In presenting to the Dry Goods trade its first Dictionary (of American origin) the compiler feels confident that the time and labor devoted to make the work accurate and complete will commend it to the favorable consideration of everyone connected with the business.

In the retail, wholesale, and manufacturing branches of the Dry Goods trade, within the boundaries of the United States, there are over one million people engaged; in point of money invested, number of hands employed, and annual volume of business done, it easily ranks first in importance among all the industries which have grown and prospered since the beginning of civilization in the Western world. Indeed, the Dry Goods trade of the United States has more money invested in it than any other two interests in the country - estimated at the enormous sum of $20,000,000,000, while the next in order, the railroad, has only between $10,000,000,000 and $12,000,000,000. The part which the manufacture and sale of Dry Goods, in the term's widest meaning, has had in the building up of our national prosperity occupies no secondary position. It without doubt forms the greatest feature of our Nation's commercial life. The Dry Goods store is found in every village and hamlet, and is the center of trade and barter in all rural communities. In the larger towns and cities the Dry Goods interest predominates in the same manner as in the smaller, forming by far the most important department of business, and aiding to a certain extent in sustaining all other branches of trade. The various lines form a business of such magnitude, involve so much capital, and is in every way so intimately interwoven with the varied wants of our modern civilization that it seems remarkable, in a country like ours, that not even a classification of the kinds of our textile fabrics nor the modern methods employed in their production has ever been attempted, to say nothing of a systematic history of them

That there should be such neglect of textile history, rich as it is in incident and importance, when costume and popular customs are so closely studied, is passing strange. Very much of the true history of the people, high and low, can be traced through their indulgence in fine fabrics, to which mankind, women included, have ever been prone. But this aspect of trade and manufactures is rarely mentioned, except as glossed over by ponderous encyclopoedic works, whose trade articles when relieved of the obscuring folds of verbal drapery yield but a scant amount of actual information.

The plan of the "Dictionary of Dry Goods" includes several objects, which, briefly stated, are: the proper description of all textile fabrics and manufactured articles; the peculiarities which distinguish a fabric and by which it may be identified; the method of weaving or manufacture; the origin of the names of all fabrics, with the history and literature of the subject; the definition of terms, words and phrases which have only a trade application, and which have sprung up with the development of the business in the nineteenth century; and the import duties under the new tariff on all goods, raw or manufactured. The Dictionary is designed to be a practically complete and comprehensive record of all fabrics which are in general use at the present time, together with full explanations of the modern process of carding, spinning, dyeing, weaving, knitting, netting, bleaching, and felting, constituting a book for general reference by merchants and clerks.

No labor or expense has been spared to make the work serve the purposes for which it is intended; the statements, figures, and tables which are presented are given only on the faith of recognized authorities, and in reducing the chaos of particulars relating to the history, literature, manufacture, sale, and distinguishing characteristics of textile fabrics strict and. careful attention has been paid to accuracy.

If the Dictionary will aid the apprentice to more fully understand the essential points of his chosen occupation, or furnish the more experienced salesman with correct information upon subjects of which he is in ignorance, the hope that inspired its preparation will be amply realized.

Geo. S. Cole.