NCR – Trip of Second Educational Party
By David M. Rowe

On Friday evening, October 17th, the Second Educational Party of N.C.R. Employees started on a tour visiting a number or prominent Eastern cities.  There were twenty-seven in the party, comprising foremen and assistant foremen from the office and factory departments.

They arrived at Niagara Falls Saturday morning and were met at the depot by representatives of the Natural Food Company, who conducted them to the Prospect House as their guests for breakfast.  After a very interesting visit at the home of the famous “Shredded Wheat Biscuit” 1, which has previously been described in this periodical, Mr. Deeds and others escorted the party to the Niagara Power House. 2  Through the kindness of Mr. Deeds, access was obtained to every part of this great plant.  The Power House is being enlarged so that soon its capacity will be doubled.  It is interesting to note how solid rock had been blasted out to a depth of 200 feet so as to furnish the desired pressure on the great turbine water wheels.  The water falls 200 feet through great steel flumes 8 feet in diameter, passes through turbines 11 feet in diameter with such force that it splashes up 40 feet as it leaves the wheels.  The pressure is 90 pounds to the square inch.  The turbines are connected with the generators by means of hollow steel shafts 3 feet is of solid steel one foot in diameter.  There are ten generators of 5000 horse-power each in the present plant, but, as stated above, this will be doubled by the new addition.

From the Power House a tour was made of all the interesting points around the falls and along the gorge; Mr. Deeds having provided special trolley cars and carriages for the purpose.  The trip extended from Windsor Park along the Canadian side to the Brock monument, crossing over the Niagara river near Lewiston to the American side returning to Prospect Park where carriages conveyed the party over Goat Island and other places.  Refreshments were provided during the afternoon and a very pleasant day finally closed with party again at the depot awaiting the departure of the train for Boston.

Those who had never seen the falls before, certainly saw everything on this trip, and even those who had been there before said they had never seen the beauties of the falls so thoroughly.  The party was very grateful to the Natural Food Co., for their kind entertainment, and to Messrs. Deeds, Olmstead, Guion and Slade for their personal attention.

Sunday morning found the party passing through the Berkshire Hills.  The beauties of this section can hardly be described, particularly at this season.  The vari-colored foliage, the birches, evergreens, ferns, mountain streams, deep ravines, little villages in the distance with their church spires pointing heavenward, all tended to make one wish himself a lightning artist that he might forever preserve these beautiful vistas and landscapes.

Mr. High met the party at the Boston Terminal Station.  This is the largest Railroad Station in the world.  There are twenty-eight tracks, and during the winter season nearly eight hundred trains arrive and depart daily.  During the summer there are many more.  Arrangements had previously been made for accommodations at the Toraine Hotel 3, and the party was soon comfortably quartered.  This is an elegant hotel built on the site of the home of Jno. Q. Adams, the furnishings and trimmings being in French Renaissance.

The table service is of the finest and the dainty Limoges China, bright clean silver and French glassware added not a little to the enjoyment of the meals.

During Sunday afternoon a tour of old historic Boston was enjoyed on a special trolley car provided by Mr. High.  In the evening some went to church and others strolled around the city in the vicinity of the hotel.

Monday morning under the direction of a professional guide many historical points were visited.  Monday afternoon and Tuesday were well spent visiting places, many of which would in themselves furnish matter for entire volumes, but we can only mention a few in passing, viz., Harvard College, Faneuil Hall, Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Spot where first Revolutionary blood was spilled, marked by paving block on State street, opposite Old State House.  There were Bunker Hill monument, New State House, Boston Common, the Old Court House, where Captain Kidd was once imprisoned; Christ Church, where the lanterns were hung out to signal Paul Revere, and so we might go on for several pages.

The party divided on theatres, but nearly all went to see Charles Hawtrey in “A Message from Mars being played at the Boston Museum, and it seemed to be the consensus of opinion that this was  the most profitable as well as the most enjoyable play seen in Boston.

Before leaving for New York a short visit was made at the Fore Engine Works at Quincy, Mass.  Here was seen the method of constructing large ocean vessels.  There are now under construction the large battleships New Jersey 4 and Rhode Island,5 and the cruiser Des Moines.6  It was noticeable that a great deal of machinery used in this plant was made in Ohio; Hamilton, Cincinnati and Cleveland being represented.  The party also called at the plant of the “Goodyear  Shoe & Welt Machine Co.,” and some also went to the factory of the Waltham Watch Company.  The stay in Boston was far too short and nearly every one left with a desire to return at some future day.

At midnight Tuesday they were en route for New York where there arrived at 7.10 Wednesday morning and proceeded at once to the Waldorf-Astoria.  Most of the morning passed before rooms were vacated for the accommodation of the N.C.R. party.  During this time a guide directed the party on an observation trip through the hotel.  There are 1400 bedrooms, 1500 employees, 100 chefs, 600 waiters.  About 2000 people sit at dinner every day.  There are a number of restaurants and cafes in the hotel.  There is the Astor Gallery for receptions and dancing parties; the Grand Ballroom for balls, private theatricals, etc., with a seating capacity for 1500 people; 15 passenger elevators.  A sub basement 45 feet below the street, where the electric lighting plant is found.  This includes a 3000 horsepower lighting generator, supplying current for 25000 electric lights.  They manufacture 50 tons of ice per day and require 100 tons of coal daily.  There is constantly kept in stock $300000 worth of cigars and $500000 in wines.

After lunch Wednesday the party repaired to the New York Office on Broadway.  From here they started on a tally-ho ride going out 5th Avenue to Central Park, along Riverside drive to Grant’s Tomb, back by way of Morning Side and East side drives, passing many places of interest, including Mulberry Street, Mott St., Wall St., etc.  Seats were secured for “The Country Girl” at Daly’s theatre for the evening.

During the following four days the delegation divided into small parties inspecting the great buildings, newspaper establishments, Stock Exchange,  Sub-treasury, Consolidated Exchange, Old Trinity Church, Aquarium, Bedlow’s Island, where the Bartholdi Statue of Liberty stands.  This is a memorial given by the French people in commemoration of the long established good will between the two nations.  It stands 305 feet from foundation of pedestal to torch.  It is wonderful for its majestic proportions.

A trip through the Cunard Line Trans-Atlantic steamer “Lucania" 7 was very interesting.  This vessel is 620 feet long and has a displacement of 12,950 tons.  It travels between New York and Liverpool at the rate of 25 miles per hour.  Passengers have arrived in Chicago by this steamer in seven days five hours from Liverpool.  It has all possible conveniences, Library, Smoking and Music Rooms, Cheerful Dining Hall and State Rooms.  Many of the party had never seen a great ocean steamer and this opportunity furnished a very comprehensive idea of how so many hundreds of people live for a week or more out of sight-o-land.  One point of special interest was the Bronx Park.  This park is comparatively new.  It includes the Botanical Gardens and Museum; large forests and Zoological Park.  The Zoological Park was only established in 1898, and the Botanical Gardens are of more recent date.  When the grounds are completed, this will be one of the finest parks in the world.  It already has probably the finest display of animals, reptiles and birds in the United  States  It is noted for its great ranges and the natural environments provided for the animals, as a consequence all  of the specimens are in the finest condition.  In connection with each display is a map showing the habitat of the specimen, the original and present range and other data concerning it, adding very much to the educational feature.  The length of the Zoological Park alone is 4950 feet and the width 3120 feet.

One of the wonders of the Park is the large flying cage of wire netting in the form of a gothic arch 55 feet high, 72 feet wide and 152 feet long.  It completely encloses three forest trees of considerable size; contains a pool of water 100 feet long and shrubbery in abundance.  Here are kept herons, egrets, flamingos, and many other species of birds.

In the large reptile house are specimens of nearly all varieties of snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, etc.  One fine specimen is a Regal Python 25 feet long and weighing 200 pounds.  The coloring of the skin of this huge reptile is wonderfully beautiful.

In this park is to be seen the Eskimo dog “Bridge” the leader of the pack that pulled Lieutenant Perry to the point  farthest north yet attained.

Central Park is also a beautiful park, almost in the heart of the city.  It of course far surpasses the Bronx at the present time, having been established many years ago, and a great deal of money has been expended in laying out beautiful dives, and supplying it with statuary, ornamental bridges, fountains, museums, and sources of amusement.  Here may be seen the Obelisk.  This Obelisk stood before the Temple of the Sun in Heliopolis near Cairo, Egypt, where ITT was erected in the 16th Century B.C. by Thothmes III who reigned from 1591 to 1565 B.C.  It was very old when Moses read its inscription.  It now has behind it 35 centuries.

In the Metropolitan Museum are hundreds of curios and works of art.  Among the original paintings may be mentioned “The Horse Fair” by Rosa Bonheur.  “The Death of Mozart” by Munkacsy, 1886.  “Paul & Virginia” or “The Storm” by P.A. Cot, 1889.  “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Emanuel Lentze, 1851.  “Columbus at the Court of Ferdinand & Isabelle” by V. Brozik, 1884,  Paris.  “Dianas Hunting Party” by Hans Makart.

There are hundreds of beautiful paintings, but the above are some of those made familiar by steel engravings and other copies.

In the American Museum of Natural History may be found many departments embracing geology, minerals, mammals and birds.  There are 60000 bird specimens and 20000 of mammals, beside thousands of specimens of other classes.  The world of Nature is here represented and classified for study from the stuffed effigy of the elephant Jumbo to microscopic specimens of beetles.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard is always of interest.  Here were found many of the battleships that were so active in the Spanish-American war.  The first-class battleship “Alabama” was thoroughly inspected and furnished a very complete idea of the others.  This ship carries a crew of 700, has four thirteen inch guns throwing shells weighing 1100 pounds, requiring 500 pounds brown prismatic powder and 350 pounds smokeless powder; each of these guns weighs 70 tons.  There are four torpedo tubes, two fore, and two aft.  They carry eight torpedoes aboard.  The torpedo heads contain 220 pounds wet gun cotton.  They weigh 1350 pounds and it costs $3000 to fire one.  The striking distance is 800 yards, but they will carry 2000 yards.  There is a great deal about a battleship to interest even a land-lubber, but we cannot stop to mention them.

In addition to the “Alabama” there were lying at anchor the “Massachusetts,”8 “Indiana,”9 “Kearsarge,”10 “Olympia,”11 “Columbia,”12 “Dixey,”13, and “Baltimore.”14 

In the Navy Yard are a few of the guns taken from the wrecked vessels of the Spanish fleet.  There were guns from the Vizcaya, Almira, Oquendo, and the Reina Cristina; the latter from Manila Bay.

The Mills House is an establishment where the poorer working classes, particularly those without homes, may obtain good wholesome meals and clean comfortable lodging for a small amount.  It is a substantial white pressed brick building, eleven stories high, with white marble stairways and wainscoting; large reading rooms, smoking rooms and parlors.

The dining halls accommodate 300 at one sitting.  Dinner is served from 12 till 5 and supper till 9 o’clock.  Regular meals are served at 15 cents each.  Breakfast of coffee and two rolls with butter 5 cents; oatmeal 5 cents; coffee, rolls and two fried eggs 10 cents.  Lodging 20 cents per night or $1.40 per week.  Corner rooms 30 cents per night or $2.10 per week; these are larger and have electric lights.  At present there are 1554 persons occupying rooms.

Durland’s Riding Academy is where people of wealth practice riding horseback.  Some keep their riding horses stabled here, particularly non-residents, who frequently visit New York.  Find riding horses may also be hired.  There are 300 lockers in the dressing rooms; there are also baths for the convenience of the patrons.  They can accommodate 600 horses.

The evenings were always spent at the theatres, and excepting the first two evenings, the members of the party made their own selection.

On Sunday morning most of the party attended church.  Some went to St. Georges Episcopal Church, but as Dr. Rainsford was not to preach that day, others went to various churches.  As in Boston, the party felt that more time could have been used to advantage in New York.  All were grateful to Messrs. Boyd, Blakeny, and Moise for personally escorting the members to many of the points visited.

The party left New York City on the 23rd St. Ferry for the Jersey city Station, where a special chair car was in waiting, and by eleven o’clock they were established at the Walton hotel, Philadelphia.  After calling at the N.C.R. Office Monday morning, Mr. Wanamaker’s Department store was visited.  Here they found in practical use over 100 of our new department store registers which were giving great satisfaction; all of the clerks and cashiers spoke highly of them.

At the Cramps Ship Yards was seen in course of construction the new “Maine”, a first-class battleship.  This ship will be ready for the last trial trip about November 15th.  A large number of vessels of different classes were being built.  Among others was a Turkish cruiser, “The Medjidia”, 325 feet long.  Cramps now employ 6000 men.  Special attention was called to a steel rope attached to a traveling crane.  This rope about ½ inch in thickness is capable of sustaining 50 tons weight.

The Baldwin Locomotive Works also received a call.  Here are employed 15000 men.  The also have 3000 men at the Standard Steel Works, Bethlehem.  They average six complete locomotives per day, except Sundays, and cannot supply domestic demands.  Four years ago 40% of orders were from abroad.  This year 95% are domestic.  Every railroad in the world is said to have some Baldwin Locomotives.  The largest engine in the world was built for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe.  It weighs 269,000 pounds without tender.

Independence Hall is a well known historical building.  Here are found original portraits of Washington and many other old Colonial statesmen and patriots.  The Liberty Bell which cracked while tolling the death of John Marshall, Chief Justice of U.S. Supreme Court.  There are to be found in the chambers of this building many old and interesting relics of Revolutionary times.  The inkstand used in signing the Declaration of Independence.  Table on which the Declaration and Constitution were signed.  Personal effects of Washington, Penn, Benjamin Franklin and others.

It is with a degree of reverence that one enters the old Betsy Ross House on Arch Street.  Here is where the first American flag was made and approved in 1777 by the Committee of the Continental Congress, consisting of Geo. Washington, Robt. Morris and Geo. Ross.

The American Flag House and Betsy Ross Memorial Association is trying to raise funds to buy this property and establish it forever as one of the historical monuments of Revolutionary times.  It is to belong to the people and any one will be certified as a subscriber upon the payment of ten cents.

Carpenter Hall is where the first meetings of the Continental Congress were held in 1774 and was occupied from 1777 to 1778 by the British under command of Gen’l Howe.

It was quite a privilege to enter Christ Church and to sit in pews in the very places where worshipped Geo. Washington and Martha Washington from 1790 to 1797.  Also John Adams and LaFayette, Wm. Penn, Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross and others of fame.

There are many monuments to the memory of Benjamin Franklin, but looking through the iron fence of the Christ Church Cemetery at 5th and Arch Streets you see a simple flat stone level with the ground under which lies his body.

Other places visited were the Philadelphia Bourse Building, City Hall, U.S. Mint, Academy of Fine Arts.

Fairmont Park is a very extensive and beautiful Park with forests, drives, bronze monuments and statuary, fountains.  Here may be seen the original home of Wm. Penn, and the beautiful scenery along the Wissahickon, Zoological Park, Memorial Hall with relics, works of art, Pottery, etc.

Notwithstanding the proverbial slowness of Philadelphia, much is to be seen there and the party would like to have remained longer.

Washington, the next point on the itinerary, was reached early Wednesday morning, October 29th, stopping at the “New Willard”.  We have not space to describe the many interesting things to be seen at this place.  Nearly every one is more or less familiar with the Public Buildings, but every American citizen should visit Washington and get at least a glimpse of these wonderful buildings.

The Congressional Library is probably the most beautiful building of the kind in the World.  It was erected at a cost of over $6,600,000.  The frescoes are very elaborate and beautiful.  The bronzes, marbles, grand stairways and general effects cannot be described.  One can remain for days studying the frescoes without tiring.

There is the Capitol, State Army & Navy Building, National Museum, Treasury, Smithsonian Institute, Medical Museum, Executive Mansion, Washington monument, Public Gardens, Corcoran Library, Bureau of Engraving & Printing.

Trips were made to Arlington and Mount Vernon.  At the latter place was seen the original home of Washington, his old furniture and the environments, very nearly as they were during his life.

Thursday night the party left for Pittsburg, where they arrived Friday morning.  Here they visited the Westinghouse Works, Heinz’s Pickle Works and the Carnegie Works at Homestead.

They left Pittsburg Saturday night and arrived home Sunday morning.

The trip was both profitable and very enjoyable, and none of the party could properly express his feelings of gratitude to the N.C.R. Co., and Mr. J.H. Patterson personally for his great kindness in making the trip possible.

                         D.M. Rowe.

1 Commercial success was not attained until the Natural Food Company built, in 1901, a large factory at Niagara Falls, New York. In 1908, its corporate name was changed to 'The Shredded Wheat Company'
2 Information about the Power House 1897-1910.
3  This should read Touraine Hotel.
4  April 2, 1902 The first USS New Jersey (BB-16) was built by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company, Quincy, Massachusetts. Her keel was laid this day.
November 10, 1904 Battleship USS New Jersey is launched.
5  Built at Fore River SB Co., Quincy, Mass. Keel laid 5/1/02;  Commissioned  2/19/06
6 The first Des Moines (C-15) was launched 20 September 1902 by Fore River Ship and Engine Co., Quincy, Mass., sponsored by Miss E. Macomber; and commissioned 6 March 1904
7 Cunard Line companion for Norwegian emigrants,1903 © Børge Solem, Copyright 2000, all rights reserved.  Not to be reproduced without permission 5 days and 7 hours There exists no ship in the world who have sailed between England and America faster than that, nor have any other ship been close. The Cunard Line steamer Lucania who made this crossing still crosses in speed close to that, and can bear it reputation as a record steamer with pride.
8  Laid Down 05 June 1891 Launched 10 June 1893  Completed 10 June 1896
9  Laid Down 07 May 1891 Launched 28 February 1893  Completed 20 November 1895
10  Laid Down 30 June 1896  Launched 24 March 1898 Completed 20 February 1900
11  Cruiser
12 Cruiser. Following service as a receiving ship in New York from August 31, 1902 to November 9, 1903
13  Should read Dixie. Artillery Cruiser. Decommissioned, 21 July 1902 at New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn NY
14  Cruiser