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Now, in order to carry out this law it is necessary that the inspectors have proper apparatus and that they be properly instructed. Our bureau is called upon to test instruments and to instruct inspectors in the use of apparatus, and even to design new apparatus. At the present time we are designing a new instrument to enable inspecters to make certain measurements to see whether those using wireless or radio-telegraphic apparatus are in conflict with the provision of the act as to wave lengths and damping. There is no instrument made now that enables them to do that accurately and conveniently. We are very much hampered in trying to do these things because we have neither the equipment nor a sufficient number of men for the purpose. This is a subject in which scientific precision and scientific apparatus and methods are very necessary. The sum we are asking is very trifling in comparison with what the Government is spending for wireless equipment. When we consider the magnitude of the land stations, the use of radio apparatus in the Navy and in the signal service of the Army, this appears to be a very small amount in comparison with the total expense; and it will tend to contribute toward greater efficiency in what the Government is doing along that line. Mr. JoHNSON. Is there not an appropriation' in the naval bill and also in the military bill for this very purpose? Are you people not duplicating the work in those departments along that line? Mr. Rosa. The appropriation in the naval bill is to enable them to make use of wireless telegraphy, while our work would not be to use it but to assist in the testing of their instruments and to answer for them many of the technical questions that are constantly arising. Mr. Johnson. Do you suppose that they have included in their appropriation a sum for making the same tests and instruments that you propose to make? In other words, would it not be better to simply appropriate money to buy such instruments as the Bureau of Standards has tested: that is, give them an appropriation to buy the instruments and give you an appropriation to test them? Mr. Ros A. That is what we are asking for—an appropriation that will put us in a position so that we can test these instruments satisfactorily. We are doing it now to some extent, and have been doing it for several years. We also test such instruments for the manufacturers. A great many types of instruments are made for use in radio telegraphy, and they are constantly undergoing changes, and we frequently receive from the manufacturers new instruments for test or investigation. Sometimes instruments work only imperfectly, and we point out the defects and suggest how to remedy them. If this were not done they would perhaps be selling them to the Navy and Army and the public to use with the defects in them. This is to enable us to do better and more work than we have been able to do out of our limited means for that purpose.
INVESTIGATION OF DANGERS IN TRANSM ISSION OF ELECTRIC (“U RRENT.
Another item there is for a special investigation in connection with electrical engineering. One phase of it is the life hazard due to high potentials in electrical engineering. More and more electrical power is being transmitted for long distances, at extremely high potentials, across the country and into cities, where it is distributed at relatively high potentials. There is very little regulation of this on behalf of the public, and not enough known in regard to what is the best practice to permit regulation. We should work in cooperation with the manufacturing companies and with the public-service commissions and others who are interested in this phase of the work. We should try to determine the best practice; what would conduce to safety and efficiency, and we would formulate rules that might be j by State legislatures and by city councils so far as the distribution of electrical current is concerned. This is a work that is very much needed by the public-service commissions, who are not and will not be able to regulate in this respect unless investigations be made either by themselves or by the States or by the Federal Government. One phase of the proposed investigation is for the study of lightning protection. Lightning rods are used to a considerable extent all over the country, and have been for many years. When properly used they are undoubtedly a measure of protection, but there is not enough known with regard to their use to enable people who wish to use them to do so intelligently and wisely. Too much is left to the lightning-rod agent or the firm selling them. Studies of this kind are made to some extent by manufacturing companies for the purpose of protecting their machines, electrical generators and transformers, and the Bureau of Standards would work in conjunction with them in promoting those ends. We would work in conjunction with the manufacturers and engineers who have had the most experience in order to get the greatest possible amount of information and so reach wise conclusions on the subject. We should also do some work in this connection that will be of service to public-service commissions in the direction of studying the regulation of the distribution of power for general use, and, to some extent, on the same lines as the investigations of gas that we have been carrying on for several years. There was an appropriation made several years ago for the study of gas photometry and gas calorimetry, and as a result of that study the bureau has taken up the study of the question of the regulation by cities and States of the quality of the gas distributed and the service that is rendered. It would be our purpose, as far as practicable and as far as our funds will permit, to make a similar study of electrical service and distribution. One of the things that makes our work difficult is the fact that each different subject requires a very special knowledge: it is necessary to develop experts along a great many different lines, as we can not pay sufficient salaries to employ men who are thoroughly competent at the start, and so it is necessary to train them up. We have been very much embarrassed in several of these different lines because of the men who have been trained by us leaving the service. The requirements of our work are higher than would be indicated by the salaries paid. I think it can be proven by careful investigation that the service and training required for our work are such that the salaries ought to be very much larger than they are, and that is partly proven by the fact that we are constantly losing men who are taken at much higher salaries either in other branches of the Government or in private employment. It is a very serious embarrassment in carrying out our technical work to lose men in that way. We have a man with us, say, from three to five years, and he comes to know more about the particular subject he is engaged upon than any
body else in the bureau, or anybody else in the entire country in some cases. When he has received that high training, some large corporation sees him and realizes that he is a valuable asset, or would be if they could get him. They pay him $500 or $1,000 or $2,000 more salary than we can pay, and we are powerless to prevent his going.
Mr. BURLESON. Well, you have the satisfaction of knowing that his services are not lost to the country. He is still a valuable man, and while he is not in the Government service he is rendering useful service in private employment.
Mr. Rosa. We appreciate that, and we would be delighted to be a research institution and a training school combined, but we can not afford to sacrifice the research work. If we could have a large enough force so that we could also perform the functions of a training school and send out these valuable men, it would please us all very much, but to lose our best men, and, in some cases, the only men in the bureau who can conduct the work in hand, is very embarrassing. We have suffered so much on that account that I feel strongly on the subject. People write in for information and expect everything from us just the same as though these men were with us. In losing such valuable men, there is sometimes danger of bringing discredit upon the bureau, because it is unfortunately true that the chief of a division does not know everything that a man who has been doing a certain line of work for years may carry away with him. We have highly educated men and in some cases doctors of philosophy who are working for us to-day on clerks' wages. Some who have been through colleges and universities, and have received the degree of Ph. D., with several vears' experience in the bureau added, are not receiving as much salary as clerks of class 1.
NOVEMBER 27, 1912. Hon. J. T. JOHNSON, (Chairman Subcommittee of the Appropriation ('ommittee,
House of Representatives, MY DEAR MR. JOHNSON: I inclose herewith a letter received to-day whicii illustrates the point I tried to make clear yesterday, namely, that publicservice commissions, legislators, city officials, manufacturers, and others are demanding reliable information regarding standardization to serve as the basis of laws and regulations. The first paragraph of the inclosed letter indicates that the writer is not aware of the fact that such an institution already exists in the Bureau of Standards, and I would call your attention to the fact that practically every division of the bureau is endeavoring to give information of this sort to the public. The writer of the letter is especially interested in the standardization of electrical materials prescribed in building codes. It is an exceedingly important matter, and two of the special funds included in the estimates of the Bureau of Standards are largely for the purpose of securing such information, namely, that for the investigation of fireresisting properties of materials and that for the investigation of dangers to life and property due to the transmission of electric currents at high potentials. The latter especialiy involves precisely the questions referred to in the incloseil letter.
With kindest regards, and thanking you for your interest in the bureau's work, I remain, Very truly, yours,
S. W. STRATTON, Directo!'.
CLEVELAND, Voreinber 22. 1912. DEAR SIR: I wish to enlist your aid in an effort I am making toward the establishment of a national electrical testing laboratory to be operated by the Federal Government.
As you are well aware, municipal electrical codes provide rules for only the wiring and installation of electrical equipment. But the safety of an installation depends not only on the method of doing the work, but also on the quality of the supplies and fittings used. The most available information now to be had concerning the quality and safety of electrical fittings consists of the findings of the underwriters' laboratories. Hence, in safeguarding electrical installations against faulty equipment, municipal inspection departments, in the absence of other information, are enforcing the findings of the underwriters' laboratories. These findings on electrical fittings are either positive approvals or rejections. The enforcement of these findings by municipal, and sometimes State and Federal, inspectors is uniformly rigid. The result is that the uderwriters' laboratories dictate absolutely what electrical equipment shall be used by the people of this entire country; and the dictates of this private corporation, which is in no way controlled or supervised by the Government, are enforced absolutely by Government officials.
Without questioning the integrity of the underwriters' laboratories, I believe that this is a condition that is entirely wrong in principle. That public offi. cials should enforce the mandates of a private, umrestricted corporation, whether through choice or necessity, is entirely against our ideas of right. Furthermore, this action by public inspection departments places a tremendous power in the hands of the underwriters' laboratories to discriminate between manufacturers. While I do not claim that this discrimination exists, nevertheless the easy possibility of such discrimination does exist.
I believe that the best solution of this difficulty lies in the establishment by the Federal Government of a testing laboratory, whose activities shall parallel those of the underwriters' laboratories. City or State laboratories of this character are undesirable because of the expense, the unnecessary duplication of work, and the diversified findings that might result, which would handicap the manufacturers of electrical equipment. The acceptance of the findings of such a laboratory need not be made obligatory upon cities or States. To obviate any legal difficulties, the laboratory may be established for the ostensible purpose of determining what eqnipment is suitable for use on Government work. The findings of this laboratory can then be legalized by any city or .State that cares to do so.
I furthermore believe that the establishment of such a laboratory would encourage small manufacturers, stimulate competition, and bring down the prices of some lines of electrical fittings.
The difficulty might also be solved in another way, if the underwriters' laboratories should consent to Government supervision. The Government control and supervision of these laboratories would justify the enforcement of their findings by municipal inspection departments.
I have taken this matter up with Congressman Bulkley and Congressman-elect Gordon, of this city, and both favor it and are agreed that it is a matter which merits attention. If you agree with me on this proposition, do all you can to aid it; explain it to your Congressmen and get them to support it.
At any event, whether you are against it or in favor with it, or have any suggestions to make, let me hear from you. Respectfully, yours,
M. SARBINSKY, City Electrician.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 1912.
STATEMENT OF MISS JULIA C. LATHROP, CHIEF. Mr. JOHNSON. The item for your bureau appears on page 295 of the bill. This is an item that we have not had before in this bill. The only difference between the appropriation asked for next year and what you have for the current year is a matter of one or two clerks. Your appropriation for the current year is $25,640 and
your estimates for 1914 are $29,440. Please make any statement you desire in regard to this item. Miss LATHROP. We have asked for these extra clerks because we are directed to make a series of investigations. We are just beginning upon the first one. We have two field agents under the law as it stands, and we are asking for three extra clerks so as to give us one special agent at $1,600 and two clerks to help handle the statistical material which will come in to the bureau. I think that this is a very modest advance, but as we are just beginning as a new bureau we wanted to be careful and not undertake things more rapidly than we were sure we could digest them. There has been some delay about the organization of the bureau, but we expect to take up the field work in the very near future. Mr. GILLETT. You think this a modest advance? Do you mean that you expect to advance every year and ask for additional money? Miss LATHROP. Well, I do not like to commit myself to anything about the future of the bureau, because to me, at least, it is a new and untried enterprise. I have read the discussions in Congress and in the Senate, and I understand that there is great anxiety lest we should get too ambitious and grow from year to year. However, if we have 29,500,000 children in the country—and I believe that is the report of the Census Bureau—I think this is a rather small item. Mr. JoHNSON. Have you gotten your little bureau organized and working smoothly now % Miss LATHROP. Yes, sir; I think so; so far as it has gone. Perhaps I might say in regard to that inquiry that it was very hard to know where to take hold. The act creating the bureau directs us to investigate and report upon all matters pertaining to the welfare of children and child life among all classes of our people, and that we shall especially investigate the questions of infant mortality, the birth rate, orphanage, juvenile courts, desertions, dangerous occupations, accidents and diseases of children, employment, and legislation affecting children in the several States and Territories. It seemed to us, after careful study, that the first thing to do was to take up the first thing enumerated here—that is, the question of infant mortality. We were told by the Bureau of the Census that about 300,000 children less than 1 year of age die in this country. Now, we really know nothing on this subject except as disclosed by birth and death registers. It seems to me that we could not begin at a more fundamental point for a Government bureau of this kind than to try to ascertain how many children are born in this country and how many children die, and whether it is true, as the Census Bureau tells us, that at least half of these 300,000 lives could be easily saved every year by those means which as a people we already know. It seemed to us that it was a sound place to begin. We must begin with a town within the birth-registrations area. i. e., the New England States, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, as our inquiries will be based upon the records of births—not deaths. We shall select some small industrial town which we can complete with the appropriation available. We shall get a birth record, in order that we may find out about the children who are born, and then try to trace these children through their first year. It is just as important to find out why they live as why they die.