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Mr. BUCHANAN. Is it your purpose to make them by the employ. ment of workmen by the Government in the future?
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir; because we can do better work.
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir. The process of zincography applies at present with us only to the reproduction of charts. For instance, you take a British Admiralty chart, which is similar to this [exhibiting); they engrave all their charts. I believe they do not lithograph any. Our object is to make what changes are necessary on that chart by the draftsmen and then photograph it. That photograph is then what we call transferred to a zinc plate. This plate is then prepared by chemical processes, put in the press, and the chart is printed from it. That is all right unquestionably for a chart that is already made—that has been engraved originally. The hydrographic engineer, who has had considerable experience in these matters, tells me that to produce an original chart-I mean from a survey, the chart not having been made—to produce that chart by drafting, ready for the photographer and for printing by lithography, will cost more in the end than to engrave the chart. That I am not sure of; it remains to be seen, and if I ever get the opportunity I shall compare the two. That, of course, is his opinion, and the reason he gives is this, that in making a chart from a survey the draftsman plots the soundings and runs in the coast line, but he does not do it in a way which is suitable usually for appearance on paper finally, for the simple reason that when the engraver comes to do it on the plate he does it himself for the finished product. The engraver is an artist just as much as the draftsman. There is a question as to whether the process of zincography can be applied to original charts satisfactorily. There is not any question about the reproduction of the chart which has been made. Of course, if it can be applied to the chart for original production more reasonably than the engraved chart on copper, then, of course, it will simply result in our stopping engraving entirely and using the process of zincography for the production of our own original charts.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the life of an engraved plate; how many copies?
Capt. Cooper. If I had the records here, I could give it to you exactly.
The CHAIRMAN. Give it to us approximately now, and then you can correct it in the hearing.
Capt. COOPER. Certainly not under 5,000 copies; 5,000 copies is correct. The plate would then be worn so that the fine lines would be lost. This is at present prevented by taking an electrotype of the plate and using the electrotype when the original plate shows wear.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the life of one of these new zinc plates ?
Capt. Cooper. That has not been decided, but I can give you the figures approximately. It is a recent process and we have not printed any great number yet. The indications are that as many as 100,000 copies can be printed from the zinc plate.
The CHAIRMAN. What demand have you for charts? For instance, take this chart and your engraved plate will print 5,000. How many of those charts will you need through a series of years!
Capt. COOPER. It depends, of course, entirely on the location of the chart. This particular one covers a region such that we would probably need from 300 to 400 a year.
The CHAIRMAN. Every year?
The CHAIRMAN. Do you need more copies of some of the other charts?
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir; some more and some less. It depends almost entirely on the locality of the chart. Of course, we sell all the hydrographic charts as well as supplying them to the fleet. This chart we have a large sale for, and others along the coast. For instance, our chart from New York to Halifa, we have a large sale for that.
The CHAIRMAN. That is for commercial use!
The CHAIRMAN. With reference to the charts which you get from the British Admiralty, is your office prepared with the data from the work of your office to print the original chart as your own work without relying upon the British work?
Capt. COOPER. No, sir. They make the surveys and usually the the charts themselves. We must depend upon the reproduction of their charts.
The CHAIRMAN. And if you produce them, you produce them upon their data and information?
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir. They do the same thing when they produce our charts.
The CHAIRMAN. In time of war, however, these charts would be contraband of war?
Capt. Cooper. They may be made so; they have not been, so far as I know.
The CHAIRMAN. In time of war could you rely upon getting these charts from the British Admiralty?
Capt. COOPER. No, sir; we could not, because if the country with whom we were at war should object to the British Admiralty selling, we could not buy them. That is a great reason for reproducing them now.
The CHAIRMAN. So you can be prepared to produce them from your own resources ?
Capt. Cooper. Yes, sir. Of course all charts are subject to correction from time to time owing to the changes in the depth, shore lines, or new surveys of different parts, they are all subject to changes, and we get that data from wherever we can, from different Governments and from different observers, and incorporate it in our plates. Of course, at each correction on a copper plate a part of the copper has to be what we call erased, scratched out on the plate, and reengraved. Of course, in the zinc process, it is very much easier because it simply means placing a chemical solution on the plate, the impression on the plate is dissolved by chemicals, and the draftsman simply puts on a new coast line or whatever it may be.
The CHAIRMAX. If you get a chart from the British Admiralty and you desire to reproduce it, to make your own plate, do you correct and bring it up to date?
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Upon such information as you have secured abroad and also such information as you may have in your own office?
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir; before we publish it we bring it absolutely up to date.
The CHAIRMAN. And you do that also from time to time with your own charts?
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir; at all times.
The CHAIRMAN. About how many charts do you produce a year in the total; how many do you print?
Capt. COOPER. I am sorry I have not those figures with me.
Captain COOPER. Yes, sir. You mean individual copies of the charts?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, sir; all of the charts that you print. Also I will be glad to have you put in the hearings how many you produce originally.
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir. It is all in my report. I am sorry I did not bring it with me. The number varies from year to year. Last year the total number was 77, of which 30 were original and 47 reproductions. This means, of course, the plates prepared. The Total number of copies printed, including pilot charts, was 220,858.
The CHAIRMAN. I have not received a copy of the report. Speaking of the work in the Caribbean Sea incident to the opening of the Panama Canal, are you, and have you in the recent past, been enlarging your work in the Caribbean?
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir. We began the survey of the Central American Coast in 1910.
The CHAIRMAN. I wish you would tell us what work you are doing, have been doing, and contemplate doing there, and also the state of information with reference to that coast.
Capt. Cooper. Yes, sir. We completed last year what we call the running survey of the coast of Haiti, which was known to be several miles out in several places. At points on the coast of Haiti were established the latitude and longitude. That survey of the coast line has been completed by the Eagle. She is now engaged in surveying the ports of Haiti, which need it very badly. They are all old surveys and many changes have occurred. The aids to navigation are very bad. The Eagle is now doing that work. She has completed within a month a survey of the port of Aux Cayes, and is going now to Port au Prince. That is the Eagle's work. The Cape CruzCasilda expedition is surveying the south coast of Cuba. The original intention was to survey that from Cape Cruz, which is about 100 miles to the west of Guantanamo, to the port of Casilda. That is nearly half done. I have here a chart which shows the work that was completed during the last season and the work completed entirely. That work will probably occupy the Cape Cruz-Casilda expedition for three or four years. Then there are other points on the coast of Cuba which should be surveyed. Last winter, a year ago, we had on the coast of Cuba a Cuban longitudinal party, which established absolutely, accurately, and mathematically the latitude and longitude of 22 different points on the coast of Cuba, some of which were known to have been considerably out in latitude and longitude. Those 22 different points were established, and that information was enough to properly run in the coast line and establish the lati
tude and longitude. That work has all been finished, the data has been compiled and checked, and the officer who had charge of that is now writing his report. Also at the Guantanamo naval station we have a party that we call the Guantanamo surveying expedition, with a hydrographic surveyor in charge. He is surveying the lands in proximity to the naval station for the purpose of getting accurate data for the proper defense of the naval station. Of course, we had to get the permission of the Government of Cuba to do it, and he is doing that work now. The naval station has been thoroughly surveyed, and now the survey of the adjacent territory is being finished.
On the coast of Central America it was thought best to begin the survey at Cape Gracias a Dios, just on the boundary line between Honduras and Nicaragua, or very near the boundary line. The survey has been completed to about 10 miles to the southward of the cape. This in white [indicating] was completed last year. The other in yellow [indicating] was completed the year before. It is known that the depths there have changed, and all this coast is to be surveyed, down as far as Colon.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that survey needed both for military and commercial use?
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And especially so, incident to the opening of the canal ?
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir; it is very badly needed, because the surveys were made anywhere from 40 to 100 years ago, and it is known, as I say, that the depths have changed. And, of course, it is unquestionably true that this coast, both from a military point of view and a commercial point of view, is going to be largely increased in importance with the opening of the Panama Canal. That was my chief reason for requesting the increase of $15,000 in the appropriation, that we might get another vessel engaged in this work and reduce the time of its completion. We have also had recently a request for the survey of the west coast of Central America, Panama, and Nicaragua, which are badly in need of it, and which we will do, of course, if we can.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you done any work on the west coast ?
Capt. COOPER. No, sir; except that some years ago with the Ranger we surveyed the coast of Lower California and Costa Rica and parts of Nicaragua, but nothing else. This coast, Nicaragua, Salvador, and Panama remain to be done. It is utterly impossible for us to begin that work until we complete this work on the east coast.
The CHAIRMAN. On account of the opening of the Panama Canal will it not be necessary to have surveys on the west coast ? Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. It would be to the military advantage of the United States ?
Capt. COOPER. There is no question about that—that it should be done at the earliest possible moment. We can not touch that. Of course, the Eagle will be through here probably in two years, and then we can send her around.
Mr. HOBSON. You would not transfer her to the Pacific coast?
Capt. COOPER. I hope the Panama Canal will be vpened by that time and she can go through there.
Mr. Hobson. Would you not still need a vessel like her on the Atlantic coast ?
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir.
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir; it is only now a question of doing the work as quickly as possible, in view of the opening of the Panama Canal.
Mr. Hobson. Are not some of the older vessels available for that purpose!
Capt. Cooper. The colliers are best suited, and I am trying to get the Leonidas. That is why I ask for the increase in the appropriation. The Hannibal is now on the work on the east coast of Central America.
Mr. Hobson. Are any of them available for use on the Pacific coast?
Capt. COOPER. None 'whatever now.
Mr. Hobson. There are some in reserve which might be made available?
Capt. Cooper. The Leonidas is the only one that I remember. She is out of commission. Do you mean a cruiser ?
Mr. Hobson. Well, an old type of vessel that would not be required for naval or military purposes, which would be available for use without waiting two years until the Eagle gets through.
Capt. COOPER. I do not remember just the ships in reserve. I am thinking of the Denver class. Any gunboat or cruiser of the Des Voines class would do.
Mr. Hobson. They do not require that type so much with the fleet.
Capt. COOPER. No, sir. They do not use them at all. Generally for the policing of the coast of Central America and the revolutions in the West Indies they use them. I protested when the Paducah and Eagle were diverted at the end of the season from the surveying work to the trouble in Cuba. It could not be helped, because they had to have them, but it delayed the work on the south coast of Cuba.
Mr. IIObson. What is the condition in the Hawaiian Islands, are the surveys completed?
Capt. COOPER. They are not completed. I have not examined them very carefully.
Mr. HOBSON. I wish you would look that up and let us know?
Capt. COOPER. Certainly. Of course, we have nothing to do with that now; the Coast Survey has that, but I know they have not been completed.
Mr. Hobson. Do you know whether the Coast Survey is operating there now?
Capt. Cooper. I do not know whether they are operating just at present.
The CHAIRMAN. You make no survey of the domestic coastline?
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir. The law requires that the Coast Survey shall survey the coast line of the United States or territory subject to its jurisdiction.
Mr. Hobson. Without going into too much detail, also include in your statement the general condition of the surveys in the Philippine Islands and in Alaskan waters and the Aleutian Islands.