This section is from the book "Scientific American Reference Book. A Manual for the Office, Household and Shop", by Albert A. Hopkins, A. Russell Bond. Also available from Amazon: Scientific American Reference Book.
The Light-House Board has charge, under the superintendence of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, of all administrative duties relating to the construction and maintenance of lighthouses, light vessels, light-house depots, beacons, fog signals, buoys, and their appendages, and has charge of all records and property appertaining to the Light-House Establishment.
The Bureau of the Census is charged with the duty of taking the periodical censuses of the United States and of collecting such special statistics as are required by Congress, including the collection in 1905 of the statistics of manufacturing establishments conducted under the factory system, and the collection annually of statistics of births and deaths in registration areas, statistics of the cotton production of the country as returned by the ginners, and (by transfer from the Bureau of Labor) statistics of cities of 30,000 or more inhabitants. Under the proclamation of the President dated September 30, 1902, the Bureau is charged with the compilation and tabulation of the returns of the Philippine census, taken as of March 2, 1903, under the direction of the Philippine Commission.
The Coast and Geodetic Survey is charged with the survey of the coasts of the United States and coasts under the jurisdiction thereof and the publication of charts covering said coasts. This includes base measure, triangulation, topography, and hydrography along said coasts; the survey of rivers to the head of tide-water or ship navigation; deep sea soundings, temperature, and current observations along said coasts and throughout the Gulf and Japan streams; magnetic observations and researches, and the publication of maps showing the variations of terrestrial magnetism; gravity research; determination of heights; the determination of geographic positions by astronomic observations for latitude, longitude, and azimuth, and by triangulation, to furnish reference points for State surveys. The results obtained are published in annual reports, with professional papers and discussions of results as appendices; charts upon various scales, including sailing charts, general charts of the coast, and harbor charts; tide tables issued annually, in advance; Coast Pilots, with sailing directions covering the navigable waters; Notices to Mariners, issued monthly and containing current information necessary for safe navigation; catalogues of charts and publications, and such other special publications as may be required to carry out the organic law governing the Survey.
The Bureau of Statistics collects and publishes the statistics of our foreign commerce, embracing tables showing the imports and exports, respectively, by countries and customs districts; the transit trade inward and outward by countries and by customs districts; imported commodities warehoused, withdrawn from, and remaining in warehouse; the imports of merchandise entered for consumption, showing quantity, value, rates of duty, and amounts of duty collected on each article or class of articles; the inward and outward movement of tonnage in our foreign trade and the countries whence entered and for which cleared, distinguishing the nationalities of the foreign vessels. The Bureau also collects and publishes information in regard to the leading commercial movements in our internal commerce, among which are the commerce of the Great Lakes; the commercial movements in our internal commerce, among which are the commerce of the Great Lakes; the commercial movements at interior centers, at Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific seaports; shipments of coal and coke; ocean freight rates, etc. The Bureau also publishes daily and monthly the reports received from United States consuls and special reports on various subjects supplied by consuls on special request; also, annually, the declared exports from foreign countries to the United States furnished by consuls, and the annual report laid before Congress entitled "Commercial Relations of the United States."
The Steamboat-Inspection Service is charged with the duty of inspecting steam vessels, the licensing of the officers of vessels, and the administration of the laws relating to such vessels and their officers for the protection of life and property.
The Supervising Inspector-General and the supervising inspectors constitute a board that meets annually at Washington, and establishes regulations for carrying out the provisions of the steamboat-inspection laws.
The work of the Bureau of Fisheries comprises (1) the propagation of useful food fishes, including lobsters, oysters, and other shellfish, and their distribution to suitable waters; (2) the inquiry into the causes of decrease of food fishes in the lakes, rivers, and coast waters of the United States, the study of the waters of the coast and interior in the interest of fish-culture, and the investigation of the fishing grounds of the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, with the view of determining their food resources and the development of the commercial fisheries; (3) the collection and compilation of the statistics of the fisheries and the study of their methods and relations.
The Bureau of Navigation is charged with general superintendence of the commercial marine and merchant seamen of the United States, except so far as supervision is lodged with other officers of the Government. It is specially charged with the decision of all questions relating to the issue of registers, enrollments, and licenses of vessels and the filing of those documents, with the supervision of laws relating to the admeasurement, letters, and numbers of vessels, and with the final decision of questions concerning the collection and refund of tonnage taxes. It is empowered to change the names *of vessels, prepares annually a list of vessels of the United States, and reports annually to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor the operations of the laws relative to navigation.