This "unit in use " principle of valuation received an extensive application in the case of Adams Express Co. v. Ohio State Auditor,36 decided in 1897, for there the actual tangible property within the State was inconsiderable, whereas the value of the entire concern measured by the amount of business done was very great. Furthermore, there was there lacking that physical unity of plant which is found in railroad and telegraph companies. The court, however, said:

"Doubtless there is a distinction between the property of railroad and telegraph companies and that of express companies. The physical unity existing in the former is lacking in the latter: but there is the same unity in the use of the entire property for the specific purpose, and there are the same elements of value arising from such use.

"The cars of the Pullman company did not constitute a physical unity, and their value as separate cars did not bear a direct relation to the valuation which was sustained in that case. The cars were moved by railway carriers under contract, and the taxation of the corporation in Pennsylvania was sustained on the theory that the whole property of the company might be regarded as a unit plant, with a unit value, a proportionate part of which value might be reached by the state authorities on the basis indicated.

35 In the earlier part of this quotation the tense has been changed.

36 165 U. S. 194; 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 305; 41 L. ed. 683.

"No more reason is perceived for limiting the valuation of the property of express companies to horses, wagons, and furniture, than that of railroad, telegraph, and sleeping-car companies, to roadbed, rails, and ties, poles and wires, or cars. The unit is a unit of use and management, and the horses, wagons, safes, pouches, and furniture, the contracts for transportation facilities, the capital necessary to carry on the business - whether represented in tangible or in intangible property - in Ohio, possessed a value in combination and from use in connection with the prop? erty and capital elsewhere, which could as rightfully be recognized in the assessment for taxation in the instance of these companies as the others.

"We repeat that while the unity which exists may not be a physical unity, it is something more than a mere unity of ownership. It is a unity of use, not simply for the convenience or pecuniary profit of the owner, but existing in the very necessities of the case - resulting from the very nature of the business."

A strong dissenting opinion, concurred in by four justices, was rendered in this case. In a petition for a rehearing of the case,37 Mr. James C. Carter, of counsel for the express company, declared : "The step now taken by the present decision is to evolve a new general proposition, not declared or distinctly discussed in any of the prior cases, that where there is what is called a unity of use between several pieces of property not united together by any physical tie, some of the pieces situated within and some without the State, the value of the parts within may be determined by the value of the whole, even though the part within be physically separable, and is, as separated, an ordinary thing, having an ordinary market value based upon its capability of similar uses in a multitude of different businesses, differing in nothing, so far as the ascertainment of value is concerned, from the thousand other classes of chattels which form the usual subjects of taxation."

37 Adams Express Co. v. Ohio State Auditor, 166 U. S. 185; 17 Sup. Ct. Rep. 604; 41 L. ed. 965.

In the opinion refusing the rehearing prayed for, Justice Brewer said: "The Adams Express has, according to its showing, in round numbers $4,000,000 of tangible property scattered through the different States, and with that tangible property thus scattered transacts its business. By the business which it transacts, by combining into a single use all these separate pieces and articles of tangible property by the contracts, franchises, and privileges which it has acquired and possesses, it has created a corporate property of the actual value of $16,000,000. . . . Where is the situs of this intangible property? Is it simply where its home office is, . . . or in the State which gave it its corporate franchise; or is that intangible property distributed wherever its tangible property is located and its work is done ? Clearly, as we think, the latter. Every State within which it is transacting business and has its property, more or less, may rightfully say that the $16,000,000 of value which it possesses springs not merely from the original grant and corporate property by the State which incorporated it, or from the mere ownership of the tangible property, but it springs from the. fact that that tangible property it has combined with contracts, franchises, and privileges into a single unit of property, and this State contributes to that aggregate value not merely the separate value of such tangible property as is within its limits, but its proportionate share of the value of the entire property. ... In conclusion let me say that this is eminently a practical age; that we must recognize things as they are and as possessing a nature which is accorded to them in the markets of the world, and that no fine spun theories about situs should interfere, to enable these large corporations whose business is carried on through many States to escape from bearing in each State such burden of taxation as a fair distribution of the actual value of their property among those States requires." 38

38 "As incident to this unit rule of valuation with mileage apportionment, the corporation has the right to show by all proper evidence that the application of the mileage rule of apportionment to such valuation is for any reason imperfect and unjust. Thus it may show that it holds property included in such valuation, M an entirety which is exempt from taxation. It