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A Terminal Market System New York's Most Urgent Need; Some Observations, Comments, and Comparisons of European Markets   By:

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Copyright, 1912, by Mrs. Elmer Black

A Terminal Market System

New York's Most Urgent Need

Some Observations, Comments and Comparisons of European Markets



Member of the Advisory Board of the New York Terminal Market Commission



Foreword 3 The Markets of the United States 5 The Markets of the British Isles 5 The Markets of the German Empire 13 The Markets of France 23 The Markets of Austria Hungary 29 The Markets of Holland 30 The Markets of Belgium 30 Comments 31


Covent Garden Market 6 Smithfield in the Olden Days 8 Delivering Meat at Smithfield Today 8 Inside Smithfield Market 10 Billingsgate Fish Market, London 12 Berlin's Terminal Market 14 Interior of the Berlin Central Market 16 Ground Plan of the Munich Market 18 Munich's Modern Terminal Market 20 The Paris Halles, exterior view 24 The Paris Halles; Keen Morning Buyers 26 A Drastic Inspection 28


In the belief that the establishment of a first class Terminal Market system, worthy of twentieth century requirements, is a matter of vital importance to every family in New York, I have spent considerable time during the past few months investigating markets on both sides of the Atlantic.

As a result I am more than ever conscious of the need for an enlightened public opinion to support the efforts of the Terminal Market Commission to secure this benefit for our community. I am convinced that our fellow citizens will approve the requisite expenditure once they are roused to a realization of the inadequacy of our food distributing centers.

In the hope that my investigations may aid in the accomplishment of this reform, I have prepared these observations, comments and comparisons.

It is true that the problem of the high cost of living is afflicting the old lands of Europe, the newer countries like New Zealand, as well as our own wide territories of the United States. The causes vary, according to local conditions; but everywhere it is agreed that a potent force for the amelioration of the condition of the consumers is found in the establishment of efficient Terminal Markets under municipal control for all progressive cities. With wise administration, stringent inspection and sound safeguards, these municipal markets benefit both producers and consumers. They eliminate considerable intermediate expense, delay and confusion. Last but not least they return a profit to the city treasury.

It is because our New York markets achieve none of these beneficent results that I issue this plea for the establishment of an adequate Terminal Market system. I appeal to all who have the welfare of their city at heart to add the force of their opinion to the accomplishment of this civic improvement.

[Illustration: Madeleine Black (signature) (MRS. ELMER BLACK)]

United States

NEW YORK, with over 5,000,000 inhabitants, has no effective market system. The buildings are out of repair, there is little or no organization, and the superintendent has testified before the New York Food Investigation Commission (March 12, 1912) that on their administration last year there was a loss to the city treasury of $80,000 . To that must be added due consideration of the inconvenience to the consumers, producers and dealers, and the extra cost of handling entailed by the lack of modern market methods. The city has almost quadrupled its population in a generation, but the markets remain about as they were... Continue reading book >>

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Reviewer: - March 29, 2017
Partial text reproduced with permission from Carol M. Highsmith, co-author, Reading Terminal and Market, 1994

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