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Congratulatory Addresses

Congratulatory Addresses

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Excerpt from Congratulatory Addresses: Delivered at a Complimentary Dinner Tendered to Judge Elbert H. Gary

The autumn of 1907 will ever be remembered in the Iron and Steel trade of the world for two epoch-making events: First, the collapse, in October, of the unparalleled commercial prosperity that had prevailed since 1904; second, the adoption, in November, of the policy of co-operation and conciliation by the leading Iron and Steel manufacturers of the country, the inauguration, in fact, of what will ever be known in commercial and manufacturing history as "the Gary movement."

In the closing week of October, commercial fear had thrown a pall over the country. Great and small trust companies and banks closed their doors, spelling ruin to thousands. Business houses almost without number were plunged into the hands of receivers or were utterly wiped out. Commodity prices of all kinds declined and the pit seemed bottomless. Call money was quoted at 100 per cent, and averaged 50 per cent for the week. Stock exchanges were in such a state of hysteria that finally in Pittsburg, the exchange was forced, as a matter of public policy, to suspend daily sessions. As an instance: Pig iron makers were among the first to read the threatening signs and shorten sail. Following a meeting of blast furnace owners of the Middle West, at Cleveland, December 7th, a committee was named to consider the advisability of curtailing production drastically. While on the last day of September, 329 out of a total of 398 stacks were blowing, on the last day of October the number of active stacks had been reduced to 314, even after establishing the record pig iron output for any month with 2,359,690 tons. The close of November found but 226 furnaces operating, and the output was 1,820,558 tons.

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