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cates of condition of foreign corporations, and the remainder were divided among 15 other classes.

There were issued 17 certificates of change of name of corporations (a decrease of 1).

Returns were received of the dissolution of 36 corporations by the supreme judicial court (the same number as in 1897).

Details of all these statistics appear in the Abstract of Certificates of Corporations, published by this office (Public Document, No. 10).

Under the act relating to the incorporation of clubs, charters were refused applicants in 6 cases, and there was 1 withdrawal by the parties originally making the application for incorporation.

Limited partnership certificates to the number of 40 were filed and recorded (a decrease from 1897 of 2).

LABELS, TRADE-MARKS, ETC. By chapter 462, Acts of 1895 (which repealed chapter 443, Acts of 1893, as amended by chapter 285 of the Acts of 1894), entitled “ An Act to protect manufacturers from the use of counterfeit labels and stamps”, the duty was placed upon the Secretary of the Commonwealth of receiving, filing and recording such labels, etc., and of issuing certificates of such filing and recording. Under this law, labels, trade-marks, stamps and forms of advertising were received and certificates of record issued in 188 cases (an increase of 67).

By reason of an opinion rendered by the Attorney-General, this office has been obliged to decline to receive for record, under the law above cited, forms of advertisement which have not been or are not intended to be appropriated to some class of merchandise. To illustrate : a voluntary association of persons have by their skill — say in orchestral music — built up a reputation for efficiency in such line of business, to the extent that a particular name or form of advertisement is adopted, by which the association is known to its customers and under which name or form of advertisement patronage is solicited; but another association of persons, competitors, observing that the association first referred to is doing a good business under an established form of advertisement, appropriates such form

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ness, thereby misleading the public and causing injury and loss of patronage to the originators thereof. It seems fitting that the originator of a form of advertisement of the character referred to above should be afforded protection in his rights in the same manner as the owner of a form of advertisement which is appropriated to merchandise only is protected. I therefore recommend that chapter 462 of the Acts of 1895 be so amended as to permit the record in this office of forms of advertisement not limited in their application to merchandise only.

MARKS AND DEVICES ON CANS, ETC. By chapter 440 of the Acts of 1893, entitled “ An Act to protect the owners of cans, bottles, boxes, siphons and fountains used in the sale of milk, cream, soda water, mineral and aerated waters, ale, beer, ginger ale or other beverages”, it is made the duty of the Secretary of the Commonwealth to receive and file descriptions of marks, devices, etc. ; and under this law 54 such descriptions were received and filed (an increase of 16).

REGISTRATION RETURNS. The returns of births, marriages and deaths from the various cities and towns for the year 1897, which were received in 1898, cover 73,205 births, 23,038 marriages and 47,419 deaths, - a total of 143,662. This is an increase, as compared with the returns for 1896, of 862 births, and a decrease of 613 marriages and 1,962 deaths.

The medical examiners' returns cover 2,279 cases, crease of 127, as compared with the returns for 1896.

The returns by the clerks of the courts of the decrees of divorce for 1897 number 1,610, being the same number of cases as returned for 1896.

All of these figures are compiled and presented fully in the fifty-fifth registration report (Public Document, No. 1).

One thousand six hundred and seventy-two certificates of records of births, marriages and deaths were issued during the year 1898 (651 of births, 701 of marriages and 320 of deaths), principally for use in State aid and pension claimş. The number of persons who consulted the returns during year was 2,801, or an average of 233 monthly.

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ARCHIVES The work of improving the condition and accessibility of the archives has progressed steadily during the past year. Eighteen volumes of Revolutionary Rolls and twenty-one volumes of Continental Army Pay Accounts have been remounted and rebound, and one new volume of collected military papers has been treated, bound, and added to the regular collection. The necessary work of remounting and rebinding the Revolutionary Rolls collection is now nearly complete, but there still remain a number of new volumes to be treated, bound and added to the regular series, and considerable work is required on the regular archives series and the French and Indian war muster rolls.

There have been various interruptions in the work of making a card record index of the French and Indian war records during the year, owing to the illness of clerks and the necessity of shifting them to relieve temporary pressure in other branches of the office; nevertheless, 52,242 record index cards have been written since Jan. 1, 1898, which, with the 78,989 cards previously written, gives a total of 131,231. The work is now substantially completed, there remaining only a few scattered documents in the series of volumes that would not fit with any of the regular forms of cards. All the cards have been reviewed as the work progresses, and have been arranged alphabetically under the first letter of the surnames, so that searches can now be made to a considerable extent without reference to the old catalogues or indexes, and with an immense saving in point of time. It is expected that by the first of April of the present year all military service records among the archives from the year 1710 to the close of the Revolutionary war will be available in the card record index form. In searching for records of service prior to 1710, it is still necessary to use the old catalogue to the manuscript collection, and the separate volume indexes to the military series and other volumes. The next step, therefore, will be to make a card record index of all military records from 1628 to 1710.

The insufficiency of the space assigned to the archives grows more and more apparent year after year, and it will be necessary soon for the Legislature to provide more ample quarters, DOCUMENT DIVISION. There were printed under the direction of this office during the year 1898, in the Public Document series (numbering sixty-one different reports), 194,650 volumes, - an increase of 12,000 over 1897. Of this number, 123,150 were handled and distributed in the document division, being supplied to members of the General Court, to cities and towns, public officers, libraries and to the public generally..

In addition to the Public Document series, there were printed and distributed 25,000 copies of the pamphlet edition of the laws, 10,500 copies of the Blue Book, 10,000 copies of the Manual for the General Court, 1,359 copies of the term reports, and 700 copies each of the Senate and House Journals; and there were also received and distributed 1,000 copies of the Early Laws; 1,500 Massachusetts Special Laws (volume 17); 1,000 copies Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War (Vol. IV.); 12,300 copies of Bradford's History of Plimoth Plantation ; 4,500 copies Centennial of the Bulfinch Front; 500 copies History of the Fifteenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry ; 5,500 copies Census of Massachusetts, 1895 (Vol. V.); 7,000 copies of the Election Act; 2,000 copies of the Report of the Commission appointed to inquire into the Expediency of revising and amending the Laws of the Commonwealth relating to Taxation ; 3,000 copies of the Report of the Special Committee appointed to investigate the Relations between Cities and Towns and Street Railway Companies (House, No. 475); 500 copies of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and 1,250 copies of the Supplementary Report of the Commissioners of Savings Banks, relating to unclaimed deposits, — making a grand total

, of 211,459 volumes which passed through the document division during the year, - an increase of 9,103 over 1897.

The demand for Blue Books still exceeds the supply. Calls for extra copies come chiefly from members of the Legislature, and I suggest an increase of the present edition to such number as the Legislature may determine to be sufficient.

There are on hand about 400 copies of “ Massachusetts in the Army and Navy, 1861–65" (two volumes), edited by Colonel Higginson, held for sale under the provisions of chapter 62 of the Resolves of 1895. The demand from purchasers

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is small, – the sales during the past year being only seven volumes; that is to say, three sets and a half. however, many requests for the book from libraries and historical societies having small funds, or none at all, where it would be of service. It is my opinion that unless these books

. shall be distributed otherwise than by sale, most of them are likely to remain on our shelves for an indefinite period; and I therefore recommend the passage of a resolve assigning 200 copies for distribution at the discretion of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

REGIMENTAL HISTORIES. During the year a history of the famous Fifteenth Massachusetts Regiment, commanded at one time by Gen. Charles Devens and later by Gen. John W. Kimball, now Auditor of Accounts, has been published, under the auspices of the Regimental Association, in accordance with chapter 413 of the Acts of 1893, and 500 copies were purchased by this office, with the approval of the Governor and Council. I am informed that the history of another famous Massachusetts regiment, the Nineteenth, is in process of compilation, and may appear during 1899.

I am also informed that a history of the Sixth Massachusetts in the late war against Spain is to be written, and it seems quite probable that others may follow. It is fair to presume that Massachusetts desires to extend to the volunteers of 1898 the same encouragement which she gave to the volunteers of '61 to '65 to make an enduring record of their patriotic service; and I therefore recommend the passage of an act relative to histories of Massachusetts regiments which served in the war against Spain, similar to that relating to histories of regiments of Massachusetts volunteers during the war of the rebellion.

STATE PRINTING. As supervisor of State printing, under the provisions of the act of 1893, I have inspected the State printing office from time to time, and exercised a general supervision of the work. It should be understood that, in addition to this general oversight by the Secretary, all bills for printing are carefully examined, and the printed matter measured by an expert in the

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