Baltimore Evening Sun (18 June 1912): 8.


What with white lights, animated signs and pay-as-you-enter cars, Baltimore grows more vulgar every day. Soon it will look like an American city.

Contributions to the roster of manias and phobias:

Cartophobia, or the fear of not getting a convention ticket. Sunpaperophobia, or the chronic nightmare of political mountebanks. Harryomania, or self-respect becomes pathological.

Tips for the Maryland Anti-Vivisection Society, the moribund, the melancholy:

At the Johns Hopkins Medical School yesterday 22 dogs were forced to submit to stethoscopy without anesthetics. The paupers at Bayview will be washed again on August 1.

Autobiographical reflections of the Hon. the super-Mahon, in the current issue of his weekly paper:

Mr. Preston’s brilliant record * * * His name * * * will strengthen the ticket in every section of the country. His tremendous energy in the accomplishment of desirable ends * * * When the showdown comes be will be unanimously nominated for Vice-President.

The portrait on the Harmon badge is an excellent likeness of the Hon. Jacobus Hook, the only gemuethlich publican since Levi.—Adv.

The subcommittee on drinking facilities, lately appointed by the Municipal National Democratic Committee to look to the refreshment of convention visitors, is ready to submit a report showing that the hotel and kaif keepers of Baltimore have made ample and humane preparations. I quote from the advance sheets:

Your committee, in making its inquiry, has assumed that the territory in which the delegates, alternates and visitors to the convention will do their principal drinking will be bounded as follows: Beginning for the same at the southwest corner of Dolphin and Eutaw streets and running thence southerly along the west side of Eutaw street to Franklin street, and thence along the north side of Franklin street to Fremont street, and thence along the south side of Fremont street to Pratt street, and thence along the south side of Pratt street to Paca street, and thence along the west side of Paca street to Camden street, and thence along the south side of Camden street to Light street, and thence along the east side of Light street to German street, and thence along the south side of German street to South street, and thence along the east side of South street to Baltimore street, and thence along the south side of Baltimore street to Jones’ falls, and thence along the centre line of the said falls to North avenue, and thence along the south side of North avenue to Mount Royal avenue, and thence along the went side of Mount Royal avenue to Dolphin street and thence to the place of beginning.

In this territory, according to the committee, there are 529 public drinking places, with a total normal bar frontage of 2 miles, 1,064 yards, 3 feet and 1 inch. Allowing the usual two feet for each man, there is thus room for 6,872 men to drink at once. But, as the commlitee says:

Two feet is by no means necessary. Experience shows, indeed, that at times of great popular excitement and crowding most men are willing to approach the bar sideways instead of bow on, and tests made by us indicate that this technique, taking men as they come, reduces the space required to 18⅔ inches. Thus the total capacity of the existing bars is raised from 6,872 men to 7,797.

But in addition to this normal barrage a large number of temporary bars have been erected, particularly in the hotels, and in other drinking places the space usually dedicated to pretzels, cheese, crackers, baseball scorecards and respiratory deodorants will be given over to service. These additions, according to the committee, will make room for 981 more men on the 18⅔-inch basis. Add 981 to 7,797 and you have 8,778.

So much for the maximum capacity of the drinking rooms in the convention area. How many times a day will it be possible to employ that maximum capacity? In other words, how many separate squads of men will be able to approach the bars, drink and then get away? Thus the committee deals with the question:

Reports made by our inspectors show that, in the average Baltimore barroom, it takes 4.92 minutes to serve a customer. In this calculation we do not include the time a customer may perchance waste in swapping anecdotes with the bartender or in haranguing his fellow-drinkers, but merely the time it takes for him to come to anchor, order his drink, get it, drink it, swallow a clove, brush his mustache with the serviette and take his departure.

The committee then proceeds to calculate how many drinkers can be accommodated in the 32 hotels and 497 other drinking places of the convention area, supposing all of them to open and close promptly. The hotels, according to Chapter 123, Section 682, of the Public General Laws of Maryland (Baltimore City Charter) as amended by the Liquor License Act of 1908, are free to keep open 24 hours a day, but other public drinking places must close between midnight and 5 A. M. (State vs. Smith et al. 74 Md., 352.) Assuming that these regulations are obeyed and allowing each man 1.18 minutes to get in and out of the drinking room, it appears that each bar will accommodate 10 sets of men an hour. In the case of a hotel this works out to 240 sets a day, and in the. case of any other public drinking place to 190. Thus the 32 hotels, which have 2,417 of the 9,779 anchorages, will accommodate 580,080 drinkers a day, while the 497 other places, with 6,341 anchorages, will accommodate 1,208,590, or 1,788,670 in all. Assuming that each visitor averages 10 drinks a day, there will thus be accommodation for 178,867 head.

But, as the committee points out, these gross figures, while very interesting and instructive, take no account of many practical difficulties. For one thing, it will be impossible to work the bars to their full capacity during the whole time available, for the reason that many drinkers will meet friends in the crowd and linger to talk, and so delay those behind them. This difficulty, of course, might be met by rigid police supervision, or by appeals to the fair-play and gemuethlichkeit of the visitors, but the police will be busy elsewhere and the policy of the Municipal Democratic Convention Committee is to avoid harassing the visitors with orders and requests. As things stand, the subcommittee calculates that the rate of 10 sets an hour will be materially reduced—perhaps to 5, or even less. And a rate of 5 sets an hour will make it impossible to accommodate more than 89,433 head a day.

Again, there is the difficulty that the maximum surge of drinkers, whatever the heat, will not be maintained unbroken at all hours. While the convention is in session, for example, the crowds in the bars will be reduced by fully one-half, and there will be other reductions before 8.30 in the morning, at meal times and after 3 A. M. The subcommittee, after careful investigation, concludes that these

[Concluded tomorrow.]