Issue 26 and Volume 1884 14.

THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR. THE year 1884 is rapidly drawing to a close, and our regrets at the flight of time are tempered by the hope that a less disastrous year is before us. The year 1884 will long be remembered by those interested in such matters—especially by fire underwriters—as having a remarkable record for the number and destructiveness of the fires that occurred. No section of the country has been exempt from them, but the contributions to the national ash heap have come from all quarters. For many years the annual loss by fire has been estimated at $100,000,000, an enormous sum to be absolutely and recklessly thrown away, but this year the loss will exceed this sum by a large amount; probably the total will reach $125,000,000. No accurate data is obtainable by which to fix the loss positively each year, but the estimates we use from…

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