Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

19, Assurances from Winchester Urging Crop Preparation
We can safely assure our readers, and the citizens of Middle Tennessee, that whatever doubt there may have been heretofore as to our remaining permanently in this section of the country, it is now reduced down to a certainty, that here we intend to stick and fight it out. So let all those who have failed to prepare for a crop, take hold of the plough line; and commence their operations in the earthworks, and plant their corn batteries, which will prove to be as formidable to the enemy, ad of as much service to our cause, as though they were real gun batteries. – Winchester Bulletin.
Fayetteville Observer, March 19, 1863.


 March 19, 1863 - Street Lighting Problems in Memphis; Profit vs. the Public Good

THE GAS LAMPS. – The Council a short time ago appointed a committee to ascertain the reason why the street lamps have lately given so little light. The decrease of light is a matter of common observation. o­n looking down a lighted street the lamps are seen shimmering ere and here, but the streets notwithstanding are in darkness. Even when there is a lamp o­n each of two corners, crossing it is dark at the center of the two. The difference is very striking to anyone who will contrast the light around a street lamp with that in front of a window whose burner is lighted. The Council committee have reported that the causes of the diminished light is the want of a due pressure o­n the gas meter at the gas works. Of course, if that pressure is inadequate the amount of gas flowing up the street mains is diminished, and not o­nly street lamps but priate burners have a decreased supply. As the company is paid so much a lamp, whatever quantity of gas may be burned, the less the consumption the greater the profit. The gas burned by private consumers, however, is charged by measure, and to lessen the supply to them is to increase the income of the company. When a light burning in a store is compared with o­ne burning in a gas lamp, the difference between the two is manifest where the pay is increased in proportion to the amount of gas consumed the supply is plentiful; where the profits decrease with the amount consumed the supply is small. The facts point to different explanations of the matter in question from the o­ne given by the committee. A year or two ago a new contract was made with the gas company at their own desire, which took the lighting and cleaning of the lamps out of the hands of the city and put it the hands of the company, and the city, instead of paying for gas by measurement, paid for it at a fixed rate per lamp. This contract the Council have resolved not renew after termination of the current contract year. It is observable that not o­nly has the amount of light from the lamps been diminished, but they have often been unlighted at hours when their light was most necessary. The present contract makes it to the interest of the company to have the lamps consume as little gas as possible, and we may naturally expect the company to look to its own interests.

Memphis Bulletin, March 19, 1863.


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