Government make full use of
its powers to overcome the depression resulted in the reversal of Gov­
ernment policy at the very moment of final and utter collapse of the
financial structure.
RECOVERY, 1933-37

A vigorous attack upon the depression was at once undertaken.
The banks were reopened. Federal grants were made to the States
for unemployment relief. Foreclosures on homes and farms were
halted. Agricultural adjustment and industrial recovery programs
were launched. The financial structure was permanently strengthened
by deposit insurance, reform of the Ranking system, and by long over­
due controls of security issuance and trading. Overnight the down­
ward trend was reversed and marked recovery was felt in every part
of the Nation.
The Federal program contained many elements that contributed
to this recovery, but the fundamental factor was the increase in
buying power that it turned back into the markets for industrial and
agricultural products. Income payments increased in all sectors
of the economy, but the paralyzing deflation had imposed caution and
many preferred the greater liquidity of an enlarged cash or a reduced
debt position. As a result, the receipts of business, of State and local
governments, and of private individuals exceeded their disbursements.
Hence it was not these sectors of the economy that gave impetus to
the recovery. It was the Federal Government which, by adding more
to the stream of income than it withdrew, made expansion of activity
possible in spite of the excess of withdrawals in these other areas of
the economy. Moreover, this excess of withdrawals constituted an
important and continuing drag on the recovery movement, so that the
Federal contribution to buying power, which was designed to provide
only the initial impetus to expansion, had to be continued for a longer
period than would otherwise have been necessary.
Despite these restrictive influences, employment and production rose
until in 1937 they approached the levels attained in 1929. The national
income increased from 40 billion dollars in 1932 to 72 billion dollars
in 1937. Wages, salaries, profits, and property income participated in
the increase. Income from farming, from mining and manufacturing,
from distribution and finance all increased as activity surged forward.
By 1937 the national income was within 15 percent of its 1929 level.
In real terms, that is in terms of the flow of goods and services, it was
only a shade below that all-time peak.
Purchases of goods by consumers, which had dropped from 51 billion
dollars in 1929 to less than, 29 billion dollars in 1932, recovered to 44
billion dollars in 1937. In terms of physical volume, however, the
decline had been only about 20 percent and the expansion carried us
to within 5 percent of the 1929 high. Sales of automobiles were again
at prosperity levels, new passenger-car registrations in 1936 and 1937
being exceeded only by those in 1929. Electrical household equipment,
such as refrigerators and vacuum cleaners, topped all previous highs.
In short, sales of both durable and nondurable consumers’ goods
expanded broadly and this high level of consumption constituted the
basis of the recovery.
Capital outlays of business also recovered in most lines as part of
the general upward movement. In 1937 expenditures for new equip­
ment were greater than in any previous year except 1929. Expendi­

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

VII

tures for both plant and equipment in mining and manufacturing and
in agriculture returned to the high levels of the prosperity years.
Investment tended to lag, however, in a few special areas. In the
construction field, high prices and costs were an obstacle to expan­
sion. In the railroad equipment industry, activity failed to recover
fully, as the slow process of underreplacement had not yet brought
plant and equipment facilities to a level consonant with the reduced
volume of railroad traffic. The utilities found their capacity ample
for the demand that could be obtained under established rate struc­
tures. State and local government preferred reduction of debt to
extension of services. Investors remembered the losses of the indis­
criminate foreign lending of the 20’s, and international developments
made foreign countries appear even less attractive as an outlet for
their investable funds. In total, these fields, which failed to follow
the normal pattern of recovery, did much to keep total investment
at a reduced level.
Employment followed the general economic pattern of the period.
After the large decline, there was recovery that approached previous
peak levels. A fairly large volume of unemployment persisted
through the recovery, but this represented primarily the increase in
the population of working age and to a lesser extent the residual
labor force left without jobs by technological improvements that
reduced the number of workers required to produce a given output.
In 1937, the recovery gave promise of wiping out the small margins
by which the various measures of economic activity fell short of their
previous peaks. It also gave promise of bringing the Federal budget
again into balance. The cash deficit was reduced from more than
4,000 million dollars in 1936 to less than 400 million dollars in 1937.
With the continuation of recovery, even this small excess outlay
would have disappeared.
THE RECESSION OF 1937-38

Just at that moment, however, there ensued the sharpest decline
on record. In 5 months, from August to January, the rate of in­
dustrial production plunged over 30 percent, and business activity
was back at the levels of 3 years earlier. What was responsible for
this relapse?
This sharp decline in economic activity appears to have been the
outgrowth of a number of factors. From early 1934 until the final
quarter of 1936, the Government program yielded a recovery _that
was both broad and balanced, with prices and costs remaining
virtually at a constant level. In the last quarter of 1936, however,
a number of dislocations began to develop. Following the bulge in
Federal income-creating disbursements that resulted from prepay­
ment of the adjusted service certificates, production and sales moved
sharply upward. Prices edged toward higher levels. Certain raw
material prices advanced rapidly under the influence of world re­
armament and the speculative factors engendered by it. Led on by
the upturn in consumer demand and attempting to take advantage of
or protect themselves against prospective price increases, businessmen
began to expand their inventories.
Other factors also contributed to this inventory movement. In some
instances, shortages threatened because of the attrition of capacity and
skilled labor during the depression. In others, monopolistic condi­

VIII

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

tions created the prospect of higher prices rather than of larger out­
put and capacity. In addition, the transitional difficulties arising
from expanding labor organization and the attempts to resist it
resulted in actual or threatened interruptions of production. So rapid
was the inventory accumulation that even if businessmen had merely
discontinued further accumulation, without attempting to liquidate
stocks already accumulated, there would have been a substantial
recession.
The rise of prices and costs, besides leading to inventory accumu­
lation, restricted several important types of fixed capital expenditure.
Residential construction is a notable example. The cost of both
building materials and labor moved up substantially from 1936
levels, despite the relatively small decline in these costs during the
depression. While, under the stimulus of lower financing costs and
rising consumer income, building subsequently revived without a
substantial decline in costs, at that time it was sharply curtailed.
Contracts awarded for residential construction declined 33 percent
during the year.
Early in 1937, the incentives for further accumulation of inventories
began to disappear. The effects upon consumers’ expenditures of the
reduction in the Federal contribution to the income stream began
to be felt. Retail prices in the early part of 1937 continued upward,
as did the total value of sales, but the volume of goods moving
through the market leveled off and began to decline. The labor difficul­
ties were cleared up in some broad areas and the resumption of activ­
ity in these areas served for a time to conceal the vulnerable situation
created by the rapid accumulation of inventories and the rise of
prices and costs. Finally, however, it became clear that new orders
were falling off and that inventories were excessive. The result
was inevitable—production was curtailed while the excess was being
sold off.
With the Federal contribution to buying power drastically cur­
tailed, moreover, production had to fall far to reach the point at which
the desired liquidation could take place. The sharp initial drop was
then followed by a continuing gradual decline that again threatened
a cumulative deflation such as was experienced in 1929-33. This
prospect evoked a vigorous application by the Federal Government
of the instruments that had proved their effectiveness before. Re­
sults were prompt and striking.
THE 1938-39 RECOVERY

The Federal contribution to buying power was steadily increased
beginning in March 1938, and June saw national income on the up­
turn once more. W. P. A. rolls were expanded, public construction
was rapidly brought to a new peak, residential construction was
promoted, and payments to farmers were increased. Through the
operation of these and other parts of the program, recovery was ad­
vanced strongly during the fiscal year 1939. At its close, national
income payments were flowing at an annual rate of nearly 69 billion
dollars, as compared to a rate of 74 billion dollars in August 1937 and
of 65 billion dollars in May 1938. If allowance is made for the decline

REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

IX

in prices over this 2-year period, total income in terms of goods and
services was again near the 1937 peak.
This recovery was in many respects similar to that of 1933-37.
Directly and indirectly, Government policies resulted in outlays that
reversed the trend in national income. With total income in the
hands of consumers again increasing, businessmen again found their
markets expanding, and the general level of activity was stepped up.
This rising trend also eliminated any tendency on the part of business­
men to dispose of their inventory holdings. Thus inventories, which
had been a large negative factor during the preceding year, became
a neutral or perhaps even a small positive factor during the fiscal
year 1939.
The Federal Keserve index of nondurable production recovered
almost to its previous high, remaining closely in line with increasing
sales of nondurable goods. Sales of consumers’ durable goods also
participated fully in the recovery. Sales of 1939 model-year auto­
mobiles were about 30 percent greater than 1938 model-year sales.
Sales of ranges, refrigerators, and other appliances also showed very
substantial increases. The use of installment credit for these and
other items, some of which had not previously been sold on credit,
meant the entrance into the market of a large volume of purchasing
power that could not have been expected on the basis of current
incomes alone. It is estimated that consumer credit increased during
the year by one-half to 1 billion dollars. This was especially sig­
nificant because it constituted a sharp reversal of trend; for in the
latter part of the preceding fiscal year, consumer credit had declined
by more than a billion dollars.
Construction activity also made large gains during this year. Un­
der the stimulus of Federal Housing Administration action to reduce
interest rates and ease monthly payments by home owners, residential
construction rose to new postdepression highs by the end of 1938.
As a result of the increases in residential and public construction, total
construction rose sharply in the latter half of 1938. Contracts awarded
showed an average increase in the last quarter of more than 70 percent
over the corresponding period in 1937 and were maintained throughout
the first half of 1939 at the highest level since 1930.
Capital expenditures and employment also followed the general
trend, the restrictions on their full recovery being much the same
as before. In a number of special areas, the rate of installation of
new productive facilities appears to have remained at fairly low
levels, and over the economy as a whole, increases in population of
working age and improvements in industrial techniques increased the
number of workers unable to find employment. At the close of the fiscal
year, however, the trend of business activity and employment was
upward.
LESSONS 0E THE DECADE

From the experience of the past decade there emerge certain
inescapable conclusions which are of the utmost importance for the
national economic policy of both government and business. The
foremost lesson of the period is that deflation generates cumulative
forces which may completely shatter the productive mechanism.
Once deflation dominates the economy, it creates a dozen maladjust­

X

REPORT OE THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

ments for every one it corrects. The cumulative forces it releases
undermine sound and unsound parts alike. They affect ever-widen­
ing areas of the economy, until the devastation is general and com­
plete. To prevent these disastrous deflations is a fundamental
responsibility of government. The experience of certain European
countries bears evidence that unchecked deflation is the greatest
threat to democracy in the modern world.
The second conclusion is that the tremendous wastes involved in
continued deflation are entirely unnecessary. We have, in recent
years, developed the techniques necessary to halt a deflationary proc­
ess and to secure recovery. This was demonstrated in the 1933-37
recovery. The use of the same techniques to reverse the downward
trend in 1938 should dispel any doubts on this score. If the instruments
created within this 10-year period are used promptly and aggres­
sively, the country need never again be subjected to the intolerable
and unnecessary costs of continued deflation.
In this decade it has also been demonstrated that the complexity
of our industrial economy requires great care in the use of these
techniques. The sharp bulge in Federal income-creating expendi­
tures in 1936 appears to have been a factor in the development of
the dangerous inventory accumulation of that year. Again, the
sharp reduction of the Federal net contribution, which came at a
time when the economy was particularly vulnerable, played a part
in the sharp decline of 1937-38. So powerful are these instruments
of the Federal Government that their application requires the most
careful and consistent adjustment to economic developments and an
avoidance of abrupt modification.
Furthermore, particular attention must be given to certain dis­
locations which may arise in any rapid recovery, whatever its source
may be. The accumulation of inventories and the dislocations in
the cost-price structure in the boomlet of 1936-37 illustrate the
dangers from this direction. The operation of the economy at a low
level of activity entails the impairment of equipment, the depletion
of stocks, and the loss of labor skills. Subsequently, under the pres­
sure of a recovery movement, bottlenecks, speculative price and
cost movements, and inventory bulges tend to develop. These de­
velopments may serve to undermine or reverse any substantial recov­
ery movement, unless Government, business, and labor cooperate to
maintain balance in the price and income structure.
Am erica ’s pr o m ise : n ew frontiers

A final conclusion emerges from the experience of this decade. In
spite of broad recovery, we have not succeeded in making full use
of our productive resources. There are some who derive from this
experience the conclusion that we have reached the limit of our
growth, that our economy is saturated and doomed to stagnation. I
vigorously reject this view. It is true that the period of our history
in which a rapidly increasing population was opening up a new
continent has come to an end. We have extended our boundaries to
their geographic limits, built great cities, constructed vast transpor­
tation networks, opened up our land to cultivation, and equipped our
workers with effective capital larger in total amount and higher per

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

XI

worker than in any other nation. But the disappearance of the geo­
graphic frontier does not mean the disappearance of the economic
frontier. It is true that world markets under existing conditions of
international anarchy beyond our control offer more limited oppor­
tunities for the export of our goods and our capital than once was the
case. Our home market, on the other hand, is limitless. A rising
standard of living can provide an indefinitely expanding market for
the fruits of our expanding productive capacity. We have only
begun to fulfill the unlimited promise of America.
The vast potential expansion that awaits us in this direction may
be illustrated by the fact that in 1935-36 there were more than 12
million families whose incomes were below $1,000 a year. If the in­
comes of all these families had averaged $1,000 a year, or less than
$20 a week, their annual expenditures would have been greater by
about 4 billion dollars. They would have spent about 1,300 million
dollars more on food alone, about 700 million dollars more on housing,,
about 400 million dollars more on clothing, and an equal amount more
for automobiles and other forms of transportation. Expenditures on
fuel, light, gas, and household furnishings would have run 600 million
dollars a year higher.
To look at the problem from the point of view of prices rather
than income, a vast potential market awaits further progress in the
application of mass-production techniques. For example, the resi­
dential construction of the past few years has been confined primarily
to houses costing over $4,000 and hence to families with incomes over
$2,000. This group constitutes less than 20 percent of the total popu­
lation. Nearly 25 million families have incomes of less than $2,000
a year. A reduction of construction costs to make houses available at
$2,500 would tap a substantial fraction of this vast potential market.
Similarly, in the field of electric power, the Tennessee Valley
Authority has found that rate reductions have led within a, few
years to an increase of 88 percent in the consumption of electricity.
If it were feasible to reduce electric rates throughout the Nation to
the levels now prevailing in the Tennessee Valley region, the demand
for electricity would so expand as to require an investment, in
generating and transmission facilities, in wiring and appliances, of
billions of dollars. Thus in these two fields alone we have a fore­
seeable investment frontier of tremendous dimensions awaiting the
successful adaptation of modern technology to supply present needs.
Additional billions of investment would be required by the industries
which serve those directly involved. The release of potential
consumption through lowering of costs and prices can open the
floodgates of investment.
DIFFICULTY OF THE TASK

But the conquest of these new frontiers is not an easy task. On
every side there exist deep-seated and long-standing arrangements to
freeze prices, restrict markets, and resist technological changes. These
practices and the attitudes of mind which underlie them are in part
the result of the difficulties of the past decade, during which markets
have been limited and the price of technological change has been unem­
ployment ; but they have themselves been a profoundly important fac­

XII

REPORT OF THE .SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

tor in creating these difficulties. These attitudes of mind must be
altered, these practices must be abandoned if we are to attain our goal
of the full utilization of our resources and fulfill the promise that
America offers.
It is a difficult task and one which requires the understanding
cooperation of all elements of the economy—business, labor, and
government. Each of these has an important share in the responsi­
bility for the achievement of our objective as well as the promise of
unprecedented rewards.
On the part of business, there is necessary a general readjustment
of pricing policies to the requirements of modern mass consumption.
At present many business firms operate on the basis of a “break
even” point placed at a low proportion of capacity—they anticipate
a low volume of sales, and set their prices to assure a profit at that
level, despite the fact that such pricing policies themselves restrict
sales and increase unit costs.
During our earlier history, high prices and high profit diverted
employment from consumption to investment. Today high prices
reduce consumption but fail to expand investment. Because the ex­
tensive fields of investment—investment first in building our Nation
and then in supplying foreign nations with capital—are reduced, a
policy of high prices and high profit margins at present restricts both
consumption and investment and increases the already large volume of
idle money and the number of idle men. Modern production techniques
and full utilization of resources today demand broad markets, and such
markets can be obtained only by prices which fully reflect the efficiency
of these techniques.
The application of the low-price principle has been singularly effec­
tive in the automotive industry in developing mass markets and creat­
ing large-scale employment and good profits. Reference has already
been made to the possibilities in the fields of low-cost housing and
electric powers. The principle must be extended to other areas as
Avell. Progress in this direction requires concerted moves by big and
small businesses alike. A bold, forward-looking price policy to tap
larger markets would go a long way in creating investment oppor­
tunities now lacking.
In some cases it appears to be the policy of business to seek maximum
profits in the short run, whenever the situation permits, because a
period is foreseen when activity will be small and profits will dis­
appear. But this very policy serves to limit the markets and to under­
mine recovery. A restricted market is created when a large market is
available. Government has provided business with a bottom beneath
which activity will not be permitted to go, and on this basis business
can adjust its pricing policies to a longer-run viewpoint.
The expansion of consumption and investment also involves appro­
priate wage policy on the part of business. The broad markets neces­
sary for full employment require a high level of consumer purchasing
ower, and it is important that wage incomes be as high as possible.
f wage payments are deficient, the basic demand for the products
of farm and factory is necessarily curtailed.
The role of labor in a national program is a vital one also. The
Federal Government has in recent years taken steps of historic im­
portance to prevent the exploitation of labor and to strengthen the

E

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

XIII

economy by putting a floor under wage rates and a ceiling over hours.
It has also taken measures to guarantee to labor the right of collective
bargaining. Labor is now able to bargain with industry on more
nearly equal terms. An enlightened democracy will never permit the
abandonment of these advances.
In this strengthened position, labor as well as industry will
recognize the needs and operating principles of our economic system.
Wage rates which actually reduce output and employment, or re­
strictions which prevent technological advance, impede the expansion
of consumption and investment and affect all interests adversely. In
seeking to improve the condition of labor, it should be recognized
that high wage rates are not always synonymous with high annual
income for the workers. It is the latter which is the primary
objective. Without a high standard of living for this major segment
of the Nation, a sustained and expanding flow of national income
cannot be achieved.
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF GOVERNMENT

Government, on its part, is charged with primary responsibility
for the national welfare. It seems clear from past experience that
the community must accept, finally and without qualification, the re­
sponsibility for securing and maintaining the conditions necessary
for the full utilization of our resources. The contributions of busi­
ness, labor, and agriculture to this end are vitally important, but
the residual responsibility is of necessity borne by government. The
latter must provide business and agriculture with the assurance of at
least a moderately high level of buying power for their products.
With such assurance, long-range plans can safely be made. It must
also provide the laborer with reasonable assurance of an employed
and productive future, not only because of the human values involved,
but so that labor too, through its organizations, can cooperate with
business and government on a basis of long-run mutual advantage.
The aggressive economic expansion of the past century was nourished
by the vigorous optimism of a Nation expanding its frontier and ex­
ploiting its natural resources. Today the Federal Government can
restore that optimism through a guaranty that the risks of periodic
breakdowns will be eliminated, that the consumers’ market will ex­
pand, and that the process of intensive exploitation can be safely
undertaken.
Specifically, while the Federal Government encourages private in­
vestment and employment by every means in its power, to the extent
that private employment cannot be found the Government must
help provide the necessary jobs and support the Nation’s buying power
through public action. Value given for value received is the only
sound principle. The country cannot be poorer when its workers are
creating useful works, and future generations will not be poorer for
the receipt of this heritage.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS

The fiscal implications of governmental responsibility for the attain­
ment of full employment of our resources are clear. During periods
when the Government is setting a bottom to a deflationary spiral and

XIV

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

giving impetus to recovery, an unbalanced budget necessarily develops.
As recovery advances and the national income expands, however, gov­
ernment revenues increase, government expenditures decline, and the
budget is brought into balance.
In 1936-37, within 1 year, the Federal cash deficit was reduced from
more than 4,000 million to less than 400 million dollars. _ In view of
what we now know about the situation which developed in that year,
it appears that our progress toward a balanced budget may have been
too rapid. This experience, however, provides convincing evidence
that the budget will come into balance as we approach full employment
of our productive resources.
The maintenance of that balance, once achieved, cannot be dis­
sociated from the maintenance of a balanced economy. To keep the
economy in balance at full employment will require the concerted
efforts of business, agriculture, labor, and government.
The responsibilities of business and labor in adapting price and
wage policies to the requirements of a full-employment economy have
been set forth above. A continuing program to bring and keep
agriculture in sound relationship with other sectors of the economy
is likewise a requisite. The cooperative responsibility of government
and agriculture in such a program is vital if a high level of national
income is to be sustained.
Other government policies also must be adapted to this requirement.
State and local governments, as well as the Federal Government,
must shape fiscal and tax policies so as to contribute to the common
objective. The tendency in recent years has been toward increasing
tax pressure on low-income groups. The trend in the use of sales
taxation and other similar measures which restrict consumption
should be reversed. At the same time, taxation on business that can
be shown to discriminate against equity financing and to impose an
undue burden on risk-bearing should be adjusted. The policies of
business and labor looking toward the expansion of markets must
be reinforced by government policies at every point if the desired
common objective is to be reached and held.
It is obvious from the experiences of the past decade that we are
confronted with a serious, complex economic problem. This problem
demands the calm thinking of the best minds, in and out of govern­
ment, so that our system can continue flourishing in the finest
democratic tradition.
THE ROLE OF THE DEPARTMENT IN ECONOMIC EXPANSION

In pursuing a joint program toward full employment, business,
labor, and government require information on current business de­
velopments. The Department of Commerce has long performed the
function of collecting such information. The need for an expansion
of this service is imperative under the new conditions.
The need for more complete and more fully analyzed information
is illustrated by the inventory situation that developed in 1937, which
has been discussed above. At the time these inventories were being
accumulated there was little knowledge of the true situation, but we
know now that the rapid building up of inventories set the stage for
the inventory liquidation that played so large a part in the ensuing
recession. Business and labor had no satisfactory means of evaluat­

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

XV

ing the maladjustments they encountered. The relatively few real
shortages gave plausibility to the prospect of more general scarcity.
Analysis was needed at that time to indicate to business and labor
that the price and cost increases were choking off demand and that
goods which should have been moving into consumption were being
lodged in inventories. Had full information been available and its
full implications explored, many of these developments, so costly to
business and the country generally, might have been mitigated.
Fuller knowledge would have brought moderation and placed re­
straint upon speculation and price expectations.
The formation of sound judgment during the period ahead by
both business and government requires full information on every
phase of current economic activity and careful analysis of the condi­
tions and trends that underlie it. Developing maladjustments must
be brought to light quickly, and the measures necessary to correct
them must be indicated.
“ problem areas ”

Beyond these functions of information and analysis, the Depart­
ment also has a responsibility to contribute toward the elimination
of obstacles to expansion that exist in certain “problem areas” of
the economy, where considerable parts of the business community
face similar difficulties. For example, in the field of small business
there exist difficulties peculiar to that part of the business community.
Many small businessmen have brought their problems to the attention
of the Federal Government. The Department is, of course, vitally
interested in solution of these difficulties. It has cooperated and will
continue to cooperate with other branches of the Government in seek­
ing to solve problems of small businessmen.
In other areas, such as foreign trade, construction, public utilities,
and railroads, there exist particular obstacles which must be overcome
if the general welfare is to be promoted with full effectiveness. The
Department of Commerce, being properly concerned in all matters
affecting economic activity, is eager to cooperate with representatives
of these industries and the Federal agencies more directly involved, in
developing appropriate policies.
Another general problem of great importance has resulted from
the policies of the several States in regulating the shipment of goods
into or through their territories. While primary responsibility rests
upon the States, the Department of Commerce must be interested
because of the restrictive effect of these regulations on interstate trade.
The Department plans, therefore, to take an active part in a concerted
program by all interested parties to reduce such barriers to a
minimum.
Because of its central position at a focal point between business
and government, the Department of Commerce has responsibilities
toward both. In the practical adaptation of policy to the require­
ments of the economic situation, both require reliable knowledge of
each other’s requirements. This Department has the responsibility
of keeping the branches of the Government informed of business
needs, so that congressional and administrative policies may be made
with full knowledge of the business problems that are involved.
It is necessary always to keep in mind both the primary objective
of attaining maximum economic efficiency and reasonably full em­

XVI

REPORT OF TRIE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

ployment, and the fundamental desirability for the businessman of
minimizing adjustments of practical policy and the changes in oper­
ation they make necessary. Hence, the representatives of the De­
partment of Commerce must at all times be prepared to work with
both parties in any problem of policy and to assist in devising a
solution that best meets all requirements.
LARGER HEEDS OF TH E ECONOMY

It is not enough, however, that help and information be available
to all who request it. No real solution of a problem is achieved if
what is thought by one to be a solution creates a larger problem for
another. It is a primary responsibility of the Department of Com­
merce, therefore, to be concerned that only such policies be adopted
as are consistent with the larger needs of the economy, and these
larger needs must in all cases be made clear to the parties involved.
In part, then, the liaison function of the Department is to con­
tribute to the cooperative solution by business and Government of
our economic problems and to provide representation for economic
views which might otherwise be inadequately presented. In part
it is to assist all policy makers, whether of business or Government,
by indicating the significance of current and proposed policies in the
light of underlying developments.
EXPANSION OF SERVICES NOW UNDER WAY

The Department has recognized its responsibilities and is taking
active steps to adapt and expand its services to permit the full dis­
charge of its functions. Reorganization of the Bureau of Foreign and
Domestic Commerce aimed at improving its services to the business
community was under way as the fiscal year ended. We are providing
greater coverage and prompter reporting of current business informa­
tion. It is necessary to extend the national income studies to provide
vitally needed information on the current flow of income into invest­
ment and consumption channels. Hardly less important is the develop­
ment of statistical services to fill gaps in our knowledge of inventories,
new orders, plant capacity, and other important items. This work
must be done for individual commodities and individual lines of
business as well as for the economy as a whole.
In the highlights of the past year’s work, which are discussed
below, will be seen the beginnings that have already been made
toward fulfilling the broader functions of the Department which
have been discussed in the preceding pages. At this point I should like
to call attention to the diligent work done by employees of the Depart­
ment in Washington, in offices throughout the country, and in their
stations around the globe. Their work during the past year is a source
of gratification to persons both in and out of Government interested
in the effective functioning of the Department.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR
REORGANIZATION

. During the fiscal year 1939 there were several changes in the organ­
ization structure of the Department of Commerce. The Civil

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

XVII

Aeronautics Act, approved June 23, 1938, established the Civil Aero­
nautics Authority and vested in the Authority the powers and duties
relating to the promotion and development of civil aeronautics which
were previously vested in the Secretary of Commerce. Upon the
transfer of these functions to the Civil Aeronautics Authority under
date of August 22, 1938, the Bureau of Air Commerce was abolished.
Effective July 1, 1939, under Reorganization Plan No. II, issued
pursuant to the Reorganization Act of 1939, the Bureau of Light­
houses was transferred to. and consolidated with the United^ States
Coast Guard of the Treasury Department, the Bureau of Fisheries
was transferred to the Department of the Interior, the Foreign Com­
merce Service of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce
was transferred to the Department of State, and the Inland Water­
ways Corporation was transferred from the War Department to the
Department of Commerce. While these adjustments were not effec­
tive until the beginning of the fiscal year 1940, the necessary details
incident to the transfers were accomplished prior to the close of
the fiscal year 1939. There were in addition minor organization
changes within the Department, designed to facilitate the adminis­
tration of certain activities and to group similar services on a
functional basis.
For many years there has been a definite need in the Department of
Commerce for an official with the rank of Under Secretary to assist
the Secretary in planning the functions and directing the many activi­
ties of the Department and to relieve him by presiding at important
meetings and conferences and by consultation with business and indus­
trial leaders. Also, the volume of work of the character which should
ordinarily require the personal attention of the Secretary has increased
to the extent that it has become necessary to delegate many of these
duties. Accordingly, the office of Under Secretary of Commerce was
established by an act of Congress approved June 5,1939.
As the result of considerable study looking to a more proper segre­
gation of the functions of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Com­
merce and the Bureau of the Census, the function of reporting current
trade statistics was transferred from the former to the latter bureau.
This transfer is in accordance with the plan to centralize in the Bureau
of the Census the collection of statistics, and will permit the Bureau
of Foreign and Domestic Commerce to devote its efforts more exclu­
sively to an analysis and interpretation of these statistics.
The reasons for the consolidation of the Foreign Commerce Service
with the Foreign Service of the Department of State relate to the
changed character of difficulties in securing export markets. When
the Foreign Commerce Service was inaugurated, foreign trade was on
a relatively free basis. The appropriate role of government was to
advise and assist exporters as individuals. Today the introduction
by many countries of import limitations, restrictions, and quotas and
of exchange controls and other national policies has created a situa­
tion where the Government’s most effective aid lies in keeping open
the channels of trade. This involves negotiations with foreign gov­
ernments, a function necessarily performed by the State Department.
Hitherto, officials of the Foreign Commerce Service have been able to
participate in these negotiations only in an advisory capacity. One
of the great advantages of integrating the foreign services is that
192271—39——2

XVIII

REPOET OF THE SECRETARY OF OOMMEECE

fuller use of our experts will be possible, now that all will have
diplomatic status.
Under the integration plan, the actual personnel and administrative
routine are transferred to the State Department, but the Department
of Commerce retains control over trade-promotion work and com­
mercial reporting of offices in foreign lands. Frequent duplication
of effort will be eliminated under the new plan. Furthermore, the
commercial attache will become head of an integrated network of
State Department offices covering many cities in the foreign country,
whereas formerly the Foreign Commerce Service officers generally
confined their activities to the cities in which they were stationed.
Other favorable features of the consolidation plan are the opening of
a career service to the men who are transferred and the careful train­
ing provided for new commercial attaches.
TKADE AGREEMENT PROGRAM

The outstanding accomplishment of the cooperative interdepartmen­
tal work on trade agreements since the program was initiated in 1934
took place during the past fiscal year. This was, of course, the farreaching trade agreement with the United Kingdom and the British
Crown colonies. Nearly one-fifth of our entire foreign trade is with
the countries covered by this agreement. Other important agreements
signed during the year were those with Canada, Ecuador, and Turkey.
The latter assumes special significance because it is the first to be con­
cluded in eastern Europe, which from the commercial standpoint has
been largely under German domination. The Bureau of Foreign and
Domestic Commerce cooperated extensively with the State Department
in the execution of the trade agreement program.
STUDIES FOR THE TEMPORARY NATIONAL ECONOMIC COMMITTEE

The Department was extremely active during the year in making a
large number of studies for the Temporary National Economic Com­
mittee. Of these one was completed during the year. This was the very
important study of the patent system.
Officials of the Department cooperated closely with the Committee,
utilizing statistical and other data furnished by the Patent Office.
Following completion of this work and the hearings before the Com­
mittee, several measures were recommended to the Congress for enact­
ment. The objectives of these bills are stated in this report in the
section below devoted to activities of the Patent Office.
Outstanding studies still in progress include those being made of the
structure of industry in the United States, of the nature and influences
of trade associations, and of the financial experience of representative
corporations through successive phases of the business cycle.
Under the first of these studies an analysis is being made of the con­
centration of production of each of nearly 2,000 products. The trade
association study is an attempt to determine and evaluate the effect of
trade-association policies on the economy as a whole. The third project
is a series of case studies to obtain a comprehensive view of the effect of
cyclical changes upon business policies.

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

XIX

Other studies which were under way at the close of the year treated:
The births and deaths of business enterprises; export prices in relation
to domestic prices of the same firms; Government competition with
business; export associations operating under the Webb-Pomerene Act;
credit needs of small business; organization of the construction indus­
try ; taxation of business enterprise; recent changes in buying methods;
extent and location of foreign ownership in American business.
In addition to these studies, representatives of the Department par­
ticipated before the Committee in the economic prologue to its hear­
ings and in the hearings on patents and on the construction industry.
Because of the great potential contribution of the Temporary National
Economic Committee to the making of economic policy, I regard
the work of the Department for the Committee as of the highest
importance.
f o r e ig n - t r a d e z o n e s bo a r d

Among the important interdepartmental functions in which the
Department of Commerce participates, the Foreign-Trade Zones
Board is of particular significance for import and reexport trade.
The purpose of the statute which created the Board—consisting of the
Secretaries of the Treasury, War, and Commerce, the latter being
chairman—-is to provide zones in the United States where goods may
be landed free of duty. Appropriate facilities provided by public or
private corporations, who must be authorized by the Board to operate
zones, permit the preparation of goods for domestic distribution before
import duty is imposed and the repackaging and other manipulation
of goods for reexport.
As of June 30, 1939, the Board has issued two grants for the estab­
lishment of foreign-trade zones—the first to the city of New York for
a foreign-trade zone at Stapleton? Staten Island, and the second to
the Alabama State Docks Commission for a foreign-trade zone at
Mobile. The Mobile zone, which was inaugurated in July 1938, was
closed several months later on the petition of the Governor of Alabama
and the grant was formally withdrawn.
Early in 1938 the city of New York employed a private company
to take over the actual work of promoting and operating the foreigntrade zone. As a result of this arrangement, activities in the zone
were greatly extended and new operations undertaken. Representa­
tives were sent to several European shipping centers to develop traffic
for the zone.
Pending receipt of further necessary information, there were held in
abeyance applications from the Board of State Harbor Commissioners
at San Francisco, from a private corporation at Jersey City, N. J., and
from the Puerto Rican Government for a zone at San Juan.
COOPERATION W ITH DEPARTMENTS OF AGRICULTURE AND JUSTICE

The Department’s work during the past year in cooperation with
the Departments of Agriculture and of Justice serves to illustrate con­
cretely the function of this Department in helping form Government
policies that affect business.

XX

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

The food-stamp plan of the Department of Agriculture, which was
inaugurated in the latter part of the fiscal year, is designed to provide
for the orderly and flexible transfer of surplus foods from producers
to low-income families. The Department of Commerce was invited
to participate in the preparation of this plan, and was particularly
happy to do so because of the proposed utilization of the normal chan­
nels of distribution. The success of the plan and its favorable recep­
tion by the business community were evident from the early stages
of its initial trial. The food-stamp plan is significant, not merely as
a technique for the solution of a critical problem, but as a demonstra­
tion of the benefits derived by all parts of the economy from an
adjustment to a higher level of consumption.
The Department’s cooperation with the Department of Justice was
related to three industries in which situations prevailed that appeared
to require prosecution under the antitrust laws. The objective in the
cooperative studies that were begun during the year has been to secure
a full view of the problem in its economic as well as its legal aspect.
By achieving this it is anticipated that in some cases the situation will
be found not to warrant prosecution. In others the necessity for
prosecution may be avoided through agreements worked out in con­
sultation with industry that eliminate objectionable practices. Where
prosecution is found unavoidable, the legal-economic study provides
a more satisfactory basis than one in which no attempt has'been made
to analyze the economics of the industrial situation and to interpret
it m terms of legal concepts that originated in a simpler economy.
BUSINESS ADVISORY COUNCIL

This organization completed the sixth year of its service to the
Department and the Federal Government as a clearinghouse for the
businessman s point of view on administrative policy-affecting busi­
ness. I am happy to acknowledge the useful service rendered bv
these public-spirited businessmen serving without remuneration:1
1 Members at the close of the fiscal .year w ere:
W. A. H arrim an, Chairman
F. B. Adams, New York, N. Y.
Thomas S. Holden, New York, N Y
*Wm. L. B att, Philadelphia, Pa.
Charles R. Hook. Middletown, Ohio’
*J. I). Biggers, Toledo, Ohio.
¿
aY C TTormel, Austin, Minn,
James F. Brownlee, Louisville, Ky.
g- P- Kendall, Boston, Mass.
Vannevar Bush, Washington, D. C.
Fred
I. Kent. New York, N. Y.
C. A. Cannon. Kannapolis, N. C.
Ve Pancey Kountze, New York, N Y
W. Dale Clark, Omaha, Nebr.
A
rthur
Kudner, New York, N Y ’
*Wm. L. Clayton, Houston, Tex.
Morris
E. Leeds,
Philadelphia,
Pa.
Carle C. Conway, New York, N. Y.
C.
K.
Leith,
Madison,
Wis.
Harvey Couch. Pine Bluff, Ark.
Paul
W.
Litchfield,
Akron,
Ohio
W. Howard Cox, Cincinnati, Ohio.
E ari M. McGowin, Chapman, Ala.
Wm. H. Danforth, St. Louis, Mo.
Leo. H. Mead, Dayton, Ohio.
*R. R. Deupree, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Jajnes
D. Mooney,
New 111.
York, N. Y.
*Wm. C. Dickerman, New York, N. Y.
D.
M. Nelson,
Chicago,
♦ Gano Dunn, New York, N. Y.
¿..
C.
Nichols,
Kansas
City,
Mo.
W. Y. Elliott, Cambridge, Mass.
Richard C. Patterson, Jr., New York N Y
T. Austin Finch, Thomasville, N. C.
•George
A.
Sloan,
New
York,
NY
Robert V. Fleming, Washington, D. C.
*E. R. Stettinius, Jr., New York, N Y
*.T. F. Foaarty, Now York, N. Y.
•It.
Douglas
Stuart,
Chicago,
111.
*M. B. Folsom, Rochester N. Y.
W alter
C. Teagle,
New
York,
N Y
♦ Clarence Francis, New York, N. Y.
.
J*
T.
Trippe,
New
York,
N.
Y.
H. B. Friele, Seattle, Wash.
•Sidney J. Weinberg, New York, N. Y.
♦ Rolland J. Hamilton, New York, N. Y.
W. H. Wheeler, Jr., Stamford, Conn.
Henry I. Harrim an, Boston, Mass.
A. D. Whiteside, New York, N. Y.
*W. A. Harrim an, New York, N. Y.
S. Clay Williams, Winston-Salem, N. C.
Henry H. Heimann, New York, N. Y.
R. W. Woodruff, Wilmington, Del.
George A. Hill, Jr., Houston, Tex.
•Member of the Executive Committee.

EEPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

XXI

During the past year 12 formal reports were submitted by the Coun­
cil to the Secretary; these reports remain confidential except as other­
wise determined by the Secretary. The Council gave valuable
support to my recommendations for the creation of a staff of experts
in the office of the Secretary and for the revision of the patent laws.
The Council cooperated with the Central Statistical Board, the
Treasury Department, and the Social Security Board. A promising
phase of its work during the past year was in cooperation with the
Council of State Governments in stimulating consideration of the
problem of interstate trade barriers.
BUREAU o r FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE

The general purposes to be served by a reorganization of the
Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce have been already out­
lined. The steps taken during the past year toward improvement
of the functioning of the Bureau were largely concerned with setting
up the new Division of Business Review and the simultaneous re­
organization of the two domestic research divisions.
Through the elimination of nonresearch functions, these two divi­
sions have been enabled to pursue research more effectively. A pro­
gram of research that is both broader and more intensive than in the
past was launched during the year in cooperation with the Tem­
porary National Economic Committee and constituted a major part
of the year’s work. This program has beeen discussed above, and it
is planned to continue with similar research projects after the Com­
mittee has completed its special function.
By drawing into one specialized division the functions of inter­
preting data for business and other purposes, it has proved possible
to marshal more effectively the results of the activities of the other
divisions of the Bureau. As budgetary plans are fulfilled for the
expansion of treatment of domestic factors to a degree comparable
to that which has been given to foreign-trade problems, it is expected
that the new division, working with the others, will discharge its vital
function with a high degree of effectiveness.
National income studies.—Among the fundamental research work of
the Bureau, the national income studies received special emphasis be­
cause of their fundamental significance. During the year estimates of
income payments by States and by types of payment were prepared for
the period 1929-37, and this series will be maintained as part of the
regular annual estimates of income. Completion of this study was has­
tened so it might be available to the Congress and the Social Security
Board in considering revisions of existing legislation to which the
problem of income distribution by States was basic.
The Bureau’s monthly index of income payments, which has re­
ceived especially close attention during the past 2 years because of
business fluctuations, was revised during the fiscal year. This revi­
sion was required by the increasing use of the index as a measure of
consumer purchasing power. As the original purpose in constructing
the index was to provide a current series comparable with the annual
estimates of income paid out, the index was deficient for the major
purpose for which it had come to be used. Consequently, a general
revision was made so that the series more closely approximated the
cash or disposable income flowing to individuals.

XXII

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

To supplement estimates of income payments, data are needed on
the volume of consumer outlays to determine whether income is flow­
ing promptly back into business channels. In the absence of a direct
measure of this flow, the Bureau has for the past several years been
extending its sample of retail sales data for the purpose of obtaining
eventually a comprehensive picture of retailing on a national and re­
gional basis. The data were developed during the past year to a
point which permitted the issuance for the last two quarters of the
fiscal year of estimates of the total dollar volume of retail sales, with
comparative data for the major types of retailing. These estimates
revealed an increase of a billion dollars, or 6 percent, in the value of
retail sales in the first half of the calendar year 1939 over the corre­
sponding period of 1938.
Intensification of marketing research, with its accompanying re­
quirement for more adequate regional marketing information, was
fostered by several major studies completed during the year. The
most important of these was the preparation of data on industrial
markets in each of the 3,071 counties in the United States.
As is usual in a period of declining sales and income, credit
problems have engaged increasing attention. The abrupt drop in
sales of consumer durable goods after the middle of 1937 raised
a question as to whether liberalization of installment terms during
the period of rising business volumes, and the tendency to reverse
such policies during a period of declining trade, had not exerted
an important influence upon the extent of business contraction which
actually took place in 1937-38. A study of this situation by the
Bureau developed the conclusion that, while restriction of terms
probably did not reduce sales to an important extent, liberality
during the earlier rising phase of business had contributed to the
subsequent reduction in the demand.
A further contribution to the factual data available in this general
field was the first annual survey of bad-debt losses made jointly by
the Bureau and the National Association of Credit Men. Measures
of the volume of long-term debts were brought up to date, revealing
a further contraction of about 4 billion dollars, or more than 5 per­
cent, in the total of private long-term debts outstanding during the
3-year period 1934-37.
Foreign trade problems.—In the foreign field, special developments
during the year were related to the growing dislocation of world trade.
Surveys of new sources of materials, the evaluation of substitutes, and
more intensive investigation of new or minor markets were made. In
addition to dislocations caused by war scares and the migration of
minorities, positive restrictions upon world commerce have continued
to present a very serious problem. The adaptation of a consolidated
Foreign Service to this new type of problem has already been discussed.
In addition to full coverage abroad, however, it is important that the
information transmitted by Foreign Service officers be fully utilized.
Much research has been necessary to provide timely and adequate
information for the guidance of American exporters. The various
exchange restrictions imposed by foreign governments have created
a problem of obtaining effective payment in dollars quite apart from
the ordinary difficulties of securing and holding foreign markets for
American products. Imports from the United States are frequently
on a different footing from shipments originating in other countries,

REPORT OE THE SECRETARY OE COMMERCE

XXIIf

notably in cases where clearing and compensation agreements are
in effect or in which bilateral trade results in an excess of exports
from this country.
In the case of barriers to commodity trade, there has been increas­
ing resort to measures beyond the familiar tariff duties. For ex­
ample, quota systems which stipulate maximum quantities of specified
commodities which may be imported from all countries, or from
designated countries, or even by individual importers, have become
common. The restrictions imposed upon international trade and
payments constitute no settled order which can be satisfactorily
analyzed or summarized at infrequent intervals. Since changes in
regulations are generally made by the administrative action of au­
thorities acting under broad discretionary powers, changes may be
literally daily occurrences. The situation has been rendered the more
confusing during recent times by political dislocations in Central
Europe and Asia and by the formation of trade areas and currency
blocs to which access from outside areas is completely or partially
closed by the use of extraordinary control devices.
These developments in foreign commerce have emphasized the
importance of the informational and research activities of the Bureau,,
on the one hand, and the Bureau’s participation in the trade agree­
ments program, through its Trade Agreements Unit, on the other.
Individual firms and financial institutions are often entirely unable
to cope with the new problems arising in the conduct of foreign trade.
New forms of competition in the foreign market, new and formidable
obstacles to trade, and frequent interference with the free flow of inter­
national payments have made it imperative that American business
and finance be kept advised on day-to-day developments in the field
of trade and exchange restrictions. This service has aided not only
in the maintenance of foreign trade; it has prevented also serious
losses which would otherwise have resulted from the failure of export­
ers to secure clearance of shipments by foreign customs and exchange
authorities or to receive payments from foreign purchasers promptly
or at all.
Since, under present-day circumstances, knowledge of detail is often
meaningless without knowledge of the whole, the broader research
activities of the Bureau in the realm of foreign commerce have gained
added significance. Businessmen and bankers have been assisted in
the management of their affairs in other countries through the com­
prehensive analysis by the Bureau of general conditions abroad, as
well as of developments in the trade and financial relations between
the United States and foreign countries.
During the year the Bureau has been able to speed up the publica­
tion of export and import statistics; and its information on trade
opportunities abroad was provided for 250,000 firms—an increase of
50 percent over the previous year. Studies begun for the Temporary
National Economic Committee included some on economic concentra­
tion and fundamental economic changes in certain foreign countries.
Publications.—In addition to the regular statistical and informa­
tional publications of the Bureau, a number of publications, some of
them embodying the results of studies described above, were issued
during the year. Of particular interest are the following : Industrial
Market Data Handbook ; State Income Payments, 1929-37 ; Besiden-

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REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

tial Building; Oversea Travel and Travel Expenditures in the Balance
of International Payments of the United States, 1919-38; The United
States’ Place in India’s Trade; and several studies of living costs for
Americans in selected foreign lands.
During the year the chairman of the House Committee on Interstate
and Foreign Commerce requested my comments on a bill to promote
business and economic research and establish research stations in the
several States to cooperate with the Department of Commerce. After
discussing this measure with a committee representing the conference
of State university schools of business, I was glad to recommend its
enactment with certain amendments. It appeared highly desirable
to place increased emphasis on practical research that would be of
aid to small business and to provide more adequate facilities for coor­
dinating research carried on by the individual institutions. This
measure, it seems to me, would, if enacted, permit the Bureau of
Foreign and Domestic Commerce to perform a very useful role in
aiding small business through the cooperative development of an
integrated program of research on the problems of such enterprises.
BUREAU OF THE CENSUS

The principal activity of the Bureau of the Census during the fiscal
year was preparation for the Sixteenth Decennial Census. The pre­
liminary work for this census exceeds in breadth and exhaustiveness
that for any previous census. Every effort has been made to meet the
highest requirements of statistical science and to insure that the
inquiries shall be timely without sacrificing continuity with the data
of earlier censuses.
Emphasis formerly placed upon factors relating to immigration
has been shifted, for the new census, to the problem of internal migra­
tion. As the rate of population growth has declined, the factor of
internal movements, has become increasingly important in determining
the future population in the various parts of the country. Equally
important are factors of differential fertility, which indicate the
growth to be expected from births in the various sections. Many
business and professional plans are vitally affected, both by the pro­
spective growth of population and by the existing and prospective age
composition of population in market areas. To meet the require­
ments for more complete knowledge of these important factors, in­
quiries will be included in the 1940 census that will enable the mailing
of exhaustive studies of differential fertility.
These same migration and fertility factors are of course of vital
interest to Government agencies as well as to businessmen. Not only
is a large part of the Federal program designed to meet special
requirements at different age levels, but State and local units of
government must be prepared to meet the responsibilities that changes
of population involve.
The usefulness of the census as an adjunct to Federal policy is
particularly well demonstrated in the special census of housing
authorized by the Congress to be made as part of the regular decennial
census. Primarily designed to provide information for the Congress
and the Federal agencies concerned with the housing program, it will
also be of great service to the construction industry and allied
businesses.

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

XXV

In the preparation of the inquiries, their ultimate objective of pro­
ducing needed data for public and private purposes has been keptto
the fore through constant consultation with interested parties. The
Federal agencies concerned with social security and housing as well
as the Treasury Department and the Veterans Administration, among
others, have collaborated in the preparation of inquiries. Confer­
ences with representative business and private research organizations
have been frequent. On technical matters experts of wide reputation
have been constantly consulted.
The 1940 census will provide for the first time information on the
salaries and wages of all workers. This not only is far more accurate
than estimates based on relatively small samples but, in conjunction
with other data from the census, will enable us to know more accurately
than ever before how people live at various levels of income. It will
also provide a valuable index of purchasing power for use in planning
marketing programs.
As a final check on the statistical utility of the inquiries to be used
in the 1940 census, a “trial census” was planned to be made during
the summer of 1939. In two selected counties the tentative census
schedules were to be used, and in the light of actual experience with
them final revision was to be made.
Although preparations for the coming census assumed the principal
role during the year the regular work of the Bureau was carried on
and several activities were improved and expanded.
Statistics covering 351 industries and several special subject
reports became available during the year as a result of the 1937
Census of Manufactures. Reports by industries were prepared for
the 33 industrial areas, and a summary showing general statistics
for all industrial areas was issued in April 1939.
The 1937-38 Census Survey of Business, completed in February
1939, presented trend data on net sales, credit sales, pay rolls, and
stocks for identical retail stores and wholesale establishments for
1935, 1937, and the first half of 1938 correlated with the complete
census data for 1935. The canvass covered 133,000 retail stores and
18,500 wholesale establishments.
In the field of vital statistics the Bureau has designed a new uni­
form State vital statistics act for consideration of State legislatures,
which standardizes the reporting of births, stillbirths, deaths, and
marriage and divorce. New standard birth, death, and stillbirth
certificates were prepared and recommended for adoption by the
States. Forty States have already indicated that they will adopt the
forms prior to 1940.
.
The Bureau has also extended its work on the reporting of infor­
mation on State and local governments. The gathering of statistics
of State governments, which was discontinued in 1932, was resumed
during the past year with the compilation of State reports for 1937.
Improved classifications have been developed for reporting financial
statistics of States and cities, and new inquiries concerning employees
and pay rolls have been added.
Age search requests answered by the Bureau reached a total of
123,133 during the year. This service has become one of increasing
importance as demand grows for proof of age in connection with oldage benefits and other programs.

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REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

Carrying forward a program initiated in 1935, the Bureau has
increased the efficiency of its staif by means of in-service training and
recreational and welfare programs. Plans were also made for ex­
tending the benefits of these activities to temporary personnel hired
in connection with the 1940 census.
national bureau of standards

The National Bureau of Standards appeals to me as being an
agency of peculiar importance in an industrial civilization. The
growth of mass production, with its benefits to all through raising
the standard of living, requires almost unbelievable accuracy and.
uniformity of measurement. The contribution of this Bureau to the
development of our modern economy through the establishment of
standards, not alone of measurement but of all types of tests and
specifications necessary in modern industry, is a very great one.
The work of the Bureau ranges over a very wide field. A signifi­
cant part is done in cooperation with similar bureaus of foreign
governments. During the past year it took an active part in an
international program to establish electrical standards on a uniform
absolute basis. It also completed its part of the international re­
search on the properties of steam. The results of this cooperative
undertaking will provide a sound basis for world uniformity in
tabulating the properties of steam, on which the efficient design of
modern power-plant equipment depends.
Cooperative programs in this country to which the Bureau has
contributed have included continuation of a field study of highway
truck scales. This work, done in cooperation with the weights and
measures officials of the various States, shows clearly a great need
for the systematic testing and inspection of highway scales. Of those
tested so far, 75 percent were found to be inaccurate. Fifteen States
have taken steps to secure the necessary equipment for systematic
testing.
In cooperation with the Navy Department and the Weather Bureau,
a weather instrument has been developed which contains a very light
radio sending set that is automatically actuated by temperature, hu­
midity, and pressure. Through the use of this instrument observa­
tions may readily be secured to a height of 50,000 feet, as contrasted
with the 18,000-foot practical limit to airplane observations. The
reliability and low cost of this device have caused it to be put into
active service in securing the daily determinations of upper-air condi­
tions, which are now recognized as being of great value in forecasting
the weather, particularly in connection with air transportation.
Among the practical public services rendered by the Bureau was
the testing, in cooperation with the Corps of Engineers, of a hydraulic
model of the Indian Rock Dam that will protect the city of York,
Pa., against floods. The model tests showed that changes 'in the pro­
posed design of the stilling basins were desirable, thus saving expensive
changes in the full-scale structure later on. Another such service was
performed for the city of Columbus, Ohio, through the investigation
of technical questions involved in the dilution of natural gas with flue
gas by a public utility.
Technical advances during the year included development of a new
instrument for measuring the hardness of glass and other materials,

REPORT 03? THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

XXVII

improvement of analytical methods for ferrous metals and for metals
of the platinum group, and better method for the analysis of gases.
The Bureau has been able to measure for the first time the end-on
compressive strength of thin sheet metal, an important factor in air­
plane design, and has developed certain treatments of the cooling
water in air-conditioning systems that will minimize corrosion.
An important aspect of the Bureau’s work is the routine testing of
materials and the development of standard specifications to make such
testing by laboratories throughout the country more useful and more
uniform. Over 7 million barrels of cement were tested during the year
for the Federal Government and the sixth inspection tour of com­
mercial cement-testing laboratories was started under the direction
of the Cement Reference Laboratory, which is maintained jointly by
the Bureau and the American Society for Testing Materials. Thir­
teen new simplified practice recommendations and an equal number
of commercial standards were released in printed form, and many
conferences were held with manufacturers, distributors, and con­
sumers, which will lead to additional projects.
The desirability of expanding the functions of the Bureau to pro­
vide greater service for consumers has become more and more apparent
in recent years. For some time the Bureau has provided valuable
assistance to such public consumers as State and local governments.
During the past fiscal year 500 purchasing officers of States, counties,
and municipalities were furnished with information concerning the
use of specifications in buying supplies. In addition to this there is
need for service to the general consuming public.
In recognition of the interest of consumers and retailers in the estab­
lishment of performance standards, legislation was proposed during
the fiscal year that would create an interdepartmental Performance
Standards Board with the Secretary of Commerce as chairman. The
Board would determine when the public interest required that stand­
ard grades, based upon performance to the consumers, be set up for
any product. Funds would be provided to enable the Bureau to carry
out the necessary work and develop consumer standards based on
performance. This appealed to me as an eminently desirable extension
of the functions of the Bureau and I was therefore very happy to
endorse this bill.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE

Study and formulation of legislative measures for the improvement
of the patent system have engaged the Commissioner of Patents and
his associates during much of the period intervening since the last
previous report. Enactment of the various betterments proposed was
urged by individuals and groups representing industry, large and
small, by inventors, by the Patent Office Advisory Committee, and by
the Business Advisory Council of the Department of Commerce. Fol­
lowing hearings by the Temporary National Economic Committee, the
proposed legislation was presented to Congress by the Secretary to­
ward the close of the fiscal year and had promise of prompt and favor­
able action by the several committees to which it was referred.
The collective purpose of these bills was to reduce the time and cost
of issuing and litigating patents, and thus not merely safeguard the
rights of applicants and patentees but also serve the public interest

XXVIII

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

by speedy and final determination of questions affecting the users as
well as the owners of patented inventions. Chief among the objectives
sought by one of the bills before Congress was the establishment of a
single court of appeals for patents. This court, if created, would ad­
judicate issues involving ownership, validity, and infringement of
patents arising in any part of the United States and its territories,
and by the uniformity and universality of its decisions, would obviate
the delays, conflict, and much of the burdensome expense at present
attending the adjudication of such questions by the 10 Circuit Courts
of Appeals. Passage of the other measures submitted to Congress
would expedite the prosecution and issuance of applications for patents
and correct certain abuses which the existing statutes fail to prevent or
to remedy.
The Patent Office was for several months in continuous cooperation
with the Temporary National Economic Committee during the latter’s
inquiry into the “concentration of economic power,” insofar as such
centralization was alleged to be furthered by the use or misuse of
patents. Statistics and other facts needed for the committee’s infor­
mation and guidance were presented by the Commissioner in his testi­
mony, and he also arranged for the introducton of evidence by in­
ventors, engineers, manufacturers, and others having special knowl­
edge of patents and their significance to business and industry.
The number of applications for patents (including reissues) and for
registration of trade-marks, prints, and labels filed in the period covered
by this report was slightly less than the aggregate received in 1938, but
with that exception their total was larger than that for any previous
year since 1931. In the latest fiscal period 91,163 such applications
were filed, as against 92,018 in 1938. Further increase was recorded
in design patents granted. Their number in 1939 was 5,154, the largest
in the history of the Office.
While the inflow of new applications was only a little less in 1939
than in 1938, there was an acceleration in their dispatch. The total
number of cases disposed of was 69,243, or 9,075 more than in 1938.
Cases awaiting action by the examiners at the end of the latest fiscal
year were 42,215, as against 45,723 on June 30,1938. The total of ap­
plications pending at the close of 1939 was 113,277, or 2,764 fewer than
on June 30,1938.
Prompt and correct classification of patents is one of the requisites
of accurate and expeditious determination of the patentability of in­
ventions sought to be patented. During the fiscal year extensive re­
vision of classifications was carried out and a new classification of
rubber compositions was completed and incorporated in the structure.
A large number of miscellaneous patents were transferred to more
appropriate classes. Keclassification was of course accompanied by
thorough revision and extension of cross-references.
BUREAU OF MARINE INSPECTION AND NAVIGATION

The fiscal year 1939 was the third consecutive year in which the
shipbuilding industry established a new record in the volume of
vessel tonnage under construction. Extensive alterations were made
to existing vessels and many laid-up vessels were reconditioned for
active service. These vessels are subject to rigid inspection during

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

XXIX

the process of construction to insure conformance with approved
plans and specifications and, like all other vessels subject to the
jurisdiction of the Bureau, are inspected periodically after they
have been placed in service to insure that they are being maintained
in a seaworthy condition. .
Among the achievements of this Bureau during the fiscal year
was the application of new rules and regulations to vessels under
construction and the revision of existing rules and regulations for
the adequate protection of life and property at sea. Additional
safeguards against fire, improved machinery and equipment, and
better trained and more efficient officers and crews were prescribed
by the Board of Supervising Inspectors and by new provisions of
law.
The Bureau’s safety program relative to adequate subdivision was
extended during the year to include all inspected river passenger
vessels and ferry vessels. This requirement precludes the rapid
sinking of these vessels and insures positive stability, if and when
any one main compartment is flooded. This requirement was made
effective to new vessels on July 26, 1938, and to existing vessels on
April 15, 1939.
The Bureau has continued, with gratifying results, its campaign
of instructing crews of passenger and excursion vessels in the per­
formance of their duties and in conducting frequent and thorough
fire and lifeboat drills. These efforts, together with the cooperation
of the industry, have resulted in an efficient working organization of
masters, officers, and crews on American vessels.
Another important accomplishment of the Bureau was the prepara­
tion and publication of a standard form for station bills, which
eliminates the confusion and difficulty experienced by masters and
officers of vessels in the preparation of suitable station bills in com­
pliance with the General Buies and Eegulations. This standard
form provides for uniform signals, instructions, and assignment of
the entire crew to stations and definite duties that they would be
required to perform in the event of an emergency, such as fire, man
overboard, or abandon ship.
It is a pleasure to report that during the year no passenger life
was lost on any inspected vessel of the United States as a result
of casualty, defective equipment, or culpable fault on the part of
the licensed officers or certified personnel comprising the crews of
our merchant vessels. During the past 4 years 1,107,507,424 passengers
have been carried on inspected merchant vessels of the United States
with the loss of but one passenger attributable to the causes just
referred to.
This record has been made possible by a number of factors, notable
among which are the officers and men manning our merchant vessels,
who have become “safety conscious” and realize that eternal vigilance
is the price of safety; the cooperation of steamship owners and oper­
ators; the efforts of Bureau employees; and the effectiveness of rules
and regulations that have been promulgated for the protection of life
and property at sea.
The Bureau has continued its work in connection with the prepara­
tion of rules and regulations which have for their purpose the elimina­
tion of hazards caused by the carriage of so-called dangerous cargoes.

XXX

REPOET OE THE SECRETARY OE COMMERCE

Enabling legislation was introduced in Congress but not acted upon
prior to the close of the fiscal year.
The demands of modern living and the needs of society for con­
siderable quantities of these so-called dangerous substances in every­
day life requires that the art of transportation be developed to its
highest degree in their movement. Carriers have met these demands
to the best of their ability under existing laws, which in most instances
are obsolete and restrictive. The need for accurate and complete regu­
lation of such dangerous substances when moving in commerce has
been pertinent and pressing for a considerable time and is recognized
and treated by the leading maritime nations as well as the Panama and
Suez Canal authorities.
UNITED STATES COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY

Notable achievements have been accomplished in promoting the pro­
tection of water-borne commerce throughout our coastal waters during
1939 by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, which is
charged with the survey of such waters and the printing of nautical
coastal charts.
Modern hydrographic surveys, which have been in progress for the
past 4 years along the coasts, were processed and the resulting data
printed to form the most advanced charts to be made available for
the mariner. Through methods and instruments developed by the
Bureau, comprehensive knowledge of the sea-bottom topography was
obtained by its survey ships in offshore areas. Depicted on the new
coastal charts by detailed depths and outlined by contours are sub­
marine features which can be recognized as definitely as those on
shore. The mariner whose ship is equipped with means for obtaining
echo soundings can use these charts not only to locate his ship’s posh
tion with assurance, but to eliminate all hazards of stranding in
periods of low visibility, as in fog, rain, or snow.
A definite saving in operation costs was made by the further de­
velopment of floating equipment for fixing the positions of survey
ships doing offshore sounding. Sonoradio buoys, designed and con­
structed during winter lay-up periods by survey personnel, have
entirely displaced the station ships previously moored offshore for the
same purpose. The vessels released from this duty were actively en­
gaged in hydrographic work and accomplished surveys needed to
advance the program along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
In the waters surrounding the Aleutian Islands and along the
Alaskan coast excellent progress was made, considering the handicap
of bad weather, in the extension of surveys into these uncharted
areas. Considered of vital need to the national defense, the chart­
ing of these waters must precede their use as a theater of fleet opera­
tions. Several of the survey ships were concentrated in this general
vicinity during the working season. It is gratifying to note the
progress of construction of two new ships with funds allocated
for this purpose. Designed for duty in the Aleutian Island surveys,
these new ships will replace older vessels less adapted to the hazard­
ous work in the isolated regions farther westward.
The better-known products of the Bureau are distributed by sale
to the public and issue to Government departments. The call for

REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

YYYT

nautical charts of all coastal areas continued in heavy volume but
was slightly less than the record issue of the previous year. Related
navigational publications increased 10.8 percent over 1938 and were
nearly double the needs of a decade ago.
The distribution of aeronautical charts showed a remarkable in­
crease of 221/2 percent. This is attributed to an increasing desire
for safe navigation through use of the aeronautical charts and to the
extension of aerial facilities which are prominently noted thereon.
Constant revision of these charts is needed to show the changing con­
ditions of the airways and other improvements for the advancement
of this industry.
There has been a public awakening to the need for basic control of
all surveys, public and private, throughout the country. Some prog­
ress has been made by new surveys but considerable destruction of
old monuments has occurred through improvements and widening of
roads and new construction. The Bureau’s control surveys are an
essential preliminary to topographic mapping and the early inaugu­
ration of a program of such surveys would anticipate demands for
this basic data.
Substantial improvements were made to the structural facilities
of magnetic observatories and to stations maintained for the auto­
matic recording of tides. New construction and needed alterations
have been accomplished.
BUREAU OF LIGHTHOUSES

Among the major activities of the Lighthouse Service during the
past year was the rehabilitation of light stations and the repair of
the extensive damage done over a large section of the New England
coast by the hurricane of September 21. Prompt steps were taken,
following the hurricane, to restore all navigational aids to service,
and at the close of the year a large part of the necessary rebuilding
had been completed.
An allotment of $1,680,000 made by the Public Works Administra­
tion, provided for the construction and reconditioning of lighthouse
tenders and lightships. Six new tenders were constructed with these
funds, and three additional vessels were built with special vessel
appropriations.
The superintendents of the IT lighthouse districts assembled in the
Department of Commerce building on October 6 for a 10-day con­
ference. _ The last previous similar conference had been held in 1935.
The sessions were devoted to the coordination of technical and admin­
istrative procedures in the far-flung service in the interest of uni­
formity and increased efficiency in all areas.
The total number of aids to navigation maintained by the Light­
house Service at the close of the fiscal year was 29,606, a net increase
of 849 over the previous year. Of the additional aids established,
377 were lighted aids, 42 were sound signals, and 457 were unlighted
buoys and daymarks. During the year 8 new radiobeacons were
established.
The year 1939 marked the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of
the initiation of lighthouse activities under the Federal Government,
for on August 7,1789, the first United States Congress, by the ninth act
which it passed, provided that lighthouses, buoys, beacons, etc., which

YYYTT

REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

had previously been erected and maintained by the various colonies, be
henceforth supported by the Federal Government. This act, by pro­
viding for the erection and maintenance of lighthouses and other
aids to navigation, was the origin of the United States Lighthouse
Service. Suitable observance of the one hundred and fiftieth anni­
versary was called for by a joint resolution of Congress, which desig­
nated the week of August 7, 1939, as lighthouse week.
The extension of the civil-service principle to additional groups
of Lighthouse personnel, provided for by two Presidential orders,
was made effective through appropriate administrative action during
the year. A much-desired result, which was secured, was the promo­
tion of suitable incumbents to more responsible positions. About 450
positions were affected by the two Presidential orders, including
petty officers and stewards on vessels and light attendants.
BUREAU OF FISHERIES

The calendar year 1938 was characterized by reduced unit values
for most manufactured fishery commodities. Similarly, average
prices received by the fishermen for many principal species were lower
than in the preceding year. While an increased production of some
fishery commodities was sufficient to offset these decreased unit values
in the earnings of certain segments of the industry, such instances
were not common. Consequently, decreased revenue from the com­
mercial fisheries was rather generally reflected throughout the year.
In an effort to improve the marketing situation for fishery prod­
ucts, three additional offices have been established by the Bureau of
Fisheries Market News Service—in Chicago, 111.; Seattle, Wash.; and
Jacksonville, Fla. From these offices and from offices in New York
City and Boston, daily reports are issued showing species, quantity,
price, and other pertinent facts relating to market values.
A survey of fresh- and frozen-fish marketing conditions was com­
pleted late in the fiscal year in 50 representative cities east of the
Mississippi. The purpose of the survey was to determine variations
in consumption of fish among various social and economic groups, or
residents, in these cities in an endeavor to improve retail fish business
and inform our people concerning the value of fish in the daily diet.
The results of the survey will be made available to retailers as a guide
to improved business practices in disposing of their commodities.
The annual domestic per capita consumption of fish in the United
States amounts to only 13 pounds, which is less than that in most
of the important countries of the world. This low consumption of
fish not only curbs the potential growth of our commercial fisheries
but also is evidence of the restricted quantity of these healthful foods
in the average diet. Studies of the Bureau indicate that fishery
products are excellent sources of magnesium, phosphorous, iron,
copper, iodine, and other minerals which nutrition specialists have
determined to be necessary for proper development and maintenance
of the human body. During the fiscal year studies on the effect of
ultraviolet irradiation of haddock fillets have shown that exposure of
the fillets to these rays for a period of time increased the antirachitic
value or vitamin D potency of the fillets. Tests are being con­
ducted on other fishes under varying conditions to determine the ex­

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

XXXIII

tent to which the process may he applicable on a commercial scale.
Progress has been made also during the year in the development
of a well-balanced program of biological investigations to direct
conservation of our important food fishes. In the offshore waters of
New England the principal problems under investigation are studies
to determine the causes of the great fluctuations in the yield and
development of methods which will reduce these fluctuations. Studies
of this type are being carried on for the haddock, mackerel, flounder,
and a number of species which collectively make up the groundfish
catch. As a result of these studies a plan for the management of
the haddock fishery is being developed. In the inshore waters a pro­
gram to increase the number of lobsters has been carried forward this
season at the Boothbay Harbor station.
Investigations of the Atlantic coast shad fishery have presented
evidence that an insufficient spawning escapement is the principal
cause of the decline in this fishery, which has amounted to more than
80 percent in the past half century.
On the Pacific coast an extensive survey of Bristol Bay salmon
resources was launched last year. In addition to offshore hydrographic and biological surveys, plans were made for a correlated in­
vestigation of the inshore fisheries. The fishways at Bonneville Dam
on the Columbia River, which were designed and installed under the
supervision of the Bureau of Fisheries, continued to function effec­
tively. In 1938, the first year of operation, approximately half a
million salmon and steelhead trout successfully ascended the ladders
on their way to spawning grounds upstream. The plan for salvag­
ing salmon blocked by the much higher Grand Coulee Dam was put
in operation during the 1939 season. The fish are trapped at the
Rock Island Dam, approximately 150 miles below Grand Coulee, and
are transported in specially designed trucks to tributaries between
Rock Island and Grand Coulee Dams, where they are held until ready
to spawn. These activities will be continued for 5 years, or the
complete life cycle of the salmon, with a view to transferring the
entire run of upper Columbia River salmon to these lower tributaries.
Among the shellfisheries, oysters ranked first in importance with
a take of 95,627,000 pounds, valued at $8,703,000. Among the fish­
eries of the United States in general, oysters ranked third in value
and were exceeded only by the great salmon and tuna fisheries of
the Pacific coast. Studies of the Bureau during the fiscal year have
been directed toward developing more effective methods of oyster
farming, and improvement in the quality of oyster meats. _ An im­
portant new project in oyster culture has been instituted in South
Carolina. It is proposed to develop means of cultivating oysters
at a profit on small farms, 2 to 10 acres in extent, to be leased and
operated by tidewater residents; materials, equipment, and supplies
being produced by the labor of the oyster farmer. In North Caro­
lina a method is being developed whereby overcrowding of the beds
may be avoided and oysters grown to a good size and shape.
International cooperation in the conservation of the fur-seal herd
has resulted in an increase of the herd until now it numbers about
1,872,000 animals. During the calendar year 1938, 58,364 fur-seal
skins were taken, an increase of 3.184 over the total for 1937.
192271—39-----3

XXXIV

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Production for the Federal fish hatcheries exceeded 8 billion eggs,
fry, and larger fish. Great increases were made in the number of
commercial and semicommercial fishes. Continued effort has been
made to raise fresh-water species to a size better able to withstand
their natural enemies.
FISHERY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Fishery Advisory Committee is composed of representatives
of the industry, serving without pay,1 who act as advisors to the
Secretary of Commerce and the Commissioner of Fisheries.
During the fiscal year 1939 the Committee continued its practice of
working with organizations of the industry, and participated in the
National Fishery Convention and a general session of the North Amer­
ican Council on Fishery Investigations. In its annual report to the
Secretary of Commerce the Commitee developed a long-range program
for the conservation and wise utilization of the Nation’s fishery re­
sources. It recommended an expansion of the biological, technological,
and statistical studies of the Bureau of Fisheries to include ultimately
a complete inventory of the Nation’s fishery resources for the guidance
of management practices.
APPROPRIATIONS AND EMERGENCY FUNDS

Detailed information as to direct and transferred appropriations, as
well as emergency funds available for expenditure by the Department
during the year will be found in the report of the Chief Clerk and
Superintendent.
Reports of the various bureaus of the Department, setting forth their
accomplishments during the year, are attached.
Sincerely yours,
H a r r y L. H o p k i n s ,
S ecreta ry o f C om m erce.

1 Members at the close of the fiscal year w ere:
H. A. M c G in n is , Philadelphia, Pa.
O. L. Carr, Kansas City, Mo.
L ew is R adcliffe , Washington, D. C.
W. A. M eletio , St. Louis, Mo.
R. V. T ruitt , College Park, Md.
J ohn R. S chacht , Philadelphia, Pa.
South Atlantic Region:
Ch a s . W. T riggs , Chicago, 111.
F
rank D. F ant , Jacksonville, Fla.
F. A. W ester man, Lansing, Mich.
Sol F ass , Portsmouth, Va.
E. L. W ic k l iff , Columbus, Ohio.
W
illiam W eston , Columbia, S. C.
Gulf Region:
New England Region:
A. M. Adams , Key West, Fla.
T homas J. Carroll , Gloucester, Mass.
C. W. G ibson , Corpus Christi, iTex.
E. H. Cooley, Boston, Mass.
J ohn L aN asa, New Orleans, La.
M. G. M agnusson , Boston, Mass.
F rancis W m . T aylor, Pensacola, Fla.
G ardner P oole, Boston, Mass.
J ohn Versaggi, St. Augustine, Fla.
R ufus H. Stone , Portland, Maine.
Middle Atlantic Region:
Pacific Region:
0. G. D ale , Jr., New York, N. Y.
H.
J. A nderson , San Francisco, Calif.
W. A. E llison , Jr., New York, N. Y.
L awrence Calvert , Seattle, Wash.
G eo . T. H arrison , Tilghman, Md.
Arch E. E kdale , San Pedro, Calif.
T h o s . H. H ayes , Lewes, Del.
II. B. F riele , Seattle, Wash.
J. H. M atthew s , New York, N. Y.
E. B. M cGovern, Seattle, Wash.
Captain Sven M arthin, Wildwood, N. J., also served on the committee during the fiscal
year.
Great Lakes and Inland Waterways Region

REPORT BY BUREAUS
CHIEF CLERK A N D SUPERINTENDENT

During the fiscal year 1939 the functions and activities under the
jurisdiction of the Chief Clerk and Superintendent remained fairly
current.
Preliminary plans for the Sixteenth Census necessitated consider­
able rearrangement of office space within the Commerce Building,
and plans were completed and funds appropriated for the construc­
tion of the Federal Office Building which should be completed in
sufficient time for housing the additional employees required to carry
on the Sixteenth Census activities.
At the close of the fiscal year there were outside agencies housed
in the Department of Commerce occupying 108,705 square feet of
office space and 4,566 square feet of storage space. As a result of the
location of these agencies in the Commerce Building it was necessary
for the Department to rent 30,500 square feet of storage space to
take care of some of the more inactive records of the Bureau of the
Census. In addition the Department rented space in the amount
of 180,000 square feet to take care of the preliminary activities of
the Sixteenth Census. While it is recognized that outside space
would be necessary for the Sixteenth Census activities, arrangements
should be made for maintaining in the Commerce Building all of
the regular activities, including inactive files and records which are
at present in rented space.
Special effort was made during the latter part of the year to effect
a proper settlement of the numerous exceptions which have been
made by the General Accounting Office to expenditures made by
the Department of Commerce, especially the exceptions against pay­
ments made by the N. R. A., the settlement of which is a responsibility
of this Department. It is expected that the oldest of these outstand­
ing accounts will be settled either by an adequate justification to the
General Accounting Office in the explanation of the payments or by
including them in a bill of relief to Congress for the remainder.
There follows a brief statement concerning the activities of the
offices and divisions under the supervision of the Chief Clerk and
Superintendent:
D E PA R T M E N T L IB R A R Y

The following statistical summary reflects the activities of the
library for the fiscal year 1939, and the status of work as at the close
of the fiscal year:

15
Library staff_____________________________________________________
Number of books and pamphlets in library__________________________ 246,122
Number of periodicals and newspapers currently received------------------ 1, 879
Number of books acquired and cataloged_____ -_____________,------------ 7, 323
1

2

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Cards filed in catalog______________________________________________
Books prepared for shelf__________________________________________
Number of books circulated________________________________________
Books bound_____________________________________________________
Books borrowed from Library of Congress and other libraries________
Books loaned to other libraries_____________________________________
N. R. A. hearings circulated________________________________________

21, 490
6,652
40, 313
821
2, 031
555
1, 920

D IV ISIO N OF PU R C H A SES AND SALES

During the fiscal year 1939 there were placed 12,563 purchase
orders, which, including freight, rent, and miscellaneous accounts,
involved the expenditure of $1,570,884.96. These amounts show a
decrease in orders of 1,510 over the fiscal year 1938 and a decrease in
expenditures over the fiscal year 1938 by the amount of $3,714,799.25.
This decrease was due principally to the transfer of the Bureau of
Air Commerce to the Civil Aeronautics Authority.
There were 2,142 contracts approximating $4,951,662.09 submitted
to this Division for examination by the various field offices of the
Department. In addition to the above, there were 51 formal con­
tracts, amounting to $617,200.82, prepared by this Division, making
a total of 2,193 contracts examined and prepared, involving a total
expenditure approximating $5,568,800.
Through the cooperation of the Procurement Division, Treasury
Department, there was obtained by transfer, without exchange of
funds, a large quantity of surplus and forfeited property. Also, there
was transferred, without exchange of funds, from this Department to
other branches of the Government, including the Procurement
Division, surplus material valued at approximately $313,518.
D IV ISIO N OF ACCOUNTS

The following table shows the amounts appropriated by Congress
for the bureaus and offices of the Department for the fiscal year
ended June 30, 1939, the amounts transferred to this Department
from other Government departments and agencies, and the amounts
transferred from this Department to other Government departments
and agencies, exclusive of funds appropriated under the several
emergency appropriation acts:
Bureau or office

Transfers Transfers Prior year Balance Net
Annual Deficien­
from to other appropri­ of 1939 available
and other
appropri­ cies
ations funds
depart­ available
for
ation acts supple­
depart­
ments ments
ments for 1939 available
for 1940 1939

Office of the Secretary........... $2,155,950
Bureau of Air Commerce___ 13,826,480
Bureau of Foreign and Do­
mestic Commerce. ______ 3,038,100
Bureau of the Census______ 2.090.000
Bureau of Marine Inspection
and Navigation_________
National Bureau ofStandards. 2,658,760
2.615.000
Bureau of Lighthouses_____ 11,737,600
Coast and Geodetic Survey... 2,665,550
Bureau of Fisheries________ 2,025,500
Patent Office.............. .......... 4.468.000
Total_______ ____ _ 47,280,940

1 $326,"655

~"

$66,706 -$665,658
-13,086,450
101,250

3,000 286,286 -355,400 $500,000
837,000
50,500 -15,000 503,800
82,500
40,000
169,418
1,416,918 504,741 -14,122,508 1,043,800

1Section 8 of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1938.

$1,556,997
1,065,030
—$18,496 3,120,854
-43,750 2,046,250
2,658,760
-99,412 2,949,474
13,078,400
2,701,050
2,148,000
4,637,418
-161,658 35,962,233

3

CHIEF CLERK AND 'SUPERINTENDENT
EMERGENCY FUNDS

In addition to its regular functions, the Department has for the
past several years participated in various emergency projects de­
signed for the relief of unemployment and improvement of economic
conditions generally. The following table shows the allocations or
allotments made from emergency appropriations to the Department
during the fiscal years 1934 to 1939, inclusive, and the obligations
incurred against these funds :
1934 to 1937,
inclusive
Office of the Secretary:
N .I. R. A.:
•W. P. AT:
Obligations
Total:

---- ------------------- ----------

Bureau of Air Commerce:
N. I. R. A.:
P. W. A.:
C. W. A.:
W. P. A.':
Total:
Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce:
C. W. A.:
W. P. A.:
Total:
Bureau of the Census:
C. W. A.:
F. E. R. A.:
W. P. A.:
Droughtrelief in agricultural areas:
Census of partial employment, unemployment, and
occupations:

1938

1939

Total

$947,000
945,805
70,000
69,991

$20,620
20,268

$947,000
945,805
90,620
90,259

1,017,000
1,015,796

20, 620
20,268

1,037,620
1,036,064

2,083,303
2,075,748
987,775
978,964
199, 603
198, 285
587,380
549,973

260,600
259,927

2,083, 303
2,075,748
987,775
978,964
199,603
198,285
847,980
809,900

3,858,061
3,802,970

260,600
259,927

4,118,661
4,062,897

8,247

372,275
357,886
100,000
99,968

8,247

472,275
457,854

48,427
83.000
77.000

2,524,736
2,302, 596
1,005,000
893,388
$9, 200 11,109,648
9,180 10,832, 561
1,000,000
999, 570

850,000
815,692

10,000
9,933

372,275
349,639
100,000
99,968
472,275
449, 607
2,524,736
2,302, 596
1,005,000
844,961
11,017,448
10,746,381
1,000,000
999,570

(0

860,000
825,625

Total:
19,200 16,499,384
15, 547,184
933,000
941,119
19,113 15,853,740
Obligations________________________ 14,893, 508
i $325,000 appropriated under section 8 of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1938 included in
table with regular appropriations.

4

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
1934 to 1937,
inclusive

Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation:
N. I. R. A.:
Allotments__.............. .................................
Obligations........................................................
National Bureau of Standards:
N. I. R. A.:
Allotments........ .......................
P. W.Obligations.......................................................
A.:
Allotments..........................................................
............ ......................
W. P.Obligations...................
A.:
Allotments..........................................................
Obligations........................................._................
Total:

1938

1939

$93,043
92,039

$93,043
92,039

100,000
99,601
70,000
69,997
75,000
74,998

$2

100,000
99,601
70,000
69, 997
75.000
75.000

245,000
244, 596

2

245,000
244, 598

Bureau of Lighthouses:
N. I. R. A.:
Allotments........
. ............... 5, 620, 334
_____ _____________ 5, 607,495
W. P.Obligations_____
A.:
Allotments............................ _......... _..............
20,000
Obligations................... .......................................
19,029
P. W. A.:
Allotments_______
2,098, 750
Obligations............ ..... .............................
Total:
5,640,334 2,098,750
5, 626, 524
Coasfand Geodetic Survey:
N. I. R. A.:
Allotments..........
..............
... ____ 8, 293, 220
Obligations_____ _ ................................. ........ 8,286,209
P. W. A.:
Allotments..........................................................
Obligations.........................................................
Total:
8, 293,220
8, 286,209
Bureau of Fisheries:
N. I. R. A.:
670,455
670,075
C. W. A.:
Allotments—.......................................................
38,391
38,056
W. P. A.:
Allotments...................... ................................... 151.372
Obligations......... ..............................................
151.372
P. W. A.:
Allotments................................ .........................
Total:
Allotments....................................... ..........
Total, Department of Commerce:
N. I. R. A.:
Allotments..................
..............................
Obligations..................................... ............. .
P. W. A.:
Allotments..........
W. P.Obligations___________________________
A.:
C. W. A.:
Allotments........................................_....... .........
Obligations...................................... ....................
F. E. R. A.:
Allotments..........................................................
Obligations................................................. ..........

Total

860,218
859,503

$1, 620, 900
3, 265, 700
1,620,900
3,265, 700

2,050,502
1,900,054

5,620, 334
5, 607, 495
20,000
19,029
3, 719, 650
3, 265, 700
9,359,984
8,892, 224
-------------8,293,220
8, 286,209
2,050, 502
3,900,054

2, 050, 502 10, 343, 722
1,900,054 10,186, 263
328,000
661,606
586,071
1,142,550
911,565

998,455
670,075
38,391
38,056
812,978
737,443
1,142,550
911,565

2,132,156
1,497,636

2,992,374
2,357,139

17,807,355
328,000 18,135,355
17,776,972
17,776,972
1,057, 775 2,098,750 4,813,952 7,970,477
1,048,961
6,077,319 7,126, 280
12,021,200
364,220
670,806 13,056,226
11, 711, 712
357,197
595, 251 12,664,160
3,135,005
3,135,005
2,888,576
8,247
2,896,823
1,005,000
1,005,000
844,961
48,427
893,388

5

CHIEF CLERK AND SUPERINTENDENT
1934 to 1937,
inclusive
Total, Department of Commerce—Continued.
Drought relief in agricultural areas:
Census of partial employment, unemployment,
and occupations:

1938

1939

Total$1,000,000
999, 570

$1,000,000
999,570
$850,000
815,692

$10,000
9,933

860,000
825,625

Grand total:
36,026,335 3,312,970 5,822,758 45,162,063
Obligations.................................................. 35, 270, 752 1,229, 563 6,682,503 43,182,818

Disbursements during the year ended June 30, 1939, from appro­
priations and from funds transferred from other departments,
exclusive of Emergency Funds, were as follows:
Bureau or office

Appropriation for—
1937

1938

1939

Total

$1,105,763.26 $1,560,630.21
Office of the Secretary--------------------------------- $1,900. 75 $452,966.20
1,065,030.00 2,035,191.14
720. 70 937,440.44
Bureau of Air Commerce----------------------------- 32, 814.
3,042,421. 63 3,104, 583.18
05 61, 347. 50 2,053,
Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce---032.90 2,107,875. 30
54,
814.90
27.
50
Bureau of the Census............................................. 1,472. 55 112,995. 78 2, 522, 037.98
2, 636, 506. 31
Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation---43, 751. 30 2, 359,885.89 11,2, 407,487.11
National Bureau of Standards________________ 3,849. 92 864,152.12
768,141.83
10,875, 629. 27 2, 642,179.
28, 360. 44
28
295,868.93 2,021, 568.05
285. 62 346,024. 73 2,1, 758,
Coast and Geodetic Survey.............. ........... ........475.24
44.88 263,047.93 4,492, 474.38
Bureau of Fisheries _______________________
4,714,044.
63
221,469.05
101.20
Patent Office----- -------------- ------------- ---------69, 577.61 3, 358,009.95 31, 570, 619.48 34,998, 207.04
MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS

Office of the Secretary :
Sale of Government property-----------------------------------Other_________-___________________________________
Bureau of Air Commerce :
Sale of Government property-----------------------------------. Other----------------------------------------------------------------—
Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce :
Fees under China Trade Act------------------------------------Sale of publications-----------------------------------------------Sale of Government property----------------------------------Other------------------------------------------------------------------Bureau of the Census:
Statistical services-------------------------------------------------Reimbursement, excess cost over contract price---------Other -----------------------------------------------------------------Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation:
Tonnage tax, United States-------------------------------------Navigation fines---------------------------------------------- ------Navigation fees____________________________________
Overtime service----------------------------------------------------Reimbursement for loss on continuous discharge books.
Sale of Government property----------------------------------Other------------------------------------------------------- -----------National Bureau of Standards :
Testing fees-----------,---------------------------------------------Other------------------------------------------------------------------Bureau of Lighthouses :
'
Reimbursement, Government property lost or damaged.
Sale of land and buildings---------------------------------------Sale of Government property----------------------------------Other-------------------------------------------------------------------

$414.33
254. 75
5, 005. 87
216. 91
1, 375. 00
39,176. 51
516.10
17. 23
2,034. 69
2, 834. 59
163. 33
1, 686,016. 56
158,029. 77
207, 015. 88
45,230. 65
2, 710. 35
104.16
728. 52
65,990. 39
12.60
4, 268. 91
16,007. 77
20, 671.46
7,183. 77

6

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Coast and Geodetic Survey :
$21, 613. 88
Sale of charts---------------------------------------------------5, 716. 71
2, 715.42
Sale of publications--------------------------------------------461. 71
Sale of Government property------------------------------51. 77
Bureau of Fisheries:
170,989.89
Sale of sealskins--------------------------------------- -------19, 761. 22
Sale of foxskins----------------------------------- ------------7,122. 06
Sale of Government property-------------------------------8,803. 56
4, 527, 292.16
Patent Office: Fees------------------------------------- ------------- . __
89.05
Miscellaneous: Refund, State and local taxes--------------Total, Department of Commerce------------------------------------- 7,030,597.58
D IV ISIO N OF PU BLICA TIO N S

The following statement shows, by appropriation title, the amounts
expended or obligated from appropriations available for printing
and binding during the fiscal year 1939:
Title of appropriation

Available

Expended 1 Balance 1

000.00 $466,076. 59
Printing and binding, Department of Commerce—.................... *3$475,
859, 417.93 859,417.93
16,125. 50
Customs statistics, Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce.
(4)
Investigation of building materials, National Bureau of
10,425.37
(4)
1,287.00
(4)
Expenses of the Sixteenth Census, Bureau of the Census--------5,000.00
Salaries and expenses, Social Security Act, Bureau of the Census.
(0

$8,923.41

1 Estimated; exact figures cannot be given until all work ordered is completed and billed.
! Does not include $25,000 transferred to the Civil Aeronautics Authority.
s Includes a deficiency appropriation of $24,117.93 contained in Public Act 361, Seventy-sixth Congress,
approved
9, 1939.for printing not stated in appropriation item.
4AmountAug.
available

Keceipts from sales of publications, other printed material, charts,
maps, and processed statements issued by the Department of Com­
merce during the fiscal year 1939 were $726,514.73, as compared with
$707,023.42 for 1938. The following table presents a comparison
for the 2 years by selling agencies :
Sales

Receipts
1938

By the Superintendent of Documents: Miscellaneous sales and subscriptions.. $157,651.27
By Coast and Geodetic Survey: Coast pilots, inside-route pilots, tide tables,
104, 260.43
By Patent Office: Specifications of patents, reissues, etc., trade-mark section
and decision leaflet of Official Gazette, and classification bulletins and defini396, 724. 40
48,387.32
Total..................................................... .............................. .......... .............. 707,023.42

1939
$171, 414. 76
104, 643. 36
404, 349.50
46,107.11
726, 514. 73

D IV ISIO N OF PE R SO N N EL SU PE R V ISIO N AND M AN AGEM ENT

The Division of Personnel Supervision and Management was estab­
lished on May 10, 1939, ^pursuant to Executive Order No. 79616 of
June 24, 1938, replacing the former Division of Personnel.
A program has been formulated to establish the administrative
and staff organization necessary to implement the provisions of the

7

CHIEF CLERK AND SUPERINTENDENT

President’s order of J une 24, 1938, and to provide in the Department
of Commerce for progressive procedures and policies for such matters
as selection, training, and placement of employees; competitive pro­
motions; thorough investigation in connection with the classification
of positions; the inauguration of welfare and recreation activities;
equitable adjustment of grievances; and the fostering of proper per­
sonnel relations. However, the consummation of the program is
dependent upon obtaining of additional funds from Congress.
There follows a statement showing the personnel of the various
Bureaus of the Department as of June 30, 1939 :
Permanent Temporary Emergency
154
845
1,190
948
909
4, 417
1,300
923
1, 357
12,043

9

593
2
1
20
1,140
69
12

23

1,837

32

During the past fiscal year, the following number of personnel
actions were completed:

Appointments------------------Transfers________________
Changes in grade------------Administrative promotions.
Separations--------------------Retirements---------------------

S92
272
734
1, 908
658
169

CONFERENCES A N D E X PO SITIO N S SECTION

The functions of this section include coordination of activities of
all bureaus and agencies of the Department in connection with inter­
national conferences, expositions, and fairs and the performance of
similar services in connection with local expositions in which the
Department may be interested.
Pursuant to the provisions of Public Resolution No. 72, Seventyfifth Congress, the Secretary of Commerce was charged with the
responsibility for the Federal Government’s participation in the PanAmerican Exposition at Tampa, Fla., during January and February
1939. The Director of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Com­
merce was appointed Federal Commissioner, and this section handled
the administrative work incident to the participation of 25 Federal
departments and agencies.
During the fiscal year 1939, this. Department was actively engaged
in the development of Federal exhibits at the Golden Gate Inter­
national Exposition in San Francisco and the New York World’s
Fair in New York. The Secretary of Commerce is chairman of the
Federal Commission for United States participation in the Golden
Gate Exposition and is a member of the Federal Commission for
participation in the New York Fair.
The Department was active in the preparations for the Eighth
International Conference of American States, Lima, Peru. The

8

REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Director of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce was
designated advisor to the American delegation. Delegates were
nominated to attend the Third Pan-American Highway Conference,
the International Congress on Planning and Housing, the Inter­
national Congress on Photogrammetry, the Seventh World Manage­
ment Congress, and the First Inter-American Travel Congress.
In addition to the international expositions, there were over 30
international meetings in the fields of commerce, education, finance,
industry, law, and science in which the Department was interested.
In some instances representative persons from pertinent professions
or industries, or foreign commerce officers at conveniently located
posts, were designated to represent the Department.
During the fiscal year 1939, the Department also was actively
interested in over 2Ô local expositions varying in size and scope
which were held in the United States, including the Chickamauga
Centennial Exposition, Florida Industries Day, and Maritime Day.
Negotiations are now under way and plans are being developed
for participation in such projects as the Seventh World’s Poultry
Congress and Exposition to be held at Cleveland, Ohio, from July
28 to August 7, 1939 ; the International Exhibition of Polar Explora­
tion, Bergen, 1940; the International Forestry and Mountain Exhi­
bition, Borne, 1942; and the meeting of the International Institute
of Statistics, 1939.

OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR
During the fiscal year ended June 30,1939, there were 382 opinions
rendered; the law and facts were reviewed in 28 cases of appeals
to the Secretary of Commerce by officers and seamen of vessels from
decisions involving the revocation or suspension of their licenses or
certificates; the law and facts were reviewed in 73 cases involving
petitions to the Secretary of Commerce for remission or mitigation
of penalties for violation of the navigation and inspection laws; there
were reviewed 202 cases submitted to the Attorney General; there
were reviewed 85 cases for submission to the Comptroller General;
and 213 contracts, 58 leases, 65 insurance policies, 10 revocable licenses,
and 319 bonds were examined. Legislative matters handled num­
bered 180. In addition, 508 miscellaneous matters were handled.
All regulations issued by the Department and the Bureaus during
the year were examined and approved. The office also reviewed the
Federal Register work for the Department. Many other questions
not requiring written opinions involving statutes, contracts, treaties,
regulations, and administrative law and procedure were disposed of
in conferences with officials of the Bureaus and representatives of
other Departments.

BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE
The fiscal year 1938-39 brought new opportunities for service and
additional responsibilities, especially in the field of industrial eco­
nomics, to the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. At the
outset of the year, Bureau participation in the Temporary National
Economic Committee’s work called forth the best efforts of the Bureau
in marshalling and strengthening its research staff. Studies were
initiated and materials assembled for hearings before the committee.
This activity has taxed the resources of the Bureau severely, but the
research personnel have, under great pressure, carried out their assign­
ments creditably throughout the fiscal year.
The Bureau was recognized during the year by the appointment of
its Director as a special expert on Latin American business and eco­
nomics to represent the Department of Commerce and assist the Sec­
retary of State at the Lima conference on pan-American affairs. The
Director also was appointed United States Commissioner for the PanAmerican Exposition held in February 1939 in Tampa, Fla.
Throughout the year the demands on the Bureau have multiplied,
both for research and for service to American business at home and
abroad. The recession in business of 1937-38 was responsible for many
inquiries for assistance, especially from the smaller-scale business con­
cerns. Every effort has been made to meet these demands with all of
the resources of the Bureau. Demands have also been made on the
Bureau by the Congress and other governmental agencies. The Bu­
reau continued its cooperative activity on the trade-agreements pro­
gram of the Administration. It cooperated with the Department of
Agriculture on the program for disposal of surplus commodities
through regular channels of distribution. Close cooperation with the
Treasury Department was maintained in the collection of foreigntrade statistics. A cooperative arrangement was initiated with the
Census Bureau in the collection of domestic-trade statistics.
An outstanding contribution was the first compilation and release
of estimates of income by States as a part of the Bureau’s program in
the field of national-income research. Close cooperation was extended
through the National Resources Committee to the States of Wisconsin
and Minnesota on projects for estimating State incomes.
The Bureau also cooperated with a committee of deans of State
university schools of business on proposed legislation designed to be of
specific aid to small business through the establishment of businessresearch units in each State to be coordinated with the research pro­
gram of the Department of Commerce.
11

12

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
CONSOLIDATION OF FO R EIG N COMMERCE SE R V IC E W IT H
STATE D EPA R TM EN T

Following preliminary study and negotiation, the Foreign Com­
merce Service was transferred (effective July 1, 1939) by Executive
order to the State Department and consolidated along with the Agri­
cultural Foreign Service to form a unified Foreign Service of the
United States under the direction of the Department of State. The
Department of Commerce remains the organ of direct contact of the
Government with the business interests of the country, while the con­
solidated Foreign Service, under the Reorganization Plan, will serve
as the single instrument of all the departments and agencies of the
Government interested in information from abroad, or any services
outside the limits of the country. The preparation of instructions to
the Foreign Service for the gathering of commercial and economic
information and for trade work abroad will remain the function of
the Department of Commerce.
A liaison officer representing the Department of Commerce will be
stationed in the Department of State to enhance close cooperation
between the two Departments and to facilitate the expeditious trans­
mission of information from the foreign field to the Department of
Commerce. A representative of the Department will also sit, when
matters of commercial interest are concerned, as a member of the
Board of Foreign Service Personnel, the Board of Examiners for
the Foreign Service, and the Foreign Service Officers’ Training
School Board.
It is believed that the Reorganization Plan will eliminate any
duplication of functions that may have existed in the past and will
provide a more effective instrument for meeting the difficult economic
problems brought about by present world conditions.
D IST R IC T AND COOPERATIVE O FFIC E SER V ICE

The Bureau maintains 25 district and 8 cooperative offices located
in the chief commercial centers of the United States. In addition,
there are 46 offices affiliated with the Bureau through chambers of
commerce which have established foreign-trade departments in charge
of an officer of the chamber who represents the Bureau under the
designation of foreign-trade secretary.
These domestic field offices are the direct and immediate points of
contact at which the Bureau services are available to American com­
mercial and industrial interests. They are the principal outlets
through which information on both foreign and domestic trade
reaches the business public. During the year the district and cooper­
ative offices continued to disseminate in their respective districts
official information from the Bureau in Washington on "foreign
exchange, credit conditions, trade restrictions, tariffs, and other
factors affecting the sale of American goods in foreign markets.
Distribution of foreign-trade opportunities for the purchase of
American goods was of direct benefit to exporters.
In the domestic field the district offices cooperated closely with the
Marketing Research Division of the Bureau in collecting information
on various phases of domestic marketing of interest to those engaged
in developing the market at home. They assisted in collecting data

BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE

13

for the Retail Credit Survey, which had a wider coverage than in any
previous year. Their facilities were constantly used by sales execu­
tives in obtaining information to assist them in measuring the market
for their products in specific areas, and they were frequently able to
assist such executives in the solution of their problems by applying
the data available at the district office. They worked closely with the
United States Employment Service and provided the State directors
of that service with information on fields for employment with a view
to putting people back to work. They collaborated with the State
directors of the National Emergency Council in disseminating a
knowledge of the results achieved under the reciprocal trade agree­
ments program of the United States, and in other ways they have
cooperated with other departments in furthering the work of the
Government in their districts.
ORGANIZATION OF B U R EA U PROGRAM

The work of the Bureau is divided into two major groups or
divisions, each under the supervision of an Assistant Director. One
group deals with the trade-promotional and industrial-service activ­
ities of the Bureau. The other group includes the business-research
and statistical work of the Bureau.
One of the Assistant Directors was appointed by the President as
the representative of the Department of Commerce on the Committee
on Purchases of Blind-Made Products. The purpose of the com­
mittee is to promote the Government purchase of goods made by
blind persons. This is the first time the Government has organized
its purchases of such products, and the committee’s work has proved
to be of great practical benefit to the blind.
TRA D E PROM OTIONAL A N D IN D U ST R IA L SER V IC E A C T IV IT IE S

According to the Bureau of the Census, all industry may be divided
into approximately 350 classifications or 15 groups. For the past 17
years, therefore, the function of trade promotion has been sponsored
in the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce through the
medium of analogous commodity groups or industrial service divi­
sions. This type of service for every branch of industry was made
available during the fiscal year 1938-39 through business specialists
in the following divisions:

Automotive-Aeronautics Trade.
Chemical.
Electrical
Foodstuffs.
Forest Products.
Leather and Rubber.
Machinery.

Metals and Minerals.
Motion Pictures.
Specialties.
Textiles.
Tobacco.
Transportation.

By virtue of their specialized knowledge and familiarity with the
difficulties and problems of their respective industries, at home and
abroad, these divisions were advocates of business and represented the
interests and viewpoints of business in matters under consideration in
the various agencies of the Government.
The perennial consideration of this group of divisions is: “How
is business at home and abroad, and how may it be improved?”

14

REPORT OE THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Obviously the character of response is predicated upon the degree
to which existing facilities permit determination. Since inception
of the Bureau, coverage, of necessity, has been spotty. Basic studies
are yet to be made for most branches of industry, and a large propor­
tion of existing studies were made over 10 years ago.
The promotion-and-service program that was functioning during
the year under review was formulated in part from suggestions
embodied in the daily correspondence and in trade journals, from
conferences with trade associations, advisory groups, and industrial
leaders, and upon the basis of the visualized or expressed desires of
other agencies of the Government.
Today there are few branches of industry that are not represented
specifically by one or more trade associations and trade journals.
Economy in Bureau functioning is manifest, therefore, by close co­
operation with these more than 2,500 adjuncts to trade promotion.
The primary interest of these bodies is statistics, and the industrial
service divisions not only advise the Census Bureau periodically as
to scope and composition of schedules but likewise inspire self-col­
lection and dissemination of factual group data as well as statistical
information by industrial components. In fact, in the year which
has passed there was a gratifying increase in the number of firms
which made periodic public release of such pertinent operation data.
Because of budgetary limitations, the industrial service divisions
have not been able to respond favorably to certain requests for com­
parative surveys of domestic industry. A quarter of a century ago
the dominant wish of industry was to develop markets abroad, and,
throughout this period, organizational thought has been developed
along this line. However, even in the field of foreign-trade promo­
tion, the Bureau’s existing staff is often heavily taxed to meet
current service demands and visualized possibilities abroad. On the
other hand, when we stop to consider that our total foreign trade rep­
resents the equivalent of only 10 percent of production, it should be
realized that if the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce were
to engage in domestic surveys analogous to our foreign-survey serv­
ice, it would require a budgetary allotment many times that of the
current year.
The work and accomplishment of the industrial service divisions
throughout the year in developing markets for American merchan­
dise in more than 100 foreign countries is indicative of domestic
possibilities. Initially it should be borne in mind, however, that
practically every type of article produced in the United States is
found_ abroad and that the problems attendant upon foreign market
investigations are more variable and no two market patterns are
alike. Despite these complexities, the Bureau supplies monthly de­
tailed records of shipments and purchases, pertinent to thousands of
commodities, and, through the medium of research in Washington
and abroad, reports are disseminated periodically (even weekly) as
to the status of markets or sources and the effects of competition.
The consummation of such a service during the period under re­
view has entailed the training of foreign observers through a pre­
scribed course, the current revision of field reporting guides, and the
dissemination of field letters, advisory as to new American develop­
ments. Annually a periodic field-reporting schedule is prepared, and

BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE

15

weekly one or more survey schedules or commodity questionnaires
were dispatched to our foreign field offices as the basis of survey for
such diverse products as: Road-making materials; fire-fighting equip­
ment; safety glass; refrigeration; short-wave radios; 20 food items
ranging from avocados to poultry products, and a number of chem­
ical, leather, lumber, machinery, mineral, metal, paper, rubber, and
textile products.
Upon receipt in the Bureau, this survey information as to produc­
tion, distribution, and the opportunity for American participation
was disseminated in the form of press releases, informational circulars,
Commerce Reports, or through one or more of the two dozen periodic
bulletin services. If warranted, the entire world picture is presented
in the form of a printed bulletin. Outstanding printed publications
issued by these divisions during the year were the following :
Synthetic Organic Chemicals.
Foreign Markets for American Medicináis.
World Chemical Developments in 1938.
Foreign Directories.
Foreign Selling Outlets.
Fruit Canners of the World.
American Wooden Boxes and Crates.
American Southern Pine.
American Southern Cypress.
American Hardwood.
Folding Paper Boxes.
Make It of Leather.
Rubber Industry in United States, 1839-1939.
World Trade in Toys.
World Trade in Dental and Surgical Instruments.
Transport Control Aboard.

Aside from basic surveys, there are several hundred key commodities
of commerce, primarily exotic products, upon which periodic data are
currently received on schedule from abroad; for example, the medi­
cináis—camphor and menthol; drying oils—tung and linseed; paint
gums—-shellac and copal ; foodstuffs—coffee and sugar ; metals—•
copper and tin ; minerals—asbestos and manganese ; fertilizer—potash
and nitrate ; and others such as hides, pulp, rubber, and silk. In addi­
tion to the foregoing, there has been a growing demand for the annual
statistical reviews of United States trade in these products, which
were released by the industrial service divisions this year, 6 months
prior to the availability of the printed official annual Foreign Com­
merce and Navigation of the United States.
Each of the 13 industrial service divisions issues from 1 to 5 weekly
or monthly processed news services. This news, the statistical state­
ments, commercial-intelligence reports, and survey bulletins are the
backbone of Bureau service to foreign traders, and approximately
50,000 firms are subscribers or regular recipients. However, five times
as many firms were intermittent seekers of aid during the year through
correspondence, telephone and telegraph, or personal contact with
these divisions and our district offices. To serve efficiently this num­
ber, the divisions prepared numerous commodity informational
synopses, bibliographies, reading references, and trade lists.
Through the medium of the Commercial Intelligence Division ap­
proximately 250,000 American firms, or 50 percent more than in the
previous year, were furnished with 6,760 foreign-trade opportunities,
44,149 trade lists, 48,881 sales-information reports on foreign firms;
192271—39—-—4

16

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

and the wants and itineraries of 912 foreign businessmen visiting the
United States were chronicled.
A phase of service of these divisions which is expanding is the
feature of consultation. Aside from contact with our district offices,
more than 10,000 businessmen visited the industrial service divisions
in Washington during the year to present their problems in detail.
Such discussions covered a wide range, involving counsel as to new
processes, research fields and commodity uses, contemplated patent
action, refinancing, mergers, cooperative concepts, and a host of
considerations as to advertising, distribution, and other promotional
projects.
An even more fertile field, which, however, has been but sparsely
cultivated, is the realm of group consultation. This opportunity is
presented through the annual conventions and other periodic meet­
ings of the trade associations. In some instances, it should be noted,
such meetings are attended by Bureau representatives at no cost
to the Government. Last fall the National Foreign Trade Council
prevailed upon the Bureau to experiment with eight industrial divi­
sion chiefs as group counselors at the annual Foreign Trade Conven­
tion, and the success of the project warrants acceptance of the
council’s invitation to the forthcoming session. Of special signifi­
cance was the conference of the National Electrical Manufacturers
Association held in the auditorium of the Commerce Building and
worked out with the close cooperation of the Electrical Division.
Another indication of the value of group action is the growing
response of communities throughout the country to Foreign-Trade
Week, sponsored by the United States Chamber of Commerce and
participated in by our district offices and a number of promotional
specialists in Washington. Counsel was rendered many of the in­
dividual Members and committees of both Houses of Congress, and
service sought by other Government agencies has been recorded for
30 Bureaus in the 10 executive departments and 29 independent
United States agencies—administrations, boards, commissions, com­
mittees, and corporations. One industrial service division alone had
375 such references in the course of the year. In some instances spe­
cialists of these divisions have been members of interdepartmental
committees or of informal Government gatherings designed to deal
with problems of a specific character. In still other cases, a division
may have sponsored a mixed grouping of trade and Government
counselors for a guiding, though possibly nonbinding, discussion of
business principles or concepts.
Counsel was sought by foreign governments, foreign government
trade missions, scientific and related delegations, which agencies quite
generally sought initial guidance from these industrial service divi­
sions. In fact, a group of university students from Chile were so
aided in recent months, and this may be the forerunner of similar
groups from other Latin-American countries.
Foreign-trade dislocation during this fiscal year, in consequence of
war scares and racial discriminations, involved these commodity divi­
sions in world surveys as to new sources of materials, evaluation of
substitutes, and more intensive investigation of new or minor
markets. Eefugees at home and abroad have likewise sought guid­
ance with respect to readjustment.

BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE

17

A decided trend has been apparent on the part of industry and
entrepreneurs who seek promotional advice requiring a high degree
of technological as well as economic and marketing experience on
the part of the Bureau’s specialists in the industrial service divisions.
The necessity for such knowledge is particularly evident in consider­
ing problems involving synthetics, substitutes, and subnormal-grade
raw materials; patent exploitation, process licensing, and new uses;
new commodities in commerce, waste utilization, and the production
control of coproducts ; formulation of suggestions in the field of
commodity standards, simplification, and elimination of varieties.
Such knowledge was likewise sought by such Government agencies
as the State, War, and Navy Departments on strategic raw materials,
Treasury Procurement service specifications? Agriculture’s Surplus
Commodity Corporation, and many others, including the Congress.
Incidentally, such problems most frequently involved a high degree
of interdivisional cooperation.
FO R EIG N -TR A D E ZONES

The Bureau is responsible for much of the work of the ForeignTrade Zones Board, of which the Secretary of Commerce is chair­
man and executive officer, and on which the Secretaries of the Treasury
and of War serve as members. The chief of the Transportation Divi­
sion of the Bureau is executive secretary of this board and is respon­
sible for surveying the applications for Foreign-Trade Zones, includ­
ing the conduct of field investigation prior to the issuance of grants to
operate such zones. The annual report of the Board to Congress is
also prepared in this Bureau.
IN D U ST R IA L ECONOMICS A C T IV IT IE S

The domestic-commerce program of the Bureau was reorganized
during the year. A new Division of Business Review was set up to
concentrate on current business problems and general business condi­
tions. Units were transferred from the Economic Research and the
Marketing Research Divisions to form the new Division, thus con­
solidating related activities in the new Division and facilitating more
effective administration and better service to business and other de­
partments of the Government. At the same time, the two research
divisions were organized for concentration upon more fundamental
research into economic and marketing problems in such important
fields as construction, national income, and distribution costs. The
new arrangement further facilitated concentration of research ener­
gies on the responsibilities of the Bureau with respect to the Tem­
porary National Economic Committee.
The research and statistical activities in the field of industrial eco­
nomics under the Assistant Director in charge fall into two natural
groups, domestic commerce and foreign commerce.
DOM ESTIC COMMERCE D IV ISIO N S

S p ecia l a c tiv itie s .—The domestic-commerce activities are conducted
in three divisions : Business Review, Economic Research, and Market­
ing Research. In addition to the routine work, each of these Di­
visions has cooperated with the Temporary National Economic Com­

18

REPOET OP THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

mittee by conducting special studies, assembling facts, and preparing
reports for the use of the committee. In particular the Division of
Business Review has conducted a study of export price policies and
another on the changes in the size of manufacturing establishments.
The Economic Research Division has carried out projects on the
character and scope of the construction industry, on corporate policies
and practices as revealed by financial statements, on the structure of
industry, on taxation of economic enterprises, and on trends in in­
come by industrial sources, types of payment, and size of income.
The Marketing Research Division has conducted an extensive survey
of trade associations, has studied business population, trade barriers,
trade practices, and the effect of size on manufacturing and distribu­
tion costs.
Among the reports issued by the domestic commerce divisions are the
new 1939 edition of the Consumer Market Data Handbook and the
first edition of the Industrial Market Data Handbook, prepared in the
Marketing Research Division; State Income Payments, 1929-37, the
first official estimates of annual income payments in each of the 48
States and the District of Columbia; Residential Building, an eco­
nomic analysis of the building industry, including new statistical
series measuring demand factors; and Trend of Long-Term Debts
in the United States, 1934-37, prepared in the Economic Research
Division.
Various staff members of these divisions have participated actively
on interdepartmental committees, including Central Statistical
Board, Rational Resources Committee, Central Housing Committee,
and committees on the Census of 1940. Particular note is made of
the cooperation which the Marketing Research Division rendered the
Department of Agriculture in formulating the “stamp plan” for dis­
tribution of surplus agricultural products through existing trade
channels.
OU TSTA NDIN G DEVELOPM ENTS IN DOMESTIC BU SIN ESS AS
R EV EA LED BY DOMESTIC COMMERCE R ESEA R C H

The past fiscal year was one of improvement in domestic business,
but, as it followed a year of contraction and found most enterprises
searching for ways and means to improve their position in a market
of reduced proportions in comparison with predepression or even
with 1937 experience, constant reappraisals by business and govern­
ment for the purpose of furthering economic progress were essential.
The facilities of the domestic-commerce divisions were directed to the
end of meeting the problems created by the shifting economic scene
by (a) direct assistance to businessmen and to other Government
agencies, as well as by (6) contributing factual studies designed to
foster a better understanding on the part of both business and gov­
ernment of the fundamental operations of the economic system.
The decline and subsequent rise in business .during the past 2 fiscal
years focused attention on the fluctuations of the Bureau’s monthly
index of income payments, and, to an increasing extent, this came to
be used as a measure of consumer purchasing power. Since the
original purpose of constructing the index was to provide a current
series comparable with the annual estimates of income paid out, the
index was deficient for the major purpose for which it was being used.

BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE

19

Consequently, a general revision was made so that the series more
closely approximated the cash or disposable income flowing to indi­
viduals.
Intensification of marketing research, with its concomitant demand
for more adequate regional marketing information, was fostered by
several major studies completed during the year. One of these,
prepared in the Marketing Research Division, made available for
the first time, in condensed though comprehensive form, data on
industrial markets for each of the 3,071 counties in the United States.
Supplementing this and other studies from the marketing standpoint,
but of broad general application, were the first official estimates of
income payments, by States, broken down by types of payment,
prepared by the Division of Economic Research. The Bureau has­
tened completion of these estimates in order that the results of its
research might be available to the Social Security Board and to
the Congress when considering revisions of existing legislation to
which the problem of income distribution, by States, was basic.
The reverse of the flow of funds as income is the measure of con­
sumer outlays to determine whether the income is flowing promptly
back into business channels. In the absence of a direct measure of
this flow, the Bureau has for the past several years been extending
its sample of retail-sales data for the purpose of obtaining eventually
a comprehensive picture of retailing on a national and regional basis.
The data were developed in the Marketing Research Division during
the past year to a point which permitted the issuance for the first two
quarters of the current calendar year of estimates of the total dollar
volume of retail sales, with comparative data for the major types
of retailing. These estimates revealed an increase of a billion dol­
lars, or 6 percent, in the value of retail sales in the first half of the
calendar year 1939 over the corresponding period of 1938.
As is usual in periods of declining sales and income, credit prob­
lems have engaged increasing attention. The abrupt drop in sales
of consumer durable goods after the middle of 1937 raised a question
as to whether liberalization of installment terms during the period
of rising business volumes and the tendency to reverse such policies
during a period of declining trade had not exerted an important in­
fluence on the extent of business contraction which actually took
place in 1937-38. A study of this situation by the Marketing Re­
search Division developed the conclusion that, while restriction o f‘
terms probably did not reduce sales to an important extent, liberality
during the earlier rising phase of business had contributed to the
subsequent reduction in the demand. A further contribution to the
factual data available in this general field was the first annual survey
of bad-debt losses made jointly by the Bureau and the National
Association of Credit Men. The Economic Research Division
brought up to date its measures of the volume of long-term debts,
revealing a further contraction of about 4 billion dollars, or more
than 5 percent, in the total of private long-term debts outstanding
during the 3-year period 1934-37.
Because of the central place which it occupies in any program of
economic stimulation and the added study given this area of our
economy by the Temporary National Economic Committee, the Divi­
sion of Economic Research brought to completion certain research
projects designed to provide a better understanding of the funda­

20

REPORT OE THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

mentals of the construction industry. The principal project in this
field was the study of the major economic factors influencing the
volume of residential construction, prepared by the Bureau for thé
National Resources Committee. One of these factors, to which
special attention was given, was the measurement of vacancies in a
number of principal cities throughout the United States. A revision
of the estimates of the total volume of construction activity was com­
pleted and made current through 1938.
As a further contribution to the study of the role of the durablegoods industries in cyclical fluctuations, the Bureau undertook to
supply the necessary basic data on certain phases of the flow of
investments and savings. The Division of Economic Research un­
dertook an analysis of the financial statements of large and small
corporations for the Temporary National Economic Committee for
the purpose of determining the source of funds flowing to business
enterprises from various channels and the use or disposal of funds
by corporations. Emphasis in this study is being placed on capital
expenditures and their relationship to depreciation, security flota­
tions, earnings, liquidity, and other factors. Also, an analysis has
been initiated for the purpose of bringing together and analyzing
available data on the distribution of income by size. The character
of the distribution of income in recent years, as well as the changes
or absence of change in the concentration of income, is being sub­
jected to careful analysis.
The Bureau has as a matter of policy directed much of its efforts
to helping small business, providing through the Division of Business
Review in “Domestic Commerce” and the “Business Information
Service,” and through other units, a service to the smaller business
entities which are not in a position to provide such data and guidance
from their own resources. The proposals for cooperative research
with the State universities above mentioned have, as a basis, the direc­
tion of further efforts into these channels, designed to aid in the solu­
tion of the operating and general problems confronting the business­
man of limited resources.
One of these—the condition in which the wholesale grocery trade
finds itself, with the prevailing price structure intensifying the prob­
lem of how to move the existing tonnage on a profitable basis—has
occasioned the first field survey which the Bureau has undertaken in
several years. The Marketing Research Division, which is carrying
on this work, also initiated the preparation of a handbook on dis­
tribution cost accounting which will be found useful in guiding
efforts to produce profits through more adequate budgetary control.
FO R EIG N TRA D E R ESEA R C H AND STATISTICS

S p ecia l a c tivities .—A group of five divisions (Commercial Laws,
Finance, Foreign Tariffs, Regional Information, and Foreign Trade
Statistics) provides the basis for much of the Bureau’s most highly
technical service to America’s international traders. The routine
activities of these divisions occupy a large share of the time of their
personnel. Special services have, nevertheless, been rendered dur­
ing the past fiscal year, notable among which was the contribution
to the Temporary National Economic Committee by the Regional
Information Division of studies of the problems of economic con-

BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE

21

centration and of fundamental economic changes in certain foreign
countries. The focusing of interest on Latin America in the Lima
conference called forth the best efforts of Bureau experts in the
divisions of Regional Information, Finance, Foreign Tariffs, and
Commercial Laws, both in preparation for the conference and in
meeting subsequent demands for information and guidance in formu­
lation of governmental and business policy.
A publication of unusual interest, Oversea Travel and Travel
Expenditures in the Balance of International Payments of the United
States, 1919-38, was issued by the Finance Division. The Regional
Information Division found a brisk demand for two bulletins en­
titled “Commercial Traveler’s Guide to Latin America,” covering the
west and the east coasts of South America, which necessitated re­
printing. Complete also in this Division was a study of The United
States’ Place in India’s Trade and several studies of living costs
for Americans in selected foreign lands. Noteworthy among the
publications of the Foreign Tariffs Division were Foreign Marksof-Origin Regulations, Taking Your Car Abroad, and Preparing
Shipments to British Countries, all of which are of great value to
American exporters.
The growing interest in interstate trade barriers called forth
a special contribution from the Commercial Laws Division, which,
in cooperation with the Marketing Research Division, enabled the
Bureau to participate in a number of conferences dealing with this
menacing problem. The Finance Division was called on for special
service as a result of the avalanche of inquiries from small business,
a large proportion of which dealt with the need for financial
assistance.
The Division of Foreign Trade Statistics consolidated its gains
of the previous year in speeding the publication of current export
and import statistics. Special tabulations were prepared for such
outstanding events as the Lima conference. The changing status
of Czecho-Slovakia called for special tabulations as well as for
revision of the statistics to provide a basis for the imposition of the
customs duties under the new German auspices.
OU TSTA NDIN G D EV ELO PM EN TS IN FO R EIG N TR A D E AS
R EV EA L ED BY FO R EIG N -TR A D E R ESEA R C H

Evident signs of recovery in world trade appeared in the statis­
tics of foreign trade compiled by the Bureau during the second half
of 1938, coincidental with the upturn in industrial activity in the
United States. During the year as a whole, the value of world trade
was reduced as a consequence of declines in both the quantity and
the prices of internationally traded goods. Developments in the
foreign trade of the United States were of profound, and in some
respects determining, influence on world commerce. Exports from
this country to the rest of the world were only slightly smaller in
value in 1938 than in the preceding year, and remained above the
level of any other recent year since 1930. Imports, on the contrary,
were reduced in value by more than a third. As a result of these
disparate changes, the share of the United States in world trade
in 1938 rose moderately in the case of exports but dropped sub­
stantially in the case of imports. The export trade balance of the

22

REPORT OE THE SECRETARY OR COMMERCE

country exceeded a billion dollars, the largest margin of exports
over imports in 17 years. Other outstanding features of the inter­
national commercial and financial transactions of the United States
during 1938 revealed by the research of the Bureau were the greatly
reduced net payments to foreigners for various services as compared
with 1937, a continued movement of capital funds from abroad, and
a further heavy inflow of gold.
The decline in United States imports of merchandise in 1938
(which accounted for nearly one-third of the decline in world import
trade and for about one-half of the fall in trade in raw materials)
reflected a reduced demand for foreign crude materials growing out
of the slackening of industrial activity in the last half of 1937, on
the one hand, and abundant domestic supplies of certain agricul­
tural products replacing previous shortages, on the other. After
the middle of 1938, domestic requirements for imported materials
began to increase along with the general improvement in business.
At the same time, the decrease in the prices of goods in world trade
was arrested, and there followed a normal seasonal expansion in the
quantity of trade. In general, exports of United States merchandise
were fairly well maintained in 1938. The demand for American
aircraft, machinery, and metal manufactures continued strong, partly
because of the requirements of rearmament programs in several
European countries; and foreign sales of crude and manufactured
foodstuffs were considerably increased despite a marked decline in
shipments of raw cotton.
The obstacles to foreign intercourse, which became perhaps even
more numerous and more complex during the past year than in pre­
ceding years, have imposed heavy burdens on the Foreign Tariffs
and Finance Divisions. Much research has been necessary to pro­
vide timely and adequate information for the guidance of American
foreign traders. Various forms of exchange restrictions imposed
by foreign governments have created a problem of obtaining effec­
tive payments in dollars quite apart from the ordinary difficulties
of securing and holding foreign markets for American products.
Not only are restrictions placed upon the free conversion of foreign
currencies into dollars, but it may be required also that exchange
allotments must be obtained before goods are passed through customs
or even before goods are ordered. Imports from the United States
are frequently on a different footing from shipments originating in
other countries, notably in instances in which clearing and compen­
sation agreements are in effect or in which bilateral trade results
in an excess of exports from this country; and special regulations
are sometimes applied to the importation of particular commodities.
Transfers of dividends, profits, royalties, and other payments not
directly related to trade in goods are often subject to rigid controls.
Morever, the operations of American-owned enterprises in certain
foreign countries, involving investments of large proportions, have
been placed under severe disabilities.
In the case of barriers to trade in goods, there has been increasing
resort to measures beyond the familiar tariff duties. For example,
quota systems which stipulate maximum quantities of specified com­
modities which may be imported from all countries, or from desig­

BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE

23

nated countries, or even by individual importers, have become
common. It is a matter especially worthy of note that the restric­
tions imposed upon international trade and payments constitute no
settled order which can be satisfactorily analyzed or summarized at
infrequent intervals. Since changes in regulations are generally
made by the administrative action of authorities acting under broad
discretionary powers, changes may be literally daily occurrences.
The situation has been rendered the more confusing during recent
times by political dislocations in Central Europe and Asia and by
the formation of trade areas and currency blocs to which access from
outside areas is completely or partially closed by the use of extraor­
dinary control devices.
These developments in foreign commerce have emphasized the im­
portance of the informational and research activities of such divi­
sions of the Bureau as Foreign Tarilfs, Regional Information,
Finance, Foreign Trade Statistics, and Commercial Laws, on the
one hand, and the Bureau’s participation in the trade-agreements
program through its Trade Agreements Unit, on the other. Individ­
ual firms and financial institutions are often entirely unable to cope
with the new problems arising in the conduct of foreign trade. New
forms of competition in the foreign market, new and formidable
obstacles to trade, and frequent interferences with the free flow of
international payments have made it imperative that American busi­
ness and finance be kept advised on day-to-day developments in the
field of trade and exchange restrictions. This service has aided not
only in the maintenance of foreign trade ; it has prevented also
serious losses which would otherwise have resulted from the failure
of exporters to secure clearance of shipments by foreign customs and
exchange authorities or to receive payments from foreign purchasers
promptly or at all.
. .
Since under present-day circumstances knowledge of detail is often
meaningless without knowledge of the whole, the broader research
activities of the Bureau in the realm of foreign commerce have
gained added significance. Businessmen and bankers have been
assisted very materially in the management of their affairs in other
countries through the careful, comprehensive analysis by the Bureau
of general economic and financial conditions abroad, as well as of
developments in the trade and financial relations between the United
States and foreign countries. The grateful acknowledgment on the
part of the business and financial community of the assistance ren­
dered by the Bureau is the best indication of the successful perform­
ance of this function. The Bureau has clearly played a major role
in maintaining and extending a foreign trade which occupies an
obviously important, and in many industries a primary, place.
The results of the trade-agreements program, in which the Bureau
actively participated, became increasingly significant during the past
12 months. By virtue of the conclusion of agreements with the
United Kingdom and the British Crown Colonies, with Ecuador,
and with Turkey, the 19 countries with which reciprocal agreements
are in operation, together with their colonies, account for approxi­
mately 60 percent of the total foreign trade of the United States.

24

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
A PPR O PR IA T IO N S

Salaries and expenses, Washington Commerce Service_____________ $543,800
330, 000
Domestic Commerce, Department of Commerce_________________ _
District and cooperative office service, Department of Commerce____ 323, 000
Export industries, Department of Commerce______________________ 530,000
Salaries and expenses, Poreigii Commerce Service_________________ 764,500
Customs statistics, Department of Commerce_____________________ 403, 000
Transportation of families and effects of officers and employees and
allowances for living quarters___________________ :_____________ 1 4 3 ,800
Received by transfer from “Foreign Service pay adjustment, apprecia­
tion of foreign currencies”_____________________________________ 100,000
Total------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3 ,138,100
PER SO N N EL
Employees on roll June 30, 1939
District of
Columbia
Permanent_________________________________ ____
Temporary.........................................................................
Total .....................................................................................

7
595

Field
577

Total
1,172

BUREAU OF THE CENSUS
INTRO DU CTION

During the past year the Bureau of the Census has faced the dual
task of maintaining current work and also preparing for the decen­
nial census of 1940. The preparatory work, already well under way
at the beginning of the year, has been accelerated until it has become
the major task of the Bureau.
The Sixteenth Decennial Census will serve all the people of the
United States. It will collect pertinent social and economic informa­
tion from every State of the Union as well as Alaska, Hawaii,
Puerto Rico, Guam, Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Panama
Canal Zone.
The increasing complexity of modern life has placed more demands
upon the Bureau to extend its field of inquiry. The counting of
population in each State to serve as a basis for representation in
Congress is provided for in the Constitution. Now, by far a greater
task is to obtain data on the characteristics of the population and the
social and economic activities of their daily life. A comprehensive
picture of social and economic conditions existing on the date of
enumeration and of activity for the preceding year will be presented.
Such a wealth of facts will be available that the publication and
interpretation of the figures will require about 3 years to complete.
A decennial census requires personnel, equipment, and space nearly
10 times that needed in noncensus years. The preliminary planning
necessary to train 150,000 people, to tabulate 500 million punch cards,
and to publish, with extreme care to avoid errors, more than two
score volumes of statistical tables has occupied a large proportion
of the Bureau’s time during the year.
The trend toward mechanization of statistical work is very marked.
In making plans for a new census, considerable time and study is
being given to the development of new tabulation devices which de­
crease costs and eliminate errors. The tempo of the times is such
that information rapidly loses value as its age increases. The Bureau
is making every effort to increase the timeliness of its publications,
and has succeeded in setting several records during the past year.
Methods are being developed for improving the general level of
efficiency of the personnel of the Bureau by means of in-service train­
ing. Educational opportunities have been provided and employees
encouraged to make use of such facilities. Preliminary preparations
have been made for training approximately 7,000 new employees in
the District of Columbia office and 140,000 field workers. The train­
ing of field enumerators is of very great importance. The quality
of the published data depends upon the accuracy and efficiency witli
which the enumerators do their job.
25

26

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

The Bureau has also studied suitable methods of meeting the in­
creased demand for current statistics. Particular attention has been
paid to suggestions for improving the coverage of industries now
regularly reporting and to a widening of the fields of inquiry.
L eg isla tio n .—The Sixteenth Decennial Census will be taken under
authority of “An Act to provide for the fifteenth and subsequent
decennial censuses and to provide for apportionment of Representa­
tives in Congress,” approved June 18, 1929, 46 Stat. 21. An act ap­
proved August 11, 1939, provided for a national census of housing
to be taken in 1940 in conjunction with and as a part of the popula­
tion inquiry of the Sixteenth Census.
Three bills were introduced in Congress for the purpose of correct­
ing the anomalous situation in the present law relating to the appor­
tionment of Representatives in Congress, created by the twentieth
amendment to the Constitution. The amendment changed the be­
ginning date of the regular sessions of Congress from December to
January. This creates an absurdity in the apportionment law be­
cause the President would be required to report to the third session
of the Seventy-sixth Congress within 1 week after its opening on
January 3, 1940, the results of a census of population which will not
be taken until April 1, 1940. A bill (H. R. 50) was introduced pro­
viding for the monthly collection of statistics on the production of
certain vegetable oils, oil cake, and meal, etc. None of these bills had
received final approval at the close of the first session of the Seventysixth Congress.
A d viso ry_ co m m ittee .—The Bureau makes a constant effort to keep
in touch with the recent advances and demands for data in fields of
work covered by its inquiries. The knowledge and advice of eminent
experts in all fields of our social and economic life are required to
accomplish this objective. To this end a general advisory committee
is appointed by the American Statistical Association to advise the
Director of the Census. In addition, special advisory committees are
invited to serve by the Secretary of Commerce upon the recommenda­
tion of the Director of the Census for the purpose of advising the
chiefs of the various divisions on subject matter pertaining directly to
the work of these divisions. In the sections of this report relating
to these subjects the personnel of these committees is listed. The
work of the special committees is coordinated by the general advisory
committee.
The present membership of the general Census Advisory Committee
is as follows:

R obert E. Chabdock, Columbia University, New York City, chairman.
M urray R. B enedict, College of Agriculture, University of California, Berke­
ley, Calif.
P aul T. C herington , New York City.
F rederic J. D ewhurst , Twentieth Century Fund, New York City.
W illiam F. Ogburn, University of Chicago, Chicago, 111.
W illard L. T horp , Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., New York City.

The work of the regular advisory committees was supplemented
with the advice of representatives of private organizations and other
governmental agencies. A series of conferences was held during the
year. Interested persons were invited to express their viewpoints
and desires and to make recommendations concerning the material to

BUREAU OE THE CENSUS

27

be included in the 1940 census schedules. The Bureau feels that these
meetings have made important contributions toward the improve­
ment of the Sixteenth Decennial Census.
PREPARATION OF ENUMERATION DISTRICT DESCRIPTIONS
AND MAPS

Through correspondence with local officials the necessary informa­
tion concerning changes which have occurred in the boundaries of
counties, townships or other minor civil divisions, cities, and wards in
cities has been secured, and from the various State highway depart­
ments and other sources approximately 2,400 new county maps have
been obtained.
The work of laying out the enumeration districts has been com­
pleted for about one-third of the counties of the United States,
although the duplicate maps for the use of the supervisors and enu­
merators have not been prepared for all these counties. The enumera­
tion district descriptions and duplicate maps have been completed for
the enumeration of Alaska, which will be started prior to the census
of continental United States.
C ensus tracts. —Owing to pressure of the preparatory work in con­
nection with the census of 1940, the Bureau was forced to set a dead­
line for the establishing of tract areas and no tract proposals have
been accepted since September 1, 1938. On that date tracts had been
established in 59 cities, and for 24 of these cities tracts in the sur­
rounding area had also been delimited.
M etro p o lita n d istricts. —The special committee appointed to con­
sider the question of metropolitan districts has been working on the
subject, but final recommendations have not been transmitted to the
Bureau. The committee anticipates that its work will be completed
in the early part of the coming fiscal year. The metropolitan district
committee is composed of Paul T. Cherington of New York City,
representing marketing and advertising interests; T. W. Howard of
the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, representing manu­
facturers and chambers of commerce; and Glenn E. McLaughlin,
Bureau of Business Research, University of Pittsburgh, representing
other statistical groups.
D elim ita tio n o f u n in corporated u rban places. —The work of delim­
iting the larger unincorporated urban places has been continued dur­
ing the past year by the Bureau of Public Roads, working in coopera­
tion with the Bureau of the Census. Limits have been set for these
places in 29 States, which boundaries will be followed in enumerating
the areas at the census of 1940.
QUINQUENNIAL CENSUS OE AGRICULTURE

The preliminary trial of the agricultural census schedule which
was made to determine the relative effectiveness of the various ques­
tions, the time required, and the difficulty in obtaining satisfactory
replies was mentioned in the last report.
The tabulation of the data disclosed some very interesting and
helpful facts which were used as a guide in drawing up and determin­
ing the schedule for 1940.

28

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

The actual selection of questions for the schedule was made with
the advice of a committee composed of the following members :
S. H. D eVattlt, American Farm Economic Association, chairman.
W, F. Callander, U. S. Department of Agriculture.
W. R. Ogg, American Farm Bureau Federation.
F eed B ranokman , The National Grange.
H arold F. E. J eunet , Agricultural Publishers Association.
H. G. K eeney , Farmers’ Educational and Cooperative Union of America.
Ole A. N egaakd, Central Statistical Board.
W. B. J en k in s , Bureau of the Census.

Their recommendations were reviewed by the Census Advisory
Committee after which the schedules were prepared. The agricul­
tural committee considered the thousands of questions submitted by
various departments, organizations, and interested persons.
A special plantation schedule was also prepared to accompany the
general farm and ranch schedule. In addition, two schedules for
irrigation and one for drainage were completed by a different com­
mittee made up of representatives of the Departments of Agriculture
and Interior and the Bureau of the Census.
Among other preparations for the census was a cooperative cam­
paign to induce farmers to keep records. The experience secured from
the canvass with the trial schedule indicated that only a very small
percentage of farmers kept books, Those who did were able to
answer the questions accurately and readily. The others required much
more time and study. In this campaign the Extension Service of the
Department of Agriculture and the Office of Education of the De­
partment of Interior rendered very great assistance. Federal statis­
ticians of the Crop Reporting Service went directly to their more
than 100,000 crop reporters ; vocational teachers reached a very large
number of students, and through them, the farm families ; and county
superintendents of schools brought the matter to the attention of the
country-school teachers. Further valuable assistance was rendered
by country bankers, county clerks of court, county commissioners, and
librarians. Altogether some 300,000 persons were reached directly
by these means, exclusive of many times that number reached by the
farm papers and the radio broadcasts. This campaign will be con­
tinued until the time of taking the census. Particular emphasis will
be placed on keeping records of crop and livestock production for the
calendar year 1939, with extensions to April 1,1940.
Technical and mechanical preparations included a study and re­
view of all processes of the office work from the time the schedules
are received, through the editing and tabulating of the data to the
analysis and publication of the results. The study has already
resulted in a number of improvements which should increase both the
speed and accuracy of the work.
Going beyond the preliminary stages, work upon the comparative
results from the 1935 and 1930 censuses is well advanced. The sum­
maries for 129 of approximately 200 items on the schedule have been
completed.
The most important special study of 1935 census data was the size
of flock tabulation for chickens and eggs made in cooperation with
the Department of Agriculture. This tabulation provided informa­
tion which was in demand and at the same time served to establish
mechanical methods and procedures for the coming census. Methods

BUREAU OF THE CENSUS

29

of changing groups for comparative purposes and the preparation
of summary cards for simplifying and expediting the work were
investigated.
The study of the summaries of editors’ and reviewers’ reports for
1930 and 1935 brought to light many interesting facts, one of which
was the advisability of using mechanical methods to eliminate hand
coding.
D E C EN N IA L CENSUS OE PO PU LA TIO N

At the close of the year preliminary schedules, instructions, and
other forms for use in the enumeration of the population had been
prepared. These forms are to be tried out in a special census of St.
Joseph and Marshall Counties, Ind. The special census will be taken
as of August 14, and will be of great assistance to the Bureau in
determining whether any change is necessary in the schedules or the
instructions.
Two alternative forms of the population schedule are to be used
in the special census—a “regular” schedule carrying lines for 100
names and a household schedule with space for 12 persons. The
“line” schedule will be used in one-half of the districts and the
“household” schedule in the other half. In addition, a supplementary
population schedule will be used in the enumeration of every tenth
household, thus providing the basis for a sample study of important
information which could not be included on the regular schedule.
Provision has been made, also, for checking the completeness of the
enumeration of children under 1 year of age by the use of an Infant
Report Form.
Suggestions concerning inquiries to be included on the population
schedule were received from a large number of individuals and or­
ganizations. These questions were given full consideration at a con­
ference of representatives of business, industry, labor, and other
interested groups. A tentative schedule which had been prepared in
advance served as a basis for the general discussion of subjects to
be included at the coming census. A revised draft of this schedule
was prepared for the consideration of the general Census Advisory
Committee.
A technical standing committee was appointed to serve in an ad­
visory capacity. Six meetings were held during April, May, and
June. The members of this committee included:
F rederick F. Stephan , American Statistical Association, chairman.
O. E. B aker , U. S. Department of Agriculture.
F rank L okimer, American University.
P. K. W helfton , Central Statistical Board.
H oward B. Myers , Work Projects Administration.

A committee composed of the statistician on occupations and special
representatives of several other governmental agencies was engaged
for several months during the year in the preparation of a standard
classification of occupations. The final draft of the classification is
now in process.
Work has also been done on certain comparable 1930 data for
publication with the 1940 census. Part of this work consisted in
the consolidation of the urban, rural-farm, and rural-nonfarm figures
for counties. At the close of the year it had been completed for over
one-half of the counties.

30

REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

In connection with the preliminary work of the Sixteenth Census,
a special study is being made of differential fertility in Butler County,
Ohio. Dr. Warren S. Thompson of Scripps Foundation for Research
in Population Problems is cooperating in this special study. This
investigation will provide an opportunity for experimental work on
tables which may be used for the family statistics of the 1940 census.
As a part, also, of the preparatory work a type-of-family analysis
has been made of the 1930 data. This analysis will aid in determining
the advisability of making similar tabulations in 1940.
HOUSING

In order to provide information concerning the number, character­
istics, and geographical distribution of dwelling structures and dwell­
ing units, the Director of the Census was authorized by Congress to
take a census of housing throughout the United States, Hawaii,
Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Alaska. This census is to be
taken as of April 1, 1940, in connection with the population inquiries
of the Sixteenth Decennial Census. All of the confidential features
of the regular census inquiries are applicable to the questions relating
to housing.
The act authorizing the housing census was approved shortly after
the close of the fiscal year, and preparations for this census are being
started. The housing census will probably make desirable a number
of modifications in the present preliminary schedules for population
and agriculture, in order that the three inquiries may be coordinated.
Preparatory work on the census of housing has just been started,
although some extended thought has been given to this census in
anticipation of its authorization by Congress.
BIENNIAL CENSUS OE MANUFACTURES, 1939

Conferences on revisions of the schedules to be used in the 1939
Census of Manufactures were held with representatives of industry,
trade associations, manufacturers, and other governmental agencies
during March, April, and May. At the close of the fiscal year revised
schedules and instructions to enumerators had been completed and
transmitted to the Secretary. . . .
The uniform industry classification, which had been in preparation
by an interdepartmental committee during the last 2 years, was
adopted on June 1, 1939. The new classification provides for 20
major groups of industries and for approximately 430 separate
industry classifications. This represents a very definite forward step
toward improving the industrial statistics, as it will provide for com­
parability with statistics collected by other governmental agencies
and will fit the statistics more realistically into the pattern of our
present industrial structure.
CENSUS OF MINES

The 1939 Census of Mines is as yet in a formative state. Schedules
for this inquiry will be drawn up in close cooperation with business
interests and other governmental agencies, especially with the Bureau
of Mines of the Department of the Interior.

BUREAU OP THE CENSUS

31

BUSINESS

In preparation for the 1939 Census of Business, a card list based on
establishments in operation in 1935 was started. The master lists are
arranged by coded areas—States, counties, and cities—while the field
list is arranged by enumeration districts and is to be used in the can­
vass. The retail establishment card file, numbering over 1,650,000
cards, has been completed. It is planned to complete the wholesale
establishment list of over 170,000 cards before the enumeration. A
list for the construction industry is also contemplated. The purposes
of such lists are to establish a control of the classification of estab­
lishments and to insure a more complete enumeration.
During the months of April, May, and June, numerous conferences
were held for the purpose of determining inquiries to be included in the
questionnaires for the 1939 Census of Business. Fourteen schedule
forms were prepared covering retail and wholesale trade, service estab­
lishments, places of amusement, hotels and tourist courts, and the con­
struction industry as carried on by general contractors, subcontractor's,
and operating builders.
TERRITORIES AND INSULAR POSSESSIONS

The schedules and enumerators’ instructions required in the census
of Alaska, to be taken as of October 1, 1939, were prepared and sent
to the Government Printing Office. Tentative drafts of the schedules
and instructions for use in the censuses of the other outlying areas of
the United States, to be taken as of April 1, 1940, were prepared and
submitted to the Secretary of Commerce.
The population censuses of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin
Islands, and the Panama Canal Zone will be similar to but slightly less
detailed than the population census of the continental United States.
For Guam and American Samoa the schedules used will be consider­
ably less comprehensive in their coverage. Agriculture will be can­
vassed in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and
American Samoa, and short schedules will be used for manufactures
and business in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
PREPARATION AND REVIEW OF SCHEDULES

All of the schedules for the various inquiries of the 1940 census have
gone through a number of drafts and revisions. The advisory com­
mittees on special subjects and conferences of representatives of in­
terested agencies and organizations have prepared recommendations
concerning the inquiries, after which the schedules have been revised
and submitted to the Central Statistical Board for final clearance with
other governmental agencies. The recommendations of the Board and
of the special advisory committees were reviewed by the general Cen­
sus Advisory Committee, which prepared final recommendations to the
Director of the Census.
FIELD WORK

Necessary preparations for field work have included estimates of
the number of persons to be employed in each supervisor’s district,
fixing of rates of pay for enumeration, preparation of card indexes of
192271—-39-

32

REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

new manfacturing and business establishments, and the writing of
instructions for area and district supervisors and for enumerators.
RESEARCH

The Bureau has long been cognizant of several fundamental prob­
lems that present serious operating difficulties. The research staff
has devoted a considerable portion of its time to discovering ways and
means of gradually overcoming these obstacles. Many changes made
in procedure have been adopted as a result of these studies.
One problem of the Bureau has resulted from the periodic expan­
sion of the work load for each census. Only a small nucleus of
trained personnel can be retained during the intercensal period to
provide continuity and to carry on current statistical work. Tem­
porary employees, most of whom are totally unfamiliar with census
procedure and techniques must be selected and trained to do the work
of the census. Scientific testing techniques for the selection of
enumerators are being developed, and experimental methods for
training clerks, editors, enumerators, and field supervisors for the
coming census are being studied. The latest advances in visual
education and other practical training procedures have been under
investigation.
Each census finds increasing demands for information, both for an
increased number of questions on the schedule and for additional
cross tabulations. However, the costs of enumeration and the
patience of the average housewife or businessman place a practical
limit on the size which the schedules can attain. At the same time
even with the latest developments in tabulation techniques, it has been
possible to make only a portion of the many tabulations of the data
that are m demand. The solution of these problems as well as that
of shortening the time between collection and publication of data
have become of increasing importance to the Bureau. The need for
a new method of attack has become apparent. The sampling method
already highly developed by statisticians and successfully used by
governmental agencies and business organizations, has offered a
method of solution.
The research staff has devoted a considerable portion of its time
during the past year to a study of various phases of the sampling
technique which might be applicable to the work of the Bureau’
Considerable research has been performed and is now in progress
on the relative efficiency of alternative methods of sampling on the
types of census questions which may be sampled most successfully, and
on the size of sample required to obtain any specified degree of pre­
cision. _The investigations have shown that statistics which are re­
quired in great detail for small areas are not adaptable to samplinobut that many items which are not required for local areas or in
great detail except on a major regional or national basis, may be
enumerated _and tabulated from a sample at low cost and with ade­
quate precision. They have demonstrated that important information
never before available because of enumeration or tabulation costs
may be obtained by sampling.

BUREAU OP THE CENSUS

33

BIENNIAL CENSUS OF MANUFACTURES, 1937

The 1937 Census of Manufactures was practically completed during the past fiscal year. Preliminary reports showing general statis­
tics were published for separate industries during 1938, the first in
June and the last in December of that year. A summary for the
United States showing the same statistics by industries was issued
on December 30. Preliminary reports showing production statistics
were prepared and issued before the close of the fiscal year. Final
industry reports also were prepared and these will be issued in 58
pamphlets, covering 351 industries.
The first 1937 State report was issued in February 1939 and the
last in April 1939. Summary statistics were prepared for all cities
having 10 ,0 0 0 inhabitants or more and for counties, and reports giv­
ing general statistics by industries were prepared for cities having
25.000 inhabitants and over where such statistics could be shown
without disclosing the operations of individual establishments. Re­
ports by industries were prepared for the 33 industrial areas, and a
summary showing general statistics for all industrial areas was issued
in April 1939. This is the first census since that covering the year
1904 in which general manufactures statistics by industries for all
cities of 25,000 population or more have been compiled and published.
In that year statistics for industries were shown for cities having
20 .0 0 0 population or more.
Data on inventories in the hands of manufacturers at the beginning
and end of 1937 were issued in April 1939, the first time that informa­
tion of this nature has been secured at a Census of Manufactures.
Data on the consumption of fuel and purchased electric energy were
collected for 1937 and the statistics were presented in a report issued
in June 1939. The last previous census for which detailed fuel
statistics were published was that for 1929.
All manuscript for the final report, Census of Manufactures fox1937, which will consist of two volumes, was prepared and sent to
the printer before the close of the fiscal year. Part I is primarily an
assembly of the detailed reports for manufacturing and printing
and publishing industries covered by the census; part II is an as­
sembly of detailed reports for cities having 25,000 inhabitants or more
and of inventories in the hands of manufacturers at the beginning
and end of 1937, by industries and by States.
CURRENT STATISTICAL SERVICE

Due to a reallocation of work between the Bureau of the Census
and the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, effective Febru­
ary 28, 1939, several new current manufacturing and business
inquiries have been added to those compiled by the Bureau of the
Census. The reports added include : Monthly reports on sales from
approximately 80,000 independent retail stores ; monthly reports from
approximately 3,300 wholesale firms, giving information on sales, ac­
counts receivable, collections, and inventories (with a special form
of inquiry in the drug trade) ; monthly reports from approximately
2.0 0 0 manufacturing establishments, giving information on sales,

34

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

accounts receivable, and collections (with a special form of inquiry
in the drug trade) ; monthly reports on confectionery poundage from
approximately 150 manufacturers, showing pounds sold during each
period ; and quarterly reports on canned food stocks. The reports on
canned vegetable stocks in canners’ hands are obtained directly from
the National Canners Association which collects the figures from the
entire industry; stocks of canned fruits are reported by some 60
packers; and both canned vegetable and fruit stocks are reported
by approximately 500 wholesalers.
Improvements during the past fiscal year have been made in a
number of the current statistical reports issued by the Bureau.
Notable among these were the changes in the schedules on Railroad
Locomotives and Mining and Industrial Locomotives which were re­
vised to promote comparability between the two series, and extensions
in coverage of the retail and wholesale reports.
A new record for timeliness was set with the 1938 report on the
Manufacture and Sale of Farm Equipment and Related Products. A
preliminary report on Tractors, Combines, and Grain Threshers was
issued on January 25, 1939, and for all products on April 18, 1939.
QUINQUENNIAL CENSUS OE ELECTRICAL INDUSTRIES

Preliminary reports on the Census of Electrical Industries for
the year 1937 had all been issued before the close of the past fiscal
year, 12 being prepared for the electric light and power industry; 4
for street railways, motorbus, and trolley-bus operations; and 7 for
telephones and telegraphs. In the electric light and power report a
break-down by type of ownership is shown for the first time for the
following groups: Privately owned electric utilities; municipally
owned electric utilities; cooperatives, power districts, etc.; Federal­
and State-owned utilities; and other groups. Data were also col­
lected for the first time on radiotelephones and radiotelegraphs, and
also on trolley busses as a separate industry.
CENSUS SURVEY OE BUSINESS

The 1937-38 Census Survey of Business, which was undertaken
in February of 1938 with funds made available by the Works Prog­
ress Administration, was completed during the first week of Febru­
ary 1939. Reports were collected by means of a mail canvass from
a large sample of independent and chain retail and wholesale stores,
using as a basis for the mailing list reports received in connection
with the 1935 Census of Business, eliminating retail establishments
which reported sales of less than $5,000 for that year and wholesale
establishments which reported saies of less than $25,000 for that
year. Certain classifications which were either covered by other
statistical series or could not be canvassed satisfactorily by mail
were also eliminated. Usable schedules were received for approxi­
mately 133,000 retail stores and 18,500 wholesale establishments. The
final reports for both retail and wholesale trade were published and
distributed during the latter part of January and the first week
of February 1939. The published material presented trend data
on net sales, credit sales, pay rolls, and stocks for identical retail
stores, and wholesale establishments for 1935, 1937, and the first
half of 1938, correlated with the complete census data for 1935.

BUREAU OB THE CENSUS

35

Special intracity tabulations of the 1935 retail trade data were
made for the cities of Chicago and Buffalo. The final reports pre­
senting these data by geographic areas and communities were issued
for Buffalo in March 1939 and for Chicago in June 1939.
COTTON. AND OIL REPORTS

An addition to statistics on cotton was made during the past season
by collecting and releasing data showing quantities of cotton grown
each year by counties. The additional inquiry required that each
ginnery show the cotton ginned by the county of growth.
Regular reports were received from approximately 14,000 cotton
ginneries, 500 cottonseed oil mills, 300 refineries and consumers of
cottonseed oil, 3,000 storage places such as warehouses and com­
pressors, and 2,000 cotton-consuming establishments. Reports were
issued semimonthly for cotton ginned and monthly for cotton con­
sumed and held, cotton spindle activity, and cottonseed and its major
products. A special report on the bales and pounds of the several
kinds of linters and other cotton fiber produced by the oil mills was
also issued.
Closely related to the cottonseed oil reports are those for other
vegetable and animal fats and oils. Reports are received from
about 4,000 factories producing and consuming these oils and from
100 storage establishments. In addition to quarterly reports of vege­
table and animal fats and oils produced, consumed, and held, the
annual bulletin on this subject shows factory production, factory
consumption, factory and warehouse stocks, imports and exports, and
material used in the production of vegetable oils.
STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

A d v iso ry com m ittee .—A special advisory committee on statistics
of State and local government consists of the following members:

C harles J. F ox, city auditor, Boston, Mass., chairman.
F rederick L. B ird, director oi Municipal Research, Dun & Bradstreet, Inc.,
New York City.
D an O. H oye, city controller, Los Angeles, Calif.
W elles A. Gray, finance department, Chamber of Commerce of the United
States, Washington, D. C.
C arl H. C hatters , executive director, Municipal Finance Officers’ Association,
Chicago, 111.
L. M cCarthy D owns , auditor of Public Accounts, Commonwealth of Virginia,
Richmond, Va.
W alter R. D arby, commissioner of Local Government, State of New Jersey,

Trenton, N. J.

Two meetings were held in Washington during the year. Recom­
mendations were made which were referred to the Director and the
general Census Advisory Committee.
S ta tistic s o f S ta te s .—Collection of statistics of States was resumed
during the past year with the collection of data relating to the year
1937. Statistics of States were collected annually from 1915 through
1919, and from 1921 through 1932, but were discontinued since 1932
because of reduced appropriations. The 1932 data were never pub­
lished except in preliminary form and are being reported with those
for 1937.

36

REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

Preliminary reports for 1937 for 46 States were issued. A revised
classification of accounts for revenues, expenditures, debt, and pub­
lic-service enterprises, with a new handbook of instructions and
definitions, was adopted. Statistics on the number of State em­
ployees, by quarters, and total pay roll were gathered and compiled
for the first time. Compilation in the field of the State reports for
1938 was started during the year.
S ta tistic s o f cities. —The annual report, presenting data for cities
having a population of 10 0 ,0 0 0 or more, was published in preliminary
form for 1937 for 47 of the 94 cities. The report for all cities was
not completed because of the additional work entailed by the restora­
tion of the report on States, the separation of data on public-service
enterprise, and the adoption of a revised classification of accounts
for revenues, expenditures, and debt. The revised classification was
adopted after conference with the National Committee on Municipal
Accounting. Data on the number of employees, by quarters, and
total pay roll for cities were gathered for the first time in 1937.
Compilation in the field of the city reports for 1938 was started
during the year.
C u rren t specia l-su bject stu d ies .—Nonfinancial current studies were
made on municipal employees in cities of over 10 0 ,0 0 0 population as
of April 1 , 1936; proposals voted upon in city elections, 1938; State
proposals voted upon in 1938 general elections; and State tax laws
in 1939 legislative sessions.
As part of a series of summaries on State finances, releases on
special subjects were issued on the assessed value of property sub­
ject to general and selective property taxes by States, with com­
parative totals for 1932, and on State revenues from general and
selective property taxes for 1937 and selected prior years.
D ig e st o f S ta te ta x law s. —A Digest of State Laws Relating to
Inheritance and Estate Taxes, 1938, and a Digest of State Laws
Relating to Net Income Taxes, 1938, were compiled for publication.
D e b t o f S ta te an d local g o vern m en ts , 1937. —An intercensal report
on State and local debt, an inquiry made in cooperation with the
United States Treasury, was published by the Treasury under the
title Securities Exempt From the Federal Income Tax as of June
30, 1937. _
M u n icip al referen ce service. —Documentary material relating to
local government organization, administration, and public reports
was compiled in duplicate for 1 2 additional cities making a total
coverage of 186 cities of over 60,000 population. The material was
kept current and the scope of the service expanded.
N ew series o f rep o rts .—Plans were formulated and approved for
the assumption of quarterly reports on local government employ­
ment and pay rolls and for preliminary reports of State tax
collections.
VITAL STATISTICS

A d v iso ry co m m ittee on v ita l sta tistics .—The advisory committee
on vital statistics held one meeting in Washington during the past
year. The committee has rendered valuable service in making

BUREAU OF THE CENSUS

37

recommendations to the Bureau on the major vital statistics prob­
lems. The membership of the committee is as follows:

L owell J. R eed, .Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public
Health, Baltimore, Md., chairman.
H aven. E merson , College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University,
New York City.
Louis I. D ublin , Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., New York City.
R obert E. C haddock, Columbia University, New York City.
R obert Olesen , Assistant Surgeon General, United States Public Health
Service, Washington, D. C.
W. A. D avis, State registrar of ¡vital statistics, Austin, Tex.
J. V. D eP oetk, director, division of vital statistics, State Department of
Health, Albany, N. Y.
A. J. C itesley, secretary and executive officer, State department of health,
St. Paul, Minn.
I sadore F alk , chief, health studies, Bureau of Research and Statistics,
Social Security Board, Washington, D. C.

R evisio n o f th e In tern a tio n a l L is t o f C auses o f D eath . —The re­
vision of the International List of Causes of Death has been a
major activity throughout the past year. The chief statistician for
vital statistics served as chairman of the American delegation to
the International Conference for the Revision of the International
List of Causes of Death, held in Paris in October 1938. A num­
ber of revisions in the International List were effected, some of
which were drastic in character, particularly those involved with
the maternal and cardiac causes of death.
A resolution was passed urging that the United States Govern­
ment extend its work in connection with obtaining international
consistency in the tabulation and interpretation of causes of death.
The United States Government was requested to form a subcommit­
tee comprising representatives of countries and agencies cooperating
in the various lines of research concerning this subject. This reso­
lution affords an opportunity for the Bureau of the Census to
develop an international cooperative research plan for the solution
of problems relating to the comparability of mortality statistics.
U n ifo rm v ita l sta tistics bill. —A uniform State vital statistics
bill was drafted in the spring of 1938. Clearance of interested gov­
ernmental agencies was obtained by a series of weekly conferences,
and a tentative draft was submitted to the State registrars at the
fall meeting of the American Public Health Association. Among
the agencies which have cooperated most closely in developing the
draft were the Social Security Board, the Public Health Service,
the Children’s Bureau, the American Medical Association, the
American Bar Association, the American Association of State and
Provincial Registration Executives, and the State and Territorial
Health Officers.
The new bill is based upon a broader legal theory than the first
model law. The new features, in brief, are: It is drafted with the
expectation that it will be adopted by the States without major
changes in form or content; it gives only the more general princi­
ples of procedural and administrative law to be followed, leaving
details to rules and regulations proposed by the State authorities
in charge of public health; new items incorporated include mar­
riage and divorce registration, a standard definition for stillbirth,
and special provisions regarding delayed registration and the alter­

38

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

ing or amending of records already on file in the offices of State
registrars.
N evj sta n d a rd b irth , d ea th , and stillb irth certificates .—The decen­
nial revision of the certificates of birth, death, and stillbirths whs
concluded during the past year. The principal changes made in the
certificates were as follows: An improved statement for residence
as distinct from place of death or place of birth; a revision of the
medical certification on the death certificate, making it more con­
sistent with practices of the other English-speaking nations; and
the introduction on the death certificate of two items needed by the
Social Security Board, that is, the Social Security account number
and the age of husband or wife.
As a result of widespread clearance the new standard certificates
represent a reasonable compromise to all interested groups. Foi'ty
States have already indicated that they will adopt the forms prior
to January 1940.
The inclusion of the Social Security account number on the new
death certificate makes possible the union of the occupational and
income information on the records of the Social Security Board,
with the mortality information on the death transcript coming to
the Bureau of the Census. The Social Security Board has developed
a proof of death form which they plan to have the local registrar
fill out and mail to the Board. A carbon copy of the form will
go to the State health office, from which the account number will be
entered on the death transcripts which are sent to the Bureau.
D eath s in h ospitals and in stitu tio n s .—The principal new statis­
tical project brought to completion in the current year was the
tabulation of deaths by type of institution or hospital in which
the death occurred. These deaths were further classified according
to residence, to the size of the place of death, and to disease condition
causing the death.
F ield a c tivities .—A number of vital statistics field projects have
been conducted throughout the past year. The most important of
these was a birth registration campaign in West Virginia, repre­
senting an experiment in a new type of program directed at pro­
motion of birth registration. The experiment had as its goal the
discovery of a, technique for promoting completeness of birth regis­
tration by enlisting the aid of organizations in the local community.
Over five hundred committees were organized in the various counties,
led by people in the communities who were supplied with appropri­
ate campaign information. As a result of the campaign more than
fifty thousand persons mailed in cards to the State Health office
requesting that the files be searched to determine whether their
births had been registered.
Five regional conferences of State registrars were held in the spring
of 1939. The regions covered the entire country and were identical
with those used by the United States Public Health Service. Most
of these meetings were attended not only by State registrars but by
State health officers and the regional director of the United States
Public Health Service. The regional groups were small, making it
possible to have discussions on all of the questions which face the
State registrars in the conduct of their programs. These conferences
represent one of the most important phases in the development of
vital statistics.

BUREAU OF THE CENSUS

39

A redraft of the Physicians’ Pocket Keference Manual marks the
beginning of a campaign for educating physicians and medical stu­
dents in vital statistics. This manual in the past has included only
a statement of the main headings of the International List of Causes
of Death. The revision contains a description of the procedure and
duties of the physician in filing certificates and information on the
value of registration, as well as an indexed copy of the new Inter­
national List of Causes of Death. Useful tables of the statistics
needed by the physician are included; also a selected bibliography
so that he can inform himself concerning vital statistics if he wishes.
The physicians’ handbook represents the inception of an educational
campaign directed at medical students in their graduating year. It
is hoped that the facts in it can be introduced into lectures for medical
students and incorporated into the essential knowledge required for
graduation.
POPULATION

E stim a tes o f p o p u la tio n .—Estimates of the population of the con­
tinental United States and of the outlying territories and possessions,
as of January 1, 1938, and as of July 1, 1938, were issued by the
Bureau. No estimates of the population of individual States were
made for 1938 because of the lack of satisfactory data on interstate
migration, and no further estimates for the United States will be
made until after the 1940 census.
S p ecia l p o p u la tio n censuses .—Special censuses, under the supervi­
sion of representatives of this Bureau, were taken during the year for
the following places:
Markham, Cook County, 111., as of November 14, 1938.
Riverside, Cook County, 111., as of December 14, 1938.
Lincolnwood, Cook County, 111., as of December 28, 1938.

Official certificates o f p o p u la tio n .—Eleven official certificates of
population, under seal of the Department of Commerce, mainly for
use in cases coming before the courts, were issued during the year.
S p ecia l stu d ies .^Considerable work was involved in the prepara­
tion and analysis of data on the population of Canadian origin in the
United States. This material is to form part of a report which is
being prepared as a joint project with the Dominion Bureau of
Statistics.
A special report giving “Comparative Occupation Statistics, 1870
to 1930,” has been prepared and will be forwarded for printing at
an early date. The statistics presented in this report reflect the in­
dustrial progress of the Nation through 60 years of its history.
A Topical Index of Population Census Tabulations, 1930, was
practically completed at the close of the year. This index will enable
persons interested in population statistics to determine the unpub­
lished 1930 data available in the Census Bureau.
In stitu tio n a l p o p u la tio n .—The annual reports on Patients in Hos­
pitals for Mental Disease and on Mental Defectives and Epileptics in
Institutions, 1937, were forwarded for printing in June. The delay
in the receipt of schedules for a relatively small number of institu­
tions greatly retarded the compilation of the statistics for these
classes of the population. In general, however, the cooperation of
the institutions in this work has been highly satisfactory.

40

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

STATISTICS OF CRIME

The report on Prisoners in State and Federal Prisons and Re­
formatories for 1937 was nearly completed for publication during
the past year.
The form of the annual report on Judicial Criminal Statistics
was changed for 1937, thus enabling the Bureau to secure an early
release for these statistics. The report consisted of 29 State sum­
maries, together with an introductory text.
POPULATION INDEXES

Since the enactment of the social security legislation, the number
of requests for certification of age received in this Bureau has greatly
exceeded the number expected. The Social Security Act alone is
not responsible for the great influx of applications. Requests are
received regularly from the Civil Service Commission, the Veterans
Administration, and other governmental agencies, as well as from
individuals seeking certification of their ages as an aid in securing
employment, passports, insurance, and for other purposes.
_To locate an individual in the large bound volumes, which con­
sist of the original census schedules made out by enumerators in their
house-to-house canvass, it is necessary to have the exact place of
residence at one of the census periods. Then the enumerator’s dis­
trict must be ascertained before a search of the records is begun.
This procedure involves, of course, much time and labor. The index,
on the other hand, makes it necessary to know only the State in
which the person resided and the name of the head of the household.
The index for the 1900 census, the only census for which a com­
plete index has been made, has proved so efficient that a similar
index of the persons enumerated at the census of 1920 is being com­
piled in New York City with funds allotted by the Works Progress
Administration. On June 30, approximately 2 ,2 0 0 persons were
employed on this project, transcribing, verifying, and indexing ap­
proximately 58,000,000 cards. Through June, the States of Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, and California had
been completed, and 29,092,639 cards had. been finally verified. This
index will contain 105,000,000 names and, when completed, will be
the largest of its kind in the world.
To reduce the space required for its retention in the Bureau, the
index of 1900 has been reproduced on 16-mm. film. For the pur­
pose of preserving records of the original population volumes, all
of them for the years 1840 through 1870 as well as 518 volumes of
the Census of 1880, making a total of 3,137 volumes, have been
placed on 35-mm. film. The census records through the year 1830
have been photostated.
SEARCHING OF POPULATION RECORDS

The increased demand for age data, as contained in the census
records, is evidenced by the fact that 163,132 requests for this in­
formation were received during the past fiscal year, as compared
with 4,166 a decade ago. In addition, 5,836 visitors called to examine
the population records prior to the census of 1880 which have been

BUREAU OF THE CENSUS

41

made available for genealogical searches. The personal data re­
corded for the census of 1880 and subsequent censuses are strictly
confidential and will be furnished only to the person enumerated,
to a member of his immediate family, or to his legally authorized
representative, upon written request. A total of 123,133 requests
were answered during the year. On June 30, there were on hand
85,947 applications to be answered.
PHOTOSTAT AND MICROFILM LABORATORY

In addition to microfilming the population volumes, the Bureau
has furnished numerous universities and historical societies with
microfilm or photostatic copies of many of the earlier census records.
The Bureau has also been able to furnish microfilm and photostat
services at cost to a number of other governmental agencies. During
the fiscal year, a total of more than 90,000 photostatic prints were
made.
CENSUS OF RELIGIOUS BODIES

The Decennial Census of Religious Bodies, 1936, taken in accord­
ance with the provisions of the permanent Census Act passed in
1902, is nearing completion. The field work on this survey was ter­
minated at the close of December 1938. A total of 259 denomina­
tions have furnished reports covering 200,938 churches. Through
June, 60,358 schedules have been edited and sent forward for tabula­
tion, and the first bulletins will soon be ready for printing. These
bulletins will contain, in addition to membership, financial, and other
data, a summary of the history, doctrine, organization, and work of
each denomination.
FOREIGN STATISTICS

The collection, classification, and indexing of foreign statistical
material has been continued. The exchange of official statistical
publications with countries that issue such publications is being car­
ried on in accordance with arrangements made early in 1939. A
large number of requests for foreign statistical material were re­
ceived and complied with.
MACHINE TABULATION

The tabulation equipment available in the Bureau of the Census
constitutes a valuable source of service, not only to the various divi­
sions of the Bureau, but also to other governmental agencies and
nongovernmental organizations. The extent of this service may be
measured, in part, by the fact that during the past fiscal year a gross
total equivalent of 177,336,717 punched cards were handled.
Over 78 percent of the tabulations were required for the usual work
of the Bureau of the Census. The Biennial Census of Manufactures
accounted for 12 percent of the cards handled. Other subjects for
which work was done included administration, agriculture, business,
cotton and oils, religious statistics, population, and vital statistics.
About 18 percent of the cards handled were involved in assignments
for other governmental agencies, while the remaining 4 percent rep­
resented work done for nongovernmental organizations on a cost
basis.
J

42

REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

Activities in machine tabulation included testing of equipment in
preparation for the forthcoming decennial census, although this pro­
gram was limited by the press of current work.
PUBLICATIONS

B ien n ia l C ensus o f M an u factu res , 1937. —Results of the Biennial
Census of Manufactures, 1937, were made public during the fiscal
year through preliminary industry reports and State reports.
Twenty-seven final industry reports have been printed, and the fol­
lowing releases have been issued :

Inventories in the hands of manufacturers at the beginning and end of 1937.
Cost of materials, containers, fuel, purchased electric energy, and contract
work, 1937.
Consumption of fuel and purchased electric energy, 1937.
Wage earners, by months, 1937.
Personnel other than wage earners, and salaries paid, 1937.
Wage earners and wages in establishments classified according to number of
wage earners, by industry groups, industries, and geographic divisions and
States, 1937.
Relative importance of leading industries, for the United States, 1937.
ANNUAL REPORTS

S ta tistic a l A b stra c t o f the U n ited S ta tes. —The 1938 edition of the
Statistical Abstract, a volume of 882 pages, was completed and pub­
lished during the year and preparations for the 1939 edition were
well under way at the close of this period.
The Statistical Abstract is a compilation of authoritative figures
derived from reports of the Bureau of the Census and other agencies.
Federal, State, and nongovernmental, relating to the social and
economic condition of the population and to the industrial, commer­
cial, and governmental activities of the Nation. The Abstract has a
wide distribution among businessmen, economists, statisticians, stu­
dents, and others who have need for a convenient reference work of
this character.

Other annual reports
Judicial criminal statistics, 1937.
Patients in hospitals for mental diseases, 1936.
Mental defectives and epileptics in institutions, 1936.
Mortality statistics, 1936.
Birth, stillbirth, and infant mortality statistics, 1936.
Manufacture and sale of farm equipment and related products, 1938.
Lumber cut in 897 identical mills, 1938.
Cotton production and distribution, season of 1937-38.
Cotton production—crop of 1938.
Animal and vegetable fats and oils, 1934 to 1938.
.—

SPECIAL REPORTS AND RELEASES

The Bureau issues regularly a large number of preliminary re­
leases of data which are later included in reports. Many of these
releases are not specificially mentioned in the following list, which
includes special reports and releases of general interest.
Agriculture, industry, trade, and finance
Geographic distribution of retail trade in Buffalo, N. Y, 1935.
Geographic distribution of retail trade in Chicago, 111., 1935.
Census survey of business, 1937-38, retail survey.
.—

BUREAU OP THE CENSUS

43

Census survey of business, 1937-38, wholesale survey.
A digest of State laws relating to inheritance and estate taxes, 1938.
Proposals voted upon in city elections, 1938.
State proposals voted upon in the 1938 general elections.
Chickens and eggs by size of flock.
Vital statistics and population
Age composition of the Nation’s labor force, 1890-1930.
Industrial distribution of the Nation’s labor force, 1870-1930.
Estimates of population (2 releases).
Judicial criminal statistics in 43 Ohio counties, 1937.
Weekly health index.
Weekly accident bulletin.
Monthly vital statistics bulletin.
Negro newspapers and periodicals in the United States, 1938.
Convention dates of Negro organizations, 1939.
.—

CURRENT REPORTS

Cotton and oils
Cotton ginnings (12 reports).
Cotton consumed and stocks held (monthly).
Cottonseed and cottonseed products (monthly).
Animal and vegetable fats and oils (quarterly).
Current business reports
Retail sales, independent stores (35 monthly reports consisting of a summary
and separate reports for 28 States and 6 cities).
Wholesalers’ sales, stocks, collections, and accounts receivable (monthly).
Canned foods stock (quarterly).
.—

.—

CURRENT INDUSTRIAL REPORTS
(A) MONTHLY REPORTS

Air-conditioning systems and equip­
ment
Automobiles
Automobile financing
Bathroom accessories
Boots, shoes, and slippers (other than
rubber)
Cellulose plastic products
Commercial steel castings
Confectionery and competitive choco­
late products
Convection-type radiators
Cotton, leather, and allied garments
Distillate oil burners
Domestic pumps and water systems and
windmills
Domestic water-softening apparatus
Electric industrial trucks and tractors
Fabricated steel plate
Fire-extinguishing equipment
Floor and wall tile
Galvanized range boilers and tanks
for hot-water heaters
Hosiery
Imported dates
Knit fabric gloves
Knit wool gloves and mittens
Leather gloves and mittens
Malleable iron castings
Manufacturers’ sales and collections on
accounts receivable
Measuring and dispensing pumps (gaso­
line, oil, etc.)

Mechanical stokers
Men’s, youths’, and boys’ clothing cut
Methanol
Oil burners
Paint, varnish, lacquer, and fillers
Paperboard
Plastic paints, cold-water paints, and
calcimines
Plumbing brass
Porcelain enameled products
Prepared roofing
Public merchandise warehousing
Pulverizers
Pyroxylin-coated textiles
Railroad locomotives
Red-cedar shingles
Steel barrels and drums
Steel boilers
Steel office furniture, shelving, and
lockers, and fire-resistive safe in­
dustry products
Structural-clay products
Sulphuric acid
Superphosphates
Terra cotta
Underwear and allied products
White-base antifriction bearing metals
Wheat-ground and wheat-milling prod­
ucts by States and capacity groups
Wool consumption
Wool machinery activity

44

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
(B) QUARTERLY REPORTS

Edible gelatin
Wheat and wheat-flour stocks
Electric (mining and industrial) loco- Wheat-ground and wheat-milling prodmotives
nets (merchant and other mills)
Electrical goods
Wool stocks
Lacquers
WdRK DONE FOR OTHER FEDERAL OFFICES AND OUTSIDE
ORGANIZATIONS

The Bureau is frequently called upon to provide statistical ma­
terial from its stores of unpublished information relating to censuses
and surveys already taken. Much of this service is in the form of
correspondence and special requests which can be answered with a
relatively small expenditure of time. Where more extensive investi­
gations or tabulations are involved, the service is performed on a
reimbursement basis. The Bureau provides, in addition, mechanical
tabulation service, on a cost basis, which is utilized by other govern­
mental and outside organizations
The Federal agencies provided special statistical or tabulation
service on a reimbursement basis during the past year included:
Works Progress Administration, Rural Electrification Administra­
tion, Civilian Conservation Corps, Federal Power Commission, Bu­
reau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, Bureau of Fisheries, Bu­
reau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, and the Temporary Na­
tional Economic Committee.
PERSONNEL

T ra in in g courses fo r em ployees. —There were approximately 100
employees who registered in the in-service training program, of the
Bureau during the past year. This training program has been main­
tained in the Bureau since 1935, and through special arrangements
with one of the local universities the employees enrolled in these
courses may obtain academic credit for their work. Classes were
conducted in accounting, statistical cartography, economic geogra­
phy, elementary statistics, and research methods in statistics. All of
the courses were taught by technical members of the Bureau’s staff.
S tu d en t-in tern program .— Eleven graduate students participated
in the student-intern program in the Bureau during the past year.
The purpose of this program was to give training in public adminis­
tration to students especially interested in this subject. It was felt
that these associations were of mutual benefit to the students and to
the Bureau. This intern group was given special guidance by the
Bureau’s technical staff.
A p p o in tm en ts and separation s. —The following table shows the
number of employees on the regular roll of the Bureau for the past
fiscal year. In addition to these regular employees, however, there
were a number of special agents appointed for limited periods. On
June 30, 1939, thei’e were on the roll 3,727 of these temporary special
agents of whom 610 were employed in the Washington office and
3,117 outside Washington. Of those employed in the Washington
office 457 were engaged on Works Progress Administration projects.
In the other group 25 were employed on a project in Philadelphia

45

BUREAU OF THE CENSUS

and 2,292 on a project in New York City. For the fiscal year there
was a total of 13,795 special agents appointed while the separations
numbered 14,562.
Bureau Washington Field
total
office
1,728
1,589
139
547
206
341
1,015
262
565
45

903
801

102

122
1110

427
131
296
599
116
389
45
31
117

825
*788
37

120

75
45
416
146
176
91
3

1 Includes special agents for cotton and for vital statistics.

APPROPBIATIONS

A total of $45,100,000 was authorized for the work of taking, com­
piling, and publishing the Sixteenth Census of the United States.
The sum of $21,900,000 was appropriated under an act approved
June 29, 1939, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1940, and of this
sum $50,000 became available immediately. For salaries and neces­
sary expenses for searching census records and supplying informa­
tion incident to carrying out the provisions of the Social Security
Act, there was appropriated, also, by the act of June 29, 1939, the
sum of $10 0 ,0 0 0 for the fiscal year mentioned.
An additional $8,000,000 was authorized for the Census of Housing
to be taken in conjunction with the Sixteenth Decennial Census but
no funds were appropriated. The Bureau will request a supple­
mental appropriation in the first deficiency bill of the forthcoming
session of Congress.
Appropriations and other funds made available to the Bureau of the Census,
by source, fiscal year ended June 30,1939
Source of funds
Puntóse

Work for other Federal agencies:

Total

Bureau
appropria­
tions

$2,180,554
2,090,000
9,200

$2,090,000
2,090,000

10,000
66,142
5, 212

Allotted or
transferred Non­
from other govern­
Federal mental
agencies
$85,342

$5,212

9,200

10,000
66,142

5,212

NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS
GENERAL ACTIVITIES

F inances an d person n el .—The Bureau’s appropriation for 1939
was $2,615,000. This included $500,000 for construction and equip­
ment of the new high-voltage laboratory and $198,000 for the special
investigation of building materials and structures with particular
reference to low-cost housing. The sum of $24,000 for travel was
allotted from the consolidated funds of the Department of Commerce.
The regular staff at the close of the year (including temporary
employees) numbered 950, an increase of 21 as compared with the
preceding year. In addition, 80 research associates, supported by
national engineering societies and trade associations, were engaged
on technical problems of mutual interest to the Government and in­
dustry. Last year 59 associates were stationed at the Bureau. The
increase is significant as illustrating the growing appreciation of re­
search by American manufacturers.
T estin g .—The Bureau has continued to act as the principal testinglaboratory for supplies purchased by the Government and, in addi­
tion, has done a large amount of testing for the general public in
fields not covered by private laboratories. This is a fundamental
service which occupies the entire time of about one-half of the
Bureau’s staff.
P u b lica tio n s .—The results of the year’s work have been made
available through 288 publications and articles. In addition, 30
mimeographed letter circulars and notes on subjects concerning which
many inquiries are received were prepared and distributed on
request.
V isitin g com m ittee .—The members of this committee are: Morris
E. Leeds, president of the Leeds & Northrup Co.; Dr. William D.
Coolidge, director of the research laboratories of the General Electric
Co.; Dr. Frank B. Jewett, president of the Bell Telephone Labo­
ratories; Dr. Karl T. Compton, president of the Massachusetts In­
stitute of Technology; and Gano Dunn, chairman of the J. G. White
Engineering Corporation. The committee has furnished valuable
advice on mapping out the Bureau’s work, particularly in the field
of research.
In tern a tio n a l com parisons o f electrical an d p h o to m etric u n its .—In
pursuance of the program for establishment of new values for the
units of electricity and light, the Bureau sent groups of standard
cells and standard resistors to the International Bureau of Weights
and Measures and standard lamps to the National Physical Labo­
ratory of Great Britain, for comparison with similar standards from
other countries. These standards have now been returned, and remeasurement at the Bureau shows that they remained very stable in
value.
47

192271—39-----6

48

REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Such measurements give a very precise comparison with units now
maintained in other countries and also provide a basis for combining
the results obtained in various laboratories which are engaged in de­
termining the values of the units by absolute measurements. The
Bureau has reported the results of its determinations, but the in­
ternational program has fallen behind schedule, particularly because
no definitive reports on electrical units have been received from the
German national laboratory.
The three national laboratories taking part in the comparison of
lamps are in good agreement as regards average values, but further
measurements are necessary to explain variations or results on
individual lamps. Comparisons of standards for flux of light
(lumens) must also be made, and this must be extended to include
lamps of the gas-filled tungsten type before the new units can be put
into practical use.
Because of the delays in the international program, it is evident
that new values of the units cannot be introduced into use as of
January 1 , 1940, as was planned. In June, meetings of international
committees dealing with the two classes of standards were held in
Paris, and the International Commission on Illumination (which is
concerned with the units of light) met in Holland. At these meet­
ings the Bureau was represented by E. C. Crittenden, assistant di­
rector. It was decided to introduce the new photometric units on
January 1 , 1941. The date for actual introduction of the new elec­
trical units remains uncertain.
T w en ty-n in th N a tio n a l C onference on W eig h ts an d M easures .—
Official delegates from 27 States and the District of Columbia at­
tended this conference, held at the Bureau on June 6 to 9, inclusive.
In addition to the weights and measures officers of States, cities, and
counties, representatives of manufacturers of weighing and measur­
ing equipment and of industrial, business, and consumer groups were
also present. Of special interest and importance was the considera­
tion of the quantity standardization of packaged food commodities, in
which container manufacturers and food distributors participated;
a report by a special conference committee, recommending such stand­
ardization, was adopted, and the committee was instructed to carry
on further studies and to formulate plans for putting its recommen­
dation into effect. Papers were presented on a variety of subjects
including the new Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, retail
sales by weight and by measure, tolerances, coordination of activity
with respect to interstate shipments, and test weights of large de­
nominations. Some additions to and changes in the specifications
and tolerances for commercial weighing and measuring devices were
adopted, and a report was presented summarizing the results of the
vehicle-scale testing program being carried on by the Bureau in co­
operation with the States.
C onference o f p u b lic -u tility engineers. —Forty-two commision en­
gineers from 26 States, the District of Columbia, and Canada met
with representatives of the Federal Government concerned with the
technical aspects of public-utilities regulation in their seventeenth
annual conference on May 16 to 18. Meetings were held at the Bu­
reau, and 1 1 formal papers were presented and discussed. The con­
ference was the most widely representative of any thus far held on
this subject.

NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS

49

A m erican S ta n d a rd s A sso cia tio n — The Bureau takes an active part
in the work of this association. In addition to representation on over
1 0 0 sectional committees dealing with technical projects and the pri­
mary responsibility for 25 of them, it is represented on the following
coordinating agencies of the association: The Board of Directors, the
Standards Council, the Safety Code Correlating Committee, the
Electrical Standards Committee, the Mechanical Standards Com­
mittee, the Advisory Committee on Ultimate Consumer Goods, and
the Building Code Correlating Committee. The Bureau’s safetycode work is conducted under the procedure of, and all of its safety
codes have been approved by, the association. All of the buildingcode and plumbing-code requirements thus far formulated under the
auspices of the Bureau have been accepted as a basis for the develop­
ment of building and plumbing codes under the American Standards
Association procedure. Two members of the staff of the association
are located at the Bureau to facilitate the cooperative work of the
two organizations.
F ed era l specifications .—The Bureau makes many investigations
and tests in connection with the development and use of purchase
specifications by the Federal Government. The Director serves as
chairman of the Federal Specifications Executive Committee, under
the auspices of which 1,238 specifications have been prepared for the
use of executive departments and establishments of the Government.
ELECTRICITY

F u n dam en tal electrical m easu rem en ts .—In accordance with deci­
sions of the International Committee on Weights and Measures,
new values of the electrical units based upon “absolute” measurements
were to be used beginning January 1 , 1940. In preparation for this
anticipated change, the Bureau carried through two entirely inde­
pendent determinations of the absolute ohm and a determination
of the absolute ampere. One method of measuring the absolute ohm
made use of a self-inductor, while the other method utilized a mutual
inductor of a new design. Results obtained from the self-inductor
method were published in 1936. More reliable results have been
obtained during the past year owing to the construction of an im­
proved self-inductor, consisting of a coil of wire wound on a large
threaded Pyrex glass cylinder. The results obtained from this new
self-inductor may be expressed as follows:
1 NBS ohm = 1.0 0 0 48 absolute ohm.
The mutual-inductor method has been carried to completion for
the first time, and the result agrees with those for the self-inductor
method within a few parts in a million.
Results of absolute ampere measurements have also been obtained
previously, but these measurements have been repeated after a number
of important improvements in the equipment. The latest results of
this work (RP1200) 1 give
1 NBS ampere=0.999 8 6 absolute ampere.i
i Elements in parentheses identify the serial number of the paper and the Bureau pub­
lication in which it appeared. EP refers to a paper m the Journal of Research of the
National Bureau of Standards; BMS, Building M aterials and Structures ; R, Simplified
Practice Recommendation ; CS, Commercial Standard ; H, Handbook.

50

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Determinations of the ohm and the ampere are sufficient to fix
thé values of all the electrical units in absolute measure. To this
end, the International Committee on Weights and Measures will
consider the results of the Bureau’s determinations along with those
from other national standardizing laboratories.
R a d io .—The regular broadcasting of standard radio and audio
frequencies was continued, and the high reliability and accuracy
of this service were further improved. Modulators of greater output
were installed, and frequency multiplying and monitoring devices
were made more positive and automatic. The primary standard of
frequency was improved by the addition of oscillators of greater
constancy.
Radio-wave transmission was studied by means of measurements
of intensities from distant stations and observations of radio echoes
from the ionosphere. This work supplied useful information on a
number of practical problems such as selection of radio frequencies
for transmission over specified distances at various times of day and
year; determination of received intensities and limit of usable fre­
quencies for various distances, times, and locations of transmission
path ; means of carrying on radio communication at times when radio
conditions are irregular because of disturbances radiated from the sun
or other causes. A service of monthly predictions of ionosphere and
radio conditions was inaugurated. The results of the Bureau’s radio­
wave research were utilized by the Interdepartment Radio Advisory
Committee in the assignment of frequencies to Government radio sta­
tions, and by the Government committees preparing for the next meet­
ing of the International Radio Consulting Committee.
The radio sonde (also called radio meteorograph) developed by the
Bureau was put into regular service by the Navy, by the Weather
Bureau, and by other Government agencies, supplanting airplane
flights as a means of securing data on upper-atmosphere pressure,
temperature, and humidity. It was found useful over the oceans as
well as over land. The Bureau cooperated in the service application
of the system, carefully observed performance, and developed means
for further improvements. An electrical hydrometer was devised for
use in the radio sonde, which greatly increases the accuracy of
humidity determination.
_P h ysica l 'photom eter. —A physical photometer, consisting essen­
tially of a sensitive thermopile and galvanometer and a filter spe­
cially designed to duplicate the color sensitivity of the eye, was used
to measure the light from vacuum tungsten-filament lamps for which
values had been determined visually at the Bureau and at the Na­
tional Physical Laboratory of England by means of blue glass filters.
The results with the physical photometer agree to within 0.05 percent
with the values obtained visually.
M agn etic m easurem ents. —A new permeameter for measurements
at high magnetizing forces was developed. This instrument is par­
ticularly adapted to the testing of the new magnetic alloys which
have greatly extended the use of permanent magnets in recent years.
Measurements of high accuracy can be made at magnetizing forces
up to 5,000 oersteds.
S oil-corrosion in vestig a tio n s .—Five papers (RP1171) and one book
dealing with corrosion of pipe lines and other metal structures buried
in the ground were published. Five additional papers, prepared for

NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS

51

technical societies, have been completed and will appear in the 1939
proceedings of the associations before which they wrere presented.
Two improved half cells for the more accurate measurement of po­
tentials in soils were developed. These instruments assist engineers
in predicting the probable corrosion of a pipe in any given location,
thus indicating whether special protective measures are necessary.
S ta n d a rd o f electrom otive fo rce .—Previous work having demon­
strated that excellent standard cells can be made by the substitution
of small amounts of deuterium oxide (heavy water) for part of the
ordinary water, experiments to include higher percentages of deu­
terium oxide are being made. Data on solubility of cadmium sulfate
in various concentrations and at various temperatures are being ob­
tained before constructing new cells.
S to ra g e -b a ttery research .—No accurate method has been available
for determining the solubility of lead sulfate in solutions of sulfuric
acid—the fundamental reaction in the lead storage battery. Using
an organic reagent, diphenylthiocarbazone, and a photronic cell as
the detector, a new and precise method for studying this reaction has
been developed.
N ew h igh -voltage la b o ra to ry .—Complete plans for the laboratory
building were drawn up by the Procurement Division, Public Build­
ings Branch, in accordance with instructions from the Bureau’s staff,
so as to meet the various special requirements of the high-voltage and
X-ray researches for which the building is to be used. The main con­
struction contract was let to the Boss Engineering Co. and work is
well under way. At the same time plans and specifications for the
electrical equipment have been prepared and orders have been placed
for much of it. The building is scheduled for completion in January
.1940.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

T estin g veh icle scales. —Vehicle-scale testing programs were com­
pleted in the States of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Arkansas, Missouri,
and Iowa, and in the cities of Detroit, Mich., and Chicago, 111. This
raises to 25 the number of States in which either complete or partial
surveys have been made since the project was begun in 1936.
Five hundred eighty-one wagon and motortruck scales were ex­
amined, most of these being operated by individuals or firms engaged
in retail business. The basic tolerance applied to vehicle scales is, in
general, ±0.20 percent of the test-weight load. Of the scales tested,
28.4 percent were found to be accurate, the remaining 71.6 percent
developing one or more errors in excess of the tolerance.
The constructive results from this vehicle-scale testing project are
indicated by the number of instances in which improved testing
equipment has been procured by State agencies following the
Bureau’s demonstration of the need for better facilities.
T estin g ra ilw a y track scales .—Calibrations of 16 master track
scales showed all to be within the maintenance tolerances, while 11
were within the adjustment tolerances. All scales were left weighing
Avithin the adjustment tolerances; maximum errors were less than 0.01
percent for all but 1 scale, this figure being only slightly exceeded in
the exception noted.

52

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

A total of 1,165 commercial railway track scales were tested by the
three Bureau equipments on the lines of 109 railroads in 35 States
and in the District of Columbia. Of this total, 635 scales were owned
by railroads and 530 are classified as industry-owned scales. Upon
the basis of the tolerance of ±0.20 percent of the test load, 981 scales,
or 84.2 percent, were found to be accurate; this represents a sub­
stantial increase in scales found accurate over the corresponding figure
for the preceding year, 81.0 percent.
T olerances fo r ra ilw a y track scales.— The Bureau tolerances for
railway track scales were modified to bring them into harmony with
those adopted by the Association of American Railroads. The
changes provide tolerances for automatic indicating and recording
attachments and make somewhat more severe the general accuracy
requirements. These newT tolerances will be applied on and after
July 1, 1939.
T olerances fo r test w eig h ts o f large denom inations. —The Bureau
tolerances for new test weights of class C in denominations of 50
pounds to 10 ,0 0 0 pounds, inclusive, were revised, being reduced in
some instances for the smaller weights and somewhat increased for
the larger ones, and a new series of maintenance tolerances was
adopted.
T ests o f w eig h in g an d m easu ring appliances.— There was a marked
increase during the year in the number of tests of weights and
measures items of direct interest to the ultimate user, such as glass
volumetric apparatus used by chemists, dilution pipettes and count­
ing chambers used by doctors in making blood counts, steel measur­
ing tapes used by civil engineers, precision gage blocks, screw-thread
gages and other limit gages used by industry in interchangeable
manufacture, watches for the public, and for various branches of the
Federal Government.
Iden tifica tion . —The most important service which the Bureau
rendered for the Government in this field was that for the State De­
partment in its hearings on the Black Tom case before the GermanAmerican Mixed Claims Commission. Testimony of the Bureau’s
experts was instrumental in exposing fraud in the preparation and
presentation of the case by the opposition. The final decision award­
ed damages of several million dollars to the United States Govern­
ment’s clients.
D e n ta l research. —The cooperative research with the American
Dental Association has made excellent progress. The manufacturers
of dental restorative materials have given support to the work by im­
proving numerous products until they now meet the high standards
developed at the Bureau. A list of trade brands of dental materials
that have been tested and found to meet these standards appears
in the July 1939 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Asso­
ciation.
C ooperation w ith S ta te conservation departm en ts. —For several
years the Bureau has conducted a cooperative standardization pro­
gram to develop a satisfactory method of specifying and measuring
the mesh size of gill nets used in taking fish commercially on the
Great Lakes. This has been carried out under the direction of Dr.
John Van Oosten, of the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries, at Ann Arbor,
Mich. Detailed specifications and a method of test for gill-net gages
were developed by the Bureau, a contract was negotiated with a manu-

NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS

53

facturer to furnish the gages, and during the past year more than
4,000 gill-net gages have been tested and forwarded to the various
State conservation departments.
N ew E q u ipm en t. —A 60,000-pound vehicle scale with a 40- by 10foot platform has been installed at the Bureau. A beam for the seal­
ing of heavy weights from 1 0 0 pounds to 1,0 0 0 pounds and a 1 0 ,0 0 0 pound scale for testing weights of more than 1,0 0 0 pounds and for
the weighing of heavy loads have also been procured. It is now pos­
sible to test weights up to 10 ,0 0 0 pounds and to weigh loads accu­
rately up to 60,000 pounds. The Bureau has long needed such fa­
cilities.
HEAT AND POWER

S p ectra l em issivity o f m etals. —In order to predict the probable life
of electrical heating elements, it is necesary to measure the tempera­
ture at which these elements operate. The Bureau has therefore de­
termined emissivity values for all the alloys in common use. The
work is being extended to include a considerable number of other
metals.
T h erm a l p ro p erties o f w a ter an d steam .— For a number of years
the Bureau, in cooperation with other laboratories in the United
States, England, Germany, and Czecho-Slovakia, has conducted a re­
search on the properties of water and steam. The results are of
international as well as national importance, because they form the
basis of accurate tables of properties of steam which are used through­
out the world in the design and the efficiency rating of central station
steam plants for the production of electric power. The experimental
program of the Bureau has recently been completed, and the results
are being prepared for final publication. The satisfactory completion
of this project provides a basis for international uniformity in
tabulating the properties of water and steam.
H y d ro g en isotopes. —Pure HD, an isotopic form of hydrogen, con­
taining an atom of light and an atom of heavy hydrogen, was pre­
pared by distillation at —252° C for an investigation of its properties
at the Bureau and elsewhere. This modification of hydrogen had
not heretofore been prepared in a pure state. Using this material,
the low temperature properties of HD were measured at the Bureau
and at Columbia University.
F ire-resistan ce tests __ Fire tests were conducted of bulkhead con­
structions which form the main transverse fire barriers in ships and
of bulkheads subdividing passenger spaces. These covered the full
range in available materials. The fire and smoke hazard of deck
coverings and heat-insulating materials was also determined. Per­
formance standards were developed for flameproofed cotton duck
based on fire tests before and after subjection to accelerated
weathering.
P h en om en a o f com bustion. —Simultaneous measurements of the
flame travel and rise in pressure during explosions of carbon mon­
oxide, benzine, n-heptane, and iso-octane mixed with oxygen or oxygen
diluted with nitrogen, in a spherical bomb of constant volume, have
been made for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
The results indicate that the normal burning of these hydrocarbon
fuels gives no clue as to their relative tendency to knock in an engine,

54

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

and that the reaction continues for a considerable distance behind the
flame front.
P rim a ry sta n d a rd s fo r knock testin g . —A report was published on
the properties of normal heptane and iso-octane, the primary stand­
ards for knock rating of fuels for internal-combustion engines
(RP1160). The new fractionating columns have been used to obtain
considerable amounts of both materials, better than 99.9 mol-percent
pure. Work is in progress on the impurities in synthetic heptane.
D iesel-fu el ra tin g . —The Bureau has cooperated with 20 other labora­
tories in trying out the proposed Cooperative Fuel Research method
for rating the ignition characteristics of Diesel fuels, published in
1938 by the American Society for Testing Materials. Three fuel
samples are rated and reported each month.
In vestig a tio n o f paraffin hydrocarbons. —In cooperation with the
National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the Bureau of Aero­
nautics of the Navy Department, and the Army Air Corps, the prop­
erties of branched-cham paraffin hydrocarbons within the boiling
range of gasoline are being investigated to determine what com­
pounds have promise as constituents of the optimum synthetic avia­
tion fuel. A number of paraffins have been isolated from industrial
synthetic crudes by means of high-efficiency fractionating columns,
designed at the Bureau, which operate 24 hours a day with automatic
control. Other paraffins have been synthesized by standard methods,
and research on new methods is in progress. The hydrocarbons yet
to be prepared are mainly nonanes and decanes.
W ear o f m eta l surfaces. —A simple method has been developed for
measuring metallic wear with a precision many times greater than
previous methods. A diamond-shaped mark is made in the metallic
surface and the change in the length of the mark is used as a measure
of wear. By means of a simple microscope it is possible to measure
wear with a precision of approximately one one-hundred-thousandth
of an inch, and this measurement is free from effects of distortion
which have been the main cause for inaccuracy in previous wear
measurements.
A u to m o tiv e oil filters. —In cooperation with the Procurement Di­
vision of the Treasury Department and the Quartermaster Corps of
the Army, a method suitable for inclusion in Government purchase
specifications has been developed for rating the efficiencies of oil filters
for use on automotive equipment.
L ow -ten sio n cable. —The low-tension cable specifications (Navy
15-C-5) were revised in conjunction with the Navy Department and
manufacturers to embrace insulating materials other than rabber and
to provide for a thinner-walled higher heat-resisting insulating
compound.
OPTICS

A new hardness tester. —Glass is in many cases an ideal material
for accurate line scales, and diamonds furnish the most reliable ruling
points. However, on investigating the endurance of a diamond point
for ruling on glass it was found that, under a given ruling load, a
line showed a constant width for a length of not more than 4 inches,
the diamond thereafter exhibiting appreciable wear. This is im­
portant in connection with an application in which the width of a
diamond-ruled line is used to indicate the “scratch-hardness” of

NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS

55

glasses, from which their relative resistance to abrasion is determined.
On realizing the error involved in this method, the glass industry
appealed to the Bureau to develop a reliable method for measuring
the hardness of glasses.
The solution was found by constructing a minute pyramidal dia­
mond indentation tool of accurate form which measures not only the
hardness of glass but also that of many other materials that could
not be tested satisfactorily by previous methods or with other existing
shapes of indenters. The data likewise supply information on the
elastic recovery of a material as well as its resistance to indentation.
The most valuable extension of its use has been to measurements of
plated metal, nitrided surfaces, thin sheet metal, individual particles
and areas of high-speed steels, crystalline and molded abrasives. Its
wide range of application is illustrated by the fact that it gives hard­
ness values ranging from that of optical pitch 1 - 2 2 ' to diamond
8,000 -8,500. In response to widespread demands of glass technolo­
gists, metallurgists, and others for a microindentation tester which
incorporates this indenter, arrangements have been made for producing
the instrument commercially (EP1220).
R evisio n o f th e M u n son -W alker table fo r the d eterm in a tio n o f
redu cin g sugars. —In 1906 Munson and Walker surveyed the methods
then generally employed for the determination of reducing sugars
(dextrose-levulose mixture) and proposed one which, because of its
simplicity and reproducibility of results, has deservedly gained
widespread use. There has been, however, no redetermination of
their original values and no additions in 33 years. Recently, be­
cause of sugar quota restrictions, synthetic molasses has been pro­
duced in the Tropics and imported into the United States in large
quantities. Because of the high invert and total sugar content of
this new product, small samples must be used so that the reducing
sugar results will fall within the Munson and Walker tables. In
order to be able to use a larger sample a new column of 0.3 g total
sugar was created, and since it is now possible to obtain very pure
sucrose and dextrose, the original values of Munson and Walker
were redetermined, and also the values for levulose. In this the
conditions of the Munson and Walker method were rigorously fol­
lowed, but with certain changes in technique. An extensive _table
showing the reducing sugar values for dextrose, levulose, invert
solution, and for the sugar mixtures of 0.3 g, 0.4 g, and 2 g of total
sugar has been prepared.
S pectroch em ical testin g. —Spectrochemical analyses were made of
nearly 600 samples of metals, alloys, ores, precipitates, residues, chemi­
cal compounds, etc., entailing approximately 13,000 quantitative or
semiquantitative determinations of chemical elements. In order to
handle the rapidly increasing volume of spectrochemical testing re­
quested by Government laboratories or agencies, various improvements
in apparatus and technique have been made. _An index to the litera­
ture of spectrochemical analysis, 1920-37, listing nearly 1,000 papers,
was published by the American Society for Testing Materials.^
G loss classification fo r p a in t finishes. —To help establish uniformity
in designating gloss of paints, the Bureau, in cooperation with the
American Society for Testing Materials, has developed a method of
test for gloss of paint finishes, together with a gloss-measuring instru­
ment and a gloss classification based thereon. There is good agree­

56

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

ment between ratings with the new method and visual judgments of.
glossiness by paint experts.
A ir m a p p in g specifications. —Airplane photographs suitable for the
construction of maps without excessive error must have the requisite
metrical characteristics. An analysis of the relation between camera
errors and the resulting map errors has been made in order to deter­
mine satisfactory tolerances for airplane cameras. The Bureau’s lens­
testing equipment has been rebuilt to permit measurements over the
larger fields of view now covered by camera lenses. On the basis of a
study of both camera requirements and available commercial lenses,
detailed performance specifications have been prepared for airplane
cameras.
D istrib u tio n o f ozone in the stratosphere.- —By means of a photoelec­
tric ultraviolet radiometer and auxiliary radio-signalling apparatus,
carried by unmanned balloons, information was obtained on the dis­
tribution of atmospheric ozone, which is highly opaque to ultraviolet
rays and is concentrated jn a layer having a maximum density at a
height of about 25 kilometers above sea level. At the highest eleva­
tions attained (27 kilometers, 17 miles), the apparatus had passed
through about 70 percent of the ozone layer. Also at a fixed ground
station, measurements were obtained showing movement of the ozone
layer and variations in the total amount of ozone with changes in baro­
metric pressure (RP1207).
N ew la b o ra to ry fo r ra d io a ctive m aterials. —A laboratory has been
developed and equipped for automatic testing of all types of weakly
radioactive samples, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous. An exposure
rneter for radium radiations, designed to give to individuals working
with radium automatic warning of excessive exposure, has been con­
structed and tested, and 1,287 radioactive preparations having a
radium content of approximately 13,000 milligrams were certified.
In addition, 1,551 preparations were received for the National Insti­
tute of Health, 377 of which have been certified to have a radium
content of 2,940 milligrams.
X -r a y sta n dardization . —By means of a large ionization chamber,
developed at the Bureau, filled with air at high pressure, X-ray
dosage standardization has been extended up to an excitation poten­
tial of 400,000 volts. The pressure range of this chamber has been
extended to 10 atmospheres. Using this chamber, dosage measure­
ments of the gamma rays from radium have been satisfactorily made,
thus furnishing the medical profession with reliable data to be used
in X-ray treatments of cancer.
CHEMISTRY

P h ysica l con stan ts o f pu re substances. —Factors affecting the re­
producibility of silver-silver halide electrodes, which are useful as
reference electrodes, have been determined. A significant aging effect
was found to occur before these electrodes attain their stable equilib­
rium potentials (RP1183 and, by invitation from the Polish Academy
of Arts and Sciences, Roezniki Chemji 18, 762 (1938)).
The preparation of pure organic reagents and of organic com­
pounds for optical crystallographic study was continued, and a
method for determining the optical properties of microscopical crys­
tals was further developed and used.

NATIONAL BUREAU OE STANDARDS

57

Methods for the preparation of very pure iridium by fractional
precipitation with hydrogen sulfide and by recrystallization of am­
monium chloroiridate have been systematically studied and developed
to yield the element in reasonably satisfactory purity.
Methods for preparing oxygen free from nitrogen and other im­
purities are described in BP1182.
In cooperation with the University of Illinois, the study of the
structure of unvulcanized and vulcanized rubber was continued. In
this work, methods for the preparation of the materials and for their
examination by means of X-rays have both been improved.
The permeability of neoprene to hydrogen, helium, and carbon
dioxide was reported in UP 1166. The permeability of neoprene is
lower than that of rubber, apparently because of the stronger attrac­
tion of neoprene for the diffusing gas, which retards its passage.
The use of neoprene for the gas cells of airships would, therefore,
help to conserve our helium supply.
T h erm och em istry .—Measurements were completed of the heats of
combustion of cyclopropane, 2 -methylbutane, normal hexane, and
2-methylpentane. Values were calculated for the heats and free
energies of formation of water, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide.
C o n stitu tio n o f petroleu m .—Work in cooperation with the Ameri­
can Petroleum Institute on the separation of petroleum into its ulti­
mate constituents led to the following results: The separation of five
new hydrocarbons from petroleum: 1 ,2 -dimethylcyclopentane, 1,3dimethylcyclopentane, normal propylbenzene, normal dodecane, and
naphthalene; the assembly and testing of a centrifugal rotary dis­
tillation column; the assembly of three extraction columns for sep­
arating aromatic hydrocarbons from paraffins and naphthenes in the
kerosene fraction; and the assembly of an apparatus for lubricating
oil.
M eth ods o f a n a lysis .—New and improved methods of inorganic
chemical analysis were published on: The determination of boron in
steel and cast iron (KP1120); the volatilization of metallic com­
pounds from solutions of perchloric or sulfuric acid (RP1198); and
the electroanalytical determination of copper and lead in nitric-acid
solution containing small amounts of hydrochloric acid (RP1213).
Progress on the analytical chemistry of the platinum metals has
been along the lines of: (1) The development of methods for dis­
solving refractory platiniferous materials; (2 ) the separation of the
platinum metals from base metals; and (3) a study of the conditions
which govern the complete precipitation of iridium as sulfide.
In July 1938 the Bureau pui-chased the rare-earth collection of
the late Professor James of the University of New Hampshire.
Work is under way on the identification and purification of the 475
samples in the collection, in connection with which a vacuum X-ray
spectrometer, a photoelectric colorimeter, and a magnetic balance have
been constructed. Oxides of samarium, praseodymium, and neo­
dymium were purified and used in the manufacture of special glasses
for use as light filters.
Developments in the field of gas analysis included: (1) A gasometric method for analyzing fumigating mixtures of ethylene oxide and
carbon dioxide (RP1175); ( 2 ) a new type of apparatus for pro­
ducing finely divided bubbles of gas in a liquid absorbent (RP1214);
( 3 ) the construction and study of a new'type of apparatus for very

58

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

accurate measurements of gas depending on displacement with a
plunger; (4) the development of an apparatus for the rapid and
simple control of furnaces and oxygen tents; and (5) an investiga­
tion of methods for the determination of mercury vapor in air.
The polarograph has been investigated as a tool for analytical
determinations and has been found suitable for the estimation of
certain biologically important compounds which are difficult to
measure otherwise (RP1211).
E lectro p la tin g . —Work on electroplating included a study of meth­
ods for determining the active acidity of alkaline cyanide plating
solutions and computations of the effects on current distribution of
the shapes and positions of the electrodes in several typical solutions.
Extensive exposure tests of plating on steel, brass, and zinc die
castings were completed in cooperation with the American Electro­
platers Society and the American Society for Testing Materials.
These furnish definite infoi’mation on the corrosion resistance of
different metals and alloys when exposed under varying atmospheric
conditions.
S p ecia l in vestig a tio n s. —An investigation of 14 commercial types
of apparatus, employing 7 essentially different methods of determin­
ing gas density, is in progress.
The effects on the accuracy of laboratory “wet” gas meters caused
by failure to level properly and to saturate gases completely were
investigated. It was found that, in general, the errors thus intro­
duced are small.
An investigation of the technical questions involved in the dilution
of natural gas with flue gas by a public utility Avas made for the city
of Columbus, Ohio.
A method was developed for making satisfactory vacuum-tight
seals between platinum and Pyrex glass, using thin-walled tubing
which will not pull away from or break the glass to which it is
attached.
In line with the adoption of color standards for the 48 States, the
paint laboratory cooperated with the Bureau of Public Roads in the
development of a neAv Federal yellow color for use in highway signs,
and with the Optics Division of this Bureau in the development of a
“national school bus chrome” for use on school-bus bodies.
S ta n d a rd sam ples. —The Bureau prepared a renewal sample of
high-chromium-high-nickel steel, and added 5 new standard samples
to its stock. These comprised samples of high-nickel steel, highsulfur steel, lead-bearing steel, ounce metal, and soda-lime glass.
Stocks are now on hand representing standard samples of 118 dif­
ferent kinds. Approximately 8,300 individual samples Avere sold dur­
ing the year. They are used in controlling and checking the ana­
lytical processes in commercial laboratories.
MECHANICS AND SOUND

C om pressive p ro p e rtie s o f th in sh eet m a te ria l .—A procedure for
determining the compressive properties of thin sheet material has
been developed in cooperation with the Rational Advisory Commit­
tee for Aeronautics and the Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Depart­
ment. A number of small rectangular pieces cut from the same
sheet are assembled into a “pack,” like a pack of cards, and tested as

NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS

59

a solid specimen. The two outer faces are restrained to prevent lat­
eral buckling (N. A. C. A. Technical Report 649). Using the pack
method, the compressive properties of many aircraft metals have
been determined. In most cases, pronounced differences were found
between the compressive properties and the tensile properties.
The test equipment has been duplicated by a manufacturer and
successful results have been obtained. Another manufacturer is ex­
perimenting with heat treatments to reduce the differences in com­
pressive properties with direction of rolling that were found by pack
tests. Application of the pack method may, therefore, result in the
production of sheet material of high and uniform compressive prop­
erties. This, in turn, would lead to more efficient airplane con­
struction.
E n gin eerin g in stru m en ts an d appliances. —Some 1,400 engineer­
ing instruments were calibrated during the fiscal year, principally for
the various engineering bureaus of the Government and the Bureau
of Internal Revenue. Investigations and tests were made of nu­
merous appliances, including fire-extinguishing equipment offered
for the approval of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation;
automatic mail-metering devices for the Post Office Department;
elevator safety devices for the Federal and State governments; and
a variety of heating, office, and miscellaneous appliances for the Fed­
eral bureaus.
A irc ra ft instrum ents.- —Lubricants for timepieces, and methods for
controlling and measuring humidity have been investigated as part
of a research program for the Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Depart­
ment. In addition, compass test equipment was developed and speci­
fications prepared for altitude barometers, electric tachometers, true
airspeed indicators, and resistance thermometers.
In cooperation with the National Advisory Committee for Aero­
nautics, a paper on rate-of-climb indicators was prepared. Investi­
gations of the effect of vibration on aircraft instruments and on the
performance of corrugated diaphragms have been continued.
A ero d yn a m ic in vestig a tio n s .—Fundamental studies of air flow, an
understanding of which underlies all successful aircraft design, were
continued with the cooperation of the National Advisory Committee
for Aeronautics.
A cou stics. —Measurements of sound absorption have been made
on 113 large and 82 small samples, and measurements of sound trans­
mission have been made for 28 panels. Engineering advice has been
given and tests made for other Government departments and State
agencies on noise reduction, acoustic treatment of rooms, and soundmotion-picture equipment.
M odel o f flood sp illw a y fo r In d ia n R ock D am . —Model tests have
been conducted for the U. S. Corps of Engineers on the tunnel and
flood spillway for the Indian Rock Dam that is to be built on Codorus
Creek to protect the city of York, Pa., against floods. Two models
were built, the first a general model of the spillway and tunnel and
of the adjacent portions of the reservoir and downstream river bed
(scale 1:60) and the second a more detailed model of the tunnel
(scale 1:22.4). The tests showed that the original design was sat­
isfactory, except in regard to the stilling basins for the spillway
channel and the tunnel. Numerous modifications of these stilling

60

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

basins were built and tested until a satsfactory combination was
found.
M iscellaneous h yd ra u lics— Reports were completed on pressure
losses in 90-degree pipe bends (RP1086), turbulent flow in open
channels (RP1151), flashboard pins (Proc. Am. Soc. Civil Eng.,
May 1939), and artificial stream controls. Work is in progress on
a number of other projects, including aging of pipes, density cur­
rents, theory of flood waves, measuring flumes, and dredge suction
boosters.
ORGANIC AND FIBROUS MATERIALS

Q u a lity o f hook papers.— Book papers are made today from many
kinds of raw materials—fibers, fillers, sizing agents, coating com­
pounds—unheard of a generation ago. While these changes were
adopted because they were improvements in certain respects, little
was known about their effects on the quality of the paper.
In order that the effect of changes in each of the constituents
might be determined, it was necessary for the Bureau to make some
70 experimental papers in its own mill. These papers, besides being
tested for the usual properties, were all printed at the Government
Printing Office, in order that their relative suitabilities for use could
be determined. They were also put through the Bureau’s accelerated
aging test, to determine which of them might be relied upon in the
printing of permanent records. The results, as set forth in two
publications (EP1149 and RP1180), are now available as a guide
for paper manufacturers and users.
C onsum er stan dards fo r leath er goods. —Two factors enter into
the value of a leather article to the consumer: How well is the article
able to perform the intended service, and how long will it last ?
The first question can be answered by careful measurement of those
properties involved in the service. Until recently, the industry has
had no standard methods for measuring such important properties
as flexibility, tensile strength, and tearing resistance. Under the
leadership of the Bureau, the American Leather Chemists’ Associa­
tion is now developing such standard methods. Four have been
accepted, and seven more are now being investigated in the laboratory.
Since leather, in common with most organic materials, deteriorates
on exposure to ordinary atmospheric conditions, the life of a leather
article will depend upon this rate of natural deterioration, plus
whatever acceleration thereof may be caused by service. The Bureau
has found that the rate of natural deterioration is directly dependent
upon the acidity of the leather, whether this acidity be created by
the tanning process or by absorption of acidic gases from the atmos­
phere. A measurement of acidity therefore gives a good indication
of the life expectancy of leather. In addition, however, an acceler­
ated aging test is being developed, which is dependent upon heating
the leather in an atmosphere of oxygen under pressure.
A study of the effects of service has been started by the develop­
ment of a machine to measure the abrasive resistance of sole leather.
The Bureau has designed, built, and tried out such a machine and
recommended it to the industry. It is now being investigated by
others.
E x a m p les o f the ye a r’s w o rk in oth er lines. —Of the 52 items
covered by reports issued during the year, the following are enumer­

NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS

61

ated as typical: Physical testing of rubber; detection of oxidation
in wool; standardization of a method for measuring the fluidity of
dispersion of cellulose in cuprammonium solution; testing wrapping
materials for permeability to moisture; methods of shoe construction
and their classification; microscopy in the identification of fibers;
quantitative estimation of furfural from pentose compounds; per­
manence of plastics.
METALLURGY

A-ixcTdft m eta ls .— The possible detrimental effect on structural
metal parts resulting from prolonged fatigue stressing (short of
failure) such as occurs in service has been investigated with special
reference to a possible lowering of the impact resistance of fatigued
members. By breaking unnotched specimens by tension-impact after
fatigue stressing, indications have been obtained of a lowering in
impact resistance of heat-treated steel under such conditions. The
effect is most pronounced at low temperatures, e. g., —78° C. The
conventional notched-bar impact test does not reveal this condition.
Other studies of the shock resistance of aircraft steels at low tem­
peratures have been made, especially as regards welding and grain­
refining as a treatment for minimizing this effect of low temperature.
The effect of chromium plating in lowering the endurance limit of
propeller steels has been studied. Thick coatings have been found
more harmful than thin ones. The surface treatment of magnesium
has been investigated in cooperation with manufacturers and inter­
ested naval agencies. Materials such as corrosion-resistant steel,
which owes its high strength to cold working rather than heat treat­
ment, find important applications in aircraft. As a result of a study
of the elastic properties of this class of material, two reports have
been prepared on the tensile elastic properties of “18-8” stainless
steel and nonferrous alloys as affected by plastic deformation and
by heat treatment. The Bureau has examined wreckage to aid Gov­
ernmental agencies in the investigation of disastrous airplane crashes.
C orrosion o f m stcds .—Corrosion determines in large measure the
useful life of many industrial metals. Two series of long-time tests
of pipe materials have continued throughout the year. In one, commercial piping, both ferrous and nonferrous, installed in the various
service lines of the Bureau, has been under constant observation. In
another, ferrous piping, the subject of much commercial controversy,
is subjected to continuous flow tests in Washington water. Sclieduled tentatively for 5^years’ duration, the tests have been in progress
for 3 years, examinations being made at intervals of a few months.
The air-conditioning industry has introduced some serious corro­
sion problems. Because of the repeated use of the cooling water it
becomes very corrosive by reason of the impurities washed from the
air A report on the fundamentals involved in the necessary chem­
ical treatment to inhibit corrosion of iron or steel from this source
will soon be ready.
Corrosion problems peculiar to aircraft have been studied, and a
report on a series of continuous weathering tests of 5 years’ duration
on aluminum and magnesium alloys in sheet form was completed.
Tests of the newly developed light alloys of aluminum and magne­
sium and of sheet “stainless” steel were started. These include in-

62

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

termi'ttent wetting witli sea water (tide-water tests) in addition to
weathering under marine conditions. High-strength aluminum al­
loys must be heat treated, and, if the heat treatment is not done prop­
erly, the alloy may be susceptible to embrittlement as a result of
intercrystalline corrosion. A method which promises to be very
useful, consisting essentially of measurement of the electrolytic solu­
tion potential of the material, has been perfected for determining, in
advance of service, the susceptibility of such heat-treated structural
aluminum alloys to intercrystalline corrosion and embrittlement.
F errou s m eta ls .—The study of the elastic properties of cast iron
by a method previously developed (RP1176) has been extended to
the new types of high-strength alloy cast iron. The effects of condi­
tions in casting, such as superheating and pouring temperatures, have
been evaluated. Determinations of the basic properties of high-pu­
rity iron are in progress. The report describing the preparation of
this high-purity iron, carrying a metallic impurity of less than 0.002
percent (total impurity, largely oxide, 0 .0 1 percent), has been pre­
pared (RP1226).
The extreme precautions found necessary in the melting of the
high-purity iron in order to avoid contamination from the container
led to a search for more satisfactory crucibles, and finally resulted in
perfecting a method for producing crucibles by slip-casting (RP1236).
This has been applied to all of the useful refractories.
To help overcome the inconsistent results obtained in determina­
tions of hydrogen in ferrous materials, a modified procedure has been
developed by which evacuation of the apparatus can be completed in
5 to 10 minutes. As part of the continuing investigation of the qual­
ity of carbon steels, a report has been completed on factors deter­
mining the capacity of high-purity iron-carbon alloys for hardening
on heat treatment (RP1225). Thermal analyses have failed to show
any significant effect of grain size on critical-point reactions on cool­
ing, such as might affect the heat treatment of steel by quenching.
The study of the theoretical aspects of the heat coloring of steel
(SP1221) having been completed, attention is now being directed to
the practical methods and applications of the process.
Cooperation in the welding program of the United States Navy De­
partment has required a series of bend tests at different temperatures,
hardness surveys of welded sections, and microstructural examina­
tions of 2 1 low-alloy structural steels to determine their suitability in
the general program. Ductility, as measured by elongation and re­
duction of area in a tensile fracture, has been correlated with other
physical properties of various ferrous metals and one aluminum alloy.
A steel plate made in the United States has been developed for the
Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It is being used to replace the
foreign material formerly considered necessary for mechanical
transfer.
N on ferrou s m a teria ls .—An X-ray study of the development of the
fibrous condition in metals by cold working (RP1210) has shown that,
in the case of single crystal copper, this depends upon the initial
crystalline orientation with respect to the axis about which the cold
working of the material is distributed. Cooperation has continued
with the Non-Ferrous Ingot Metal Institute in an investigation of the
significant factors underlying the commercial properties of copper

NATIONAL BUREAU OE STANDARDS

63

base ingot metals (RP1215). Impurities which may give rise to hot­
shortness in the casting of such alloys are now under study.
With the completion of the equipment for determining the “creep”
of metals at elevated temperatures, tests have been started on two
single-phase nonferrous metals, copper-nickel alloy (monel), and highpurity copper. The durability of soldered joints in copper pipe for
plumbing is receiving attention in cooperation with the Copper and
Brass Research Association and American Standards Association.
Sustained loading tests up to 325° F. have shown the relative merits
and limitations of the different types of “soft” solders available for
the purpose.
With the beginning of the third year of the cooperative research on
new industrial uses for silver (American Silver Producers), the ob­
jectives of the program have been rather clearly defined. These in­
clude silver as (a) coating material for food and other containers,
U)) electrical contacts, (c) fungicides, and (d ) as an alloying addi­
tion for improving present commercial alloys.
CLAY AND SILICATE PRODUCTS

O p tica l an d oth er glasses .—Experimental melting of four kinds of
optical glass for the Navy Department led to a further increase in
yield. Fifty melts gave 8,422 pounds (38,215 “blanks”) of first-qual­
ity optical glass against 62 melts and 8,400 pounds last year.
Preliminary tests of the relative strength of various kinds of lam­
inated safety glass (not exceeding three-eighths inch thickness)_for
use as windshields of aircraft showed that best results were obtained
with two sheets of -A-inch case-hardened plate glass laminated with
one layer of “vinyl plastic,” the next best being 1 4 -inch and %-inch
case-hardened glass similarly laminated.
The behavior of the “glass electrode” has been found to depend on
the solubility of glass from which the electrode is made. The data
are given in RP1187, which also suggests an explanation for voltage
departures which are characteristic of this useful tool.
Forty-two special glasses were made to obtain data on the effect of
certain unusual glass-forming oxides on density, refractivity, color,
and expansivity. Twenty-two of these, containing oxides such as
those of thorium and gadolinium were colorless, while 2 0 colored
glasses were made with oxides of holmium, samarium, erbium, etc.
An investigation of the toxicity of colored glazes (RP1196) indi­
cates that of the glazes tested, two glazes used in tableware (a green
glaze containing copper and lead and tangerine, a lead glaze) con­
stitute probable health hazards. Constant surveillance, using the
indicated control tests, is necessary to guard against undesirable
glazes being placed on the market.
The properties of 20 refractory air-setting mortars of the wet type
were studied. The setting time, strength, type of failure of brick and
mortar assemblages, and tendency of mortar to shrink, crack, and
flow when exposed to high temperatures were also determined
(RP1219).
Vitreous (porcelain) enamels were proved to be stronger in dry
than in damp atmospheres; hence, humidity should be controlled in
strength tests. A method was developed for determining resistance
to chipping in torsion; also an apparatus and method for determin192271—39-----7

64

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

ing the internal strength of enamel coatings in resisting gouging and
scratching.
A definite relation has been found between pore size and the num­
ber of cycles of freezing and thawing that bricks will stand without
failure. Resistance is least when pores are small and highest when
they are large. Water permeability increases with time of flow in
bricks having a mean pore radius.
Low-cost glazes were developed for eight clays obtained from dif­
ferent localities, using glaze compositions containing in each case
the maximum permissible amount of the same clay as that to which
the glaze was applied. By adding different coloring oxides to the
clear glazes, a series of colors was made in “jet black,” orchid, cream»
and different shades of blue, green, yellow, and brown.
C em en t , lim e , an d g y p su m .—New refrigerating equipment was in­
stalled for accelerated weathering tests of concrete and other masonry
materials. For evaluating disintegration produced in concrete by
freezing and thawing tests, a sonic apparatus has been developed
which enables rapid determination of the modulus of elasticity with­
out affecting the specimens.
Measurement of the relative humidity at various points within a
mass of concrete, by means of an electric hygrometer developed at
the Bureau, has been found the most promising for determining
moisture content.
Among the possible products of autoclave treatment of portland
cement are crystalline hydrated calcium silicates. An X-ray study
of most of the naturally occurring minerals of this group has, there­
fore, been made, and a number of them have been synthesized. ,A.
new low-temperature form of anhydrous tricalcium disilicate was
discovered (RP1147).
In a study of the effects of various mineralizers which promote
the formation of the calcium silicates in portland cement, it was
found that magnesium fluosilicate was far more active than any
other material used.
Members of the Bureau’s staff, cooperating with the engineers of
one of the lime companies, have demonstrated that the commercial
production of a completely hydrated dolomitic lime of satisfactory
keeping quality, by autoclave treatment, is a practical proposition.
The study of the crystalline and amorphous phases of portland
cement clinker has continued in cooperation with the) Pjortland
Cement Association, and some of the reactions of potash in cement
compositions have been determined (RP1131). The effect of theglassy phase on the heats of hydration of portland cement at 3 , 7 ,.
and 28 days has been measured (RP1127).
B ran ch laboratories .—More than 7,000,000 barrels of cement were
tested for the Federal Government by the Bureau and its branch
laboratories at Seattle, Wash.; San Francisco and Riverside, Calif.;.
Denver, Colo.; and Allentown, Pa. This is an increase of a million
barrels over the previous year.
C em en t R eferen ce L a b o ra to ry.— The, Cement Reference Laboratory,
a cooperative project of the Bureau and the American Society for
Testing Materials, has announced a sixth inspection tour, and almost
300 laboratories have requested inspection.

NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS

65

Because of the widespread interest in the results of earlier com­
parative tests of the same sample of cement by various laboratories,
plans for a third test were announced; 220 laboratories have re­
quested the sample. A second series of tests of special cements was
undertaken for the American Society for Testing Materials Com­
mittee C-l on Cement.
D efo rm a tio n o f a th ree-liin ged concrete arch.-—In cooperation with
the Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Department, measurements
were made of the temperatures and crown deflections and rotations of
a three-hinged reinforced concrete arch having a span of 1 1 0 feet at
the Navy’s ship-model basin at Carderock, Md. When exposed sur­
faces were coated with a black compound the daily change in the
temperature gradiqpt within the concrete was as much as 3.6° F.
per inch, the crown deflection 2 inches; after coating with alumi­
num paint, they were about half as large. In accordance with
theory, the deflections caused by daily changes in temperature gradi­
ents between the upper and lower surfaces of the arch were much
greater than those produced by changes in the average temperature
of the concrete.
D u ra b ility o f brick and brnck m asonry. —Studies of the relation
between the results of laboratory tests and resistance to weathering
of clay brick show a useful correlation between rate of disintegration
during weathering and the performance of bricks in laboratory tests.
P h ysica l p ro p erties o f gran ite. —Results of studies on physical
properties of various granites have been assembled for a publication
which should be available in the near future. This will include re­
sults on the principal building and monumental granites of the
United States and will supply information that is frequently
requested.
SIMPLIFIED PRACTICE

Nexo and revised recom m endations. —Thirteen simplified-practice
recommendations, of which 2 were new, were printed and placed
on sale. Eight existing recommendations were revised for reissue,
and 18 others were officially reaffirmed following the customary sur­
veys. Similar surveys of 7 existing recommendations were com­
menced to determine whether they are in need of revision, work was
started on 6 newly proposed simplification projects, and an effort
was made to expedite completion of several projects which have
required an exceptional amount of study and organization.
F ood containers. —A variety-survey, to determine the basis for
revising R155-37, Cans for Fruits and Vegetables, started last year,
was completed in June. This project is unique because of the fact
that the revision was drawn up in terms that conform to the broad
intent of proposed national legislation, as specified in a bill relative
to the use of metal containers for food products, now before the
Committee on Coinage. Weights, and Measures of the House of
Representatives.
R evision s. —Consumers as well as manufacturers and distributors
continue to utilize the cooperative procedure of the Division for
revising recommendations which have been in effect for many years.
The recent sixth revision of R31, Loaded Paper Shot Shells, exem­
plifies this. Successive revisions have progressively reduced the

66

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

variety of shells until now only 6.5 percent of the varieties originally
manufactured are being made.
Simplified Practice Recommendation R163, Coarse Aggregates
(crushed stone, gravel, and slag), promulgated in May as a revised
recommendation, is noteworthy because of its importance to Federal,
State, and local Government agencies. The recommendation affords
an example of simplification in a technical field, as contrasted with
recommendations covering articles in trade.
TRADE STANDARDS

N ew com m ercial stan dards. —The voluntary development of com­
mercial standards for the following commodities received special
attention: Mechanical-draft oil burners, light aild signal equipment
for motor vehicles, women’s dress sizes, colorfastness of fabrics,
water-repellent fabrics, moth-repellent materials, artist oil paints,
and hardwood interior trim.
C om m ercial stan dards p r in te d — Thirteen commercial standards
were released in printed form and eight were promulgated in mime­
ographed form, including Douglas-fir plywood; ground-glass joints,
stopcocks, and stoppers; marking of gold-filled articles; fuel oil;
wood shingles; dress patterns; woven dress fabrics—testing and re­
porting; solid hardwood wall paneling; boy’s button-on waists,
shirts, junior and polo shirts.
C onferences. —Thirty-nine conferences were held with groups in­
terested in the voluntary establishment of standards for a wide range
of commodities. Written acceptances of commercial standards, as
the standard practice in buying and selling the products covered,
were received from responsible officers of 3,315 organizations.
D ou glas-fir plyroood.— Ylvn, revision of CS45-38, Douglas-Fir Ply­
wood, promulgated during the year, provided for the first time two
specific classes of moisture resistance, with methods of test for each.
The exterior class marked “Ext” is intended for use on the exterior
of buildings. After several cycles of alternate wetting and drying,
this exterior class must pass a shear test in order to bear the exterior
“Ext” designation.
Another method of test is specified for the moisture-resistant,
“M. Res.,” class. This provides a basis of assurance for builders,
home owners, retailers, lending agencies, and Federal insuring agen­
cies that the quality conforms to the requirements of the standard.
This commercial standard also includes requirements for the various
grades and types, the standard sizes, size tolerances, inspection rules,
grade marking and certification, and definitions for the various terms
used.
F ederal specifications. —Commercial standards are given full con­
sideration by the various technical committees charged with the
preparation and revision of Federal purchase specifications and serve
to widen the use of the specifications and broaden the field of supply
for the Government. Commercial standards that serve in whole or
in part as the basis of Federal specification requirements include
those for fuel oils, dry-cleaning solvent, vitreous-china plumbing
fixtures, seats for water-closet bowls, pipe nipples and unions, and
builders’ hardware. Where there are no parallel Federal specifica­
tions, commercial standards are used by the various Federal agencies

NATIONAL- BUREAU OF STANDARDS

67

for procurement purposes. A substantial share in the work on prep­
aration and revision of Federal specifications is assumed by members
of the Division wrho serve as officers of three technical committees
on builders’ and miscellaneous hardware; pipe, fittings, valves, etc.;
and plumbing fixtures. Federal specifications have been prepared
for plumbing fixtures, cast-iron pipe fittings, malleable-iron pipe
fittings, cast-iron drainage fittings, ferrous pipe, padlocks, emer­
gency exit devices, sprinkling cans, gate valves, globe valves, radia­
tor air valves, and radiator supply valves.
CODES AND SPECIFICATIONS

S a fe ty and bu ild in g codes .—One of the important Bureau services
to governmental agencies is the preparation of safety codes and
building codes. Handbook H24, American Standard Safety Code
for the Protection of Heads, Eyes, and Respiratory Organs, recently
issued under the sponsorship of the Bureau, is a revised edition of
an earlier code, the scope of which has been enlarged by the inclu­
sion of rules for protectors intended to prevent the workers from in­
haling gases, dusts, fumes, etc., which might be injurious to the lungs.
Handbook H34, Safety Rules for the Operation of Electric Equip­
ment and Lines, contains a recent revision of part 4 of the National
Electrical Safety Code prepared under the sponsorship of the Bu­
reau. Part 2 of this code, which is now being revised, will include
a section relating to electric fences which are being rather widely
utilized. When such fences are improperly designed or installed,
they may become a serious life hazard. These codes are particularly
helpful to State regulatory officials.
A survey was completed of all cities and towns in this country,
having a population of 2,500 or over, to ascertain the age of local
building codes in effect, what efforts were being made to bring them
up to date, and what features were causing most concern. About 20
percent of existing local codes had not been thoroughly revised in
15 years.
A report entitled “Preparation and Revision of Building Codes”
was issued. This is designed to be of the maximum possible aid to
committees engaged in preparing or revising local building codes.
If the legal restrictions imposed by public authorities do not recog­
nize late developments in design and construction that have been
found to be safe, they may cause unnecessary expense, prevent the
free exercise of ingenuity in design, and discourage the introduction
of new materials and methods. In this report a procedure is out­
lined through which full advantage may be taken of developments
in the laboratory and in the field, while preserving the primary
object of safeguarding the public. It is hoped that the Bureau’s
research on materials used in low-cost housing will make it possible
to develop a standard procedure that will provide the necessary
protection for the public and will permit the free introduction of new
materials and methods on submittal of proper evidence that they meet
acceptable standards.
F a cilita tin g the use o f specifications .—The total number of lists
of sources of supply of commodities covered by Federal specifications
and commercial standards was increased to 712, with requests for
25,173 separate listings from 18,593 firms. Information relating to

68

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

the certification plan and. willing-to-certify lists, and copies of Fed­
eral specifications were sent in compliance with 1,901 requests from
interested purchasing agents, other consumers, and manufacturers.
S ervices to ta x -su p p o rted agencies and consum ers.-—Information
dealing with standards and specifications and purchasing problems
was sent to about 500 purchasing officials of State, county, and
municipal governments and educational institutions.
Surveys were made of the certification and labeling activities of
technical societies, trade associations, and 8,300 manufacturers cov­
ering a wide variety of industries, to determine the extent to which
use is being made of quality-guarantee labels and certificates on
goods entering into the over-the-counter trade.
BUILDING MATERIALS AND STRUCTURES

S tru ctu ra l p ro p erties o f constructions. —The structural properties
of 28 constructions intended for low-cost housing have been deter­
mined this year. Because there is but little information on the actual
strength and stiffness of constructions for houses, the reports supply
data which will assist architects and builders in selecting construc­
tions of the lowest cost suitable for a particular building in a par­
ticular geographical location. The Forest Products Laboratory has
cooperated in the testing of various types of wood construction.
F ire-resista n t tests. —The fire resistance of several types of walls
and partitions built of prefabricated panels was determined, and a
series of fire tests of light partitions having plaster or board facings
was completed. Further progress was made in determining the fire
resistance of clay hollow-tile partitions.
Several types of light floor constructions, including wood joists
supporting wood floors and steel joists with precast gypsum slabs
or concrete subfloors were subjected to fire tests. In these construc­
tions, the ceiling protection was plaster applied on metal or gypsum
lath.
R a in p en etra tio n in m ason ry an d % caterproof,ng.—As part of the
investigation of the rain permeability of masonry walls, 41 specimens
have been built by sponsors of 15 different wall constructions; 128
other walls were built for use in the study of the effects of the type
of units, method of filling joints, properties of mortar and brick,
facings of stucco, and coatings of cement-water paint on water per­
meability. Waterproofings were applied to 19 walls.
Exposures of masonry avails to cycles of wetting and drying, or of
heating and cooling, did not cause a significant change in their per­
meabilities. Several specimens are now being retested after having
been exposed to the weather for 3 years.
B o n d o f m o rta r to brick.- —The effects of variations in properties of
bricks and mortar on the nature and durability of bond between them
are being studied. The most important properties are rate of ab­
sorption for the brick and water retentivity and strength of the
mortar. The quality of bond is measured by making tensile and
shearing tests on brick-mortar specimens and by permeability tests
on small panels.
P la stic calkin g com pounds. —In the investigation of plastic calking
compounds, simple tests for shrinkage, rate of hardening, bond,
tenacity, slump, and staining have been devised, and the results of

NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS

69

these tests on numerous samples have been compared with those ob­
tained with procedures used for the past 7 years. These comparisons,
along with studies of the materials in service and in exposure tests
simulating service, have led to a new proposed specification which
should provide more satisfactory materials. Some of the tests can
be used where laboratory facilities are not available.
In connection with a study of composition of calking compounds,
about 20 0 experimental mixtures were made to obtain more informa­
tion concerning effects of various ingredients on performance.
Exposure tests are being made on several of these mixtures for com­
parison with similar results on proprietary compositions.
R oofing m ateria ls .—Two reports have been prepared summarizing
the results of surveys, both urban and rural, on the weathering quali­
ties and extent of use of roofing materials in the southeastern States
as far south as Florida (BMS 6 ) and in the northeastern States as far
north as Maine (BMS29). These two surveys serve to emphasize
forcibly different roofing materials predominating in the two sections
and differences in their weathering characteristics. Cooperation has
been continued with other Government agencies in obtaining data on
roofing jnaterials used in different sections of the country and their
relative merits. Reports describing specific types of roofing materials
in common use are in preparation.
P ro tectio n o f steel again st corrosion .—In the study of corrosionresistant surface treatments and coatings for sheet steel, over 1,800
samples, plain and galvanized, have been tested by the methods previ­
ously described (BMS8 )—weatherometer, controlled-condensation
chamber, and salt-spray test, all supplemented by continuous outdoor
exposure. Of the various pretreatments used for conditioning the
surface prior to painting, those resulting in a surface phosphate film
have shown outstanding merit in the tests. The situation with respect
to the durability of the applied paint coating, however, is not a simple
one. The evaluation of the durability of a paint coating may differ
decidedly with the type of test used.
B u ild in g boards an d p a p ers .—New types of building boards and
papers are constantly coming on the market. Builders are -interested
in knowing how these new materials compare with those with which
they are familiar. Since building papers are used inside walls where
they are exposed to extremes of humidity and temperature, and where
their condition cannot be readily seen, it is important to know whether
they may be expected to last during the life of the building.
The properties of 18 typical building boards have been reported
(BMS13). In another report (BMS4) a description is given of the
accelerated aging procedure devised to show how boards and papers
will change after many years’ service. The effects of such aging on
1 1 kinds of boards are described. A third report lists the properties
of 2 1 typical building papers, before and after aging.
F lo o r coverin gs .—Accelerated service tests have been made by lay­
ing the floor coverings on sections of a circular track and subjecting
them to the action of a steel-wheeled, heavily loaded truck, which is
driven around the track continuously. The 20 sections of the track
have been divided in half, so that 40 samples can now be tested at
a time. This has permitted investigation not only of the floor cover­
ings themselves, but also of the effect of wood and concrete subfloors,

70

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

the performance of different adhesives, and the value of underlays.
The service tests are accompanied by laboratory tests of the flooring
materials used, and a report on indentation and recovery has been
issued (BMS14).
P lu m b in g . —Experiments were made to determine the sizes of the
main vent or vent stack relative to the sizes of the soil stack and
building drain required to protect the water seals of traps connected
with branch drains. Various commonly used combinations of soil
stacks, building drains, and vent pipes were used in these tests.
In each combination the height of the installation was varied to repre­
sent building heights ranging from two to eight stories. Experi­
ments to determine the safe limits of loop or circuit venting on 3and 4-inch sloping branches were also completed during the year.
A ir in filtra tio n th rou gh w in dow s. —Work was completed on a study
of air infiltration through double-hung windows and light-steel
casement windows as depending on the clearances between the mov­
ing parts of the window and the frame and on the wind pressure.
R a tin g o f house-heating appliances. —Test methods for the rating
of house-heating boilers and of radiators and convectors for use with
them have not been fully standardized and the current practices
did not meet the needs of the Government housing authorities. Ac­
cordingly, new tentative methods of rating have been adopted and
tests have been made on 5 types of domestic heating boilers, 8 types
of radiators, and 1 2 types of convectors. A preliminary report on
radiators and convectors has been issued.
E x p erim en ta l house fo r testin g h ea tin g eq u ipm en t .—Plans were
drawn and construction specifications prepared for a five-room bunga­
low with adjustable ceilings to be used in testing low-cost heating
equipment.
E ffect o f m oistu re on the th erm a l co n d u ctiv ity o f in su la tin g m a te­
rials. —Measurements were completed on a number of typical insulat­
ing boards conditioned at various relative humidities. In general,
it was found that the conductivity increased a little over 1 percent for
each percent of moisture by weight.
T h erm al co n d u ctiv ity tests u sin g th ick an d th in specim ens o f in ­
su la tin g m aterials. —In the Bureau’s laboratory tests to determine
the thermal conductivity of insulating materials, comparatively thin
sections have been used. Doubt has been expressed as to whether the
results of these tests are a true indication of the conductivity of the
materials in full thicknesses as used in an actual house. In order
to settle this question, tests have been made in a new apparatus 3
feet square, using thick and thin test specimens of representative
materials. It has been found that performance can be predicted
equally well from thick or thin specimens of corkboard, vermiculite,
and rock wool, but in the case of glass wool an unexplained difference
exists.
C em en t-w ater pa in ts. —Approximately 130 experimental water
paints of varying composition have been prepared in the laboratory.
The wet and dry hiding power, spreading rate, water absorption,
mixing, brushing, and hydraulic properties have been determined
for about two-thirds of these paints. In addition, exposure tests,
both outdoor and accelerated, are being made to determine the serv­
iceability of such coatings under ideal and varying drying conditions.
Outdoor exposure tests are also in progress on other types of masonry

NATIONAL BUREAU OE STANDARDS

71

paints, including those containing drying oils and emulsified syn­
thetic, resin.
C om m ercial sta n d a rd s .—Two commercial standards—CS74-39 for
solid hardwood wall paneling and CS45-38 (third edition); for
Douglas-fir plywood—were promulgated. The latter includes two
classes of moisture resistance of special interest in low-cost housing.
CS73-38 for old growth Douglas-fir stock doors was issued in printed
form. After careful investigation and conferences with those inter­
ested proposed commercial standards were drafted for hardwood in­
terior trim and molding, double-hung windows, panel and sash pine
doors, and prefitted, double-hung window units. Preliminary
studies were made on casement window units and fiber sheathing
board. A proposed Federal specification for flush veneered doors
was drafted.
S im p lified p ra ctice recom m en dation s .—In addition to the review
and revision of recommendations in the field of building materials,
work in cooperation with the Central Committee on Lumber Stand­
ards brought to practical completion a thorough revision of Sim­
plified Practice Recommendation R16-29, Lumber, which es­
tablishes uniform provisions for the inspection and grading of
softwood lumber. The provisions are used by the different lumberproducing groups as bases for their specific rules covering the several
species.

72

REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

GENERAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT

The amounts and objects of each appropriation for the past fiscal
year, together with disbursements, liabilities, and balance for each
appropriation, are shown in the following table:
Disbursements, liabilities, etc., 1939, 1938, and 1931 appropriations
Appropriations
Operation and administration 2________________
Testing, inspection, and information service3_____
Research and development.......................................
Standards for commerce *_ __ ________________
Investigation of building materials ».......................
Electrical building and equipment______________
Appropriations transferred from other departments:
Aviation, Navy «... __ ____ . ______
Salaries and expenses, Bureau of Engraving and
Printing ________ ____________________
Construction and repair, Bureau oi Construetion and Repair____ _ _____________
Engineering, Bureau of Engineering.................
Incidental expenses of Army......... .................
Advisory Committee for Aeronautics__ ______
Conservation and use of agricultural land
resources-------------------------------------------Salaries and expenses, Soil Conservation
Federal-aid highway system_______________
Salaries and expenses, Bureau of Biological
Land utilization and retirement of submarginal
Salaries and expenses. Bureau of Agricultural
Economics...___ _____________________
Salaries and expenses, Extension Service_____
Salaries and expenses, Office of Information ...
Salaries and expenses, Bureau of Chemistry
Air Corps, Army............. ........................... ........
Civil Aeronautics Authority fund__ ________
Establishment of air navigation facilities,
C. A. A_______________________________
Salaries and expenses, Weather Bureau......... .
Maintenance, National Cancer Institute...........
Safety and planning, Bureau of Air Commerce.
Establishment of air-navigation facilities,
Bureau of Air Commerce__ _____________
Aircraft in commerce, Bureau of Air Commerce________________________________
Appropriations transferred from other departments
under the provision of the Legislative Act ap
proved June 30, 1932:
(Navy—Armor, Armament, and
Ammunition_________ _____
Working fund-! Navy—Ordnance____________
Treasury—Internal Revenue__
(Navy—Aviation.........................
Total, 1939________ ____ _______________
Total, 1938_______________ _____________
Total, 1937.........................................................

Total appro­ Disburse­ Liabilities
priations 1
ments

Balance

$273, 032.83 $253, 318. 04 $19,349.95
$364.54
1,160,916.34 1,053,559.50 92,766.66 14,590.18
700,000. 00 692,043. 26 7,532.24
424.50
110
, 868.08 108, 298.14 2, 208.17
361.77
198, 042. 01 174, 416.72 22,807.74
817. 55
« 144, 600.00
1,977.75 43, 209.72 * 99, 412. 53
'
125,694.00 123,866.35 1,477.37
350.28
11,300.00
11,245.86
33.19
20.95
2,000.00 1,995.50
4.50
814,, 300.
500.00
8,483.90
6
.53
9.67
13,875.52
354.99
89.49
10, 000.0000 67,707.
9,665. 55
204.94
129.51
68,634.00
56
709.43
217.01
3,000.00
2,976.61
7.63
15.76
1, 300.00
000.00
999.97
300. 00
300. 00
300.00
450.00
439.77
10.23
150.00
150.00
200.
175.00
25.00
100.0000 468.96
83.33
16.67
500.00
31.04
200.
0
0
108.33
91.67
18,833.00
17,540.70 1,019.86
272.44
11,886.43
11,017.60
834.49
34.34
4,750.02
4, 398.72
291.78
59.52
4, 000. 00
3,802. 29
172.88
24.83
670.00
655.80
14.20
413.16
413.16
1,249.98
1, 249.98
702.48
702.48
27,000. 00
17.262.40
70.00 *9,667.60
216,,000.00
000.00
20,946.85
53.15
5,929.45
20.00 146.62
50.65
4,900.00
4,532.80
220.58
2,935,492.33 2,614,907.85 193,298.15 127,286.33
2,774,942.00 2,687,992.82 1,352. 27 «85,596.91
2,589,128.33 2,560,072.25
674.00 28,382.08

1 Includes transfers from other departments and also reimbursements received and pending as shown
under the following footnotes: (2) $32.83. (3) $323,856.60. (*) $868.08. (3) $42.01. («) $481.00.
• Does not include $355,400 transferred to Treasury Department, Procurement Division, Public
Buildings.
6Available in 1940.
* Includes administrative reserve of $73,640.

PATENT OFFICE

During much of the period since the last annual report, the Com­
missioner of Patents and his associates have been concerned with the
study and formulation of legislative measures for the improvement
of the patent system. This proposed legislation was presented to
Congi'ess in June and has promise of prompt and favorable action
by the several committees to which it was referred. Meantime, en­
actment of the various betterments proposed has been urged by rep­
resentatives of industry, large and small, by inventors, by the Patent
Office Advisory Committee, and by the Business Advisory Council of
the Department of Commerce.
The bills now awaiting congressional action have for their pur­
pose to reduce the time and cost of issuing and litigating patents, and
thus not merely to safeguard the rights of applicants and patentees,
but also to serve the public interest by quick and final determination
of questions affecting the users of patented inventions. One of the
major objectives sought by one of the bills before Congress is the
establishment of a single court of appeals for patents. _This court,
if created, would adjudicate issues involving ownership, validity,
and infringement of patents arising in any part of the United States
and its territories, and by the uniformity and universality of its
decisions would obviate the delays, conflicts, confusion, and burden­
some expense at present attending the adjudication of such questions
by the 10 Circuit Courts of Appeals.
Passage of the other measures mentioned would expedite the prose­
cution and issuance of applications for patent and correct certain
abuses which the existing statutes fail to prevent or to remedy.
The Patent Office was for several months in continuous cooperation
with the Temporary National Economic Committee during the lat­
ter’s inquiry into the “concentration of economic power” insofar as
such centralization was alleged to be furthered by the use or misuse
of patents. The Commissioner, in the course of his testimony before
the Committee, presented statistics and other facts needed for its
information and guidance, and also arranged for the introduction of
evidence by inventors, engineers, manufacturers, and others having
special knowledge of the subjects under inquiry.
It was after this Committee’s hearings that the several bills were
submitted to Congress by the Secretary of Commerce.
RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES

For the fifth time in the last 6 years the Patent Office records a
surplus. In that period these surpluses have averaged $102,388
annually. For 10 years prior to 1934 the succession of deficits
ranged from $134,433 to $827,342. There was a deficit of $78,364.52
in 1936, attributable to increases in the salaries of examiners. The
receipts of the Office during the fiscal year 1939 were $4,742,617.26,
and the expenditures Avere $4,615,505.11.
192271— 39----- 11

73

74

REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

The number of applications for patents (including reissues) and
for registration of trade-marks, prints, and labels filed in the 1 2
months covered by this report was slightly less than the aggregate
received in 1938, but with that exception their total was greater than
that for any previous year since 1931. In the latest fiscal period
91,163 such applications were received, as against 92,018 in 1938.
Further increase was shown in the number of design patents granted
in 1939. The number of such patents issued was 5,154, the largest in
the history of the Office. It seems pertinent to repeat the statement
included in a previous report, namely, that manufacturers and
merchants continue to have larger recourse to this form of pro­
tection for their goods.
CONDITION OP THE WORK

While the inflow of new applications was only slightly less in
1939 than in 1938, there was notwithstanding an acceleration in their
dispatch. The total number of cases disposed of was 69,243, or
9,075 more than in 1938. Cases awaiting action by the examiners
at the end of the latest fiscal year were 42,215, as against 45,723 on
June 30, 1938. The total of applications pending at the close of
1939 was 113,277, or 2,764 fewer than on June 30, 1938.
At the close of the year 1939 the work of 1 1 examining divisions
was within 3 months of current. Of the remaining divisions, 19
were between 3 and 4 months in arrears, 16 divisions between 4 and
5 months, 15 divisions between 5 and 6 months, and 4 divisions
between 6 and 7 months.
CLASSIFICATION OF PATENTS

Prompt and correct classification of patents is one of the requisites
of accurate and expeditious determination of the patentability of
inventions sought to be patented. The work of creating new and
revising old classifications has been prosecuted with as much dis­
patch as serious difficulties would allow, and considerable progress
has been made. Not only the Office itself but inventors and industry
will benefit by the revisions accomplished.
Because of retirements, death, and transfer it was necessary to
replace the classification examiner and a number of the examining
staff of the Classification Division during the past year. The new
examiners will develop increased capacity for classification work
as they gain experience in this field. Since the last report four new
classes (57, 109, 174, and 288) containing 13,431 original patents
and 14,885 cross-references have been revised and the work on class
152, containing 15,055 original patents and 12,298 cross-references,
was completed. A new classification of rubber compositions com­
prising 114 subclasses containing 2,607 original patents and 2,136
cross-references was completed and added to class 260. In addition,
302 subclasses, containing 7,718 original patents and 8,149 crossreferences, were established in various existing classes and 48 sub­
classes, containing 3,814 originals and 2,192 cross-references, were
abolished and the patents transferred to existing classes. Miscel­

PATENT OFFICE

75

laneous patents to the number of 2,772 were transferred to more
appropriate classes and 3,266 cross-references were made in the various
classes to facilitate searching.
The weekly issue increased approximately 15 percent over the
previous year, causing an increase in the time consumed in checking.
In connection with the weekly issue, 42,320 cross-references were
made.
Personal interviews with examiners and other employes of the
Office on matters of classification or division and inquiries as to
fields of search average over 700 per month; and with attorneys and
others not connected with the Office, more than 400 per month.
Reclassification work in process comprises 25 classes.
PATENT QEFICE ADVISOKY COMMITTEE

This Committee, with the cooperation of the Commissioner and
other officials, continued its monthly meetings during 1938-39. Many
subjects relating to the internal administration of the Office, as well
as to the patent laws, were considered and discussed at these meetings.
The r4sult of part of the Committee’s activities was embodied in a
report transmitted to the Secretary in December 1938. This report
presented a program of revision of the patent laws, with an analysis
of the reasons for the changes proposed. The Committee also co­
operated with the Commissioner in the hearings before the Temporary
National Economic Committee. The meetings in 1939 continued with
the study of internal procedure of the Patent Office, particularly of
interference practice.
The present members of the Advisory Committee, all of whom
serve without compensation and bear the expenses incident to their
attendance at frequent meetings in Washington, are: George Ramsey,
of New York, N. Y., chairman; John J. Darby, Washington, D. C.;
John A. Dienner, Chicago, 111.; Gano Dunn, New York, N. Y .; Dean
S. Edmonds, New York, N. Y .; Franklin D. Hardy, Pittsburgh, P a.;
Delos G. Haynes, St. Louis, Mo.; Herman Lind, Cleveland, Ohio;
Robert Lund, St. Louis, Mo.; John D. Myers, Philadelphia, Pa.;
Fin Sparre. Wilmington, Del.; Milton Tibbetts, Detroit, Mich.;
Charles E. Townsend, San Francisco, Calif.; and W. W. Wheeler,
Hartford, Conn.
SPECIAL CASES

During the last fiscal year there were received 361 petitions from
applicants seeking to have their applications examined out of turn
in accordance with the practice of according such special status when
there is a prospect that the issuance of a patent would result in invest­
ment of capital and the employment of labor in the manufacture of
inventions covered, or would otherwise be of public benefit.
The total of such petitions was 95 more than that received in 1938.
Of the petitions filed in 1939 there were granted 175, of which 95
received such favorable consideration in the interest of prospective
manufacture necessitating original or additional use of capital and
labor.

76

REPORT OR THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

STATISTICS

Following is presented the usual statistical information regarding
the activities of the Patent Office.
Applications received during the fiscal year ended Jane SO, 19391
Applications for patents for inventions-------------------------- 66,166
Applications for patents for designs-------------------------------- 7,603
Applications for reissue of patents-------------------------------384
—--------- 74,153
Applications for registration of trade-marks--------------------- 214,321
Applications for registration of labels and prints--------------- 2, 689
——----- 17, 010
Total, with fees----------------------------------------------------------163
Without fees:
Applications for inventions (act Mar. 3, 1883)----------------------- 395
Applications for reissue (act Mar. 3, 1883)--------------------------- 2
Applications for reissue design (rule 170)— ---------------------- 1
Total, without fees----------------------------------------------------------------- 398
Grand total--------------------------------------------91,561
Applications for patents for inventions with fees
Year ended June 30—
Year ended June 30—
1935 ________________ 56,832
1930 __________________91,430
1936 ________________ 59,809
1931 ________________ 84,097
1937 ________________ 63,772
1932 -------73,465
1938 ________________ 66,050
1933_____________________ 59,408
1939 ________________ 66,166
1934 ________________ 56,095
and transferred,
ided
applications
in
which
fees
were
13 Includes
Including1,151
applications for renewal of e-mark registrations.
Applications for patents, including reissues, designs, trade-marks, labels and
prints, with fees
Year ended June 30—
Year ended June 30—
1935 ________________ 81,000
1930 __
117,569
1936 _____________
85,102
1931 _________________106,717
1937 ________________ 89,980
1932:____________________ 93, 859
1938 _________________ 92,018
1933____________________ 79, 469
1939 __________________01,163
3934____________________ 79,367
Patent applications aioaiting action
June 30—
June 30—
. 31,920
1935
. 119,597
19301936—
- 33, 540
. 92,203
1931. 38,121
1937—
.. 76,723
1932. 45,723
1938.. 49,050
1933- 42,215
1939.. 39,226
1934Patents w-ithlield and patents expired
u te cs .

1938

1939

4.846
15,949
38,082
490
2,865

5,108
16.736
39,004
618
3,455

77

PATENT OFFICE
Patents granted and trade-marks, labels, and prints registered
1935

1936

1937

1938

1939

41,621
28
3,437
400
11,109
1,908
500
59,003

39,978
61
4,174
400
10,777
1,787
'519
57,696

39,412
65
4,939
405
11,329
1,955
551
58,656

36,672
28
5,142
343
10, 529
1,806
609
55,129

41,908
52
5,154
359
10,591
1,770
545
60,379

Statement of receipts and earnings for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1939
Unearned balance at close of business June 30,
1938_________________________________ ________ $204,439.13
Collections during fiscal year ended June 30, 1939— 4,557,900.42
Total_____________________________________ 4,762,339.55
Refundments----------------------------------------------------- 19, 722.29
Net collections___ ,--------;------—______ —-----—----- — -------$4,742, ¿17.26
EARNINGS

Inventions, first fees______________ $1, 980, 570. 00
31, 426.00
Extra claims-----------------------Reissues__________________________
11, 400. 00
Designs__________________________
79,010. 00
33,275. 00
Design extensions___ _____________
Trade-marks______________________ 211, 630. 00
Labels and prints-------------------------13, 926. 00
Total________________________________— $2,361, 237. 00
Final fees________________________$1,270, 301. 00
Extra claims-----------------------_
19,055.00
T otal-___ ______ — ___________ — ------- 1, 289, 356. 00
Appeals__________________________ $71, 085.00
Oppositions_______________________
11, 340.00
2, 060.00
Disclaimers_______________________
Revivals____ ,______________ _____
3,280.00
Total_____________________ ________ _____ _ 87, 765.00
Printed copies, etc_________________ $411, 630. 79
Photoprints_________________ ______
10, 602.20
Photostats------------------------1— -------63, 998. 50
Manuscript_____________________ — 121, 625.45
Certified printed copies, etc________
6,824.30
1, 066.00
Recording articles of incorporation—
Recording international trade-marks_
20.00
Registration of attorneys------ --------905. 00
616,672.24
Total-:__________
19,763. 97
Drawings----i-----------151,242. 30
Assignments!__________
1,255. 65
Court costs refundments.
$4, 527,292.16
Total earnings-------------215,325.10
Unearned balance June 30, 1939.
4, 742, 617. 26
Net receipts

78

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Expenditures, fiscal year ended June SO, 1930
$3, 534, 851. 65
Salaries-------------------------------------Photolithographing :
$42, 884.16
Current issue, black and white.
10, 528. 25
Current issue, color___________
Reproduction, black and white_.
75,465. 30
Reproduction, color---------------48. 50
15,113. 00
Photographie printing--------- -—
27, 626. 65
Photostat supplies-----------------Total------------------------------------------------------------------------- 171, 665). 86
53,976. 24
Miscellaneous expenses---------------------------------------------------------Printing and binding:
Specifications________________________________$687, 670. 60
Official Gazette______________________________ 104,454. 52
Indexes_____________________________________ 10,195. 59
Total_________________________________________________
802, 320. 71
Miscellaneous----------------------------------------------------------------52,033. 80
Travel expenses:
Public use, etc-------------------------------------------$587. 20
Commissioner________________________________
69.65
656.85
Total
4, 615, 505.11
Receipts and expenditures
Receipts from all sources___________________________________ $4, 742, 617.26
Expenditures________________________________________________ 4, 615, 505.11
Surplus________________________________________________ 127,112.15
Receipts from sale of Official Gazette and other publications
(Superintendent of Documents)____________________________
72,329.17
Comparative statement
June 30—

Receipts

1930..
1931.
1932.
1933.
1934.
1935.
1930.
1937.,
1938.
1939.1

$4,096, 825. 43
4,565,377.08
*4,487,508.78
14,423, 563.18
1' 4,4, 383,468.11
264, 874. 67
14,368,099.17
14, 565,501.69
14,551, 298.87
1 4,742,617. 26

Expenditures

Deficit

$4,552,685. 41
4,832, 277.96
5,314,851.59
4,588, 585.02
3,876, 785.01
4,153,591. 21
4,446,463. 69
4,492, 273. 47
4,476,913. 25
4,615, 505.11

Surplus

$455, 859.98
266,900.88
827,342.81
165,021.84

$506,683.10’
78,364. 52 111, 283. 46
73, 228. 22
74,385. 62
127,112.15

1Tbis does not include the amount received by the Superintendent of Documents for the Official Gasetteand other publications.

Comparative statement of expenditures under separate appropriations
Appropriation
Salaries_______________________
Photolithographing_______ _____
Printing and binding____________
Miscellaneous printing and binding.
Miscellaneous expenses........... ........
Travel expenses................................
Total.

1938

1939

$3,377,620.08
170, 229. 05
809, 796. 78
72,863. 48
46,403.86

$3,534,851.65.
171,665.86
802,320.71
62,033.80
53, 976.24
656.85

4,476,913. 25

4,615,505.11

79

PATENT OFFICE

Litigated cases
Patent:
Interferences declared----------------------------------------------------Interferences disposed of before final hearing-------------------Interferences disposed of after final hearing----------------------Interferences heard----- :--------------------------------------------------Interferences awaiting decision---------------------------------------Trade-mark:
Interferences declared------------------------ ------------------ --------Oppositions instituted-----------------------------------------------------Cancelations instituted---------------------------------------------------Interferences disposed of before final hearing--------------------Interferences disposed of after final hearing--------------------Interferences heard--------------------- ----------------------------------Interferences awaiting decision---------------------------------------Before the Board of Appeals:
Appeals in ex parte cases------------------------------------------------Appeals in interference cases:
Priorities —----------------------------1--------------------- 172
Motions_______________ ______________________
185

______1,232
______1,245
______ 234
______ 228
______ 25
______ 95
______1,140
______ 147
______ 907
______ 398
______ 397
______ 15
4, 042

357
------- - 4,399
Ex parte appeals decided------------------------------------------------- 3,029
Appeals in interference cases decided:
Priorities ------ — ----- -— -------------------------------- 222
Motions--------------------— -------------------------------- 215
437
------- - 3,466
Ex parte cases awaiting action----------------------------------------- 2,841
Interference cases awaiting action:
Priorities----- ------------------------------------------------- 89
Motions------------------------------------------------------ —- U2
201

_______

3

p42

Oldest ex parte case awaiting action------------------------------------- April 19,1939
Oldest interference case awaiting action--------------------------------- June 2,1939
To the Commissioner:
Appeals in trade-mark interferences----------------------5
Appeals in trade-mark oppositions-------------------------- 91
Appeals intrade-mark cancellations--------------------------- 27
Appeals in ex-parte trade-mark cases----------------------- 37
Interlocutory appeals--------------------------------------------3
163
Petitions to Commissioner:
Ex parte—----------------------------------------------------- 869
Inter partes----------------------------------------------------- 195
To make special---------------------------------------------- 361
To revive______________________________________ 494
Under Rule 78_________________________________ 6> 319
-------- 8,238
8,401
Cases disposed of by Commissioner:
Appeals in trade-mark interferences--------------------—
4
Appeals in trade-mark oppositions----------------------■— 71
Appeals in trade-mark cancellations-------------------------- 21
Appeals in ex parte trade-marks------------------------------ 28
Interlocutory appeals--------- ,---------------------------------3'
-------- 127
Petitions disposed of:
Ex parte--------------------- ---------------------------------- 869
Inter partes---------------------------------------------------- 195
To make special________________________________ 361
To revive________________________________
494
Under Rule 78_________________________________ 6, 319
--------- 8,238
8,365
192271—39- 8

80

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
Litigated coses—-Continued

Notices of appeals to United States Court of Customs and Patent
Appeals:
In ex parte cases (including three trade-marks)___________
In inter partes cases (patents)___________ _______________
Ex parte design application------------ -------------------- ----------In trade-mark oppositions________________________________
In trade-mark cancellations_______________ ______________

97
52
1
22
12
---------To the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia
(suits)_________________________________ :--------------------------------------

184
116

OTHER DETAILS OF BUSINESS FOR TH E FISCAL TEAR

As to the volume of business, the Office received during the year
74,158 applications for patents, reissues, and designs; 14,321 trade­
mark applications and 1,151 applications for renewal of trade-mark
registrations; 2,689 label and print applications; 171,524 amendments
to patent applications; 12,835 amendments to design applications;
and 17,558 amendments to trade-mark, label, and print applications.
The number of letters constituting the miscellaneous correspond­
ence received and indexed was 482,120. In addition, 45,184 letters
were returned with information.
The number of printed copies of patents sold was 4,041,895;
1,233,204 copies of patents were shipped to foreign governments and
846,118 copies furnished public libraries. The total number of copies
of patents furnished was 6,752,896, including those for Office use and
the use of other departments.
The Office received for record 45,344 deeds of assignment.
The Drafting Division made 796 drawings for inventors and cor­
rected 12,301 drawings on request of inventors; in addition, 7,493
drawings were corrected for which no charge was made; 129,860
sheets of drawings were inspected; and 15,060 letters answered.
Typewritten copies of 3,063,700 words were furnished at 10 cents
a hundred words. The Office certified to 17,262 manuscript copies,
and furnished 6,199 miscellaneous certified copies. The Office also
furnished 535,033 photostat copies of manuscript pages, 39,476 pho­
tographic copies, and 318,485 photostat copies of publications and
foreign patents, for sale; 15,247 photostat-manuscript pages, 78 certi­
fied manuscript copies, and 10,751 photostat copies for Government
departments, without charge; 36,959 photostat and 20,275 photo­
graphic copies for use of the Patent Office; 13,741 photostat copies
for sale through photoprint section, and 206 photostats for Office
use; also 81,452 photostats for assignments, grants, and disclaimers
for official use; in all, 1,011,874 photostat and 59,751 photographic
copies.

BU BEA U OF M ARINE INSPECTION AND NAVIGATION

The organization of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Naviga­
tion remained substantially unchanged during the year. In Wash­
ington it is composed of the Vessel Inspection Division, Law En­
forcement and Review Division, Technical Division, Ship Personnel
Division, and Administrative Division. The field service is com­
posed of 7 supervising inspection districts, 48 boards of local inspec­
tors, and 14 offices of shipping commissioner. In addition, the
Bureau operates a small fleet of patrol vessels for the enforcement of
the navigation laws, particularly the Motor Boat Act.
VESSEL INSPECTION DIVISION

This Division is responsible for the administration of the inspec­
tion laws, the safety and seaworthiness of all merchant vessels sub­
ject to its jurisdiction, and the administration and enforcement of
rules and regulations governing construction, equipment, operation,
and manning of such vessels. The administrative staff in Wash­
ington under an assistant director supervises and directs the activities
of 48 boards of local inspectors situated in various ports within the
continental United States and in the Territories of Puerto Rico,
Hawaii, and Alaska, and through these hoards establishes a uniform
interpretation of these rules and regulations. The field inspection
force comprised 96 local inspectors and 309 assistant inspectors on
June 30, 1939, whereas the Washington staff consisted of 10 principal
and 4 traveling inspectors, 1 nautical expert, and the clerical staff.
The United States is divided geographically into seven super­
vising inspection districts, each district being presided over by a
supervising inspector. The supervising inspectors are authorized
by statute to meet as a board once each year, and at such other times
as the Secretary of Commerce shall prescribe, to promulgate, with the
approval of the Secretary of Commerce, all necessary rules and
regulations for the promotion of safety of life at sea.
The regulations adopted during the past few years, looking toward
a higher safety factor in regard to damage from collision and fire,
required modifications, and additional equipment was provided for
in many cases. These changes were complied with to a large degree
during this fiscal year; and, considering the requirements as applied
to existing vessels", the Bureau was accorded remarkable cooperation
from the industry. During the fiscal year the first passenger vessel
constructed in accordance with the Bureau’s latest safety require­
ments entered service. This vessel is the forerunner of a fleet of
vessels which will be models in marine safety, they being virtually
fireproof, and as unsinkable as the art can warrant. The advance­
ment made with respect to passenger vessels also applies to the new
cargo vessels and tankers constructed and placed in service during
81

82

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

the year. These vessels were constructed of fire-resistive material
and equipped with modern machinery and safety equipment consist­
ent with the best known marine practices for the services in which
they will operate.
The Division has continued to lay great stress on the drilling and
instruction of the crews of passenger ships to the end that they may
be ready to cope with any emergency which might arise. This in­
tensive drilling by local and assistant inspectors, with check-up
inspections conducted by traveling inspectors, has had the effect of
creating a more efficient working organization of masters, officers,
and crews. It has been the endeavor of the Division to coordinate
the program of maritime safety with the activities of the personnel
on inspected vessels by training the officers and crews thoroughly in
the handling of all types of emergency equipment. This training
has raised the morale of all ships’ personnel and has caused the crews
to become “safety minded.” The safety record of loss of but one
passenger’s life due to casualty during the past 4 years is largely
attributable to the fact that masters, officers, and crews of American
vessels have come to recognize that eternal vigilance on their part is
the price of safety.
Notwithstanding the progress made, injuries to seamen as a result
of falling from aloft, falling into cargo holds, slipping on ladders,
entanglement in machinery and cargo gear, improper use of vessel
equipment, etc., continue to occur. The causes of these casualties
are being closely studied in order to reduce them to a minimum by
the elimination of all hazardous conditions, insofar as is practicable,
and by the issuance of instructions to the crew.
The problem of maintaining a measure of uniformity among 48
local boards and 405 inspectors requires constant supervision, and in
this respect real progress has been in evidence throughout the year.
Due to the energy and alertness of the inspectors, the standard of
inspections has been appreciably raised.
The revision of the Ocean and Coastwise General Rules and Regu­
lations went forward and a second draft was prepared that will be
forwarded to the industry for comments the early part of the comingfiscal year. Several conferences were held during the fiscal year
for the purpose of studying a draft of proposed regulations per­
taining to the carriage of so-called dangerous cargo. A draft of a
bill was forwarded to Congress during its closing clays which, owing
to adjournment, was not enacted.
The Board of Supervising Inspectors continued its policy of advis­
ing industry of all proposed regulations, and, where necessary, in­
vited participation at public hearings. This procedure has been
found to aid considerably in clarifying misunderstandings and it also
speeds enforcement.
During the fiscal year there were two executive committee meetings
of the Board of Supervising Inspectors, held primarily for the pur­
pose of approving various lifesaving and fire-fighting equipment, of
a type involving new and advanced principles and design.
TRAVELING AND PRINCIPAL TRAVELING INSPECTORS

During the fiscal year the traveling and principal traveling inspec­
tors covered a total of 329.571 miles in the transaction of their official

BUREAU OF MARINE INSPECTION AND NAVIGATION

83

duties, 174,219 of which were at sea. They inspected 434 passenger ves­
sels, 104 of which were inspected at sea. They also inspected 141
tank ships, 254 tank barges, and 29 freight ships ; conducted 94 special
and miscellaneous inspections ; and on 147 occasions served as members
of B boards in the conduct of investigations and trials.
LOCAL INSPECTORS

The Bureau’s staff of inspectors performed the work listed below :

Annual inspections_________________________________________________ 6, 558
Reinspectiong------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2, 805
Brydock examinations------------------------------------------------------------------- 5,473
Tail-shaft examinations------------ ------------.-------- -------------------- ;---------- 1.188
Cargo vessels examined; permission given to carry persons in addi­
tion to crew______________________________________________________ 1>415
Special examinations— --------------------------------------20, 479
Marine boilers inspected (28 condemned for use)------------------------------ 13,184
Marine steel boiler plates tested (108 rejected)------------------------------ 4,677
Certificates of inspection—withdrawn,refused, revoked— -----------------300
Miscellaneous examinations------------------------------------------------------------ 22,465
Inspections of Government-owned vessels--------------------------------------234
Inspection stationary boilers for Government----------------------------------— 2, 111
Trials and investigations completed------------------------------------------------- 2,381
Certificates of service and efficiency issued (2,324 applications for such
55,447
certificates rejected)____________________________
Beck officers licensed---------------------------------------------------------------—— 1,153
Engineer officers licensed (374 applicants for deck and engineer licenses
refused)_________________________________________________________ 1.859
Motorboat operators licensed_______________________________________ 12,354
Life preservers inspected at factories(496 rejected)------------------------------ 171,620
452
Lifeboats inspected at factories------------------ :— -------,---------------------- Boat davits inspected at factories------------------ ------------------------sets—
185
Bing buoys inspected at factories (36 rejected)--------------------------,------- 12,946

As a result of favorable reports of findings by various local inspec­
tors, the Director issued 106 safety certificates under the terms of the
International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea.
LA W EN FO RCEM EN T AN D R E V IE W D IV ISIO N

This Division reviews reports of all trials and investigations held
in connection with marine casualties resulting from acts of incom­
petency, inefficiency, or negligence on the part of licensed officers and
certificated seamen employed on merchant vessels of the United
States. It is required to review and pass on applications and peti­
tions submitted to the Secretary of Commerce for relief from stat­
utory penalties which have been incurred by owners, operators, mas­
ters of vessels, and other persons for violations of the navigation and
steamboat-inspection laws. It is charged with the duty of adminis­
tratively interpreting legislation, drafting new legislation, preparing
reports on bills introduced in Congress which relate to or affect navi­
gation problems, and preparing or revising regulations to make effec­
tive the navigation laws of the United States.
This Division, whose administrative head is an assistant director
of the Bureau, directs and coordinates the navigation law enforce­
ment work of the several collectors of customs of the United States,
the vessels of the patrol fleet, the personnel employed thereon, and
other officers authorized to enforce these laws.

84

'

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

During the past fiscal year appeals in connection with 13,880 viola­
tions dealing with division of crews and watches, hours of labor,
certification of personnel, manning and citizenship requirements, in­
spection of vessels, documentation of vessels, application of coastwise
laws to foreign vessels, etc., were considered by this Division for
appropriate recommendations to be made to the Secretary of Com­
merce for the mitigation or remission of fines and penalties incurred.
One of the officers of this division served as a member of the inter­
departmental committee appointed for the purpose of drafting joint
regulations for the entrance and clearance of aircraft. These regula­
tions are rapidly approaching completion and should he promulgated
in the near future.
At the request of the Secretary of the Interior and the Governor
of the Virgin Islands, a representative of this Division visited the
Virgin Islands to make a study as to whether the application of
tonnage duties, light money, and other navigation fees to vessels
arriving at these islands would affect the economic life of the islands.
A thorough and detailed report made by this representative received
consideration by the appropriate Congressional committees, legisla­
tion subsequently being passed exempting the Virgin Islands from
the application of these requirements.
At the request of the Attorney General of the United States, the
assistant director in charge of this Division assisted in the prepara­
tion of the Government’s brief hi the case of the U n ited S ta tes v.
.18,536 G ross T ons o f W h ale O il. He also appeared on behalf of the
Government at the trial of the issue in the United States District
Court at Norfolk, Va., on February 9, 1939.
A booth was maintained at the New York Motorboat Show and
representatives w7ere in attendance to answer inquiries pertaining to
the laws govering operation and equipment of motorboats and other
vessels.
During the fiscal year 1939, the “A” Marine Investigation Boards
were not once called into session to investigate any passenger loss of
life resulting from casualties to inspected vessels coming within the
jurisdiction of the Bureau. These Boards, however, were called into
session a number of times to investigate loss of life resulting from
accidents to members of the crew, at least 90 percent of which acci­
dents were due to special hazards connected with seafaring life.
There was no noteworthy casualty recorded where the monetary
damage was exceedingly large, and there was no total loss due to
casualty to a seagoing vessel although there were several smaller
vessels engaged in coastwise service and in service on the rivers and
Great Lakes which were lost due to casualty.
None of the above losses was found to be due to neglect on the
part of the Government officials connected with the inspection of
vessels nor was there any case of gross negligence on the part of the
licensed or certificated personnel. However, there were cases of
negligence on the part of certain licensed personnel concerned with
casualties and appropriate action in each case was taken by the
Director.
The usual number of minor casualties occurred during the fiscal
year of 1939, most of which resulted in small damage to the vessels
concerned, and which had little or no effect on their carrying out
the business in which they were engaged.

BUREAU OF MARINE INSPECTION AND NAVIGATION '

85

There were only two outstanding cases during the year of insub­
ordination among the certificated personnel and these were dealt with
promptly.
The total number of cases reported to the Bureau as having been
investigated during the fiscal year 1939 is as follows:

Major “A” 1_________________________________________________________ 47
Minor “A” 2___________________________________________________________ 411
“B” cases________ 1__________________________________________________
77
Complaint 8___________________________________________________________ 297
“C” cases__________________________________________________________ - 2,813
Total________________________________________________________ 3, 645
ofloss
life of
to crew
flue to casualty
12 Loss
Single
life tomembers
crew
members
not dueontoinspected
casualty vessels.
on inspected vessels and alsoloss3Any
of lifecomplaint
on uninspected
vessels.
with
reference
to
misconduct,
misbehavior,
violation of the navigation laws by licensed or certificated personnel.inattention to duty, or
PASSENGER ACT

The Law Enforcement and Review Division is also responsible for
administration of the Passenger Act of 1882, which contains certain
provisions for the accommodations for steerage passengers. Vessels
entering ports of the United States from foreign countries, having
on board steerage passengers, are supervised by customs inspectors
who see that these provisions are complied with. The purpose of
the act is to look after the welfare, health conditions, food, separation
of the sexes, and care in case of illness of passengers. There were
661 voyages made, involving 121,828 steerage passengers during the
fiscal year 1939, as compared with 794 voyages involving 154,787
steerage passengers during the fiscal year 1938.
SHIP MORTGAGE ACT

The Ship Mortgage Act provides for the recording of all mort­
gages on vessels of the United States and the endorsement on the
vessels’ documents of all preferred mortgages. It is necessary that
the owner of every vessel, prior to its documentation under the laws
of the United States, and upon every change in ownership or change
in home port, designate a home port for the vessel which must be
approved by this Bureau before such designation may become effec­
tive. During the fiscal year 1939, there were approved 9,214 such
home-port designations as compared with 7,956 approvals during the
preceding year.
COLLECTION OP PEES AND DUTIES

This division, through the collectors of customs, supervises the
collection of tonnage taxes and other navigation fees. It also con­
siders petitions of ship owners and operators for refunds of ton­
nage taxes and navigation fees when they have allegedly been illegally
or erroneously assessed. During the fiscal year the sums of $1,704,056.70 in tonnage duties and $207,015.88 in navigation fees were
collected.
NUMBERING OF MOTORBOATS

On June 30, 1939, there were numbered 262,463 motorboats. This
is an increase of 40,917 during the year. It must be borne in mind,

86

REPORT OE THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

however, that this increase does not represent in its entirety new
building, for the reason that for the past 3 years the motorboats of
the United States were being renumbered, and in many outlying dis­
tricts the renumbering process proceeds very slowly. During the
year 5,456 motorboats were removed from the records, having been
reported lost, abandoned, etc.
PATROL FLEET

The patrol fleet maintained by the Bureau consists of three ves­
sels—S iw a sh , N a vig a tio n , and T yrer —-and two 18-foot launches. The
three patrol vessels are operated throughout the year on the Atlantic
and Gulf coasts. One of the two launches is assigned the district
comprising the entire Mississippi River basin. The other is work­
ing in Pacific coast ports. The personnel of the vessels is engaged
in the enforcement of the navigation laws, particularly the Motorboat Act, the Numbering Act, and the Tanker Act. These boats
have been of material assistance to the local inspectors in enabling
them and their assistants to reach a larger number of the vessels
under their jurisdiction. Examination of tank vessels having on
board inflammable or combustible liquids in bulk continues to occupy
much of the time of the fleet.
Out of a total of 15,323 inspections made by the patrol fleet, 11,522
violations were reported, and in addition, other enforcement officers
reported 10 ,0 0 0 violations.
LEGISLATION

The present Motorboat Act, approved June 9, 1910, and not since
amended, is in many respects unsatisfactory. It imposes an undue
burden on the owners of small boats and does not set forth the re­
quirements which are necessary and proper for the safety of life and
property on the larger boats. To correct this situation the Bureau
made a very comprehensive study which resulted in the preparation
of new legislation repealing the old act. Before submitting the pro­
posed bill, the Bureau obtained the views of representatives of
motorboat organizations, boat and engine manufacturers, owners
and operators of commercial craft, and others concerned, and it is
believed that the bill fairly expresses the consensus of opinion as to
necessary legislation. The proposed bill submitted by the Bureau
was transmitted to Congress on April 2 0 , 1939, and was thereafter
introduced in both Houses. This bill passed the House of Repre­
sentatives, was reported out favorably by the Senate Committee on
Commerce, and will no doubt be considered by the Senate at its
next session.
The provisions of the navigation laws with respect to the trans­
portation of dangerous, combustible, or inflammable cargo are con­
flicting and very unsatisfactory. The Vessel Inspection Division of
this Bureau gave the matter of suggesting legislation, which would
take care of this highly dangerous mode of transportation, long and
careful consideration. At the conclusion of this exhaustive study,
the Law Enforcement and Review Division collaborated with the
Vessel Inspection Division in the preparation of a tentative draft
of proposed legislation which would amend section 4412 of the Re­

BUREAU OF MARINE INSPECTION AND NAVIGATION

87

vised Statutes and repeal any existing legislation in conflict there­
with. This proposed legislation was transmitted to Congress by the
Secretary of Commerce and thereafter introduced.
The Law Enforcement and Review Division was requested to pre­
pare proposed enabling legislation to make effective the provisions of
International Labor Conference Treaty, Draft Convention No. 58,
and to assist other governmental departments and agencies to pre­
pare enabling legislation to make effective Draft Conventions Nos.
55 and 58, which were ratified by the United States in 1938. The
proposed legislation to make effective provisions of Draft Convention
53 was enacted and became the act of July 7, 1939, Public, No. 188.
It is hoped that the other bills will receive favorable consideration
at the next session of Congress.
The gambling barges anchored off the coast of southern Cali­
fornia have for several years presented a menace to public safety
and public morals. During the fiscal year, this Division collaborated
with the Department of Justice and the Treasury Department in
preparing tentative legislation to eliminate the operation of these
vessels.
This Division was also requested by the Department to review and
submit individual reports on 90 bills and resolutions. In addition,,
it prepared drafts of 1 2 separate bills which were to amend and
clarify the navigation laws of the United States, and 1 1 of these
tentative drafts were submitted to Congress through the Secretary
of- Commerce. Of the 1 1 bills prepared and submitted, 7 were passed
by the first session of the Seventy-sixth Congress and signed by the
President. Of the 7 bills passed, 6 were remedial in nature and.
served either to clarify ambiguities which heretofore had existed
in the navigation laws or to remove obsolete requirements therefrom.
TECHNICAL DIVISION

The primary function of this Division is to examine and pass on
all contract plans and specifications for the construction of new or
major alterations to existing passenger vessels of the United States
of 100 gross tons and over propelled by machinery. If the plans and
specifications are approved by the Director, the construction or alter­
ation of the vessel may begin.
The Technical Division also passes on plans and specifications for
the construction of new vessels and alterations to existing types of
vessels, regardless of whether they are engaged in passenger or other
services. Since these vessels must comply with the Bureaus safety
requirements before a certificate of inspection will be issued, it is also
necessary that their plans and specifications be approved to insure a
uniform standard of safety and to avoid additional construction costs
and unnecessary delays in sailings.
The Division is comprised of the naval architecture subdivision
(hull and admeasurement sections); the marine engineering subdivi­
sion; the electrical engineering subdivision; and the load-line sub­
division.
NAVAL ARCHITECTURE SUBDIVISION

H u ll section .—This section examines and recommends the approval
or disapproval of structural and arrangement plans and specifications

88

REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

for the construction or alteration of all vessels under the jurisdiction
of the Bureau. The constructional characteristics, types, and designs
of fire-detecting and extinguishing equipment, damage control appa­
ratus, lifesaving equipment, etc., for use on inspected vessels are also
considered by the section, and reports recommending approval or
rejection prepared for consideration by the Board of Supervising
Inspectors. The work also included stability tests and investigations
into stability of vessels in damaged condition, the answering of tech­
nical inquiries, the preparation of proposed rules and regulations,
and extensive experimental work to determine the suitability of vari­
ous materials for use in the construction of new fire-resisting vessels.
During the fiscal year 1939, plans and specifications for 132 new
■ designs, representing 168 new vessels,,were examined as compared
with 114 new designs and 136 new vessels in 1938. In each case plans
for the arrangement of the passenger and crew accommodations, the
adequacy of means of escape, the type and arrangement of ventilating
facilities, the number, size, and type of lifeboats and other lifesaving
equipment and arrangements of means for launching them, the
strength of structural members, the type and capacity of fire-control
arrangements and equipment, the watertight integrity of the vessel,
and stability characteristics were verified and checked to determine
•compliance with present laws and regulations.
In addition to the new designs enumerated above, plans for 105
new barge designs covering approximately 160 barges, as compared
with 230 barges in 1938, were checked to establish their strength and
compliance with Bureau rules.
Plans for the alteration or conversion of 340 vessels were received, as
compared with 270 in 1938, and appropriate action was taken and in­
vestigations of subdivision and damaged stability of existing pas­
senger vessels were continued. Subdivision load lines were assigned
to 51 vessels.
Subdivision and stability requirements that would insure that
ferry vessels on runs of more than 1 0 minutes remain afloat with
positive stability in the event that any one compartment was acci­
dentally flooded became effective January 1 , 1939. Pursuant to the
imposition of this requirement upon vessels of this class, flooding and
stability calculations were made for 150 vessels operating in this
service. Where vessels were found to be deficient, corrective meas­
ures, usually additional watertight bulkheads, were required. Simi­
lar requirements became effective April 15, 1939, for river passenger
"vessels of more than 75 gross tons. Investigations of 10 0 vessels of
this class were conducted to insure conformance with these require­
ments. In both cases, the necessary calculations and other details
incident thereto were made by this section and transmitted to the
owners via the local inspectors. Necessary follow-up was maintained
with the local inspectors until compliance with specified requirements
was reported.
inclining tests on 96 vessels were conducted at various ports in the
United States by members of the section and calculations were made
in each case to determine their stability. When plans were not avail­
able, the vessels were measured in drydock and plans drawn from
which calculations could be made. In instances of insufficient sta­
bility, installation of ballast or other corrective measures were re­

BUREAU OP MARINE INSPECTION AND NAVIGATION

89

quired. In a number of cases, calculations were made to determine
the effect of alterations on stability of existing vessels, and appropri­
ate action was taken to insure the proper margin of safety.
Special inspections were held by members of the Hull Section on
31 vessels to determine the practicability of applying specific require­
ments. These inspections covered construction surveys, lifeboat
lowering device arrangements, fire-detecting and fire-extinguishing
systems, and the operating characteristics of vessels at sea.
During the year a series of tests of fire-resisting bulkhead materials
were conducted in conjunction with the National Bureau of Standards.
These tests were for the purpose of determining the suitability of fireretarding materials that could be used in the construction of type A -l
bulkheads and for panels to be used in the construction of type B
bulkheads. Tests were also conducted on various types of deck cover­
ing to determine fire-retardent characteristics and suitability for ap­
plication to decks in relation to the space in which it is proposed to
use such covering. As a result of these tests the materials of a num­
ber of manufacturers have been approved for marine use. These ma­
terials have been used in the construction of the three new Panama
Line vessels and numerous Maritime Commission vessels and will be
used, in locations approved by this section, on all new vessels includ­
ing the S. S. A m erica, and those of the Mississippi Shipping Co. now
under construction.
A dm ea su rem en t section .—During the fiscal year 1939, there were
1,612 new vessels aggregating 434,680 gross tons admeasured for doc­
umentation as compared with 1,883 vessels, aggregating 463,064 gross
tons, in 1938. In the case of new construction all plans necessary
to the admeasurement of a vessel are required to be checked, whereas
in the case of structural alterations and rearrangements of space in
existing vessels, only those plans affected by the change are checked.
The plans of 218 new vessels, aggregating 205,304 gross tons, were
checked by this section during the fiscal year for original documenta­
tion. Due to structural alterations, changes in usage of spaces, etc.,
admeasurement figures on 443 existing vessels, aggregating 705,234
gross tons, were also checked for redocumentation. Under the act
of February 28, 1865, passenger cabins and staterooms located on a
deck not a deck to the hull are not required to be included in ton­
nage, but are not so treated under the laws of foreign nations into
whose ports such vessels enter. Accordingly, for use in foreign
ports, a special appendix to Certificates of Registry was issued to 37
American passenger vessels showing gross and net tonnages adjusted
after inclusion therein of such passenger accommodations.
In addition to an American document, other documents may also
be required necessitating adjustments of tonnages to comply with the
measurement laws for the Panama Canal and Suez Canal. Sixtyeight vessels, aggregating 626,284 gross tons, were furnished Panama
Canal tonnage certificates and 20 vessels aggregating 179,209 gross
tons, were issued Suez Canal special tonnage certificates.
Circular letters were issued to collectors of customs and others in­
structing them in new procedures to be followed in making allow­
ances for additional deductions from gross tonnage; special deduc­
tion of captain’s bridge; treatment of skylights, hoods, stairways,
elevators, and various other spaces, with drawings for Suez Canal

90

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

special tonnage certificates. For United States documentation, cir­
cular letters were issued defining an open structure on small craft;
cabins and staterooms for passengers; and treatment of portable
fresh-water tanks.
The 1925 Measurement of Vessels regulations were revised during
the year to bring them more in line with present-day requirements,
to eliminate impracticable methods of admeasurements, to provide
more liberal deductions, etc. It is hoped to have these regulations
in the hands of the printer in the near future.
While the Director of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navi­
gation is charged with the supervision of the admeasurement laws,
the field work is performed by some 126 employees of the Treasury
Department.
MARINE ENGINEERING SUBDIVISION

During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1939, this subdivision com­
pleted several important investigations concerning steel boiler plates
and high-pressure piping. As a result of these investigations a
thorough revision of the piping rules, together with new specifica­
tions for marine boiler plate, and a table covering adjusted pressures
for alloy-steel materials were prepared and submitted to the Board
of Supervising Inspectors for appropriate action. New processes
of welding alloy and clad materials were also investigated to de­
termine their suitability for use in the marine field and resolutions
concerning them were submitted to the board for consideration.
Investigations were conducted relative to tests to determine the
capacity of safety valves. These tests were necessitated by the fact
that it is now common practice to expose superheaters to the radiant
heat of the fire and in view of this accumulation tests formerly
required to determine the capacity of safety valves are now imprac­
ticable in some instances. The findings thus far indicate that a
revision of the rules concerning safety valves will be necessary.
The duties of this subdivision also included examination of plans
submitted by shipowners and builders, for approval or disapproval,
covering machinery arrangements, piping systems, Diesel installa­
tions, refrigerating installations, fire mains, arrangements of sound­
ing tubes, vents and overflows, steaming-out and steam-smothering
systems, sea chests, pressure vessels, including passenger and freight
vessels, barges, oil tankers, and towboats. In addition, plans and
specifications were examined and passed upon for alterations, re­
pairs, conversions, or reconstruction of boilers, machinery, arrange­
ment, piping systems, and equipment, etc., for 265 vessels, and for
53 boiler installations for other Government agencies; fuel-oil in­
stallation plans were approved for 35 vessels; welding rods and elec­
trodes were tested for approval and those conforming with the
Bureau’s rules were accepted; 264 welding operators were tested and
qualified; and radiographs of 203 welded boilers; pressure vessels
and high-pressure air tanks were examined.
The various investigations conducted, conferences attended with
representative of shipbuilders, the Navy Department, other safety
organizations and societies, and discussions entered into were for the
purpose of keeping the Bureau in step with new developments and
changes in the marine field, particularly those applying to the pro­

BUREAU OF MARINE INSPECTION AND NAVIGATION

91

pulsion plants and auxiliary machinery of merchant ships. During
the past year the tendency has been to increase the pressure and
total temperature of steam generated on new vessels under construc­
tion. With such increases, new problems arise, such as finding suit­
able materials for boiler tubes, valves, fittings, and piping to with­
stand these higher pressures and temperatures.
ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING SUBDIVISION

The duties of this subdivision include the examination of plans
and specifications submitted to the Director for approval in connec­
tion with lighting and power-distribution circuits, emergency light­
ing and power-distribution circuits, interior-communication circuits
(including types of electrical fittings and fixtures and other appa­
ratus comprising the electrical systems proposed for use on all types
of merchant vessels). Plans showing the type and construction of
generators and motors, control equipment for generators and motors,
switchboards and distribution panels, circuit protective devices, com­
munication apparatus, and types and capacities of electric cable are
also included.
Many types of electrical equipment, such as fire-detecting and
alarm systems, emergency lighting and power-control systems,
searchlights, lighting fixtures, wiring appliances, etc., were tested
during the year and given type approval for use on vessels under
construction.
Specifications and instructions were prepared for the use of local
and assistant inspectors in inspecting electrical systems and appa­
ratus aboard ship. The most important specification completed dur­
ing the year covered the construction, colorimetric properties, and
approval procedure for navigation lights required on all vessels over
65 feet in length. Instruction booklets completed during the year
cover the inspection, operation, and maintenance of approved firedetecting systems and the use, location, and type of all navigation
lights required by the navigation laws of the United States.
The electrical plans and specifications covering the construction
of the following new vessels have been checked by this subdivision:
12 passenger vessels, 24 cargo vessels, 14 tank vessels, and 25 miscel­
laneous vessels, a- total of 75 vessels of all classes as compared with
•81 vessels during the fiscal year 1988. Electrical plans of major
alterations to 9 vessels and plans covering installation of emergency
lighting systems and emergency loudspeaker systems on approxi­
mately 10 0 vessels have also been checked.
Samples representing a great variety of electrical equipment suit­
able for marine use were examined and approved. This equipment
includes watertight and vaporproof lighting fixtures, connection
boxes and wiring appliances, berth lights, bells and other signaling
devices, switches, and control units, as well as explosion-proof elec­
trical equipment suitable for use in hazardous locations.
The electrical engineering subdivision has continued to prepare
specifications and minimum standards for many items of marine elec­
trical equipment. This work is being done in cooperation with the
National Bureau of Standards, the American Institute of Electrical
Engineers, and manufacturers of such equipment.

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REPORT OE THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

LOAD LINE SUBDIVISION

On the recommendation of this subdivision, the Load Line Act of
March 2,1929, applicable to vessels in the foreign trade, was amended
on May 26,1939, lowering the tonnage limit from 250 gross tons to 150
gross tons, exempting from the provisions of the act all merchant
vessels that are being towed when carrying neither cargo nor pas­
sengers, and authorizing the remission or mitigation by the Secre­
tary of Commerce of the penalty for overloading a vessel.
During the fiscal year amendments to section D of the Load Line
Regulations were prepared, approved by the Secretary of Commerce,
and became effective on October 2 0 , 1938, requiring the bulkhead deck
of all subject vessels to be designated on the load line certificate and
requiring cargo ports to be closed at sea only when fitted below the
bulkhead deck. Copies were distributed to the countries signatory to
the International Conference on Safety of Life at Sea.
Special consideration was given a method for determining the
position of the load line for sandsuckers operating on the Great
Lakes. In order that the procedure in Canada for locating load
lines on Canadian sandsuckers and that followed in the United States
would be on the same basis, a representative of this Bureau went
to Canada to confer with officials on this subject. As a result of
this conference an agreement was reached whereby the two govern­
ments will determine the positions of load lines on these types of
vessels on the same computations. Conferences were also held with
the American Bureau of Shipping regarding the assignment of load
lines to sandsuckers aftd load lines for 30 such vessels were deter­
mined during the year.
Information was obtained from experienced collier masters, and
others, regarding the comparative merits of opened or closed bul­
warks on steam colliers, without a preponderance of opinion either
way. To obtain actual experience in service, a steam collier was fitted
with a reduction of freeing port area, as an experiment, the efficacy
of which has not been determined.
Personal instructions were given to collectors of customs, their
deputies, and the Coast Guard, where needed, in regard to their duties
in connection with reports of sailings of vessels, inspection of load
lines of vessels, and reports of violations of the load line laws.
Four countries acceded to the International Load Line Conven­
tion during the last fiscal year, and circular letters were promulgated
to that effect.
During the fiscal year load line certificates were issued to 228 ves­
sels, and 45 certificates were voided for various reasons. Revalida­
tions of existing load line certificates were 426. Load line certificates
were issued for 4 foreign vessels and revalidations of existing cer­
tificates were effected for 15 foreign vessels. Annual load line in­
spections were accomplished for 2,098 vessels. Reports of sailings
of 20,607 vessels were received and checked for compliance with the
regulations. There were 79 violations of the load line acts reported
and appropriate action was taken.
Applications for special service load lines, as provided by section B
of the regulations, were approved for 43 vessels and 2 such applica­

BUREAU OP MARINE INSPECTION AND NAVIGATION

93

tions were disapproved. In this connection a special investigation
was made that determined that voyages between Southport, N. C.,
and Savannah, Ga., could not be approved as special-service voyages.
SHIP PERSONNEL DIVISION

This Division supervises the field activities of 14 United States
shipping commissioners, located in as many ports throughout the
United States. Shipping commissioners are required by law to wit­
ness the shipment and discharge of crews on shipping articles of
agreement for all vessels in foreign and intercoastal trade. They
act as arbitrators for masters and seamen in settling controversial
matters, such as wages, working conditions, overtime, etc.
The following documents have been issued to seamen by appro­
priate field officers during the fiscal year and copies forwarded to the
Central Records Section: 23,455 continuous discharge books; 33,401
certificates of identification; 4,289 able seamen’s certificates; 4,959
lifeboat certificates; 4,955 certifications as a qualified member of the
engine department ; 40,511 certificates of service ; 733 tankerman cer­
tificates; a total of 112,303 certificates of all classes, including con­
tinuous discharge books. There were 7,077 duplicate continuous dis­
charge books and certificates of various kinds prepared by this Divi­
sion for issuance to seamen who lost their original papers. Under
the law the seamen are required to pay a fee for duplicate documents
when originals have been lost other than by shipwreck or other
casualty. The details of recording in each seaman’s jacket pertinent
information from the 112,303 certificates received this year, the filing
of these records, the answering of correspondence and other inquiries
in connection therewith have been difficult to administer because of
insufficient personnel. The 25 junior clerk-typists available for this
work are inadequate to keep the volume of wrork handled by the
Central Records Section current. To maintain accurate records re­
garding the sea service, training, and experience possessed by vessel
personnel and to make these records readily available as a source of
information in connection with employment, investigations of casual­
ties, acts of misconduct, negligence, etc., additional personnel is
essential.
LICENSED OFFICER EXAMINATION SECTION

The Examination Section continued its efforts with respect to the
establishment and formulation of a procedure which has for its pur­
pose the standardization and centralization of the Bureau’s method
of conducting examinations for licensed officers. A number of
examinations for licensed officers have been prepared, sufficient to
inaugurate a system of standardized ocean and coastwise examina­
tions, and a codified system of question files is nearing completion
which will ensure a constant changing of the examination questions
and papers and safeguard the confidential nature of the transactions.
In the Bureau’s 48 examination centers, it has been the duty of the
examiners of masters, mates, and engineers to test each candidate’s
knowledge in a written examination, and to determine his fitness to
hold the license sought. While the Bureau strives for uniformity, it,
has been obvious that it could not be attained without centralization.

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REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

It was not until recent years that the funds necessary to begin the
work of centralization and the revision of examinations were made
available to the Bureau. During the past year intensive research and
preparation has been undertaken at the Bureau to effect a complete
revision of the rules governing the experience, qualifications, and
examinations of licensed officers. Experience requirements have been
made considerably more exacting and inconsistencies removed.
Hitherto complaints have frequently been made to the effect that set
hooks were not recommended or a clear indication given as to what
course of study was necessary to fit a man for his tests. Specimen
examinations have been drawn up which will be published in the next
issue of the Buies and Begulations and will serve as a guide to all
those who are studying for the examinations. Since many of our
officers study at sea and not at schools, this will be of great assistance
to them.
When preparations are completed, it is proposed to have sets of
examination papers, compiled at the Bureau in Washington, sent to
the 48 field officers under seal. These seals will not be broken until
the candidates are assembled for examination. New and drastic rules
have been drawn up and will be enforced for the conduct of these
examinations. Every effort will be made to have these examinations
conducted on the best possible lines so that they will give the candi­
dates a fair and equal opportunity, with favor to none. Under this
new system the examinations on any day at any port in the United
States and its possessions will be identical.
The new rules and regulations relating to licensed officers were
sent to the field force for comments, and many valuable suggestions
were received and incorporated.
The Bureau inaugurated a system of sea observations, with ship­
masters as official observers, sending in, regularly, selected celestial
observations in accordance with instructions issued by the Bureau,
and this continues to operate smoothly, with 75 shipmasters as official
observers and a waiting list of 100. The best of these observers were
honored by a letter of commendation from the Secretary of Com­
merce on November 28, 1938. The work of these men is carefully
noted by the staff at Washington and much credit is due to these
masters and officers for the time and trouble they take to make accu­
rate and unusual observations in the interest of progress.
During the fiscal year, 6,662 deck officers’ licenses, 8,168 engineer
officers’ licenses, and 12,354 licenses to motorboat operators were
issued.
AMERICAN SHIPPING ON TUNE 30, 1939

On June 30, 1939, the merchant marine of the United States, in­
cluding all kinds of documented craft, comprised 27,470 vessels of
14,631,991 gross tons, as compared with 27,309 vessels of 14,676,382
gross tons on June 30, 1938. Of this total, 1,513 vessels of 3,332,661
gross tons were engaged in the foreign trade, as compared with 1,825
vessels of 3,591,521 gross tons on June 30, 1938, and 25,957 vessels of
11,299,330 gross tons were engaged in the coasting trade.
Geographically, there were 16,816 vessels of 10,197,150 gross; tons
operating on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts; 6 ,8 6 8 vessels of 2,471,239
gross tons on the Pacific coast; 2,108 vessels of 1,711,965 gross tons

BUREAU OE MARINE INSPECTION AND NAVIGATION

95

on northern lakes; and 1,678 vessels of 251,637 gross tons on western
rivers.
The five principal services, from the standpoint of number of ves­
sels engaged therein, were: Freight, 9,771 vessels of 8,614,533 gross
tons; fishing, 6,674 vessels of 241,912 gross tons; passenger, 3,725
vessels of 1,722,853 gross tons; towing, 3,527 vessels of 344,850 gross
tons; and tank, 1,092 vessels of 3,088,671 gross tons.
The following is an analysis of the ownership of documented ton­
nage (5 net tons and over): Private ownership, 27,334 vessels of
13,774,958 gross tons; Maritime Commission, 136 vessels of 857,033
gross tons.
L A ID -U P VESSELS

On June 30, 1939, the laid-up tonnage of the United States aggre­
gated 1,604 vessels of 2,252,396 gross tons, as against 1,890 vessels of
2,967,672 gross tons on June 30, 1938.
Details of the world’s laid-up tonnage and classification of Ameri­
can vessels by size, service, and power may be found in Merchant
Marine Statistics, 1939.
A PPR O PR IA TIO N S

The following appropriations were made available to this Bureau
for the fiscal year 1939:

Departmental salaries----------------------------------------------------------------- $336, 760
Salaries and general expenses------------------------------------------------------ 2,322, 000
Total_____________________________________________________ 2,658,760

The amount appropriated for the Bureau’s activities is largely off­
set by the tonnage taxes, fees, fines, and penalties collected during the
same period. These amounted to $2,069,612.35.

192271—39-

COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY

The Coast and Geodetic Survey carries on extensive surveying
operations in all coastal waters of the United States and its posses­
sions and produces the charts required for the safe navigation of
coastal and intracoastal waters; compiles aeronautical charts to meet
the needs of the pilots of aircraft; makes seismological studies for
use in designing structures to reduce the earthquake hazard; deter­
mines geographical positions and elevations along the coasts and
throughout the interior in order to provide a basic framework for
mapping and other engineering work; studies tides and currents and
establishes datum planes for engineers and tide-and-current predic­
tions for mariners; observes the earth’s magnetism in all parts of
the country for information essential to the mariner, aviator, land
surveyor, radio engineer, and others; and makes gravitational and
astronomical observations and obtains fundamental data for geodetic
surveys and scientific investigations of the earth’s crust.
Besides the Washington main office, there are field stations located
at Boston, New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, Hono­
lulu, T. H., and Manila, P. I.; observatories at Gaithersburg and
Cheltenham, Md., San Juan, P. R., Tucson, Ariz., Ukiah, Calif.,
Sitka, Alaska, and Honolulu, T. H .; numerous primary tide stations
along our coasts; and a number of stations maintained for various
purposes by the Survey in cooperation with other Federal and pri­
vate agencies.
To the maritime public and to official maritime services, there was
an increase in issue of navigational publications of 10.8 percent over
1938. This was 183 percent as compared with the issue of such
publications a decade ago. The distribution of nautical charts con­
tinued in heavy volume only slightly less than the record distribution
of last year. The extension of aerial facilities and the growing desire
for knowledge of aerial navigation and the proper use of aeronautical
charts was responsible for an increase in the distribution of such
charts amounting to 22% percent over the previous year. These
figures are especially remarkable in light of the knowledge that the
1938 issue of both nautical and aeronautical charts was an all-time
record.
The annual issue of aeronautical charts was 366,353, exceeding all
previous years in the history of the Bureau, while the annual issue
of nautical charts was 350,062.
The activities of the Bureau continued to be affected by the in­
creased activities of other agencies. The Lighthouse Service con­
tinued actively the construction and installation of new and better
aids to navigation. Extensive work was accomplished by the U. S.
Engineers in dredging and improving waterways. Especially active
97

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REPORT OP TH E SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

was the Civil Aeronautics Authority in marking new air routes and
re-marking old ones. Almost all the radio ranges in the country were
improved or realigned to an extent which rendered our previous
charts obsolete. While all these improvements are exceedingly ben­
eficial to the marine and aviation industries, they do add materially
to Bureau work in the revision of its charts and necessitate frequent
issues of new editions.
The Bureau had a personnel of 1,125 on duty at the close of June
30, 1939—353 (17 commissioned and 336 civilian) on duty in the
Washington office and 772 (159 commissioned and 613 civilian) in
the field service. The field personnel included 417 seamen and 127
hands, of which number 51 civilians on duty at the Manila office and
50 members of the crew of the ship F ath om er were under the juris­
diction of this Bureau but were paid by the Philippine Government.
Acquisitions by the library and archives included 316 hydrographic
and 130 topographic sheets, representing new Bureau surveys; 1,182
blueprints (mostly surveys by Army Engineers); 2,563 maps; 1,073
charts; 9,595 field, office, and observatory records; 493 negatives;
1,365 prints; 275 lantern slides; 3,500 books; and 4,371 periodicals.
Collections covering miscellaneous receipts, including nautical and
aeronautical charts and publications, totaled $109,950.44, as com­
pared with $109,871.32 during the preceding year.
The regular appropriations for 1938 were $2,665,550. These were
supplemented by additional funds, making a total available for
obligation of $4,803,600. The supplemental funds were as follows:
Transfer from salaries and expenses, Soil Conservation Service (trans­
fer to Commerce) 1939, $35,500; working fund (W ar: Flood Control,
Mississippi Kiver and Tributaries), $18,000; working fund (Navy:
Maintenance, Yards and Docks) 1939, $4,600; working fund (War:
Rivers and Harbors), $6,000; Public Works Administration, act of
1938 (allotment to Commerce, Coast and Geodetic Survey) 1938-AO,
$2,051,000; and an allotment from the Department of Commerce for
travel of $22,950.
Actual disbursements during the year ended June 30, 1939, totaled
$3,517,283.83, distributed among the various appropriations as follows:
Party expenses, 1937-------------------------------------------------------------Pay, etc., officers and men, vessels, 1937------------------------------------General expenses, 1937----------------------------------------------------------Field expenses, 1938--------------------------------------------------------------Repairs of vessels, 1938---------------------------------------------------------Pay, etc., officers and men, vessels, 1938-----------------------------------Pay and allowances, commissioned officers, 1938-------------------------General expenses, 1938----------------------------------------------------------Aeronautical charts, 1938--------- ----------------------------------------------Salaries and expenses, Soil Conservation Service (transfer to Com­
merce, Coast and Geodetic Survey, act of Apr. 27, 1935), 1938— _
Traveling expenses, Department of Commerce, 1938-------------------Working fund, Commerce, Coast and Geodetic Survey (Navy:
Maintenance, Yards and Docks), 1938------------------- ---------------Salaries, 1939------------------------------------------------------------------------Repairs of vessels, 1939---------------------------------------------------------Pay of officers and men, vessels, 1939------------------------------------- Pay and allowances, commissioned officers, 1939------------------------ ■
Aeronautical charts, 1939-------------------------------------------------------Coastal surveys, 1939---------------------------------------------- --------------Research, tides, currents, etc., 1939------------------------------------------Coast Pilot, 1939______________________________________________
Magnetic and seismological work, 1939------------------------------------

$197. 30
87. 57
• 75
94, 785. 29
6, 705. 71
122, 872. 40
88, 087. 5!)
5, 478. 23
9, 328.89
17, 566. 62
8, 442.43
1,200.00
579, 869. 88
56,464. 68
420, 558. 52
679, 820. 87
95, 928. 86
198, 338.86
11, 365. 8Q
_3, 909. 38
54,108. 23

COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY

99

Federal, boundary, and State surveys, 1939--------------------------------- $69, 985.11
Miscellaneous objects, 1939--,--------------------------------------------------3, 498. 96
Office expenses, 1939_________ _________________________________ 59,198.39
Public Works Administration, act of 1938 (allotment to Commerce,
Coast and Geodetic Survey), 1938-40------------------------------------ 848,973.60
Traveling expenses, Department of Commerce, 1939—____________ 17,688.52
Working fund, Commerce, Coast and Geodetic Survey (Navy:
Maintenance, Yards and Docks), 1939________________________
4,593.55
Salaries and expenses, Soil Conservation Service (transfer to Com­
merce, Coast and Geodetic Survey, act of Apr. 27, 1935), 1939___ 34, 588. 98
Working fund, Commerce, Coast and Geodetic Survey (War: Flood
Control, Mississippi River and Tributaries)___________________ 23, 638. 86
Total__________________________________________________ 3, 517. 283. 83
CHART PRODUCTION

There were issued during the year 81 new editions of 77 different
charts, and 420 new prints of 361 different charts. In addition to
the revised editions and to meet the new requirements of marine
commerce in places where new and detailed surveys have been made
recently, the 7 new nautical charts listed below were issued during
the year:
T exas .—No. 593. Freeport Harbor.
South Carolina .—No. 787. Winyah Bay.
F lorida.—No. 1264. Choctawhatchee Bay.
L ouisiana .—No. 1274. Timbalier and Terrebonne Bays.
L ouisiana .— No. 1276. Point au Fer to Marsh Island.
P h ilippin e I slands.'—No. 4228. Digollorin Point to Cape Engano.
California .— No. 5101A. San Diego to Santa Rosa Island.

The total number of charts on issue at the year’s end was 794, of
which 163 were compiled and printed at Manila. At the end of the
fiscal year the Division of Charts was compiling 5 new charts and
recompiling 5 old charts; engraving 7 new charts and reengraving 5
old charts; and reproducing by lithography 6 new charts.
An outstanding accomplishment of the year was the issue of nau­
tical chart 5101A. This chart is an innovation, being the first of its
kind to be especially prepared and issued for the use of commercial
and naval vessels equipped with echo-sounding devices. It contains
comparatively few numerical depths, the conformation of the bottom
over the entire area covered being given by depth curves at 50-fathom
intervals. The result is to bring out the steep slopes and broad
plateaus of the bottom topography, with its submerged valleys and
mountain ranges, as clearly as a well contoured map of land area
shows similar features ashore.
The increase in the demand for aeronautical charts by civil and
military aviation has paralleled the continued unprecedented growth
of the aviation industry. This can be expected to accelerate during
the next few years rather than stabilize, because of the expanded
programs of the military forces and the Civil Aeronautics Authority.
In order to maintain the accuracy of the aeronautical charts where
the establishment of new airways and the construction of new air­
ports and new facilities have made important changes, there were
printed 106 new editions of 79 different charts and 64 new prints
of 44 different charts.

100

REPORT OF T H E SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

In addition to the revised editions, there were prepared and issued
during the year the following five new aeronautical charts:
K enai. Alaska. Kenai Peninsula and vicinity.

6M. Regional. Northeast of San Francisco.
8M. Regional. Northwest of St. Louis.
21DF. Direction Finding. Northwest portion of United States.
22DF. Direction Finding. North Central portion of United States.

At the close of the year there were available 98 aeronautical charts
of the United States and Alaska and 3 airway maps of the Philippine
Islands. These include the entire series of 87 sectional aeronautical
charts of the United States, 6 regional charts, and 4 direction-finding
charts of the same area, and 1 chart of Alaska. In progress are 8
regional and 2 direction-finding charts, 1 chart of Alaska, and 1
special aeronautical chart of the metropolitan New York area.
During the year the Secretary approved the appointment of recog­
nized dealers for the distribution of aeronautical charts. Fifty of
these have been appointed at the major airports.
The manual Practical Air Navigation has continued to increase in
popularity. The second edition, mentioned in the annual report for
1938, was exhausted within a few months. Of a reprint of 10,000
copies, delivered during the latter half of March, only 1,700 remained
at the end of the year. A third and revised edition now in prepara­
tion will be used by the Civil Aeronautics Authority in an extensive
pilot-training program.
The demands on the Division can be best illustrated by the fact
that the number of printing-press impressions during the fiscal year
totaled 8,105,105. This is in comparison with 7,099,304 for the pre­
ceding year and vastly exceeds any other year in the Bureau’s history.
As recently as 5 years ago, the number of press impressions was
approximately 2,000,000. The steady and substantial growth in the
demand for nautical and aeronautical charts and related publica­
tions is shown in the following table containing the statistics for
these publications for the past 4 years.
Item

1939

1938

1937

350,062 351,150 333,366
366,353 299,094 277,878
5, 450
6,705
4, 544
4,747
3,241
3,166
7,441 10,842
8,062
869
1,008
1,463
931
529
559
25,519 24, 299 24,567
10,678
9,769
9,114
2,104
1,631
1, 628
14, 507 3, 798
1,837
788, 661 712,066 666,184

1936
275,800
178,973
12,186
4, 236
2,857
6.167
1,022
429
24,184
9,002
1,607
5.167
521,630

H Y D R O G R A PH Y AND TOPOGRAPHY

On the Atlantic coast the survey vessels O ceanographer and
L yd o n ia continued work on the offshore hydrographic project ex­
tending from the New Jersey coast to N a n tu cket L ig h tsh ip . The

special wire-drag investigations of wrecks and critical soundings
along the Atlantic coast from Cape Henry to Sandy Hook was con­
tinued under the supervision of the commanding officer of the ship

COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY

101

O ceanographer. The launches M arin din and R o d g ers were used on
this project.
The G ilb ert continued work on surveys along the south coast of
Cape Cod. During the late winter and early spring this vessel was
engaged on special surveys for Navy anchorages in the Hudson
Eiver.
The M ikaw e in the summer of 1938 completed the upper Chesa­
peake Bay hydrographic project and during the winter of 1939 com­
pleted the St. Johns Eiver, Fla., hydrographic project. In the spring
of 1939 the M ikaw e began inshore surveys along the south coast of
Cape Cod.
Schemes of second-order coordinating triangulation were extended
up the James Eiver, from Newport News to the vicinity of Hopewell, Va., and along the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay, in the
vicinity of Kent Island and the lower Chester Eiver. A similar
scheme was begun on the northern shore of Long Island, extending
eastward from Oyster Bay.
A shore party at Key West, Fla., completed the new basic surveys
■ of the Florida coast as far west as Key West Harbor. In June 1939
this party shifted operations to Choctawhatchee Bay, Fla. The new
project consists of a survey of the eastern half of the bay and of
the Intracoastal Waterway between Fort Washington and West Bay.
Small air-photographic compilation units were continued at Balti­
more, Md., and Palatka, Fla. Experience with air-photographic sur­
veys in advance of inshore hydrography has proved so timesaving
and otherwise efficient that this procedure is being used whenever
conditions permit.
In the Gulf of Mexico the ship H y d ro g ra p h er , with the tender
F aris operating as a subparty, continued hydrographic surveys along
the Texas coast.
On the Pacific coast the ship G u ide in 1938 engaged in surveys of
the northern California coast. A wire-drag party also continued
surveys along this coast.
In the spring of 1939 the E x p lo rer started a project of revision
surveys of tributaries to the northern part of Puget Sound in the
vicinity of Anacortes and Bellingham, Wash.
The project of revision surveys of the Columbia Eiver from its
mouth to Vancouver, Wash., begun in 1935, was completed and a
scheme of second-order triangulation Was extended eastward to The
Dalles, Oreg. An arc of second-order triangulation was begun along
the Washington coast from the mouth of the Columbia Eiver to
Grays Harbor. A revision survey of Willapa Bay, Wash., was in
progress at the end of the year.
In southeastern Alaska in 1938, the E x p lo re r completed a new
survey of Sitka Harbor and immediate approaches, including the
wire-dragging of the principal channels in this area and then con­
tinued work on the new surveys in Sumner Strait and tributary
arms. On account of her age, the E x p lo rer was withdrawn from
Alaskan surveys at the end of the 1938 season. The W estd a h l con­
tinued work on original hydrographic surveys in Glacier Bay.
In southwestern Alaska the S u rve yo r , assisted by the tender W ild ­
ca t, extended surveys along the coasts of Unalaska and Umnak Island
and in cooperation with the P ion eer extended advance triangulation

102

REPORT OF T H E SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

control as far westward as the Islands of Four Mountains. The
Islands of Four Mountains and conducted astronomic, gravimetric,
and magnetic observations at Dutch Harbor and Nazan Bay. The
D isco verer , assisted by the tender H elian th u s , continued surveying
operations along the south coast of Unimak Island and the Alaska
Peninsula. The G u ide joined the Alaskan fleet in the spring of
1939 and began original surveys along the north coast of Unimak
Island, extending from Cape Saricheff northeastward along the
Alaska Peninsula, toward Bristol Bay.
In the Philippine Islands the Path-finder continued original sur­
veys along the west coast of Palawan, revision surveys in Verde
Island Pass, and supplemental surveys along the west coast of Luzon.
The field stations of the Bureau in the United States, Honolulu,
and Manila continued to render invaluable service in supplying infor­
mation for the correction of charts in their vicinities and in dis­
seminating nautical and engineering data in response to requests
from local public and official sources.
Under an allotment of $1,425,000 from Public Works Administra­
tion funds, contracts were awarded for the construction of one main
and one auxiliary survey vessel. These two modern units will be
completed early in 1940 and assigned to surveys in the Aleutian
Islands.
The 13 United States Coast Pilot volumes contain a wide variety
of important information supplemental to that shown on the chart,
such as a detailed description of the coast and information concern­
ing the waterways, as well as maritime data for the ports of the
United States and possessions. These volumes are kept current by
annual supplements and revisions. New editions of Coast Pilots are
published as often as is warranted by the number1of changes that
have been made and the amount of new information available.
Three supplements were published during the fiscal year. Field
examinations were completed for new editions of three Coast Pilots
(Puerto Bico and the Virgin Islands; Philippine Islands, part I;
and Philippine Islands, part I I ) , and the manuscripts prepared. A
new edition of the Alaska Coast Pilot, part II, was published.
A brief outline on the various field projects covered by this Divi­
sion in hydrographic, topographic, and coastal triangulation surveys,
together with statistics of the amount of work accomplished under
each survey follows:

P ion eer accomplished, offshore hydrography in the vicinity of the

103

COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY

Hydrography, topography, and coastal triangulation
Hydrography
Locality

Sound­
ing Area
lines
Miles

Atlantic coast east of Fire Island...
Choctawhatchee Bay, F la............
Coast of northern California-------Columbia River and coast of

Philippine Islands-------------------

1,742
980
15,267
2,793
3,575
778
1,552
123
18,115
1,899
692
245
2,128
6,890
10,628
6,887
15,167
89,461

Square
miles

72
11
11,425
1,082
143
35
145
5
18,074
1,083
20
14
86
5,921
7,256
3,370
48, 742

Topography

Coastal triangulation

Geo­
graphic
Sound­ Shore­ Area Length
Area
of
posi­
line
ings
scheme
tions
Number

Miles

Square
miles

40
55,367 201
95,255
14
154,106
27,605
150
217
131,290
545 290
42,065
56,382
5
3,838
30
204, 222 107
11
11,788
104
34,790
70
23
41
8,027
69
144
68,593
11,110
143 375
123,557
562 382
86,879
47
101
200,141
1,315,015 2,265 1,406

GEODETIC W ORK

Miles

Square
miles Number

25

64

25
50

57
150

6
6
15
12
144 1,022
11
15
10 262
91
75
29
128 1,130
191
31
551 2,998

74
8
62
156
4
9
11
629
13
29
126
11
125
54
1,311

The geodetic work of the Bureau provides data in the form of lati­
tudes, longitudes, elevations, azimuths, and distances, indispensable
for mapping, for all classes of public works which deal with the land
and for plans for the development and use of our natural resources.
Among the most important uses of control surveys, one that has
been stressed but little in former reports is the use made by indi­
viduals of the triangulation stations as reference points for real estate
as a certain means of perpetuating the boundaries of these holdings.
Problems concerned with property boundaries, crop acreage, drain­
age, and the prevention of soil erosion with which various agencies
dealing with agricultural-adjustment problems are concerned, par­
ticularly during recent years, are all more and more dependent on
adequate maps, based on this Bureau’s control surveys.
Five double-observing triangulation parties and three triple-unit
level parties operated throughout most of the year, the work being
done in 34 States.
Several circuits of triangulation and leveling, left unclosed by cur­
tailment of funds in July 1935, were completed through an allotment
of $490,000 of Public Works Administration funds for field geodetic
surveys to supplement the Control surveys of this Bureau, and the
extension of operations into areas needing most urgent attention.
Some work was also done with the small regular appropriation and
by the cooperation of other organizations furnishing funds necessary
for the extension of control work.
One gravity party was in the field the entire year, except for one
short interval required at the Washington office to test the apparatus.

104

REPORT OF T H E SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

An astronomical party also determined two gravity stations on the
Aleutian Islands, Alaska, in addition to its regular work.
During the entire fiscal year this Bureau sponsored a computing
office project in New York City as a Works Progress Administration
project, with an average employment of 150 relief personnel. Ade­
quate supervision was provided by the assignment of experienced
officers and mathematicians from the permanent force. This office was
also of material assistance in processing the large amount of field sur­
vey data resulting from the expanded program of 1933 to 1935.
On January 3,1939, this Bureau initiated an office in Philadelphia,
Pa., as a Works Progress Administration project, and at the end of
June 1939 about 150 people were employed. Supervision was provided
by details from the permanent staff.
Latitude observatories at Ukiah, Calif., and Gaithersburg, Md.,
which are maintained by this Bureau under international agreement
for the determination of variation of latitude, were in continuous
operation.
The following table gives a brief statistical summary of geodetic
operations.
Geodetic work
Locality
FIRST-ORDER TRIANGULATION

Grantsville-Tooele area, Utah__
Erie to Boalsburg, Pa____ ____
Weber River area, Utah and Wyo.
Frazee to Remer, Minn________
Long Prairie to Bemidji, M inn...
Mantiarea, Utah. ... _____
Minot to Westhope, N. Dak........
Hudson River, Hudson to Albany, N. Y__ . .........................
Beaver River area, Utah_______
Laurel Hill, Fla., to Mobile, Ala.
(including Niceville to Laurel
Hill, Fla., and Pensacola to
Century, Fla.)_____ _____
Muddy River area, Utah______
Waverly to Pocahontas, Iowa___
Thomson to Polo, 111___________
Circleville to Fairhaven and Wilmington to Springfield, Ohio...
Dudley to St. Marys, Mo., and
Scopus, Mo., to Elco, 111..........
Fredericktown to Ironton, Mo__
Vicinity of Selma, Ala...................
Lonoke, Ark., to Monroe, La.,
and Monticello to Arkansas
City, Ark_____________ ____
Mobile to Demopolis, Ala...........
Earthquake investigation, Brea,
Calif._____ _______________
Fields to Crane, Oreg__________
Vicinity of Crater Lake, Oreg___
Lookout Mountain to Stanley,
Idaho.____________________
Earthquake investigation, Point
Reyes to Petaluma, Calif____
Demopolis
Russellville,Ariz___
Ala__
Winslow to toWinkelman,
Silver City, N. Mex., to Nogales,
Ariz., and Paradise, Ariz., to
Deming, N. Mex____________
Childersburg, Ala., to West
Point, Miss.............................

Length
of
Area
scheme

Locality
FIRST-ORDER TRIANGULATION—

Miles

Square
miles

180
140
120
15
125
130
40
23

1,620
2,765
1,200
S 180
1,280
1, 560
480
80

205
155
9
90
240

2,050 SECOND-ORDER TRIANGULATION
2,480
area, Ariz________
36 Queen Creek
to Garyville, La_____
1,800 Kentwood
Corpus
Christi
to Brownsville,
6,175

45
155
115
70
115
85
60
60
95

50

50

145
110
295
120

900
1,705
2,925
700
1, 230
1,700
600
660
1,820

continued
Square
miles
Jackson, Ala., t;o Bassfiold, Miss.. Miles
85
850
Greensburg to Kingman, Kans«...
70
700
Manville to Thermopolis, Wyo.._ 180 2,520
Mason to Forest City, S. Dak__
165
2,310
West Point to Winona to Green­
ville, Miss..____ _______ ____ 170 1,600
Marshall,^ Okla., to Siloam
Springs, Ärk___________ ____ 140 1,400
Centerville to Marshfield, Mo__
95
950
Angie to Laurel Hill, La_______
90
720
Mexican
boundary
to
Riverside,
Calif______________________ 220 3,080
Mexican boundary to Baldwin
Lake, Calif_________________ 305
Warm Springs to Strawberry, Nev. 130 4,380
Featherville to Stanley, Idaho__
50 1,560
1,080000
Monroe County, N. Y_________
30
Hornell to Owego, N. Y_______
95 1,140
Bolivar to Sheldon, Mo................
65
780
Rockport to Waverly, 111_______
50
500
Holton to Muncie, Ind................
80
720
Liberty to Stilesville, Ind______
85
765
Total.................. ................. 5,147 70, 511

Tex.............................................
San Clemente Island, Calif.........
Vicinity of Coronado, Calif..........
Calif_____
1, 500 Vicinity of Riverside,
Time _______
Capsule,
2,030 Westinghouse
N.
Y_____________
1,430
Total....................................

1,100

3, 540
1,200

Length
of Area
scheme

60
55
140
3
2
15
3
278

SECOND-ORDER BASE LINE

Coronado, Calif............................

0.8

1, 320
500
840
23
45
3
2,713

105

COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY
Geodetic worlc—Continued
Length
of
Area
scheme

Locality
FIRST-ORDER TRAVERSE

Earthquake investigation, Palm­
dale, Calif___ ______________
Earthquake investigation, Gor­
man, Calif............. ................... .
Total....................................

Square
miles

85
30
155
30
35
95
140
15
50
525
40
100
85
240

300
525
1,820
2,755
180
500
7,460
560
1,100
680
6,175

FIRST-ORDER RECONNAISSANCE

Manti area, Utah__....... ............
Coalville to Mt. Lovenia, Utah. _.
Hayward, Wis., to Baraga, Mich.
Oquawka to Galesburg, 111.........
Orr to Namakan Lake, Minn___
Beaver River area, Utah__..........
Muddy River area, Utah---------Thomson to Polo, 111....................
Rockportto Waverly, 111..............
Southwestern California..............
Success to Marshfield, Mo...........
Laura to Watseka, 111— ..............
Angie to Laurel Hill, La...............
Vicinity of Crater Lake, Oreg---State

First
order

Second
order

LEVELING

Miles

Miles

10
115
524
184
15
73
69
7
521
15
1
95
406

Minnesota. ...........................

State

264
159
1,141
' 160
177
82
96
182
126
165
16
166
135
33

Determinations
Lati­ Longi­ Azi­
tude tude muth

State
GRAVITY

Alaska.....................
Arizona..................
California................
Delaware................
Idaho......................
Illinois.....................
Kansas__________
Maryland...............
Missouri.................
Nevada......... .........

SECOND-ORDER RECONNAISSANCE

Queen Creek area, Ariz____ ___
Corpus Christi to Rio Grande,
Tex.............................................
Lucerne Valley to Helendale,
Calif_______ ______________
Wilsona to Fairmont, Calif.____
Kentwood to Garyville, La.......
Fairmont to Santa Barbara, CalifTotal........................— .......

5,750

Second
order

Miles

Miles

163
61
811
114
505
444
1
358
560
57
70
150
6,196

6
8
63
23
34
26
93

43
2,331

Total__ ____________
State

1,200

First
order

State
leveling —continued

1,320
1,080
600
1,050
500

60
135
30
60
55
50

Determinations
Lati­ Longi­ Azi­
tude tude muth

ASTRONOMY— c o n .

ASTRONOMY

Nevada............................

FIRST-ORDER RECONNAISSANCE—

Square
continued
Miles miles
Washington County, M iss..........
360
40
Winslow to Winkelman, Ariz---110 1,430
McKittrick to Fresno, Calif___
180 3,960
40 1,000
Santa Barbara to Maricopa, Calif
Sacramento to Round Top, Calif. 140 3,125
Hagerstown to Parkton, Md----55
550
25
250
Thurmont to Point-of-Rocks, Md.
1,700 Sacramento River Valley, Calif...
270 5, 300
300
Total................................. 2, 485 42, 355
2,325

Miles

10.4
9.7
20.1

Length
of Area
scheme

Locality

1
1
1
1

1 New Mexico....................
2
1 Texas...............................
1
Total.. ............... .
1
1

1
2
1
1

Determinations
New

Repeat

State
g r a v it y —c o n tin u ed

New Jersey........................
New Mexico..................... .
Oklahoma........................ .
Pennsylvania.....................
Texas________________
Virginia.................. ..........
W yoming.......................
Total.......................

1

1
2

2

7

8

i
1
1
10

Determinations
New

Repeat

106

REPORT OF T H E SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

TIDE AND CURRENT WORK

Forty-six primary and 37 secondary tide stations were in opera­
tion : 38 on the Atlantic coast; 1 each in Bermuda, the Bahamas, and
Cuba; 7 on the Gulf coast; 29 on the Pacific coast; 5 in Alaska; and
1 in the Hawaiian Islands. Of these, 40 were conducted in coopera­
tion with other agencies including the U. S. Engineers, the Navy
Department, Territory of Hawaii, City of New York, City of Santa
Monica, City of Los Angeles, Port of Willapa Harbor, Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, and
the University of Washington. Shorter periods of observation at
approximately 100 additional stations were obtained in connection
with hydrographic surveys and other activities.
Added emphasis has been placed on the tide and current work of
the Bureau by the expansion of our Navy and merchant marine, as
well as by the increasing commercial value of water-front property
and the extension of oil fields to tidal waters.
Tide and current predictions and tidal current charts are an indis­
pensable aid to navigation. Tidal datums are essential for harbor
improvements, industrial planning, and the determination of bound­
aries of tide lands, as well as for use in the Bureau’s surveying and
charting operations. Basic data for these various purposes are de­
rived from tide and current observations.
The tide survey of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, for the pre­
cise determination of tidal datum planes and the investigation of
changes in the tidal regime resulting from hydrographic changes,
was continued throughout the year. The Connecticut River tide sur­
vey, in progress at the beginning of the fiscal year, was interrupted
by the September 1938 floodwaters. The gages were reestablished
in March 1939 and the project is now being continued in cooperation
with the U. S. Engineers.
A Public Works Administration grant made possible the needed
reconstruction and modernization of 40 of the principal tide stations.
No current surveys were conducted during the year. Some ob­
servations were secured by hydrographic parties and by cooperation
from other agencies; three stations were occupied in Lower Bay, New
York Harbor, in cooperation with the U. S. Engineer Office in New
York. Through cooperation with the Lighthouse Service, hourly
observations were obtained at Fire Island Lightship throughout the
year and at Ambrose Channel and Scotland Lightships for a period
of 4^2 months. Cooperation was also extended to the Louise A.
Boyd Arctic Expedition, 1938, which secured current observations at
three localities in Greenland Sea. There are numerous localities
along our coasts for which no information is available regarding the
ebb and flow of the current. To meet the needs for such information,
not only of navigation but also of engineering, fishing, and other inter­
ests, the program of making systematic current surveys should be
resumed.
The demand for tide and current information was met through
correspondence, tide and current tables, and miscellaneous publica­
tions, the latter including Tide Tables, Atlantic Ocean, 1940; Tide
Tables, Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean, 1940; Current Tables, At­

COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY

107

lantic Coast, 1940; Current Tables, Pacific Coast, 1940; reprint of
Special Publication No. 208, Currents in Narragansett Bay, Buz­
zards Bay, and Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds; reprint of Special
Publication No. 135, Tidal Datum Planes; revised editions of Tidal
Current Charts for San Francisco Bay and Boston Harbor; and
Tidal Bench Marks for the States of Washington, Alabama, Texas,
and North Carolina. There was also issued a pamphlet covering the
results of current observations taken in San Pedro Channel, Calif.
The reciprocal agreements between the United States and England,
Germany, France, Canada, India, and the Netherlands for exchange
of tide predictions for tide tables were continued.
In addition to the tabulation and reduction of tide and current ob­
servations and the prediction of tides and currents, tide notes were
prepared and verified for 310 charts, planes of reference verified in
738 volumes of soundings, and descriptions and elevations of 585
bench marks furnished for use in connection with hydrographic, geo­
detic, and other engineering projects.
MAGNETIC WORK

The magnetic work of the Bureau consists of making observations
and keeping records of the changes in the earth’s magnetism.
Changes in direction of the compass needle are of primary importance
to the navigators on the seas and in the air, and to the surveyor in
the location of boundaries previously surveyed with the compass.
The changes in the horizontal and vertical intensities are of im­
portance to the geophysical prospector in the location of natural
resources and to investigators of radio transmission and for purely
scientific studies.
The picture of magnetic declination for the United States is being
greatly improved by observations obtained by magnetic observers
attached to geodetic' parties. The constant finding of new areas of
local disturbance increases the importance of making magnetic sur­
veys of the large areas about which no magnetic information is
available. The Bureau is called on frequently to furnish certified
compass data for use in court in the adjudication of boundaries and
must continue to observe the magnetic elements in order to meet this
requirement. The lack of a nonmagnetic ship makes the data fur­
nished for this purpose and for nautical charts more and more un­
reliable, as accurate magnetic data cannot be determined with steel
ships. Any uncertainty is a potential danger to life and property
at sea.
Magnetic data were supplied for 170 printings of nautical charts.
Publications issued during the year included a corrected edition of
Serial No. 166, Directions for Magnetic Measurements; reprint of
Special Publication No. 96, Instructions for the Compensation of the
Magnetic Compass,, for which there has been a large demand by other
Government agencies; supplementary tables to bring Special Publica­
tion No. 117, The Earth’s Magnetism, up to date; and Results for
the Tucson Magnetic Observatory for 1929-30. The reduction and
preparation for publication of Polar Year magnetic records were
continued.
The distribution of magnetic observations during the year is shown
in the following table:

108

REPORT OP TH E SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Magnetic observations
Repeat

State or Territory

Old

Newcomplete Com­ Declina­
plete tion only
1

2

2

1
3
1

3
1

2
»1

2
1

1
1

3
1
1
1
1

2
1
22
1
Utah ........................ .............-..................................

1

4
2
1
1

1

1

11

1
22

2
1
1
1

1
2
2
24

Other
declina­
tion
stations
29
54
47
33
114
5
31
23
31
15
63
5
1
46
47
79
23
34
1
1
15
10
18
39
16
30
53
95
17
1
42
1,018

Total
29
57
47
33
115
3
11
1
31
23
31
19
1
64
5
1
4
48
48
79
7
1
24
34
1
1
19
13
18
39
17
2
31
1
53
96
171
2
1
2
45
1,075

i Declination and horizontal intensity only.
» Dip not observed at one of these stations.

SEISMOLOGY

The seismological work consists in recording distant and local
earthquakes - obtaining data by an elaborate system of questionnaires;
exchanging information with many institutions ; measuring the char­
acter and magnitude of natural periods of vibrations of structures and
the ground; and cooperating with other Government agencies, sci­
entists, and educational institutions in the study of causes and effects
of earthquakes, so that means of safeguarding life and property from
them can be devised.
Seismographs were operated at observatories in Tucson, Ariz.;
Honolulu, T. H.; Sitka, Alaska; and San Juan, P. R. The Bureau
cooperated in the maintenance of seismographs at nine colleges, three
of which installed the instruments the past year. A number of

COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY

109

independent stations sent their records to the Bureau for study and
interpretation.
Fifty-eight strong-motion seismographs for the recording of strong
local shocks were maintained at 50 stations, and 16 records were
obtained for 11 semidestructive earthquakes.
One hundred forty-four vibration tests were made in 5 buildings,
and 172 ground-period tests at 80 locations. Similar work was done
for the Navy Department at certain Navy bases. Shaking table tests
were made on 7 instruments, thus obtaining approximately 400 rec­
ords. Recording of fault noises in two deep wells was carried on
intermittently throughout the year. Three tilt meter stations were
maintained.
Intensive questionnaire coverage was obtained for 24 earthquakes
of semidestructive character, and over 2,300 reports on approxi­
mately 400 earthquakes were received.
The seismological data are published in an annual report entitled
“United States Earthquakes” and mimeographed quarterly reports.
Many institutions requested photostat copies or loan of the original
records.
NEW AND IMPROVED METHODS AND EQUIPMENT

The Dorsey Fathometer No. 3, having proved its value as a pre­
cision echo-sounding instrument on the W estd a h l , has now been
placed on the ships O ceanographer, S u rv e y o r , G u ide , and H y d ro g raph er.
Sono-radio buoys have been tried out in Alaska and will be used
by the four vessels operating along the Alaska Peninsula. These
automatic buoys have now been successfully used to distances of 60
miles and have almost completely supplanted shore stations and the
attendant danger of landing equipment through heavy surf.
Using a stock, light-weight commercial transit as a base, a new
transit-declinometer was developed for magnetic declination observa­
tions. By test and replacement, all traces of magnetic material were
removed from the basic instrument, now equipped with a specially
designed microscope for precision reading of the magnetic needle.
Many instruments were fitted with better magnets made of new
alloy materials.
An arrangement whereby it is possible to mount in succession three
quartz horizontal magnetometers on a modified compass declinometer
base has made it possible to determine station differences easily and
quickly.
A new, all-metal magnetogram reading board was designed and
built which is a great improvement over earlier types.
A log magnification attachment and special high-speed recorder
for the Honolulu seismograph^ built by the Honolulu observer in
charge, permits the recording of strong local as well as distant shocks
by the same instrument, at a decided saving of expense.
A special ground shaker, vibration meter, and recorder were de­
signed and built to make ground and building vibration measure­
ments to assist in the design of earthquake-resistant structures.
The illumination of theodolite circles was improved by a new
design of lighting apparatus which reduces stray light, thereby en­
hancing the apparent sharpness of the graduation line.

110

REPORT OF T H E SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Experiments conducted to determine the effect of various colors in
the reading of level rods showed that a yellow-and-black combination
provided longer sights and more speedy reading, thereby increasing
•the efficiency of geodetic leveling operations.
Redesigned signal lamps of all-metal construction eliminate mois­
ture effects, reduce size and weight, and provide an accurately con­
structed and more sturdy lamp for triangulation purposes.
The program of reproducing the tide and current tables by the
photo-offset process is being accomplished as rapidly as available per­
sonnel permits. In addition to the two current tables, Tide Tables,
Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean, 1940, were reproduced by this
method at a substantial saving.
In the annual report for 1938, mention was made of a method for
satisfactorily reproducing two or more gradient tints on aeronautical
charts from one color printing plate, but it was not feasible to release
employees from other duties to change over to the new method. Ex­
periments have developed a supplement to this gradient tint printing,,
whereby gradients are made on one aluminum plate, the negatives for
each of the colors being made from this one plate, reversed negatives
being made to secure the alternate colors.
Several charts have been compiled on celluloid directly from the
surveys, at a considerable saving of the compiler’s time. This method
is particularly applicable in areas where the charts to be constructed
are at one-half the scale of the original surveys.
Chart notes were all reconsidered and a new form of tide, abbrevia­
tion, and authority notes was put into use, the notes being changed
only when new printing plates are necessary for other reasons.
During the year a comprehensive tabulation of nautical chart sym­
bols was prepared, to standardize the symbols used.
A new 14 by 17 inch copying camera, with a special tilting arrange­
ment, has replaced the previous makeshift arrangements for this type
of work.
The bromide room in the photographic laboratory has been com­
pletely renovated. New tanks of inconel metal and new light fixtures
were installed and improvements made in the arrangement of the
equipment.
The process room was enlarged and the equipment rearranged, by
extending this room to take in a portion of the photographic labora­
tory.
A new instrument for cutting glass negatives for parallel lines to
represent roads was devised, enabling the engraver to do this work
with facility as compared with the previous rather unsatisfactory
attempts.
The use of fluorescent tubes to replace the drafting lights behind
the negatives in the lithographic sections has proved such a great
improvement that these tubes will be installed gradually in all tables..
COOPERATIVE ACTIVITIES

The Bureau during the year has rendered the public and numerous
Government agencies a service great in volume and variety. As this
service is one without duplication, demands have increased as other
functions of the Government have expanded. Economy of expendi-

COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY

111

tures has been accomplished although the demands have actually
exceeded the volume of available service. _
„ .
At the request of the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Go.,
the Bureau determined the location of the “Time Capsule,” deposited
50 feet in the earth at the site of their building in the New York
World’s Fair Grounds at noon on September 23, 1938. It is intended
that this capsule, a repository of information concerning our mode
of living at the present time, shall be recovered 5,000 years from
that date. This Bureau furnished the chief of party and necessary
instruments and the Westinghouse Co. all other items of expense.
In cooperation with the Geological Society of America, a series of
six special charts was prepared delineating in detail the topographic
forms of the ocean bottom on the northeastern Atlantic coast, m the
vicinity of the coastal slope. Such charts are only now possible
because they are based on the accurate and detailed surveys of the
past few years, and are accordingly sought by all students of the
earth sciences.
•.
. .
Cadet officers of the U. S. Maritime Commission were given in­
struction aboard vessels of this Survey, to familiarize them with its
many activities benefiting the merchant marine officer. All the larger
ships have at various times had from two to six cadets assigned for
instruction during the field season on the Atlantic, Gulf, Pacific, and
•A-lsisksin coasts.
Science Service paid for the transmission of earthquake code mes­
sages from seismograph stations in the United States for the imme­
diate determination of epicenters. The results of these immediate
epicenter determinations are furnished in preliminary form to^ all
cooperative stations and those with whom data are exchanged. The
service is a definite aid to all the stations concerned and is meeting a
constantly increasing demand.
Revision surveys of the Hudson River naval anchorages between
Fifty-sixth Street and Yonkers were made by the tender G ilb ert just
prior to the arrival of the fleet. The work was begun while ice was
still in the river, but by considerable effort the project was completed
in time to permit the issue of charts to the Navy before arrival of
the vessels. The finding of an unknown wreck by this field party, in
ample time for the removal of the obstruction and the adjustment
of the anchorage, proved a timely reminder of the need for such
revision surveys. Other cooperative work for the Navy included the
locating of beacons for use in fixing anchorage positions in Hampton
Roads, Va., for the fleet, special hydrographic surveys in Alaska, and
the determination of ground and building vibration characteristics
for certain designated localities where a large construction program
for naval use is in progress.
Two topographic quadrangle maps were engraved on glass nega­
tives and reproduced for the Tennessee Valley Authority, and at the
close of the year an order was received from that agency for the
reproduction, by this method, of 10 additional topographic maps.
There are being reproduced for the Authority a series of naviga­
tional charts of new lakes which have been created by some of the
dams and which are being made into recreational areas. All Ten­
nessee Valley Authority work was on a reimbursable basis.
192271—39-----10

112

REPORT OF T H E SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

In cooperation with the Army Air Corps, the Bureau, with its
nine-lens camera, has taken photographs for the Soil Conservation
Service of some 24,000 square miles of soil conservation areas in the
High Bock section of North Carolina, in the Susquehanna region of
Pennsylvania, and in Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado, and has fur­
nished transformed prints for use in planimetric mapping.
Extensive cooperation with the Civil Aeronautics Authority has
resulted in the Bureau’s doing a large amount of reimbursable work
for that agency.
Special surveys in upper Chesapeake Bay and in the vicinity of
Key West, Fla., were made on requests from the Bureau of Light­
houses. Two officers were assigned for part of the year to liaison
duty, one at Norfolk, Ya., and the other at Charleston, S. C. Other
officers were assigned to temporary duty on lighthouse tenders in
Washington, Oregon, and Puerto Eico. These officers instructed
the personnel of the tenders in improved methods of position deter­
mination in order that greater accuracy might be obtained in the
location of aids to navigation when established. Transported by the
tenders to small isolated areas, they made revision surveys for cor­
rections to the nautical charts.
During the winter season an officer from the ship G u ide releveled
the bench marks in Santa Clara Valley to check on the subsidence of
the valley. This settlement, in progress for some time, is of consid­
erable interest to California geologists and residents of the valley.
Other than the chief of party, the personnel was made up of Works
Progress Administration employees.
The Mississippi Biver Commission transferred a total of $26,500
to the Bureau for lines of leveling- in the alluvial valley of the Missis­
sippi from Baton Bouge, La., southward via New Orleans to the
Head of Passes, and eastward as far as Bay St. Louis, Miss. Field
work was completed in the spring of 1939 and the office processing
of the material will be completed at the earliest opportunity.
Early during the year a project of local control for the metropol­
itan district of Baltimore was completed in cooperation with the
officials of that city, which supplied all the personnel except the chief
of party and instruments.
Triangulation and traverse were extended in three fault zones in
the general vicinity of Los Angeles, Calif., as a continuation of the
investigation of seismic regions and as recommended by the com­
mittee in seismology of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
The Bureau also repeated the triangulation from Point Beyes to
Petaluma, Calif., originally done in 1930. Funds for this work were
obtained through a special item of appropriation by the Seventyfifth Congress.
At the request of the city engineer of Biverside, Calif., 10 triangu­
lation stations were established within the city and vicinity to provide
control for the city’s plane-coordinate system. Expenses of the work
were paid by the city and county.
Additional cooperation was extended to Works Progress Adminis­
tration local control survey projects in 14 States and to King County,
Wash., Mercer County, Pa., Minneapolis, Minn., and Cleveland, Ohio,
by the loan of equipment or detail of personnel in an advisory capac­
ity, in order to coordinate local surveys into the national net.

COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY

113

Seismographs were operated in cooperation with the following
institutions: University of South Carolina, University of Chicago,
Montana School of Mines, Montana State College, University of
Utah, Nebraska Wesleyan University, University of Hawaii, Uni­
versity of Alaska, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and the
Bermuda Biological Station. The Jesuit Seismological Association
operated a number of seismographs and close cooperation was main­
tained in the exchange of records and data.
Tilt meters for determining the earth’s tilt and its relation to seis­
mology were continued in cooperation with the University of Cali­
fornia.
Information regarding the effects of occurring earthquakes was
obtained with the assistance of the Weather Bureau, several univer­
sities, many commercial agencies, and individuals.
The following activities were continued with the cooperation of the
department of terrestrial magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Wash­
ington: Operation of a cosmic ray meter at Cheltenham Observa­
tory; maintenance at Cheltenham Observatory of international mag­
netic standards; atmospheric and earth electric currents at Tucson
Observatory (Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Co. and Bell
Telephone Laboratories also cooperating) ; and daily and weekly radio
broadcasts of magnetic conditions, in which the Navy Department and
Science Service also aided.

LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE

The total number of aids to navigation maintained by the Light­
house Service at the close of the fiscal year was 29,606, a net increase
of 849 over the previous year. Of the additional aids established,
377 were lighted aids, 42 were sound signals, and 457 were unlighted
buoys and daymarks.
During the fiscal year radiobeacons were newly installed at 8 ad­
ditional light stations. Of these new radiobeacons 4 were on the
Atlantic and Gulf coasts, 2 upon the Pacific coast, and 2 upon the
Great Lakes. This number included the first radiobeacon buoy to
be placed in service in the United States, known as North Channel
Radiobeacon Buoy No. 10, and located in Boston Harbor, Mass. The
grand total of all United States radiobeacons is now 141.
Radiobeacon signals were synchronized with sound-in-air fog sig­
nals for distance-finding purposes, at 1 additional station during the
year, bringing the total number of stations having such synchronized
signals to 92.
The President’s Reorganization Order No. II provided for the con­
solidation of the United States Lighthouse Service with the United
States Coast Guard in the Treasury Department and its administra­
tion as a part thereof. By an act of Congress the effective date of the
change was fixed for July 1, 1939.
In 1910 when the Lighthouse Service was established as a Bureau,
there were 12,082 aids to navigation of all kinds, while at the close
of the present year the number stood at 29,606. More striking than
this increase of nearly 150 percent in the number of aids is the num­
ber of employees at the beginning and close of the period. In 1910
there were 5,778 employees required to maintain slightly more than
12,000 aids to navigation, while in 1939 the number of employees had
dropped to 5,355, despite the large increase in the number of aids,
noted above. The great increase in the number of navigational aids
in the past 29 years has been due very largely to the introduction and
further development of various types of automatic apparatus, mak­
ing it practicable to maintain aids at a large number of points which
could be so effectively marked only at a very large expense if it were
necessary that each station be supplied with resident personnel.
The use of automatic apparatus, and the consequent increase in
the number of the smaller unattended lights, is connected in the clos­
est manner with the changes which have been made in recent years in
the illuminants used for the aids to navigation. The following state­
ments not only indicate the changes in apparatus which have been
taking place but, indirectly, the increase in the number of automatic
lights with which the Service has marked the waterways of the
country.
Most important changes have taken place in the illuminants used
for the aids to navigation. Three principal types, namely, kerosene
115

116

REPORT OP TH E SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

oil, acetylene and other gases, and electricity, were in use in 1910
and also in 1939, but the percentages have undergone radical changes.
In 1910 there was a total of 4,036 lighted aids to navigation; of
these, 9 7 1 4 percent employed kerosene oil, 2 percent used acetylene
gas, and one-half of 1 percent used electricity. In 1939, with a total
of 9,862 lighted aids to navigation, the conditions had so much
changed that only 27 percent employed kerosene oil, 33 percent used
acetylene gas, and 40 percent used electricity. These figures indicate
the manner in which the actual illuminant source has changed, but
only partially tell the story of advancement, for under these three
general headings there has been introduced apparatus not heard of
m 1910, particularly among the electrically lighted lights. Also
underlying these figures is the continuing increase in the percentage
of automatic lights, made practicable only through the introduction
of acetylene and electric apparatus, and accounting in a large meas­
ure for the rapid proportional as well as numerical increase in the
use of such apparatus.
1910 marked the approximate close of the period in which the
Lighthouse Service was developing the kerosene-oil wick lamp. In
this country and abroad, the simple single-wick burner on the
Argand principle had passed through a long period of evolution, in
which various means had been adopted to secure a constant level of
the oil about the wick, and in which the wicks, cylindrical in shape,
had increased in number, one inside the other, until five and six
concentric wick burners were in common use. A point had been
reached where it was cpiite unlikely that any further brilliance could
be extracted from a given quantity of oil by this means.
When it seemed that the ultimate results from kerosene as a light­
house illuminant had about been obtained, a new development, the
incandescent oil-vapor lamp, became available. This type of lamp,
burning vaporized kerosene under a mantle, was used in many of the
larger seacoast lights, and produced a very brilliant light on a mod­
erate consumption of oil. This highly efficient light source is still
in service at many points where electric power is not economically
available.
For a great many of the attended lighthouses of today the electric
light is the most practicable, the same source of current which sup­
plies the light also providing a means of operating the fog signal
where this is desirable, operating a radiobeacon, and lighting the
shops and quarters of the keepers. Curiously enough, the Light­
house Service first experimented with electric light at about the same
time that it was introducing kerosene as a lighthouse illuminant, but
the use of electricity remained impracticable at many lighthouses for
a number of years because of the lack of dependable commercial
sources of current, the fact that many lighthouses were so remotely
located that the supply of current over pole lines was not to be looked
for, and the lack of suitable equipment for generation on station.
The electrification of lighthouses was due largly to two factors:
First, the commercial development of highly efficient incandescent
lamps and reliable electric-generating equipment which could be in­
stalled at individual stations and operated by existing personnel, and
second, the introduction of radiobeacons, for which electric current
quite naturally had to be provided. Largely because of these factors,

LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE

117

and the increased availability of commercial power, important light
stations have now been largely electrified.
The development of the radiobeacon system is entirely the work of
the period just past, these radiobeacons and their application in the
navigation of ships being perhaps the most important development in
lighthouse engineering in the past half century. The first United
States radiobeacons were established in 1921, being 3 in number, and
from that time on they were placed at lighthouses and upon light­
ships with considerable rapidity. At the end of 10 years, 89 had been
made available to mariners, and at the close of the present fiscal year
the number has increased to 141. Every lightship is now equipped
with a radiobeacon, and they are also installed at the more important
light stations.
Outstanding developments were also made during the past 29 years
in the marking of the coasts, entrance channels, and other waterways
by means of buoys. Not only has the numerical increase in this class
of aid been most substantial, but a far greater percentage now than
formerly are fitted with light or sound signals. In 1910 only 224
of the buoys in United States waters were fitted with lights, while
today there are nearly 1,900 lighted buoys in service. In the same
period buoys having whistles have increased from 95 to 226. Bell
buoys have increased from 183 to 804, and the unlighted buoys have
more than doubled in number, the figures being 6,090 in 1910 and
13,468 at the present time.
Extensive damage to Lighthouse Service property distributed over
a wide area in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massa­
chusetts was caused by the hurricane which swept the North Atlantic
coast on September 21. An assistant keeper of a station in Narragansett Bay lost his life, the wife of another keeper was drowned, and
in a third case a keeper lost both wife and son. In addition, other
persons who had sought refuge at a light station were drowned. The
area of greatest damage included the eastern coast of Connecticut, the
entire coast of Rhode Island, and that portion of the Massachusetts
coast lying to the westward of Cape Cod. The damage was particu­
larly severe in the neighborhood of New London, Conn.; Narragansett Bay, R. I.; and Buzzards Bay, Mass. The most easterly point
from which damage was reported was Eastern Point Light Station*
Gloucester, Mass.
The tower of Whale Rock Light Station, in the western passage of
Narragansett Bay close to Narragansett Pier, was completely swept
from its base and destroyed. In this catastrophe, the first assistant
keeper, Walter B. Eberle, the only person at the station at the time, lost
his life.
At the Palmer Island Light Station, in New Bedford Harbor, Mass.*
the dwelling and all other buildings, with the exception of the light
tower, were swept away. The wife of the keeper, Mrs. Arthur A.
Small, who had first taken refuge in the tower, lost her life in an
attempt to go to the assistance of her husband when she saw him
washed away by a heavy sea. Mr. Small displayed fortitude of the
highest order, when, after seeing his wife washed away, he went back
to his post, remaining throughout the storm and keeping his light in
operation until he was relieved the following morning.

118

REPORT OF T H E SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

The Prudence Island Light Station, in the eastern passage of Narragansett Bay, was entirely destroyed with the exception of the tower
which remained standing although somewhat undermined. The keep­
er’s wife and son were drowned when the dwelling was finally de­
stroyed, and the keeper was able to save himself only after being
swept more than a quarter mile from the station. During the height
of the storm a former keeper of the light and two others who sought
refuge in the dwelling were drowned.
Bullock Point Light Station, in the Providence River, was damaged
to such an extent that the dwelling was not habitable and the tower
was unsafe. All furnishings, supplies, and boats were washed away.
The lighthouse depot at Bristol, R. I., suffered extensive damage;
gravel fill was washed away and fences were destroyed. Every buoy,
at the time stored on the wharf, and a number of ballast balls and
acetylene tanks were washed overboard, some drifting on shore and
into the upper harbor. Two boats were sunk near the wharf. The
keeper’s dwelling and the storehouse were badly damaged and stock
and stores were damaged by water.
The Wings Reck Light Station, in the upper end of Buzzards Bay,
was badly damaged; all structures were rendered so unsafe that the
keeper was unable to remain and had to employ an emergency light.
At the New London lighthouse depot, the wharf and storehouse
were considerably battered, much of the apparatus in storage was
damaged, and buoys and appendages were washed away and damaged.
The lighthouse tender T u lip was thrown bodily upon the shore
at New London, Conn., in such a manner that it obstructed a main­
line railroad track passing through that city. A contract was
awarded a wrecking company, and the T u lip was successfully floated.
The damage to the ship was found to be comparatively small, all
conditions considered; it was repaired and the vessel was returned
to service.
At the lighthouse depot at Woods Hole, Mass., the damage was
extensive. Fill on the premises was badly washed out, small build­
ings were seriously damaged, and buoys and other objects stored on
the property were scattered about, some being thrown up onto private
property.
Extensive damage was done to many light stations in the path of
this storm, other than those already mentioned, consisting in general
of the destruction of small boats, damage to foundations, the breaking
in of windows and doors and consequent flooding, the destruction of
power lines, and the derangement of other exposed apparatus. In
New York State, on Long Island or Long Island Sound, the principal
damage occurred at the following light stations: Latimer Reef, North
Dumpling, Race Rock, Little Gull Island, and Orient Point. In
Connecticut the stations seriously damaged were the following: Saybrook Breakwater, Falkner Island, New London Ledge, and Seaflower Reef. In Massachusetts extensive damage was also done at
Dumpling Rock. In Rhode Island serious damage was experienced
at a number of stations, including Pomham Rocks, Sabine Point,
Newport Harbor, Castle Hill, Beavertail, Dutch Island, Warwick,
Point Judith, Watch Hill, and Block Island Southeast.
An allotment of $1,680,000 was made by the Public Works Ad­
ministration at the beginning of the fiscal year, for the construe-

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119

tion and reconditioning of lighthouse tenders and lightships. Bids
were opened on August 10 for the construction of seven new light­
house tenders, all but one of which were to be built with these funds.
In order that these vessels might be placed under construction as
soon as possible, they were built from plans of existing vessels which
had recently been designed. Bids were submitted for two vessels
of the H o llyh o ck class, one vessel of the Jasm in e class, one vessel of
the L ila c class, one vessel of the E lm class, and two vessels of the
G olden rod class. Only one vessel of the G olden rod class was even­
tually built. At the close of the fiscal year the tenders F ir and
W a ln u t, of the H o llyh o ck class, were practically ready for delivery;
the B lu ebo n n et , of the Jasm in e class, was 67 percent completed; the
M istleto e , of the L ila c class, was 72 percent completed; the B irc h ,
of the E lm class, was 62 percent completed; and the P o p la r , of the
G olden rod class, and the Z in n ia , N arcissu s , and M a p le , sister ships
of a new design, had been delivered. The last three vessels and
the W a ln u t were built with funds provided for special vessel projects.
The superintendents of the 17 lighthouse districts assembled m
Washington on October 6 for a 10-day conference. The last previous
similar conference was held in 1935. The sessions were devoted to
the coordination of technical and administrative procedures in the
interest of uniformity and increased efficiency in all areas. On
October 14 the superintendents went to Cape Henry, Va., for the
purpose of witnessing tests of newly developed types of fog-signal
apparatus.
. principle
. . , to additional. groups of,
The extension of the civil-service
Lighthouse Service personnel has progressed considerably during the
past year, as the result of two Executive orders. The order of March
29, 1938, brought some 365 petty-officer positions and some 40 lightattendant positions under the classified civil service. Under the
Executive order of June 24, 1938, about 35 positions _of steward on
lio-hthouse tenders were brought under the classified civil service. _ A
much-desired result of placing petty officers in the classified civil
service is to provide for the promotion of suitable incumbents to
deck- and engineer-officer positions. The result so far has been very
gratifying. Another important step in personnel administration was
the holding, during the year, of the first assembled written examina­
tion for lighthouse keepers.
Experimental service tests of a battery-operated, short-range,
radiobeacon transmitter fitted to a large buoy were made during the
year in Boston Harbor, Mass., and favorable comments upon the ef­
fectiveness of this new form of navigational aid were received from
mariners. The radiobeacon transmitter, the special antenna^ and the
power supply layout were developed at the Lighthouse Service radio
laboratory in cooperation with Bureau engineers, although prelimi­
nary tests using adaptations of commercial equipment were made on
a buoy in New York Harbor some 2 years ago.
The dual transmitter in its present form is housed in a cylindrical
container 2 feet in diameter and about 3 feet long. It is placed in one
pocket of a 9-38-W buoy and connected by cables to a monel-metal
spike antenna about 15 feet long, the latter mounted, with its tuning
unit, atop the buoy superstructure.

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REPORT OF T H E SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

There are numerous locations where a well-developed and depend­
able buoy radiobeacon would serve navigational needs more effec­
tively than other aids practicable of establishment at reasonable cost.
If the present tests and development are successful, it is anticipated
that this form of aid will find considerable application in the Light­
house Service, both on fixed sites and on specially designed buoys.
The coordinated system of radiobeacon operation which was
adopted on all coasts of the United States and. Canada in 1935, has
been further extended into Central American waters through the
cooperative action of the Tropical Radio Co. and the United States
Lighthouse Service. Changes in operating periods or other charac­
teristics at three important radiobeacon stations of the United States
were made on January 1, 1939, and the Tropical Radio Co. made
changes in five of its stations at the same time. These changes have
produced a substantially uniform system of marine radiobeacons in
a great area of navigable waters. From the Pribilof Islands, far
west of Alaska, to the Hawaiian Islands and to the Republic of
Panama and the Canal Zone on the Pacific, thence to Mona Island in
the West Indies and up the Atlantic seaboard to the Labrador coast
is the approximate boundary of the area included, in which all marine
radiobeacons operate with a systematic uniformity so desirable to the
mariner using these aids.
Lightship N o. 118 , built specially for the Cornfield Point Light­
ship Station in Long Island Sound just to the westward of New
London, Conn., was placed on station for the first time on April 25.
This new second-class lightship embodies an unusual number of
safety features and is fitted with the latest types of signalling equip­
ment. Although smaller than Lightship N o. 112, on the Nantucket
Station / and intended for service on less exposed stations, the new
ship, particularly in the design of the hull, is in many respects pat­
terned after that vessel.
The radio laboratory, heretofore maintained at the shops of the
lighthouse depot in Detroit, Mich., was moved on February 1 to the
Lazaretto Lighthouse Depot in Baltimore, Md., where a building had
been constructed providing more adequately for this important branch
of the work of the Service. Over the past 15 years especially, the
Lighthouse Service has made many important adaptations of radio
to its work of safeguarding navigation, a work in which its radio
laboratory has played an important part. Through this change in
location, the laboratory is brought to a point where it is not only
more directly accessible for supervision by the Bureau’s technical
•staff in the study of these problems, but is now so located as to be
more central to the radio industry and at a point where navigation is
•open for the entire year and vessel facilities for practical tests thus
available at all seasons.
The completion of the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, and
the use of the upper reaches of the river by ocean-going ships as a
result, created a need for an increased number of navigational aids
and thus added to the work of the seventeenth lighthouse district.
By the close of the fiscal year, 65 new aids had been established in the
upper parts of the river with funds provided by the Public Works
Administration.

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ADMINISTRATION

Appropriations for the maintenance of the Lighthouse Service to­
taled $12,574,600 for the fiscal year 1939. There were also allotted
from 1939 Department appropriations $6,000 for contingent expenses,
$39,000 for printing and binding, and $87,175 for traveling expenses.
There were received and deposited in the Treasury the following:
From sale of Government property, $36,676.43; rent of buildings, etc.,
$1,459.10; reimbursement for property destroyed or damaged,
$5,297.38; work done for private interests, $624.72; commissions re­
ceived on telephones, $28.17; miscellaneous, $4,876.57; total, $48,962.37.
An act of Congress approved June 2,1939, authorized the Secretary
of Commerce to convey 110 acres of the Umpqua Eiver Lighthouse
Reservation, State of Oregon, to the State for park purposes.
An act of Congress approved June 13, 1989, authorizes the convey­
ance by the United States to the town ox Bristol, Maine, of a portion
of the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Reservation, for park purposes.
The year 1939 marked the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of
the initiation of lighthouse activities under the Federal Government.
•On August 7, 1789, the first United States Congress by the ninth act
which it passed, provided that lighthouses, buoys, beacons, etc., which
had previously been erected and maintained by the various colonies,
be henceforth supported by the Federal Government. This act, by
providing for the erection and maintenance of lighthouses and other
aids to navigation, was the origin of the United States Lighthouse
Service, and apparently was the first act of Congress providing for a
■ definite Federal service which was not already specifically provided
for in the Constitution.
Suitable observance of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary
of the Lighthouse Service was called for by a joint resolution of
•Congress, signed by the President on May 15, which was known as
Public Resolution No. 16. By this resolution the week of August
7, 1939, was designated lighthouse week.
On February 20 the dividing point between the eighth and fif­
teenth lighthouse districts, upon the Mississippi River, was changed,
transferring that portion of .the river lying between mile 838.0, just
north of Baton Rouge, La., and the city of New Orleans, to the juris­
diction of the eighth lighthouse district. This change has the effect
of placing in the eighth district all portions of the Mississippi River
having channels of such depth as to make them available for ocean
navigation.
IMPROVEMENTS IN APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT

Electrification of important light and buoy stations has been con­
tinued with increase of candlepower and accompanied by modernized
living conditions for keepers.
Additional tests and analyses of fog signals were carried out at
the Cape Henry Fog Signal Testing Laboratory during the year.
A composite signal unit comprising three electric diaphragm oscil­
lators driven from commercial alternating current power supply was
tested and proved very effective, comparing favorably as to range
with first-class signals. Power requirement was only about 28 per­

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REPORT OP TH E SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

cent of that used for an F-type diaphone. The unit will be installed
at a suitable point for regular service and further observations.
During the year there was developed on specifications prepared
by Lighthouse Service engineers an automatic sound-operated control
unit that will place a fog signal in operation whenever a ship’s fog
whistle is sounded in fog or thick weather. Such a unit was built
and is in service at an unattended fog-signal station. This unit makes
possible the sounding of the fog signal at an unattended station
only when needed.
Development has progressed on the plunger type electric solenoid
operated bell strikers and their use is being extended to points where
a bell signal is adequate. The power consumption is small and
batteries may be used for an unattended station.
The light beam remote-control apparatus for starting and stop­
ping a remote fog signal either manually or as a function of change in
visibility has been improved and shipped to the Pacific coast for
regular service installation.
Public Works Administration allotments have made possible the
purchase and installation of modern compressed-air fog-signal equip­
ment to replace bells and obsolete types of equipment at a number
of stations.
A lamp changer carrying 17 lamps has been developed by a supplier
of Lighthouse Service equipment, permitting of its use in a special
300 mm. lantern to produce much higher candlepower than formerly
attainable from buoy lanterns. This is accomplished by over-volt­
aging the lamp—the shorter life of lamps before burn-out being taken
care of by the automatic lamp changer. Some of these units are
being purchased for important lighted-buoy locations.
Synchronization of sound and radiobeacon signals for distance­
finding purposes has been extended during the year.
A portable indicator, consisting of a singlel headphone, neon tube,
transformer, and switch, to provide an extension unit for any standard
radio direction finder, has been developed at the radio laboratory.
This indicator permits the navigator to use the neon tube for visual
reception of distance-finding radiobeacon signals at any point in the
pilot house within the scope of a portable cord. This avoids the
possible distracting effects of audible radio signals when navigating
in close quarters. Trials of these portable indicators are being made
on several lighthouse tenders and favorable reports have been
received.
As previously noted, the Lighthouse Service Radio Laboratory has
been moved to Baltimore, Md., nearer the center of the radio indus­
trial manufacturing area, where closer contact can be maintained
between the laboratory and the Bureau.
Modernization and replacement of obsolete types of radiobeacon
transmitters and associated control equipment, much of which is 10 to
15 years old, has been continued during the year to include practically
all of the older radiobeacon stations from Public Works Administra­
tion funds allotted for this purpose. Crystal frequency-controlled
exciters and racliobeacon transmitters for operation with or com­
pletely to replace obsolete equipment in order to comply with inter­
national frequency regulation has played an important part in this
program for modernization of the radiobeacon system.

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123

Vertical antenna towers with advantages in transmission and prop­
agation of radiobeacon signals have been installed during the year to
the benefit of many aids to navigation. Where limited space or
power consumption prevented large transmitters from being installed
and where the same effect could be realized by use of a smaller trans­
mitter in conjunction with a vertical radiator, these antennas have
been found particularly effective.
To keep abreast of the improvements made in radiobeacon trans­
mitting equipment, a new signal timer unit known as type LSR 706
has been developed for accurately controlling the functions of radio­
beacon stations automatically. Improvements in receivers and moni­
toring alarm devices also have materially aided in the maintenance
and improved the monitoring of radiobeacon station transmissions.
A selective radiotelephone signalling system has been developed to
enable attendants to be continuously available on call through com­
munications facilities of radiotelephone stations in the Service.
The installation of radiotelephone facilities has been rapidly ad­
vanced so that now there are approximately 200 such stations. This
facility has proved to be an important adjunct in the administration
of the Service and is also used in some cases to the advantage of the
mariner in scheduled broadcasts of hydrographic and weather infor­
mation.
Radio remote control has been further developed in the Service to
the extent that two shore stations and one lightship have continued
without interruption to use this system. Improvements are being
made in this type of facility in the construction of equipment for
three additional offshore station structures which will be entirely
remote-controlled from shore points some miles away.
A number of older lighthouse tenders and new vessels have been
equipped with modern radio direction finder equipment in order to
improve the navigation apparatus of the vessels themselves and at
the same time better patrol the radiobeacon system.
Field trials of a buoy radiobeacon have been carried out in the
Boston district since February 1939 with gratifying results. Various
maintenance problems are successively being overcome and an aid to
navigation is being developed which has a maximum service value
within the limitations of buoy service in open sea.
Favorable comments have been received from a number of ships
using the aid in its preliminary developmental stages which indicate
the possibility of many applications for it in the future. This shortrange radio aid of 3 to 5 miles, guarding channels and entrances in
close navigation requirements, will assist vessels to navigate under
adverse weather conditions where visual and sound signals are inef­
fective.
Similar equipment has been developed and constructed for use as
secondary “marker radiobeacons” at fixed station sites and several
sets of equipment now under construction will be placed in commis­
sion shortly at various points where needs have long existed for
such aids.
PERSONNEL

The total personnel of the Service as of June 30, 1939, was 5,355,
consisting of 4,199 full-time and 1,156 part-time employees, the

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REPORT OP T H E SECRETARY OE COMMERCE

former including 1,170 lightkeepers and assistants; 56 light attend­
ants; 1,995 officers and crews of lightships and tenders; 113 Bureau
officers, engineers, and draftsmen, and district superintendents and
technical assistants; 226 clerks, messengers, janitors, and office la­
borers; 157 depot keepers and assistants, including watchmen and
laborers; and 482 field-force employees engaged in construction and
repair work. The total personnel indicated represents a net increase
during the fiscal year of 166 in the authorized personnel for the
operation and maintenance of the Service, approximately 100 of the
increase having been for the better manning of vessels and for the
commissioning of new ones.
During the year, in addition to their regular duties, a number of
employees rendered aid to those in distress; 113 instances of the
saving of life and property or the rendering of other valuable aid
were reported, many of which acts were performed at great personal
risk.
Changes in the superintendents of three districts were made during
the year. In the sixth district, Henry L. Beck was retired June
1, 1939, when Assistant Superintendent W. G. Wallace assumed the
duties of acting superintendent. W. H. Barton was appointed super­
intendent in the ninth district on July 24, 1938, succeeding F. C.
Hingsburg who was transferred to the seventeenth district succeed­
ing Edward C. Merrill, who was transferred to the eighth district
July 1, 1938.
LIGHTHOUSE TENDERS

At the end of the year, the total number of lighthouse tenders was
65, of which 64 were in commission and 1 was out of commission
and advertised for sale. Of the vessels in commission, 42 were steampropelled, 18 had Diesel engines, and 4 had Diesel-electric drive.
The average age of the fleet of tenders is 19.52 years. There are 10
tenders, aggregating 8,535 tons, 35 years of age and over.
Thirty lighthouse tenders are equipped with radiotelegraph; 38
with radio direction finders; and 55 with radiotelephones.
Four new tenders, the M aple , N arcissu s , P o p la r, and Z in n ia , were
completed and commissioned during the year. Contracts for the
construction of five additional tenders, the B irc h , B lu ebo n n et , F ir ,
M istleto e , and W a ln u t , were awarded August 16, 1938, and the vessels
are now under construction.
The following lighthouse tenders were extensively overhauled or
reconditioned during the year : C yp ress , S equ oia , S p ru ce , T u lip , and
W aherobin.
It is expected that the following tenders will be overhauled or
reconditioned during the coming year: B eech , P a lm e tto , H y a cin th ,
and M anzanita.
During the year the following tenders were sold : The P in e on
September 6, 1938, and the Su m ac on September 22, 1938.
LIGHTSHIPS

Lightships were maintained on 30 stations during the year. At
the close of the year, the total number of lightships was 43, which
included 9 relief ships and 4 ships out of commission.

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125

Lightship N o. 118 was completed during the year and placed on
the Cornfield Point Station, Conn., on April 25, 1939. The vessel
is described elsewhere.
During the year, Lightships N o. 79, N o. N o. 90, N o. 100, and
N o. 107 were extensively overhauled or reconditioned. It is expected
that similar reconditioning will be accomplished during the coming
year on Lightship N o. 93.
PROGRESS OE VESSELS U N DER CONSTRUCTION

Lightship “No. 118”.—This vessel was constructed under a contract with the
Rice Bros. Corporation, East Boothbay, Maine, at a cost of $223,900, to replace
Lightship No. U on the Cornfield Point Station, Conn. The hull below the
main deck is subdivided into an unusually large number of watertight and oiltight compartments. The protection is considerably increased by dividing
the space above the main deck into watertight passages and compartments.
Diesel engines are provided for main and auxiliary power, including the opera­
tion of the signalling equipment. The latter is of the latest types and consists
of a radiobeacon, a compressed-air fog signal, a powerful masthead light, and
a warning whistle. The radiobeacon and air fog signal are synchronized for
distance finding. Official trials were held on August 24, 1938. The vessel was
accepted on September 11, 1938, and was placed on station April 25, 1939.
Tenders “Maple,” “Narcissus,” and “Zinnia.”—These three small tenders, of
the same design, were completed during the year, and were assigned to the
tenth, fourth, and seventh districts, respectively. The Narcissus and Zinnia
were constructed under a contract with the John II. Mathis Co., of Camden,
N. J., at a contract cost of $440,046 for both vessels. The Maple was con­
structed under a contract with the Marine Iron & Shipbuilding Co., of Duluth,
Minn., at a contract cost of $180,000. These tenders are 122 feet 3 inches in
length overall, 27 feet in breadth, and displace approximately 342 tons at a
draft of 6 feet 6 inches. They are propelled by two direct reversible Diesel
engines, each connected to its propeller shaft by reduction gears. These vessels
are of approximately 40 percent welded construction, welding being used prin­
cipally on the longitudinal and transverse framing members and on the deck
and bulkhead plating. This is a progressive departure from the all-riveted
construction formerly used for Lighthouse Service vessels. Another new design
feature is a tripod type of mast, eliminating the usual shrouds and backstays,
and facilitating the use of the derrick with which it is fitted. A modified flat
plate keel, having a heavy, flat bar welded outside the plating, is being used
for the first time in this Service. This construction results in the vessel’s being
of less draft than if fitted with a standing bar keel, eliminates objectionable
docking features of the orthodox flat plate keel construction, and, as applied
in these tenders, adds considerably to the strength of the keels. The buoy­
lifting gear has a safe working capacity of 10 tons, which is large for so small
a craft. The Zinnia was delivered on March 28, 1939; the Narcissus on April
27, 1939; and the Maple on June 6, 1939.
Tender “Poplar.”—This tender was completed during the year and was
assigned to the fifteenth lighthouse district. It was constructed under a con­
tract with the Dubuque Boat & Boiler Works, Dubuque, Iowa, at a cost of
$123,200. The hull is of special design with the propellers in twin tunnels and
especially adapted to work in the shallow waters of the interior rivers. It is
provided with jetting equipment for securely placing buoy moorings in the
bottoms of rivers. The vessel is of steel, 104 feet long, and has twin
propellers driven by two Diesel engines of 150 horsepower each, through reduc­
tion gears. The displacement is 170 tons at a draft of 3 feet 6 inches. The
derrick has a working load capacity of 2 y2 tons. The official trials were held
on June 2, 1939, and the tender was placed in commission very shortly thereafter.
Tenders “Walnut” and “Fir."-—These tenders are being constructed under
contract with the Moore Dry Dock Co., Oakland, Calif., at a contract cost of
$779,493, for both vessels. When completed, the Walnut will be assigned to the
eleventh lighthouse district, and the Fir to the seventeenth lighthouse district.
These tenders are to be all-steel vessels, 174 feet long, twin-screw, steampropelled, with oil-burning boilers and engines of 1,000 horsepower. The main
engines of the vessels are to be of the vertical, inverted type, triple expansion,

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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

with cylinders 11%, 19, and 32 inches by 24-inch stroke. Steam will be gen­
erated by oil-burning- water-tube boilers designed for a working pressure of
295 nounds. The tenders will have a displacement of about 825 tons on a draft
of 10 feet 7 inches. The lifting gear, designed specially for the handling of
buoys, etc., will have a safe working capacity of 20 tons. The vessels will be
fitted with gyrocompasses and repeaters, radiotelephone communication, and
fathometers The official trials of the Walnut were held on June 27, 1939.
Preparations were immediately started for the delivery trip to Detroit, Mich.
On June 30, 1939, the Fir was approximately 92 percent completed.
Tender “Mistletoe".—1This tender is being constructed under contract with the
Pusev & Jones Corporation, Wilmington, Del., at a contract cost of $378,800.
When completed, this tender will be assigned to the fifth lighthouse district.
The vessel is to be of all-steel construction, 172 feet long, twin-screw, steampropelled with oil-burning boilers and engines of 1,000 total horsepower. The
main engines of this vessel are to be the vertical, inverted-type, triple-expansion,
with cylinders 11% by 19 by 32 inches diameter by 24-inch stroke. Steam will
be generated by oil-burning water-tube boilers designed for a working pressure
of 200 pounds. The tender will have a displacement of 770 tons at a draft of
8 feet 6 inches The derrick gear, designed specially for the handling of buoys,
etc., will have a working lifting capacity of 20 tons. The vessel will be fitted
with radiotelephone communication. On June 30, 1939, this tender was 76.4
percent completed.
Tender “Bluebonnet".—'This tender is being constructed under contract with the
Dubuque Boat & Boiler Works, Dubuque, Iowa, at a cost of $132,500. When
completed this tender will be assigned to the eighth lighthouse district. The
vessel is to be of steel, 91 feet long, with twin screws, propelled by two Diesel
engines of 100 horsepower each, and will have a displacement of 184 tons at a
draft of 5 feet 3 inches. The derrick has a working lifting capacity of 2%
tons On June 30, 1939, this vessel was 67 percent completed.
Tender “Birch”.—This tender is being constructed under contract with the Gen­
eral Ship & Engine Works, East Boston, Mass., at a cost of $74,000. It has been
specially designed for the maintenance of buoys and other aids to navigation
in the shallow rivers and other inland waters of the third lighthouse district.
The vessel is of steel, 72 feet long, with twin screws, and is propelled by two
Diesel engines of 150 horsepower each. It will have a displacement of 69 tons
at a draft of 3 feet 8 inches. The derrick has a working capacity of 1 ton. On
June 30, 1939, this tender was approximately 62 percent completed.
PROGRESS OE SPECIAL WORKS
[N ote .—Projects under $10,000 are not included herein]

Cleveland Ledge, Mass.—See annual report, 1938, page 133. An allotment of
$175,000 has been made for the erection of a new first-order light, fog signal,
and radiobeacon station in Buzzards Bay in the southern approach to the Cape
Cod Canal This structure will stand in approximately 16 feet of water on a
submarine site 2 miles from land. It will mark the channel between two
dangerous ledges. A survey of the site has been made, consisting of both
soundings and borings, and detailed plans for the structure are being prepared.
This project was temporarily suspended during the year, preference having
been given to the urgent work of repairing the considerable amount of damage
in the district resulting from the hurricane of September 21, 1938.
Narragansett Bay, B. /.—Hurricane repairs to a number of light stations in
the vicinity of Narragansett Bay are well under way. In addition to completed
work listed elsewhere in this report, work was started at Beavertail, Warwick,
Prudence Island, Rose Island, Plum Beach, Dutch Island, and Sabin Point Light
Stations and is scheduled for early completion. Cost to June 30 was $20,004.19.
Connecticut River, Conn,—Land was purchased and construction started on
the establishment of a lighted aid and on a new base for servicing the lights
and buoys on the Connecticut River. Work contracted for included driving a
steel-pile bulkhead along the river front, building concrete retaining walls, and
grading the land to raise the level above flood stage. Cost to June 30, $27,642.55.
Long Island Sound and vicinity.—In addition to the completed projects listed
under hurricane damage in this locality, repair work has been started and is
progressing steadily at a number of stations, including Block Island Southeast,
Block Island Breakwater, Latimer Reef, Orient Point, and Southwest Ledge.
Cost to June 30, $28,282.58.

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127

Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, Del. and Md.—See annual report 1938, page
133. This project which was necessitated by the War Department project for
deepening and widening the canal proper, included the establishment of range
lights, minor lights, lighted and unlighted buoys, and several new minor fog
signals. The project is 99 percent completed. Cost to June 30, $158,533.53.
Intracoastal W aterway, Va., I ’d., and N. C.—Studies were begun for deter­
mining bottom conditions, type of structure, etc., for a number of new aids to
mark better the various newly improved channels in this portion of the Intra­
coastal Waterway. The illuminating equipment for these aids was ordered.
When completed it is estimated the cost will be $65,955. Cost to June 30, none.
Lazaretto Depot, Baltimore, Md.—Plans and specifications were prepared for
improving this depot. The work contemplated includes constructing a new
garage, converting the present storehouse into an office building, razing all obso­
lete and unused structures, and building new concrete roads and pavements to
increase buoy storage space. The project is to cost $13,500. Cost to June 30,
none.
Egmont Channel, Fla. —This project contemplates the erection of two range
lights and the purchase of 12 buoys. The iron structures for the lights were
built and the contract for the work of erecting them has been awarded. All
12 buoys were purchased. Cost to June 30, $10,005.
Florida Reefs, Fla.—See annual report 1938, page 134. Five temporary bea­
cons on various Florida reefs are to be replaced with permanent structures.
The structures have all been fabricated and are ready to be installed when
favorable weather at these exposed sites will permit. Cost to June 30, $27,462.71.
Tampa Bay, Fla.—Six iron structures were purchased for replacing six old
wooden light structures and the work of erecting the lights was contracted for.
Two new lighted buoys and three unlighted buoys were established. Cost to
June 30, $28,426.86.
Sabine-Neches W aterway, Tex.—See annual report 1838, page 134. Further
work was done during the year on the Sabine Pass-Port Arthur Canal and SabineNeches Canal sections of this waterway, 24 additional automatic lights on fixed
structures being established to mark this waterway. Thirty-eight lights and two
lighted buoys were previously established in the Neches River, south of Beau­
mont, the total project comprising 62 automatic lights on fixed structures and 3
lighted buoys. The work is completed except for the placing of 1 lighted buoy.
Cost to June 30, $26,949.36.
Sabine Pass, La.—Two new generators were installed at the light station, the
power output of the radiobeacon transmitters was increased and a new vertical
radiator was erected. A new lighted bell buoy was purchased to mark the
approach to the Pass. Cost to June 30, $11,157.96.
Various channels.—This project calls for the establishment of a number of new
aids to navigation in many important channels and harbors on the Gulf coast,
including Carrabelle Harbor and St. Joseph Bay, Fla., Calcasieu Pass, La., and
Sabine River, Tex. A portion of the illuminating apparatus and some buoys
were purchased. Of the total of $77,255 to be spent, $11,103 was obligated by
June 30.
Intracoastal W aterway, La.—An allotment of $10,000 was provided for aids to
navigation to mark newly completed sections of the waterway. Four automatic
lights on fixed structures were established at Barataria Pass, Caminade Pass,
and Caillou Boca, La. The erection of 32 day beacons and 2 oil post lantern
lights is underway in Lavaca Bay. Approximately 75 percent of the project
was completed. Total cost to June 30, $5,991.61.
Sand Island Light Station, Ala.— An allotment of $10,500 was made for install­
ing additional riprap protection around Sand Island Light Station. Work was
about 20 percent completed on June 30.
San Juan Harbor, P. R.—San Juan Harbor Range Front Light was repaired,
Anegado Shoal Light was removed, and a site was prepared for the relocation of
San Juan Harbor Range Rear Light. Several new lighted buoys were purchased.
Cost to June 30, $11,910.10.
M ississippi R iver and tributaries.— Additional aids were established, being re­
quired because of the canalization of this section of the river between St. Louis
and St. Paul. About 100 third-class special buoys, twenty-five 200 mm. and
sixty 90 mm. battery flashing lights have been purchased and installed, and 120
additional buoys and moorings have been obtained and are ready for installation.
Ten lighted buoys have been ordered but are not yet installed. Cost to June 30,
$25,108.

192271—39-----11

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REPORT OP T H E SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

Ohio R iver section .—Work on the construction of several subbases for servic­
ing the aids in the Ohio River is under way. At Point Pleasant, W. Va., the
property at Old Lock 11 was obtained by transfer. One dwelling has been placed
in good condition and another is to be similarly rehabilitated for the two light
attendants. A 52-foot Diesel buoy boat has recently been delivered. Plans
have been made for other improvements, storage tanks and pumps for fuel oil
and gasoline, construction of a boat landing, etc., and contract has been awarded
for a landing barge. At Pittsburgh a site was obtained by transfer from the
War Department and the grounds and the buildings were repaired. Another
base is to be built for a third portion of the river at a yet undetermined site and
the 52-foot Diesel motor vessel for it was purchased. Total cost to June 30,
$55,961.43.
Missouri R iver aids, Kansas City to Sioux C ity .—Allotments totaling $10,500
have been made for marking the Missouri River from Kansas City to Sioux City
for daylight navigation. Buoys, anchors, moorings, and daymarks have been
installed by lighthouse tenders between Kansas City and Omaha. Cost to June
30, $10,500.
Tennessee R iver .—-The sum of $22,000 has been allotted to continue the work
which has been in progress under P. W. A. allotments for the marking of the
channels in this river. Fifty third-class special buoys and 20 minor electric
lanterns have been requisitioned. Cost to June 30, $2,818.01.
Alaska .—Work on several projects for establishing minor lights in Alaskan
waters, for which total allotments of $54,000 had been made, was continued
with the establishment of eight new automatic lights, the conversion of three
lights to automatic-operated, the establishment of three new lighted buoys, and
the purchase of apparatus for future improvement. Cost to June 30, $48,404.14.
Scotch Cap, Alaska .—Allotments totaling $80,000 were made for the rebuild­
ing of the Scotch Cap Light Station. A camp was established and excavation
of the basement was completed during the summer of 1938. Work was dis­
continued during the winter months and was resumed with a full crew in the
spring of 1939. All necessary building material has been landed, a concrete sea
wall constructed, main building foundations excavated, and concrete poured
up to and including the basement floor. It is anticipated that the work will
be completed in the 1940 calendar year from a subsequent allotment of $70,000
made available later in fiscal year 1939. Cost to June 30, $67,766.72.
Columbia River, XJmpqua River, and Yaq-uina Bay, Oreg .—Allotments totaling
$45,060 provide for the establishment of a number of lighted buoys, unlighted
buoys, range lights, and minor lights to mark several new channels and to
mark better present channels. Some equipment has already been purchased
and plans are being prepared for erecting the fixed structures. Cost to June 30,
$1,052.
Washington.-—Remote-control equipment and fog-signal apparatus are being
installed at Point Defiance and Johnson Point Lights in Puget Sound and a new
automatic light and fog-signal station was established at Point Glover. Cost
to June 30, $13,983.75.
California .-—Improvements and replacements were made in the fog-signal
apparatus at Piedras Blancas, Long Beach Breakwater, Los Angeles Harbor,
and Points Bluff and Stuart Lights. Equipment purchased included Dieselengine-driven air compressors, control equipment, electric sirens, and electric
generators. Work is well under way, the cost to June 30 being $12,962.17.
Point Arguello, Calif .—Progress was made toward the establishment of a
radiobeacon at Point Arguello Light Station. A tower radiator for the radio­
beacon was erected, radio transmitters purchased, and plans and specifications
prepared for a new radiobeacon and machinery building. Designs for a new
tower and fog-signal structure were begun. Cost to June 30, $10,880.94.
Humboldt Bay, Calif., and various other harbors .—A number of aids are to
be established to mark channels dredged or improved by the United States
Engineers in 1939 along the California coast. One light was relocated, two
lighted buoys established, and the light equipment and buoys purchased for the
remainder of the project. Cost to June 30, $8,340.79.
IMPORTANT WORKS COMPLETED
Maine .—Lubec Channel, Rockland Breakwater, and the Cuckolds Light
Stations were electrified and new machinery installed, including oil-enginedriven generators, storage batteries, air compressors, and light and fog signal

LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE

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'equipment. Cost for all three stations was $10,001.66. Similar work is planned
for Whaleback Light Station. All equipment was purchased at a cost of
$7,432.82 and will be installed about August 25, the period of least fog for that
locality.
Cape Cod Canal, Mass.—See annual report 1938, page 132. This project
was completed during the year 1939 by grading and seeding the grounds about
the radiobeacon and signal control house. Total cost, $40,998.76.
Narragansett Bay, R. I.—The various lighthouses in and around Narragansett Bay suffered considerable damage in the hurricane of last September.
The work of restoring them to their former state of usefulness and at the
same time incorporating a number of desirable changes was completed at the
following of the more important and more severely damaged stations: Gull
Rocks, Conimicut, Bullock Point, Bristol Depot, and Musselbed Shoals. Cost,
$16,437.79.
Long Island, N. Y.—See annual report 1938, page 133. A number of lights
and unlighted buoys were purchased and established in inlets and in main
inland waterways, south side of Long Island, N. Y., to provide for night navi­
gation and to increase the safety of day navigation. A 45-foot buoy boat
was purchased for the servicing of these aids. Total cost, $39,652.59. Further
work will be necessary as the improvement of channels by the War Depart­
ment proceeds.
Long Island Sound and vicinity.—-The: work of repairing the extensive damage
due to the September hurricane was progressively carried on and was com­
pleted at Falkner Island and Montauk Point Light Stations and New London
Depot at a cost of $12,841.49.
• L ittle Cull Island, A. Y.—Considerable repairs necessitated by the hurricane
of September 21, 1938, were made at Little Gull Island Light Station. About
2,500 tons of riprap were installed forming a breakwater to protect the pier, fog
signal house, and south side of the island. A new boat railway was erected
and equipment for handling the boats installed. The concrete deck and stone
cap of the pier were renewed and improvements were made to the interior
of the building. Cost, $33,948.22.
W atch Hill, R. 7.—In addition to making repairs to the keepers’ dwelling,
tower, and storehouse, damaged in the hurricane of September 21, 1938, at
Watch Hill Light Station, this project consisted of the construction of a con­
crete sea wall, concrete underpinning for the engine house, and a garage. Total
cost, $14,952.22.
Hudson River, N. Y.—See annual report 1938, page 133. Two automatically
operated acetylene lights were established in Haverstraw Bay, electric range
lights were established at Silver Point and Tarrytown Channels, while at
Kingston Flats the lighted buoy was replaced by an automatic light built on a
sheet-steel pile foundation. Cost, $38,145.20.
M aryland and V irginia— New machinery and fog signal equipment was
purchased and installed at Smith Point. Wolf Trap, and Old Plantation Flats
Light Stations, Va., and at Point No Point Light Station, Md., at a cost of
$13,075.55.
Intracoastal W aterway, 8. C., Oa., and Fla.—See annual report 1938, page
133. Work on this project was completed, 79 new lights and 35 beacons having
been established. Material was purchased for the establishment of future
aids that will be required as new channels are completed by the TJ. S. Engi­
neers. Cost, $67,604.09.
Charleston, 8. C.—See annual report 1938, page 133. A cylindrical cofferdam
60 feet in diameter consisting of 30-foot steel-sheet piles was driven around the
foundation of Charleston Light Station. The piles were driven to an elevation
of about 9 feet above the sand beach and the cylinder was filled with sand and
capped with an 18-inch-thick concrete slab. Work was completed November 17,
1938. Cost, $13,311.85.
Miami, Fla. Entrance Channel.—A new iron light structure for Miami En­
trance Range Front Light was erected, all work having been completed Sep­
tember 1938. Total cost, $24,497.21.
Port Everglades, Fla.—See annual report 1938, page 134. This project con­
sisted of installing four 3-pile iron light structures, two single-pile iron light,
structures, and moving two range lights to new sites. All work was completed
April 1939. Total cost, $18,898.97.
Intracoastal W aterway, Ala., Miss., and La.—See annual report 1938, page
134. Further work was done during the year in Mud Lake, La., 5 additional
automatic lights on fixed structures being established to mark this waterway.

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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

The entire project is now completed, comprising 16 automatic lights and 24 daybeacons. Cost, $9,866.55.
Gulf coast.-—New radiobeacons were established at Cape San Bias, Fla., and
at Brazos-Santiago, Tex., and a transmitter, antenna, and other equipment were
installed at Galveston Jetty Light Station, at a total cost of $19,018.43.
Mona Island, Puerto Rico.—See annual report 1938, page 134. This light
station was electrified and a radiobeacon was put in operation on October 1,
1938. Power is furnished by two 2-kilowatt gasoline-operated electric plants in
conjunction with a wind electric generator. Cost, $10,326.41.
Missouri River.—See annual report 1938, page 135. The marking of the
section of this river from the mouth to Kansas City, covering 377 miles, has
been completed. Lighting is principally by oil lens lanterns but includes 16
battery-operated flashing lights and about 1,200 unlighted buoys. Cost, $30,000.
Mississippi River.—See annual report 1938, page 135. A total of 95 batteryoperated flashing lights and 60 third-class special buoys, also a number of daymarks and lightweight buoys were installed, completing this project. Cost,
$23,000.
Pacific coast.—New radiobeacons were established at the light stations at
Cape Hinchinbrook, Alaska, Bonita Point, Calif., and Yaquina Head, Oreg., at a
total cost of $11,889.38.
Columbia River, Oreo, and Wash.—See annual report 1938, page 135. This
project provided for the establishment of aids to navigation on the Columbia
River between Bonneville and The Dalles, Oreg., and from Celilo, Oreg., to
Wallula, Wash., including all necessary lights, buoys, and beacons. The com­
pleted cost was $22,900.
Los Angeles, Calif.—See annual report 1938, page 135. A 32-foot Navy
launch was rebuilt and refitted, and a frame boathouse was built at the Los
Angeles Depot. A compressed-air-operated hoist and derrick for handling the
boat was provided. Cost, $9,642.67.
W ORK PER FO R M ED U N D E R ALLOTM ENTS FROM T H E PU BLIC
W ORKS A D M IN ISTR A TIO N

Sheffield, Ala.—Sheffield Servicing Base was established, including the con­
struction of a steel storage building, access road and dock, and the purchase of
a new 52-foot steel buoy boat, a light truck, and miscellaneous equipment.
Project is about 96 percent complete. Cost to June 30, $36,747.11.
Mobile, Ala.—The work done under this project at the lighthouse depot com­
prised demolishing one old outer wooden-frame building, demolishing 150 feet of
the outer end of wharf, constructing 315 feet of wharf structure 75 feet wide,
and dredging 6,000 cubic yards of material. Cost, $41,908.19.
Yerha Buena, Calif.-—Allotments of $39,000 and $19,800 were made for develop­
ing the lighthouse depot at this point. A three-story concrete building 50 feet
by 100 feet on creosote piles was erected for general storage purposes and a
single-story, fireproof building 52 feet by 52 feet, was built for use as a carpenter
and boat shop. Cost to June 30, $49,647.87.
Los Angeles, Calif.—A single-story concrete house, 14 feet by 32 feet, was
erected on the breakwater near the light station for storage of gasoline, lubri­
cating oil, and inflammable supplies. Cost, $4,117.71.
California,—Fog signal machinery was installed at six important light sta­
tions, in all cases electrically driven units being provided. In some cases com­
mercial power was available, in others Diesel-engine-driven generators for sup­
plying the electricity were included in the new equipment. Cost to June 30,
$35,582.62.
New London, Conn.—From an allotment of $30,000 the foundation of New
London Ledge Light Station was repaired and strengthened. Work which had
been halted by the hurricane in the fall of 1938 was continued in the spring. A
sheet-steel pile cofferdam was built, completely encircling the base, and the
space between the old base and the steel piling was filled with concrete. Work
was about 98 percent completed on June 30, at a cost of $26,159.41.
Bartlett Reef, Conn.—An automatically operated acetylene light was estab­
lished near the site of the former Bartlett Reef Lightship. The light, consisting
of a standard 18-foot skeleton steel tower built on a riprap foundation, was
completed at a cost of $12,930 10.
Harbor of Refuge, Del.—This project for protecting the light station, for which
$20,000 has been allotted, consists of placing riprap and concrete reinforcing

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around the lighthouse and constructing a concrete sea wall. The project is
65 percent completed, the cost to June 30 being $13,035.83.
St. Johns River, Fla.—This project contemplates the improvement of 51 minor
lights. Lanterns, flashers, and other equipment were purchased and are ready
for installation. Cost to June 30, $14,300.
Key West, Fla.—An allotment of $11,800 was made for making repairs and
improvements to buildings, wharves, and grounds recently acquired from the
Navy Department to make them suitable for use as a lighthouse depot and to
obtain needed equipment. Defective piles in the wooden wharf were replaced
by creosoted piles with cement sand mortar casings; a transformer, an
underground cable, electric wiring, and standards were installed; power tools
for the carpenter shop, a concrete mixer, and 10,000 board feet of treated ceiling
were purchased; and the roofs of the buildings were painted. Cost, $11,758.63.
Charlotte Harbor, Fla.—Three iron structures are to replace three wooden
structures on exposed sites, the main light is to be transferred to a taller struc­
ture, and seven lights are to be electrified. The iron structures, two electric
engine generators, 28 battery cells, and some of the electric illuminating appa­
ratus were purchased. The iron structures were to be erected by contract, but
as no bids were received in response to first advertisement and circular letters,
proposals have been reinvited. Cost to June 30, $18,972.71.
Portland, Maine.—A fireproof steel building, 120 feet by 40 feet, was erected
at the lighthouse depot for storage purposes, and a solid concrete wall about
180 feet long was built to retain the bank at the rear of the property. About
10,500 square yards of the wharf was given a bituminous pavement, thus afford­
ing much-needed buoy storage space. Cost, $12,983.80.
Maine.—Fog signal equipment was installed at Egg Bock, Moose Peak, and
Petit Manan Light Stations to replace worn-out and obsolete equipment. In
eluded in the apparatus were oil-engine-driven electric generators, batteries, elec­
trically driven air compressors, and Duplex diaphragm fog horns. In addition,
all buildings were electrified. In each case the better of the old fog signal
engines was reconditioned and retained in service as a standby. Cost, $12,681.08.
West Penobscot Bay, Maine.—The Graves Light, an unattended automatically
operated acetylene aid, was established on a dangerous reef about 2 miles south­
east from Camden. The foundation is of reinforced concrete anchored to the
granite ledge and is surmounted by a skeleton steel tower bearing the lighting
equipment. Cost, $6,551.38.
Southwest Harbor, Maine.—A wharf was built, consisting of a granite wall
15 feet high from low water line to deck level enclosing the old wharf and
providing a total available docking space of 359 lineal feet and giving a deck
area of about 55,000 square feet for buoy storage. Cost, $51,478.69.
Point Lookout, Md.—A 12-foot channel to the light station was dredged by
the removal of about 1,500 cubic yards of material, and a sheet-steel pile
bulkhead, 500 feet long, was erected. Sheet pile jetties at about 65-foot inter­
vals, reinforced with riprap, were built out on the Chesapeake Bay side of the
bulkhead. Cost, $9,77899.
Craighill Channel Range Rear Light, Md.—The keeper’s dwelling at the base
of the light tower was razed, the wooden structural members at the base of
the tower were replaced with steel members, a reinforced concrete deck was
placed on the top of the foundation piers, and concrete-filled steel caissons
were placed around the nine foundation piers to prevent further deterioration.
Cost to June 30, $8,903.13.
Baltimore, Md.—A briek-and-eoncrete building to house the depot keeper’s
office and the Lighthouse Service radio laboratory was constructed within the
grounds of the Lazaretto Lighthouse Depot. A 1-ton electric hoist was in­
stalled in the elevator shaft of the main storehouse and a mobile crane-ear
for shifting heavy equipment about the depot was purchased. Cost to June 30,
$19,649.47.
Lynn Harbor, Mass.—Four cylindrical sheet-steel pile caissons of 12-foot
diameter were built as foundations for four automatic lights. The caissons
were filled with rock, capped with concrete, and skeleton steel towers from
nearby abandoned structures moved to them. Riprap was placed in a protect­
ing sheet around the base of each caisson. Cost, $10,450.64.
Hog Island Channel, Mass.—Two cylindrical sheet-steel caissons were built
to take the place of those of lights Nos. 8 and 10 which had previously been
destroyed. The caissons were built with a diameter of 12 feet, with greater
penetration than the previous structures and with riprap around the base as a

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REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

protection against scouring. Automatic acetylene lighting apparatus on 18-foot
skeleton steel towers was installed. Cost, $13,399.45.
Chelsea, Mass.—Extensive repairs to the lighthouse depot were made under
this project. Sunken and defective portions of the existing concrete paving
in the depot yard were removed and replaced with new reinforced paving 8
inches thick. Areas of sunken fill were restored to grade. That portion of the
yard which was unpaved was graded and paved in a similar manner. The
entire depot yard is now surfaced with reinforced concrete, thus providing
storage space for chain, buoys, sinkers, etc. Both slips and the entire face of
the wharf were dredged to 18 feet below mean low water. Cost, $16,403.24.
Edgartown, Mass.—The former frame structure at Edgartown Light Station
was razed to its stone pier and replaced with a conical cast-iron tower. The
light was electrified by commercial current with an engine generator standby
and was made unattended. Control for the light is by a time switch while the
bell is controlled from shore by a part-time attendant. Cost, $1,936.
Plymouth Earhor, Mass.—Steel-sheet pile caissons similar to those used at
Lynn Harbor were driven in the sand bottom, and wooden skeleton towers
with automatic acetylene lights were placed on the caissons, to mark two
abrupt turns in the narrow channel leading to Plymouth Harbor. Cost,
$5,348.93.
Whitcfish Point, Mich.—The keeper’s dwelling at this station was moved and
repaired and an improvement in the water supply system was completed during
the year at a cost of $6,966.
Manitou Island, Mich.-—A radio and fog signal building was substantially
completed at this station during the year together with water-supply and
sewage-disposal systems. Installation of fog signal equipment is under way
and scheduled for early completion during the first half of the coming fiscal
year. Cost to June 30, $30,940.
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.—Oil storage facilities and an addition to the present
wharf were completed during the year while a contract was let and work
started for a new office building at this depot. Cost to June 30, $39,454.
Gravelly Shoal, Mich.—A contract was let for the foundation and structure
for the new light station and the foundation was about 50 percent completed.
Shore improvements were made to assist in monitoring this station. A boat
was built and bids have been received on a dock and boathouse. Cost to
June 30, $100,596.
Lake St. Clair, Mich.—Work is under way on a light, radio, and fog signal
station in Lake St. Clair to be controlled from a shore light station. At the
close of the year the foundation was about 95 percent completed and a contract
was in force for the superstructure. Cost to June 30, $70,220.
Escanaha, Mich.—A remote-controlled light was erected on a submarine site.
It consists of a rectangular enclosed steel tower on a cylindrical sheet-steel pile
caisson, housing both the fog signal apparatus and lighting equipment. The
keeper’s dwelling on shore remains to be remodeled. Cost to June 30,
$21,438.16.
Mission Point, Mich.-—An automatic light on a submarine site was estab­
lished in place of a lighted buoy. The structure consists of a skeleton steel
tower on a cylindrical steel-sheet pile pier. The tower is enclosed at the base
to provide a shelter for housing the storage batteries operating the light.
Cost, $14.998 53.
St. Clair Flats, Mich.—Bids were accepted and the work is under way on a
dwelling for the assistant keeper at this light station. Cost to June 30,
$7,914.
Omaha, Nehr.—A site was obtained and a steel storage building, a 1%-ton
truck, and miscellaneous equipment were purchased for the establishment of
Omaha Servicing Base. The actual development of the site was not started.
Cost to June 30, $786.81.
Staten Island, N. Y.—Elm Tree Light Station was completely rebuilt, the
old wooden tower being replaced by a reinforced concrete tower of modern
design. Cost to June 30, $4,716.27.
Hempstead Harhor, N. Y.—Bar Beach Light was established. This light is
an unattended acetylene-operated light on a skeleton steel tower, the founda­
tion being a cylindrical sheet-steel pile caisson reinforced with riprap. Cost,
$8,042 30.
Hudson River, N. Y.—Under this project, for which $41,457.70 has been
allotted, a new base for servicing the lights and buoys in the upper portion

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of the Hudson Kiver is being built at Turkey Point, N. Y. A 200-foot section
of the river front was developed by a sheet-steel pile bulkhead and concrete
pavement, a contract for a storehouse was let, and plans and specifications
were prepared for a roadway to the base. Cost to June 30, $26,440.00.
Sodus, N. Y.—The pierhead tower was rebuilt, lights were electrified, an
air diaphragm-type fog signal was installed, and a brick control house was
constructed on shore with standby generator and submarine cable to light.
Cost, $11,571.49.
Toledo, Ohio.—This project consists of improvements of a site located in
Toledo, Ohio, for subdepot purposes. A depot building, size 38 feet by 60 feet,
with office space, has been completed. Other completed work includes dredging
of a channel, improvement of the grounds, bulkhead work, and the purchase of
a 45-foot steel patrol boat to be delivered about August 1, 1939. The work
remaining consists of improvements of the grounds and erection of a fence.
Cost to June 30, $80,142.08.
Columbia River, Oreg.—For better marking the section of the river from
Celilo to Wallula a number of aids were established, including several special
shallow-draft-type buoys, 3 minor lights, and 4 sets of range lights. In addi­
tion, 17 special-type buoys were established by contract. Cost, $8,000.
Cape Arago, Orcg.—The old steel foot bridge leading to the light station
from the mainland was demolished and a new bridge was constructed on the
old foundations. Cost, $6,74S.66.
Tongue Point, Oreg.—This project provides for the construction of sheetsteel pile bulkhead with anchorage system, hydraulic fill of area approxi­
mately 200 feet by 200 feet and construction of storage warehouse, machine
shop, and blacksmith shop. Construction of bulkhead and fill was completed
and plans for the warehouse, machine shop, and blacksmith shop developed.
Cost to June 30, $55,859.75.
Erie Harbor, Pa.—A storage building was erected on a concrete slab along­
side the north pier at Presque Isle for housing spare buoy equipment. Cost,
$4,791.04.
Borden Flats, R. I.—This light station was of the cast-iron caisson type.
The structure had developed a slight list and its base sections were badly
cracked. A steel-sheet piling caisson having a radius 10 feet greater than the
cast-iron pier was driven, filled, and capped, thus not only affording greater
protection but providing much-needed increase in deck space as well as two
concrete pit-type storage bins beneath the deck. Cost, $13,521.51.
Portsmouth, Va.—Under this project a considerable amount of repair work
was done at the Portsmouth depot. The main storehouse roof was resurfaced
and a new roof was built over the buoy shed. In the main storehouse the walls
were replastered and a new wood-block floor was laid. A brick wall about 8
feet high and 360 feet long was built on the south and east boundaries of the
reservation, while a 60-foot long by 20-foot deep garage was erected. Cost,
$11 941.41.
Cape Henry, Fa.—-A six-room, brick-veneer, frame dwelling, measuring 26
feet by 26 feet in size, was constructed at Cape Henry Light Station. The
existing dwellings were remodeled and the fog-signal laboratory was reroofed.
A concrete ramp and driveway was constructed adjacent to the fog-signal
laboratory to facilitate moving test equipment and the damaged and over­
loaded crane on the fog-signal test tower was restored to a serviceable con­
dition. Cost, $12,968.15.
Sherwood Point, Wis.—The light station was electrified, the fog signal was
improved, and a radio beacon was established, while a one-story addition was
made to the fog-signal house for accommodating the additional equipment.
Cost to June 30, $4,062.77.
La Pointe, Wi.s.-—A new three-family dwelling for La Pointe Light Station
was completed during the year and work started on water-supply and sewagedisposal systems and dock. Cost to June 30, $16,662.

BUREAU OF FISH ER IES
«

Available statistics indicate that there was a decrease in the
volume but an.increase in the value of fishery products taken in the
United States and Alaska during 1937 as compared with the preced­
ing year. Data on the catch were collected for both 1936 and 1937
in the Chesapeake, South Atlantic and Gulf, Pacific, and Lake
States and in Alaska. The combined catch in these sections alone
shows a decrease of 13 percent in volume but an increase of 7 per­
cent in value. Decreased catches were made in each of the five
geographical sections; however, the principal reductions occurred
in the Pacific Coast States where greatly reduced catches of pilchards
were taken, and in Alaska where there was a large decline in the
catch of salmon.
The total catch of fishery products in the United States and Alaska,
as based on the most recent surveys, amounted to 4,352,549,000
pounds, valued at $100,845,000. About 130,000 fishermen were
employed in making this catch.
The production of canned fishery products in the United States
and Alaska during 1937 amounted to 742,197,000 pounds, valued at
$105,175,000; the output of byproducts was valued at $36,804,000;
the production of frozen fishery products, excluding packaged
products, amounted to 103,112,000 pounds, estimated to be valued
at $8,800,000; and fresh and frozen packaged fish and shellfish,
201,803,000 pounds, valued at $27,678,000. Based on surveys for
previous years, the production of cured fishery products amounted
to 104,339,000 pounds, valued at $15,635,000. It is estimated that
about 686,000,000 pounds of fresh fishery products (excluding pack­
aged fish and shellfish), valued at about $57,000,000, was marketed
during 1937. The total marketed value to domestic primary handlers
of all fishery products in 1937 is estimated at $251,000,000.
Fishery products imported for consumption were valued at
$50,636,000 and domestic exports were valued at $14,567,000.
The value of the production of canned fishery products in all
sections increased 11 percent as compared with 1936; byproducts
increased 5 percent; frozen fish, about 1 percent; and packaged fish,
3 percent.
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
HALIBUT INVESTIGATIONS

The International Fisheries Commission continued the investiga­
tion and regulation of the Pacific halibut fishery, under authority of
the treaty of Jauary 29,1937, between the United States and Canada.
In fulfillment of its regulatory duties, the Commission recorded
the catch from each regulatory area, forecast and announced the date
135

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REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

of attainment of each area limit, and closed the areas accordingly.
It opened the 1939 fishing season on April 1 under regulations
essentially unchanged from those of the preceding year.
Areas 1 and 2 were closed to halibut fishing in 1938 at midnight
of July 29, with catches of approximately 706,000 and 22,923,000
pounds, respectively. Areas 3 and 4 were closed at midnight of
October 29, with catches of 25,591,000 and 0 pounds, respectively.
The investigations of the Commission’s scientific staff were con­
tinued along the lines necessary for fulfillment of the purpose of the
treaty. Current biological and statistical data, which form a system
of observation of the changes occurring in the stocks of halibut as a
result of regulation and a necessary basis for the continued rational
control of the fishery, were collected, and analyzed. The collection of
biological data made necessary the operation of a vessel at sea.
The abundance of halibut, as indicated by the catch per unit of
fishing effort, showed a further increase all along the coast in 1938.
In area 2, between Cape Spencer in Alaska and Willipa Bay in
Washington, the abundance was 15 percent greater than in i937,
100 percent greater than in 1930. In area 3, between Cape Spencer
and the Aleutian Islands, it was 3.5 percent greater than the previous
year and 77 percent greater than in 1930, the last year of unrestricted
fishing.
Sampling of the stocks of marketable halibut by means of market
measurements was continued to determine the changes occurring in
their composition as a result of regulation. For the first time since
the Commission began regulating the fishery, market measurements
failed to show an increase in the size of the fish landed or in the
proportion of mature fish on the more depleted banks of area 2. The
maximum proportion of larger sizes from the stock of young avail­
able at the time regulation began appears to have been reached and
a further increase in the larger sizes may not occur until the increas­
ing stock of young has had time to grow up.
Observation of the effect of regulation on the production of spawn
in area 2 was continued by means of net hauls taken at sea during
the winter spawning season. Analysis of the catches of eggs indi­
cated that the increase observed in their abundance from 1934-35 to
1936-37 was not continued in 1937-38 and 1938-39. No special sig­
nificance can yet be attributed to the failure of production in the
latter 2 years to equal the high level of 1936-37, because of the vari­
ations that occur normally from year to year among marine species,
but jt is to be suspected that it may be associated with the changes
in size composition mentioned above.
INTERNATIONAL PACIFIC SALMON FISHERIES COMMISSION

Work of an experimental and preliminary nature, to establish facts
upon which the permanent program could be based, was carried on
during the 1938 season. A compilation and analysis of the great
mass of existing records of the sockeye run to the Fraser River
was nearing completion by the end of the year. A survey of the
spawning grounds was begun. The adult migrants in salt water were
tagged and extensive recoveries made on the spawning grounds.

BUREAU O!’’ FISHERIES

137

The Commission held its third meeting September 23-24 in Van­
couver, B. C. The program of investigation, then under way, was
discussed and that for 1939 approved. In February 1939, William A.
Found resigned and was replaced by A. J. Whitmore.
JAPANESE ACTIVITIES IN THE BRISTOL BAY FISHER"*

Japanese fishery operations in Bristol Bay in 1939, the tenth con­
secutive season in which such activities have been carried on, were
confined to the catching and canning of king or spider crabs, and
only one floating cannery, together with auxiliary craft, was em­
ployed. This indicates a continued adherence on the part of the
Japanese Government to the assurance given in the spring of 1938
that its official survey of the salmon in Bristol Bay would be sus­
pended and that it would issue no license to vessels to take salmon
in those waters.
CONSERVATION OF WHALES

The Protocol of June 24,1938, which amends in certain particulars
the International Agreement for the Regulation of Whaling, signed
at London on June 8, 1937, came into force as to the United States
on March 30, 1939, and was proclaimed by the President on April
8, 1939.
The principal provisions of the Protocol of 1938, which are ad­
vances in the measures of conservation of the whale stock of the
world provided in the agreement of 1937, are as follows :
(1) A prohibition against the taking or treating of humpback
whales south of 40° south latitude by factory ships or whale catchers
attached thereto from October 1, 1938, to September 30, 1939.
(Article 1.)
(2) The establishment of a sanctuary for baleen whales south of
40° south latitude between 70° west longitude and 160° west longitude
for a period of 2 years from December 3, 1938. (Article 2.)
(3) A clarification of provisions in articles 7 and 8 of the agree­
ment of 1937, which had given rise to conflicting interpretations, so
as to make clear that no factory ship which has been used for the
urpose of treating baleen whaies south of 40° south latitude shall
e used for that purpose elsewhere within 12 months from the end
of the open season; that only factory ships which have operated
within the territorial waters in 1937 shall so operate after the signa­
ture of the protocol; that such ships shall be treated as land sta­
tions, shall remain moored, and shall not operate more than 6 months
in any 12-month period ; and that such operations shall be continuous.
(Article 3.)

E

NORTH AMERICAN COUNCIL ON FISHERY INVESTIGATIONS

The twenty-fifth meeting of the North American Council on Fish­
ery Investigations was held in Boston, Mass., October 4-7,1938. Rep­
resentatives from Canada, Newfoundland, and the United States
were present. At the invitation of the Council, members of the
Fishery Advisory Committee of the Department of Commerce and
other leaders of the fishing industry attended a general session on

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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

October 5 for a discussion of fishery problems in the North Atlantic
area. The general program of fishery investigations being conducted
by Canada, Newfoundland, and the United States was presented.
’ In the sectional committee meetings dealing with groundfish inves­
tigations, shorefish studies, hydrographic research, and fishery sta­
tistics, nearly a score of investigators presented reports on their
work, affording members of the Council a summary review of
progress during the year in these fields and permitting them to
modify their official program accordingly. Important advances were
reported in the study of the cod fishery being prosecuted by Canada,
the lobster studies in Newfoundland, and the investigations in the
United States leading to a proposal for effective management of the
haddock fishery.
INTERSTATE COOPERATION IN FISHERY MANAGEMENT

As a result of efforts of the Council of State Governments in co­
operation with the Bureau of Fisheries and with fishery administra­
tors of the various States concerned, progress has been made toward
the solution of fishery problems in the Great Lakes and on the
Atlantic coast.
The Interstate Committee on Great Lakes Fisheries, appointed at
the conference held under the auspices of the Council of State Gov­
ernments in February 1938, met in Chicago on December 5. An in­
ternational treaty to bring about uniform regulation of Great Lakes
fisheries was again endorsed. Pending the adoption of an interna­
tional treaty, however, the Committee recommended the adoption of
an interstate compact for the regulation of United States fisheries
in the Great Lakes. The formation of such a compact has been
authorized by the Congress of the United States. The Committee also
urged that State fish and game commissioners be given discretionary
power to regulate fisheries without legislative action.
At the Eastern States Conservation Conference held in New York
November 19, a resolution was unanimously adopted petitioning Con­
gress to grant permission to States bordering on the Atlantic coast to
enter into a compact for the protection of migratory fishes in terri­
torial waters. A committee was appointed to prepare a draft of the
compact for submission to the States.
FISHERY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Fishery Advisory Committee met in Boston, Mass., on October
S, 1938, in conjunction with the National Fisheries Convention in
session during the week. Discussion centered largely around prob­
lems of production and merchandizing fishery products. On October
5, members also attended a general session of the North American
Council on Fishery Investigations for consideration of fishery prob­
lems in the North Atlantic area.
The Committee met in Washington, D. C., January 30-31, 1939.
Special problems challenging the industry at this time, recommended
by the Committee for further research, are improvements in methods
of transporting iced and frozen fishes and more complete utilization
of the waste products of the fisheries. Inasmuch as fishery products
constitute a wholesome and nutritious food which contains mineral

BUREAU OB FISHERIES

139

elements essential to health that are not readily available in many
foods of land origin, an even flow of fishery products from producer
to consumer is essential to the public interest.
DOMESTIC RELATIONS
COOPERATION WITH FEDERAL, STATE, AND OTHER AGENCIES

Cooperation was given by members of the Bureau technological
staff to chemists and bacteriologists of the Food and Drug Adminis­
tration, U. S. Department of Agriculture, in connection with the de­
velopment and application of tests on methods of determining the
quality and constituents of various fishery products; and to the Ex­
tension Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture in connection
with the conduct of demonstrations and practical instruction on the
preservation of fishery products and more complete utilization in the
diet of the excellent food value of fish and shellfish.
Members of the economic and marketing staff of the Division of
Fishery Industries cooperated with the Department of Labor in hold­
ing conferences with fishermen’s unions and associations to settle
disputes. The Division also worked with various Federal agencies
in obtaining statistical data on our fisheries. These included the
Bureau of Agricultural Economics, the health authorities in Wash­
ington, D. C., and the Bureau of the Census.
The Bureau has carried on cooperative investigations in techno­
logical work with several colleges, universities, and other State insti­
tutions. Outstanding among these are Washington State College,
Pullman, Wash.; University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.; Uni­
versity of Maryland and Maryland State Agricultural Experiment
Station, College Park, Md.
In the conduct of its statistical and marketing work some form of
cooperation is given the Bureau in virtually every State where com­
mercial fishing is prosecuted. This cooperation probably reached its
greatest development in the States bordering on the Great Lakes and
in the Pacific Coast and Chesapeake Bay States.
The Division of Fish Culture maintains the closest liaison with the
State fish and game departments and other Federal agencies con­
cerned with the conservation of fish. There has been close contact
between the Bureau’s representatives, the Bureau of Reclamation,
and fisheries officials of the State of Washington with reference to
the development of plans for the artificial propagation of the salmon
run to be affected by the completion of the huge Grand Coulee Dam.
There has been continued expansion of the policy of routing fish
applications to the State departments for check and approval before
deliveries are made. The natural consequence of this has been a
development of arrangements for the States to deliver the fish with
their own equipment and this has been practiced in a number of
instances.
The exchange of eggs and fish by the Bureau has been of mutual
benefit, particularly in Michigan and Minnesota. In the Western
States also, particularly in Oregon, the fish-cultural and fish-distribu­
tion work is closely coordinated, with resultant economies to both the
State and the Federal Governments.
r

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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

In the Tennessee Valley area, three-way agreements between the
Bureau of Fisheries, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the States
of Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina have been made effective
or are being negotiated. Under such agreements the T. V. A. has
established and built hatcheries and rearing facilities which the
Bureau is to operate. The fish produced are to be distributed by
the States in that part of the Tennessee Valley area which are in­
cluded within the respective State boundaries.
The work with the National Park Service has continued in a con­
structive way and at the close of the year the Park Service was con­
structing a new hatchery at Glacier Park with subsequent operations
to be managed by the Bureau.
In view of the tremendous responsibility upon the Forest Service
of the Department of Agriculture for the maintenance of fishing in
the national forests, the Bureau has enjoyed unusual cooperation
with that agency. A new trout-rearing unit was under construction
in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, under plans de­
veloped and approved by the Bureau with the expectation that it
would be operated by this Bureau upon completion.
The State of North Dakota Fish and Game Department donated
the site for a new hatchery at Valley City. At St. Louis, Mo., the
city officials have approved the construction, at no cost to the Bureau,
of a modern hatchery and service building in the Forest Park hatch­
ery. This series of ponds was taken over by the Bureau for opera­
tion shortly before the start of the fiscal year 1939 and the results
have been most favorable. The State of Minnesota donated a tract
of land for a hatchery at New London and furnished the services
of surveyors and engineers in acquiring additional property. The
site for a new hatchery, at Farlington, Kans., was more easily ac­
quired by reason of the donation of water rights to a State-owned
lake. The State of Ohio purchased and donated to the Bureau a
splendid location for the new hatchery to be constructed in that
State.
CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES

At the start of the fiscal year there was being undertaken an exten­
sive program of hatchery development and improvement financed by
an allocation of $808,500 from the Public Works Administration, and
$500,050 from the Works Progress Administration.
These funds were allocated to more than 70 different field projects,
involving complete rehabilitation of some of the older hatcheries and
enlargement and improvement of the newer establishments. The
work involved replacement of pipe lines or complete construction of
new water-supply systems; construction, repair, and improvement of
buildings; construction of ponds; installation of new equipment;
and general landscaping. In some instances there was a 100-percent
increase in the productive capacity of a station. The Public Works
Administration funds were largely used for the purchase of mate­
rials, supplies, and equipment; while the labor, practically all from
relief sources, was a contribution from the Works Progress Adminis­
tration allotment.
The principal development of an entirely new nature was the con­
struction of a pondfish hatchery at the Boy Inks Dam on the lower

BUREAU OF FISHERIES

141

Colorado River in Texas. The site was furnished by the Lower
Colorado River Authority and the construction was supervised by
the Bureau. It was financed by a portion of the P. W. A. allotment
and by the assignment of N. Y. A. labor. At the close of the year
this project was virtually completed and some of the ponds were
stocked with fingerling bass.
Great improvements were effected at the Fort Worth station, where
an additional tract of land' was donated by the city of Fort Worth
and utilized for the development of additional ponds.
The Charlevoix, Mich., hatchery, which had been closed since 1933,
was entirely rehabilitated and equipped for the rearing of lake trout
fingerling.
In several instances the State W. P. A. projects were in effect,
also making possible additional improvements. An outstanding ex­
ample of this method was at Guttenberg, Iowa, where initial work on
a very large bass and pondfish hatchery within the Upper Missis­
sippi River Wild Life and Fish Refuge was undertaken. Curtail­
ment of the scope of the C. C. C. resulted in some restriction of the
construction work prosecuted by this agency. A limited number of
assignees were held at work at Lamar, Pa., but the C. C. C. develop­
ment at the York Pond, N. H., station was terminated. However,
it was possible to continue developments there by utilization of emer­
gency funds allotted directly to the Bureau.
In addition to the improvements made possible by direct cash
allotments to the Bureau, the Appropriation Act for 1939 carried
the sum of $155,000, provided for the construction of new hatcheries
in Kansas, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Ohio. A suitable site was
located at Valley City, N. Dak., and, at the close of the fiscal year,
the hatchery was approximately 75 percent completed, although not
in readiness for operation. Sites were selected at Hebron, Ohio,
Farlington, Kans., and New London, Minn., but various difficulties
were encountered in acquiring clear titles to these sites, with result­
ant delay in starting actual construction. At the close of the year,
however, preparations were being made to initiate the construction
phase at each of these locations. The funds appropriated for these
hatcheries were continued available during the fiscal year 1940.
By means of funds allotted from the Public Works Administra­
tion and the Works Progress Administration, improvements were
also made during the year to the technological byproducts labora­
tory building and the chemical laboratories in Seattle, Wash.
ALASKA FISHERIES SERVICE
ADMINISTRATION OF FISHERY LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Careful observations of the runs and escapement of salmon were
made in all fishing districts, and regulations were modified as seemed
desirable. In general, the salmon runs were satisfactory, and most
of the changes in regulations during the season were relaxations to
permit additional commercial fishing in specified localities. The
Commissioner of Fisheries spent several weeks in Alaska inspecting
the fishery and fur-seal activities.
Revised regulations, issued on February 11, to be effective in 1939
contained few changes of major importance. The salmon fishing

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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

season was shortened in parts of southeast and central Alaska, and
in some localities the season was extended slightly, in view of the
satisfactory runs. In order to promote the use of claims for out­
lying areas that had previously been but little exploited, the limi­
tation on the pack for the Seward-Katalla district as a whole was
increased, while a limitation was placed on the output of certain
well-known beds in the district. Some additional restrictions were
placed on commercial fishing for herring and crabs.
Two 15-year leases of oyster bottoms in Alaska were executed dur­
ing the fiscal year 1939 under the authority granted by the act of
August 2, 1931, for the protection of oyster culture in Alaska. Lib­
eral leasing terms have been established in order to encourage the
development of this industry.
Fourteen vessels of the Bureau, five speedboats, and a number of
other small power boats were used in the patrol of the fishing grounds.
The personnel identified with fishery-protective work numbered 209,
including wardens, stream guards, weir operators, vessel crews, and
biologists. Chartered airplane service was used to some extent to
supplement the vessel patrol, and also for surveys of the spawning
grounds and transportation of officials to isolated districts.
Attention was given to the reclaiming of former spawning areas
that had become inaccessible to the salmon by reason of accumulated
debris from slides and windfalls. This work was largely incidental
to the patrol of the fishing grounds. The destruction of predatory
trout that feed upon salmon eggs and fry was continued in the
Bristol Bay and Cook Inlet regions through funds supplied by the
Territory and by local salmon packers. An appropriation of $25,000
was made by the Territorial Legislature in 1939 to continue the im­
provement of salmon streams and the payment of bounty on preda­
tory trout during the next 2 years.
Biological studies of the salmon and herring were continued, the
work in connection with the former being extended to include a
comprehensive investigation of the red-salmon fisheries of Bristol
Bay. Further studies concerning the effect of predatory trout in
reducing the numbers of young salmon were carried on in the Kodiak
region. Weirs for counting the escapement of spawning salmon were
operated in 11 representative salmon streams.
PRODUCTS OF THE FISHERIES

Notwithstanding the fact that several plants stood idle because of
prolonged labor negotiations in the spring and the consequent delay
in preparation for the season’s operations, the volume of fishery
products in Alaska compared favorably with the average for recent
years. An outstanding feature was the unusual abundance of red
salmon in the Bristol Bay area, resulting in the largest catch ever
recorded for that region.
The total output of Alaska fishery products in 1938 was 446,664,000
pounds, valued at $42,870,000, as compared with 452,545,000 pounds,
valued at $51,743,000 in 1937. The estimated value of the 1938 catch
to the fishermen was approximately $12,040,000, or about $2,198,000
less than in the preceding year. There were 28,084 persons employed
in the various branches of the industry, as against 30,331 in 1937.

BUREAU OF FISHERIES

143

Salmon products comprised approximately 78 percent in quantity
and 91 percent in value of the total output of the Alaska fisheries in
1933. Ninety-three percent of the salmon products consisted of
canned salmon, the pack amounting to 6,807,000 cases, or 326,736,000
pounds, valued at $36,637,000. Red salmon represented 37 percent
and pinks 47 percent of the total pack of canned salmon, as against
32 percent and 54 percent, respectively, in 1937. As compared with
the pack of the preceding year, the output of canned salmon in
1938 showed an increase of 2 percent in quantity but a decrease of
nearly 18 percent in value. Ninety-eight canneries were operated, or
15 less than in 1937, and the number of persons employed in the
salmon-canning industry dropped from 24,865 in 1937 to 22,280 in
1938.
Seventeen herring plants were operated, as compared with 20 in
the previous year, and the quantity of herring products declined from
the peak production of 1937, although continuing at a comparatively
high level. Other fisheries in which there was a decreased produc­
tion included the whale, shrimp, and crab industries. Only one
whadng station was operated in Alaska in 1938. Halibut landings
of the Alaska fleet showed a slight increase in volume, as did also
cod, clam, and a few other minor fishery products.
ALASKA FUR-SEAL SERVICE
GENERAL ACTIVITIES

Sealing and foxing operations at the Pribilof Islands were carried
on, as heretofore, by the natives under the supervision of a staff of
13 regular employees and a number of sealing assistants. Approxi­
mately 80 Aleutian natives also were employed during the summer
in connection with sealing activities, and 23 skilled employees of the
Fouke Fur Co. were at the islands for several weeks to assist in cur­
ing and packing the sealskins.
The byproducts plant on St. Paul Island was operated for the
utilization of fur-seal carcasses. Products for the 1938 season
amounted to 30,587 gallons of oil and 357,222 pounds of meal. These
products, other than small quantities retained at the islands for fox
feed, were shipped to Seattle, where the oil was sold for commercial
use and the meal was transferred to the Division of Fish Culture for
feeding fish at the hatcheries.
On St. George Island a warehouse and three new cottages for na­
tives were built, and improved roads were extended about a mile.
Considerable resurfacing of roads also was done there and on St.
Paul Island. Four cabins and a powerhouse, as well as some new
equipment, were added to the substation for sea-otter investigations
and patrol in the western Aleutians.
Valuable cooperative service was rendered by the Navy Depart­
ment in assibning the U. S. S. V ega to carry the annual shipment of
supplies to the Pribilof Islands, and by the Coast Guard in patrolling
waters of the North Pacific and Bering Sea for the protection of fur
seals and sea otters.
Delivery of 8,755 fur-seal skins, or 15 percent of the take on the
Pribilof Islands in 1938, was made to an agent of the Canadian Gov­
ernment at Seattle. The Japanese Government, entitled to a like
192271—39-----12

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REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

number under the provisions of the fur-seal treaty of 1911, continued
the practice of sharing in the proceeds of sale, rather than taking
actual delivery of the skins.
Two hundred and ten fur-seal skins taken by the Japanese Govern­
ment on Robben Island in 1938 were allotted to the United States as
its share under the treaty provisions and were shipped to the Depart­
ment's selling agents at St. Louis, Mo., for processing and sale.
A new contract for the processing and sale of Government-owned
fur-seal and other skins was entered into by the Acting Secretary of
Commerce and the Fouke Fur Co., St. Louis, Mo., under date_ of
June 9, 1939, covering sealskins taken in 1939 and the following
season, and thereafter until the contract is terminated by either
party.
seal herd

The computed number of animals in the Pribilof Islands fur-seal
herd on August 10, 1938, was 1,872,438, an increase of 33,319, or about
2 percent over the corresponding figure for the preceding year. _This
comparatively small increase is accounted for by the fact that it has
been found necessary to apply higher mortality rates for animals in
their first year at sea and to make adjustments accordingly in respect
to certain age groups.
TAKE OP SEALSKINS

In the calendar year 1938 there were taken on the Pribilof Islands
58,364 fur-seal skins, of which 46,082 were from St. Paul Island
and 12,282 from St. George Island. This was an increase of 3,184
over the total take in 1937. Insofar as possible, killings were con­
fined to 3-year-old males. A suitable number of this age class was
reserved for breeding stock.
SALE OP SEALSKINS

Two public auction sales of fur-seal skins were held at St. Louis in
the fiscal year 1939. At the sale on October 10, 1938, there were sold
9,754 skins dyed black, 14,490 skins dyed safari brown, and 46 miscel­
laneous skins for a gross total of $509,293.75. On May 22, 1939, 7,800
skins dyed black and 12,720 dyed safari brown brought a gross sum
of $344,338.75.
Sealskins sold at private sales under special authorization by the
Secretary of Commerce consisted of 324 dyed black, 487 dyed safari
brown, 1 partly processed, and 73 raw-salted skins, which brought a
gross total of $17,713. In all, 45,695 fur-seal skins were sold for the
account of the Government in the fiscal year 1939, for a total gross
sum of $871,345.50.
POXES

The care of blue foxes on the Pribilof Islands is an important
seasonal activity, requiring attention only during the winter months
when sealing operations are at a minimum. During the 1938-39
season 219 blue and 5 white foxskins were taken on St. Paul Island
and 799 blue and 6 white foxskins were taken on St. George Island,
a total of 1,029. Suitable reserves for breeding purposes were made

BUREAU OF FISHERIES

145

on both islands. Eight hundred and forty-seven blue and 16 white
foxskins, taken on the Pribilof Islands in the 1937-38 season, were
sold at public auction in the fiscal year 1939. The blue foxskins
brought $16,452.50 and the white skins brought $216, a total gross
sum of $16,668.50.
FUR-SEAL SKINS TAKEN BY NATIVES

The North Pacific Sealing Convention of July 7, 1911, provides
that aborigines dwelling along the Pacific coast may take fur seals
under restricted conditions. In 1938 Indians under the jurisdiction
of the United States took 184 sealskins and Canadian Indians took
1,367 sealskins, which were duly authenticated by Government officials
of the two countries.
FUR-SEAL PATROL

Vessels of the Coast Guard were again assigned by the Secretary
of the Treasury to patrol waters of the North Pacific and Bering
Sea for the protection of the fur seals and sea otters. One vessel
of the Bureau of Fisheries also participated in the fur-seal patrol
during the northward migration of the herd.
PROTECTION OF SEA OTTERS, WALRUSES, AND SEA LIONS

New regulations for the protection of walruses and sea lions were
issued on June 29, 1939, extending the closed season on these animals
until June 30, 1941, while continuing permission for their capture
under certain specified conditions. The killing of sea otters is pro­
hibited at all times.
PROPAGATION AND DISTRIBUTION OP POOD AND GAME PISHES

The preliminary records of production for the hatcheries operated
by the Division of Fish Culture show an output of 8,094,000,000 eggs,
fry, and larger fish. With the 1938 production amounting to slightly
over 8,121,000,000 it is evident that there was little variation in the
scope and magnitude of the activities. Forty-six species were handled
at the hatcheries and in the rescue fields. Among the individual
species an increase was recorded for 16. As usual the greatest increase
was shown with the commercial or semicommercial species. The
Bureau initiated the propagation of Kentucky bass, which had not
previously been handled at its hatcheries. No glut herring, carp, or
humped-back salmon were handled at the hatcheries during the fiscal
year 1939. The conduct of repair and improvement work rendered
some of the fish-cultural facilities inoperative during the season with
consequent curtailment of production of fish. The output of brooktrout eggs was unusually low because of the fact that a disease
epidemic at the York Pond, N. H., station, the principal point of
production for this species, necessitated a complete elimination of all
stock on hand and reduced the distribution to negligible proportions.
.The production of fingerlings and large fish was 84,459,000, which
presents a sharp drop in comparison with the previous year when
119,000,000 were handled. This, however, does not indicate any
limitation upon the hatcheries’ activities but is rather a reflection of
the virtual cessation of rescue and salvage work in the Upper Missis­

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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

sippi River Wild Life and Fish Refuge, from which source the fingerlings of warm-water species have heretofore been obtained in large
numbers. The number of unfilled applications for game species as
submitted by private individuals and conservation organizations was,
at the close of the year, as low as at any time within recent years.
PROPAGATION OF COMMERCIAL SPECIES

The three hatcheries in New England propagating commercial
species of the inshore waters were operated with increased intensity
with the result that there was a noticeable increase in the production
of cod, haddock, and flatfish. Pollock were produced in reduced
quantities and the output of lobster fry was approximately 50 percent
of the previous year’s record. However, by virtue of new experi­
mental methods the young lobsters were reared to larger size before
releasing, as a means of producing greater survival. Over 5y 2 billion
of the above-mentioned species were distributed as fertilized eggs on
the spawning grounds. This is a byproduct recovery, since these
eggs would otherwise be completely wasted in the marketing of
the fish taken by the commercial fishermen. Propagation of mackerel
was again resumed at the Woods Hole, Mass., station with an output
of 11,000,000 fry. An outstanding development was the establish­
ment by the Maine Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries of a large
modern lobster-rearing unit on the grounds of the Federal hatchery
at Boothbay Harbor, Maine. This establishment is operated by the
State on a cooperative basis with the Bureau. There is assurance
that this project will be of great significance in the future in con­
serving and building up the supply of lobsters, the mainstay of the
inshore fisheries of the State.
P acific salm on .—There was a worthwhile increase in the produc­
tion of chinook salmon. This species is handled in two fields, the
Columbia River and the Sacramento River, and the distribution was
materially increased in both areas. This is especially gratifying in
view of the fact that both runs have been threatened by the construc­
tion of large dams, and the 1939 figures for hatchery production
indicate that there will be a satisfactory stock of salmon upon which
to base future propagation activities which will serve to nullify the
detrimental influences of dams. Absence of humped-back salmon in
the records is merely a result of the so-called “off year” for this spe­
cies. Sockeye salmon are handled in the Puget Sound area and at
Quinault, Wash. At the latter point the production is deliberately
curtailed so as to permit the rearing of all of the fry produced to "a
larger size before distribution. The salmon hatcheries also included
the propagation of steelhead trout, a preeminent game fish, within
the scope of their work but failed to obtain a production equal to
that of the previous year.
A n adrom ou s species , A tla n tic coast .—The second year of an inten­
sive program of rehabilitation of the shad has shown an increase in
the hatchery production of this species. Over 34 million fry were
planted, in comparison with 26 million in 1938. No new propagating
stations were operated and the increase is a direct result of larger
runs and more intensive hatchery utilization of the potential egg
supply. The shad stations on the Potomac River and at Edenton,
N. C., also proagated other indigenous species, including the white

BURKAU OF FISHERIES

147

perch, yellow perch, and striped bass. These are handled somewhat
as a side line since they are propagated during the inactive season for
shad. The output of 1,797,000 striped bass fry in North Carolina
represents a material increase and is in line with an effort to build up
this valuable species.
C om m ercial species, in terio r w a ters .—Inasmuch as the supply of
buffalofish and carp appears adequate for economic needs the hatch­
ery production of these forms was curtailed and no carp whatever
were distributed. Several of the States in the Great Lakes area are
opposed to any promiscuous propagation or distribution of carp and
the Bureau has coordinated its work accordingly. As a consequence
the present contribution to the commercial fisheries of the interior
section was the propagation of whitefish, lake herring, and lake trout
carried on at Put-in-Bay, Ohio; Duluth, Minn.; and Cape Vincent,
N. Y. Production of pike perch at Put-in-Bay was brought up to
334.000. 000, a noticeable increase over 1938. The aggregate produc­
tion of whitefish at the Bureau’s stations amounted to approximately
33.000. 000, somewhat lower than the previous year. Lake trout pro­
duction at a level of slightly over 2,000,000 reflects the difficulty of
securing eggs of this species. A new policy was adopted in connec­
tion with the propagation of the lake trout, however, by the reopen­
ing of the Bureau’s hatchery at Charlevoix, Mich., for the purpose
of rearing the fish to the fingerling size before release. Several hun­
dred thousand lake-trout fry were supplied by the Michigan Con­
servation Department and were being fed at the Charlevoix hatchery
at the close of the year. The activities at the Put-in-Bay, Ohio,
station were conducted jointly with the State of Ohio, as has been the
case for several years. It is felt that the State is in a position to take
full responsibility for this work and at the close of the year negotia­
tions were under wav whereby the hatchery property might be turned
over to the State.
G am e species .—Again the collection of black-spotted trout eggs at
Yellowstone Park was materially increased, the collection of eggs
approaching 40,000,000. There was a moderate drop in the produc­
tion of the other species of game trout, and a noticeable increase in
the production of îargemouth and smallmouth bass, the distribution
amounting to over 14,000,003. Of this total, approximately 9,000,000
represented the fingerling and larger sizes which are so eagerly sought
for restocking the tremendous area in which these two species thrive.
The yield of the lesser warm-water species, including the sunfish,
crappie, rock bass, warmouth bass, catfish, etc., was greatly below
the levels maintained previously. However, as indicated elsewhere,
this is of little significance as far as stocking is concerned because
of the fact that the millions released in previous years were largely
replanted directly in the Mississippi River in the area where they
were salvaged. There was a continuation of the program for acquir­
ing more distribution trucks, and the handling of fish applications
was systemized and organized so as to coordinate the planting with
the corresponding activities of the States. More and more of the
game fish from Federal hatcheries are being utilized in stocking Fed­
eral lands, particularly in national forests, reclamation reserves, Indian
reservations, and tracts which have been acquired in the land-utiliza­
tion program.

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BEPOBT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

The Bureau again made an allotment of rainbow trout eggs to
Puerto Rico in continuation of the program for developing trout
fishing in that Territory.
RESCUE OPERATIONS

The virtual completion of the 9-foot channel in the upper Missis­
sippi River brought to a practical close the practice of salvaging fish
in the overflowed areas and sloughs, which development has been
predicted by the Bureau. There were handled in this activity only
2,800 fish of all species in comparison with the 40 to 50 million which
were seined and returned to the river in the past. The Bureau,
however, has proceeded with the construction of propagating ponds
in the Refuge, particularly at Genoa, Wis., and Guttenberg, Iowa.
The yield of game fish, especially bass, from these ponds has been
most surprising and there is ample evidence of a continuing supply
of bass and sunfish if the program of construction can be continued.
FISHERY INDUSTRIES
ECONOMIC AND MARKETING INVESTIGATIONS

S u rp lu s fish situ ation . —The holdings of frozen, cured, and canned
fishery products in the United States in the spring of 1939 amounted
to about 172,000,000 pounds, according to a study of the surplus fish
situation. This represents about 5,600,000 pounds more than normal
holdings.
S u rv e y o f re ta il m a rk etin g o f fish an d shellfish. —The field work of
a survey of retail marketing of fish in about 50 representative cities
east of the Mississippi River was completed late m the fiscal year
1939. The results of the survey will be tabulated and analyzed to
determine the factors which lead to the most favorable response from
the public and to establish criteria which may guide retailers toward
those practices which are most successful or promising.
C om m ercial fisheries o f the world.- —On the basis of the most recent
available data, the world’s annual commercial catch of fishery com­
modities amounts to about 33,600,000,000 pounds, valued at approxi­
mately $740,000,000. The United States, including Alaska, ranks
first in the value of annual yield and is exceeded only by Japan in
volume.
C od fisheries off the east coast o f N o rth A m erica. —In 1935, which
is the most recent year for which complete statistics are available, the
catch of cod off the east coast of North America by Canadian United
States, French, and Portuguese fishermen, amounted to 1,109,000.000
pounds, as compared with an average annual catch of 1,108,000,000
pounds for the 10-year period from 1926 to 1935, inclusive, and
1,169,000,000 pounds for the preceding 10-year period. The most im­
portant country in the volume of its catch of cod in this area is New­
foundland, which took an annual average of 495,000,000 pounds dur­
ing the period from 1931 to 1935. Following in order of the im­
portance of their annual catches were Canada, France, the United
States, and Portugal.
C ooperative m arketin g. —During 1938 work was continued on the
collection of data relating to fishermen’s cooperatives and other fish­
ermen’s organizations in this country and abroad. Appeals for aid

BUREAU OF FISHERIES

149

in organization of cooperatives have been received from many sections
of the country and such assistance has been rendered as has been pos­
sible with the limited staff and funds available for this work. Ar­
rangements have been completed to enlist the aid of statistical and
marketing agents of the Bureau, who visit virtually all the fishing
areas of the United States each year, to assist in keeping the Bureau’s
data on fishermen’s organizations current.
STATISTICAL INVESTIGATIONS
FISHERIES OF THE UNITED STATES, CALENDAR YEAR 1937

N ew E n g la n d S ta te s. —The commercial fisheries of Maine, New
Hampshire, Massachusetts, Khode Island, and Connecticut in 1937
ave employment to 19,624 fishermen who took 670,864,000 pounds of
shery products, valued at $19,937,000. This is an increase of 2 per­
cent in volume and 11 percent in value as compared with 1935 when
the most recent previous survey of the total catch was made. Land­
ings by United States fishing vessels at Boston and Gloucester, Mass.,
and Portland, Maine, in 1937, amounted to 387,960,000 pounds, valued
at $9,790,000—a decrease of 6 percent in volume and 12 percent in
value as compared with 1936.
M id d le A tla n tic S ta te s — During 1937 the commercial fisheries of
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware gave employ­
ment to 7,720 fishermen. Their catch amounted to 264,652,000 pounds,
valued at $7,896,000—a decrease of 5 percent in volume but an in­
crease of 23 percent in value as compared with the catch in 1935 when
the preceding complete survey of the catch was made. A survey of
the Hudson Kiver shad fishery for 1937 showed that 613 fishermen
took 2,732,000 pounds of shad, valued at $213,000—an increase of 11
percent in volume and 25 percent in value as compared with the catch
in the previous year.
C hesapeake B a y S ta te s. —In 1937 the commercial fisheries of Mary­
land and Virginia employed 16,529 fishermen. Their catch amounted
to 292,244,000 pounds, valued at $6,361,000—a decrease of 7 percent in
volume and 2 percent in value as compared with the previous year.
S o u th A tla n tic an d G u lf S ta tes. —The commercial fisheries of North
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi,
Louisiana, and Texas gave employment to 30,244 fishermen in 1937.
Their catch amounted to 546,751,000 pounds, valued at $14,226,000—
a decrease of 2 percent in volume but an increase of 5 percent in value
as compared with the previous year.
P acific C oast S ta tes. —During 1937 the commercial fisheries of
Washington, Oregon, and California gave employment to 21,555
fishermen, whose catch amounted to 1,576,877,000 pounds, valued at
$28,776,000. This is a decrease of 18 percent in the volume but an
increase of 16 percent in the value of the catch as compared with the
previous year. The total catch of halibut by United States and
Canadian vessels in 1937 amounted to 48,659,000 pounds, valued at
$3,828,000—an increase of 1 percent in volume and 6 percent in value
as compared with the catch in the preceding year.
L a k e S ta tes. —In 1937 the commercial fisheries of the United States
and Canada, in the Great Lakes and international lakes of northern
Minnesota (Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior,

f

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REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

Namakan and Rainy Lakes, and Lake of the Woods), yielded 116,064,000 pounds of fishery products. Of this amount, United States
fishermen took 83,958,000 pounds, valued at $6,033,000—a decrease of
11 percent in volume and 6 percent in value as compared with the
catch in the previous year. The Lakes fisheries of the United States
gave employment to 6,418 fishermen in 1937.
M ississip p i R iv e r an d trib u ta ries .—Complete data on the fisheries
of the Mississippi River and its tributaries were not obtained for
1937. The catch of Lakes Pepin and Keokuk and the Mississippi
River between the two lakes in 1937 amounted to 5,585,000 pounds,
valued at $226,000—a decrease of 32 percent in volume and 40 per­
cent in value as compared with the catch in these waters during 1936.
MANUFACTURED PRODUCTS OF THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA, CALENDAR YEAR 193T

F resh and f rozen pack a g ed fish ery produ cts.— In 1937 the domestic
production of fresh and frozen packaged fishery products amounted
to 201,803,000 pounds, valued at $27,678,000. Important commodities
in this group were fresh-shucked oysters, 6,644,000 gallons, valued at
$9,081,000; packaged haddock, 30,187,000 pounds, valued at $4,162,000; and fresh-cooked crab meat, 8,300,000 pounds, valued at
$2,822,000.
F ro zen p ro d u cts .—The production of frozen fishery products in
1937 amounted to 168,224,000 pounds, estimated to be valued at $14,600,000. The volume of the production was 6 percent less than in 1936.
The principal items frozen were groundfish, whiting, salmon, halibut,
and rosefish.
C u red p ro d u cts .—The production of cured fishery products, based
on surveys for 1937 in all sections except the Mississippi River, and
for 1931 in that area, amounted to 104,339,000 pounds, valued at
$15,636,000. Important products in this group were smoked and kip­
pered salmon, 12,173,000 pounds, valued at $3,515,000; salted cod,
19 857,000 pounds, valued at $2,379,000; and mild-cured salmon, 9,615,000 pounds, valued at $1,863,000.
C anned fish ery p ro d u cts .—In 1937 the production of canned fishery
products amounted to 742,197,000 pounds, valued at $105,175,000—a
decrease of 7 percent in volume but an increase of 11 percent in value,
as compared with 1936. Canned salmon was the most important item,
accounting for 362,642,000 pounds, valued at $52,924,000. Other lead­
ing canned fishery products were tuna and tunalike fishes, sardines,
shrimp, mackerel, clam products, and oysters.
B yp ro d u cts .—The production of fishery byproducts in 1937 was
valued at $36,804,000—an increase of 17 percent as compared with the
previous year. The principal products in this group were marineanimal oils and meals and aquatic shell products.
FISHERY MARKET NEWS SERVICE

The past year has been one of intensive activity in the development
of the Fishery Market News Service and in the opening of new offices.
Field offices for the daily collection and dissemination of fishery mar­
ket news are now operating in New York, N. Y .; Boston, Mass.;
Chicago, 111.; Seattle, Wash.; and Jacksonville, Fla. In addition to
these offices for the preparation and dissemination of daily reports,

BUREAU OF FISHERIES

151

the service also operates numerous news-reporting activities in im­
portant fish-producing areas along our coasts. These reporting activi­
ties make possible the inclusion of a much wider coverage of news in
the daily reports of our field offices than would otherwise be possible.
Periodic market news reports also are prepared and disseminated
from the Washington office. These include summarized data made
available through the daily and monthly reports of the field offices as
well as articles relating to the commercial fisheries and other related
information.
TECHNOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS

P reserva tio n o f fishery, p ro d u cts fo r food. —During 1988 projects
in this field included studies of rancidity in fish, of lactic acid as a
possible index of decomposition in frozen fish, of identification of
canned salmon, of changes in the composition of pink salmon, of the
composition of commercial species of fish taken on the Pacific coast,
and the canning of aquatic products.
Of particular interest has Seen the work on lactic acid as a possible
index of decomposition in frozen fish. It is known that lactic acid
rises to a maximum content in fish muscle during the rigor of death.
It has also been shown that the alkaline reaction of fish muscle and
the accompanying onset of spoilage of the fish follows after the loss
of muscular rigor. Since spoilage occurs after the lactic acid con­
tent of the fish muscle reaches a maximum, the determination of
lactic acid in fish flesh before and during a period of cold storage
is of value in obtaining direct knowledge of the processes of decom­
position of fish.
Information has been obtained regarding the changes in the chem­
ical composition of pink salmon accompanying the pronounced physi­
cal change during their spawning migration and while in the com­
mercial fishery. Additional data have been collected in connection
with the development of a means for identifying the various species
of salmon after canning. A survey has been undertaken to determine
the chemical composition of the principal food fish of the Pacific
coast, and the wastage occurring during their preparation for market.
Studies were continued to determine the effectiveness of certain nat­
ural antioxidants in preventing rancidity in preserved fishery prod­
ucts and an attempt is being made to develop a simple and accurate
method for measuring oxidative deterioration in fatty fish.
B acteriolo gical stu dies.— D u rin g the past year important bacterio­
logical problems were studies of ultraviolet rays in killing bacteria,
studies in the handling of fresh oysters, and studies of methods of
preparing crab meat.
The studies in the handling of fresh oysters revealed that there
is a definite relation between the pH in oysters and the bacterial
count. The experiments showed that the bacterial flora changes with
the acidity of the oysters and the bacterial count rises as a result of
the increased acidity of the oysters. It was further discovered that
excessive washing of oysters with fresh water caused a loss of mineral
content.
At the request of several members of the crab-meat industry, the
Bureau assigned a chemist and a bacteriologist to investigate possible
measures designed to improve the quality of their product. This
investigation included a survey of the crab-meat packing plants with

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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

a view to making recommendations as to improved methods of han­
dling and packing for shipment which would assure the public a
higher quality product. Tentative recommendations were made to
the crab-meat packers pending the issuance of a completed report.
P h arm acological stu dies. —As indicated in previous years, the role
of minerals in nutrition has become increasingly important. Fishery
products are considered to be an excellent source of minerals in
quantity and variety, and a better understanding of the physiological
effects of these minerals on the animal organism is necessary. Dur­
ing 1938 the Bureau’s technologists completed a study of the chemical
and pharmacological aspects of fluorine in fishery products. No toxic
symptoms were observed when the fluorine in the diet came from
salmon or mackerel.
N u tritiv e valu e o f fish ery produ cts. —During 1938 investigations
in this field included a study of the chemical composition and nu­
tritive value of fish proteins, the vitamin content of fishery products,
a study of sodium alginate (produced from sea kelp) as a stabilizer
in products of the dairy industry, and a cooperative study of kelp
meal in animal feeding at the dairy department of the University of
Maryland and of the Maryland State Agricultural Experiment Sta­
tion, College Park, Md.
The studies of the mineral constituents of fishery products showed
that fish fillets are about equal to the muscle cuts of beef in mineral
content, except that the fish greatly exceeds the meat in iodine content;
that canned salmon contains about 15 times as much calcium, almost
twice as much phosphorus, 20 times as much iodine, and approxi­
mately equal quantities of other minerals as beef round; and that
oysters, shrimp, and crab meat contain approximately half as much
calcium, more than 5 times as much magnesium, and more phosphorus
than an equal quantity of milk. In addition, these shellfish are a
particularly good source of iron, copper, and iodine.
_The results of the studies on the chemical composition and nutri­
tive value of fish proteins showed that, by using an arbitrary factor
of 100, the proteins of the following fish and shellfish fell into the
following groups according to relative growth-promoting value, as
compared to beef at a factor of 63: Oysters, 100; pilchard, red snap­
per, shrimp, and Boston mackerel, 90; and shad, cod, croaker, and
silver salmon, 80.
The results of the studies on sodium alginate showed that this
product is an excellent mechanical stabilizer for use in food products,
due to its chemical and physical properties and high viscosity value.
P reserva tio n o f fish ery bypro du cts.—N>vxvt\^ the year data have
been obtained regarding specific problems of salmon cannery waste
utilization. _ These include investigation of the suitability of smallunit operations for canneries whose outputs are too small to warrant
installation of standard fish-meal equipment, the preparation of
edible salmon oils, the preparation of dehydrated protein and vitamin
concentrates, and in the case of large canneries having short operat­
ing seasons, the chemical preservation of waste for subsequent re­
duction and the conversion of waste into new types of products as a
result of chemical treatment. A survey was undertaken to determine
the potential vitamin value of the livers and viscera of the principal
food fish taken commercially on the Pacific coast. In cooperation
with the Division of Fish Culture and the University of Washington

BUREAU OF FISHERIES

153

School of Fisheries, information was obtained which helps to clarify
the steps in preparation responsible for improving the nutritional
properties of fish meal for fish feeding and which suggest less costly
processes of manufacture. Also, studies were made which indicate
the possibility of materially reducing the danger of spontaneous
heating of fish meal, a difficulty which now causes the industry great
inconvenience and considerable financial loss.
BIOLOGICAL FISHERY INVESTIGATIONS
INVESTIGATIONS OF COMMERCIAL FISHES

N o rth A tla n tic -fishery in vestig a tio n s .—In the offshore fisheries of
New England, analysis of extensive data collected during the course
of the haddock investigation has thrown considerable light on the
changes in the abundance of this species and has suggested a plan
for the stabilization of yield. Years of poor survival are either years
in which large haddock are especially abundant, offering serious com­
petition for food, or years when the stock of adults has been so reduced
as to furnish insufficient spawners. The most favorable level was
approximately that which prevailed in 1922 to 1924, 1929, and 1936.
The course of the natural cycles of abundance may be seriously inter­
fered with if a period of intensive fishing happens to coincide with a
period of poor survival of the young. The recent marked decline in
the abundance of haddock, which has been evident both on Georges
and the Nova Scotian Banks has been shown to be the result of such
a combination of circumstances. It is indicated, therefore, that by
holding the population at the optimum level by regulation of the fish­
ing intensity, it would be possible to sustain the. yield at a productive
level.
Data collected during the year on the age composition of the catch
revealed an increasing dependence on the young or “scrod” haddock, a
trend which is regarded as prejudicial to the interests of the fishery,
inasmuch as these fish are growing rapidly and would be of consider­
ably greater value if allowed at least 1 more year’s growth.
The catch records and biological data collected during the 1937
mackerel season, a year of extremely low production, were subjected
to analysis during the year. The composition of the mackerel popula­
tion differed markedly from previous years in that no year class or
classes dominated the fishery. With the exception of the 1932 class,
year classes following 1929 were present in better than 5 percent
strength each. Inasmuch as a study of lightship temperature rec­
ords revealed that water temperatures in the western part of the Gulf
of Maine ran higher than the average for the previous 10 years, it is
suspected that hydrographic conditions affected the distribution of
mackerel and were an important factor in the low catch.
The catch for the 1938 season was almost double that of 1937, but the
early season landings for 1939 sank to a lower level than those for the
corresponding period of 1937. Biological data show that the mack­
erel spawned in 1937, a group that was expected to contribute much
to the fishery, as 2-year-old fish were virtually unrepresented in 1939.
Because pound-net fishermen inshore were reported to be making good
catches, an investigation of the relation between the catch by seiners
offshore and that of the pound nets was begun early in the 1939 sea­

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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

son to determine to what extent changes in the offshore catch may
represent merely changes in the distribution of mackerel.
During the fiscal year 1938 a study was undertaken to determine
whether a decline in abundance of flounders is in progress in the
North Atlantic area. In order to interpret fluctuations in abundance,
it was necessary to develop techniques for determining age and growth,
the existence of separate races within the population, and the extent
of migrations.
Owing to the increased utilization of redfish, flounders, and other
species of groundfish in addition to haddock, an investigation of the
abundance of such fishes was begun during 1938. The central prob­
lem is to assess total catch, fishing effort, and abundance in order to
determine for each species whether it has already reached the point
where an increase in yield will give a larger production only with
detriment to future supplies.
As a result of cooperation between the Bureau of Fisheries and the
State of Maine, an investigation to test new methods of rearing
lobsters, to determine the relative effectiveness of artificial and natural
propagation, and to ascertain the condition of the lobster fishery on
the coast of Maine has been added to other scientific fishery investi­
gations being conducted in the New England area. The State has
constructed a lobster-rearing plant adjacent to the Bureau hatchery
at Boothbay Harbor, with facilities for carrying on experimental
work, and has assigned funds for the employment of a biologist.
Experiments with larval lobsters and tagging of adults were begun
during the spring of 1939.
M id d le an d S o u th A tla n tic fish ery in vestig a tio n s .—At the request
of the New York State Conservation Department, the Bureau par­
ticipated in a biological survey of the marine fisheries of Long Island,,
acting principally in an advisory capacity. The survey was under­
taken to provide a basis for improving or maintaining good fishing
wherever the supply is controllable and to determine by a census of
fishing activities the recreational and commercial value of the marine
district of Long Island. Definite recommendations for the conser­
vation of several species and for additional study have been included
in a report to be published by the State.
Evidence continued to accumulate which indicated an inadequate
spawning escapement as the principal cause of the decline in abun­
dance of shad along the Atlantic coast. Much of the field work of
this investigation has been directed toward comparison of the spawn­
ing escapement in the Hudson, where complete recovery of abundance
has occurred, with the escapement in other rivers which are still
severely depleted. The principal methods of study are tagging ex­
periments, designed to estimate fishing intensity from the percentage
of tags recovered, and studies of scales intended to estimate the per­
centage escapement from the percentage of scales bearing spawning
marks.
Prior to recommending measures to insure an adequate number
of spawners in the various coastal rivers, it was necessary to deter­
mine whether shad return to spawn in their native rivers or whether,
as many fishermen believe, there are extensive migrations. A direct
attack on this problem has been made by tagging. Results of tag­
ging experiments in North Carolina, the Chesapeake Bay, and the

BUREAU OF FISHERIES

155

Hudson indicate that the great majority of shad return to the same
river year after year. Additional data on this point are being
gathered by extensive analysis of the racial characteristics of shad
from the different rivers.
Because of the importance of reproduction in shad conservation a
careful ecological study of the early life history is being made in
southern rivers. In 1938 intensive work was done in the Edisto and
in 1939 these studies were extended to other rivers.
S h rim p in vestig ation s.— Studies of the shrimp fishery consisted of
several cruises to assess available supplies in the offshore waters of
the Gulf of Mexico, a continuation of tagging experiments to deter­
mine the seasonal migrations of shrimp along both the Atlantic and
Gulf coasts, and ecological studies of the relationship between en­
vironmental changes and the distribution of shrimp along the Texas
cbast.
As a result of a cruise of the P elica n along the Louisiana and
Texas coasts in January and February, the presence of shrimp off
the Louisiana coast in concentrations sufficient to warrant commercial
exploitation was confirmed. No large concentrations of commercial
shrimp were found off the Texas coast. In a later cruise a similar
lack of commercial shrimp was observed off the coasts of Alabama
and Florida between Mobile Bay and Apalachee Bay.
Tagging of shrimp on the Atlantic coast from Cape Canaveral to
St. Augustine, where the bulk of the South Atlantic coastal shrimp
congregate for the winter, gave evidence of a return movement at
least as far as 250 miles northward. Other tagging experiments
indicated that the small shrimp do not engage in coastwise migra­
tions as extensively as do the larger sizes.
In cooperation with the Texas Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission,
a program of hydrographic surveys and experimental trawling was
instituted in Aransas Bay to determine the extent to which hydrographic factors may control the distribution of shrimp and day-today fluctuations in the catch.
N o rth P acific an d A la sk a fish ery in vestig ation s.— Commercial fish­
ery investigations in northern Pacific waters form the basis of recom­
mendations for the management and conservation of the salmon
runs in the rivers of the Northwestern Coastal States. They are also
concerned with maintaining at a productive level the salmon and
herring fisheries of Alaska, over which the Federal Government has
regulatory power.
The activities of the Columbia Biver staff have centered about
the problem created by the erection of Grand Coulee Dam, blocking
that portion of the Columbia River salmon run that normally spawns
in tributaries of the upper Columbia. Salvage operations were begun
in 1939. The runs are being trapped at Rock Island Dam, 150 miles
downstream, and transferred in specially constructed trucks to tribu­
taries between Rock Island and Grand Coulee Dams. It is hoped
that the fish will spawn in these tributaries, and that their progeny
will later return to them. If the plan yields the anticipated results,
the entire run of upper Columbia fish will be transferred to tribu­
taries below Grand Coulee within a period of 5 years, or the life
cycle of a salmon.

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REPORT OE THE SECRETARY OE COMMERCE

At the beginning of the fiscal year 1939 Congress made funds
available to the Bureau of Fisheries for a large-scale study of the
factors that control the salmon populations of Bristol Bay in order
that a sound and comprehensive system of management might be
applied. With the cooperation of the Coast Guard, extensive hydrographic observations were conducted in the summers of 1938 and
1939. Biological observations were made also to discover the school­
ing habits of the fish far offshore, the abundance and distribution
of food animals, and the migratory habits of the salmon in approach­
ing the coast from these offshore feeding grounds. Correlated with
these oceanographic studies, investigations of the life cycle of the
salmon in the five major watersheds of this area are under way.
These include detailed population studies of the spawning runs, sur­
veys of spawning grounds, and measurement of the mortality of the
young in fresh water. This investigation is planned to cover a
5-year period, or the normal life cycle of the red salmon.
Studies of the returns to be expected from any given escapements
of spawning salmon were continued in the Karluk watershed. Fur­
ther evidence was secured that variations in the ratio of returns to
escapement are mainly due to conditions existing in the fresh-water
environment. To determine the role of the predatory Dolly Varden
trout in reducing the number of young red salmon, the migratory
habits and biological characteristics of the populations of trout have
been investigated through the tagging of large numbers of these fish.
In areas where the migration routes of salmon pass through com­
mercial fishing areas to a number of different streams, the 50-per­
cent escapement required by law cannot be assured unless the exact
routes of the salmon and their distribution on the spawning grounds
are determined. Tagging experiments were conducted during the
1938 and 1939 seasons to trace the migration routes of pink salmon
passing through Lower Chatham Strait. The two experiments will
provide information covering the routes of migration of both the oddand even-year pink salmon runs.
The usual population studies to determine the size of the pinksalmon runs and the proportion of males and females were conducted
at Little Port Walter. The construction of a permanent dam and
counting weir, which was in operation during the 1939 season, now
permits an accurate count of seaward-migrating young as well as
upstream migrants, so that the returns from a known number of
spawners may be determined with greater accuracy than heretofore.
Changes in the time of appearance of the pink salmon runs are being
closely analyzed so that any necessary curtailment of the fishery may
be effected in time to allow an adequate escapement to the spawning
grounds.
As an aid to rebuilding the runs of coho salmon in Puget Sound,
studies have been carried on over a period of years to determine the
age at which hatchery-reared fry may be released most advantage­
ously. A series of marking experiments for this purpose was con­
cluded in 1938. Biological studies of the size and age composition
of the population were made by taking samples of the commercial
catch and of the fish on the spawning grounds.
Studies of the age composition of the herring population of south­
eastern Alaska were responsible for demonstrating that this stock

BUREAU OR FISHERIES

157

has declined to a dangerously low level and that curtailment of fish­
ing is necessary. The decline has been caused by the virtual failure
of three successive broods, those of 1932, 1933, and 1934, combined
with excessive fishing. Closure of the Cape Ommaney area was rec­
ommended until the population shows definite signs of recovery.
The fishery of the Prince William Sound and Kodiak areas continued
at a high level of abundance, but since considerable expansion is con­
templated, a close watch must be maintained to avoid overexploitation.
Collection, tabulation, and analysis of the daily catch records from
the various types of fishing gear operated by the salmon fishing indus­
try in Alaska have been continued. Indexes of abundance derived
from these data are an important basis of recommendations for
changes in the fishing regulations.
( P ilch a rd in vestig a tio n s .—Although biologists of the Pacific Coast
States have already collected a considerable body of information bear­
ing on the migrations, spawning, and age and growth of the pilchard,
the basic problem remaining for solution is the determination of the
optimum level of catch below which the stock would go to waste
through underutilization, above which it would become reduced to
commercial unimportance through overexploitation. To provide a
basis for determining this level, the staff conducted studies dealing
with the determination of abundance, age, and reproductive success,
and with the importance of intermigration.
The use of aerial observers in gaging abundance was tested but
rejected as unsatisfactory. Changes in relative abundance are there­
fore being determined by statistical analysis of the commercial catch
records over a period of years.
To discover how much the stock is reduced by fishing it is neces­
sary to determine the ages of the fish making up the population each
year, thus learning the relative abundance of the individual broods
of previous years and how fast they are removed by fishing and by
natural mortality. Age determination is being attempted "by inter­
preting marks in scales and otoliths, by observing the growth of
young pilchards, and by identifying modes in frequency distribu­
tions of the adult population.
During the spring of 1939 several cruises were made in the spawn­
ing and nursery grounds, quantitative samples of the young pilchards
being taken. These cruises were made possible by the cooperation
of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which furnished the
vessel A. IF. S crip p s. When the surveys are completed, it is hoped
that light may be thrown on the distribution and abundance of eggs
and young, as well as on the effect of oceanic conditions on the
success of spawning.
To determine whether the pilchard stock in northern waters is
self-perpetuating or is maintained by migrations from other areas,
techniques are being developed for appraising the contributions from
various spawning areas through study of the sculpturing on the
scales. If the method proves valid, it will aid in determining how
much fishing in specific areas affects the stock in other areas.
G rea t L akes fish ery in vestig a tio n s .—A state of critical depletion
continues to exist among the more valuable commercial species of
the Great Lakes. The extent of this depletion is apparent from

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REPORT OP THE SECRETARY OP COMMERCE

comparisons of present-day production of certain species with yields
of earlier years. In Lake Michigan, for example, production of
wall-eyed pike, lake herring, lake trout, whitefish, and yellow perch
varies from 43 to 62 percent of normal. Production of Lake Supe­
rior whitefish is only 10 percent of normal. In Lake Huron produc­
tion of perch and chubs is 44 and 36 percent, respectively, of normal.
In Lake Erie production of nearly all important commercial species
is on the decline, and total production of Lake Ontario is only 10
percent of normal.
Members of the Great Lakes staff cooperated actively with State
and Federal officials and with sport and commercial fishermen, par­
ticipating in an advisory capacity in 19 meetings and conferences in
which Great Lakes fisheries problems were under consideration and
assisting State conservation officials in the drafting of fisheries
regulations.
At the request of the Office of Indian Affairs of the Department
of the Interior, a survey was made of the fisheries of Upper and
Lower Red Lakes in Minnesota to settle various controversies con­
cerning the regulation of the commercial gill-net fishery. Recom­
mendations for the management of the fishery are being submitted.
The report of the International Fact-Finding Commission on Lake
Champlain was largely completed. The report will contain a dis­
cussion of the fisheries controversies, a tabulation and analysis of all
available information concerning commercial fishing and angling,
descriptions of the natural history of the various species, a critical
historical review of the artificial propagation of wall-eyed pike and
yellow perch, and recommendations for the regulation of the com­
mercial and sport fisheries of the lake.
Age and growth studies of the whitefish of Lake Huron and Lake
Champlain were completed for publication, and life-history studies
of the yellow perch were continued.
AQTJICULTURAL INVESTIGATIONS

The work of the aquicultural investigations continued along three
principal lines : The development of means to obtain the maximum
production of food and game fishes consistent with environmental
conditions, the improvement of methods of artificially propagating
and rearing fish, and the control of fish parasites and diseases.
Investigations were conducted in trout waters to obtain definite
information on the annual drain to which the trout population is
subjected by anglers and the value of artificial stocking in maintain­
ing a stable fish population. Such studies were conducted through
the operation of test waters in Vermont; experimental stocking of
streams in the Pisgah National Forest where fishing is closely super­
vised and an accurate check on returns may be obtained; and the
operation of the Convict Creek experimental stream in California.
These studies have demonstrated that in some situations natural
propagation is superior to artificial in maintaining a stock of trout
under adverse conditions and have emphasized the necessity of reg­
ulating planting operations in accordance with the amount of nat­
ural food present in the streams.

BUREAU OE FISHERIES

159

Feeding- experiments with fingerling, yearling, and adult trout
were carried out at the Leetown, W. Va., and Pittsford, Vt., stations
to determine the effect on growth, mortality, and egg production of
dry meals fed at different levels and in different combinations. One
of the most striking results was the marked increase in growth fol­
lowing the addition of cod liver oil to a diet composed of sheep liver
and whitefish meal. Experiments with brood fish showed consider­
able variation in the hatchability of eggs from fish on different diets.
During the year a regional biologist was appointed to resume fish
management work in the Intermountain Region. In this area fishing
intensity is increasing rapidly and many of the streams are unable
to maintain a sufficient fish population to meet demands. In addition
to overfishing, adverse changes in the streams and lakes are im­
portant factors in. the general decline. Among such changes might
be cited silting resulting from overgrazing, hydroelectric and irriga­
tion projects that interfere with normal migrations, and fluctu­
ations of water level in artificial lakes. Management plans have
been worked out for several waters showing possibilities of early
improvement of fishery resources.
The staff of the California trout investigations has been engaged
in determining the number of salmon and the extent of spawning
streams that will be blocked by the completion of the Shasta Dam
on the Sacramento River. The estimates of the 1938 fall run com­
bined with the counts of the 1939 spring run fish indicate that ap­
proximately 25,000 salmon a year will ultimately have to be handled
in the salvage operations. Pending the completion of engineering
surveys to determine the feasibility of certain alternative features
of the plan, a tentative program has been drafted which calls for a
combination of artificial propagation and provision of areas for
natural spawning below the dam.
Field work in bass streams was designed to measure the extent
and efficiency of natural propagation and the effect of intensive
fishing on the bass population. An important result of these studies
was the finding that even in heavily fished waters there is little
danger of serious depletion of bass if adequate spawning facilities
are available. However, intensive fishing frequently leaves excessive
numbers of small bass, with consequent reduction in the abundance
of forage fishes. It is apparent that the remedy is to build up the
food supply and that stocking with young will only serve to intensify
the unbalanced condition. Programs for the effective management
of bass in ponds and lakes are being developed in Florida.
Facilities for the experimental study of fish diseases were greatly
increased during the year with the enlargement of the field labora­
tory at the Quilcene, Wash., hatchery, and the provision of a second
experimental laboratory through the cooperation of the University
of Washington. Studies of various disinfectants used in the pre­
vention and treatment of disease were continued to determine the
maximum nontoxic concentrations that the fish could withstand.
Studies of common bass parasites, believed to be an important factor
in the mortality pf the young, were carried on at Leetown, W. Ya.
The Disease Service continued to aid Federal, State, and private fishculturists in the diagnosis of hatchery disease.
192271— 39------13

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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

POLLUTION INVESTIGATIONS

Field and laboratory studies have been continued over a wide area
of the country for the purpose of analyzing stream and hatchery
waters from the standpoint of their suitability for various types of
fishes and of determining the harmful actions of specific pollutants.
Methods of determining the physiological condition of the fish them­
selves have been markedly improved.
Many of the findings of the past year are of considerable interest
and importance. For example, it has been found that arsenicals and
other materials commonly used as mosquito larvacides impair the
growth and nutrition of fishes even though used in very small quan­
tities, and may also build up serious hazards of lethal poisoning. It
has also been demonstrated that small quantities of many substances,
normally present or introduced into streams and lakes, may have a
cumulative effect over a period of time that is even more detrimental
to fish life than many more obvious pollutants. Certain minerals
found in small quantities in various western streams and several in­
organic salts that are common in southern and western waters exert
this type of cumulative action.
Problems arising from the concentration of minerals and other com­
pounds hazardous to fish and other aquatic life in impounded waters
have been investigated at Elephant Butte Reservoir, N. Mex., and
Lake Mead, Nev.
Acute pollution problems were investigated during the year in Flor­
ida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Minnesota, Idaho, Montana,
Oregon, and Mississippi. Specific types of industrial pollution
studied include that produced by paper mills,, phosphate mines, and
copper, lead, zinc, and placer gold mining operations.
CONSTRUCTION OF FISH-PROTECTIVE WORKS

A section on hydraulics has now been established under the super­
vision of the Division of Scientific Inquiry, with an experienced engi­
neer for the design of fish-protection facilities. During the year the
engineer assisted in designing and supervising the installation of fish
screens being constructed with the aid of P. W. A. and W. P. A. funds
on certain Federal power and irrigation projects in the Northwest.
Important consulting services on screens and ladders were also
afforded to other agencies.
SHF.LI.FISH INVESTIGATIONS

Scientific investigations have been directed toward increasing the
cultivation of oysters, improving the quality of oyster meat, and
standardizing the raw and canned product.
In the Long Island Sound area, where the collection of a good crop
of seed oysters is of paramount importance to the industry, regular
bulletins were issued during both the 1938 and 1939 seasons advising
oystermen when spawning and setting might be expected. To aid in
protecting valuable beds from starfish, surveys of the distribution of
this oyster enemy were made and the results communicated to oystermen, permitting more efficient eradication.

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161

On the south Atlantic coast, although generally favorable condi­
tions for growth are found, some beds are badly overcrowded. Ex­
periments are being conducted to develop a method of protecting seed
oysters from the attachment of larval oysters, barnacles, etc., so that
they may be grown to marketable size as single individuals of good
quality.
Experimental oyster beds have also been established in South Caro­
lina to develop methods of cultivation suitable for small oyster farms,
from 2 to 10 acres in extent, to be leased and operated by the tide­
water residents. The program differs from previous experiments in
presupposing that capital requirements will be at a minimum and
that materials, equipment, and supplies will be obtained or produced
by the labor of the oyster farmer himself.
At the Pensacola, Fla., laboratory an experimental oyster farm is
being established to determine rates of growth and fattening, pro­
ductivity annually per unit of bottom, and costs of production. The
results will be compared with those or similar projects conducted on
the Atlantic coast. A program of oyster planting and of rehabilita­
tion of exhausted natural beds is also being conducted from this
laboratory.
Investigations carried out at the Yorktown laboratory demon­
strated that pollution of the river by pulp-mill wastes has brought
the decline of the oyster fisheries. During the past year intensive
chemical studies were carried on for the purpose of determining the
particular chemical or chemicals in the pulp-mill effluents which are
responsible for the altered physiology of oysters. An attempt will
then be made to find a means of eliminating the harmful substances.
Studies of the physiology of the oyster carried out at Woods Hole,
Mass., included investigations of the phenomenon of sex reversal in
adult oysters, experiments on the time of survival of eggs and sperm,
and a study of respiration in relation to the carbohydrate metabolism
of the oyster and the accumulation of elements which are important
food constituents of oyster meat.
LAW ENEOKCEMENT DIVISION

The act of July 2, 1931, the Federal Black Bass Law regulatinginterstate commerce in black bass, is administered by this Division;
also certain parts of the Whaling Treaty Act of May 1, 1936, giving
effect to the various international treaties for the protection of
whales. The Division also maintains an angler’s service, and issues
permits to take bait fish in the District of Columbia.
T he F ed era l black bass la w .—The personnel and methods of en­
forcement remain the same as last year. Owing to insufficient per­
sonnel, no particular effort has been made to carry on the work west
of the Rocky Mountains, where salmon and trout predominate. Re­
ports of illegal interstate shipments of black bass have been investi­
gated, producing evidence of violations of both State and Federal
laws. A number of these cases have been turned over to the States
for prosecution in State courts, as such action generally produces
quick and effective results. Two cases of illegal interstate shipments
of black bass by trucks were successfully prosecuted during the year,
a fine of $100 and 1 day in the custody of the IT. S. Marshal being

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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

assessed in eacli case. Tlie defendant in one of these cases lemained
in jail approximately 3 months previous to trial, being unable to
furnish the required bond.
Improvements in State laws protecting black bass have been con­
tinued in accordance with the Bureau’s recommendations for ade­
quate protection. Thirty-nine States now prohibit the sale of black
bass at all times, regardless of where taken, and all but four States
provide a closed season on these game fish during at least a part of
the spawning period. The States have cooperated 100 percent in
carrying on this branch of the work. A summary of the game-fish
laws for 1937-38, with special reference to black bass, was prepared
and published, also several leaflets on subjects pertaining to angling.
‘W h alin g .—The total number of licenses issued for taking whales
was 15—covering 3 shore stations and 12 catcher or killer boats. The
total revenue received for these licenses was $4,750 which was covered
into the United States Treasury.
The Division prepared, in accordance with the terms of the Whal­
ing Convention of September 24,1931, two statistical reports covering
the number of whales captured, species, size, etc., and has made bio­
logical studies of the samples of stomach contents taken from whales
captured by United States vessels. It has completed two biological
reports which, together with the two statistical reports, were for­
warded to the International Bureau of Whaling Statistics, Sandefjord, Norway, as required under the convention.
A n g lin g . —Bequests for information on how, when, and where to
fish with rod and line have increased during the fiscal year. Thirtynine permits, required by act of Congress, to take certain small bait
fish in the District of Columbia were issued.
VESSELS

Fifteen vessels of the Alaska service cruised approximately 107,000
nautical miles in the fiscal year 1939, as compared with 117,000 miles
in the previous year. The P en g u in covered about 30,000 miles, the
T ea l 11,000 miles, and the C rane 9,000 miles. Owing to the accidental
grounding of the B ra n t on Williams Beef on July 15, that vessel
was out of commission during a considerable part of the season, and
its total mileage in the fiscal year was only about 8,000 miles.
The P en g u in made five round trips between Seattle and the Pribilof Islands, carrying personnel and emergency supplies. Interisland
service also was performed, and native workmen from the Alaska
Peninsula were transported to the Pribilofs to assist with sealing
activities. Two trips were made to the western Aleutians in con­
nection with sea-otter investigations and patrol.
The A u k let. K ittiw a k e , M erganser , M u rre , and W id g eo n were en­
gaged in fishery protective work in southeast Alaska. The E id e r op­
erated in the Kodiak area, the Ib is at Chignik, the R ed W in g in the
Alaska Peninsula area, and the C oot on the Yukon Biver. The B lu e
W in g was on Prince William Sound and also assisted in the patrol
of southeast Alaska.
The T eal operated on Cook Inlet, carried on the stream survey in
the Prince William Sound area, and assisted in the stream survey
and general patrol in southeast Alaska. The C rane transported per-

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163

sonnel and supplies between Seattle and Bristol Bay and patrolled
the Alaska Peninsula area. The S co ter was used on Bristol Bay and
relieved the C rane in the Alaska Peninsula area for about 10 days.
The B ra n t was used in general supervisory work, chiefly in south­
east Alaska, although a trip was made westward as far as Anchorage.
In December this vessel transported employees of the Bureau be­
tween Seattle and points in southeast Alaska for the conduct of hear­
ings on the Alaska fishery regulations. The B ra n t was based at
Juneau for approximately 3 months at the beginning of the year to
render service in connection with the biennial session of the Terri­
torial Legislature.
The S co ter engaged in the fur-seal patrol in the vicinity of Neali
Bay, Wash., in the spring of 1939.
The P elica n was engaged in exploratory trawling to determine the
abundance and distribution of shrimp in the offshore waters of the
Gulf of Mexico.
APPROPRIATIONS

Appropriations for the Bureau for the fiscal year aggregated
$2,220,200, as follows:
Salaries, Bureau of Fisheries____________________________________
Propagation of food fishes______________________________________
Construction of fish screens__ :___________________________________
Maintenance of vessels__________________________________________
Inquiry respecting food fishes___________________________________
Fishery industries______________________________________________
Fishery market news service____________________________________
Alaska fisheries service_________________________________________
Enforcement of Black Bass and Whaling Treaty Acts_____________
Mississippi Wild Life and Fish Refuge___________________________
Fish cultural station____________________________________________
Travel expense__________________________________

$150, 000
962,000
20, 000
173, 000
338, 000
83, 600
70, 000
270, 000
17, 000
17, 900
6, 500
112, 200
$2 , 220, 200

o