2 Issue secured by first mortgages, or "junior mortgages" properly protected, upon gas works have proven a satisfactory class of investment. The percentage of loss has been remarkably small; the failures of gas companies have been comparatively few. It was thought that the advent of electrical lighting would injure existing gas companies, but improved methods of manufacture have enabled them to reduce rates and remain prosperous.

1 F. A. Cleveland describes " funds " as " any and all things which may be accumulated and which may be currently used in a community in exchange for goods or properties of others."

2 For the idea of the use of gas as an illuminant, the world is indebted to William Murdoch, a Scottish engineer. F. A. Winsor, a German by birth, carried out, however, the first street lighting, which occurred at Pall Mall, where gas lamps were used Jan. 28, 1807. In 1810 a gas company was formed. In 1813 Westminster Bridge was permanently lighted by gas lamps, and in 1816 the general use of gas was adopted in London.

In many instances the combination of the two forms of lighting under one company has been successful.

The usual care should be given in the selecting of gas company securities for investment. Net earning should be not less than twice the interest charges; the mortgage ought not to exceed 50 or 60% of the replacement value of the property; the franchise must outlive the bond issue; a reasonable sinking fund is desirable; competition must, of course, be considered; the city or town contractš for lighting should be at a satisfactory rate so that there is likelihood of its being renewed from time to time, and rates to all customers must be reasonable compared with similar conditions elsewhere.2

Natural gas propositions should be approached with caution. Many of them are proving short-lived.

The following quotation from a Boston newspaper is of interest: " American experience does not greatly encourage this policy (municipal ownership) and yet, were it submitted to a majority vote in many municipalities, adoption would probably follow. Only twenty gas systems in municipalities of the United States are to-day publicly owned, as against nine hundred and fifty-six in private hands. Electric lighting, for some reason, has been a much more favoured municipal enterprise, the figures standing one hundred and ninety-three public systems to eleven hundred and ninety private, in places having a population of more than three thousand, for which these figures are all prepared. Certain things the community can doubtless do better in its public capacity, and this is roughly indicated by the decisions which Americans have made."3