West Virginia. Myers v. Carnahan, 61 W. Va. 414, 57 S. E. 134.

Wisconsin. Hosmer v. McDonald, 80 Wis. 54, 49 N. W. 112.

Wyoming. J. W. Denio Milling Co. v. Malin, 25 Wyom. 143, 165 Pac. 1113. "There is no surer way to find out what the parties meant than to see what they have done." Brooklyn Life Ins. Co. v. Dutcher, 95 U. S. 269, 273, 24 L. ed. 410 [quoted in Sattler v. Hallock, 160 N. Y. 291, 301, 73 Am. St. Rep. 686, 46 L. R. A. 679, 54 N. E. 6671.

3 Dalzell v. Dalzell, 170 Ky. 297, 185

S.W

See also, Bunday v. Huntington, 224 Fed. 847, 140 C. C. A. 415.

4 Pittsburgh Vitrified Paving and Building Brick Co. v. Bailey, 76 Kan. 42, 12 L. It A. (N.S.) 745, 90 Pac. 803.

5 Consaul v. Cummings, 24 D. C. App. 36; Moore v. Ohio Valley Gas Co., 63 W. Va. 455, 60 S. E. 401.

6 Meissner v. Standard Ry. Equipment Co., 211 Mo. 112, 109 S. W. 730.

7 Powers v. World's Fair Min. Co., 10 Ariz. 5, 86 Pac. 15.

8 Webster v. Clark, 34 Pla. 637, 43 Am. St. Rep. 217, 27 L. R. A. 126, 16 So. 601.

9 In re Thomas, 231 Fed. 513.

10 Stewart v. Pierce, 116 la. 733, 89 N. W. 234.

11 Clark v. Sayers, 55 W. Va. 512, 47 S. E. 312.

12 Leavitt v. Improvement Co., 54 Fed. 439.

13 Borden v. Fletcher's Estate, 131 Mich. 220, 91 N. W. 145.

14 Mitau v. Roddan, 149 Cal. 1, 6 L. R. A. (N.S.) 275, 84 Pac. 145.

15 Mitau v. Roddan, 149 Cal. 1, 6 L. R. A. (N.S.) 275, 84 Pac. 145.

16 Trapp v. Conley (Ky.), 28 Ky. Law Rep. 475, 89 S. W. 514.

17 Powell v. Russell, 88 Miss. 549, 41 So. 5.

18 Jenkins v. Jensen, 24 Utah 108, 91 Am. St. Rep. 783, 66 Pac. 773.

19 Kling v. Bordner, 65 O. S. 86, 61 N. E. 148.

If a charter of a street railway company, which consists of a special statute, contains contractual provisions, the practical construction which is placed upon such charter by the city and the street railway company may control, even if the courts would have construed it differently but for such practical construction.21 So a city ordinance, if a contract, may be construed in the light of the practical construction placed thereon by the parties.25 If the parties have entered into two or more contracts with reference to the same general subject-matter, and in such contracts they have used language which is substantially identical, the practical construction which is placed by the parties upon one of the contracts is to be considered in determining the construction of the other contract.21 If, however, the contracts do not deal with a similar subject-matter, or if the terms of the contracts are different, the construction which the parties have placed upon one contract will not affect the meaning of the other contract.27

The practical construction which the parties have placed upon a contract is to be considered only if the contract is ambiguous.28

20 Arlington Hotel Co. v. Rector, 124 Ark. 90, 186 S. W. 622.

21Nicholls v. Wetmore, 174 la. 132, 156 N. W. 319.

22 Sholl v. Peoria & P. U. Ry. Co., 276 111. 267, 114 N. E. 529.

23 State v. Cass County, 60 Neb. 566, 83 N. W. 733.

24 New York v. New York Ry. Co., 193 N. Y. 543, 86 N. E. 565.

25 Vincennes v. Gaslight Co., 132 Ind. 114, 16 L. R. A. 485, 31 N. E. 573.

26 CebalIos v. United States, 214 U. S, 47, 53 L. ed. 904.

27 Furman v. Feibleman & Lehman Co., 88 N. J. L. 711, 96 Atl. 886.

28 Alabama. Twin Tree Lumber Co. v. Ensign, 193 Ala. 113, 69 So. 525.

Kansas. Autem v. Mayer Coal Co., 98 Kan. 379, 158 Pac. 13.

If the contract is clear and free from ambiguity, the evident intention of the parties as manifest therein must be followed, although it is contrary to the practical construction which the parties have put upon such contract,29 even if such practical construction has been acquiesced in for a long period of time.30 Even if parts of the contract are ambiguous, the practical construction of the parties can not be considered if the contract taken as a whole is clear.31 The conduct of the parties which is relied upon as showing the practical construction which they have placed upon the contract, must of itself be harmonious, uniform and free from ambiguity.12

Pennsylvania. Sternbergh v. Brock, 225 Pa. St. 279, 24 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1078, 74 Atl. 166; Tustin v. Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Co., 250 Pa. St. 425, 95 Atl. 595.

Virginia. Dillard v. Jefferies, 118 Va. 81, 86 S. E. 844.

Washington. Bartlett Estate Co. v. Fairhaven Land Co., 49 Wash. 58, 15 L. R. A. (N.S.) 590, 94 Pac. 900; Blanck v. Pioneer Mining Co., 93 Wash. 26, 159. Pac. 1077.

29 United States. Philadelphia, etc., Ry. v. Trimble, 77 U. S. (10 Wall.) 367, 19 L. ed. 948; Davis v. Shafer, 50 Fed. 764; Cold Blast Transportation Co. v. Nut Co., 114 Fed. 77, 57 L. R. A. 696, 52 C. C. A. 25; Lesamis v. Green-berg, 225 Fed. 449, 140 C. C. A. 481.

Alabama. Gadsden, etc., Ry. v. Improvement Co., 128 Ala. 510, 29 So. 549; Twin Tree Lumber Co. v. Ensign, 193 Ala. 113, 69 So. 525.

California. Pierce v. Merrill, 128 Cal. 464, 79 Am. St. Rep. 56, 61 Pac 64.

Illinois. Ingraham v. Mariner, 194 111. 269, 62 N. E. 609; Sholl v. Peoria & P. U. Ry. Co., 276 111. 267, 114 N. E. 529; Western Railway Equipment Co. v. Iron Co., 91 111. App. 28.

Indiana. Diamond Plate Glass Co. v. Tennell, 22 Ind. App. 132, 52 N. E. 168.

Iowa. Comptograph Co. v. Burroughs Adding Machine Co., 179 Ia. 83, 159 N: W. 465.

Kansas. Autem v. Mayer Coal Co., 98 Kan. 379, 158 Pac. 13.

Massachusetts. Menage v. Rosenthal, 175 Mass. 358, 56 N. E. 579.

Minnesota. St. Paul, etc., Ry. v. Blackmar. 44 Minn. 514, 47 N. W. 172.

Missouri. Meissner v. Standard Ry. Equipment Co., 211 Mo 112, 109 S. W. 730; C. D. Smith Drug Co. v. Saunders, 70 Mo. App. 221.

Oregon. Howell v. Johnson, 38 Or. 571, 64 Pac. 659.

Pennsylvania. Sternbergh v. Brock, 225 Pa. St. 279, 24 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1078, 74 Atl. 166.

South Carolina. Fass v. Atlantic Life Insurance Co., 105 S. Car. 107, 89 S. E. 558.

Vermont. Arnold v. Farr, 61 Vt. 444, 17 Atl. 1004.

Washington. Bartlett Estate Co. v. Fairhaven Land Co., 49 Wash. 58, 15 L. R. A. (N.S.) 590, 94 Pac. 900; Blanck v. Pioneer Mining Co., 93 Wash. 26, 159 . Pac. 1077.

30 Northeastern Ry. v. Hastings [1900], App. Cas. 260, 69 L. J. Ch. N. S. 516, 82 L. T. 429. (Here a construction placed upon a continuous contract for forty years was disregarded.)

31 Lesamis v. Greenberg, 225 Fed. 449. 140 C. C. A. 481.

32 Ingraham v. Mariner, 194 111. 269, 62 N. E. 609; State, ex rel., v. Water Supply Co., 19 N. M. 36, L. R. A.

Vague, general and ambiguous conversations between the parties are of little weight in ascertaining the practical construction which they have placed upon the contract.33 If the conduct of one party shows that he has placed one construction upon the contract, while the conduct of the other party shows that he has placed a different construction on the contract, such conduct is of no value in determining the meaning of the contract.34

In order to amount to a practical construction of a contract, the conduct upon which reliance is had must be the conduct of the parties to the contract or of parties who are personally interested therein; and it must be the conduct of those who are cognizant of the actual intention of the parties.35 The acquiescence of certain consumers can not bind others as to the proper construction of the power of a water company to make rules.36 Failure of a public corporation to object to a rule made by a water company which imposes a burden upon consumers, does not amount to a practical construction of such contract.37

Little if any weight can be given to a practical construction adopted by the successors in office of the public officers who made the contract on behalf of the city.38