THE following story may be an old one, but in our opinion, it will bear further repetition. It is particularly applicable to the people who are merchandising labor-saving devices and machinery, also to those of us who use it in every-day work. We are all so apt to take these things for granted, and our acceptance of them is so natural, that reminders of this kind never do any harm. The following excerpt of an editorial by A. R. Maujer, editor of INDUSTRIAL POWER Magazine strikes us as being very honest in these trying times:
“No radical reasoning is needed to discover that machinery can deprive human beings of work. Take one of the simplest of all machines, the wheel. Wishing to move a heavy log I attach a rope to it, find I cannot pull it, and hire another man to help me. But, when I put wheels under the log, I don’t need the other man. He is resentful about that and says a machine has robbed him of his job.
“Meanwhile others, observing how easily I move my log alone, say to me, ‘Bring your wheels and move logs for us.’ Here, suddenly, is a new business. I procure other wheels, rehire my former helper, and even employ some of his neighbors. Soon, instead of a man out of work, ten are working.
“Nothing could be simpler than that. And nothing could be truer of machine history. Witness the sewing machine, the linotype, and all other great ‘labor savers.’ Every one of them has vastly increased employment at the kind of work it does, besides making new employment to produce the machines themselves.
“When I think of the things I should like to have, if I could afford them, and that my buying them would give employment to somebody, I am more than ever convinced that low cost of production, with mechanical aid, is the only open door to active buying and universal employment.”
Facts like these, told in the same simple and kindly vein are a welcome addition to our daily reading. More of this kind of thinking would be a welcome feature in the daily press in our estimation.