OUR PICTURE GALLERY.
CHARLES FRANCIS WOOD.
No man in the water-works business has had a more varied and up-hill career than the subject of this article. Born in Stowe, Vt., in 1865, he was left an orphan in 1874. Having no relatives, young Wood drifted to Boston and began life selling papers and blacking boots. Feeling that greater things were due him, he came to New York, and after a white divided his time between boot blacking, selling papers and carrying messages. In 1880 he went to New Haven and sold newspapers, and finally became a route boy on The Journal and Courier. When The Morning News started Wood was placed in charge of the city distribution. He started routes on his own responsibility, handling all the morning and evening papers and monthlies. He worked from 3 A. M. to 8 A. M., and from 2 to 7 P. M. Bet ween these hours he attended school and studied nights. In 1886 he was appointed assistant city engineer of the city, and in 1887 became a draughtsman on the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska. In May, 1887, he returned to New Haven and the city engineer’s department. In July. 1889, was made assistant engineer in charge of Raleigh (N. C.) sewerage. I11 January. 1890, became junior partner of the firm of Wright & Wood, general engineering practice, Knoxville, Tenn. In 1890 was appointed engineer and superintendent of the Knoxville waterworks, and in March, 1893, resigned to resume general practice of engineer. In 1888 was elected Junior American Society of Civil Engineers. He is also a member of the American Water-works Association.
I.. N. CHASE.
I N. Chase, the secretary and manager of the water-works of Detroit, Mich., was promoted to this position from a subordinate one January 1, 1889. Ilis main endeavor has been to perfect the entire system as far as possible, and particularly to operate the works as economically as circumstances would permit. He became a member of the American Water-works Association immediately upon his promotion, and spent his leisure hours in studying the proceedings of the previous years of its organization. What he knows about water-works management lie claims is largely due to the education he thus received. The necessity for reducing the waste of water or of enlarging the works, was forced upon his attention during the second month of his incumbency. He advised the board to introduce meters rather than enlatge the works, the amount estimated for such enlargement being $600,000. It is hardly necessary to enter into a history of his struggles and the many trials that awaited him along the way. Detroit is an old, conservative city, and many of its best citizens denounced this attempt to “curtail their use of a beverage that should be as free as air.’ The results can be briefly stated. The population of Detroit in 1888 was 192,730, and the population in 1892 was 238,683, or an increase of 46,000 people, and a large increase also in its business and manufacturing consumption.
The consumption of water in 1888 was 14⅛ billion gallons with a per capita daily consumption of 204 gallons. The consumption of water in 1892 was 12X billion gallons, and a per capita daily consumption of 140 gallons. Various other innovations and improvements have been made through his influence that have resulted in a wonderful decrease in its operating expenses.