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Ships for the Seven Seas: The Story of America's Maritime Needs, Her Capabilities,
NEW YORK-THE METROPOLIS OF MANKIND
BY WILLIAM JOSEPH SHOWALTER
AUTHOR OF "THE PANAMA CANAL," "HOW THE WORLD IS FED," "STEEL THE NATION'S
GREATEST ASSET," ETC.
This is the first of a series of articles concerning the principal cities of the United States which will appear from time to time in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE. In word and picture these articles will tell the story of what these cities are today, what problems they are facing, what futures they are planning, and what rôles they are playing in the nation's activities.
ITH German submarines creeping up to the very portals of its busy harbor, with with precautions being taken lest on some unguarded, moonless night an enemy hydro-airplane, laden with bombs of destruction, descend upon it out of the sky, the eyes of the whole world are focused upon New York. A city which the great war has made the earth's international trade center and civilization's crowning metropolis, Gotham
now commands a new interest, arouses a new pride in its achievements, excites a new feeling of wonder, and stirs in every American breast a realization that it is a city of all the people, national in all its aspects and relations.
Conspicuous above every other phase of its greatness, of course, is its role as an international trade center. Last year exports passing out of its harbor had a greater value than the combined exports of Asia, Africa, and Australia. The imports coming through its customs lines exceeded in value those of the continents of South America, Africa, and Australia together.
For such operations as these, New York, perforce, must be a great metrop
olis. In population it outranks any one of half the nations of the earth, surpasses that of the entire continent of Australia, and matches the combined strength of the six westernmost States of the American Union. In annual expenditures it exceeds all except seven of the fifty-odd nations on the map. Its water system could supply the whole earth with drinking water, and its storage reservoirs hold enough to slake civilization's thirst for more than a year. Its electric transportation lines carry nearly twice as many passengers in twelve months as all the steam railroads of the United States. They could give every man, woman, and child living a ride every ten months-so much for the yardstick of comparison.
THE MAJESTY OF THE CITY'S SMALL
New York is of all cities the one where the majesty of small things is regarded. as well as the greatness of large ones.
Who counts a nickel? Yet the greatest transportation system of the ages was built by nickels prospective, and lives on nickels realized. Who reckons a dime,