Harrisburg telegraph. (Harrisburg, Pa.) 1879-1948, October 16, 1918, Image 8

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    Training and Equipping Our Country's New Merchant Marine
Special Correspondence
ONCE again is American bone
nndn brawn to man American
merchantmen. Once again is
the American flag to fly over
millions of tons of shipping scattered
through every harbor where a cargo
for the States can be scraped together
to fill yawning hold or where an
empty warehouse waits for American
* *
Old ports have awakened from long
sleep, jarred into sudden wakefulness
by the crying need for men and ships.
When these ports were in the heyday
of their tarry glory they were the
hunting ground of "greasy crimps."
who plied their 'bloody calling"
shanghaiing unwilling crews aboard
deep water craft about to clear for
the long voyage. But the old ports
have come to life to And that the
crimp and his chief imp, the slinking
"boarding house runner." are no more,
Men are 110 longer lacking. Crows are
no longer hard to fill.
Instead, thousands of young Ameri
cans are slocking to the age-old
water front-:. They are the boys who
saw their childhood dreams of some
day running off to sea vanish with
the passing of the American clipper
ship, anrl the later triumph of steam
over sail. And now with a newer,
greater American merchant marine
just below the horizon, they art the
boys who will make the new mer
chant fleet possible. They are flocking
to the old ports to "sign articles" on
some one of the big training ships
which are being operated by the
United States Shipping Board recruit
ing and training service and from
which will be supplied the officers and
men for the American ships of the
At Boston, where along India street
still hang memories of the fleet-heeled
| Agrienltare Scientists Are Sorely Needed fey the fofernmeit ||
Special Correapondonoe ,
THE subject of food conserva
tion, for war's sake, may seem
threadbare, but the need for
agricultural scientists In this
most necessary activity seems to be
understood by but comparatively few
people. These few —chiefs of the vari
ous divisions of the Department of
Agriculture who have been mission
aries to the farmer during the last
several years—are almost ready to
throw up their hands In despair. If
the vast number of skilled assistants
who have left since April 6, 1917, is
in the least augmented.
Considerably more than 6,000 men
and women have stepped out of the
ranks that are lined up for Increased
food production, a large percentage
having entered military or naval
service. Under the food production
act of August 10, 1917, Congress made
available to the department an addi
tional appropriation of $11,346,400 for
the extension and development of its
activities In many directions, and di
rected the department to carry out
its intentions in this respect.
The department, therefore, has been
in the position of having to increase
Its forces very considerably when, at
the same time, it has been losing large
numbers of Its most effective and
trained employes.
That this is a knotty problem 13 the
opinion particularly of Dr. Bradford
C. Knapp, head of the southern divi
sion of the states' relations bureau
of the Department of Agriculture. Dr.
Knapp's father was the father also ot
the wonderful extension work now in
danger of deteriorating if help in
some form does not come.
* *
"The war has served to exhibit to
the country at large, as the country
never quite realized before, Its de
pendence upon agricuture and the
manifold problems which beset our
primary Industry," Is the statement
of one authority in the offices of Sec
retary Houston.
"The southern states extension
work," said Dr. Knapp, "was ma
terially affected when war was de
clared in April, 1917. Plans for the
year wore definitely changed to meet
emergency conditions. It was decided
In a conferenc of all the agricultural
workers of the country that the most
Important problem of the American
farmer was to increase the food sup
ply. Consequently, the larger portion
of the time of all agents and other
extension workers was given to pro
ductive and conservation work.
"It has not been so long ago that
thla work, emanating from Washing
ton. but co-operative with local and
state boards, was considered non
sense. Constant care was used to In
culcate the idea that our efforts were
entirely in the interest ot the farm
"clipper ships." at San Francisco. I
where the Barbary Coast sucked in |
the old-time sailor man. stripped him I
of his gold and cast him forth upon j
another three-year voyage: at New I
York, where South nnd West streets '
still harbor what is left of the drab
structures that were the sailor's I
boarding houses at these ports have j
the training ships been stationed. '
And othdrs will soon cast anchor in |
the harbor of New Orleans, where !
from time out of mind ships in the '
Caribbean trade have touched; and at ]
Newport News, where the River road 1
still holds the tang of the open sea. [
| Upon these ships American boys are |
learning to "read, hand and steer" 1
the necessary accomplishments of an j
A. B. in the fo'c'sle of a windjammer. I
since the speedy American wooden
schooner is being built more exten
sively than ever before and even the I
old square-riggers—barks and bark- 1
rntines and brigs—have been dragged
from the mud of a hundred "rotten j
rows" to be rebuilt and patched and
painted so that they may take up |
again their burden in the coastwise
carrying trade.
& *
Also upon these ships American j
boys are learning the less romantic |
duties which mark the difference be- \
tween a sailor In steam and one in (
sail, and each is being given the ,
grounding which will fit him some 1
day "to sleep aft"—officer of some i
stanch American ship.
Time, was when the American sea
man was a race unto himself. Into
the farthest roabhes of the seven seas
he drove the fleet-heeled clippers of!
the fifties, while his wife ashorej
j raised sturdy sons to take up their
I father's work when the tricky sea at I
I last had Claimed him. Then came I
the days when the American mer- ;
chant marine sailed into the doldroms !
! of decay, when the few sailing ships
1 were no longer manned by Down East 1
; sailormen, but were driven by non-1
y W -
era. The county agent stands out
among the effective aids we have as
the pivot of many a triumph. Ha
might be called the priest of an In
different flock grown greedy now for
advice that leads to better things.
"And let me tell you," said the
speaker, earnestly, "the county agent
and many others of our men, if they
happen to be In the draft age, have
been In a state of mental confusion
that is next to torture. They, one
and all, I believe, without exception,
want to go to war. This is their per
sonal desire. But to know what is
best for their country is a decision
harder to make. Letters by the hun
i clred have been pouring into the
| states relations service ever since the
i draft regulation was instituted. From
Louisiana, with a date of May 18 last,
comes a letter from a county agent
who has been of big service in the
development of new agricultural Ideas
in the south.
* *
" 'ls there not some way that I can
be 4>t greater service to my country.
In this great hour of need, than as a
county agent? I know I am doing
good here in this community, but my
descript scattermouche crews or by
stolid "squareheads," mostly the off
scourings of European ports. Then
true "sailorizing" had become an al
most lost art.
* *
But the lost art Is to be revived as
j part of the great campaign of straf
ing the Hun and equipping the nation
I to keep the commerce of Germany
I from the seas, once the kaiser has j
j been driven within his own borders j
, and defeated. Not one of the ancient!
! traditions of the American seaman j
j is to be overlooked when the thou- j
i sands of American boys, destined to !
J take the places of then tarry, hard- |
I bitten forebears in fo'c'sle and on 1
I quarterdeck are trained.
| Even the chantv will come arein |
j into Its own. There are still old salts
I who, in so good a cause, will sing j
\ again the songs of the sea. Wherefore I
it may chance that again "The Banks !
1 of the Sacramento" will sound when ;
the anchor is raised on some new |
wooden shin: that "Hanging Johnny" j
and "Whisky Johnny" will float out |
' over the waves of the western ocean
i while youthful crew are hoisting!
1 away; that some astounded landsman ;
will learn that "Old Storm Along Was
I a Good Old Man," while the pumps j
! suck the bilges dry; or that
j "We will heave
j Aye! Aye!
! And we'll swing
| Aye! Aye!
' And pay Paddy Doyle for his boots!")
! while the sails of some yet unresur- |
I rected square rigger are being furled, j
I The shipbuilding program for 1018 !
| and 1919 calls for from 8,000,000 to 1
10,000,000 tons of shipping, and that 1
the vessels turned out to fill this re- j
j quirement may be sufficiently manned :
! means that from 50,000 to 100,000 of- j
! fleers, engineers and sailors will be |
I needed. It was to train men and boys
! sufficient to meet this demand that \
! the shipping board established its |
: training service.
j The establishment of this service |
1 dates back to the early days of the
1 war, and in part to the long-cherished I
I dreams of a Boston business man, I
conscience is not satisfied, for I feel
that I should don a uniform and be
of greater service. Of course, as you
know, I am in class 4 A of the draft,
but I have the feeling of all true
Americans, that I am not doing
enough, and, being constantly in the
public eye, am quite often asked,
"Why aren't you with the boys over
there?" It is almost more than I can
stand. If we county agents could
only be commissioned and wear the
uniform we would not bo subject to
such humiliation. If volunteering as
a private is all I can do I'm going to
do that, though I have a wife and
child to support. Please write me
soon, advising me."
"Another letter, from a very happv
county agent who has at last arrived
at a definite stage in the confusion,
is brief enough to quote in full. This
is of even a later date:
" 'I am at last the most contented
man you have seen. Absolutely noth
ing to do but prepare to kill Huns.
What Is more pleasant than to be in
the Army and know that I have begun
to become fit to fight the German par
asites, then to come back later and
help develop the community spirit In
rural America? It Is my duty to go
over there and cast my lot in eradl
' eating this parasitic enemy. May I
Henry Howard. Of seafaring ances
try, Mr. Howard has long wished
for the return of the American mer
chant marine—it has been his hobby;
and so it came to pass that the United
States had hardly more than begun
the turning of her huge wheels of ma
chinery which were to crush out au
tocracy before Mr. Howard came to
Washington to consult with officials
of the newly established shipping
board. He came with a plan for train
ing men to sail the ships which were
| going to play so important a part in
the winning of the war.
! Not for nothing had he dreamed of
j the return of American merchantmen,
j for he laid before the shipping board
i a fully matured plan whereby men
j could he trained and made capable
iof sailing the ships being builded.
j The result was that Mr. Howard was
j appointed director of the recruiting
; service, with headquarters at Boston,
i And no sooner had Mr. Howard been
i given his appointment than he set
| about accomplishing actual results.
At Gloucester, Mass., a free school
!t navigation was opened, and at
| Cambridge, Mass., the Massachusetts
I Institute of Technology inaugurated a
j free course in marine engineering.
; Only seamen who desired to fit them
j selevs for officers were admitted to
j these courses. Whatever of fear may
: have been felt as to the difficulty of
l obtaining crews for America's new
' merchant marine vanished with the
! establishment of these first two
j schools. Not only were enrollments
so numerous that students could not
j all be accommodated, but also the men
who took up the courses were so suc
cessful in obtaining certificates that
I other schools were opened as soon
1 as possible.
* *
! Today there are thirty schools oi
i ravigation throughout the country,
scattered from Maine to California,
while ten schools of marine engineer
ing have been opened around the
coast, and at inland cities such as
Chicago and Cleveland.
But great as was the demand for
officers, equally great was the need
for sailors, firemen, s coal passers,
hope to return to my position in the
extension division after the war is
♦ *
"These fellows have been doing;
things," said Mr. Knapp. "We hear
so much admonition on the subject
of potatoes. In the fifteen states of
the south over which I have direc
tion Irish potatoes increased trom
49,000,000 bushels to 68,000,000, in
round numbers. Sweet potatoes In ■
1916 had a yield in this section of
66,000,000 bushels, and in 1917 the
farmers gathered In 80,000,000 bush
els. The acreage in one kind of beans
increased close to 200 per cent, permits
increased almost 100 per cent, while
garden, fruit and other crops of simi
lar nature increased by several hun
dred per cent.
"The agents employed in 1917 an
emergency enrollment of about 2,-
600,000 women and girls, who under
took to raise gardens, and especially
to can and preserve for future use.
No written reports were received
from many on this emergency en
rollment, but a very conservative es
timate of the results obtained is that
ooolcs and messmen. And to meet
this need, on New Tear day, 1918,
there went Into commission as a
training ship in Boston harbor the
Calvin Austin. Once a coast-wise
passenger ship, the Calvin Austin had
been taken over by the shipping
board the November before. It was
this vessel which came into promi
nence about that time because of be
ing the first vessel to reach Halifax
after the great disaster there.
With facilities for training between
800 and GOO men, tho Calvin Austin
was soon taxed to her utmost, and
the Governor Dingley. a sister ship,
was added. Later, a third coast-wise
steamer, the Governor Cobb, was
commissioned in this training serv
ice. A short time ago the old Army
transport Meade was brought up to
Boston front Newport News and will !
be used as the mother ship of a
squadron that will shortly be in ac
tive service turning out young men
for service on the vessels destined to
take troops and cargo across the
ocean. The Meade was originally the
City of Berlin, a famous liner, hold
ing transatlantic records both ways.
She has facilities for training more
than 1,400 students, and while too
old for sea service is an ideal train
ing ship.
At San Francisco has been stationed
the Iris, a mother ship for subma
rines. This is the first training ship
to bo stationed on the Pacific coast.
Another training ship, the Dorothy
Bradford, will have its ba3e in New
York harbor. Present plans also call
for the placing of training ships at
Norfolk, Va.; New Orleans and Seat
tle, Wash.
* *
Although the number of training
ports where American youths may
It themselves to man American ves
"ls are comparatively few, there is
yet no reason why any able-bodied
American boy betwen the ages of
twenty-one and thirty should not
"sign articles" with some 'training
ship if he so desires. To this end the
shipping board has Inaugurated a
thorough and far-reaching system of
recruiting that should reach every
village and hamlet as well as the
large cities, and find the ear of every
200,000,000 cans of fruits and vege
tables were preserved through the
activities of the home demonstration
agents in 1917.
"By co-operntlon with the bureau
of chemistry, the Council of National
Defense, War Industries Boards and
other public offices in Washington
we were able to distribute to the
proper communities in the south two
million tin cans for farm women's
home canning."
And then Dr. Knapp's audience was
to discover that wheat and oats are
raised in the south, and that while,
from 1909 to 1918, 162 per cent addi
tional had been the wheat increase,
and 133 per cent the oats, cotton, the
proverbial product of the south, had
been practically at a standstill. Corn
showed almost 50 per cent increase
In the nine years.
A further question revealed that
the work of the county agent is per
formed in conjunction with the ex
pert advice and assistance of spe
cialists from the state college force,
and that much of the success of a
year's efforts depends upon the defi
nite plans outlined minutely at the
beginning of the year. Being spe
cific in his mission to the farmers is
a first requisite.
, * *
The program of agricultural produc
tion for 1918 shows very definite figures
and facts, and is somewhat of an eye
opener to one who may have thought
vaguely of farming as something ever
to be done by somebody else and alto
gether prosy.
Quoting from this program: "Before
the war the United States received dairy
■ products from about twenty foreign coun
tries. These supplies having stopped, It
has become necessary to not only re
place them at home, but to export large
quantities. In 1914, for instance, wo Im
ported approximately 64,000,000 pounds
more of dairy products than we exported,
not including ;i*sh milk and cream. Last
year we exported 320,000,000 pounds
more than we imported."
In every paragraph of the program Is
seen the guiding hand of the far-seeing
Department of Agriculture, who feels it
self sponsor for the upkeep of America
and her allies until the war shall have
been fought to a finish. In the matter
of wool, for Instance, it is a little disturb
ing to hear that we furnish only about
half of what we need In normal times,
and that to equip 2,000,000 soldiers and
clothe them for one year would require
the entire quantity of wool grown annu
ally In this country.
The department's plans for 1918 hope
to develop sheep husbandry, especially
In the eastern and southern states. Pred
atory animals, now as of old, when fables
were written and sung of lambs and wild
nnimals, are regarded as a stumbling
block in widely Increased production of
alt kinds of live stock. On the western
cattle ranges predatory animals alone
cause yearly losses averaging $25,000,000.
In the case of rodents, particuarly, the
department, torhlch announces that rats
and mice levy a toll of $200,000,000 upon
boy who would heed the call of the
Scattered throughout forty-eight
states are more than 6,800 druggists
—"dollar-a-year" men who have
signified their desire to aid the gov
ernment. These druggists are to be
found in 6,300 cities, towns and VII-
I lages, and any boy who wants to e.i-
I list in the merchant marine service
has but to sign application papers at
the nearest drug store properly au
thorized to accept them. He will then
be referred to a physician, hundreds
of whom throughout the country have
undertaken to examine applicants for
this service as a patriotic work. If
he pnsses ihe recruit is then ordered
to report to Boston headquarters or
the nearest training port, where he is
examined by a physician of the ship
ping board. _
£ *
Each recruit is required to pay his
own fare to Boston, hut if he is re
ceived into the service the fare is re
funded. Apprentices are paid $3O a
month while training, and exempted
from military duty as long as they
are regularly employed in the mer
chant marine. The uniform of the
service is blue, and all men accepted
receive their uniform and working
clothes. Upon graduation the ship
ping board undertakes to place each
man in a merchant marine vessel.
The training courses cover a period
of six weeks' intensive instruction,
and include all phases of work per
taining to duties on steel and wooden
ships as well as steam and Sailing
vessels. The Meade is used exclusive
ly as a receiving ship. The other hulls
of the 'fleet, however, are at sea four
or five days in every weeli. during
which time the student marines are
given practical instruction.
An instructor is provided for every
the nation's food supply, 'is having ex- j
cellent success of late in eradicating,
* *
Pork production will be increased.
Pork constitutes more than one-half
of all the meat produced in the United
States and is the mainstay of the
ration of the laboring man and tlio
soldier. The need for increasing the
supply of fats is particularly acute.
The reported decrease In the number
of hogs in the allied countries also
has been very great. Before the war
we exported on the average 900,000,-
000 pounds of pork products yearly.
Uast year our exports had increased
to 1,446,000,000 pounds, the excess
largely bacon. In 1917 the acreage of
corn grown was the largest in the
history of the country.
Record crops have been produced
In the last twelve months, but these
achievements do not call for com
placency. The necessity of again se
curing largo yields from the farms
and ranges this year already has
been strikingly emphasized by the
President In his message to the farm
ers of the country.
The creed of the southern extension
work in particular takes in four
points for production during the war:
Introducing good nlethods in farm
ing, increasing the production of ex
portable foods, to have every com
munity feed Itself and not to produce
an excess of perishable foods.
In the county agricultural work in
the north and west it is stated that
the most significant outgrowth has
been the increased popular concep
tion of the farmer as a business man.
"Greater net profit per farm" has
been from the beginning the domi
nant Idea there. Thousands of farm
ers have been persuaded to keep ,
Farm communities have been taught
to pool their orders and to get to
gether in the matter of marketing.
Many thousand farm hands have been
detailed for northern and western
farms through the county agents'
ministrations. Work in relation to
soil improvement has been invaluable.
In some parts of the west the diking
of districts had multiplied the cul
tlvatable area more than three times.
* $
It used to be the opinion of some
that anybody could work on a farm,
that results were all about the same,
anyway; that pigs turned out to shift
for themselves made hogs of them
i selves in time; that goats from little
shavings grew; that cattle were
merely calves grown tall and less,
wabbly, and that a "hired man" at $2O
a month and his "keep" was the sole
requirement of a small farm. It is
growing more and more true that the |
great farm lands of the United States
require scientific handling If the enor- j
mous tncrease in food production is 1
to be more than evanescent.
To show how Germany regards the
technically trained farmer, a para
graph in one of the numerous ac
counts of prisoners of war, that now
come flooding Into weeklies and dai
lies, related the questioning of an
American as to his qualifications for
work. A nice Tommy Atkins, know
ing what was coming Sammy's way
and discovering that said Sammy
ten students. Manuals specially,
adapted for training the students
thoroughly, yet in the short time nec
essary to the completion of the course
in six weeks, have been prepared.
They deal with seamanship in all its
branches. Printed leaflets also ini
tiate the embryo seaman into the
mysteries of the compass, knotting
and splicing, blocks, and all of the
hundred other important details which
for ages have made the sailorman a
distinct product.
• Since the Calvin Austin went into
commission nearly 400 graduate sea
men have been sent into merchant
ships, and not a single bad report has
coYne back to the shipping hoard re
garding the intelligent performance
of their duty. In addition to this, sev
eral of the boys who served their ap
prenticeship on the Calvin Austin
have since passed examinations grant
ing them certificates as engineers.
A proportionately large number of
graduates have been turned out by
the other training ships in service for
any length of time. Eand schools for
navigators and engineers have also
been largely attended, more than
5,000 students having been enrolled,
of which a considerable per cent have
already received their certificates and
are at sea.
As official chanty instructor Is Stan
ton 11. King, whose duty it is to re
vive the ancient custom among sailor
men of singing while they worked.
Mr. King is an "old salt" himself,
having gotten his experience in sea
manship and his love of sea chanties
on Yankee ships forty years ago. Con
sidered the best chanty singer in this
country. Mr. King has been singing
these old songs of the sea for years in
a Boston mission, and not only can he
teach the "new idea" tfce words, but
also he can put the "punch" Into
them—which was so important a
point in the "old days."
j knew something of farm life, sagely
I whispered to him to list himself as a
scientific farmer—that it would ban
ish forever the phantom of the dread
mines and give the American prisoner
something of an official rank with the
admiring Germans. Wisdom, this,
and the boy from Indiana, lowa or,
maybe, Texas, was commanded to take
charge of potato production in a cer
tain part of the enemy's land.
The bureau of animal industry has
been the heaviest loser in point of
numbers of men leaving the- Depart
ment of Agriculture for various rea
sons. The forestry service has lost
several hundred, and the bureau of
chemistry, plant industry antj the
weather bureau follow, with a consid
erable percentage. But in the face of
the constant call for the yield of
back-yard gardens and bigger gar
dens than city people ever saw, of
growing grain and grits und all sorts
of what the soldier calls "grub," the
extension work of the department
may be said to be facing disappoint
The Hungry Hun.
DR. A. N. DAVIS, the kaiser's Amer
ican dentist, said on his return
to New York:
"Germany is starving to death. One
day, in the hope o< getting a square
meal, I went out into the country to
a village that some one had told me
was still well stocked with provisions.
I selected the best looking Inn to be
seen, entered the place and said to a
lean boy who was In attendance:
" 'My boy, bring mo a stein of beer
and a brace of sausages—a brace of
! those large, succulent, appetizing
isausages that Germany is justly fa
mous for.'
"Hero I rubbed my hands and
" 'You know, my boy,' I went on,
'you know the kind of sausages I
moan. I mean frankfurter sausages,
great, steaming, juicy, savory frank
furter sausages. Hurry up now. One
"The boy licked his chops, gulped
solemnly and disappeared. Ho re
turned empty-handed. I gave him an
inquiring look and he said:
" 'Father told me to toll you that
if he had any sausages like you want
he'd eat 'em himself.' "
How Chaplains Are
Equipped for Service
THE following supplies are fur
nished by the Episcopal diocese
of Massachusetts to Its chaplains tn
| military service: Communion set,
I recreation tent, motion picture mi
! chine with screen, two fiber trunks
for carrying motion-picture outfit,
portable altar, cross and candlesticks,
stationery with name of reglmqnt,
talking machine with attachment to
play any record, large type
writer, small typewriter and auto
truck for motion-picture equipment.
These articles total a cost of $1,644.52,
as stated in a report from the Joint
commission on social service of tho
I'rotestant Episcopal Church.