Prior to the 1880s "business" in Los Angeles had been confined primarily to 

activities necessary to service the agricultural hinterland, which included 

most of the land within the town's boundaries as well as large portions of the 

county.  This was true both in the Spanish-Mexican era and after the United 

States acquired California.  Prior to the Mexican War several Americans and 

other foreigners had opened businesses in the pueblo, which became the economic 

hub of Southern California.  Transfer of the province to the United States did 

not alter Los Angeles' role as an agricultural service center. 

    While saloons led the list of business establishments in the first decades 

after American acquisition, J. Albert Wilson's compilation of prominent 

Angelenos and their professions in his History of Los Angeles County revealed 

that non-farming occupations had broadened considerably by 1880.  Wilson's list 

included attorney, banker, dentist, druggist, government official, grocer, 

innkeeper, journalist, livery operator, lumber dealer, merchant - either 

hardware or dry goods, physician and railway official.  Perhaps foreshadowing a 

later generation, he also included three "capitalists."  While Wilson's summary 

is glaringly incomplete in that he omitted some of the most prominent 

businessmen in town, it offers a better review of economic activity in the city 

than does the 1880 census compendium.

                               A) MANUFACTURING

    Noticeably few in number were those entrepreneurs whom Wilson categorized 

as "manufacturers."   One made wine and brandy; another manufactured windmills 

and pumps.  He also found a brick maker and a woolen factory operator.  The 

eight carriage and car builders comprised the largest single group among the 

leading citizens who conceivably could have been called "manufacturers." 

    The shallowness of the industrial segment of the city's economy is further 

evidenced by Wilson's brief chapter on manufactures.  As of 1880 the city had 

one soap factory; one large carriage and wagon factory, owned by L. 

Lichtenberger, that had been in operation since 1864, producing up to 300 

vehicles a year; seven smaller carriage/wagon producers; one large brick 

manufacturer; three breweries; a single woolen mill; pork packing; artificial 

stone; two broom factories; a beet-sugar factory; gas manufactory; and a fruit 

drying works.

    Wilson also listed several other short-lived efforts that had produced 

manufactured goods in Los Angeles: a match company, paper pulp factory {that 

made paper out of cactus pulp!}; castor-bean mill to press oil; tannery, 

cannery and a plant to process whales.  All soon closed.

    Wilson's chapter began with the notation that "manufactures have not been 

very numerous in the county."  That was a concern of Times editor Samuel 

Mathes, who tried to stimulate an interest in manufacturing during his brief 

term at the paper, and of numerous letter writers throughout the decade, who 

also suggested ways to promote manufacturing.  When Mathes initiated the 

discussion on manufacturing and urged formation of an organization to promote 

it in Mar., 1882, no formal business federation existed in the city.  An early 

Chamber of Commerce, also called the Board of Trade, had survived only a few 

years after its founding in 1873 and was defunct when "G. T. H." and "E." wrote 

their letters in support of Mathes' crusade.

                         {Times, Mar. 22, 1882, p. 3}

                             MANUFACTURES NEEDED.

            A Correspondent Encourages the Formation of a Society.

              Ed. Times:--Referring to your article on manufactures in 

         a recent issue, I wish to say I most heartily concur in the 

         sentiment expressed therein, that "manufactures constitute 

         the best possible balance wheel in such emergencies."  Yes, 

         you may have added not only in a time of depression in trade, 

         but at all times--when the country is prosperous from other 

         resources manufacturing imparts a vital force that adds very 

         materially to the prosperous condition of any community.  I 

         think it a good suggestion that a society be formed in this 

         growing city to promote all manufacturing industries--we all 

         know what manufacturing has done for the rich and populous 

         cities of the east, and there is no reason why the same may 

         not be done in many of the cities on this coast, particularly 

         is this the case of Los Angeles.  I do not see how the monied 

         men of this city can remain inactive in this matter without 

         hindering their best interests.  Now is the time to move in 

         such matters, and I am glad you are to act in the 


                                                G. T. H.

                         {Times, Mar. 24, 1882, p. 2}

                          Promotion of Manufactures.

              I have been much interested in reading the articles in 

         the Times on the establishment of manufactures, and on the 

         promotion and fostering of such interests by establishing a 

         society for that purpose, and I deem it proper that I, in 

         common with all others who feel an interest in this city of 

         our adoption, should express our views upon the subject, to 

         the end that the society referred to may be established.  

         Your call for a meeting of all interested is a good move in 

         the right direction, and in my opinion is made none too soon.  

         Let us by all means have the meeting, and let all who attend 

         do so with the object in view of doing something.  Let us 

         incorporate with the power to buy and sell, and acquire 

         property, build and manage manufactures, railroads, etc., so 

         that parties from abroad can obtain their mill-sites, 

         franchises, etc., through our society, that it may not be in 

         the power of private holders of valuable sites to drive away 

         would-be manufacturers by charging them exhorbitant prices 

         for a location.  It is safe to say that there has been more 

         manufacturing enterprises started in this city in the last 

         sixty days than ever before in a year's time.  "And still 

         they come."  What an immense amount of benefit the proposed 

         society could have been to these late acquisitions to our 

         public weal.  In a word, "they help us, therefore, let us 

         help them."


    A year passed before the businessmen of Los Angeles were ready to 

revitalize the Board of Trade.  John Mills Davies, a reporter for the Times, 

served as secretary at the Mar., 1883, organizational meeting and, upon 

incorporation, became the organization's first executive secretary.  His letter 

to the Times, published over the signature of "J. M. D." a few days after that 

meeting, indicated that Davies saw the function of the Board in much the same 

light that "G. T. H." and "E" had suggested, with an aggressive advertising 

campaign across the country to lure manufacturers to the city.  Davies' 

proposal reads like a late 20th century argument for a Community Redevelopment 

Agency.  A pamphlet similar to the one suggested here by Davies had been 

published by the earlier trade organization in the mid-1870s and drew lavish 

praise from Harris Newmark.

                         {Times, Mar. 24, 1883, p. 4}

                         WORK FOR THE BOARD OF TRADE.
                The Promotion of Our Manufacturing Industries.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  The organization of a 

         Board of Trade composed of the most experienced, intelligent 

         and substantial business men of Los Angeles, marks a new era 

         in the history of this rapidly growing young metropolis.  It 

         is gratifying to note the universal good will of citizens 

         generally toward it, and they concede with one accord that it 

         will undoubtedly become a potent factor in the development of 

         the city and county of Los Angeles.

              In order to attain the best results, however, the work 

         must be systematized and placed in charge of at least half a 

         dozen different committees; then we can expect an active, 

         vigilant organization, persistently working to promote the 

         best interests of the community--in short, the leading 

         influence in the city and county.  There is a vast amount of 

         work to be done which has heretofore been sadly neglected, 

         and pre-eminently that of inaugurating new and fostering 


                           MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES.

              It is now universally conceded that the permanent growth 

         and prosperity of any community, however favorably located 

         geographically and otherwise, it may be, depends mainly on 

         the extent and prosperity of its manufacturing interests.  

         Los Angeles has enjoyed an unprecedented boom for the past 

         two years; building operations have been more active than 

         ever before; real estate has advanced, on an average, from 50 

         to 75 per cent. during the above time; the population of the 

         city and county has nearly doubled, and the city is rapidly 

         expanding into its destined position as the second city in 

         the State.

              The growth of our manufacturing interests, however, has 

         not kept pace with our development in other respects.  Hence 

         many clear-headed, practical citizens entertain grave doubts 

         regarding the permanency of our present prosperity, believing 

         that the serious decline in our vast produce trade with 

         Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, which a possible dry year may 

         entail, will cause a sudden collapse in every department of 

         business, especially in building operations and real estate 

         transactions, and a consequent serious falling off in the 

         number of new settlers.

              The question arises, is it possible to introduce a new 

         factor in the development of our vast and varied resources 

         which will set as a balance wheel to tide over the temporary 

         depressions that may occur from time to time, thus insuring a 

         steady condition of prosperity?  Yes, most assuredly, and 

         that balance wheel is manufactures.

              The long list of raw materials throughout the country 

         tributary to Los Angeles, now comparatively valueless, which 

         could by means of manufacturing enterprises be rendered 

         commercially valuable, is too universally known to need 

         mention in detail, and with the recently invented appliances 

         for utilizing crude petroleum as fuel (of which Los Angeles 

         and Ventura counties have an inexhaustible supply) the oft-

         quoted argument of no fuel cannot be advanced any longer.  

         Two or three large manufacturing establishments in this city 

         now use crude petroleum as fuel at a saving of about one-

         third as compared with coal.  By means of flumes conveying 

         water from the Los Angeles river, a few miles above the city, 

         a water-power could thus be developed sufficient in magnitude 

         to operate scores of manufacturing industries, and without in 

         the least reducing the volume of water needed for irrigating 

         purposes.  These are questions which vitally concern the 

         interests of the community and should command the prompt and 

         serious consideration of our Board of Trade.

              The low rate of interest at which money is now 

         obtainable constitutes another important argument in favor of 

         establishing manufacturing enterprises, and with the 

         admirable position of Los Angeles as the natural distributing 

         center for the new southwestern country, including Northern 

         Mexico, now being gridironed with railroads, a remunerative 

         market is assured beyond all reasonable doubt.

              Our merchants should also bear in mind that the extent 

         of territory which can be rendered tributary to the commerce 

         of Los Angeles depends upon their ability to furnish goods at 

         lower prices than Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, and other 

         Eastern cities, hence the importance of building up home 


              The Board of Trade can accomplish incalculable good by 

         appointing a

                          COMMITTEE ON MANUFACTURES,

         whose duty it shall be to ascertain what manufactures are now 

         in operation--the lines represented--the number of persons 

         employed--and the amount of capital invested; then ascertain 

         what new enterprises can be safely inaugurated, with data 

         showing the reason therefor, the extent of market which the 

         proposed new industries could command, the profits that could 

         with proper management be reasonably expected, the fuel 

         facilities, with suggestions as to possible improvements in 

         that respect, the advantages of soil and climate, and any 

         other practical statistics bearing on the subject of 


              The next step should be the publication of a few 

         thousand circulars to be distributed judiciously throughout 

         the country, conveying full information as suggested, 

         regarding the advantages of Los Angeles as a manufacturing 


              The Board of Trade as a body could supplement the good 

         work by means of petitions to the railroad companies for 

         reductions in freights on certain lines of manufactured 

         goods; also secure concessions from the city in the remitting 

         of taxes, and when advisable secure bonuses for important 

         manufacturing enterprises which could thereby be induced to 

         locate here.

              Another important factor in the upbuilding of our 

         manufacturing industries, whether new or old, is the 

         disposition to give the home-manufactured article the 

         preference whenever possible.  These suggestions are 

         respectfully submitted to the Board of Trade.

                                          J. M. D.

    The pamphlet Davies had suggested was published, but it drew negative 

reviews both from editor Otis, a strong supporter of Davies' intent but a 

severe critic of an ineffectual pamphlet, and from "M."  Otis dismissed the 

publication, Los Angeles City and County: Resources, Climate, Progress, and 

Outlook, as "cheap and trifling in appearance, without a speck of style about 

it."  As to its content, "the work cannot stand comparison for an instant with 

publications of the same character sent out by other California cities."  He 

urged Davies, "the compiler and father of this abortion of a pamphlet," to 

correct the many factual errors found throughout the publication.  The few 

remaining copies of the 1883 edition contain no errata slips.  Revised editions 

were printed in subsequent years.

                         {Times, July 18, 1883, p. 4}
                 That Incorrect and Misleading Pamphlet.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Your criticisms on the 

         Board of Trade pamphlet are none too severe.

              A more illogical and incorrect compilation of hog-wash 

         never before appeared in print about Los Angeles, and your 

         suggestion that its brilliant author ought to "rustle around 

         and have some errata slips printed and pasted in," does not 

         meet the case--the publication ought to be absolutely 

         suppressed!  Take one or two more samples in addition to what 

         you have given:

              On page 20--"For Los Angeles and the five ADJOINING 

         counties," etc., he includes Tulare! Fresno! and Merced!! 

         neither of which "adjoins" Los Angeles.  Again: on page 17, 

         this ass-toot author says: "Five lines of railroad radiate 

         from Los Angeles city," giving names and direction to each, 

         including  "one southeast, thirty miles to Orange!"  This 

         will be news to Orange, as well as to the people hereabouts, 

         and those of Santa Ana, who are not mentioned in any manner, 

         though enjoying railroad privileges for a long time, and 

         being one of the most enterprising and prosperous towns in 

         the county.  Let it be suppressed as incorrect and 




    Los Angeles enjoyed a modest boom in the early 1880s, but would it 

continue?  "Re Vera" thought it could but might not, and suggested to Angelenos 

how they might avoid the recurrence of the depressed conditions of the late 


                          {Times, Aug. 8, 1883, p. 3}

                           Shall Our Boom Continue?

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  To the above 

         inquiry--We say, Yes! if we so will it, and act, as well as 


              Let us only imagine.  What are all those hundreds of 

         mechanics, who are now building up houses in all parts of our 

         city going to do when the building boom checks up a little?  

         which it will do most assuredly at some future time.

              We answer, make Los Angeles a manufacturing town and she 

         will soon become a great city.  Put our surplus capital into 


              Who can compute the amount that is yearly paid out, and 

         sent out of our State, for farming implements alone?  Let us 

         look for a moment at the one article of carriages.   Why is 

         it that this article cannot be made here nearly as cheaply as 

         in the east?

              Most certainly the freight would be less on raw 

         material, than on the manufactured goods--which we think 

         would counteract the difference in labor.  But our carriage 

         makers say--The eastern carriage is a "Cheap John" affair.  

         We admit all that, and yet they seem to find ready sale, as 

         all will admit.  Also, we see they seem to give pretty fair 

         satisfaction to both the consumer and maker.  Why force a 

         better article on a man than he is willing to pay for?  Why 

         not keep two qualities--first and second rate--and sell them 

         as such?  If a man is bound to buy a cheap article, make it 

         for him.  Don't force him to go two or three thousand miles 

         away from home to buy it.  We believe the Eastern carriage 

         can, very nearly, be duplicated in this city at Eastern 

         prices, plus the freight, by using the same material, the 

         same quality of workmanship and the same advantages taken in 

         the manufacturing as is taken in the East, by having ample 

         capital, etc.  We all very well know the fools are not all 

         dead yet, as some will buy Eastern work at the same price as 

         they would pay for the same article made by their own 

         neighbors--yes, in some cases 25 per cent more.  But, we are 

         glad to say, such consummate asses are scarce.  There is some 

         little excuse for a poor devil who has only got $100 to spare 

         for a buggy, for preferring an Eastern-made vehicle to ride 

         in to that of footing it or of staying at home.  But there is 

         no earthly excuse for that same unfortunate "lean-pocketed" 

         mortal in buying an Eastern vehicle, when he can do as well 

         at his own door and thus patronize home industry and home 

         people.  Unless our mechanics are set at work in large 

         manufactories, we will, in the near future, have them howling 

         around our ears and cursing the country because they cannot 

         get work.  Capital thus expended will pay, in our opinion, 

         better than in tenement houses; as rents may not always keep 

         as now, especially if our mechanics have to leave for want of 


              Now we believe our people are somewhat at fault in this 

         matter.  When the masses show a disposition to patronize home 

         manufactures we believe our capitalists will come up to the 

         work promptly and invest their means in that direction, and 

         not till then.  So we see, we all have something to do in 

         this matter.

              Let us, then, make a strong pull, a long pull, and a 

         pull altogether--"Home-made  implements" our motto, and Los 

         Angeles will become a manufacturing city in the best climate 

         God ever made, and in the near future the capital of glorious 

         Southern California.

                                                    Re Vera.

    In a lengthy letter that will remind readers of a time when eastern 

manufactured goods sold in California carried a disclaimer "Slightly higher 

west of the Rockies," an official at the Hutton Bros. commission house, a major 

shipper of Southern California's agricultural produce, alerted Angelenos to 

discriminatory freight rates that priced local products out of other markets.  

At the same time, the writer joined the growing chorus calling for increased 

local manufacturing, although one might speculate that Hutton's interest was 

primarily in finding new commodities to ship from the city.  Las Vegas, New 

Mexico, was a major center for the Santa Fe Railroad.

                          {Times, Aug. 2, 1883, p. 3}

          California Producers in the Toils with Eastern Competition.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  When, through the 

         Times of Tuesday, we spoke of the fact of our Los Angeles 

         producers of potatoes being prevented, by Kansas competition, 

         from selling to advantage in the markets of New Mexico and 

         Colorado, we were fully aware of the truth of our assertion, 

         and, instead of endeavoring to injure our farmers on the 

         potato question, we were simply giving a reason for a cause.  

         Now, the writer of this knows exactly what he is talking 

         about when he declares that California cannot hope to compete 

         successfully with Kansas, so long as the present monopoly and 

         discriminating freight rates remain the programme of the A. 

         T. & S. F. Railroad Company.  The potatoes of this section 

         are admitted to be the finest in quality that enter New 

         Mexico or Colorado.  Of that there can be no dispute, but, 

         since it is a fact that the Southern Pacific charge 60 cents 

         per 100 pounds to Deming, a distance of 716 miles, the A. T. 

         & S. F. charge $1.25 from Deming to Las Vegas, only 363 

         miles.  Now the distance from Kansas City to Las Vegas is 786 

         miles, with a freight rate of 90 cents per 100 pounds; but, 

         if you take Dodge City, which is the Kansas central shipping 

         point, the freight is proportionately lower, Dodge City being 

         117 miles from Las Vegas; and this enormous disparity of 

         figures, of course, is accounted for by the fact that the A. 

         T. & S. F. R. R. is actually entirely controlled by Boston 

         and other eastern capitalists, who are to a man manufacturers 

         of all kinds of articles which float this market, and all the 

         outlying districts between this coast and the range of the 

         Mississippi river.  And as Colorado is the natural 

         continental water divide, so is it made the objective point 

         to stem the tide of Californian produce, and we cannot shut 

         our eyes to these stubborn facts.  Although Californian 

         potatoes are of more intrinsic value, as per quality, than 

         the watery, waxy potatoes of Kansas, or even the enormous 

         quantities grown in the Stonewall valley underlying the 

         Sangre de Christo range, it is not quality, but quantity, 

         unfortunately, that succeeds in realizing the largest 

         profits.  In these outlying districts a potato, on the 

         boarding-house tables, regardless of its quality, is still a 

         potato, and pays the boarding-house keeper better.

              Las Vegas, for all New Mexico, Southern Colorado, and 

         the Panhandle of Texas, is an objective shipping point for 

         all produce, and consequently it is held by the A. T. & S. F. 

         R. R. Co. for the sole benefit of her stockholders.

              And now comes the severe part of the lesson, which must 

         be learnt by the people of this coast.  San Francisco has 

         foolishly ignored it; it remains to be seen whether Los 

         Angeles will continue so to do--whether she will continue, as 

         at present, to ship all her raw produce, in the shape of 

         hides, skins, wool &c., to Boston and Buffalo, to be made 

         into shoes and clothing and reshipped here with an enormous 

         double rate of freight attached; and the worst part is, that 

         the profits are returned there, and form the eastern floating 

         capital stock, which is the life's blood in a common weal.  

         Without it, the prosperity of our commercial enterprises do 

         materially depreciate.

              The fuel problem is solved, there can now be no excuse.  

         We have fuel in abundance in the shape of oil for generating 

         motive power, and the overcrowded population of our 

         manufacturing eastern cities are longing for an opportunity 

         to throw their surplus labor into a market that should 

         commence right here at Los Angeles.

              Bear in mind, these railway freight monopoly companies 

         do employ all the agencies in their power, (including the 

         majority of the newspaper editors of the Western and interior 

         districts, which their lines traverse, whose eyes are filled 

         with the "dust" of patronage, in the shape of a sly "tip," or 

         a railway "pass") to discountenance and discourage as much as 

         possible any attempt to manufacture or produce anything which 

         may or does affect eastern competition.

              These are matters which our Board of Trade will do well 

         to study, and as much as possible prevent, in whatever shape 

         it may be found, either in monopoly or unfair discrimination, 

         and on the other hand increase and foster every desire and 

         determination apparent amongst the people to manufacture.  We 

         have a home market which eastern cities have not; they are 

         materially depending upon us.

              The Herald may strain at a gnat of advice--perhaps it 

         will more willingly swallow a camel of facts.

                                         HUTTON BROS.

    Seeking yet another argument to convince Southern Californians that 

manufacturing was essential to the economic health of the southland, "Re Vera" 

compared the sale of eastern goods in California to the damage that a great 

many Angelenos thought Chinese labor had caused.  The anti-Chinese movement was 

at a fever pitch in 1883 when "Re Vera" sent this letter to the Times.  The 

concluding paragraph, regarding taxes, reflected the view held by Davies and 

others who urged incentives for manufacturers as a means to entice 

industrialists into the city.

                         {Times, Aug. 14, 1883, p. 3}

                       Stubborn Facts--A Word for John.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  We are told that the 

         Chinese are the greatest scourge of our country.  Let us see 

         about that:  John comes to our country, without money, and 

         quickly goes to work.  He invests nothing in land, but rents.  

         He is generally a peaceable, industrious specimen of flesh 

         and blood, if not a citizen.  What money he gets he literally 

         digs out of the soil.  He earns his money by hard labor; and 

         when any man does that, he can't be said to be a very bad 

         man.  He commits a great crime by living on what would starve 

         an American.  He will take small wages if he can't get more.  

         He is sharp enough to get all he is worth, however, as a 

         rule.  He comes in direct contact with common laborers, and 

         is charged with bringing down wages.  This is better than 

         hanging around some grogshop, or third-class boarding house, 

         waiting for an easy job with big money.  His great offence, 

         however, is that he sends away some of his hard earnings to 

         that heathenish native country of his--impoverishes the 

         country.  Poor John!  As he is the only one in the country 

         who sends money away, he ought to go!  Well, perhaps and 

         perhaps not.  But this is not our purpose to discuss John.

              Now, there are certain articles necessary to our comfort 

         and convenience here in this lovely country which we cannot, 

         ourselves, manufacture.  These articles (which are very 

         numerous) we must necessarily send away our money to 

         purchase.  But those articles which we can manufacture here 

         successfully should all be made here, and every good and 

         sensible citizen will purchase and use such articles, in all 

         cases where possible, as are made here.  Who else, besides 

         John, sends away money?  How about our agricultural 

         merchants?  How much annually do they send away?  O! no! not 

         much, only about nine-tenths of all their cash receipts.  He 

         comes here, like John, with but little actual cash.  His 

         money is all invested in cheap implements.  He pays some to 

         the railroad monopoly for freight and a little rent and clerk 

         hire, and grub for family, &c.; the balance goes back to pay 

         Eastern mechanics.  He is flooding the country with cheap 

         stuff in direct opposition to the interests of our best 

         population--the mechanics.  He, like John, invests no money 

         in lands, as a rule.  He, like John, comes in direct contact, 

         not with the common laborer, but with the mechanic.  He, not 

         like John, does not dig his money our of our soil, but 

         chooses to let the rancher do that, and he sells him a cheap 

         bed, and makes his profit and sends the proceeds East by 

         return mail to buy more stuff of the same kind.  If he does 

         not bring down wages in the same way that John does, he does 

         worse.  He floods the country with stuff that should be made 

         here, and thus he gives labor to the Eastern mechanics and 

         takes the bread and butter out of the mouths of our own 


              Who will tell us how many mechanics might be given 

         steady employment in manufacturing the agricultural 

         implements that are sold here annually?  No!  John is not the 

         worst man in the country.  Not half so bad as he who presists 

         in buying Eastern-made goods to the exclusion of our own.

                              NOW ABOUT THE TAX.

              No sane man will deny the fact that the future 

         prosperity of our country greatly depends upon the amount of 

         manufacturing done here.  This proposition certainly needs  

         no proof.  Then, is it not suicidal in the extreme to put any 

         tax on this home industry?  This tax seems to us "Penny wise 

         and pound foolish."  There ought to be a large premium 

         offered to the largest manufacturer in the county, instead of 

         this tax, and impose a heavy tax on sales of imported goods.  

         Any man who would suggest the taxing of manufacturing 

         enterprise in our county we should say was either a fool or 

         an enemy to the country.  This is a serious matter, and 

         unless this wrong is righted, the country will be the loser.

                                             RE VERA.

    As the decade progressed and business was further stimulated by the opening 

of additional rail routes into the Los Angeles area, it became apparent that 

discriminatory freight rates and eastern competition were not the only problems 

facing the city's fledgling manufacturers.  The problem was compounded, "A 

Manufacturer" suggested, by other local economic interests, including some 

manufacturers already in business.

                         {Times, July 28, 1885, p. 3}

                       We Must Have More Manufacturers.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  This is an almost 

         daily topic, both with the press and people.  What 

         inducements are there for capitalists to invest their money 

         in manufacturing?  Last fall there was a "combination" of the 

         sash, door and blind dealers and manufacturers, the instant 

         effect of which was to rob the people of from 25 to 33 per 

         cent. additional to the already extortionate prices.  Now 

         where is the inducement to capitalists to come here and build 

         industries and give our idle hands the much-needed work?  It 

         is about time for our people to look at more vital issues at 

         home, and rise in their might and crush out all combinations, 

         such as the above, that curse our fair city.  We should be 

         willing to grant licenses for a term of years to all 

         manufacturing enterprises, free of all taxes.  Put down these 

         rings, and then something might be done, while now it is a 

         notorious fact that merchandise and stocks of goods of all 

         kinds are assessed at about their full value, while real 

         estate is assessed at one-third or less of the actual value.  

         Let all property, both real and personal, be placed on the 

         same basis, with no partiality to ringsters or tricksters.  

         Our reputation as a city of extortionate charges is becoming 

         too well known and is having its effect.  It then behooves us 

         all, and particularly our guardians, the press, to battle 

         with all monopolies and "combinations" until strangers can 

         feel that they dare engage in business enterprise without 

         being imposed upon.  This feeling is widespread and deep, if 

         not loud.  Truly yours,

                                           A MANUFACTURER.

    While the Times continued to press for development of manufacturing in 

Southern California, one reader thought the efforts of the existing business 

organization, the Board of Trade, insufficient to overcome the difficulties 

hindering industrialization and offered a suggestion that editor Otis would, in 

the mid 1890s, act upon.  The city's Manufacturers Association would be 

organized in 1895, merging the next year with a companion Merchants Association 

to become the powerful, Otis-led Merchants and Manufacturers Association, a 

major force in the coming battle with organized labor.

                         {Times, June 15, 1888, p. 6}

                            Stimulate Manufactures.

              Los Angeles, June 8.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Your recent prediction that we are on the eve of a 

         manufacturing boom every loyal citizen hopes to see realized 

         in the near future.  Would it not be well to go about this 

         matter systematically?  Say, to organize a manufacturers' 

         exchange, through which those now most actively engaged in 

         such enterprises can make their influence most effective in 

         working up new enterprises, or expanding present industries, 

         to the great advantage of both labor and capital now seeking 

         opportunity.  I find upon inquiry, there are many skilled 

         mechanics here unemployed.  Again, there are many enterprises 

         just starting here that are greatly cramped for means to 

         expand their facilities for manufacturing according to 

         demand.  At the same time, capital is vainly seeking 

         profitable employment, and even leaving this city under the 

         erroneous impression that desirable opportunities here are 

         not now offering.  Is not this a strange state of affairs, 

         and does it not point to defective organization?  At any 

         rate, is it not worth an organized, systematic effort to find 

         out where the difficulty is, and remedy it if possible?


    While the content of these letters would lead the reader to assume that 

most were written by businessmen, though not necessarily by manufacturers, the 

authors acknowledged the importance to the economy of workingmen - "mechanics" 

- particularly in terms of their spending to support merchants and others.  The 

mechanic's point of view was largely missing from the debate but was well 

expressed here in a call for development of local manufactures.  In a related 

editorial printed a month later, Otis chided the Historical Society of Southern 

California for having its proceedings printed in San Francisco:

         Why go five hundred miles away to have printing done which 

         can be well done at home?  We suppose the society will expect 

         help from Los Angeles printers.

A brief reply by Henry D. Barrows of the Historical Society may reflect the 

views of other Angelenos who were guilty of the practice about which "Mechanic" 

and Otis had complained.  

                          {Times, July 7, 1888, p. 3}

                 Local Manufactures-Why They Do Not Flourish.

              Los Angeles, July 5.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         After a residence in your beautiful city for nearly two 

         years, I am sorry to say I will have to bid you good-by.  I 

         am a mechanic, and to live must go where I can get work.  I 

         simply go to San Francisco to work on a job for Los Angeles.  

         While men were getting rich on selling real estate they did 

         not mind paying a small percentage more for having iron 

         wrought, books printed, etc., here in Los Angeles.  But now, 

         a slight dullness having overtaken the citizens, those 

         parties who are having contract jobs done are taking the bids 

         from parties in every city, town and village in the Union, to 

         see who will do the work a dollar or two cheaper.  I would 

         like to know when your city can become a manufacturing place, 

         when your citizens are getting all their work done in other 

         places?  It is the number of mechanics and laborers employed 

         in a place that makes it prosperous.  The weekly and monthly 

         wages of the employed is what keeps business brisk.  Just now 

         Los Angeles misses the money of the mechanics.  That is the 

         cause of the scarcity of money; and yet some of the citizens 

         are helping to make money scarce by having work done 


              Los Angeles can do as good work, in any department, as 

         any other city, and very near as cheap--sometimes cheaper.  

         Take book printing and jobbing.  This city can do work as 

         quickly, neatly and cheaply as San Francisco, and yet the 

         citizens send their work to the Bay City to have done.   

         Several books of late were printed there; and there is one 

         now about to be printed with the advertisements of our 

         business men, and all saying, of course, that they can do all 

         kinds of work as cheaply and well as any other city.  What a 

         falsehood and mockery it will appear when that same book is 

         printed in San Francisco!  The matter of where a book is 

         printed lies with those who patronize the work, and they 

         should see that the book is printed in this city.  Every 

         dollar paid for wages here goes into the various stores; 

         every dollar paid for work done elsewhere is so much out of 

         the pockets of our home storekeepers.  Suppose all the iron 

         work of the business houses lately put up, and now going up, 

         was manufactured here:  What a host of mechanics you would 

         have employed in Los Angeles!  If you want your city to 

         become a manufacturing and prosperous place you must have 

         home work done in the city.  Suppose you do pay a trifle more 

         (and all young cities must charge a little more than old-

         established places, as work shops, etc., have to be put up), 

         you get it back twice over in the shape of a healthy business 

         in the stores.

              Citizens of Los Angeles, be men, and lovers of your 

         wonderful and beautiful city, and have your work done here.

              "To be a manufacturing city" ought to be the watchword 

         of every citizen.  What can a city amount to if you have to 

         send away your money to other places for eatables, clothing 

         and manufactured articles?  Business men who advertise in a 

         book about the glories of your city, see that your book is 

         printed here; and citizens who put up houses, see to it that 

         the material is made and manufactured in Los Angeles.


                         {Times, Aug. 19, 1888, p. 5}

                       Protection to Foreign Industries.

              Los Angeles, Aug. 16.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  In 

         reply to your criticism of the Historical Society for getting 

         its annual publication printed in San Francisco, permit me to 

         say, in behalf of the society, that our numbers are not large 

         and our financial resources are modest, and we were compelled 

         to get our pamplet printed where we could get it done the 


                                               H. D. B.

    It was not an idle choice that "Mechanic" made when he cited iron works as 

an example of how consumption of locally produced goods would benefit the city.  

Milo S. Baker, who arrived in Los Angeles in the mid-1870s, headed one of the 

city's foremost industrial families, one that was engaged in manufacturing iron 

products.  In 1889 the Baker Iron Works produced the first locomotive built in 

the city, designed by Baker's son Fred, vice president of the firm.  Years 

later the company would be one of the participants in the founding of 

Consolidated Steel.  Writing after the real estate boom of the mid-'eighties 

had collapsed, Milo Baker offered his insight into the city's failure to become 

a manufacturing center.  Baker shared the belief that industrialists were 

entitled to tax incentives, but his view on the role of fuel differed from that 

of earlier commentators and his enthusiasm for the prospect of Los Angeles as a 

great industrial city was considerably less than that expressed by other 

observers.  The Manufacturers' Association referred to by Baker was a short-

lived organization created in July, 1885.

                         {Times, Oct. 18, 1888, p. 6}

                           Voice of a Manufacturer.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 15.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  It 

         is not strange at all that now the wild schemes to get rich, 

         one off from the other, without producing anything, have had 

         their day, and the sober reality dawns upon the popular mind 

         that a law of Nature cannot be violated with impunity any 

         more by communities than by individuals, without suffering 

         the penalty--I say it is not strange that some of our people 

         begin to look about to see what can be done to pay this 

         penalty and to ward off as far as possible its effects.

              The above thoughts were suggested by an article in 

         yesterday's Times calling a meeting in the interest of 

         manufactures.  Being asked to give my opinion as to what can 

         be manufactured here successfully, and what are the principal 

         requisites, I will say: 

              Five or six years ago, before the boom, this question 

         was agitated, and quite a lively interest was taken.  All 

         sorts of inducements were offered, or purposed to be, by the 

         "Manufacturers' Association," to induce capital to engage in 

         manufacturing in Los Angeles.  But just as soon as people 

         commenced coming here with money the price of real estate 

         commenced to go up, so that buying and selling dwarfed all 

         other business, and the man that had started out in 

         manufacturing was looked upon as a very useless encumbrance, 

         and instead of encouraging him and making his taxes light, as 

         he had been led to suppose would be done from resolutions of 

         the Manufacturers' Association that all capital invested in 

         manufacturing should be exempted from taxation for ten years, 

         an extra tax was imposed.  The license tax, that had been 

         left uncollected, was again enforced, and made double what it 

         formerly was, and if per chance the manufacturer was 

         compelled to leave a piece of machinery in the streets, and 

         did not keep his walks swept and garnished for the real 

         estate boomers to pass and repass without being even reminded 

         that it was necessary in Los Angeles for a man to work for a 

         living, an officer was at once sent for him, and he was 

         walked up to the Judge's office to pay a fine.

              Well, now, to get at what I started out to say about 

         manufacturing.  I have never been one to think that Los 

         Angeles would ever become a great manufacturing city, for 

         reasons that are apparent to ever one who has given the 

         subject any thought.  The want of fuel, the want of the raw 

         material and a limited market--these are the chief obstacles.  

         To build up a large city here, I don't think it is altogether 

         dependent on manufacturing, in view of the many other 

         resources we have.  And as they are developed, manufacturing 

         will grow with them.  There are many kinds of goods that can 

         be shipped here in a semi-manufactured state, such portions 

         as require much machine work being done before shipping.  

         This would be manufacturing to the same extent as many of our 

         eastern manufacturers do.  There are carriages sold here in 

         Los Angeles from eastern manufactories that use no machinery 

         at all; they buy their stock ready to put together.  This is 

         true of many other kinds of goods.  I see no reason why 

         manufacturing of this kind cannot be done quite extensively 

         when labor gets settled down to business, which will be as 

         soon as laborers can live as cheaply here as at the East.

              This brings up a question for some one to answer: Why 

         they cannot so live; is it the fault of the producer, or does 

         he make great profits?  It is just the same with the producer 

         when he sells as when he buys; he drives the best bargain he 

         can. The idea of importing home manufactures to enable the 

         farmer to sell his produce to a better advantage he leaves 

         for his neighbor to do.  Then, as I said before, it will take 

         time to regulate these things.

              And the man that could not afford to be one to bring 

         about these results slowly and surely but jumped into the 

         real-estate whirl, good to grab a fortune that he saw 

         floating about for any one to take, and went down just before 

         he got his hand on it, gets but the penalty of the fixed law 

         I referred to.  But, should he be possessed of the proper 

         grit, he will come out and shed his speculating suit and don 

         that of a granger, and think it best to make haste slowly.  

         He will in a short time come out a prosperous farmer, with 

         all the comforts of life about him, in one of the most 

         glorious countries the sun ever shone on; or should he be a 

         good mechanic and settle down to business he will meet with 

         like results.  Then, and not till then, may we expect capital 

         to be invested in manufacturing.

                                            M. S. BAKER.

    Whether due to the encouragement of these boosters for manufacturing or 

simply the result of economic forces, the number of manufacturing 

establishments increased markedly during the 1880s.  At decade's end Luther 

Ingersoll counted 600 manufacturers in the city.  In addition to those cited by 

Wilson in 1880, the city now boasted 12 planing mills, 9 iron foundries, 6 soap 

factories, 3 flour and feed mills, several brick makers, and plants for the 

production of candy, coffee, crackers, ice-cream, soda and mineral water, 

vinegar, cigars, shirts, hats, mattresses, furniture, cooper shops, boxes, 

tin-ware, street railway cars and artificial stone.  Despite that growth, city 

booster Walter Lindley, writing in 1888, conceded that "Los Angeles is not what 

would be called a manufacturing city."  It was, however, on its way to becoming 


                             B) BUSINESS LICENSES

    Throughout the decade businessmen grumbled about costly business licenses 

newly imposed as a tax by both city and county governments.  Milo Baker saw the 

city's collection of license fees as a betrayal of those induced at an earlier 

date to locate their businesses in Los Angeles.  Other critics, writing about 

county licenses, were more concerned with the inequity in the fee schedule than 

in the government's decision to levy such a tax.

                         {Times, June 26, 1883, p. 4}

                   Sharp Criticism of the License Ordinance.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir: As a subscriber to your 

         valuable paper, may I question the justice of the ordinance 

         adopted by our Supervisors June 4th?  It seems to me that 

         they are not competent to fill the position which they 

         occupy, at least as far as justice is concerned.

              Section 19 taxes the artist for taking or painting 

         pictures for compensation, $10 per quarter.

              I am no photographer, but it seems to me that this 

         section is out of all reason, as there are many young artists 

         who are struggling for a footing that are not able to pay 

         such a tax.  I am not referring alone to photographers, but 

         to those who paint pictures.

              I consider it a shameful act to discourage our arts in 

         such a way, in place of encouraging them.

              Now, compare this with Section 33, "Any person, etc., 

         engaged in bottling and selling beer or ale shall pay as such 

         license tax the sum of $5 per quarter."

              Our honorable Board, in their wisdom, give preference to 

         the persons who deal out the abominable stuff called beer and 

         ale over the artist in his glorious work of perpetuating the 

         faces of our loved ones and other laudable subjects, while 

         the rum-seller--well, what does he perpetuate?  Our prisons, 

         misery in our homes- things too many and too horrible to 


              In Section 36 the manufacturer of soda water is taxed 

         equal to the rumseller in Section 35; from the wording it 

         means soda fountains.

              Such is my understanding of the different sections 

         mentioned, and I would ask, Where can there be found any 

         justice in such dealings with the people?

              Certainly, this tax is to defray county expenses, which 

         must be met, but should not these be more equally divided?

              Which brings the greatest expense to the county in the 

         way of criminality--rum or soda water?  rum or the artist's 


              I know nothing of the past lives of any of those wise 

         men, but their actions show us where they stand.

                                        G. A. MILLARD.

              Pomona, June 21.

                         {Times, Aug. 11, 1883, p. 3}

                                A Tax Embargo.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Are the merchants of 

         this county quietly submitting to this outrageous license tax 

         that is now being, or attempting to be collected by the 

         county of Los Angeles?  This tax, sir, seems to be out of all 

         reason, especially in the case of manufacturers.  I am a 

         manufacturer, and the collector has made demands on me for 

         twenty (20) dollars per quarter!  Three and a half times more 

         than the same business pays in San Francisco.  Is the 

         manufacturing business to be "nipped in the bud" by such 

         excessive burdens?  Add the city license to that of the 

         county, together with other taxes, and I can assure you it 

         comes pretty heavy upon the manufacturer here, with so many 

         other disadvantages confronting him.


              Los Angeles, Aug. 10, 1883.

    "P. K. W.," looking at the license fees from the standpoint of the consumer 

rather than the businessman, found them objectionable but for an entirely 

different reason.  The $500 circus license that "P. K. W." complained about was 

actually half the fee that had existed until Sept., 1886.

                         {Times, Oct. 15, 1886, p. 3}
                     A Growl About That License.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  I presume our City 

         Council think that the people of Los Angeles approve of their 

         charging $500 license for a circus; but I don't think those 

         who occupied reserved seats will approve of such high license 

         when they are informed that they were charged double the 

         usual price for their seats in order to make up for such a 

         high license.  The result was that these people paid the $500 

         license and not Sells Bros.  In fact, Sells Bros. are a few 

         hundred dollars ahead by the operation.

                                                P. K. W.

    Merchants were also dissatisfied with county license fees and found the 

difference in the amount to be charged small businessmen when compared with 

large, high dollar activities such as banking and insurance to be grossly 

unfair.  While these letter writers are primarily concerned with county 

licenses, the fees charged by the city of Los Angeles were similar.

                         {Times, July 22, 1889, p. 4}

                               County Licenses.

              Los Angeles, July 17.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         When you published the schedule of county licenses now 

         proposed by the supervisors, you said "it will raise quite a 

         breeze."  It ought to raise a whirl-wind!  Why, what can be 

         their ideas at such a time as the present?  Is it possible to 

         create a fat office, $500 or up per month, for a collector at 

         10 per cent?

              Even in the boom times, when every business and 

         occupation was good, yea flush, such a scheme was not thought 

         of; but boom times are long gone, severe reaction is having 

         its day, and giving us a hard deal, and every person in 

         retail and wholesale business is curtailing at all points, 

         trying to keep their heads above water.  It is in fact patent 

         to every resident of this county that much business is at 

         present conducted without profit, and only kept going in 

         hopes of better things in the good time coming (only wait a 

         little longer).

              How then, or where, are those extraordinary licenses to 

         be had from?  Supervisors should explain!  Their proposition 

         is not even low down or moderate.  In fact, they are about 

         double the amount of city and county licenses levied in San 

         Francisco.  I refer to licenses for mercantile pursuits.

              Then as to differential licenses.  Why, is a business of 

         $20,000 and over per month to pay only twice the sum i.e. 

         $30, that a business of $5000 down to $1300 is to pay i.e. 

         $15.  Would not this be overwhelming the small trader with a 

         vengeance?  Banking of $250,000 or over, or even if it is 

         $5,000,000 per quarter, to pay $50.  Insurance companies, for 

         $5000 receipt of premiums per quarter, to pay $10, and yet 

         the retail business (with some capital invested) of $1300 per 

         month, or any $4000 per quarter, is to pay $15.

              In the foregoing comparisons there is neither equity nor 

         propriety, and apparently not the proper conception of the 

         proposition as it is!

              It seems most strange that such a tax should be 

         undertaken now, and to such an extraordinary extent, in view 

         of the fact that for five previous years, and the most 

         prosperous the county has ever had, it was not even thought 

         of.  Most respectfully yours,

                                                    A RETAILER.

                          C) THE HIGH COST OF LUMBER

    Construction was one of the major business activities in Los Angeles during 

the boom decade as developers and contractors rushed to create housing for tens 

of thousands of new arrivals.  The residential portion of the city moved south 

and west, spreading out over both lowlands and hillsides.  Even after the real 

estate boom collapsed new buildings went up throughout the city.  "An Observer" 

described the view from Pearl {Figueroa} street in what had been out in the 

country less than a decade before.

                         {Times, Sept. 29, 1888, p. 6}

                               A Bright Lookout.

              Los Angeles, Sept. 22.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         It is a bright lookout when you can stand at the second-story 

         window, as I have done this morning, and count 22 houses in 

         course of construction, and the most of them two-story 

         buildings, and situated west of Pearl st., between Tenth and 

         Pico sts.                               

                                             AN OBSERVER.

    A worried reader residing in one of the newly created towns along the Santa 

Fe railway in the eastern part of the county expressed concern for what the 

boom was doing to one of America's great resources.  An environmentalist long 

before that would become a fad in the Progressive Era of Theodore Roosevelt, 

his letter indicated an interest not only in preservation of the nation's 

forests but also recognized the impact that the boom had had on the price of 


                          {Times, Dec. 8, 1887, p. 6}


              Glendora, Dec. 6.--[To the Editor of The Times.]       

         Taking for my premises what I read periodically in the 

         eastern papers, there is certainly much anxiety in many parts 

         of the United States as to the destruction and disappearance 

         of our forests.  Soon we must strain our wits in searching 

         for something to take the place of wood as far as possible.  

         How to protect the forests and prevent their destruction is 

         the question.  I suggest that a law be introduced and passed 

         by the present United States Congress taking the tariff off 

         of all foreign lumber, wood, etc., and by so doing destroy 

         some other body's forests, keeping ours for a rainy day.  

         This might make a slight difference in the price of lumber in 

         Southern California.  If cheaper, all right: it cannot be 

         much worse.

                                           ALLEN POE.

    "A Manufacturer" had charged the sash, door and blind makers with price 

fixing.  Now a builder found a similar conspiracy among the area's lumber 

dealers.  W. Wilson was one of a large number of recent immigrants from 

Illinois and called upon his experience in home building there to bolster his 

argument that home builders were overcharged in Los Angeles by the lumber ring.

                         {Times, April 1, 1888, p. 3}
           The Cost of Building Here--Statement of a Chicago Builder.

              San Diego, March 29.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         saw in a recent issue of The Times an article on the lumber 

         question signed by a man who styled himself a seller of 

         lumber, in which the writer made the assertion that houses 

         can be built as cheaply in Los Angeles as in Chicago.  He 

         stated that the extra "sheathing" required in a Chicago 

         building brought the cost up so as to equal the extra price 

         charged in Los Angeles for lumber.  Now, I am a Chicago 

         house-builder and contractor, and have been for 16 years, and 

         I know that a house costing $2200 in Los Angeles, can be 

         built in Chicago for $1300.  I know what I am talking about, 

         as I examined many buildings in course of erection in Los 

         Angeles and got the figures at which they are being built.  

         If any one doubts my word let him buy a few copies of the 

         Scientific American, carpenters' and builders' edition, where 

         plans and estimates are given for all classes of buildings, 

         and having selected the plan of a house let him submit it to 

         a Los Angeles contractor and get his figures.  I came from 

         Chicago six weeks ago with five families, friends of mine.  

         They intended to settle in Los Angeles, and I was to build or 

         superintend the building of the houses.  I found the prices 

         of lumber and brick so high that I advised them not to build 

         then and we came on to San Diego.  Prices of all building 

         material are high here, but not so high as at Los Angeles, 

         and there are other circumstances here that make it much 

         cheaper and better to build here, so they have settled here.  

         When I was in Los Angeles I heard a great many people of 

         moderate means say that they wanted to build, but could not, 

         owing to the high price of lumber.  I remember overhearing 

         Dr. Shaw of Spring street, there, telling a friend that he 

         knew 20 people who wanted to build in Los Angeles, and could 

         not because lumber and brick were so high in price.  I know 

         from what I have heard people say here since I came that the 

         outrageous price of building material is driving thousands of 

         people away from Los Angeles.  I have written to friends of 

         mine in Chicago who wanted me to advise them whether to come 

         to Los Angeles, to stay away from there.  There is no 

         necessity for building material being as high as it is there.  

         A lumberman here told me that the lumber ring pay little 

         mills away up in British Columbia $12,000 apiece to agree not 

         to bid under them.  When the lumber ring goes out of the 

         country to buy off the opposition of little mills hundreds of 

         miles away, their customers are in a bad way.  You Los 

         Angeles people may as well awaken to the fact that the lumber 

         dealers have you by the throat and are strangling your life 

         and progress.

              I was offered lumber to build a house at Inglewood for 

         $12.50 per 1000 feet less than the price asked me in Los 

         Angeles, and this was because the Inglewood men were not in 

         the ring.  It would be interesting reading to your 

         subscribers if you would figure out for them how much the 

         $12.50 per 1000 on all the millions they use would come to in 

         a year.  I don't suppose that the letter of a simple 

         carpenter will have any effect on the conscience of your 

         lumber dealers; but I write this to let you know that a 

         Chicago contractor cannot be fooled by such letters as those 

         of your correspondent to whom I have referred.  

                                        W. WILSON.

    Not so, claimed "Lumber," who left the reader wondering who was right or 

whether the figures cited were in fact correct or relevant.

                         {Times, April 8, 1888, p. 3}

                           A Lumber Dealer's Views.

              Los Angeles, April 6.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         The writer has read a communication addressed to the Pasadena 

         Union, and also one of date of April 1st addressed to The 

         Times, from persons claiming that the price of lumber is from 

         $12.50 to $20 higher in Pasadena and Los Angeles than it is 

         in surrounding towns.

              The writers are guilty either of gross ignorance or of 

         willful misrepresentation, they seeming to disregard the fact 

         that there are two grades of lumber, and that the difference 

         in price quoted is simply the difference between these two 

         grades.  It is hardly a fair comparison to compare the price 

         of clear lumber in Los Angeles with that of common lumber at 

         other points, when the difference in the selling price is 

         $12.50 per 1000 feet.

              As an actual fact, lumber is being sold at points in 

         Southern California back from the coast, at the uniform price 

         of $39.50 for common and $45 for clear; the excess in cost 

         for freight in towns east of here being offset by cheaper 

         rents, etc.

              The difference in price between Los Angles and San Diego 

         ($5 per 1000 feet) is the exact amount of freight from vessel 

         at San Pedro to Los Angeles.  Any one acquainted with the 

         lumber business knows that the percentage of profit to the 

         dealer here is actually less now than at any time during the 

         last three years, the advance being about equally divided 

         between the freight men and the manufacturers.  When the 

         freight on lumber is $13 per 1000 feet, it can readily be 

         seen by a person of any perception that the cost of lumber at 

         the mills, and the cost of handling the same here being taken 

         into consideration, the large profits to the dealer exist 

         only in the imagination.

              If a person contemplating building will stop and figure, 

         he will find that the additional cost of the lumber necessary 

         to build a $2000 house, say 10,000 feet, between now and two 

         years ago, will not exceed $50.  Will not the advance in 

         rents justify the additional expenditure?

              We think the Los Angeles papers should endeavor to get 

         at the facts of the case before drawing people away from our 

         city by the false charges of exorbitant rates.        


                        D) THE HOUSEWIFE'S PERSPECTIVE

    During the summer of 1882 letters to the editor raised questions about the 

possibility of a hay shortage, a serious matter in a county with a large number 

of horses and dairy farms.  As farmers offered estimates regarding the size of 

the hay shortfall - which did not materialize - one housewife humorously 

implied that there was a need for an accurate system of weights and measures at 

the city's grocery stores, where a different type of shortfall occurred.

                          {Times, Oct. 4, 1882, p. 3}

                            A Question of Addition.

              To the Editor of The Times:

              While the gentlemen are trying to find out how much hay 

         there is in the county, I suggest that the ladies endeavor to 

         ascertain how many rolls of butter, weighing two pounds each, 

         there are in the city.  With butter higher than a Yuma 

         thermometer, the "thrifty housewife" naturally looks into her 

         Mirror to see if the Times will demand a roll of honor.  We 

         have talked this matter over among ourselves long enough.  My 

         sisters, let us "rush into print" and see how it is that a 

         "pound is a pound," and two pounds is one pound and three-


                                               M. D.

              Pasadena, Cal., Sept. 27, 1882.