United States Commercial Agency, Furth, Bavaria, November
10, 1896. W. S. Hemby, Esq., Editor Chicago Journal of Commerce:
I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your favor
of the 22d ult., requesting an article on the "Opportunities for
American Machinery and Metal Goods" in this country, for
publication in your special edition of the 26th December.
In reply I beg to state that it would give me
pleasure to furnish you such an article, but the notice is too
short to do justice to the question. To reach you in time for
the issue named, the manuscript would have to leave here by
to-day's mail. I shall, however, take advantage of your
suggestion and some time in the near future take the liberty of
sending you my views on the subject referred to.
The question of the introduction of American
goods into foreign markets is, in my judgment, a very important
one, and one that should be treated most carefully.
I have seen it stated by an American newspaper
discussing this question that we should wait and see what the
people want and then make the effort to supply that want. While
this, in the sense I understand it, may sometimes be true, it
is, however, by no means a rule that can be applied to all
He who goes out and turns something up is always
infinitely more successful than the fellow who waits for
something to turn up, and the American manufacturer who takes
his goods into the foreign market and there submits them to the
people for inspection and examination is bound to be a
hundred-fold more successful than he who remains at home and
waits until the merit which his goods possess, or something
else, shall find for them a market.
If people have no idea that a certain article
exists, there surely can be no demand among them for that
article. They want an article only when they have seen it or
heard of it and learned of its use and advantage to them.
The following will, perhaps, illustrate my
meaning: This morning I watched a mechanic in a new building in
my neighborhood ripping a long board with a saw made precisely
after the pattern of an American common wood saw - the large
square frame and all.
As the saw part- went down the middle of the
board, the frame part slid along on the outside edge. The
operation was slow, tedious and awkward, but upon inquiry I
found this to be the only kind of hand saw known to the
Now, there is no demand here for American rip
saws, but if that mechanic could see a light, handy,
quick-cutting American hand saw, it is needless to tell me that
he would not want one.
My point is, then, that the American
manufacturer should not wait until a demand for his goods comes
to him from the foreign market, but, on the other hand, that he
should take or send his goods into that market, and thereby
create for them a demand.
Very truly and respectfully,
HENRY C. CARPENTER, United States Commercial