Excerpt from Bulletin of the Department of Labor: July, 1900
It should be borne in mind that not all industrial combinations are trusts in the popular sense. In fact, there are but very few real trusts in the country. The combination sometimes does not differ from an enlarged corporation. To cover the matter, however, the title Trusts and Industrial Combinations has been given this report. - C. D. W.] This study of facts regarding industrial combinations embodies the results of reports made by 41 combinations. In preparing the schedule of inquiry it was necessary to make the questions general enough so that they would apply, so far as possible, to all combinations. In consequence, practically, each combination found that some of the questions did not apply to its special line of business, but in general the questions were answered as freely as could be expected. Inasmuch as the investigation was for the purpose of learning as fully as possible the effects of industrial combinations, it has been desirable to secure information regarding the various companies which entered into the combinations, covering the period preceding the organization of the combinations, as well as the statistics of the combinations themselves. In a number of instances it has not been possible to secure details regarding the companies which entered a combination, inasmuch as those companies have been dissolved and their books and records are not in the possession or under the control of the combination itself, nor readily accessible. As regards the studies of prices, of course those are largely a matter of market record, so that this difficulty has not been insurmountable in many cases, although in individual instances where market reports have not been regularly kept the apparent effect on prices could not be noted.
Dates OF formation. - Twenty-four of the 40 combinations report ing as to date of organization were formed in the years 1898 and 1899; of those formed before 1898 five were organized in 1891. One was formed as early as 1865.
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