Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/164

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convenient access to the anthracite regions, like the Lackawanna and the Reading; but other companies maintain that the cost of the coal and of changing their boilers prohibits the introduction of anthracite.

There is always some reason for not doing the obviously proper thing!

It is to be hoped, however, that the despatch of June 17 from Chicago is well founded. It reads to the effect that

The general managers of railroads centering in Chicago claim that a determined campaign has been begun to secure greater economy in the use of coal, and at the same time reduce the smoke nuisance. Perhaps the most virtuous exponent of fuel economy is the Pennsylvania, the management of which has just started a campaign of education among its firemen.

To sum up: The elimination of the smoke nuisance, so far as the railroads are concerned, is feasible. Primarily it is a matter of proper firing and the use of the right sort of materials. The railroad officials are considering the question from various standpoints; some with a sincere desire to do all that possibly can be done as quickly as possible; others as rapidly as they are forced to do it by the law and by a militant public opinion; and a rear guard of hold-backs who are still closing their eyes to the obviously inevitable. These men will some day be disagreeably awakened, for the public is awakening on the subject and it expects everybody else to be.