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C H Q 






For Members of Technocracy Inc. 



155 East 44th St., New York 17. N. Y, 

Pir$t Edition 
Published in New Ytsrk During 1934, 1935, 1936 

Second EdiHon 
Fahlislied iii Saakato&Q, Sask^ 1937 

Third Edition 
PubliBHed in Winnipeg, Man^ 1937 

Fourth Edition 

VjMiihed in Winnipeg, Man^ 193S 

Fire FtintlnQS 

Fifth Edition 

PnbliBhed in New York, N. Y. 

First Printing, December, 1940 

Second Printing, October, 1943 

Third Printing, Jnly, 1944 

Fourth Printing, July, 1945 

DigilrdPriTtBd Edition 
January, 2008 

Contact us at: 

Visit us at: 

CopyHghi 1934, 1935, 1936, Technocracy Incorporated 
Printed in U* S. A* 


TECHNOCRACY INC. is a non-profit membership 
organization incorporated nnder the laws of the 
State of New York. It is a Continental Organization. 
It is not a financial racket or a political party. 

Technocracy Inc. operates only on the North Ameri- 
can Continent through the structure of its own Con- 
tinental Headquarters, Area Controls, Regional Divi- 
sions, Sections, and Organizers as a self-disciplined, 
self-controlled organization. It has no affiliations with 
any other organization, movement, or association, 
whether in North America or elsewhere. 

Technocracy points out that this Continent has the 
natural resourceis, the physical equipment, and the 
trained personnel to produce and distribute an abund- 
ance, i 

Technocracy finds that the production and distribu- 
tion of an abundance of physical wealth on a Con- 
tinental scale for the tise of all Continental citizens can 
only be accomplished by a Continental technological 
control — a governance of function — a Technate. 

Technocracy declares that this Continent has a 
rendezvous with Destiny; that this Continent must 
decide between Abundance and Chaos within the next 
few years. Technocracy realizes that this decision must 
be made by a mass movement of North Americans 
trained and self-disciplined, capable of operating a tech- 
nological mechanism of production and distribution on 
the Continent when the present Price System becomes 
impotent to operate. Technocracy Inc. is notifying 
every intelligent and courageous North American that 
his future tomorrow rests on what he does today. 
Technocracy offers the specifications and the blueprints 
of Continental physical operations for the production 
of abundance for every citizen. 



NUMEEOUS groups of people are requesting information 
about Technocracy, and in many places study groups have 
been formed for the purpose of studying Technocracy and its 
underlying principles. Unfortunately, the headquarters staff of 
Technocracy have not yet completed a comprehensive treatise 
which can be made available for the use of the general public. In 
the absence of such a treatise the following outline lessons are 
designed to serve as a guide for study groups which are now organ- 
ized and ready to proceed. 

Technocracy is dealing with social phenomena in the widest 
sense of the word; this includes not only actions of human beings, 
but also everything which directly or indirectly affects their ac- 
tions. Consequently, the studies of Technocracy embrace practic- 
ally the whole field of science and industry. Biology, climate, nat- 
ural resources, and industrial equipment all enter into the social 
picture; and no one can expect to have any understanding of our 
present social problems without having at least a panoramic view 
of the basic relations of these essential elements of the picture. 
All things on the earth are composed of matter and therefore re- 
quire a knowledge of chemistry. These things move, and in so 
doing involve energy. An understanding of these relationships 
requires a knowledge of physics. Industrial equipment, as well 
as the substances of which living organisms are composed, are 
derived from the earth. This requires a knowledge of geology and 
earth processes. Man is himself an organism, and derives his food 
from other organisms. Hence, a knowledge of biology is necessi- 

The purpose of this Study Course is not to give to any person 
a comprehensive knowledge of science and technology, but rather 
to present an outline of the essential elements of these various 


fields, as they pertain to the social problem, in a unified picture, 
l^^either are these lessons a textbook. They are, instead, a guide to 
study. The materials to be studied are to a great extent already 
very well written in various standard and authentic references and 
texts in the fields of science. 

At the end of each lesson there is cited a series of references. 
If one is sincerely interested in learning what Technocracy is about 
we do not know any other way that this can be achieved than by 
mastering the basic material contained in these references, or its 
equivalent from other sources. 

The scope of materials in this course of studies is so broad 
that it is very doubtful that any group will have among its mem- 
bers a single person competent to discuss all topics. It is quite 
probable, however, that there may be individual members who are 
engineers, physicians, and people with training in other technical 
branches. The procedure therefore recommended for conducting 
the course is that of the seminar method — each member of the 
group is a student, and none is the teacher. Under this method 
there should be a permanent presiding officer, but discussion lead- 
ers should be chosen from among the group, with topics assigned 
on the basis of making the best uses of the talent a:^orded by 
the group. Thus, for the matter and energy discussions, use should 
be made of members with training in physics, chemistry, or engi- 
neering. For the biological discussions use should be made of 
physicians or of people having training in biology. For the min- 
eral resources people with a knowledge of geology should be the 
preferred leaders. 

The above suggestions are offered only as guides. If special 
talent in the various fields should not be available, then any suit- 
able leader can direct the discussion, using the outline and refer- 
ences as sources of information. The important thing is to get a 
comprehensive view of the problem as a whole, rather than of its 
parts as unrelated scraps of knowledge. 


Technocracy ,..,.... vii 

Preface * ix 


An Introduction to Science 1 

1 Matter 15 

Change of physical states; molecules; the elements; atoms; 
chemical changes; indestructibility of matter. 

2 Units of Measurement .....,,,,.. 1^ 

Mass; length; time; force; work; power; English System; 
Metric System. 

3 Energy — 33 

Potential energy; kinetic energy; heat; temperature; measure- 
ment of heat and temperature? work and heal 

4 The Laws of Thermodynamics ..... 39 

Friction ; energy of evaporation ; chemical energy ; First Law 
of Thermodynamics; direction of energy transformations; 
entropy; heat and work; reversible and irreversible processes; 
transformations; unidirectional nature of terrestrial history; 
Second Law of Thermodynamics. 

5 Engines 51 

Definition; efficiency; heat value of fuels. 

6 The Human Engine 56 

Calories ; heat value of foods ; efficiency of the human engine. 

7 The Flow of Energy on the Earth 61 

Energy of rtfeming water; energy of plants and animals; 
chlorophylj §ol^r radiation; flow of solar energy, 


Lesson Pa<;e 

8 Dynamic EQurLisRiuM Among Energy-Consuming Devices ...... dJ 

Dynamic equilibrium of plants and animals ; dynamic equilib- 
rium of man. 

9 Energy in Human History IZ 

Domestication of plants; domestication of animals; discovery 
of metals. 

10 Early Stages in the Use op Extraneous Energy , . . . . 79 

Food, 6re, animals, wind, and water; use of fossil fuel; use 
of gunpowder; a new problem. 

11 Modern Industrial Growth .- 84 

Development of the steam engine; the railroad; the steam- 
boat; the automobile; transportation by air; table of de- 

12 Industrial Growth Curves , 92 

Pig iron; growth of railroads; point of inflection; productian 
of automobiles; radio; biological growth curves; coal; theo- 
retical growth curves; social and industrial results. 

13 Mineral Resources ;,. 106 

Discovery of metals; methods of discovery; coal; oil; iron; 
copper; f erroralloys ; movement of supplies; unequal dis- 
tribution of resources. 

14 More About Growth Curves , 113 

The decline curve ; the man-hour ; mechanization of industry ; 
decline of man-hours. 

15 The Price System 121 

The concept of property; trade; the concept of value; the 
concept of debt; definition of a Price System. 

16 Rules of the Game of the Price System 130 

Negotiability of debt; certificates of ownership; wealth; 
creation of debt; banking and credit; compound interest; 
growth of debt. 

17 The Flow of Money 138 

The flow of goods; the mechanism; the process; saving; 
investment; results, 

18 Why the Purchasing Power Is Not Maintained 143 


Lesson Pack 

The inevitable inflection point; attempts to maintain pro- 
duction; the financial structure; the process of investment; 
income; profits, technology, and purchasing power; new in- 
dustry; debt creation. 

18 Appendix : Population Growth in the U. S. A 157 

19 Operating CHAitACTERiSTics Under the Price System 161 

Inferior goods for large turnover ; foreign trade and war ; cur- 
tailment and destruction; low load factors; housing; inter- 
ference by business expediency; institutional and traditional 
interference; legal interference; political interference; propa- 

20 The Nature of the Human Animal ^ 180 

The solar system; the age of the earth; supernaturalism of 
man; objective viewpoint; stimulus and response; thinking, 
speaking, writing; suppression oi responses; involutitary pro- 
cess; control of behavior; glandular types; the endocrine 
glands; results on behavior; peck-rights; functional priority; 
social customs ; social change. 

21 Technocracy: The Design 213 

The arrival of technology ; the trends ; the solution ; personnel ; 
operating example; organization chart; special sequences; the 
Continental Control; Regional Divisions; requirements; the 
mechanism of distribution ; Energy Certificates ; a Technocracy. 

22 Industrial Design and Operating Characteristics 242 

Load factor ; quality of product ; the calendar ; transportation ; 
communication; agriculture; housing; design; standardization; 
unnecessary activities. 

Appendix 269 

The Technate of America; production of minerals; industry; 
more industry; fuel consumption; some equipment and re- 
sources; agriculture production; energy — the world's work; 

Bibliography 281 

Index 287 


WE wish it were possible for tts to liave a friendly chat with 
each student at the beginning of this Study Course, in 
order that we might impart to him something of the ^feeling' of 
science before he receives portions of its substance. Since a con- 
versation is out of the question, we are offering this informal dis- 
cussion, addressed to the student, as the next best thing. 

Persons have come previously to Technocracy for one or more 
of many reasons, such as entertainment, instruction, etc. Some 
have come from a sense of duty which compels their supporting 
that in which they honestly believe, and others have come out of 
sheer curiosity. We are well aware that the type of material pre- 
sented in the general lectures you have heard, or in our literature, 
has not been adequate, either in form or substance, to afford a full 
understanding of just what our work is. For those interested in 
learning more, this course of study is necessary. It means just 
that — study ; and you should be warned it will not be a great deal 
of fun. Many of you will be entering the field of science for the 
first time. 

The immediate activity of Technocracy directs itself toward 
two general ends. There is the analytical purpose which inquires 
into fundamental relations among the various parts of a Price 
economy, and which discloses the reasons for the collapse of such 
a System in any civilization that converts energy at a high rate. 
There is also the synthetic purpose that designs a control which 
will successfully operate just such a high-energy civilization. 
Please do not think of the analytic aspect of Technocracy as the 
destructive aspect, for there is nothing destructive about it. It does 
not destroy the Price System. The Price System destroys itself. 
Nor do we particularly like the antonym of ^destructive.' The word 
^constructive' has been bandied about so much by leaders of the 


present system that it begins to have an odor all its own. We shall 
not, however, study either of these sides of Technocracy; not at 
once, anyway. We shall study, not Technocracy ^ as such^ but the 
soil in which its roots are spread — science itself. It is appropri- 
ate for you to ask, at the outset of your course, what is this thing 
called science? How does it differ from something that is not 

A Fact 

Though there are a number of definitions current in diction- 
aries and in writings of various Mnds, we prefer to treat the matter 
at greater length. Perhaps there will be a definition, of sorts, later. 
We want you to have, at the end of this discussion, a fairly clear 
answer to your questions; a fairly clear idea of what is meant by 
a scientific mind, a scientific viewpoint, and a scientific approach 
to a problem. We shall commence by investigating the meaning 
of a very common word — the word ^fact/ That has a familiar 
sound. You have all been using it most of your lives, and yet if 
you were to ask two people picked at random for the meaning of 
the term, you would get rather dissimilar explanations* To a 
scientist, ^fact' has a very specific and a very rigid meaning. 

Please remember this definition, in essence if not in exact 
words. It is important, serving as it does as the starting point of 
your studies. A fa^t is the close agreement of a series of dbservor 
tions of the same phenomenon. 

Let us consider this for a while. We find a strip of steel and 
undertake a determination of its length. The investigator lays a 
scale parallel to the unknown length and measures it. He reads 
the scale at, say, 10.0 centimeters, but he does not accept as a fact 
the probability that the strip is 10 ce^timeters long. He repeats 
the measurement, taking care that his work is well done ; that no 
errors he might formerly have overlooked affect the result. Pos- 
sibly he uses a more accurate scale, one with a vernier, and let 
us say he reads the length to be 10.0 centimeters. In such a simple 
measurement as that of linear distance to one or two decimal 
places, probably two observations would be an extensive enough 
series to establish the fact that the length is so many centimeters, 
but if accuracy to the fifth or sixth place were required our seien- 


tist would employ instruments more refined than the simple scale, 
and undoubtedly he would make more than two determinations. 

The most probable value for the Telocity of light is 2.99796 x 
10^^ centimeters per second^ which is, as you know^ something 
over 186,000 miles per second. I do not know, and could not pos- 
sibly guess, of how many observations this fact is the result. Likely 
many hundred. Once an apparatus is set up, successive deter- 
minations can be made rather quickly. 

In the definition just given, the word ^observation^ is used in 
a broad sense. It means, of course, direct observation by our vari- 
ous sense organs, and it includes observation through an inter- 
preter, as it were. In many cases the phenomena we are examin- 
ing lie outside the field of our direct perception, and we must then 
devise ways of causing them to produce effects which lie within 
that field. For example : We are directly aware of electro-magnetic 
radiation having any wave length between approximately 0.4 and 
0.8 micron. (A micron is one 10,000th of a centimeter.) We see 
this as light. We observe radiation shorter than 0.4 micron, that 
is, ultra violet light, or even X-rays, much shorter yet, by exposing 
to the radiation a special photographic plate protected against 
ordinary light. How do we observe radiation with the wave length 
of %-mile, which is unrecordable by photographic processes? That 
particular wave length is in the range of marine signals, and we 
could detect it on a ship's wireless. 

We have said a fact is a close agreement of a series of observa- 
tions. Now, what about those 'facts' that cannot in any manner 
be observed by man ; those that, because of their remote or occult 
character, not only lie outside the field of his perception but refuse 
to exhibit themselves even through his most ingenious apparatus? 
It is implicit in our definition that there are no such facts. If and 
whatever such remote things are, they are not facts. 

One more point, and we shall be finished with our definition. 
It is a sine qua non of scientific work that all observations must be 
susceptible of confirmation. They must be so carried out that they 
may be repeated at will, or, if they are not repeatable, must have 
such a nature that you and I can ourselves substantiate them if 
we care to do the requisite work. We make a careful distinction, 


you see^ between yerifiable and nonyerifiable observations becanse 
from tbe former come facts, while from tbe latter come — ^well, 
what? Many devious and wonderful things we shall not scrutinize 
in this Btudy Course. We assure you none of them is within the 
scope of science. Science is built upon facts as we now under- 
stand them. Science is, indeed, nothing more than a system of 
facts and principles elaborated from facts. It is indispensable, 
therefore, that we check the verifiability of observations before 
we accept them as a valid basis for fact. 

Suppose we came upon a document signed by a dozen names 
and properly notarized. The document states that the under- 
signed have just returned from the planet, Venus, where they 
erected a monument to Colonel Stoopnagle. We would have the 
perfect agreemient of a series of observations of an event, and the 
statement cannot by any means be disproved. But even non- 
scientists would be apt to reject this as a fact. 

If you are offended by such a puerile illustration, here is 
another nearer home. Slightly more than a hundred years ago 
there was published a book purporting to be a translation of the 
engravings on a number of gold plates, or tablets, dug out of a 
hill near Palmyra, New York. After the translation was made 
the plates were reburied in another secret place. At the beginning 
of this book, preceding the translated text, appears the written 
testimony of eight men, saying that each of them has seen and 
handled the plates, that the plates were heavy, had the appear- 
ance of gold, and were covered with a curious inscription. These 
men were all devout Christians, and they called upon their God 
to bear witness, so that, all in all, the testimony is a very impres- 
sive document indeed. Clearly, the existence of the gold tablets 
cannot be reestablished today, since they have disappeared. There- 
fore their existence is not a fact, even though more than a hundred 
thousand people believe that it is. Only when, and if, the plates 
reappear, as all Mormons expect them to do some day, and are 
placed in a museum accessible to all of us, only then will their 
existence become a fact. 

Assuming you have never visited Sydney, Australia, how do 
you know there is a city by that name? You may have heard people 


mention it, or seen the name on maps, hut perhaps something is 
being pnt over on jou; perhaps it is all a great hoax. When 
Napoleon^s chief spy, Karl Sehnlmeister, was working himself high 
in the ranks of the Austrian secret service, he received almost 
daily e^ copy of a Parisian newspaper. He said an agent of his 
smuggled it across the border. Hatnrally, the Anstrians got a lot 
of information about conditions in France. The truth was that 
the newspaper was printed solely for Schulmeister and the Aus- 
trian generals, and each edition consisted of only one copy. It 
was all false, all exactly what Napoleon wanted his enemies to 
know. Might it not be the same with Sydney? The reason each 
of you believes in the existence of this place is because you know 
that knowledge is the kind that can be verified. You know many 
persons must have checked its reality by going there. You know 
that if worst came to worst you could go there yourself. This, 
then, is a fact, one which like all facts of science, can be reestab- 
lished by anyone. 

The student of science in our schools has laboratory courses 
in which he actually does check the work of others in simple ex- 
periments. This is done partly to develop his manual dexterity 
in that sort of thing, but mostly to drive into his head the knowl- 
edge that all observations may be so cheeked. 

Defming Words 

About all we have done so far in this discussion is to give you 
a definition, and to explain exactly what was meant by it. Why 
this insistence on exact meaning? We promised to tell you 
about science in general, and then proceed to split hsdm about 
something so small as would surely make little difference in the 
composite whole. This brings us to another point. A scientist 
always knows exactly what he is talking about. That sounds like 
a boast, but it is really quite the opposite. It is just that a scientist 
pays attention to the exact definition of terms; he should never 
use a term beyond its definition, and he should never use an un- 
defined term at all. Many, quarrelling with me on that last, will 
say one must somewhere use undefined terms. But we have a way 
out of that difficulty which will be indicated in a moment. Now, 


contrast a rigidly defined term with the expressions nsed in fields 
other than science — ^in finance, in politics, law, etc. 

Suppose you were reading an article on economics and came 
upon the word ^price,^ as you undoubtedly would do many times 
a page. Now everybody is credited with knowing the meaning of 
'price,* but youj being a particularly inquiring individual, insist 
on an exact definition. You would discover that almost every 
economist, when he bothers to elucidate his terms at all, attaches 
to the word 'price' a dilferent meaning. Some define it as the 
measure of the ratio of the scarcity of nioney to the scarcity of 
any commodity. Others make no mention of scarcity whatever. 
Still others introduce psychological and social factors. Invariably 
you will find that a definition when given is followed by great 
amounts of explanatory and qualifying material. This means the 
definition represents what is in the author's mind, not what is in 
the minds of all users of the word. Eor example : The Encyclopedia 
Britannica starts off by regretting there is no exact meaning for 
the word, and presently works into the definition, 'Price is value 
expressed in terms of money.' Then comes the qualifying material 
which says, in effect, this does not mean values are determined 
independently of or prior to the determination of their prices, or 
that values of goods and money are determined separately. Some 
sort of an exchange is necessary, after which the values thus de- 
termined appear in the guise of money prices. 

We are also told that the abstract notion of exchange value is 
a generalization of the simple idea of price. One who finds this 
less clear than he hoped would naturally try to discover what is 
meant by value, since price is expressed in terms of it. He would 
discover there are three conceptions of value : exchange value, sub- 
jective value, and imputed price. He would read the opinion that 
'value is the greatest philosophical achievement of the 19th cen- 
tury' but nowhere would he ^d a statement of what it is. He 
would be gratified to learn there exists, however, if not an exact 
meaning, at least a theory of values, a theory that requires con- 
sideration of the following points: What is the nature of value? 
What are the fundamental values^ and how are they to be classi- 
fied? How may we determine the relative values of things, and 


wliat is the ultimate standard of value? Are values subjective or 
objective? What is the relation of values to things or of value to 
existence and realil^? 

Let us go no further into the matter of price, for it does not 
appear necessary to labor the point that a term whose meaning 
has not been specified by general agreement among men is un- 
suited for the rigorous transmission of intelligence from man to 
man. In this connection, however, we shall take up another little 
problem. A hunter is standing near a large tree, and a squirrel is 
hanging onto the opposite side of the tree. The hunter now moves 
in a circle completely around the tree until he regains his start- 
ing position, but at the same time the squirrel also moves around 
the tree in the same direction and in such a manner as it always 
faces the man, and as the tree is always between it and him. How, 
the problem is this : Does the hunter go around the squirrel? The 
correct answer is not 'yes,' and it is not 'no.' The correct reply 
requires an exact definition of the verb, 'go around.' If we define 
'go around' as meaning that the hunter is first south, then west, 
then north, then east, and finally south of the squirrel, he very 
obviously does go around it. But if we agree that 'go around' shall 
mean first opposite the squirrel's belly, then its right side, then 
its back, then its left side, the answer is just as definitely 'no.' 
Here, again, we see the necessity for exact definition. It is inimical 
to the integrity of our thinking to use words loosely. Lack of 
careful definition sires more illegitimate offspring, widely vary- 
ing sports that take the form of controversies, debates, arguments, 
than a whole countryside of rabbit farms. Many problems out- 
side science would vanish into thin air if definition were exact. 

Before we leave the subject, let us ask if anyone can define 
a term used in connection with measuring the strip of steel — the 
word 'centimeter.' How long is a centimeter? It is useless to say 
it is the 100th part of a meter; that, in effect, is saying it is twice 
one-half centimeter. One merely asks: 'How long is a meter? Is 
there possible an exact definition of length not in terms of other 
units of length?' Yes. In the International Bureau of Standards 
near Paris is a certain bar of metal — one only. It is an alloy of, 
I think, platinum and iridium. On this bar are two marks, and a 


centimeter is defined as one one-hnndredtli the distance between 
these two marks when the bar is at 0^ Centigrade. This is an 
example of the prosaic, matter-of-course way scientists have of 
going about things. If they cannot define a term in terms of 
other terms, they define it in terms of an object or i^stem of 
objects in the external world. That is how we avoid using un- 
defined terms. We trust the distinction between a definition and 
a fact is clear. You will have many of both in your sttidies. 

A definition is an agreement^ wholly arhitrary in character^ 
among men; while a fact is an agreement among investigations 
carried out hy men. 

It is a definition that a centimeter is one one-hundredth the 
distance between certain marks on a certain bar at a certain 
temperature. It is a fact that a particular strip of steel is 10 
centimeters long. 

The Postulates 

So far we have been talking about fairly fundamental things. 
Just how fundamental, you may ask, and is there anything more 
fundamental? Let us see if we can go deeper yet. Let us try to 
strike the very foundations of science. Science is a fair palace of 
lofty dimensions. Does it rise out of the massive earthrock .itself, 
or is it erected upon sand and apt to crumble utterly should the 
unshored plain ever shift? You see, even if we fail to take you to 
the heights of science — an excursion that would occupy several 
hundred lifetimes — at least we start you at the bottom. So let us 
descend toward that bottom to see if we can at any depth discard 
the relatively fundamental and deal with the absolutely funda- 

We have used the quality of agreement to describe the intrin- 
sic character of both facts and definitions. There are in science 
agreements other than those of fact or definition. These are called 
postulates, and it is the postulates, three in number, that are the 
foundations of science. Now, a postulate is a curious mixture. It 
partakes of the nature of a fact in that it is a statement of fact, 
but differs from a fact in that the observations supporting it are 
not confirmable. A postulate partakes of the nature of a definition 
in that it is an agreement among men, but it differs from a defini- 


tion in that it concerns no trivial matter of nomenclature, and in 
that it is certainly not arbitrary. A detoition, as we know, is a 
mere shortcut in the language. Power is defined as the time rate 
of doing work. Obviously, we could go through all scientific litera- 
ture, cross out the word 'power,* substitute the phrase *time rate 
of doing work,^ and entirely eliminate a definition from the vast 
amount of material the mind must handle. Definitions which can 
be done away with thus easily cannot be per se the fundamental 
things we seek. But there is no more essential, however complex, 
manner of stating a postulate. And there are no already existing 
propositions from which it may be deduced. 

The first postulate states that the eooternal world actually is. 
In other words, a chair, a pencil, a city, the mountains, rivers, 
oceans, continents really do exist. We can at once go to work on 
them without having to establish their existence. 

The second postulate states that nature is uniform. This 
means we do not have to flounder about in a world wherein a sacK 
of flour suddenly transforms itself into a fish, and that into an 
automobile, and that into an oil well. The second postulate is 
our protection against chaos. 

The third postulate states that there are symbols in the ^mind' 
which stand for events and things in the Cisternal worlds The total 
sum of all such symbols in all minds, after eliminating duplicates, 
would be the sum total of that kind of knowledge for us ; and the 
sum total of ail things and events meant by these symbols, provided 
the symbols should ever become complete in number, would con- 
stitute the entire physical world. This means, in effect, that the 
mind itself is uniform. Mathematicians will note that the third 
postulate establishes a one-to-one correspondence between all that 
is in our minds and all that is in the external world. A corollary of 
this is that there is nothing in all the world that has the a priori 
quality of being unknowable. (In this paragraph the word *mind' 
has been used in its conventional sense. Later in the course we 
shall consider ^mind' from a somewhat different and highly 
interesting point of view.) 

We shall not discuss the postulates further for the reason 
that a scientist has nothing whatever to say about them. Every 


scientist is agreed that, so long as lie shall live, he shall not ever 
question these postulates, nor require any proof thereof. They 
are the rules of his game, and he is no more concerned with the 
rules of other games than a bridge player is about baseball rules. 
Is science built upon a firm foundation? Yes. It stands, properly 
ordered and rock solid, upon the enduring base of its postulates. 
Take note too that science is forever impregnable against any 
attack originating outside its postulates. The criticisms of meta- 
physicians, of philosophers, of mystics, are categorically absurd; 
are invalidated at their very source by so originating. And bear 
in mind it does not become you as scientists to discuss questions of 
ultimate truth, nor ultimate reality, nor anything else ultimate. 
Discuss them as novelists or theologians if you like, but not as 


How, in a paper that purports to introduce you very inform- 
ally to the field of science, why has no mention been made of any 
of the sciences themselves, if only that you may know what they 
are about? We have not spoken of heat, sound, electricity, hy- 
draulics, etc., which are branches of physics, nor of zoology, cyto- 
logy, embryology, etc., branches of biology, nor of chemistry and 
its branches. Why not? Simply because there are no sciences. 
There is only one science. It makes little difference what you call 
it. Call it the science of existence, or the science of the world, or 
just plain science. It is only very elementary phenomena we can 
identify as belonging exclusively to one or another of the name- 
labels that a hundred or so years ago were thought to distinguish 
one science from another. When we reach phenomena of any com- 
plexity — and you need not be told most of the world is very, very 
complex — ^we find the facts of one name-label mixing with those of 
another to such an extent as it is mere sophistry to think they 
should be treated separately. 

Suppose we bring together two substances, carbon dioxide 
and water. Nothing much happens, as you know from your experi- 
ence with charged water. Bring them together on the leaf of a 
plant in the presence of chlorophyl, and still nothing much hap- 
pens* But allow sunlight to fall on the leaf, and these two simple 


substances will be synthesized inta additional plant tissue, cellu- 
lose. Here we baye ligbt, chemistry and botany, all in one reaction. 

Consider deep ray therapy where advantage is taken of the 
fact that malignant tumor cells have three to four times the elec- 
trical condenser capacity of benign tumor cells. Here we have 
electricity, short-wave radiation, and human pathology becoming 
one problem. Diathermy and radio surgery are other examples 
of the connection between medicine and what were once called 
extra-human phenomena. 

Consider photopheresis, where a particle of gold or selenium 
or sulphur suspended in a strong stream of light moves toward the 
source of light, even though that be directly above the particle. 
Thus we establish a liaison between light and that elusive thing, 

Consider the photolytic cell where an electrode of lead and 
one of copper oxide are immersed in a solution of lead nitrate. No 
current flows in the dark, but if light is allowed to strike the inner 
face of the copper oxide electrode a strong although not a steady 
current is produced. Here we have chemistry, electricity, and light 
functioning together. The wedding of biology and chemistry is 
expressed in the word biochemistry. If you undertake the study 
of chemistry you will reach something called physical chemistry, 
which might just as well be called chemical physics. The chlorophyl 
of plants mentioned a moment ago and the hemoglobin of your 
blood have very similar chemical structures. Your blood con- 
tains the same salts as sea water and in virtually the same pro- 
portion, not so much the sea of today as that ancient Cambrian 
Sea that existed before ever there were warm-blooded animals. 
Do you see that there can be no frontiers within science; that 
there is, indeed, only one science? 

Scientific Prediction 

The two aspects of Technocracy, analytic and synthetic^ which 
have formed the subject matter of lectures you have heard in the 
past, have already been pointed out. This would not be an effectual 
preface if we failed to show that these two aspects are character- 
istic of the whole field of science. The collecting of facts of all avail- 


able kindSy by carefnllj repeated obseryations in all parts of the 
world by all types of interpreting apparatus, is clearly of an ana- 
lytic nature. What do we do with these facts as they are collected? 
Is our work finished when we make a report in the literature, and 
neatly file it on a library shelf? The high-energy civilization about 
us should demonstrate to anyone this is not so. Facts are powerful 
tools in our hands, continually in use. They are good tools ; but 
if you will again consider the definition you will see that no fact 
is absolutely certain, haying been established by inductiye methods. 
Fifty observations may have agreed very closely, but we cannot 
say positively that therefore the next fifty will so agree. We can 
say only that it is probable they will. Thus does the vast store of 
facts collected in the literature serve as a basis for determining 
what is most probable. 

The mechanism of scientific progress is this : We start with 
any phenomenon we care to, from a simple electrical effect in the 
laboratory to a high-speed Diesel engine. We say, ^On the basis 
of what we have observed, such and such a modification will prob- 
ably produce such and such a result.^ Then it is tried if the proba- 
bility is great enough. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. 
But out of the times it does work comes our intricate civilization 
with all its marvelous technical accomplishments. 

Science is^ in a dynwmic sense^ essentiallif a method of predtc- 
Hon, It has been defined a^s being the method of the determination 
of the most probable. 

In tossing a coin, how does one know how many times heads 
will turn up? How does a life insurance company know how many 
people will die next year? How does a geologist know where to 
drill for oil? How does the designer of a building determine how 
many elevators will be required? How does the weather bureau 
predict what the weather will be tomorrow? How can the astrono- 
mers predict to within a second an eclipse of the sun 150 years 

These are all illustrations of scientific predictions. Some of 
these predictions, as you well know, are more exact than others, 
but they are all based on the same fundamental principles of 
reasoning from the basic facts. When more facts are known, more 


accurate predictions can be made. That is wliat is meant by the 
most probable J not that by this method one knows exactly what 
will happen, bat by its use he can determine more nearly what 
will happen than by any other method. 

But machines must be operated in accordance with their 
design. If you wish to speed up your automobile, you must press 
the accelerator pedal. Into this problem enter no abstract consid- 
erations whatever, such as, is it ethical to speed up an auto this 
way, or is this the best of all possible ways of doing it? The 
machine simply is built to accelerate in response to this one oper- 
ation. This is a useful lesson to digest. No machine, no group of 
machines may be properly operated except as specified by their 
design. America's idle factories, her wanton destruction of food 
supplies while her citizens remain undernourished are results of 
trying to operate a system hj other criteria. 


Just a word or two about engineering. It is a frequently used 
term and some slight explanation of it should be offered. In the 
light of what has just been said you can see ihat a scientific labora- 
tory is not always a single building on a college campus. More 
often the dimensions of a laboratory coincide with the boundaries 
of a city or a nation. Suppose you have the problem of transport- 
ing a liter of sulphuric acid from one side of the room to the other. 
The best solution would be to pick up the bottle and carry it across. 
It is very simple. Suppose, however, you are confronted with the 
same problem on a somewhat larger scale. You receive a 10,000- 
gallon tank car of sulphuric acid on a railroad siding, and want to 
use the acid on the second floor of your plant. How you must con- 
sider a number of things that did not enter into the smaller prob- 
lem. What material will you install to convey the acid? What 
motive power will you use to propel it? Where will your storage 
tanks be located? Finally, do you buy in large enough quantities 
to warrant the erection of a sulphuric acid manufacturing plant 
on your own premises? 

This is the engineering side of chemistry. On the basis of 
established facts, the solution that is probably the best must be 


found for each question. Similarly with other kinds of scientific 
work. Laboratory electricity is the production of electrical energy 
in a voltaic celL Electrical engineering is the production of elec- 
trical energy by a waterfall, and the transportation of it a hundred 
miles at a hundred thousand volts. 

Please recognize we are still within the field of science, and 
remember no frontiers are set up anywhere in this field. There is 
only one science, and there is no essential difference between sci- 
ence and engineering. The stoking of a bunsen burner, the stok- 
ing of a boiler, the stoking of the people of a nation, are all one 


Since we are now actually to begin studies in this field, let us 
recapitulate the several pieces of equipment we have for the job. 

First of all, there are five senses through which the external 
world is perceptible to us. 

Kext, we have a mind to refiect upon what is perceived. But 
it is now a critical mind, unwilling to accept knowledge until 
inquiry is made into the sources thereof. Let us indicate here, and 
emphasize the fine, the incomparable quality of that mind which 
is able to entertain something iia which it neither believes nor 
disbelieves, something upon which it withholds judgment until 
the source-observations have been verified, or their verifiability 
affirmed. This critical miad is aware of the uselessness of thought 
unless thought be clothed in exact terms. With this mind a simple 
experiment performed with the hands and viewed with the eyes 
weighs heavily, while the testament of however many men con- 
cerning unconfirmable observations, even though that testament 
be preserved between the finely tooled covers of a rare book, 
weighs much, much more lightly than a feather. We are continu- 
ally aware that science is more than a dry catalogue of facts; it is 
a dynamic and powerful tool before which all problems shall some 
day yield. 

This, then, is the equipage we carry as we approach the physi- 
cal world, that actual, uniform world our postulates give us. I 
think we should not find it burdensome. 

Lesson 1 


THE eartli and everything upon it is composed of 
matter. Matter occurs in three principal physical 
states — solids, liquids, and gases. Examples of solids are 
rocks, wood, ice. Examples of liquids are water, gasoline, 
alcohol. Examples of gases are air, illuminating gas, 
water vapor or steam. 

Molecules* The smallest particle of any pure substance, such 
as water, iron or ^alt, which can exist without that substance 
changing its physical properties, is called a molecule. Thus, water 
is made up of millions of water molecules, each of which is, so far 
as we know, exactly, like every other water molecule. These 
molecules are much too small to be seen hj even the most power- 
ful microscope. There are ways of measuring them quite ac- 
curately, however, a^ to weight and size. 

Change of Physical State. Matter can be changed from one 
physical state to another. Thus, by the application of heat, water 
can be changed from its solid state, ice, to its liquid state, water ; 
and by further heating, to its gaseous state, water vapor. In a 
similar manner air, which is normally gaseous, can, by cooling and 
compression, be converted into liquid air, and this by still further 
cooling, can be frozen solid. 

Elements. There are compound substances and simple sub- 
stances, or elements. Common salt, a compound substance, for in- 
stance, can be separated by electrical means into two substances — 
the metal element, sodium ; and the poisonous gas element, chlorine. 
Water, in like manner, can be resolved into two constituent gases, 
the elements oxygen and hydrogen. Marble, similarly, can be 
divided into the elements carbon, calcium and oxygen. 



All of these last named substances are characterized by the 
fact that they cannot be further STibdivided. They are called 
chemical elements. Chemical elements are the building materials 
of which everything else on earth is composed. 

There are only 92 chemical elements. Several of these are 
relatively common in everyday life. Among the better known ele- 
ments are iron, aluminum, copper, tin, lead, zinc, silver, gold, 
platinum, oxygen, carbon, sulphur, hydrogen, nitrogen, chlorine, 
iodine and nickel. 

Some of the elements are exceedingly rare, and have been 
obtained only in extremely minute traces. Other elements are very 

Estimates based upon the averaging of thousands of chemical 
analyses show the upper 10 miles of the earth's crust to be com- 
posed of the following elements in approximately the percentages 




Amounts in Percent 
by Weights 
Oxygen 46.59 

Silicon 27.72 

Alnmlnnm » * 8.13 

Iron .^ 5.01 

Calcium 3.63 

Sodium 2.85 

Polassinm 2,28 

Siagnesinm * . 2.09 

Titaninm 0.63 

Phosphoms 0.13 

Hydrogen • * * ... * 0.13 

Manganese 0.10 

All remaining 80 element* * 0.71 

Total, 92 elements • « 100.00 

* Clarke, The Data of Geochemistry 

The striking thing about this table is that by f^r the greater 
part of the materials comprising the surface of the earth is com- 
posed of only five or six chemical elements. Most of the familiar 


metals that are used daily occur in amounts of less than one-tenth 
of one percent of the surface rocks of the earth* 

Atoms. The smallest particle of a chemical element is called 
an atom. 

Chemical Gompoimds. A chemical compound is a substance 
of definite chemical composition, which is composed of two or 
more elements. Over 750,000 di^erent chemical compounds are 

Examples of chemical compounds are water (oxygen and 
hydrogen, abbreviated H2O), salt (sodium and chlorine, abbre- 
viated NaCl), and sugar (carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, abbrevi- 
ated Oj2H220n). 

Mixtures, Most substances are not simple chemical com- 
pounds, but are rather miwtures or aggregates of various com- 
pounds. Wood, for instance, is composed of carbon, hydrogen, 
oxygen, and a small amount of mineral matter. Wood, however, 
has not a definite chemical composition, and is not a single chemi- 
cal compound. Likewise the air is a mixture chiefiy of two gases, 
oxygen and nitrogen. 

Chemical Changes. A chemical change involves a change of 
chemical composition. The grinding of wood into sawdust is a 
mechanical change which does not a^ect the chemical composition 
of the wood J burning of wood, however, is a chemical change. 

The burning of wood consists in combining the oxygen from 
the air with the substances composing the wood. Without the 
added oxygen, wood will not burn. After the wood is burned, if 
all the gases given off are collected and analyzed, it is found that 
they consist of carbon dioxide and water vapor. A slight residue 
of mineral matter in the form of ash remains. Hence, 

wood+oxygen — ► water+carbon dioxide+ash. 

In a similar manner the burning of gasoline in an automobile 
results in water vapor and carbon dioxide. This can be seen by 
watching the steam issue from the exhaust pipes on a cold day. 

Gasoline+oxygen — ►water vapor+carbon dioxide. 


When chemical elements combine in such a manner as to form 
more complex substances from simple ones the process is called 
combination. The reverse process of breaking more complex sub- 
stances down to form simpler ones is called decomposition. 

Example of combination : 

4Fe+30a— >2Fe20, 

iron oxygen Iron oxide 

Example of decomposition : 

2H2O— >02+2H3 

water oxygen hydrogen 

IndestructiLility of Matter. In all chemical changes of what- 
ever sort it has been found that if all the materials are carefully 
weighed both before and after the change, while allowing nothing 
to escape in the meantime, the weight of the materials taking part 
in the change before the reaction will be exactly equal to the weight 
of the products resulting from the reaction. This is true not only 
for the whole, but is also true for each individual element. 


All events on the face of the earth involve in one manner 
or another the movement or change in the relative configuration 
of matter. The rains and the flow of water, the winds, the growth 
of plants and animals, as well as the operation of automobiles and 
factories are a part of the movement of matter. Matter moves 
from one place to another, from one physical state to another, or 
from one chemical combination to another, but in all these proc- 
esses the individual atoms are not destroyed; they are merely 
being continuously reshufled. 

Ref erencea : 

An Introduction to Chemistry, Timm. 
The Spirit of Chemistry, Findlay. 
Hatter and Motion, Maxw^eU. 
The Data of Geochemistry, Clatke. 
Theoretical Chemistryp NecDtrt. 

Lesson 2 


IN the preceding lesson we have discussed some of the 
properties of matter. We have noted that all the ma- 
terials on the surface of the earth are composed of various 
combinations of the 92 chemical elements. We have ob- 
served that matter can be transformed from one physical 
state to another or from one chemical combination to 
another, and that such processes are occurring continu- 
ously on the earth, but that in none of them is the matter 
destroyed; it is merely reshuffled. 

Our next problem is to investigate the circumstances 
under which matter moves, or undergoes physical and 
chemical transformations. Before we can do this, how- 
ever, it is necessary that we become familiar with our 
systems of measurement. 

Mass, Length and Time. The three quantities that we deal 
with most frequently and hence are obliged to measure most 
often are mass^ length and time. 

The mass of a body is that property which gives it weight, or, 
more generally, causes it to have inertia or a resistance to any 
change of motion. A body has weight because of the attraction 
of gravity upon its mass. If gravity were reduced by one-half, the 
weight of a body, as measured by a spring balance, would also be 
reduced by one-half. For example, the weight of a given body on 
the earth is less by about one part in 200 at the equator than at 
the poles. Its mass, however, remains the same. 

If gravity were zero, bodies would weigh nothing at all. Sup- 
pose under this condition that we had two hollow spheres identical 
in outward appearance, one filled with air and the other with 
lead* ^NTeither would have any weight. How could we tell them 



apart? All we would need to do would be to shake them. The 
lead ball would feel *heavy' and the one filled with air light,^ If 
we kicked the lead ball it would break our foot just as readily as 
if it had weight because it would still have the same inertia and 
resistance to change of motion, and hence the same mass. 

Length is an already familiar concept which needs no explana- 

Time is measured in terms of the motion of some material 
system which is changing at a uniform speed. Mechanically oscil- 
lating systems like pendulums and tuning forks are the basis for 
most of our time measurements and form the control mechanisms 
of our clocks. Our master clock is the rotating earth whose hands 
are the stars which appear to go around the earth with uniform 
angular velocity once per sidereal or stellar day. 

Units of Measurement. The way we measure a quantity of 
any kind is to compare it with another quantity of the same kind 
which we employ as a unit of measurement. Thus we measure a 
mass by determining how many times greater it is than some 
standard mass; we measure a length by the number of multiples 
it contains of a standard length; and an interval of time by the 
multiples of some standard time interval. The choice of these 
standards is entirely arbitrary but if confusion is to be avoided 
two conditions must be rigidly observed: Different people per- 
forming a measurement of the same thing must use standards 
which either are the same or else the two standards must have a 
known ratio to each other; the other condition necessary is that 
the standard of measurement must not change. Unintelligibility 
results when either of these conditions is violated. The first type 
of unintelligibility would result if one man measured all of his 
lengths with a measuring stick of one length and another man used 
a measuring stick of a different length without the two ever having 
been compared. The second type of confusion would result if we 
attempted to measure lengths with a rubber band without specify- 
ing the tautness with which it is to be stretched. " . 

In the early days almost endless confusion in the units of 
measurement existed due to the failure to observe one or both of 
these conditions. All sorts of units of measurement sprang up 


spontaneously and were in general use* Sncli units of length as 
that of a barley corn, the breadth of a hand, and the length of 
King John's foot were not uncommon. Thus, it was customary to 
employ as units things like a barley corn which bear a single 
name but may vary considerably in size. The type of confusion 
that this could cause is illustrated by an apple dealer who adver- 
tised his apples at 25c per bucketful. He had on display several 
large size buckets filled with apples but when filling the customer's 
order he used a bucket much smaller in size; yet no one could 
say that he had not received a %ucketfuF of apples. The trick of 
course lies in the fact that there is no standard size of ^bucket.* 
The same liberties with a bushel measure would have landed our 
merchant in jail. 

To eliminate this kind of confusion governments have had to 
establish standards of measurement so that today in the whole 
world only two systems of units are extensively used. These are the 
Metric system and the English system. It is to *be hoped that 
soon there will be one only. 

Tie Metric System. The Metric system was established by 
the French government immediately following the French Bevolu- 
tion. For the standard of length a bar composed of an alloy of 
platinum and iridium was constructed and is preserved at the 
Bureau of Weights and Measures near Paris. Near each end of this 
bar there are engraved transversely three fine parallel lines. The 
distance from the middle line at one end of the bar to the middle 
line at the other end when the bar is at the temperature of melting 
ice is defined to be 1 meter. This is the prototype of all the other 
meters in the world. Exact copies of this bar made by direct 
comparison have been constructed and distributed to the govern- 
ments of the various countries of the world. In the United States 
this duplicate is kept at the Bureau of Standards in Washington. 
From this, additional copies are made and are obtained by manu- 
facturers of tapes, meter sticks and other measuring scales from 
which these latter are graduated. Hence the meter stick that one 
uses in his laboratory is probably not more than three or four 
times removed from the original bar in Paris. 

For units smaller and larger than a meter a decimal system 


of graduation is employed. Thus the centimeter is a hundredth 
part of a meter; a millimeter is a thousandth part of a meter; and 
a mdcron is a millionth part of a meter. Going up the scale a 
kilometer is 1,000 meters* There are other multiples and sub- 
multiples but the above are the ones most extensively used. 

Similarly, the unit of mass is that of a platinum weight kept 
at the Bureau of Weights and Measures and defined to have a mass 
of 1 kilogram. The gram is accordingly a thousandth part of the 
mass of this standard kilogram. Just as in the case of the meter, 
duplicates of the standard kilogram in Paris have been con- 
structed and distributed to the various countries. 

While both the meter and the kilogram are entirely arbitrary, 
when they were constructed an effort was made to satisfy two 
useful conditions. The original meter was constructed as accur- 
ately as possible to be one ten-millionth part of the distance along 
the earth's surface from the equator to the pole. This result of 
course was no*t achieved exactly so that by later measurements 
the earth's quadrant is found to be 10,000,856 meters. Still, how- 
ever, we can say with considerable exactness that the circumfer- 
ence of the earth is 40,000 kilometers. 

In a similar manner an attempt was made to have the mass 
of 1 gram be that of a cubic centimeter of water at 4'' Centigrade 
(the temperature at which water has its greatest density). Hence 
the kilogram is very nearly the mass of 1,000 cubic centimeters 
of water and for most purposes the mass of water can be taken 
to be 1 gram per cubic centimeter. 

The unit of time is the second which is defined to be l/86,400th 
part of a mean solar day or 1/86,164. 09th of a stellar day. In addi- 
tion to the second we have the familiar multiples, minutes and 

The Englisli System. The unit of length in the English 
system of measurement is the distance between the centers of two 
transverse lines in two gold plugs in a bronze bar deposited at 
the Office of the Exchequer, when the bar is at a temperature of 
of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. This distance is the standard t/ard, A 
foot is defined to be one-third of a yard, and an inch one thirty- 
sixth of a yard. 


The unit of mass in tlie English system is that of a certain 
piece of platinum marked ^P.S., 1844, 1 lb,/ which is deposited 
at the same place as the standard yard. This is known as the 
standard pound avoirdupois* 

The unit of time in the English system is the same as in the 

CoNVEESiON Between Meteic and English Units. These 
two systems of measurement are interconvertible when we know 
the magnitude of a standard in one system as measured in terms 
of the corresponding standard unit of the other system. By very 
exact measurement it has been established that 

1 meter 

=- 1.093614 yards 

== 3.28084 feet 

-- 39.37011 inches 

1 yard 

= 0.914399 meter 

1 foot 

= 30.4800 centimeters 

1 inch 

— 2.5400 centimeters 

1 kilogram 

= 2.20462 pounds 

1 pound 

= 453.592 grams 

Except for purposes of exact measurement one will rarely 
need to employ more than the first three or four of the figures of 
the above conversion factors. Hence, approximately, 

1 meter =39.37 inches 
1 kilogram = 2.20 pounds 

Derived Units. The foregoing units of mass, length, and 
time are said to be fundamentaL By means of these we can also 
measure a large number of other secondary quantities which are 
accordingly said to be derived quantities. For example, area is 
a derived quantity depending upon length, and a rational unit 
of area is a square whose length of side is the unit of length. 
Similarly, the unit of volume is a cube whose length of side is 
equal to the unit of length. 

Less obvious derived units are speed and velocity, and accel- 
eration which are terms used in describing the motion of a body. 


When a body moves its speed is the ratio of the distance it travels 
in a small interval of time to the time required. It is thus measur- 
able in terms of a length divided by a time, and so requires no 
other nnits than those of length and time already defined. We 
may express a speed in meters per second, kilometers per hour, 
yards per minute, or any other convenient length and time units. 

The velocity of a moving body at a given instant is its speed 
in a particular direction. For example, two bodies having the 
same speeds, but one moving eastward and the other northward 
are said to have different velocities. A point on the rim of a fly- 
wheel rotating uniformly describes a circular path at uniform 
speed, but since its direction of motion is changing continuously, 
its velocity is also changing continuously. 

Quantities like velocity which have both magnitudes and 
directions are called vector quantities. 

The acceleration of a body is its rate of change of velocity. 
When the body is moving in a straight line this becomes equal to 
its rate of change of speed. For example, when an automobile 
is moving along a straight road, if it increases its speed it is said 
to be positively accelerated; if it decreases its speed the accelera- 
tion is negative. We commonly speak of the foot pedal for the 
gasoline feed as the ^accelerator.' The brake, however, is just as 
truly an accelerator. If an automobile is increasing its speed uni- 
formly at the rate of a mile per hour each second, we say that 
the acceleration is 1 mile per hour per second. This is clearly 
equal to 1.47 feet per second for each second, or to 47.7 centimeters 
per second for each second. From this we see that an acceleration 
involves the measurement of a distance, and the division of this 
by two measured time intervals. If we make these two time in- 
tervals the same, then acceleration becomes: (distance/time) 
/time, or distance/ ( time )^. Thus an acceleration of one cm./ 
sec^. means that the body is changing its veliocity by an amount 
of 1 centimeter per second during each second. 

Acceleration, like velocity, is also a vector quantity. Its direc- 
tion is that of the change of velocity. What we mean by this can 
be shown by representing the velocity by an arrow whose length 
is proportional to the speed, and whose direction is that of the 


motion. Suppose the motion is curvilinear with the speed con- 
tinuously varying. The velocity vectors represented by arrows 
for successive times will have different directions and lengths* If 
we take two of these arrows representing the motion at two suc- 
cessive times only a short interval apart and place them with 
their feathered ends at the same point, their tips will not coincide. 
Now if we place a small arrow with its tail at the tip of the first 
arroWj and its tip at the tip of the second, this small arrow will 
represent, both in magnitude and direction, the change of velocity 
during the time interval considered. The average acceleration 
during that time is the ratio of the change of velocity to the time 
required to affect the change, and has the same direction as the 
change of the velocity. 

If this type of construction is tried with respect to uniform 
circular motion, it will be seen immediately that the velocity is 
continuously changing in a direction toward the center of the 
circle. Consequently the acceleration is also toward the center 
of the circle* If the motion is not at constant speed this will not 
be true. 

Force. We come now to the concept of force. Our primitive 
experience with force is by means of our muscular sense of push- 
ing and pulling. We can render this measurable by means of the 
stretch of springs, or the pull of gravity on bodies of known mass. 
A dynamic method of measuring force is by means of the accelera- 
tion of a body of known mass. For example, suppose we construct 
a small car with as nearly as possible frictionless bearings, and 
run it on a straight horizontal track. Suppose that we pull the 
ear by means of a stretched spring or rubber band kept at con- 
stant tension. The car will accelerate uniformly in the direction 
of the pull. How, if we load the car with different masses and 
repeat the experiment, for the same tension of the spring the 
acceleration will be greater when the load is decreased, and less 
when it is increased. If we keep the load constant and employ 
different tensions on the spring, the acceleration will increase as 
the tension is increased. 

Quantitatively, after correcting for any residual friction, 
what we learn in this manner is that the acceleration of the car 


is directly proportional to the tension of the spring, or to the 
applied force, and inversely proportional to the total mass of the 
car and its contents. 

By experiments similar to this it has been shown quite gen- 
erally and very exactly that this is trne for any kind of a body 
undergoing any kind of an acceleration : The acceleration is pro- 
portional to the applied force (or resultant of the applied forces 
where several act simultaneously), and inversely proportional to 
the mass. The direction of the acceleration is the same as that of 
the applied force. Conversely, the applied force has the direction 
of the acceleration and its magnitude is proportional to the ac- 
celeration and to the mass of the body accelerated. 

Since we already know how to measure acceleration in terms 
of length and time, and how to measure mass, this last fact en- 
ables us to measure forces in terms of masses and accelerations. 

In this manner we define a unit of force to be that force which 
causes a unit of mass to move with a unit of acceleration. 

In the Metric system, using the gram, the centimeter, and the 
second as our units of mass, length and time, respectively, the 
unit of force is that amount of force which will cause 1 gram of 
mass to move with an acceleration of 1 centimeter per second for 
each second the force is applied. This amount of force we call a 

At the latitude of New York the pull of gravity on a mass is 
such that if it is free to move with no other forces acting upon 
it, starting from rest it will move in the direction of the force 
exerted by gravity with a uniform acceleration of 980 cm./sec.^, 
or 32.2 ft./sec.^. Since this is true for a mass of any size, then 
for a 1-gram mass the force must be 980 dynes, since the accelera- 
tion in this ease is 980 times as great as that produced by a force 
of 1 dyne. For a mass of m grams the total force would have to 
be m times as great as for one gram in order to have the same 

We can obtain an approximate idea of the size of a dyne if 
we consider that a nickel coin (5 cents) has a mass of 5 grams. 
The force exerted by gravity upon this is therefore 5X980, or 4,900 
dynes. Thus, approximately, a dyne is' one five-thousandths part 
of the force exerted by gravity upon a nickel. 


Engineers frequently use another method of measuring force. 
They take as their unit of force the pull of gravity on a unit of 
mass, or its weight. The dif^culty with this is that gravity is not 
the same at different parts of the earth. It varies with elevation 
above sea level, with the latitude, and with certain other random 
disturbing factors. Hence, to be exact we must define what the 
value of gravity is to be. This is commonly taken to be 980.665 
em-Zsec."^ which is approximately the mean value of gravity at 
sea level and latitude 45°. The pull of this standard gravity on 
a 1-pound mass is a pound weight. The corresponding pull of 
gravity on a kilogram of mass is a hllogram weight. Since a pound 
is 453.592 grams, and the attraction of this standard gravity on 
a gram mass is 980.665 dynes, it follows that a pound weight is 
the product of these two figures, or 444,820 dynes. 

Work. When a force acts upon a body and causes it to move, 
work is said to be done. A unit of work is defined to be that which 
is done when a unit of force causes its point of application to 
move a unit of distance in the direction in which the force acts. 
In the English system when the unit of length is the foot and the 
unit of force the pound, the unit of work is the foot-pound. Hence 
the total number of foot-pounds of work done by a given force is 
the product of the force in pounds by the distance its point of ap- 
plication is moved in the direction of action of the force, in feet. 
The simplest example is afforded by the lifting of a weight. It 
requires 1 foot-pound of work to lift a 1-pound mass a height of 
1 foot 

In the Metric system when a force of 1 dyne causes its point 
of application to move in the direction of the force a distance 
of 1 centimeter, the work performed is defined to be 1 erg. Like the 
dyne, the erg is a very small quantity so that a larger unit of 
work is useful. We obtain such a larger unit if we arbitrarily 
define 10,000,000 ergs to be one joule. 

The conversion factors between the English and the Metric 
units of work are easily obtained by computing in both systems 
of units the work done in lifting a pound mass a height of 1 foot 
against standard gravity. In the English units this is simply 
1 foot-pound. In Metric units the force, as we have already noted, 


is 444,820 dynes, and the distance 30.4800 centimeters. The work 
is therefore the product of these quantities, or 13,558,200 ergs or 
1.35582 joules. Inversely, a joule is 0.73756 foot-pounds, or the 
amount of work required to lift a pound mass a height of 8.84 
inches, and an erg is one ten-millionth of this amount of work. 

Power* Power is the time rate of doing work. In the Metric 
system, when work is performed at the rate of 1 joule per second, 
the power is defined to be 1 wwtt. Work at the rate of 1,000 joules 
per second is a thousand watts or a kilowatt* In the English sys- 
tem, the unit of work is the horsepower. This unit was defined by 
James Watt, who attempted to determine the rate at which a draft 
horse could do work so that he could use this for rating the power 
of his steam engines. The result he achieved was that 1 horsepower 
is a rate of doing work of 33,000 foot-pounds p6r minute, or 550 
foot-pounds per second. Since a kilowatt is 1,000 joules per second, 
or 737.56 foot-pounds per second, it follows that this is equal to 
1.3410 horsepower, or that a horsepower is equal to 745.70 watts, 
or 0.74570 kilowatts. 

A kilowatt-hour is the amount of work done by a kilowatt of 
power in 1 hour; a horsepower-hour is the amount of work done 
by a horsepower in 1 hour. These are accordingly units of work, 
the kilowatt-hour being 1,000 joules per second for 3,600 seconds, 
or 3,600,000 joules, and the horsepower-hour 33,000 foot-pounds 
per minute for 60 minutes or 1,980,000 foot-pounds. Also 1 kilo- 
watt-hour bears to a horsepower-hour the same ratio as the kilowatt 
to the horsepower. 

Conversion Factors. While all of the conversions between the 
foregoing units of measurement are easily derived in the manner 
we have just seen, it is convenient to have at hand a table of con- 
version factors for ready reference. Such a table containing the 
factors that are most often used is given below. In this let 
us introduce for the first time here a system of notation 
for writing numbers that is widely used hj scientists and engi- 
neers but may not be familiar to some of the readers. When 
dealing with very large numbers or very small decimal fractions 
it is bothersome and confusing to have to write out numbers like 


2,684,500, which is the mimber of joules in a horsepower-hour, or 
0.009,000,737,56 which is the number of foot-pounds in an erg. We 
may note that 

2,684,500=2. 6845X1,000,000-=2.6845X10^ 
and similarly, that 


Any number, large or small, can be written in this manner 
which has many advantages over the longhand method. In the 
following table this system will be used for the very large and 
very small numbers. 

In this table the factors are expressed to five or six significant 
figures. For all ordinary calculations only the first three or four 
figures are needed and all the rest can be dropped or set equal to 
zero. They are only needed when very exact measurements have 
been made and hence very exact calculations required. Most 
measurements are not more accurate than 1 part in 1,000, and 
calculation more exact than this is meaningless for such measure- 


Standard Gravity: 



980.665 cm/sec* 


32,174 ft./8ec.* 


1 dyne 


1 gm. cm./aec* 


2.2481X10^ pound weight 

1 pound vfeigbt 


4.4482X10* dynes 


1 erg 


1 dyne-centimeter 


1X10-' joules 

1 jotde 


1X10' ergs 


0.73756 foot-pound 

1 foot-pound 


1.355B2 joules 


1.35582X10^ ergs 

1 kilowan^ionr 


3.6000X10" joulea 


2.6552X10' foot-pounds 


1.3410 horsepower-hours 

1 horsepower4iotir 


1.9800X10" fooi-pounds 


2.6845X10" joules 


0,7457 kilowatt-hour 


745.7 watl-hours 



1 watt = 1 joule per second 

= O.OOl kilowatt 

= 1X10^ ergs per second 

= 0.73756 foot-pound per second 

= 1.3410X10-^ 'Horsepower 

1 kilowatt — 1X10^*^ ergs per second 

= 1,000 Joules per second 

= 737.56 foot-pounds per second 

— 1.3410 horsepower 

X horsepower = 550 foot-pounds per second 

= 33,000 footwpounds per minute 

= 0.7456 kilowatt 

= 745.7 watts 

1 foot-pound/see. ~ 1.35582 watts 

— 1.8182X10-^ horsepower 

Examples of Work and Power. Lest we lose sight of the 
fundamental simplicity of the concepts of work and power and 
become confused by the array of conversion factors^ let us consider 
a few simple examples. 

(1) Thi Power in Climbing States. How much power does 
a man generate in climbing stairs^ for example? At an average 
rate of walking a man will climb a height of about 36 feet per 
minute. In so doing he is lifting his own weight. Suppose he 
weighs 150 pounds. Then his rate of doing work is 5,400 foot- 
pounds per minute, or 90 foot-pounds per second. Since a 
horsepower is 550 foot-pounds per second, and a watt is 
0.73756 foot-pounds per second, it follows that he generates 
0.164 horsepower, or 122 watts. This is in round numbers 
one-sixth of a horsepower. If he ran up the stairs six times 
as fast he would generate 1 horsepower. Running at such 
a rate, however, could only be maintained for a few seconds. 
Even walking at the above rate can be continued by few 
people for more than a few minutes. For example, few 
people can walk steadily, without stopping for rest, from 
the ground to the top of the Washington Monument which 
is over 500 feet high. Climbing for 8 hours would give 
an average rate much smaller than that of walking up a few 
flights of stairs, and so would reduce correspondingly the 
average power generated. 


(2) LiEi^iNa Packages. Suppose a workman lifts packages 
from the grotiiid to trucks 4 feet abore the ground. In 6 hours 
he lifts 65 tons. How much work does he do, and what is the 
average power? The work done is 520,000 foot-pounds. This 
is 0.26 horsepower-hour, or 0.20 kilowatt-hour. The power 
averaged is 24 foot-pounds per second which is 33 watts, or 
0.044 horsepower. 

(3) Pumping Water. A man pumps water for 10 hours with 
a hand-pump. In that time he raises 14,000 gallons a height 
of 10 feet. What is his work and his average power? A gallon 
of water weighs 8.337 pounds. The work done is therefore 
1,170,000 foot-pounds, or 0.44 kilowatt-hour. The average 
power is 44 watts. 

(4) Shoveung Loose Dirt. In 10 hours a man shovels 25 tons 
of loose dirt over a wall 5 feet 3 inches high. What is the 
work and average power? The work done is 262,500 foot- 
pounds, or 0.10 kilowatt-hour. The power is 7.28 foot-pounds 
per second, or 10 watts. 

(5) Carrying a Hon. In 6 hours a man carrying a hod raises 
17 tons of plaster 12 feet. The Avork is 408,000 foot-pounds, or 
0.154 kilowatt-hour. The average power is 18.8 foot-pounds 
per second, or 25 watts. 

(6) Pushing a Wheelbarrow. A man with a wheelbarrow 
raises 51 tons of concrete a height of 3 feet in 10 hours. The 
work done is 306,000 foot-pounds, or 0.115 kilowatt-hour. 
The average power is 8.5 foot-pounds per second, or 11.5 watts. 

These examples give one a very good idea of how much use- 
ful work a man can do in a day. In work of these kinds we have 
counted only the useful work accomplished. In each case the work 
actually done was greater than that computed. In the wheelbarrow 
problem the total work performed should include the repeated 
lifting of both the wheelbarrow and the man himself. If the wheel- 
barrow load was 200 pounds and the man and empty wheelbarrow 
weighed another 200 pounds, then it is clear that the actual work 


performed would be twice tlxat computed, not allowing for the 
friction of tbe wlieelbarrow. 

A kilowatt-hour of work will lift a ton weight* a quarter of a 
mile high; a kilowatt of power will do this in one hour of time. 
Working under the most efacient conditions, it would take at least 
IS men to da the same amount of work in the same time. Under 
less efficient conditions the number of men would be correspond- 
ingly greater. 

This same kilowatt-hour is the unit for which we pay our 
monthly electric light bill at a domestic rate of 5 — 7 cents each. 
Commercial rates on electric power range from a few mills to a 
cent or so per kilowatt-hour. A workman whose pay is less than 
25 cents per hour is working at practically starvation wages. The 
conjunction of these two facts is of rather obvious social signif- 


This Mechanical World, Mott-Smith. 

A Textbook of Physics, Vol. I» Crimselil. 

Lesson 3 


Now that we have become familiar with what is meant 
by work, let us consider a related but more general 
physical quantity, namely, energy. If anything has the 
capacity to perform work, it is said to possess energy. 
The amount of its energy is measurable in terms of the 
amount of work it can perform. Hence, energy is measur- 
able in units of work — ergs, joules, or foot-pounds. 

Potential Energy. A stretched spring does work when it con- 
tracts. A weight upon a table does work in being lowered to the 
floor* Woi'k is done when a piece of iron is drawn to a magnet. 
Hence, each of those systems possesses energy which is manifested 
by the amount of work that it can do in changing from one posi- 
tion or configuration to another. Energy of this kind obviously is 
associated with the position or configuration of a material system 
and is known as potential energy. 

Chemical systems, such as gunpowder, gasoline, coal, dry 
cells, storage batteries and the like, have the capacity of performing 
work when they undergo chemical changes. This too is potential 
energy and is dependent upon the internal configuration of the 
atoms with respect to each other. 

Kinetic Energy. Imagine a flywheel mounted upon a horizon- 
tal axle with as nearly as possible f rictionless bearings, and a cord 
with a suspended weight attached so as to wind around the axle. 
First, wind the system up and then release it. As the weight falls, 
the flywheel will continuously increase its angular velocity. When 
the weight reaches its lowest position, the cord will begin to 
wind around the axle in the opposite direction, and the weight will 
be raised. At the same time the flywheel will be slowed down^ 



coming finally to rest when the weight has regained its original 
elevation. Then, if not arrested, the process will repeat itself in 
the opposite direction. 

In the initial and the final stages of this experiment the system 
possesses potential energy — that of the raised weight. In the 
middle stage, when the weight has reached its lowest position, its 
potential energy is a minimum. Still, however, the system has a 
capacity to do work as demonstrated by its lifting the weight back 
to its original elevation. This energy obviously resides in the 
motion of the flywheel. In fact, if we set a flywheel in motion by 
any method and then bring it to rest by having it lift a weight, we 
find that the number of foot-pounds of work it can do is propor- 
tional to the square of its angular velocity (number of revolutions 
per unit of time). 

In the same manner we can bring an automobile coasting on 
a level road to rest by making it lift a weight. The work it can do 
is found to be proportional to its mass and the square of its speed. 
In fact, the work it could do in this manner is : 

work= n 

Bodies, therefore, possess energy in virtue of their state of 
motion. Work must be performed upon them to set them moving, 
and must be done by them in coming to rest again. This energy, 
due to motion, is called kinetic energy. 

Heat When work is performed on a system, it may not in- 
crease either the potential or the kinetic energy of the system. 
It may be completely dissipated by friction. An automobile or a 
flywheel can be brought to rest hj means of brakes. A weight can 
be lowered at constant speed if properly braked. In all such cases 
heat is produced where the friction occurs. On a long grade the 
brakes of an automobile may become so hot as to burn out. Drills 
become heated when boring. Tools are heated by grinding. 

The conclusion is that when a body loses kinetic or potential 
energy due to friction heat is always produced. Hence, heat must 
be a form of energy. Does a given amount of work always produce 

tlie same amonnt of heat? To answer this question we must devise 
a way to measure heat. 

Measurement of Heat. To measure heat we must first dis- 
tinguish between the temperature of a body and the quantity of heat 
it contains. Our primitive recognition of temperature is by means 
of our sense of feel. The quantity of heat a body contains is related 
both to its temperature and to the size of the body. Thus, a gallon 
of water contains four times as much heat as a quart of water at 
the same temperature. How the quantity of heat is related to the 
temperature can only be determined after we have found how to 
measure temperature. 

Measurement of Temperature. Our sense of feel is not very 
reliable for determining temperatures, so we must devise a tem- 
perature measuring instrument This we do by noting that gases, 
liquids, and solids all change volume as their temperature is 
changed. Usually, but not in all cases, the volume increases with 
increase of temperature. In addition to this we have certain in- 
variant points of fixed temperature like that of melting ice, and 
boiling water at constant pressure. 

By means of the expansion of a given material between these 
fixed temperatures we can measure intermediate temperatures. 

We may define the temperatures of melting ice and of boiling 
water at a pressure of one standard atmosphere (one standard 
atmosphere is defined to be the pressure exerted by a column of 
mercury 76.0 centimeters high due to the attraction of standard 
gravity, or 1.01325X10® dynes per square centimeter) to be any- 
thing we like, but the choice of these temperatures determines 
the thermom-etric scale. 

If we let 0° be the temperature of melting ice and 100° that of 
boiling water, we have the Centigrade scale. If we let 32'' be the 
temperature of melting ice and 212"" that of boiling water, we have 
the Fahrenheit scale. 

For the intermediate temperatures our best thermometric 
substance is hydrogen gas. If we let To be the volume of a given 
quantity of hydrogen gas at the temperature of melting ice and 
at a pressure of 1 atmosphere, and Fioo that of the same gas at 


the temperature of boiling water and a pressure of 1 atmospliere, 
then by diylding the difference between these two values into 100 
equal parts we have a volume scale for the gas to which we relate 
the corresponding temperatures. For example^ at some unknown 
temperature the gas has a measured volume Y. The temperature 
in ®0. then is: 


If y should be one-fourth the difference between Fo and yioo, 
the temperature would be 25° C; if one-half, the temperature 
would be SO*" C, etc. 

The same procedure is used for the Fahrenheit scale except in 
this case the interval between freezing and boiling is taken to be 
180° instead of 100% and freezing is defined to be 32\ 

The familiar mercury thermometers are handier to use. They 
are calibrated, however, by temperatures originally established 
by a hydrogen thermometer. 

Absolute Scale of Temperature. There is one more scale of 
great scientific importance that should be mentioned now because 
we shall need to make use of it in our next lesson » This is the abso- 
lute scale. 

It is found by experiment that for each degree Centigrade be- 
tween 0"" C. and 100° C, the volume of hydrogen gas increases by 
a constant amount of 1/273.2 of its volume at C C, Fo. At this 
same rate of volume change, the volume would decrease to zero 
at a temperature of — ^273.2'' C, which suggests that this may be 
the lowest possible temperature obtainable. Elaborate experi- 
mentation has demonstrated that this is the case, and tempera- 
tures within a fraction of a degree of this amount have been 

It seems reasonable, therefore, to call the lowest possible 
temperature, the absolute zero, of temperature. If we call this 0° 
absolute^ and otherwise use the Centigrade scale, then the melt- 
ing point of ice becomes 27S.2*' absolute and the boiling point of 
water 373.2° absolute. 

MnMUGY 37 

Conyersion factors between the thermometric scales are as 

1.8^ F.=1.0'^ C. 






Quantity of Heat To measure the amount of heat, we re- 
quire a unit of measurement, whose choice, like that of all other 
units of measurement, is arbitrary. In the Metric system we take 
this to be the amount of heat required to raise the temperature 
of 1 gram of water 1*" C. We call this the gram calorie, A hilo- 
gram-calorie is 1,000 gram calories, or the heat required to raise 
the temperature of a kilogram of water 1*^ C. 

In the English system the corresponding unit is the British 
thermal unity or therm^ defined as the amount of heat required to 
raise the temperature of 1 pound of water l"" F. 

Since the heat required per degree varies slightly with tem- 
perature, for yery exact measurements we must specify also the 
temperature at which the measurement is to be made. The most 
common procedure is to take the mean, or average, values over the 
range from 0*" C. to 100"* G. These will be understood to be the 
values employed here. 

By converting ** F. to ^ C. and pounds to grams we can easily 
determine the conversion factors between the English and Metric 

1 kilogram-calorie=3.9685 British thermal units 
1 British thermal unit— 251.98 gram calories 

—0.25198 kilogram-calories. 

Work and Heat, We are now in a position to answer the 
question propounded earlier : How much heat is produced by f ric- 


tion from a given amouiit of work? To determine tbis all we need 
is a heat insulated vessel filled with water, into wMcIi a shaft from 
the outside extends and terminates in some kind of a brake me- 
chanism. On the external end of the shaft is a pulley around which 
a cord supporting a weight is wound. The weight falls slowly and 
heat is generated by the brake inside the vessel. By noting the 
temperature rise and the quantity of water heated, the number 
of calories of heat can be computed; by knowing the weight and 
the distance it descends the amount of work can be computed. 
Then we know the quantity of heat generated by a known amount 
of work. 

The first experiment of this kind was performed by Joule in 
England about 1845. Subsequently, numerous such experiments 
have been performed with great precision. As a result it has been 
found that a given amount of work always produces the same 
amount of heat : 4.186 Joules of work produce 1 gram calorie of 
heat; 777.97 foot-pounds of work produce 1 JB.t.u. of heat. 

Thus, since 4.186 joules are equal approximately to 3.1 foot- 
pounds, it is clear that a 1-pound weight falling 3.1 feet will pro- 
duce 1 gram-calorie of heat; if a t-pound weight falls 778 feet and 
its energy is converted into heat, the amount of heat will be 1 
British thermal unit. Hence, the heat generated by a waterfall 
778 feet high would be sufficient to raise the temperature of the 
water at the foot of the fall 1 degree Fahrenheit. Actually, unless 
the quantity of water is large, a considerable fraction of this heat 
will be lost to the surrounding air and by evaporation of the fall- 
ing water, but the heat generated, counting the above losses, is 
still 1 British thermal unit per pound of water. 

^inoe friction is never completely eliminated^ we see that in 
all processes involving worlcy energy in the form of work is con- 
tinuously dissipated and an equivalent amount of energy in the form 
of heat is produced. 

References : 

This Mechanical World, Mott-Sinitli 

Heat and Its Workings, Mott-Smith 

The Story of Energy, Mott-^mith 

A Text Book of Physics, (Vol. I, Mechanics; Vol. II, Heat and Sound) ^ 

Lesson 4 


IN tlie preceding lessons Ave have already learjied that 
matter on the earth is not destroyed, and that move- 
ments and changes of matter involve work or energy. We 
further learned that there is an exact relation between 
work and heat; namely, that when a given quantity of 
work is converted into heat the same amount of heat is 
always produced. 

It was also pointed out in discussing the weigh t-and- 
flywheel experiment that if no friction were involved, and 
hence no heat produced, the loss of potential energy by 
the falling weight would be completely compensated by 
the gain in kinetic energy of the flywheel. After the fall- 
ing weight had reached its lowest point it Avould be re- 
lifted by the flywheel which would slow down and lose 
kinetic energy as the lifted weight gained potential 
energy. Furthermore, the gain in potential energy would 
be exactly equal to the loss in kinetic energy and vice 

Hence we arrive at the conclusion that, in any purely 
mechanical system involving no friction and hence no 
heat loss, the sum obtained by adding all the potential 
energies and all the kinetic energies existing simultane- 
ously is a constant. 

The Conservation oi? Energy 

Friction. When there is friction (which in reality involves 
all cases) heat is produced, and the amount of heat produced is 
proportional to the loss of kinetic and potential energy by the 
system. Since heat is a form of energy and 1 gram calorie of heat 
is equivalent to 4.18 joules of work, if the heat loss be stated in 
terms of joules instead of calories, it will be found that the energy 
appearing as heat is exactly equal to the loss of mechanical energy 
— potential and kinetic — ^by the system. 



Energy of Evaporation. When water boils at a pressure of 
1 atmosphere the temperature remains constant at 100** C, If heat 
is added at a faster rate the water boils more vigorously but the 
temperature still remains constant. If this be continued long 
enough all the water will finally disappear as steam or water 
vapor. Here we have a case where energy in the form of heat is 
being added to a system without any increase in temperature of 
either the water or the vapor, but in which there is a progressive 
change of water from its liquid to its gaseous state. It follows, 
therefore, that the energy must be required to effect this change. 
By careful measurement of the amount of heat required to vapor- 
ize a known quantity of water it has been determined that 539.1 
gram calories of heat are required to vaporize 1 gram of water 
at a pressure of 1 atmosphere and 100° C. 

At first thought it might appear that this energy has been 
lost. If the steam is made to condense back to water again, how- 
ever, while at 1 atmosphere pressure and 100° C, it has been found 
that 539.1 gram calories of heat must be extracted. Thus the heat 
of evaporation has not been lost but stored in the vapor. 

This energy required to produce evaporation serves two pur-^ 
poses: (1) Part of it is required to pull the water molecules 
apart against their own mutual attractive forces and hence be- 
comes stored as potential energy. (2) Part of it is required to 
perform the work of vaporization against the atmospheric pressure 
when 1 gram of liquid water expands into 1 gram of steam. Thus 
we may say that the heat of vaporization is employed to perform 
two kinds of work, an internal work against cohesive .forces, and 
an external work against atmospheric pressure. When the reverse 
process occurs this energy is again released in the form of heat. 

Chemical Energy. If 2 grams of the gas hydrogen are mixed 
with 16 grams of the gas o^gen and the mixture ignited by an 
electric spark while being maintained at a constant pressure of 1 
atmosphere, there will be a mild explosion and 18 grams of water 
vapor at a greatly elevated temperature will result. If this water 
vapor be cooled down to the temperature of the original mixture 
(room temperature) it will become 18 grams of liquid water, but 


to produce this result it will be necessary to subtract 68,300 gram 
calories of heat. Thus we may write: 

2H3 + Oa — »- 2H2O + 2 X 68,300 cals. 
4 grains 32 grams 36 grams 

Hydrogen Oxygen Liquid Water 

It is also possible by means of an electric current to separate 
liquid water back into its components, hydrogen and oxygen, at 
room temperature and 1 atmosphere pressure. When this is done 
we find that the electrical energy required plus the heat that 
must be added to decompose 18 grams of water is equivalent to 
68,300 calories. 

While this is only an isolated instance, the same kind of thing 
is true for all chemical reactions. Some release energy; others 
require the addition of energy. In all cases, however, if a chemical 
change when proceeding in one direction releases energy, then 
an exactly equal amount of energy would have to be supplied if 
the constituents of the system are ever to be restored to their 
initial state. 

Thus a storage battery releases energy upon being discharged, 
but the same amount of energy must be supplied if the battery 
is to be recharged* Coal and wood release energy in the form of 
heat upon being burned (reacting with oxygen) but this energy 
was originally supplied by the sun when the components of these 
fuels were originally combined. 

Still other forms of energy are those of light, electricity, mag- 
netism, and sound. Space here does not permit a detailed discus- 
sion of all of these forms. Enough has already been said to lead 
one to suspect that energy is interchangeable among all of these 
various forms. This is indeed the case. 

The First Law of Thermod3mamics. If we generalize the 
facts already noted we arrive at one of the most important con- 
clusions of all science. Let us take any system of matter, and let 
us cause this to change from some initial state, A^ to some final 
state, B. In this process a definite amount, E, of energy will be 
released in the process of transition. (If energy is absorbed E will 
be negative.) Now hj any method whatsoever, let us restore the 


system to its initial state, A. In this case the same amount, B^ of 
energy will have to be restored to the system as was originally 
released hj it. Were this not so it would be possible to obtain more 
energy, Ex, in changing the system from state A to state B than 
the amount E^ required to restore the system from state B to 
state A, In this manner a complete cycle would leave us with a 
surplus of energy which could be used in lifting a weight or in 
otherwise performing work. This would enable us to build a self- 
contained, self-acting machine that would operate continuously 
and perform work, a form of perpetual motion. 

On the basis of our experience, however, we have never found 
it possible to build such a machine, and so we conclude that to do 
BO is impossible. If this be so, then we must also conclude that 
it is impossible to obtain more energy when any system goes from 
an initial state, Ay to a final state, B^ than must be restored to the 
system in order to change it back from state B to state A, 

Consequently y if this he true^ it follows that either to create 
or to destroy energy is impossible. Thus in processes occurring 
on the earth when a given amount of energy in one form disap- 
pears an equal amount always appears in some other form. Energy 
may change successively from radiant energy to chemical energy 
to electrical energy to mechanical work and fmally to heaty hut in 
none of these processes is any of it lost or destroyed. 

It is this indestructibility and non-creatability of energy that 
constitutes the First Law of Thermodynamics. 

Hetersible and iRREVEasiBtE Feocesses 

Direction of Energy Transf ormations* It is not enough, how- 
ever, to know that in processes occurring on the earth, energy is 
neither created nor destroyed, or that when an engine performs 
external work such as lifting a weight, an equivalent amount of 
energy must have disappeared somewhere else. We must inquire 
whether energy transformations occur with equal facility in op- 
posite directions, or whether there is a favored direction in which 
energy transformations tend to occur. 

To do this we may begin with simple instances of our every- 
day experience. If we could build a flywheel that was perfectly 


frictionless, once started it would turn indefinitely at constant 
angular velocity. Similarly a frictionless pendulum would swing 
witli undiminished amplitude. In each of these instances the me- 
chanical energy originally supplied would be retained in undimin- 
ished amount. In actual practice, however, we have never bee a 
able to completely eliminate friction ; so the flywheel gradually 
slows down, and the pendulum swings with steadily diminishing 
amplitude of swing, both coming finally to rest. In each case the 
initial energy has been gradually dissipated by the friction into 
waste low-temperature heat. 

Had we tried the reverse process, however, of supplying energy 
in the form of heat to the bearings of the wheel or pendulum while 
initially at rest, this energy would never have resulted in the 
wheel's turning or the pendulum's beginning to swing. Thus we 
observe that while there is a spontaneous tendency for mechanical 
energy to be converted into low-temperature heat, the process does 
not appear to be reversible. 

In a more complicated case we might consider a waterfall 
such as Magara. Here the water falls from a height of 167 feet. 
In falling, the potential energy due to height is converted into 
heaty and the water at the foot of Magara is about one-eighth of 
a degree Centigrade warmer than it was at the top. Thus, the 
energy of Magara is being continuously converted into waste heat. 

Suppose, however, that a, part of this water is made to go 
through a hydroturbine. Then over 90 percent of this energy is 
captured by the turbine, which, in turn, converts it into electrical 
energy. This electrical energy is then used to drive electric motors 
and drive machinery, to produce light, to heat electric furnaces, or 
to produce chemical reactions such as charging storage batteries 
or producing calcium carbide. If it drives an electric motor, fric- 
tion exists in the motor and in the machines which it drives, and 
the energy is lost as waste heat of the bearings and the air, plus 
the heat losses in the windings of the motors due to electrical re- 
sistance. If it is used for lighting or for an electric furnace, again 
it produces heat. Light is absorbed and becomes heat. If the 
energy is used to produce a chemical reaction, such as making 
calcium carbide, this, when placed in water, reacts to release 
acetylene gas, which when burned in air, produces heat. 


'Eow if we add to this apparently exceptionless tendency for 
all other forms of energy to be transformed spontaneously into 
heat, the further fact that heat always tends spontaneously to 
flow from regions of higher to those of lower temperature^ we 
obtain the remarkable result that all other forms of available 
energy tend finally to he degraded into heat at the lowest tempera- 
ture of the surroundings. 

Entropy. Now we can introduce another type of quantity we 
have not dealt with heretofore. When a quantity of heat, Q^ flows 
into a body at the absolute temperature T^ let us agree to call the 
quantity Q/T the increase in the entropy of the body. If the heat 
flows out of the body the entropy of the body will, of course, de- 
crease. If a body were heated from a lower temperature, Tz, to a 
higher temperature,. ITi, its entropy would increase, but to obtain 
the amount we would have to add up all the separate entropies 
step by step from the lower to the higher temperature. Thus for 
water, since 1 calorie raises the temperature of 1 gram approxi- 
mately 1*^ C. or 1° A., the entropy-increases would be, when the 
temperature is raised from 273° A. to 278'' A., approximately: 


274 ' 275 ' 276 ' 277 ' 278 ' 

where A/Sf (read delta S) is the increase in the entropy of 1 gram 
of water. 

Now let us consider the entropy changes that occur in vari- 
ous energy transformations of the kind we have already consid- 
ered. If we take any frictionless mechanical system such as a 
pendulum or ^ywheel at constant temperature no heat will be 
produced and no heat conduction will occur, consequently the 
entropy change will be zero for all such systems, 


and they are said to be isentropic or constant entropy systems. 

If, however, friction exists, heat is produced and the entropy 
increases by an amount 


where ^8 is the increase of the entropy of the system, Q the 
amount of heat generated and T the absolute temperature. 

Now let us consider two adjacent hodies, one at an absolute 
temperature Ti, and the other at Tz, Tx being higher than Tz- The 
heat will flow by conduction from the hotter of the two bodies to 
the colder. Let a small quantity of heat, dQ, flow in this manner 
from the body at temperature Ti to that at temperature T2* 

The entropy lost by the hotter body is dQ/Ti ; that gained by 
the colder body is dQ/T^. The total entropy increase of both bodies 
together will be the difference between these two entropies, 

dQ dQ 

T, Tr 

Now dQ is the same in both eases, but T2 is less than Tt. There- 
fore dQ/Ti is greater than dQ/T^. Hence the total entropy change, 
Aj^^ consists in an increase in the entropy of the two bodies taken 

Thus we see that an idealized frictionless mechanical system 
involves a zero change of entropy, while any process involving 
friction, or heat conduction, results in an increase of entropy. 

Now let us see if we can find a process that results in a de- 
crease of entropy. .A direct conversion of heat into work would 
be such a process. Suppose we could construct an engine which is 
self-contained and operated cyclically, that is, one that repeats the 
same cyclical operation over and over and which does nothing but 
take heat from a heat reservoir and lift a weight. This is mani- 
festly no contradiction to the First Law of Thermodynamics, 
because we are not proposing to create energy, but merely to 
transform already existing energy from heat to work. 

If T be the temperature of the engine and the heat reservoir, 
and if Q be the heat taken in at each complete cycle, then, since 
the engine returns at the end of each cycle to its initial state, its 
entropy remains unchanged. The lifting of a weight is an isen- 
tropic process. Consequently the only entropy change of the sys- 
tem is manifested by the disappearance of an amount of heat Q 
Sit temperature T per cycle. This would correspond to a decrease 
in the entropy per each cycle by the amount 


But no such engine has erer been built If one could be built 
it could be made to run on the heat from the ocean or from the 
ground or the air. It would act both as a refrigerator and as an 
engine for doing work. Such a machine would not violate the 
principle of the conservation of energy, but it would still con- 
stitute a sort of perpetual motion machine in that it could oper- 
ate from the heat of, say, the ocean and perform work, which 
could be transformed by friction back to heat, thereby maintain- 
ing the initial supply. This has been called perpetual motion of 
the second kind. 

Our failure to build such an engine leads to the conclusion 
that to do so is impossible. This conclusion is based entirely upon 
negative experience and can be upset only by actually producing 
this kind of perpetual motion. 

Another instance of a decrease of entropy would be given 
if heat flowed from a colder to a hotter body. By reasoning analo- 
gous to that employed for heat conduction from a hotter to a colder 
body, we arrive at the fact that if heat ever flowed from a colder 
to a hotter body the entropy of the system would decrease, or, 
the entropy change would be negative. But such a heat flow is 
contrary to all of our experience. All of our experiences thus far 
may be summed up by saying that in all processes of whatever 
hind so far observed^ the changes in the entropy involved are such 
that the total entropy of the whole system either remains constant 
or increases. 

Conversion of Heat into Work, ^ow if we have a difference 
of temperature between, two heat reservoirs, the higher tempera- 
ture being Ti and the lower Tz, the entropy would increase if heat 
were allowed to flow directly from the one to the other by conduc- 
tion. On the other hand, we know it is possible to pperate a steam 
engine between these two different temperatures, using one for the 
boiler temperature and the other for the condenser. 

In this case if an amount of heat Qi be taken by the engine per 
cycle from the temperature Ti, and Q^ be the heat discharged into 


the condenser at Tz^ then Q^r-Q^ is equal to the work, W^ done by 
the engine per complete cycle. The maximnm possible value of the 
work, Wy is obtained when we consider that the limiting case of 
the operation — the limit that the engine can approach but never 
exceed — is given for the case when the entropy change is zero. 

For each cycle the entropy lost by the heat reservoir at tem- 
perature ?! is Qt/Ttj while that gained by the condenser is Os/^a? 
the entropy of the engine itself being the same at the completion of 
each cycle. Then if the total entropy change is to be zero, 

Ox Q2 



Now, since the work, W^ done by the engine is equal to the loss of 
heat, Qi— Q2> 




Thus the maximum possible fraction of the heat, Q^, taken 
from the higher temperature reservoir that can be converted into 
work is given by the fraction Tx — T^/Tt, which is the highest pos- 
sible efficienci/ of the engine. 

The nearer the two temperatures are together, the smaller 
the value of this fraction, becoming zero when the two tempera- 
tures become the same. Hence it is impossible to operate any heat 
engine except when a difference of temperature exists. Under no 
circumstances can the work produced from a given amount of 
heat or the efftciency be greater than that given above. 

Reversible and Irreversible Processes. N^ow we come to the 
concepts of reversible and irreversible processes. A reversible proc- 
ess is in reality an idealization and occurs only in those cases 
for which the entropy change is zero. All actual cases involve 


friction or its equivalent and therefore result in an increase of 
the entropy of the system. Such systems are said to be irreyersihle 
and the entropy-increase is a measure of their degree of irre- 

An irreversible process is characterized by the fact that when 
once it has occurred, by no process whatsoever can it be undone. 
For example, if a book is pushed off the desk and fails to the floor 
its potential energy is changed into heat and the entropy increases. 
It is physically impossible ever to put the book back on the desk 
and at the same time to restore everything else to the state it was 
in before the book originally fell. The book could be lifted back by 
hand but that would degrade chemically the energy inside the 
body. It could be hoisted by an electric motor, but that would dis- 
charge a battery. So with every other process of replacing the 
book. It is impossible to put everything involved back to its 
initial state. In consequence of this fact the universe has ex- 
perienced a new event and has made a stride forward. 

Transformations in an Isolated System. Now let us imagine 
a system completely isolated from all outside energy transfers, 
that is to say, that no matter or energy is allowed to enter or 
escape. For such a system we may imagine a large heat-proof, 
light-proof, sound-proof room. Let M be stocked with all sorts of 
physical and chemical apparatus and supplies such as storage 
batteries, gasoline, oxygen, food supplies, water, electric and 
gasoline motors, electric or fuel lights, etc. Into this room we will 
also place a physicist and then seal the door to isolate the system. 

Now this isolated universe, as it were, is all equipped to run. 
Our physicist can have light and food, oxygen to breathe and 
water to drink. In addition to this he has engines and motors and 
an energy supply to drive them. To make the problem even more 
interesting we might even allow him soil and plant seeds so he 
could grow his own food supply. 

What would be the future of this isolated universe? Merely 
from our everyday experience we would know that the food sup- 
ply, the free oxygen, and the fuel would all diminish with time. 
The storage batteries would become discharged; the water would 
become contaminated; our miniature universe would run down 


SO to speak; and, ultimately, if not rescued, our physicist would 
die from lack of food, oxygen, or water, and then disintegrate 

Now it is instructive to analyze the problem thermodynam- 
ically. The room, by hypothesis, consists of an isolated system. 
The matter in the system is constant ; the energy is constant ; but 
both the matter and the energy are undergoing continuous trans- 
formations. If the matter is initially at state A it successively 
occupies states By C^ D^ etc. at successive intervals of time. Since, 
from what we have seen, all actual transformations of matter from 
any given state to the next successive state involve an increase of 
entropy, we may say that the entropy of the system is continu- 
ously increasing. Thus the entropy of state B is greater than that 
of state A; that of state is greater than that of state B^ etc. This 
being so, if the room were ever to regain any earlier state such as 
going from state D to state By a decrease in entropy would occur. 
But this, we have seen, is impossible. Consequently we may say 
that when any isolated system has once occupied and passed 
through any given state it is physically impossihlCy hy any method 
whatsoever^ for it ever to regain that state. 

Consequently the history of any isolated system may be re- 
garded as the record of the changes of the material configurations 
and states of that system. These changes are however unidirec- 
tional and irreversible. Consequently it is a physical impossibility 
for the history of the system ever to repeat itself. 

Unidirectional Nature of Terrestrial History* Now what we 
have said with regard to the room is equally valid with respect to 
the earth if we recognize that although it is not an isolated system 
the changes in the configuration of matter on the earth, such as 
the erosion of soil, the making of mountains, the burning of coal 
and oil, and the mining of metals are all typical and characteristic 
examples of irreversible processes, involving in each case an in- 
crease of entropy. Consequently terrestrial history is also uni- 
directional and irreversible. 

In order to repeat the history since the year 1900, for ex- 
ample, we would have to restore to the earth the configuration 


that it had in the year 1900. We would have to put the organisms 
back to their 1900 state; we would have to put the coal, the oil, 
and the metals back into the ground; we would have to restore 
the eroded soil. But these are things which by no method whatso- 
ever can be done. 

The Second Law of Thermodynamics. It is this unidirec- 
tional tendency of energy transformations; this fact that all actual 
physical processes^ at least on a macroscopic scale^ are irrevers- 
ible; this fact that no engine operating cyclically can convert 
heat into worh without a difference in temperature existing am^d 
then only incompletely; the fact that heat flows only from regions 
of higher to those of lower temperature; the tendency for the en- 
tropy of a system only to increase with time, that comprises the 
Second Law of Thermodynamics. 

References j 

The Story of Energy, MdttSmith 

An Hour of Physics^ Andrade (Oiap. on Beat mid Energy), 

PhysicO'Chemical Evolution, Giiye (Second essay, pp, 30-117), 

A Textbook of Physics, GrimseM (Vol. II, Heat and Sound), 

Thermodynamics, Planck. 

Theoretical Chemistry, Nemst. 

Lesson 5 


IN THE preTions lessons we have found that while 
energy may be conTerted from one to another of its 
forms it is never destroyed. We also found that there is a 
fundamental tendency for all other forms of energy to 
change into heat, and for all bodies to come to the same 
temperature. When a difference of temperature exists it 
is possible to convert heat into work, but if no tempera- 
ture difference exists no heat can be converted into work 
even if, literally, oceans of heat exist. 

Definition of an Engine. An engine may be defined as any 
type of machine which takes energy in any form and converts it 
into work. 

The initial form of the energy converted may be mechanical, 
as in the case of wind and falling water; it may be chemical, as in 
the case of coal, oil and wood ; it may be electrical, as in driving an 
electric motor from a power line; or it may be radiant energy, as 
in the case of using the sun's heat to drive an engine. 



Engine Energy Used 

W'indmiU .Kinetic energy of the wind 

Sailing vessel , , * , .Kinetic energy of the wind 

Water whee?l .,...,..,* Potential eneirgy of water 


Engine Energy Used 

Steam Engine Fuel — Coal, oil or wood 

(a) Reciprocating type (piston) 

(b) Steam turbines 



Internal combustion engines 

(a) Gas engine .Gag 

(b) Gasoline engine ...Gasoline 

(c) Diesel , , , , * . . .Fuel oil 


Engine Energy Used 

Various forms of electric motors Electrical energy from power lines 

or from electric batteries 

An engine which makes the initial conversion of energy into 
work is called a prime mover. In electric power systems me- 
chanical or heat energy is converted first into work which is used 
to drive the electric generators. These convert work into electrical 
energy. The engine which drives the generator in this case is the 
prime mover. Electric motors converting this electrical energy 
back into work are not prime movers, but 'secondary movers/ in- 

EflSciency of Engines. The efficiency of an engine is defined 
as the ratio of energy converted into work, to the total energy 
initially supplied. 

work output 

energy input * 

Therefore, in order to measure the efficiency of an engine it is 
necessary to know both the total energy taken during a given time 
and the work done in that time by the engine. 

In the case of a waterfall, the available energy per unit of 
time is determined by the amount of water passing through the 
water wheel in that time, and by the height of the fall. Suppose 
the fall is 100 feet high, and that 990 pounds of water per minute 
pass through the water wheel. In this case the energy input would 
be 990 X 100, or 99,000 foot-pounds per minute. Since 33,000 
foot-pounds per minute is 1 horsepower, then the input into this 
wheel would be 3 horsepower. 

Suppose the output of the wheel were only 2 horsepower due 
to frictional losses or to poor design of the wheel. Then the effici- 
ency of this wheel would be : 


efficiency =-^-r — =66,7 percent. 

The maximum efficiency possible in tMs case would be 100 
percent, witli an output of 3 horsepower. 

Modern hydroturbine installations such as the 70,000 horse- 
power units at Niagara Falls have an efficiency of approximately 
92 percent. That is, they convert into electrical energy 92 percent 
of the energy supplied by the water. 

EflSciency of Heat Engines. In order to measure the efficiency 
of a heat engine we have to measure the heat supplied to the engine 
as well as the engine's output of work. We cannot measure the 
heat directly, but we can measure the fuel that is used; then we 
can determine the heat input if we know the amount of heat that 
is produced by a given amount of fuel. 

Heat Value o£ Fuel. It was pointed out in Lesson 3 that 
when certain cliemical reactions take place heat is evolved. Also, 
for the same amount of substances taking part in a given reaction, 
the same amount of heat is always produced. 

IsFow, the production of heat by the burning of a fuel results 
from the chemical reaction due to the chemical combination of 
that fuel with oxygen. Fuel plus oxygen equals waste products 
plus hedt. If the fuel be of a particular grade, then the number 
of calories of heat produced by burning 1 gram is the same for 
all the fuel of that grade. The number of gram calories produced 
by burning 1 gram of the fuel, or the number of British thermal 
units produced per pound, is called the heat value of that sub- 

Heat values are obtained by placing a measured amount of 
fuel surrounded by compressed oxygen in a gas-tight container. 
This is placed in a heat insulated vessel of water and the fuel 
ignited by an electric spark. When the spark occurs the fuel 
burns and the heat which is released is taken up by the water. 
The amount of water is known, and the rise of temperature is 
measured. From this the number of calories or British thermal 
units is obtained. 




ruEL Gram Calories British Thermal 

per Gram. Units per Lh. 


Bituminous, low* grade ......* 6,000 11,000 

Bitummous, high grade 8,000 14,000 

Anthracite, low grade 7,000 12,500 

Anthracite, high grade 7,500 13,500 

Liquid fuel 

Gasoline , 11,000 20,000 

Fuel oils 10,500 18,500 


Oak 4,500 8,500 

Pine 5,000 9,000 

The average consumption of coal by central power stations 
in the United States in 1938 was at a rate of 1.41 pounds pec 
kilowatt-hour. This was a drop from a rate of 3.39 pounds m 
1920. These figures are based upon a heat value of 13,100 British 
thermal units per pound of coal. At this value 1.41 pounds of 
coal contain 18,470 British thermal units. Since a kilowatt-hour 
represents 3,411 British thermal units, the average efficiency for 
the year 1938 is given by 

work done 3,411 

efficiency^ J = iQ .^n ^l^-^ percent. 

*^ energy used 18,470 ^ 

The corresponding figure for 1920 is 7.7 percent. 



Watenvheels 70 to 92 % 

Steam engines 

(a) Locomotives 5 to 10% 

(b) Stationary reciprocating engines ..,...,.,... 10 to 17% 

(c) Steam turbines 15 to 30% 

(d) Hartford mercury vapor station ............ 33.1% 

(e) Average of aU central power statio^ns in U. S. 

in 1938 18.5% 

Internal consbustion engines 

(a) Gasoline engine (automobile type) 15 to 28% 

(b) Gas engines 25% 

(c) Diesel engines 29 to 35% 


The above discussion of engines has been presented in some 
detail not because we are interested in having the reader become 
an engineer, but because this, it is hoped, will help to clarify the 
relationship between matter and energy. It was stated at the out- 
set that all the matter on the earth is composed of 92 chemical ele- 
ments, and that, whether this matter is in the form of living organ- 
isms or rocks, its movement involves a degradation of energy. 

Engines do not create worJc or energy; they are instead con- 
verters of energy — they convert energy from one form to another. 

In our next lesson we shall show that the human body is itself 
an engine that converts energy into heat and work in strict and 
exact accordance with the laws of thermodynamics. 


The Story of 'Energy, Mott-Smitli. 

A Textbook of Physics, Grimsehl (Vol. 11, Heat and Sound, pp. 153-173) . 

Thermodynamics, Planck. 

Lesson 6 


IN Lesson 5 we discussed various types of engines, and 
it was learned that engines do not create energy, but 
instead merely take energy in a form available for doing 
work, and convert a part of this into useful work. All of 
this energy is finally degraded into the unavailable form 
as waste heat. In the present lesson we wish to focus at- 
tention on a very remarkable engine that has not been 
previously discussed, namely, the human body. 

Calories. A steam engine, as we saw, takes in coal and 
oxygen, and gives out, as products of combustion, water vapor, 
carbon dioside, and cinders. Besides this it produces heat and 
work in driving the steam engine. In an analogous manner, the 
human body takes in food and oxygen, and gives out carbon di- 
oxide, water vapor, and waste products. Besides this, heat is pro- 
duced inside the body, and the body is enabled to do work. Human 
food is just as much a fuel as is coal or gasoline, or wood. The 
same kind of tests have been made to determine the heat value 
of food as were described in Lesson 5 to determine the heat value 
of coal, gasoline, etc. The apparatus that is used to determine the 
heat value of fuels is called a calorimeter. 

The ^calories' contained in various kinds of food have become 
a household expression, but few people are familiar with what is 
meant; what is actually meant is that food of a certain kind has 
been burned in a calorimeter and the heat produced by 1 gram 
of food has been carefully measured and stated in terms of kilo- 
gram-calories produced by 1 gram of food. Sence, the 'calorie,' 
that one commonly hears spoken of in regard to food is a kilogram- 



Heat Value of Foods, There are three fundamental kinds of 
food substances : proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Chemically, a 
protein consists of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen plus a 
small amount of sulphur and mineral matter. Both carbohydrates 
and fats are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen* 



Proteins 52.0% 7.0% 23.0% 16% 

Carbohydrates 44.4 6.2 49.4 

Fats 76.6 11.9 11.5 

(Percentages in this table are by weight.) 

Examples of proteins : White of eggs, curd of milk, and lean 


Examples of carbohydrates : Sugar and starch. 

Examples of fats: Fat of meats, butter, lard, and olive oil. 

Most foods are a mixture of proteins, carbohydrates, and 





Protein 4 

Carbohydrates 4 

Fats 9 

On the average, in temperate climates, out of each 100 grams 
of food eaten, approximately 16 grams are proteins, 75 grams are 
carbohydrates, and 9 grams are fat. This food is taken into the 
body, oxygen in the air is taken in by breathing, and combines 
chemically inside the body with the food. Energy in the form of 
heat and work is released. 

Food+oxygen — >■ carbon dioxide+water+waste- 
products+energy (heat and work). 

The heat produced by 100 grams of this average diet would be 
about 457 kilogram-calories, provided all of this were digested. 

This provides us with a scientific way of rating human beings ; 
we can rate them by the amount of energy they consume or degrade 


per day. Men, on the average, consume about 2,800 kilogram- 
calories per day and women about 2,000. 

The average energy consumed per capita per day by all the 
people in the United States, young and old alike, is about 2,300 

The significant thing about all this for our purpose is that 
it is possible to determine exactly how much energy is contained 
in various kinds of foods, and then after they are eaten to deter- 
mine how much heat and work they can produce. This latter is ac- 
complished by placing a man in a large heat-tight calorimeter, and 
measuring very accurately over a given time-period the amount 
of heat given off by his body. At the same time the amount of 
oxygen he breathes, and the amount of carbon dioxide that he 
gives off, are also accurately measured. If the person is lying 
quietly and doing no work, it has been found that the heat given 
off in a given time is exactly equal to that contained in the food 
'burned^ or oxidized in that time. 

By this manner it is also possible to determine how much 
work a given amount of food can be made to produce, or the effici- 
ency of the human engine. This is accomplished by having the 
man turn a crank, or pedal a bicycle attached to an instrument 
called an ergometer. The ergometer measures how much work has 
been done by the man ; the calorimeter at the same time measures 
the heat given off. In this case it has been found that the energy 
represented by the heat given off and the work done by the man 
are exactly equal to the energy contained in the food ^burned^ dur- 
ing that time. 

Efficiency of the Human Engine. Eemembering that the efft- 
ciency of any engine is determined by the ratio of the work done 
by that engine to the total energy degraded in a given time-period, 
it is now possible to determine the efficiency of the human engine. 
The maximum efficiency of the human engine has been found to 
be only about 25 percent. Due to the fact that the human engine, 
while still alive, never completely shuts down, and. therefore never 
ceases to degrade energy, the efficiency is zero when no outside 
work is being done; that is to say, when the body is at rest. This 


basic rate of consuming energy while at rest amounts on tlie aver- 
age to 1,700 kilogram-calories per adult person per day. 

When physical work is done the rate of energy consumption 
very mpidly increases. A strong man doing heavy physical labor 
can perform approximately 2,000,000 foot-pounds of work in a 10- 
hour day, or one-tenth of 1 horsepower for a 10-hour day. In order 
to do this he will require approximately 5,000 kilogram-calories 
per 24 hours. 

By way of contrast, work involving little physical activity, 
such as writing, or various kinds of desk work, involve very little 
energy expenditure. It has been found that the additional energy 
required for intense mental work amounts only to about 4 
kilogram-calories per hour. In other words the most difficult think- 
ing requires additional energy per hour equal approximately to 
that of 1 gram of sugar or to one-half a peanut. Indeed, so small 
is the amount of energy required to ^think' that a housemaid en- 
gaged in sweeping and dusting the study of a college professor 
would expend as much energy in 3 minutes as the professor would 
expend in an hour of intensive study. 

One frequently hears careless talk about ^nervous' energy, 
^mental' energy, 'creative' energy and other such expressions, 
which imply not only that there are numerous unrelated kinds of 
energy, but that energy associated with the human body is differ- 
ent from energy as manifested in calorimeters and steam engines. 
It is also implied that human beings are somehow or other spon- 
taneous sources of work or energy. From what has been shown in 
this lesson it becomes evident that all such expressions have no 
basis in fact, and are sheer nonsense. There is only one funda- 
mental energy which, as we defined above, is the capacity to per- 
form physical work. 

Engines of any kind are not creators of energy; they are, 
instead, converters of energy from one form to another in exact ac- 
cordance with the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. 
The laws of thermodynamics are no respecters of persons, and they 
hold as fast and rigorously in the case of the human body as they 
do in man-made engines. 

A human body tak-es the chemical energy from food and con- 


verts it into heat and work on a 24-liour per day basis. Earely is as 
mncli as 10 percent of this energy converted into work. Oon- 
sequently^ m spite of anything we can do^ man is a dissipater of 
energy and it is not possible for him hy any amount of work he may 
do ever to repay the amount of energy that he required in doing that 


The Chemistry of food and Nutrition, Shennan. 

The Exchange of Energy Between Man and Hi& Environment, Nei^urgh 

and Johnston, 
Living Machinery^ HUl (Out of print). 
The Science of Nutrition, Lusk. 

Lesson 7 


IN the previous lesson we have seen that all movement 
of matter on the face of the earth involves a corre- 
sponding change of energy. We have also seen that while 
energy may be manifested in various forms, such as heat, 
chemical energy, potential ener^, kinetic energy, etc., 
and may be changed from one of its various forms to an- 
other, none of it is ever lost, but that all of it tends to be 
dissipated into waste heat. Engines, as we have seen, 
whether animate or man-made, do not create energy, but 
merely utilize a supply of available energy for doing work. 
The available energy used by various engines usually oc- 
curs in two forms — mechanical energy as in the case of 
waterfalls or the wind, and chemical energy, as in the case 
of fuels and food. 

Energy of Running Water. The end product of all of this 
energy is waste heat, but until now we have not inquired as to 
where it came from in the first place. Take the waterfall for ex- 
ample, which is continually dissipating energy. The water in the 
river was originally derived from rain, and this was in turn evapo- 
rated principally from the ocean. Now we have already seen that 
to evaporate water requires energy. At ordinary temperatures 585 
gram calories of heat are required to evaporate 1 gram of water. 
Since ocean water does evaporate, this heat must be supplied, but 
where does it come from? Obviously the only source of heat in 
the open ocean is the sunshine; the sun shines upon the ocean and 
other bodies of water, and its energy is used to produce evapora- 
tion. Another part of the sun's energy heats the earth's atmos- 
phere, and, by causing it to expand, produces winds. In this man- 
ner the evaporated water is carried over the land. Then, upon 
cooling, the water vapor in the atmosphere condenses and falls as 



rain and snow, and this in turn produces rivers. Hence, the energy 
of a waterfall is originally derived from the energy of sunshine. 

Energy of Plants and Animals. Where does the energy con- 
tained in food and fuels come from? We have already seen that 
when foods and fuels are combined chemically with oxygen the 
combustion produces chiefly carbon dioxide (CO2) and water 
vapor, while in the process heat is released. Since heat is not spon- 
taneously created, a similar heat supply had to be provided when 
water vapor and carbon dioxide were originally united to pro- 
duce the food and fuel products. 

A large class of foods, such as grains, vegetables, etc., are 
derived directly from plants. A large amount of fuels such as wood 
and coal are likewise plant products. Coal is simply the consoli- 
dated remains of forests which grew in past geological ages, and 
have been preserved from decay by being buried under great thick- 
nesses of rock. Hence, most of the energy contained in our food 
and fuel is derived directly from plants. 

Some foods, and to a slight extent some fuels (whale oil, for 
example,) are derived not from plants, but from animals. In all 
cases, however, the energy contained in the animal tissues was 
derived from the animals' diet of plants or other herbivorous 
animals. Thus we see that all energy contained in animal tissue, 
and used to operate the animal bodies, is derived directly or in- 
directly from the chemical energy of plants. 

The energy contained in petroleum has not yet been discussed. 
It has now been established beyond a doubt that petroleum has 
been derived from plants and animals of the geologic past which 
have been preserved from decay by burial under great thicknesses 
of rock. Hence, this energy is also derived from plants. 

CHoropliyl. It remains to be seen where and how plants get 
energy. It is a matter of common observation on farms that a 
weed such as a cockleburr, if growing alone on an open piece of 
ground, will reach only a moderate height of about 3 feet and 
will spread laterally until its lateral diameter is also about 3 feet. 
If the cockleburr, however, is only one of a thick patch of cockle- 
burr plants growing about 6 inches apart, then it will develop a 


long, slender stalk reaching a height of 5 or 6 feet, with almost 
no leaves except a small tuft directly on top. This same type of 
thing is true for all kinds of plants. Oak trees in an oak thicket 
have long slender trunks, whereas the same kind of oak trees 
when alone will form the familiar widely-branching tree. 

When plants are placed in a house or cellar where little sun- 
light is available, the leaves usually lose the familiar green color 
and turn white or yellow, the plant loses its vigor of growth, and 
eventually dies. Grass on a shady lawn frequently dies out, and 
has to be reset. Among plants the struggle for existence is, among 
other things, largely a struggle for sunshine. Eaw materials from 
which plants are composed are chiefly carbon, hydrogen, and oxy- 
gen plus a small amount of nitrogen and mineral matter. Water 
is required by plants, and this water is derived from the moisture 
of the soil. The mineral matter, likewise, is the ordinary salts 
which are contained in solution by the water of the soil. The 
carbon is derived from the carbon dioxide which is contained in the 
air. The nitrogen is likewise derived from the air. We can repre- 
sent this as follows : 

6CO2+5H2O — >CeHio05+602 

carbon dioxide water cellulose oxygen 

Cellulose plus lignin, a similar material, compose the woody 
material of plants. We have already seen that the chemical com- 
bination of wood with oxygen releases heat, as follows : 

CeHioOtt+BOa — »^6C02+5H20+heat 

cellulose oxygen carbon dioxide water 

It will be noticed that the production of plant substance is 
chemically exactly the opposite from the burning of wood. Since 
energy is released when wood is burned, then an exact equal 
amount of energy must have been required when the wood was 
formed in the first place. Accordingly, the formation of wood 
may be represented : 

BCOa+BHaO+energy— ^CeHioOB+eOs 

carbon dioxide water cellulose oxygen 


Where does the energy come from? It has been found that, 
in this ease, the energy is derived from the sunshine or other 
sources of light. This accounts for the fact that the plants seem 
to compete with each other for sunlight. The green substance in 
the leaves of plants is called cMo7-ophyL In the presence of 
chlorophyl solar energy is converted into chemical energy, as water 
and carbon dioxide combine to form plant substance. 

Solar Hadiation. Almost all of the energy used by man, whether 
derived from wind or water power, from coal or oil, or from other 
animals or plants, is derived ultimately from the sunshine. Excep- 
tions to this are energy derived from tides, or from volcanic heat 
from the earth's interior. These exceptions are at present of little 
importance, and will probably continue to be so in the future. 

From the foregoing it is evident that most of the activity — 
most of the movements of matter — on the face of the earth are 
directly or indirectly the result of sunshine. The energy of solar 
radiation as it impinges on the earth has been measured. It has 
been found that the solar radiation upon a square centimeter of 
surface taken at right angles to the sun's rays will, if converted 
into heat, produce 1.94 gram calories of heat per minute of time. 
This relationship is strictly true only just outside the earth's 
atmosphere; on the earth's surface, the heat per minute is some- 
what less than this due to the fact that some of the heat is absorbed 
by the earth's atmosphere. 

It may give one a better idea of the enormous quantity of 
energy contained in sunshine if one considers that the average sun- 
shine per day on one square mile at Washington, D. C, would, if 
converted into mechanical work, equal 20 million horsepower- 
hours. It is easy to see what an enormous amount of energy per 
day the total solar radiation on the entire earth must be. 

Flow of Solar Energy. As energy is not destroyed, we must now 
determine how, with such an enormous amount of heat arriving 
daily from the sun the earth does not get continually hotter and 
hotter. We have geological evidence that the intensity of sunshine 
on the earth has been practically the same for many millions of 
years. We also know that the earth has had about the same tern- 


perature during that time. Therefore, the earth must be losing 
energy at about the same rate it is receiving it. 

Let us trace the energy from the sun. Of the total energy con- 
tained in the solar radiation which impinges upon the earth, ap- 
proximately 37 percent is reflected back into space. Another part 
of the energy of the sunshine is directly absorbed by objects upon 
which it falls and is converted into heat ; still another part pro- 
duces the evaporation of water; another part is consumed in ex- 
panding the gases of the atmosphere and the ocean waters, produc- 
ing winds and ocean currents. Finally a part is converted by the 
chlorophyl of the plants into the chemical energy required by plant- 
eating animals and these latter finally become the food for car- 
nivorous animals. As we have already shown, a part of the plant 
energy may be converted into mechanical work by means of man- 
made engines ; in a similar manner the energy of waterfalls which 
ordinarily is dissipated as waste heat, may be made to drive ma- 
chinery before finally being reduced to waste heat. The end product 
of all these processes is, however, low-temperature waste heat. 

Due to the fact that the earth is not getting hotter, the earth 
must be losing heat at the same rateat is receiving heat from the 
sunshine. This loss of heat is accomplished by means of long wave- 
length, invisible heat radiation which the earth radiates out into 
space. This type of thing is well illustrated in the case of a closed 
automobile parked in the hot sunshine. The temperature in the 
car stays several degrees higher than the temperature outside the 
car, which is due to the fact that sunshine, which is short wave 
radiation, passes readily through the glass windows. When it 
strikes the cushions of the car it is absorbed, and produces heat. 
These cushions then emit a long wave-length radiation, which can 
pass only with difftcnlty through the glass windows ; consequently, 
the temperature of the interior of the car rises until enough heat 
can be radiated to allow the escaping energy to be equal to that 
coming in. Thereafter the temperature does not change. Clouds 
in the earth's atmosphere act in a similar manner — they tend to 
block the escaping long -^ave-length radiation. That is the reason 
it rarely frosts on a cloudy night. 



Solar radiation impinges upon the earth as a short ware- 
length radiation^ and thereafter undergoes a series of energy 
changes, each one of which, in accordance with the Second Law of 
Thermodynamics, is at a lower scale of degradation than that pre- 
ceding it. Finally, it is re-radiated back into space as spent long- 
wave radiation. During^ and as a consequence of this process^ the 
winds hloWf rivers fioiv^ and plants and animals grow and propa- 
gate their Tcind^ and most of the other events on the face of the 
earth take place. 

Since the total flow of energy on the earth is practically a con- 
stant, it follows that there is not likely to be any cessation or 
diminution of this process for a long time to come. While the total 
flow of energy on the earth^s surface is essentially constant, the 
resulting picture, in terms of the configuration of the earth's sur- 
face and of plant and animal life, is continuously changing. This 
change is itself unidirectional and irreversible ; that is to say, it 
never repeats itself. 


Physics of the Earth^-III, Meteorology, BnU. af National Researdi 

Council No. 79 (1931), 
The Data of Geochemistry, Clarke. 
Elements of Physical Biology, Lotka (Cbapa, 16-20). 
Introduction to Geology, Branson and Tarr. 
Photosynthesis, SpoBr (Oat of pnnt). 
Animal Life and Social Growth, Allee* 

Lesson 8 



WE hare already seen that every sort of mechanism, 
both inanimate and organic — plant, animal, and 
steam engine — ^is an energy-dissipating device. Plants 
require solar energy; animals require chemical energy 
in the form of food derived either from plants or other 
animals.; steam engines require the chemical energy 
of fuel. It is important to note here that particular 
kinds of energy-consuming devices can, in general, make 
use of energy only when it occurs in certain forms. Thus, 
a steam engine cannot utilize the energy contained in a 
waterfall, neither can a horse operate on the energy con- 
tained in coal or gasoline. Certain animals, the herbi- 
vores, can utilize only the energy contained in a limited 
variety of plants; other animals, the carnivores, can 
utilize only energy occurring in the form of meat. Most 
plants can utilize only the energy of light radiation. All 
of the energy used by every kind of energy-consuming 
device on the earth is, as we have pointed out, derived 
almost without exception, initially from the energy of 
sunshine. The energy of sunshine is a vast flow of energy. 
The existence of plants and animals is dependent upon a 
successful competition by each of the different species for 
a share of this total flow. A simple illustration will per- 
haps make tHis more clear. 

Dynamic Equilibrium of Plants and Animals. Imagine an 
area of land in a temperate region having the usual array of vege- 
tation peculiar to such an area. Suppose that a block of this land 
of several square miles in area be completely fenced off in such a 
manner that no animals at all are allowed within this area. Under 



these conditions the grass, in the absence of animals, would become 
tall and of luxuriant growth. 

Now, into this pasture with its luxuriant growth of grass, 
suppose that we introduce a pair of rabbits, one male and one 
female, without allowing any other animals within the region. 
Suppose, further, that we take a census at regular intervals of the 
rabbit population within this area. As we know, rabbits breed 
rapidly, and in a year's time one pair of rabbits produce about 12 
offspring. Assuming no rabbits to die in the meantime and this 
same rate of multiplication to continue, at the end of the first year 
the total rabbit population would be 14 ; at the end of the second 
year the population would have reached 98 ; at the end of the third 
year it would have reached ^S^. One might object to this on the 
ground that some of the rabbits would have died in the meantime, 
and this objection is well founded. Given a situation such as we 
have assumed here where the food supply is abundant and other 
conditions are favorable, it is a well established fact that animals 
multiply in such a manner that their birth rate exceeds their 
death rate, and as long as these conditions maintain, the popula- 
tion tends to increase at a compound interest rate. In the case of 
the rabbits we are considering, if the births per year were 600 per- 
cent and the deaths per year were 200 percent, there would be an 
expansion of 400 percent. This, while slightly less spectacular 
than the case where no deaths occurred, would still result in a very 
rapid increase in the rabbit population of the area. Under these 
conditions, if at the end of a certain time the rabbit population 
were 100, there would be by the end of the following year 500 
rabbits in the area, and by the end of the year after, 2,500 rabbits, 

At this rate it is very obvious that it would not take many 
years for the rabbit population to reach an overwhelming figure. 
How long could this rate of growth continue? Is there any upper 
limit to the number of rabbits that can live in a given pasture 
area? There very obviously is. The rabbits eat principally grass and 
certain other small plants. For the sake of simplicity, we shall 
assume that the rabbits eat only grass. Grass, therefore, being 
the food, constitutes the energy supply for the rabbit population. 


Each rabbit in order to subsist must bave a certain number of 
calories per day, and therefore, must eat a certain minimum amount 
of grass per day. In the initial conditions that we have specified, 
the grass supply far exceeded the needs of the rabbit population. 
Under these conditions there were no limitations on the rate of 
growth of the population. Finally, however, there would come a 
time when the number of rabbits would be such that the amount 
of grass per year required to feed them would just equal the rate 
at which grass grows. Under these conditions it is easy to see that 
if the rabbit population were to get any larger than this, the sur- 
plus would starve to death. 

Our curve of the growth of the rabbit population, therefore, 
if plotted as a graph, would at first rise more and more rapidly 
with time. After that, the curve would begin to level off, signi- 
fying that the food requirements of the rabbit population were 
approaching the rate of growth of the grass of the region. 

When these two things become equal, that is to say, when the 
rate at which rabbits eat grass is equal to the rate at which grass 
grows in the region, there will have been reached a state of dy- 
namic equilibrium between rabbits and grass. If there should 
be a particularly good growing season, the grass would grow more 
rapidly, and the rabbit population would increase as a conse- 
quence; if this were followed by a drought, the grass would de- 
crease and the surplus rabbit population would consequently die 

Now suppose that in this pasture where a state of dynamic 
equilibrium between rabbits and grass has already been achieved, 
we introduce a disturbing factor in the form of a pair of coyotes. 
Coyotes live on meat, and since we have postulated that rabbits 
are the only other animals in the area, the coyotes will live upon 
the rabbits. 

Now, what will happen? Since there is an abundance of rab- 
bits the coyotes will have plenty to eat, and while this condition 
lasts they will multiply at their most rapid rate. At the same time, 
however, because of this, the death rate among the rabbits in- 
creases, and the rabbit population declines. Finally, there comes 
a time when the rate at which the coyotes require rabbits for 


food is equal to the rate at which the rabbits grow. Under this 
condition the rabbit population will stabilize at a lower figure 
than formerly, and the coyote population will also stabilize at a 
di^erent figure. When this is attained there will then be a state 
of dynamic equilibrium between coyotes, rabbits, and grass. 

We could complicate the picture still further by introducing 
foxes, owls, field mice, and the whole complex array of animals 
that one normally finds in such localities. With this more complex 
picture we would find exactly the same thing ; that is, if left alone, 
each of these different species would tend to come to a stable popu- 
lation. In the case of each species a stationary population involves 
an equality between its birth rate and its death rate. Its birth rate 
is dependent upon its available energy supply ; and its death rate is 
determined in part by age and in part by the rate at which it be- 
comes an energy supply in the form of food for other species. 

A disturbance on either side of this equation, a change in the 
food supply, or a change in the rate at which it is eaten or dies, 
will disturb this dynamic equilibrium one way or the other. 

The Dynamic Equilibrium of Man. The principles discussed 
above are just as valid for the human species as for coyotes or 

Suppose we consider man in his most primitive state, before 
he had invented tools and clothing, learned to use fire, or had 
domesticated plants and animals. What was his food supply? He 
must have lived on fruits, grass seeds, nuts, and other such plant 
products as were available and suitable for human food. He prob- 
ably caught and ate small animals such as rabbits, rats, frogs, fish, 
and perhaps insects. His population in a given area was therefore 
limited on the upper boundary by the rate at which he could catch 
these small animals, or could gather the plant foods. On the other 
side, such large predatory animals as bears, panthers, lions, and 
saber-toothed tigers were lurking about, and it is entirely probable 
that our primitive ancestors formed a part of the natural food 
supply of these animals. This, as in the case of the coyote-rabbit 
equilibrium mentioned above, tended to restrict further the human 
population within a given area. 


Now, suppose that this primitive species, man, learned to use 
such a weapon as a club, what effect would this have toward 
changing the state of the dynamic equilibrium? In the first place, 
with a club, a man could probably kill more animals for food than 
he could have caught using only his hands. This would tend to 
increase his food supply, and in so doing, would to that extent 
curtail the food supply of his predatory competitors. For example, 
suppose that with a club a man could kill more rabbits than he 
could catch with his bare hands ; this would increase the human 
food supply and consequently tend to increase the human popula- 
tion in the given area. At the same time there would be a decrease 
in the rabbit population, and a corresponding decrease in the 
population of other animals depending on rabbits for food. 

A club is a weapon of defense as well as of offense. With a 
club, a man avouM be able to defend himself from beasts of prey, 
and would accordingly decrease the rate at which he became the 
prey of other predatory animals. 

The result of both of these, the increase of human food supply, 
and the increase in the expectancy of life of the human being, act 
in the same direction, namely, to disturb the balance in favor of 
an increase of human population in the given area. 

Now, let our primitive man discover the use of fire. Fire, by 
its warming effect, would protect man from the winter cold, and 
doubtless decrease the number of deaths from freezing and ex- 
posure. This would prolong the average length of life and con- 
sequently increase the population. Fire also is a powerful medium 
of defense in that it effectively prevents depredation by predatory 
animals. This also tends to increase the expectancy of life. The 
use of fire would also permit man to invade new and colder terri- 
tories. Thus, not only would learning to use fire tend to increase 
the population in areas inhabited by man, but it would enable him 
to reach a food supply in areas not previously accessible, and, con- 
sequently, to multiply still further by inhabiting a larger and 
larger portion of the earth. 

The discovery of the use of fire is of even greater significance 
in another way. In this hypothetical development that we have 
outlined the only part of the total flow of solar energy that had 


been diverted into tlie uses of man, prior to the use of fire, was 
that of the food he ate. The energy requirements of our primitive 
ancestors in the form of food were probably not greatly different 
from that of today, namely, about 2,300 to 2,600 kilogram-calories 
per capita per day. No other energy Avas utilized than that of food 
eaten. With the discovery of fire, a totally new source of energy 
wws tapped, and use for the first time was made of eastraneous 
energy — energy other than food eaten. 

This constituted one of the first steps in a long and tortuous 
evolution in learning to convert an ever-larger fraction of the 
total flow of solar energy into uses favorable to the human species. 
The results of this learning to direct the flow of solar energy, as 
we shall see in succeeding lessons, are among the most momentous 
of the events in the history of life on this planet. 


Animal Life and Social Growth, AUee. 
Origin of Species, Darwin. 
The Biology of Population Groivth, Pearl. 
Elements of Physical Biology^ Lotka. 

Lesson 9 


IN Lesson 8 we learned that all plant and animal 
species are in a perpetual state of competition for 
larger and larger shares of the total flow of energy from 
sunshine. The number of individuals of a particular 
animal species that can live in a given area is dependent 
in part upon the rate at which energy occurs in that area 
in a form suitable for use by that species; in part upon 
the number of competing species for energy in the same 
form ; and in part upon the rate at which this same species 
becomes food, and therefore serves as the energy supply 
for still other species. 

Under the strenuous competition for existence there 
develops in a given area between the various plant and 
animal species a state of balance, or, of dynamic equili- 
brium. This state of balance is precarious, and is subject 
to disturbances by a change of weather conditions and 
hence of food supply, or it can be disturbed by numerous 
other factors. 

The human species, as we have seen, exists as a part 
of this dynamic Sveb of life.^ 

The history of the human species since prehistoric 
times is distinguished chiefly from that of other animal 
species in that during this period man has been learning 
progressively how to deprive a larger and larger share of 
the sun's energy from other animals and direct it into his 
own uses. This has resulted in the ascendancy of man, 
and has wrought unprecedented havoc among the other 
organisms of the earth. 

In our last lesson we saw that the use of a simple tool 
like a club gave man a decided advantage in the struggle 
for existence, and by increasing his food supply, made 
available for man's use a larger supply of the total flow 
of the sun's energy. We saw that the discovery of the 
use of fire, probably his first use of energy other than food 



eaten, gave him another decided advantage tending both 
to increase his length of life and to enlarge the area he 
could inhabit. The nse, both of the club and of fire, tended 
to increase the human population of the earth. 

Domestication ;of Plants. Let us review a few more of the high 
points of man's conquest of energy. Consider the domestication 
of plants. The first stage in the domestication of plants consists 
of taking those plants in a wild form which are suitable for food 
for man or his animals (or otherwise useful, as for clothing) and 
cultivating them for the purpose of increasing their yield. This 
cultivation consists chiefly of two things: (1) the removal of 
competing plants from the area under cultivation; (2) the loosen- 
ing of the soil to increase the yield of the plants cultivated. 

The net effect of this is that a very much greater portion of 
the solar radiation incident upon the area under cultivation is con- 
verted into forms suitable for food for man and his animals, or 
into other useful products, than was the case prior to such culti- 
vation. The domestication of plants^ therefore^ is simply an artifi- 
cial means of diverting a larger and larger proportion of the sun^s 
energy (which formerly was^ as far as man is concerned^ wasted) 
into human usage. 

Domestication of Animals. Consider the domestication of 
animals. Out of all the array of the animal species in regions in- 
habited hj man only certain ones, such as sheep, goats, cattle, and 
swine, were especially suitable for human food and at the same 
time amenable to domestication. Others, such as the hor^e, the 
cainel, the ox, and the dog, were suitable for uses other than food, 
such as carrying burdens or otherwise performing work. 

Here, as in the case of the domestication of plants, we are 
dealing primarily with a diversion of energy. Prior to the domesti- 
cation of animals a given pasture area would have been roamed 
by the miscellaneous grass-eating herds, along with wolves, lions, 
and other predatory animals preying upon these. In such an area 
man would have taken his chances in competition with the rest. 
Suppose, however, he domesticated one species of these animals, 


sheep, shall we say, and protected it from its natural enemies. 
Under these circumstances the biological equilibrium would be 
disturbed, and the protected species would multiply out of all pro- 
portion to the numbers it would have if not so protected. Because 
of their great number these domestic herds also would eat a 
far larger proportion of the grass in the area than they would have 
been able to do otherwise. 

Thus the domestication of animals is a device whereby man 
has been able to convert solar energy represented in such vegeta- 
tion as pasture grass, which is not in that form suitable for human 
uses directly, into forms such as meat, wool and skins, which are 
suitable for human use. 

We see, therefore, that the domestication of plants and ani- 
mals, by beginning with a disturbance of the biological equilibrium 
between plant and animal species, results in an increased food and 
clothing supply for man, himself, from a given area. Since, under 
primitive conditions, the human species tends always to expand 
faster than these devices tend to increase the food supply, it follows 
that the astounding result of each of these achievements must 
have been to increase the number of people who could exist in a 
given area, and, therefore, to increase the human population of the 
earth. The population of the Nile Delta at the time of the early 
Egyptians, with their cultivation of plants, must have been vastly 
greater than the number which could have subsisted in the same 
area in its wild and undeveloped state. 

The North American Continent affords a very interesting 
contrast of a similar kind. The Indians had few domestic plants, 
and almost no domestic animals. Their principal tools were fire, 
the bow and arrow, and the canoe. While the size of the Indian 
population prior to the European invasion can only be estimated, 
available figures indicate that the total population north of Mexico 
at the time of the discovery of America was less than 2,000,000 
people. With the methods of energy conversion known to the 
Indians it is doubtful if the area in which they lived could have 
supported very many more than actually existed at that time. In 
other words, there was pretty nearly a state of dynamic equilibrium 
between the Indians and their food supply. The population of 


the United States alone at the present time is 131,000,000 people 
(1940). This has been made possible only by a far greater utiliza- 
tion or conversion of energy, than was possible by the Indians in 
their state of knowledge. 

Discovery of Metals. Succeeding stages in the conquest of 
energy hj the liuman species are represented by the discovery of 
metals and their uses. Metals provided better tools and weapons, 
both of offense and defense, than man had known prior to that 
time. This still further, in the manner we have indicated, dis- 
turbed the biologic balance in man's favor, and again he extended 
his conquest and increased his numbers. 

Greater mobility also was achieved by the use of the camel and 
the horse as beasts of burden. Wheeled vehicles were devised, and 
boats of increasing sizes and improved modes of propulsion were 
developed. The combination of the use of metals, and the increased 
mobility brought the human species face to face with some of 
the hard facts of geology, namely, that metals in concentration 
suitable for human exploitation occur but rarely and only in cer- 
tain localities of the earth's surface. Moreover, the ores of these 
metals occur at various depths beneath the earth's surface, and 
caii be mined only with dificulty. 

The ancients obtained important copper ores from the mines 
of the Isle of Cyprus. The Greeks obtained silver from the silver 
mines of Laurium. The ancient tin mines of Cornwall were ex- 
ploited by the Romans, and probably even by the Phoenicians, 

The methods of mining used were of the crudest Only the 
simplest of hand tools were available, and with these a single 
miner working in solid rock could generally not mine much more 
than a basket of ore per day. The labor employed in the mines was 
primarily that of slaves, frequently working in chain gangs. In 
passages too small for adults, children were employed. 

Few written records of the earlier mining practices have been 
preserved to the present time, due largely to the fact that the writ- 
ing of the time was done primarily by the philosophers and others 
who felt it distinctly beneath their dignity to dirty their hands 
with the work-a-day labor of the world sufficiently to inform them-- 

mmar m buman history ii 

selves on such processes. TMs much is known, however, that the 
mining methods of the ancients were sufficiently thorough in the 
localities worked by them that little has heen left to be done by 
more modern methods except at depths greater than the ancients 
were able to penetrate. 

This increase in the use of metals had the social effect not 
only of increasing the prowess of man but also of increasing the 
tiBchnical problems presented by the mining methods themselves 
that he was called upon to solve. The ancients found their opera- 
tions curtailed and finally balked at depth by the inflow of ground 
water into the workings of the mines. If greater depths were to 
be obtained suitable pumps had to be devised, and since the water 
flowed in continuously, pumping operations had to be maintained. 

This required power. The- solution of the problem^ together 
with that of hoisting ores and roch from the mines, may very well 
he said to have laid the foundation stones for the future mechani- 
cal development. 

Various kinds of windlasses and pumps were developed; at 
first only the muscle power of human beings was employed, then 
oxen working on treadmills were used, and later in a similar 
manner horses were employed. Where suitable waterfalls oc- 
curred, water wheels were developed, employing the energy con- 
tained in the waterfall for pumping and hoisting. In other cases 
windmills were developed employing the energy of the wind for 
a similar purpose. Had these been the only sources of energy avail- 
able, mining and consequently the industrial development of the 
future would have been seriously handicapped. The crying need 
was for newer and larger sources of energy, 


We have thus traced the high points of the development of 
man's conquest of energy through its initial stages. 

We have found that every new technical device — -the domesti- 
cation of plants and animals, the use of tools, such as the club, 
the boat, wheeled vehicles, and finally the use of metals — has each 
played its part in contributing to a diversion of an ever-increas- 
ing part of the sun's energy into uses of the human species. 


The extensiye use of metals was among the most significant 
and far-reaching in its effect of the events in human history. It 
not only disturbed the biological equilibrium resulting in an in- 
crease in human population at the expense of the other species, 
but it alsOy in a similar manner, gave certain peoples an advantage, 
due to their greater command of energy, over other peoples not 
so favorably equipped. This resulted in a disturbance of the equi- 
lihrium within the human species in favor of those with the greater 
commamd of energy. 


The Biology of Population Growth^ Pearl, 
Elements of Physical Biology, Lotfca, 
Man and Metals, Rickard. 
History of Mechanical Inventions, Usher. 

Lesson 10 


IN previous lessons we liave seen how the degrada- 
tion of solar radiation in processes occurring on the 
earth's surface has resulted in the various forms of move- 
ment that matter on the earth's surface is continually 
undergoing. We have pointed out that the various life- 
forms are in competition with one another for shares of 
the solar energy. We have seen, furthermore, how the 
human species, by learning to use fire, to domesticate 
plants and animals, and by developing various tools and 
weapons, first of stone, wood and bone, and later of 
metals, has been able to disturb the biologic equilibrium 
and gain for itself a disproportionate share of this solar 
energy as compared with other species. At first thought 
one might conclude that this would.result in an improved 
human standard of living and general well-being, and in 
some cases this was true, but by and large the improve- 
ment as regards the individual does not seem to have 
been great. 

Food, Fire, Animals, Wind, and Water. Consider the energy 
available per person during all this time. Before man learned to 
use fire, his sole available source of energy was that contained in 
the food he ate. This, as we have seen already, for an average 
population of young and old, amounts to about 2,300 kilogram- 
calories per person per day. Since available evidence indicates 
that our ancestors at that time were approximately the same size 
we are now, they must have consumed energy in the form of food 
at about the same rate we consume it now. 

Extraneous energy — energy other than food eaten — was, as 
we have just seen, introduced but very gradually. First, there 
was fire. This was the utilization of the heat contained in wood. 
Then there was the work of animals, the horse, the ox, the dog. 
At no time throughout early history was the number of domestic 



animals per capita very large on an average. Then came the use 
of the energy of the wind and running water, but these were only 
used locally, and were never (during this period) of great im- 

The tendency of the human species to multiply at a compound 
interest rate tended always during this early history to keep the 
population at approximately the maximum number that the 
means available were able to support. Estimating on the average 
the use of fuel to provide approximately 400 kilogram-calories per 
capita per day (average for all climates), and one domestic animal 
for every five people, providing an additional 1,600 kilogram- 
calories per person per day, we would arrive at a total of extrane- 
ous energy of only about 2,000 kilogram-calories per capita per 
day pi*ior to the extensive use of fossil fuels. 

Thus we see that, great as were the strides made by the 
human race through the preceding history, the increase of the 
average standard of living, stated in the physical terms of energy- 
consumption, was almost negligible. This can be seen in another 
way when one considers the abject poverty and squalor under 
which the great bulk of the people during all preceding history 
apparently lived. 

During the ^golden age' of Athens only a relatively small 
part of the population was free. The preponderance of the people 
were slaves or serfs of some degree or other. History, as it has 
been handed down, has focused attention upon a few of the more 
illustrious of these free citizens ; the others whose toil made this 
freedom of the few possible have been more or less tactfully 

Under the glory that was Rome, one finds a similar or worse 
condition. At the height of the power of the Roman Empire most 
of the necessary work that was required, such as building, agri- 
culture, and mining, was done by slaves. The campaigns of the 
Roman armies of this time, so the records of the Roman senate 
show, were largely directed for the acquisition of spoils, such as 
mines and the products thereof, and slaves. These slaves were 
worked to the limit of human endurance, and were, after a few 
short years of service, broken, discarded, and replaced by others 
obtained by new conquests. 


The Use of Fossil Fuel. A totally new era in this unidirec- 
tional progression was entered when man began to tap a hitherto 
unused energy resource, that of fossil fuel — coal, and more re- 
cently, oil. 

Coal and petroleum in small amounts, and largely as curios- 
ities, have been known, according to available records, since the 
time of the ancients. Coal, however, as an energy resource first 
began to be exploited extensively in England in about the twelfth 
century. First, chunks of coal found along the seashore, came to 
be burned for domestic fuel; later, in the vicinity of Newcastle, 
coal was dug from the ground out of open pits. The fact that this 
coal could be more easily acquired, and, if purchased, was less ex- 
pensive than wood, caused it to be adopted as fuel by the poorer 
classes. Shortly after, coal was shipped from Newcastle to London, 
where it came to be used as fuel, much to the annoyance of the 
royalty and nobility of the time; and, because of its smoke and 
sulphurous odor, laws were passed prohibiting its use. Some- 
what later, coal from Newcastle found its way to Paris in exchange 
for boatloads of grain. 

By the year 1600 the use of coal for domestic purposes in 
England had become a custom permanently established. Chimneys 
had been built, much to the disgust of the older generation, who 
considered that the young folks were becoming effeminate by not 
being able to endure smoky atmosphere after the stalwart 
manner of their elders. 

Coal found its way, also, into industrial uses. First the 
blacksmith, and then the glassmaker, found its use more and more 
indispensable. The iron mines of England, which, simultaneously 
with coal, were being developed, had up to this time depended 
upon a supply of charcoal for smelting purposes. The demand for 
wood for the making of charcoal, as well as for the building of 
English ships — men-of-war and merchantmen — was placing a 
heavy burden on English timber. Comments and complaints began 
to increase after the year 1600 about the exhaustion of timber. 
This placed a premium upon a method whereby iron might be 
smelted by the use of coal. In about the year 1745 such a process 
was discovered. Coal could be roasted into coke, and this latter 
used for the smelting of iron. Iron ores, like coal, were abundant 


in England, The union of these two components, coal and iron, 
was among the most significant events of human history. The 
more iron that was smelted the more coal was required. Also, the 
more iron that was made available, the more equipment requir- 
ing iron was devised. Thus we have a process which of itself ap- 
pears to have no ending. 

The Use of Gunpowder. Another important contribution to 
the use of extraneous energy that occurred during this period was 
the invention of gunpowder. While its exact date is obscured, 
gunpowder came into use in the Western World about the end of 
the thirteenth century. Gunpowder was composed of charcoal, 
saltpeter and sulphur. These, when ignited, react together with 
explosive violence, releasing energy as follows : 

2KNO3 + S + SC-^K^S + 3CO2 + ISr^ + heat 

Saltpeter Sulphur Charcoal Potassium Carbon Nitrogen 

Sulphide Dioxide 

Of course, the first and most obvious use of this new form of 
energy, as with most others that can be so applied, was for weapons 
of warfare. Guns were developed, and those people using firearms 
exercised a very decisive advantage over those not so equipped, 
as well as over other animals. This still further disturbed the bio- 
logic equilibrium in favor of the human species over other ani- 
mal species, as well as in favor of those groups of people having 
this energy resource over other peoples of the earth not so equipped. 
The conquest of the "New World by the Europeans is due almost 
entirely to the superior energy-technique of the Europeans as com- 
pared with that of the Indians. Bows and arrows were no match 
for firearms; wood and stone tools could not compete with tools of 
metal; little or no domestication of plants and animals rendered 
the Indian far inferior to the European in regard to the production 
of food. 

So decisive i$ the matter of energy-control that one may fairly 
state thatf other things heing equal, that people which has a 
superior energy-control technique mil always tend to supplant 
or control the one with a lesser technique. 

Another use to which gunpowder was applied which may 
have been of greater significance than its use in warfare, even 


though not so much noted in textbooks of history, was its applica- 
tion to mining, and later to other industrial purposes requiring 
blasting. Gunpowder as an industrial explosive came to be used 
in the mines of Germany in the late sixteenth century. It was 
employed in the mines of Cornwall in 1680. Before this time the 
tools of mining had been largely the pick and hammer and simple 
wedges and chisels* By employing gunpowder, holes could be 
drilled and blasts set off, thereby breaking out a very much larger 
quantity of ore with a given number of workmen than had ever 
been done previously. This acceleration in mining practice went 
hand in hand with the same acceleration m the use of coal that 
we have just described. 

A New Problem. In both of these cases, as is always true of 
the introduction of a new technique, new and unsolved problems 
were created. The first coal mines, as pointed out, were shallow, 
open pits. The increased use of coal required mining at continu- 
ally greater depths. Ground water is usually encountered within 
a few tens of feet of the top of the ground. The deeper the mines 
and the larger the workings, the faster the rate of infiltration of 
water. This is true, both in metal mines and in coal mines, but 
due to the greater number and size of the coal mines it there 
presented a more serious difftculty. 

In the earlier and smaller workings the water was bailed out 
by hand labor. Finally the problem became too large to be solved 
by this method, and pumps operated by treadmills driven by 
horses were introduced. At first, treadmills with a single horse, 
then with five, twenty, and a hundred were used. By this time 
the problem had obviously reached very serious proportions, be- 
cause, if the mines were to be kept open, the pumps had to be 
operated continuously day and night, and the food required to 
keep two shifts of a hundred horses working on treadmills was a 
very serious problem in early eighteenth century England. A new 
solution had to be found. 


Man and Metals, Eidcatd. 

Behemoth, The Story of Power, Hodgins and Majgoim. 

History of Mechanical Inventions, Usher. 

Lesson 11 


WE Iiaye traced the rather slow and tortuous evo- 
lution of the human species in the struggle for 
energy. We noticed in the last lesson that, with the learn- 
ing to use the energy contained in coal, there seemed to be 
a quickening of the tempo of human affairs. Coal provided 
heat for domestic purposes, and for glass making. After 
1745 coal was made into coke for the smelting of iron. 
The increasing uses for coal created a greater and greater 
demand for more coal. The increased rate of mining 
operations caused mining to be carried on at greater 
depths, with consequent pumping problems of continu- 
ously increasing magnitude. As we have pointed out, the 
use of as many as 100 horses, working on treadmills, 
created costs of upkeep for the horses which threatened 
to overbalance the proceeds from selling the coal. It 
was imperative that a better and cheaper method of 
pumping be devised. One of the first of these was that of 
Thomas Savery, 

Development of the Steam Engine. Savery, in 1698, devised 
an engine consisting of a boiler and two steam expansion cham- 
bers, equipped with suitable valves operated by hand. These 
chambers were filled with water, and when the steam was turned 
into each of them alternately, water was forced upward; then, 
with the bottom valve open, and the steam inlet turned off, the 
condensation of the steam in the chamber produced a vacuum 
which sucked more water from the mine. 

This engine was not very satisfactory, and was followed 
shortly after by the ^atmospheric engine' of J^ewcomen and Cawley 
in the year 1705. This engine consisted of a rocking beam, to one 
end of which was attached a pump rod and to the other a piston 
in a vertical cylinder. When steam was admitted to the cylinder 


the piston was lifted, and the pnmp rod lowered; next, water 
was injected into the cylinder to condense the steam, thns creat- 
ing a yacunm below the piston, so that the atmospheric pressnre 
on the top side of the piston forced it back down, lifting the pnmp 
rod, and thereby pumping water. Thns, the work stroke was done, 
not by the steam, but by the pressure of the atmosphere, hence 
the name ^atmospheric engine.' 

At first the valves of this engine were operated by hand, but 
this became tedious; and later, so the story goes, the boy who 
operated the valves became tired, and devised a system of strings 
attached to the rocking beam in such a manner that they opened 
and closed the valves automatically. 

Such was the rate of progress at this time that it was not 
until 1769 that any material improvement was made on this engine. 
In that year James Watt invented a condenser so that the hot 
steam could be exhausted from the cylinder and condensed in a 
chamber outside, instead of cooling the cylinder down each time, 
as had been done previously. In 1782, Watt still further improved 
the steam engine by making it double acting, that is, steam was 
admitted alternately, first at one end of the cylinder, and then at 
the other, thus driving the piston in both its up and down strokes. 
At about this time the flywheel was added to the simple rocking 

By this time the age of power was well begun, and more and 
more uses were found to which the steam engine could be applied, 
as will be pointed out presently. Individual engines were made 
continuously larger. First there was only the single cylinder, then 
there developed successively the double-, triple-, and quadruple- 
expansion types of engines. The reciprocating engine reached its 
climax toward the end of the nineteenth century in the Corliss 
type. Of these the largest stationary units reached upwards of 
10,000 kw., and stood with their cylinder heads approximately 
30 feet above the axis of their cranks. 

In 1889, De Laval, of Sweden, devised a steam turbine to oper- 
ate his cream separator. In 1884 Sir Charles Parsons built a steam 
turbine which delivered 10 h.p. at 18,000 revolutions per minute. 
In 1897 steam turbines were installed in a small steamship named 


the Turbmia, In 1903 a 5,000 kw. turbine was installed in one of 
the central electric power stations of Chicago. 

From that time on this form of steam engine has increased 
rapidly in size and usefulness. By 1915 a 35,000 kw. unit was in- 
stalled in Philadelphia. In 1929, in the Hell Gate Station, New 
York City, units of 160,000 kw. each were installed. These repre- 
sent the largest single engines ever built. 

If 1 horsepower for 8 hours represents the work of 10 strong 
men, then for 24 hours 1 horsepower would represent the work of 
30 men working 8 hours each. One kilowatt is one and one-third 
horsepower, and hence represents the work of 40 men for 1 day. 
Thus, one of these engines does the work in 1 day's time of 6,400,- 
000 strong men. There are 5 of these engines in Hew York City 
at the present time. These 5 engines when running to capacity, 
do work equivalent to 32,000,000 strong men working at hard 
labor for 8 hours a day each. 

The Railroad. Hot only did coal mining create a problem of 
pumping water, but the coal had to be hauled varying distances 
over bad ground, either to the market or else to the seashore to 
be loaded in ships and transported by water. This created a 
serious problem in transportation, and early in the sixteenth 
century rails of timber were laid at the coal mines of Newcastle- 
on-Tyne. Carts carrying 4 to 5 tons of coal each were drawn by 
horses on these rails. These first rails were secured to cross- 
timbers. In 1735 it was found that the rails could be made stronger 
and wear longer if iron bars were fastened to their tops. In 1767 
cast iron rails, 4 to 5 feet long, were substituted for the entire 
wooden rail. These cast iron rails were brittle and troublesome 
because of their short length and numerous Joints. In 1820 these 
were replaced by wrought iron rails, 15 feet in length. Such were 
the first railroads. 

The development of the steam engine and the rapid rate of 
increase in the use of coal led naturally to the casting about for 
a new kind of motive power. In 1804 Richard Trevithick built a 
steam locomotive which hauled 10 tons of coal at 5 miles per hour. 
In 1814 George Stevenson built an important locomotive that 
hauled 35 tons of coal 4 m\Les per hour up a 1 to 450 grade. 


Bj 1825 there were altogether 28 railroads in Great Britain, 
mostly mine roads, with a total mileage of 450 miles. In that year 
the Stockton & Darlington Eailway, 25 miles long, was put into 
operation. This may be considered the first modern steam oper- 
ated railway. 

At the opening of this road, a Stevenson engine hanled a 
train consisting of 22 wagons of passengers and 12 wagons of coal, 
totaling 90 tons, at an average speed of 5 miles per hour. Later 
this road reverted largely to horses for motive power, reserving 
the steam locomotives for hauling freight, chiefly coaL By 1830 
the Liverpool & Manchester Bailroad, 35 miles long, was operat- 
ing with an improved type of locomotive, and from that time on 
mechanical motive power has been Indisputably established. 

In the IJnited States, as in England, railroads were first built 
for horse-drawn vehicles. In 1829 a 16-mile road from Honesdale 
to Carbondale, Pennsylvania, was built, and a steam locomotive 
of English manufacture introduced. The following year a 13-mile 
road from Baltimore to Prescott, Maryland, was opened. 

The Steamboat. Similar advances were made in water trans- 
portation. In 1T85 John Fitch ran the first successful steamboat 
in America. After this followed, in rapid succession, numerous 
other small steamers in inland and coastwise waters, both in 
Europe and the United States. In 1819 the 8,S. Savannah was the 
first steam-propelled ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. By 1838, 
two ships, the 8.S, Great Eastern and S, 8, Sirius^ were in regular 
service. In 1837 and 1838 John Ericson introduced in England 
the screw propeller. This gradually replaced the paddle wheels, 
so that by 1870 all ocean-going steam-driven vessels were propelled 
by screws. 

While the advances made in both railroads and in steam- 
ships since 1900 have been great, the trend has been one more of 
orderly evolutionary development rather than of radical de- 
partures. Electrification of steam railroads was under way prior 
to 1910. This has been followed by Diesel-electric locomotives, 
and by steam locomotives of continually greater size, and of 
greater thermal efficiency. At the present time we seem to be on 
the threshold of a major departure in railroad equipment in the 


form of high-speed, light-weight, streamlined trains propelled by 
Diesel engines. 

The Automobile. The more modern forms of transportation 
are the automobile and the airplane. The beginnings of efforts 
to construct a self-propelled road vehicle were practically coinci- 
dent with the locomotive. In the period from 1827 to 1836 Walter 
Hancock, in England, constructed several steam wagons that car- 
ried passengers over carriage roads. One of these is reported to 
have run 20 weeks, travelling a distance of 4,200 miles, and carry- 
ing 12,000 passengers. With the rise of railroads, motor vehicles 
for road use were virtually abandoned until about 1885, when the 
development of the gas engine by Daimler and others led to the 
motorization of the bicycle and then of the carriage. About 1895 
the development of motor vehicles propelled hj internal combus- 
tion engines or hj electric motors began in earnest, leading to 
modern automotive transportation. 

Transportation by A^r. The first abortive attempts at trans- 
portation by air date back to the early balloons, about the year 
1783. Finally, in 1896, Langley^s heavier-than-air machine made 
the first successful flight of its kind. In 1903 the Wright brothers 
were the first to take off in a heavier-than-air machine propelled 
by its own power. Since that time aviation has developed by leaps 
and bounds, gaining particular impetus during the World War. 
Planes have become bigger and faster, and the cruising radius has 
progressively increased. 


In the space here it is manifestly impossible to more than 
scratch the surface of the vast field of technological developments 
that have taken place since the first feeble beginnings. 

Among the first industrial equipment to use power from 
steam engines was that of the textile industry. The changes 
wrought here were so great as to be characterized in history as the 
Industrial Revolution of the latter part of the eighteenth century. 
Corresponding developments beginning at various times can be 


traced in communications — telegrapli, telephone, radio, and tele- 

It becomes evident that our Industrial Kevolntion of the last 
two hundred years is a development radically different from that 
of any preceding period of the earth^s history, and compared with 
which all earlier developments are insignificant in magnitude. 
Each development has come, not as a thing of itself, but only as a 
part of the picture as a whole. Steam or water turbines could not 
effectively be utilized until electrical equipment had been de- 
veloped. This latter, in turn, had to wait until Faraday, Maxwell 
and others had discovered the fundamental principles of elec- 

Viewed with regard to the multiplicity of its details it would 
appear to be an endless and hopeless task for a single individual to 
obtain even approximately a comprehensive grasp of our modern 
industrial evolution. When one considers, however, that all of this 
equipment is composed almost entirely of a small number of the 
chemical elements — ^iron, copper, lead, zinc, etc., and that further- 
more, the manufacture and operation of the equipment requires 
energy in strict accordance with the laws of thermodynamics, the 
problem is evidently greatly simplified. In other words, if it be 
known at what rate the industrial system has required the basic 
materials such as iron, copper, tin, lead, zinc, and if it be known 
at what rate it dissipates energy from the energy sources of coal, 
oil, gas, water power, and plants, all of the innumerable details 
are automatically included. 



1698 ^Savery steam engine 

1705 'Newcomen and Cawley, steam engine 

1769 ^Watt, steam engine condenser 

1782 ^Watu don^ble acting piston engine 

1820 ^W. Cecil, gas engine, 60 r.pja. 

1823 Brown, gas vacuum engine 

1849 Francis, water tnrbine (size 6 in, to 18 ft. diameter) 

1876 Otto, cycle internal combustion engine 

1882 Pearl Street, New York, generating station 

1883 De Laval, steam turbine 


1884 ^Parsons, steam turbine 

1895 Diesel, internal combnstion engine 

1903 ^First 5,000 kw. central station steam turbine, Chicago, Bl. 

X929 160,000 kw. turbines installed. Mercury turbine 


1785 First suecessiful steamship, John Pitc'h 

1819 ^First steam-driven sfhip crossed Atlantic 

1837 Screw propeller introduced (Ericson) 

1897 ^Turbine engine used in steamsblixs 


1750 Cast iron rails, 4 to 5 ft. longj first used (1767) 

1800 Trevitbick*s steam locomotive (1804) 

Ceorge Stevenson built improved locomotive (1814) 

Wrought iron »-aiIs, 15 ft. long, first used (1820) 

First modem railroad, Stockton to Darlington, England (1825) 

First railroad in U. S., Honesdale to Catbondale, Penna. (1829) 

George Stevenson introduced the *Rocket,' improved locomotive (1829) 

1850 ^First transcontinental railroad system in? TJ. S. (1869) 

First working electric railroad, Germany (1879) 

1900 ^Electrification of steam railroads 

DieseWectric locomotives 

Other Vehicles 

1800 Steam wagons, Walter Hancock, England (1827-1836) 

1850 Gottlieb Daimler high-speed gas engine, Germany (1884) 

Motorized bicycle (1885) 

Benz!, three-wbeeled gas carriage (1886) 

Geo. B. Seldon, patent on dutch and transmission system (1895) 


1783 ^Montgolfier, first balloon, using heated air 

1852 Gifford, first successful spindle-shaped gas bags, driven hy steam engines 

1884"^ — ]yj, ]\f^ Renard and Keebs, gas bag driven by electric motors, led by 
electric batteries 

1896 Prof, Langley, mofdel airplane, driven by steam. Flight of three-quar- 
ters mile. First time in history that an engine-driven, heavier- 
than-air machine accomplished a successful flight * 

1900 Count Zeppelin, rigid form airship; 399,000 cu. ft. gas; driven by two 

Daimler, benzine engines, 16 h.p, each. First means of passenger 
service in the air 

1903 Orville and Wilbur Wright, glider fitted with a 16 h.p., four«cylinder 

motor. This machine made the first successful flight in whi<^ 
the machine carrying a man had ever risen of its own power from 
the ground 


1908 Ijoms BleriaE, the Bleriot monaplane. Tbis was the first successful 

monoplane. It was also the first machine to cross the English 

1910 ^Fabre, first practical hydroplane 

By the time of the World War it was recognized that aviation was strictly an engi- 
neering science. Since then some of the most remarkable advances m the field of 
engineering have been made in this branch. 


1820 ^^Oerstedt, made the discovery that an electric current flowing throug^h a 

wire built up a magnetic iield around the wire 

1831 ^Faraday and Henry, discovered the converse of Oerstedt, i.e., that a mag- 
netic field can be cut by a wire, and cause current to flow in the 

1837 Morse invented telegraph system. This was the basis of most mo«l'em 

land systems 

1876 Bell, telephone 

1882 Dolbear developed wireless telegraph system, using electric static induc- 

1885 Hertz, Hertzes oscillator; the real beginning of radio-telegraphy 

1888 ^Ladge, developed a method of synchronizing two circuits, i.e., placing 

them in resonance 

1896 — —Marconi developed a system, using the Hertzian oscillator, of radio- 
telegraphy for sending and receiving messages 

1898 ^Braun developed the coupled circuit 

1902 ^Foulsen and Fe&senden, radio-telephone 

1903 — —First trans-Atlantic wireless transmission 

1907 DeForrest invented the three-element tube, permitting tubes to detect 

as well as amplify 

1921 Broadcasting. 

1922 ^Freeman and Dimmel, A.C. tube, radio 

1926 JE. L. Baird, television 


1733 John Key, flying shuttle 

1770 James Hargraves, spinning jenny 

1775 Richard Arkwright, roller spinning frame, using water power 

1779 Samuel Crorapton, spinning 

1785 Edward Carlwright, power looms, using Watt engine, first for spinning 

and then for weaving 
1793 ^Eli Whitney, cotton gin 

No attempt has been made here to include the nmnerous inventions that have revolu- 
tionized the textile industry in the last century- The foregoing merely indicates the imtial 
steps that were responsible for the Industrial Revolution. 

References : 

History of Mechanical Inventions, Usher. 

Behemoth The Story of Powers Hodgins and Magoun. 

Lesson 12 


IF one attempts to follow the industrial development 
that has taken place in the Western World since the 
year 1700 by attempting to take into account all of the 
separate inventions and technical developments that 
have occurred in the various fields of industry, he soon 
finds himself hopelessly involved. Order, however, readily 
emerges from this chaos when one considers that all of 
this industrial activity has been based in the main upon 
the use of a few relatively simple substances, chiefly, the 
few industrial metals — iron, copper, tin, lead, zinc, etc. — 
as the essential materials for machinery, and the use of 
a few basic sources of energy, chiefly, the mineral fuels, 
coal, oil and natural gas, and, of lesser importance, water 

The most accurate quantitative jpicture of the rate 
and magnitude of our industrial growth, however, could 
be obtained by plotting growth curves of the production 
of these primary metals and of energy. In this lesson we 
are presenting, therefore, the growth curves of a number 
of our basic industries — the production of pig iron, coal, 
energy, railroads, and automobiles. These curves are 
plotted with the vertical dimension representing the 
quantity produced per annum, the horizontal dimension 
measured from left to right representing time in years.* 

Pig Iron. There are a number of highly instructive details to 
be observed about each of these curves. In the first case, they are 
not smooth, but are, instead, jagged or zig-zag. This is due to the 

* The data for these curves were obtained from the Mineral Resources of 
the U,8,A., US. Statistical Abstracts and Mineral Industry, Tol. 41. For 
1933 figures the Suruey of Current Business was used. These volumes con- 
tain the most authoritative figures that can he obtained. 


fact that the production fluctuated from one year to the next. This 
is particularly noticeable in the case of pig iron. 

In Tigure 1 notice the drop in the production of pig iron dur- 
ing the depression of 1893 and 1894 and, after that depression, 
notice that the pig iron industry expanded for a number of years, 
and enjoyed uninterrupted prosperity. 

Then came the depression of 1908, which shows up as a severe 
shutdown in the pig iron industry. This shutdown lasted one year, 
followed by a still further expansion and growth culminating in 
the large peak of production from 1916 to 1918, showing the effect 
of large war orders for steel. 

Note next the depression of 1921. After this the pig il»on in- 
dustry recovered somewhat, but did not expand as rapidly. The 
highest peak of production in pig iron was reached in 1929. This 
was followed immediately by the enormous drop due to the pres- 
ent depression. [1932-33.] 









S 1 


"4 f 

























. 7l 






■If 1 

«0 ^ 



r M 





































Figure 1 



What were the actual magnitudes of these depressions? If 
we measure the graph, we find that the drop in production from 
peak to trough in 1893 and 1894 was 27 percent; in 1908 the cor- 
responding drop was 38 percent; in the depression of 1921, the 
shutdown in pig iron was 57 percent from the previous peak of 
production; the drop since 1929 has heen 79 percent, [to 1933.] 

What does this mean? Simply this: That, stated in terms of 
physical measurements, each depression since 1894 has been pro- 
gressively bigger than the previous. These up and down move- 
ments of the production curve are spoken of as swings or oscilla- 
tions. The biggest oscillations since 1893-94 coincide with the 
financial depressions. Each one of these depression oscillations 
has had an amplitude or depth of swing approximately 30 percent 
greater than the one preceding. If one examines the other curves, 
that of coal, for instance, or of automobiles, he finds a similar 
situation. The larger the production becomes the larger become 



< <* 
















































^H H 


it ct 


i — 
















[ — 





— ' 



1 i i ^ 1 1 i 1 ^ ^ 

Figure 2 



the oscillations; the largest being in each case that since 1929, 
both in absolute magnitude and also in percentage of the total pro- 
duction. (The smooth part of the total energy graph [Figure 2] 
for the time preceding 1918 does not indicate that there were no 
oscillations in this period in energ}'' production because in this 
part of the graph the figures are all averaged for ten-year periods. 
This method of plotting smooths out the oscillations.) 








M : 




. A 



T V 






















3 120 






A \ 



400 O 






3«o :i 








- F 










aw 2 

wo ? 
























Tear 1 i 1 i 1 1 i I i 


Figure S 

Growth of Railroads. Figure S shows no oscillations because 
it represents the number of miles of railroad track in operation 
and this, of course, increases, but rarely decreases, from year to 
year. The oscillations of exae&iy the snme kind as those exhibited 
by pig iron, howeT^^, are founrl xn the second railroad graph, that 
of ton-miles of revenue freight hauled. (One ton-mile is equal to 
one ton hauled one mile, ) 


Point of Inflection. Another feature to be obseryed about 
each of these growth cttrves is that represented by the smooth 
dotted-line curve. This dotted-line curve has in each case been 
drawn to represent the mean rate of growth. I^otice in each case 
the jSf-shape of this curve. In the beginning it starts up very gradu- 
ally, but each year the increase in production is greater than that 
for the year preceding and during this time-period the curve is 
concave upward. Finally, in each case there comes a time when 
the growth begins to slacken, and the curve becomes convex up- 
ward and begins to level off rapidly. The point at which this 
smooth mean curve changes from concave upward to convex up- 
ward is called the point of inflection. 

This point of inflection occurred in pig iron about the year 
1905; in railroad trackage about 1885; in railroad freight haul- 
age about 1910 ; in automobile production about 1921, and in ^all 
energy' about 1912. 

Calculation shows that the state of growth before the point of 
inflection is reached has been a compound interest type of growth ; 
that is to say, that the production each year during that period 
was on the average a certain fixed percentage greater than that of 
the year before. In the case of coal and energy production this 
rate of increase was approximately 7 percent per annum during 
that same period. The same is true for pig iron. In other words, 
with the rate of growth that prevailed during that period the an- 
nual production was increased tenfold in 32i/^ years. 

All of the graphs mentioned thus far have been those of basic 
industries, extending back approximately a hundred years or 
more. Since not infrequently our economic soothsayers assure 
us that as older industries reach their saturation, or decline, 
newer and bigger industries always rise to take their places, it 
becomes a matter of soihe especial importance to examine the rise 
in growth of one of these newer industries. Of such industries, 
automobiles are by far the most striking example. The auto- 
mobile industry practically began in the year 1900. Since that 
time it has risen into one of the greatest of our present industries, 
and has practically revolutionized our social life in the process. 



Production of Automobiles. In what manner did the pro- 
duction of automobiles grow? A glance at the growth of auto- 
mobile production in Figure 4 will indicate that the production 
of automobiles grew in a manner essentially similar to those 
older industries we have just discussed. In this curve, just as in 
those previous, there are zig-zag oscillations, by far the greatest 
being that since 1929. 




TA 1 


4 S 







. If 



22 3 















, / 



























14 iS 



















V.AR 1 1 1 i i 1 i £ i 

Figure 4 

The production of automobiles reached an all-time peak in 
the year 1929, with an annual production of 5,600,000 automo- 
biles. From that time until 1932 production dropped to 1,400,000 
cars per annum, a shutdown of 75 percent. A mean curve of this 
growth of automobile production shows a distinct levelling-off 
since the year 1923. The point of inflection of the mean growth 
curve occurs about the year 1921-22. The broken-line curve on 


tlie automobile chart represents the unmber of registered motor 
yehicles in the United States. It will be noted that this number 
in 1929 was something over 26,000,000* Also notice that this curye 
has been levelling off since 1926. 

Radio. Or, to select another new industry, radio is an excel- 
lent example. Unfortunately, reliable data are not arailable for 
plotting a growth curve of the number of radio sets. This much, 
however, we do know, that radio broadcasting began on a com- 
mercial scale about the year 1921, From that time it grew with 
amazing rapidity until by 1929 by far the greater number of people 
in this country had radio sets. Since that time the number of 
radio sets in operation appears, from such data as are available, 
to be increasing but slightly. 

Biological Growth Curves. From the study of the foregoing 
graphs of the growths of various of our basic industries the per- 
sistent ^-shape of each of the growth curves examined is a striking 
and singular phenomenon, and merits further investigation. 

Br. Eaymond Pearl, in his book, Biology of Population 
Growth^ has made an extensive study of types of growth, and has 
found that almost every growth phenomenon exhibits this same 
/8^-shape characteristic. One of his experiments consisted in plac- 
ing a pair of fruit flies in a bottle, and letting them multiply while 
he kept a record of the increase of the fly population on successive 
days. When plotted as a growth carve after the manner of the 
charts above, the curve of the growth of the fly population would 
be indistinguishable from our mean curve of coal or pig iron pro- 

Bacteriologists have found that yeast cells or bacteria when 
placed in a test tube under conditions favorable for their multi- 
plication increase in numbers in a manner identical to that dis- 
cussed above. Dr. Pearl has found ample evidence that human 
populations obey the same laws of growth. 

FaUacy of Economists. It is a simple matter to see why in 
the initial stages organisms and new industries should, under 


favorable conditions, expand at approximately a compound inter- 
est type of growth. Since, nntil recently, most of the industrial 
development of this country has still remained in the compound 
interest stage, it has come to be naively expected by our business 
men and their apologists, the economists, that such a rate of 
growth was somehow inherent in the industrial processes. This 
naive assumption was embodied in the graphs and charts made 
by these gentlemen, in which ^normal' conditions were taken to be 
a steady industrial growth at the rate of 5 percent or more per 
annum. Such conditions being 'normal/ it was further assumed, 
without question, that such normal growth would continue in- 
definitely. We have already seen that the actual facts warrant no 
such assumption. 

The question remains, however, as to why these growth proc- 
esses have abandoned the original upward trend and tend to level 
off or reach a stage of saturation. The simplest case, perhaps, with 
which to answer this question would be that of the growth of fruit 
flies inside their bottle universe. Should the fruit flies continue 
to multiply at their initial compound interest rate, it can be shown 
by computation that in a relatively few weeks the number would 
be considerably greater than the capacity of the bottle. This being 
so, it is a very simple matter to see why there is a deflnite limit to 
the number of fruit flies that can live in the bottle. Once this 
number is reached, the death rate is equal to the birth rate, and 
population growth ceases. 

Very little thought and examination of the facts should suf- 
fice to convince one that in the case of the production of coal, pig 
iron, or automobiles, circumstances are not essentially different. 

Coal. As we have pointed out already, during the period from 
1860 to 1910 coal production increased at the rate of 7 percent 
per annum. According to the report of the International Geologi- 
cal Congress in 1912, the coal reserves of the United States are 
about 3.8 million million tons (3.8 x 10^^ tons). Had our rate of 
coal consumption continued to grow at 7 percent per annum, all 
the coal reserves of the United States would be exhausted by the 
year 2033, almost exactly 100 years hence. 



Theoretical Growth Curves. The exhaustion of coal or of any 
other mineral resource is, however, not something that happens sud- 
denly, but occurs very gradually instead, by a process which is some- 
what analogous to the dipping of water from a pail when one is 
allowed to take onlv one-tenth of what remains each time. 













i A 


















. 480 


































'^ i ' i I 


^' i ' i 



1 i 


Figure 5 

To show the various types of growth a chart of four theoretical 
growth curves has been inserted. 

In Figure 6^ Curve I represents pure compound interest at 
5 percent per annum. It will be noticed that many physical types 
of growth approximate this curve in its lower parts, but ultimately, 
due to the fact that no physical quantity can increase indefinitely, 
all cases of physical growth must depart from this initial com- 
pound interest curve. The later stages in yarlous types of physical 
growth are shown in Curves 11 ^ III and IF. 



Curve II represents a type of growtli whicli reaches a maxi- 
mum, and thereafter remains constant. A familiar illustration of 
this type of growth is represented by water power. Power pro- 
duced from waterfalls in a giyen area can increase until all the 
falls are harnessed. Thereafter, provided the installations are 
maintained, the production of such power remains constant* 

Curve III represents a type of growth which reaches a maxi- 
mum, then declines somewhat, and finally tends to level off at 
some intermediate level. In the United States the production of 
lumber follows such a curve as III. In the initial conditions virgin 
timber was slashed off, and the lumber industry grew until it 
reached a production peak. Then, as the forests diminished, the 
production of lumber tended to decline* The final levelling-ofp 
process will be reached when the production of lumber shall be 













■ G 












-— rfj 








■»— • 













t - 








—- , 
























— . 


Figure 6 


maintained equal to the rate of growth of forests and reforestation. 

Curve IV is the type of growth curve characteristic of the 
exploitation of any non-recnrrent material, such as all mineral 
resources. Coal, oil, and the metals all exist in minable deposits 
in definitely limited quantities. One of the simplest illustrations 
of a curve such as type IT is illustrated in the life history of a 
single oil pool. In an oil pool the production rises as more and 
more wells are drilled^ until it reaches a peak. From that time on 
the production declines year hj year, until finally it becomes so 
small that the pool is abandoned. In most American oil pools the 
greater part of this history takes place within 5 to 8 years after the 
discovery, though the pool may continue to be operated for the 
small remaining amount of oil for 10 or 15 years longer. 

In the case of mineral fuel, such as coal and oil, it is the energy 
content that is of importance in use. This energy is degraded in 
accordance with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Thus, coal 
and oil can be used only once. The case of the metals is somewhat 
different. Iron, copper, tin, lead, zinc, etc., can be used over and 
over again, and are never in a physical sense destroyed. In the 
process of using metals, however, there is a continuous wastage 
through oxidation and other chemical reactions through the dis- 
carding of iron and tin in the form of tin cans, razor blades, etc. 
While this does not destroy the metal it disseminates it in such 
a manner as to render it unavailable for future use. 

Primary metals are derived from naturally occurring ore de- 
posits containing the metallic salts and other compounds in rela- 
tively high concentrations. Thus, there is a flow of metals from 
the limited deposits at high concentrations into industrial uses, 
and finally, by wastage and dissemination, back to earth again in 
widely scattered and hence unavailable forms. This process, like 
that of the degradation of energy, is unidirectional and irrever- 
sible. It follows, therefore, that the production of the rarer metals, 
such as are now most commonly used in industrial processes, must 
ultimately reach its peak and decline after the manner illustrated 
by Curve lY. 

It is not intended to convey by the above calculations the 
impression that the levelling-off of our present growth curves is 


due as yet in any large measure to exhaustion or scarcity of re- 
sources. The resource limitations are cited only as an illustration 
of one of the many things that must eventually aid in producing 
this result. 

Social and Industrial Results. The leyelling-off of the pro- 
duction curves thus far has been due largely to a saturation in the 
ability to consume under our existing Price System limitations 
of the ability of the individual to purchase. There is a definite 
limit as to how much food an individual can consume in a given 
time; how many clothes he can wear out; and, in general, how 
much energy degradation he can account for. There is no question 
but that in many respects the people of the United States prior 
to 1929 were approaching some of these limits, and that accounts 
in some degree for the slowing down of the growth of pi^oduction 
in many fields. There was an average at that time of one auto- 
mobile per family. This fact, together with the consequent con- 
gestion of traffic, was sufficient to depress the rate of growth of 
automobile production. 

Another important factor that is rarely taken into account in 
this connection is that, due to the change of rate in the operation 
of physical equipment, at the present time almost every new piece 
of machinery runs faster than the obsolete one which it displaces. 
There is a physical relationship in all physical equipment to the 
effect that for a given rate of output the faster machinery is made 
to operate, the smaller it needs to be. Compare, for example, the 
size of a 1 h.p. high-speed electric motor with a slow-acting gaso- 
line engine of the same power. This relationship is true, whether 
the equipment be individual machines, Avhether it be a whole fac- 
tory, or whether it be a whole industry. Since the production of 
consumable goods is levelling off, and the machinery is being con- 
tinuously speeded up, it follows that our industrial plants and 
equipment J instead of getting larger, may actually diminish in size. 

The implication of this fact with regard to the demand for 
such raw materials as iron, copper, etc., is far-reaching. In our 
pioneer days, and during the period of most rapid growth, rail- 
roads, telegraph and telephone systems, power systems, and fac- 


lories, had to be built, each requiring its quota of primary metals. 
JS^ow that these things have already been built, the materials for 
the construction of new equipment are largely obtained by junk- 
ing the equipment now obsolete. To appreciate the importance of 
this rise in the use of secondary metals, consider the fact that in 
the year 1933 the production of secondary copper was over 90 per- 
cent of that of the primary copper in the United States for that 


In this lesson we have tried to show in quantitative terms 
what the leading facts of olir industrial expansion have been. 
Man^s learning to convert to his own uses the vast supply of energy 
contained in fossil fuels — coal and oil — has opened up a totally 
new and unparalleled phase of human history. It has been esti- 
mated that the effect of this upon the biological equilibrium of the 
human species has been such that the human population on the 
globe has approximately tripled since the year 1800. Areas like 
the British Isles, which, under a pre- technological- state of the 
industrial arts, were able to support only from 5,000,000 to 
8,000,000 people, now have populations of approximately 46,000,- 
000, or a population density of 490 persons per square mile. 

It has been shown that this industrial growth has been char- 
acterized in the initial stages by a compound interest type of ex- 
pansion of about 7 percent per annum in the United States. It has 
also been shown that not only is it impossible to maintain for 
more than a few decades such a rate of expansion, but that in the 
United States that period of most rapid growth has passed, and 
that already more or less unconsciously we have entered well into 
the second period of growth, that of levelling off and maturation. 

Due to the physical limitations it seems at present that the 
days of great industrial expansion in America are over unless new 
and as yet untapped sources of energy become available. We have 
been told repeatedly that new industries have been and will con- 
tinue to be sufficient to maintain the industrial growth as older 
industries slacken. Consideration of the graph of total energy 
which represents the motive power of all industries, new and old, 


indicates that, until the present, snch has not been the case, and 
there are no prospects that it will be so in the future. 

Foreign trade has been frequently invoked as a means of 
maintaining our industrial growth. Invariably in such cases, how- 
ever, foreign trade has been discussed implicitly as a 'favorable 
balance of trade,^ which implied that the amount exported will 
be in excess of the amount imported. Physically, a ^favorable 
balance of trade' consists in shipping out more goods than we re- 
ceive. Following this logic a *perf ect trade balance' should consist 
in a state of commerce wherein everything was shipped out and 
nothing received in return. 

Under our Price System, or monetary economy, an unbalanced 
foreign trade can only be maintained, as we are learning to our 
sorrow, for a comparatively short length of time. With a balance 
of trade there is no reason to expect any essential increase in the 
domestic production of this country by means of foreign markets 
for such a condition necessitates that approximately equal quan- 
tities of goods be obtained from abroad, and the net effect is zero. 


US, Minerals Yearbook, 

World Minerals and World Politics, Leitli. 

Man and Metals, Ricfcard. 

Mineral Raw Materials, Bureau o( Mines Staff. 

Mineral Economics, Tryon and Eckel. 

Minerals in Modem Industry, Voskuil. 

Statistical Abitract of the U, 5. 

Lesson 13 


IN the United States in 1929, 55 percent of all revenue 
freight hauled by Class I railroads consisted of 'pro- 
ducts of the mines.' This classification included only min- 
eral products before manufacture. If the same products 
after manufacture had been included, the total would 
have been approximately 75 percent. Thus, modern high- 
energy civilizations, as contrasted with all previous ones 
of a low-energy character, may truly be called mineral 

In all earlier civilizations the rate of energy con- 
sumption per capita per day has been low, the order at 
most of 2,000 or 3,000 kilogram-calories of extraneous 
energy. In the United States, in 1929, this figure had 
reached the unprecedented total of 153,000 kilogram- 
calories per capita p6r day. The significance of this can 
best be appreciated if we consider that this figure is re- 
sponsible for the railroads, the automobiles, the air- 
planes, the telephone, telegraph and radio, the electric 
light and power; in short, for everything that dis- 
tinguishes fundamentally our present state of civilization 
from all those of the past, and from those of such coun- 
tries as India and China at the present time. Stated con- 
versely^ if we did not consume energy — coaly oil^ gas and 
water power — at this or a similar rate^ our present indus- 
trial civilization would not exist. Ours is a civilization 
of energy and metals. 

Inspection of the growth curves in Lesson 12 shows 
us something that is rather startling, namely, that most, 
of this industrial growth in the United States has oc- 
curred since the year 1900. Stated in another way, if from 
those curves we compute the amount of coal or iron that 
has been produced and used since 1900, we would find this 
to be greatly in excess of all the coal and iron produced 
prior to that time. 



Discovery of Minerals, It frequently is assumed by people 
interested in world social problems that such industrial growth 
as bas taken place in l^orth America and Western Europe is a 
mere accident of circumstances, and tbat it might equally well 
have occurred in India or China instead. A corollary to this as- 
sumption is that it is possible for these areas to develop high- 
energy industrial civilizations and that the only reason they have 
not done so thus far is due to the backwardness of the people. 

Bince we have found that high-energy civilizations depend 
upon the existence of abundant resources — energy and industrial 
metals — ^it is a rery simple matter to determine the validity of 
such assumptions by considering the world distribution of these 
essential minerals. 

Until 30 or 40 years ago, the knowledge of the wotld distri- 
bution of minerals was more or less in the category of the knowl- 
edge of the geographical distribution of land shortly after the dis- 
covery of the Americas. Maps of the known world in the sixteenth 
century showed certain land areas that were well known, such as 
parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia; other areas which were but 
partially known, such as the eastern boundary of the only partially 
explored Hew World; and other parts of the world which were 
totally blank, due to the fact that no knowledge of these parts 
whatsoever was available. 

In the mineral map of the world prior to 1900, there were 
still large blank places representing areas as yet unknown. Since 
that time these blank spaces have become almost nonexistent. 
Quietly and unheralded the prospector, followed by the geologist 
and the mining engineer, has penetrated to the utmost corners of 
the earth. 

It is a well known geological fact that certain mineral re- 
sources occur in large amounts only in certain geological environ- 

Oil, for instance, occurs only in sedimentary rocks which have 
not been too greatly folded or otherwise disturbed since their 
original deposition. In igneous rocks or in pre-Cambrian basement 
complexes, such as the region between the Great Lakes and Hud- 
son Bay, or of the Scandinavian Peninsula, oil in large quantities 
cannot exist. 


Iron ores, likewise, as Leith pointed out, have shown a re- 
markable tendency to occur in these very pre-Cambrian terranes 
of the United States, Brazil, India, and Sonth Africa, from which 
oil is absent. Other mineral resources have their own more prob- 
able environments. Since these various major types of areas are 
known, it follows that the geography of the future mineral dis- 
coveries for the entire world may now be fairly well predicted. 

Methods of Discovery. The intensity of prospecting and the 
number of people engaged in the search for new mineral deposits 
have in the last few decades increased tremendously. The old- 
fashioned prospector, with burro, pick, and hammer, has been re- 
placed by the modern highly trained geologist and mining engineer, 
travelling by automobile and by airplane. Areas, are now mapped 
by aerial photography. Geophysical instruments are now avail- 
able which enable the oil geophysicist to discover salt-domes and oil 
pools that are completely hidden beneath the surface of the ground. 
He has seismographs that enable him to make maps of geological 
structures at depths of 5,000 feet, and more, beneath the surface of 
the ground. For the use of the mining engineer there are electrical 
instruments capable of detecting metallic minerals buried several 
hundred feet under earth. By means of these methods the mineral 
geography of the earth is at present rather well known. 

It is significant to note, as Leith has pointed out, that except 
for oil (and recently potash in the United Statei^*), a major source 
of minerals has not been discovered in Europe since 1850, and in 
the United States since 1910. This seems to indicate that most of 
the discovering in these areas may have been done already. 

CoaL What is the mineral geography of the world as it is 
now known? Consider coal, which is probably the best known of 
the major mineral resources. 

It is interesting to note that the United States alone, accord- 
ing to the estimate of the International Geological Congress of 
1913, possesses approximately 51 percent of the coal reserves of 
the entire world. Canada has about 16 percent of the world total. 

* Within the last few years there has been discovered in Kew Mexico 
and Texas what promises to be the world's largest supply of potasli. 


Of the remaining 33 percent, Europe has approximately a third, 
or 10 percent of the world's total. Asia, Africa, South America, 
and Australia, all together, have only about 23 percent of the 
world's total coal reserves. 

Oil. In the case of oil, the United States in 1929 was produc- 
ing 69 percent of the world's total production. 

The proven oil reserves of the world in 1933 were, according 
to the estimate of Garfias, in a report read before the Society of 
Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, approximately 25 billion 
barrels. Of these, 48 percent, or 12 billion barrels, were in the 
United States, This estimate of reserves represents only the differ- 
ential between discovery and consumption of oil. Should discovery 
cease a reserve of 12 billion barrels would last the United States 
only about 12 years at the 1929 rate of consumption. 

Iron. The iron reserves of the world are localized chiefly in 
a few areas. In the United States most of the iron produced comes 
from the region around Lake Superior, and the Birmingham dis- 
trict in Alabama. Foreign iron ores, in greatest abundance, are 
to be found in such regions as England, Alsace-Lorraine, Spain, 
Sweden, and Russia. In South America the largest reserves are 
found in Brazil. Other large supplies are found in India, South 
Africa and Australia. 

The United States in 1929 produced slightly less than 48 
percent of the world's total production of pig iron. 

Copper. Next to iron, the most important industrial metal 
is probably copper. In 1929 the total world production of copper 
was 2,100,000 short tons, of which the United States in that year 
produced 1,000,000 short tons, or slightly less than 50 percent. 

Of our major metallic resources, copper is probably the near- 
est to a forced decline resulting from a gradual exhaustion of high 
grade ores. Within the last few years large supplies of African 
copper have rapidly come into a prominent place in world pro- 
duction. It is quite possible that Africa may become the leading 
producer of copper in the future. 

From what has been said with regard to the production and 
reserves of coal, oil, iron, and copper, it becomes evident that the 


United States is singularly well supplied with the world's essential 
industrial minerals. In fact, it would not be oyerstating the case 
to say that the United States has the lion's share of the world's 
mineral resources. She is by far the best supplied of all the na- 
tions of the world, and the North American Continent surpasses 
in a similar manner all the other continents. 

The Ferro-alloys. The United States, however, is largely de- 
void of certain highly essential industrial minerals, the group 
known as the ferro-alloys — manganese, chromite, nickel, and van- 
adium. While these minerals are required only in small quantities, 
they are essential for most alloy steels which are used in industrial 
processes, and but for them, modern high-speed machinery would 
be impossible. So essential are these alloys that in war time they 
have come to be known as 'key' minerals. 

It is interesting to note in passing that for the period from 
1910 to 1914, Germany's importations of ferro-alloys were consid- 
erably in excess of her industrial requirements for that period. 
It is equally significant to note that at the present time the French 
importations are in excess of France's present industrial require- 
ments. Fortunately, Canada is the world's leading producer of 

Movement of Supplies. A review of the world mineral* geo- 
graphy shows that by far the greater part of the world's industrial 
minerals are located in the land areas bordering the I^orth. At- 
lantic: Western Europe, United States, and Canada. Supplies 
of individual minerals occur in other parts of the world in quan- 
tities sufficient to be important in world production. Examples 
of this are to be found in the case of oil in Venezuela and Colombia, 
copper and nitrates in Chile, tungsten in China, tin in Bolivia and 
the Dutch East Indies, and iron ores in Brazil. 

It has long since become axiomatic in the iron and steel indus- 
try that iron ore moves to coal for smelting, and not the reverse. 
Iron ore, for instance, moves from the Great Lakes region to the 
blast furnaces of Gary, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. In Europe, 
the iron ores of Sweden and of Spain move to the coal fields of 
England, France, and Germany. 


A similar type of tMng is true in the case of any essential 
indtistrial mineral when it occurs in a region devoid of sufficient 
other minerals to support a high-energy industrial system. Con- 
sider Colombia and Venezuela in the case of oil. Venezuela is third 
in the order of the oil producing countries of the world, and Co- 
lombia is sixth. Both countries have ample oil production to sup- 
port an automobile traffic comparable to that of any other area. 
If one, however, should visit Bogota, the capital of Colombia, he 
Avould find only a few automobiles, all owned by government offi- 
cials and the wealthier citizens. These can be driven around the 
town and for just a few miles out into the country, beyond which 
all automobile roads end. The cars have to be brought in by boat 
and by railroad. The country as a whole is almost totally devoid 
of automobiles, or of passable roads. Colombian oil, therefore, in- 
stead of supporting a domestic automobile traffic, flows to the 
industrialized areas of North America and Europe. 

In a similar manner tungsten moves from China to the United 
States and to Europe, tin moves from Bolivia and from the Malay 
Peninsula, vanadium moves from Peru, copper and nitrates from 
Chile, and copper from South Africa. 

Unequal Distribution of Resources. The significant thing 
about the world^s mineral geography is that industrial minerals 
in quantities large enough to play significant roles in modem in- 
dustry are very unequally distributed about the face of the earth, 
and moreover, tend to occur in a comparatively small number of 
point sources. Most of the world's iron, as we have pointed out, is 
derived from only about half a dozen regions. Most of the world's 
oil comes from a similar number of localities. The world's potash 
comes chiefly from the Strassfurt deposits in Germany. Most of 
the world's nickel comes from two sources, the Sudbury district of 
Canada, and from New Caledonia. 

The social significcmce of this unequal distribution of the 
world's minerals is that industrial equality of the various areas of 
the earth's surface is a physical impossibility. 

So long as the world's industrial motive power necessary to 
maintain high-energy civilizations is derived chiefly from the 


fossil fuels — coal and oil — the ISTortli American Continent and 
Western Europe will continue to dominate industrially the rest 
of the world. 

The social idealist's dream of a world state and world equality 
is based on an utter failure to consider the physical factors upon 
which the realization of such a dream depends. Unless some new 
and as yet untapped source of energy becomes available, the 475,- 
000,000 of people in China will continue at approximately their 
present standard of living* 

The problem of maintaining an industrial civilization is a 
problem which is peculiar separately to each major industrial area. 
The laws of thermodynamics are universal ; they are exactly the 
same in China, India, or Soviet Kussia, as they are in the United 
States. The distribution of coal and oil in each of these areas, how- 
ever, is radically different. 

The North American Continent. Industrially, and from the 
point of view of resources, the Korth American Continent com- 
prises the most nearly self-sufficient high-energy industrial area 
on the earth's surface. When the tropical vegetation of Mexico, 
Central America, and the West Indies is combined with the tem- 
perate products of the United States and Canada, very little in 
the way of vegetable products need be obtained from the outside 
world. Likewise, when the mineral products of this area, chiefly 
the United States and Canada, be pooled for a common industrial 
operation, an almost complete mineral independence is achieved. 
Geographically and industrially j, therefore^ the North American 
Continent comprises a natural unit. 

References : 

World Minerals and World Politics, Leith. 

Mineral Economics, Tryon and Eckel, 

U, S, Minerals yearbook. 

Mineral Raw Materials, U. S. Bureau of Mines Staff. 

Lesson 14 


IN the lessons preceding, we have seen that the in- 
dustrial growth of Western Europe and North 
America has, within the last 150 years, undergone a 
phase of development totally unlike that of any previous 
period in the world's history. Industrial growth, we 
have seen, has followed the now familiar ^-shape curve, 
beginning with the period of most rapid growth, and 
gradually reaching maturity and levelling off. 

We have seen further that it was by no means acci- 
dental that this spectacular industrial growth should have 
occurred in Western Europe and North America rather 
than in Asia or South America, for the simple reason 
that large-scale industrial growth requires that there be 
readily available a suitable ensemble of mineral re- 
sources, principally coal and iron, together with the 
accessory minerals yielding copper, lead, zinc, and the 
ferro-alloys. This required assemblage of mineral re- 
sources in amounts essential to large-scale industrial 
growth has thus far been discovered only in the countries 
bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, and, according to 
present available evidence, is lacking in such amounts in 
other parts of the earth. 

A large class of phenomena grows according to this 
same jS-shape growth curve — ^bacteria, yeast, biological 
populations of all kinds, including human beings, as 
well as all kinds of industry. 

The 'Decline' Curve. There is another type of ^growth' curve, 
however, that behaves in a manner quite different from these that 
we have discussed thus far. This is a type which decreases as those 
discussed above increase. Perhaps this latter should more cor- 
rectly be called a ^deeline^ curve instead of a ^growth' curve. We 
can speak of them as growth curves, however, provided we under- 
stand the word growth to mean a change of magnitude, whether 
smaller or larger. Thus, we can conceive of something growing 
smaller as well as larger. 



As an example of this latter type of growth phenomenon, con- 
sider the amount of human time required to produce a single thing, 
for instance, to mine a ton of coaL This brings us face to face 
with the problem of how we shall measure the amount of human 
time required to do a particular thing. One of the measures of 
human time commonly employed is that of the ^man-day.' A man- 
day would represent one man working one day. Thus, fire men 
working 3 days each would be employed for 15 man-days. 

The Man-Hour. The objection to the man-day as a unit of 
human employment rests upon the fact that different man-days 
are not ordinarily of the same length. There have been times, both 
in this country and in England, when men worked 16 hours 
per day. At that time a man-day would have been one man work- 
ing 16 hours. At the present time a man-day consists ordinarily 
of one man working 8 hours. Thus, a man-day with a man 
working 8 hours is only one-half as long as when the man works 
16 hours. 

It is this inconstancy of the man-day that makes it unsuit- 
able as a measure of tuman employment. In order to accurately 
measure anything, one requires a unit of measurement which re- 
mains essentially the same. A far more suitable unit of measure- 
ment of human employment, therefore, is the man-hotcr, 

A man-hour of Jmman employment represents one man work- 
ing one hour, 

^ow consider how many man-hours of human employment it 
must have taken, say 100 years ago, to mine a ton of coal. By 
considering the methods of coal mining then in use, we can arrive 
at some estimate of what this must have been. At that time 
practically all the coal mining in the United States was done 
entirely by hand methods — digging with pick and shovel, and 
hoisting with a rope and pulley or windlass. Coal mining was 
in its infancy, and only the most shallow seams were worked. If 
it had been possible hj these methods to work the deeper seams 
such as are now worked mth power machinery in the Pennsyl- 
vania anthracite fields, as well as the bituminous fields of the 
Middle West, the number of man-hours required per ton would 
have been enormously greater. 


The best available data indicate that 100 years ago, one man 
could not mine on the average more than a ton of coal in one day 
of 12 hours; in other words, it took 12 man-hours to mine one ton. 

In the industrial growth that followed, the coal mining indus- 
try, as we have already seen, increased enormously until by 1018 
we produced 670 million tons of coal in one year. During all this 
period, slowly at first, and then more rapidly as the production 
grew in size, we improved our coa^l mining technique. First, steam 
pumps and power hoists were introduced; then blowing engines 
for the ventilation of the mines ; explosives were used for breaking 
the coal and rendering more easy its extraction. Later, coal- 
cutting machines and automatic loaders were introduced. More 
recently, large-scale strip mining methods have been employed 
where giant electric shovels of 30 and 40 tons per bucketful strip 
off the overlying rock to depths of 50 or 60 feet. These are fol- 
lowed by smaller shovels which scoop up the coal seam thus un- 
covered and dump it directly into waiting railroad cars. 

Figured on the basis of coal mined, the average rate of pro- 
duction of all the coal mined in the United States is approximately 
6 tons per man per 8-hour day. Stated in terms of man-hours, this 
means that it now takes 8 man-hours on the average to mine 6 
tons of coal, whereas, 100 years ago it required 12 man-hours to 
mine 1 ton of coaL Thus, the man-hours required per ton of coal 
mined have declined since 1830 from 12 to 1.33 man-hours per ton. 

If we had considered only the best modern practice, such as 
is represented in completely mechanized underground mines, or in 
the strip mines, a much greater drop would have been found. The 
strip mines average about 15 tons per man per 8 hours. This rep- 
resents approximately one-half man-hour per ton. 

If complete data were available to plot a graph of the number 
of man-hours required to mine 1 ton of coal from the year 1830 
to the present, one would find that the number, instead of getting 
larger with time, grows continuously smaller. In order to reduce 
the number of man-hours required to mine 1 ton of coal below 
the figures that have been reached already, it is not even neces- 
sary to invent any new machinery. One needs only to install 
modern labor-saving equipment in those mines which have not 
been so equipped; and* by so doing, it will be possible to reduce 


tlie number of man-lioiirs required to mine a ton of coal much 
below the figure that we now have reached. 

In order to obtain an idea of the rate at which this mechani- 
zation of the coal mines is taking place, it is interesting to note 
that in the year 1923, 1,880,000 tons of bituminous coal were pro- 
duced by meehaniz;ed mines; by 1931, the bituminous coal pro- 
duced by mechanized mining had reached 47,562,000 tons, a growth 
of 25-fold in 8 years. This latter figure represents somewhat less 
than 10 percent of the total coal mined, so that there remains still 
to be mechanized approximately 90 percent of our bituminous coal 
mines. The process of mechanization in this field is continuing 
almost unabated right through the present depression. This will 
result in a continuous decline of the man-hours required to mine 
1 ton of coaL 

A trend similar to that in coal mining has been taking place 
in every industrial field. The number of man-hours required to 
produce a bushel of wheat, a pair of shoes, a yard of cloth, a ton 
of iron, or to transport a ton-mile of freight, was greater 100 years 
ago than it has been any time since. A curve plotted in any one 
of these fields would show that the man-hours required to produce 
one unit of product have been, and still are, getting fewer. 

Mechanization of Industry. Technocracy has previously 
called attention to some of the more spectacular instances of 
recent mechanization of industry, such as the A. O. Smith Com- 
pany's plant in Milwaukee which produced, while running, 10,000 
automobile chassis frames per day with a crew of 208 men, and 
similar instances. While it is true that industry as a whole has 
not attained the level reached in its own best practices, the 
trend in every field is in that direction. Every time a nevr plant 
is built, or a new piece of equipment designed that replaces older 
equipment which has become obsolete, this new equipment runs 
faster and requires fewer man-hours of human attention per unit 
of production than its predecessor. 

Another example of such a decline curve which has already 
been mentioned briefly in a previous lesson is that of the size of 
the equipment required for a given rate of production. The faster 
equipment is made to operate, the smaller it will be in proportion 


to its output. A similar relation kolds good in oMce floor space. 
With the old-fashioned method of having bookkeepers work oyer 
hand-written ledgers, a much greater amount of office floor space 
was required to keep the hooks of a given volume of business than 
is now required with modern high-speed bookkeeping machinery. 

That this process is going on unabated is shown by computa- 
tions made from the Federal Eeserve Board indices of production 
and employment in the manufacturing industries. Computation 
from these indices based on some 69,000 industrial establishments 
shows that the productivity per man-hour during the period from 
1920 until June 1933, almost exactly doubled. One-half of this 
increase occurred since 1930. In other words, mechaniziation pro- 
ceeds more rapidly during depressions than otherwise. 

On the whole, mechanization of industry in this country, far 
from being near completion, has just begun. We are now in the 
transition from the period characterized by the hand-operated 
machine into that characterized by the almost completely auto- 
matic technological mechanism. Instances such as the A. O. Smith 
plant and the Owens bottle machine are but forerunners of the 
general industrial development of the near future. 

Decline of Man-Hours. Figure 7 represents schematically 
these two types of growth curves over the same time-period but 
plotted to different scales vertically. The curve of production used 
here is essentially that of the growth of total energy. The declin- 
ing curve is a composite curve based upon such fragmentary data 
as are available. The man-hours per unit in the early stages de- 
clined but slowly, and then more and more rapidly as industry 
expanded and became more mechanized. 

A third curve is also shown which is dei^ved by computation 
from the first two. It is a matter of simple arithmetic to com- 
pute the number of man-hours required to produce a given num- 
ber of units if we know the number of man-hours required to 
produce one unit. Thus, the total man-hours of employment in 
productive indtistry for any given time is equal to the product of 
the number of units produced in that time, multiplied hj the aver- 
age number of man-hours required to produce one unit. 

Curve III was obtained hj multiplying at successive times 



the production by the man-hours per unit. Assuming that Curves 
I and // are a correct picture, then Curve III would represent 
the industrial employment for this period in total man-hours. 

In the early stages of industrial growth, the man-hours per 
unit were decreasing but slowly, consequently employment grew 
at approximately the same rate as industrial production. Then 
during the period of most rapid industrial growth, the increased 
use of labor-saving machinery with the consequent decline in the 
number of man-hours per unit produced tended to retard the rate 
of growth of industrial employment. During this period, new 
jobs were still being created due to the expansion of industry, 
faster than the old ones were being eliminated due to its mechani- 
zation. Finally, as industrial production began to level off with 
no corresponding slackening in the increase of mechanization, 
there came a time when jobs were eliminated by labor-saving 
machinery faster than they were created by expansion of old, or 
the creation of new industries. 



























L P 









t ' 









— 1. 























































) - 

^ i 










































J YMxi: 1 1 1 1 1 

\ \ % % \ 

■■ 1 S 

Figure 7 


This peak of employment has occurred at diJ^erent times in 
different individual industries. In agriculture, the peak of em- 
ployment as shown hj the United States Census, taken at inter- 
vals of ten years, was reached in 1910 with over 12,000,000 gain- 
fully employed workers; by 1930 this number had declined to 
less than 10^500,000 persons* 

The peak of employment in mining industries was reached in 
1920. In the production of pig iron the peak of employment, ac- 
cording to the United States Labor Bureau statistics, occurred in 
1919. In the production of automobiles, the peak occurred in 1923, 
According to the Federal Eeserve Board, the peak of industrial 
employment for all industries in the United States was about 
January 1920. 

Much has been said by apologists for the present system 
about new industries creating new jobs. Only recently. President 
Xarl T. Comptpn, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and 
Professor E. A. Millikan, President of California Institute of 
Technology, broadcast speeches by radio which have since been 
published in the BoientifiG Monthly on the thesis that science 
creates employment. 

The essential burden, of these gentlemen's remarks consisted 
in such arguments as: The automobile industry employed more 
men than the wagon industry had previously been able to do. 
Therefore, new industries always will employ more men than the 
industries which they displace. Only a casual inspection of 
Figure 7 would demonstrate the utter fallacy of any such care- 
less type of reasoning. The automobile industry grew up during 
the period of most rapid industrial expansion when jobs were 
being created faster than they were being eliminated. The peak 
of automobile production was not reached until 1929, but that of 
automobile employment occurred in 1923. If production continues 
to level off no matter how slowly, and if the man-hour-per-unit 
production curve continues headed downhill, it follows that the 
total industrial employment stated in man-hours, which reached 
its peak about 1920, must continue to decline. 

It is to be emphasized that these three curves as illustrated 
in Figure 7 are all long-time trends, and do not include the effect 
of this or any previous period of depression. Note that there are 


no cycles in these curves. They have never repented themselves^ 
and there is never any going hack. 

Every new industry creates new jobs and eliminates old ones. 
Whether the number of m^n-hours per year of new jobs created 
by the composite of all new industries and expansion of old ones 
is greater or less than the number of man-hours per year of the 
old jobs eliminated depends entirely upon what stage in the 
growth of total industry is being considered. At all times prior 
to the occurrence of the peak in the curve of total man-hours per 
year the birth rate of new jobs exceeds the death rate of old ones 
and the hours of employment continuously increase. At all times 
subsequent to the occurrence of that peak (neglecting minor os- 
cillations) the death rate of old jobs exceeds the birth rate of 
new ones and the man-hours of employment continuously de- 
crease. Since, for American industry, this peak occurred about 
the year 1920, it is fallacious to employ events prior to that date 
as a basis upon which to draw conclusions which are supposed 
to be valid after that date. For the period of American industrial 
growth prior to 1920 it is entirely correct to state that the creation 
of new industries and the expansion of old ones increased the 
annual hours of employmejit; for the period subsequent to that 
date it is entirely incorrect to make the same statement. 

It might be remarked in passing that total man-hours in in- 
dustrial employment do not necessarily bear any relation to 
unemployment. If a total number of man-hours are required an- 
nually in industry, and if a total number of human beings are 
available as industrial workers, it is necessary only to adjust 
properly the length of the working day in order to accommodate 
any number of available workers. The trends depicted in Figure 7 
point inexorably to an ever-increasing unemployment or else to 
an indefinite shortening of the length of the working day. 


Statistical Abstract of the V, S, 
Monthly Labor Review^ U, S. Dept. of I^Bor. 
Bulletins, tF, S. Dept. of Labor, 
Bulletins, Federal Reserve Board. 

Technological Trends and National Policy, National Resources Com* 

Lesson 15 


IN th^ foregoing lessons we have discussed at some 
length the basic matter and energy relationships to 
which all events upon the earth, both organic and in- 
organic, must conform. We have learned in this manner 
that out of all conceivable things we might imagine to 
happen upon the earth, only those are possible for which 
the total matter involved is neither increased nor de- 
creased, and for which the energy transformations are 
of such a nature that the occurrence does not amount to 
one kind or another of a perpetual-motion mechanism. 

While this kind of analysis has long been funda- 
mental in engineering when dealing with simple, small- 
scale problems, it has not been extensively recognized 
that the same technique is applicable and of fundamental 
importance to the far more intricate problems of the 
operation of a human social complex. In engineering, 
for example, it has long been known that if a steam 
engine be operated between a boiler at the absolute tem- 
perature Tt and a condenser at the temperature Tz^ the 
maximum possible fraction of the heat Qi taken from 
the boiler that can be converted into work is given by 
[{7\ — Tz)/Tr] Qt. This fact establishes an objective 
standard of performance. If the performance of the 
engine is much poorer than this, then it is known that a 
better engine can be built, and how much better. 

A similar analysis may be made with ^regard to a 
human society operating within a given geographical 
area. When the material and energy resources available 
to that society are known the maximum rate of oper- 
ation of a social mechanism in that area can be estab- 
lished to a reasonable approximation. If the observed 
operation be at a greatly inferior level to that which in 
this manner is known to be possible, then we know 
that there is room for substantial improvement. 
Furthermore, as in the case of the steam engine, faulty 


Operation implies faulty design of the operating mecli- 
anism whicli can be corrected only by an improved de- 
sign in which the faulty characteristics have he^n 

In our brief review of world resources it appeared 
that many areas of the globe are so deficient in material 
and energj^ resources essential to a large-scale industry 
that their populations are effectually doomed to a low- 
energy standard of living — at least so unless and until 
technological advances render presently unknown re- 
sources available. We learned, however, that the Conti- 
nent of North America is not so handicapped but with 
regard to climate, soil, biological, mineralogical, and 
energy resources is the most richly endowed continent 
on earth. In fact it has the resources and the man-power 
and the technological knowledge necessary to provide 
every human inhabitant with an optimum physical stand- 
ard of living at a small and continuously decreasing labor 
requirement per individual. Yet if we consider the 
widespread poverty and squalor that is allowed to ex- 
ist, the wastage and destruction of resources, the destruc- 
tion of products and maintenance of enforced scarcity 
both by government and by private industry, and the 
wholesale unemployment we are obliged to conclude that 
the actual operation of our social mechanism is vastly 
inferior to its presently kno^oi potentialities. 

Hence, we have a clear case of a mechanism whose 
actual operation is so far below that which is possible 
as to constitute both a social and technological scandal. 
That this should be so nee^ not be surprising when it is 
considered that the fundamental elements of design and 
operation of our social structure grew up thousands of 
years ago to meet the needs of an agrarian economy, 
whereas the transition from such an economy to our 
present state of technological advance has occurred 
principally within the last century, and predominantly, 
so far as growth is concerned, since the year 1900. It 
is inconceivable that the institutions and customs which 
evolved to meet the needs of a society composed of 
hunters, peasants, sheep-herders, warriors, priests, petty 
merchants, and usurers should be adequate for the needs 
of a society operating a billion horsepower of prime 
movers with its consequent array of high-speed transpor- 
tation, communication, and productive equipment. 


A high energy civilization has needs peculiar to it- 
self which must be explicitly recognized in any adequate 
design. Before we consider that problem, however, let 
us Urst examine critically some of the existing customs 
and folkways handed down to us from an agrarian an- 
tiquity, since it is in these that the principal faults of 
our present mechanism may be expected to lie. 

The Concept of Property. One of the most deeply rooted of 
all these ancient concepts is that of property. So firmly fixed is 
this concept that ordinarily it is taken to be axiomatic ; rarely does 
it ever occur to one to examine critically into its meaning. One 
speaks of *my horse,' *my dog,^ *my house,' *my automobile,^ with 
never a thought of just what constitutes the difference between a 
house that belongs, say, to Jones, and the same house if it be- 
longed to Smith. 

To make this even more clear, let us suppose that the house 
formerly belonged to Jones, and that he afterward sold it to 
Smith. Should a stranger, knowing neither Jones nor Smith, have 
observed the house from day to day, before and after the transac- 
tion, he would probably have been unaware that any such change 
had occurred. He might have noted that up until a certain date, 
Jones lived in the house, and that alter that date Jones moved out 
and Smith moved in. The stranger would have observed only that 
there had been a change of occupancy of the house. Such change 
of occupancy, however, might have occurred with no change of 
ownership at all, as in the case of the change of tenants in a house 
that is rented. 

What then constitutes property in a house? A little reflection 
will show that ownership of, or property in, a house consists en- 
tirely in what society will allow an individual to do with regard 
to the house. If the property in the house is Jones', that merely 
means that Jones is allowed by society to live in the house, to 
rent the house to someone else, to leave it vacant, or to tear it 
down. Jones may transfer parts of these privileges to other people 
for a consideration, as in the case of rental, or he may dispense 
with the privileges altogether, by sale, by gift, or by forfeiture. In 
these latter cases, though the house remains, the right of property 
in the house is transferred to some other person. 


The same line of reasoning applies to any otlier property. 
Thus^ it becomes evident, as Lawrence T. Frank, of the Eocke- 
feller Institute, has aptly remarked, that property consists not in 
a physical object, but is a mode of behavior with respect to a 
physical object. 

The significance of this will be, perhaps, even more clearly 
understood if one should consider the difference between the own- 
ership of an automobile in the middle of a 10-acre field and the 
ownership of the same automobile in the middle of Fifth Avenue 
at 2 o'clock on a busy afternoon. It would be the same automobile 
in either case with tie same owner, but what society would allow 
the owner to do with his automobile in the middle of a 10-acre field 
is vastly different from what it would allow Mm to do with it on 
Fifth Avenue. 

A similar type of thing occurs in the ownership of land. 
Suppose one owned a tract of land in the middle of an uninhabited 
wilderness. In such a ease, the rights of property with regard to 
this land would be absolute, since, by hypothesis, there would be 
no society in such an instance to limit or curtail one^s freedom 
of action; it follows that such freedom of action would be limited 
only by one's physical ability. He could cut or burn off the timber, 
cultivate or not as he saw fit, and build wherever it should please 
him. Suppose that some generations later a thriving city should 
spring up on this same tract of land. Then, if the original tract 
were large, it would doubtless be subdivided among many owners 
and into small tracts. Under these circumstances it becomes im- 
mediately obvious that the right of property in the same land 
would be totally different from the right of property when the 
area was a wilderness. Even though it were his own land, society 
would permit the owner only a very limited range of operations 
in this latter case; it would dictate to him that he could build 
only residence, industrial, or business structures on his land, ac- 
cording to the city zone in which the land happened to be located. 
What is more, society would tell him within what specifications 
the wiring, the fire prevention equipment, the water supply and 
sanitation equipment must be built. 

Property then, or more strictly, the rights of property, are 
quite relative, and are by no means the fixed and rigid privileges 


that in a more agrarian society they have been, or that is still un- 
thinkingly implied when one occasionally becomes concerned over 
the possible discontinuance of private property/. 

In spite of this relative nature it still remains that almost 
every item of physical equipment that can be monopolized is at 
the present time considered to be the private property of individ- 
uals or groups of individuals. The land is owned, mineral re- 
sources are owned, in. short, everything that is necessary for hu- 
man e;sdstence and that can be so monopolized, has been taken 
over and monopolized by individuals or groups. The only reason 
that one does not pay a public utility charge on the air one breathes 
is that there has not been found a way of enforcing a monopoly. 

Trade. As a corollary to the concept of ownership, and to 
the fact that every monopolizable thing is owned by some person 
or other, come concepts of trade and of value. 

The simplest form of trade is that wherein one exchanges, say, 
ten sheep for one cow, a pound of butter for one dozen eggs, or 
in general, one kind of commodity or goods for another kind of 
commodity or goods. Such an exchange is called barter^ and rep- 
resents one of the most primitive forms of trade. 

While, casually, barter would be thought of purely and simply 
as an exchange of goods, a little consideration will show that 
what actually is exchanged is the property rights in these goods. 
If Jones trades Smith ten sheep for one cow, the property rights 
that society allows Jones with respect to the sheep are transferred 
to Smith, and vice versa with respect to the cow. Since there are 
numerous kinds of transfer of physical goods which are not trade, 
it is important that one keep this distinction in mind. For ex- 
ample, if one goes into a restaurant and orders himself a meal 
which he pays for with money, he is engaging in trade. If he has 
ample money he may seek a very expensive restaurant and dine 
in style. If he has very little money he may seek a lunch wagon 
and content himself with a ham sandwich and a cup of coffee. A 
similar circumstance holds with regard to clothing. His choice 
of an expensive or a cheap suit of clothing may likewise be deter- 
mined by his supply of ready cash. Both of these instances are 
examples of trade. 


In an army, however, one is clothed and one is fed. In this 
case clothing passes from the quartermaster corps to the in- 
dividual. While there is a transfer of custody of the clothing from 
the hands of the quartermaster corps to the hands of the soldier 
who is to use it, this clothing in both cases, before and after, is 
the property of the United States Army, and no trade is involved. 
What the soldier actually does is to gign an equipment sheet show- 
ing that he has received such and such equipment — this for the 
purpose of record. Here we have a transfer of goods from the 
custody of one person to the use of another without a trade hav- 
ing taken place in any sense of the word. A similar relation is 
true as regards a soldier's rations and housing. 

Trade^ then, consists in those exchanges, and those only, in 
which there is an exchange of property rights. In the case of the 
army when the quartermaster corps obtains its supplies from the 
manufacturer, this is accomplished by means of trade; when the 
quartermaster corps distributes these same goods to the soldiers 
for use or consumption, this latter distribution can in no sense of 
the word be construed as trade. 

The Concept of Value. Intimately associated with the con- 
cept of trade is that of value. To consider the simple cases of 
trade represented by barter, as mentioned previously, it is evident 
that the number of sheep that would be traded for one cow would 
depend, among other things, upon the relative abundance in the 
particular locality wherein the trade was effected of cows and 
sheep. If sheep were very abundant and cows relatively rare, this 
ratio might be as high as 50 sheep for one cow; if the inverse 
relation were true this exchange might be effected for as few as 
one sheep for one cow. A similar relation holds between butter 
and eggs, between cotton and wheat, or between any other pair 
of exchangeable commodities. 

It is this variable relationship between the amount of one 
commodity that is exchangeable for another that is the basis of 
the concept of value. Value is fundamentally subjective, but is 
always expressed in the market place by the relative amount of 
one commodity that is exchangeable for another. The amount of 
one commodity that is exchangeable for another in different times. 


and in different places, varies widely. In general^ the value of a 
product^ that is to say^ the amount of other products which is 
exchangeable for ity increases as that product becomes scarcer. 

Thus, the value of diamonds at the present time is high only 
because diamonds occur but rarely, and are monopolized by the 
diamond syndicate, which allows them on the market at a very 
limited rate. Should a process be developed whereby diamonds 
could be manufactured for a cent or less per carat, their value 
would rapidly decline. In other words, it is only when a product 
is scarce that large amounts of other products need be offered in 
exchange for it. 

The value of a thing has no relation to its social importance; 
for example, both air and water are completely indispensable for 
the maintenance of life* Air is so abundant that one need not ex- 
change any commodity for its use. Tt is accordingly without value. 
Since the relative abundance of water varies from place to place, 
its value varies also. In a region of heavy rainfall and abundant 
water supply, both for the purpose of drinking and of irrigation, 
water has no value; it cannot be bought or sold. In arid regions, 
however, water both for drinking purposes and for irrigation, due 
to its scarcity, is bought and sold or traded in, and accordingly 
has value. 

The Concept of Debt Suppose that in an agrarian system of 
barter a horse is exchangeable for eight pairs of shoes. Suppose 
that the shoemaker wishes to buy a horse, and that a farmer who 
has a horse to sell needs a pair of shoes; then if the farmer should 
trade the shoemaker his horse and accept only one pair of shoes, 
the shoemaker would still owe the farmer seven pairs of shoes. 
These seven pairs of shoes which the shoemaker owes to the 
farmer are said to be the debt of the shoemaker to the farmer; 
the farmer is called the creditor, and the shoemaker the debtor. 

In such a situation as this, there are two alternatives. The 
debt may be discharged gradually by (a) the farmer taking the 
seven remaining pairs of shoes one at a time in succession over an 
extended period of time, or (b) the shoemaker may give to the 
farmer at the time of the trade a written statement to the effect 
that he owes, and will pay, seven pairs of shoes. Such a statement 


constitutes a certificate of debt. The farmer may then take this 
certificate of debt to a merchant and trade it in exchange for 
other goods which he now needs. In this latter case, the shoe- 
maker^s debt of seven pair of shoes will be transferred from the 
farmer to the merchant. 

Suppose that instead of the shoemaker having given the 
farmer a debt certificate, stated in terms of shoes, it had been in 
the form of tokens, which, by common agreement of the commu- 
nity were acceptable, not only in payment for shoes, but also in 
exchange for all other goods of the community; then this latter 
token would constitute money. Money then constitutes a form of 
generalized debt certificate wMcli is exchangeable not merely for 
a specific product^ but for any purchasable product^ which the 
community affords. It is expressed in denominations of value. 

Assuming monetary tokens to be already in existence in a 
given community, one acquires them in exchange for goods or for 
services rendered. They therefore represent a deferred payment* 
The holder thereof may exchange them with other members of the 
community at some future time and receive goods or services in 
return. Money is, therefore, stated in denominations of value, and 
is exchangeable for goods or services of an equivalent value. Thus 
if two different commodities are exchangeable on a barter basis 
for each other, the two are said to be of equivalent value, and each 
is exchangeable for the same amount of money. 

It cannot be too strongly emphasized that money, as such, is 
not a commodity, but is instead mere tokens which by common 
social agreement represent debt owed hj the community at large 
to their holders. 

The substances used for money have varied widely from time 
to time, and from place to place. The Forth American Indians 
used wampum ; some of the ancients used coins of copper, bronze, 
tin, and iron. Some of the South Sea Islanders have used dog's 
teeth. Modern countries employ as their monetary standard chiefly 
the metals silver and gold. 

It is true that in the early stages of the evolution of money a 
particular commodity was frequently chosen as a medium of ex- 
change for other commodities. In these early stages this com- 
modity fulfilled the dual purpose of a usable commodity and a 


certificate of debt payable in terms of other commodities on de- 
mand. In more modern times, this duality has been eliminated by 
the process of coinage* In the United States of America, copper is 
both a commodity and the material for a certain coin. In the 
form of a coin, copper represents merely a certificate of debt, and 
is nsable accordingly. The yalne of a copper coin as a certificate 
of debt is very mnch greater than the value of the equivalent 
copper as a commodity. 

It is customary among modern nations to adopt a particular 
metal, usually gold, as the base of the monetary system, in which 
case the value of gold as coin is taken to be equal to the value of 
an equivalent amount of gold as a commodity. That this relation- 
ship is purely arbitrary may be seen by the fact that nations have 
of late gone on or off the gold standard at will, and may by edict 
define the unit of value to be equivalent to any arbitrary amount 
of gold. 

In a monetary economy, the amount of money exchangeable 
for a given unit commodity is said to be its pHce. The person who 
exchanges the commodity for money is said to sell the commodity ; 
the person paying the money is said to hui/ the commodity. 

Definition of a Price System. The foregoing discussion 
forms the basis for a definition of what is meant by a Price Bystem. 
The fundamentals of any Price System are the mechanics of ex- 
change and distribution effected by the creation of debt claims or 
the exchange of property rights on the basis of commodity valua- 
tion irrespective of whether property in that system is individu- 
ally or collectively owned. Hence any social system whatsoever 
that effects its distribution of goods and services by means of a 
system of trade or commerce based on commodity valuation and em- 
ploying any form of debt tokens^ or money , constitutes a Price 
System. It may be added in passing that unless it be in some very 
remote and primitive community, none other than Price Systems 
exist at the present time. 


A Primer of Money^ Woodward and Hose, 

Wealthy Virtual Wealth, and Debt, Soddy (Chaps. 1—5). 

Lesson 16 


THE foregoing discussion of the concepts of owner- 
ship, of trade, of value, and of money, has enabled 
us to define what Technocracy means by the term Price 

It has already been shown that money had its origin 
as an expression of debt or of deferred payment, and, 
since by common social agreement it is universally ac- 
ceptable, a given amount of money represents a general 
debt of society to the holder, with neither the particular 
debtor nor the commodity which is owed being specified. 
That is to say, that money constitutes a debt claim of a 
certain value against any individual, and for any com- 
modity having an equivalent value. 

Negotiability of Debt Other forms of certificates of debt of 
a less general nature are likewise in common usage. If one person 
sells another his property rights in some object, say an auto- 
mobile, he may not receive goods in exchange, or even money. He 
may, instead, receive an lOU, stating that there is owing to 
him a given sum of money which will be paid at the expiration 
of a given period of time. Such an lOU constitutes another 
form of debt certificate. In this case, the certificate is more specific 
than in the case of money, in that it states that a particular per- 
son is the debtor. The holder of the debt certificate, however, may 
trade it to a third party in exchange either for goods or for money, 
in which case the debt is now owed to the third party. 

Thus, certificates of debt, whether in the form of money, of 
promissory notes, or personal lOU's, are negotiable, and can be 
bought and sold or traded in, in exactly the same manner as prop- 
erty rights in physical equipment. 

Other forms of debt certificates are bonds, mortages, bank 
deposits, insurance policies, and bank notes. 



Certificates of Ownership. Besides certificates of debt, an- 
other of the more common types of certification employed in the 
more advanced stages of Price Systems, are certificates of owner- 
ship. In a more primitive society, ownership of physical property 
is maintained Mrgely by unwritten social agreement or by the 
physical prowess of the owner. In the more advanced stages, 
however, ownership in larger items of property is attested by some 
form of legal document stating that a particular person or cor- 
poration has the rights of property with regard to some particular 
thing. This may be an area of land, an automobile, a building, a 
book, an invention, a franchise, etc. 

Certificates of ownership are of different kinds, depending 
upon the type of thing owned. Ownership in real estate is certi- 
fied by title deed, in an automobile by bill of sale, in a consign- 
ment of goods by bill of lading, in the right to publish a book by 
copyright, and in the right to manufacture an invention by patent. 

With the increase in size, complexity, and rate of operation 
of the physical equipment of the Western World in consequence 
of the transition from a low-energy to a high-energy state of in- 
dustrial development, there has occurred a corresponding change 
in the form in which ownership has been exercised. It has already 
been remarked that in an agrarian society ownership was largely 
individualistic; that is to say, that a particular individual 
possessed complete property rights in a particular thing. In the 
eighteenth century and earlier, with the growth of commerce and 
of industry, groups of men found it convenient to form partner- 
ships, as for example, the partnership of Bolten and Watt. At the 
same time, trading companies were organized for the purpose of 
conducting large scale commerce. 

These partnerships and trading companies, especially in the 
United States, have, chiefly in the period since the Civil War, been 
largely metamorphosed over into a form known as a corporaMon. 
A corporation is defined legally as a fictitious individual; that 
is, it can conduct business and own property exactly as an 
individual while at the same time being owned by individuals 
without these owners being in any manner liable for the corpora- 
tion. An exception to this statement occurs in the case of certain 


double liahility corporations sucli as national banks. In these the 
owner is liable for the debts of the corporation to an amount eqnal 
to his nominal monetary ownership in the corporation. 

Ownership, in the case of corporations, is expressed in two 
stages. In the first place, the corporation owns title deeds, patents, 
copyrights, franchises, etc., in exactly the same manner as an 
individual; in the second place, the corporation itself is owned 
by individuals who are known as ^toch holders, the certificate of 
ownership in the latter case being the corporation stock. The 
ownership of a corporation stock conveys to the holder the right 
to participate in the corporation profits when these are distributed 
in the form of dividends. 

Wealth. Another Price System term that needs to be con- 
sidered here is that of wealth. The term, wealth, is taken to signify 
the monetary value of physical assets of all sorts and kinds, in- 
cluding land, mineral resources, live stock, as well as man-made 
equipment. The total wealth of the United States, according to 
the Statistical Abstract of the U, 8., was, in the year 1922, 321 
billion dollars. By 1929 this reached a peak of 385 billion dollars, 
and then declined by 1933 to approximately 30.0 billion. 

This does not necessarily mean that there was more physical 
equipment in 1929 than in 1922 or 1933, because wealth is not a 
measure of physical equipment. It is, instead, a statement of the 
contemporary monetary value of that physical equipment, and, 
as we have pointed out previously, there is no fixed relationship 
between any physical object and its value. In other words^ value 
does not^ and cannot^ constitute a measure of anything. 

Wealth in the foregoing sense may more properly be con- 
sidered to be national wealth, as contrasted with individual 
wealth. Individual wealth consists in actual certificates of owner- 
ship of physical wealth in the sense defined above, or else in 
certificates of debt stating that the individual has a claim upon 
a certain value equivalent. Thus, it is immaterial to the individual 
whether his wealth be in the form of certificates of ownership in, 
say, land, General Motors stocks, A. T. & T. bonds, or U. S. cur- 
rency, so long as that wealth is readily convertible in equivalent 


value from one of these forms to the other. Hence, from the point 
of view of the actual mechanism of the Price System^ there is no 
important distinction in an individuaPs wealth between owner- 
ship of debt claims and the ownership of physical equipment. 

Since debt claims are, in general^ the more readily negotiable, 
it is simple to see how our present money-mindedness has arisen. 
It has become customary, not only for the layman, but for the busi- 
ness man, the financier and the professional economist, to think 
almost exclusively in terms of money or debt while taking only 
vaguely into account the fact that somewhere in the background, 
physical equipment exists and operates ; that upon this operation 
the entire social structure depends; and that but for this, the 
entire debt and financial structure would fall like a house of cards. 

Creation of Debt. Individual wealth, as we have seen, con- 
sists largely in debt claims — money, bank deposits, bonds, etc. — 
and when not in these forms is expressed in equivalent units of 
value, which now have come to mean the amount of debt claims 
that could be acquired or exchanged for rights in physical prop- 
erty. Since debt claims constitute a claim for property rights in 
physical equipment, and have the same validity as actual owner- 
ship, it becomes manifestly of some importance to inquire into 
the mode of origin of these claims. 

Debt always signifies a promise to pay at some future date. 
Thus any incomplete barter — that is, a case where goods are 
delivered with the understanding that the goods in exchange will 
be received at some future date — constitutes a creation of debt. 
Similarly, if a corporation issues bonds, these bonds are purchased 
for money, and since money already constitutes a debt claim, and 
the bonds represent a new creation of debt, it follows that debt, 
unlike physical substance, can be created out of nothing. In other 
words, the process of floating a bond issue does not of itself involve 
any change in the amount of physical equipment, either before or 
after. A similar line of reasoning applies to mortgages on real 
estate, promissory notes, and lOU's. 

Banking and Credit. By far the largest single type of debt 
in the United States is bank debt, and banks are, accordingly, the 


largest creators of debt. Since tMs is true, and since banking 
forms the central nervous system of onr entire debt structure, 
wMch^ in turn, controls the operation of the physical equipment, 
it becomes a matter of some importance that the mechanism of 
banking be examined critically. There are many misapprehen- 
sions of the mechanism of banking, ranging from the popular mis- 
conception of a bank as merely a repository for the safe-keeping 
of money, to the conception of a bank as an institution that takes 
in money from depositors, lends it to other people, and acquires its 
profits by receiving a higher rate of interest on the money it lends 
than it pays on that which it borrows. All of this, as H. D. Mc- 
Leod in Theory of Banking and Credit makes abundantly clear, is 
totally erroneous. 

The essential mechanism of banking is as follows : A banker 
is a human being or corporation with a ledger and a vault for the 
safe-keeping of money and other debt certificates. A depositor 
brings money to the banker. The banker accepts, the money, and 
records in his ledger a bank credit or deposit in favor of the cus- 
tomer equal in amount to the money brought by the customer. This 
credit or deposit entered in the banker's books is a statement of 
the debt of the banker to the customer. It is a statement, in effect, 
that the banker is obligated to pay the customer on demand, or at 
the end of a certain period of time, depending upon whether the 
deposit is a demand or a time deposit, an amount of money up 
to the full amount of the deposit. Contrary to the commonly ac- 
cepted notion, a dank deposit does not signify money, but signifies, 
instead, a debt due by the banker to the customer. 

Now suppose that another customer calls on the banker and 
brings, instead of money, a promissory note from a reliable firm, 
payable G months from date. Suppose the amount of the promis- 
sory note was $1,000, and the prevailing rate of interest on paper 
of this sort was 5 percent per annum. In this case the banker 
would huy the promissory note from the customer after deducting 
or discounting the interest due 6 months hence at 5 percent per 
annum, amounting in this case to |25. He would not, however, pay 
money for this debt. He would, instead, enter upon his books a 
credit or deposit for the amount of ?975, in favor of the customer, 
witih no money whatsoever being involved. 


This bank deposit of the second customer would be in no 
respect different from that of the first customer, who brought 
money to the bank. Each deposit merely represents the legal right 
of the respective customers to demand money from the bank up 
to the amounts of their respective deposits. 

The money in the bank does not belong to the depositors, but 
is the property of the bank to do with as the banker sees fit within 
his legal limitations. Thus, in bank records, the cash on hand 
represents always a part of the banker's assets because it is his 
property. The deposits, on the other hand, are among the banker's 
liabilities, representing his debt to others. 

The banker knows from experience that under ordinary cir- 
cumstances only a few of the depositors demand cash payment 
over a short time-period, and that this is approximately balanced 
by other customers who deposit cash. By far the greater part of 
the payments made by the customers of the bank are made by 
check. If this check is written to another customer of the same 
bank it ordinarily is returned for deposit to the latter customer's 
account This still involves no money but only the bookkeeping 
procedure of transferring a credit from the account of the first 
customer to that of the latter. 

In case the receiver of the check is a customer of a second 
bank the procedure is only slightly more complicated in that it in- 
volves a transfer of clredit through the medium of a clearing house 
from the first bank to the second. 

Thus, bankers have found that if customers have delivered 
to the bank |100,000 in cash the bank can then enter upon its books 
not only the deposits of these customers to the amount of flOO^OOO, 
but it can also enter upon its books other credits, or deposits, to 
the amount of approximately $1,000,000, or ten times the amount 
of cash on hand to the credit of other customers in exchange for 
the debt certificates the bank has purchased from these latter. 

TJms^ we see that the real dusiness of hanking is that of the 
buying and selling of debts. The banker buys a debt from his cus- 
tomer, and out of thin air, so to speak, creates for this customer 
a bank deposit which is another debt, or as McLeod has stated it in 
Theory of Banking and Credit: 


At the present time credit is the most gigantic species 
of property in this country,* and the trade in debts is beyond 
all comparison the most colossal branch of commerce. The 
subject of credit is one of the most extensive and intricate 
branches of mercantile law. The merchants who trade in 
debts — namely, the bankers — are now the rulers and regula- 
tors of commerce; they almost control the fortunes of states. 
As there are shops for dealing in breads in furniture, in clothes 
and other species of property, so there are shops — some of the 
most palatial structures of modern times — ^for the express 
purpose of dealing in debts ; and these shops are called banks. 

And, as there are corn markets and fish markets, and 
many other sorts of markets, so there is a market for buying 
and selling foreign debts, which is called the Royal Exchange. 
Thus, banks are nothing but debt shops, and the Eoyal Ex- 
change is the great debt market of Europe. 

Consequently, when the deposits of a given bank are many 
times greater than the cash on hand, that bank is doing a thriving 
business, but when the deposits are equal to the cash on hand, 
the bank is doing no business at all, and has become merely a 
repository for money with a state of complete liquidity — a state 
that many of our larger banks at the present time are approaching. 

The Compound Interest Property of Debt Not only is debt, 
as we have seen, created out of thin air, but it has another property, 
according to the present rules of the game of the Price System, 
which is described by the term interest According to this latter 
property, debt is expected to generate more debt, or to increase at 
a certain increment of itself per annum. This annual amount of 
increment expressed as a percent of the original amount, or prin- 
cipal^ is called the interest rate. A conservative interest rate on 
investments has been considered of late to be around 5 percent 
per annum. 

Growth of Debt. It is to be expected as a consequence of 
this property of spontaneous generation of debt out of nothing, 
that the total debt structure of a Price System would tend to 
increase indefinitely. This we find to be, indeed, the case. 

* While this applies to England a similar situation holds in United 


In a studj, TJie Internal Debts of the United States (1933), 
edited by Evans Clark, it is shown tliat in 1933 the long-term, or 
funded debts of the United States, amounted to 134 billion dollars. 
The short-term debts at the same time were 104 billions, giving 
a total internal debt of 238 billion dollars. This total of 134 
billion dollars of long-term debts, as Clark points out, represents 
an increase of 96 billion dollars from the pre-war figure, which 
was only 38 billion dollars: *0f this increase, 37 billion dollars 
came before the post-war depression (1921-22), 51 billion more 
came between 1921-22 and 1929, and 8 billion dollars developed 
during the current depression. In other words, long-term debts 
about doubled between 1913-14 and 1921-22; increased about 68 
percent more between 1921-22 and 1929; and expanded a further 
6 percent in the past 4 years, so that for every $1.00 of debts we 
carried before the war, we carry |3.53 today.' 

It becomes especially significant now to consider what was 
pointed out in a previous lesson : That the physical expansion of 
industry was, in a period from the Civil War to the World War, 
a straight compound interest rate of growth at about 7 percent 
per annum. During that period, the debt structure was also ex- 
tending at a similar rate of increment. Since the World War, as 
we have already seen, the rate of physical expansion has been 
declining, and physical production has been progressively levelling 
off. Thus, for the period prior to the World War there was a close 
correspondence between the rate of growth of the debt structure, 
and of the physical industrial structure. Since the World War, 
while the physical structure has been levelling off in its growth, 
the debt structure, not being subject to the laws of physics and 
chemistry, has continued to expand until now the total long- and 
short-term debts are only slightly less than the entire wealth, or 
monetary value of all the physical equipment. As time progresses 
this discrepancy between the rate of growth of the physical equip- 
ment and that of debt must become greater^ instead of less* The 
implications of this will be interesting to consider. 


Wealth, Virtual Wealth, and Debt, Soddy (Chaps. 1—5). 
The Internal Debts of the V. S^ Clark. 

Lesson 17 


WE have already shown that money, bank deposits, 
bonds, and various other forms of negotiable paper 
are all generically the same, namely, debt. While in 1933 
the total long- and short-term debts of the United States 
were estimated at 238 billion dollars, only about 9 bil- 
lion dollars of this were represented by actual money 
in the form of gold, coins of various metals, U» S, cur- 
rency, and various kinds of bank notes. Consequently 
in what follows we shall use the term ^money' merely to 
signify a circulating medium indiscriminately as to 
whether this medium be coin, currency, bank checks, or 
any other form of negotiable paper. 

^ov our purposes the significant thing about money 
in this broader sense is that while it has the property of 
being created out of nothing or contracted into nothing in 
a manner quite unlike the physical operation of our indus- 
trial apparatus, it constitutes the mechanism of control 
over the latter. The first aspect of money, or debt, Ave 
have already discussed; it remains now to consider the 
manner in which it operates as an industrial control 

The Flow of Goods. This latter aspect can be seen very 
simply when one considers the manner in which goods are made 
to move from the productive processes into consumption. All con- 
sumable goods have their original source in the earth. From the 
earth matter is moved by mining, by agriculture, or by some other 
process into some form of manufacture. From the factory the 
finished product moves to the wholesaler, thence to the retailer, 
and finally to the consumer. 

After consumption, the matter of which the ^consumed' goods 
are composed is returned in part to the earth in the form of gar- 
bage, ash, and other waste products ; and in some cases it is sal- 
vaged and returned to the factory as scrap metal, rags, and waste 
paper, to be used over again. 



The Mechanism* Consider how these finished products move 
from the retailer to the consumer. This is where money enters 
the picture. The consumer hands the retailer, say, a five dollar bill, 
and receives from the retailer a pair of shoes. This illustrates the 
process. In every form of consumable goods and services the con- 
sumer hands money to the retailer, and goods and services, dollar 
for dollar, move to or are placed at the service of the consumer. 

If the consumers spend in this manner 1 billion dollars per 
week, then 1 billion dollars worth of goods and services are moved 
to the consumers, and if this rate be maintained the factories must 
produce goods at this rate, and industry booms. If, on the other 
hand, the consumers spend only 100 million dollars per week, or 
one-tenth of the previous amount, assuming prices to be the same 
in both eases, industrial production will be only one-tenth of what 
it was before, or by comparison, almost a complete shutdown. 

This simple mechanism under a Price System method of indus- 
trial control, determines completely what industry shall do. If the 
money flows freely from the hands of the consumer to the hands of 
the retailer, goods flow freely in the opposite direction, and indus- 
try operates; if the money merely trickles from the hands of the 
consumer to the hands of the retailer, goods move in the opposite 
direction at a correspondingly small rate and industry shuts down. 
It remains to be seen what determines this rate of monetary flow. 

The Process, First, let us consider what happens to the 
money after the retailer gets it The retailer must pay his help 
and a part of the money is used for this. He must also pay his rent, 
and a part goes for this. He has, besides, to meet his light bill, 
telephone bill, and various other miscellaneous charges. He may 
have borrowed money from the bank or sold some bonds to obtain 
the capital with which to conduct his business, in which case a 
part of what he receives would have to be used to pay the interest. 
Finally, he must buy goods from the wholesaler to replace those 
he sold, and a greater part of the money which he receives goes 
for this. If, after these bills are paid, any money is left over this 
constitutes profit, and goes to augment his personal income if the 
retailer be an individual ; or, if the retailer be a corporation, these 
profits may be disbursed as dividends to the stockholders. 


Exactly tlie same relationship that we have described between 
the consumer and the retailer exists between the retailer and the 
wholesaler, and between the wholesaler and the manufacturer. In 
each of these cases goods move from the wholesaler to the retailer 
when, and only when, money in the broader sense that we have 
defined moves from the retailer to the wholesaler, and from the 
wholesaler to the manufacturer. Like the retailer, the wholesaler 
must pay his help, his landlord, his interest, light, telephone, and 
miscellaneous bills. Any surplus above these can be disbursed 
as profits. The manufacturer must do a similar thing, for he 
must pay all these bills, as well as purchase his raw materials. 
The raw materials, as we have pointed out, are derived originally 
from the earth, so that the last payment made in this series is that 
which goes to the farmer for his produce, or, as royalties, to the 
owners of mineral resources. 

Kow, let us review this whole process. Goods move in one 
direction, from the earth to the consumer and back to the earth 
again; money moves from the consumer to the retailer, the whole- 
saler, the manufacturer, and finally the landowner. But this 
monetary stream is being tapped at each section of its length, and 
being fed back as wages, rent, interest, profits, etc., and becomes 
the income of various individuals, who are themselves consumers. 

By the time this monetary stream reaches the ultimate land- 
owner, who is the last person in the physical flow line, every cent 
that was originally paid to the retailer has been in this manner 
accounted for. Thus, if a million dollars passes from the consumer 
to the retailer, a million dollars worth of goods will be produced 
and consumed, and this same million dollars in the form of wages 
and salaries, rent, interest, profits, royalties, etc., will be paid out 
to individuals who are consumers, and will accordingly augment 
their incomes by the amount of one million dollars. Thus the sale 
of one million dollars worth of goods in this manner ultimately 
provides consumers with one million dollars with which to buy 
another million dollars worth of goods. That is, provided that 
none of the million dollars originally spent is retained in any 

Saving. Let us suppose, however, that somewhere along the 


route a part of tMs money passes into the hands of corporations, 
and that these corporations are making a profit, only part of which 
they pay out as dividends, the remainder being held as corporation 
surplus. If, in this manner, out of each million dollars paid in 
by the consumer, 100,000 dollars was held out by the corporation 
as surplus, then only 900,000 dollars would be returned to the 
consumer. Consequently, the second time around, the consumer 
would be able to buy only nine-tenths as much goods as he bought 
the first time. Industrial operations would, accordingly, only be 
nine-tenths as great. This process would continue with industry 
shutting down one-tenth of its previous production for each time 
the money made its complete circuit until ultimately complete 
industrial paralysis would result. This, of course, assumes that 
the money which was saved by corporations was locked up in a 
vault or hoardied. 

The same result would occur if individuals, thinking that they 
might need some money for illness or old age, instead of spending 
all they received, should decide to lock a part of it up and keep it. 
To the extent that this was done goods would not be bought, and 
industry would not operate. Thus we come to the conclusion that 
if prices remain the same, and if either corporations or individuals 
save by withholding from circulation a part of the money which 
they receive, the ultimate result will be industrial paralysis. 

We must consider, however, the fact that there are various 
ways other than hoarding by which corporations and individuals 
can save. If a corporation wishes to manufacture and sell more 
goods than the current purchasing power is able to buy, it may 
do so by extending credit to its purchasers, or selling on the install- 
ment plan. In this manner they may pay out all the money in the 
form of cash which they receive and still show a book profit in 
the form of accounts receivable. 

Investment. Another way a corporation can save without 
hoarding is to take the profits which are not disbursed as dividends 
and build a new plant. In this manner all the money otherwise 
withheld is fed back through the various channels of wages, 
salaries, etc., and the corporation is the possessor of a new plant. 

In an exactly similar manner individuals may invest their 


savings in corporate stock, and thus lielp build new plants, or thej 
may put them in savings banks or take ont life insurance^ in which 
case these latter agencies invest the funds in new productive 
equipment. Thus we see that if savings, whether corporate or 
individual, are reinvested in physical equipment they xdtimately 
return to become the purchasing power of individuals, but in the 
process the country's capacity to produce has been increased. 

That this is an endless process can be seen when it is con- 
sidered that in the following year the new equipment will begin 
to produce, and then the purchasing power which heretofore has 
been sufficient to buy only the products of the existing plant will 
be inadequate to purchase the combined output of the old plus the 
new plant if prices remain the same. This difficulty can only be 
met (provided prices are not lowered) if the savings continue to be 
reinvested in new equipment — so that at all times the money which 
is being paid out to consumers through the construction of new 
plants is sufficient to make up the deficit in consumer purchasing 
power caused by money being held out by individual and corporate 

Results of the Process. This, it will readily be seen, is a 
compound interest type of thing. Under the hazards that exist 
in a Price System it is imperative that both individuals and cor- 
porations save. If they save hj hoarding they shut the existing 
plant down ; if they save hj building new plants they have a pro- 
cess which can only work provided the plant be continuously ex- 
panded and at an accelerating rate. That the latter policy is im- 
possible to continue indefinitely simple physical considerations 
will show. As we have pointed out previously ^ no physical process 
can continue to grow at a compound interest rate for more than 
a limited period of time. The limitations of our natural resources 
on one hand and of our physical ability to consume on the other 
both require that this be so. 


Theory of Business Enterprise, Vcblen. 
Profits, Foster and Catcliinga (Ont of prfnt). 

Lesson 18 


WE have seen how, ^nder a Price System, the rate of 
flow of money from the consumer to the retailer of 
goods and services acts as an industrial control mechan- 
ism. We have found that if individuals and corporations 
he allowed to save, the requisite purchasing power to buy 
the existing products of industry can only be maintained 
provided money is being paid back to the consumer 
through the construction of new plant or other capital 
goods, at a rate equal to that at which money is being 
lifted from the purchasing power for consumers' goods 
through individual and corporate savings. 

The Inevitable Inflection Point. At first thought, from this 
simple consideration, it would appear that our physical produc- 
tion should expand indefinitely until blocked either by a physical 
limitation of the ability to produce or by a saturation of our 
ability to consume. The fact remains, however, that the inflection 
point of our industrial growth curve occurred some time around 
1915, and since that time, as we have pointed out elsewhere, indus- 
trial production has been levelling off. That this levelling-off 
was not due to an inability to increase production is to be seen 
when one considers the fact that in 1929, the year of an all-time 
peak of physical production, little of our productive equipment 
operated with a load factor of more than 33 1/3 percent. 

What we mean hy load factor is the ratio of the actual pro- 
duction divided hy productive capacity at continuous 2Jf-hour-per- 
day full load operation. 

Among the most continuously operated parts of our industrial 
equipment are the electric power system and the telephone sys- 
tem. The load factor on the power system in any but special 



branches rarely exceeds 40 percent of its productive capacity. The 
load factor on telephones is much lower than this. Most of our 
other industrial equipment in 1929 operated only one or two shifts 
per day for a limited number of days per year. 

It has become customary in discussing present rates of in- 
dustrial operation to compare them with the 1929 rate, and refer 
to the latter as being our 'industrial capacity/ Consideration of 
load factors shows quite conclusively that such was far from the 
case, the Brookings Institution and other professional apologists 
for our status quo notwithstanding. 

Attempts to Maintain Production. The increasing deficiency 
of purchasing power for the purpose of buying our potential pro- 
duction is brought out by other corroborative facts. During the 
World War for the first time we found ourselves playing a signifi- 
cant role in world trade. This was affected through the mechanism 
of loans to foreign countries enabling them to buy our surplus pro- 
ducts without our having to accept a corresponding amount of 
theirs in return. Due to tlie fact that our domestic purchasing 
power after the war was not sufficient to buy goods at the rate we 
were able to produce them, we tried to continue this method of 
getting rid of surplus goods by making still further foreign loans, 
and by preventing our own people from buying from abroad by 
building a tariff barrier so high as to make importation of foreign 
goods practically impossible. 

The fact that these loans could never be repaid while maintain- 
ing a ^favorable balance of trade' and that this amounts to a net 
physical loss to the country is, of course, well known. Yet such 
practices are not only in accord with the canons of ^good business' ; 
they are dictated by the necessities of business expediency. 

The significant aspect of this is that America's capacity to 
produce during all this period was in excess of the American 
public's capacity to buy, so that a surplus margin of production 
was maintained by promoting what amounted to installment sell- 
ing abroad. 

According to Mr. George W. Peek, in his report of May 23, 
1934, to the President, the net increase of this debt owed to us by 


foreign countries for the period July 1914 to July 1922, was 
119,305,000,000. For the period from July 1923 to July 1929, 
this debt was further increased by an amount of $2,572,000,000. 

Since the American productive capacity was still in excess of 
the ability of the American public to buy, plus the installment 
selling abroad, a further increase of production was achieved 
through the mechanism of installment selling at home. In this 
process the debt built up by installment buying during the period 
from 1924 to 1929 amounted to $9,000,000,000, or approximately 
$2,000,000,000 per annum net increase. 

The significance of this is that effective purchasing power, 
that is to say, purchasing power that was actually being used to 
purchase goods and services, and hence to keep industry operat- 
ing, was falling further and further behind the ability to produce. 
Therefore the rate of operation actually was maintained through 
the device of selling abroad some 22 billion dollars worth of goods 
more than could be paid for, while at home in the latter part of 
this period at least 9 billion dollars worth of goods in excess of 
current purchasing power were sold. Had this not been done our 
industrial production would, of course, have levelled off faster 
than it did. 

The Financial Structure. The question that all this leads us 
to is, why was not the effective purchasing power sufficient? Why 
did it not keep pace with productive capacity? If savings are 
used to build new plants, do they not then become wages and 
salaries of the workmen, and hence feed right back into the effec- 
tive purchasing power? This would have been true a century ago 
in the days of hard money ; today, however, money no longer con- 
forms to this simple picture. The total amount of hard money 
in existence in the United States in 1931 was only about 5 billion 
dollars. The amount of money represented by gold bullion, metal- 
lic coins, bank notes, and United States currency totalled only a 
little over 9 billion dollars. When it is considered that in 1933 
the total of all long- and short-term debts, including money, 
amounted to 238 billion dollars, it becomes immediately evident 
how relatively insignificant the small amount of actual cash in 
existence is in such a picture. 


The Process of InvestmeBt. The simple fact is that when 
indiyiduals and corporations save through the process of reinvest 
ing, these savings are not, as naively supposed above, spent, ex- 
cept in a small part in further plant construction. The greater 
part of all investments in this country since the year 1900 have 
gone into pure paper, without there having been a plant expan- 
sion commensurate with the amount of money invested. 

The history of almost any great American corporation will 
bear this out. Most American industrial establishments which 
have since grown into positions of national consequence began in 
a small way under individual or partnership ownership ; or else, 
like some of the earlier railroads as joint stock companies, the 
shares of which were sold directly to the public without their hav- 
ing been even listed on the Stock Exchange. Profits were plowed 
back into the business, and the plants expanded under its own 
savings. Debts were contracted, if at all, usually hj short-term 
loans from the banks. Except in the case of the joint stock com- 
panies, ownership was maintained by a single family or by a small 
number of partners. In these formative stages securities specula- 
tion was a practice little indulged in, and the money obtained 
from the sale of securities was practically all used to expand the 

It has been the usual history in such eases that after the in- 
dustry in question was well established, bankers and promoters 
became interested. Through their services reorganizations or 
mergers have been effected. Bonds and preferred stocks have been 
issued to the former owners and to banking groups interested in 
the reorganization, usually in amounts greatly in excess of the 
original capital investment. Over and above this, common stock 
has been issued, usually in an amount similar to that of the bonds 
and preferred stocks. These common stocks, however, have not 
been in general marketed by the corporation for the purpose of 
raising additional capital funds. They have, instead, been given 
away in the form of bonuses to bankers, promoters, and other in- 
terested insiders, or else issued as stock dividends for no monetary 
consideration whatsoever, and hence no addition to the plant. 
These stocks are in turn fed into the Stock Exchange by these 
interested insiders until they are finally bought up hj the invest- 


ing American public. It is to be emphasized tbat tbe proceeds of 
such sales of common stock go to the insiders, and not to the cor- 
porations or into new plant. 

A similar paper manipulation has been carried on in bonds 
and mortgages through the mechanism of the holding company. 
In this manner the paper of an operating company is used as se- 
curity for issuing other paper of, say, a holding company, and 
this in turn re-hypothecated until several generations of stocks 
and bonds are issued and sold to an unsuspecting investing public, 
all with no backing whatsoever other than that of the original 
inadequate plant on which the first stocks and bonds were issued. 
In many cases such bonds are still in existence long after the 
equipment securing them has ceased to exist. 

When one considers that such manipulations as these are the 
accepted methods of sound finance it begins to be evident why the 
money reinvested in industry does not become available in a cor- 
responding amount as further purchasing power. 

If it happens that new plant is built at a sufficient rate to 
supply the deficit in purchasing power all is well and good, but 
there is no necessary reason why this should be so. The great 
bulk of savings, both individual and corporate, are reinvested. 
Investment, we now see, consists in buying pieces of paper labelled 
usually as stocks or bonds. If the money spent for these pieces 
of paper were used to build a new plant this money would, in the 
manner we have already indicated, be largely paid out to work- 
meii, and hence become effective purchasing power. If, however, 
the securities purchased represent, as is usually the case, merely 
paper floated by interested insiders upon a plant already in exist- 
ence, this does not increase the productive plant, and thereby 
augment small incomes; it becomes, instead, the medium of debt 
creation held by the bankers and promoters, and its interest or 
dividends go to increase further a small number of individual 
incomes which, in most cases, are already overwhelmingly large. 

Income. The net result of this kind of procedure is to pro- 
duce an ever-increasing disparity in the distribution of the na- 
tional income. This disparity is well brought out by the Brook- 
ings Institution Beport on Ameriea^s Cwpaoity to Consume, pub- 


lished in 1934, According to this report, in 1929 there were 27,- 
474,000 families in the United States receiving an aggregate 
income of 177,116,000,000* Of these, 24,000,000 families, or 87 
percent of the total number of families reeeived incomes of less 
than $4,000 per annum, constituting only 51 percent of the total 
income. According to this report : 

*;N'early 6 million families, or more than 21 percent of 
the total, had incomes less than f 1,000. 

^Only a little over 12 million families, or 42 percent, had 
incomes less than f 1,500. 

^Nearly 20 million families, or 71 percent, had incomes 
less than $2,500. 

^Only a little over 2 million families, or 8 percent, had in- 
comes in excess of |5,000. 

^About 600,000 families, or 2.3 percent, had incomes in 
excess of §10,000/ 

And further: 

'The 11,653,000 families with incomes of less than |1,500 
received a total of about 10 billion dollars. At the other 
extreme, the 36,000 families having incomes in excess of 
175,000 possessed an aggregate income of 9,8 billion dollars. 
Thus, it appears that 0.1 percent of the families at the top 
received practically as much as 42 percent of the famOies at 
the bottom of the scale/ 

These facts clearly show that the great bulk of the families 
receive incomes far below their physical capacity to consume, 
while a large part of the income goes to only a handful of people, 
and in an amount far in excess of their ability to consume. Bear- 
ing in mind that consumption is a physical operation, and that 
there are definite physical limits to how much food, clothing, et«.* 
a single individual can consume, it follows that the great bulk of 
the consuming must, because of preponderance in numbers, be 
done hj those people with small incomes. The small number of 
people with the large incomes can account for only a small frac- 
tion of the total physical consumption. It is true that they build 


expensire houses in the siil)tirbs, purchase rare and therefore ex- 
pensive painting, and indulge in various forms of conspicuous 
consumption. Still the fact remains that the amount of coal, 
gasoline, food, clothing, etc., that is actually consumed by a family 
with a million dollar per year income is not at all commensur- 
able with the magnitude of the income. While it is true that such 
families may employ a large coterie of servants, we must not lose 
sight of the fact that the money paid to these servants is their 
income, and that the consumption for which they are responsible 
cannot be credited to the millionaire family which employs them. 
Due to the impossibility of spending even in conspicuous con- 
sumption the total of such large incomes, it follows that it is these 
which are likely to be the source of the greatest savings. This 
presumption is verified again by the Brookings Institution Report, 
according to which the aggregate saving of families of 1920 
amounted to ?15,139,000,000, Of this, 34 percent was derived 
from the 24,000 incomes above $100,000 ; 67 percent of these aggre- 
gate savings was accounted for from t>\e 631,000 families with 
incomes above §10,000 per year. 

In other Avords, the bulk of the consuming is done by people 
having less income than $10,000 per year ; the bulk of the saving 
by those having incomes greater than $10,000 per year. 

What is significant about all this is that industry, as we have 
remarked before, is geared to the rate at which people spend 
money for consumable goods. Now, it becomes evident that almost 
all of this money that is spent for consumable goods is accounted 
for by those people whose incomes are far below their physical 
capacity to consume. These small incomes are in turn derived 
almost entirely from wages and salaries or from agriculture. The 
wages and salaries paid by industry are determined on a value 
basis in which human beings comx>ete with machines. 

Profits, Technology, ^nd Purchasing Power. An individual 
business man is in business for the purpose of .making money. 
If his particular business happens to be the operation of, say, a 
factory, he finds that there are two principal ways by which his 
profits can be increased. Other things being considered for the 
moment constant, he finds that his total profits can be increased 


by increasing Ms sales and hence the production of his product. 
The other way in which profits can be increased is by the lowering 
of the internal cost of production. It is a simple physical fact that 
a human being at his best can only do work at the rate of about 
one- tenth of a horsepower (one-tenth h.p. equals one-thirteenth 
kw.) Human beings at the lowest sweatshop rates cannot be 
paid much less than 25c per hour. Mechanical poAver, on the other 
hand, is produced at the rate of 1 kilowatt-hour per pound and a 
half of coal, and can be retailed at an industrial rate of about 1 
cent per kw.-hr. Thus it will readily be seen that when man-hours 
sell at 25c or more each, while kilowatt-hours can be purchased 
at an industrial rate of 1 or a few cents each, and when it is 
further considered that the kilowatt-hour will do 13 to 100 times 
as much work as a man-hour, and do it faster and better without 
any attendant labor troubles, it becomes evident that man-hours 
have slight chance to survive. Thus, one of the most effective 
ways of reducing internal costs is to substitute kilowatt-hours 
for man-hours. 

We now see that almost the complete controlling mechanism 
of industrial production is the rate of expenditure of small wages 
and salaries. If the sum of small wages and salaries in a given 
year is 50 billion dollars, then industrial production for that year 
is only slightly more than 50 billion dollars, because small wages 
and salaries are almost entirely spent for goods and services, and 
the large incomes accrue to such a small percent of the total popu- 
lation that they account for a relatively unimportant fraction of 
the total consumption. 

Since one of the fundamental rules of the Price System is 
that only through the acquisition of purchasing power can the 
individual subsist, it follows that as the only means of acquisition 
open to the majority is employment, then he who does not work 
does not eat. Collectwely speaking, salaries and wages are directly 
proportional to the total man-hours required to operate the social 
system. Employment, as we have seen elsewhere, depends both 
upon the quantity of production and upon the man-hours required 
per unit produced. This process, we know already, is one in which 
total production is levelling off and the man-hours per unit pro- 
duced are continually falling. 


In the earlier stages of sucli a process, production, wMle still 
increasing, falls further and further behind the plant's capacity 
to produce, because the wages and small salaries form a declin- 
ing fraction of the retail price of the goods produced. This cur- 
tailment of production below the capacity of the existing plant 
tends to discourage the building of new plant. If, for instance, 
the capacity of existing shoe factories were 900 million pairs of 
shoes per year when the public was only buying shoes at the rate 
of 400 million pairs per year, this would lead to a curtailment 
in the rate of building new shoe factories. This same sort of thing 
is true for any other branch of productive industry. Since a large 
part of the wages and small salaries are derived from the con- 
struction of new plant, this curtailment of the capital industry 
results in a further reduction of wages and salaries, and leads to 
a corresponding decline of purchasing, and hence of the produc- 
tion of consumers' goods. Once this decline sets in, it is self- 
accelerating downward unless counteracted by means more or 
less foreign to the industrial process itself. 

New Industry. Of the factors which are supposed to counter- 
act the process we have just described, one is the growth of new 
industry. Let us consider such a case. Specifically what we want 
to know is, if present industry is not providing enough purchas- 
ing power to enable the public to buy its products when running 
at capacity, will a new industry make the situation better or 

Suppose that a plant manufacturing a completely new pro- 
duct is built. Suppose the plant cost |1,000,000. Most of this 
11,000,000 goes to wages and salaries of the people who built it, 
and thus increases purchasing power with which to buy the pro- 
ducts of the existing plant. Now let the new plant start opera- 
tion, and let the retail value of its products be |10,000,000 per 
year. Suppose that only f4,000,000 per annum of this is spent 
for wages and small salaries. Then one would have a situation 
where $10,000,000 worth of new products are added to those 
which the public is expfected to buy per year, but the consuming 
public — ^those receiving wages and small salaries — ^will have been 
given only $4,000,000 with which to buy the products. The other 



$6,000,000, if the product is sold, will all accrue to a small num- 
ber of people in the large income brackets. If production is to be 
balanced, this small number of people must consume the |6,000,- 
000 worth of products. The observed fact is that in general they 
do not, and cannot. If, therefore, the whole production is to be 
disposed of, the money to buy it must be derived in part from 
the already deficient purchasing power accruing from the older 
branches of industry. 

This sort of relationship was not true in the earlier days of 
industry, because at that time employment was increasing as pro- 
duction increased, and small incomes comprised the greater part 
of the cost of production. This enabled the public to buy back the 
goods produced and yielded a purchasing power which expanded 
as the productive capacity expanded. The same technological 
factors that have enabled us to produce more goods with fewer 
men, have at the same time rendered it impossible to sell the 
goods after they are produced. In the earlier days, new industry 
provided the deficit in purchasing power for current production, 
and at that time we could look forward to industrial growth with 
a corresponding prosperity; today we can look forward to neither. 

This trend is well exemplified in the following table taken 
from the Abstract of the U, B. Census^ 1932, 





St of Materials, 
el. Purchased 

Millions of 







^ II 






1929 ........ 



15,216 38,550 70,435 






13,343 37,233 62,042 






5,342 14,278 23,988 



In this table comparative figures are given on the whole 
manufacturing industry of the whole United States for the years 
1914, 1919, and 1929. The year 1914 is a normal pre-war year, 
1919 is the year of the peak of war-time production, 1929 is the 


year of all-time peak production. It is interesting to note that the 
number of establishments rose from 177,000 in 1914 to a peak 
of 214,000 in 1919, and then declined to 211,000 in 1929. The 
production for each one of those years was greater than the year 

In a similar manner the total number of salaried employees 
and wage-earners in industry rose from 7,589,000 in 1914 to an 
all-time peak of 10,438,000 in 1919, and then declined to 10,198,- 
000 in 1929. The horsepower, however, rose continuously from 
over 22,000,000 in 1914 to more than 29,000,000 in 1919, and 
nearly 43,000,000 in 1929. Thus from 1919 to 1929 production 
was increasing, horsepower was increasing, and man-hours were 

For these same years the value of the products added by 
manufacture was approximately 10 billion dollars in 1914, 25 
billion dollars in 1919, and 32 billion dollars in 1929, The amount 
paid out in wages and salaries for the same respective years was 
approximately 5 billion dollars, 13 billion dollars, atjd 15 billion 
dollars. The difference between these — the value added by manu- 
facture minus the amount paid out in wages and salaries — ogives 
us the remaining amount which goes to pay rent, interest, fixed 
charges, and profits. 

This remainder, therefore, goes largely to augment big in- 
comes. It is significant that this latter amount rose from 4.4 billion 
dollars in 1914 to 11.5 billion dollars in 1919, and 16.7 billion 
dollars in 1929. Thus from 1914 to 1919, whjle the small income 
proceeds of industry were rising by an amount of 8.0 billion doL 
lars, the large income proceeds rose 6.1 billion dollars ; and from 
1919 to 1929 the large income proceeds rose 5.2 billion dollars, 
while the small income proceeds — wages and salaries — rose only 
1.9 billion dollars. 

Debt Creation. We have already mentioned that this grow- 
ing disparity between effective purchasing power and plant ca- 
pacity leads first to a decline in the rate of increase of production, 
and next to an absolute peak followed by a decline in production. 
It follow^ that the only way this trend of events can be tempo- 
rarily retarded is through the process of dett creation. When the 


public has not the requisite purchasing power, we grant it a fic- 
titious purchasing power through the mechanism of installment 
buying. We find also that by a similar device applied abroad we 
can promote foreign trade, and can ship away our goods and re- 
ceive debts in exchange. Also, through the mechanism of securi- 
ties speculation and other forms of paper manipulations, we have 
multiplied our millionaires. They, in turn, allow a small part of 
their incomes to trickle back to the market place through the 
medium of servants and other forms of ostentatious living. 

Simple considerations will show that the debt process of bal- 
ancing our national economy cannot long endure, for the funda- 
mental property of debt, upon the validity of which all our finan- 
cial institutions — banks, insurance companies, endowed institu- 
tions, etc. — rest, is that the debt structure is expected to expand 
at a compound rate of increment per annum. To maintain a 5 
percent per annum rate of expansion on our debt structure, and 
have it bear any fixed relation to physical production, or, in other 
words, to maintain a constant price level in the meantime, would 
require that industry expand at a corresponding rate. 

As we have seen, during the period from the Civil War till 
the World War, American industry did expand at such a rate 
as to double its production every 12 years — ^a rate of growth of 
7 percent per annum. During that period the monetary interest 
rate remained approximately stationary at about 7 percent per 
annum and our financial institutions were *sound.' Since the 
decade of the World War industrial production has been levelling 
off and its rate of growth declining. In this situation the debt 
structure can do either of two things (or a combination of the 
two) : (1) The interest rate can be kept constant, in which case 
the debt structure will expand faster than the industrial pro- 
duction and the ratio between debt and physical goods will con- 
tinuously increase. This is pure paper inflation and leads to a 
corresponding increase in the price level or to a continuous de- 
cline in the amount of physical goods that can be purchased each 
year from the return of each dollar invested, which is, in effect, 
a decline in the interest rate, (2) The price level may remain 
stationary. In this case inflation is precluded so that the rate 
of increase of the debt structure must be held approximately 


equal to tke mean secular rate of growtli of production. This leads 
directly to a decline in the nominal rate of interest. 

These deductions concerning the decline of the interest rate 
that must accompany the decline in the rate of industrial ex- 
pansion are amply confirmed by the events since the year 1920. 
During that time the mean secular rate in industrial growth 
has been steadily decreasing. Accompanying this the interest 
rate throughout that period has also been declining continuously 
until today the interest rates are the lowest in the last hundred 
years. Since there is no reason to expect more than temporary 
periods of future industrial expansion, there is no reason to ex- 
pect any other than temporary reversals of this downward trend 
of the interest rate. Yet an interest rate approaching zero under- 
mines completely our complex of financial institutions, because 
these depend upon a finite interest rate for their existence. 

All of this series of events which we have been discussing 
more or less hypothetically is what has actually been happening 
in the United States since the World War. From the World War 
to the stock market crash in 1929, the deficit of purchasing power 
that had to be met to maintain an increasing industrial produc- 
tion was derived largely through the mechanism of private debt 
expansion at home and abroad. After the stock market crash, 
with the resulting standing army of 15 to 17 million unemployed, 
and an industrial production of approximately 50 percent of that 
of 1929, it became necessary, in order to maintain the Price 
System, for the government to assume the debt creation funetion. 

This is being accomplished by the Federal Government's 
borrowing about ^ billion dollars per annum more than its cur- 
rent income, and donating this under one pretense or another to 
the public to make up, partially, the deficit resulting from so- 
called normal business activity. A similar, though perhaps 
smaller, debt expansion is being carried on by state and local gov- 
ernments, many of which are dangerously near bankruptcy at the 
present time. In the meantime the banks belonging to the Fed- 
eral Eeserve System are reported in the newspapers as holding 
the highest surplus in history, and the United States Government 
itself has become the most profitable field for investment. 


Thus, America finds herself today in the position where 
private corporate enterprise has practically ceased to exercise 
the prerogative of creating debt and has voluntarily surrendered 
this prerogative to the Federal Government of these United 
States; so much so that the Federal Government has at this time 
become practically the sole creator of debt claims in large 
volumes for the sole purpose of sustaining the debt structure of 
this Price System by further Federal debt creation for the bene- 
fit of the majority holders of debt claims, chiefly of private enter- 
prise. Or, as Howard Scott has aptly remarked, When American 
business men find it no longer profitable to indulge in further debt 
creation it is only just and meet that their government should 
do it for them/ 

In spite of all this so-called 'priming of the pump' by govern- 
ment expenditures, industi^ial production is still only slightly 
above the lowest point reached since 1929, unemployment is still 
variously estimated at from 10 to 12 million, relief figures are 
rapidly mounting to where, according to Eelief Administrator 
Hopkins, there are now 19,500,000 people on Federal relief alone 
Playing the game by the Price System rules, there is no prospect 
in the future for the situation to do anything but get worse rather 
than better. And all this in the midst of potential plenty I 


America*s Capacity to Consume, Leven, Mooltozi and W^at^urtoa. 

Security Speculation, Hyan. 

Theory of Business Enterprise, Ve&len* 

The Engineers and the Price System^ Veblen 

Statistical Abstract of the U. S. 

The Economic Consequences of Power Production, Henderson. 

History of Great American Fortunes, Myer. 

Robber Barons, JosepliBon. 

Arms and the Man (Reprint from Fortune)* 

Appendix to Lesson IH 


NOT only has industrial growth followed the now familiar 
;S-shaped curve, with a rapid rate of growth at first followed 
by a levelling-off process, but population, we shall now see, is 
doing the same thing. 

The population in 1800 was a little over 5,000,000; by 1830 
it had grown to nearly 13,000,000; by 1860 it was 31,000,000; by 
1900 it was 76,000,000; by 1930 it reached 123,000,000; and 
by 1938 it was 129,000,000 or 130,000,000. If the population as 
taken from the United States Census be plotted as a growth 
curve, it will be found that the total growth is still increasing, 
but that the rate of growth is decreasing. The annual increment 
to the total population in 1914 was approximately 1,800,000, 
while in 1934 the annual increment had declined to approximately 
800,000* If the total growth curve be analyzed mathematically, 
it will be found that from 1790 until 1860 it was expanding at a 
compound rate of increment of about 3 percent per annum, and 
that since 1860 this rate of increment per annum has been steadily 
decreasing, until for the decade 1920-1930 it was only 1.5 percent. 

This still does not tell us anything about how long the popu- 
lation may continue to expand, but we have an independent 
method of approach to this latter question by means of the birth 
rate and the death rate. The birth rate and the death rate are 
ordinarily stated in terms of the number of people being bom or 
dying each year per 1,000 of the population. Thus we find from the 
United States Census that the birth rate of the United States per 
1,000 of the total population was 25 in 1915 ; by 1920 this had de- 
clined to 23.7; by 1930 to 18.9; and by 1936 to between 16 and 17 
per 1,000. The death rate in the meantime has been almost station- 
ary since 1920, at about 12 per 1,000. 



Now the present expectancy of life at birth in the United 
States is about 60 years. 

It is obvious that if the number of people per 1,000 born each 
year is greater than the number of people per 1,000 that die each 
year, the population each year will become larger. If the number 
of people per 1,000 who are born each year is equal to the number 
of people per 1,000 who die each year, the population will neither 
increase nor decrease, but will remain stationary. Finally, if the 
number of people per 1,000 who die each year is greater than the 
numiber per 1,000 that are born, the population will decline. 

It now remains to be seen what is the critical value of the 
birth rate above which the population will expand, and below 
which the population will decrease. In other words, if the average 
length of life is to be 60 years, how many people must be born each 
year just to maintain a stationary population? It would follow, 
of course, that once that state were attained the death rate would 
have to equal the birth rate. Under such a stationary state one- 
sixtieth of the population would die each year, and a like number 
would have to be born to make up this deficit. One-sixtieth of 1,000 
is 16 2/3; hence the critical value of the birth rate at which the 
population will cease to expand is 16 2/3 per 1,000. 

Eeferring to the figures given above, it will be noted that our 
birth rate has just now reached approximately that critical num- 
ber and with the increase of education and of birth control in- 
formation as well as of economic insecurity, there is every reason 
to expect that the birth rate will continue to decline. The death 
rate in the meantime is still about 12, but as the present popula- 
tion gets older and begins to die off more rapidly, this rate should 
increase. It is expected, therefore, that the death rate will be- 
come equal to the birth rate not later than the decade 1950-1960, 
and possibly earlier. At that time the population will cease to 
expand, and it will have a maximum number of probably not more 
than 135,000,000 people. Due to the fact that the birth rate will 
then be less than the critical number of 16 2/3, the death rate 
will become greater than the birth rate, and the population will 
begin to decline until it reaches some intermediate level at which 
it can hecome staMlized. 


As tlie population approaches stabilization, the percentages 
of age divisions will shift. During the years of population growth, 
the larger percentages occurred in the younger age division ; 40 
percent were under 20 years of age, and about 20 percent were 
over 45 years in the year 1920. Assuming stabilization to be reached 
between 1950-60, it follows that the shift in population ages reached 
will be approximately 30 percent for those under 20 years of age, 
and those over 45 will be approximately 35 percent. 

The above discussion is only a technical statement of fact. 
In discussions of this sort it is not unusual for certain religious 
groups to become very despondent over the prospects of a cessa- 
tion of population growth. Militarists frequently try to offset such 
a tendency (witness Mussolini and Hitler) because more popula- 
tion means more cannon-fodder. The people, however, in this 
country who are likely to be most concerned by a stationary popu- 
lation are our business men and our real estate promoters. As we 
have pointed out, our past prosperity has been intimately linked 
with expansion of production, and the expansion of production 
has been aided in no small part by the growth of population. Every 
business was expected to expand, if for no other reason than that 
the population was expanding. Every roadside village, with few 
exceptions, could expect to be bigger ten years hence with a cor- 
responding enhancerdent of real estate values and increase in the 
business of pioneer merchants of the place. Did not Marshall 
Field, in Chicago, for instance, owe its growth as a department 
store to the fact that Marshall Field got in on the ground floor 
while Chicago was little more than a village? What inconsequen- 
tial village with an up-and-coming Chamber of Commerce does 
not dream of becoming a metropolis of tomorrow? 

The levelling-off of the population growth curve merely means 
that this expectation will not be true for the future. After the 
population stabilizes, a gain in population by one town or city 
will only be at the expense of a corresponding loss of population 
by other areas. An increase in business by one organization will 
only be achieved by a corresponding loss of business to a com- 
petitor, or else by an absolute increase in the standard of living. 

Let it be emphasized that all those who demand an increas- 


mg popnlatioH Iiave special interests, and their own priyate axes 
to grind. From the point of yiew of social well-being it is per- 
fectly obyions that if the population is not stabilized before that 
time it will continue to expand until finally checked by the lack 
of the means of sustenance, with a standard of living comparable 
to that of India or China. On the other hand if the population 
is too small there will not be enough people properly to man and 
operate a high-energy civilization. Between these two extremes 
there is an optimum population, and that optimum is probably 
about the size of our present population. 


Statistical Abstract of the U, S. 

Population Trends in the United States, Hiotnpdon and Wlielpton. 

Leasott 19 


IN previous lessons we have described industrial growth 
in the United States, and have pointed out that under 
Price System operation and control it is becoming in- 
creasingly difficult, in accordance with the accepted rules 
of the game, to maintain industrial operation within the 
limits of social tolerance. As yet, however, we have made 
no inquiries into the operating characteristics of industry 
when at its best under a Price System control. 

Attention has already been called to the fact that 
business is engaged not primarily in the making of goods, 
but in the making of money. If, in the course of making 
money, manufacture of goods happens to be indulged in, 
to the business man that is a mere incident rather than 
a matter of primary importance. From a social point of 
view, however, the only matter of consequence is the fact 
that somehow or other in the process, goods are manufac- 
tured and distributed. 

Inferior Goods for Large Turnover. From the point of view 
of making money by the manufacture and sale of a given com- 
modity, it is in general true that, other things being equal, the 
larger the number of units of this commodity manufactured and 
sold per annum, the greater the profit. Suppose, for example, 
that the commodity considered be razor blades. Now, to begin 
with, the razors that are already in use are of the old-fashioned 
pre-safety razor type. They are made of high quality steel and 
will last, say, on an average, twenty years each, or approximately 
two razors per lifetime per each male inhabitant. It will be seen 
that once the male population is supplied with razors of this type 
there will be no further expansion of the razor business, except 
for replacement of the existing razors as they wear out, and to 
supply razors to the increasing population. 

Now, if a way can be found to make all of these men throw 
away their present razors and buy some new ones, this will 


immediately produce a big increase in the razor business. To ac- 
complish this latter, suppose that we introduce on the market, 
supported by high-pressure ballyhoo and salesmanship, a new type 
of razor, the safety razor. By this means, in about a generation, 
we succeed in coaxing the males of the population away from their 
old substantial razors and have them all using this new safety 
razor. Suppose that up until this time the safety razor has re- 
movable blades that will last, say, a month each, and can be 
replaced by new blades at a nominal sum. This simple change 
alone would result in an enormous increase in the razor blade 
business, for each man who originally used a single razor for 
twenty years would now buy 240 blades in that same time. This 
would be good business as compared with that of the pre-safety 
razor days, but even this has its point of saturation. The trouble 
with the razor blade business is that the blades last too long. This, 
of course, can be remedied hj a slight change in the metallurgical 
content of each blade. The ideal blade for this purpose would be 
one which would shave fairly well for three or four times, and 
then be unalterably useless thereafter. The razor blade manufac- 
turer has his own staff of metallurgists, who determine how such 
a product may be produced. This simple device alone multiplies 
the razor blade business by about seven times, without there hav- 
ing h^mi a change in the sales price per blade. 

By this time the razor blade business is becoming so remun- 
erative (and, besides, the original patents are expiring) that other 
companies are organized to cut in on the racket. These find that 
they can best get a foothold hj turning out a slightly better blade 
than that produced by the original company. The public, discover- 
ing the greater merit of the new blade, promptly change their 
patronage from the old to the new. No sooner does this happen 
than it is observed that the quality of the new blades drops to 
about the standard of quality possessed hj the old. This is easily 
understood when one, upon scrutinizing the package of the new 
blades, discovers that, without its name or trade mark having 
been changed, its company has now been bought by the original 
company (doubtless with a watered stock flotation on the side) and 
that now both the new and the old blades are the product of the 
same original company. 


By this time, howeyer, other manufacturers have begun to 
cut in so rapidly that, if possible, a method must be found whereby 
the blades of these latter can be excluded, and only those 6f the 
original company used. This can be effected quite easily by mak- 
ing a new holder for the blade, and changing the shape of the 
blade in such a manner that it will fit both the old holder and the 
new, but so that the blades of the competitors will not fit the new 
holder. It is necessary, of course, that the purpose of this 
manoeuver be concealed from the public. This is deftly accomp- 
lished by launching a nation-wide advertising campaign of bally- 
hoo about the years and years of research that have been devoted 
to the study of the improvement of razors. At last, it is announced, 
the great secret has been found ; the trouble with the old razors 
was the corners and now, as a result of this research, a razor has 
been produced without corners. Of course, it is necessary to entice 
the public to throw away their old holders and get the new ones. 
This can be accomplished by the selling of the new razors at a 
very reduced price, or else giving them away with tubes of shav- 
ing cream. Also, it makes matters more convincing if the one or 
two blades included with the new razor be of considerably higher 
quality than those that can be bought in separate packages. 

In spite of all this, competitors still seem to get a foothold, 
so finally the directors of our original company are obliged to 
face the fact that perhaps the public is getting wise to their little 
game, and that what the public really wants is a better grade of 
steel in their razor blades. This demand on the part of the public 
is now met very nicely, and in true Barnum fashion, by an adver- 
tising campaign which confesses to the public that indeed the com- 
pany has been lax, and that somehow or other without the officials 
ever having dreamed of such a thing, the research staff of chem- 
ists and metallurgists have allowed the quality of the steel to de- 
teriorate. Now that the fault has "been discovered, no such negli- 
gence on the part of the research staff would ever be countenanced 
again. As evidence of correction of this negligence, a new high 
quality blade would be issued, the Blue Blade. The public, of 
course, swallows the ballyhoo, and buys the Blue Blade, only to 
discover, after a short time-period, that its lasting qualities are 
no higher than those of its predecessors which were admittedly 


inferior. Tins is then followed by a Green Blade of the same 

In the meantime, a safety razor is developed abroad, the ^Kolls 
Eazor/ which has the quality of steel and the durability of the 
old pre-saf ety razor product. Since the public wants a good razor, 
and its habits are adjusted to safety razors, it follows that, if this 
new razor were admitted at a price which allowed it to compete 
readily with the prevailing domestic razors, it would stand a 
good chance of wrecking the domestic safety razor business* This 
entry is prevented very effectively by erecting a tariff barrier so 
high against the foreign product as to render its importation, ex- 
cept in small quantities, almost prohibitive. 

It might be mentioned, in passing, that a safety razor, the 
^Star' was introduced to the American market in the 1890's. 
People who bought this razor over forty years ago are still using 
it with the original blades. Business, of course, for this company 
could not have been very flourishing. It does not appear strange, 
therefore, that it should long since have ceased to exist. 

What we have been pointing out in the foregoing is simply 
the fundamental conflict between production for social welfare, 
on the one hand, as contrasted with what is good business, on the 
other. It is not our purpose to intimate that the business men 
are at fault; we only want to point out that, under the rules of 
the game of the Price System, it is better business to maintain 
scarcity, and to turn out cheap and shoddy products which, like 
the Gillette razor blade, will be used a few times and then have 
to be discarded and replaced by another. It is also observed that 
if, under the same rules of the game, one fails to conform and 
produces, as in the case of the 'Star' razor, a superior product, he 
does not long remain in business. 

Foreign Trade and War. It is a simple matter to follow the 
thread of this same type of reasoning into any domain that one 
wishes to investigate, and one will always come to the same inevi- 
table conclusion that what is socially desirable becomes, from the 
point of view of business, objectionable. Foreign trade and what 
the business man chooses to call a 'favorable trade balance' has 
already been mentioned. It is not amiss in this connection to 


mention the relationsMp between war and the munitions racket. 

As a result of the good services of the Nye Committee of the 
United States Senate, it has now become fairly common knowl- 
edge that modern wars are promoted for reasons of business almost 
entirely; because, from the point of view of the munitions makers, 
it is good business to have a war every so often. It might also be 
pointed out that one of the most likely ways of temporarily solving 
the depression would be to promote a nice friendly war with some- 
body. This would solve the unemployment problem in two ways. 
Industry would boom, turning out war munitions and military 
equipment generally. This would absorb a considerable fraction 
of the present unemployed. Debts could be created through Lib- 
erty Loan drives or their equivalent, and money would flow freely. 
The remainder of the unemployed could be put in the army, and, 
preferably, be shot. This would solve their difficulties, and there 
would be prosperity for all while it lasted* 

It Is now being generally recognized that the United States 
went into the late war for business reasons. Neither will anyone 
deny that participation in the war brought about one of the most 
prosperous periods of United States history. 

Curtailment and Destruction. We have mentioned previ- 
ously that a Price System economy is of necessity an economy of 
scarcity. This is due to the fact that values go to pieces in the 
presence of abundance. No better illustration of this fact could be 
found than that of the present policy of government as exemplified 
in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. Here the reason- 
ing is: there was so much cotton, wheat, and so many hogs, that 
the farmer was not getting a sufficient price for his product. The 
Price System remedy, therefore, was to be found in a curtailment 
of production. If cotton, wheat, and hogs were made scarce enough, 
the price would go up. The fact that 20 or 30 million people didn't 
have enough to eat was of no consideration — ^not under the Price 

Low Load Factors, Another characteristic of industrial oper* 
ation under the Price System is that of industrial load factors. 
The load factor of a given piece of equipment may be defined as 
its actual output in a given period, say a day or a year, as com- 


pared with its output under continuous full load operation for 
the same period* Thus, a factory that runs full-blast 24 hours 
for 6 months in the year, and is shut down for the remaining 6 
months, would operate at a load factor on a yearns basis of only 
50 percent. Similarly, a plant that operated 8 hours per day, 365 
days per year, would have a load factor of only 33 1/3 percent, 
because two-thirds of the time it would be shut down. In other 
words, a load factor of 100 percent means a continuous full load 
operation 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. 

It has been remarked previously that little of our present 
industrial equipment operates at more than one 8-hour shift per 
day, except for brief rush periods^ and that for only a limited 
number of days per year. On the other hand, if present productive 
equipment were operated at anywhere near a 100 percent load 
factor, such a plethora of goods and services would be produced 
that the American public would be sorely embarrassed to find a 
way to consume them, assuming that we had a suitable mechanism 
of distribution. 

This prevailing low load factor is the result of two distinct 
causes : one is that competition in a profitable field of production 
leads to the building of more plant than is necessary for the amount 
of production allowable; the second is that the actual production 
allowable must not be more than is necessary if scarcity is to be 
maintained, and prices kept up. 

A low load factor may signify equally well either of two things. 
It may mean that there is more equipment than is needed to 
maintain the current rate of production. This involves a wast- 
age of capital equipment, not to mention the high physical cost 
involved in intermittent operation of such equipment. It means, 
likewise, that were the existing equipment operated to capacity, 
the resultant physical output would be very much greater than it 
now is, or was in 1929. On either of these counts a low load factor 
is objectionable. The average physical standard of living of our 
society is determined largely by the rate at which goods are pro- 
duced and distributed. Hence it follows that any attempt at social 
'betterment that does not take into account the operating of our 
vndustrial equipment at the highest possible load factor ^ and in- 
sists instead on dividing up the poverty while leaving the Price 


System enforcement of scarcity intact, is, no matter how well in- 
tentioned, sheer lunacy. 

Housing. One of our biggest industries, and one which along 
with food and clothing most vitally affects us personally, is that 
of housing. There is probably no greater collection of outworn 
junk in this country than the houses in which we live, and our 
buildings generally* From the point of view of the physical cost 
of operation alone, the inefficiency of our present structures is so 
great that, if we should tear them all down and rebuild them on 
a technically efficient basis, it is estimated that the energy saving 
in the operation of the new structures would compensate in about 
20 years' time for the entire cost of demolition and reconstruction. 

From the point of public health and sanitary conditions gen- 
erally, it would be safe to say that about three-quarters of the 
abodes at present occupied by American families are unfit for 
human habitation in a civilized community. Under our Price 
System there does not exist a modus operandi for either the design, 
construction, or operation of our housing industry so as to allow 
the basic technical and social requirements to be complied with. 

The same scale factor that has already been mentioned with 
regard to operating equipment applies equally well with regard to 
industrial and office floor space. Our business and industrial struc- 
tures have heretofore been built on the assumption of a continued 
rate of growth. If in the past a given city doubled in size every 
40 years, why should it not also double in size the next 40 years, 
has been the type of reasoning applied in this field. 

Here, as elsewhere, the technological factor has upset the 
apple cart. Every time new industrial or business equipment, 
which has an efficiency greater than that which it replaces, is in- 
stalled, it requires less floor space for the same output than the 
equipment which it renders obsolete and replaces. This is no less 
true in business offices than in factories. Compare, for instance, 
the amount of floor space occupied by the old-fashioned bookkeep- 
ing clerks working over hand ledgers with that required by mod- 
ern high-speed, semi-automatic bookkeeping machinery when both 
do the same amount of accounting, l^ow that the period of indus- 
trial expansion under Price System dominance is virtually over, 


it follows that in the future, due to the more widespread use of 
such equipment, the required floor space will decline, together with 
human employment. If such buildings as the Empire State, Eadio 
City, and similar buildings in other cities are to be occupied in 
the future it will probably be by leaving vacant an equal or greater 
amount of floor space in other buildings. 

Interference by Business Expediency* Perhaps the chief 
Price System method of control is interference. The very nature 
of property rights themselves is that other individuals than the 
owner of a given piece of equipment are enjoined by law to refrain 
from doing certain things with regard to that equipment. ISTote 
the negative thou-shalt-not aspect of this relationship. 

There is probably no branch of our social activity in which 
this sabotaging influence for reasons of business expediency is 
more keenly felt and more socially detrimental than in the domain 
of scientific research and technological development. While it is 
true that many of our industrial establishments and business or- 
ganizations retain research staffs to carry on various investigations 
in fields that show promise of being commercially profitable, no- 
body knows better than members of these research staffs that, 
should a discovery or invention be made which would be, if it 
were put i/ito effect, better for the public, but worse for the busi- 
ness of the company, such discovery or invention would either 
be kept secret or tied up in patents to interfere "with anyone else 
making use of it, and then carefully and permanently shelved. It 
is true that technically trained men design our present equipment ; 
it is equally true that, if the equipment be of the sort that is to 
be sold to the public, they are instructed to design it so that it 
will not last too long. It takes great metallurgical skill to pro- 
duce a razor blade which will last only four shaves. 

An excellent example of this form of business sabotage of 
technological advance is to be found in the speech of Frederick E. 
Williamson, president of the ISTew York Central Lines, before the 
Central Railway Club of Buffalo, January 10, 1935. In discussing 
the St Lawrence waterway project, Mr. Williamson remarked: 
'I do not intend to discuss this subject in more than a word or 
two, but I do wish to point out that, regardless of whether the em- 


phasis be laid on the shipway or the power angle, the net results 
to the railroads of the East and the Middle West, and to the rail- 
road men employed on them, will be just as disastrous in either 
case. In the end, construction of the shipway, whether primarily 
for power or as a deepened waterway, would be a potent contri- 
bution toward breaking down the present rail transportation 

What Mr. Williamson has implicity admitted here is that the 
St. Lawrence waterway is so far superior to the New York Cen- 
tral Bailroad as a means of cheap transportation, that, should it 
be installed, the New York Central as a business organization 
would have a tough time making ends meet. In other words, were 
the power which is now going to waste in the St. Lawrence River 
to be utilized, and at the same time the river to be made navigable, 
the energy-cost of freight transportation along this waterway 
would be more than offset by the power derived from the river 
itself. From the point of view of our national economy, this would 
be a net gain. 

It is a matter of common knowledge that there have been few 
major technological advances in American railroad equipment for 
many years past until the advent of the recent streamlined trains. 
Speaking of these streamlined trains, Mr. Williamson remarks 
further: *A11 this has captured the popular imagination, and 
rightly so. A renaissance of railroading seems in sight. At the 
same time, it appears to me desirable to sound a warning lest 
public expectations be aroused to such an extent that disappoint- 
ment must inevitably follow. In a plant as huge as a railroad, 
radical changes cannot be made overnight. It must be a gradual 
process of evolution within the limitations fixed by existing invest- 
ment and immediate financial ability, as well as a reasonable 
experience in operation of new type equipment/ 

Particular attention is to be paid to what Mr. Williamson 
aptly calls the 'limitations fixed by existing investment and im- 
mediate financial ability/ It is precisely these limitations so pe- 
culiar to the Price System which are rapidly precipitating a social 
crisis. Mr. Williamson is quite correct in that certain things can- 
not be done under limitations set by the Price System. Tech- 
nologically, however, no corresponding limitations exist. But for 


the Price System limitations, the entire rolling stock of the Ameri- 
can railroads would be scrapped and replaced hj a modern tech- 
nologically integrated system. 

Even where the technical work, such as geological work in 
the exploration for useful minerals, is socially desirable, its effects 
are commonly offset by business practices in connection therewith. 
It is socially useful, for instance, to delineate oil structures, but 
one frequently wonders to what end when he watches the mad 
business rush of big and little oil companies, like so many buz- 
zards fighting over a carcass, each trying to get his share, while 
the pool, in the meantime, is being drilled as full of holes as a pin- 
cushion and the gas pressure blown off into the air. 

A similar paradoxical situation exists with the production and 
utilization of other mineral resources. The fiuorspar-bearing area 
of southern Illinois and northwestern Kentucky is practically our 
sole source of supply of this useful mineral. From the point of view 
of our national well-being, it would behoove us to use this limited 
supply sparingly and wisely. It is to the advantage of the business 
interests, on the other hand, to find bigger and better ways of 
getting rid of fluorspar. Consequently it is interesting to note that 
the Illinois Geological Survey, capitulating to those interests, has 
had a research chemist trying to find a way to use fluorspar in 
concrete. Should this effort be successful, it is true that it would 
boom the fluorspar business, and, of course, it is not the concern 
of business men where we shall get our fluorspar in the future. 

An interesting relationship between low load factors and the 
wastage of natural resources is to be found in coal mining. In 
underground coal mining two principal alternative methods are 
employed, the room-and-pillar method and the long-wall method. 
In the room-and-pillar method a part of the coal is mined and the 
remainder is left in the ground intact as pillars to support the roof. 
With this method, only about 50 percent of the coal is recovered, 
and, once the mine is abandoned, it is virtually impossible to go 
back and mine the rest. In the long-wall method all of the coal is 
mined along a lengthy straight wall, and the roof is allowed to 
subside gradually in the rear as the mining along the wall pro- 
gresses. By this method approximately 90 percent of the coal is 
recovered from the ground. Since with the long-waU method the 


roof subsides slowly but continuously, tlie mining operations must 
be continued without cessation in order to keep ahead of the sub- 
siding roof. The demand for coal, however, due to our low indus- 
trial load factor, is seasonal, and, since bituminous coal cannot be 
stored over long periods of time, production at the mines has to 
be geared to coal consumption. Consequently the mines operate 
briskly for a season and then shut down. This shut-down period 
precludes an extensive use of the long-wall method, and con- 
sequently results in a wastage of not less than one-third of our 
coal resources. 

On the purely human side of the picture the same type of con- 
sequences prevail. The general maintenance of poverty in the 
midst of potential plenty is too prevalent to need further comment 
here. One factor that might be mentioned is the general debase- 
ment of human beings under the pressure of economic insecurity. 
So effective is this pressure in our present society that the enjoy- 
ment of personal integrity has become one of the most expensive 
of human luxuries, because, unless one be of that small fraction 
of 1 percent in the higher income brackets, the price that he will 
pay for the privilege of indulging in personal honesty or integrity 
will almost certainty be his job ; in other words, a salesman is not 
a liar because of the personal delight he takes in fleecing the public, 
but because he knows full well that if he told the public that the 
product he is asking them to buy is relatively worthless, if not 
actually harmful, he would soon be helping to increase the great 
army of the unemployed. 

Institutional and Traditional Interference. A similar thing 
is true in the field of public health. About 1928 the Billings Hos- 
pital was opened in South Side Chicago as a part of the Eush 
Medical School of the University of Chicago. This was the best 
hospital in that part of the city, and, if operated at all, would 
be a very important contribution to the public health service pro- 
vided for the people in that part of Chicago. The technical staff 
of this hospital was amongst the best that could be obtained. Oper- 
ating as a part of a medical school, it would also maintain free 
or low-priced clinical service to the students of the University 
of Chicago and to the local community. 


It is interesting to observe that the most violent objectors 
to this hospital were the local members of the American Medical 
Association, who took such strenuous action that they finally suc- 
ceeded in having the entire staff disbarred from membership in 
the American Medical Association on the grounds of unethical 
practice. In other words, an adequate health service administered 
to the South Side of Chicago was ^busting up their racket/ 

Again, let it not be misunderstood what the essential elements 
of this picture are. Under the Price System a medical doctor is 
not only a public servant looking after the health of the commun- 
ity; he is also a business man with services to sell. Approximately 
one-half of his life and an enormous amount of money besides has 
been spent in acquiring his professional training. If this is to be 
compensated for, it means that the remainder of his life must 
be devoted to those activities for which a handsome fee can be 
collected. If his professional services are to be sold at the necessary 
price, these services must be kept scarce. A doctor has to make 
a living. The net result is the inadequate and incompetent public 
health service with which the American public is all too familiar. 

In other words, the 'load factor' of our doctors and our hos- 
pitals is as far below capacity at the present time as that of our 
power plants. Stated conversely, if the public health personnel 
and equipment were allowed to operate at full load in the most 
efficient manner, according to present technical standards, it would 
be possible virtually to eliminate most contagious diseases within 
10 years. 

As this is being written (February 1935), the American 
Medical Association, at its meeting in Chicago, is making its per- 
ennial attack upon socialized medicine. 

A similar situation prevails in the field of education. Less 
than 15 percent of the youth of the nation is allowed the question- 
able privilege of a college and higher professional education. 
There is hardly a classroom in a modern university that is filled 
to capacity, for the simple reason that not enough students are 
able to pay the tuition fees to take the courses. 

The quality of instruction suffers correspondingly because of 
economic controls which are exercised over those doing the in- 
structing. The modern college instructor, with few exceptions, 


either conforms or gets out, yoluntarily, or by invitation. No more 
striking illustration of this could be offered than the career of 
Thorstein Veblen, who was one of the few truly great men America 
has ever produced, and who was virtually 'kicked out' of every 
university in which he ever taught. 

Within the curriculum of our institutions of higher learning 
the same sabotaging influences prevail. The Schools of Education, 
for instance, have, by playing politics with state legislatures, so 
completely tied up the public school system that it is now practi- 
cally impossible for one to get a job in any public school in the 
country on the basis of technical training and competency. One 
may not, and frequently does not, know anything aboat the par- 
ticular subject he is supposed to teach, but he must have the re- 
quisite number of courses in education as to how it is to be taught. 

And then there is the slavery to the Ph.D. degree. If a gradu- 
ate student in one of our institutions of higher learning wishes to 
pursue his studies, it is expected that he will do so with thp inten- 
tion of becoming a Doctor of Philosophy. It may, and commonly 
does, happen that the acquirement of technical competency in a 
particular field requires that the student pursue a course of studies 
entirely at variance with those prescribed in fulfillment of the 
more or less inane requirements for the Ph.D. Here, as else 
where, economic pressure is brought to bear, and those who do 
not conform are rather effectively excluded from getting jobs they 
might otherwise acquire. It is needless to remark that the ma- 
jority of the students of our higher institutions of learning are, 
accordingly, degree seekers rather than persons interested prim- 
arily in the acquisition of an adequate technical training. 

The most tragic aspect of all exhibited by our present educa- 
tional system, however, is to be found in the problems which the 
students themselves face. It is a commonplace fact of human 
biology that, while only a small percent of the population is fin- 
ancially well to do, talented youth is by no means confined to that 
segment of the population in the higher income brackets. An aver- 
age figure of the cost per 9-month term of attending our present 
colleges and universities is around ?800 to |1,000 per annum per 
student. When it is considered that this sum is only slightly less 
than the average annual income of the great majority of the fami- 


lies in our population, it is a simple matter to see, in tlie ligiit of 
this, tliat the selection of those who shall and those who shall not 
receive training in onr institutions of higher learning is deter- 
mined almost entirely on the basis of pecuniary standing of the 
parents of the prospective students. 

It is true that we have all h^o^n fed on the Horatio Alger myth 
of the poor boy working his way through college, but the fact 
remains that those who do this successfully are few, and many are 
the unchronicled, bright-eyed lads who ^crack up' in the attempt. 

The final blow, of course, is dealt when the students have com- 
pleted their formal education, only to find that in their field, too, 
there is over-production, and few people are willing to engage their 

In our educational system, as elsewhere, the fault is not to be 
found in the individual members of the personnel. This state of 
affairs is the logical product of social administration under Price 
Bystem rules. If the university president allowed his faculty too 
free a rein, it is quite likely that somebody might offend the bank- 
ers, and this would result in a corresponding diminution of endow- 
ment funds. If tuition fees were decreased sufficiently to fill up 
the class rooms the resulting decline in revenues might be serious. 

Legal Interference. Just a Avord may be said about criminal 
activity and the police force. The term ^crime' is itself of little 
significance for there is no important distinction between socially 
objectionable activities that are legal and those that are illegal. 
One of the fundamental properties of money, however, is that it 
constitutes a standing social reward to any individual who, legally 
or otherwise, ^gyps' the public successfully. The tie-up of local 
political machines with such predatory activities, ranging from 
banking on the one hand to racketeering, gambling dives, and 
prostitution on the other, is too well known to need amplification. 
The police force in such a situation is merely ^the hired boys,^ hav- 
ing their orders whom to molest and whom to let alone. Politically 
objectionable conscientious performance of duty on the part of the 
policeman can be very effectively handled through the mechanism 
of suspension, demotion, or transfer to an undesirable beat. 
As a consequence of this tie-up between the political structure 


with its police power, and the favored interests (whether these 
latter be Capones or Morgans, there is no particular distinction), 
it is relatively unimportant which particular things are legal and 
which are illegal. The line between the two is extremely difficult 
to discern. Both types of activity, whether legitimate business or 
avowed racketeering, are socially objectionable, though both are 
the direct consequence of playing the game according to the rules. 
The role played in this by the legal profession is principally that 
of finding ways and means within the existing statutes whereby 
any particular kind of activity, provided it pays well enough, can 
be shown to be legal. It is, of course, commonplace to anyone 
who has had any experience with courts of law, that to a very con- 
siderable extent the best lawyer wins, regardless of the merits of 
the case. And, of course, the most money hires the best lawyer. 

In this connection it has been interesting to observe the activi- 
ties of the major oil companies over the last 10 or 15 years with 
regard to unit operation of oil pools. Prior to about 1927 the rate 
of production of oil was sufficiently low that a good price was 
maintained, and during that period the more oil produced the 
greater the profit Now, there are many technical reasons why 
a single oil pool should be produced as a unit. Unit operation 
allows the most strategic location of producing wells and permits 
the maintenance of the gas pressure in the pool with which to 
force the oil out. If this gas pressure is blown off in non-unit oper- 
ation, the gas is wasted, and the remaining oil has to be pumped, 
allowing a much lower recovery of oil than is possible under unit 

During the period mentioned above it was to the business in- 
terests of the large companies to get oil out of a given pool as 
rapidly as possible, because if they pumped fast enough they could 
produce not only the oil under their own land, but could also 
^steaF a large part of the oil from the little fellows who happened 
to own adjoining tracts, but lacked capital enough to produce 
their own lands at the same rate. This practice was called the 
*law of capture.^ The legal staffs of the big companies at this 
time could demonstrate by any amount of legal briefs that such 
practises were entirely legal, just, and as they should be. 

After 1927 one large oil pool after another was brought in^ in 


rapid succession, pouring so great a flood of oil on the market that 
ruinous prices resulted, and, as a consequence, it became the inter- 
est of the big companies to curtail production in order to enforce 
scarcity and thus keep the prices up. The little fellows were also 
in a disadvantageous position as, even at ruinous prices, they had 
to produce or else go broke. Hence, should big companies curtail 
production while the little fellows continue to produce, the law 
of capture would for the first time have worked to the advantage 
of these latter, an^ to the disadvantage of the former. In the mean- 
time, it has been highly illuminating to watch the same legal staffs 
render equally numerous briefs on the legality of unit operation 
and of curtailment and proration of oil production, enforced by 
the police power of the states. 

^A criminal is a human being with predatory instincts hut 
without sufficient capital to start a corporation.^ 

Political Interference. Intimately linked with the activities 
of the legal profession and with business enterprise is our political 
government, the general incompetence of which, from the local 
wards and precincts to the national government, is a matter of 
such commonplace knowledge as to require little comment here. 
Notable exceptions to this general statement are to be found in 
the purely technical bureaus, such as the United States Bureau 
of Standards, Geological Survey, Department of Agriculture, etc. 
It is significant that the technical stales of these bureaus are not 
elected hj popular vote, nor are they appointed by the political 
chieftains of the present or past administrations, and hence are 
not subject to political contamination. It need hardly be added 
that were this not so it is extremely doubtful that the work turned 
out by these bureaus would be of sufficiently high quality to merit 
scientific respect. 

A system whereby governmental officers are chosen by popu- 
lar ballot is immediately open to all the political chicanery that we 
are already familiar with, ranging ail the way from the small 
town glad-handing and baby-kissing politician to the Tammany 
machines with their racketeerin'* and patronage in our large cities, 
and finally to our national political government with its defer- 
ence to, and solicitation for, the interests of big business. When 


it is borne in mind that the public is, and of necessity must be, 
almost completely ignorant of problems, either of personnel or of 
policy, which they are regularly called upon at election time to 
solve, it becomes a very simple matter, hj means of a suitable ex- 
penditure of money, using the mediums afforded by the press, the 
radio, and public speakers, to play upon public prejudice, and 
hence to swing the results of any election to the desired end. While 
it is true that the illusion of alternatives is kept before the public 
through the device of opposing political parties, the fact remains 
that the similarity of the opponents in all fundamental particulars 
is so great that it makes virtually no difference at all, in the net 
effect to the country, who wins the election. In other words, no 
question of really fundamental importance is ever submitted to 
popular election. The real controls are exercised at all times be- 
hind closed doors and by a small minority of the population. 

Propaganda. Among the most powerful devices in social con- 
trol at the present time are the radio and the press. Just how 
powerful the press has been in the past can be seen when we re- 
view the propaganda which we were fed during the late World 
War. At the beginning of the World War we were a nation at 
peace with the world, and the great majority of the American 
people were almost oblivious of the fact that Europe existed. Fin* 
ally, the House of Morgan became dangerously overloaded with 
debts of the Allies and succeeded in involving, in some measure, a 
large number of American business men besides. Then, only a few 
weeks before our declaration of war, our Ambassador, Page, to 
England, cabled President Wilson that in order to maintain our 
preeminence in world trade, and to save Morgan, it would be 
necessary for the United States to enter the war on the side of 
the Allies. We entered, and, in the light of this, our entry into the 
World War 'to make the world safe for democracy' and the events 
that followed are extremely interesting. 

The American public as a whole had little knowledge of, and 
little interest in European affairs, and, least of all, had they a 
hatred of the Germans or a love for the French. Consequently, to 
make it a successful war such a love and a hate had to be created 
synthetically. To this end the best liars and ballyhoo artists that 


could be obtained were set to work grinding ont lies about tbe 
atrocities of the Huns and disseminating them from the lecture 
platform and the press to the American public. The results were 
those desired: America entered the war, large profits were made, 
and the gullible public swallowed it, hook, line and sinker. 

The same devices that were used then with regard to the war 
have subsequently been used with regard to political and economic 
matters. Most of the major newspapers and magazines of wide 
circulation, such as the Saturday E^vening Post^ are chiefly organs 
of propaganda for favored business interests. While the control 
may be quite impersonal, it is none the less positive, because all 
of these papers depend very largely upon the goodwill of business 
interests for their advertising which is a highly essential part of 
their financing program. If they print the right stuff, advertising 
and prosperity is theirs; if they don^t^ they stand a good chance 
of going out of business. 

A very interesting example of such control of a journal was 
manifested in the ease of The American Mercury. The Mercury 
had adopted a militant editorial policy and had opened fire with 
a very significant article upon the activities of the American Eed 
Cross, showing conclusively that the latter had become almost en- 
tirely a tool of financial interests, and was engaged in enterprises 
of highly questionable merit* Other articles from a like point of 
view were to follow. Almost immediately the bankers of Alfred 
A. Knopf, the publisher, brought pressure to bear, and The Amer- 
ican Mercury was promptly sold, to proceed henceforth under a 
new and doubtlessly less belligerent editorship. 

Examples such as the foregoing, in every sphere of operation 
under a Price System, could be cited almost indefinitely. Under 
the Price System at its best there is not a single field of endeavor 
where the best technical standards are allowed to prevail. In other 
words, poverty, waste, crime, poor public health, bad living con- 
ditions, enforced scarcity, and low load-factors, are every one the 
direct and necessary consequences of the Price System. Let it be 
emphasized, however, that while certain individuals may be some- 
what worse offenders than others, individuals are not to be blamed. 
The system being what it is, if one is to hold political office he 
will almost without exception find it necessary to indulge in the 


usual political practices. If one is to become a successful business 
man, he will do so only by engaging in those practices which 
characterize the activities of other successful business men. The 
fundamental law of survival under the Price System is that one 
must create debt claims against others faster than debt claims are 
created against him^ or else he does not remain in business, 


What we have tried to make clear is that it is the Price 
System itself, and not the individual human being, which is at 
fault. Granted the system, the human beings are obliged to act 
in accordance with its dictates, with the rather sorry results we 
have enumerated above. Consequently, no amount of doctoring 
of symptoms while leaving the fundamental causes of the disease 
intact will be of any appreciable avail. One does not eliminate 
bootlegging while prohibition in conjunction with a thirsty public 
exists; bootleggers are created thereby. Abolish prohibition and 
bootleggers largely disappear. One does not abolish or prevent 
war by pacifistic speeches, or by other means either, so long as 
foreign trade and the manufacture of munitions of war remain 
profitable, Neither does one abolish disease while poverty, malnu- 
trition and other disease-breeding conditions continue unaltered, 
nor so long as the economic well-being of the medical profession 
depends upon the prevalence of disease in profitable amounts. ]&Tor 
is crime ever abolished, either by coercive measures administered 
by officials whose activities are only slightly, if any, less socially 
objectionable than those which it is sought to suppress, or by any 
amount of moralistic railing or inculcation of doctrines of *broth- 
erly love,* so long as there continues to be offered a standing reward 
to all those who will 'gyp^ society successfully. Granted the offer 
of the reward, socially objectionable activities follow as a conse- 
quence j withdraw the reward and these activities automatically 
disappear. It is the Price System itself — the rules whereby the 
game is played — and not the individual human being which is at 


The Engineers and the Price System^ Veblcn* 
Arms and the Man (Reprint from TorUme)^ 

Lesson 20 


IN Lessons 1 through 14 it was our endeavor to present 
the fundamentals of the scientific basis of the phe- 
nomena that make up our complex social activities. In 
Lessons 15 through 19 we analyzed the existing social 
habits comprising our Price System mode of control. 
We have shown on the one hand that there are no 
physical barriers, aside from human beings themselves, 
to the attainment on this Continent of an average 
physical standard of living which would be the highest 
we have ever known, and very much higher than that 
of 1929. We have shown likewise that our socifil ac- 
tivities, as controlled hj existing social habits which 
we have termed Hhe rules of the game of the Price 
System,' are rapidly forcing us to an impasse, due to the 
fact that these habits were largely acquired during a 
stage of relatively primitive technological development 
which was characterized by low-energy rates of operation 
and scarcity in general. In the presence of a techno- 
logical mechanism which has evolved to a high-energy 
operation with — for the first time in human history — 
the potentialities of plenty, the Price System rules of 
enforced scarcity are found to be no longer adequate. 

Since it is human beings and their habits with which 
we are now obliged to deal, it is well that before pro- 
ceeding further we inquire somewhat more deeply than 
heretofore into the nature of this human animal. 

There is probably no field of scientific investigation 
in which more resistance has been encountered than in 
those domains which have affected the superstitions men 
have entertained about themselves. The history of science 
is littered with burnings at the stake, heresy trials, im- 
prisonment of scientists whose works have contradicted, 
or otherwise cast doubt upon, popular superstitions. 

The Solar System. Before the time of Copernicus the uni- 
verse was regarded by the inhabitants of Western Europe as con- 
sisting of the earth at the center, with the sun, the moon and the 



stars revolving around it. A terrific furor was created when 
Copernicxis had the audacity to suggest that it would greatly 
simplify matters if the sun were regarded as fixed at the center of 
the solar system, while the earth and the other planets revolved 
around it in circular orbits. The former system of thought, hav- 
ing the earth as the fixed center, has come to be known as the 
geO'Centric system ; the latter, propounded by Copernicus, is known 
as the heliO'CentriG system. 

All this seems rational enough to us now, and one may be 
inclined to ask what all the shooting was about. What earthly 
difference does it make whetKeF one^r egards the earth as revolv- 
ing around the sun, or the sun as revolving around the earth? 
That it evidently did make some difference is attested by the fact 
that, while Copernicus avoided the trouble by dying before Ms 
famous paper was published, his illustrious successor, Galileo, 
was imprisoned for defending it, and his health broken so badly 
that he died in consequence. 

When one goes a little deeper into the matter, the reason for 
all this becomes evident. According to the prevalent supersti- 
tions, or folkways, backed up by all the authority of the Church, 
God had created man in his own image, and had created the earth 
as man^s place of abode. Such being the case, God could not have 
done less than to place man, his most perfect and important crea- 
tion, in the center of his universe, with all the parts of lesser 
importance revolving around. Now, if the sun were to be re- 
garded as the center of the solar system, with the planets revolv- 
ing around, the earth would be relegated *to a position merely of 
one of the planets, and a lesser one at that. Consequently such a 
heretical doctrine constituted, should it be allowed to prevail, an 
undermining of the faith, not to mention an insult to God him- 
self, and hence was under no circumstances to be tolerated. 

In spite of all this the heretical doctrine did prevail and, 
while it may have been a blow to man's egotism to be removed 
from the center of the universe and to be condemned to an abode 
on a lesser planet, human beings seem to have been able to adjust 
themselves to this change, and to have got along for better or for 
worse subsequently. 


The Age of the Earth. The next great blow to human 
egotism and superstition came when the geologists and biologists 
began to make certain significant observations about the rocks of 
the earth's surface. Late in the eighteenth century a Scotsman 
by the name of John Hutton made extensive studies of the stream 
valleys and canyons in the Scottish Highlands. Hutton, after 
long and careful study, arrived at the then astounding conclusion 
that the canyons in which the streams flow were cut into solid 
rock by the streams themselves. Again the fight was on. The 
whole thing was ridiculous and preposterous, men said, for was 
it not known already from the scriptures that the earth was 
created in the year 4004 B.C.? Since the canyons had not been 
visibly deepened during historic time, and since the earth was 
only a little less than 6,000 years old, was it not obvious that such 
canyons could not have been produced by running water in so 
short a tiine, and hence must have been present when the earth 
was created? 

In this case, as before, scientific observation and induction 
had produced results squarely in contradiction to the inherited 
folkways. Hutton was attacked, not on the basis of the facts 
themselves, but on the basis of what men thought they knew 
already. It had not occurred to these critics that possibly their 
own source of information, having been handed down from a 
priniitive and ignorant people of the remote past, may itself have 
been erroneous. In so square a contradiction as this somebody 
had to be wrong, and the more the evidence was examined, the 
more firmly was the Hutton theory established, and it gradually 
dawned upon the learned world that the earth was ancient beyond 
all comprehension, contrary to biblical tradition. 

The implications of the studies of Hutton and his followers 
to subsequent human thought have been very great, indeed, for 
if the history of the earth was not in accordance with biblical 
tradition, was there not a suspicion that possibly the remote 
history of the human species might be somewhat at variance with 
the same account? 

The next great step in this progression came from the biolo- 
gists. Even before the time of Galileo, Leonardo da Yinci had 
observed the presence of sea shells in the rocks of Italy, in high 


mountains at great distances from the sea. To da Yinci tMs 
seemed to indicate that these rocks had once formed a part of 
the sea bottom or seashore, and that when the shellfish had died, 
their shells had been buried in the sands and muds which were 
subsequently lifted up into dry land and consolidated into rocks. 

By his contemporaries these ideas of da Vinci's were ac- 
counted as being little less than insane, and were paid no par- 
ticular attention. By the late eighteenth and early nineteenth 
centuries, however, other men began the study of the sea shells 
contained in rocks, and found themselves obliged to come to es- 
sentially the same conclusion reached previously by da Vinci. It 
was then discovered that the same strata or layers of rock over 
extensive areas always contained the same shells, but that the 
shells contained in different strata were different. Finally, it 
was reasoned that if these rocks were sediments deposited in a 
sea, the older rocks should be those at the bottom of a series, and 
the successively younger rocks should be successively higher, one 
above the other like the layers in a layer cake. Then it was ob- 
served that in certain regions of England and France, the nearer 
one got to the present seashore, the successively higher and there- 
fore younger beds contained shells that more and more closely re- 
sembled those contained in the present ocean. 

Besides sea shells there were now beginning to be dug up 
here and there whole skeletons of large animals, the like of which 
do not exist on the earth today. 

This was, indeed, a puzzle. Men were obliged to come to the 
conclusion that the earth was extremely ancient, and that regions 
which are now dry land had been repeatedly under the ocean in 
times past. Ii»fot only this, but the animals in times past had been 
different kinds of animals from those living at the present time. 
Still clinging as best they could to their folklore and theological 
doctrines, the men in the early nineteenth century had to revamp 
their ideas to include these new facts. This they did by deciding 
that instead of one divine creation there must have been several. 
God had evidently created the heavens and earth at some time in 
the extremely remote past, and, being an amateur at the art of 
creating, he had peopled it with some low forms of life. These, 
evidently, did not turn out to his liking, and in the meantime he 


deyeloped some new ideas, so in order to try out his new ideas, 
he produced a great cataclysm, and wiped out all the forms he 
had preyiously created, and then repopulated the earth with a 
new set of creatures of somewhat improved design. This process 
was repeated — so men at that time thought — until at last perfec- 
tion was reached when God created man in his own image, to- 
gether with the lowly beasts of the fields to do him service. 

This beautiful picture was soon upset Avhen the English 
geologist, Charles Lyell, issued in 1831 his famous textbook, 
Principles of Geology , wherein it was shown that no evidence of 
a great worldwide cataclysm or catastrophe existed, and that the 
making of the mightiest mountains was probably accompanied by 
no more drastic phenomena than occasional earthquakes and 
volcanoes such as occur today* 

Supernaturalism of Man, At about this same time new 
seeds of heresy were being sown by investigations in the fields of 
chemistry and medicine. The chemists were discovering that all 
matter on the face of the earth is composed of a small number of 
elementary substances which they called the chemical elements. 
With this knowledge came the ability to analyze chemically vari- 
ous substances and to determine of what elements they were com- 
posed. As a consequence it was soon discovered that the humala 
body, instead of being something mysterious or supernatural, 
was composed of identically the same chemical elements as are 
found in air, water, rocks, and other common substances. In 
addition to all this, the German physician, Eobert Mayer, dis- 
covered that the energy released inside the body by food eaten 
is the same amount as'would be obtained were the same amount of 
food burned outside the body. 

The picture of the supernaturalism of man and the special 
creations received a final thrust when, in 1859, Charles Darwin 
issued his book Origin of Species. In this book Darwin showed 
that instead of species being separately created, animal and plant 
life undergoes gradual and very slow change, and by this evolu- 
tionary process, given a sufficient amount of time, entirely new 
life forms develop from primitive stock. Thus, life on earth ac- 
cording to this new notion of Darwin, must have begun at some 


time so remote that no record of it is available, and from these^ 
simple primitiye forms all of the diverse species of plant and 
animal life, including man, himself ^ must have arisen. 

This was too much, and the theologians were up in.arms again. 
Dogs, horses, cows, and monkeys may have evolved from lower 
life forms, but man — never ! Man, after all, had a soul and a eon- 
science. He could reason and could discern the difference between 
right and wrong. He was something above and apart from the 
brute beasts of the field. While this fight lasted for a period of 
30 to 40 years^ as usual the facts won out against tradition, and 
human beings, much as it hurt their egotism to have to do so, 
were so far removed from the pedestal upon which they had origin- 
ally imagined themselves to be, that at last they were obliged to 
admit blood kinship with the other members of the animal 

But traditional ways of thinking are persistent and not easily 
outlived, and, even though it was granted that the human species 
is merely one out of many species of animals which bad had a 
common evolutionary origin, still the notion prevailed that there 
was somehow or other an aura of the supernatural that differenti- 
ated man from the rest of the animal kingdom. Man, so it was 
thought, had a ^mind' and a ^conscience,' and even the vestige of a 
^Boul.' Also there were ^spiritual values' which still kept the hu- 
man species in a slightly elevated position. Then, too, men had 
Vills' whereby they could decide what to do and what not to do. 

The developments in the fields of physiology, biochemistry 
and biophysics, chiefly since 1900, are at last bringing us down 
to earth. Attention has already been called to the fact that the 
human body is composed chemically of the ordinary substances of 
which rocks are made. So are dogs, horses, and pigs. In an earlier 
lesson, while discussing the ^uman engine,' we pointed out that 
the human body obeys the same basic laws of energy trans- 
formation as a steam engine. This also is true of dogs, horses, 
and pigs. These facts might lead one to suspect that human 
beings are very far removed from the semi-supernatural creatures 
they have heretofore supposed themselves to be. 

Objective Viewpoint. There was still, however, the age-old 


puzzle of bnman behavior and of what we called 'thinking/ It 
might be remarked that the most minute anatomical dissection 
had never revealed anything that corresponded to a 'mind' or a 
^conscience' or a Vill/ The reason for this is not difficult to find 
when one considers that all of these terms were inherited from 
an ignorant, barbarian past, and had never been subjected to sci- 
entific scrutiny. Let us remember that real scientific progress is 
at all times based upon the correlation of objectively observable 
(see, feel, hear, taste, smell etc.) phenomena. When we subject 
such concepts as the human 'mind' to this sort of test they rapidly 
fade out of existence. When we observe a human being we merely 
perceive an object which makes a certain variety of motions and 
noises. The same is true, however, wlien we observe a dog or a 
Ford car. Only the form is different in each case, and the par- 
ticular pattern of motions and noises is different. We observe, 
likewise, certain cause aud effect relationships. If, for instance, 
we press the horn button on the Ford car, the Ford produces a 
honk; if we step on the dog's tail the dog yelps. Thus, we can 
say in the case of these two mechanisms, the dog and the car ^ that : 

Pressing horn button produces honk. 
Stepping on tail produces yelp. 

We see, therefore, that when we begin to correlate what we 
actually observe, without introducing any of our inherited pre- 
conceptions, we can treat a dog with the same dispassionate ob- 
jectivity which we are accustomed to use when dealing with Ford 
cars or radio sets. 

Stimulus and Response. It was with exactly this point of 
view that the famous Eussian scientist, Pavlov, began a series of 
experiments which have already resulted in some of the most 
profound changes in human knowledge, and in what human 
beings think about themselves. Early in the present century 
Pavlov began the study of dogs in the manner we have described. 
He observed, for instance, that when beefsteak was shown to a dog, 
the dog's mouth began to water and to drip saliva. This, mind 
you is just the kind of observation that one makes with a Ford. 


With tlie car — one pushes the button ; horn sounds. 

In the case of the dog — one shows beefsteak; saliva flows. 

Tn the case of the car we know that the horn is connected to 
the push button by an electric circuit, and that if this circuit is 
broken the pressing of the button will no longer cause the horn 
to sound. Likewise, in the case of the dog, Pavlov knew that there 
are nerves leading from the eyes and the nose of the dog through 
the brain to the glands which secrete saliva. Thus, the sight and 
smell of a beefsteak in the case of the dog is just as mechanistic 
a process as the pressing of the button is in the case of the Ford 
car. Should these nerves be severed by operation, as has been 
done in Pavlov^s laboratory, the saliva is no longer secreted in 
the presence of the beefsteak. 

This cause and effect relationship between the beefsteak and 
saliva flow, and other similar reactions occurring in animals, are 
called reflexes. If one should use the same terminology in the 
case of the automobile, he would say that the sounding of the 
horn is a reflex action occurring in consequence of the button hav- 
ing been pressed. The pressing of the button is called the stimulus; 
the sounding of the horn is called the response. In the case of 
the dog the stimulus is the sight and smell of the beefsteak, the 
response is the flow of saliva. 

Now, in order to observe and measure this flow of saliva more 
accurately, Pavlov performed a slight operation on the dog^s face, 
bringing the salivary duct out and grafting it to the outside of 
the dog's face, so that the saliva flowed outside where it could be 
caught in a measuring device and accurately measured. 

The dog was then put into a carefully shielded room, from 
which he could not see the outside, and into which no sounds 
from the outside could penetrate. A mechanical device was in- 
stalled whereby the dog could be shown beefsteak without his 
seeing or hearing the operator. A metronome was also installed. 
The operator sounded the metronome, and no saliva flowed. Hence 
the stimulus, or the sound of the metronome, produced no response 
in the flow of saliva. Now the dog was shown beefsteak and the 
metronome sounded simultaneously. This was repeated 30 to 40 
times, then the metronome was sounded alone. This time the 


saliva flowed upon the sounding of the metronome. T^at 1^, the 
stimulus, sound of metronome^ then produced the response, flow 
of saliva. In other words, the repetition of the sound of the 
metronome, together with the showing of beefsteak, somehow pro- 
duced in the dog's brain a nervous connection between the nerves 
of the ear and the salivary glands which did not previously exist. 
That this is so Pavlov demonstrated by removing that part of the 
dog's brain containing that particular connection, and, just as 
when one cuts the wire between the button and the horn on a car 
no honk can be induced, saliva no longer flowed at the sound of 
the metronome. 

Now, let us see what this means. If the dog were able to talk 
and to describe his experience, he would doubtless say that he 
had heard the metronome so often, together with seeing and smel- 
ling beefsteak that finally every time he heard the metronome it 
made him ^think' of beefsteak. But we have been able to observe 
that what actually happened inside the dog was a series of very 
slight nervous and muscular reactions, producing the secretion of 
saliva. Stated conversely then, this series of slight nervous and 
muscular reactions, including the secretion of saliva, is what 
'thinking of beefsteak' consists of. It should have been stated that 
the amount of saliva flowing at the sound of the metronome was 
somewhat less than the amount flowing when beefsteak itself was 
present. Thus the reactions which take place in the dog when he 
'thinks' of beefsteak are the same as those which occur when he 
actually sees and smells beefsteak, except for somewhat diminished 

A response that is thus made to follow a stimulus for which 
no reflex previously existed Pavlov called a conditioned response. 
The new reflex set up in this manner he called a conditioned refleo}. 

An almost endless variety of experiments of the same sort 
have since been performed on dogs, monkeys, human beings, and 
all sorts of lower animals, even to snails. It has been found that 
conditioned reflexes of second and higher orders can be set up. 
For instance, if a black square is shown the dog, no saliva flows, 
but if the black square is shown 30 or 40 times, 15 seconds before 
the metronome is sounded, and then the black square is shown 
alone, saliva flows. This latter is called a conditioned reflex of 


the second order. In certain cases third order reflexes, but no 
Mgher orders, were established in dogs. 

Thinking, Spealdng, Writing. Experiments with human 
beings have given the same kinds of results, with the exception 
that the human being requires a smaller number of repetitions to 
establish a conditioned reflex than a dog, and he can sustain a 
higher number of orders of conditioned reflexes than a dog can. 
It i$ of this that a superior intellect largely consists. 

We have already remarked that the series of nervous and 
muscular twitchings involving the secretion of saliva, which takes 
place at the sound of a bell or other conditioned stimuli in the 
absence of beefsteak, is of what 'thinking of beefsteak' consists. 
It is now incontrovertibly demonstrated that all thinking is of 
this sort. If a certain object is placed in front of a human being 
and at the same time a certain sound is uttered, and this process 
is repeated a number of times, then if the sound is uttered with- 
out the object being present, the human being thinks' of the 
object, which means that inside him the same muscular and nerv- 
ous reactions occur which were originally evoked only by the 
object itself. This is the basis of all language. 

Suppose the object be a familiar tool used for digging soil, 
and that the sound emitted in connection with it is the word 
'spade.' If these two are repeated together to a human being who 
never before saw such an object, or heard such a word, he is soon 
conditioned to a stage where the sound of the word 'spade' evokes 
in him a conditioned response essentially similar to that pro- 
duced originally only by the object itself. 

I^Tow carrying this to the second order, suppose that the word 
'spade' is spoken, and simultaneously the individual is shown a 
certain configuration of black marks on paper. After a few repeti- 
tions this particular configuration of marks will evoke the same 
response, only to a slightly lesser intensity, than was formerly 
evoked only by the word 'spade,' or by the spade itself. This is 
the physiological basis of writing. 

Conversely, no conditioned response to a given stimulus can 
ever occur unless the subject has been previously through the con- 
ditioning experience involving this stimulus and the correspond* 


mg response. Thus, suppose that you are asked to think of ^rideck/ 
and you think just as hard as you can. Nothing happens. The 
reason nothing happens is that no conditioned reflex has ever been 
set up in your experience between the word ^rideck' and some un- 
conditioned response due to some other cause. If, however, you 
hear the word 'rideck* tomorrow, in all probability you will have 
a response similar to, only somewhat less distinct than the one 
you are having now. Tomorrow the sound of the word *rideck' 
will make you 'think' of this lesson. 

Suppose, likewise, that the word 'London' is sounded. If you 
have never been to London this stimulus will evoke in you re- 
sponses from a multitude of your past experiences with regard to 
the word. These responses will be those evoked originally by cer- 
tain motion pictures that you have seen, geography textbooks, 
newspaper pictures and articles, and probably certain books that 
you have read. What is more, the responses probably will be more 
or less vague and indistinct and certainly different from those 
that would be evoked had you ever been to London yourself. Like- 
wise the following black marks on paper, 'Franklin Delano 
Roosevelt,' will cause you to utter certain sounds, and will evoke 
within you responses reminiscent of certain pictures you have 
seen in the newspapers and the newsreels and a certain voice you 
have heard on the radio. The effect would be just the same to you, 
assuming that to be the limit of your experience, if the whole busi- 
ness were a hoax, and the pictures and the voice were of somebody 
else entirely, and merely put out for your illusion. 

This latter type of thing, as a matter of fact, is what was 
done during the first World War, when we were told in the maga- 
zines and the newspapers about the Germans cutting off the hands 
of Belgian children. All we saw were certain black marks on 
paper, and we saw and heard certain people talking. Then we 
went out and acted as if Belgian children had actually had their 
hands cut off; which was exactly what was intended that we 
should do. However, no one has ever seen, then or subsequently, 
any of the Belgian children who were supposed to have suffered 
this misfortune. In other words, it was a pack of deliberate lies, 
and we, the uninformed public, were the unsuspecting and helpless 
victims thereol 


Suppression of Responses. Another tMng that FayloT dis- 
covered in his experiments on dogs was that, not only conld re- 
sponses be produced by conditioned stimuli, but they could also 
be suppressed or inhibited. In one case the dog's foot was giveil 
an electric shock. This produced a defense reaction. When, how- 
ever, the shock was applied, together with giving the dog food 
for a number of times, the defense reaction was inhibited, and 
thereafter the electric shock caused a flow of saliva. 

It was found that temporary inhibitions to the conditioned 
responses were always set up when stimuli foreign to the experi- 
ment were allowed to act upon the dog. Thus an unusual noise or 
the sight of a cat would completely inhibit the conditioned re- 
sponses such as the flow of saliva. In general, strange stimuli al- 
ways produced strong inhibitions of the ordinary conditioned re* 
spouses, though they might or might not produce positive re- 
sponses of other sorts. 

In the case of human beings, striking examples of this type 
of temporary inhibition are to be found in such instances as stage 
fright (partial paralysis in the presence of an audience), micro- 
phone fright, the inability of one not accustomed to doing so to 
dictate to a stenographer, and the inability to move freely while 
at great heights. 

In the case of the dog, a particularly disturbing factor, if re- 
peated often enough, loses its power to inhibit. Likewise with 
human beings, all of the above forms of temporary inhibition 
diminish rapidly with frequent repetition. The way t-o overcome 
stage fright is to appear before an audience frequently. The dis- 
appearance of the inhibition of movement at great heights is evi- 
denced by the indifferent manner and freedom with which 
structural steel workers move about tn skyscraper frameworks. 

Another type of inhibition was produced in the dog by re- 
peatedly sounding the metronome without presenting any food. 
On successive repetitions the conditioned response gradually di- 
minished until it finally disappeared entirely. This is a fact that 
is well appreciated by farmers and ranchmen. The farmer sets up 
a conditioned reflex in his hogs by sounding a certain call at feed- 
ing time. By daily repetition of this, within a few weeks the hogs 
become so conditioned that the sound of this call alone will cause 


them to come in from distances as great as the sound can be heard. 
If, however, the hogs are called repeatedly without being fed, the 
conditioned response will soon become inhibited and disappear, 
and the hogs will no longer respond to the call. A human example 
of this same type of inhibition is contained in the familiar story 
of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, 

Likewise, a farm boy when brought to the city for the first 
time, is confused by literally thousands of simultaneous stimuli 
which are impinging upon him. He allows little to go unnoticed. 
He sees the flashing of the electric signboards, the automobiles, 
the people, the street cars, and the elevated trains, all simultane- 
ously, and so strong and uninhibited are his responses to these 
various stimuli that his motions are likely to be irregular in con- 
sequence. It is only after weeks of city experiences that he can 
walk along a busy street and pay no particular attention to any- 
thing. In other words, it takes some weeks to inhibit his responses 
to irrelevant stimuli such as electric signboards. 

Involuntary Process. To summarize, Pavlov, by working 
experimentally with dogs, was able to demonstrate that there are 
certain inborn reflexes which are jlist as mechanical in their per- 
formance as is the relation between the pushing of the horn button 
and the sounding of the horn in an automobile. In addition to 
this, he demonstrated that there is some nervous mechanism in 
the dog, whereby, through a process of repetition or conditioning, 
formerly irrelevant stimuli can be made to set off any of these 
inborn reflexes. He also found that it is possible to remove, by 
operation, the upper part of the dog's brain, the cerebral cortex, 
without killing the dog or impairing the inborn reflexes. After 
this operation the dog could still walk, and if food were put 
into his mouth he would eat it, but the sight or the smell of food 
would have no effect upon him whatever. Consequently, after 
this operation, if not cared for, the dog would soon die, because 
he was completely unable to take care of himself. The reason 
that the sight and smell of food no longer affected him was that 
the nervous connection for the conditioned reflex between the 
sight and smell of food and eating was situated, at least in part, 
in the cerebral cortex which had been removed. 


Thus a dog is a mecliaiiism with certain inborn responses and 
an ability to set up, depending purely upon bis individual experi- 
ences, an almost infinite variety of responses to new stimuli. TMs 
process is automatic and mecbanicaL The dog has no power what- 
ever, when being subjected to a given experience, to refrain from 
having the conditioned reflex established which occurs as a con- 
sequence of that experience. 

We have dwelled at length upon Pavlov's experiment on dogs, 
merely because it is simpler to follow Pavlov in his classical ex- 
periments without danger of losing our objective point of view. 
We have digressed from time to time to point out equivalent cases 
in the behavior of human beings. Other workers both here and 
abroad have found that everything which Pavlov found to be true 
in the dog is true also in human beings. All habit formation, all 
language, all ^thinking' is nothing more or less than the human 
being's response to miscellaneous stimuli, internal and external, 
in accordance with his existing conditioned reflexes. The human 
being differs from the dog principally in this respect — ^that he can 
acquire a conditioned reflex after fewer repetitions than the dog, 
and that he can sustain a higher number of orders of conditioned 
reflexes than the dog. 

Control of Behavior. Practically all social control is effected 
through the mechanism of the conditioned reflex. The driver of 
an automobile, for instance, sees a red light ahead and immedi- 
ately throws in the clutch and the brake, and stops. This behavior 
is no whit different from that of a dog which hears a metronome 
and secretes saliva. 

Of no less importance in social control are the conditioned 
inhibitions. If they are taken young enough, human beings can be 
conditioned not to do almost any thing, under the sun. They can 
be conditioned not to use certain language, not to eat certain 
foods on certain days, not to work on certain days, not to mate 
in the absence of certain ceremonial words spoken over them, not 
to break into a grocery store for food even though they may not 
have eaten for days. Of course, the human being rationalizes all 
this by saying that it is %rong,' or that his ^conscience' would 


bother him, but the interesting thing about ^vrong doing' and 
^guilty consciences' is that they are involved only in those cases 
where one's past training has rigorously inhibited him from per- 
forming the actions in question. 

It is interesting to observe a man with a ^conscience/ Sup- 
pose that he is put into circumstances where he is forced to do the 
things which he has been taught not to do. Suppose, further, that 
these forbidden actions are themselves pleasurable, that is to say, 
of themselves they set off no reactive or defense reflexes. The 
first few times the person is obliged to do the forbidden thing he 
does so with great hesitancy, and shows considerable signs of un- 
easiness. If, in that stage, he discusses the matter, he is likely 
to protest that *it just isn't right.' If the action is repeated a 
number of times, however, and no ill consequences occur, the signs 
of uneasiness begin to disappear, and finally the action is taken 
with no hesitancy whatsoever. If, at this stage, the person com- 
ments upon his action, he is likely to remark upon how silly he 
must have been formerly to have been so diffident with regard to 
so harmless a matter. 

If one observes a dog he will ^h^l an exactly equivalent mode 
of behavior. Suppose the dog is a farm dog which has been taught 
since he was a puppy that he may stay on the porch, but must 
never come into the house. Suppose further, that on a cold winter 
day someone takes compassion on the dog, and decides to invite 
him in to warm before a big log fire in the fire place. The door 
is opened and the dog is invited in, but he does not come; he takes 
a step or two in the doorway, looks uneasy as if he expects some- 
one to hit him with a broom, and backs out. Finally he is taken 
by the collar and persuaded somewhat more forcibly to come in 
by the fire. While the fire is a delightful contrast to the cold out 
of doors, the dog still sits uneasily and appears ready to run at 
the slightest false gesturje. After warming a while the dog is 
sent back to the porch. The second time he is asked in he comes 
but still with considerable hesitancy. After that he is likely to 
hang around the door in anticipation of a third invitation. Soon 
he sneaks in without being invited, and thereafter it becomes 
almost impossible to keep him away from the fire on a cold day* 


These two cases, the man with a 'conscience' and the dog 
which has been taught to stay ont of the house, are identical in 
all essential particulars. Both are conditioned inhibitions, and 
only signify that the animal in question (man or dog) has been 
subjected to an inhibiting influence in his earlier training. 

One sees the same type of thing among farm animals. Most 
farm fences are of the nature of the red light in traffic, in that 
the farm animals, but for an inhibition to the contrary, would be 
physically able to jump them or tear them down if they tried. 
Wild horses, cattle or hogs, for instance, will jump over or tear 
down fences which hold the more domesticated members of the 
same species quite effectively. What is the reason for this? Can 
it be that the domesticated individuals are not physically as strong 
as their wild relatives? This is usually answered to the contrary 
among farm animals by the familiar barnyard rebel — horse, cow, 
or hog — which discovers how to jump or climb over fences and how 
to open gates and barn doors. The author knows of one hog which, 
when it was young, was given a slight encouragement in learning 
how to climb into a grain crib. This early experience seems to 
have removed the pig's inhibitions concerning fences and barns, 
for thereafter with no further encouragement or training this pig 
learned how to open barn doors and how to climb over every field 
fence on the farm. Finally when he had grown and was placed 
in the pen with the fattening hogs, he climbed right out again. 
This was repeated until a pen was finally built of bridge timbers 
nearly five feet high and tapered inward, so that it became physi- 
cally impossible for him to climb out. The interesting thing about 
this is that every other hog on the farm could have done the same 
thing but for its carefully cultivated inhibitions to the contrary. 
In this connection it is extremely instructive to observe a mis- 
cellaneous cross section of the human beings in any community. 
A certain small number of individuals always enjoys a greater 
freedom of action than the great majority of their fellows. These 
few are forever doing a great variety of things that the others 
dare not do* This difference is largely a difference in inhibitions. 
To carry the contrast to an extreme, consider a person raised en- 
tirely on a farm to be placed for the first time in a large cii^. 


While this person in general will not be without a quiet self-con- 
fidence, he will be extremely shj and loath to ask questions of 
strangers about means of gettiiig about. If placed in social circles 
of unfamiliar dress and customs, his actions will be almost com- 
pletely inhibited. By way of contrast the city-bred person, when 
placed in rural surroundings, is likely to be quite at ease with 
people, but almost helpless in case he is completely alone and there 
is no one to ask what to do. 

A question frequently arises regarding the extremes toward 
which human beings can be driven in their conditioned actions. 
No better test in answer to this question is to be found than that 
provided by military service. In this case millions of adult men 
can be regimented and put through a conditioning process con- 
sisting of the familiar ^squads right, squads left' of the military 
drill, practice in handling firearms, and conditioning in assuming 
the proper attitude of deference toward the insignia of higher rank 
than those on the uniform of the particular soldier in question. 
Let it be emphasized that the attitude of deference and obedience 
on the part of a solider to a superior officer is a case of pure 
conditioning with regard to the uniform the officer wears and not 
with regard to the man himself. Place a man in the uniform of 
a buck private and he will evoke the response on the part of his 
fellows which they have been conditioned to give in the presence 
of the uniform of a buck private* Place the same man in the uni- 
form of a general, and he will be accorded all the respect and def- 
erence to which a general is accustomed. 

So strong are these conditioned responses on the part of the 
soldier to such stimuli as spoken commands, bugle calls, sleeve 
stripes, flags, etc., that when these stimuli are manipulated, the 
soldiers can be made to face even machine-gun fire and shrapnel. 

Glandular Types. So far we have been talking about the 
reaction of a given organism to its external environment, and we 
have found that^ there is a great similarity in response, not only 
of human beings among themselves, but of other animals as well, 
to external stimuli. It has long been recognized, however, that 
there is a very fundamental difference in patterns of beha'vior in 


response to similar external circumstances by various human be- 
ings of the same sex, and an even more marked difference of re- 
sponse between members of opposite sexes. Even Shakespeare 
recognized this difference as shown by the remark of Julius Caesar : 

'Let me have men about me that are fat, 
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o'nights : 
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look 
He thinks too much : such men are dangerous/ 

It is a matter of commonplace observation that fat men are 
likely to be jolly and good natured, whereas the lean and hungry 
type are more likely to be caustic, nervous, jittery, and, as 
Shakespeare expressed it, dangerous. It is only recently, how- 
ever, that physiological knowledge has advanced to the point 
where it is now known that being fat and jolly or lean and danger- 
ous is almost exclusively a matter of difference in internal secre- 
tions of certain of the endocrine glands of the body. If a certain 
combination of secretions from these various glands takes place a 
person becomes fat and jolly; if a certain other combination of 
secretions occurs the person becomes lean and has a pattern of 
behavior of the type that is more commonly observed in lean 

These fundamental differences of behavior are even more 
marked between the opposite sexes. In the mammals and many 
other animals the male is commonly larger than the female, and 
is inclined to be belligerent and stubborn. The male hog, for 
instance, not only is larger than the female, but also has long 
protruding tusks on each side of his mouth. The male deer has 
antlers. The male chicken has a large comb, long tail and neck 
feathers, and fighting spurs. The female not only is different in 
appearance from the male in most species, but also has a distinctly 
different mode of behavior. Besides, this mode of behavior varies 
widely from time to time, as in the case of the setting hen or a hen 
with chicks as contrasted with the same hen at other times; or 
as in the case of a mammalian mother with young, as contrasted 
with the mode of behavior of the same female at other times. 


The Endocrine Glands. In the past we have been content 
to obscure these distinct modes of behavior behind such expres- 
sions as ^mother love^ and other terms equally meaningless. 
What is now being learned is that these distinct modes of behavior, 
as well as bodily differences of form, are dne very largely to a 
difference of internal secretions of the endoe7'ine glands in the 
various cases. 

Farmers have long known that castration of male farm 
animals produces a marked physiological change as well as a 
change in the mode of behavior. A bull, for instance, has a deep- 
throated bellow, is squarely built, is stubborn to the extreme, 
and is inclined to be dangerous. Castration changes this almost 
immediately. The castrated animal becomes docile and easily 
manageable; he also loses all interest in the opposite sex. He loses 
his square-built shape and tends to become taller and more rotund. 
Similar changes are noticed in the males of other species. It fol- 
lows, therefore, that some very potent secretion must be present 
in the uncastrated male which is no longer present after castra- 
tion. This secretion has been called the male hormone. 

There is a similar type of thing with regard to the female 
ovaries. Just as in the case of the male, where castration pro- 
duces a metamorphosis to a form which is intermediate between 
that of the distinctly male and the distinctly female character- 
istics, so the removal of the ovaries of the female causes the disap- 
pearance of the distinctly female characteristics. If, for instance, 
the ovaries are removed from a chicken hen, she develops longer 
tail and neck feathers and other external features intermediate to 
those of a hen and a rooster and resembling those of a capon. 

There is a case on record where a prize laying-hen, on which 
accurate records had been kept, finally quit laying and began to 
develop a large comb, long tail and neck feathers, and fighting 
spurs like a rooster. Not only did the hen begin to look like a 
rooster, but she also began to act like a rooster. She developed 
the male tendency to fight, and also developed the male sexual 
behavior. The result was that this former prize laying-hen actually 
began to produce fertilization. Thus we have a case of a single 
chicken which during the course of its lifetime was successively 
both the mother and the father of offspring. 


Principally within the last decade or two, various ones of 
these internal secretions have been isolated chemically and, in some 
cases, produced synthetically. It is found simply that very minute 
amounts of highly potent chemical substances, such as adrenaline^ 
which is produced by the adrenal medtiUa^ thyroxin by the thyroid 
glandf pituitary extract by one of the pituitary glands^ female 
hormone by the ovaries^ male hormone by the testes^ and various 
other internal secretions by the other endocrine glands, are in- 
jected into the blood stream, and that to a very great extent the 
state of health, shape of the body, and fundamental modes of be- 
havior are thereby profoundly affected. If these substances are 
injected into the body from the outside they produce the same 
effect that would be produced were they secreted by the body itself. 

We have already mentioned the metamorphosis in the physio- 
logical processes, body shape, and modes of behavior of animals 
which have been artificially deprived of certain of these secretions, 
the male or the female hormones* Both of these hormones are 
now being obtained in concentrated form, and experimental inves- 
tigation of their effects upon animals is proceeding apace. 

Some years back experiments, which have since become classi- 
cal, were performed upon chickens. From a normal chicken hen, 
for instance, the ovaries were removed. This deprived the hen of 
the female hormone, and she developed the capon-like features 
already described. Then she was injected daily with a concen- 
trated solution of malfe hormone, obtained in this case from bull 
testes. Under this treatment, the comb, neck wattles, neck and 
tail feathers began to grow, and within a few weeks the former 
hen became metamorphosed in all outward appearance into a 
rooster — a slightly squatty rooster to be sure, but a rooster, never- 
theless. ISFow, when the injection of male hormone Avas discon- 
tinued these features gradually subsided, and the squatty rooster 
became a capon again. 

Similar experiments have been performed with guinea pigs. 
A normal young male guinea pig was castrated and allowed time 
enough to reach a stage of sexually neutral equilibrium in the ab- 
sence of the male hormone. Ovaries were then transplanted into 
his body, which began the secretion of female hormone. Under 
this influence the guinea pig developed enlarged mammary glands 


and a general body contour resembling that of a female guinea 
pig. Finally, after this metamorphosis had taken place, the guinea 
pig was given injections of an extract obtained from the anterior 
pituitary gland. It might be remarked that it is the secretion 
from the anterior pituitary gland which sets off the milk-producing 
function of the mammary glands. After the injection of the pitu- 
itary extract lactation was produced, and this formerly male 
guinea pig actually nursed a litter of young when they were given 
to him. The experiment ended there. It is entirely likely that 
there are still other hormones, possibly those from the posterior 
pituitary, which, had the guinea pig been injected Avith them 
also, would have produced in him a full-fledged ease of ^mother 

While the foregoing experiments have been principally with 
regard to animal species other than the human, this is largely 
because these other animals are more amenable to experimenta- 
tion than are human beings. Clinical data, however, indicate that 
essentially the same phenomena that have been observed with 
regard to dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and farm animals generally, are 
equally true for human beings. Over-secretion or under-secretion 
of any of these endocrine glands in the case of the human being 
produce pathological states that affect the whole body and mode 
of behavior in varying degrees. Diseased ovaries, for instance, 
causing insufficient secretion of female hormone, frequently cause 
the development of a coarse, masculine voice and other masculine 
characteristics including the growth of beard. These pathological 
conditions have been, in some cases, successfully treated by an 
operation involving the removal of the tumor or other disturbing 
factor, or else by continuous injections of the hormone in which 
the patient was otherwise deficient. 

Results on Behavior. It is very important that one dis- 
tinguish the difference between modes of behavior resulting from 
external conditioning and those occurring as a result of glandular 
and similar differences which are fi^equently inherited. These 
differences are excellently shown in the case of farm animals. 
Different varieties of farm animals of the same species are fre- 


quentlj quite different in their fundamental modes of behayior, 
even thongli their external conditioning is practically identical. 

Hogs afford an excellent illustration. A razorback pig can 
be raised along with a litter of Poland-China pigs of the same age. 
The whole litter can be subjected to practically the same sort 
of conditioning, but still when they are grown, the razorback will 
be lean and wild, and will fight furiously at very slight provoca- 
tion to protect its young. The Poland-China pigs, if well fed, will 
incline to fatness, and will be tame, stolid, and anexcitable. Even 
if cross-bred with Poland- Chinas, the wild and excitable char- 
acteristics of the razorback will persist for several generations. 

A similar thing is true of cattle. In the pioneer days the range 
cattle and the razorback hogs, as well as the mustang pony, were 
breeds which evolved from ordinary domestic stock imported from 
Europe. Under wild environmental conditions this formerly do- 
mestic stock underwent a rapid evolution, with the development of 
those characteristics best suited to survival under such conditions. 
Among the outstanding characteristics thus accentuated were 
wildness, tendency to fight for young, and ability to endure on 
little feed. It is precisely these characteristics which differentiate 
this stock from its domestic counterpart which is biologically 
inferior. The old range cow, like the razorback hog, was not only 
wild, she was also a fighter. If a range cow with a calf were cor- 
ralled, any person molesting the calf would do so at his own risk, 
and there was a high probability that he would be put up a tree 
or over the fence. The tendency of the range cattle to stampede 
when collected in herds is now famous in song and story. 

No amount of domestication of the range cattle ever more 
than slightly altered those inherent modes of behavior. During 
the transition period while the range cattle were being replaced 
with white-faced Herefords, it was not uncommon for a range calf 
to be raised among Herefords. This more genteel (if one prefers) 
environment had little effect on the fundamental tendencies of 
the range stock. The range calf would grow up lean, wild, and 
with a propensity for fighting. 

A similar thing has been observed in turkeys. The present 
domestic breed of turkeys has been evolved since the settlement of 
America by Europeans, from the native wild stock indigenous to 


this Continent. The evolutionary process here is in the opposite 
direction from that of the razorback hog and the range cow. In 
the case of turkeys, a part of the original wild stock has been 
gradually domesticated, leaving another part of the original wild 
stock as a biological control for comparison. 

There have been cases where the eggs of wild turkeys have 
been found and hatched by a domestic turkey along with a num- 
ber of eggs laid by domestic turkeys. Here, again, is a case where 
the young wild and domestic turkeys are brought up under identi- 
cal environmental conditions from the date of hatching. As this 
flock of young turkeys grew up the wild members were easily 
detected by the difference between their mode of behavior and 
that of domestic turkeys. At any slight barnyard commotion, such 
as the barking of dogs, for instance, the domestic turkeys would 
fly to the top of nearby fences, while the wild turkeys would fly 
to the top of the tallest pecan trees in the vicinity. 

What we are getting at here is that, granted all the similarity 
in the basic physiological structure of different individuals of the 
same species, there are also inherent individual differences which 
are probably in part glandular, and which no amount of condition- 
ing or training can iron out. Certain individuals are excitable. 
They flare into a i^age on short notice and from slight provocation, 
and cool down equally quickly. Others are long-suffering and are 
slow to anger, but having become angry may require days or weeks 
to subside to normal. 

The basal metabolisms of some varieties of the human species 
have, through some evolutionary process, become peculiarly 
adapted to the tropics. Others have in like manner become adjusted 
to temperate, and still others to Arctic climates. All this has 
nothing to do one way or the other with the superiority or inferior- 
ity of one variety or race of Jiuman beings with respect to another. 
It is merely an observation that human beings differ, both indi- 
vidually and racially, and that such differences are fundamental. 

Peck-Rights. Much light in recent years has been thrown 
on the problem of individual differences by observations made on 
various sorts of animals. It is a common observation, for instance, 


around any barnyard that certain individnals for no apparent 
reason assume priority and take precedence over other members 
of the same species. In a dairy herd, for example, coming from 
the pasture to the barnyard, a certain cow always goes through 
the gate first, and the others follow in their proper order. Or, 
between two cows, it is observed that one will hook the other with- 
out the second one fighting back. If a strange cow is introduced 
into the herd there may be a bit of fighting until she establishes her 
proper rank, but after that rank is once established it remains 

Within recent years a German biologist has made extensive 
studies of similar relations among chickens. He found that in 
a given flock of chickens there existed a fixed system of what he 
called ^peck-rights' — which chicken pecked which. He found, for 
instance, that between A and B, say, A would peek B, but B would 
not peck A, Hence, A was said to have a 'peck-right' over B. This 
man studied the peck-rights between every pair of chickens in a 
given group, and he found the system, though complicated, to be 
quite rigid. Sometimes the peek-right system would form a closed 
chain. That is, A would peck B^ B would peck C^ C would peck D^ 
and D would peck A, 

According to press reports a series of similar experiments has 
recently been made at the University of Wisconsin, using apes. 
According to this report, pairs of strange apes of like sexes were 
placed in a cage together and allowed to remain there until they 
established a state of mutual tolerance. It was found in each case 
that there was no such thing as equality between the two members 
of the pair. There might be quarrelling in the earlier stages, but 
once equilibrium was established, one of them always assumed 
priority over the other thereafter; one was definitely No. 1, and 
the other was No. 2. No. 2 in one pair might be No. 1 in another 
pair, but in any given pair there was nothing that corresponded 
to the concept of equality. 

One sees this same type of thing among any group of 
children on a playground, or among any group of workmen of 
the same rank on a job. Certain individuals dominate, and the 
others take orders. These dominant ones need not be, and fre- 


quently are not, large in stature, but they dominate just as 
effectively as if they were. 

In the Declaration of Independence there occurs the familiar 
line: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are 
created equal » . .^ This concept is philosophic in origin and, as 
we have seen, has no basis in biologic fact. Upon biologic fact, 
theories of democracy go to pieces. 

Functional Priority. The greatest stability in a social organi- 
zation would be obtained where the individuals were placed as 
nearly as possible with respect to other individuals in accordance 
with 'peck-rights,' or the priority relationship which they would 
assume naturally. Conversely, the most unstable form of social 
organization would be one in which these 'peck-rights' were most 
flagrantly violated. Examples of this latter type of instability are 
to be found in the case of the army during the late World War, 
and in many business organizations at the present time. 

In the ease of the army, several million men were hastily put 
under arms, so that there was little opportunity in advance, had 
any provision to do so been made, to choose the officers on the 
basis of spontaneous natural priority. Instead, following the well 
known West Point tradition of catering to the 'right people/ and 
to what is 'socially correct,' the officers were picked largely on 
the basis of the social prestige of their families, their college train- 
ing, and other superficial considerations, but with little or no 
regard for their ability to command the respect of the men under 
them. Their positions consequently were maintained largely by 
military police power, and many an officer fared badly once the 
protection of that police power was relinquished. This accounts 
for the reputed high fatality of officers at the front from bullets 
in the back, and for the scores of others who took a proper beating 
upon the discharge of the men serving under them. 

The same thing is true of business organizations. The weapon 
of control in this case is the police power of the state and the club 
of economic insecurity which is held suspended over the heads of 
the workmen. There are few business organizations today whose 
administrative staffs, selected largely upon the basis of favoritism 


to relatives and upon pecuniary considerations, are not to a great 
extent inverted with regard to the question of natural priority. 
In such organizations this state of inversion is maintained under 
the protection of the police power of the state, and by means of 
the weapon of economic insecurity which the relatively incompet- 
ent staiis are enabled to wield over the heads of the workmen. Were 
these artificial controls removed, it need hardly be added, these 
functional incompetents would find their existences extremely 
unsafe until they gravitated back to the level where they properly 

A very great amount of confusion exists as a result of mis- 
taking social position for ability. For example, there are few of 
the Tark Avenue' crowd, most of whom have inherited money 
but have never done anything in their lives in evidence of superior 
intelligence or functional capacity, Avho do not adopt an attitude 
of extreme condescension towards such people as farmers, mem- 
bers of the skilled trades, and others whose daily functions 
are the most vital (and require among the highest degrees of 
intelligence) of any that exist at the present time. Likewise, the 
professors of a university view with considerable condescension 
the activities of the skilled mechanics in the university machine 
shops, little realizing that it takes a considerably higher order of 
intelligence, both as regards training and in everyday perform- 
ance, to be a master mechanic than it does to become and remain 
the learned' Professor So-and-So. 

No better example of this particular type of intellectual insol- 
ence need be sought than that afforded by Professor Ortega y 
Gasset in his book. Revolt of the Masses. In this book the writer 
is decrying the rise of the masses and uses the illustration of an 
African savage who has learned to drive an automobile and to use 
aspirin. What the professor does not appear to realize is the irony 
of his own situation, namely, that in the world of action his own 
position is practically identical to that of the savage he is describ- 
ing — one of complete functional incompetence. Professor Ortega 
y Gasset is a Jesuit Professor of Philosophy at the University of 
Madrid, and, as such, so far as is publicly known, has never done 
anything of more importance in his entire life than to read books, 
talk, and write more books. 


Social Customs. These facts lead us to the recognition of 
two things: first, that human beings, through the mechanism of 
conditioned reflexes, all react to their enyironment with a distinct 
cause and effect relationship ; and second, that while human beings 
all react to their environment in this manner, there is considerable 
individual variation in the specific reactions of various individuals. 
In spite of individual differences, however, the degree of uniform- 
ity of reactions in a large cross section of people to similar environ- 
mental conditions is truly remarkable. 

This fact is well brought out in the social customs of primitive 
peoples* In all primitive peoples the biological necessities of food, 
clothing and shelter to whatever extent is necessary, and reproduc- 
tion, are always complied with, but the precise social customs and 
folkways such as marriage and other ceremonies, the ownership 
of property, etc., vary between wide limits. Every conceivable 
marriage relationship such as polygamy, monogamy, and poly- 
andry, together with all sorts of minor variations between these 
is the fixed and rigid custom of some tribal people somewhere. 
Similarly this holds true with customs pertaining to rights of 
property. These customs vary from almost complete communal 
holdings of all property by a tribe as a whole, to cultures with 
highly individualistic customs of property rights. 

The point is that there is no such thing as a ^correct^ or ^vigW 
system of social customs. Within each one of these tribes their 
own particular set of folkways is taken as the basis with respect 
to which the customs of all other tribes are judged — and almost 
invariably condemned. In any given tribe there is the usual 
latitude of range in individual differences, but in spite of these 
differences the early conditioning of the youth of the tribe is such 
that upon growing up all the members of the tribe of like sex 
present a remarkable uniformity of customs and behavior. In 
other words, it matters little what the particular set of customs 
or folkways happens to be, the conditioning of the youth of the 
tribe is in each case always such as to insure their carrying on in 
accordance with the best tribal traditions. 

The same type of things occurs in the educational process in 
general. So similar, for instance, are the colleges and universities 
of this country that there is remarkable uniformity in the products 


turned out. On the other hand, within a given tmiyersitj one sees 
excellent illnstrations of the uniform reactions of an ordinary 
cross section of students to different environments in the cases 
of different professors. It very commonly occurs in colleges that 
there is a Professor A^ who is completely uninteresting and suc- 
ceeds in inhibiting or putting to sleep almost all the students who 
come under his tutelage. Under Professor B, on the other hand, 
practically all of the students who come into his classes become 
intensely interested in the subject matter at hand. Were these 
two professors each to give his private opinion of the intelligence 
of college students, Professor A would likely say that all students 
are stupid and lasiy ; Professor B would say that, quite on the con- 
trary, he had found college students in general to be alert and 
intelligent. Both would be correct, for under Professor A even 
the most brilliant of students would appear stupid, and under 
Professor B even the dull-witted ones would show at least a faint 
sparkle of intelligence. 

One sees the same type of thing among workmen on various 
jobs. It is a simple matter to stand on the sidelines and criticize 
a gang of workmen for their lack of enthusiasm and apparent 
indolence, but if one places himself on the job as a member of the 
gang and under the same circumstances, it is observed that he 
soon acts in essentially the same manner as the others do. An 
excellent illustration of this came to the author's observation in 
the case of what was known as an 'extra gang' on the Union Pacific 
Eailroad. This gang consisted of about 80 men, and was under 
the direction of a tough Swede by the name of John Swanson. 
Under Bwanson's leadership this was an efficient and well organ- 
ized body of men with an excellent esprit de corps. After making a 
record in laying four complete railroad switches in one day, Swan- 
son would take a look around at the men and remark, *Well, boys, 
we didn't do much today, but we sui^e will give it hell tomorrow, 
won't weV 

Finally Swanson left the gang for a two-week vacation. Dur- 
ing his absence the acting boss was an old-time section foreman, 
who had not done anything in years more vigorous than to sit on 
the railroad embankment and watch the Mexicans dig weeds. The 
section foreman spent the two weeks sitting on a flat car smoking 


a pipe, and as long as the men made the slightest pretense at work 
he appeared to be quite contented. Within one week this highly 
efficient gang of workmen was almost completely demoralized. 
They were becoming disgruntled with the job, and were volubly 
wishing that John Swanson would hurry back. 

The significant thing here is that we are~ dealing with identi- 
cally the same men in both cases. An outside observer, watching 
this gang perform under the leadership of John Swanson, would 
have described it as a fine gang of workmen. Another observer, 
describing the gang under the direction of the section foreman, 
would have described it as being composed of a completely shift- 
less lot, and here, again, both would have been correct. An ordin- 
ary cross section of workmen react to competent leadership by 
becoming a competent crew, while the same ordinary cross section 
of individuals under incompetent leadership tend toward a state 
of complete demoralization. 

In other words^ when any large number of individual human 
beings under the same set of environmental circumstances tend to 
behave in a certain specific manner^ it is safe to say that any other 
similar cross section of human beings under the same circum- 
stances would respond in a like manner. 

This basic fact shows the futility of all moralistic approaches 
to the solution of social problems. Such an approach always con- 
sists of the pious hope that human beings can be instructed to do 
the 'right' thing, regardless of how contrary this happens to be 
to what their environmental controls dictate. 

It is the same moralistic approach that is back of the current 
stupidities of the liberals, the communists and others, whose chief 
form of activity consists of signing protest lists — protests against 
war, protests against fascism, protests against capitalism, etc. — or 
else in the equally futile hope that they are going to educate the 
voting public to cast their ballots in the proper manner, while all 
the controls which produce the opposite effect are allowed to re- 
main intact. 

What we are pointing out is simply this : regardless of what 
occupation a man may pursue, the chances are highly in favor of 
his being obliged to pursue that occupation in approximately the 
same manner as it is pursued by others. One may not like bankers, 


lawyers, policemen, or politicians, but if he happens to follow any 
one of these professions he will soon find out that if he does not 
indulge in the same objectionable practices common to that pro- 
fession, he will soon be seeking employment elsewhere. Thus, 
bankers, lawyers, policemen, and politicians, as well as the mem- 
bers of other professions, are merely ordinary human beings who 
are obliged to operate under a set of controls which are peculiar to 
the particular profession considered; any other human being 
under the same controls is likely to behave in a similar manner. 
This being the case, the only possible way of eliminating those 
types of behavior which are socially objectionable, and of replac- 
ing them with types of behavior which are socially unobjectionable 
is to alter the controls accordingly, Ko amount of social moraliz- 
ing ever has, or ever will, affect this to any appreciable extent. 

Social Change. This, of course, raises the question as to just 
how social change comes about. The answer is that social change 
comes about spontaneously. Human beings, when fed, housed, and 
clothed, in a manner which is not too uncomfortable, and when 
permitted normal social relationships among themselves, tend to 
crystalize their routine activities into non-varying social habits. 
These habits are buttressed by folklore and the sanction of 
religion. Any attempt made to change them will produce a re- 
actionary response. If, however, for any reason whatsoever, these 
habits become incompatible with the same biological necessities 
of food, clothing, etc., the social habits are always observed to be 
readjusted in a form which is compatible with the fulfillment of 
those necessities. 

It has already been pointed out in earlier lessons that present- 
day social complexes are evolving and undergoing change at a rate 
faster than at any previous period in history. That, moreover, this 
evolution is a unidirectional and nonreversible process. At no two 
succeeding times is our social mechanism the same. Since human 
beings themselves are only one component of this evolving me- 
chanism they find themselves inextricably bound up with its evolu- 
tion, and since stationary habits are possible only under stationary 
environmental conditions, it follows that with an environment 


wMch is in a continual state of finx, social habits have to change 

At the present time we find those of our social habits which 
we have termed the *rules of the game of the Price System^ be- 
coming increasingly at variance with the biologic necessity that 
150,000,000 people have to eat. Under these circumstances it fol- 
lows that social change will occur spontaneously until a new set of 
relatively stable habits is acquired which are compatible with 
an environment characterized by a high-energy social mechanism 
on the one hand, and, on the other hand, by the biological fact 
that 150,000,000 people are going to be fed, clothed and housed. 
'Social change,' Howard Scott has succinctly remarked, 'tends to 
occur at a rate directly as the approach of the front of the stomach 
to the spine/ 


It was remarked at the beginning of this lesson that most of 
the fundamental advances in human knowledge have been opposed 
because these advances have contradicted what men have thought 
they knew about themselves. Little by little, as scientific knowl- 
edge has advanced, human ignorance and superstition have re- 
treated, until now, for the first time, we are able to view fairly 
objectively the fundamental nature of this human animal which 
we may summarize as follows : 

(1) The human animal is composed of chemical atoms 
which are derived from the ordinary inorganic materials of 
the earth, and which ultimately return to the place from 
which they come. 

(2) The human being is an engine taking potential 
energy in the form of chemical combinations contained in 
food, and converting this potential energy into heat, work, 
and body tissue. The thermodynamic processes involved, 
while more complicated in detail, are in exact accordance 
with the laws of thermodynamics and are in no essential 
particular different from the corresponding processes in 
man-made engines. 


(3) The human animal responds to its external en- 
vironment through the mechanism of the conditioned reflex 
which is a purely automatic but tremendously complex, nerv- 
ous control mechanism. These conditioned reflexes are^ how- 
ever, subject to control and manipulation through the device 
of manipulating an individuaPs environment. An individuaFs 
present conditioning is always the resultant of all of his own 
past experiences. The more nearly the environment of a 
large number of people is kept identical, the more nearly are 
the human products identical. This is the reason for the great 
similarity among individuals of various groups, for example, 
college students, policemen, politicians, Rotarians, farmers, 
or soldiers. In other words, within the limits allowed by 
their physiological differences, all human beings respond 
alike to a like external environment. These conditioned re- 
flexes are sufliciently strong that, so long as the human be- 
ings are amply supplied with the basic biological necessities — 
food, necessary amounts of clothing and housing, and gre- 
garious and sexual outlets — they Avill perform in a routine 
manner without upsetting either their conditioned responses 
or their conditioned inhibitions. They will literally face 
bullets in preference to social disapprobation. 

(4) There are basic physiological differences among 
individuals which are partly inherent and partly acquired 
through differences in diet, secretions of the endocrine 
glands, etc. It is these basic physiological differences among 
various human beings that upset all philosophic theories of 
equality and hence any governmental theory of democracy. 
In any group of human beings having practically the same 
external environment certain individuals always tend to be 
dominant, and others with regard to these are submissive and 
constitute the followers. If there were only two men on an 
island, one of these men would be 'Eo. 1 and the other would 
be No. 2. If this spontaneous natural order of priority among 
men is inverted by an artificial means whereby the submis- 
sive type is made supeiuor to the dominant type, a socially 
unstable situation is created. 


(5) Human social habits and institutions tend to re- 
main stable or el?:e to undergo cliange extremely slowly, ex- 
cept in the case of a rapid change of the external environ- 
ment, especially when this latter affects the basic biological 
necessities. When human beings are fed, clothed, and housed 
in a manner compatible with good health, are not obliged to 
do an uncomfortable amount of work, and are permitted 
normal social intercourse with their fellows, social habits and 
customs tend to become crystalized about this particular 
mode of procedure. Let any change of environment develop 
in such a manner that the biological necessities can no longer 
be met by activities according to the old habits, and these 
latter will be rapidly abandoned. For instance, just now the 
social habits and customs of some 20,000,000 people, most 
of whom until recently have been self-supporting, and many 
of them well-to-do citizens, but who are now on relief, are 
undergoing rapid and profound change. Social stability, on 
the! other hand, is restored when a new set of social habits and 
customs are formed that so conform to the dictates of the new 
environment as to satisfy the basic biological necessities. 

R^erences : 

Conditioned Reflexes^ Havlov. 

Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage, Cannon. 

Sex and the Internal Secretions, AUen. 

Folkways, Snmiier. 

Lesson 21 


IN the preceding lessons we learned that the events oc- 
curring on the earth are events of matter and energy, 
and that they are limited by the fundamental properties 
of matter and energy. In addition to this we have noted 
some of the more important characteristics peculiar to 
organisms and, singling out one particular organic 
species, man, we have followed its rise to supremacy 
during the past several thousands of years* 

We have observed that this rise of the human species 
and the corresponding adjustinents, both up and down, 
of the other species or organisms, have been due almost 
entirely to the fact that the human species has progres- 
sively accumulated new and superior techniques by which 
a progressive larger share of the total available energy 
could be converted to its uses. 

We have seen that, notwithstanding the fact that 
this progression has been slowly under way since times 
prior to the records of written history, the greater part 
of this advance, in actual physical magnitude, has oc- 
curred since the year 1900, or within the lifetime of nearly 
one-half of our present population. 

It is due to the progress of these last few decades 
that, for the first time in human history, whole popula- 
tions in certain geographical areas have changed over 
from a primary dependence upon agriculture for a liveli- 
hood to a primary dependence upon a technological 
mechanism, constructed principally from metals obtained 
from the minerals of the earth, and operated in the main 
from the energy contained in fossil fuels preserved within 
the earth. 

Hence, this technological development has come to 
be localized in those geographical areas most abundantly 
supplied with the essential industrial minerals, such as 
the ores of iron, copper, tin, lead, zinc, etc., and the fossil 
fuels, coal and oil. We have observed further, that the 



Continent of ^ortli America ranks first among all tlie 
areas of the earth in its supply of these essential minerals, 
with Western Europe second. Consequently, this tech- 
nological deyelopment has reached its greatest heights in 
the areas bounding the l^orth Atlantic with the produc- 
tion or rate of conversion of extraneous energy per capita 
haying reached a far greater advancement in North 
America than in Europe. 

The Arrival of Technology. We have also reviewed some 
of the paradoxes and the problems that have arisen in [^Torth 
America due to the conflict between the physical realities of this 
technological mechanism and the social customs and folkways 
handed down from countless ages of low-energy agrarian civili- 

It is to the problem of the elimination of this conflict that 
we now turn our attention, but before proceeding further let us 
get it entirely clear as to Just what the conflict is. 

In the past we operated more or less as independent produc- 
tive units. The industry of the whole population was agriculture 
and small-scale, handicraft manufacturing. The interdepend- 
ence among separate productive units was slight, or they were so 
loosely coupled that the opening up or shutting down of one unit 
was of slight consequence to the others. This was because any 
given essential product was not produced by one or two large 
establishments, but hj innumerable small ones. The total output 
of that product was the statistical result of all the operations of 
all the separate, small establishments. Consequently, the effect 
of the opening or closing of any single establishment was negli- 
gibly small as compared with the total output of all establish- 
ments. The probability that a large fraction of all establishments 
of the same kind would open and close in unison was also negli-- 
gibly small. 

in the past, human labor ^ while not always the sole source of 
power, was so essentially a part of the productive process that, 
in general, an increase in the rate of production took place only 
when there was also an increase in the number of man-hours of 
human labor expended. During periods in which there was no 


teclmological improvement this relation between production and 
man-hours was one of strict proportionality. 

In the past there was indivickial ownership of small units, so 
that the exchange of goods on a barter or simple, hard-money 
basis resulted in a stable operation of the productive mechanism. 
Individual wealth could be, and was, acquired in recompense for 
diligence, thrift, and hard labor. 

Those were the days of the spade, the wooden plow, home- 
made clothing, the oxcart, and more recently, the horse and buggy. 

Today, all that has changed. 

As time progressed, the population grew and the production 
increased. Productive units which began as small handicraft 
units were enlarged ; new ones were established ; some of the old 
ones dropped out. The average rate of output per establishment 
became so great thai the total number of establishments of each 
given kind required for the total production began to decrease^ 
until today, for a large number of essential products, only a dozen 
or so establishments can produce at a rate equal to the consum- 
ing capacity of the entire population. In some instances, one 
single plant at full-load operation can produce at such a rate. 

While this trend has advanced further in some industries 
than in others, it is present in all industries, including even the 
most backward of them — agriculture. Since the cause for this 
development, namely, technological improvements, still exists in 
full force, there can be no doubt that this trend will be continued 
into the future. 

When, however, all products of a given kind come to be pro- 
duced, as is the case today, by only a small number of produc- 
tive establishments under the ownership and control of even a 
smaller number of corporate bodies, and when the financial restric- • 
tions that bear upon the one bear also upon the others, the prob- 
ability that all will increase or decrease production in unison 
with the amplitude of the oscillations approaching that from 
capacity output to complete shutdown, amounts almost to a cer- 

Since the amount consumed over a period of a few years is, 
in general, equal to or less than the amount produced in that time, 
these oscillations in the productive process, and the forced restric- 


tions upon production, can result only m a restriction and cur- 
tailment of consumption on the part of the public. When this 
curtailment becomes so severe as to amount to privation on the 
part of a large proportion of the population, the controls causing 
the restricted production will have long since passed their period 
of social usefulness and will be rapidly approaching the limits of 
social tolerance. 

In the present, as contrasted with the past, the great major- 
ity of the population is in a position of absolute dependence upon 
the uninterrupted operation of a technological mechanism. In 
the United States today there are approximately 30 million people 
who live directly upon the soil, whereas almost 100 million people 
live in towns and cities. These latter are strictly dependent for 
food, water^ clothing, shelter, heat, transportation, and communi- 
cation, upon the uninterrupted operation of the railways, the 
power plants, the telephone and telegraph systems, the mines, 
factories, farms, etc. Even the farmer of today would be in dire 
straits were his gasoline supply, his coal, his factory-built tools, 
his store-bought clothing, and even his canned foods not forth- 

In all preceding human history, until within the past two de- 
cades, an increase in production was accompanied by an increase 
in the man-hours of human labor; today, we have reached the 
stage where an increase of production is accompanied by a decrease 
in man-hours. 

This is due to the facts that the motive power of present in- 
dustrial equipment has become almost exclusively kilowatt-hours 
of extraneous energy, and that we have learned that in repetitive 
processes it is always possible to build a machine that will per- 
form the given function with greater speed and precision and at 
lower unit cost than it is physically possible for any human being 
to do. 

Every time new equipment is devised, or old equipment rede- 
signed, the newer operates, in general, faster and more automati- 
cally than its predecessor, and since, as yet, the accomplishments 
in this direction are small compared with the possibilities, it is 
certain that this trend will continue also into the future. 

In the remote past, the rates of increase of population and 


production were negligibly small ; in tbe recent past, the rates of 
growth of both population and production have been the greatest 
the world has oyer known ; in the present and the future the rates 
of growth of both population and industrial production will ap- 
proach zero as the levelling-off process continues. 

In the past, when man-hours of human labor formed an es- 
sential part of wealth production, it was possible to effect a so- 
cially tolerable distribution of the product by means of a monetary 
payment on the basis of the hours of labor expended in the pro- 
ductive procedure. 

At the present and in the future, since the hours of labor in the 
productive processes have already become unimportant, and shall 
become increasingly less important with time, any distrihutmi of 
an abundance of production^ based upon tJie man-hours of human 
participation can lead only to a failure of the distributive 
mechanism and ind/astrial stagnation. 

The Trends. Now it is this complex of circumstances that 
forms the basis of our problem and also of its solution. We have 
the North American Continent with its unequalled natural re- 
sources. We have on this Continent a population that is more 
nearly homogeneous than that of any other Continent. This popu- 
lation has already designed, built, and now operates the largest 
and most complex array of technological equipment the world has 
ever seen. Furthermore, this population has a higher percentage 
of technically trained personnel than any major population that 
has ever existed. It has the highest average consumption of 
extraneous energy per capita the world has ever known. Its re- 
sources exist in such abundance that there need be no insurmount- 
able restriction on the standard of living due to resource exhaus- 
tion, at least into the somewhat distant future. 

Now the analysis that we have made shows that while both 
production and population are levelling off to a maximum, the 
physical maximum of production will be set by the maximum 
physical capacity of the public to consume which, contrary to the 
credo of the economists, is definitely limited and finite. 

We have also seen that it is possible to approach that maxi- 
mum only by a continuation of the processes that now so mark- 


edly differentiate our present from the past, that is, by an in- 
creased substitution of kilowatt-hours for man-hours; by a con- 
tinuous technological improvement of our equipment toward 
greater efficiency and automaticity ; by a continued integration 
of our productive equipment from smaller into larger units and 
under unit control and operation; and by an improvement of the 
operating load-factor, approaching the ultimate limit of 100 per- 

These are the trends and there is no possible way of revers- 
ing them. Since each has its own limits — essentially those stated 
above — it follows that in time we shall approach those limits. But 
as and when we do approach them, the very requirements of the 
operation of our industrial equipment will dictate a directional 
control and a social organization designed especially to meet these 
particular needs. 

From such a state of operation the unavoidable by-products 
will be the smallest amount of human labor per capita, the highest 
physical standard of living, the highest standard of public health 
and social security any of the world's populations has ever 

The Solution. The above is our social progression and the 
goal is almost reached. Whether we as individuals may prefer 
that goal or some other is irrelevant, since we are dealing \vith a 
progression that is beyond our individual or collective abilities 
to arrest. Since this progression unavoidably conflicts with our 
horse-and-buggy ideologies and folkways, it is not to be found 
surprising that restrictive and impeding measures are attempted; 
but as to the final outcome one has only to recall the similar re- 
strictive measures that were attempted with respect to the intro- 
duction of the use of the bathtub and of automobiles as well as 
with respect to most of the other major innovations of the past. 
Invariably the old ideologies of the past go, and new ones, con- 
forming more nearly to the new physical factors, take their places. 

The conflict that we are now in the midst of is precisely of 
this sort — a conflict between physical reality and the antiquated 
ideology of a bygone age. In the case of the automobile, the ulti- 
mate solution came by abandoning the attempts at suppression 


and by devising control measures to fit the physical requirements 
of the thing being installed. Since the horse and buggy was physi- 
cally different from the automobile, it is obvious that traffic meas- 
ures and road design adequate for the former would be inadequate 
for the latter and no solution was possible which was not formu- 
lated in recognition of this fact. 

Bo today f with the operation of our technological mechanism^ 
the control measures that must and will he adopted are those that 
most nearly conform to the technological operating requirements 
of that mechanism. 

These requirements can be known only by those who are 
intimately familiar with the technical details of that mechanism — 
our technically trained personnel ; though prior to there being a 
general recognition of this fact, we may expect to witness per- 
formances on the part of our educators, economists, sociologists, 
lawyers, politicians, and business men that will parallel the per- 
formances of all the witch doctors of preceding ages. 

It was a recognition of the fact that we are confronted with 
a technological problem which requires a technological solution, 
that prompted the scientists and technologists who later organized 
Technocracy Inc. to begin the study of the problem and its solu- 
tion as early as the year 1919. 

Out of that study a technological design expressly for the pur- 
pose of meeting this technological problem has been produced. An 
outline of some of its principal features is presented in what 

Personnel. First, required resources must be available; 
second, the industrial equipment must exist; and, third, the popu- 
lation must be so trained and organized as to maintain the con- 
tinuance of the operation within the limits specified. 

This brings us to the question of the design of the social or- 
ganization. To begin with, let us recall that the population falls 
into three social classes as regards their ability to do service. The 
first is composed of those who, because of their youthf ulness, have 
not yet begun their service. This includes the period from infancy 
up through all stages of formal education. After this period comes 
the second, during which the individual performs a social service 


at some function or other. Finally, the last period is that of re- 
tirement, which extends from the end of the period of service 
nntil the death of the individual. These three periods embrace the 
activities of all normal individuals. There is always another 
smaller group which, because of ill-health, or some other form of 
incapacitation, is not performing any useful social service at a 
time when it normally would be. 

The social organization, therefore, must embrace all those of 
both sexes who are not exempt from the performance of some use- 
ful function because of belonging to one of the other groups. Let 
it be emphasized that these groups of a population are not some- 
thing new, but are groups that exist in any society. The chief 
difference is that in this case we have deliberately left out certain 
groups which ordinarily exist, namely, those who perform no use- 
ful social service though able to do so, and those whose services 
are definitely socially objectionable. It is the group which is giv- 
ing service at some socially useful function which constitutes the 
personnel of our operating organization. 

What must this organization do? 

It must operate the entire physical equipment of the North 
American Continent. It must perform all service functions, such 
as public health service, education, riecreation, etc., for the popu- 
lation of this entire area. In other words, it has to man every job 
that exists. 

What other properties must this organization have? 

It must see to it that the right man is in the right place. This 
depends both upon the technical qualification of the individual 
as compared with the corresponding requirements of the job, and 
also upon the biological factors of the human animal discussed 
previously. It must see to it that the man who is in the position 
to give orders to other men must be the type who, in an uncon- 
trolled situation, would spontaneously assume that position 
among Ms fellows. There must be as far as possible no inversion 
of the natural 'peck-rights^ among the men. 

It must provide ample leeway for the expression of individual 
initiative on the part of those gifted with such modes of behavior, 
so long as such expression of individual initiative does not occur 
in modes of action which are themselves socially objectionable. 


It must be dynamic rather than static. This is to say, the opera- 
tions themselyes must be allowed to undergo a normal progres- 
sive evolution, including an evolution in the industrial equipment, 
and the organization structure must likewise evolve to whatever 
extent becomes necessary. 

The general form of the organization is dictated by the func- 
tions which must be performed. Thus, there is a direct functional 
relationship between the conductor and the engineer on a railway 
train, whereas there is no functional relationship whatever be- 
tween the members-at-large of a political or religious organiza- 
tion. The major divisions of this organization, therefore, would 
be automatically determined by the major divisions of the func- 
tions that must be performed. The general function of communi- 
cations, for instance — mail, telegraph, telephone, and radio — 
automatically constitutes a functional unit. 

Operating Example. Lest the above specifications of a func- 
tional organization tend to frighten one, let us look about at some of 
the functional organizations which exist already. One of the larg- 
est single functional organizations existing at the present time is 
that of the Bell Telephone system. What we mean particularly 
here is that branch of the Bell system personnel that designs, con- 
structs, installs, maintains, and operates the physical equipment of 
the system. The financial superstructure — the stock and bond hold- 
ers, the board of directors, the president of the company, and other 
similar officials whose duties are chiefly financial, are distinctly 
not a part of this functional organization, and technically their 
services could readily be dispensed with. This functional organi- 
zation comprises upwards of 300,000 people. It is of interest to 
review what its performance is and something of its internal 
structure, since relationships which obtain in organizations of this 
immensity will undoubtedly likewise obtain in the greater organi- 
zation whose design we are anticipating. 

What are the characteristics of this telephone organization? 

(1) It maintains in continuous operation what is prob- 
ablj^ the most complex, interconnected array of physical 
apparatus in existence. 


(2) It is dynamic in that it is continually changing the 
apparatus with which it has to deal, and remoulding the or- 
ganization accordingly. Here we have a single organization 
which came into existence as a mere handful of men in the 
1880's. Starting initially with no equipment, it has designed, 
built, and installed equipment, and replaced this with still 
newer equipment, until now it spans as a single network most 
of the !North American Continent, and maintains inter-con- 
necting long-distance service to almost all parts of the world. 
All this has been done with rarely an interruption" of 24 hour- 
per-day service to the individual subscriber.. The organiza- 
tion itself has grown in the meantime from zero to 300,000 

(3) That somehow or other the right man must have 
been placed in the right job is sufficiently attested by the 
fact that the system works. The fact that an individual on 
any one telephone in a given city can call any other telephone 
in that city at any hour of the day or night, and in all kinds 
of weather, with only a few seconds of delay, or that a long- 
distance call can be completed in a similar manner com- 
pletely across the Continent in a mere matter of a minute or 
two, is ample evidence that the individuals in whatever 
capacity in the functional operation of the telephone system 
must be competent to handle their jobs. 

Thus we see that this functional organization, comprising 
300,000 people, satisfies a number of the basic requirements of the 
organization whose design we contemplate. It is worthwhile, 
therefore, to examine somewhat the internal structure of this or- 

What is the method whereby the right man is found for the 
right place? 

What is the basis on which it is decided that a telephone cir- 
cuit will be according to one wiring diagram and not according 
to another? 

The fitting of the man to the job is not done by election or by 
any of the familiar democratic or political procedures. The man 
gets Ms job by appointment, and he is promoted or demoted also 


by appointment. Tlie people making tlie appointment are invari- 
ably those wbo are familiar botb witb tbe teclinical requirements 
of the job and with the technical qualifications of the man* An 
error of appointment invariably shows up in the inability of the 
appointee to hold the job, but such errors can promptly be cor- 
rected by demotion or transfer until the man finds a job which 
he can perform. This appointive system pyramids on up through 
the ranks of all functional sub-divisions of the system, and even 
the chief engineers and the operating vice-presidents attain and 
hold their positions likewise by appointment. It is here that the 
functional organisiation comes to the apex of its pyramid and ends, 
and where the financial superstructure begins. At this point also 
the criteria of performance suddenly change. In the functional 
sequence the criterion of performance is how well the telephone 
system works. In the financial superstructure the criterion of per- 
formance is the amount of dividends paid to the stockholders. 
Even the personnel of this latter are not the free agents they are 
commonly presumed to be, because if the dividend rate is not main- 
tained there is a high probability that even their jobs will be 
vacated, and by appointment. 

The other question that remains to be considered is that of 
the method of arriving at technical decisions regarding matters 
pertaining to the physical equipment. If the telephone service is 
to be maintained there is an infinitely wider variety of things 
which cannot be done than there are of things which can be done. 
Electrical circuits are no respecters of persons, and if a circuit is 
dictated which is contrary to Ohm's Law, or any of a dozen other 
fixed electrical relationships, it will not work even if the chief 
engineer himself requests it. It might with some justice be said 
that the greater part of one's technical training in such positions 
consists in knowing what not to do, or at least what not to try. 
As long as telephone service is the final criterion, decisions as to 
which circuits shall be given preference are made, not by chief 
engineers, hut hy results of ecoperiment. That circuit will be used 
which upon experiment gives the best results. A large part of 
technical knowledge consists in knowing on the basis of experi- 
ments already performed which of two things will work the better. 
In case such knowledge does not exist already it is a problem for 


the research staff, and not for the chief execntiTe. The research 
staff discovers which mode of procedure is best, tries it out on a 
small scale until it is perfected, and designs similar equipment 
for large scale use. The chief executive sees that these designs 
are executed. 

Such are some of the basic properties of any competent func- 
tional organization. It has no political precedents. It is neither 
democratic^ autocratic , nor dictatorial. It is determined by the re- 
quirements of the job that has to be done, and, judging from the 
number of human beings performing quietly within such organi- 
zations, it must also be in accord with the biological nature of the 
human animaL 

Organization Chart. On the basis of the foregoing we are 
now prepared to design the social organization which is to accom- 
plish the objectives enumerated above. This organization must 
embrace every socially useful function performed on the [N'orth 
American Continent, and its active membership will be composed 
of all the people performing such functions in that area. Since, 
as we have pointed out before, there does not exist in this area 
any sequence of functions which is independent of, or can be iso- 
lated from, the remaining functions, it follows that in order to 
obtain the highly necessary synchronization and coordination 
between all the various functions they must all pyramid to a com- 
mon head. 

The basic unit of this organization is the Functional Sequence. 
A Functional Sequence is one of the larger industrial or service 
units, the various parts of which are related one to the other in 
a direct functional sequence. 

Thus among the major Industrial Sequences we have trans- 
portation (railroads, waterways, airways, highways, and pipe 
lines) ; communication (mail, telephone, telegraph, radio and 
television) ; agriculture (farming, ranching, dairying, etc.) ; and 
the major industrial units such as textiles, iron and steel, etc. 

Among the Service Sequences are education (this would em- 
brace the complete training of the yotinger generation), and public 
health (medicine, dentistry, public hygiene, and all hospitals and 
pharmaceutical plants as well as institutions for defectives). 


Due to the fact that no Functional Sequence is independent 
of other Functional Sequences, there is a considerable amount of 
arbitrariness in the location of the boundaries between adjacent 
Functional Sequences. Consequently it is not possible to state 
a priori exactly what the number of Functional Sequences will be, 
because this number is itself arbitrary. It is possible to make each 
Sequence large, with a consequent decrease in the number re- 
quired to embrace the whole social mechanism. On the other hand, 
if the Sequences are divided into smaller units, the number will 
be correspondingly greater. It appears likely that the total num- 
ber actually used will lie somewhere between 50 and 100. In an 
earlier layout the social mechanism was blocked into about 90 
Functional Sequences, though future revision will probably change 
this number somewhat, plus or miniis. 

The schematic relationship showing how these various Func- 
tional Sequences pyramid to a head and are there coordinated is 
illustrated in Figure 8. At the bottom of the chart on either side 
are shown schematically several Functional Sequences. In the 
lower left-hand corner there are shown 'Q.Ye of the Industrial Se- 
quences, and in the lower right-hand corner are five of the Service 
Sequences. In neither of these groups does the size of the chart 
allow all of the Functional Sequences to be shown. On a larger 
chart the additional Functional Sequences would be shown later- 
ally in the same manner as those shown here. Likewise each of 
the Functional Sequences would spread downward with its own 
internal organization chart, but that is an elaboration which does 
not concern us here. 

Special Sequences, There are five other Sequences in this 
organization which are not in the class with the ordinary Func- 
tional Sequences that we have described. Among these is the 
Continental Research. The staffs described heretofore are pri- 
marily operating and maintenance staffs, whose jobs are primarily 
the maintaining of operation in the currently approved manner. 
In every sepaitate Sequence, however, Service Sequences as well 
as Industrial Sequences, it is necessary, in order that. stagnation 
may not develop, to maintain an alert and active research for the 
development of new processes, equipment, and products. Also 


there must be contimious researeli in tlie fundamental sciences — 
physics, chemistry, geology, biology, etc. There must likewise be 
eontinnOTis analysis of data and resources pertaining to the Con- 
tinent as a whole, both for the purposes of coordinating current 
activity, and of determining long-time policies as regards probable 
growth curves in conjunction with resource limitation and the 

The requirements of this job render it necessary that all re- 
search in whatever field be under the jurisdiction of a single 
research body so that all research data are at all times available 
to all research investigators wishing to use them. This special 
relationship is shown graphically in the organization chart. The 
chief executive of this body, the Director of Kesearch, is at the 
same time a member of the Continental Control, and also a mem- 
ber of the staff of the Continental Director. 

On the other hand, branches of the Continental Eesearch par- 
allel laterally every Functional Sequence in the social mechanism. 
These bodies have the unique privilege of determining when and 
where any innovation in current methods shall be used. They 
have also the authority to cut in on any operating flow line for 
experimental purposes when necessary. In case new developments 
originate in the operating division, they still have to receive the 
approval of the Continental Research before they can be installed. 
In any Sequence a man with research capabilities may at any time 
be transferred from the operating staff to the research staff and 
vice versa. 

Another all-pervading Sequence which is related to the remain- 
der of the organization in a manner similar to that of Eesearch is 
the Sequence of Social Relations. The nearest present counterpart 
is that of the judiciary. That is, its chief duty is looking after the 
*law and order,' or seeing to it that everything as regards indi- 
vidual human relationships functions smoothly. 

While the function of Social Relations is quite similar to that 
of the present judiciary, its methods are entirely different. None 
of the outworn devices of the present legal profession, such as the 
sparring between scheming lawyers, or the conventional passing 
of judgment by ^twelve good men and true' would be allowed. 
Questions to be settled by this body would be investigated by the 


most impersonal and scientific methods available. As will be seen 
later, most of the activities engaging the present legal profession, 
namely litigation over property rights, will already have been 

Another of these special Sequences is the Armed Forces. The 
Armed Forces, as the name implies, embraces the ordinary mili- 
tary land, water, and air forces, but most important of all, it also 
includes the entire internal police force of the Continent, the Con- 
tinental Constabulary. This latter organization has no precedent 
at the present time. At present the internal police force consists 
of the familiar hodge-podge of local municipal police, county 
sheriffs, state troopers, and various denominations of federal 
agents, most of the former being controlled by local political ma- 
chines and racketeers. This Continental Constabulary, by way of 
contrast, is a single, disciplined organization under one single 
jurisdiction. Every member of the Constabulary is subject to 
transfer from any part of the country to any other part on short 

While the Continental Constabulary is under the discipline 
of the Armed Forces, it receives its instructions and authorization 
for specific action from the Social Eelations and Area Control. 

This Sequence — the Area Control — is the coordinating body 
for the various Functional Sequences and social units operating .in 
any one geographical area of one or more Eegional Divisions. It 
operates directly under the Continental Control. 

The Foreign Relations occupies a similar position, except that 
its concern is entirely with international relations. All matters 
pertaining to the relation of the Korth American Continent with 
the rest of the world are its domain. 

The personnel of all Functional Sequences will pyramid on 
the basis of ability to the head of each department within the 
Sequence, and the resultant general staff of each Sequence will 
be a part of the Continental Control. A government of function I 

The Continental Control. The Continental Director, as the 
name implies, is the chief executive of the entire social mechanism. 
On his immediate staff are the Directors of the Armed Forces, the 


Foreign Eelations, the Continental Research, the Social Relations, 
and Area Control. 

Next downward in the sequence comes the Continental Con- 
trol, composed of the Directors of the Armed Forces, Foreign Re- 
lations, Continental Research, Social Relations, and Area Con- 
trol, and also of each of the Functional Sequences. This snper- 
structiire has the last word in any matters pertaining to the social 
system of the North American Continent. It not only makes 
whatever decisions pertaining to the whole social mechanism that 
have to be made, but it also has to execute them, each Director 
in his own Sequence. This latter necessity, by way of contrast 
with present political legislative bodies, offers a serious curb upon 
foolish decisions. 

So far nothing has been said specifically as to how vacancies 
are filled in each of these positions. It was intimated earlier that 
within the ranks of the various Functional Sequences jobs would 
be filled or vacated by appointment from above. This still holds 
true for the position of Sequence Director. A vacancy in the post 
of Sequence Director must be filled by a member of the Sequence 
in which the vacancy occurs. The candidates to fill such position 
are nominated by the officers of the Sequence next in rank below 
the Sequence Director. The vacancy is filled by appointment by 
the Continental Control from among the men nominated. 

The only exception to this procedure of appointment from 
above occurs in the case of the Continental Director due to the 
fact that there is no one higher. The Continental Director is 
chosen from among the members of the Continental Control by the 
Continental Control. Due to the fact that this Control is composed 
of only some 100 or so members, all of whom know each other 
well, there is no one better fitted to make this choice than they. 

The tenure of office of every individual continues until retire- 
ment or death, unless ended by transfer to another position. The 
Continental Director is subject to recall on the basis of preferred 
charges by a two-thirds decision of the Continental Control. Aside 
from this, he continues in office until the normal age of retirement. 

Similarly in matters of general policy he is the chief executive 
in fact as well as in title. His decisions can be vetoed only by two- 
thirds majority of the Continental Control. 


It will be noted that the above is the design of a strong or- 
ganization with complete authority to act. All philosophic con- 
cepts of human equality, democracy, and political economy have 
upon examination been found totally lacking and unable to con- 
tribute any factors of design for a Continental technological con- 
trol. The purpose of the organlxiation is to operate the social 
mechanism of the North American Continent. It is designed along 
the lines that are incorporated into all functional organizations 
that exist at the present time* Its membership comprises the entire 
population of the North American Continent. Its physical assets 
with which to operate consist of all the resources and equipment 
of the same Area. 

Regional Divisions. It will be recognized that such an organ- 
ization as we have outlined is not only functional in its vertical 
alignment, but is geographical in its extent. Some one or more 
of the Functional Sequences operates in every part of the Contin- 
ent. This brings us to the matter of blocking off the Continent 
into administrative areas. For this purpose various methods of 
geographical division are available. One would be to take the 
map of North America and amuse oneself by drawing irregularly 
shaped areas of all shapes and sizes, and then giving these names. 
The result would be equivalent to our present political subdivisions 
into nations, states or provinces, counties, townships, precincts, 
school districts, and the like — a completely unintelligible hodge- 

A second method, somewhat more rational than the first, 
would be to subdivide the Continent on the basis of natural geo- 
graphical boundaries such as rivers, mountain ranges, etc., or else 
to use industrial boundaries such as mining regions, agricultural 
regions, etc. Both of these methods are objectionable because of 
the irregularity of the boundaries that would result, and also be- 
cause there are no clean-cut natural or industrial boundaries in 
existence. The end-product, again, would be confusion. 

A third choice remains, that of adopting some completely 
arbitrary rational system of subdivisions such that all boundaries 
can be defined in a few words and that every subdivision can be 
designated by a number for purposes of simplicity of administra- 


tion and of record keeping. For this purpose no better system 
than onr scientific system of universal latitude and longitude has 
ever been devised. Any point on the face of the earth can be ac- 
curately and unambiguously defined by two simple numbers, the 
latitude and longitude. Just as simply, areas can be blocked off 
by consecutive parallels of latitude and consecutive meridians. 

It is the latter system of subdividing the Continent on the 
basis of latitude and longitude that we shall adopt. 

By this system we shall define a Regional Division to be a 
quadrangle bounded by two successive degrees of longitude and 
two successive degrees of latitude. The number assigned to each 
Eegional Division will be that of the combined longitude and lati- 
tude of tlie point at the southeast corner of the quadrangle. Thus 
the Eegional Division in which New York City is located is 7340 ; 
Cleveland, 8141; St Louis, 9038; Chicago, 8741; Los Angeles, 
11834; Mexico City, 9919; Edmonton, 11353, etc. 

In this manner all the present political boundaries are dis- 
pensed with. The whole area is blocked off into a completely 
rational and simple system of Eegional Divisions the number for 
each of which not only designates it but also locates it. 

It is these Regional Divisions that form the connecting link 
between the present provisional organization of Technocracy and 
the proposed operating one depicted in the foregoing chart. In 
the process of starting an organization the membership of a par- 
ticular unit is much more likely to be united by geographic prox- 
imity than as members of any particular functional sequence. 
Accordingly, the provisional organization is of necessity, in the 
formative period, built and administered on a straight-line basis 
where the individual administrative units are blocked off according 
to the Eegional Divisions in which they happen to occur. As the 
Organization evolves, the transition over into the functional form 
that we have outlined occurs spontaneously. Already the activities 
of the organization embrace education, publication, and public 
speaking, as well as research. As time goes on not only will these 
activities expand but other functions will be added. As fast as 
the membership in the Functional Sequences will allow, Sequences 
of Public Health, Transportation, Communication, etc., will be 
instituted. Even in this formative period a network of amateur 


short-wave radio stations between the various Eegional Divisions 
is being built, JN^one of the^e occurs overnight, but as the organi- 
zation evolves there will be an Oiderly transition over to adminis- 
tration along the functional lines as indicated. 

Requirements, ^ow that we have sketched in outline the 
essential features of the social organization, there remains the 
problem of distribution of goods and services. Production will be 
maintained with a minimum of oscillation, or at a high load factor. 
The last stage in any industrial flow line is use or consumption. 
If in any industrial flow line an obstruction is allowed to develop 
at one point, it will slow down, and, if uncorrected, eventually 
shut down that entire flow line. This is no less true of the con- 
sumption stage than of any other stage. Present industrial shut 
down, for instance, has resulted entirely from a blocking of the 
flow line at the consumption end. If the production is to be non- 
oscillatory and maintained at a high level so as to provide a high 
standard of living, it follows that consumption must be kept equal 
to production, and that a system of distribution must be designed 
which will allow this. This system of distribution must do the 
following things : 

(1) Eegister on a continuous 24 hour-per-day basis 
the total net conversion of energy, which would detei*mine 
(a) the availability of energy for Continental plant con- 
struction and maintainance, (b) the amount of physical 
wealth available in the form of consumable goods and services 
for consumption by the total population during the balanced- 
load period. 

(2) By means of the registration of energy converted 
and consumed, make possible a balanced load. 

(3) Provide a continuous inventory of all production and 

(4) Provide a specific registration of the type, kind, etc., 
of all goods and services, where produced, and where used. 

(5) Provide specific registration of the consumption of 
each individual, plus a record and description of the individ- 


{ 6 ) Allow the citizen the widest latitude of choice in con- 
suming his individual share of Continental physical wealth. 

(7) Distribute goods and services to every member of 
the population. 

On the basis of these requirements, it is interesting to consider 
money as a possible medium of distribution* But before doing this, 
let us bear in mind precisely what the properties of money are. In 
the first place, money relationships are all based upon 'value,' 
which in turn is a function of scarcity. Hence, as we have pointed 
out previously, money is not a 'measure' of anything. Secondly, 
money is a debt claim against society and is valid in the hands of 
any bearer. In other words, it is negotiable; it can be traded, 
stolen, given, or gambled away. Thirdly, money can be saved. 
Fourthly, money circulates, and is not destroyed or cancelled out 
upon being spent. On each of these counts money fails to meet 
our requirements as our medium of distribution. 

Suppose, for instance, that we attempted to distribute by 
means of money the goods and services produced. Suppose that it 
were decided that 200 billion dollars worth of goods and services 
were to be produced in a given year, and suppose further that 200 
billion dollars were distributed to the population during that time 
with which to purchase these goods and services. Immediately 
the foregoing properties of money would create trouble. Due to 
the fact that money is not a physical measure of goods and services, 
there is no assurance that prices would not change during the 
year, and that 200 billion dollars at the end of the year would be 
adequate to purchase the goods and services it was supposed to 
purchase. Due to the fact that money can be saved, there is no 
assurance that the 200 billion dollars issued for use in a given year 
would be used in tliat year, and if it were not used this would 
immediately begin to curtail production and to start oscillations. 
Due to the fact that money is negotiable, and that certain human 
beings, by hook or crook, have a facility for getting it away from 
other human beings, this would defeat the requirement that dis- 
tribution must reach all human beings. A further consequence of 
the negotiability of money is that it can be used very effectively 
for purposes of bribery. Hence the most successful accumulators 


of money would be able eventually not only to disrupt the flow line, 
but also to buy a controlling interest in the social mechanism it- 
self, which brings us right back to where we started from. Due to 
the fact that money is a species of debt, and hence cumulative, the 
amount would have to be continuously increased, which, in con- 
junction with its property of being negotiable, would lead inevit- 
ably to concentration of control in a few hands, and to general 
disruption of the distribution system which was supposed to be 

Thus, money in any form whatsoever is completely inadequate 
as a medium of distribution in an economy of abundance. Any 
social system employing commodity evaluation ( commodity valua- 
tions are the basis of all money) is a Price System. Hence it is 
not possible to maintain an adequate distribution system in an 
economy of abundance with a Price System control. 

The Mechanism of Distribution. We have already enumer- 
ated the operating characteristics that a satisfactory mechanism 
of distribution must possess, and we have found that a monetary 
mechanism fails signally on every count. A mechanism possessing 
the properties we have enumerated^ however^ is to he found in the 
physical cost of production — the energy degraded in the produc- 
tion of goods and services. 

In earlier lessons we discussed in some detail the properties 
of energy, together with the thermodynamic laws in accordance 
with which energy transformations take place. We found that 
for every movement of matter on the face of the earth a unidirec- 
tional degradation of energy takes place, and that it was this 
energy-loss incurred in the production of goods and services that, 
in the last analysis, constitutes physical cost of production. This 
energy, as we have seen, can be stated in invariable units of 
measurements — units of work such as the erg or the kilowatt-hour, 
or units of heat such as the kilogram-calorie or the British thermal 
unit. It is therefore possible to measui:e with a high degree of 
precision the energy cost of any given industrial process, or for 
that matter the energy cost of operating a human being. This 
energy cost is not only a common denominator of all goods and 


seryices, but a physical measure as well, and it has no yaliie con- 
notations whatsoever. 

The energy cost of producing a given item can be changed only 
by changing the process. Thus, the energy cost of propelling a 
Ford car a distance of 15 miles is approximately the energy con- 
tained in 1 gallon of gasoline. If the motor is in excellent condi- 
tion somewhat less than a gallon of gasoline will suffice, hence the 
energy cost is lower. On the other hand, if the valves become worn 
and the pistons become loose, somewhat more than a gallon of 
gasoline may be required and the energy cost increases. A gallon 
of gasoline of the same grade always contains the same amount 
of energy. 

In an exactly similar manner energy derived from coal or 
water power is required to drive factories, hence the energy cost 
of the product would be the total amount of energy consumed in 
a given time divided by the total number of products produced 
in that time. Energy, likewise, is required to operate the railroads, 
telephones, telegraphs, and radio. It is required to drive agricul- 
tural machinery and to produce the food that we consume. Every- 
thing that moves does so only with a corresponding transformation 
of energy. 

Now suppose that the Continental Control, after taking into 
due account the amount of equipment on hand, the amount of new 
construction of roads, plant, etc., required for the needs of the 
population, and the availability of energy resources, decides that 
for the next two years the social mechanism can afford to expend 
a certain maximum amount of energy (equivalent to that con- 
tained in a given number of millions of tons of coal ) . This energy 
can be allocated according to the uses to which it is to be put. The 
amount required for new plant, including roads, houses, hospitals, 
schools, etc., and for local transportation and communication will 
be deducted from the total as a sort of overhead and not chargeable 
to individuals. After all of these deductions are made, including 
that required for the education and care of children and the main- 
tenance of hospitals and public institutions generally, the re- 
mainder will be devoted to the production of goods and services to 
be consumed by the adult public-at-large. 

Suppose, next, that a system of record-keeping be instituted 


whereby a consuming power be granted to this adult public-at- 
large in an amount exactly equal to this net remainder of energy 
available for the producing of goods and services to be consumed 
by this group. This equality can only be accomplished by stating 
the consuming power itself in denominations of energy. Thus, if 
there be available the means of producing goods and services at an 
expenditure of 100,000 kilogram-calories per each person per day, 
each person would be granted an income, or consuming power, at 
a rate of 100,000 kilogram-calories per day. 

Income* Further details must be added to satisfy the require- 
ments we have laid down. First, let us remember that this income 
is usable for the obtaining of consumers' goods and services, and 
not for the purchase of articles of value. That being the case, there 
is a fairly definite limit to how many goods and services a single 
individual can consume, bearing in mind the fact that he lives 
only 24 hours a day, one-third of which he sleeps, and a consider- 
able part of the remainder of which he works, loafs, plays, or 
indulges in other pursuits many of which do not involve a great 
physical consumption of goods. 

Let us recall that every individual in the society must be sup- 
plied, young and old alike. Since it is possible to set arbitrarily 
the rate of production at a quite high figure, it is entirely likely 
that the average potential consuming power per adult can be set 
higher than the average adult's rate of physical consumption. 
Since this is so, there is no point in introducing a differentiation 
in adult incomes in a manner characteristic of economies of scar- 
city. From the point of view of simplicity of record-kee|)ing, more- 
over, enormous simplification can be effected by making all adult 
incomes, male and female alike, equal. Thus, all adults above the 
age of 25 years would receive a large income, quite probably larger 
than they would find it convenient to spend. This income would 
continue without interruption until the death of the recipient. 
The working period, however, after the period of transition would 
probably not need to exceed the 20 years from the age of 25 to 45, 
on the part of each individual. 

Still further properties that must be incorporated into this 
energy income received by individuals are that it must be non- 


negotiable and non-saveable. That is, it must be valid only in tbe 
hands of the person to whom issued and in no circumstances trans- 
ferable to any other individual. Likewise, since it is issued on the 
basis of a budget expenditure covering two years, it must only be 
vklid for that two-year period, and null and void thereafter. Other- 
wise it would be saved in part, and serve to completely upset the 
balance in the operating load in future periods. On the other hand, 
there is no need for saving, because an income and social security 
are already guaranteed independently to each individual until 

The reason for taking two years as the balanced-load period 
of operation of the social mechanism is a technological one. The 
complete industrial cycle for the whole North American Continent, 
including the growing period of tropical plants, such as Cuban 
sugar cane, is somewhat more than one year. Hence a two-year 
period is taken as the next integral number of years to this 
industrial cycle. All operating plans and budgets would thus be 
made on a two-year basis, and at the end of that time the books 
would be balanced and closed for that period. No debts would be 
possible, and the current habit of mortgaging the future to pay 
for present activities would be completely eliminated. 

If, as is quite likely, the public find it inconvenient to con- 
sume all their allotted energy for that time-period, the unspent 
portion of their allotment will merely be cancelled at the end of 
the period. The saving will be effected by society rather than by 
the individual, and the energy thus saved, or the goods and services 
not consumed, will be carried over into the next balanced-load 
period. This will not, as will be amplified later, throw the pro- 
ductive system into oscillation, because production will always 
be geared to the rate of consumption, and not to the total energy 
allotment. In other words, if for a given balanced-load period the 
total energy allotment be equivalent to that contained in, say four 
billion tons of coal, this merely means that we are prepared if need 
be to burn four billion tons of coal, and distribute the resultant 
goods and services during that time-period. This merely sets a 
maximum beyond which consumption for that time-period will 
not be allowed to go. If the public, however, finds it inconvenient 
to consume that amount of goods and services, and actually con- 


gttmes only an amount requiring three billion tons of coal to pro- 
duce, production will be curtailed by that amount, and the extra 
billion tons of coal will not be used, but will remain in the ground 
until needed- 
Energy Certificates. There are a large number of different 
bookkeeping devices whereby the distribution to, and records of 
rate of consumption of the entire population can be kept. Under 
a technological administration of abundance there is only one 
efficient method — that employing a system of Energy Certificates, 
By this system all books and records pertaining to consump- 
tion are kept by the Distribution Sequence of the social mechan- 
ism. The income is granted to the public in the form of Energy 

These certificates are merely pieces of paper containing cer- 
tain printed matter. They are issued individually to every adult 
of the entire population. The certificates issued to an individual 
may be thought of as possessing some of the properties both of 
a bank check and of a traveller's check. They would resemble 
a bank check in that they carry no face denomination. They receive 
their denomination only when being spent. They resemble a 
traveller's check in that they possess some means of ready identi- 
fication, such as counter-signature, photograph, or some similar 
device, so as to establish easy identification by the person to whom 
issued, and at the same time remain absolutely useless in the hands 
of anyone else. 

The record of one's income and its rate of expenditure is kept 
by the Distribution Sequence, so that it is a simple matter at any 
time for the Distribution Sequence to ascertain the state of a 
given customer's balance. This is somewhat analogous to a 
combination bank and department store wherein all the customers 
of the store also keep bank accounts at the store bank. In such 
a case the customer's credit at the department store is as good 
as his bank account, and the state of this account is available to 
the store at all times. 

Besides the properties enumerated above, our Energy Certifi- 
cates also contain the following additional information about the 
person to whom issued: 


The background color of the certificate records whether he has 
not yet begun his period of service, is now performing service, or 
is retired, a different color being used for each of these categories. 
A diagonal stripe xtx one direction records that the purchaser is 
of the male sex ; a corresponding diagonal in the other direction 
signifies the female sex* In the background across the face of the 
certificate is printed or water-marked the two-year balanced-load 
period, say 1936-37, during which the particular certificate is valid. 
Also printed on the certificate are additional data about the re- 
cipient, including the geographical area in which he resides, and a 
catalogue number, signifying the specific Functional Sequence and 
Job at which he works. - 

When making purchases of either goods or services an indi- 
vidual surrenders the Energy Certificates properly identified and 
signed. These surrendered certificates are then perforated with 
catalogue numbers of the specific item and amount purchased, and 
also its energy cost. These cancelled certificates then clear through 
the record-keeping apparatus of the Distribution Sequence. 

The significance of this, from the point of view of knowledge 
of what is going on in the social system, and of social control, can 
best be appreciated when one surveys the whole system in per- 
spective. First, one single organization is manning and operating 
the whole social mechanism. This same organization not only 
produces but distributes all goods and services. Hence a uniform 
system of record-keeping exists for the entire social operation, and 
all records of production and distribution clear to one central 
headquarters. Tabulation of the Information contained on the 
cancelled Energy Certificates day by day provides a complete 
record of distribution, or of the public rate of consumption by com- 
modity, by sex, by Kegional Division, by occupation, and by age 

With this information clearing continuously to a central 
headquarters we have a case exactly analogous to the control panel 
of a power plant, or the bridge of an ocean liner, or the meter 
panel of a modern airplane. In the case of a steam plant the meter 
panel records continuously the steam pressure of the boilers, the 
fuel record, the voltage and kilowatt output of the generators, 
and all other similar pertinent data. In the case of operating an 


entire social mechanism the data required are more voluminous 
in detail, bnt not otherwise essentially different from that pro- 
vided by the instrument panel in the steam plant* 

The clearing of the Energy Certificates, tabulated in all the 
various ways we have indicated, gives precise information at al] 
times on the state of consumption of every kind of commodity or 
service in all parts of the country. In addition to this there is 
also corresponding information on stocks of materials and rates 
of operation in every stage of every industrial flow line. There 
is, likewise, a complete record on all hospitals, on the educational 
system, amusements, and others on the more purely social services. 
This information makes it possible to know exactly what to do 
at all times in order to maintain the operation of the social me- 
chanism at the highest possible load factor and efficiency. 

A Technocracy. The end-products attained by a high-energy 
social mechanism on the North American Continent will be : 

(a) A high physical standard of living, (b) a high 
standard of public health, (c) a minimum of unnecessary 
labor, (d) a minimum of wastage of nonreplaceable resources, 
(e) an educational system to train the entire younger gen* 
eration indiscriminately as regards all considerations other 
than inherent ability — a Continental system of human condi- 

The achievement of these ends will result from a centralized 
control with a social organization built along functional lines, 
similar to that of the operating force of any large functional unit 
of the present such as the telephone system or the power system. 

Non-oscillatory operation at high load factor demands not 
only functional organization of society but a mechanism of dis- 
tribution that will : 

(a) Insure a continuous distribution of goods and serv- 
ices to every member of the population; (b) enable all goods 
and services to be measured in a common physical denomina- 
tor ; ( c ) allow the standard of living for the whole of society to 


be arbitrarily set as an independent variable, and (d) insure 
continuous balance between production and consumption. 

Such a mechanism is to be found in the physical cost of pro- 
duction, namely, the energy degradation in the production of 
goods and services. Incomes can be granted in denominations of 
energy in such a manner that they cannot be lost, saved, stolen 
or given away* All adult incomes are to be made equal, though 
probably larger than the average ability to consume. 

Such an organization has no precedence in any of the political 
forms. It is neither a democracy, an aristocracy, a plutocracy, a 
dictatorship, nor any of the other familiar political forms, all of 
which are completely inadequate and incompetent to handle the 
job. It is, instead, a Technocracy, being built along the tech- 
nological lines of the job in hand. 

For further discussion of distribution refer to the official pamphlet, The Energy 

Lesson 22 

IT APPEARS to be little realized by those who prate about 
human liberty that social freedom of action is to a 
much greater extent determined by the industrial system 
in which the individual finds himself than by all the legal- 
istic restrictions combined. The freedom of action of a 
pioneer was determined principally by his available mode 
of travel which was chietiy afoot, by row boat, horseback, 
or by animal-drawn vehicles. His freedom of communica- 
tion was similarly circumscribed. His activities in gen- 
eral were accordingly restricted to a relatively small area 
and to a moderately narrow variety. These restrictions 
were technological rather than legal. The pioneer could 
travel only a limited number of miles per day, not because 
there was a law against travelling more than that, but 
because the technological factors under which he oper- 
ated did not allow it. 

It is seldom appreciated to what extent these same 
technological factors determine the activities of human 
beings at the present time. In New York City, for ex- 
ample, thousands of people cross the Hudson Kiver daily 
at 125th Street, and almost no one crosses the river at 
116th Street. There is no law requiring the individual 
to cross the river at 125th Street and forbidding him to 
cross it at 116th Street. It merely happens that there is 
a ferry at the former place which operates continuously, 
and none at the latter. It is possible to get across the river 
at 116th Street, but under the existing technological con- 
trols the great majority of the members of the human 
species find the passageway at 125th Street the more con- 

This gives us a clue to the most fundamental social 
control technique that exists. No other single item exerts 
more than a small percentage of the infiuence exerted by 
the immediate physical environment upon the activities 


of human beings. Leave the physical environment un- 
altered^ or the industrial rates of operation unchanged, 
and any effort to alter the fundamental modes of behavior 
of human beings is doomed largely to failure; alter the im- 
mediate physical environment of human beings, and their 
modes of behavior change automatically. The human 
animal accepts his physical environment almost without 
question. He rarely decides to do a particular things and 
then finds himself obstructed by physical barriers. In- 
stead, he first determines the barriers and then directs 
his activities into those paths where insurmountable bar- 
riers do not exist. It is these considerations that render 
the matter of technological design and operation of equip- 
ment of the most fundamental significance. There are 
standards of design and operation that are wasteful of 
resources and injurious to the public health. There are 
other standards of design and operation that are con- 
ducive to the general social well-being and lacking in 
the socially objectionable elements. 

In an earlier lesson we laid down the social end- 
products that will inevitably result from technological 
operation of the social mechanism. Among these end- 
products were : a high standard of public health, a mini- 
mum of unnecessary drudgery, a high physical standard 
of living, and a minimum wastage of nonreplaceable 
natural resources. 

A high standard of health will result if all human 
beings are properly fed, clothed, housed, and have all 
their other biological needs adequately cared for. A 
minimum of drudgery will be achieved with all routine 
tasks eliminated or performed as automatically as pos- 
sible. ]S[atural resources will be utilized with a minimum 
of wastage if all industrial processes have the highest 
physical efficiency, and all products will give the greatest 
amount of service per unit of physical cost. 

It will be recognized that it is precisely these criteria 
that are implicit in a control of industrial operation based 
upon a minimum degradation of physical energy, as con- 
trasted with our present Price System criterion of in- 
dustrial control based upon a maximum of profit. It is 
into these two fundamentally opposed control techniques 
that all the thousand and one present day paradoxes are 
resolved. Social end-products are a dependent function 
of the industrial mode of operation. The criterion deter- 


mining the mode of operation happens at the present time 
to be a maximum of profit nnder a Price System control 
technique. Granted the continuance of the latter, all 
gestures at altering the former are futile. 

It is our purpose now to review several of our major 
industrial fields, and to point out the change in design 
and operating characteristics that would be instituted 
under the criterion of a minimum of energy cost per unit 
of use or service produced. 

Load Factor. One of the first things to be considered in 
this connection is the matter of operating load factors, A load 
factor of any piece of productive equipment may be defined as 
the ratio of its actual output over a given time-period to the out- 
put that would have resulted in the same time-period had the 
equipment been operated at full load throughout the time. If an 
engine, for instance, which develops 100 h.p., operates at full 
load for 24 hours it will produce 2,400 h.p.-hours of work. Sup- 
pose, however, that the engine is operated only intermittently 
during that time and actually produces but 600 h.p.-hours of 
work in 24 hours. The load factor for that period would then be 
600/2,400, or 25 percent. The load factor would have been zero 
had the engine not operated at all, or 100 percent had it operated 
at full load throughout. 

There is a fundamental relationship among production, oper- 
ating load factors, and the capacity of productive equipment. A 
load factor of 10 percent merely means that the equipment is 
producing one-tenth of its productive capacity. Fow if this same 
productive capacity were maintained and the load factor raised 
to 50 percent, production with the same equipment would be 5 
times as great as with a load factor of 10 percent. If the load 
factor were 100 percent the production would be 10 times as great. 

If we consider the converse aspect of the same thing, suppose 
that there is no need of increasing the production of a given kind 
of product. In this case let us suppose that the load factor is 10 
percent, and that load factor is again raised to 50 percent. If pro- 
duction is not increased we can achieve this result only by junking 
four-fifths of the plants engaged in that particular kind of pro- 


Hence it follows tliat a Mgli load factor, no matter whether 
used for increasing production or for reducing the amount of plant 
required for a given production, results always in a diminution 
in the amount of productive equipment per unit produced, and 
results correspondingly in a reduction of the energy cost per unit 

Quality of Product. Still another factor of comparable im- 
portance to that of the operating load factor is the quality of the 
product. All products are produced for the purpose of rendering 
some sort of use or service. The total energy cost of this use or serv- 
ice is the energy cost of producing and maintaining the product. 

Take an automobile tire for example. The use of the auto- 
mobile tire is the delivery of so many miles of service. The energy 
cost of this service per 1,000 miles is the energy cost of manufac- 
turing an automobile tire divided by the number of 1,000 miles of 
service it renders. Now, suppose that the energy cost of making 
an automobile tire that will give 20,000 miles of service is some 
a4rbitrary figure, say 100. The cost per 1,000 miles would be 5. 
Consider another automobile tire which will deliver 30,000 miles 
of service, but costs 120 to produce. The cost per 1,000 miles of 
service of this latter tire is only 4. Hence it is a better tire than 
the former because its cost per 1,000 miles of service is less. Sup- 
pose, however, that it were possible to make a tire that would 
last 100,000 miles, but that the cost of producing this tire were 
600. Then the cost per 1,000 miles would be 6. This tire, there- 
fore, though longer lived, is actually a more costly tire than either 
of the other two because the cost per 1,000 miles of service is 

It is always possible to find an optimum quality of product 
for which the cost per unit of use or service is a minimum, and it 
is this quality which, according to our energy criterion, is the 
best. Products either longer lived or shorter lived can be built, 
but they have the disadvantage that the service which they render 
is more costly than that rendered by the product of optimum 

It is interesting to apply these two criteria, the load factor 
and the quality of product, to present day industrial operations. 


Probably the highest load factor of any of our industrial equip- 
ment is that of tlie central power stations. It is only rarely in 
heavy industrial districts that the load factors of the central power 
stations are greater than 40 percent. Much more commonly the 
figure is somewhere around 30 percent. Another of our more con- 
tinuously operated sets of equipment is the telephone* The busiest 
lines in the telephone system are the %ng haul/ long-distance 
trunk lines, that is, lines such as those from New York to Chicago, 
and comparable or greater distances. The load factor on these lines 
for a complete two-way conversation is only 4 hours of opera- 
tion out of each 24, or a load factor of 16 2/3 percent. In our less 
continuously operated equipment, such as factories of all denom- 
inations, mines, and agricultural equipment, production is inter- 
mittent, and the load factor of the equipment is even lower. Few 
agricultural implements are in use more than a few weeks per 
year for 8 or 10 hours per day. Few factories run 24 hours per 
day except for brief rush periods* Most of the remainder of the 
time they are on one 8-hour shift for a limited number of days per 
week or else completely shut down. 

In the field of automotive transportation the service rendered 
is passenger miles of transportation. The average passenger capac- 
ity of automobiles is about 5. The average number of passengers 
carried is considerably less than this. The average time of oper- 
ation per automobile is approximately 1 hour out of each 24, 
giving an operation load factor of only 4 or 5 percent, or a pas- 
senger-mile load factor of probably not more than half of this 
amount. If the operating load factor of automobiles could be 
stepped up to 50 percent on a 24-hour per day basis, the passenger 
miles would be 10 times that of the present for the same number 
of automobiles, or else there would be required only a fraction as 
many cars as we now have. 

Considering the quality of products the results are equally 
bad. Consider razor blades. Suppose that 30 million people shave 
once per day with safety razor blades, and suppose that these 
blades give 3 shaves each. This would require a razor blade pro- 
duction of 10 million blades per day, which is the right order of 
magnitude for the United States. Thus, our razor blade factories 
may be thought of as producing shaves at the rate of 30 million 


per day at cnrrent load factors. Now suppose that we introduce 
the energy criterion requiring that razor blades be manufactured 
on the basis of a minimum energy cost per shave. Then the blades, 
instead of lasting 3 days, would be more likely to last 3 years 
or longer. Suppose they lasted 3 years. What effect would this 
have upon our productive capacity in shaves? Technically it 
is just as easy to manufacture a good blade as a poor one. Thus 
the productive capacity at the current load factor would be 10 
million good blades instead of 10 million poor ones per day. But 
10 million good blades at a life of 3 years each are equivalent 
to 1,005,000,000 shaves per day, instead of the 30 million now 
produced by the same equipment. Since the number of shaves 
per day is not likely to be materially increased, with the longer 
lived blade what would happen would be a junking of approxi- 
mately 99 percent of the present razor factories, thereby eliminat- 
ing enormous wastage of natural resources. 

Low load factors arise from various causes under Price Sys- 
tem control. Perhaps the chief cause of low-load factors is the 
uncertainty of future demand. The individual plant, as we have 
noted, runs or shuts down in accordance with the orders for goods 
which it receives. The total purchasing power is sufficient to buy 
only a small fraction of the goods that would be produced were 
the existing plant operated wide open. Consequently the exist- 
ing plant spends the greater part of its time shut down or 
else idling at only a small fraction of full load. This defect is 
inherent in the Price System, and is a direct consequence of the 
use of money itself. 

The Calendar. Another prevailing cause of poor load factors 
is the calendar. With our present calendar practically everybody 
works on the same days, and is off on the same days. This intro- 
duces traffic jams and small periods of peak loads on our trans- 
portation system, and on our places of recreation, as well as on 
the industrial equipment. In order to improve the load factor on 
traffic and on the amusement places, it is necessary for these peaks 
to be eliminated so that the trafftc on one day is the same as that 
on any other, and for the traffic in any hour of the day to be so 
adjusted that no extreme peak loads occur. 


The technological control that we have postulated removes 
the element of over-building in productive equipment. A revision 
of the calendar smooths out the most offensive of the remaining 
irregularities. The day and the year are major astronomical pe- 
riodSy the significance of which cannot be ignored. The week and 
the month have no such significance. It is true the month is nomi- 
nally the period of the moon. Actually, however, our months vary 
in length from 2S to 31 days, with an average length of 30 and 
a fraction days. The time elapsed from new moon to new moon 
is 29 and a fraction days, so that the phases of the moon shift 
about a third of a month in the course of one year. So little cog- 
nizance is now taken of the moon's period that the greater part 
of the population, if asked at any particular time to give the 
phase of the moon, would have to look it up in an almanac. Con- 
sequently, the only astronomical periods that need be considered 
are those of the day and the year. 

Technocracy's calendar is, accordingly, based on the day and 
the year. The year consists of 365.2422 mean solar days. The 
Technocracy calendar, therefore, would consist in numbering these 
days consecutively, starting on the vernal equinox from 1 to 364 
days, plus 1 zero day (2 zero days for leap years) . The work period 
would run for 4 consecutive days for each individual, followed 
by 3 days off. ^ot taking into consideration the vacation period, 
every day is a day off for three-sevenths of the working popula- 
tion — all adults between the ages of 25 and 45. 

In Figure 9 this is shown diagrammatically for 16 consecutive 
days chosen arbitrarily during the year. The working population 
is divided into 7 groups, each of which has a different sequence 
of working days and of days off. The working days of each group 
are indicated by the circular spaces and the days off by the blank 
squares. On a basis of 660 annual work-hours and 4-hour daily 
shifts we arrive at 165 working days, or 41 as the nearest whole 
number of periods of working days and days off — a total of 287 
days. There remain, then, 78 successive days as a yearly vacation 
period for each individual. 

Within each group there will be different shifts, the number 
of shifts depending upon the number of hours worked per day by 
each individual. If, for instance, the working day were 8 hours, 



there would be three S-hour shifts. If the working day were 6 
hours, there would be 4 shifts of 6 hours each, and if the working 
day were 4 hours^ there would be 6 shifts of 4 hours each. There 
will be a transitional period involving large-scale reconstruction 
during which a longer working day of 6 or possibly 8 hours will 
be retained. Once this period is over, however, there is little 
doubt but that the working day can be cut to 4 hours. 

Numerous questions immediately arise regarding what could 
be done if two people, husband and wife, for instance, belonged to 
separate groups, and had their days off on separate days. This 
need cause no apprehension, because it is a mere administrative 
detail to transfer a person from one group to another, and since 
the circumstances under which each group works are identical, 
there will be In general just as many people washing to be trans- 
ferred from Group II to Group I as from Group I to Group II, so 
that such transfers automatically balance in the end. 


Day of Year 
Group I 

]81| 82 83184 

85186 _ 


Group II 


Group III ■■■■ iaiD[@i@i@i@DiDD@i@i@@ D an 



Group IV ....nDini<i>i@i@i®iniDicMi@i@@nn 

Group V 

i@iDiDiDi@i@i@i@iDiaDi@ @ ®m a 

Group VI ■-|@;<§)iaDIDI@l@l@l@IDDD@@@@ 

Group vii ■■- i@[@i@iDiaiDi(§)i(i)i@i@DiD[ai@ @ @ 

Figure 9 

In the matter of shifts, however, this is not quite the case, 
so that in order to make them equal it will probably be found nec- 
essary to rotate each individual in such a manner that he works 
an equal amount of time on each shift during the course of the year. 

The effect of this calendar on the load factors of the in- 
dustrial mechanism would be tremendous. It means that almost 


the same amount of activity would be going on every lioiir of 
the 24. The traffic would be about the same every day and every 
hour of the day. Each day would be a working day for four- 
sevenths of the working population, and a day off for the remain- 
ing three-sevenths. Consequently, centers of recreation would 
not be deserted, as they now are during week days and then 
jammed beyond capacity the remainder of the time. Instead, 
ample recreation facilities could be provided so that at no time 
would the playgrounds, swimming beaches, parks, theaters, or 
other places of recreation be overcrowded. 

Consider also what this means to the central power system. 
In this ease there is a daily cycle of lightness and darkness which 
is unavoidable. This results in a big load being thrown on the 
power plants at night due to the necessity of lighting. A large 
part of this load, of course, goes off during the day. If lighting 
were the only function of a central power system, such oscillation 
would remain. However, a large part of the function of a central 
power system is to provide the motive power for industrial equip- 
ment. Certain industrial equipment may be intermittent in its 
operation, slow freight haulage for example. Kow if these inter- 
mittent industrial operations are so arranged that they go into 
operation only during the off-peak load of the power plant, this 
will enable the maintenance of the load of the power plant at 
almost 100 percent. 

Transportation. Consider transportation under such a mode 
of control. Transportation falls naturally into two major classes, 
passenger and freight. Passenger transportation requires, in gen- 
eral, speed, safety and comfort. Freight transportation may be 
either fast or slow, depending on the nature of the goods being 
transported. For passenger transportation the principal modes 
of conveyance are rail, water, highway, or air. For freight trans- 
portation there may be added to the above modes of conveyance 
a fifth, pipe line, and perhaps a sixth, wire. The transmission of 
energy over a high tension power line and the shipment of coal 
by freight car are both different aspects of the same thing, namely, 
the transportation of energy. 

In freight transportation, as in all other fields, one of the 


great problems that would have to be solved is that of wbich mode 
of transportation involves tbe least energy cost per ton-mile. Take 
the shipment of coal, for instance. Is it more economical of energy 
to ship the energy contained in coal by freight car, or to hydro- 
genate the coal and transfer it by pipe line or to build the power 
plants near the coal mines and ship the energy by high tension 
transmission lines? 

There is another major problem in freight handling, and 
that is the matter of freight classification and individual consign- 
ments. At the present time all freight is shipped to individual 
consignees, with the great bulk of it in small lots. Most of this 
would be eliminated. The supplies for a city, for instance, would 
all be shipped in bulk quantities to the warehouses of the Distri- 
bution Sequence, all goods of a single kind going together. The 
freight-handling terminals and the design of the cars themselves 
could be made such that the loading and unloading of freight 
could be handled with the greatest dispatch by automatic methods. 
From these major freight terminals, goods would be moved locally 
to the various centres of distribution, from which they would 
be distributed to the population of the immediate vicinity. 

In the matter of passenger transportation the same criteria 
would be used in the design and operation of passenger equipment 
as elsewhere. Trains involving the least energy cost per passenger 
mile would be operated. It goes without saying that such trains 
would be the lightest, the most streamlined, and the most effteiently 
powered that could be built. Whether Diesel-electric power units 
mounted on the trains themselves, or whether power derived from 
stationary central power plants will prove to be the most efficient 
and hence the preferred mode of propulsion, is still to be deter- 

Since by far the greater number of passenger miles of trans- 
portation are delivered by automobiles operating on public high- 
ways, particular significance attaches to this mode of transporta- 
tion. To appreciate the importance of automobiles in our national 
economy, one needs only to consider that in 1923 passfenger auto- 
mobiles in the United States had an installed horsepower capacii^ 
of approximately 453,000,000 h.p. All the other prime movers 
combined at that time were only 231,000,000 h.p., giving a grand 


total of 684,000,000 li.p. of prime movers. Bj 1929 this grand 
total reached over 1,000,000,000 of installed liorsepOAver, with anto- 
inobiles occupying as great if not greater proportion as in 1923. 
In 1923 the h.p. capacity of passenger automobiles was 66 percent 
of the total of all the prime movers in the country. In that year 
the number of passenger automobiles was about 13,000,000. By 
1929 this had reached 23,000,000, with the horsepower per auto- 
mobile increasing simultaneously. 

How, getting back to load factors, we have already remarked 
that the average load factor of all automobiles is only about 5 
percent. This means then that at the present we have approxi- 
mately 800,000,000 installed horsepower in passenger automobiles 
alone which are operating only about 5 percent of the time. Or 
it means that if we could step this load factor up to 50 percent, 
or 10 times what it now is, we could obtain the same number of 
passenger miles with one- tenth of the automobiles now in opera- 

There is a corresponding problem involved in the design and 
servicing of automotive vehicles. Today there are about two dozen 
separate makes of automobiles being built in the United States. 
This means that as many different factories have to operate, and 
that a corresponding number of complete systems of garages and 
service stations must be maintained. 

The factors that are uppermost in present day automotive de- 
sign are those of flashy appearance and other superficialities that 
make for ready sales, while it is as carefully seen to that the 
wearing qualities are kept low enough to insure a quick turnover 
because of the short life of the product. To this end all sorts 
of fake devices are used, the latest of .which is fake streamlining. 

In tlie matter of fuel efficiency, by far the most efficient type 
of internal combustion engine is the Diesel which operates ou 
fuel oil or distillate. Although automobile and airplane Diesels 
have long since been proven to be entirely practicable, they have 
for a number of years past been carefully withheld from use in 
automobiles. There is, however, a limit to the extent to which 
so fundamental an advance as Diesel engines can be withheld, 
and now, at last, the dam has broken. In trucks, tractors, and 
buses Diesels have been coming in at a very rapid and accelerating 


rate during the past two years, and now one manufactttrer an- 
nounces a Diesel motor as an optional choice in an automobile. 
While it is true that a part of the phenomenally low cost of Diesel 
operation at present is the low cost of fuel oil, and that as the 
demand for this increases, the monetary price will rise, the fact 
still remains, however, that Diesels do the same work for fewer 
gallons of fuel than any other engines in existence. 

Under an energy criterion it follows that all automotive ve- 
hicles would be powered with the most efficient prime movers that 
could be designed — high-speed Diesels, unless and until something 
better can be devised. 

The same considerations would apply to all the various trick 
devices for insuring rapid obsolescence and turnover in vogue to- 
day. To care for these and other defects of the function of auto- 
motive transportation necessitates a complete revision from the 
ground up. Consequently, to improve the load factor it will be nec- 
essary to put all automobiles under a unified control system 
whereby they are manufactured, serviced, and superintended by 
the Automotive Branch of the Transportation Sequence. 

This means, in the first place, that there would be only one 
basic design of automobile. That is, all automobiles that were 
built would have interchangeable parts, such as motors, wheels, 
chassis, springs, etc., except insofar as they differed in those 
elements of design fitting them for different uses. In these minor 
differences there would be as many different varieties as there 
were uses, such as two-passenger and five-passenger capacity, light 
trucks and similar variations. It goes without saying that, in 
accordance with our criterion of least energy cost, the cars would 
be really streamlined, which would require that the engine be 
placed in the rear, rather than in the front; they would be powered 
with the most efficient power unit that could be devised. 

As regards use of the automobiles, the change of administra- 
tion would be even more profound. Whereas, at the present time, 
one buys an expensive automobile, and leaves it parked the greater 
part of the time in front of his house as evidence of conspicuous 
consumption, the automobiles that we are speaking of would have 
to be kept in operation. This would be accomplished by instituting 
what would resemble a national ^drive it yourself system. The 


Automotive Brancli of Transportation would provide a network 
of garages at convenient places all over the country from wbicii 
automobiles could be bad at any liour of the night or day. No 
automobiles would be privately owned. When one wished to use 
an automobile he would merely call at the garage^ present his 
driver's license, and a car of the type needed would be assigned 
to him. When he was through with the car he would return it 
either to the same garage, or to any other garage that happened 
to be convenient, and surrender his Energy Certificates in pay- 
ment for the cost incurred while he was using it. 

The details of this cost accounting for automotive transporta- 
tion are significant. The individual no longer pays for the upkeep 
of the car, or for its fueling or servicing. All this is done by the 
Automotive Branch of the Division of Transportation. In this 
manner a complete performance and cost record of every automo- 
tive vehicle is kept from the time it leaves the factory until the ^ 
time when it is finally scrapped, and the metal that it contains is 
returned to the factory for refabrication. Thus the exact energy 
cost per car-mile for the automotive transportation of the 
entire country is known at all times. Similar information is avail- 
able on the length of life of automobiles and of tires. With such 
information in the hands of the research staff, it becomes very 
definite as to which of various designs is the superior or the in- 
ferior in terms of physical cost per car-mile. 

The total cost of automotive transportation includes, of 
course, the cost of manufacturing the automobile. If, for instance, 
the average life of an automobile were 300,000 miles, the total 
cost for this 300,000 miles would be the cost of manufacturing 
the automobile plus its total cost of operation and maintenance 
during its period of service. The average cost per mile, therefore, 
would be this total cost including the cost of manufacture, divided 
by the total distance travelled, in this case 300,000 miles. 

Where there are millions of automobiles involved the same 
type of computation is used. In this case the average cost per 
mile would be the average cost for the millions of cars instead 
of for only one. This would be the total cost of manufacture, opera- 
tion, and maintenance of all automobiles of a given kind divided 
by the total miles of service rendered hj these cars. Since auto- 


motive costs can best be kept low by maintaining high operating 
load factors, it becomes necessary that all automobiles be kept 
in as continuous operation as is practicable. In other words, 
automobiles when away from the garages should be in operation 
and not parked ostentatiously in front of somebody's hous^. This 
can be taken care of rather effectively by charging the individual 
for the use of the automobile on a mileage-time basis as follows : 
(1) If while the automobile is out its operation has been main- 
tained at a rate equal to or greater than the national load factor 
for all automobiles, charge is made on a mileage basis only; (2) 
if the load factor of the car while out is not kept equal to the 
average load factor, the charge is made on the basis of the number 
of miles that the car would have travelled during that time had 
it operated at a rate equal to the average national load factor 
for automobiles. 

Suppose, for instance, that the average national load factor 
for kll automobiles were such that each car travelled on the aver- 
age 240 miles each 24 hours, or an average of 10 miles per hour. 
Now if a person had an automobile out and he used it an average 
of 10 miles or more per hour, he would be charged for mileage 
only. If, however, he kept the car 24 hours, and drove it only 30 
miles, he would be charged for 240 miles, for that is the distance 
the ear should have travelled in 24 hours. 

This simple proviso has the dual effect of improving the load 
factor of all automobiles, and at the same time reducing the aver- 
age cost per mile, by making the delinquents pay for keeping auto- 
mobiles out of service. 

Conamunication. The field of communication includes mail, 
telegraph, telephone, radio and television. All of these forms of 
communication plus any others that may be developed are in the 
domain of the Communication Sequence. Under an energy criter- 
ion the same question arises here as elsewhere. Namely, of two 
equally effective modes ^of communication which has the least 
energy cost per unit? The unit in this case is a given number 
of words transmitted a given distance. 

Technically there is no question that all communication of 
the entire Continent could be conducted by telephone if the energy 


cost indicates that this is not too expensive. It is equally possible 
to do the same thing by telegraph. Facsimiles, or photographs 
so accurate as to be scarcely detectable from the originals, are 
now being sent hj wire as a matter of daily newspaper routine. 
Whether the energy cost of handling the entire communications 
by telephone or by telegraph is less than b}^ mail, available data 
are not sufficient to decide. They indicate, however, that the cost 
by wire would be at least as small as by mail, if not smaller. 

Suppose that the mails be maintained even if at a consider- 
ably reduced volume. One of the great technological improve- 
ments awaiting introduction into this branch of activity is that 
of automatic sorting. Few more drudgerous jobs exist at the 
present than those of the postal clerks who spend year after year 
poking letters into pigeon-holes. Technically it is possible to de- 
vise a mail system wliereby a letter will be transmitted from one 
side of the Continent to the other virtually untouched by human 
hands. One way whereby this could be done would be by uniformly 
sized envelopes bearing code addresses of black and white spaces, 
a different combination corresponding to every different mail 
distribution center. This would permit sorting by photo-electric 

In the matter of radio the same unification of equipment 
would be effected. Instead of having dozens of different kinds 
of radio sets, there would only be one kind for each specific pur- 
pose. That kind,. needless to say, within the physical limitations 
set, would be the best that could be built. The individual radio 
set would be a part of the Radio Branch of the Communications 
Sequence, just as the individual telephone is now a part of the 
telephone company and not the property of the user. 

Agriculture. Just as far-reaching implications are met when 
one applies the same criteria to agriculture. Agriculture is the 
nearest to the primary source of energy, the sun, of all our indus- 
tries. Agriculture is fundamentally a chemical industry wherein 
matter from the soil and the atmosphere are combined with the 
help of solar and other energy into various use products. Only 
now are we beginning to appreciate the latitude of usefulness to 
which agricultural products can be put. From time immemorial 


products of the soil have been the source of human food and cloth- 
ing. But many more products from the soil have been wantonly 
wasted — wheat straw, corncobs, and numerous other products are 
normally burned or otherwise destroyed. 

From a technological point of view, agriculture is still prob- 
ably our most primitive and backward industry. Land is cultivated 
in small patches by people whose knowledge is largely of a handi- 
craft type handed down from father to son. Soils are allowed to 
waste away by erosion or by lack of fertilization ; farm implements 
are used for the most part for only a few weeks per year each, 
and more often than not left standing exposed to the weather the 
remainder of the time. 

While it is true that agi4culture as it is practiced on most of 
our farms today is largely in a handicraft stage onty slightly dif- 
ferent from that of the ancients, the same cannot be said of the 
scientific knowledge of agrobiology. Modern agrobiologists look 
upon plants merely as mechanisms for converting certain inor- 
ganic substances — principally phosphates, potash and nitrogen — 
known as plant foods into forms useful both as foods and as raw 
materials for industrial uses. 

Soil, as such, is of no importance except as a container of 
plant foods and as a support for the growing plant. It follows, 
of course, that any other container for properly proportioned 
plant foods, used in conjunction with a suitable support for the 
growing plant, would constitute an alternative to an agriculture 
based upon tilling of the soil. 

Consider, however, that the soil still be used as the agricul- 
tural base. In this case all soils contain an initial amount of 
usually imjjroperly proportioned plant foods, and will, without 
other attention than primitive tilling, pi*oduce a modicum of 
various kinds of crops. Since each crop grown extracts a part of 
the supply of plant food initially present in the soil, it follows that 
if succeeding crops are produced without a corresponding amount 
of plant food being added, the soil will gradually be exhausted of 
its initial supply and become ^run down' or w^orn out. Such a 
soil can be rejuvenated by merely adding the plant foods in which 
it has become deficient. Hence it follows that over any long time- 
period there must be maintained an equilibrium between the plant 


foods added to the soil and those taken out, if continued producing 
power without soil exhaustion is to be maintained. 

This brings us to the question of yields to be expected per 
acre* Modern agrobiologists have determined that where soil is 
utilized as the medium of crop culture, and where crops are grown 
under ordinary out-of-door conditions, there is a theoretical maxi- 
mum yield per acre which any crop may be made to approach, but 
none to exceed. This maximum is determined by the amount of 
nitrogen that may be extracted from the soil per acre. The maxi- 
mum of nitrogen extraction that may not be exceeded by any one 
crop in a given cycle of growth is approximately 320 pounds per 
acre. In order that 320 pounds of nitrogen be withdrawn it is re- 
quired that there be present 2,230 pounds of nitrogen per acre* 
Bj knowing the amount of nitrogen withdrawn from the soil to 
produce one bushel of corn, of wheat, or of potatoes, one ton of 
sugar cane, or one bale of cotton, one has merely to divide this 
amount into 320 pounds of nitrogen per acre in order to determine 
the maximum possible ^deld of the crop considered. These maxi- 
mum possible or perultimate yields, together with yields that have 
already been achieved, are given by O. W. Willcox as follows : 





Corn 225 btt. 225,0 b a. 100.0 

Wheat m ** 122.5 ** 71,6 

Oafg 395 ** 245.7 « 62.2 

Barley 308 ** 122.5 " 39.7 

Rye 198 " 54.4 " 27.4 

Potatoes 1330 « 1156.0 " 86.8 

Sugar beets 53 tons 42.3 tons 80.0 

Sugarcane.... 185 " 180.0 « 97.2 

Cotton * .. 4.6 bales 3.5 bales 76.1 

* Reshaping Agriculture, O. W. Willcox (1934), p. 66. 

As compared with the above maxima, Willcox gives the aver- 
age crop yields per acre for the United States as follows : 


TABLE 10* 

Average yields of crops in the United States compared with 
the possible maxima : 



Com..... V 25,5 bn. 10.8 10.8 

Wheat 14.4 ** 8.4 IIJ 

Oats 30.4 ** 7.7 12.3 

Barley. 24.1 ^ 7.8 19.6 

Rye 12.8 " 6.4 235 

Potatoes 114.9 ** 8.6 9.0 

Sugar beets 11.1 tons 20.9 26.1 

Sugar cane 16.4 " 9.1 22.4 

Cotton 0.32 bales 6.9 91 

•Reshaping Agriculture, O. W. Willcox <1934), p. 66. 

The significance of these facts is that our American agricul- 
ture is operating at an extremely low efficiency — ^less than 10 per- 
cent of the theoretical maximum and only about 15 percent of 
actual best performance under field conditions. Furthermore, in 
the light of present technical knowledge in the field of agrobiology, 
it would be no difficulty at all to step this production up to at 
least 50 percent of the perultimate maximum. Even today almost 
every year that passes sees new records broken in actual crop 
yields per acre. 

An average agricultural efficiency of 50 percent means that 
the same agricultural production as at present can be achieved on 
one-fifth of the land area now in cultivation, with one-fifth or less 
of the man-hours now required. 

An even more fundamental and technological approach to 
agricultural production is to be found in those cases where the 
soil is no longer considered necessary as a container for plant food 
or as a supporter of the growing plant. Such an example is to be 
found in the case of the process currently in use in California and 
elsewhere. In this process the plant food is dissolved in water 
which is contained in a long shallow trough. Above the water, 
and supported by wire netting, is a bed of excelsior in which the 
seeds are planted. The roots extend downward to the water. The 


excelsior and wire netting support the plants. In this manner opti- 
mum conditions can be constantly maintained and almost phenom- 
enal production results. 

Further technological control of environmental factors and 
the speeding up of growth rates and shortening the period re- 
quired to mature a crop are as yet little touched, but oifer broad 
domains for the technologist in agrobiology in the future. 

Eegardless of whether the agriculture of the future ultimately 
remains predominantly in the out-of-doors farming stage or comes 
to resemble an agricultural factory, the fact remains that the ap- 
plication of the technological methods will revolutionize it to 
where present methods are truly primitive in comparison. 

Suppose that out-of-doors agriculture remains predominant. 
Large-scale operations require large tracts 'of land worked by ma- 
chinery gigantic in size as compared with any that present day 
farmers are able to employ. Land-breaking to depths of two to 
three feet is not at all impracticable with equipment designed for 
that purpose. Such deep plowing in conjunction with run-off con- 
trol of the water supply would practically eliminate drought 
hazards. Pi*oper fertilization and tilling would do the rest. Only 
the best land and agricultural climates nee6. be utilized because 
with such yields as could be obtained by those methods little more 
land than is contained in the state of Illinois would be required 
for all agricultural produce for the United States. 

Needless to say, all present farms and land divisions would 
be eliminated. Agriculture would be only one division of a vast 
chemical industry which would convert the raw materials of the 
land into use products and in turn supply to the land its require- 
ments in fertilizers and plant food. Tracts of probably tens of 
miles square would be worked as a unit. Equipment would oper- 
ate 24 hours per day, and be rotated in such a manner that each 
piece of equipment would be in as continual operation as possible 
throughout the year. 

The farm population would live in conveniently situated towns 
from which they would commute to the fields. They would thus 
combine the advantages of healthful out-of-doors work with those 
of urban life with its social and educational facilities. 

This would, of course, leave vast domains to be reconverted 


either to grazing or forest lands. Forests, national parks and play- 
grounds could then be instituted on a scale never known since the 
country was in its virgin state as found by the original pioneers. 

Housing. So great is the effect of habit on the human animal 
that it becomes almost impossible for one to detach himself suffi- 
ciently to take an objective view of the subject of housing. Oxir 
houses, and our buildings and structures generally, resemble our 
clothing in that they attain a certain convention and thereafter we 
tend to accept them without further question. It never occurs to 
us to ask whether the prevailing convention is better or worse 
than other possible styles. The training of our architects is such 
as to tend to perpetuate this state of affairs. Aside from drafts- 
manship and a small amount of elementary training in strength 
of materials and other structural details, our students of architec- 
ture spend most of their time studying the architectural details of 
the ceremonial buildings of the past — temples, cathedrals, palaces 
and the like. This accounts for the fact that power plants are seen 
with Corinthian columns, banks with Gothic windows, and libra- 
ries resembling Greek temples. 

The problem of designing buildings in accordance with the 
functions they are to perform seems rarely to have occurred to 

The successful architect of today is either one who has devel- 
oped an architectural firm that receives commissions for designing 
large and expensive buildings, such as skyscrapers, hospitals, 
courthouses, and the like, or else an individual practitioner who 
knows sufficiently well the pecuniary canons of good taste to re- 
ceive commissions for the design of residences in the expensive 
residential sections of our cities and their suburbs. 

If an architect wishes to be really 'modern,' he. then proceeds 
to do something 'different.' He designs houses made completely 
of glass or metal, and hung from a post. The two basic questions 
that seem never to occur in connection with these endeavors are : 
'What is the building for'? and 'Would it be practicable to house 
the inhabitants of an entire continent in such structures'? 

This brings us to the technological foundation of the whole 
subject of housing, namely, what are the buildings for? What do 


we have to build them with? What does it cost physically to main- 
tain them? And how long will they last? 

The physical cost in this field is arrived at in the same manner 
as is the physical cost in any other field. The physical cost of 
housing 150,000,000 people is the physical cost of constructing, 
operating and maintaining the habitations for 150,000,000 people. 
The cost per inhabitant per year is the total cost per year divided 
by the number of inhabitants. 

If housing is to be adequate for 150,000,000 people, and at the 
same time physical cost of housing is to be kept at a minimum, 
there is necessitated a complete revision of design, construction, 
and maintenance in the whole field of housing. It requires that the 
construction of houses be kept at a minimum cost, that the life of 
each house be a maximum, and that the cost of maintaining each 
house, including heating and lighting, be a minimum. It requires, 
furthermore, that the materials used be those of which there is 
an ample supply for the construction and maintenance of approx- 
imately 50,000,000 dwellings. This immediately rules out the 
whole array of ^modern' designs of metal houses, where the metal 
involved is chromium and other similar rare metals which are 
indispensable as alloys of steel and other metals for industrial uses. 

The requirements of low cost construction would necessitate 
that the housing be of factory fabricated types, where the indi- 
vidual units can be turned out on a quantity production schedule 
ready for assembly, just as automobiles are now turned out by 
automobile factories. There would be a limited number of models, 
depending upon the type of locality in which they were to be used, 
their size and the type of climate. Any of these different models, 
however, could be assembled from the same units — wall units, 
doors, windows, bathroom, kitchen equipment — as any other 
model ; the difference being that these standard units are merely 
assembled in different combinations. 

Instead of thousands of separate individual architects design- 
ing houses, there would be only a few basic designs, and these 
designs would be made by the best technical brains that could be 
had for the purpose. The building would be designed for use, for 
long life, and for minimum cost of construction and maintenance. 
Incorporated into the design of the house would be the design of 


the furniture as an integral part. The houses would not only be 
heated in winter, but cooled in summer, and air-eonditioned 
throughout the year. The lighting would be indirect, and with 
intensity control for the best physiological effects. 

While there is a wide variety of possible materials, the funda- 
mental conditions that must be fulfilled are abundance, low energy 
cost of fabrication, and high degree of heatproofing and sound- 
proofing qualities, as well as a structural framework rendering it 
vibration-proof against such impacts as occur in the ordinary ac- 
tivities taking place inside a dwelling. In other words, one should 
be able to make all the noise he pleased, or do acrobatic flip-flops, 
in such a house without a person in the next room being able to 
detect it. The building should be proof against not only the leak- 
age of heat from the inside out, or vice versa, but also completely 

The method of heating in such a structure also would be radi- 
cally different from those now employed. It is quite likely that a 
thermodynamic type of heating, based on essentially the same 
principle as our present gas fiame refrigerators, would prove to be 
the most efficient. In this case, however, when the house is to be 
heated instead of cooled, the cold end of the mechanism would be 
placed outside the house — probably buried in the ground — and the 
warm end placed inside the house. The fuel, instead of being used 
to heat the house directly as is done now, would merely be used 
to operate the refrigerating mechanism which would pump heat 
into the house from the outside. By such a method, theoretical 
considerations indicate that a house can be heated at only a small 
fraction of the energy cost of the most efficient of the direct heat- 
ing methods obtainable. 

This method of heating has the additional advantage that hj 
changing only a few valves the system could be made to run back- 
wards, that is, to pump heat from inside to outside of buildings, 
and thus act as a cooling device during warm weather, which would 
be analogous co our present refrigerator, only on a larger scale. 

Design. The end-products of design are radically different, 
if one lays out the whole scheme of a given function in advance 
and then works down to the details, from v/hat they would be if 


one started on the details and worked from them to the more 
general complex. For example, the steamship Normandie has 
been able to break world speed records and to exhibit other points 
of functional excellence merely because these high points of per- 
formance were written into the specifications before a single minor 
detail was ever decided upon. The design of a ship to meet these 
broader specifications automatically determines that the minor 
details be of one sort rather than a number of others The specifica- 
tion that the Normandie was to be the fastest steamship ever built 
automatically determined the shape of the hull, the power of the 
engines, and numerous other smaller details. 

Suppose the procedure had been in reverse order. Suppose 
that some one person decided independently upon the shape of the 
hull; suppose that a second designed the engines, determining 
what power and speeds they should have. Let a third design the 
control apparatus, etc. It is a foregone conclusion that a ship de- 
signed in any such manner, if she remained afloat or ran at all, 
would not break any records. 

For any single functional unit the design specifications for 
the performance of the whole must be written, and then the details 
worked out afterwards in such a manner that the performance 
of the whole will equal the original specifications laid down. 

The trouble with design in a social mechanism heretofore has 
been that neither the specifications nor the design has ever gone 
beyond the stage of minute details. We have designed houses by 
the thousands, but no one has ever designed a system of housing 
on a continental scale. We have designed individual boats, auto- 
mobiles, locomotives, railway cars, and even articulated stream- 
lined trains and individual airplanes, but no one has ev^ designed 
a continental system of transportation. Even these latter units 
are only individual details in the design of a whole operating social 
mechanism. Even a design that embraced whole functional se- 
quences would be inadequate unless it in turn was guided by the 
super-design of the entire social mechanism. 

So far we have only been suggesting some of the details of the 
type that would result from such a shift of viewpoint and of ad- 
ministration as would be entailed in a transfer from the present 
politico-economic Price System mode of social administration over 


to the functional technological type that we have outlined. In such 
a change no single detail^ big or sniall^ would be left untouched. 
There would be a whole re-allocation of our industries. Our pres- 
ent centers of trade and commerce, as such, would dwindle into 
insignificance for the simple reason that trade and commerce 
would cease to exist* Centers of industry might or might not 
come to occupy the same places.. The entire array of man-made 
buildings and equipment of the whole ]N'orth American Continent 
would have to be junked and replaced by more efficient and better 
functioning structures and equipment. Along with redistribu- 
tion of industry would come a redistribution of population. It 
is not improbable that Kew York City and other similar localities 
would be mined for the metal they contain. 

New towns and cities would have to be designed as operat- 
ing units from the ground up, and these designs would again be 
only details of the super-design for the whole mechanism. There 
are a number of essential design elements that must be taken 
into account in the design of a town or a city : 

1. There must be adequate housing and recreation facil- 
ities for the population. 

2. There must be an adequate distribution system for 
the supplies that will be consumed by the city, both by the 
populace individually and by the city itself. 

3. There must be an adequate system of waste dis- 
posal, sewage, garbage and the like. 

4. There must be adequate facilities for local traffic, 
pedestrian, vehicular, etc. 

5. There must be adequate facilities for local communi- 

6. There must be a system of water supply, of heat, gas 
and electric power. 

7. There must be trunk connections for traffic, supplies, 
water, energy, and so on, between the city and the world 

8. The design must be such as to allow for any prob- 
able expansion in the population with a minimum of read- 


Standardization. In the field of more general design, stand- 
ardization of more essential parts will be carried as nearly as 
possible to perfection. Outside of industrial circles it is little 
realized what standardization means. In the maintenance of even 
the present rate of industrial operation, suppose, for example, 
that every separate manufacturer of electric light sockets pro- 
duced a different size. If these sizes were as many as a few dozen 
almost hopeless confusion would result. Suppose likewise that 
every different state in the Union used a different sized railway 
gauge, as is the case in Australia. This would mean that all trains 
would have to stop at the state lines and transfer freight and 
passengers, because a train from Illinois would not be able to run 
on the Indiana tracks. 

These examples are taken merely to sho\V the importance of 
such progress in standardization as has already been made. Few 
people realize that our present quantity production in automobiles 
is rendered possible entirely by the standardization of machine 
parts. Many automobile parts have to fit with an accuracy of one 
ten-thousandth part of one inch. In order that all such parts in 
a quantity production flow line turning out thousands of units 
per day may be mutually interchangeable, it is imperative that 
all these parts be standardized with that degree of accuracy. 
Most of the difference in cost between a Rolls-Eoyee and a Packard 
is due to the fact that the Packard is produced by standardized 
quantity-production methods, whereas the Eolls-Eoyce is pro- 
duced by handicraft methods where every individual bearing is 
fitted separately and, in general, parts are not mutually inter- 
changeable. If the Packard of today were built by the same hand 
methods employed in the Rolls-Royce, it would be no whit better 
than it is now, but it would have to sell for a price comparable to 
that of the Rolls-Royce, and for the same reasons. 

Most of our industrial progress up to the present time has 
been rendered possible through standardization. The trouble is 
that standardization has not been carried nearly far enough as 
yet. There are too many different arbitrary sizes and varieties of 
what is functionally the same commodity. Take a simple product 
like soap. Chemically there are only a small number of separate 


basic formulas for soap. The number of brands of soap on the 
market, however, runs into the thousands. 

Not only has the achievement of standardization made pos- 
sible our quantity production methods, but the lack of standardi- 
zation has at the same time been in no small part responsible for 
our low industrial load factors. In many fields, particularly in 
those of clothing and automobiles, the lack of standardization has 
been promoted as a highly remunerative racket — the style racket. 
If styles can be manipulated properly it is possible to increase 
the consumption of goods by rendering the styles of the old goods 
obsolete long before the goods themselves are worn out. Thus 
clothing, which might last two years, is discarded at the end of 
a single season because it is out of style. Last year's automobile 
is traded in on this year's new extra-fancy model. 

The effect of all this upon the load factors of the industry 
concerned is to cause it to run with a short spurt at peak pro- 
duction while getting out the new model or the latest style, and 
then idling or remaining completely shut down for the rest of 
the year. In men's clothing, for example, with a relatively small 
variety of stabilized styles and an ample variety of materials and 
color combinations, clothing could be manufactured, If need be, 
for a year or even two years in advance, and thus completely even 
out the peaks and troughs resulting from seasonal demands for 
different kinds of clothing. Overcoats, for example, could be manu- 
factured the year round with a high load factor, but at a rate Just 
sufficient for the annual output to be equal to a single winter's 

Unnecessary Activities. As yet little emphasis has been 
placed on the fact that by far the greater part of all employees 
are engaged in one kind or another of financial accounting or 
other similar socially unnecessary activities. Even in so industrial 
a unit as a flour mill it is common for the number of employees 
engaged in the purely business operations of the plant to be con- 
siderably greater than the number reqtiired to operate the flour 
mill. In our electric light and power systems the bulk of the em- 
ployees are the ofiice clerks, the meter readers and repair men. 
Only a small percentage of the total staff is required for the 


socially necessary industrial function of operating and maintain- 
ing the power system. 

All this is aside from the unnecessary duplication that exists* 
One single store, for instance, could supply all the distribution 
services required by a population of 10,000, or so, with only a 
matter of a couple of dozen employees, whereas in actuality there 
were in 1929, 683,751 retail stores employing 3,081,000 people (in- 
cluding the proprietors) serving a population of 48,000,000 in all 
the cities of the United States of populations over 30,000.* This 
means that in the cities of over 30,000 in the United States there 
was at that time one retail store employing on the average 4=^ 
people full time ior every 70 members of the population, or one 
employee in a retail store for every 15,5 members of the popula- 

In 1930 there were over six million people in the United States 
engaged exclusively in trade. This is, of course, in addition to the 
employees already mentioned whose jobs are largely financial, 
rather than industrial. There were over four million clerical posi- 
tions, consisting of bookkeepers, accountants, and the like in the 
United States in 1930. 

The point of all this is that, with a re-design of our social 
mechanism along the lines indicated, there will be a much larger 
number of jobs which will cease to exist than of new jobs which 
will be created. This would not imply then, as it does now, that 
there would be unemployment. It merely signifies, on the one 
hand, that we are assured of an ample supply of human services 
for all possible contingencies while operating the mechanism at 
the highest output per capita ever achieved. It means, in addition 
that all this will be accomplished simultaneously with a shorten- 
ing, rather than with a lengthening of the working day. 

♦ tSth Census of the V. S,, t930. Retail lHstHhutionr> and U. S. Statistical Abstracts. 


Reshaping Agriculture, Willcox 
ABC of Agrobiology, WiUcoX 


The following eight Tables are reprinted from Tech- 
nocracy magazine A-19, published July 1940. In this issne 
Howard Scott, Director-in-Chief, Technocracy Inc., de- 
lineated the geographical area of the Technate of America 
from the standpoint of defense and operational necessity. 
Table I lists the countries, colonies, and islands which to- 
day comprise the North American Continental Area. The 
map on the cover of this book illustrates this Area. The 
remainder of the Tables clearly depict the tremendous 
physical wealth and productive capacity of the Technate 
as compared to the rest of the world. 

Explanatory notes and the sources of each Table are 
found on pages 278, 279, 



The Eminent Domain of the ISievf Social Order — See Map 


63,000 Alaska 586,400 

31,000 Bermuda 19 

357,000 British Guiana 89,480 

57,000 British Honduras 8,598 

1,778,000 British West Indies* 10,251 

11,209,000 Canada 3,694,863 

8,600,000 Colombia" 441,651 

623,000 Costa Rica 23,000 

4,200,000 Cuba 44,164 

95,000 Curacao 403 

1,587,000 Dominican Republic 19,332 

31,000 French Guiana 4,053 

3,045,000 Guatemala 42,353 

17,000 Greenland 837,620 

171,000 Dutch Guiana 54,291 

2,600,000 Haiti 11,069 

384,000 Hawaii 6,407 

1,000,000 Honduras 44,275 

5,000 Labrador 112,400 

565,000 Martinique and Gaudeloupe 1»073 

19,479,000 Mexico 760,200 

289,000 ^Newfoundland 42,734 

900,000 Nicaragua 51,660 

548.000 Panama 29,065 

42,000 Panama Canal Zone 554 

1,806,000 Puerto Rico 3,435 

1,704,000 Salvador 134T6 

10,000 Samoa 76 

4,000 St. Pierre and Miqnelon 93 

456,000 Trinidad and Tobago 1,976 

3,530,000 Venezuela" 352,051 

22,000 Virgin Islands 133 

130,215,000 United States 3,026,789 

195,403,000 Techoate Totals 10,313,644 

2425,000,000 'World Totals 55,000,000' 

Tcchnato, Percentage of "World Population 9 

Technate, Percentage of World Land Area 19 

Technate, People per Square Mile - • • * • * l9 

Rert of the World, People per Square Mile - 43 



(Metric Tons, OOO's Omitted) 



Alaminnm 174 

Arsenic , 27 

Asbestos 383 

Asphalt* 6,023 

Antimony 11 

Cadmium^ 2,526 

Cement 21,581 

Chromite 101 

Coal 462,866 

Copper (mine) 1,072 

Cryolite' 13 

Feldspar ...*. 292 

Fluorspar *. 174 

Natural Cas'' = 68,816,000 

Gold* 10,564 

Gypsum 3,819 

Lead *.... 828 

Magnesium 2 

Manganese (ore) 175 

Mercury 1 

Mica 24 

Molybdenum . * 14 

Nickel 102 

Petroleum (crude) ^^ .. 1,551,620 

Pbospbate Rock 4,020 

Pig Iron 38,836 

Platinum*' 310 

Poiaab 441 

Pyrites (gross wt.) ... 702 

Salt 9,206 

Silver' 184,174 

SteeP 52,805 

Sulphur (native)* 2,742 

Superphoephates*' ** ... 4,800 

Tin* (^) 

Tungsten** 3 

Vanadium (-S) 

Zinc (smelter) 686 





























































































































A Few Manofacmred Quantities, 1937* 
(U. S. Only) 

Bakery prosdncts , 6,328,000 tons 

Butter and cheese 1,216,000 " 

Condensed and evaporated milk .* 1,330,000 ** 

Breakfast foods 623,000 " 

Prepared flour 444,000 " 

Chocolate and cocoa , .... 332,000 ** 

Confectionary 897,000 " 

Wheat flour 10,527,000 " 

Meat, meat products, and poultry 7,816,000 " 

Bone black, and carbon black 276,000 " 

Acetic acid 66,000 " 

Hydrochloric acid 121,000 ** 

Nitric acid 175,000 ** 

Ammonia 112,000 " 

Soda ash 3,037,000 ** 

Calcium carbide 193,000 ** 

Glycerine 73,000 " 

Sodium Hydroxide 969,000 " 

Salt cake .,,,. 269,000 ** 

Chlorine 446,000 ** 

Fertilizers 9,682,000 " 

Ink 120,000 « 

liinsced oil, cake, and meal 906,000 ** 

Lime 3,659,000 " 

Manufactured ice 34,069,000 " 

Carbonated beverages 354,478,000 cases 

Canned vegetables and soups 200,092,000 " 

Canned fruits and juices 63,764,000 " 

Ice Cream 252,299,000 gals. 

Whiskey 153,985,000 ** 

Books, pamphlets, and maps 518,074,000 

Boots, and shoes, (pairs) 425,000,000 

Bricks 4,278,189,000 

Tumblers, glass 541,059,000 

Tablewear, glass 578,817,000 

Bottles 7,808,290,000 

Tin cans 16,215,913,000 

Safety razor blades 1,759,933,000 

Clocks and watches . 32,235,000 

Lamp bulbs 788,555,000 

Cigarettes 169,946,440,000 

Matches • --. 411,150,190,000 

New prime movers added in 1937 19,973,000 h. p. 

Total metal working machinest * 1,341,942 




35 percent of the world*8 alcohoP *..... 

78 " « " ** amomobiles^* , 

32 " « « « beer^ 

29 « *^ « « benzol 

19 " " " « nitrogen .., 

53 ****** ** paper & paper hd, .. 

28 « « " " rayon *........ 

33 ****** ** soap 

43 ****** ** ehoes" (leatber) 

30 ** « « « sulphuric acid ...... 

71 " " " ** tires^* 

46 ****** « wood pulp 

These items are but a few for which world lotah are available, and which are not 
mentioned in other tables herewith. See Table III for additional U. S. manufacture*. 














































Coal (short tons) 457,941,314 

Pctrolenm (bbl.) 1,051,292,250 

Natural gas <cnit.) 2,433,332,438,000 

Hydroelectricity (kw.-hr.) 72,954,723,000 


Anthracite eoal 6,561,820 tons 

Biluminoas coal 162,960,976 ** 

Coke 42,194,064 ** 

Fuel oU 136,255,044 bbl. 

Cas 2,825,973,829 M ca.ft. 

Electricaiy 45,924,221,144 Kw^-hr. 






Amoraobiles* 3U21,000 12,077,000 

Telephones^ ,,. 21,679,000 19,411,000 

Radia Sets^ 42,535,000 42,265,000 

Railroads (miles) ^ ;.... 335,000 485,000 

Merchant ships (tons)" 14,403,000 5*1,883,000 

Telephone wire (miles)' ..... 99,630,000 74,918,000 

Telegraph wire (miles)* 2,849,000 3,881,000 

Highways (mOes)' 3,594,000 6,093,000 

Spindles* 31,674,000 117,944,000 

Looms* 725,000 2,345,000 

Navigable rivers (miles)' 46,000 166,000 

Fresh waler (sq. mi.) '° 132,000 128,000 

Irrigated land (ac.)*^ 26,834,000 173,751,000 

Forest reserves (ac.)*" 1,796,000 5,691,000 

Cattle" 93,272,000 535,728,000 

Sheep" ..' 51,604,000 541,396,000 

Swine" 50,545,000 204,455,000 























MPheat , . . . 




Com *.... 


Potatoes , . 


Cane-sugar (refined) 
Bee£>sugar (refined) . 



Citrns fniJts* 

Citras fruits** ,. 






Soya beans 


Sesame - • . 

Linseed - — 


Ginned cotton ...... 






Meat* •** 












































































» , 

























2 030 













































Natural Pbosphatea* 

Superphosphates of Lime^ 

Potash (KaO)^ 

Cyanamide of Calcium* .. 
Sulphate of ammonia^ ... 


Sulphate of cc^per* 































(Horeepowe?» 2935) 

United States 
Industrial power plants . . . . . 
Electric central stations ..«< 
Electric railway plants .«... 
Isolated nonindnstrial plants 
Mines and quarries ..**.... 
Agricnltnral prime movers . 

Cars, bnses, trucks, etc 


Locomotives >....*...,. 

Marine ..«....,*..... 












Central electric stations, hydro . . . , 
Central electric stations, eteam . . > , 
Mfg. — ^Internal «*ombu8tion engines 
Mfg.— Steam engines and turbines 
Mfg^— Hydraulic turbines ...,..., 
Other hydro installations ........ 



Marine ......,,..., , 















of America 
World Output of Electricity 1937^ 

KILOWATT-HR 151,528,000,000 


World Fuel-Energy Resources* 

COAL (ions) 5,627,823,000,000 

PETROLEUM (bbU ; 13,706,000,000 

GAS (cu. ft.) 62,000,000,000,000 

World Waterpower (h.p.) 1938* 

DEVELOPED 27,077.000 

POTENTIAL 91,800,000 

Rest of 
the World 








Technate Percent 
of World Total 






L Source: Statistical Yearbook of the League of Nations, 1938/39. 

2. Source: Rand McNally Cominercial Atlas, Seventieth Edition, 1939. Square 

S, Total earth's area: 197,000,000, square miles of which 142,000,000 square miles 
are water. 

4, British West Indies includes: Bahamas, Barbadoes, Windward Islands, Leeward 
Islands, and Jamaica. 

5. Totals will be amended slightly owing to the fact that only the geographical 
portions of Colombia and Venezuela necessary to this Continent would be included. 


Quanfities: 000 omitted from all totals. Nearest round figttre given. Percentage 
calculations on the basis of the complete figure. 

Units: All figures unless otherwise indicated are in metric tons. (A metric ton is 
2,204.6 avoirdupois pounds.) Other units are designated as follows: i, kilograms; 
2, long tons; 3, cubic meters; 4, fine ounces; 5, barrels; d, troy ounces; 7, fine ounces; 
S, short tons. 

Sources: The source of all figures in the production columns is the Minerals Year' 
hook, 1939, (U. S.), unless otherwise indicated. Other sources are designated as 
follows: a, The Asphalt Institute; b^ G. A. Roush, Mineral Supplies; c, Statistical 
Yearbook of the League of Nations, 1938/39: d. National Fertilizer Association, 


1 1938 estimates 


Wiennial Censiis of^ Manufactures^ 1937, 
^American Machinist, 


Quantities: 000 omitted from all quantities. 

Units: All figures unless otherwise indicated are in metric tons. Other units are 
ij hectoliters ; 2, number ; 3, pairs. 

Sources: Statistical Yearbook of the League of Nations, 1938/39; automobiles are 
from the Automobile Manufacturers Association; shoes are from Bureau of Foreign 
and Domestic Commerce. 

Date: 1937 except shoes which is 1938. 


"^Biennial Census of Manufactures, 1937, 

Canada Yearbook^ Statistical Abstract of the United States* 

Petroleum consumption of Canada estimated. 


Sources: 1, Aufomobife Facts and Figures, 1939; 2, Americaii Telephdne and 
Telegraph Company; 3, United States Department of Ccaamcrce; 5, Enc^h^dm 



Britmnica; 6, Sfaftsttcal Yearbook of the League of Nations, 1938/39; 7, Automobile 
Facts and Figures, 1938; 8, Encyclopedia Britannica; 9, Estimated from data supplied 
by Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. Americans percentage would be enor- 
mously increased by full utilization of its rivers. See Technocracy, A-17 ; 10, Lakes 
of over 2,000 square miles; 11, Encyclopedia Britannica; 12, Forest Resources of the 
World, by Zon and Sparhawk; iJ, Statesman's Yearbook, Encyclopedia Britannica, 
Statistical Abstracts of £/. S, 

♦000 omitted Technate total includes some 424 million acres tropical hardwoods 
or 12 percent of world's total tropical hardwoods. 

11937 where obtainable; in some cases earlier years. 


Quantities: 000 omitted from all totals (a, eggs, 000,000 omitted.) 

Unitsj All quantities unless otherwise indicated are in quintals. (A quintal is 
a metric unit of weight equalling 220.46 avoirdupois pounds.) Other units are 
designated as follows: 1, kilograms; 2, metric tons; 3, Tiectoliters. 

Sources: Statistical Yearbook of the League of Nations, 1938/39; and International 
Yearbook of Agricultural Statistics, 1938/39. 

t Excluding Soviet Russia, data unavailable. 

1 1935. 

* Oranges, mandarines, grapefruit. 
** Lemons and limes. 
*♦♦ Beef, veal, mutton, goat, pork. 


L United States data from Technological Trends and National Policy, 1937. Na- 
tional Resources Committee. Canadian figures estimated from data in Canada Year- 
book on the basis of power factors given in Technological Trends. (Additions since 
1935 plus prime movers in the rest of the Technate would raise total to at least 
1,600,000,000 h,p.— by far the largest share of the world's total > 

2. Data from Statistical Yearbook of the League of Nations, 1938/39 and from 
United States Department of Commerce. 

3. Coal data from T. A. Hendricks, Geological Survey, U. S. Department of the 
Interior. Coal reserves of the United States will last approximately 2,000 years at 
maximum rate of consumption. United States reserves are 4 billion 231 million tons; 
Canadian reserves 1 bilHon 360 million tons. Petroleum data by Garfias and Whetsel, 
Proven OH Reserves, This gives United States reserves as 10 billion barrels; other 
estimates range from 5 to more than 15 billion barrels. World gas figures are not 
known, but R. E. Davis in a paper presented to Am. Gas Assoc, 1935, estimated natural 
gas reserves of United States at 62 trillion cu. ft. Other estimates range to 100 
trillion. ♦Estimate. 

4. Data from Geological Survey, U. S. Department of the Interior, May, 1939. 
Developed power is based on installed capacity of constructed plants of 100 h.p. or 
more. Potential power is based on ordinary minimum flow (Bow for 95 percent of 
the time) and 100 percent efficiency; also on existing Row and does not take storage 
into consideration. This wilt vastly increase America's potential. (The bulk of the 
world's potential waterpower is in Africa which is credited with 274 million horsepower.) 


The books herein listed are on two separate levels of technicality, 
elementary and advanced. Those on the elementary level may be read 
by people not already familiar with mathematics, physics and chemistry. 
Those on the advanced level are primarily £or technically trained people 
who have a moderately advanced knowledge of mathematics, physics, and 
chemistry. In no case have cheap popularizations been included, and in 
all cases the books presented are among the best that exist in the English 
language. In certain instances we are unable to recommend more than 
a certain number of chapters in a given book, and such is stated where 
the book is listed. As better books become available this bibliography 
will be changed so as to include them* 

Matteb and Eneecy 


Mott-Smith, Morton: This Mechanical World, pp. 232, D. Appleton- 

Century Co., New York, 1931, $2.00. 
Heat and Its Workings, pp. 239, D. Appleton-Century Co., New 

York, 1933. $2.00. 
The Story of Energy, pp. 305, D. Appleton-Century Co., New York, 

1934. $2.00. 
Andrade, E. N. da C. : An Hour of Physics, pp. 170, J. B. Lippincott 

Co., Philadelphia, 1930. $1.00. 
Timm, John Arrend : An Introduction to Chemistry, pp. 561, McGraw- 
Hill Book Co., New York, 1938. $3.50. 
Findlay, Alexander: The Spirit of Chemistry, pp. 510, Longmans, 

Green & Co., New York, 1934. $4.00. 
Guye, Ch. Eug.: Physic o-Chemical Evolution, pp. 172, E. P. Button 

& Co., New York, 1926, $2.40. 
The second essay (pp. 30-117) especially recommended. 


Grimsehl, E.: A Textbook of Physics; Vol I, Mechanics, pp. 433, 
Blackie & Son Ltd., London, 1932. 



Vol. II, Heat and Sound, pp. 312, Blackie & Son Ltd., London and 
Glasgow, 1933. 

Planck, Max : Treatise on Thermodynamics, 3rd edition, pp. 297, Long- 
mans, Green & Co., London, 1927. 

Nernst, Walter: Theoretical Chemistry, From the Standpoint of 
Avogadro's Rule & Thermodynamics, pp. 922, MacMillan & Co. 
Ltd., London, 1923. 

The Eabxh 

Branson, E. B. and Tarr, W. A.: Introduction ta Geology, pp. 470, 

McGraw-Hill, New York, 1935. 

National Research Council Bulletin 79 : Physics of the Earth III Meteor- 
ology, pp. 289, 1931. 

Clarke, F. W. : Data of Geochemistry, pp. 841, U.S. Geological Sur- 
vey Bulletin 770, 1927. $1.00. 

Schuchert, Charles and Dunbar, Carl O. : Outlines of Historical 
Geology, 3rd Edition, pp. 241, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 

Romer, Alfred S.: Man and the Vertebrates, pp. 427, University of 
Chicago Press, 1933. 



Sherman, Henry C. : Chemistry of Food and Nutrition, pp. 640, The 

MacMillan Co., New York, 1937, Fifth Edition. $3.25. 
Newburgh, L. H. and Johnston, Marguerite W.: The Exchange of 

Energy between Man and His Environment, pp. 104, Charles C. 

Thomas, Springfield, 111, 1930. $2.00. 
Hill, A. v.: Living Machinery, pp. 256, Harcourt Brace & Co., New 

York, 1933. 
Aliee, W. C. : Animal Life and Social Growth, pp. 160, Williams & 

Wilkins Co., Baltimore, Md, 1932. $1.00. 
Pearl, Raymond : The Biology of Population Growth, pp. 288, Alfred 

A. Knopf, New York, 1930. $4.50. 
Darwin, Charles: Origin of Species, pp. 557, MacMillan Co., New 

York, 1927. 
Thompson, W. S, & Whelpton, P. K. : Population Trends in the United 

States, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1933. $4.00. 


Spohr, H. A.: Photosynthesis, pp. 393, Chemical Catalogue Co., New 
York, 1926: 

Lusk, Wm. Graham: The Science oj Nutrition, pp, 844, W. B. 

Saunders Co., Philadelphia, 1928. $7.00. 
Lotka, Alfred J.: Elements of Physical Biology, pp. 460, Williams & 
Wilkins, Baltimore, Md., 1925. $2.50. 

The Rise of the Human Species 

Rickard, T, A. : Man and Metals, 2 Vols., pp. 1061, McGraw-Hill Book 

Co., New York, 1932. $10.00. 
Harvey-Gibson, R. J.: Two Thousand Years of Science, pp. 346, A. 

& C Black, Ltd., London, 1929. 
Usher, Abbott P. : History of Mechanical Inventions, pp. 401, McGraw- 
Hill Book Co., New York, 1929. $5.00. 
Hodgins, Eric, and Magoun, F. A.: Behemoth, The Story of Power, 

pp. 354, Garden City 'Star Books' Edition, New York, 1932. 

Dantzig, Tobias: Number, pp. 262, The MacMillan Co., New York, 

1933. $2.50. 
Cajori, F. : A History of Physics in its Elementary Branches, pp. 424, 

The MacMilian Co., New York, 1929. $4.00. 


Tryon, F. G. and Eckel, E. C: Mineral Economics, pp. 311, McGraw- 
Hill, New York, 1932. $2.50. 

Voskuil, W. H.: Minerals in Modern Industry, pp. 350, John Wiley 
& Sons, New York, 1930. $3.75. 

Leith, C. K.: World Minerals and World Politics, pp. 213, McGraw- 
Hill, New York, 1931. $2.00. 

U.S. Bureau of Mines (Foreign Minerals Div.) : Mineral Raw 
Materials, pp. 342, McGraw-Hill, New York. $5.00. 

Willcox, O. W,; Reshaping Agriculture, pp. 157, W. W. Norton & 
Co., New York, 1934. $2.00. 

Willcox, O. W.: ABC of Agrobiology, pp. 317, W. W. Norton &: Co., 
New York, 1937. $2.75. 

Fhice Sysiem Kules of the Came 

Woodward, D. B. and Rose, M. A.: ^ Primer of Money, pp. 322, 

McGraw-Hill, New York, 1935. $2.50. 
Foster, W. T. and Gatchings, Waddill: Profits, pp. 465, Houghton 

MifHin Co., Boston, 1925. $2.00. 
Veblen, Thorstein: The Theory of the Leisure Class, pp. 400, The 

Random House (Modem Library), New York, 1932. $.95. 
Veblen, Thornstein: The Theory of Business Enterprise, pp. 400, 

Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1936. $2.00. 


Soddy, Frederick: Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt, pp. 320, K P. 

Button & Co., New York, 1933 (Revised). $2.50. 
First five chapters recommended. 
Flynn, John T. : Security Speculation, pp. 319, Harcourt Brace & Co., 

New York, 1934. $3.00. 
Recommend all except the last chapters where a synthesis is 

Veblen, Thorstein: The Engineers and the Price System, The Viking 

Press, New York, 1936. $1.50. 
Henderson, Fred: The Economic Consequences of Power Production, 

pp. 220, Reynal and Hitchcock Inc., New York, 1933. $2.00. 
Arms and the Man, pamphlet reprint from Fortune^ March, 1934, 

Doubleday-Doran & Co., New York. $ .10. 
Myer, Gustavus: History of Great American Fortunes, pp. 730, 

Modern Library, New York, 1937. $1.25. 
Josephson, Mathew: The Robber Barons, pp. 453, Harcourt Brace 

& Co., New York, 1934. $1.49. 

Natubs of the Human Animai. 

Sumner, W. G. : Folkways, pp. 692, Ginn and Co., New York, 1933. 

Pavlov, Ivan: Conditioned Reflexes, pp. 430, Oxford University Press, 

New York, 1927. $8.50. 
Allen, Edgar: Sex and the Internal Secretions, pp. 951, Williams & 

Wilkins Co., Baltimore, 1932. $10.00. 
Cannon, Walter B. : Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage, 

pp. 404, D. Appleton & Co., New York, 1929. 
Cannon, Walter B. : The Wisdom of the Body, pp. 312, W. W. Norton 

& Co., New York, 1932. $3.50. 

StAxisncAZ. Data 
U. S, Government Publications: 

U. S. Minerals Yearbook, U.S. Bureau of Mines. 

Statistical Abstract of the U.S. (Issued annually). 

U, S, Yearbook of Agriculture, Dept. of Agriculture. 

U. S, Commerce Yearbook, Dept, of Commerce. 

Statistics of Railways in the US,^ Interstate Commerce Commission 

(issued annually). 
Monthly Labor Review, U.S. Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor 

Statistics (issued monthly). 
Bulletin of the Federal Reserve Board (issued monthly). 
Bulletins of the US* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Labor. 
Statistics of Income, U.S. Treasury Dept. (issued annually). 


Technological Trends and National Policy, National Resources Com- 
mittee, June, 1937, House Document No. 360. 
All U.S. Government Publications may be obtained from the 
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, 
Washington, D.C. 

Canadian Government Publicalion: 

Canada Year Book, Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Ottawa (other 
publications may be obtained from the same source). 


Leven, Maurice, Warburton, C, and Moulton, H. G. : America's 

Capacity to Consume, The Brookings Institution, Washington, 

D.C, 1934. $3.00. 
Hogben, Lancelot: Mathematics for the Million, 682 pp., W. W. 

Norton & Co., Inc., New York, 1940. $3.75. 
Hogben, Lancelot: Science for the Citizen^ 1,083 pp., Alfred P. Knopf, 

New York, 1938. $6.00. 


Absolute scale of temperature, 36 

Abundance, 126, 127 

Acceleration, 23-26 

Adrenaline, 199 

Age of the earth, 181-183 

Agricultural Adjustment Adminis- 
tration, 165 

Agriculture, 256-260 

Airplanes, 88 

America's Capacity to Consume, 

American Medical Association, 172 

American Mercury, 178 

Analytic purpose, 1, 11 

Animal energy, 62, 79 

Animals, domestication of, 74, 79 

Appointment, 222, 228 

Architecture, 261 

Area, 23 

Area Control, Sequence of, 228 

Armed Forces, Sequence of, 228 

Athens, 80 

Atoms, 17 

Automobiles, 88, 97, 111, 251-255 

Balanced load, 232, 237 

Banking, 133, 134 

Barter, 125 

Behavior, 200-209 

Bell Telephone System, 221 

Billings Hospital, 171 

Biological growth curves, 99 

Birth rate, 157 

British Isles, 104 

British thermal unit, 37 

Brookings Institution, 144, 147, 149 

Bureau of Standards in Washing- 
ton, 21 

Bureau of Weights and Measures, 

Business interference, 168 

Calendar, 247-248 

Carbohydrates, 56 

Cawley, 84 

Centigrade, 35 

Centimeter, 22 

Central power stations, 54, 246, 250 

Certificate of debt, 127 

Certificate of ownership, 131 

Chemical change, 17, 41 

Chlorophyl, 62 

Cities, 265 

Coal, 81, 101, 108, 114, 116, 170, 

Coinage, 128 
Colombia, 110 
Combination, 18 
Communications, 91, 255, 256 
Compound interest, 101, 136 
Compounds, 17 
Compton, Karl T„ 119 
Conditioned reflexes, 188 
Confirmation of fact, 3 
Conscience, 194 
Conservation of energy, 39 
Continental Constabulary, 228 
Continental Control, 227, 228 
Continental Director, 227, 228 
Continental Research, 226, 227 
Control of behavior, 193-196 
Conversion factors, 23, 28, 29, 37 
Copernicus, 180 
Copper, 104, 109 
Corliss. 85 

Corporations, 131, 146 
Cortex, 192 

Cost of production, 150 
Credit, 133, 134 
Crime, 174 
Crops, 256 

Curtailment, 165, 215 
Customs. 206 
Cycles, 120 




Da Vinci, Leonardo, 181 

Death rate, 157 

Debt, 127, 130, 144, 145 

Debt certificates, 128, 130 

Debt creation, 133, 135. 136, 153- 

Decisions, 223 

Declaration of Independence, 204 
Decomposition, 18 
Defining^ words, 5-8 
De Laval, 85 
Democratic procedures, 222, 223, 

229, 241 
Depressions, 93 
Design, 242, 261, 263 
Diesel, 87, 251,252 
Distribution, 126, 217 232-239, 265 
Distribution Sequence, 238, 251 
Divine creation, 183 
Dog, 186 
Duplication, 267 
Dynamic equilibrium, 67, 70, 7Z 
Dyne, 26 

Earth, 16, 22, 181-183 
Economists, 100 
Education, 171, 206 
Efficiency, 47, S2, 54, 58, 259 
Elections, 176 
Elements, 15, 16 
Employment, 118, 119, 150, 153 
pAxcyclopedia Britannica, 6 
Endocrine glands, 198 
Energy, 33, 34, Z%, 39-44, 48-50, 

57, 60-66, 70-83, 95, 106, 121, 

216, 239, 234-236 
Energy Certificates, 238-240 
Energy cost, 234, 254 
Engineering, 13 

Engines, 51. 52, 54, 55, 60, 84, 85 
English System 21, 22 
Entropy, 44-47 
Environment, 211 
Erg, 27 
Ergometer, 58 
Ericson, John, %7 
Evaporation, 40, 230-239, 243 
Exchange, 125, 128 

Expansion of industry, 100, 104, 

137, 154, 159 
Experiment, 22Z 

Extraneous energy, 72, 79, 80, 106 
Fact, 2, 12 
Fahrenheit, 36 
Fats, 56 

Female hormone, 199 
Ferro-alloys, 110 
Financial structure, 145, 221 
Fire, 71, 79 
Fitch, John, %7 
Flow of energy, 61, 6S, 66 
Flow of goods, 110, 138, 139, 230 
Flow of money, 138 
Fluorspar, 170 
Folkways, 206 
Foods, 56, 7S, 79 
Foot, 22 
Foot-pounds, 27 
Force, 25, 26 
Ford car, 185 

Foreign Relations, Sequence of, 228 
Foreign trade, 105, 144, 164 
Fossil fuels, 81 
Frank, Lawrence T., 124 
Freedom, 240 
Friction, Z%, 39 
Fuels, 52, 54, 56, 81 
Functional organization, 221-223 
Functional priority, 204 
Functional Sequence, 224-226 
Galileo, 180 
Garfias, 109 
Gases, 15 
Gillette razor, 163 
Glands, 196-202 
Gram, 22 
Gram calorie, 37 
Gravity, 21, 26, 27 
Growth curves, 92-104, 113, 136, 

137, 142, 154, 156 
Guinea pig, 199 
Gunpowder, 82, ^ 
Hancock, ^ 
Health, 171 

Heat, 34-37, 46, 56, 58, 6S 
Hell Gate Station, ^ 



Hormones, 198 

Horsepower, 28 

Horsepower-hour, 28 

Hour, 22 

Hours of work, 236. 248 

Housing, 167, 261-263 

Human engine, 56, 185, 210, 214 

Hutton, John, 182 

Hydroponics, 257 

Ilh'nois Geological Survey, 170 

Inch, 22 

Incomes, 147-153, 232-238 

Indestructibility of energy, 42 

Indestructibility of matter, 18 

Industrial Revolution, 88 

Industrial Sequences, 224-226 

Inferior goods, 160 

Inflation, 154 

Inflection point, 96, 143 

Inhibitions, 191, 195 

Initiative, 220 

Installment buying, 145 

Interest curve, 101, 136, 154 

Interference, 167-176 

Inter 'n't'l Bureau of Standards, 7 

International Geological Congress, 

Investment, 141, 145 
Involuntary process, 192 
Iron, 81, 92, 109 
Irreversible process, 48 
Isolated system, 48 
Joule, 27 
Kilogram, 22, 27 
Kilogram-calorie, 37 
Kilometer, 22 
Kilowatt, 28 

Kilowatt-hour, 28, 32, 215 
Langley, 88 
Language, 189 
Laurium, 76 
Legal interference, 174 
Length, 19-21 
Liquids, 15 

Liverpool and Manchester, 87 
Load factor, 143, 165, 244-249, 264 
Lumber, 101 
Lyell, Charles, 184 

Male hormone, 198 

Man-hours, 114-120, ISO, 215, 216, 

Manufacturing industries, 152 
Mass, 19, 22, 23 
Matter, 15-18 
Mayer, Robert, 184 
McLeod, H. D., 134, 136 
Measurement, 2, 19-32, 35 
Mechanization, 116, 118 
Metals, 76 
Meter, 7, 21 

Metric System, 21-23, 27 
Micron, 22 
Millikan, R. A., 119 
Millimeter, 22 
Mind, 9, 14, 186 
Mineral resources, 106-111 
Mining, 76, 77, 83, 115, 116, 170 
Minute, 22 
Mixtures, 17 
Molecules, 15 

Money, 128, 138, 139, 145, 233 
Moralistic approach, 207 
Mormons, 4 
Newcomen, 84 
New industries, 119, 151 
New York Central, 168 
Niagara, 43 
Nickel, 110, 111 
Normandie, 264 
North American Continent, 75, 110- 

112, 122, 214-217, 220, 222, 

224, 228-230, 237, 240, 261, 

North Atlantic 215 
Nye Committee, 165 
Objective viewpoint, 185 
Observation, 2 
Office of the Exchequer, 22 
Ohm's Law, 223 
Origin of Species, 184 
Oscillations, 93, 214 
Ovaries, 198 

Ownership, 123, 124, 131, 215 
Parsons, Sir Charles, 85 
Pavlov, Ivan, 186-193 
Peak of employment, 119, I S3 



Pearl, Raymond, 99 

Peck-rights, 202, 220 

Peek, George W., 144 

Perpetual motion, 46 

Personnel, 219, 220 

Petroleum, 62, 81, 102, 108, 109, 

170, 17S 
Pig iron, 92 
Pituitary gland, 199 
Plant energy, 62 
Plants, domestication of, 74 
Point of inflection, 96 
Police, 174 

Political interference, 176 
Population growth, 6% 70, 80, 99, 

104, 156-159, 216, 217 
Population, Indians, 75 
Postulates, 8-10 
Potash, 108, HI 
Pound, 2Z, 27 
Power, 2S, 30, 31, 76 
Prediction, 11, 12 
Price, 6, 129 
Price System, 103, 121, 129, 136, 

139, 142, 150, 155, 156, 161, 

imA6% 180, 210, 234, 243, 

247, 264 
Prime movers, 52, 89 
Productivity, 117, 214. 
Profit, 149 

Propaganda, 177, 190 
Property, 123 
Proteins, 56 
Protests, 208 
Pump priming, 155 
Pumps, 77 y ^Z 
Purchasing power, 142, 143, 147, 

149, 217, 234 
Quadrant of the earth, 22 
Quality of product, 245 
Quantity of heat, 37 
Rabbits, 6% 
Radiation, 65 
Radio, 9S 

Railroads, m, B7, 95, 106, 168, 250 
Razor blades, 160, 246, 
Record-keeping 235, 239 
Reflexes, 187 

Regional Divisions, 230, 231 

Registration, 231 

Relief, 156 

Research, 223 

Research, Sequence of Continental, 

226, 227 
Resources, 111, 121 
Response, 185, IB6. 187 
Retail stores, 268 
Reversible processes, 48 
Revolt of the Masses, 205 
Rome, 80 

Saturday Evening Post, 178 
Savannah, S. S., 87 
Savery, Thomas, 84 
Saving, 141, 235 
Scarcity, 6, 127, 166 
Schulmeister, Karl, 5 
Science, 4, 10-12 
Scientific Monthly, 119 
Scott, Howard, 156, 210 
Second, 22 

Sequence Director, 229 
Service functioning, 220 
Service Sequences, 224-226 
Short-wave radiation, 65 
Size of equipment 103, 116, 167 
Slaves, 80 

Smith, A. O., Company, 116 
Social change, 209, 212, 213, 261 
Social control, 219, 241, 242 
Social customs, 206 
Social organization, 218, 224 
Social Relations, Sequence of, 227 
Social system, 103, 122, 216-220, 

Soil, 257 

Solar radiation, 64, 65, 66 
Solar system, 180 
Solids, 15 

Special Sequences, 226-229 
Speed, 23 

5-shape growth curves, 96^ 113 
Standardization, 266 
Standards of measurement, 21 
Steamboat, B7 
Steam engine, 84 
Stevenson, George, S6 



Stimulus, 186 

St. Lawrence Waterway, 168 

Stock Exchange, 146 

Stockton and Darlington, 87 

Styles, 264 

Sunshine, 63, 64 

Supernaturalism, 184 

Swanson, John, 207 

Synthetic purpose, 1, 11 

Technocracy, 1, 2, 11, 116, 213, 

219, 231, 240, 241, 248 
Technology, 149, 214-219 
Temperature, 35, 36, 48 
Testes, 199 
Textile inventions, 91 
Thermodynamic heating, 263 
Thermodynamics, Laws of, 29, 41, 

42,47, 50,60, 102, 112,210 
Thinking, 189 
Thyroxin, 199 
Time, 20. 22 
Trade, 125, 126 
Trade balance. 105, 164 
Transportation, air, 88, 90, 250 
Transportation, land. 86. 90. 250-253 
Transportation, water, 86, 90, 250 
Trevethick, 86 
Turbine, 85 
Turkeys, 201 
Ultimate truth, 10 

Unidirectional progression, 49 
Union Pacific Railroad, 207 
United States Bureau of Standards, 

University of Giicago, 171 
Unnecessary activities, 267 
Value, 6, 127, 128, 132 
Veblen, Thorstein, 173 
Vector, 24 
Velocity, 23, 24 
'^enezuela, 110 
Vohmie, 23 

Wages and salaries, 150 
War, 165, 177, 190, 196 
Waterpower, 61, 79, 101 
Watt, 28 

Watt, James, 28, 85 
Wealth, 132 
Weight, 19, 27 
Willcox, O. W., 256 
Williamson, F. E., 168 
Wind, 79 

Work, 27, 30, 31, Z7, 46, 58 
Working period. 236, 248 
World state. 112 
World trade, 144 
Wright brothers, 88 
Writing. 189 
Yard, 22 
Yields, 258, 259