Two weeks ago we alluded to the money market as being in an unsettled condition, and, in consequence, we were obliged to allow from 10 to 15 per cent discount on bills of banks located in remote portions of the country to get the currency changed into gold or city money. Wo had hoped before two weeks elapsed to have been able to record a better state of affairs ; but, at the time of going to press, we regret to state that, instead of a relief in this direction, there exists a greater stringency in the market, and a more general depression of business in mechanical and manufacturing departments than at any period since 1857. How long this state of affairs may continue, tlie most sagacious business men in this city do not predict; but we trust that the storm is at its hight, and that very soon the portentous cloud which overhangs the destinies of this country will have passed away. We hear of large manufacturing establishments in this city and vicinity discharging their employs by the hundred; and, whil i the employer is not too blame for curtailing his expenses, we feel anxious for the poor laborer and his family, who are thus deprived of their resource for sustenance as the frigid winter months wear on. For the sake of humanity, we hope the workshop of the mechanic may be made to ring, and the shuttle of the manufacturer to traverse again before tho pinching cold weather of January is upon us. In this connection, we would state that inventors seem to enjoy immunity from the severity of the times, and we trust they may never experience such vicissitudes as have so suddenly come over kindred avocations. As an evidence of the activity among inventors, and the prosperity of one department of our government, we would state that from this office alone we paid into the Treasury last week, on account of patent business, nearly $2,500. On Friday, December 7th, we paid $1,480 for fees on cases sent to the Patent Office on that day. In closing, we would remind our distant patrons of the offer made two weeks ngo, to take their bank bills at par for subscriptions or patent business, and, at the same time, would remark that we very much prefer to receive drafts on New York, or bills on banks located in the vicinity of this city ; and it is only to those who reside at remote distances that this offer to receive their currency at par is made. AMERICAN street railroads are highly recommended by the London Times. It asserts that they are more safe and far more convenient than cabs or any other common mode of street travel in the British metropolis. It seems that the street railroad in Birkenhead, England, has been quite successful. Our countryman G. F. Trainhas obtained a grant from the Town Conncil of Birmingham to lay down a street railroad in that city. THE new steam Fire Department of Boston is fully organized, and there is not a single hand engne in use throughout the entire limits of the city.
This article was originally published with the title "Stringency in the Money Market" in Scientific American 3, 25new, 388 (December 1860)