Several of the New England Hardware manufacturing firms finding themselves seriously injured by evils that have crept into the trade, determined to put a stop to them, if possible, and accordingly advertised a meeting of Hardware Manufacturers, to be held in New York on the 10th inst., when, perhaps, some amicable arrangement might be made that would be 'benencial to all parties concerned. The meeting was accordingly held, and a committee appointed to draw up resolutions, but so much opposition was evinced, particularly or the part of the small manufacturers, who do not feel the evils complained of so palpablj as the larger firms, that nothing determinate was resolved upon. The points at issue are the present system of long credit, the charge! of freightage and insurance which are pre-paic by many large manufacturers, even for grea' distances, and the cost of packing cases, whicl are allowed by the manufacturer to the dealer To remedy these grievances a series of resolutions were drawn up by the above mentioned committee and presented to the meeting for adoption, but they did not appear to mee' with general approbation. The first, whicl was intended to fix the time of giving credi viz., 6 months, alone met with any hearing the two others, for discontinuing the payment of freightage, and allowing packing case: to the purchaser, being entirely disapproved of Even with regard to the first, there was mucl opposition evinced, and the Committee were compelled at last, from the difficulty of obtaining a hearing, to withdraw from the field It may, therefore, be looked upon as a drawr game, neither partythe long credit nor the short credithaving obtained the ascendancy for, trom the noise and confusion, which we understand from a party present, was exhibi ted at the meeting, it would be impossible t determine whether the resolution was carriet or not. It would, however, be advantageoui to the tradeboth buyer and sellerif somi regular credit system were adopted, for thi present mode of carrying on business is opei to many serious objectionsof which ma ny manufacturers complain, as it appears to us with justice. It is no uncommon thing for a manufacture to date an invoice of goods sold, three or sij months forward, in addition to the customar; six months' credit of the trade, so that he ac tually gives nine or twelve months' credit and sometimes longer, when, by right, thi purchaser could only expect six months' timi from date of purchase before payment woul be due. This is a ruinous method of pro :edure, which cannot fail to be detrimen fcal, not only to the party doing so, but likewise to other dealers. As a matter of course these latter, in self-defence, are obliged to Jo similarly, or, if they refuse such accommodation, they are liable to suffer from loss of business, the buyers complaining of their un-iccommodating spirit, as compared with Mr. So-and-so or Mr. So-and-so. Again, the charges for freightage and insurance are a heavy drawback on a business where manufacturing prices are so slightly remunerative as the hardware trade, and amount fco a large item on the debit side of a manufacturer's books, when he is expected to pay the expenses of carriage as far as Albany or Buffalo, and even in some particular cases which we could point out, as far as New Orleans. Even the price of the packing ca ses, which are now allowed to the buyer, is a heavy item out of the manufacturers' profits, where the business is large, amounting, with some firms, to several thousand dollars yearly, and although a small manufacturer, whose orders are few, may think to draw custom by making no charge for packing cases, yet it comes onerous where the orders are extensive. If we are not mistaken, in other lines of business it is customaryf or the purchaser to be at this expense ; at all events, it would be of great advantage to those that are concerned in this trade, to come to some unanimous agreement upon these pointstheir differences can only injure themselves, and while they are pulling different ways, no good can arise. We are opposed to monopolies and cliqueism, but we are, nevertheless, of opinion that organization is necessary in all stages of society, and that both the manufacturer and the dealer, the seller and the purchaser, are benefitted by a regular system, where chicanery and unfair conduct cannot get the upper hand over the honest and straightforward tradesman. Let the hardware manufacturers, therefore, see to itit is their affair to do so ; and if the prej sent meeting has been abortive, let them canvass the trade and call a general meeting again of hardware manufacturers from all parts of the Union.
This article was originally published with the title "The Hardware Trade" in Scientific American 8, 23, 181 (February 1853)