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The World's 

Commercial Products 



W. G. FREEMAN, B.Sc, F.L.S. 

Superintendent, Colonial Economic Collections, Imperial Institute, London, 



Assistant, Colonial Economic Collections, Imperial Institute, London 

T. A. HENRY, D.Sc, F.C.S., C. E. JONES, B.Sc, F.L.S. 
and E. H. WILSON. 







Printed by 

Sir Is*ac Pitman & Sons, Ltd 




Although the products of the plant world are of enormous commercial importance and enter 
largely into the every-day life of all of us, nevertheless it has hitherto been impossible to 
obtain an inexpensive illustrated book, written in English, affording a general summary of 
information concerning the useful plants of the world and their commercial utilisation. Works 
dealing with special groups are available, and innumerable papers on plant products are to be 
found in the publications of our economic and scientific departments at home and in the 
Colonies. This literature, however, is not readily available to a very large number of enquirers 
who desire a comparatively brief account of perhaps several important products. Illustrations 
of many economic plants, and of the methods employed in their cultivation and in the 
preparation of their produce, are even more inaccessible. 

The World's Commercial Products presents this information in English for the first 
time, accompanied by a wealth of illustrations many of which are entirely new. Every effort 
has been made to keep the book free from technicalities, and the plants are, as far as possible, 
referred to by their common names, although the scientific names are usually given as well, 
since they are often indispensable in determining exactly the plants referred to. The coloured 
plates will often be of assistance in depicting scenes to which full justice cannot be done in 
" black and white," but all the illustrations are from photographs, and can be depended upon 
as portraying faithfully the scenes they represent. Maps have been added showing the 
distribution of the principal cultivated plants, and many useful lessons may be drawn 
from them. 

One of the authors has spent some six years in the tropics, in Ceylon, the West Indies, and 
West Africa, engaged in economic botanical work, and much of the matter is described from 
first-hand knowledge. In addition, the copious literature referred to below has been freely 
drawn upon, and special acknowledgments are due to the publications of the Royal Botanic 
Gardens, Kew, the Bulletin of the Imperial Institute, the publications of the Imperial 
Department of Agriculture for the West Indies, the Agricultural Journal of the Royal Botanic 
Garden, Ceylon, Sir George Watt's " Dictionary of the Economic Products of India," 
Spon's " Encyclopaedia of Arts and Manufactures," Lewkowitsch's " Oils and Fats, - ' 
Greenish's " Materia Medica," Wright's " Para Rubber," the International Sugar Journal, 
Noel Deer's " Sugar Cane," Willis's J Dictionary of the Flowering Plants and Ferns," 



Engler and Prantl's " Die Natiirlichen Pflanzenfamilien," and last, but far from least, the 
publications of the United States of America Department of Agriculture. 

Great advantage has accrued from the co-operation of other workers. Dr. T. A. 
Henry, F.C.S., has contributed the sections on Gums, Resins, Dyes, Tans, and Essential 
Oils, Mr. C. E. Jones, B.Sc, F.L.S., the section on Oils and Fats, and Mr. E. H. Wilson 
the sections on Fruits and Vegetables. The Timber article has had the benefit of Mr. 
J. H. Badcock's extensive practical knowledge of this subject. 

Limitations of space have prevented every plant product being included, but care has been 
taken to deal with the more important, and it is hoped that the specialist and the general 
reader alike will find the World's Commercial Products a useful possession. 

By permission ol the " Canada 



The vegetable products of the world are of great interest to man, as upon them he is 
dependent for his very existence, his clothing, his home, his means of locomotion, and many 
of his pleasures. Imagine for a moment what the world would be, if it was deprived 
of plant life. Wheat, rice, millets, oats, maize, and the other cereals, on one or other of 
which every individual of both the most primitive and the most civilized nations 
depends for his sustenance, would disappear, together with potatoes, yams, cassava or 
manioc, and all the important starch-producing plants. There would be no fruits or vegetables ; 
tea, coffee, cocoa, and sugar would vanish ; tobacco and many of the chief drugs would cease 
to be obtainable. Most modern sports would be impracticable because there would be no 
india-rubber for balls and tyres, no wood for bats, golf sticks, and racquets, and leather could no 
longer be tanned. Cotton and linen would go, and wool, hair, and silk would be the only 
fibres for the manufacture of cloths and other textiles. There would be no wines or spirits, in 
fact, life as we know it at present would come to a standstill. Supposing, however, that man 
could exist in a world containing no plants, to what extent could he manufacture, with all 
the assistance which modern science affords him, the substances necessary for his life ? In 
spite of the enormous strides which science, and particularly chemical science, has made, man 
could not support himself . It is true that one section of the commercial world has recently 
been profoundly affected by the artificial manufacture of indigo. Another section is seriously 
considering the situation created by chemists having discovered how to make vanillin, the 
essential principle of the vanilla "bean." The development of the coal-tar industry has 
practically extinguished certain planting industries. From time to time fears are expressed 
that the artificial manufacture of sugar, already possible, or that the preparation of chemical 
rubber may become commercially practicable. In spite, however, of these developments 
the fact remains that man is unable to repeat the processes by which the wheat plant 
manufactures starch from water and the atmosphere. He cannot from similar elementary 
substances make cotton, wood, the active principles of tea, coffee, cocoa, or tobacco, for all 
of which he is dependent on plant life. There is no need to elaborate the matter ; enough 
has been said k to prove the absolute importance and necessity to man of the vegetable 
products of the world. 

There is a tendency, however, for man as he becomes more civilised to fail to recognise 

i— CP. 

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the degree to which he is dependent 
on the herbs of the field for his 
support. The dweller in cities is 
accustomed to find everything pro- 
vided for him in a finished condition, 
and he accepts it without realising 
whence it came or how it was 
procured. This is easily seen in the 
case of a child spending his early 
years in a town. It comes to him as a 
revelation that his daily bread has 
any connection with the corn he has 
perhaps seen in a field during a 
holiday, that sugar and his favourite 
sweetstuffs are derived from the 
sugar cane grown in the tropics, or 
from the more familiar beet-root, 
that his rubber ball is the produce 
of a forest tree, and that his clothes, 
at any rate in part, have also been 
gathered in the field. To the 
country child things are different. 
He lives in touch with Nature, and 
the seasons for sowing and harvesting 
are important events in his daily 
life. Still more so is this the case 
with primitive people. The native 
races of the East and the West 
Indies, Africa, and elsewhere are directly dependent on the soil for their livelihood. A bad 
season makes itself felt at once by diminishing the available food, whilst a plenteous harvest 
means a full table. We have only to go back a comparatively few years to find the same 
state of affairs the universal rule in this country, and in many parts it is still so at the 
present day. 

Primitive man lived directly on the wild plants he found in his native country, and from 
these also he made his few clothes, his house, his weapons, his canoes, and the other 
necessaries of his simple life, supplementing the plant products from the animal and mineral 
worlds. At a very early stage man took the important step of growing for himself the 
plants he most needed, and agriculture, or the tilling of the soil, is perhaps the most ancient 
occupation of mankind. The natives on the West Coast of Africa afford an example of the 
practice of simple agriculture. A tribe settles in some locality which attracts it for one 
reason or another, such as accessibility of water, fertile soil, abundance of oil palms, or other 
important wild plants, and security from enemies. An area is cleared by cutting down 
and burning everything, except a few trees so large as to defy man's efforts, and others 
which it is desired to retain. On the land so cleared crops are raised. Indian corn, Guinea 
corn, cassava, yams, sweet potatoes, bananas, ground or monkey nuts, various peas and beans, 
and perhaps some cotton are planted, and on these, supplemented by the products of wild 
plants and animals from the bush, the tribe lives in comfort. Agriculture, as we understand 
the term, is not practised, and it is found that the soil is soon exhausted. This is of no 
serious consequence where there is far more land available than is required, and even to 
move the village or town to a new place is a task entailing no great labour, although in 
most cases it is sufficient to abandon one " farm " and to clear and cultivate another. 




In sparsely inhabited countries millions of people live in this manner at the present day. With 
increasing population these methods become impossible, and in China we find -the soil 
cultivated to its fullest extent, and all possible means adopted to increase the output from 
a given area. 

In most countries it was soon found that all districts were not equally adapted to the cultivation 
of every crop, and a simple system of exchange arose by which one group bartered perhaps 
their surplus cotton for rice or some other commodity to the cultivation of which their own 
locality was not suited. In closely adjacent areas this exchange would be carried out directly 
by the producers. As man became more enterprising and the means of communication 
developed, people travelled further afield, and now in Africa men journey hundreds of miles 
with a portion of their crop to exchange it for some valued product brought to the rendezvous 
from perhaps an equal distance by another group of producers. The business of the exchange 
of goods had reached a high degree of development before the Christian Era. The Carthaginians 

By permissio 



The World's Commercial Products 

traded throughout the Mediterranean and also with Britain, the Baltic, and the Azores ; 
by means of caravans they penetrated Africa, reaching as far as Egypt to the East, Morocco 
to the West, and across the Sahara to the River Niger. The Romans, the Greeks, the 
Venetians were all trading peoples, and by their enterprise the wealth of India became known 
and accessible. 

Another result of this intercourse between nations was that the useful plants of the world 
became widely distributed. The cultivation of the most important of those of the Old 
World, those which are absolutely necessary to man, dates from very remote ages. If we had 
been preparing, some three or four thousand years ago, a book similar to the present on the 
commercially useful plants we should have had to include wheat, barley, rice, millets of 
various kinds, tea, flax, hemp, the vine, the olive, the date, bananas, various legumes, and 
other vegetables. It is true we should not have heard of the potato 
or the sweet potato, tobacco, cocoa, or Indian corn (maize), but these 
have been cultivated for almost as long by the American races, and 
were waiting for the discoveries of Columbus and his successors for 
their introduction into the Old World. This early discovery and 
the utilisation by man of the most valuable plants is one of the 
most extraordinary facts in the history of agriculture. As De 
Candolle well puts it in his most interesting book on The Origin of 
Cultivated Plants, " Men have not discovered and cultivated during the 
last two thousand years a single species which can rival maize, rice, 
the sweet potato, the potato, the bread fruit, the date, cereals, 
millets, sorghams, the banana, soy. These date from three, four, or 
five thousand years, perhaps even in some cases six thousand years." 
The useful plants grown in Graeco-Roman times were not added to in 
any degree prior to the discovery of America. The finding of 
America brought in a number of plants new to the Old World, and 

of very high value, such as the potato, 
maize, sweet potato, tobacco, and cocoa. 
Within a comparatively short time these 
plants also found their way into other 
countries. The potato reached Europe at 
about the end of the sixteenth century, 
and as indicating the interest which 
attached to this novelty we find that in 
a book, Gerard's Herbal, published in 
1597, Gerard selected, in presenting his 
own portrait, to hold in his hand a 
flowering branch of the potato plant, 
which he had cultivated in his garden. The maize plant rapidly reached almost all tropical 
countries, cocoa was taken to Ceylon and elsewhere, and in this way the greatest additions to 
the number of really important cultivated plants of the Old World since very early times was 
brought about. Another important American plant, cinchona, the source of quinine, was 
introduced to cultivation largely through the agency of a man still living — Sir Clements 
Markham, K.C.B., F.R.S. It helped Ceylon over the coffee crisis, and it is at the present 
time the source of an important industry in Java. 

As man's life became more complex and his wants increased he found it necessary to form 
plantations of other species, such as fibre and rubber-yielding plants. Para rubber is the 
most important of the new industries in the East, where in Ceylon and the Malay peninsula 
its cultivation is attracting much labour and capital. This valuable plant is a native of 
Brazil, and formerly the whole of the rubber it yielded was collected from wild trees scattered 




The World's Commercial Products 

through the dense forests in the Amazon valley. As recently as 1886, by the enterprise of 
the Indian Government and with the assistance of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, it was 
successfully introduced into Ceylon, and promises to become an important source of wealth. 
Cultivation of this and other rubber plants is also being undertaken in parts of the tropics, 
and the rubber trees are amongst the latest addition to the list of cultivated plants, an 
addition which has taken place in our own generation. 

It is probably safe to say that by this time most of the useful plants of the world are known. 
We are not likely to discover anywhere a plant which will rival wheat, rice, cotton, tea, coffee, 
cocoa, the vine, or the chief sugar producing plants for their respective products. We 
may add considerably to the number of cultivated plants, when, as has happened with rubber 
trees, it becomes advantageous or desirable to cultivate them instead of relying on the 
wild product. Much work, too, remains to be done in improving the plants already to hand. 
This is one of the most important divisions of the work of . the botanic gardens and 
experiment stations throughout the world, and in discussing sugar attention is directed to 
the good results attained on these lines with the sugar cane in the West Indies, Java, etc., 
and with the sugar beet in Europe. Similar work on other plants is being conducted 
elsewhere, and is referred to in its appropriate place. At the present time we have 
throughout the British Empire a well-developed system for securing the introduction of useful 
plants into any colony, and there are no serious difficulties in introducing any plant into any 
place where it is likely to thrive and its produce to obtain a profitable market. The latter depends 
to a great- extent on facilities for transport. That these are in a high state of efficiency is easily 
recognised when we think of the origin of the ordinary items of our every-day fare. The flour of 
which our bread is made comes from America, India, Argentine, Australia, Russia, and elsewhere, 
tea from India, Ceylon, and China, coffee from Brazil and Central America, cocoa from Ecuador, 
the West Indies, West Africa, etc., sugar from the East and West Indies or Europe according as 
we use cane or beet. These are all products which are easily carried, and are not damaged 
even if delayed in the voyage. During recent years, however, other items have been added 
to the import list, and the Channel Islands and the South of France provide us regularly with 
large quantities of potatoes, vegetables, and fruit. More striking, however, are the 

developments resulting from scientific 
discoveries which have rendered possible 
rapid means of transport and cold storage. 
Our apples, a few years ago essentially a 
home crop, come to a very considerable 
extent from Canada, the United States, 
and Tasmania. In the latter instance 
they have to withstand a voyage of six 
weeks' duration, starting in the temperate 
region, passing through the tropics, and 
terminating in the temperate clime of 
another hemisphere. Yet these apples, 
unpacked, look as good as when they were 
picked. Bananas, which are increasing in 
popularity, come from such widely separa- 
ted places as the Canary Islands, Jamaica, 
Costa Rica, and Barbados. Delicate fruits, 
such as grapes, reach us in safety, and 
peaches and plums from the Cape of Good 
Hope can be seen in increasing numbers 
in British markets. Fruits are so easily 
Martinique, the cultivation of cocoa damaged by any defects in the means of 




transport that they afford a reliable means of testing modern methods, and anyone who wishes 
a demonstration of the excellence of these methods ought to visit one of the 
exhibitions of Colonial-grown fruit held by the Royal Horticultural Society. 

Enough has been said to indicate that there is great interest attaching to the ordinary 
articles which are so familiar to us in every-day life. Some products, such as flour, 
sugar, and tea, are obtained only from cultivated plants, often grown now in countries 
far removed from those in which they originally occurred in the wild state. The raw 
material passes through successive processes before it leaves the land of its production, and 
after it reaches the country where it is used undergoes other transformations. Other useful 
substances, on the other hand, are obtained from wild plants, and are collected by primitive 
and sometimes interesting races, prepared by crude methods, sold at the outposts of some 
great trading firm beyond perhaps the confines of civilisation, and finally shipped to 
this country. 

It is obvious that an account of the cultivation, collection, preparation, and uses of the 
products of every-day consumption cannot fail to be of great interest. Incidentally we learn 
much not only about the objects themselves, which in itself endows them with much greater 
interest, but also about the lands of their production and the conditions of life which 
prevail there. 

In this book an attempt has been made to give a general account, on the lines indicated 
above, of the principal plant products which occur in commerce. The work is necessarily 
incomplete, because it is impossible in a volume of this size to describe in a manner which 


The World's Commercial Products 

would have any interest all vegetable commercial products. To do this the work would have 
to run to. many, volumes. Thus, some years ago, the Government of India produced, under 
the direction of Sir George Watt; a Dictionary of the Economic Products of India. Now, 
India, although a large country, is small in comparison with the whole world, and yet this work 
on Indian products alone* extends to a monumental series of eight large-paged volumes. A 
selection has, therefore, had to -fee- made, and, for purposes of convenience, the products have 
been arranged in natural gr.oups. This method has allowed of general information being given 
on properties common to all the members of the group, of devoting most space to the more import- 
ant products, and of mentioning the others in their appropriate places without that detachment 
often. entailed-in a book in which each product is treated of separately without reference to 
its place in a great group. 

The. results of personal observations in many parts of the world, contributions from experts 
engaged daily in handling the products under consideration, and the consultation of standard 
authorities have been blended to make the volume as far as practicable a concise and simple 
account of '.the chief plant products of the world. The book cannot hope to be faultless and the 
magnitude and complexity of the subject treated must be our excuse for any shortcomings. 

W. G. F. 

S. E. C. 




The Worlds Commercial Products 



Amongst the World's Commercial Products the first place, if not in actual monetary value 
at any rate in importance to man, must be given to the foodstuffs on which his very existence 
depends. In the times before means of transport were perfected, each nation was self- 
supporting. Indeed, each tribe or even each family collected wild plants, or raised the crops 
for its own sustenance. This state of affairs still exists amongst the more primitive races. 
In West Africa, for example, there are near each village the "farms," often worked by all the 
people in common, where are grown the supplies of Indian corn, millet, cassava or manioc, yams 
and other edible roots, on which, in addition to the wild products collected in the " bush," the 
members of the tribe exist. After the harvest' the crop is carefully stored either in the field, 
in special granaries, or in the individual houses to last over the period before the next crop 
is ripe. No greater injury can be inflicted on a village than to-destroy these stores, especially 
if, in addition, the supply of seed for the next season's sowing is taken away. The natives 
in Central America, etc., subsist largely on manioc, and a jar of farine, or the meal of this plant, 
is commonly to be found in each hut. A similar state of affairs was formerly the rule in 
such countries as Great Britain, and although the advance of civilisation has revolutionised 
this simple mode of life for the industrial and other sections of the community, we have only 
to consider the conditions of life of the peasantry of the west of Scotland, parts of Ireland, and 
elsewhere to realise that even now there are large numbers of families in the United Kingdom 
practically dependent on their own efforts in tilling the soil for their support. 

2— C.P. 

The World's Commercial Products 

This, however, is not the case for the majority of the inhabitants of modern civilised 
countries, who no longer live by direct tilling of the land. To supply their needs foodstuffs 
must be grown, frequently either in part or wholly in other countries. Some idea of the 
enormous development of the trade in foodstuffs may be gathered from the fact that the 
annual value of wheat alone imported into the United Kingdom is about £35,000,000 sterling. 
The most important amongst these foodstuffs are undoubtedly the cereals, namely, 
wheat, barley, oats, rye, rice, Indian corn or maize, millets, sorghum or dhurra, and others 
less widely used. More than one half the whole population of the world subsists to a great 
extent on rice, and the vital importance of wheat needs no demonstration. 

The cereals are members of the great family of the grasses which have been cultivated 
by man from time immemorial. Originally, no doubt, they were wild plants which attracted 
attention owing to the comparatively large quantities of foodstuffs they yielded, the ease 
with which they could be collected, and their edible qualities. Now, in the majority of cases, 
the original wild forms are no longer known, and as is common with plants cultivated in many 
lands and during long periods, innumerable species and varieties have been evolved as the 
result of conscious and unconscious selection by man of the forms which appeared desirable 

for one or other of their qualities. Their 
very name — cereals or cerealia — indicates 
the great value attached to them in early 
historic times. They are so named after 
the goddess Ceres, as the Romans called 
her — Demeter of the Greeks — the pat- 
roness of agriculture and all the fruits of 
the earth. In the temperate regions of 
the world wheat is the principal cereal 
grown, and there are many different 
varieties suited to varying conditions. 
As we go farther north, barley, oats, and 
rye increase in importance, and although 
they are grown for special purposes along 
with wheat, it is important to note that 
they will thrive in countries and under 
conditions not suited to wheat. Starting 
again from the temperate zones and 
travelling north or south, as the case may be, we enter the warmer countries where wheat 
cultivation is often associated with that of rice, maize, sorghum, etc. In the tropics, however, 
wheat will not thrive at low elevations, but rice, maize, sorghum, and various millets form the 
great cereal crops, their relative importance varying in different countries. 

Sometimes the use of the word " cereal " is extended to include buckwheat and other 
starch-yielding plants, but these are not true cereals. There are also the important starch- 
yielding plants such as the potato, yam, sweet potato (a kind of convolvulus), manioc or 
cassava, etc. These all form underground tubers, and are regarded as vegetables, in 
which section of this book they are discussed. Still another group of starch plants exists 
yielding arrowroot of various kinds, sago, etc. These are treated in the section on starches 
and meals. 

We will now turn to the consideration of the cereals and deal first with those of temperate 
countries, and afterwards with those grown in the warmer regions of the world. Of the first 
group by far the most important is wheat. Throughout the temperate regions of the world 
are found a considerable number of grasses, either wild or cultivated, which are sufficiently 
alike for botanists to group them together into a genus and to call them all by the old classical 
name for wheat, namely, Triticum. Three of these wild forms occur in Great Britain, one of 



J [ X 

^ s2° 
I r 

f D 

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the best known being " couch grass " or " twitch," which is a very troublesome weed in 
cultivated land. But it has its uses, inasmuch as its long, creeping, underground stems give it the 
power of binding sand so that it can be planted to arrest the progress of sand dunes, to hold 
together embankments, etc. These wild " wheat grasses " are, however, of no value as food 
plants, yielding but little grain. On the other hand, the cultivated species which, for the time, 
may be collectively spoken of as wheat, are of the greatest importance, yielding the most 
valuable cereal in the world. Wheats have been cultivated by man from time immemorial, 
and nothing is now known of the original wild forms from which they are descended. In old 
legends and ancient manuscripts wheat is spoken of as familiarly as at the present day. 
Nor do we know with any certainty in which country it was first found ; but it seems 
probable that Central Asia was the original home of the wild forms from which the cultivated 
species have sprung. 

Although we have used the name " wheat " above as including all the cultivated varieties 
of the genus Triticum, this is not quite correct, and before proceeding farther it will be well 
to give a few notes concerning the various species. They fall into three chief groups : — 

1. Small spelt, or one-grained spelt (Triticum monococcum). 

2. Wheat, including spelt and rice spelt (T. sativum). 

3. Polish wheat (T. Polonicum). 

(1) Small spelt or one-grained spelt is usually characterised by each of the little branchlets 
of which the ear is composed, containing only one grain, whereas in the other wheats they 
contain two or more grains. This plant can live in very poor soils, and in stony places not 
suited to ordinary wheat. As might be expected, it does not grow into such a large plant, the 
straw being usually not more than from eighteen inches to two feet in height, and the yield 
of corn is comparatively small. Spain is the chief country in which it is grown, but it is 
sometimes cultivated in France, Germany, and Switzerland, principally in mountainous 




districts. Although it is now little used, its cultiva- 
tion is of great antiquity, as shown by the finding 
of grains of this plant in the famous lake dwellings 
of the Stone Age in Switzerland and Hungary. 

(2) Wheal and Spelts. The spelts are amongst 
the grains which have been cultivated from the 
most ancient times, and they were the chief cereal 
of Egypt and Greece. They were cultivated by 
the Romans and distributed throughout the Roman 
Empire. The plant has decreased in importance, 
but it is still of great value in the south of Spain, 
as it is very hardy and can be depended upon to 
give an average crop even on poor soils. Some of 
the varieties of spelt have ears like those of ordinary 
wheat, whilst others are bearded like barley. 

Another variety is the two-grained spelt, fre- 
quently known by its German name of emmer. 
Starch wheat or rice wheat are other popular names. 
The ears are usually bearded. Long known in 
cultivation, it has also declined in favour, and is 
now principally grown in southern Germany, 
Switzerland, Spain, Servia, Italy, etc., as a summer 
grain. There are different races differing in the 
colour of the grain, which may be white, red, or 
black. Attention has recently been devoted to this 
grain as, like the macaroni wheats, it thrives in the 

dry regions of North America where irrigation is impracticable. This subject is discussed 
more fully below in relation to so-called " dry farming." The third group includes the 
true wheats, and these may be sub-divided into four classes. 

(a) Common Wheats. This class includes all the most valuable kinds for making bread. 

Some have ordinary ears, others are bearded ; the colour and other characteristics 
of the grain vary, and innumerable varieties, each with its own name, are 

(b) Dwarf or Hedgehog Wheats. These are low-growing wheats with very short but 

thick and strong straw. They are grown on poor soils, principally in the Austrian 
Alps, Wurtemburg, Alsace, Turkestan, Switzerland, and Chili. 

(c) English Wheat or River Wheat. Although called English wheat this kind is but 

rarely cultivated in England, being chiefly found in the countries bordering on 
the Mediterranean. The flour derived from it is not well suited to making 
bread, and must be mixed with flour from the kind next mentioned. 

(d) Hard or Flint Wheat. The ears of this group of wheats are furnished with long, 

bristly awns. The grain is hard and contains a large amount of the substance 

known as gluten, which will be referred to later. Flint wheats are most important 

in Spain and northern Africa. They are of special interest as yielding the best 

flour for the preparation of macaroni, Italian pastes, etc. 

(3) Polish Wheat. This, the last member of the wheat group, has large, somewhat flattened, 

curious blue-green ears, and the straw is often almost solid instead of being hollow like the 

others. It grows into a large plant, the straw being four or five feet high, but only gives a 

small yield of grain. This species is supposed to have originated in Spain, in which country 

it is still cultivated on a large scale. 

We will now proceed to describe the general mode of cultivation of wheat. 

The World's Commercial Products 

The soil to which the farmer entrusts his seed must possess certain qualities. Then the 
plant must be able to extract a sufficient quantity of moisture from the soil, although ,this 
need not be abundant. Clays and heavy loams are the best soils on which to grow wheat ; 
but with skilful farming and selection of the proper varieties, good harvests are obtained on 
light sandy soils. If the ground is too wet, the corn lacks vigour, and the production of seeds 
is small. If, on the other hand, sand predominates, the ground is too permeable and does 
not hold the quantity of moisture that is absolutely necessary for the growth of the wheat, 
which then thrives very badly. It will not do, says the farmer, to accommodate oneself to the 
soil, but the soil must be accommodated to the plant. When necessary, its nature may be 
modified by the addition of different kinds of manure, that is to say, by adding the elements 
which it lacks. Thus, it is necessary to add lime to sandy soils, and as a rule marl — that is, 

a mixture of chalk and clay 
— is used for the purpose. 
If one has to deal with a 
soil in which clay is lacking, 
very clayey marl should be 
taken. The element that is 
added to the soil must not 
only modify its physical 
nature by giving it greater 
density, or, on the contrary, 
greater looseness, but it must 
also, by its chemical com- 
position, increase the chance 
of successful cultivation. 
Marl fulfils both these 
conditions. It sometimes 
happens that the sub-soil 
contains the elements which 
are wanted in the top soil. 
In that case the land must 
be deeply ploughed, the sub- 
soil being brought to the 
surface and thoroughly 
mixed with the upper layer. 
To put the matter briefly, 
the essential elements are 
the indispensable elements of 
These elements have to be 



Clayey Sand 



(1) sufficient but not excessive moisture, (2) lime, and (3) 
plant food, such as nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash 
furnished by natural or chemical manures, if it is proved by analysis that the soil does not 
contain them in sufficient quantities. Thus, the fundamental principle of a rational culti- 
vation of wheat is to know the physical and chemical conditions of the soil thoroughly, a 
knowledge which enables the farmer to modify its composition in a judicious manner. The 
great advantage of chemical manures is that it is possible to give greater richness to the soil 
by the addition of small quantities of material, but they should be used with care. They 
cannot, however large the quantities added, replace the natural manure, that is, farmyard 
or, as it is often termed in the tropics, pen-manure. The latter is the manure par excellence, 
improving both the physical and the chemical conditions of the soil, and increasing its water- 
holding powers, owing to the organic matter or humus it adds. 

The land on which wheat is to be grown must be thoroughly cleaned, for the plant is easily 
choked by weedy growths. Therefore, wheat is usually sown on a field on which a crop has 


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been grown which kills the weeds, such as beetroots or turnips in the north, and tobacco 
in the south. 

Different plants have different needs; one requires an abundance of nitrogen, whilst another 
takes more potash or more phosphoric acid out of the soil. Hence it may be easily under- 
stood that if the same variety were grown on one field for several successive years, it would 
soon have exhausted the element which it particularly requires. Therefore different varieties, 
which do not require the same elements in the soil, are grown one after the other. This is called 
rotation of crops. Take as an illustration the Norfolk or four-course rotation : clover or grass 
is grown the first year, wheat or oats the next, turnips, mangolds, or potatoes the third, and 
barley the fourth. Sometimes the farmer allows the field to lie waste for a year, without sowing 
or planting anything, in order to rest the soil. Such fields are called fallow-land. Many 
other rotations are practised, depending on the character of the soil, climate, amount of stock 
kept, and special requirements. The soil must be in the proper condition, neither too hard 
nor too soft. The farmer must try to obtain the golden mean : he must be well acquainted 
with the properties of the soil, with the climate, and with the capacities of his tools. Hence 
methods of cultivation differ, according to soil, climatic conditions, etc. The tilling of the 
soil comprises all operations of which the purpose is either to aerate it, thoroughly to mix its 
different elements, or to remedy its physical defects. The soil is turned over with the spade, 
the hoe, or the plough ; it is harrowed to break up the clods, and to put it in better tilth, and 
rolled, if necessary, to give it greater firmness. The importance of these operations varies 
with the nature of the soil, and with the variety of the wheat grown. 

The time when the wheat must be sown also varies according to its kind and according 
to the part of the world where it is grown. Generally speaking, we may say that wheat does 
not thrive if the temperature is below about 55° F. for three months or so of the growing period. 
It is impossible to fix a date for the sowing, for that is a question to be determined by expe- 
rience, and varies greatly according to local conditions. The farmer must be very careful in his 
choice of seed. It is of no use to have good land, to till it well, and then to sow seed of an 
indifferent quality. He can only expect a good harvest when the grains are heavy, well- 
developed, and thoroughly ripe. Wheat to be used for seed should not be reaped before it is 



quite ripe and should be kept spread out on the granary floor as long as possible. In order 
to obtain seeds which unite all these qualities, the grains from the finest ears are laid aside 
as soon as the harvest has been threshed ; this is the first selection. These grains are first 
passed through the winnower, which takes out the dust and light grains. Mixed with the 
corn, however, there may also be seeds of other plants, the growth of which might afterwards 
do injury to the wheat. These must be taken out ; this is the task of the sifter and the bolter. 
But still the finest-looking grain, having the right weight and the right shape, may, notwith- 
standing the most energetic winnowing and the repeated shocks of the bolter, contain in the 
folds of the furrow which runs on one side of the seed the germs of diseases, the spores of fungi 
which might develop and spoil the whole crop. It is prudent to prevent this by destroying 
the germs without killing the embryo of the future plant ; this is done by liming or by treat- 
ment with copper sulphate. In the former process a liquid mixture of lime and water is 
thoroughly mixed by continual stirring, and poured on the seed, which is energetically stirred 
with a spade to enable every separate seed to come into contact with the disinfecting liquid. 
This method is chiefly followed on small farms, but the copper treatment is most 
generally practised. The seeds are sprinkled with a solution of sulphate of copper or blue 
vitriol, or preferably the grains are completely immersed in a receptacle containing this solution. 
Immersion has, in addition, the advantage of allowing a last selection to be made, for the grains 
which are too light float on the surface and are easily removed. The disinfection should 
be accomplished little by little, for a heap of wet corn, although it is aired by continuous 
agitation with a spade, grows warm, and soon commences to sprout. 

Wheat is sown either broadcast, by hand or by a sowing-machine, or by means of a drill, 
which buries the seed in the soil at regular and equal distances. When broadcast sowing 
is adopted, the harrow is passed over the field, making light furrows into which the seed disap- 
pears. But many grains remain on the surface, and are killed by frost or heat, or are 
picked up by birds. This method is therefore usually only carried out on small farms, 
where the plot is too small to allow a sowing-machine profitably to be employed. 

On large farms sowing-machines are generally used. There are two kinds : (a) those 

which sow broadcast, and (b) drills, which distribute the seed over the light furrows or drills 

they make in the soil, and cover them over at once. The work of these latter machines is 

-_ £. '„ - ~ ~ „ - perfect, and large quantities 

of seed are saved by using 
them, only about half as 
much seed being required to 
sow an acre with a good drill 
as when sown broadcast. 
The money spent on a good 
machine is accordingly soon 

Once the seeds have been 
buried in the soil, their 
development begins. About 
a fortnight after the sowing 
the first leaves appear ; their 
number increases, and the 
field looks as if it has 
suddenly become a meadow, 
with here and there a bare 
spot, where for some reason 
or other the wheat is late, or 
perhaps does not appear at 


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all. The young plant con- 
tinues to grow without any 
check until, with autumn - 
sown wheat, the frost sets 
in, and continues again as 
soon as that is over. If, 
however, the frost is too 
severe, the wheat dies and 
the farmer is obliged to sow 
summer wheat in March. 
Again, during winter, the 
roots may be laid bare. The 
wheat soon dies if this state 
of things is not remedied by 
rolling, which again makes 
the soil hard and flat. 
Sometimes, also, the corn 
comes up bleached or 
yellow. This is often the case in a cold spring, and very thin liquid manure or nitrate 
of soda should be added. Very soon its beneficial influence will be seen, and the corn 
regains its vigour. 

But other plants besides the corn take advantage of the nourishing elements with which 
the soil has been enriched, and if left alone would soon grow up so luxuriously as to stifle the 
wheat. To get rid of these the field must be thoroughly weeded ; when the wheat has been 
sown broadcast this must be done with the hoe, but when it is sown with the drill the weeding 
is done with a horse machine. 

This rough outline indicates in a general way the methods adopted in sowing and growing 
corn, but the details vary according to the country and to the extent of the fields, although 
the object aimed at is always the same. On small farms simple ploughs are used, but on 
the huge farms of the United States, Australia, Canada, Argentina, ploughs cutting eight or 
even as many as twenty-four furrows at once are employed. These are either drawn by 
animals or by steam power. The tilling on these large farms is, of course, done less carefully, 
but much more quickly. The sowing is carried out with ten or twenty machines, and a 
whole army of farm-hands work on the fields. Everything is done quickly, and the often 
still virgin soils are so rich that the harvests are abundant, and all those precautions, which 
are necessary elsewhere, need not be taken. 

The wheat shoots up under the influence of the alternate rain and sunshine of the spring,, 
finding in the soil and in the air the elements necessary for its growth. All the nourishment 
accumulated by the roots or elaborated in the leaves mounts to the ear and is devoted 
to the development oi the grain. When these have acquired a certain firmness, which the 
farmer often judges with his finger nail, the corn is ready to reap. 

The farmer does not always wait until the wheat is ripe before he reaps it ; mowed while it is- 
still green, wheat makes excellent fodder, and in some countries is grown solely for this purpose. 

The importance of the different agricultural processes included in the one word " harvest " 
varies with the extent of the farms. The tools used are not the same everywhere ; here men 
and women wield the simplest kind of reaping-hook, while children follow, gather the haulms, 
and spread them out on the field to dry. This is the harvesting of small farmers, and 
this same method is. also followed when the wheat has been laid flat by wind or rain. More 
frequently the reaping is done with the scythe, which works more quickly and neatly. 

If the extent of the fields and the farmer's means allow it, reaping-machines are used, 
which, drawn by horses, cut down the wheat over a breadth of about five feet every time. The: 



reaping-machine cuts off the haulms and throws them down at regular intervals, and the 
binders gather two or three of these heaps together to bind them into sheaves. But still 
more perfect machines exist, which both cut the haulms and bind them into sheaves. These 
are the self-binding machines, and only. one man is wanted to drive each machine. On the 
immense corn-fields of the Far West, the Americans have for. some time been successfully 
using gigantic, very ingeniously constructed machines, called " harvesters," which, drawn by 
twenty-four to forty horses, travel through the miles of corn, cutting out a track up to twenty 
feet wide, reaping, cleaning, and threshing the wheat, putting it into bags, a long line of which 
it leaves behind. Portable factories we might well call these huge machines, besides which 
the self-binding machines look like toys. Still larger harvesters are drawn by huge traction 
engines, and, as giving an idea of their capacity, some of those in use in California cut over 
forty feet at once, and harvest and leave in sacks ready for export the crop from as much as 
120 acres in one day. Eight men are required to work such a machine. 

After the harvesting the corn may be taken to the rick or to the barn, but the sheaves 
must be thoroughly dry, for if heaped up while wet, heat is developed, which causes both corn 
and straw to ferment, and hence to be spoiled. 

After the stacks have been constructed, or the sheaves have been taken to the barn, a 
privilege which is as old as the world allows the poor people to come and glean the ears which 
are left on the field. The picturesque silhouettes of the gleaners, stooping over the stubble 
and picking up the forgotten ears, have often tempted painters and poets. 

Threshing, or separating the grain from the ear, is the next process, but as a rule this is 
not urgent, unless the farmer can obtain a higher price for his corn immediately after the 
harvest. <That part of the crop which is to be kept for seed is reaped last, because it has to be 
thoroughly ripe, and it is, as a rule, threshed first. 

The small farmer threshes with the flail. The cut corn is spread out on the barn floor 
in a layer about an inch thick, the ears all pointing in one direction, and on these the flails 
come down at regular intervals. When the grains have been threshed out from the upper 
surface, the wheat is turned over and the threshing renewed. This work takes a long time 
and is very exhausting ; moreover it is not perfect, for, notwithstanding the thresher's 
energy, all the kernels are not separated from the ears. But when the corn is threshed in 
this way the straw is less damaged than when a threshing-machine is used, and on this 
account such straw is preferred for several purposes. 

On farms of medium size another mode of threshing is practised. A thick layer of haulms 
is spread on the barn-floor ; 
in the middle stands a pole 
with a leathern strap at- 
" tached, fastened at the other 
end to a couple of horses or 
oxen, which draw a loaded 
cart with notched wheels. 
The animals walk round as 
in a circus, and in this way 
the strap is wound round 
the pole, becoming shorter 
and shorter, so that the cart 
describes a spiral course on 
the barn floor, until at last 
it has been over the whole of 
the corn. This method is 
more successful than that 
with the flail ; it is practised winnowing corn in india 


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as a rule in central Europe, in Spain, and also in Algeria and in Egypt. Sometimes the cart 
is replaced by a many-sided, heavy roller. Wheat is sometimes threshed by driving horses 
or mules in couples, in fours, or in sixes, in gradually lessening circles, over the barn floor on which 
the wheat has been spread. This is a very advantageous method as regards the grain, but it 
has its disadvantages, namely, that the ears and haulms are crushed, and that the harvest is 
soiled by the animals' excrements. 
V^In "Gbma the seed is separated from the straw in a very peculiar manner, namely, by means 
of large forks or combs, and subsequently spread out. on mats to be further trodden out with 
the feet. The seed is then winnowed and sifted. The winnower is a kind of flat, two-handled 
basket. The corn is thrown up and caught again to get out the chaff and the fragments of 
straw. The mechanical winno wing-machine replaces both the winnower and the sieve, and 
the seeds and other substances which are lighter than the grain are driven out by the action 
of the fans. 

A modern development of this method is found in the. combined stripper and thresher, an 
Australian invention which dates from about the year 1883. A prize had previously been 
offered in South Australia for a machine which would strip, clean, and bag the corn in one 
operation, but without success. In 1883 the Victorian Government made a similar offer, 
and the machine to which the first place was awarded pulled or stripped the ears from the 
standing wheat, and harvested the grain at the rate of about an acre per hour when drawn 
by three horses. The straw is not cut at all by. this machine but left standing in the field. 
In 1885 another somewhat similar machine was invented in Victoria, and a third has since 
been made in Canada. These machines are in general use in Australia, and have recently 
been introduced with considerable success into Argentina. They pass through the field, 
stripping the heads from the stalks, the heads are threshed and the grain sifted, cleaned, and 
passed out into bags much as in a modern threshing-machine. Special conditions are necessary 
for these strippers to work successfully. To insure the best results, the wheat must be dry, 
quite ripe, and free from weeds, especially from thistles. Where these conditions are realised 
the cost of harvesting is estimated from one half to one quarter of that with a binder and 
thresher. They are not, however, likely to supersede binders altogether, although most 
valuable when they can be used to advantage. 

Threshing-machines consist essentially of rapidly revolving drums, provided with barbed 
beaters, made of hard wood ; they are worked either by animals or by steam or other 
power. The beaters strike the ears, with which the machine .is fed, with great force, the 
revolutions of the drum sometimes amounting to 800 a minute. Two kinds of threshers 
may be distinguished, those into which the haulms have to be put perpendicularly to the 
axis, and those where they have to be pushed in parallel to it. These machines are continually 

being improved, and not- 
withstanding the speed at 
which they work, they per- 
form their task very well. 
They also winnow and sift 
the grain, separating the 
corn from the chaff, and 
eliminating other seeds, sort, 
grade, and bag the grain, 
while the straw, kept 
back by nets, glides towards 
a binder, which automa- 
tically gathers it into bun- 
dles. Sometimes even an 
threshing in india elevator with hooked chains 



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conducts these bundles to the spot where men are building the straw-rick, or a strong 
current of air blows the straw to the top of the rick. 

In North and South America, Australia, and Russia, where the value of the straw is very 
small, the engines with which the threshers are worked are fed with it. 

Some years ago fears were expressed that in the course of a comparatively short time, if 
the present rapid increase in the wheat-eating people of the world continued without being 
counterbalanced by the opening up of new wheat fields, or of an increased yield from the 
existing fields, a wheat famine would ensue. One way of increasing the area under wheat 
would be by bringing into cultivation lands which do not appear at first sight suited to this 
crop, such as, for example, the immense tract of country known as the Great Plains region 
of the United States of America. The rainfall in this region is usually low, perhaps about 
twelve inches, and irregular, and this, combined with great heat, makes the conditions unsuited 
to many ordinary crops, and bad harvests often result. Much of this land would give excellent 
yields if it could be irrigated. This, however, is in many cases absolutely impossible, or if 

possible the results would not justify the 

It has been observed for some time that some 
of the farmers could get -good crops, whatever 
the season, and, in particular, Russian farmers 
were very successful. This was due to the 
training they had had in fighting against the 
cold winters and dry summers of their native 
lands. Much of the valuable Russian hard 
wheat is produced, in localities where the 
temperature ranges from extreme heat to 
extreme cold, and the rainfall is low, perhaps 
twelve to fifteen inches, or even less. 

The Russian farmers brought with them 
their stock of knowledge, and by adapting 
their methods to the conditions prevailing in 
the Great Plains were able to obtain good 
results, often when the crops of their neigh- 
bours cultivated on similar soil and under the 
same climatic conditions were ruined. Con- 
siderable attention is now being given in the United States to these regions, and " Dry 
Farming " or " Cultivation in Semi-arid Regions " is much to the fore. It is not altogether 
novel, but rather the adaptation to American conditions of plants and methods successfully 
employed for a long period in the hard climates of parts of Russia, such as Astrakhan, the 
Crimea, Turkestan, etc. 

The best kinds of wheat for these dry regions are the " hard wheats," which are extremely 
resistant to drought. Ghirka wheat largely exported from the Volga region of Russia is a 
good red spring wheat of- this class. Another Russian wheat from the Crimea, has, under the 
name of " Turkey wheat," been cultivated for some twenty-five years in Kansas and other 
states, and has caused a large increase in the wheat area as it can be grown in places where 
the severity of the winter rendered wheat culture impossible "with ordinary varieties. Still 
hardier varieties will allow cultivation to be even more widely extended, and steps are being 
taken to introduce such into the States. Kharkoo winter wheat is regarded as one of the 
hardiest kinds and likely to withstand the winters of South Dakota and Minnesota. 

For resistance to drought as opposed to cold the hardiest wheats are the macaroni wheats, 
which thrive in eastern Russia, Turkestan, and Algeria under conditions which Mr. A. M. 
Carleton, who has investigated them, calls arid rather than semi-arid. These macaroni wheats 



, . i . 



The World's Commercial Products 

are also very resistant to rust and other diseases, and they give heavy yields. For instance, in 
seasons of great drought, macaroni wheats in the States have given twice and four times the 
crop of ordinary wheat under the same conditions. They are, however, liable to be killed by 
cold, and so in many cases can only be used as spring wheats. 

Having obtained seed of the right class of wheat it is essential to cultivate it under the best 
conditions, and all the skill and attention of the farmer is in this case directed to conserving 
the small quantity of moisture his land receives as rain. The cardinal principles are to have the 
subsoil well " packed " to hold all the moisture possible, and to keep above this well compacted 
stratum a layer of loose earth. The loose earth prevents the loss of water by evaporation, and 
care is taken repeatedly to harrow this top layer after every shower of rain. Macaroni wheat, 
emmer, and also other cereals thrive well under these conditions, and give large returns, as 
much as thirty, forty, and even more bushels per acre being recorded. Properly developed, 
the results of this practice will be very far-reaching, as there are enormous areas in the States 
alone suitable for this type of cultivation, but on which ordinary wheats, cultivated on ordinary 
lines, could not possibly thrive. 

The straw of wheat excels all other kinds of straw, because it is much stronger. It is, 
therefore, by no means an unimportant product of the wheat-harvest. It is used for seat- 
ing chairs, and stuffing straw-mattresses, while straw-carpets, string, bee-hives, baskets, 
and other objects of wicker-work are made from it. The bearded wheat of Tuscany is often 
cultivated especially for its straw, of which hats are made, generally known as Leghorn 
hats, after the place of export. Straw is also used for thatching the roofs of cottages and 

Wheat straw, usually mixed with other food or with the wheat grain, is a useful fodder. 
Straw that has served as litter for horses, pigs, or cows makes excellent manure. 

Wheat, after it has been separated from the ears as well as when it was still in them, has 
numerous enemies. We immediately think of rats, mice, and birds. But there are many more 
quite as injurious — small animals such as weevil grubs, which penetrate into the corn, and live 
and multiply in it. To guard against these animals, firmly built, well-ventilated barns are 
wanted, without any fissures or chinks, in which the small pests might hide. It is preferable 
not to have a wooden floor but one of cement, and the walls should also be cemented up to 
a certain height ; the air-holes in the roof should be protected with wire to keep birds out. 
After all these precautions have been taken, the corn may be safely heaped up in the barns, 
but not higher than about two feet. Now and then it, should be turned over with a spade to 
air it. 

Large industrial firms which must have room to store considerable quantities of wheat have 

iron rooms for the purpose, 
in which the development of 
heat is prevented by me- 
chanical stirring and proper 
ventilation. In Africa and in 
Asia the wheat is sometimes 
kept in subterranean siloes. 
These siloes are pits or vats 
dug out in the soil, which is 
very firm and dry by nature, 
or they are improved by 
coating them with cement ; 
their dimensions are some- 
times considerable, and to 
these the farmers take the 
threshing with oxen grain that they ha ve not sold. 




The Americans, whose immense farms produce enormous quantities of wheat, often store away 
their harvests in such siloes to await the hour when it is likely to fetch the highest price in the 
old world. In Chicago large storehouses have been built where the corn is stored until the 
large steamers come to the quay to be loaded. These vast storehouses are often provided 
with special machines to transfer the grain quickly into the holds of the cargo-boats. The 
wheat of the south of Russia is stored at Odessa, and this port owes a great deal of 
its activity to the exportation of corn. 

Wheat is used for other purposes besides bread-making. In the industrial world it plays 
an important part in the manufacture of spirits and of beer. Starch is also prepared from 
it, and a special variety is grown for the purpose. 

Manufacture of Flour. — -To be of value for human food, the grains of wheat must be 
ground to flour. In olden times, when the men did nothing but go out hunting or wage war 
against one another, the women and slaves diligently pounded the wheat in a hollowed-out 
wooden block, which served them as a mortar. As people's tastes became more and more 
refined, however, the millers' tools were improved. Millstones, made out of hard round 
stones, and describing circles on a circular surface, also hollowed out in hard stone were used, 
and later the invention of the watermill and the windmill reduced the labour. 

To this day we see mills in the country moved either by water or by the wind. But the 
windmills, which looked so picturesque with their big vanes, are now fast disappearing, even in 
the Netherlands, where they used to be one of the chief characteristics of the landscape. The 
running water of a brook or a small river is a more regular motive power than the wind. But 
whatever may be the motive power, a mill which works by means, of millstones consists 
essentially of a flat circular stone, about two yards in diameter, horizontally fixed on a wooden 
frame. The centre of this stone is pierced by a firm iron or steel. bar, which is the pivot 
on which a second millstone, resembling the first, freely turns. Formerly each millstone 
was in one piece, hewn out of a very hard kind of stone. They are now often cast out of 
gravel and sand, and are of an extraordinary degree of hardness.. A series of radial grooves 
is, as a rule, cut out in the surfaces of the millstones, in which the meal collects and is 
driven away from the centre by the revolving motion of the upper stone.; in this way the grains 
are gradually ground to meal. There are several pairs of millstones in one mill ; the distance 
between the stones of each pair differs, and the grinding is repeated several times in order to 
obtain the largest quantity of flour. The number of small millers is becoming less and less ; the 
small mills are gradually being replaced by large factories where tons of corn are daily 



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ground to meal. In large factories millstones are replaced by revolving steel rollers, which 
pulverise the corn. This coarsely ground corn passes through several other machines, 
where it is bolted and sifted, in' order to, separate the meal completely from the bran. The 
final pair of revolving rollers through .which the bran is passed to get out the last particles 
of meal are made of porcelain. TJhus, the work of these factories consists in successive or 
alternate grinding, bolting, and sifting. The flour obtained by these processes has attained 
an almost incredible purity, and is completely free from all foreign elements, such as dust, 
germs, or bran. The flour used for the French " pain de luxe " is obtained from a special 
kind of hard corn. 

In addition to being used for different kinds of leavened bread, of which we shall speak 
later on, wheat is employed for several kinds of unleavened bread ; such as, for instance, the 
unleavened bread which the Jews eat at the Passover, the wafers of the Roman Catholics, etc. 


Several sorts of baby-food are also prepared out of flour, and pastry and fancy cakes ; and then 
there are different kinds of rusks, and numerous varieties of dry biscuits. 

A great deal of wheat is also used for the preparation of pastes. These are made of the hard 
macaroni wheats, which contain a high proportion of the sticky gluten. Macaroni and other 
pastes are made from semolina, the small rounded grains into which the hard wheats are 
broken up instead of being ground into the fine powder of ordinary flour. These pastes 
are commonly called Italian or Genoese pastes, and are known to the French as "pates 
alimentaires." They are dry and have different forms, and are used in puddings, soups and 
ragouts. The best-known of these pastes are vermicelli and macaroni, which are made by 
forcing the semolina, kneaded with water, through small cylinders or pipes, whence it takes a 
tubular form. 

These small tubes are manufactured in enormous quantities in large kettles ; a great many 
holes are pierced in the bottoms of these kettles and the thickness of the tubes depends on 
their diameter. In order to make the macaroni into tubes, that is to say, to make them hollow, 
steel wires in the form of a U are passed through every two holes, and inside the kettles all 
these wires are connected with one another, to keep them exactly in the centre of every hole. 


Wheat 19 

The tubes are cut off as near 
as possible to the holes. 
Then they are dried in the 
open air, usually in the dusty 
streets or on the roofs of the 
houses in Naples, before they 
are packed in boxes and ex- 
ported to various parts of the 
world. Although originally 
an Italian industry, immense 
quantities are now made in 
large factories in Marseilles 
and other parts of France. 

Bread in all its different 
forms plays an important 
part in the nourishment of 
mankind. It is true that 
one nation eats more bread 
than another, but this de- 
pends more on custom than 

on geographical or economic conditions. Bread is, comparatively speaking, a cheap 

kind of food, which most people can afford, and thanks to the rapid means of communication 

between the different parts of the world, it is sold almost everywhere. 

The general method of making bread is known. to everyone and need not be described. 
The United Kingdom has a special interest in the production of wheat in the world, as 

it is by far the largest importer 

of this product. The annual 

value of the wheat imported 

is about £35,000,000. This 

was not always so, and if we 

go back two and a half cen- 
turies we find that Great Britain 

not only grew enough to supply 

its own wants, but was able 

also to export considerable 

quantities. Then followed a 

period of about a century during 

which the imports were compara- 
tively small, that is to say, the 

production was but little below 

the consumption. At the present 

time scarcely more than one-fifth 

of the annual supply is grown at 

home, the remainder being all 

imported from abroad, mainly 

from the United States, Argentina, 

Canada, India, Russia, and Aus- 
tralia, the relative contributions 

of each varying according to 

good or bad harvests and other 




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Europe is the principal wheat-growing continent, producing more than halt the total supply 
of the world. North America with the great wheat fields of the United States and Canada 
takes the second place, yielding about one-third to one-half of the crop of Europe. Asia, 
chiefly owing to India, is third, and then follow South America, Australasia, and Africa in 
the order named. - 


In 1905 the wheat crops of the continents were approximately : 

Europe ■..'■■ . . 1,790,693,000 South America 

North America . . 808,674,000 Australasia . . 

Asia .. .. 456,135,000 Africa 

bushels • 




The chief individual wheat-producing countries for the same year were 

United States of America 



British India. . 



bushels - 






United Kingdom 












Barley is a most important 
cereal crop, and the hardi- 
ness of the plant enables it 
to be cultivated in higher 
latitudes than any other 
cereal. Its cultivation, how- 
ever, is by no means confined 
to cold regions, for among 
some of the most important 
barley-producing countries 
of the world are France and 

As is almost invariably 
the case with plants which 
have been long cultivated 
by man, the number of vari- 
eties existing at the present 

day is very great. They are generally reduced by botanists, however, to four species, viz., 
(1) Common or two-rowed barley (Hordeum distichum) ; (2) Bigg or BevefHordeum vulgar e) ; 
(3) Six-rowed barley (H. hexastichum) ; and (4) Fan or battledore barley (H. zeocriton). 

As a cultivated cereal, barley is of great antiquity, and Pliny has placed on record his 
opinion that it is the most ancient foodstuff of man, a statement to which modern research 
lends considerable support, for in the Lake Dwellings of Switzerland, which belong to the 
Stone Age, no less than three kinds of barley have been discovered, and identified by Professor 
Heer as varieties of the two-rowed and six-rowed forms mentioned above. Up to within 
comparatively recent years barley formed an important article of food in northern regions, 
but the ever-increasing use of wheat has supplanted it to a very considerable extent in the 
more prosperous countries, whose inhabitants prefer the more palatable and dainty bread 
made from wheaten flour. 
Nevertheless, the nutritive 
value of barley is considerable, 
the chief objection to its use 
being the comparative poverty 
in gluten, the valuable com- 
pound found abundantly in 
wheat, which enables the 
flour to yield a vesiculated 

In Britain the use of barley 
as a bread corn is confined 
to Scotland, where unleavened 
barley cakes still form an ar- 
ticle of food of the peasant 
class, though far less than in 
former times. For this purpose 
the barley is passed between 
the rollers of a mill to remove 
the outer hard cuticle from the 
grain, which issues from the drying macaroni 


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rollers as " pot barley," and if the grinding is carried still farther the grain is reduced to 
"pearl barley," so largely used for domestic purposes. 

At the present day, however, barley is largely raised in order to supply the malt for brewing 
purposes. Enormous areas are under cultivation for this cereal in Europe, especially in 
Russia, Germany, France, and Turkey, and, as is well known, it is one of the most valuable 
crops in Great Britain. 

In Russia the crop is chiefly grown in the northern districts, extending right up to the 
shores of the Arctic Ocean, and large quantities are also raised in southern Russia, but very 
little barley is grown in the central districts. 

Malting has for its object the production of a ferment known as diastase, which possesses 
the property of converting starch into sugar. Barley, in common with other grains,. contains 
a large amount of starch, which during the germination of the seed is converted by the ferment 
diastase into sugar, and this, in the ordinary course of nature, is utilised by the seedling as foo.d.- 
In the preparation of malt, the barley is soaked in water, and then allowed to germinate in 
a favourable temperature until the diastase is fully developed, which occurs when the rootlets 
are about two-thirds the length of the grain. The germinated barley when dried is known 
as malt, and after being coarsely ground in a mill it is placed in a vat into which water is 
allowed to run, the whole mass being carefully stirred to extract the starch and the diastase. 
In the subsequent " infusion " process, the malt is raised to a temperature of about 140° F., 
by pouring boiling water into the vat, and, after about four hours, the starch has been 
converted into sugar by means of the ferment. The conversion of the sugar into alcohol and 
carbon dioxide is effected by adding brewers' yeast to the liquid, which is drawn off into 
separate vessels, and, when the fermentation is complete, the alcohol is obtained as such by 

Great care is exercised in selecting the grain for fermentation, and the barley should be 
free from chaff, quite fresh, and in fine large grains of a bright colour. 


As in the case of other cereals it is doubtful whether rye (Secale cereale) exists in a 
wild state. It has been described as occurring as a weed in the wheat fields of Afghanistan, 
and is found apparently wild in Turkestan, but the best evidence goes to show that the true 

home of the plant is in the 
regions around the Black 
and the Caspian Seas, an 
assumption which is sup- 
ported by the fact that five 
or six known species of the 
genus Secale inhabit western 
temperate Asia, or the south- 
eastern districts of Europe. 
The cultivation of the plant 
appears to be of compara~ 
tively recent origin, for, 
unlike barley, for example, 
no specimens of the grain 
have been obtained from the 
Swiss Lake Dwellings, and 
De Candolle mentions that 
it has not been found in 
the Egyptian tombs. These 




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circumstances are interesting when 
taken in conjunction with the fact that 
rye is a comparatively " constant " 
plant, there being but few varieties, a 
point in which it strikingly differs from 
most other cereals. 

In Great Britain rye is chiefly grown \ / 
as a forage crop when it is cultivated 
at all, but the quantity raised is very 
small. In Russia, however, rye is by 
far the most important cereal, and 
immense quantities are raised in Scan- 
dinavia and northern Germany, where 
rye or black bread is so important an 
article of food. 

The annual production of rye in 
Russia is greater than in any other 
country, and the average quantity 
raised, namely, about 650,000,000 
bushels, is nearly twice the average 
annual wheat crop. The distribution 
of the area devoted to rye cultivation 
is exactly the reverse of that given over to barley, for while the latter cereal, as stated above, 
is grown chiefly in the northern and southern districts, rye is principally cultivated in central 
Russia, where barley is seldom met with. The soil of the northern and eastern districts is 
peculiarly well suited to rye, and the Government of Vyatka takes first rank in production, the 
annual crop averaging about 45,000,000 bushels. Practically all the rye grown by the 
Russian peasants is sown in the autumn, but in Siberia, especially in the Tomsk and Tobolsk 
governments, a large part of the seed is spring sown. The peasants to a great extent still 
adopt very primitive methods of cultivation, and the seed is usually sown by hand, covered 
with a simple harrow, and, when ripe, generally harvested with sickles. 



Oats (Avena sativa) have never been found truly wild, and it is a matter of considerable 
difficulty to determine upon any locality as their original home, while attempts to identify 
a particular species, as the parent form from which the modern varieties have sprung, have 
signally failed. This state of affairs is due in no small measure to the readiness with which 
cultivated oats establish themselves upon waste ground, often persisting in such a way as to 
appear wild. For this reason De Candolle, in his " Origin of Cultivated Plants," throws con- 
siderable doubt upon the reputed existence of truly wild oats in Persia and the Sinaitic penin- 
sula ; though he admits that the more frequent occurrence of the semi-wild or naturalised 
condition in the Austrian states, from Dalmatia to Transylvania, lends additional support to 
the theory, advanced upon philological and historical grounds, that the probable home of the 
oat was in the temperate countries of eastern Europe, and in Tartary. A curious opinion, 
said to have been based upon certain statements of the navigator Anson, which met with 
considerable support during the eighteenth century, was to the effect that the oat was originally 
obtained from the famous island of Juan Fernandez, but unfortunately for this view oats have 
been found in the Swiss Lake Dwellings. Further, from historical records it is known that the 
cereal was cultivated in very early times to the north of Italy and Greece, and in the face of 



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By permission of the " Canada" Newspaper 


such evidence it is highly improbable that the original home of the plant would be so remotely 
distant from the countries where it was anciently cultivated. 

The " bristle-pointed oat" (Avena strigosa), which has been regarded by some authorities 
as the origin of the Scotch oat, is found in fields in Europe which have been thrown out of 
cultivation, a fact which confirms the opinion that it is but a variety of the common oat, and 
not an independent species. Another form of oat (Avena orientalis) has been cultivated in 
Europe for upwards of 150 years. As the name indicates, the plant comes from the East, being; 
known in Germany as the Turkish or the Hungarian oat, and it is often mixed with common 
oats, from which it is not easy to distinguish it on cursory examination. A most interesting, 
reference to the oat is made in a Chinese historical work dealing with the period 618-907 a.d. 
The oat referred to is the " naked oat," known to botanists as Avena saliva nuda. It has been 
found wild around Pekin, and the botanist Lindley has declared that the " pilcorn " of the 
old agriculturists, which was cultivated in England during the thirteenth century, was no 
other than the naked oat. 

Oats form one of the most valuable sources of food for both man and beast, the nutritive 
value'of the grain being very high. It is extensively grown in Britain and on the continent 
of Europe, the Russian oat crop being one of the most important in the country. There are 
also enormous areas in North America devoted to this crop. 

The importance of oats as a fodder for stock, especially for horses, is well known, and the 
straw itself is a valuable constituent of chaff, but perhaps the most important use of the cereal r 
from a popular point of view, is as the source of " oatmeal," so extensively used for domestic 
purposes. Oatmeal is obtained by grinding the kiln-dried grain from which the husks have 
been previously removed. The meal can be baked into " cake " or " biscuit," but owing to the 
difficulty of rupturing the starch grains contained in it, except at very high temperatures,, 
the meal does not lend itself to bread-making 



Wheat is the most important cereal in Great Britain, Europe, Canada, the United States, 
Australia, and indeed throughout the greater part of the temperate zone of both the old 
and the new worlds. Barley, oats, and rye are also important, and in certain localities 
exceed wheat in this respect, whilst rice in these same countries is of minor importance, and 
is regarded more as a material to be made into puddings, etc., than as a staple article of food. 

In the tropical and sub-tropical regions the case is very different, especially in densely 
populated countries where agriculture is the principal means of livelihood for the mass of 
the people. In all these countries rice is the " staff of life," and, as a matter of fact, rice is 
the principal food of about one-half of the whole population of the earth. Amongst the more 
important of the rice-eating countries are the Chinese Empire, with a population of 
400,000,000, British India, 300,000,000, Japan, 50,000,000. 

The cultivation of rice extends back into the dim past, and there .are no authentic records 
as to when it first began. Its original home was in south-eastern Asia, but it has been culti- 
vated for many ages, and introduced into almost every part of the warm region of the world, 
so that it is extremely difficult to be certain in which country exactly it was first found or 



28 The World's Commercial Products 


cultivated by man. Evidence points to the Chinese having been amongst the earliest people 
to cultivate rice, and such great value was attached to it that in the annual ceremonial sowing 
of important plants, inaugurated by the Emperor Chin-nong so far back in the past as 
2,800 B.C., the rice had to be sown only by the Emperor himself, whilst the four other plants 
of the ceremony might be sown by the princes of his family. In India rice has been 
cultivated from time immemorial. Theophrastus mentions that rice was grown there, 
and the Greeks probably first became acquainted with it during the Indian expeditions 
of Alexander the Great. It was introduced at an early period into Syria, Egypt, and other 
parts of Northern Africa. In more modern times rice has spread into Spain, France, and 
Italy, the first cultivation in the last-named country being stated to have been near 
Pisa in 1468. 

The plant is believed to have been introduced into America in 1647, when Sir Wm. Berkeley 
raised a crop of sixteen bushels from half a bushel of seed. A second introduction took 
place in 1694, when an English boat homeward bound from Madagascar put in at Charlestown 
through stress of weather. The captain paid a visit to the then Governor of Carolina, 
Thomas Smith, whom he had previously met in Madagascar. Smith expressed a wish to 
try to grow some rice in a swampy piece of land in his garden, and the captain gave him 
a small . bag of rice which he happened to have on board. The site of the garden is 
still pointed out in Charlestown. The experiment proved a brilliant success, and was the 
beginning . of the flourishing rice industry of Carolina. 

Asia is the most important rice-growing region of the world, for excepting in the 
northern portion of this continent, rice is universally cultivated. Three-quarters of all the 
rice that comes into the markets of the world is grown in British India, Bengal producing 
the greatest amount. Siam, China, Japan, Java, the Straits Settlements, Ceylon, the 
Hawaiian Islands, and other Asiatic countries all produce large quantities of rice, although 
not sufficient in every case to supply the local demands. 

In Africa the chief rice-producing country is Egypt, owing to the very favourable 
conditions prevailing in the Nile valley, and the natural annual flooding of the lands. The 
French colonies of Senegal, the French Sudan, Madagascar, and Reunion cultivate it 
extensively and rice is also- grown in Mauritius, and along the coasts of both East and West 
Africa. On the whole, however, Africa does not possess such large tracts of land naturally 
suited to rice as occur in Asia. 




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Rice is of minor importance in Australasia, although grown to a considerable extent in 
New South Wales, Queensland, and in the Sandwich Islands among other places. In 
Europe, Italy is the chief seat of rice cultivation, and is the only country on the continent 
in which the production is greater than the local demand. It is estimated that in the valley 
of the Po there are about 500,000 acres under rice,. producing some 27,000,000 bushels annually. 
Spain, Portugal, and Greece follow next in order of importance, whilst even in France, in the 
valley of the Rhone, the plant .is. cultivated. 

In North America rice is an important crop in the United States, the centres of production 
being Louisiana, Georgia, and South and North Carolina. 

Comparatively recently, due in great measure to, the introduction of East Indian labourers, 
rice has been cultivated to a considerable extent in British Guiana, British Honduras, Trinidad, 

Jamaica, and St. Lucia. 
British Guiana offers the 
most favourable conditions, 
and instead of the small 
patches of a few years ago 
thousands of acres are now 
under rice cultivation on 
the coast lands. Rice may 
yet become one of the 
important crops of the 

The rice plant belongs 
to the great tribe of the 
grasses just as do wheat, 
barley, oats, Indian corn, 
and the other cereals. The 
scientific name of the plant 
is Oryza sativa, but as is 
the case with most plants 
which have been cultivated 
for long periods, and on an 
extensive scale, there are a 
large number of varieties, 
the descendants of the 
original wild stock. These 
varieties sufficiently re- 
semble one another to be 
classed as rice, but in the 
countries in which they occur each has its own particular local name, and differs from other 
varieties in size, shape, and colour of grain, in the time taken to ripen, in cooking qualities, 
in flavour, and in various other particulars, just as do the different kinds of wheat. In the 
museum at Calcutta there are no less than 1,107 different varieties of Indian rice, in addition 
to 1,300 kinds from other countries. In Ceylon some 160 varieties are recognised, and the Straits 
Settlements and the Federated Malay States possess a considerable number. In Japan and 
China there are numerous varieties, so that altogether the kinds of rice recognised and 
distinguished by separate names in the East must be reckoned in thousands. The courts of 
the Eastern Colonies at the Imperial Institute, London, will allow anyone readily to see many 
of these. In addition to the true rice there is a closely related plant bearing a very similar 
seed, but which, instead of being mainly composed of starch, contains a more sugary material, 
so that on boiling, the grains do not remain distinct, but form a soft sticky mass of a 




7 1 & ~* t^^it 



■ *■ 



r? IH 



►. * : 

— ■ * 

m • 

- 1 w 

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~- i . V^""^"**' 

' ■ - 


. .? \ ivfft^ll 


^-^^•■PBpBI- - *MF ■ -C 

fe -*^s . * 


distinctly sweetish flavour. 
In the Straits Settlements 
this grain is known as 
" pulut," and in Java as 
" ketan." It is the produce 
of another species of Oryza, 
namely, Oryza glutinosa, and 
many varieties of it are 

The rice plant, when 
growing, looks very like 
wheat or any other cereal, 
but, instead of having a com- 
pact "ear," bears a head 
composed of a number of 
fine branches or stalks, each 
of which bears one grain. 
These are easily detached, 
and are covered with a 

brown husk, and this un- 
. / 

husked rice throughout the 
East and in other parts of the world also is known as " padi " or " paddy " ; after the husks 
have been removed the white grains then set free are called rice. It is convenient therefore 
to distinguish between unhusked rice, or " paddy," and husked rice, which is the form in 
which it occurs in European markets. 

In addition to the various varieties mentioned above, rice plants may be broadly divided 
into two main groups, " upland " or " hill " rice, "and " wet " rice. Upland or hill rice in- 
cludes those races which can be cultivated as any ordinary crop, whereas wet rice has to be 
sown under such conditions that it can be kept flooded for a great portion of the growing period. 

With these preliminary observations we can proceed to describe in detail the methods of 
rice cultivation practised in various parts of the world. Where civilisation has penetrated 
least, the cultivation of rice is managed in a way which would seem very reckless ,'indeed to 
the eyes of a farmer who is obliged to get as much out of the soil as he possibly can. 
There are parts of the East which are still entirely covered with virgin woods. There we 
find tall trees. Underneath it is dark ; the foliage of the trees intercepts the light. The quiet 
of death reigns there, and nothing is seen of the animal world up in the tops of. the trees. The 
plants grow up slender and tall, longing for light and air. Creepers are climbing upwards, 
winding themselves round the trunks of the trees, making the woods impenetrable for those 
who do not carry a knife to cut their way through. The most beautiful orchids are said 
to live on those trunks, but they also want their share of the sunshine, and often grow so 
high that they are not easily seen. Where the fall of a tree has made a gap in the roof of 
leaves, through which light and air are again able to reach the soil, small brush-wood at once 
begins to shoot up, struggling to keep the spot thus acquired. 

The races who inhabit these regions live chiefly on rice and divide the year according to 
the occupations which their simple methods of cultivation entail. With the new year they 
begin to cut down the trees. In the thick wood a suitable spot is chosen ; wood is of no 
value in the midst of that luxurious vegetation. It is rice they must grow and for that the 
trees are sacrificed. Everything is got rid of in the easiest manner. Copses and brush-wood 
are cut down and spread out to dry. Then comes the turn of the ancient trees. High and 
heavy, often of hard wood, some are of such a breadth at the base that it is no use to 
attack them there. Ladders are made and the giants of the forest are assailed at a point 
higher up where their trunks are less bulky. 


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After this everything is burned as far as possible. The primitive farmer uses the wood 
that can be removed, piling it up as a hedge round his field. The thick tree-stumps, hardly 
attacked by the fire at all, remain ; the felled trunks which resisted the fire he simply leaves 
lying where they are. These are often nearly fifty yards long and so enormous that a 
grown-up man cannot look over them. 

Now the rainy season is coming when the sowing must begin. The cleared spot has to be 
dug, and sometimes trenches are made. A small guard-house is erected, for all sorts of 
animals might otherwise make short work of the harvest, or perhaps even eat the sown seed. 
There are the elephants, very fond of rice plants, and capable of trampling down the hedge ; 
deer, boars, monkeys, and other animals, who would deprive man of his harvest without the 
least respect for his hedge of half-burned wood. 


When all this is ready the people get out their planting-sticks. In the civilised world 
a planting-stick is a simple piece of wood without any external characteristic. After long 
use it has perhaps been polished by the rough hand of the field-labourer. But here it ranks 
higher, as one of the few agricultural tools. It is sometimes very long, so that he who uses 
it need not stoop. It is made of very hard wood, ebony, perhaps, for it must be strong enough 
not to break against the roots, which are left in the soil, and it is ornamented as such an 
important tool should be. In the holes made with the planting-stick are put a few seeds of 
the kind of rice that grows in dry soil, covered with earth, and pressed down with the feet. 
If rain is abundant there is a chance of a good harvest. A second crop may perhaps 
be obtained from the same ground. Then the field which has been cleared with so 
much trouble and at the cost of so many fine trees is abandoned. The people wander to 
another part of the wood, there to make a new clearing. The old one with its chopped trees, 
still standing, and its big trunks rotting on the ground, is left to nature. The tropical 


Coloured by Miss Seth 



vegetation at once takes possession of man's inheritance ; insects and fungi attack the dead 
trees ; the wild animals, driven away by the fire, return to their old haunts, until after many 
years, the forest, which has meanwhile grown up again, is once more cleared in the same way. 

In this manner is rice cultivated in countries where the population is scarce, land is 
abundant, and wood of no value. 

Elsewhere people prefer planting rice in fields, which may be flooded or kept dry at will. 

In Ceylon anyone who travels, even rapidly, through the country cannot fail to notice the 
wonderful development the rice industry has attained under the care of the Sinhalese. The 
railway from Colombo, on its way up country, passes first across a great stretch of level land, 
with, frequently, scarcely anything to be seen on either side but broad expanses of rice. At 



PfU' it il lllW il 
■ • W 


hTW-w Xl! lii It "**l Jk% At''flLi*-lf l\'l I'M yi 

tV) l^tt 1 ^ P I It I I m 
^ f II mil tm I IliA'W skS Mlft 


the proper seasons of the year when the plants are young, a delicate green tint prevails, more 
delicate even than a young field of wheat. All these fields are enclosed by low banks of earth, 
so narrow that it requires a little care for a European in boots to walk along them, but which 
the native with his bare feet easily traverses. On each side of the earth banks is the mixture 
of mud and water in which the rice plant thrives. The object of the earth banks is, of course, 
to allow water to be admitted at will to the fields, and retained there whilst required for the 
growth of the plant. 

After some miles, the railway begins to ascend the central mountain mass towards Kandy, 
the ancient capital. It might be thought that the steep sides of the hills would limit the 
cultivation of rice. But this is not so. With infinite care and skill the natives have cut away and 
transformed the continuous slopes into terraces, so that sometimes we see a whole hillside of 
perhaps several hundred feet fashioned into broad steps, each with its raised earth bank to 

4— C.P. 


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retain water to a depth of a few inches. Frequently in natural hollows, where all the sides have 
been terraced, the general effect is that of a huge amphitheatre, which, when the crop is standing, 
appears, at a distance, to have been overgrown with moss. 

Water must be available at the highest level of the rice-field, and is led on to the first 
terrace, whence in time it trickles over the earth bank on to the second, and so on, so that 
the whole hillside from top to bottom is converted into a series of very shallow pools separated 
by low vertical steps. By diverting the stream, the rice-fields can be dried for purposes of 
harvesting, etc. Those who look upon all natives in the tropics as indolent and without 
initiative might have reason to modify their opinion somewhat if they saw some of these 
terraced rice-fields which have required enormous, persistent, and well directed action for their 
formation, and demand constant care for their maintenance in good condition. 

If it is not possible to flood the rice-fields in a natural way, by admitting the water from 
a stream, the flooding has to be accomplished by artificial means. A simple way is that 

followed by the Chinaman, whose rice-field 
is more of a garden than an actual field. 
With his mate he takes his stand on the 
little dike separating his plot from the water 
at a lower level. Together they repeatedly 
let down a small wooden bucket on one side 
into the water, draw it up, and empty it on 
the other side on a mat, placed over the 
young plants to prevent their being washed 
away, whence it flows on to the field. If 
the field is too large to irrigate by hand, he 
uses a sort of chain-pump, worked either 
with a treadmill by men or by a buffalo. 
A similar machine is also used in Siam. 

In the Highlands of Java, where a rapidly 
flowing stream can be used to flood fields 
situated above the water-level, the people 
are very clever in making the stream itself 
force the water up to the height required. 
A paddle-wheel is made of bamboo cane 
and twigs, consisting of an axis, to which 
two big felloes are fastened by means of 
spokes. These felloes are mutually connected by pieces of bamboo, open on one side and 
closed on the other by the partition always found in bamboos at every joint. The bamboo 
buckets are fixed on the felloes in such a way that on the side of the paddle-wheel going 
up they are placed with their opening upwards, the natural consequence of which is that 
on the other side the situation is reversed, that is, the opening is downwards. The 
stream pushes against the bamboo-buckets and causes the wheel to turn, while the buckets 
fill themselves. Having passed the highest point, they empty themselves into a simple 
gutter constructed by the wheels' side, through which the water flows on to the field. 

In China, as already mentioned, rice is held in high esteem. Every year the soil is worked 
with great pomp and solemnity by the Emperor himself, assisted by a number of princes and 
high functionaries, before his subjects. To the Temple of Heaven and Earth at Peking 
belongs a field which is reserved for this ceremony. In the spring the " Son of Heaven " 
ploughs about four furrows there with a beautifully ornamented plough, drawn by an ox. 
With other ploughs his courtiers and high officials make a number of furrows, the number 
increasing as their rank decreases, until finally the work is finished by some forty field 
labourers, who have been found worthy of this honour. The field is then sown with the 


From Stereograph, copyright by Underwood & Underwood, London and New York 



36 The World's Commercial Products 


five holy plants : millet, rice, wheat, barley, and beans, the Emperor himself sowing rice. 
The crop is gathered under the supervision of a high official, and used on particular 
occasions, as, for instance, for offerings to the ghosts of the Emperor's ancestors. In the 
provinces this same rite is observed by the viceroys, indicating how highly agriculture 
is esteemed in China. Yet agriculture in the European sense is but little practised in China ; 
the country is too densely populated, and the land too much cut up into small holdings. 
Agriculture has been changed, so to speak, into horticulture, and in most cases the plough 
has had to give way to the spade. Notwithstanding, China is probably the country in which 
the largest quantity of rice is grown, although not enough to supply home demands, so that 
an additional amount has still to be imported. The export of rice from China has been 
prohibited for centuries. 

i Cultivation. Although the methods employed in different countries vary in detail, the 
object sought is the same in each case, the formation of fields to which water can be admitted 
and retained at will, so as to provide the rice plants with the most favourable conditions for 
their growth. - 

Throughout the East the mode of cultivation is essentially similar, and as the growth 
of rice in other lands, such as British Guiana, Mauritius, etc., has been taken up by Indian 
coolies, a general account of Eastern methods will suffice to indicate how rice is grown over a 
large area of the world. Then having described in a general way this more primitive method, 
we can turn to rice cultivation in the United States, where, as in the case of other crops, 
science has been called in, with successful results, to aid man's labour. 

The small fields, each with its surrounding earth bank to retain the water, are carefully 
worked with primitive implements — hoes, spades, or mattocks — sometimes simple ploughs are 
used drawn by men, by buffaloes, or even by elephants (pp. 29 and 30). It is often urged against 
' ' these primitive tools that they are ineffectual compared with modern agricultural implements. 
It is true they often do little more than stir the surface soil, but in some cases where, 
on European advice, ordinary ploughs have been used, the result has been to go too deep 
and break through the " pan," which prevents the water from draining away through the soil, 
so that the field has been spoilt. Improvements can, of course, be made, but the problem 
is not so simple as often appears at first sight, and the true method of advance in the East 
and elsewhere is probably to be attained rather by gradual modification of native 
tools than by radical alterations. Moreover, the conservatism, often well justified, of 
the agricultural labourer is well known throughout the world, and is developed to the 
greatest extent in the Oriental. 

The seed is sometimes sown broadcast in the fields, but frequently special seed 
beds are prepared. In these the soil is tended as carefully as in a garden bed. 



Surrounded by its ridge of earth, water is let in until the whole bed is of the 
consistency of fine mud. The seed is often soaked previously in water for two or 
three days until it has begun to sprout, and then sown very thickly over the seed bed, now 
covered with water to a depth of a few inches (p. 28). In a few days the young plants are well 
established, and then the water is drained off the bed during the day time and run in 
again at night. This has the effect of keeping the young plants warm at night, and allowing 
air to reach the plants during the day, at the same time preventing them from being burnt 
by the sun, which may occur when they are covered by a very shallow layer of water. 

When the plants are nine or ten inches high, they are pulled up and set out in little groups 
in the fields which have meanwhile been prepared and flooded to a depth of a few inches (p. 33). 
At first the water is alternately let in and run off, but when the plants are thoroughly 
well established and actively growing the field is kept continually flooded. The water 
must not be allowed to become stagnant, so a very gentle circulation is maintained, the 
water slowly escaping from the lowest point in the field, and more allowed to enter 
from above to take its place. On terraced lands the overflow from the top little field 
or step of the terrace runs over on to the second, and from the second to the third, and so 
on down to the bottom of the valley. As in the case of wheat, the commencement of ripening 
of the crop is known by an alteration in colour, and at the proper moment the water is drained 
off, and the field gradually dries until the rice is ripe. 



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'As mentioned before, some kinds of rice can be grown without being flooded with water. 
These are usually grouped together as "Upland" or "Hill Rice." They, are cultivated in 
much the same manner as any. other kind of corn, and do not call for any special . description 
in addition to that already given. . / 

Let us. now direct pur attention for a short time to the methods employed in the United 
States of America, where rice is- cultivated "on modern principles. The United States, with 
their great range of climate, can "grow all the more important cereals, wheat, barley, Indian 
corn, oats, etc. They grow these on such a scale as to supply all their own wants and to have 
an enormous quantity for export, but as regards. rice, although a very large amount is grown, 
a great deal has to be imported. The difference is due partly to rice only growing in the 
hotter regions, and' partly to its requiring flooded land on which it is difficult to use modern 





harvesting machinery. Hand labour thus becomes necessary, which in the United States is 
enormously more expensive than in the tropics. 

In Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi, there are large areas in. the river deltas, etc., 
which can be flooded at high and drained at low tide. Arrangements are easily made to 
regulate the water supply, and rice is grown in much the same manner as in the East. Hand 
labour is necessary to a large extent, and these naturally favoured territories produce less than 
one-twentieth of the rice grown in the United States, although South Carolina has been famous 
for the high quality of its rice for perhaps two centuries. Comparatively recently — about 
1880 — a great prairie region in Louisiana and Texas was opened up, and, where water was 
available, was found to be suited to rice cultivation. Accordingly, with the aid of deep wells, 
powerful pumps, and elaborate irrigation canals, naturally dry prairies are flooded at will to allow 
rice to grow. But it is important to notice that when the water is run off, the lands are left 
sufficiently dry to allow ordinary harvesting machinery to be used. In this region, therefore, 
instead of having to reap rice laboriously by hand, up-to-date reaping and binding machines 
drawn by mules are employed, with an enormous reduction in cost. 

In 1904 this region produced twenty of the twenty-one million bushels of rice grown in the 
United States. Modern steam threshing machines are used, and every detail of the industry 
carried out under as good conditions as in the case of wheat or any other cereal; so that rice 
can now be grown in Louisiana and Texas at a cost actually less than in China, although a 
man's wages in China are only about one-twentieth of those paid in the States. This is due 
to the fact that with hand labour in China one man cannot cultivate more than about one 
or two acres, whereas in Louisiana or Texas with the aid of machinery one man can cultivate 
about eighty acres. 

Harvesting. The crop is reaped by cutting the stalks in practically the same way as one 
would reap wheat. The instruments used vary in different countries, and sometimes the 



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" ears " are cut off separately, leaving the straw standing. When cut the crop is tied up 
into bundles and placed to dry on "the field, or piled up on the earth banks or arranged over 
bamboo poles. The crop may now be stored in barns, or in a stack, to be used as required, 
just as wheat is not necessarily threshed immediately it is reaped", but may be kept for months 
in the ear. In some countries special rice store-houses are constructed for the careful 
preservation of the crops. 

The grains are removed by some simple form of threshing, or by drawing the stalks through a 
narrow slit so that they are pulled off. Each grain is now separate and covered by the 

outer brown or otherwise 
coloured husk. Rice in this 
state is called paddy, and 
may be, and often is, stored 
in this condition, as it is 
found to keep better in the 
tropics than when the husk 
is removed. Thus it has 
been noticed that the disease 
" beri-beri " more frequently 
attacks the men of a village, 
away perhaps on a hunting 
or other expedition, than the 
women who remain at home. 
Although nothing is as yet 
known with certainty on the 
matter, it is not improbable 
that the outbreak of the 
disease may be due to the 
condition of the rice eaten. 
The women at home can 
pound daily the rice they 
require, whilst the men take a supply of cleaned yice to last the whole time of their expedition. 
This cleaned rice, being stored for some time, is much more likely to become infested by the 
fungus which appears to play a part in bringing on beri-beri than the small quantities 
prepared daily, and hence indicates the wisdom of storing the grain as paddy. Accordingly, 
in eastern villages where rice is one of the staples of food, the next process — the husking 
of rice — takes place daily, enough being husked each day to supply immediate wants. 
The usual process is very simple : a small quantity of the paddy is placed in a wooden 
or stone mortar and pounded with a pestle or with a large wooden mallet. As will be 
seen from the .illustrations, pestles and mortars vary greatly in pattern and size in different 
countries, but the principle is the same. Pounding rice is a very characteristic sound in the 
East, and is often done to a certain rhythm. The blow from the pestle or mallet cracks the 
outer husk, and sets free the rice grain which was inside. To separate the grains from the 
husks or chaff some form of winnowing is adopted. A simple way is to fill one of the curiously 
shaped baskets — really broad, shallow scoops — see pages 37, 38, and 45, and toss the contents in 
the air, when the grains fall immediately to the ground, whilst the light husks are carried 
some little distance by the wind. 

Natives in many parts of the world have displayed considerable ingenuity in devising 
simple machines to save themselves labour. Sometimes a heavy weight is fastened to a beam 
so arranged that by stepping on the end of the beam the weight is raised, and by stepping off 
it is released to deliver its blow on the paddy in the mortar (p. 47). Other devices allow buffaloes 
to be employed, whilst, with greater advancement in mechanical ingenuity and available 




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water-power, man or, perhaps more frequently, woman was released from all the drudgery, and 
the whole process carried out by a self-acting machine. Such water-power rice mills are very 
•common in Japan, but in the .towns steam power is employed, the process, however, 
remaining essentially the same as in the more primitive methods. 

Crude as these methods may seem, the rice is not very much broken or damaged by the 
pounding, and the grain is more nutritious and of much better flavour than the more elaborately 
prepared, but beautifully white product, which alone finds favour in European markets. 
This is due to the fact that the rice amongst native races does not go through the subsequent 
process of polishing referred to in the next paragraph under commercial milling. 

Commercial Milling. The commercial milling of rice is quite complicated in comparison 

with the simple methods 
employed in the East. All 
impurities being removed, 
the paddy is passed under 
closely set millstones. Blow- 
ers separate the grain from 
the chaff. The grain is now 
pounded in huge mortars or 
passed through an iron 
" huller " containing a re- 
volving shaft with projec- 
tions, where the inner skin 
is removed. The waste 
material from this process 
is rice bran. Finally the 
grain is polished by friction 
against cylinders covered 
with very soft sheep or other 
skin. At times foreign sub- 
stances appear to be added 
to improve the appearance 
of the grain, because, as has 
quite recently been pointed 
out in The Analyst, the ex- 
amination of a large number 
of samples of rice showed 
that polished rices contained 
" ash," ranging from about 
v 5 to" about 2*25 per cent. This ash appears to be due to the employment of talc, French 
chalk, etc., in the polishing. No harm need arise from its presence as it is removed 
during the process of cooking. Another way to get rid of it is to soak and wash the 
rice well in water before use. During the: process of polishing the outer part of the grain is 
removed, and is known as rice polish. It is unfortunate that custom or fashion demands a 
beautifully smooth, pearly white rice, because this outer portion contains the fats and other 
highly nutritious parts of the rice. Indeed, it is estimated that the rice polish is nearly twice as 
nutritious as polished rice itself. Native rice as obtained in the East, although not so white as 
polished rice, has much greater food value, and moreover is of better flavour. At present rice 
is classified" in the market and its price assessed on its appearance, and, as has been well remarked 
by Dr. S. A. Knapp in his interesting paper on The Present Status of Rice Culture in the United 
States, " if rice is to enter largely into the list of economic foods for the use of the masses, 
grades must be established based on the food values and not on the shine of the surface. It 





with rice and help to compensate for its 
•deficiencies. In the East, curry and rice 
is a national dish ; the rice is the prin- 
cipal item in the bill of fare, the curry 
being little more than a flavouring material 
added to make the dish more tasty. Small 
quantities of meat, dried fish, etc., are 
cooked, together with a sauce containing 
turmeric, capsicums, or peppers, and 
various other ingredients, and eaten with 
the rice. The relative proportion of the 
two constituents is frequently reversed in 
the East and in England. In India, for 
example, a small quantity of the curry 
serves to render palatable a large amount 
•of rice, whilst here we rather add a small 
portion of rice to the curried meat which 
we regard as the staple of the dish. 
Endless varieties of curries are made in 
India, and those of Ceylon are also excep- 
tionally good, as the fresh milk of young 
cocoanuts is frequently employed in their 
composition to a considerable extent. The 
West African negro, both in his native 

would be just as sensible to place a price on 
shoes according to the polish they will take." 
Uses of Rice. The principal use of rice is, 
of course, as a food, and, as already noted, 
it forms the staple diet of about half the 
population of the world. Rice, in its natural 
unpolished condition, is one of the best of 
the cereals, better even perhaps than wheat, 
because it does not contain the large quan- 
tities of gluten which, although of great use 
in allowing bread to be made from wheat, 
is of comparatively little value as a food- 
stuff, since the human body appears unable 
to utilise gluten to advantage. Proof of the 
high nutritive value of rice was afforded 
during the Russo-Japanese War, in which 
rice formed a very important part of the diet 
of the Japanese soldier. Great care was 
taken to serve the rice properly, and in- 
teresting accounts are on record of " rice 
balls " being distributed to the men during 
the heat of an engagement. Peas and beans 
grow readily throughout the tropics and are 
commonly used in conjunction with rice ; 
they are, of course, rich in proteids^ although 
not in the form most readily digested by 
man. They are, however, extensively used 



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country and also in the West Indies, does not make curry in the Eastern manner, but he 
frequently renders rice more appetising by boiling with it a piece of salt fish, or salt pork, large 
quantities of which figure in the list of imports of a community with a negro population. 
Rice cannot by itself be made into bread as it contains very little gluten. But it has the great 
advantage of being very easily digested, and is often of great benefit to invalids who cannot 
readily take starchy vegetables, such as potatoes. The Eastern people cook rice very nicely 
so that each grain is separate and firm, and the mass can readily be handled. In Europe 
rice, too often, is served as a sticky mass, due to improper cooking. 

The straw of the plant is a fairly good 
fodder for cattle. It is plaited and made 
into hats, the straw shoes of Japan, and 
other items of apparel. The husks or chaff 
are useful for manure and in a variety of 
other ways. Rice bran and the mixture 
of broken grains, dust, etc., are valuable 
cattle foods. Rice polish is the most 
nutritious of the by-products from the 
milling and cleaning of rice. Possibly, in 
the future, fashion may not demand the 
removal of the most valuable part of the 
grain, but at present it is chiefly used as a 
cattle food. 

Poudre-de-riz — one of the requisites of 
the toilet table— is not made from rice,, 
but of soap-stone finely powdered. In 
India, however, a rice powder is prepared 
from the grains for similar purposes. 

Starch is made in Europe from rice 
not required for other purposes, some is 
exported again to India to be used in 
" making up " cotton prints. (See 

Alcohol from Rice. The Japanese 
prepare from rice an intoxicating liquor 
known as " Sake," which is said to re- 
semble in taste light sherry, kept in . a 
beer-bottle for some time. A certain 
ferment, called " koji," which in reality 
is nothing but mouldy rice, is used in its preparation. In order to obtain this, some 
previously soaked rice is steamed until all the grains have become soft. The whole mass 
is spread out on mats to cool, and sprinkled with the spores of a fungus called Aspergillus- 
oryzae and placed in a cellar. After twenty-four hours a white mould begins to appear 
on the rice, which at the same time grows more and more sticky, and green spots begin 
to show themselves. The mass is stirred up about every twelve hours and water added, and 
in from three to four days the preparation of the koji is finished. It may be dried and 
packed in tins, and kept a considerable time like German yeast. 

Sake is prepared as follows : During four or five days ten parts of water, three of koji, and 
seven of steamed rice are stirred in a bowl with a wooden spoon. The mixture is poured into 
another vessel and covered with a mat. The first fermentation now takes place, and lasts 
from ten to twenty days, depending on temperature. 

Fifty parts of this fermented substance are taken and 150 of boiled rice, and 200 of water 




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added to it. The whole mass is stirred five or six times a day with the big wooden spatula,, 
at which the second fermentation immediately begins, and is checked after five or six days 
by pouring the liquid into another vessel. In about twelve days the sake is ready for use. 
The whole preparation thus takes about a month. Sake is sold in casks which in their turn 
are again packed in a straw cover, so that they resemble bales of rice. Sake contains about 
thirteen per cent, of alcohol ; the Japanese usually drink it hot out of very small porcelain 
cups. It is sold in bottles of porcelain, earthenware, or glass. The Japanese drink sake 
at the beginning of a meal, and it is an important beverage at weddings. 

The Chinese also prepare an alcoholic drink from rice containing about thirty-six per 
cent, of alcohol, and made in less time than the sake of the Japanese. In Java an arrack 
is made from rice by the action of a substance known locally as " raggi," the active agent in 
which is apparently another kind of mould. The Dyaks in Central Borneo also prepare a sort 
of arrack from rice. 


Over a large area of the United States, Southern Canada, and also in Japan, Formosa^ 
and China, there occurs, usually in sluggish streams and along the edges of lakes, a tall 
grass known as the Wild Rice plant, and botanically called Zizania aquatica. It has been 
estimated by the botanists of the United States Department of Agriculture that this plant 


Wild Rice 



is an important, if not the chief, starchy food of 30,000 American aborigines, as well as the 
principal fattening food of myriads of wild fowl. It is to a small extent placed on the 
American market as a breakfast food. 

The plants thrive best on muddy soil covered with a good depth of water. The seeds from 
one crop fall directly into the water, strike the mud, and afterwards germinate. The upper 
parts of the fully grown plants stand out above the water, and the Indians go harvesting 
in birch-bark canoes. One man paddles the canoe, whilst the other, seated in the stern, gently 
pulls over the edge the plants growing on either side, and beats off the ripe seed into the bottom 
of the canoe. Each patch is gone over several times to gather the grain in the best condition. 

The seed is then taken ashore and either spread out to dry, or immediately prepared for 
hulling. This is done by heating it in a kettle over a slow fire which makes the outer husk brittle 
and easily broken . After this parching operation the seed is allowed to cook, and is then pounded, 
the grain being separated from the hulls or chaff by tossing it in the air as described for rice. 
In this state it can be stored for a long time, whilst the fresh seed is very soft and rapidly 

Analysis shows that wild rice closely resembles rice, barley, and wheat in chemical com- 
position. It has a peculiar flavour, and is eaten, cooked with wild fowl, as a breakfast food. 
To a certain extent also, it is used in the manufacture of rice cakes. 

The cultivation of the wild rice plant presents certain difficulties, and many planting experi- 
ments ended in failure from causes which until recently were not well understood. In the 
first place it has been ascertained that the seed rapidly loses its vitality, and special precautions 
have to be taken to guard against this. The second factor is the degree of saltness of the 


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water. ■ Wild rice is naturally 
a fresh water plant, but it will 
thrive on marsh lands, mud 
flats, and similar places which 
are alternately covered and left 
bare by the tide, provided the 
sea water is sufficiently diluted 
by the addition of fresh water. 
Very careful experiments were 
conducted by one of the officers 
of the United States Depart- 
ment of Agriculture to deter- 
mine exactly the limit of salin- 
ity. He found that the sense 
of taste is a sufficiently accurate 
guide. Water which is appreci- 
ably salt to the taste is not 
suited to the successful culti- 
vation of wild rice, and areas 
exposed to such water, however 
promising they may appear 
otherwise, should be avoided 
by the would-be cultivator. 

The plant also occurs in 
China and Japan, and in the 

former country is known as 
Kau-sun. It is extensively 
cultivated along the margins 
of lakes and streams, but it 
appears to be but seldom 
allowed to flower and form 
seed, as the Chinese appre- 
ciate the vegetative portions 
of the plant rather than the 
grain as a food-stuff. The 
very young shoots and the 
solid bases of the stems are 
collected, lightly boiled, and 
eaten as a vegetable. 

In Brazil and the West 
Indies another species of 
Zizania is reported to occur 
and to be used to some extent 
by man for food and for 
fodder. With proper care 
wild rice or Canada rice, as it 
is also called, could no doubt 
be cultivated in suitable 
localities in the United 



i 3 *<^ 

'II ^ 

| r 












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This valuable food-stuff is the 
grain of a gigantic grass known 
to botanists as Zea Mays. 
The origin of the plant is 
wrapped in mystery, and has 
given rise to considerable dis- 
cussion, the question at issue 
being whether Zea is a native 
of the Old World or of the 
New. In his comprehensive 
monograph of the plant the 
great French agriculturist, 
Bonafous, upheld the theory 
of an Asiatic origin, but his opinion was contested by De Candolle, who considered the evidence 
upon which an Eastern origin of the plant was based to be quite insufficient and to a certain 
extent misleading, and further stated that the true home of maize was America, and that the 
plant was only known in Europe after the discovery of the New World. There can be little 
doubt that the bulk of the evidence is in favour of De Candolle's view, for while it is impossible 
to find any traces of the plant in the Old World before the fifteenth century, either in actual 
remains or in historical records, there are, on the other hand, indisputable proofs of its great 
antiquity in the American continent. Soon after the discovery of America, travellers found 
the grain in the ancient tombs of the Incas, and although the civilisation of the Sons of the Sun 
probably does not date back previous to the Christian era, the fact indicates that maize was 
even at that ■■ remote period a recognised food grain. A yet more remarkable proof of the 
antiquity of the cereal in America is afforded by the discovery by Darwin of ears of maize 
buried in the soil of the shore in Peru to a depth of eighty -five feet, and this fact taken in con- 
junction with the absence of any well-authenticated reference to the cereal in Europe, Asia, or 
Africa previous to the fifteenth or sixteenth century, leads one to regard the American origin of 
the plant as a fact beyond dispute. Once introduced into the Old World, however, maize very 
rapidly became known to the inhabitants of all countries where the climatic conditions 
allowed of its cultivation, and the cereal received a variety of names. To the British 
people it is most familiarly known as maize or Indian corn ; to the American, merely as 
corn ; in Holland and Hungary it is called Turkish wheat ; in central France, Spanish corn ; 
in Turkey, Egyptian corn ; in Egypt, Syrian dhurra ; and in the South African colonies, 
mealies. The widespread cultivation of the plant is a convincing proof of its value as a 
food-stuff, but it is only in a few countries that the cultivation of maize can be regarded as 
an industry of first-class 
importance. In Europe the 
principal maize - growing 
countries are Hungary, Italy, 
Spain, and the South of 
France. In Italy maize is a 
most important food of the 
people ; everyone eats his 
daily portion of " polenta," 
a kind of porridge prepared 
from the coarsely ground 
grains, the poorer classes 

.%■ *-1 

I — 



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* m 

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wwigr— »«£ 




SB^^HNt- " 





being content with a very coarse cereal, while the well-to-do prefer to have a finely 
ground meal from which the indigestible fragments of the husk have been removed 
by careful sifting. Maize, indeed, is a most valuable food for both man and beast. It is 
said to be more nutritious than most other cereals, including wheat, and, with the outer 
husk removed, it is easily digestible. The germ of the grain, however, contains an 
oil which imparts a peculiar and somewhat disagreeable odour to the meal, a fact which 
militates against the extensive use of the-grain for human food. ,As a food-stuff for all kinds 
of farm stock, especially cattle, pigs, and poultry, maize is of the greatest importance, and 
is one of the most extensively used grains of the world. Although very rich in nitrogenous 
matter and fat, it is not suitable for making bread unless mixed with about twenty-five per 
cent, of wheat or rye flour. A bread prepared from the latter mixture was formerly largely 


used in the Atlantic States of America. The maize bread sold in the streets of Constantinople 
is also a mixture of maize meal and wheaten flour, but the proportion of the wheat is 
generally insufficient to render the bread palatable to Western people. 

Maize starch or corn flour is largely used as a substitute for arrowroot and for making 
biscuits, and inferior qualities are employed for laundry purposes. It is prepared by crushing 
the soaked grain and allowing the starch to settle from the starch-milk upon inclined tables. 
The gluten may be removed by apt treatment with alkaline solutions. 

The Indians of Yucatan use the meal for making cakes known as " tortilla," which are said 
to be very nutritious, and in many parts of the world the young unripe cobs, which are very 
sweet, are boiled and form a favourite vegetable. 

Among other uses to which maize is put must be mentioned the utilisation of the dried 
leaves and stems as a material for the manufacture of coarse paper. The germ of the seed 
also contains a valuable oil known as maize-oil, which is largely used in the United States as 


The World's Commercial Products 

a table oil and for making soap. It was formerly obtained as a by-product in the alcohol dis- 
tilleries, where maize is largely used 1 as a source of spirit, but is now obtained on a large scale 
from the isolated germs by hydraulic pressure. 

The inner leaves which enwrap the cobs are used by the natives of the Sunda Islands for 
making cigarette papers. The leaves are boiled for a few hours in a solution of sugar, and 
then, after being smoothed out and dried, are ready for use. The " papers " are said to 
improve the flavour of the tobacco in these cigarettes, which are very popular among 
the people, being sold in packets of ten for a few cents. 

In addition to the countries mentioned above, maize is cultivated very largely by the 
natives of Africa as a food-stuff for themselves and their cattle, and also by the colonists. In 

the East it is also largely 
grown, but the two prin- 
cipal maize -producing 
countries of the world, 
which export the cereal in 
enormous quantities, are 
the United States and 

Maize is an annual 
grass reaching, under 
average conditions of soil 
and climate, a height of 
from six to eight feet. 
The stem is not hollow, as 
is so commonly the case 
in members of the grass 
family, but is solid, and 
in its younger stages con- 
tains a considerable pro- 
portion of sugar, a fact 
which renders the plant 
of considerable value for 

The leaves vary great- 
ly in length, but generally 
have an undulating margin, and their colour may be green, yellow, or red, according to 
the variety of the plant. They are generally covered with a fine down on their under sur- 
face. Variegated and other varieties are frequently grown in the open air in summer in 
parks and gardens in this country for the sake of their foliage. 

The male flowers are borne on the top of the stem in the so called " tassel," and form 
large quantities of loose dry pollen, which is readily scattered by the wind. The female flowers, 
on the other hand, are protected by the bases of the foliage leaves, and occur on spikes which 
are further protected by the strong sheathing " spathe." From the apex of the female spike, 
or cob, as it is termed, the delicate styles of the flowers hang out in the form of a dense silky 
plume, and sooner or later the male pollen floating in the air comes into contact with these, 
when fertilisation is effected , and we have the delicate spike developing into the ripe 
golden-yellow maize-sSte, so well known to everyone. 

Maize, however, is an extremely variable plant, and it is said that over 300 recognisable 
varieties are known. Some are only a few inches in height, while others are giants of several 
feet ; some come to maturity in two months, while others require three or four times as long 
before their cobs ripen.' "There is also great variety in the shape, size, and colour of the actual 




The World's Commercial Products 

grain or corn. Some are white as, for example, 
the Cuzco maize, others are yellow, red, purple, 
or even striped, and the varieties differ among 
themselves in chemical composition. 

As stated above, the most important maize- 
growing country of the world is the United States, 
where, incredible as it may seem, maize is the 
most valuable crop, surpassing even cotton. 
Many varieties are cultivated, but the chief may 
be roughly grouped into four classes. First come 
the " Flint " varieties, which are most commonly 
met with east of Lake Erie and north of Mary- 
land, and the " Dent " varieties are most popular 
west and south of these localities. The " Horse- 
tooth," which passes insensibly into the above forms, is grown chiefly in the south, and, 
lastly, the " Sweet " varieties are extensively cultivated for the green lalie, which are boiled 
and used as a vegetable, and seldom allowed to mature into the ripened grain. 

The State of Kansas is one of the principal maize-growing districts of America, and enor- 
mous quantities of the grain are here annually produced. The country, which is generally 
flat, is intersected by many rivers, tributaries of the Mississippi, a fact which has a two-fold 
bearing upon the agriculture of the district, for it allows of a fertile, well-watered, alluvial soil, 
and places cheap means of transport in the hands of the farmers. The seed is generally sown 
at the beginning of May, and the experience of most farmers is that the sooner the seed can 
be put into the ground the better will be the crop. The soil is previously well prepared with the 






plough and the harrow, and the seed carefully sown in rows by means of a " planter " drawn 
by two or more horses. The seed is sown at a depth of from one to four inches, according 
to the soil, and automatically covered again with the earth as the machine passes along. The 
actual distance between the rows and between the individual plants in the rows has been the 
subject of much experiment in America, and it has been found that the distances must be 
varied according to locality and circumstances. In an average case the rows are placed about 


The World's Commercial- Products 


three feet six inches apart 
with a distance of two feet 
between the plants. The 
essential points are to obtain 
an even distribution of the 
plants, and to avoid the ex- 
tremes of overcrowding and 
planting at too great inter- 
vals. Great care is taken in 
the proper cultivation of the 
field during the early stages 
of the young plants, and the 
most successful corn growers 
are those who realise the 
importance of removing the weeds as completely as possible, and breaking up the soil as soon 
as it becomes caked ; none of the cultivation is carried out by hand, horse-machinery being 
employed in all cases. 

As soon as the grain has ripened, the crop is harvested and the cobs removed for threshing 
or " shelling." In the tropics and Southern Europe these processes are generally carried out by 
hand, but in a country like America, where labour is expensive, this is impossible, and necessity 
has resulted in the invention of the most ingenious machinery which performs the operations 
in- a most efficient manner. 

During its growth maize has but few enemies, either fungal or insect. This desirable state 
of affairs is no doubt largely due to the fact that the external cuticle or skin of practically the 
whole plant is relatively tough and impenetrable, and therefore fungal spores are unable to 
penetrate into the tissues of the plant, and insects probably find it equally difficult to pierce the 
skin and to deposit their eggs. Maize is not without its enemies, however, but they are most 
dangerous when the grain is stored on board ship for export. Several beetles and the maize-fly, 
known in South America as " palomita," then commence their ravages, which are in some 
cases kept in check by exposing the grain to fumes which stifle the insects. One of the best 
preventatives against these pests, however, is to arrange for the shipment of the grain before 
the full heat of the summer, for a high temperature is one of the most powerful factors in the 
rapid development and increase of these insects. 

The rapid increase in the exports of maize from the Argentine during the last few years 
has been most remarkable, and at the present time it is estimated that there are nearly 5,000,000 
acres under cultivation for this cereal. There can be little doubt that in a comparatively short 
time this wonderful country will oust the United States from its premier position, and become the 
chief maize-growing country of the world. The principal provinces concerned with the crop are 
Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Cordoba, and Entre Rios, especially the two first named, and while 
hitherto maize has been chiefly raised as an accessory crop, many landowners are adopting it as 
their staple cultivation. The importance of the cereal to the Argentine is two-fold ; in the 
first place, a valuable export trade is already established, and, secondly, the grain is every 
year being more largely used as a food for the cattle and stock which form so important a part 
of the wealth of the country. The land is largely worked by poor and ignorant immigrants 
from Europe, chiefly Italians. As might be expected, the methods of cultivation employed 
by these people have, up to the present, been extremely primitive and unscientific, and the 
results achieved are due to the marvellous fertility of the soil and the perfect climatic condi- 
tions. Nevertheless, it is only right to say that the methods are improving year by year, 
and that the leaven of modern ideas is penetrating into the minds of the colonists, and the 
Argentine affords a very large market for up-to-date machinery. 

At the present time considerably more than one-half of the total crop is exported, and one 



of the chief difficulties of the industry is the efficient shipment of the grain. Until quite recently 
the facilities for handling the grain in Argentina were very inadequate, but larger freight cars 
are now being used on the railways in place of the older cars of English type, which had a 
capacity of not more than fifteen tons. Further, the authorities of the great shipping ports, 
Buenos Aires, Rosario, Bahia Blanca, and La Plata are making improvements in the docks and 
general shipping facilities, and there can be no doubt that the effect on the export trade will 
be most marked. 

One of the greatest difficulties with which the shipper of corn from the Argentine has to 
contend is the question of the dryness of the grain, and this vital quality is harder to obtain 
than any other. It has been stated that fully three-fourths of the losses on Argentine corn 
going to Europe have hitherto been due to the dampness of the grain before it left the River 
Plate, with the result that on arrival in Europe the grain is found to be heated and fermented. 
The shipper has constantly to be on his guard against receiving damp grain, and when once 
shipped dry his great anxiety is to get it out of the River Plate before the cargo has absorbed 
much of the humidity that prevails there during the greater part of the shipping season. 
Until comparatively recently it was held advisable and even necessary to ventilate the cargo 
on the voyage, but the general opinion among the most successful shippers now is that this is 
unnecessary and in all probability does more harm than good, as only a comparatively small 



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portion of the grain comes in contact with the air, which itself is generally damp. If the 
ship sails within fifteen or twenty days after she has begun to load, and the cargo is of dry 
grain, stowed in dry weather, no damage will be done, so long as the hatches are securely bat- 
tened down, and as nearly as possible hermetically sealed during the whole of the voyage. 
The dampness of the grain is largely due to the shipping being carried out in wet weather, 
but in the opinion of one of the leading exporters the chief cause is the bad system of cultivation 
largely adopted in many parts of the country. One of the worst mistakes of the farmers is to 
plant more of .the crop than they can possibly harvest to advantage, with the result that 
large quantities of unripe cobs are shelled, and in order to gather in the huge crops the harvesting 
has to .j be carried out in all weathers, wet or fine. 

At the present day one of the most important and interesting lines of work which is being 
carried on by the scientific agriculturist is the improvement of field crops by selection and by 
the breeding of new varieties. Such work has been largely carried out in the case of maize, 
especially in the United States, and already the most notable results have been achieved. 
Briefly put, the principles underlying the whole of the work are that we may " improve " 
an- existing plant, especially if it happens to be a variable plant of which there are many vari- 
eties, by selecting for seed purposes only those fruits which in themselves possess desirable 
characters, or are borne on plants which possess such characters. For example, if maize is 
grown for the grain, only those corns should be sown which have been selected for their size, 
colour, high proportion of nutritive matter, early ripening qualities, etc., while if the maize 
is grown for fodder, seed should be taken from plants which possess an abundant leaf surface 
of known value as an animal food. 

The breeding of new varieties is a more complex question, demanding in some instances 
considerable scientific knowledge and practical skill, but the essential features of the operations 

are that by ensuring the fer- 
tilisation of a female plant, pos- 
sessing characters of recognised 
value to the farmer, by the pollen 
of a male plant also possessing 
the same, or it may be different 
but equally valuable, characters, 
it is possible to accentuate the 
characters as it were in the 
offspring, or to combine them. 
Experiments are, therefore, being 
carried out at the present time 
having for their object the pro- 
duction of new varieties of maize 
possessing desirable qualities. 
Thus, one line of work lies in the 
production of a maize which shall 
yield a much larger crop per acre 
than the varieties commonly 
grown ; another line aims at a 
grain of improved nutritive value, 
and another is concerned with 
producing a grain which shall 
contain a larger proportion of oil 
in the germ, so that it may be of 
more value to people interested 
grinding maize j n t he manufacture of maize oil. 




The term " millet " is em- 
ployed to include a large 
number of cereal and forage 
grasses, the seeds of which 
are usually smaller when 
compared with other cereals 
such as wheat, barley, and 
oats. The importance of the 
millets as a source of human 
food is by no means fully 
appreciated in this country, 
no doubt on account of the 
comparatively trifling part 
which they play in our do- 
mestic economy. It has 
been estimated, however, 
that fully one-third of the 

world's inhabitants employ millet as a regular article of food; in India there are nearly 40,000,000 
acres devoted to the crop, and Japan alone consumes annually 35,000,000 bushels of the seed. 
China and Korea use enormous quantities, and the important part played by the grain in the 
late Russo-Japanese War will be fresh in the mind of the reader. Further, in nearly all parts 
of the world millets take a prominent place as a source of forage. 



Probably the most important millet cultivated by man is the Italian millet (Setaria italica), 
and its variety the Hungarian millet (S. italica var. germanica). There is considerable difference 
of opinion as to the original home of this species, but the view advanced by some writers 
that the plant is native to Southern Europe does not seem to be supported by sufficiently 
good evidence. Writers on Chinese economic plants include this variety of millet in the five 
plants sown each year by the Emperor in accordance with the command given by Chin-nong 
in B.C. 2700. Now each of the five plants is regarded by the Chinese as being an undoubted 
native of their country, and this, taken in conjunction with the fact that the species appears 
to occur in the wild state in Japan, led De Candolle to the belief that S. italica existed thousands 
of years ago before all cultivation in China, Japan, and the Indian Archipelago. Its cultivation 
probably extended very rapidly westwards, for the seed has been discovered among the remains 
of the lake-dwellers of the Stone Age in Switzerland. The grain apparently was unknown 
in ancient Syria, Arabia, and Greece, and it reached Switzerland probably via Russia and 

Italian millet is more or less extensively grown throughout temperate Europe, a large part 
of India, China, Japan, Northern Africa, the United States, and Canada. With the 
exception of America, where it is grown almost exclusively for forage, this cereal is raised 
for human food, and is also employed to a relatively very small extent as a bird seed. • The 
abundance of the grain found in the Lake dwellings clearly indicates its importance as a food 
in prehistoric times, and there are historical records of similar uses in China nearly 3,000 
years before the Christian era. At the present day it is chiefly used in Japan, China, and 
India, where it is also largely grown for forage. The grain is usually prepared by boiling or 
parching, and may be eaten alone or mixed with milk and sugar. 


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Another important group 
of millets are those belonging 
to the genus Panicum, and 
known in the United States 
as the Barnyard Millets. 
The plants vary considerably 
in habit, but are typically 
coarse-growing, with widely 
spreading stems bearing 
broad leaves and large irre- 
gular " heads " of flowers 
and seeds. 
The true barnyard millet, Panicum crus-galli, occurs rarely as a wild plant in this country, 
but is grown extensively in many parts of the world, chiefly in the Far East and India, in the 
latter country being known as " Bharti," and used for forage and as a food-stuff by the poorer 
natives. Other important Indian millets are "Shama" and " Sanwa " ; the former (Panicum 
colonum) is a much smaller plant than P. crus-galli, but is one of the most valuable forage 
crops of the East Indies, where it is also used for human food. The food value of the grain is 
not considered by Professor Church to be very high, but in certain districts it is used fairly 
extensively by labourers, and it is also said to be eaten on fast days by Hindoos, who, by 
boiling the grain in milk, produce a preparation known as " Khir." The Indians of Mexico 
and the south-western United States are also said to eat this millet. " Sanna " millet is a 
coarse-growing plant with a large amount of herbage, and is the most rapid grower of all the 
millets. Its nutritive value is not high, but in India it is either prepared as rice, or boiled with 
milk, or eaten merely parched. In Japan this variety is largely cultivated in those districts 
where, owing to the hilly nature of the country or to the absence of water for irrigation purposes, 
it is impossible to grow rice. It is grown entirely as a human food, the grains being ground 
and the meal eaten as a kind of porridge. 


The Common Millet (Panicum miliaceum) known in America as the Broom-corn Millet, is 
generally regarded as the true millet. It has been cultivated in Europe from the most remote 
times, and there is direct evidence that it was largely used by the Swiss Lake-dwellers. The 
origin of this millet is very uncertain, and although it has been found growing spontaneously 
in Southern Europe and in many 
parts of Asia and Africa, there is 
no authentic instance of its 
having been found truly wild. 
The botanist Linnaeus regarded 
India as the home of the plant, 
but De Candolle does not con- 
sider the evidence as perfectly 
satisfactory, and is inclined to 
think that an " Egypto- Arabian 
origin" is very probable." Com- 
mon Millet is extensively grown 
in the Mediterranean region, in 
Russia, China, and Japan. It south Africa, mechanical sowing of maize 



was introduced into America 
many years ago, but, except 
in the north-western States, 
it has not met with much 
favour. There are three 
principal varieties cultivated, 
readily distinguishable by 
the colour of the seeds, 
which are white, yellow, and 
red. The white-seeded form 
appears to be the most 
robust plant, and the yellow- 
seeded varieties have usually 
their foliage of a much lighter 
green colour than the red- 
seeded plants, whose leaves 
are distinctly tinged with red. 




Guinea Corn or Sorghum 
(Andropogon Sorghum) is a 
very extensively cultivated 
cereal, and which is known 
under a bewildering variety 
of names. It is generally 
regarded as a native of South 
Africa, where it is known as 
Kaffir Corn, taking its name 
from the native tribe of that 
name ; northwards, in the 
Sudan and Egypt and in 
other parts of Africa it re- 
ceives the name of "Dhurra," 
and it is also variously de- 
scribed as " Millet," " Guinea 
Corn," and under other 
names. It should not be con- 
fused with "Guinea Grass" 
(Panicum maximum), a valu- 
able fodder grass native to 
West Africa, but now exten- 
sively cultivated almost 
throughout the tropics. 

A lamentable confusion 
exists in the botanical no- 
menclature of the Sorghums 
as a class, but it seems pos- 
sible to reduce them to three 





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main divisions, which may be stated as follows : Andropogon Sorghum var. vulgaris, yielding 
the innumerable varieties of Kaffir Corn, dhurra, etc. ; A. Sorghum var. saccharatus, the sugar 
sorghum, known in the West Indies as " Imphe," and used for fodder, also a source of sugar ; 
and A. Sorghum var. technicus, the fruit-stalks of which, when the grain is removed, are used 
for making brooms and brushes. A description of this latter plant and its uses will be 
found in the section dealing with " Fibres." 

As stated above, Andropogon Sorghum var. vulgaris possesses a great number of varieties, 
which are cultivated as a food crop in practically all the warmer countries of the world. They 
may, however, be reduced to three principal forms, viz. : (1) Red Kaffir corn, a plant from 
five to six feet high, bearing thick, somewhat rough, leaves, and a long, narrow, erect head of 
light brown or red seeds so closely packed together as to hide the stems bearing them ; (2) 
White Kaffir Corn, similar in habit to the last, but smaller, and bearing a slender compact head 

. — of whitish seeds; (3) African Millet, with a 

habit similar to that of the White variety, and 
also with white seeds, which, however, are often 
spotted, and the chaff of the seeds is grey or 
black. Sorghum is very largely used for human 
food in India, Africa, and China, and its im- 
portance as a fodder for cattle in these countries 
is very great. When employed as a fodder, 
however, it has been repeatedly noticed that the 
stock sometimes sicken and die as a result of 
what is known as " sorghum poisoning," and 
recent investigations carried out at the 
Imperial Institute at South Kensington have 
afforded an explanation of these observed 
facts. It appears that while the plant is 
comparatively young, the active poison prus- 
sic acid is developed by the interaction of 
two complex chemical bodies contained in 
its tissues, and that when the sorghum be- 
comes mature the poison is no longer formed. 
The practical value of this observation is at once 
evident, since by feeding only mature sorghum to stock it is possible to avoid all risk of 



In India and Japan and some other countries an important food-stuff is yielded 
by Eleusine Coracana, a tall annual grass with tufted stems each bearing from four to six 
spikes of flowers. A fact which adds greatly to the value of the plant is that it yields 
an abundant crop even when grown on poor soil. Korakanis cultivated over the greater part 
of India, largely during the rainy season, and is an important food of the poorer classes. It 
is said to be peculiarly free from attacks by insects, and can therefore be stored a considerable 
time without damage, a point of especial advantage in tropical countries. 

The grain is not generally considered to be very wholesome as it is somewhat difficult of 
digestion, but it is extensively eaten, and in Mysore the flour is used for puddings or made 
into cakes which are fried in oil ; in other parts of India a fermented liquor is prepared from 
the grain. 





Pearl Millet, also known as the 
Spiked or Bullrush Millet, is a 
grass (Pennisetum typhoideum) 
which grows to a height of five or 
six feet, and bears compact cylin- 
drical spikes of grain about twelve 
inches long. It is largely cultivated 
in India, and is also grown in 
Egypt and other parts of tropical 
Africa, which country is probably 
the true home of the plant. In 
India Pennisetum is extensively cultivated in the Bombay Presidency, and, like Eleusine, is 
a rainy season crop. It forms an important food of the lower classes of natives, and on 
account of its heating qualities, is largely consumed by the tribes of Northern India during 
the cold weather. The flour prepared from the millet is made into cakes and bread, which 
are considered to be very nutritious, and in some districts the grain is used by the well-to-do. 


Job's Tears are the fruits of 
Coix lachryma, a grass native to 
India and Japan, but now found 
in many tropical countries. The 
comparatively large, shining, pear- 
shaped fruits, which bear a fanciful 
resemblance to immense tears, are 
used as food in some of the poorer 
districts of India and Japan, and 
in China are accredited with 
medicinal properties. 

The " tears," however, are principally used for ornamental purposes, lending themselves 
especially for making necklaces and mats. Samples of such articles made in the West Indies 
are nowadays not unfamiliar in some of the London shops. 



Compared with many other food grains, buckwheat is of comparatively recent cultivation,, 
for the earliest record of it occurs in Chinese writings relating to tenth and eleventh 

centuries. The plant (Fagopyrum 
- * . esculentum) is a branching annual 
about two or three feet high, and 
is a native of Central Asia, having 
been found wild in Manchuria, on 
the banks of the Amar, and in the 
neighbourhood of Lake Baikal. 
According to De Candolle, one 
grain was introduced into Europe 
during the Middle Ages through 
Tartary and Russia, and the first 
harrowing mention of its cultivation is found 


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in a German register dated 1436. At the present 
time it is largely cultivated in many parts of the 
world, especially in Russia, France, and other 
parts of the Continent, and also in the United 
States of America. In England very little buck- 
wheat is grown. Some varieties of buckwheat 
grow in Russia in the dry and arid districts, to 
which reference has already been made (pp. 14 to 
16), where the hard or macaroni wheats are ex- 
tensively cultivated. For buckwheat the ground is 
ploughed in the autumn and again in the spring, 
when it is also harrowed. Sowing takes place quite 
late, in order to avoid any danger from the frost. 
In some districts, for instance, the seed is not put 
down until the beginning or even the end of June, 
and the crop is harvested from about the middle of 
August to early in September. 

Buckwheat has a particular interest inasmuch as, 
although it is popularly termed a " wheat," it is 
not a wheat nor even a cereal at all. The plant is 
a member of the natural order Polygonaceae, and is closely allied to the common knot-grass, 
and the docks so abundant as weeds. The fruits of the plants of the order are characteristically 
small three-cornered "nuts," and the scientific name, Fagopyrum, recalls the resemblance of 
the buckwheat fruits to beech nuts. Inside the thin brown covering of the little " nut " 
is the white floury substance, for the sake of which the plant is so extensively cultivated. 

The nutritive value of buckwheat is low in 
comparison with wheat, but is yet sufficiently 
high to render it of importance as an article of 
food in several parts of the world. For instance, 
in Russia buckwheat plays its part, along with the 
millets of various kinds, in contributing to the diet- 
ary of the peasants, and in some districts these 
grains constitute the principal means of subsistence. 
The total area under buckwheat in Russia is 
estimated at close upon 5,000,000 acres. The 
Russians denote all these various food-stuffs, when 
in the raw state, as " krupa," this word corre- 
sponding practically to groats. Buckwheat groats, 
" grechevnaya krupa," are a popular food, and are 
prepared very simply by hulling the little nuts, 
fruits or " grain " of the plant, and grinding the 
contents. These buckwheat groats are boiled and 
converted into porridge, but more commonly are 
made up into various types of compact cakes and 
served with soups, and in other ways. 

In the United States some 800,000 acres are 
annually cultivated with buckwheat, the estimated 
value of the crop, 14,000,000 bushels, being about 
near pekin. a millet field with an £1,700,000. Buckwheat cakes are well known as 
adjacent sorghum field one of the special dishes of the States. 





Starch is prepared by plants in their leaves 
and other green parts from water and the 
carbonic acid gas of the atmosphere, under 
conditions of sufficient warmth and sun- 
light. The excess of starch made above 
immediate requirements is stored up for 
the future use of the same plant, or in 
seeds, tubers, etc., to give a good start in 
life to the succeeding generation. Man takes 
advantage o± this storing habit, and appro- 
priates the supplies for his own use in several 
instances. Starch belongs to the large group 
of substances known as carbohydrates, and is 
very similar in chemical composition to sugar. 
Plants store up starch in the form of small 
grains or granules, which vary very consider- 
ably in size, shape, and other characteristics 
in different plants, so that it is easily pos- 
sible, with the help of a microscope, to 
ascertain the source of a sample of starch, 
and whether it is pure or adulterated. An 
admixture of cheap forms of starch in 
expensive arrowroots can in this way be 
detected with the greatest ease. • ■ • 

Photo by W. G. Freeman 



By far the greater part of the starch used for commercial and technical purposes is obtained 
from potatoes. Enormous quantities of the tubers are raised on the Continent and in the 
United States, and, besides being employed as an article of food, are used as a source of alcohol 
and starch. 

The potato contains starch to the extent of fifteen to twenty-five per cent, according to soil, 
climate, and manuring, and about sixty-six to seventy-five per cent, of the full amount is 
obtained by the manufacturer. The starch is contained in the cells of the tuber as oval grains, 
and the processes of the manufacture aim at obtaining the grains in a perfectly clean condition, 
free from all particles of cellulose and vegetable matter. The methods adopted vary somewhat 
in different countries, but the essential features are the same in all cases, and the processes 
of manufacture are relatively of great simplicity. A full account of the industry in the United 
States has recently been published by the U.S.A. Department of Agriculture, and the follow- 
ing information has been summarised from this report. The principal states concerned in 
the industry are Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Wisconsin. The first process consists 
in washing the potatoes, and is carried out in revolving cylindrical washers about twelve feet 
long and two feet in diameter, through which water is constantly passing. The potatoes when 
perfectly clean are submitted to the action of a cylindrical rasper turning at the rate of 
over 600 revolutions per minute, and a stream of water passing through the machine carries 
the starch pulp away as soon as it is reduced to the required degree of fineness. The pulp 
falls from the rasper into a fine wire gauze " starch separator," the meshes of which are suffi- 
ciently large to retain the vegetable debris but allow the starch grains to pass through. 
The actual passage of the grains through the separator is effected by shaking the framework 
in a sloping position and allowing jets of water to play upon the starchy mass. The starch 
which is carried through by the water falls into tanks placed underneath the separators, and 


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quickly settles to the bottom when the supernatant water is drawn off. It is again beaten 
into a cream with water by mechanical stirrers, and when it has once more settled and the 
water has been removed, it is found that the upper layers are somewhat, discoloured, while the 
main mass of the starch below is of a pure white colour. The pure starch is ready for the 
drying tables while the discoloured layers are further cleaned by repeated processes of stirring 
and allowing to settle." 

In the more modern factories the drying is performed in kilns provided with steam heaters. 
It is important that the wet starch should not be subjected to the full force of the heat at 
once, or the grains would be converted into paste and rendered unfit for the market. The kilns 
are, therefore, built with four or five floors made of narrow wooden slats fixed a short distance 
apart, and the steam pipes are laid at the bottom of the kiln. The blocks of wet starch are 

By permission of Messrs. Cadbury Bros. 

shovelled on to the uppermost floor, which is the coolest part of the kiln, and the drying com- 
mences. After a little while the mass is raked over, and the drier portions of the starch auto- 
matically fall between the slats on to the next floor below, where they are subjected to a higher 
temperature. The processes repeated on each floor until the whole of the starch has reached 
the bottom of the kiln, which is filled and emptied twice in every twenty-four hours. The dried 
starch is finally raked into a trough and transported to warehouses where it is stored on 
the floors, the piles resembling huge snowdrifts. During this storage the starch becomes 
uniformly dry, and is finally packed in barrels. 

Potato starch is very largely employed in the textile industries, where it is used for three 
distinct purposes : in the first place, it is used as a sizing for the warp yarn before it is woven, 
the loose ends of the fibres composing the yarn being cemented down, resulting in a smooth 
strong thread ; secondly, the starch paste is used to give a finish to the goods after they have 
been woven ; and, thirdly, in the form of dextrin, potato starch is used to a certain extent 
as a thickener or vehicle for applying colours to the fabric. 



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Photo bv W. G. Freeman 


Large 'quantities of dex- 
trin or British gum are manu- 
factured in Europe from 
potato starch. The starch 
is subjected to a high tem- 
perature, preferably in con- 
tact with the diluted vapours 
of nitric acid. 


Cassava, manioc, or man- 
diocca, is the starch prepared 
from the roots of two species 
of Manihot. The plants, 
which are natives of tropical 
America, are very closely re- 
lated, and are often regarded 
merely as varieties, and not 
as separate species. They 
are shrubs reaching a height 
of about six or eight feet with repeatedly forking branches, bearing palmate leaves 
divided into from three to eleven divisions, and mounted upon slender leaf stalks. 
The roots, which are the only valuable portions of the plant, grow in clusters often 
weighing as much as twenty pounds or more ; the individual roots vary in length from 
one-and-a-half to four or even six feet, and generally average about two inches in diameter. 
Cassava is extensively cultivated in many parts of the tropics, since it is a crop which yields 
a large return for a comparatively small amount of labour ; large quantities are grown in 
Brazil, Guiana, the West Indies, West Africa, the East Indies, and the Straits Settlements. 

Both the " Sweet " and the " Bitter " Cassava are extensively grown, but the " bitter " is 
more generally cultivated, as, although it requires a much longer time to reach maturity, it 
produces a greater yield of roots. There are a dozen or more varieties of the bitter cassava 
grown in Brazil differing principally in the colour of the stems and roots and in time of reaching 
maturity. All of these varieties contain a considerable amount of the active poison prussic 
acid, but fortunately the poison is very volatile and is entirely dissipated by moderate heating, 
so that, after proper cooking, there is no danger of poisoning when eating the roots or the 
starch prepared from them. 

In his interesting book, "Among the Indians of Guiana," Sir E. F. im Thurn gives a detailed 
account of the methods of preparing cassava adopted by the natives, who make the product 
into bread resembling oatcakes or use it as a kind of meal. The operations are principally 
carried out by the women, and form a characteristic feature of Indian life. The women squat 
upon the ground and peel the outer rind from the cassava roots with a large knife. Each 
root after being peeled is thoroughly washed, when it is taken in hand by another woman, 
who scrapes it vigorously up and down a rasper consisting of a short board studded with small 
fragments of stone. One end of the rasper stands in a trough on the ground and the other rests 
upon the woman's knees, and, as the pulp slips from the scraper into the trough it is collected 
and put into a long narrow cylindrical bag which hangs from the roof of the hut. The bag, 
which is known as a " matapie," is woven from strips of the pliant cuticle of the leaves of 
the Ita palm, and its use is to squeeze the poisonous juice out of the cassava. This 
is effected in one of two ways ; a common practice is to suspend a heavy weight from the 
lower end of the tightly packed matapie which, as stated above, hangs from the roof, and the 


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resulting pressure is sufficient to squeeze out the poisonous juice through the sides of the bag. 
In other parts of the country a heavy lever is placed through a loop at the end of the matapie 
and one end fixed to the floor, while upon the other end the woman seats herself so that her 
weight exerts a powerful leverage on the bag, which is drawn taut, causing the juice to be 
expressed as before. The cassava, freed from the liquor, contains but little poison, and this is 
entirely dissipated in the subsequent process of cooking. The meal is taken from the matapie, 
broken over a sieve, and then sifted until it is converted into a coarse flour. The latter is then 
either packed in leaves for future use, or at once made into bread or into the thin circular 
" cassava cakes " which are well known wherever cassava is cultivated. 

The poisonous juice expressed from the cassava pulp is not wasted; for it is the source of 
" cassareep," which is well known as an essential ingredient of the West Indian dish, 

" pepper-pot." Cassareep is pre- 
pared by boiling the juice until it 
becomes of a thick, treacle-like con- 
sistency, when it is no longer 
poisonous. It is largely used in this 
country as a basis for sauces. 

The popular starchy foodstuff 
"tapioca " is prepared from cassava, 
and is largely imported into Eng- 
land from Brazil and the Straits 
Settlements. Its method of pre- 
paration is comparatively simple, 
but in the countries mentioned, 
where the product is a valuable 
article of export, the cassava is 
prepared on more practical lines 
than that described above. The 
roots are ready for digging in about 
from six to twelve months, when 
they are grated on a machine. There 
are two methods of preparing the 
starch : in the " wet " method the 
grated root is placed in water for 
a few days, when it is kneaded 
with water, and finally pressed to 
extract the juice. The resulting 
fecula is sifted and baked in earthen 
ovens. In the " dry " process the 
grated roots are mixed with water 
without any previous soaking and 
subjected to pressure. After dry- 
ing and sifting, the fecula is washed 
several times and finally dried in 
the sun. The cassava is now ready 
to be made into tapioca, and the 
process consists merely in heating 
the starch on flat iron plates, when 
it becomes partially cooked, and 
the soursop agglomerates into the hard, small, 

(The unripe fruits yield starch ) irregular lumps which are so f amiliar. 

Photo by N. P. Edwards, Littlehamplon 



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The grains of the rice plant, which is grown in enormous quantities in irrigated fields in 
tropical and sub-tropical countries, (see special article on " Rice ") are very rich in starch, 
containing over seventy-five per cent, of the material. It is one of the principal sources of 
laundry starch. In this case, soaking the grain and afterwards subjecting it to a bruising 
process is not sufficient to separate the starch, and the rice is therefore previously treated 
with a weak solution of caustic soda, which softens the grain and causes it to swell. It is then 

washed with clean water, and subsequently ground 
between millstones and brushed through ■ sieves 
to remove foreign particles. The fine rice flour 
is again treated with the alkaline solution, in 
which it is vigorously agitated for some twenty- 
four hours. It is allowed to settle, when the 
supernatant liquid containing the gluten in solution 
is drawn off, and the starch collected and washed 
in water.. It is allowed to settle and is finally 

An acid process is also employed in the manu- 
facture of rice starch. The grain is soaked and 
ground between rollers, and treated with a dilute 
solution of muriatic or hydrochloric acid, which 
dissolves away the non-starchy constituents, 
leaving the starch only to settle in the tanks. 


Wheat Starch is largely used in the textile 
industries as a thickener for applying dyes to the 
fabric. Three principal methods have been em- 
ployed for obtaining the starch, which exists in 
the grain to the extent of from fifty to seventy- 
five per cent. In one method the starch is 
obtained from the flour, which is kneaded into a 
stiff dough with water, and after a short period, 
about one or two hours, washed in a sieve with 
water until all the starch has escaped through the 
meshes as a milky fluid. The starch is allowed to 
settle in tanks and after being purified by several 
washings, is ready for drying and packing. This 
process possesses an advantage over the next, 
inasmuch as the gluten of the dough is not de- 
stroyed but is available for commercial purposes. 
In the second process this is not the case, for the starch is obtained by allowing 
the wheat to ferment, resulting in the destruction of the gluten. The grain is first 
soaked in water for a few days, the period being longer in winter than in summer, 
and then the foul water is drawn off and clean supplies admitted. The grain is crushed 
between rollers and allowed to ferment for about a fortnight, the process involving the destruc- 
tion of the gluten and the liberation of the starch grains. The starchy mass is afterwards 
transferred to a revolving drum through the perforations of which the starch escapes, as a result 
of continual stirring, into tanks placed underneath. - The purification of the starch is effected 
by repeated washings with pure water. 




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In the third process 
the starch is obtained 
without any fermenta- 
tion taking place, the 
grains being merely 
soaked and bruised, 
and afterwards washed 


Maize Starch, fami- 
liarly known as " corn 
flour," exists in the grain 
to the extent of about 
fifty-four per cent., and 
is obtained by various 
methods, which are,. 
however, very similar. 
The washed grains are 
passed between rollers 
or millstones and 
ground to a paste, which 
is washed in perforated 
cylinders resembling 
those employed in the 
manufacture of potato 
starch. The starch 
milk is allowed to run 
upon inclined tables, 
where the grains are 
deposited, while the 
nitrogenous matters- 
pass on and are col- 
lected in tanks to be 
subsequently used as 
cattle food. 

Maize starch is 
largely used as a paste 
for finishing textiles r 
especially in America. 

The finer qualities are employed as a substitute for arrowroot, while the inferior grades serve 

for laundry purposes. 


Arrowroot, or West Indian arrowroot, as it is sometimes termed, to distinguish it from 
other kinds, is obtained from the underground stems of Maranta arundinacea, closely allied 
to the Ginger and Turmeric plants. The plant occurs in many parts of the tropics, but Bermuda 
and St. Vincent are the chief places of arrowroot manufacture. The underground stems are 
often from one to two feet in length, rather less than an inch across, jointed, and almost pure 
white in colour. The thin skin which covers them contains bitter principles which would injure 

Fhoto by Sir Harry Johnston, K.C.M.G., K.C.B. 


By permission of Messrs. Hutchinson 



the starch in point of [flavour, and in the most careful mode of preparation great care is 
taken to remove this skin by peeling. 

Owing to the great care bestowed on its manufacture and to its wide reputation, 
Bermuda arrowroot commands very high prices in the market. St. Vincent arrowroot 
realises very much lower prices ; recently, however, an improvement has set in. In Barbados 
and in other West Indian colonies there is a small amount of arrowroot grown, but it is 
used locally for laundry and other purposes. 

Arrowroot is one of the most easily digested forms of starch, and is in considerable 
demand for invalids and children. 


Sago is obtained from the trunks of several species of palms, of which Metroxylon Rumphii 
is one of the most important. The home of these palms is the Far Eastern tropics, and in the 
Straits Settlements, the Federated Malay States, Java, the Celebes, Borneo, Sumatra, and 
the adjoining islands sago is one of the important staples of food. 

The typical sago palms {Metroxylon) live in more or less swampy localities. In common 
with some other palms they flower only once in their life and then die. The flowering takes 
place when the plant is about fifteen years old. Immediately, however, before the flowering 
period the whole trunk of the tree is 
loaded with starch which the plant 
has accumulated to be employed in 
providing the reserve of food in the 
expected heavy crop of seeds. Man, 
as usual appropriating the plant's 
laboriously gathered reserve, fells the 
tree just before it flowers, and ex- 
tracts the starch. The root stock 
does not die, but puts up new shoots 
or trunks, which are ready to flower 
in their turn in another fifteen 
years or so. 

, Dr. O. Beccari, in his Wanderings 
in the Great Forests of Borneo, gives 
an interesting account of the prep- 
aration of sago. The trees are felled 
when about twenty-five to thirty 
feet high, and the trunks are 
stripped of leaves and cut up into 
sections, each about three feet in 
length. Each piece is split length- 
wise, and the soft fibrous tissue 
scraped out with a kind of wooden 
hoe. Successive straining and wash- 
ing processes serve, as with the 
other starch-yielding plants, to free 
the starch granules and to separate 
them from the tissues of the stem. 
The latter are removed, and the 
starch is allowed to settle and finally 

it is Collected and dried. Bv SUb- Photo by Sir Harry Johnston, K.C.M.G.,K.C.B. . By permission pf Messrs. Hutchinson 

sequent treatment the sago flour palms — borassus. oil, and -cocoa-nut 

76 The World's Commercial Products 

so obtained is " pearled " and transformed into the small rounded masses so familiar 
in this country. 

Some of the Cycads, to which we have already referred under arrowroot, are known as False 
Sago palms. The illustration on page 69 gives an idea of the habit of this group of 


In addition to the foregoing a considerable number and variety of plants are utilised 
for the local production of starch. In some parts of the West Indies the unripe fruits 
of the Soursop, an illustration of a fruiting branch of which is given, are employed to prepare 
a kind of arrowroot. Another fruit, the mango, is similarly used in the unripe condition. 
Other examples are the Banana, the Plantain, the cocoa-nut palm, and the Palmyra 

The bread-fruit, a handsome tree with large, thick, shining leaves, and fruits of the size 
of a man's head, yields an excellent starch which can be readily prepared. Samples of 
bread-fruit starch have recently been received at the Imperial Institute and examined 
there. The market value of the product in London was- about £7 per ton. 


Sugar is one of the most valuable products of the plant world. The quantity which comes 
into commerce annually at the present time is approximately some 10,000,000 tons, of the 
value of about £180,000,000, regarding sugar as worth, on an average, about 2d. a pound. This 
enormous amount by no means, however, represents the total sugar crop of the world, because 
in India and the East generally, in South America, Africa, and elsewhere, there are large 
quantities of sugar produced for local consumption which do not figure in commercial 
statistics. It is impossible also to dissociate sugar and alcohol : rum, arrack, palm-wine, 
and other spirituous liquors are made in different parts of the world from sugar-producing 
plants, although rum, produced from the sugar-cane, is the only one which enters the world's 
markets to any extent. Molasses, or treacle, the uncrystallisable residue remaining after the 




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solid sugar has been obtained, is an important subsidiary product in the cane-sugar industry, 
and the maple syrup of North America is a delicacy esteemed in countries beyond that 
in which it is produced. More recently new articles — molascuit and molassine meal — have 
been added to the list of commercial products of the sugar plants, and altogether this group 
of plants must be accounted amongst those of the greatest importance to man. 

Sugar is very generally distributed in the vegetable world, and almost all plants contain 
sugar at some stage of their life history. It would be out of, place here to enter into a full 
discussion of the chemical changes which go on in that wonderful laboratory, the green leaf 
of a plant, but it may be said that in general a sugar is one of the first substances manufactured 
by the plant from the simple materials, water and the carbonic acid gas, of the atmosphere. 

The sugar is essential to the life and growth of the plant, and as it can only be formed 
when the weather is warm enough and in the presence of sunlight, plants manufacture more 
than they want for their immediate requirements, and literally put the remainder by " for a 
rainy day." This reserve of food is not always stored away as sugar, but is frequently converted 
first into starch, and then changed back again to sugar as it is wanted. Plants which store 
their carbohydrate reserves- in the form of starch are the useful cereals, the potato and other 
starch yielders, already discussed. Some plants, however, actually keep their reserves of 
food as sugar, and it is with this group that we are immediately concerned. The large roots 
of the carrot, the parsnip and the beet all contain sugar, accumulated during the first 
year of the plant's growth, to be drawn upon in the second, when, in the ordinary course 
of nature, the plants would flower. Although all three are possible sugar-producers, only one, 
the beet, is made use of by man. The beet is pre-eminently the sugar-yielding plant of the 
temperate regions, and its cultivation for this purpose is, comparatively speaking, quite a 
modern enterprise, as we shall describe in detail later. On the other hand, in the tropics 
there has been grown, from time immemorial, as a source of sugar the famous sugar-cane — • 
a gigantic grass — the thick stems of which contain large quantities of juice rich in sugar. 
There are also in the tropics various palms, for example, the date, the Palmyra palm, the 
coco-nut palm, the sugar palm (Arenga), and others, from all of which a sweet juice is obtained 



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by suitable means and used as a source of sugar. These palms in some countries yield large 

In North America there are the sugar-maples, very closely related to the common 
sycamore and the field maple of this country, and from them a sugar-yielding sap may be 
obtained by boring holes in their trunks early in the year. This juice yields the well-known 
maple sugar and maple syrup so highly esteemed in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere. 
A variety of maize or Indian corn, and a kind of Guinea corn or sorghum, are both of 
local importance as sources of sugar in some parts of the world. 

Although the plants mentioned above comprise most of those of value as sources of sugar, 
there are numerous others which contain sugar, and are potential sugar-producers. Many 

fruits when ripe are well 
known to be sweet, and this 
indicates the presence of 
sugar. Grapes, for example, 
are rich in sugar, so also are 
pineapples and other fruits, 
but sugar obtained from 
them would be much too 
costly to allow of its being 
used for commercial pur- 
poses. The onion also con- 
tains a considerable amount 
of sugar, but is not employed 
for this purpose on an 
economic scale. 

Although there is a con- 
siderable number of plants 
which produce sugar in 
sufficient quantities to render 
them of importance in the 
countries in which they are 
grown, the fact remains that, 
so far as the commercial 
production of sugar is con- 
cerned, the sugar-cane and 
the sugar-beet practically 
have a monopoly. It is true 
that large quantities of sugar are made from various palms in the East, that sorghum and 
maize yield their products in America, China and elsewhere, and that the sugar-maples 
provide a delicacy in the United States and Canada, but none of these plants at present 
affect the sugar market. Sorghum is sometimes regarded as one of. the important sugar- 
plants of the future, but that day has certainly not yet arrived, and beet and cane easily 
out-distance all competitors. Many people would probably not be prepared to give an 
opinion offhand as to the relative importance of these two plants, or if they did their estimate 
might not be very accurate. The total annual commercial sugar crop of the world is now 
approximately about 10,000,000 tons, and to this enormous quantity the beet contributes 
about 6,000,000 tons and the sugar-cane some 4,000,000 tons. That is to say, about three- 
fifths of the sugar of commerce is beet-sugar and two-fifths cane-sugar. If, however, we go 
back such a comparatively short period as fifty years we find a very different state of affairs. 
At that time the total sugar crop was only 1,500,000 tons, or less than one-sixth of what it 
is now. More striking still is the fact that of this crop over 1,250,000 tons, or more than eighty 

By permission of the Queensland Government 







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per cent, of the world's production, was obtained from the sugar-cane ; its present formidable 
rival, the sugar-beet, contributing only about 250,000 tons, or about sixteen per cent, of 
the total. 

The actual figures are worthy of careful study. 

Present day . . . 
Fifty years ago . 

Commercial Sugar Crop of the World 

Cane-Sugar. Beet-Sugar. 

4,000,000 tons 
1,250,000 „ 

40 per cent. 
84 , , 

6,000,000 tons 
250,000 „ 

60 per cent. 
16 ,, 

During the last half a century the total production of sugar in the world has increased from 
1,500,000 tons to 10,000,000 tons, or, approximately, has been multiplied by seven. The 
output of cane-sugar has been multiplied by three, but in the same period the output of beet- 
sugar has been multiplied by no less a figure than twenty-four. Europe produces practically 
all the beet-sugar of the world, for although the industry has made considerable progress in the 
United States the total output of beet-sugar from that country is not as yet more than one- 
fiftieth of the world's annual sugar crop. The history of this extraordinary development of an 
industry is dealt with under beet-sugar, but it will be well to point out here that it has 
mainly been due to the application of science. It is the joint work of the chemist, the botanist, 
the engineer, the cultivator, and the manufacturer, and by their co-operation there has been 
built up in Europe an industry which, allowing an average value of £10 per ton for the raw 
sugar, is now worth £55,000,000 annually. 

The following figures indicate the average annual production of sugar for the last five 
years from the five continents of the world. They serve to show the pre-eminent position 
of Europe as a sugar-producing region. 

Very carefully compiled tables of the production of sugar in every country are compiled 
annually by Messrs. Willett & Gray and Messrs. Licht, and these tables have been used for the 
preparation of the figures here given. 

Asia . . 

It should be remembered, however, 
that India probably produces close upon 
3,000,000 tons of cane-sugar per annum, 
which being consumed locally does not 
appear above, and if we add this the 
total production of the cane would 
exceed 7,000,000 tons. 


The sugar-cane is a large grass, grow- 
ing far taller than any grass with which 
we are familiar in temperate climates, 
luxuriant plants reaching twenty or more 
feet in height. In spite of its size the 







SUGAR factory — COOLING bowls 



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LI . l 1 Jnbi — Ml- \v !"■ 

ri u\ 


habit of the plant is distinctl' 
grass-like, and we find 
group of stems of equal siz 
springing from the ground i] 
a clump, each bearing long 
grass-like leaves, and ter 
minating in the flowerinj 
season in a feathery plum 
somewhat like the more fa 
miliar Pampas Grass. Th 
stems are commonly as thicl 
as bamboos, such as couL 
be used for curtain poles o 
the legs of a small table, bu 
instead of being hard an< 
woody outside and hollo\ 
within, they have a tougl 
rind and are solid, with fibrous strands running through the soft sugar-containing tissue. 

The sweet juice of the sugar-cane stem was appreciated in very early times, and the prepa 
ration of solid sugar from it was practised long before the Christian Era. History records tha 
Alexander the Great feasted on " solid honey not made by bees." The Greek physician 
appear to have known sugar under the name of " Indian salt." 

The native country of the plant is not known with certainty, but in all probability it wa 
in the region of Cochin China, India, or Malaya. Thence it spread to Africa and later fc 
America. These wanderings having taken place during the historical period can be trace* 
with some approach to certainty. 

The sugar-cane was early cultivated in Egypt, Sicily, and Spain, to which countries it wa 
introduced by the Arabs. From Sicily it was introduced into Madeira, and thence to th 
Canaries about 1425 a.d. by Don Henry of Portugal. Soon after the discovery of Americ; 
the sugar-cane was introduced into the tropical part of the New World, reaching Hayti an< 
Brazil early in the sixteenth century, and spreading thence to Mexico, Guadeloupe, Martinique 
and later to Bourbon. In Hayti, as recorded by Porter in his work on the sugar-cane, th 
cultivation proved so successful and extended with such rapidity that the cost of the magni 
ficent palaces of Madrid and Toledo is stated to have been defrayed by the proceeds of th 
port duties on the sugar imported from the island. The sugar-cane reached Barbados fron 
Brazil in 1641, and was distributed thence to other West Indian islands. 

The cultivation of the sugar-cane is only profitable in the tropics and in some sub-tropica 
countries. It is characteristically a tropical plant in its requirements, thriving best under ai 
average temperature of about 80° F. and a rainfall of at least 60 inches per annum, or ai 
equivalent artificial supply of water. As indicating the range of climates in which the sugar 
cane will live, even if not at its best, we may mention that it is grown on a commercial scale ii 
the south of Spain, in Japan, and it will grow in Cape Colony and New Zealand. In sub-tropica 
countries such as Louisiana and Natal it does fairly well so long as the conditions are favourable 
but the sugar-cane is at its best in such lands as India, Cuba, Java, British Guiana, Hawaii- 
all thoroughly tropical regions. Cuba and Java together produce about one-half of th< 
commercial cane-sugar supply of the world, each exporting at present over 1,000,000 tons pe: 


■ The details of sugar-cane cultivation differ in various countries according to local condi 

tions. In British Guiana, the Straits Settlements, Hawaii, and Egypt, irrigation is practisec 

to a greater or less extent. In countries where land is plentiful, virgin soil is cleared and planted 



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Photo by W. G. Freeman 

whilst in many sugar-producing countries all the best 
land is already in use, and intense cultivation is the 
rule. The land may be broken up into ridges and 
furrows, or so-called " holes," made, as adopted in 
Barbados and Mauritius, to prevent washing of the soil 
by rain. Machinery is extensively employed in 
Louisiana and other places where labour is expensive 
or scanty. 

The number of years for which ratoons are main- 
tained naturally depends again upon local circum- 
stances. In many countries the cane will ratoon with 
sufficient vigour for about five or ten years. There 
are examples, however, that the planter may reap 
from the same field much longer, for fifty or sixty 
years or even more, but then the climate and the soil 
must be very favourable indeed. In other places, e.g., 
several parts of the West Indies, the fields are rarely 
left for more than three years without replanting, or 
again only plant-canes and first ratoons are taken, or 
in other cases the canes are planted fresh each year. 
This is especially the case where the plantations have 
been cultivated for some time and the conditions are 
accordingly less favourable. In Java, for instance, 
experience has shown that after the first year the 
quantity as well as the quality of the crop diminishes. 
For this reason the plants are not only renewed every, year, but they are also planted 
in a different field the second year, so that rotation of crops is followed and the 
cultivation is made as intense as possible. Sugar-cane is followed frequently by beans 
and maize, these by rice. Then beans and maize again, and still another rice crop 
before sugar is ' once, more cultivated on the same land, three years after the immediately 
preceding sugar-crop. People learned these methods of intense cultivation from a treatise 
by Don Alvaro Reynoso, Professor of Agricultural Chemistry in Cuba, which was translated 
into Dutch in 1865. Reynoso chiefly advised a thorough breaking up of the soil sixteen 
inches deep, planting at proper distances, and systematic draining. An enormous amount 
of care and attention has recently been devoted in Java, the West Indies, Hawaii, the 
United States of America, etc., to the problems of the manurial requirements, etc., of 
the cane. Analyses show that a crop of sugar-cane of about thirty tons to the acre contains 
approximately thirty pounds of nitrogen, seventy-five pounds of potash, and twenty pounds 
of phosphoric acid, all of which has been removed from the soil. If the soil is very rich in 
these substances there may be no need to replace these essentials in the form of manure for 
some period. Sooner or later, however, on most estates there comes a time when the available 
stock of nitrogen, potash, and phosphates is exhausted, or depleted to -a sufficient extent to 
interfere with the successful cultivation of the crop. The planter then has to face the serious 
question of how to apply these valuable constituents in the most useful and economical 

As an instance of the careful manner in which practical questions such as this are dealt with 
by the modern scientific departments of the colonies, we may take the case of the investiga- 
tions conducted by Dr. Francis Watts, of the Imperial Department of Agriculture for the West 
Indies, into the manurial requirements of the sugar-cane in the Leeward Islands, i.e., in 
Antigua, St. Kitt's, and Nevis. For the last six years very careful experiments have been 
carried out on actual sugar estates, with the general result of ascertaining that an application 



of twenty tons per acre of pen manure (corresponding to farmyard manure of this country) 
is sufficient, and that there is as a rule no remunerative return gained by adding chemical 
manures in addition. This result is of great economic importance, otherwise large sums of 
money might be, as in places they are, wasted annually in the mistaken idea that benefit was 
being done to the crop. The fact is too often overlooked that the ill-directed application of 
manures may actually do harm and diminish instead of increasing the crop. Very elaborate 
and valuable experiments have also been conducted by Prof. J. B. Harrison in British 
Guiana, and it is interesting to note that both workers agree that the richness of the cane 
is not influenced by manuring. The percentage of sugar in the juice of a cane is a character- 
istic which does not alter with differing manurial treatment, and that when a larger crop is 
obtained it is due to the manure having encouraged a heavier growth of cane, and not a crop 
of the same weight but richer 
in sugar. - 

Planting. The soil is 
cleared of weeds, well tilled, 
and furrows are dug three or 
four feet apart and about 
one foot deep. The tops or 
cuttings are set almost ver- 
tically in holes made in the 
furrows, or sometimes, e.g., 
in Louisiana, and also in 
Cuba, whole canes are laid 
down in the furrows. The 
roots soon develop, and 
shortly after one culm or 
stem shoots up, then another, 
until four or five stems have 
arisen from the little buds 
on the original cuttings as 
shown in the illustration. 
During the growth the field 
must be kept clean by 
weeding and hoeing, until 

after about eight months the canes have reached their full height. Then the lower leaves are 
partly withered, and in some places the custom is to strip the plant of those dry leaves. 
This causes the stems to stand up more firmly, and admits sunlight and air. This practice 
is not essential in all countries, and is not always adopted. 

Sugar-cane being generally grown in the tropics, hand labour is principally employed 
for various reasons, but in Louisiana, for instance, much of the cultural work is performed 
by the help of machinery, partly due to the scarcity of cheap labour. Steam-ploughs have 
been introduced into Trinidad by the Trinidad Estates Company, and are estimated to do the 
work at slightly less cost than when animal traction is resorted to, and at not much more than 
one-half the cost of manual labour. 

After about ten months some flowers may appear, but by no means on all plants : some 
varieties never bear flowers at all, and in the cooler sub-tropical countries a flowering cane is 
the exception. 

The best moment for the cutting and further treatment of the sugar-cane, that is to say, 
the moment when the sap is purest and at the same time most plentiful, is when the 
flowers have faded. Fortunately, the quantity and the quality of the juice remains station- 
ary for a fairly long time, but as soon as the growth ceases the sap gradually begins to dry 



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up, and a chemical change begins to operate, other substances being formed at the cost of the 
pure sugar. 

That the quantity and the quality of the sap remains stationary for some time is especially 
fortunate for this reason, that as a rule the circumstances do not allow of cutting the whole 
crop at once. This must be done according to the capacity of the factory ; cut canes rapidly 
deteriorate, and only an amount should be reaped which can be dealt with immediately. 

Under favourable climatic conditions the cane thrives without artificial watering. In 
some countries irrigation is extensively practised, either because it is necessary or because 
greatly increased yields result and render it profitable. Hawaii affords, perhaps, the most 
conspicuous example of the wise expenditure of money on costly irrigation works. The soil 
is fertile and this fact, combined with judicious irrigation, has resulted in yields of over 100 tons 
of canes per acre being obtained, which is perhaps four times as much as the average yield in 
most cane-growing countries. In Java, Egypt, Cuba, Mauritius, and British Guiana irrigation is 
practised to a greater' or less extent, and in Peru it allows canes to be cultivated successfully 
in regions where the rainfall is nil. 

Reaping. None of the nations which still keep true to their primitive religion, and that is 
especially the case with the people of the Eastern tropics, will ever reap a harvest of any impor- 
tance without some preliminary solemn offering to the goddess of fruitfulness. In the case of 
very important products, prayers and offerings are also sent up to the goddess before the planting 
is begun, and at the same time the evil spirits which may harm the growth or the crop are often 
exorcised or propitiated. A simple prayer and a meeting suffice for the planting of the sugar- 
cane. But people make up for these scanty solemnities at the harvest-feast, when the first canes 
are taken to the factory. Even in Europe harvest festivals are not unknown, and it is not so 
long ago that these bore a strongly religious character. In Java these feasts are celebrated 
with considerable ceremony, especially on the principal sugar estates where a large number 
of people are employed. 

A Tew days after the harvest-feast the real harvest begins. The canes which were planted 
first the year before are also cut first, a little above the ground, with a long knife or cutlass — 
rather heavy work in the tropical heat. Many attempts have been made to substitute 



reaping or cutting machines for hand labour. The great size, uneven mode of growth, and 
tangled character of luxuriant sugar-canes make the problem a very difficult one to solve 
satisfactorily, and no machine has met with general approval. Various machines have, 
however, been tried experimentally in Queensland and Louisiana. Labourers collect the cut 
canes, tie them in bundles, and take them to the carts standing ready to convey them to the 
factory. On most of the estates the carts are drawn by cattle, buffaloes, oxen, or mules. In 
other cases the canes are borne on the backs of donkeys and mules. In the last twenty-five 
years, however, technical science has made enormous progress, especially as to means of 
transport, so that nowadays large factories often possess a complete set of easily removable 
rails, running from the factory to the plantations, on which cars, specially built for the 
purpose, go to and fro, drawn either by animals or by locomotives (see the illustration 
of transporting canes in Queensland). In other countries, again, for instance in British 
Guiana and the Straits Settlements, the conditions allow of barges transporting the canes to 
the factory. Mechanical arrangements for loading and unloading carts and barges are 
employed with success in some countries, e.g., Louisiana, Cuba, Trinidad, and British Guiana. 
Arrived at the factory every full waggon is put on the bascule and the net weight 
of the canes is noted down, so that the manufacturer knows exactly how much the crop of 
oach field and also that of all the fields together weighs. This is of great importance, ■ for 
now the chemist extracts the juice from a certain amount of canes by way of experiment 
and determines how much juice it should be possible to extract from the whole crop ; then he 
determines the density of the juice, and also the " coefficient of purity," from which data may 
be calculated in a fairly simple manner how much sugar, capable of being crystallised, 
should be obtained. 

Manufacture of Sugar 

Crushing. The oldest machine used to extract the juice from the canes consisted of two 
upright rollers, about an inch apart. The picture on page 90 shows such a machine of very 
primitive construction. One of the two rollers was longer than the other, to allow of its 



The World's Commercial Products 

being connected with a lever, which, worked by. men or animals, caused it to revolve. Now r 
if a man fed the machine with sugar-canes while the one roller was revolving, the second 
roller was made to revolve in an opposite direction, and the juice was squeezed out to a 
certain extent. Some of the early mills, e.g., those of the Chinese, were so light that they 
were carried about and the crushing done in the field. The discovery of the means of trans- 
ferring motion made it possible to place the rollers in a horizontal position without changing 
the direction of the motive power. The great advantage was that the rollers could be made 
much heavier, and so exercise greater pressure. Once it was possible to use horizontal rollers, 
first stone and later ribbed iron cylinders of very large dimensions and enormous weight were 
used, first in the largest factories and afterwards also in the smaller ones. A few more years 
elapsed, and people saw the advantage of using a third roller, so that the chief factories 

began to work with three 
rollers, arranged in a series,, 
the third above and midway 
between the two others. In 
this way it was possible to 
extract much more juice from 
the canes than with the pri- 
mitive wooden rollers. One, 
two, or more rollers are 
sometimes added, but three- 
roller mills are very generally 
adopted. In large factories 
two or three sets of three 
rollers each are employed. 
The illustrations afford good 
examples of very primi- 
tive and also of modern 
cane-crushing machinery. 

Sugar-cane mills are 
usually driven by steam- 
engines, although in a few instances, e.g., in Barbados, the wind is still relied on 
largely as the motive power, and windmills are a characteristic feature of the 
landscape. Barbados lies in the track of the trade winds which usually blow steadily 
during the crop season, but even under these favourable conditions delays often occur, 
and steam has been substituted as the motive power on the larger estates. 

The great increase in size, weight, and power which has taken place in sugar-cane mills 
has naturally also brought about changes in other directions. The framework of mills has 
had to be strengthened to a corresponding degree, and the engines have been immensely 
improved. A source of trouble is mill breakages, which sometimes take place owing to 
sudden variations in the amount of cane passing through. It is practically impossible to 
maintain a uniform feed of cane, and various devices, of which the hydraulic attachment is 
the most important, have been adopted. The hydraulic attachment automatically separates 
the bearings of the rollers when the strain becomes greater than is safe. Another great im- 
provement, to be found on even comparatively small estates, is the automatic feeder. The 
original process of putting the canes into the mill by hand has been replaced usually by an 
endless belt on which the canes can be placed direct from the cart or truck bringing them from 
the field. The belt is constantly in motion, and the canes are carried up and discharged into 
the mill. Where two or three sets of rollers are employed, other carriers transport the crushed 
cane or megass from the first mill to the second, and from the second to the third, aided by 
hand labour to ensure the soft megass being gripped by the mills, or by other mechanical devices. 




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Whilst modern milling is very much more efficient than the old, it must be recognised 
that no method of crushing alone can extract all the juice from the cane. The practice 
is not infrequently adopted of moistening the megass with hot water at the moment that it 
leaves the first mill. On passing this moistened megass through the second mill, a much 
weaker solution of juice is left in it, and more sugar is correspondingly extracted, but longer 
evaporation, i.e., more expenditure of fuel is required to boil down this diluted juice, and 
unless care is exercised the increased expense in fuel may more than balance the increased 
value of the sugar gained. 

In the manufacture of beet-sugar, as is described later, maceration, or the extraction of the 
sugar with water, is solely practised, and efforts have been made from time to time to apply 
this process to the sugar-cane. The first experiments appear to have been made in the French 
West Indies, Martinique and Guadeloupe, about the middle of the last century, but they were 
not successful. The essential difficulty is that the sugar-cane planter has practically to rely 
•on his megass for his fuel, coal is too dear in the tropics to use, and the megass left after macera- 
tion is inferior to that obtained by crushing, and at the same time the greater dilution of the 
juice necessitates a larger amount of fuel. Maceration methods, pure and simple, have been 
generally abandoned for sugar-cane. An interesting process known as the Naudet Patent 
Process has recently been devised, and is being worked in Egypt, and Madeira, and at Porto 
Rico, Trinidad, and other parts of the West Indies. The canes are first crushed in an ordinary 
mill, and the megass is passed on to one cell in a battery of eight, whilst the juice is limed and 
heated. The hot juice is then added to the megass in the cell, and drawn off through it, so 
that the megass is macerated and has its residual sugar to a great degree extracted, and at 
the same time is employed as the filtering agent for the juice. The megass is subjected to 
successive washings, and finally crushed again in another mill and used in the ordinary way 




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By permission of th 


as fuel. It is estimated that in this process about ninety-five per cent, of the sugar is extracted 
from the cane. Whereas in ordinary single crushing we only obtain about seventy-five per 
cent., in double crushing eighty-three to eighty-eight per cent., and in triple crushing ninety to 
ninety- two per cent. 

Defecation and Filtration. The juice flows from the mill as a dark, greenish-yellow liquid, 
not attractive to the eye, but with the pleasant odour of sugar-cane juice and distinctly sweet 
to the taste. Analyses show that cane juice as expressed contains, on an average at any 
rate in the West Indies, about fourteen per cent, of cane-sugar. In addition the juice has two 
kinds of impurities. There are small pieces of the tissues of the stems which have come over 
from the mill, accidental additions, particles of dirt, etc. There are also impurities dissolved 
in juice, the albuminoids, salts, and other normal ingredients of the sugar-cane sap, which, 
although perfectly harmless, are not sugar and must be removed. 

Large particles are readily got rid of by simple straining. After this has been done 
means are taken to (1) coagulate and thus render insoluble the previously dissolved albu- 
minoids and other substances, and (2) to remove these with any other material which has 
•escaped the rough straining process. 

The coagulation of the albuminoids is effected partly by heating the juice. This has another 
important result inasmuch as it kills the ferments naturally present in the plant, and prevents 
further changes going on in the composition of the juice. 

It is also well known, however, that if a solution containing cane-sugar is heated and 
particularly if the mixture is slightly acid, as sugar-cane juice is as it leaves the mill, some 
■of the cane-sugar will be inverted, as it is technically termed, into other forms of sugar which 
.are of less value to the manufacturer. To guard against this a certain quantity of lime, in 
the form of milk of lime, is added to the juice. The lime plays more than one role. It removes 



the acidity of the juice and so retards the inversion of the cane-sugar, and it assists in rendering 
insoluble the albuminoids .and the various mineral substances also present. This process of 
heating the juice to which lime has been added, is usually spoken of as " defecation," and has 
been practised from very early times. It is often carried out in large open boiling pans, like 
huge kitchen-coppers. The juice is run in from the mill, the proper amount of milk of lime 
added, and the whole contents of the copper heated nearly to boiling point. The impurities 
rise to the top as a scum, and may be removed to : a great extent by skimming. Other vessels 
are designed so that part of the impurities settles to the bottom, and parts form a scum on the 
top, whilst in between is a clear liquid which can be drawn off at will by a suitably placed tap. 
Various other devices have also been designed, but the essential is the* same in each case. 

After liming and heating it remains to remove as completely as possible all the impurities 
now reduced to an insoluble state so .that they can be got rid of by filtration. This is done 
by passing the juice through various types of filter bags, or the more modern filter press. It 
will be noted that the Naudet process described above allows of the heating and filtration 
being performed practically together, and moreover uses the megass or crushed cane itself 
as the filtering medium in place of special filter bags or presses. Defecation as described above 
is superseded by the carbonatation process on some sugar estates. This method is described 
under the beetroot-sugar manufacture. The juice obtained by these methods, when well 
•carried out, is beautifully bright and clear, but dark in colour, so that it finally yields dark 
sugars, of the type of the good and formerly more extensively used moist brown sugar, or 
muscovado of the British West Indies, or the " basket " sugar of the East. Such sugars 



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nowadays are principally used for refining purposes, and for table use whiter sugars are pre- 
ferred. To obtain these the juice has to be bleached, and this is usually done by submitting i1 
to the action of sulphurous acid, generated by roasting sulphur and passing the fumes intc 
a tank containing the juice which may or may not have been already defecated. In eithei 
case the sulphuring is additional to and not in place of the defecation process. 

Boiling. The clarified and filtered juice is now ready to be boiled down into syrup of suffi- 
cient concentration to allow sugar crystals to be obtained from it. The dilute liquor is firsl 
evaporated down to a syrup ; this is further concentrated to the pasty masse-cuite consisting 
of crystals embedded in the thick syrupy liquor, and from the masse-cuite the crystalline suga] 
and the uncrystallisable molasses are separated. 

In no portion of the process of sugar manufacture have such improvements been effectec 
during recent years as in the mode of boiling, and in all up-to-date factories, the open boiling 


pans have been replaced by modern " triple effects " and vacuum pans. The old-fashione< 
open boiling, still employed for special reasons on some estates in the West Indies, in India 
and elsewhere, was conducted in this way. Some four or five large hemispherical coppe 
pans were arranged in a line above a flue so that they were all heated by a fire generated a 
one end, directly under one of the pans. Frequently the pans or " tayches " were of differen 
sizes, the smallest being placed immediately over the lire and the largest at the greates 
distance. When the set is in working order all are boiling at once and fresh supplie 
of clarified juice are introduced into the largest tayche as required, whilst each of th 
other tayches is kept full by ladling liquor into it from the one farther away from th 
fire. The result is a series of pans containing liquors of various degrees of concentration 
because as the juice in No. 1 begins to concentrate it is ladled on to No. 2, from No. ! 
to No. 3, and so on until it reaches the last pan, the smallest one, placed directly over th 
fire. The scene in a sugar-boiling house, with the row of huge bubbling cauldrons of syrup 
which is continually being stirred and transferred from one cauldron to another by mean 
of long ladles, is very interesting, however much it may fall short of modern ideas. I: 
the last tayche evaporation is continued until the mass is ready to crystallise out on cooling 
As soon as this point is reached it is ladled out into the coolers, shallow, rectangular ston 

From a photograph by iV. P. Edwards, Litllehamplon 


Coloured by Mrs. W. G. Freeman 




cisterns. After remaining here for two or three days the whole mass, now consisting of 
sugar crystals and molasses, is dug out and put into sacks or hogsheads to drain, the 
molasses or treacle draining away and being collected elsewhere, whilst the sugar remains 
behind. This is in brief the most primitive way of manufacturing sugar on a considerable 
scale. It is in some respects very wasteful. Evaporation in open pans necessitates high- 
temperatures being attained, and consequently the amount of inversion which takes place is 
greater. The separation of sugar crystals and molasses is very imperfect. One point in its 
favour is that it yields excellent molasses, but whether this is sufficient to compensate 
for loss in other directions is a question to be settled according to special conditions on the 
estate. From the sugar-producing point of view improved molasses means loss of possible 

We will now turn to indicate in outline more modern methods, which have been adopted 
mainly from the rival industry as competition between the two increased. 

The loss of crystallisable sugar owing to its being inverted at the high temperatures neces- 
sary when the syrup is evaporated in an open vessel was overcome by making practical use 
of the well-known physical law that liquids boil at a lower temperature if the atmospheric 
pressure is reduced. The vacuum pan was invented in which the partially evaporated syrup 
underwent its final concentration under very low atmospheric pressure. Accordingly it " boiled " 
at a much lower temperature and there was correspondingly little loss from inversions. Still 
further advances led to the replacement of the whole series of tayches by a series of vessels, three 
being usually employed, and the set known as a " triple effect." Not only do the triple effect 
and vacuum pan economise sugar, but they also economise fuel, and they are used in all large 
modern factories. They are not heated at all directly over a fire, but internal steam coils are 
made use of. The vacuum pan is made with small glass windows at the sides : on looking 


^The World's Commercial Products 

through one can see the whole syrupy contents, and the expert sugar-boiler can tell by their 
appearance when the critical moment has arrived and the sugar is ready to crystallise. To 
ascertain this with even greater precision, by means of an ingenious invention, the " proof 
stick," small samples of the boiling Contents may be taken out from time to time without in 
any way breaking the vacuum. The sample of syrup withdrawn is allowed to form a thin 
sheet on a piece of glass, and from the appearance of this as it cools the condition of the contents 
is judged. When ready to crystallise or "grain," the temperature is lowered suddenly, and 
small sugar crystals are formed. These become more numerous, and when judged to be suffi- 
ciently- numerous more syrup is added and the temperature raised again. Various modifica- 
tions in treatment now follow according to whether a large or a small grained sugar is being 
made. In any case very careful attention is required to obtain the pan full of crystals with 
a minimum of liquor. When the ideal has been reached, a door at the bottom of the 
pan is opened, the contents flow out, and we have only to separate the crystals from the 

Separation of Sugar from Molasses. There are various methods by which this can be done, 
but they have all given way to the common process of using centrifugal separators. 
These consist essentially of cylindrical metal vessels which can be made to revolve 
at a very high speed. The walls of the separators are pierced by a number of holes, 
and on the inside there is a lining of very fine metal gauze, of sufficiently small 
mesh to prevent sugar crystals passing through. The separators, which are open at 
the top, are partly filled with the mixture of sugar crystals and molasses, and set rapidly 
rotating. The centrifugal force causes all the contents to fly to the outside and remain, as it 

were, pressed against the 
wire gauze. The crystals are 
held there, but the liquid 
molasses passes through, is 
caught in a receiver, and 
conducted away. One may 
stand and watch the whole 
operation, which is over in a 
very few moments instead 
of the weeks required by the 
earlier methods. As soon as 
the motion ceases, the crys- 
tals collect at the bottom of 
the separator, which can be 
opened to allow them to drop 
out, and they are ready to 
be packed and exported 

To get rid of the last 
remaining molasses the crys- 
tals can be washed whilst 
the separator is revolving, 
this not being necessary in 
white beetroot red beetroot preparing a " moist " sugar. 

The left-hand member of each pair has been grown without, and the right-hand 
member with, manure 

From Stereograph Copyright Unlerwooi & Uni;rwooi, Lonion znd New York 

The sap collected from the cut young flower stalks, yields sugar 



The World's Commercial Products 


The chief by-products obtained in the manufacture of sugar from the sugar-cane are (1) 

the megass or crushed cane stalks left by the mill ; (2) molasses ; (3) rum, made from the 

molasses. , T 


Fuel. The refuse material from the mill known as megass, or by the Americans, " bagasse," 
is of great value to the tropical sugar planter, as on it he relies for the heat necessary to evaporate 
the juice into crystallisable syrup. A West Indian estate, yard, in crop season, was formerly 
covered with the megass taken from the mill and spread out to dry. The introduction of 
improved furnaces which burn " wet" megass has done away with the necessity of this to a great 
extent, with consequently a considerable saving, as it was expensive in labour to handle all this 
material. It is estimated that megass as delivered by a good modern nine-roller mill is worth 
as fuel approximately one-third its weight in coal. Such megass contains nearly half 
its weight of water, but yet can be at once burnt in the new furnaces. Poor mills leave a high 
percentage of sugar in the megass, and although this may enhance its value as a fuel it is a very 
serious loss to the planter. In ordinary circumstances, with up-to-date machinery the quantity 
of fuel required is much less than in the days of the old, wasteful, open-pan boiling, and instead 
of having to supplement his megass by wood or coal, the modern sugar-maker finds it difficult 
at times to get rid of the surplus megass. 

Molascuit. During quite recent years aprocess was patented by Mr. T. Hughes whereby the 
finer portions of the megass, consisting really of small fibrous elements of the sugar-cane stem, 
were employed to absorb molasses, and to form a cattle food. The little tubes of the megass 
became filled, and the whole mass saturated with molasses, and yet the net result is a powdery 
material as conveniently handled as an ordinary moist sugar. This product, known as 
" molascuit," is prepared now in many parts of the cane sugar producing world, and is 
rapidly progressing in favour as a cattle food. 

Filtering Medium. The utilisation of the megass as a filtering medium has already been 
referred to under the Naudet Process. 

The use made of molasses cannot be summed up in a few words because in the first place 
the molasses obtained in the muscovado process, and that obtained from a modern vacuum 

pan are of very different 
value. The molasses con- 
tains the uncrystallisable re- 
sidue, and the nature of this 
" residue " depends very 
greatly on the method of 
making sugar employed. In 
the muscovado system inver- 
sion sets in very rapidly 
when a high temperature is 
reached, and accordingly the 
concentration cannot be car- 
ried to anything like the 
degree it can in a vacuum 
pan. The result is that 
much more crystallisable 
sugar — sucrose — remains in 
solution, along with the un- 
crystallisable sugar — glucose 
— and the various mineral 




constituents. The best molasses obtained in the West 
Indies in muscovado manufacture contain between fifty 
and sixty per cent, of crystallisable sugar, ten per cent, 
or more of glucose. This molasses is a valuable 
product. It is a good foodstuff, of deservedly high 

reputation in confectionery as a sweetmeat, etc. Barbados, Antigua, Porto Rico, and 
other West Indian Islands export large quantities of molasses in huge casks or 
puncheons to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, and in 
certain circumstances molasses is more remunerative than sugar; but of course there 
is a comparatively small market. With the adoption of improved processes for 
extracting the sugar the amount remaining in the molasses is reduced, and in vacuum pan 
molasses it is about thirty and thirty-five per cent, of sucrose with an approximately equal 
amount of glucose. Such molasses are of little value for table use and confectionery, they do 
not yield a palatable spirit if fermented and distilled, and cannot be employed like higher 
grade molasses in the manufacture of rum. They will, however, yield an alcohol which can be 
used for industrial purposes. In other cases they are used as fuel, the megass being sprinkled 
with molasses before being fed to the furnace, or the molasses are burnt in specially con- 
structed furnaces, so made that the potash salts which the molasses contain can also be 

Manufacture of Rum 
Molasses will undergo fermentation exactly as other saccharine substances which offer 
conditions suitable to the life and activity of the yeast plant. ' In temperate climates much 
scientific research has been devoted to the study of the yeast plant, and cultivated races are 
bred which can be relied on, when placed under proper conditions, to bring about certain results. 
In the tropics, as a general rule, this has up to the present been neglected, and everything 
left to chance. Recently, however, in Jamaica, long famous for its rums, a special fermentation 
chemist has -been appointed and the whole industry of rum manufacture in the colony is being 
carefully studied with the object of improving the quality of the product, and of formulating 
reliable rules for procedure. The usual practice in sugar-cane countries is to dilute molasses 
with water, and in some cases sugar-house skimmings, fresh cane juice, and various other 
materials are added. The yeast is left to chance, but yeasts are omnipresent, and there is 
little likelihood of some of these minute plants not falling from the air into the " wash," 


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together with bacteria and 
other air-borne organisms. 
As the yeasts multiply the 
liquor begins to " work," 
and the fermentation is 
allowed to proceed for two 
days or more. When the 
fermentation is completed 
the alcohol formed is ob- 
tained in the ordinary way 
by distillation, various types 
of stills being employed in 
different localities. 

Fresh rum is not pleas- 
ant, the characteristic aroma 
developing with age. The 
pure spirit is colourless, but 
it is the custom to colour 
rum by means of caramel, 
usually made by burning molasses. In the West Indies rum manufacture is principally 
practised in Jamaica, Demerara, and Barbados, although conducted on a small scale in other 
colonies. Rum is also made in Mauritius, etc. In Java and other places in the East, the 
methods adopted of making spirit from molasses differ in various ways, the ferment being 
generally introduced in the form of the little balls known as " Ragi," the preparation 
of which has already been described in dealing with the utilisation of rice as a source of 

Improvement of the Sugar-Cane 

From the proof in 1880 of the important fact that sugar-canes, contrary to what had 
previously been thought, bore seed, efforts have been made to raise new races of superior 
qualities to those already in existence. The credit of the discovery of the seed is shared 
between West and East : between Prof. Harrison and Mr. J. R. Bovell in Barbados, and 
Dr. Soltivedel in Java. Since that date seedling canes have been raised in large quantities, 
cultivated experimentally, and some of them are now grown on an industrial scale in various 
parts of the world. The Barbados canes, distinguished by the letter B, such as B. 208, B. 147, 
Demerara canes, e.g., D. 95, and others, are now well known and appreciated, not only in the 
West Indies but also in Queensland, Louisiana, and other cane-growing countries. Similar 
work has been prosecuted in Java with successful results. Owing to the long period of time 
required for the thorough testing of new varieties of sugar-cane and other difficulties, progress 
must necessarily be very slow compared with the results from similar work on such a plant 
as the sugar-beet, but definite advances have been made although the results are not so sen- 
sational as were at one time hoped for. In the West Indies one of the most valuable features 
of the seedling canes is their increased resistance to disease, so that they can be cultivated 
in areas where the Bourbon, formerly the standard cane, can no longer be grown. 


Beet-sugar, as has already been stated, comprises about six-tenths of the world's commercial 
sugar crop. The sugar-cane doubtless still yields more than one-half the world's total produc- 
tion, but India, for example, although it produces a large amount of cane-sugar, consumes it also ; 
and India's output does not figure in the statistics of the world's commercial crop, to which the 
sugar-beet is the greatest contributor. The sugar-beet, which is clearly thus one of the most 



important commercial plants of the world, is a variety of the common wild beet, Beta maritima, 
which occurs on our own shores, and around the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas, in the Canary 
Islands, Persia, and may range as far as India, although there is some doubt, as to whether 
it is actually wild in that country. The wild plant is not uncommon in Great Britain and in 
Ireland on the sea-shore, growing in sandy tracts, in crevices in cliffs, etc., with long, straggling, 
weak stems, and thick fleshy leaves. The root in the wild plant is fleshy, but nothing like 
the size of the cultivated varieties, perhaps one inch or a little more in the thickest portion is 
about the average. 

From this wild stock have been derived, under cultivation, the table beet with its red, 
fleshy root, the mangold wurzel, and the sugar-beet with a white root. 

The white and red kinds have been known for a very long time, and were in cultivation before 
the Christian Era; now a very large number of varieties have been raised. Although the 
plant has been known for so long it is only recently that it has been employed as a source 
of sugar, and the development of the industry is one of the most striking examples of successful 
results attained by welding science and practice that the world affords. 

Historical Account 

The occurrence of sugar in the beetroot was noticed as early as 1590, when Oliver des Serres, 
in recording that the red beet had not long been introduced into Europe, adds that "the juice 
yielded on boiling is similar to sugar syrup." Previous to 1747 the beet was cultivated mainly 
as a vegetable for table use and as cattle fodder. In this year Marggraf , a member of the Berlin 
Academy of Sciences, conducted a series of researches on a large number of plants to ascertain 
their sugar contents. His results were communicated to the Berlin Academy in a paper in 
1747, in which he urged the importance of the beet as the source of a possible industry. It 
is true that Marggraf's methods were only suited to the laboratory ; moreover the price of 
sugar from tropical colonies did not warrant the sinking of a large amount of capital in such 

The idea of a sugar industry founded on the beet lay dormant for half a century. 



[The World's Commercial Products 


In 1797 Achard, a French refugee and 
pupil of Marggraf, took up the work 
where his teacher had left it, and after 
much research was able to extract sugar 
from the beetroot on a considerable 
scale, and two years later he presented 
a sample of this sugar and gave a 
description of his methods to the Insti- 
tute of France. Achard estimated that 
the cost of' production should not ex- 
ceed 3d. per lb. In spite of the doubt 
raised and the ridicule cast on his work, 
a considerable amount of interest was 
aroused and a commission of chemists 
was appointed to investigate his 
methods and repeat his experiments. 
In the report presented by the com- 
mission a summary is given of investi- 
gations on other sugar-containing 
plants, and attention is directed to the 
failure of experiments to introduce the 
sugar-cane and the sugar-maple into 
France. As to the beet itself they found 
a little over six per cent, of sugar in the 
roots, and by repeating Marggraf's 
methods they succeeded in producing a muscovado or raw sugar, of a dark brown colour, and 
disagreeable taste, at an estimated cost of about 9d. per lb. In concluding the commission 
state " that admitting the result of the experiments it remains to be demonstrated that 
the beet may up to a certain point supplant the sugar-cane." 

The scene of activity was once again transferred to Germany, where in 1805 Baron de Koppy 
built a factory in Lower Silesia capable of dealing annually with 525 tons of roots. Achard 
also founded a factory of his own. 

World politics furnished the next impetus. Napoleon I issued the decrees of Berlin and 
Milan, establishing a continental blockade, the object of which was to shut out all English 
products and manufactures, and in particular the products of the English colonies, among 
the most important at this period being sugar, indigo, and cotton. The actual results were 
that Achard's and Koppy's factories showed an increase in their profits, search in France 
for possible substitutes for English colonial produce was greatly stimulated, and also the 
French wine trade suffered great loss. Grapes even were seriously considered as a 
commercial source of sugar, and the government gave financial help towards rendering this 

A few years later, from about 1810 onwards, attention was again directed to beet-sugar, 
and the experimental work was once more repeated, and not only muscovado but white sugar 
was prepared, the cost of the former being estimated at Is. 3d. per lb., and of the latter at 
Is. 8d., although there seemed a reasonable hope that these prices might be reduced to 4d. 
and 6d. respectively. The Emperor gave practical assistance to the new industry, and in 1811 
ordered about 80,000 acres of sugar-beets to be cultivated in the French Empire. 

Curious means were resorted to to discredit or encourage the industry, as the case might 
be, and amongst the -caricatures of the day was one of the Emperor Napoleon and the 
young King of Rome, the latter sucking a beetroot, with the legend beneath " Suck, dear, 
suck, your father says it's sugar." 



Fostered during Napoleon's lifetime, the industry collapsed with his fall, and only one 
factory survived the wreck. Still the potential value of the sugar-beet had been demonstrated, 
and although languishing, the industry was not dead. Other factories by degrees were estab- 
lished, and in 1829, the first year of which we have statistics, the crop of beet-sugar was 
estimated at 4,000 tons. In Germany also the manufacture of beet-sugar lapsed with the fall of 
Napoleon, and was not taken up again until 1835. 

In the United States of America, in spite of early experiments in 1830, the beet industry 
dates actually from 1863. The production in America is as yet comparatively small, and the 
historical notes given above show that in Europe the present enormous industry has developed 
almost entirely during the last seventy to eighty years. Political considerations from the 
first played a most important part, and later the bounty system materially expedited progress, 
enabling the continental producers to market their sugar in other countries, actually below 
cost price if desirable, and yet to obtain sufficient remuneration to work at a profit from the 
artificially high prices a protective tariff ensured at home. The abolition, by the Brussels 
Convention of 1903, of all bounties, direct or indirect, and of undue preference to home produced, 
as opposed to imported, sugar, has had the two-fold effect of reducing the price of sugar in 
continental Europe and of raising the price of the sugar exported from the same region. Cane 
and beet-sugar once again compete in the markets of the world on equal terms. 

The beet is one of the group of plants known as biennials, taking two years before it flowers 
and fruits. It is propagated by seed, and in its first year produces, above ground, only leaves, 
which elaborate large quantities of food reserve which is stored up underground in the large 
fleshy root in the form of sugar. If left to itself the plant remains dormant during the winter 
and in its second season flowers and fruits, using for this purpose the store of surplus food 
accumulated during the preceding year. Man, as in the case of the sago palms, which, however, 
take several years to attain their maximum store of food, interferes, and at the end of the first 
year appropriates to his own uses the supplies the plant has put by for the benefit of the 
succeeding generation. Special beets, carefully selected, are allowed to seed to furnish future 


The ground used for the cultivation must be well tilled, whatever is its nature ; it must be 
heavily ploughed and often harrowed. Deep cultivation is of the greatest importance in 
beet-growing, and it is necessary to loosen the subsoil also. This is accomplished by the 
subsoiler which follows 
^immediately after the plough. 
Steam ploughs and other 
mechanical devices are 
largely employed in beet 
cultivation, which is thus 
carried on more cheaply than 
that of the sugar-cane. The 
soil must be carefully cleared 
from weeds, which by their 
growth would prevent the 
development of the young 
beets. This tilling of the 
soil must be begun imme- 
diately after the preceding 
harvest has been gathered. 

The beet is propagated 
from seed. Some farmers 
buy the seed, others obtain it 



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from their own plants. For this purpose the finest beets o£ former years are laid aside, namely 
those which possess the desired qualities to the greatest degree. They are stripped of their leaves,, 
however, without the upper part of the root being touched. After the beets have been kept 
under sand during the winter they are planted in the spring so that they attain full develop- 
ment and bear fruit, from which the seed is obtained. The mode of selection of sugar-beets, 
is described in detail below. 
■ The sowing takes place in March. As a rule sowing-machines are used, which cut light 
furrows in the soil, about one foot apart, into which the seed is put automatically. 
• The young plants appear within a short time, and the field is lined with pale-green stripes. 
Then the field is weeded for the first time by hand. In the North of France, Germany, 

Belgium, and Holland, la- 
bourers, who earn their bread 
by this kind of work only, 
take charge of the beet-fields 
until the harvest. Men,. 
women, and children — all 
the members of the often 
large family— handle the hoe 
with extraordinary dexterity. 
A few weeks later the field is 
cleared of weeds for the sec- 
ond time, and as the plants 
are now stronger and the- 
leaves are more numerous 
and larger, harrows drawn by 
horses are often used, per- 
forming the work much 
quicker than hand labour. 

Then comes the thinning 
— an operation executed with 
small hoes (machines cannot 
be used for the purpose). 
The labourers' purpose is to- 
kill some of the young shoots 
without pulling them out, in 
such a way that there is a 
distance of about 7 or 10 inches between the remaining plants. Formerly this 
distance was larger, as then the farmers wanted to grow beets with very bulky roots, but the 
roots of the varieties grown nowadays contain just as much sugar although considerably 
smaller. After the thinning the remaining plants are left to grow. The field is only 
weeded now and then, and when the roots have attained a certain development earth is 
once or twice drawn up so as to cover the upper parts of the roots which are sticking out 
above the ground. It. has been ascertained after repeated experiments that the influence of 
the daylight is injurious to the development of sugar in the roots. Gradually the roots grow 
larger and -the percentage „of sugar they contain increases. 

According to the region where they are grown the harvest ranges from September to the- 
latter days of November. Of course the best time is when the sugar has reached its maximum. 
But it is not' always practicable to wait for this, as the percentage of sugar often increases, 
even during the winter. Hence the time of gathering the harvest is often determined by the 
requirements of the sugar industry. 

As soon as the right moment has come, the field is broken up with ploughs and the plants 




are pulled out ; the roots are topped, i.e., the leaves are cut off from the roots, so that the 
latter cannot go on living in the store-houses where they are kept, as this would exhaust all 
the sugar which has been stored up in them. The leaves are left lying on the field to serve 
as manure ; or, in years when fodder is scarce they are given to the cattle to eat, although their 
nutritive value is very small. 

Ploughs are not always used to break up the soil. Very ingeniously constructed machines 
exist, which pull out the plants, cut off the leaves, and drop the roots at the side ready for 
removal to the factory or storehouse. All this is done quite gently, for if the roots are 
treated roughly they would be damaged, and then they would be likely to rot. 

The beetroots are made into heaps near the roadside and covered with leaves to protect 
them from the cold. Then they are taken in carts straight to the factories, or to the 
railway-stations or landing-places, whence they are transported to the factories. As, 
however, the cultivation of beets is practised on a very large scale and the produce is 
considerable, all the roots cannot be used at once. Stores must be kept in reserve, from which 
quantities are drawn according as they are wanted. Sometimes the beetroots are kept in 
siloes built of stone, and sometimes they are piled up in heaps, covering a large surface, and 
covered with straw and earth exactly as other root crops are commonly stored in the field. 
The results of this system of preservation are so excellent, that nowadays it is practised almost 

Manufacture of Sugar 

In the early days of beet-sugar manufacture efforts were made to extract the sugar by 
pressure with such modifications as were demanded owing to the great difference in character 
between the comparatively hard, fibrous sugar-cane, and the soft, fleshy beetroot. Ordinary 
crushing between rollers was of no use, so the roots were rasped to a pulp much as is 



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1 ill 


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Charcoal Filters for Clarification of Sugar 

practised in the preparation of starch from 
cassava, arrowroot, potatoes, etc. The 
soft pulp so obtained was squeezed either 
by placing it first in small, strong sacks 
and submitting it to hydraulic pressure, 
or by passing the pulp through specially 
designed rollers and afterwards filtering 
it. None of these methods proved very 
successful and they were abandoned in 
favour of extraction by diffusion, which 
appears to have been first practised in 
about 1830. This method is now solely 
used in the beet-sugar industry. We 
have already discussed the reasons why 
it is not generally applicable to the sugar- 
cane, although comparatively recently 
Mr. Naudet, who has done so much for 
the beet-sugar, has designed a method 
which is being employed very successfully 
in several parts of the world. 
From the field direct, or these storing-places or siloes, the roots are conveyed in carts to the 
factory, where they pass through an elaborate series of mechanical and chemical processes. In 
the factory the root first comes in a complex of tubes through which a powerful stream of water 
flows; the root turns and revolves in all directions and on its way leaves behind part of the earth, 
which still sticks to it, notwithstanding the scraping of the gatherers or of the forward harvesting- 
machines. The root is carried along to the washer, a machine whose arms, provided with hard 
pieces of wood, shake it, rub it, and knock it about, while particles of sand and stones which 
have possibly been carried with it fall to the bottom. Then the beetroot rolls into the cylin- 
drical chest of the cutting-machine, the bottom of which, consisting of curved knives in rapid 
revolving motion, cut it up into small rectangular pieces or into thin slices. These escape through 
the openings between the curves of the knives and fall into the diffusing pans through a tube, 
which turns on its axis and is fastened to the back part of the cutting machine, in such a way 
that it can distribute the uninterrupted supply of pieces of beetroot over the diffusing pans, 
arranged next to one another and together forming what is called a battery. As a rule a battery 
consists of ten or twelve diffusing pans. On the first day of the campaign each pan receives 
its supply of pieces. The pans are numbered from one to ten or twelve. No. 1 is at the head of 
the battery and No. 10 or 12 brings up the rear. A certain quantity of water is poured into 
No. 1, heated by steam, in which part of the sugar contained in the pieces of beetroot is dis- 
solved ; then by means of an ingenious system of taps the water flows on to No. 2, in which 
there are fresh pieces of beetroot, consequently containing more sugar than those in No. 1, 
irom which the sugar has already been partly extracted. In this way the liquid becomes 
sweeter and flows on to No. 3 and so on, its percentage of sugar always increasing at the cost 
of the pieces of beetroot. As the water supply continues to flow, the contents of the first 
diffusing pan are exhausted first ; the pieces do not contain anymore sugar, the mass has become 
pulp and falls into a separate division, after which all the water is squeezed out in powerful 

After the pulp has been discharged the first division of the battery is filled again with fresh 
pieces of beetroot and now becomes the last of the series, while No. 2 takes the lead. So each 
diffusing pan in its turn is the first and the last, the first when the pieces of beetroot are nearly 
exhausted, the last when they have received a fresh supply. The diffusion process is so 
efficient that it extracts about ninety-seven per cent, of the total sugar in the beetroots. 



Purification of the Juice. The juice of the beetroot as it leaves the diffusion battery is a 
turbid liquid of a deep purple or violet colour, with a peculiar taste and smell. As in the case 
of sugar-cane raw juice it contains two groups of impurities : (1) those which are solid and can 
be removed by filtering, (2) those which are in solution and accordingly cannot be got rid 
of by filtering until they have been rendered insoluble by appropriate chemical methods. 
The proportion of sucrose in the two liquids is about the same, some fourteen to fifteen 
per cent, but in the beet juice there is a higher percentage of impurities to be got 
rid of. 

Defecation with lime was the first method employed. This has already been described 
and need not be more than referred to here. It has been generally abandoned as a good 
method of purifying beet juice. Other means were also adopted but have all given place to- 
what is known as " carbonatation." It was the discovery of the carbonatation process which 
rendered possible the use of diffusion, because defecation with lime, although successful with 
the juice obtained by rasping and pressing beetroots, was not found useful with the juice 
resulting from the diffusion process. The process usually employed now is that, known as 
double carbonatation. The juice is treated with an excess of lime and heated as in ordinary 
defecation. Carbonic acid gas, generated by roasting chalk or limestone in kilns, is passed into 
the liquid, combines with the excess of lime to re-form chalk which, being insoluble, renders the 
liquid cloudy, and afterwards settles as a deposit. Too much carbonic acid gas, however, 
must not be added or another compound is formed which is soluble again, and undoes the good 
already accomplished. At the proper moment, therefore, the introduction of carbonic acid 
gas is stopped, the chalk, etc., allowed to settle, and the clear liquid drawn off, and, if necessary, 
filtered. The juice is now again treated with carbonic acid gas. It is kept hot during 
the carbonatation processes and also heated again previous to being filtered. 

The syrup is forced through filters under a certain pressure, when it leaves behind the 
so-called purifying scum, which forms flat cakes between the sieves of the filters. Afterwards 
these cakes fall into a separate pit and are used as manure. 

Although the syrup is fairly consistent when it has been filtered, it does not contain a 
sufficiently high percentage of sugar ; there is too much water in it, and concentration is 
necessary. A peculiar machine is used for the purpose, characteristically called " appareil d 
triple effet," or more generally known as a " triple effect," the principle of which has already 
been explained under sugar-cane manufacture. It consists essentially of three kettles, 
which can be heated at low pressure, and through which the liquor successively flows, 
evaporating more and more. 

Boiling. Beetroot juice 
contains comparatively 
speaking large quantities of 
mineral substances, or ash, 
in solution. These are not 
all removed by the carbona- 
tation process, but as the 
liquor is evaporated in the 
triple effect and the water is 
got rid of they are thrown 
out of solution simply be- 
cause enough water is no 
longer present to dissolve 
them. Before the final pro- 
cess of concentration in the 
vacuum pan can be proceeded making sugar loaves 


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with a further filtration is necessary. This having been accomplished the clear syrup is 
passed on to the vacuum pan. The subsequent stages are similar to those described for cane- 
sugar, for it must be remembered that most of the improvements of this kind were originally 
invented for the beet industry, and later adopted by sugar-cane planters. The boiling is 
continued until the small sugar crystals are ready to appear, the graining is then encouraged, 
and the crystals carefully nursed by the addition of more syrup by degrees, so that they 
develop whilst the mass is kept boiling. At the proper stage the mixture of crystals and 
liquor — the masse-cuite — is run out and is ready to be separated into its two constituents — 
sugar crystals and molasses. 

In order to separate the sugar from this thick syrup, the masse-cuite is subjected to the 
action of centrifugal machines. The centrifugal machine separates the sugar crystals from 
the treacle, the latter flowing away. The treacle is re-boiled, undergoes a second and third 
treatment in the centrifugal machine-, sugar crystals being separated from it each time. 

After this it still contains sugar and also 
a large quantity of impurities, and is 
called final molasses or treacle. It is 
possible to extract more sugar from it by 
chemical processes, but these processes are 
expensive, and the product thus obtained 
has but small value, so that the molasses 
is often drawn off and used for the manu- 
facture of alcohol or in other ways. 


These comprise (1) the pieces of roots 
(pressed into pulp) from which the sugar 
has been extracted, (2) the filter cake 
separated at the conclusion of the carbona- 
tation, and (3) molasses, yielding alcohol 
and potash salts. 



The remains of the roots correspond to the megass of the sugar-cane, that is to say, they 
are the residual vegetative matter of the plant from which the sugar-containing sap has been 
extracted. In its original form it is saturated with water and of no value. Special machinery 
is, however, employed, and the material is pressed into a pulp, which contains some eight 
per cent, of carbohydrates, i.e., sugar, cellulose, and other substances, about one per cent, 
of nitrogenous albuminoids, some mineral constituents, and a small proportion of fat, the 
remaining ninety per cent, being water. This pulp is returned free usually to the farmers 
who cultivate the beets, and is extensively employed as a cattle food. The farmer receives 
as pulp about one quarter the weight of the topped roots he delivers to the factory, and the 
value to him of this by-product is considerable. One of the illustrations shows pulp being 
delivered from a factory into a barge. 

Filter Cake 

When lime has been added, and later on carbonic acid gas, and the liquor has been filtered, 
there remains in the filters a residue consisting of organic matter and large quantities of 
mineral substances, especially lime. This also is returned to the beet farmers, and is of value 
as manure. 

* "V 





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P/tofe) 6y AT. P. Edwards, Littlehamptjn 



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By permission of the Canadian Government 



Beet-sugar rnolasses are of but little value in their original form. As in the case of raw 
beet-sugar the impurities of the beet are unpleasant and beet molasses cannot be used as cane 
molasses can, as an "article for confectionery purposes. Beet molasses, however, by undergoing 
fermentation and subsequent distillation, give rise to alcohol, and on the continent of Europe 
this is a most important by-product, affording a large supply of alcohol for industrial purposes. 

Improvement of the Sugar-Beet 

The improvement of the beetroot as a sugar-producing plant is inseparably associated with 
the name of Vilmorin, the pioneer work having been accomplished by the house of Vilmorin, 
of Paris. The original races of beet only contained some six per cent, of crystallisable sugar or 
sucrose. Vilmorin cultivated races of beet in which he increased the sugar contents about eighteen 
per cent. To attain this the plants were set much closer together and much smaller roots 
resulted, the total yield of sugar per acre being greater owing to their superior richness in sugar. 

The mode of operation is very interesting, and presents one of the best cases the world 
affords of the improvement of a commercial plant. Passing over the earlier rougher methods, 
a way was found by which pieces were tested of actual roots which in the following year were 
set to grow again and produce seed. A field of beetroots is carefully gone over, and plants 
selected which are of good shape, size, and possessed of other desirable characters. From 
each of these a small piece is removed with an instrument — not unlike the little scoops used 
in tasting cheeses. The juice from each little piece is separately expressed, its quantity 
ascertained, and also the percentage of sugar it contains. The roots are in no way injured 
and the individual roots with the highest sugar contents after being carefully stored for the 
winter are planted out and allowed to flower and fruit. The seeds from these selected plants 
are then employed to raise future crops. Work on these lines is actively pursued to-day in 
Europe and the United States. 




As in the East the sugar-yielding palms have been made use of by man from time im- 
memorial, so in the West, in Canada and the United States, the Indians from similarly remote 
times have utilised the sugar maples, which find their home in these countries. The sugar 
was first made in a very primitive manner, but later, with advances in communication and 
interchange of products between one country and another, cane-sugar from the West Indies 
appeared as a competitor with maple-sugar in America. At first cane-sugar was a luxury, 
but as it decreased in price it gradually supplanted maple-sugar, and but for certain qualities 
the latter product might have died. At the present time cane and beet-sugar have displaced 
maple-sugar for all ordinary purposes ; but owing to its peculiar flavour there is a special 
demand for it. The most important maple is the " Sugar Maple " and a variety known as 
the " Black Maple." Of less value are the " Silver Maple," the " Red Maple," and least of 
all the Box Elder. The sugar maple is confined to the western portions of the United States 
and the South West of Canada ; but, although occurring over a large area of country trie com- 
mercial production of sugar is restricted to those places where there is a gradual spring, with 
sunny days and cold frosty nights, as it is only under such conditions that the sap flows 
sufficiently freely. The actual flow of sap depends on many causes, such as the size of the 
tree, the season, the difference in temperature between day and night, while even individual 
trees vary greatly in different years. Trees with large crowns of foliage yield the best sap. 

The usual sugar-making season extends from about the middle of March to near the end 
of April. The mode of tapping the trees is very simple. The bark is cleaned with a brush, 
and a hole about half an inch across and one inch deep bored in the trunk on the sunny side 
of the tree. Into this hole a metal or wooden spout is fastened, and to it a pail is attached 
to collect the sap (see illustration). Periodically the pails are emptied and the contents 
evaporated down over a fire, until it is in the condition of syrup. This is either retained in 
this state or evaporation is continued still further, until by testing it is found that the sugar 
will crystallise out, when the syrup is poured into moulds and allowed to set. 


It is convenient in many ways to use the name cacao as it tends to obviate the confusion 
which so often exists due to the wrong usage of the word cocoa. A hazy notion often exists 
that the cocoa-nut and the 
beverage cocoa have some- 
thing in common in their 
origin. Nothing, of course, 
could be farther from the 
truth. The cocoa-nut, or as 
it is preferable to write it, 
coco-nut, is the fruit of a 
palm (Cocos nucijera), whilst 
cocoa is prepared from the 
seeds of a quite distinct tree 
(Theobroma Cacao). The coca 
plant from which the drug 
cocaine is obtained is, need- 
less to say, quite distinct 
from both. 

The high esteem in which 
cacao was held when it was 
first discovered is well cutting off the fruit with knives 


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indicated by the scientific name given to the genus of plants of which it is the most important 
member. Theobroma was derived by Linnaeus from the Greek words deos (God) and j3po)/xi< 
(food)—" Food of the Gods." Belonging to the genus Theobroma there are altogether about 
twelve species, all of which are natives of- tropical America. 

The commercially important cacao (Theobroma Cacao) is a small spreading tree, not 
usually exceeding- twenty- feet in height, although trees of double this height have been recorded 
from time to time. The illustrations afford a good idea of its general habit and also show 
perfectly clearly one of its most characteristic features, namely, the manner in which the 
flowers and pods are borne. In the trees of temperate climates, and in the majority of those 
of the tropics, the flowers and fruits arise on young side branches, for example, in apples, 
pears, oaks, horse chestnuts, and numberless other instances. In some tropical trees, however, 
this is not the case, but they are carried directly on the main trunk and principal branches. 
The cacao affords the best instance of this striking peculiarity amongst important economic 
plants. A little tuft of a dozen or more small, in fact quite insignificant, flowers appear on 
the trunk, and are succeeded by the pods, which are often eight or ten inches in length. These 
have a very odd appearance, hanging quite away from any leaves on the thick trunks, 
as a glance at the picture on page 115 will show. Various reasons have been put forward to 
account for this strange habit. It has been supposed that extra support was desired, an idea 
upheld by the fact that many, although not all, of the fruits so borne are large and heavy. 
Another view, which has a good deal to support it, is that in the dense tropical forests the trunks 
are more accessible to butterflies and other insects than the massed foliage, and that flowers 
borne in the comparatively open region of the stems have more chance of being visited and 
of setting fruit than they would have if they arose in what is, under other circumstances, the 
normal position. 

De Candolle sums up the question of the native country of this important plant in the 
following words : ' ; The common cacao (Theobroma Cacao) is a small tree wild in the forests 

Cacao or Cocoa 


of the Amazon and Orinoco basins and of their tributaries up, to four hundred feet of altitude. 
It is also said to grow wild in Trinidad, which lies near the mouth>o£ the Orinoco. I find no 
proof that it is indigenous in Guiana, although it seems probable. : Many early writers indicate 
that it was. wild and cultivated at the time of the discover^ of America from Panama to Guate- 
mala and Campeachy, but from the numerous quotations collected by Sloane it is feared 
that its wild character was not sufficiently verified. It was perhaps introduced into Central 
America and into the warm 
regions of Mexico by the 
Indians before the discovery 
of America. Cultivation may 
have naturalised it here and 
there, as is said to be the 
case in Jamaica. In sup- 
port of this hypothesis, it 
must be observed that Triana 
indicates the cacao as only 
cultivated in the warm 
regions of New Granada, a 
country situated between 
Panama and the Orinoco 
valley. However this may 
be, the species was grown in 
Central America and Yuca- 
tan at the time of the dis- 
covery of America. The 
seeds were sent into the high- 
lands of Mexico, and were 
even used as money, so 
highly were they valued. The 
custom of drinking chocolate 
was universal. The name of 
this excellent drink is Mexi- 
can. The Spaniards carried 
the cacao from Acapulco to 
the Philippine Isles in 1674 
and 1680, where it succeeded 
wonderfully. It is also culti- 
vated in the Sunda Isles. I 
imagine it would succeed on 

the Guinea and Zanzibar coasts, but it is of no use to attempt to grow it in countries which 
are not very hot and very damp." 

The forecast of De Candolle, based on his knowledge of the geographical distribution of 
plants, that the cacao plant would probably thrive on the Guinea coast, has been verified 
to a degree probably beyond his utmost expectations, in the extraordinary development, as 
is shown below, of the industry in San Thome and to a less degree in the Gold Coast Colony 
and the Cameroons. 


The output of cacao for 1904, the last year for which complete statistics are available, 
in the chief producing countries of the world was as follows according to the Gordian : — 
America and West Indies. Ecuador . . . . . . 28,433 tons 




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c£ylon — THI IRUIT 

America and West Indies. Brazil 

(continued) .Trinidad 


San Doming) 


Venezuela . . 




Cuba and ! 





Martinique and tadeloupe 



St. Lucia 





Africa. San -Thome 

20,526 „ 

Gold- Coast 


Cameroons and I>go 

1,090 „ 

, \ ; Congo Free 5t 

1 M 

'.. - 

Asia. , j . Ceylon 

3,254 „ 

% Dutch East Ind 

1,140 „ 

Australasia. Samoa 

Other Countries. 

— '^H 

19 M 


SOt> ,, 

Total world* 




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Cacao Criollo 

Cacao -is thus pre-eminently a tropi- 
cal ' American and West Indian crop, 
although it is worthy of note that San 
Thome is a serious competitor for the 
first place as a cacao-producing country. 
In 1903 it held second place, in 1904 it 
was third, and in 1905 it actually sur- 
passed Ecuador, and attained the 
premier position. 


An enormous number of varieties of 
cacao are recognised and distinguished by 
local names in various parts of the world. 

By permission of Messrs. Cadbury Bros. The mQst authoritative modem aCCOUnt, 

embracing all the world's forms, is that of Dr. Preuss, who has travelled through most of 
the cacao-producing countries, and spent much time in examining the different races. He 
finds, however, that it is impossible to 
set out in a table the differences which 
distinguish all the varieties, and that 
those of each country must be con- 
sidered separately. The chief charac- 
teristics used for distinguishing the 
varieties are the shape, external appear- 
ance, and colour of the pods, and the 
colour of the interior of the beans or 

A classification of the Trinidad 
cacaos was drawn up in 1882 by Dr., 
now Sir, Daniel Morris, K.C.M.G., the 
Commissioner of Agriculture for the 
West Indies. From Trinidad cacao was sent to Ceylon, and the Ceylon varieties have recently 
been the subject of study by Mr. R. H. Lock, and his key to the varieties published in the 
Circulars and Agricultural Journal of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Ceylon, is given below. 
This is substantially that originally drawn up by Sir D. Morris, and thus embraces the 

West Indian and East Indian 
cultivated forms. 

The two main groups are 
Criollo and Forastero. 

Criollo Varieties, character- 
ised by plump, pale coloured 
seeds, contained in a rela- 
tively thin-skinned pod, 
which is usually rough with 
a pointed apex. 
Forastero Varieties include all 
which are not Criollo; the 
beans vary in colour from 
pale to deep purple, the lat- 

VARIETIES OF COCOA ter being bitter in taste an d 

Cacao Forastero r «•« 

By permission of Messrs. Cadbury Bros. 0l POOT quality. 


Cacao Calabacillo 
By permission of Messrs. Cadbury Bros. 



The World's Commercial Products 

Criollo. Beans plump, majority white or pale when cut across. Shell of pod soft and 
relatively thin. 

(1) Nicaragua. Beans very large, somewhat flat. 

(2) Old Red. Beans half as large as (1) ; more rounded. 

Forastero. Majority of beans purple in colour. Shell of pod relatively hard and thick. 

(3) Cundeamor. Pods sharply pointed, bottle-necked, rough ; beans of high 

quality, pale, rounded. 

(4) Liso. Pods various, usual- 

ly not bottle-necked ; 
beans of fair to good 
' -quality. 
««.. • (5) Amelonado. Pods ovate, 
nearly smooth, usually 
bottle-necked ; beans of 
lower - quality, usually 
flat, and all purple. 
(•6) Calabacillo. Pods ovate, 
% smooth, small, not bot- 
tle-necked ; beans small, 
flat, and all deep purple. 
The illustrations of Criollo, Foras- 
tero, and ' Calabacillo pods, entire 
and' in -section, will 'serve to render 
clear some of these characteristics. 
Of each of these kinds there 
is a yellow and red variety, dis- 
tinguished in naming- by the addi- 
tion of dmarilio (yellow) or Colorado 
(red) fo the first name. Thus we 
have Forastero, variety Cundeamor 
amarillo, and Forastero, variety Cun- 
deamor Colorado, and so on. 

■Mr. J. H. Hart, Superintendent 
of the Botanic Gardens of Trinidad, 
whilst agreeing with this classifica- 
tion in the main, regards Calabacillo 
cacao as a class by itself, and not 
merely as a variety of Forastero. 

The varieties differ also in hardi- 
ness. Calabacillo is the most vigor- By permission of 
ous trer, and will grow under the ceylon. 
worst conditions, but its produce is 

much inferior to the others. Forastero is intermediate in hardiness and value, whilst Criollo is 
the most delicate tree, and yields the beans of the greatest value. As in the case of the sugar- 
cane, the distribution of plants from one country to another has resulted in great confusion in 
the naming, and it is exceedingly difficult to correlate the varieties of different countries. 


General Conditions. Cacao is not a plant which will thrive under any conditions ; on the 
contrary, it is very exacting, and considerable knowledge of its requirements is necessary in 
order to choose a proper spot. Deep alluvial soil, well-watered but well drained, in a sheltered 

Messrs. Cadbury Bros. 

Cacao or Cocoa 


locality, are what it likes most, and these must be found for it in a thoroughly tropical climate. 
Many parts of the West Indies, although quite tropical, and with sufficient rainfall, are 
absolutely unsuited to cacao. In Barbados, for instance, although sugar-cane, cotton, and 
other crops which are regarded as distinctly tropical, can be grown all over the island, there 
are extremely few places suited to cacao. Strong winds are particularly injurious, and Barba- 
dos being in the track of the " Trades," it is only in a few sheltered valleys, with other desirable 
attributes also, that the plant can thrive. Accordingly it is not altogether surprising that 
amongst the British West Indies we find only Trinidad, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and 


Dominica figuring in the list of cacao-producing countries. These are all mountainous, well- 
wooded islands, whilst the more bare and exposed islands such as Barbados, Antigua, etc., 
are, speaking generally, unfitted for the crop. 

Mr. J. H. Hart, referred to before, in his useful book, " Cacao," says : " The ideal spot in 
which to found a cacao plantation is a well-sheltered vale, covered with large trees, protected 
by mountain spurs from the prevailing winds, well watered, and yet well drained, with a good 
depth of alluvial soil on which rests a thick deposit of decayed vegetable matter; easy of access, 
and in a district distant from lagoons or marshes for the sake of the proprietor's health. Such 
a spot in a climate similar to that of Trinidad could not fail to produce regular crops of the 
finest quality of cacao." 

Planting. The ground having been cleared of the original forest, planting can be proceeded 


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By permission of 

Mesm. Cadbitry Br 


•with, and two methods may be adopted. The seeds can be sown in nurseries and kept there 
until young plants a foot or so high are available, or seeds may be sown in the ground, where 
future trees are desired ; the latter method is called M planting at stake." The young plants 
have to be carefully shaded in either case. In a tropical nursery, bamboos cut up into lengths, 
■each consisting of one joint, form excellent pots, and are extensively employed. Plaited 
palm-leaves also form useful " flower-pots." The young plants are carefully tended until of 
.sufficient size, and then planted out and carefully shaded from the sun, during a season when 
they will get showers to give them a good start in life. 

When the seed is sown at stake three seeds are planted in one hole ; the holes are made 
.at a distance of four to five yards apart in all directions. Many of the seeds will probably 
not germinate, however, owing to various causes, but of the plants which do come up the 
weaker, ones are pulled out for the benefit of the stronger specimens. When they are a little 
•over three feet high, they are pruned, in order that the trees may attain a pyramidal crown. 

Shading. Cacao trees raised from seed, whether in nurseries or in the open, require to be 
protected from the sun, when placed in their permanent positions. This is usually afforded 
by growing bananas, pigeon peas, cassava, or other temporary crops between the rows of young 
plants. They supply the requisite shade, and, moreover, yield crops, and bring in returns during 
the five or more years of waiting for the cacao to mature. This temporary shading is quite distinct 
from the use of permanent shade trees. In many countries cacao thrives better under the 
light shade of taller trees and those nearly always used are various leguminous trees which 
we may speak of collectively as Bois immortel (Erythrina, spp.) or Madre de Cacao (Mother 
■of Cacao), to use the Spanish name. These are planted at proper distances amongst the young 
•cacao, and kept there permanently even when the cacao is fully grown, when the temporary 
shade plants-have long since been removed. 

• Fruiting. Trees about five years old bear fruit. These are at first green, turning red and 
yellow as they ripen, and when dried their colour becomes a chestnut-brown. They are 
attached to the stem or branches by a short stalk, and are somewhat like very thick cucumbers 



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in shape, about eight or more inches long, and three or four inches in diameter. The process 
of blossoming and bearing fruit is completed in about four months, and is continued throughout 
the whole year ; hence fruits may be gathered at any time of the year, although at certain 
seasons the principal crops are obtained, for example, in the West Indies in December and 
January, during the early part of the dry season. 

Picking. The fruit which is hanging low enough to reach it with the hand is gathered 
by carefully turning it round until it breaks from the stalk ; those which cannot be reached 
are cut off from the stem and branches by means of a curiously shaped small knife fastened 
to a long stick. The gathering requires great care, as the buds and blossoms, which are to 
bring forth the next harvest, are easily injured. 

Neither unripe nor over-ripe fruits yield a good product. The picker judges by the colour 


W i 


'-' i 


V*Jt \m 

y /. J 
3k n T *3»3I 

% \ 


The Beans of two laid bare 

whether a fruit is ripe or not ; moreover, the ripeness may be ascertained by the accustomed 
ear by tapping the ' pod. 

The rind of the pod is by nature firm, a little woody, but becomes leathery when dried. 
Each pod contains some sixty seeds, arranged in five or eight rows (mostly five) ; the seeds 
are white when they are fresh, but brown and covered with a fragile skin or shell when dried. 
These seeds* which are not unlike beans or almonds, are imbedded in a mass of mucilaginous 
pulp, of a sweet but acid taste. The seeds only require to be extracted, cured and dried, 
to become the cacao-beans of commerce. 

Breaking. The pods are left on the ground by the pickers and collected up by women 
and children into heaps to be opened. This operation is known as "breaking cacao." 
The .pods are often opened with a cutlass,,which should not be too sharp. Care is needed so- 
as just to cut through the rind and- not injure the seeds. The opened pod is taken and the 
slimy mass of seeds and pulp scooped out with the fingers, and finally conveyed to the curing 
house in baskets, sacks, Qr other convenient means, with or without the aid of mule or donkey 
carts, according to the nature of the estate and other circumstances. 

The empty rinds are left in heaps on the field to rot and help to fertilise the soil. In case 
of attack' by some of the fungoid- diseases it is very incautious to leave the pods above ground, 
as they only form nurseries for the propagation of disease. In these cases the best course is 
to bury them. 

Cacao or Cocoa 


Fermenting. The fermentation of the beans is a very important operation and requires 
considerable care. The modus operandi varies according to the kind of cacao, to the local 
usages, and to the planter's views. As a rule the wet cacao-beans are put in a sweating-house 
specially built for the purpose, and divided into small compartments opening on to a common 
space, by means of movable partitions so that it is readily possible to transfer beans from 
one compartment to another. The flooring of the house is important — unevenness of any kind 
is to be avoided as rendering the beans liable to damage by being crushed when shovelled 
from one place to another. Cement, iron, pitchpine or other resin-containing timbers will not 
do, owing to the acidity of the juice. A good method is to have an upper flooring of laths 
placed lengthwise to the direction of shovelling. The juice from the beans escapes between 
the laths onto a water-tight floor below arranged with a central exit drain. 

The cacao heaped up in the compartments must be turned every twenty-four hours, in 
order to cause a regular sweating. If this turning can be done twice a day it is still better, 
for the looser the beans are lying on one another the more regular the sweating, which 
destroys the slimy substance which covers the beans. Three days are usually quite long 
enough to complete the fermentation process. 

On some plantations there are no sweating-houses, but the beans are thrown into large 



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heaps on the barn-floor to sweat. Another method is to let the cacao-beans ferment in a 
basket lined with' banana leaves. 

Fermentation affords the most convenient method of getting rid of the mucilaginous pulp 
which surrounds the freshly gathered seeds. Internal changes also take place, and the seeds 
lose to some degree the bitter taste they formerly possessed. The pale-coloured seeds of 
Criollo cacao become of the nice cinnamon-brown colour so appreciated in the market, whilst 
the deep purple colouration of Forastero and Calabacillo cacaos is also modified. Another 

change of some importance is 
that the skin or shell of the 
seed becomes tougher and so 
facilitates the subsequent 
handling, and helps to pre- 
serve the contents from the 
inroads of fungi. In some 
countries fermentation is not 
practised, but fermented 
cacaos fetch better prices 
in the market than the 
unfermented product. 

Washing. Opinions differ 
as to the advisability of 
washing the beans after they 
have been fermented. It is 
generally practised in Ceylon, 
in the Cameroons, and else- 
where, but not so in the West 
Indies, for instance, in Trini- 
dad. Amongst the advan- 
tages claimed are that it 
readily removes the remain- 
ing portions of the pulp and 
allows the beans to dry more 
rapidly. Planters who do not 
favour the practice appear 
to think that the method in- 
volves more trouble than the 
increase, if any, in the price 

Drying. Whether the 

beans have been washed or 

not they have to be dried. 

The methods of drying cacao> 

practised in different countries or by individual planters in the same country vary considerably. 

They may, however, be resolved into two groups, according to whether the heat of the sun 

is relied on or whether artificial heat is resorted to. 

With a very small crop,, such as a peasant proprietor would obtain from a few trees, the 
beans can be spread out on the ground or on a tray or piece of matting or cloth, which can 
readily be picked up and placed under cover should it rain. For a large crop this is impossible 
unless the seasons are so regular, as, of course, they often are in parts of the tropics, that 
cbntinued fine weather can be relied on. 

A great advance on this method is to spread the beans out in a thin layer on large platforms 


Cacao or Cocoa 


mounted on wheels, which run on rails. There is a house adjoining, and each fine morn- 
ing the platforms with their loads are run out, and can be hurried under cover in a very few 
minutes if necessary. The heat of the mid-day sun is sometimes so great that it would not 
be wise to allow the cacao to remain exposed the whole day. 

The alternative method is to make the platform stationary and have a movable roof. 
This is the method generally adopted in Trinidad, although the former is also largely employed. 
A drying-house of this character is shown in a picture in the next part. 

Economy of space can often be effected by combining the two methods. We may have- 
a fixed platform sufficiently raised to allow one, two, or more tiers of i movable trays to be 
protected under it, whilst a sliding roof, in one or two portions, can be used to cover the fixed 
platform at will. Such an arrangement, in use on one of Messrs. Cadbury's estates in Grenada, 
is shown in the illustration on p. 128. 

Artificial drying-houses are of various types. One of the most successful may be called 
the Ceylon drier, and a house of this pattern was some years ago built by the Imperial Depart- 
ment of Agriculture for the West Indies at the Botanic Station, Dominica. Hot air is made 
to pass in succession over and around a series of trays, arranged one above the other, and 
in such a house cacao can be dried in twenty-four hours, instead of requiring a week or so- 
as when dried in the sun. 

Another pattern of drying apparatus which has recently attracted considerable attention 
in the West Indies is that patented by Mr. Hoadley, of Chaquanas Estate, Trinidad. The 
following description of his invention is taken from the West Indian Bulletin, Vol. VI (1908), 
p. 80: "The cacao-drying apparatus consists of an ordinary room, thirty-four feet square, 
with twenty-five feet perforated circular drying floor, upon which cacao is placed direct from 
the fermenting box. In the centre of the drying tray is a vertical axle from which'ct 
four arms which are revolved once in ten minutes. To each arm are attached six 
ploughs, the operations of which are- equal to the work of twelve coolies in keeping the cacao 
in constant motion. Hot air is generated by exhaust steam which is passed into 1,100 feet 
of piping enclosed in a box, over which cold air is drawn by a powerful fan which, makes frofn. 
600 to 700 revolutions per minute. The air in its passage becomes heated to any ^desired 
point up to 150° F., and is forced up through the drying floor. The machine will dry from 
twelve to fifteen bags of cacao in thirty to thirty-six hours. The cost of installing the system 
is said to be between £300 
and £400." A Trinidad bag 
of cacao weighs about 170 lbs. 

Colouring. Cacao beans 
are appreciated of a good 
colour and of bright clean 
appearance. Sometimes uni- 
form colouration is secured 
by mixing with the beans a 
small amount of red earth 
or clay, or even annatto. 
This, however, is by no means 
a universal practice. 

Polishing. During damp 
weather the cacao if left in 
a heap tends to become mil- 
dewed on the outside. This 
can be prevented or got rid of 
by the gentle rubbing of the 
beans against one another, 



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and frequently such rubbing also serves a useful purpose in finally cleaning the beans, 
and removing the last traces of adherent pulp. This is particularly so in places where 
washing is not resorted to. A simple method of obtaining these desirable results is that 
known as " dancing cacao," an illustration of which is given on p. 130. A heap of beans 
on a drying floor is shown, and in the middle are a number of men engaged in treading the 
produce with their naked feet. The three men at the sides with shovels keep returning to the 
centre the cacao which during the operation naturally tends to become more and more spread 
out. The result is to remove mildew, etc., and to give a final polishing to the beans. Dancing 
is comparatively expensive, and in Mr. Hoadley's apparatus described above there is an 
additional machine which clays and polishes the beans, or merely polishes them according 
to special requirements, and thus does away with this process of " dancing." 

By permission of 

Messrs. Cadbury Bros. 


Packing and Shipment. The cacao is now ready to be shipped. It is most important 
that it is thoroughly dry, beyond that no special care is requisite. The beans are put into 
bags, or sometimes barrels, and can at once be placed on board ship. 

In Europe Hamburg is now by far the most important port for cacao, a position which it 
attained in 1904, previous to which Havre had occupied the first place. London occupies 
the third position. The other great port of the world for the reception of cacao is New York, 
which yearly increases its import of this crop, and is now about equal to Havre, and receives 
annually nearly twice as much cacao as London does. 


Before entering on a description of the processes through which the raw cacao-bean of 
commerce passes before it reaches the consumer either as cocoa powder, chocolate, or in other 
forms, it will be advisable to note the composition of the beans, as then we shall be in a position 
to understand better the mode of manufacture. 

Cacao or Cocoa 


The contents of the cacao-beans are just as in other seeds the food-reserve the mother-plant 
has put by for the young plants to live until they are able to subsist by themselves. The 
seeds of the cacao plant contain albuminoids or nitrogenous substances, starch, water, fat, 
sugar, cellulose and mineral matter ; also the alkaloid theobromine, and a colouring matter 
called cacao-red. 

According to Payen the average composition of good West Indian beans is as follows : — 
Fat (cacao-butter) . . . . . . . . 50'0 per cent. 

Cellulose . . 
Mineral matter 






On account of the high percentage of nitrogenous materials, fat and starch, which it contains, 
the nutritive value of cacao is great, and the alkaloid theobromine gives it stimulating 
properties also. This stimulating effect of cacao is increased by the volatile oil developed 
during the process of roasting, and to which cacao owes its characteristic aroma. 

It will have been noticed that the bean contains approximately half its weight of fat (known 
when extracted as cacao-butter). This, with the other constituents, renders the beans very 

' .'.-■. -A " 
•; -r : ' ■ t ; 

N y* \ ** S 





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nutritious, but too fatty to suit many people's taste. One of the first operations in the prepa- 
ration of cacao is to get rid of the greater portion of this fat. It is not that the fat is harmful 
or indigestible, but simply that there is too much- of it for ordinary purposes. 

The fat may be separated from the beans in two ways. In factories it -is effected by means 
of hydraulic presses, and an important by-product is obtained, worth about double the mar- 
ket-value of an equal weight of the raw beans. In this way only a portion of the contained 
fat is extracted from the beans, but by chemical processes it is possible to extract it all. By 
boiling the cacao wit 1 \ water or by grinding the beans to powder and treating them with 
ether or carbon bisulphide, the whole of the fat can be removed. 


One method of lessening the proportion of fat is by adding starch, but whilst the fat 
is relatively reduced in this way, the percentage of the other useful constituents of the cacao 
is reduced also, with loss of its agreeable fragrance and stimulating properties. 

A Dutchman, Mr. C. J. van Houten, of Amsterdam (1801-1887), the founder of the 
well-known firm bearing his name, endeavoured to solve this question of the excess of fat, 
and after long searching he succeeded in not only freeing the beans from the superabundant 
fat, but also in giving such a form to the mass which remained after the process that the cacao 
retained all its nutritive power, and could be easily made into an agreeable beverage. 

At first he- called his product chocolate-powder, a name which was soon changed into Van 
Houten's cocoa — to indicate that the product only contained the pure elements of the cacao- 
beans, and was not mixed with starch or any other added substance. 



The World's Commercial Products 


We are accustomed to call 
cacao soluble nowadays be- 
cause it apparently dissolves 
in hot water or milk ; how- 
ever, soluble ' is the wrong 
word to use, as there is no 
solution in the ordinary sense 
as, for instance, in speaking 
of sugar or salt being soluble 
in water or milk. In reality 
the discoverer, Mr. C. J. van 
Houten's purpose was to pre- 
pare a powder which should 
be completely miscible in 
liquids. It is a sign of com- 
plete diffusion that the cacao 
after boiling water has been 
poured on it forms hardly 
any sediment at the bottom 
of the cup. 

Cacao or cocoa butter, 
the extraction of which is described elsewhere, is, when quite pure, a white, rather hard fat, 
with an agreeable odour of chocolate, and a delicate taste. It melts slowly in the mouth. 
Its melting-point is about 85 to 90° F., and its specific gravity varies between 0"85 and 0'98. It 
is only slightly soluble in warm alcohol, but may be completely dissolved in ether. Cacao- 
butter does not turn rancid if carefully stored, which property renders it very valuable for 
pharmaceutical and other preparations. When fresh it is yellowish- white, but becomes quite 
white on keeping. 

Cacao-butter is frequently used in the preparation of perfumes and cosmetics. The fresh 
butter is used in ointments, cerates, and plasters. Moreover, cacao-butter is a constituent 

of almost all pomades, and 
consisting of stearin, palmi- 
tin, and olein, it makes an 
excellent soft toilet soap, of 
a beautiful white colour, when 
mixed with certain alkalies. 
The so-called " chocolate- 
fats " are frequently derived 
from coco-nut oil and palm 
oil, and are used to adul- 
terate cacao - butter, being 
much cheaper. 

It is to the cacao-red and 
the volatile oils that the beans 
owe their colour, peculiar aro- 
ma, and to a great degree their 
characteristic taste. The 
amount of theobromine con- 
tained is comparatively small, 
and yet to it cacao owes its 
stimulating action. In 1840 


Cacao or Cocoa 


Wosscressenzky succeeded in separating the alka- 
loid theobromine from the beans ; he found that 
chemically it differed little from caffeine and theine, 
the active principles of coffee and tea, whence it is 
that the physiologically stimulating effect of cacao, 
coffee, and tea is very similar. 

.Those substances which are known in chemistry 
under the name of alkaloids are often very poisonous. Theine, caffeine, and theobromine act as 
poisons when they are consumed in large quantities. 

Chocolate is a mixture of cacao with sugar, and as a rule with spices also. Usually one 
part of cacao is mixed with one part (or \\ part at most) of sugar. Cheap chocolate often 
contains admixtures of starch, such as corn flour, wheat, rice, or potato starch, etc. ; powdered 
roasted acorns, chestnuts, earthnuts, chicory, ship biscuits, the ground shells of the beans 
and other woody substances, and even plaster have been employed as adulterants. In 
England some brands of cacao contain starch, but this fact is, or should be, stated on the tin, 
so that it loses the character of adulteration, and, moreover, the price is lowered in proportion. 
The cacao of some of the most important factories in Holland has been found to contain 
twenty-nine to thirty per cent, of fat, fourteen to eighteen per cent, of albuminoids, five to nine 
per cent, of ash, four to five per cent, of water, 06 to 1*5 per cent, of theobromine, the rest 
consisting of starch. Thus it is seen that the composition varies, but these figures may be 
taken as the limits which " pure " cacao-powder may not exceed. 

In the preparation of medicines chocolate is often used to disguise the taste of disagree- 
able drugs. Thus, chocolate is sometimes mixed with quinine, rhubarb, steel preparations, 
magnesia, calomel, ipecacuanha, santonin (the well-known worm-cakes for children, which are 
still manufactured in large quantities in some Dutch factories to be exported to China > where 
children seem to be very much plagued with ascarids), castor-oil, etc., and tabloids or cakes 
are made of these mixtures, containing certain quantities of these drugs. 


The World's Commercial Products 



Until the latter part of the eighteenth century the fabrication of chocolate was chiefly 
effected by manual labour, the beans being pounded to powder in an iron mortar. Even to 
this day, the Chinese cook in the Philippine Islands, who makes the cacao-beans which are 
grown there into chocolate, carries his whole factory about with him. This consists of a 
small wooden table, made to rest on the knees of the man, who squats down, and on this 
table the shelled beans are pounded in a small marble mortar with a heated pestle, and the 
mass is kneaded to chocolate-dough with sugar, pepper and other favourite spices. 

With the exception of such cases as the latter, manual labour has been replaced as a 
rule by wonderful machines ; the first of which was put into practice in 1778 by M. Doret, of 
the medical faculty of Paris. These machines have been altered and improved continually, 
though the purpose which the engineers have in view always remains the same, namely, to 
grind the beans to a powder of the greatest possible fineness, and to mix it as intimately as 
possible with substances such as sugar and flavouring materials. 

Whether a chocolate-factory is large or small, the cacao-beans always have to undergo 
the same essential processes. These chief stages are as follows: — (1) Sorting and cleaning 
the raw beans. (2) Roasting the cleaned beans. (3) Breaking and shelling the roasted 
beans. (4) Grinding of the roasted and broken beans and the addition of other substances 
such as sugar, spices, etc. If cocoa is being made the fat is extracted at this stage. 
(5) Moulding and packing. 

Sorting and Cleaning the Raw Beans 

The cleaning and sorting of the raw beans is of the greatest importance. The principal 

Cacao or Cocoa 


object in cleaning and sorting the beans is to get rid of all foreign substances, such as sand, 
pieces of stone, etc., which later on might damage the rollers of the grinding-machine. 
Impurities also spoil the aroma of the cocoa when it is roasted and lower its solubility. 

The beans are cleaned by placing them in long barrel-shaped sieves which are made to rotate 
slowly. The meshes of the sieve must be of such a size that everything smaller than cacao- 
beans themselves can pass through. At the same time a draught created by powerful fans 
carries away dust. The sieves are so made that the beans are at the same time sorted into 
three groups — large, medium, and small. The material to be roasted thus consists of beans 
of equal size, which is of advantage because if beans of unequal size were roasted together 
the small ones would spoil by the time the large beans were sufficiently roasted. 

Roasting the Beans 

The beans are next exposed to a high temperature, that is to say, they are roasted. 
This roasting serves several purposes. First of all the aroma of the beans is increased and 
the starch is partially changed into dextrin, a substance which is more soluble in water than 
starch. The bitter substances which the beans contain are partly eliminated, the shells 
become dry and crisp, and the beans themselves dry, which renders them more easily ground. 
The flavour of the beans is greatly improved by the roasting. 

The roasting is carried out in large iron drums, each of which may hold a ton or more of 
beans. Coke fires, gas, or better, superheated steam are employed, and great care and 
judgment are necessary to obtain the best results. The temperature for roasting cacao-beans 
is not so high as that for roasting coffee ; experience has shown that the best temperature lies 
between 260° and 280° F. The beans should not be left too long in the machine, and they are 
turned continually. The iron boxes are accordingly made to revolve. The temperature in 
the boxes is carefully regulated, although it must by no means be constant throughout the 
whole process. The time required for roasting depends on the quantity of beans roasted at once 
and on the kind of beans. Therefore, the roaster should always be a reliable and experienced 
person. To prevent too great a loss of aroma and to cause the beans to be shelled more easily, 
they are cooled suddenly after the roasting is completed. 

Breaking and Shelling the Beans 

The roasted beans are now " broken down " and the shells removed. The beans are 
gently cracked and exposed to a powerful air-blast which can be regulated according to the 
coarseness or the fineness of 
the fragments ; a gentle wind 
is made to blow when the 
beans are broken into very 
small pieces, and a more vio- 
lent one when the pieces are 
bigger, so that the separa- 
tion of the particles of beans 
from the larger, but specifi- 
cally lighter, shells is effected 
with great accuracy. 

For the preparation of 
chocolate it is important to 
sift the broken beans once 
more, in order to get out the 
harder germs, the powder of 
which leaves a sediment in stone floor for drying cacao-beans in the open air 


The World's Commercial Products 

the beverage. This is done mechanically by means of a very ingenious machine invented 
by the firm of J. M. Lehmann, of Dresden. 

The shells of the cacao-beans form the only waste product in cacao industry. As the 
shells form about twelve per cent, of the beans, it is desirable to find a use for them. Cheap 
chocolate often contains the ground shells, but for the better kinds they are useless, as they 
may rightly be said to be adulterants, although it is true that they contain some theobromine 
and some fat, and taste like cocoa. The ground shells are sometimes sold as " cocoa-tea," and 
find purchasers, especially in Ireland. As an article of commerce the shells are called 


" miserables " in England. They may be made more palatable by candying them with sugar, 
and in that state they are a favourite kind of sweetmeat for children, especially in the east 
of Germany. By treating them with benzine it is possible to extract the fat they contain, 
which is sold under the name of second Dutch cacao-butter ; however, the value is but 
small. These different uses consume but comparatively small quantities of the supply. 
Infusions of the shells of cacao-beans are sometimes employed to improve the taste of coffee- 
beans during roasting, and also to enhance the flavour of coffee-substitutes made out of corn 
or malt. Cacao-extracts are also made out of the shells, by boiling them with water ; the 
extract thus obtained is reduced by evaporation until it acquires a certain strength. This 
extract is not only used as a substitute for coffee and tea, but is also sometimes mixed with 
cacao and chocolate. 




The World's Commercial Products 

By permission of Messrs. Cadbury Bros. 


It was ascertained by experiments that the nutritive value of these shells is about the 
same as that of middling hay. Cattle soon get to like them, and experiments made with 
three groups of milch-cows were successful. After they had been fed with the new fodder 
for ten days the analysis of the milk showed an increase of butter and milk sugar ; and, 
moreover, an increase in the quantity of milk. In a report on the " Experimental Farms of 
Canada, 1898," the usefulness of cacao-shells as manure is pointed out. 


Formerly the beans, after having been roasted and broken, were ground several times 
before they were taken to the " melangeur " or mixing-machine, in which the mass 
was rubbed still finer and mixed with sugar. Machines with millstones or rollers are 
now 'used in which the cacao is ground to a liquid or thin paste owing to the heat developed 
by friction. One advantage of the reduction to the liquid state is that the sugar mixes 
much more easily with the cacao, and that an intimate infusion is more readily effected. 

This fusion is accomplished most successfully when the temperature is constantly kept 
at the same level, a little above the melting-point of cacao-butter, i.e., between 85° and 90° F. ; 
for this reason a mixing-machine is always provided with a steam-warming apparatus. 

In grinding the cacao to powder, as well as for a thorough mixing with sugar, it is necessary 
that the rotation of the hard granite cylinders, revolving in opposite directions, differs in rapid- 
ity. Therefore, the axles of these two cylinders, which have the same diameter, are provided 
with wheels with different numbers of teeth. So the cylinder attached to the wheel with the 
smallest number of teeth revolves more slowly than the one attached to the wheel with the 
largest number of teeth. If, for instance, one wheel has six teeth and the other twelve, the 
latter will turn twice as quickly as the former. 

The spices, volatile oils, or vanilla which chocolate contains as a rule are only added 
to the chocolate-mass {i.e.. cacao plus sugar) towards the end of the grinding process, in order 
to prevent a loss of perfume, which would certainly take place during a prolonged heating 
in the grinding and mixing machines. Of course, the cacao is mixed with sugar and spices, 



The World's Commercial Products 

and in the case of some kinds of cheap chocolate with different kinds of meal, in different 
proportions. In general from fifty to sixty parts of sugar are mixed with from fifty to seventy 
parts of chocolate, with small quantities of the necessary spices either as powders or in alcoholic 
solutions of their volatile oils. If chocolate, composed of equal quantities of sugar and cacao, 
is too fatty, in consequence of the large quantity of butter contained in the beans, to be easily 
moulded into the forms wanted, part of the mass is replaced by an equal quantity of cacao- 
powder of the same mixture of beans from which the fat has partly been extracted. This is 
what is done in the case of expensive chocolate. In the case of cheap chocolate, however, 
the same end is attained by adding more sugar. If the chocolate-mass contains more than 
sixty per cent, of sugar, it is impossible to mould it into different shapes, and pure cacao-butter 
must then be added. 

In the preparation of chocolate-powder, or cocoa, as we are accustomed to call it, the 
partial extraction of the fat takes the place of the mixing with sugar. This extraction is 
effected by means of a powerful hydraulic press. A picture of one made by -the firm of 
Lehmann's, as used in Messrs. Cadbury's works, is shown. The mode of extraction is 
similar to that described for other oils in the section on that group of products. 

Three distinct products are found in the shops : — 

(1) Cacao nibs, simply the broken- up pieces of the roasted beans. 

(2) Chocolate, the ground nibs with the addition of sugar and flavouring materials. 

(3) Cocoa used for a beverage, the ground nibs with most of the fat extracted. 
The cocoa powder is put up in packets, tins, etc., and is at once ready for sale. Chocolate 

passes through various processes, and finally whilst still in the semi-liquid or pasty condition 
is cast in moulds, of any desired shape, so as to form tablets, croquettes, or fancy articles such 
as cigars, animals, eggs, etc. As is well known, chocolate is usually exceptionally well packed 
in order to preserve it in the best possible condition. 

During the different processes chocolate undergoes, especially during the grinding, air 
bubbles accumulate in the mass. In order to get these out, the chocolate is passed through 
a kind of press, which it leaves in the form of a cylinder, and subsequently is reduced to 
a certain thickness by a roller. The mass is cut into pieces each of the proper weight required 
ior a tablet. Of course, the weight of the tablets can be settled beforehand, and is precisely 
regulated by the size of the 
moulds, into which the pieces 
are pressed. The bottom of 
such a mould is as a rule 
divided by projecting lines, 
so that the tablet has corre- 
sponding indentures when it 
is taken out, which allows it 
to be easily broken up into 
so many parts. 

Simple chocolate-wares, 
meant for household use, are 
as a rule moulded into 
tablets or square blocks of 
different sizes and weights. 
The more expensive kinds of 
chocolate are also sold in 
these simple forms, and are 
made in the same way. The 
smaller tablets, "napolitains" labelling tins 

- f% 


«0 Hfci 


k— ** J BHfesyij§u n Kjp[ 





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and " croquettes," are made in this way. Other forms of chocolate are more often fashioned 
in moulds, consisting of two or more parts. 

Chocolate-cigars, for instance, are made in a double mould, consisting of two portions, 
each of which has the shape of half a cigar, the two halves fitting exactly together. They are 
however, sometimes made by pouring the liquid mass through hollow tubes. Chocolate-fishes 
and other such simple objects are made in a similar manner. Chocolate- eggs are as a rule 
made hollow — at least if they are not too small — by taking two moulds each in the form of 
half an egg-shell, filling them with a thin layer of chocolate, and uniting the two halves thus 
obtained to make one egg. 

Small tablets, fruits, and other objects filled with cream, are made in the following way : 
The cream filling is made, allowed to harden, and then dipped into the melted chocolate so 
as to receive a complete coating. 

Innumerable other varieties of chocolate and chocolate-coated sweets are made, and it 
would be impossible to enumerate them and describe their method of preparation here. 

It is important to note in comparing the three staple beverages, cocoa, tea and coffee, 
that only the first named can be regarded as a food. As has been pointed out, the whole 
cacao-bean is roasted and ground into such a fine powder that it remains in suspension in the 
water, so that it is all consumed. On the other hand, with tea and coffee all that is taken 
is an infusion or solution of the substances in the leaves or seed, as the case may be, which 
dissolve in the water. These form only a minute proportion of the products, and the 
remainder is thrown away. The stimulating principles are very similar in all three, but in 
cocoa we obtain these with the valuable nutritive materials in addition. 





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|Tea, as everyone knows, is prepared from the young leaves of the tea plant, Camellia Thea 
(Thea sinensis), a shrub belonging to the natural order Theaceae, and extensively cultivated in 
China, India, and Ceylon, and, to a less extent, in certain other countries^ Under the name- 
of Thea sinensis, the Swedish botanist, Linnaeus, originally described tea as a single species, 
but later it became known that two distinct plants were cultivated in China, which he named 
T. viridis and T. Bohea. These two species were long thought to be the origin of green and 
black teas respectively. No strictly wild plants have been found in China, but an indigenous 
tea-tree, Thea assamica (or, as it is now called, Camellia Thea) occurs in Assam, and is generally 
regarded by botanists as the parent species of all cultivated forms. 

Cfhe tea plant is a bushy shrub, which when left to its natural habit of growth and not 
subjected to the vigorous prunings necessary for its successful cultivation, attains the height 
of a small tree. The leaves vary considerably in size and shape, according to the variety ,_ 
but are leathery, alternate, and generally elliptical or lanceolate, with a toothed margin. Oil 
glands occur in the substance of the leaf and contain an essential oil to which the flavour 
of tea is largely due. The under surface of the young leaves is thickly covered with fine 
hairs which entirely disappear with advancing age. The beautiful white or rose-coloured ^ 
slightly fragrant, flowers occur either singly or in clusters in the axils of the leaves ; they 
'. are succeeded by more or less globular fruits consisting of capsules composed of three 
compartments, usually with only one seed in each compartment) 

The question as to the original home of the tea plant is by no= 
means settled, the point at issue being whether, after all, the 
true home of the plant is in the country naturally 
associated with it, viz., China, or in the neigh- 
bouring Indian province of Assam. The 
evidence in support of the latter 
contention is largely based 
upon the fact that the 
tea plant attains 





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luxuriance in Assam, greater, it is said, than that attained in any part of the Celestial Kingdom ; 
and, arguing that in its natural home a plant reaches its greatest development, supporters 
of this view maintain that it is in Assam and not in China that we are to look for the home 
of tea. It by no means follows, however, that the reasoning of this argument is sound, for 
it has been repeatedly noticed 
that plants introduced into 
new countries where con- 
ditions seemed favourable for 
their growth have flourished 
so well that their luxuriance 
rivalled that of the plants 
growing in the land admitted 
to be their home^j Support 
for the opposite view is 
sought in a Japanese legend 
which ascribes to China the 
honour of being the home of 
the tea plant ; but, unfortu- 
nately, there is evidence for 
supposing that the Chinese 
never heard of this legend 
except from foreign sources, 
although the events related 
occurred in their own coun- 
try. ("There are, however, 
certain references to the 
plant in the writings of a 
Celestial author who lived 
about 2,700 B.C., and a 
Chinese commentator of this £i 
ancient author, writing in 
the fourth century B.C., calls 
attention to the mention of 
the plant, and adds that a 
beverage could be obtained 
from the leaves by adding 
hot water. It appears that 
the plant was used entirely 
as a medicine until 500 a.d., 
when it became a popular 

De_Candolle, however, in 
summing up the evidence on both sides, attaches considerable weight to the fact that 
apparently wild specimens of tea have been found by travellers in Upper Assam and in the 
province of Cochar, and adds that " the tea plant must be wild in the mountainous region * 
which separates the plains of India from those of China" ; he, however, regards the evidence as *■- 
tending to prove that the use of the leaves was introduced into India from the^lartrteT~CTJ^^fy^A 

Much more certain information naturally exists as to the date of the introduction of the 
product into Europe. There is a story which states that a package of a commodity hitherto 
unknown was received by an old couple in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 
and that, instead of infusing the leaves and using the extract, they threw away the coloured 




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liquid and ate the leaves after spreading them upon bread. ( Whatever may be said as to the 
probability of this story, it is definitely known that tea was introduced into Europe from 
China late in the sixteenth century, and that in 1657 a regular tea-house was opened in Ex- 
change Alley, LondonX From. this date tea began to be a regular beverage in England. It 
is mentioned by Pepys in his Diary ; under the date 28th September, 1660, we read : " I did 
send for a cup. of tea (a China drink), of which I had never drunk before," and, " Home, and 
there find my wife making of tea, a drink which Mr. Pelling the Pothicary tells her is good for 
her cold and defluxiOns." It .was at about the time of its earliest introduction into Eng- 
land that tea first became known in Russia, an embassy to the Court of Pekin bringing back 
some green tea to the ancient capital, Moscow. In 1664 the famous English East IndiaCornpaj 

lade a present of two pounds of the queen oT Charles Il^Catherine .of-&a^aTfza7and 
the product was still regarded as a rare delicacy. Fourteen years later the Company imported 
from China nearly 5,000 lbs. and towards the end of the century tea had ceased to be a. 

(7 ff At the present time the a 1 



average annual export of tea from the countries producing it,, 
irrespective of the amount consumed in the countries themselves, amounts to about 
1,108,828,000 lbs., of a value of over £16,000,000 sterling. Of this huge total, the British 
Empire is responsible for nearly 350,000,000 lbs., worth no less than £9,217,000, or considerably 
more than half the value of the world's total production. India heads the list with a. 
total . export valued at £5,830,000, followed by that of China, valued at £5,500,000. 
Im spite of this order of precedence, however, it should be noted that the actual quantity 
of tea exported from China is vastly in excess of that from India, being more than 
three times as much, but the quality of the product is very inferior compared 
with the Indian article, and hence the difference in value. Third in the list comes Ceylon 



with 150,000,000 lbs. worth nearly £3,390,000, followed at a long distance by Japan with 
59,000,000 lbs., valued at^541,000, Java with 18,600,000 lbs., valued at £395,000, Formosa with 
18,000,000 lbs., valued at £211,000, and Natal and the Caucasus with comparatively trifling 
ajtyiiint s.' . .■ ; ; f | {yi 
C^**yQ Tmuch,V then; for the principal producing countries. When we turn our attention 
#o the countries and peoples who consume this enormous quantity of beverage-making material, 
we find that heading the list as the greatest tea importers of the world are the people 
of the United Kingdom. During the last few years the annual import of tea from 
all sources into this country has averaged no less than 255,1 12,000 lbs., costing us 
£8,683,000 ! We are followed by Russia, which annually receives about 126,000,000 lbs., the 
United States with 81,389,000 lbs., followed by Holland, Australia, Canada, Germany and 
New Zealand with much smaller amounts. 

To us, as English people, a most important question in connection with the world's tea' 
industry is, to what extent is the British-grown article displacing from the world's market 
the product of our only serious rival, China ? Let us consider, the state of affairs in some 
of the chief consuming countries. In the United States and -Canada the taste for British- 
grown teas appears to have taken a firm hold. The quantity sent direct from Calcutta to 
Canada in 1904 was thirty-five per cent, higher than in 1903. Further, black teas from China 
have practically disappeared from the Canadian market, and in all probability the green -teas 
from Japan, which at present are very popular in America, will follow them in a few years'; 
for since Ceylon green tea was introduced in 1899 the imports from Japan have decreased 
from eleven to four million pounds. • "? • • 



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The United States takes half as much again Indian tea as it did a year or so ago, and the 
increase in popularity of the beverage among our cousins gives hope to the Eastern planters 
of the creation of a new market of the greatest value. Australia, like the rest of the world, 
is changing her taste in tea. Formerly her supplies were largely obtained from China, but 
the imports from, that country are steadily diminishing. Although considerable quantities 
of -tea are now taken from Java, the real fight for the Australian market lies between Ceylon 
and India. At the present time the advantage lies with Ceylon, whose exports to the Southern 
Empire have increased during the last ten years from ten to twenty-four million pounds. 

Great efforts; attended with considerable success, are being made to develop the Asiatic 
trade in British-grown tea, and Persia is now the Jourth l arges t consumer of the Indian pro- 
duct. The .preparation of brick tea for Tibet is also receiving much attention at the hands 
of Indian planters, who have voluntarily submitted to a self-imposed tax to be devoted to 
pushing their production among the Tibetans. 

Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Holland, Turkey, France, and Russia are all advancing in their 
tea imports. Much of the tea taken by Holland naturally comes from their colony of Java, 
but the increase in the Russian import nearly all comes from British sources, to the loss of the 
Chinese merchant. 

AlthonglwHie of the most striking facts in connection with the tea export trade is the 
practical loss, to China of some of the most important of the world's markets, it must not 
be supposed that the tea industry in China is ruined. As a matter of fact, the area under 
cultivation has not diminished to any appreciable extent during the past forty years ; for the 
Chinese grower has a vast local market, and immense quantities of inferior tea are converted 
into the " brick tea " for Tibet and Russia. Moreover, at the present time, there are un- 
mistakable signs that the Chinese intend to make a bold bid for the recovery of some of the 
ground they have lost; for the more enlightened among them have realised that the trade 
was lost owing to inferior, and to the West- 
ern mind sometimes repulsive, methods of 
manufacture, and also to the fact that, 
generally speaking, hand labour must—at 
last give way before machinery. That the 
Chinese are serious in their desire to regain 
their trade is evidenced by the fact that 
in 1905 the Viceroy of Nanking appointed a 
Chinese Tea Commission, headed by an 
Englishman, Mr. Lyall, to enquire into the 
methods and conditions of tea cultivation 
and manufacture in India and Ceylon. As 
a whole the Chinese soil is said to be less 
productive with regard to tea than that 
of our Eastern Empire, and the climate of 
the tea districts is colder and less forcing ; 
further, the yield per acre cannot com- 
pare with that obtained by the European 
planters. Nevertheless, the ruling classes in 
China have" become alarmed at the great 
falling off in revenue due to the diminution 
of the export trade, for there are heavy 
Chinese transit and export duties on the 
product, and it is their intention to see 
what improved methods of cultivation 
and manufacture can do to restore this Chinese method of rolling the leaf 




trade. Whether the Chinese peasant can be induced to depart from the methods and customs 
which have been handed down to him for countless generations is a matter open to question, 
but the attempt on the part of the authorities is significant, and the situation may be very 
accurately summed up in the words of an editorial of a Ceylon planting paper : "... The 
way in which it (i.e., the Chinese trade) has steadily gone back during the last fifty years is 
not at all conclusive proof that there can be no important recovery, under changed conditions I 
and methods. In other words, the swing of the pendulum may be witnessed in this 
department of agriculture and commerce as well as in any other, seeing that the (Chinese) tea- - 
gardens have suffered no radical injury." 

When we examine the figures showing the amount of tea annually consumed per head 
of the population we find that although it is a British country which heads the list, the tea- 
drinkers of Great Britain must give way to their sons and daughters of Australasia, who use 
no less than 71 lbs. per person every year. In the United Kingdom the amount is about 
a pound less, viz., 6"03 lbs. per head, and then we have Canada (4 lbs.), Holland (14 lb.), United 
States (T30 lb.), Russia (1*25 lb:), Norway (TlOlb.), Denmark (0-36 lb.), Germany (0'131b.), 
and France (0"061b.). The large consumption in the British Empire is very striking, though 
not unexpectedly so ; but to the average Englishman the most surprising feature of these figures 
is the relatively small amount consumed per head of the population of Russia. In this country 
the Russians are commonly regarded as a great tea-drinking people, but this is a popular error, 
for only the comparatively wealthy classes in Russia can afford to buy tea, which is quite 
beyond the reach of the poor peasants who form the great bulk of the population. 

The rise in popularity of tea in England was comparatively slow up to the beginning of the 
nineteenth century. In 1711 the consumption per head was only 0"03 lb., and in 1780 it had 
risen to only 0"57 lb. During the first four decades of the next century the average stood 
at about 1*25 lb., but after 1840, the period at which tea-planting was rapidly being extended 
in India, the consumption rose very quickly. In spite of the increasing consumption, however, 
tea has continued to fall in price owing to the enormous increase in production. 

With regard to the chemistry, of tea, the most important constituents from the point of 
view of the quality of the beverage are an essential oil, tannin, and an alkaloid known as theine. 
The flavour of the tea is largely due to the essential oil, but the remarkable stimulating and 
refreshing^qualities of the beverage are due to the theine which is-also-found in coffee, Paraguay 



■n , i 


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tea, or mate, and the kola 
nut ; a closely allied alkaloid !. 
is also present in cacao. Ex- \\ 
periment has shown that an 
infusion of the leaf for ten 
minutes is sufficient to ex- 
tract all the valuable theine, 
and a longer period merely 
results in an accumulation of 
tannin which, 
well known to 
impede digestion. 
— ■ We wh^^iow^JjtiFrr^our 
attention to a consideration 
of the principal facts in con- 
nection with tea cultivation in 
different parts of the world. 
Priority must naturally be 
given to an account of the 


As is the case in nearly all branches of Chinese agriculture, the tea farms are mostly small, 
each consisting of from four to five acres. Practically every cottager has his own little tea 
garden, the produce of which supplies the wants of his family, and the surplus brings him 
in a few dollars with which he procures the other necessaries of life. 

In the green-tea districts of Chekiang picking commences about the middle of April. The 
first crop of leaves consists of the leaf-buds just as they are about to open, and the tea manu- 
factured from the first pickings is of extremely delicate flavour, being held in such high esteem 
by the natives as to be used chiefly for making presents to friends. The plucking of the 
young buds is liable, to cause considerable injury to the plants, but, under the influence of 
the copious showers which generally fall about this time of the year, the plants, if young and 
vigorous, rapidly put out fresh shoots and leaves. Two or three weeks later the shrubs are 
ready for the second plucking, which is the most important of the season, and as soon as the 
plants have again recovered, the third and last gathering commences, producing a very 
inferior variety of tea. 

The methods and apparatus employed by the Chinese in the manufacture of their teas are 
extremely simple, yet, with the abundance of labour obtainable, they are by no means 
ineffective. A large proportion of the tea is prepared in the humble cottages of the peasants, 
and barns, sheds, and outhouses are also frequently used for the same purpose, particularly 
those belonging to the monasteries and temples. . The drying pans and furnaces in these 
places are of very primitive construction. The shallow, circular pans, made of very thin 
iron, closely resemble in shape and size the ordinary cooking pans which the Chinese 
have in general use for the preparation of their rice. They are built, several together, in a 
brick-work furnace which is so constructed that the sloping sides of the basin are continued 
upwards for three parts of the circumference, resulting in what is practically a broad, shallow 
brick and cement basin, the actual bottom of which consists of the thin iron pan. The object 
of this arrangement is to allow of the easy and thorough mixture of the leaves during the 
roasting process. Running beneath the whole row of pans is a flue, the fireplace being at 
one end, and. a rough chimney at the other. 

Eer the leaves have been brought in from the plantations, they are placed in a shed 
>r drying-house, which may indeed be the cottage itself. The fire is then kindled in the furnace 




with their 
it becomes 

hands so that all 
impossible to mix 

and a quantity of leaves thrown into the heated pans and constantly turned over and kept 
in motion by men and women stationed in front of the pans. The heat immediately 
•causes the leaves to crack and become quite moist with the sap which is given out under its 
influence, and in about five minutes the process is complete, the leaves having become quite 
.soft, pliable, and altogether devoid of their original crispness. The leaves are then taken from 
the pans and placed upon bamboo tables, around which stand several persons, who take a 
quantity of the leaves in their hands and carefully roll them on the table in a manner 
•closely resembling the working and kneading of ordinary baker's dough. The object of this 
process, which lasts about five or six minutes, is to twist the leaves and, .at the same time, 
to express the sap and moisture, which escapes through the interstices of the surface of the 
table. In the next stage of the process the object is to expel the moisture as gradually and 
.gently as possible, retaining the softness and elasticity of the leaves to the fullest extent. This 
is effected by taking the rolled leaves, spreading them out thinly and evenly upon a screen 
made of strips of the ever-useful bamboo, and exposing them to the action of the atmosphere. 
*v There can be no fixed time for the completion of this process, which depends entirely upon the 
state of the weather, but experience has taught the operators to avoid placing the leaves 
in the direct rays of a powerful sun, which evaporates the moisture too rapidly, leaving the 
leaves crisp, coarse, and quite unfit for the next stage in the manufacture. -The soft and 
pliant leaves are now again thrown into the drying-pans, and subjected to the action 
•of a slow, steady fire. It is of great importance that the leaves should not be scorched 
or burned, and it is the custom for one person to attend solely to the fire while others, 
standing in front of the pans, mix and agitate the leaves 
.shall be equally dried. As the temperature 
the leaves by hand,' so small 
bamboo whisks or brushes 
are employed, the. leaves 
being thrown up against the 
sloping sides of the pans and 
allowed to roll back into the 
iron portion at the bottom. 
The leaves gradually part 
with their moisture, twist 
and curl, and after about an 
hour, are taken from the 
pans, to constitute the fin- 
ished product. Tea so pre- 
pared is green in colour, but 
it lacks the vividness of 
•colour which characterises 
much of the green teas 
■exported to Europe and 
America, and which, in 
former days, at any rate, 
was produced at Canton 
by dyeing the leaves with 
gypsum and Prussian blue. 
It is a significant statement 
•of Chinese travellers that the 
Chinese themselves never 
use the artificially coloured 
teas ! 



The World's Commercial Products 


When the tea finally leaves the drying-pans it is picked over and sifted, and finally sorted 
into different grades previous to packing. If the tea is intended for export, this is a very 
important process, since the value of a consignment largely depends upon the "evenness" 
of the leaf, and considerable experience and manual dexterity are necessary to ensure the tea 
being of the same grade and quality throughout. Once satisfactorily sorted, the tea is 
put into boxes or baskets and pressed down by men treading it with their feet, which are 
covered with clean cloth or straw shoes put on for the purpose. • • - • 

Up to the end of the rolling process, the preparation of black teas proceeds upon lines exactly 
similar to those described above, but after the rolling, the leaves are subjected to a much more 
extended drying process in the open air, the period lasting for two or three days. The differ- 
ence in the colour and character of the teas almost entirely depends upon the differences in 
the methods of preparation at this stage, and, since the matter is more fully dealt with below 
in connection with the Ceylon and Indian industry, it will be sufficient to add that the leaves 
intended to produce black tea, during this extended exposure to the atmosphere, undergo a 
process of fermentation which does not obtain in the manufacture of green teasJ Great care is 
taken in the final drying or " firing " of the black teas, an experienced and generally old man 
being invariably employed to regulate the furnace while the other members of the family 
keep the leaves constantly agitated in the pans. The finished tea is then sorted and packed 
as in the case of the green varieties. 

The teas, whether green or black, have next to be sold, and at the end of the season,- the 
great tea merchants or their agents visit the tea districts, taking with them large supplies of 
copper coin with which to pay for the commodity. The merchants generally put up at the 
local inn, and as soon as they have arrived* the growers bring in their baskets of tea, slung, 
on -bamboo poles, to submit them to the inspection of the prospective buyer. If the quality 
is satisfactory the bargain is struck and the tea and money change hands. Should the tea not 
meet with the approval of the merchant, it is promptly taken away and offered in 



The World's Commercial Products 


other quarters until a sale is 
effected. The teas bought 
up in a district are then con- 
veyed to the most convenient 
town, where they are again 
graded and packed into chests 
for the foreign markets. 

The purest of all teas, 
which is least touched by the 
human hand in its manu- 
facture, is the Virgin Tea of 
China. It is prepared exclu- 
sively from the very youngest 
leaves of the shrub and is used 
principally at Chinese mar- 
riages, and so delicate are the 
leaves that even after pro- 
longed, boiling but little tan- 
nin is evident. The leaves 
are tied together with silk 
thread in tiny bundles, and 
when the tea is to be brewed a bundle of the leaves is held in a large clear crystal cup of 
very thin glass by means of a small ivory or- silver skewer, and the boiling water poured in. 
The leaves slowly unfold and, changing colour from the dingy greyish-black condition, quickly 
revert to nearly the same refreshing greenness which they possessed when they were plucked. 
The infusion, as seen through-the glass, is of a pale amber colour, resembling that of the finest 
•qualities of cognac ; it is drunk directly from the leaves, the aroma and odour being obtained 
to perfection. • • 

The Chinese are experts in the adulteration of tea. They use for this purpose the leaves 
of the rose, ash, and plum, rhododendron, buckthorn, and many other plants. The teas are 
also -scented with the flowers of an olive (Olea fragrans), Chloranthus inconspicuus, and species 
•of Gardenia and Jasminum. Even mineral adulterants are also employed to give weight 

ft was largely owing to the j ealousy of the Chinese Government in preventing the visits of 
foreigners to tfye great tea-growing districts, that the mystery surrounding the origin of " black" 
and " green " teas was not finally cleared up until nearly the middle of last century. Up 
to that time we find English writers contradicting one another, some asserting that the black 
and green teas were produced from the same variety of the tea plant, the differences in the 
finished product being due entirely to differences in the process of manufacture, and others 
•equally convinced that the two kinds of tea were produced from distinct varieties of the tea 
plant, the " black " teas being prepared from the leaves of Thea Bohea and the " green " 
teas from Thea viridis, both plants being well known in England. During the early part of 
the nineteenth century, however, the great botanist, Robert Fortune, was travelling in China 
•on behalf of the Horticultural Society, and it was due to the efforts of this observer that the 
mystery was at last explained. The tea-growing districts visited by Fortune were those of 
Canton, Fokien, and Chekiang. Up to the time of his investigations upon the matter, Fortune 
had held to the view of the dual origin of the two varieties of tea, and was gratified to find 
that, while in Canton black tea was obtained from a plant which he identified as the true 
Thea Bohea, in the green-tea districts of the province of Chekiang he failed to meet with a 
single plant of this species, and further, all the green-tea plants he was able to examine in the 
Ning-po country and in the islands of the Chusan Archipelago, proved to be, without exception, 



hea viridis. • Fortune then left for the province of Fokien, fully convinced that he would 

nd the tea hills covered with Thea Bohea, since black tea was largely produced in the district", 

nd the species took its name from the Bohee hills in this province. In his book, " Wanderings 

in China," Fortune proceeds : " Great was my surprise to find all the tea plants on the tea hills 

near Foo-chow exactly the same as those in the green-tea districts of the north. , Here were 

then green-tea plantations on black-tea hills, and not a single plant of the Thea Bohea to' 

be seen. Moreover, at the time of my visit, the natives were busily employed in the manufacture 

f black teas. Although the specific differences of the tea-plants were well known to me*. 


I was so much surprised, and I may add amused, at this discovery, that I procured a set of 
specimens for the herbarium, and also dug up a living plant, which I took northward to- 
Chekiang. On comparing it with those which grow on the green-tea hills, no difference what- 
ever was observed. It appears, therefore, that the black and green teas of the northern districts 
of China (those districts in which the greatest part of the teas for the foreign markets are made) 
are both produced from the same variety, and that that variety is the Thea viridis, or what 
is commonly called the green-tea plant. On the other hand, those black and green teas which 
are manufactured in considerable quantities in the vicinity of Canton are obtained from the 
Thea Bohea, or black tea. And, really, when we give the subject our unprejudiced considera- 
tion, there seems nothing surprising in this state of things. Moreover, we must bear in mind 
that our former opinions were formed upon statements made to us by the Chinese at Canton, 
who will say anything which suits their purpose, and rarely give themselves any trouble- 




The World's Commercial Products 


to ascertain whether the information they communicate be true or false." It was thus defi- 
nitely proved that the differences in the teas reaching this country were not due to specific 
•differences in the tea plants, but were produced as a result of differences in methods of 


The success which has attended the efforts of Indian and Ceylon planters to oust China 
teas-from some of the most important of the world's markets is one of the most striking facts 
in the history of the tea trade. Up to the present, however, the British planter has made 
comparatively little impression upon the volume of the Japanese export trade in tea, and 
in the United States and Canada the product of Japan holds a position which appears to be 
very secure, while certain grades have earned a reputation which cannot readily be shaken. 
Within recent years considerable attention has been paid by British growers to the Japanese 
tea industry, and several reports have been issued as a result of investigations carried out 
on the spot. Japanese teas may be divided into four classes : (1) Hikacha or Yencha, a 
powdered tea of high quality used only on ceremonial occasions ; (2) Green tea, subdivided 
/ into Gyokuro (" pearly dew "), and Sencha, the latter being inferior to Gyokuro in quality, 
\ but constituting the bulk of the tea drunk by the people ; (3) Bancha, consisting of the pre- 
vious war's Leaves mixed with withered stalks and chopped twigs; (4) Oolong and Black 
tea.,- With regard to the Black teas j it is interesting to note, that comparatively little is 
produced in Japan,, since for some, reason not sufficiently understood, but probably due to 
imperfect methods, the native leaf does not undergo the fermentation processes successfully, 
and poor results generally attend the efforts made to obtain a good black tea. The Oolong 
varieties have the colour and appearance of black tea but possess the flavour of green tea. 
Japan proper produces, very little Oolong, but large quantities are shipped from Formosa. 

The teas most interesting to the British planter, however, are the Gyokuro and Sencha 
green teas, for these are the grades exported to the American continent, where green teas 
have a great hold upon the popular, taste. They further form the bulk of tea consumed by 
he Japanese themselves. , 

e Japanese tea-planter prefers the lower slopes of the hills for setting out his bushes, 
although, providing that the drainage is satisfactory, successful plantations can be laid 



out on the level plains. The famous -Uji tea gardens are mostly on the plains. It fre- 
quently happens that the tea is interplanted with other crops, mulberries and plums 
being often. grown between the tea bushes, while in one district pears are grown on trellises 
placed above the tea. The bushes are usually allowed to reach a height of about three- feet, 
but in the Uji gardens they frequently attain to six feet. A peculiarity of the Uji district is 
that a large part of the tea is cultivated under artificial shade, the effect being to produce 
a better quality of leaf of a darker green colour. Bamboo poles are set up at intervals and 
arranged to support horizontal mats also made of bamboo. After the crop has been 
plucked the matting and poles are taken down. This shade-grown tea is highly valued 
by the Japanese, and it is grown exclusively for home consumption. Picking .-usually begins 
at the end of the third or fourth year and the best leaf is obtained from the eighth to the 
fifteenth year. The ordinary life of the bush is about twenty-five -years. There are, as a rule, 
two crops in the year, one in May and the second in the middle of June, after the rains ; a 
third, crop is sometimes obtained, but the quality of the leaf is very poor. The bushes are 
pruned after the first. crop, and again during the winter. 

"• In the manufacture of the teas it is interesting to note that in the case of the better-class 
green, teas, and a considerable proportion of Sencha, no machinery is used, the whole process 
being carried out by hand, the popular belief being that it is impossible to procure with 
machinery the delicate aroma produced by the old-fashioned hand methods. For the 
production of teas destined for the export trade, however, machinery has entirely supplanted 
hand labour. 

The preparation of the leaves begins as soon as possible after picking, and in the case of 
Sencha, which forms the bulk of the tea consumed in Japan, the first process is said to be 
that of steaming. The steam is allowed to act on the leaves for about four minutes, when they 
are shaken by hand, and spread out on mats to dry. The important procsss of firing now 



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follows. The workman first smears the surface of the paper lining of the firing tray with rice 
paste, which, when dry, affords a hard polished surface. A small quantity of the steamed 
leaf is then poured into the tray, which the workman turns over repeatedly until the edges of 
the leaves begin to curl as a result of the heat and mechanical friction. The workman then 

works the leaf into balls, 
which he breaks and again 
works up, extracting, mean- 
while, the stalks, dried leaf, 
and other impurities. As 
the firing progresses, the 
fresh green colour of the 
leaves gradually changes to 
an olive brown, and the 
fragrant odour of the tea 
becomes perceptible. The 
mass gradually shrinks in 
size as the moisture evapo- 
rates, and when finally pro- 
nounced to be dry — the 
whole operation of firing 
lasts about three hours — 
it is seen that each leaf is 
separately twisted and rolled. 
The tea is then spread out 
on paper-lined trays similar 
to those used for firing, 
and left until the leaves 
become quite brittle. If 
destined for home consump- 
tion the leaves are sifted 
with bamboo hand sieves 
of three or, four degrees of 
fineness, and any impurities 
remaining are removed by 
hand ; if for export, the 
sifting is not carried out, 
but the tea is immediately 
packed in cases made of 
thick cartridge paper and 
despatched to the wholesale 
, The methods of cultiva- 
tion and processes of manu- 
facture adopted in the case 
of Gyokuro and Hikacha teas — the finest qualities— are said to differ in several respects- 
from those described above for the bulk of the tea raised in Japan ; but the actual details- 
are not perfectly known. 


The story of the rise of the tea industry in Ceylon is one of the most interesting in the 
history of planting. Up to the middle of the last century, coffee had been the most 



Reproduced by permission of Messrs. Cooper & Cooper 



important of the European cultivations, but in the sixties a terrible fungal disease commenced 
its ravages in the coffee plantations of the island, and after a comparatively few years it was 
evident that the industry was doomed. The enormous losses, widespread consternation, 
and distress occasioned by this calamity will be referred to in the article dealing with 
coffee, and need be no more than mentioned here ; but in spite of the blow which had been 
dealt them, the planters with commendable pluck and energy turned all their attention to the 
discovery of other crops suitable to the climate and conditions of Ceylon, with which 
their broken fortunes might be restored. Attention was given to cinchona, cardamoms, cacao, 
and other crops without any great measure of success ; but it was not until they seriously 
turned their attention to tea that the panacea was discovered. It was found that the warm, 


damp climate of many parts of the island was pre-eminently suited to the cultivation of the 
new crop ; moreover the hardiness of the tea-plant when compared with coffee soon raised 
the hopes of the planters and encouraged them in their new efforts. ,. 

It has been frequently stated that tea was found to be already existing in Ceylon by the 
Dutch, who occupied the island before the advent of the British ; but this statement lacks any 
really satisfactory confirmation. A very small amount of tea was originally planted out in 
Ceylon as early as 1839; but the first regular plantation was not opened out until 1867, when 
Messrs. Keir, Dundas & Co. started to raise tea at Yoolcondura. The area was about ten 
acres, and for some few years the industry made no great strides : in 1877 some 2,720 
acres were under tea, which ten years later had increased to 170,000 acres. In 1897 the area 
had grown to 350,000 acres, and last year (1905) the official returns showed an area of 
390,000 acres. 

The area recorded for 1905 includes a certain acreage which has been interplanted with 
rubber, and in Ferguson's Ceylon Handbook it is estimated that the actual area under tea 
last year was about 380,000 acres. One of the most noticeable facts borne out by a study of 
Ceylon tea statistics is that whereas during the period up to 1890 the acreage had increased 
by leaps and bounds, during the last ten years or so the area planted has been practically 


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stationary, and it is the opinion of those best able to judge that, for the present at any 
rate, the growth of the tea industry has reached its upper limit. 

The average size of an estate in Ceylon is about 300 acres. As in so many industries 
in all parts of the world, there has been a tendency of late years to group several estates under 
one working staff to effect economies in working and management expenses, but, nevertheless, 
by far the greatest proportion of estates are small, and in the hands of the European planters 
resident on the estates themselves. In a very large number of cases, perhaps in the majority, 
the estates are owned by companies and the planters are servants of the company, and not the 
actual owners of the estates, as was more often the case in former years. 

VThe enormous labour supply necessary for the Ceylon plantations is recruited principally 
from among the Tamils of Southern India, who have proved themselves to be, on the whole, 
very satisfactory labourers. The people — men, women, and children — are recruited from 
their villages by their future overseers, who are locally known as " Kanganies," and while the 
majority return to their homes with accumulated savings, some elect to settle down in Ceylon 
for life. The approximate number of coolies employed is about 400,000. 
/ By far the greater part of Ceylon tea is exported to the United Kingdom. Next to 
' England, the> most important customer is Australia, followed by Russia and America L At the 
present time, special attention is being paid to the production of green teas, the object in view 
being to foster the American market. The total exports from Ceylon in 1905 were 
approximately 160,000,000 lbs. 


The first practical suggestion for the establishment of tea plantations in India was 
made in 1788 by Sir Joseph Banks to the East India Company; but his suggestions 
were not acted upon until 1833, when experimental plantations were laid out in the 



district of Kumaon, in the Himalayas — the seeds and plants used being imported 
from China. No sooner had the experiments been initiated than attention was drawn 
to the statement that a tea plant indigenous to Assam had been discovered some 
years before, and that this variety was probably more suited to cultivation than the Chinese 
plant. The announcement was received with a certain amount of scepticism on the part of 
experts, but a travelling commission was sent to Assam to settle the matter. Although an 
undoubted tea plant, now known as Thea assamica, was found to occur abundantly, 
it was regarded as a degenerate form of the Chinese variety; the committee therefore 
recommended the further cultivation of plants from China. In 1837 and the years imme- 
diately following, discoveries .of extensive tracts of country in Assam bearing the indigenous 
tea were made, and in 1838 the first consignment of Indian tea^ consisting of 488 lbs., was 
sent to London, the price obtained being 9s. 5d. per lb. About this time the principal planta- 
tions came under the control of the famous Assam Company, and by 1854 the Indian export 
had risen to a quarter of a million pounds. Planting was then started in Cachar and Sylhet, 
and in 1858-9 the plantations of Darjeeling were commenced. Since that time the industry 
has made enormous strides, and several other districts have imitated the example of Assam 
and planted out large areas in tea. At the present day the tea districts of India.are Eastern 
Bengal and Assam, with 422,335 acres ; Bengal (Darjeeling and Chota Nagpur), with 53,024 
acres ; Northern India (United Provinces and Punjab), with 17,346 acres ; Southern India 
(Madras and Travancore), with 38,789 acres : a grandjtotal of 531,494 acres, with-a total pro- 
duction last year of 221,068,000 lbs. ! In 1875 the total production was about 26^- million 
pounds. Of the total export in 1905 the United Kingdom took no less than 166,754,000 lbs., 
or, roughly speaking, seventy-six per cent. The next best customers were Canada, taking 
15,018,000 lbs., followed by Russia with nearly 10,000,000 lbs., and Australia with over / 
7,000,000 lbs. Other important buyers were Asiatic Turkey, the United States, Ceylon, Persia^ 
China, and Kashmir. 


Next to Ceylon and India, Natal is by far the most important of the tea-producing colonies 
of the British Empire, and the industry is one of considerable value to the country. From 










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the most reliable records it would appear that_the tea plant was first introduced into Natal 
about 1850, from that " clearing-house of the botanical world" — Kew. The most import- 
ant, fact was that the plants flourished in their new home. Tea-growing as a definite 
industry, however, was not seriously undertaken until about a quarter of a century 
later. It will be remembered that the destruction of the coffee plantations by a fungoid 
disease was essentially the cause of the existence of the now splendid Ceylon tea industry, 
and it was precisely the same misfortune which in 1877-78 necessitated Natal planters 
seeking a new field for the investment of their capital. When it became evident that coffee 
was doomed as a cultivation of first-class importance, Mr. (now Sir) J. L. Hulett became 
convinced that, with suitable plants, tea would prove the salvation of the planters. The 


matter was brought before the Lower Tugela Planters' Association, and on the Government 
being asked to render assistance, free freight on seed imported from India was offered to the 
colonists. The latter formed a syndicate to defray expenses, and seed from Calcutta was landed 
in Natal in March, 1877, and immediately planted out in nurseries. Unfortunately, about the 
time the seedlings were planted out a severe drought visited the country, and out of 4,000 plants 
successfully raised from the seed only 1,200 survived. The seriousness of this set back was in- 
creased by the fact that the surviving plants would require three or four years before they would 
yield any seed for nursery purposes, and it was not until 1880 that seed was gathered from 
them, the quantity obtained being barely sufficient to plant five acres. In the following year, 
however, the planters returned to their task with undiminished determination, and, in spite 
of many subsequent discouragements, the acreage gradually increased until at the present 
time it extends to over 4,000 acres. The greater part of this area is in the Lower Tugela 
Division of the country of Victoria, and tea is also grown to a small extent in the Alexandra 

The most productive tea gardens are at an elevation of about 1,000 feet, the land at this 
altitude being generally of -an undulating character, well watered, and the climate sufficiently 
humid to encourage leaf -production. The plucking season commences in September and lasts 
until June of the following year, during which period each bush is picked about sixteen 



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Undoubtedly the most hopeful outlook for the Natal tea industry lies in capturing the 
South African market ; for, while the annual import of tea into South Africa is considerably 
over 6,000,000 lbs., the annual production of the commodity in Natal does not exceed more 
than 2,000,000 lbs. In order to satisfy the local demand it would be necessary to increase 
the present acreage three-fold, i.e., to about 13,000 acres. 


For several years past serious efforts have been made by the Russian Government 
and by private individuals to establish a tea industry in the neighbourhood of Batoum, 
in the Caucasus. The Imperial plantations are situated at Chackra, and have an area 
of about 400 acres, and in 1905 the tea prepared from a plucking of 102 acres reached 
a total of 21,600 lbs. The Popoff plantations, which are owned by a private firm, are somewhat 
smaller in area, and are situated at Chackra, Salibauri, and Kaprshun. Up to the present, 
however, comparatively little progress has been made in the industry, the labour question 
being one of great difficulty. 


A small tea industry alsoexists in Jamaica. In 1868 an acre of land was planted with tea 
by the Government, and, as the experiment met with some considerable success, the area was 
later increased. In 1887 there was one private tea-garden in the island at Portland Gap, 
about twelve miles from Kingston, with twelve acres under cultivation. Nine years later 



further experiments were made at Ramble in St. Ann, and the results being successful, the 
cultivation has gradually increased until, at the present day, there are about ninety acres 
under the crop. 

In Fiji an experiment in tea planting was made in 1880. The island chosen was Tayiuni, 
and an area of thirty acres was planted out with the Assam hybrid ; the area was gradually 
extended to several hundred acres, when it became known as the Alpha Tea Estate. The 
success of this garden — situated within four miles from the coast and at an altitude of 1 ,000 feet 
— led to the establishment of another plantation in the neighbouring island of Vanua Levu, 
known as the Masusa Estate. Fiji tea is chiefly consumed locally. 

Tea is also cultivated in the State of Johore, in the Straits Settlements, and small planta- 
tions exist in Burma, the Andamans, and Tonquin. Experiments have also been made in 
British Central Africa. In Java a valuable export trade is being gradually built up. The 
iirst seed was introduced into Java from Japan in 1827 by von Siebold, and young plants 
were raised in the famous botanical garden at Buitenzorg,' but a few years later better 
varieties were obtained from China by Jacobsen, who may be regarded as the founder of the 
tea industry in Java. 


We will now turn our attention to the cultivation and manufacture of tea as practised by 
the European planters of Ceylon and India. 

In opening out a new tea garden the first step is the establishment of a nursery for raising 
the young plants which are to fill the garden. A piece of jungle near the new plantation is 
cleared ; then the soil carefully hoed, and prepared for the seed. The land is now divided 
into beds between which are shallow trenches, and when the soil is sufficiently prepared, the 
seed, which has been allowed to sprout in seed beds, is planted out and the ground covered with 
thatching to prevent scorching by the sun. The nursery is carefully fenced in to prevent 
damage by cattle and wild animals. The seed is obtained from plants grown in a special 
" seed garden " where the bushes are not pruned in ordinary cultivation, but allowed to attain 
their full growth. 

Meanwhile the clearing of the future garden has been proceeding, and, when complete, 
the soil is carefully hoed and then marked out with stakes, about four feet apart, indicating 
the lines or rows which are to 
receive the young tea-plants 
from the nursery. The roads 
and drains of the plantation 
are dug by the coolies, and 
then transplanting commen- 
ces. The young plants are 
taken from the nurseries 
when about twelve inches 
high, and planted in the holes 
prepared for them, care being 
taken to keep the wall of 
earth round the roots of the 
seedling intact. 

The plants become well 
established and ready for 
picking when three years old, 
at which time they are send- 
ing out abundance of young 
leaf-shoots, known as the end view of/.a rolling machine 


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" flush." From this time onwards the picking or plucking is carried out at regular inter- 
vals, and, to induce the formation of abundant flushes, the bushes are pruned from time to 
time, a process which also keeps the growth of the plant within bounds to allow of the pluck- 
ing being conveniently performed. In the colder climates of China and Japan, the flushing 
ceases in the winter ; but in Ceylon it goes on all the year round. 

In Ceylon the flush is ready for picking every ten or twelve days. The process consists in 
plucking the young shoots, to include the third or fourth leaf from the bud, and upon the 
size of the leaf depends the quality of the tea manufacture. Thus, plucking is designated 
as " fine " when the bud at the top of the shoot and the two young leaves just below it are 
taken, " medium " when the bud and three, " coarse " when the bud and four leaves are 
taken. From the " fine " plucking the tea known as " pekoes " are made, " flowery pekoe " 
being derived from the youngest leaf, " orange pekoe " from the next youngest, and " pekoe " 
from the third leaf ; " souchongs " and " congous " are prepared from the larger leaves. 
Pekoe-souchong, as the name indicates, is intermediate in quality between pekoe and souchong. 

The flush is gathered by the women into baskets and when the latter are full they are 
taken to the factory to be weighed. The leaf is carried to the upper floor of the factory, 
where it is thinly spread out on light open-work shelves of canvas, or on wire-meshed trays 
placed one above the other, in order that the drying or "withering" of the leaf may take 
place. In good weather the correct degree of flaccidity is reached in seventeen or eighteen 
hours; but if the weather is damp, artificial heat is employed. The withered leaf is 
then collected from the trays and thrown down through shoots into the rolling machines, 




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which are generally situated on the ground floor. The object of the rolling process is, 
firstly, to bruise the leaves so as to allow the leaf juices to become mixed, and, secondly, to 
impart a twist or curl to the leaf. The rolling machines consist essentially of a table with 
a central depression to hold the leaf and a hopper above it, the two moving one over the other 
with an eccentric motion. Any required degree of pressure can be put upon the mass of leaf 
that is being rolled, and at the end of about an hour the door in the bottom of the machine 
opens and the roll falls out, the twisted leaves, which have become somewhat yellowish, clinging 
together in masses which are broken up in a machine known as a " roll breaker " ; a " sifter," 
which separates the coarser leaf from the finer, is usually attached to the breaker. The next 
process, the fermentation process, is one of the most important in tea manufacture; for on its 
efficient accomplishment depends to a large extent the quality and character of the tea. Fur- 
ther, the omission after this stage in the manufacture results in the formation of " green " 
teas, which formerly enjoyed' great popularity. In the preparation of black teas, then, 
the rolled leaf is piled in drawers one above the other or on mats, and then left to 
ferment or oxidise, air being allowed free access. The process occupies a varying length 
of time according to the particular garden and the condition of the weather. During 
the fermentation the leaf emits a peculiar odour and changes colour, and after about 
two hours, when the right degree of copper-brown colour has been attained, the leaf is " fired " 
in the drying machines, the heat arresting all further fermentation. In many factories the 
leafjjis re-rolled previous to firing. Besides the checking of the fermentation, the object of the 



firing process is to remove all the moisture without driving off the essential oil and other 
constituents, upon which the value of the manufactured article largely depends. The firing is 
■effected by one or more of many types of machines, all of which act by passing a current of 
hot, dry air through the damp fermented leaf until it is dry and brittle. A commonly 
used type of machine is the " Sirocco," to the illustration of which the reader is referred. 
The tea is then taken to the sorting room, where it is sifted into grades by a machine con- 
sisting of a series of moving sieves of different sizes of mesh. The resulting sittings are classed 
as Flowery Orange Pekoe, Orange Pekoe, and Pekoe No. 1, and are known as " unbroken teas." 
The first mentioned is the least coarse and finest tea, but the coarser tea which does not 
sift through the meshes is transferred to " breaking machines," and broken up and again 
sifted, the products being known as Broken Orange Pekoe, Pekoe No. 2, etc. The tea dust 
which accumulates during these processes is kept separate from the better qualities, and is 
shipped as " dust " and " tannings." 

The processes in the manufacture of green tea in India and Ceylon are similar in most 
respects to those employed for black tea. The various grades resulting from the sifting receive 
names different from those applied to black teas, the principal varieties in descending order of 
quality being Young Hyson, Hyson No. 1, Hyson No. 2, Gunpowder, and Dust. The tea is 
then packed into lead-lined chests, stamped with the name of the garden or factory, and 
transported to the quay at Colombo, Calcutta, or Chittagong, whence it is shipped to 
England. r \ 





A most interesting variety of tea is that so extensively used in Tibet and some parts of 
Russia, and known as " Brick Tea." The product may be briefly described as very cheap 
and coarse teas which, with the small twigs, have been compressed into blocks. The chief 
•centre of the industry is at Ssu-chuan, in Western China, and it has been estimated that the 
Tibetans annually import the tea to the extent of from twenty to thirty million pounds. 
Very little care is exercised in the plucking process. The main object of the cultivator is to 
obtain a good weight of the product with as little trouble as possible, and hence the first six 
or seven leaves are roughly stripped from the twigs or, as is more generally the case, the twigs, 
to a length of perhaps twelve inches, are literally reaped from the plant. There is no withering 
or regular fermentation pro- 
cess ; the twigs and leaves 
are at once heated in thin 
iron pans for a few minutes, 
and then tied up into bun- 
dles and sacks and taken 
away to the factories or 
"hongs," where the material 
is piled in heaps and allowed 
to ferment. After being 
•dried in the sun, the tea is 
sorted into grades, when it 
is steamed and finally 
pressed into a shallow brick- 
shaped mould by means of a 
heavy rammer ; it is often 
necessary to mix the chopped 
twigs with a paste made from 
glutinous rice in order to 
make them adhesive. In sifting the tea with sieves 


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three or four days the bricks have become quite hard, and, after being stamped with the- 
maker's name or device, are wrapped in paper and made into strong packages for transport to- 

Large quantities — some 20,000 tons per annum — of a brick tea are made at Hankow, and 
the same town also manufactures " Tablet Tea," both for the Russian market. The bricks 
are very different from the Tibetan article, for they are manufactured from tea dust of good 
quality, the dust being either purchased as such by the factories (which are under Russian 
control), or else tea is bought and ground to powder by machinery. The tea dust is carefully 
sifted into grades and steamed for a few minutes, after which it is cast into bricks, in 
separate moulds, by hydraulic pressure. The bricks are allowed to dry in the moulds for two 


The Tablet Tea is 

or three weeks, when they are packed in bamboo baskets for transport, 
prepared from the finer grades of tea destined for European Russia. 


The famous Paraguay Tea, or Yerba de Mate, is one of the most important economic 
products of South America. The tea is derived principally from the leaves of Ilex 
paraguariensis, although an investigation carried out at Kew a few years since showed that 
several varieties of this species were concerned in the product, and that it was probable that 
other species of the same genus were also used as a source of the tea. Further, there was evidence 
to show that, in addition, the leaves of Symplocos lanceolata and Elaeodendron quadrangulatum, 
plants belonging to quite different families, were also used for the same purpose. 

By far the greater bulk of mate, however, is prepared from Ilex paraguariensis. The 



plant is a shrub belonging to the natural order, Aquifoliaceae (Holly family), and bears oval leaves 
about four or five inches long, with serrated edges. It is found commonly in Brazil and 
Paraguay, where there are also regular plantations ; but the leaves are extensively used through- 
out South America, and several million pounds of the prepared mate are annually exported 
from the latter country to various parts of the continent ; small quantities are also sent to 

In the preparation of mate the leaves are not plucked from the plant as in the case of 
ordinary tea ; but large leafy branches are cut from the shrub and placed on hurdles over a 
wood fire until sufficiently roasted. The dried branches are then placed on a hard floor, 
.and the withered leaves beaten with sticks, after which they are reduced to a coarse powder 


in rude mills. The product is then ready for packing in skins and leather bags. There are said 
to be three principal grades of mate in the South American market, viz., Caa-Cuys, which is 
Ihe half-expanded leaf-buds ; Caa-Miri, the unroasted leaf from which the principal veins have 
been removed ; and Caa-Guaza, or Yerba de Palos of the Spaniards, which is prepared from 
the roasted leaves together with the leaf stalks and smaller twigs. The infusion is prepared 
for drinking by putting a small quantity of the tea in a cup with a little sugar ; a drinking-tube 
•or bombilla, with a wire network or perforations at the bottom, is then placed in the cup and 
boiling water poured in the mate. When sufficiently cool, the infusion is sucked up through 
the tube. Mate has an agreeable, slightly aromatic odour, and a somewhat bitter taste. It 
is very refreshing, and is a valuable restorative, especially after great physical exertion, while 
it also possesses mild diuretic and aperient properties. 

Another species of Ilex (I. cassine) was the source of the famous " black drink " of the 
North American Indians, which is known under the name of " Youpon." The home of 
.the plant is along the eastern and southern shores of the United States, and it is not found 


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to any great distance inland. It is an elegant shrub ten to fifteen feet high ; but 
sometimes rises into a small tree of twenty to twenty-five feet. The oval, toothed leaves, which 
are about an inch long and very smooth, were once extensively used by the natives of North 
America as tea, the preparation of the beverage being very similar to that of ordinary tea. 

The method of preparing cassine was comparatively simple. The leaves and tender young 
branches were carefully picked, the season chosen being the time of harvest. The leaves 
were dried in the sun or shade and afterwards roasted in ovens, remains of which are still 
found in the Cherokee region. The roasted leaves were kept in baskets in a dry place until 
needed for use. An infusion of cassine leaves with boiling water gives, after cooling, a liquor 
of little taste and slight odour. But, if boiled for an hour, the infusion becomes a very dark 
liquid, resembling strong black tea of an odour not unlike that of Oolong tea. The taste is 
similar to that of inferior black tea, quite bitter, but with little flavour. 

Besides the different varieties of " tea " described above, there are several plants the leaves 
of which are used by people in various parts of the world for the preparation of a refreshing 
drink. Thus, in the Australian colonies the leaves of species of Leptospermum and Melaleuca, 
plants belonging to the Eucalyptus family, have been employed as tea, though the quality is 
not all that could be desired. The famous " Bushman tea " of South Africa is prepared 
from Cyclopia genistoides, and the lemon grass yields an infusion which is drunk 
by natives of some of the inland districts of India. " Bourbon tea," sometimes 
known as " Faham tea," is especially interesting since it is one of the very few examples of 
a product of economic value derived from the Orchid family. The orchid in question is 
Angraecum fragrans, which is found growing as an epiphyte on the trees of the forests of Bourbon, 
or Reunion, and Mauritius. It is a perennial, producing a few green leaves which have a 
persistent vanilla-like odour. The beverage is prepared by pouring cold water on to the dried 
leaves, and boiling the liquor for about ten minutes in a tea kettle or other closed vessel. 
It is then emptied into the cups or tea-pot, and sweetened according to taste. The tea possesses 
an aroma of great delicacy, and leaves a lasting fragrance in the mouth. 


The popularity of coffee needs no emphasising, and yet it is only during the last 250 years 
that this beverage has come to be generally used in the civilised countries of Western Europe. 
Coffee is now one of the important plants of tropical agriculture, and the annual value of the 

product is enormous. 
It has been estimated 
that there are some 
50,000 coffee estates in 
the world, and that 
they annually produce 
coffee to the value of 
over £50,000,000. 

To a greater degree 
than most other agri- 
cultural i n d u s.t r i e s , 
coffee cultivation has 
been subject to strange 
vicissitudes. Originally 
all the coffee consumed 
in Europe came from 
Arabia, then the West 
Indies, and, later, Java 




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became pre-eminent, 
to be in turn abso- 
lutely beaten by 
Brazil, which at the 
present time pro- 
duces some three- 
quarters of the 
world's total supply, 
and controls the 

The history of 
coffee cultivation in 
Ceylon, to which we 
shall refer again 
later, affords a good 
illustration of these 
variations in fortune. 
In 1880 coffee was the 
principal crop of the 
colony, and worth 
some £3,000,000 
annually. The at- 
tacks of a micro- 
scopic fungus ruined 
the plants, and the 
industry within a 
comparatively few 
years became of 
quite minor import- 
ance, and the annual 
crop is now worth 
only about £25,000 
— a drop in value 
of £2,975,000 in less 
than thirty years. 


The coffee plant belongs to the genus Coffea of the natural order Rubiaceae, an assemblage 
of plants including also the cinchonas, which yield quinine ; gambier, furnishing the tanning 
material and dye of the same name ; madder, and other useful plants. The order is most 
abundantly represented in the tropics, and our British representatives — the bed-straws, 
goose-grass, and madder — do not possess the characteristic features of their relatives of the 
warmer regions of the world. Altogether there are about eighty recognised species of Coffea, 
of which only two are cultivated to any great extent, namely Arabian Coffee {Coffea 
arabica) and Liberian Coffee (C. liberica). 

Arabian and Liberian Coffee 

The beautiful Arabian coffee plant is a shrub attaining a height of fifteen or eighteen feet. 
Its leaves are of a fresh green colour, three to four inches in length, pointed and borne in pairs 


n— c.p 


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on the slender branches. The flowers occur clustered in groups of from four to sixteen in the 
axils of the leaves. They are white in colour and of fragrant odour. The fruits, or so-called 
" cherries," are at first a dark green, but as they ripen the colour gradually changes to yellow 
and then to red, and at last, when thoroughly ripe, to dark crimson. The outer portion of 
the fruit is fleshy like a cherry (whence the common name). Each fruit contains two seeds, 
covered in turn by a dry, smooth, straw-coloured husk, known as the " parchment." The 
seed itself is of a horny consistency, and will be perfectly familiar to everyone, as it is the 
unroasted coffee bean of commerce, of characteristic greenish-grey colour. Between each 
seed and the parchment is a thin membranous covering known as the " silver skin." The 
two seeds or " beans " which each fruit contains lie with their flat sides together. It often 
happens, however, that only one of the beans attains full development, in which case it is no 
longer flat on one side, but more or less circular in section. Such beans form the so-called 
" pea-berry " coffee. They are carefully separated when the crop is gathered, because they 
fetch a higher price. In Brazil there is a very rare variety known as the Hybrico-coffee, the 
fruit of which contains four or six seeds. 

The native country of Liberian coffee is not only the negro-republic of that name, but also 
the other parts of the West Coast of Africa, from Sierra Leone to Angola. Its cultivation is 
of much more recent date than Arabian coffee, because the product is less valuable ; and 
its first appearance on the European market met with only very moderate success. The first 
Liberian plants were introduced into Ceylon and into Java after the fearful coffee-leaf disease 
broke out, in the years 1873 and 1878 respectively. At first it was thought that the Liberian 



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coffee-plant was not susceptible to the malady ; this opinion was, however, cruelly belied, 
although it was indeed less susceptible, and offered greater resistance than its Arabian cousin. 
Hence people have gradually learned to appreciate the Liberian plant, if not on account of any 
superior quality of its fruits, at any rate on account of its power of resistance and its vigorous 
growth — for which reason it has gradually gained a place for itself in Eastern countries by the 
side of the Arabian coffee. In America, however, the Arabian variety still holds its own. 
The Liberian plant is distinguished from the Arabian by its greater height, which varies 
between eighteen and thirty-six feet, and also by the dimensions of its leaves, which sometimes 
attain the length of one foot. The flowers grow in clusters of six or eight together in the axils 
of the leaves, and exceed those of the Arabian plant in size, while the fruits are also much 
bigger, having a diameter of about an inch, and do not drop so readily when they are ripe 

1 .. 



^ \ 



W- wk 


I M 




L a A 




{The background is formed by banana leaves) 

as do those of the Arabian plant. The pulp is less rich in sugar and tougher than that of 
Arabian coffee, which makes the use of special machines necessary in its preparation. 

The aroma of Liberian coffee is not very highly appreciated, which, considering its 
many other good qualities, especially its great fertility, is much to be regretted ; for this 
reason people in Java have endeavoured to improve the species. 

Attempts have been made to attain this end by artificial hybridisation, and for a long 
time, in Java as well as in British India, the hope was cherished of obtaining a race which 
would unite the merits of Arabian and Liberian coffee. These efforts, however, have not 
proved very successful, although in a book published in 1899 M. A. J. Thierry records that 
in Java, owing to the labour of van Riemsdyck, a hybrid has been produced which, when 
grafted on to Liberian roots, is said to be resistant to coffee-leaf disease. 

The grafting of Liberian on to Arabian coffee has not been successful; although the results 
of experiments in the opposite direction were quite satisfactory. Among other things, it was 



observed that such plants suffered less from the attacks of parasites, than those which had 
not been grafted, especially from those parasites — such as nematode worms — which frequently 
attack the roots of the Arabian coffee plant but do not usually attack Liberian coffee. By 
grafting we thus obtain the advantage of the hardy root system of Liberian whilst the produce 
from the grafted stems is the more highly esteemed Arabian coffee. 

The famous Buitenzorg Botanic Gardens, near Batavia, where experiments are made 
with all kinds of tropical plants, furnished the first seeds of Liberian coffee to the planters 
of Java in 1878. Since that time the cultivation of this kind of coffee has so rapidly 
progressed, that at present one-tenth of the State plantations are planted with- shrubs of this 
sort, and one-fourth of the private plantations also. 


Other Varieties of Coffee 

Over and above the two chief kinds of coffee — -Arabian and Liberian — which are described 
above, the following varieties deserve mention, on account of some peculiar characteristics. 
The Hybrico-coffee of Brazil already mentioned, with its fruits containing four or six instead of 
two seeds. The Maragogipe, found in 1870 near the town of the same name of the Brazilian 
province of Bahia. The leaves of this kind are as large as those of the Liberian coffee, and 
the seeds are so much in request that people have tried to grow it elsewhere, but accounts 
vary very much as to its yield. The Botucatu (var. amarilla), discovered in the year 1871 
in the district of the same name in the province of San Paolo, which the English have introduced 
into India under the name of " golden drop coffee," but of which the cultivation is not very 

Experiments have been, and are still continually being made, with numerous varieties in the 
hope of finding a sort fit for cultivation. These experiments are conducted in various parts of 
the world with the wild Congo coffee (Coffea robusta), and in the Botanic Gardens of Ceylon, 
Trinidad, and elsewhere, with the Sierra Leone coffee (Coffea stenophylla), the beans of which 
are said to be superior in flavour to those of all other coffees. Another species of coffee {Coffea 


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excelsa) has recently been introduced into the Trinidad Botanic Gardens, and is reported to be 
of considerable value. 

As the methods of the cultivation of coffee and itsjpreparation for market differ to some 
extent in various parts of the world, it will be best to give first a general account of the processes 
adopted, and to supplement this afterwards with notes on the industry in the different 
producing countries. 

Coffee thrives to the best ad- 
vantage in a hot, moist climate, 
and on rich, well-drained soil. A 
high rainfall is usually essential, 
and anything between 75 and 120 
inches per annum is desirable, well 
distributed. It is true that coffee 
can be grown in dry regions and 
yield produce of excellent quality, 
but then the crop is usually very 
small. In the tropics coffee is 
pre-eminently a crop for fairly high 
elevations, and the best results are 
attained on estates situated above 
2,000 feet, although it will grow 
almost down to sea level. Liberian 
coffee gives good results at lower 
elevations than Arabian. 

In South America the coffee 
grown in very dry regions, situated 
rather high above the level of the 
sea, is considered the most fragrant ; 
the fruits are much smaller, how- 
ever, and the crop less plentiful. 
In damp regions, above a certain 
degree of latitude, the plant bears 
a very rich foliage, at the expense 
of the fruit. The two things most 
injurious to its growth are cold, 
and very hot, dry winds. If the 
plant is not protected it loses a 
large part of its foliage on the windy side ; sometimes it is even entirely despoiled of its 
leaves. To prevent this, trees are planted round the coffee plantations to shelter them from 
the wind. 

Propagation. Coffee plants are propagated from seeds, for which the largest and finest 
fruits from selected trees should be chosen. The seeds may be planted directly in the fields 
in the positions the future trees are to occupy. The method is commonly known as " planting 
at stake," because a stake is driven in to mark the position of the seeds, three or more being 
planted together so as to allow of the weaker plants being pulled up later. This method has 
several advantages as it does away with the expense and risk of transplanting. On the other 
hand, if the climate is not sufficiently moist, there is always the possibility of drought 
injuring, or even killing, the young seedlings. If there is any likelihood of this happening 
the young plants must be raised in nurseries. When this course is advisable the seeds 




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are sown in carefully prepared and thoroughly well-tilled nursery beds, situated so that 
the plants can readily be watered. It is necessary to afford shade to the young plants, and 
this can be done by arranging coarse matting, palm leaves, etc., on a framework three or four 
feet above the ground. When the plants are about one to two feet high they are transplanted 
to their permanent situations, this being done at a season when showers are frequent. Before 
transplanting the shade is gradually removed and the plants hardened off exactly as in this 
country one would prepare seedlings for the difference in climate between a frame, or green- 
house, and a situation in the open.. After being transplanted temporary shading is afforded 
by palm leaves, leafy branches, or in other ways, each country and sometimes each estate 


having its own method in these matters of detail. The distance between the plants varies, but 
from ten to fifteen feet apart may be taken as about the average planting distance. Catch 
crops can be cultivated between the rows whilst the coffee plants are young and small. In 
Brazil, for instance, maize and beans are planted between the young shrubs. These give a 
useful crop and at the same time serve to shelter the coffee from the sun. Bananas and plan- 
tains are commonly employed in a similar way. As soon as the coffee plants become well 
developed and begin to bear fruit, the other plants should be removed unless there are special 
considerations which render their retention advisable for a longer period. 

Weeding is of great importance in the coffee plantations and requires great care, for in 
regions of such luxurious growth grasses and weeds display an extraordinary vitality and 
vigour. In Brazil, with its dry climate, where the coffee-shrubs are planted at sufficient 
distances from one another, mechanical weeding-knives drawn by negroes are used to clear the 
plantations, a method which is very little known in other countries. 



Shade Trees. So far we have only spoken of the temporary shade provided for the coffee 
whilst it is young. Permanent shade trees are also often planted, amongst the favourites 
being species of Erythrina and other leguminous trees. The necessity for these is a disputed 
question. Certainly, excellent coffee can be grown without shade, for instance, the Blue 
Mountain coffee of Jamaica, and in Brazil also shade is not usually employed. The planters 
of other countries, such as Porto Rico, say that the plants absolutely require shade. Local 
•conditions probably have much to do with this difference of opinion, and it is one of those 
problems which, as in the case of cacao, each planter must solve for himself as the result of 


his own observations. The whole question is fully discussed by Mr. O. F. Cook in an 
interesting Bulletin of the United States Department of Agriculture, entitled " Shade in 
Coffee Culture," in which the complex nature of the problem is well brought out. In all 
probability where shade- trees are found to be advantageous their beneficial action is often 
only indirect, in affording protection from winds, drought, soil erosion, and in that increase of 
soil fertility which leguminous plants, as a group, bring about. 

Fruiting. As a rule the coffee shrub first flowers in its third year, and then only bears a 
small crop of fruit. The fifth year is usually the time of the first considerable yield. Climate 
and soil have great influence on the blossoming. Where there are no great differences in 
the temperature in the different seasons the coffee plant bears flowers all the year through, 
so that at any time of the year an individual plant will bear flowers and fruit in various 


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stages of development. The gathering of the crop and the treatment of the beans are in such 
places not restricted to definite seasons — a circumstance which is of no advantage, as the 
quantity gathered at one time is usually small, and the handling and preparation of the crop 
is more profitable when large crops are dealt with. It is thus preferable to form plantations 
in regions where the seasons are sharply distinguished from each other. In Java three 
gatherings are made annually, called the " early," the " chief," and the " after crop," 
but only the second, which begins at the commencement of the rainy season, is of great 

* In the coffee-growing districts of Brazil differences in climate have great influence on the 
time of flowering, the time of harvest, and the quality of the product. Thus, ripening is 
hastened in the State of Rio de Janeiro, where it is much warmer than in San Paolo, the con- 
sequence of which is that the crop gathered in Rio is ready for sale at least a month earlier 
than Santos coffee from San Paolo (April and May), whilst in other districts, such as 
Braganza and Atibaia, the crop is not ready until October. 

The flower enjoys only a very ephemeral existence as the setting of the fruit generally takes 
place within twenty-four hours, and the petals wither and fall off almost inmediately. A 
coffee estate in full flower is a very beautiful sight, but its glory is very soon past and an estate 
which was a mass of fragrant white blossom one day becomes green again within a compara- 
tively short time. From the time of blossoming to the ripening of the fruits there is a 
period of some seven or more months. 

' Picking. It is easy to recognise when coffee fruits are ripe as they are then dark . red, 
and bear a strong resemblance to ripe cherries. The cherries are readily stripped from the 
branches by hand, and are collected in bags, baskets, or other convenient receptacles. To 
obtain the best quality product only the ripe " cherries " are gathered, those which are green 
and unripe being left on for a later picking. Dry and shrivelled up berries must also be 






r ~~K 











































I- 1 






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carefully kept apart. The picking requires to be done carefully so as to prevent the plant as 
well as the fruit from being damaged. 

The Arabs allow the fruits to mature fully until they fall off of their own accord, or are made 
to fall by slightly shaking the plants, a cloth often being spread beneath. This ensures only 
quite ripe fruit" being collected, and is no doubt one reason of the excellent qualities of Mocha 
coffee. This method, however, is not generally adopted in countries where there is a high 

In Brazil the crop is gathered " da terra " or " do lencal." If the first method is adopted 
the fruits are made to fall on the ground, which is first carefully cleared of weeds, and the 
cherries are afterwards gathered up and freed from sand, earth, etc., by sifting. In the alter- 
native method the tree is shaken and the fruits collected on a cloth (lencal). Formerly. this 
method was also practised at Santos, but since slavery was abolished in 1888 the gathering 
<( da terra " (which is not so good, but requires fewer labourers) has gradually taken its place. 

The fruits are usually carried in carts to the places where further treatment takes place, 
but on many large, up-to-date, plantations they are transported along galvanised iron 
spouting by "the agency of running water. 

Preparation for Market 

The cherries as gathered each contain normally two seeds or coffee beans. Each bean 
is enveloped by the thin delicate silver skin, and outside this by the parchment, and both are 
enclosed in the fleshy pulp of the outer portion of the fruit. All these coverings have to be 
removed to prepare the beans for consumption. This may be done in one of two ways, 





( 1 ) the older or dry method, still practised in Arabia and some other countries, and (2) the 
modern or wet method, often spoken of as the West Indian process. 

The Dry Method of Preparation 

The beans are spread out on stone drying grounds, Commonly known as barbecues, in a 
layer a few inches deep. During the first day or two they are frequently stirred so that all 
are exposed to the sun, and afterwards means are usually adopted so that they can easily 
be removed under cover at night or at any other time when there is any chance of their being" 
made damp again. The pulpy covering ferments and gradually dries, the whole processes 
taking two or three weeks. When thoroughly dry the beans can be stored any length of time 
until wanted, when all that has to be done is to remove the dried pulp in a primitive manner 
by pounding in a mortar similar to those used for husking rice (see illustration on p. 193), 
or, as is now more usual, in a hulling machine. In either case the dried covering is broken 
up and the beans set free. 

The dry method, although it is simpler and requires less expensive machinery, is gradually 
falling into disuse, and even in Brazil, where it is still prevalent, it is losing ground, because 
the modern wet method is quicker and is independent of the continuance of settled fine weather 
over a considerable period. 

The Wet Method of Preparation 

In the " wet " method of preparation the cherries as brought in from the field are placed 
in a large tank full of water. The well-developed cherries are heavy and sink to the bottom, 
whence they are drawn off through pipes, whilst the immature and bad fruits (which are light) 
float on the surface, and are treated separately. The ripe cherries are carried directly to 
machines called pulpers. 

Pulping. Pulpers are of various types, but one of the oldest, and yet most effective, con- 
sists essentially of a rough cylinder — more or less like a very large cylindrical nutmeg grater 


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— which is made to revolve facing a curved metal plate. Between the two there is not room 
enough to allow the cherries to pass. The cherries are reduced to a pulp by the rasping action 
of the revolving cylinder. The mixture of seeds and pulp is carried away into a vat full of 
water, where it is mechanically stirred to cause the seeds to separate from the pulp. The 
heavy seeds settle to the bottom whilst the lighter pulp is carried away by an overflow of water. 
The seeds or beans are drawn off and carried in a stream of water to a kind of sieve, and the 
water is drained away. 

Fermentation. The beans are not yet clean, but the " parchment " which is still uninjured 
is covered with a slimy layer which cannot be got rid of in the pulping machine. To remove it 
the beans are placed in a cistern or vat. Fermentation is set up and allowed to continue 
from twelve to forty-eight hours or more. When the fermentation has proceeded for a 
sufficient length of time the beans are removed to another vat and washed. 

Washing. This is sometimes effected by running in enough water to cover the beans and 
trampling on them with bare feet when the adherent tissue becomes loosened. Successive 
rinsings with water, stirring with rakes or by special machinery result finally in leaving the 
parchment coverings quite clean. 

During the washing process those beans which are not developed sufficiently and are light 
float on the surface and are collected separately to be sold as " tailings " of inferior quality. 
When the washing is completed the beans are strained again and removed to the drying place. 

Drying. This operation is carried out in much the same manner as the drying of cacao, 
the actual method adopted depending largely on climatic considerations. With an assurance 
of continuous sunshine and a dry atmosphere, it is sufficient to spread the beans out on a 
barbecue or drying floor usually made of stone, with a raised edge. By having sliding roofs 
to the barbecues, or by the provision of portable drying floors on rails, protection against rain 



and dew is easily secured. Other planters use trays, which can be placed on supports above 
the level of the ground and readily carried under cover when necessary. Drying coffee in such 
trays is illustrated in the pictures on p. 189 and p. 190. When the sun's heat cannot be relied 
upon, artificial heat has to be resorted to. One method is to have special drying tables, fitted 
with steam pipes. The beans are spread on these tables or trays, constantly stirred, and 
rapidly dried by the application of heat which can be regulated as desirable. 

The colour of coffee, which has such great influence on the market price, chiefly depends 
on the quantity of water which the beans contain. Blue beans contain more moisture than 
the green, and these again more than yellow ones, while slow drying in a damp atmosphere 
gives the beans the colour of lead. 

The dried beans are now in the state known as "parchment coffee." Each bean is still 
covered by the delicate silver skin and that again by the parchment which is harder and 
stronger in Liberian than in Arabian coffee. The produce is frequently exported in this state, 
and, for some time at any rate, its quality appears to improve whilst it is kept in this condition. 

Before, however, the beans can be used the parchment and silver skin must be removed, 
and this may be done on the estate, at the port of shipment, or at the receiving port or 
elsewhere, according to weather conditions, supply of labour, and other considerations. 

Peeling. The removal of the final coverings is known as peeling. Machines of various 
types are employed, but in all the essential is to crack the parchment without injuring the bean. 
The coffee must be thoroughly dry before this is done, as then the parchment is brittle and 
more easily broken up, for example, by rollers. Winnowing removes the light pieces of parch- 
ment and leaves the heavy beans behind. A further simple rubbing and winnowing gets rid 
of the silver skin, leaving the beans clean and in the condition of ordinary unroasted coffee. 



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Sizing. To secure uniformity in size, which is desirable when roasting, the beans are sorted 
into large, medium and small by passing them through sieves with meshes of certain sizes. 
The last stage is to pick them over carefully by hand to remove all foreign bodies, broken or 
discoloured beans, and anything in fact which would lower the value of the product. 

After the beans come on the market they only require roasting and grinding to be ready 
for use. 


The principal coffee-growing districts in Brazil are all included in the four states of Sao 
Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Geraes, and Espiritu Santo, lying just within the tropics, as shown 
in the map on page 177. It is recorded that in 1905 there were in the state of Sao Paulo no- 
less than 16,015 coffee estates. The coffee-producing region is but a very small portion of 


Brazil, which is nearly as large as all Europe, and much more coffee could be grown in the 
country if required. The consumption of the world, however, remains fairly stationary at 
about 16,000,000 bags (of 120 lb. each) per annum. All the other coffee countries put together 
produce about 4,000,000 bags, whilst for Brazil alone the crop for 1906 is expected to reach 
the enormous total of 16,000,000 bags, and some estimates put it as high as 18,000,000. The 
aim in Brazil now is rather to reduce the crop in order to maintain prices, and a tax has been 
imposed on new coffee estates. The present great production is largely due to the high prices 
which ruled from 1887 to about 1895, and encouraged planting enterprise. In 1901-2 the coffee 
crop of the world reached its maximum, and the lowest prices for the product were experienced 
in 1903-04. 

Other South American Countries 
In Venezuela and Columbia, situated in the northern and hottest portion of South America, 
coffee is extensively grown, chiefly in the mountain districts. From Venezuela the annual 




export is worth about £1,500,000, and mostly goes to France, the United States, and Germany. 
The exports from Columbia are of much the same value, and the greater portion is taken by 
the United States. 

Bolivia is sometimes allowed the honour of producing the best coffee in the world, that 
from the Yungas district being considered superior even to Mocha. Bolivian coffee is not 
important commercially, as the supply is not equal to the home demand. Ecuador and Peru 
both export coffee, and steps have recently been taken to develop an industry in Paraguay. 

hulling coffee in java 

Central America 
Guatemala is the most important coffee-growing country in this region, exporting coffee 
to the value of from £1,000,000 to £1,500,000 per annum. About one-half the crop goes to 
Germany. Coffee is the principal industry, and is estimated to afford emplovment to about 
half the population at crop time. 

West Indies 
The production in Jamaica is described on p. 195. Haiti is the principal coffee island 
of this group, producing coffee to the value of about £500,000 annually. In many of the 
islands coffee can be easily cultivated and is grown to some extent, if only for home con- 
sumption. Porto Rico formerly had a nourishing coffee industry, but its value has considerably 



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diminished. Under the Government of the United States, experiments are being made to 
cultivate coffees of the type most in favour in the United States market, and to improve 
cultural methods. First-class Java coffees are being taken as the standard, and every effort 
is being made to obtain a product which can hold its own in competition with them. 

The name Mocha coffee is applied generally to the coffee produced in Arabia. The best 
portion of the crop goes to Turkey and Egypt, being purchased on the trees by traders who 
themselves look after the picking and preparation. The coffee which reaches Mocha for sale 
is that which is not considered worthy of purchase by those traders. 

Dutch East Indies 
The produce from Java, Sumatra, Celebes, and Borneo is known generally as "Java 
coffee," and the greater part comes from Java. The plantations are largely owned by the 
Government, and great care is taken in the cultivation and preparation. The best Java 
coffees are of very high quality. 


The chief coffee-producing countries in the Empire are India, Jamaica, British Central 
Africa, Trinidad, and Ceylon. Small quantities of the product are grown also in Queens- 
land, British Honduras, and Natal, whilst in almost every part of the tropical regions of the 
Empire one or other species of coffee is cultivated for local use. 

As might be anticipated from the fact that this country is the chief source of " British- 
grown " coffee consumed in the United Kingdom, and of some twenty per cent, of our total 
supply, India is the principal seat of coffee production in the British Empire. The most 
recent returns estimate the area under coffee cultivation in India as close upon 213,000 acres, 




almost all in Southern India, and about one-half in Mysore. The general tendency appears to 
be to decrease the area under coffee in the country. The United Kingdom and France take by 
far the greater part of the coffee exported. 

The " Blue Mountain " coffee of Jamaica is famous and commands higher prices than any 
other kind of coffee. It is grown at elevations between 3,000 and 4,500 feet on estates situated 
in the beautiful mountain range whence it derives 'its name — in a region where the climate is 
cool, and rain, alternating with -brrglrfsunshine, is obtainable all the year round. The output 
of the better grades is limited to rather less than. 8,000 cwt. per annum. The total export 
of coffee varies, however, between 50,000 cwt. and 100,000 cwt., and it usually stands about 
third or fourth in order of value amongst the products of the colony. 

British Central Africa 

Coffee is the principal export of British Central Africa, and the Protectorate stands alone 
in the British Empire in this respect. The introduction of coffee. into the country is quite 
a recent event, comparatively speaking, having taken place in 1878. By 1896 coffee was 
by far the most important item in the list of exports. During the last ten years the value of 
coffee exported has been altogether about £242,000, whilst during the same period the total 
value of all exports — cotton, rubber, tobacco, and ivory, in addition to coffee — -has been about 

The area under coffee reached its maximum in 1901, when it was 16,917 acres ; it decreased 
more or less steadily, until in 1904 it was 8,867 acres. Last year there was a sudden drop 
to 4,880 acres. The diminution in coffee cultivation has been due to the general depression 
in the coffee market and locally to droughts to a considerable extent. .The great fall between 
1904 and 1905 appears to be due to the increased attention given to cotton. The coffee 
estates are chiefly situated in the healthy Shire Highlands, and Arabian coffee is almost 
entirely grown. 



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"A quarter of a century ago coffee was the principal product of the colony, and the value 
of the annual crop exported exceeded £3,000,000. Now it is only about £25,000, whilst the 
tea occupies the premier position. 

Coffee Leaf Disease. K The Ceylon coffee industry was ruined owing to the attacks 
of a minute fungus, known as Hemileia vastatrix, very similar to the rust of wheat. The 
disease was .'first noticed in 1869, when it was already fairly well distributed throughout the 
island and had probably been in existence for some time. The characteristic outward sign 
of the disease is the formation of a number of yellow spots on the surface of the leaves. 
Owing, to the fungus using up the plant's food, the coffee plant is weakened, its leaves fall 
long before they would if not attacked, only a small proportion of the flowers develop sound 
fruits, and accordingly a very poor, crop is the result, whilst the whole plant is weakened and may 
finally be killed.* The disease was very carefully investigated by the late Professor H. 
Marshall Ward in 1880-81, but no curative measures could be discovered. Coffee estates 
had to be abandoned, and many planters were ruined. Some tided over the crisis by 
cultivating cinchona (see Drugs), and, later, tea was actively taken up. The greatest 
assistance was rendered by the Botanic Garden, and the Ceylon planters displayed wonderful 
energy in meeting the disaster. Within a year or so after the disease was noticed in Ceylon it 
appeared in Southern India,, and rapidly spread to other countries also, the spores probably 
having been introduced in various ways ; practically all the coffee-growing regions of the Old 
World were, affected. The disease is so dreaded that other countries took, and still take, 
every possible precaution to guard against its introduction. 


First in importance are the United States of America, which import for home consump- 
tion about one-half of the world's commercial coffee crop. The average consumption per 



head in the United States is very high, about 11 to 121b. per annum, which, is equalled or 
exceeded only in Norway, Sweden, and Holland. ' We "take the lowest position, the average 
consumption per head in the United Kingdom being less than. 1 lb. ^per annum. Similarly 
in Canada, each individual uses on the average less than 1 lb. of coffee yearly, solhatthe 
relatively enormous consumption in the United States is rendered the more striking. 

Germany follows the United States, using considerably less than one-half the total 
of the latter country, but then the individual consumption in Germany is only between 6 and 
71b. per annum. France, Austria-Hungary, and Holland are next in order of consumption. 
Sweden, Belgium, and the United Kingdom form another little group, each taking about 
half the amount used in Holland or Austria-Hungary. In Sweden and Belgium there is' a 
high individual consumption, whereas in the United Kingdom, as already noted, it is very low. 


The stimulating and refreshing action of coffee is mainly due to the presence of caffeine 
and a volatile oil. Caffeine belongs to the group Of substances known as alkaloids, which as 
a class have usually a bitter taste and are only slightly soluble in water. Amongst other 
well-known alkaloids are cocaine, the active principle obtained from coca leaves ; morphine, 
codeine, and narcotine, the essential constituents of opium; quinine and cinclionine, to which 
the bark of cinchona owes 
its properties ; theobro- 
mine contained in cacao. 
Theine, the alkaloid of 
tea, is practically identi- 
cal with caffeine, and 
both are very similar to 
theobromine. Paraguay 
tea or Mate and kola nuts 
contain caffeine. 

The quantity of caf- 
feine present varies 
greatly in different 
species of coffee. It is 
never very large in 
amount, slightly under 
2*0 per cent, of the dry 
seeds being the highest 
recorded. Analyses of 
Arabian coffee show a 
range of between 0*7 
and 1*6 per cent., whilst 
Liberian coffee varies 
from about l'O to 15 
per cent. The wild Sierra 
Leone coffee (C 'off 'easteno- 
phylla) contains about 
1*5 per cent. Four spe- 
cies of coffee, natives of 
Madagascar or of the 
neighbouring islands, do From p koto by pennon 0/ 
not contain any caffeine. Jamaica coffee tree 

'"Son Kingston, Jamaica 


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Various substances have been used as adulterants of, or substitutes for, coffee. In most 

instances the object is to increase the profits by selling at the price of coffee a much cheaper 

article. r 


It is difficult to know whether chicory should be described as a coffee adulterant in all 
cases, because there are many people who prefer the addition of chicory. 

, Ghicory is prepared from the fleshy roots of Cichorium Intybus, a plant closely related to 
the lettuce, and found wild throughout a great portion. of Europe, North Africa, Siberia, and 
Northern India. In parts of the United Kingdom it is a conspicuous wayside plant with 
cornflower blue flowers. Chicory was formerly the basis of an industry of some importance 
in England, and at one time about half the chicory used in this country was produced at home. 
About 1860 over 1,500 acres were devoted to this crop in Yorkshire alone. Various circum- 
stances, however, have effected a great reduction in the crop. The removal of protective 
duties in 1854, coupled with the imposition of excise duties from 1860 onwards, had much to 
do in bringing about this result. The total area under chicory in the United Kingdom is 
now only some forty acres, and the preparation of the roots is only practised at York and 
St. Ives. At the present time the home-grown article contributes merely about two per cent, 
to the annual consumption, the great bulk of the imports coming from Belgium. 

In addition to its legitimate use, chicory is often employed to adulterate coffee, and some- 
times as much as ninety per cent: of chicory has been detected in ground " coffee." It 
must be remembered that whereas coffee is worth, say, about Is. 6d. per lb., chicory costs 
only 4d. per lb. A simple test whereby to detect the presence of chicory is to put a little cf 
the ground material in a glass of water. Coffee remains hard and floats on the surface for a 
long time ; chicory soon softens, and sinks, colouring the water more or less brown. 

Other Substitutes and Adulterants 

The substances which have been found as adulterants in ground " coffee " are very varied, 
including cereals, sawdust, bark, cacao husks, acorns, figs, lupine, peas, beans and other pulses, 
and even baked liver. Colouring materials are also used to improve the appearance of poor 
and damaged beans. Artificial beans composed of such ingredients as flour, chicory and coffee, 
or bran and molasses have been manufactured, the mixture being ground up, made into a 
paste, and moulded into the form of the genuine article. 

A few seeds make a palatable infusion with water and are used to some extent as substi- 
tutes for coffee, although they lack its stimulating properties. One of the best known is Negro 
Coffee, or Mogdad Coffee, the seeds of Cassia occidentalis. The seeds of a species of Ipomea, 
the ochro (Hibiscus esculentus), and the soja bean are also employed for the same purpose. 


Tobacco is prepared from the leaves of 
several species of Nicotiana, a genus of 
plants belonging to the natural order 
Solanaceae, a family which includes the 
tomato, potato, egg-plant, deadly night- 
shade, and many other well-known 

The species of Nicotiana are nume- 
rous, but those of which the leaves are 
used as tobacco are very few. The 
great bulk of the world's supply of 
tobacco is derived from N. Tabacum, 





which is very largely cultivated in the United States, Cuba, the Philippines, and also in Holland, 
Germany, France, and some other countries. It is a handsome plant, the upright unbranched 
stem reaching a height of from three to six feet or more, and bearing large, pointed, oval leaves, 
which at the base of the stem are slightly stalked while those towards the upper part are 
without stalks and clasp the stem. The pink or rose-coloured flowers are funnel-shaped, and 
borne in a branched inflorescence at the top of the stem. The whole plant, with the exception 
of .the flowers, is viscid to the touch, due to the occurrence of soft hairs which secrete a 
resinous juice from the cells at their apex. 

East Indian, or Green Tobacco, is obtained from another species of Nicotiana, viz., N. 
rustica, originally a native of Mexico, but now extensively cultivated in Southern Germany, 
Hungary, and the East Indies. The plant is smaller than the preceding, with a much- 
branched stem, but grows more quickly, and not only ripens earlier, but is more hardy. The 
flowers are greenish or pale yellow, and the leaves are shorter and broader in proportion than 
those of the American plant. While N. Tabacum produces the various grades of American 
and Turkish tobaccos, and also the famous Latakia variety, N. rustica is the source of the 
Hungarian tobaccos, and also affords much of the East Indian leaf. In the opinion of many 
connoisseurs, the finest tobacco in the world is the Persian variety, known as Shiraz tobacco, 
and this again has an origin different from either of the two mentioned above, the plant 
concerned being N. persica. 

It must not be supposed that the species of Nicotiana cultivated for tobacco exhibit no 
variation in botanical characters when grown in different parts of the world, for the first 
two species mentioned above possess numerous varieties ; but, in the two species N. Tabacum 
and N. rustica and their many varieties, and perhaps N. persica, (which is regarded by many 
authorities as a mere variety of AT". Tabacum), we have practically the only members of the large 
genus Nicotiana, which are the sources of commercial tobacco. N. repanda, however, is said 
to have formerly furnished some of the best cigar tobaccos of Cuba, and N. latissima is 


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"Is i\ 


reported to yield the variety known as Orinoco. The subject of the botanical source of the 
chief commercial tobaccos will be more fully dealt with later. 

The question as to the original home of so important a plant as tobacco — using the term 
to include the three species mentioned — is naturally one of very great interest, and has given 
rise to a considerable amount of discussion. Briefly stated, the question resolves itself into 
deciding between the claims of the Old and the New World as the home of the plant which is 
now equally common in both. For a very long time, indeed up to the middle of last century, 
it was by no means certain that truly wild plants of at any rate AT". Tabacum had ever been 
gathered in America by botanists, and Fliickiger and Hanbury in their great work on the 
History of Drugs stated that " the common tobacco is a native of the New World, though 
not now known in a wild state." Later, however, evidence was forthcoming for the occurrence 
of the plant in the wild condition. 

With regard to N. rustica, many botanists have been inclined to ascribe to this plant an 
Eastern origin, and the plant most certainly has the appearance of being perfectly wild in many 
districts of the Old World. But authors of the sixteenth century spoke of this species as a 
plant introduced from foreign countries, and there can be little doubt that its occurrence 
under apparently perfectly natural and wild conditions is due to its escape from cultivation. 
The evidence for a non-American origin of tobacco appears, therefore, to be of a very slight 
character, and De Candolle sums up the question in characteristic fashion. He finds that of 
all the numerous species of the genus Nicotiana found in a wild state, only two are foreign to 
America, and both of these occur in Australasia : N. suaveolens of Australia, and N. fragrans, 
found in the Isle of Pines, near New Caledonia. Further, in the contention that all Eastern 
peoples are great lovers of tobacco, and have indulged in the habit of smoking from very 
early times, he finds no support for the Asiatic origin of the tobacco plant, for the narcotic 
"smoked " was quite different from tobacco and was derived from a variety of plants, one 
of, the most commonly used being "bhang," the dried leaves of Indian hemp (Cannabis sativa). 
Again, the writings of travellers in. the East up to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries make 
no mention of ;tobacco and,- in factj we are in possession of no certain evidence concerning the 
use of tobacco in Asia until the seventeenth century, i.e., until after the introduction of the 
plant into Europe. Taking, therefore, these facts into account, we are forced to the conclusion 
that tobacco reached the East via Europe, i.e., ultimately from America.,* 

-Evidence of a very valuable kind in determining the home of a plant is afforded by a study 
of the names under which the plant is known in different parts of the world. If a plant has a 
wide distribution and has been known in different countries from the most remote times, it will 
almost certainly -receive names which etymologically are distinct. Now in the case of tobacco, 
the plant is known throughout the New World by names which can be very readily recognised 
as mere corruptions of " tobacco," a word which, as we shall see later, is of undoubted American 



origin. The evidence afforded by this line of reasoning, therefore, points to the general intro- 
duction into the New World of a plant which was already recognised under an accepted name, 
and this name was that under which the plant was .received in Europe from America. 

The only remaining point for us to consider is the validity of the statement which ascribed 
two indigenous species of Nicotiana to Asia, viz., N. ftcrsica, to which we have already referred, 
and N. chinensis, which was stated by the Russian botanist Fischer to be of, Chinese origin. 
The former is in all probability a variety of a Brazilian plant, which must have been introduced 
into Persia by seed, and the latter has proved to be merely N. Tabacum. 

Summing up, then, we find that, in all probability, there are no truly Asiatic species of 
Nicotiana, which is a typically American genus, and the only two species occurring outside the 
Western hemisphere are N. suaveolens and N. fragrans, both of which are found in Australasia. 

The origin of the word "" tobacco " has given rise to a certain amount of discussion. One 
view inclines to the belief that the word is derived from the island of Tobago, in the West Indies, 
the chief evidence in support of this opinion being that, when in 1520 Ferdinand Cortez gained 
a great victory in this island he found extensive plantations of tobacco in several districts. 
The plantations, however, were no larger than others which had been previously noted in 
other parts of America, and there seems no reason to regard Tobago as the home of tobacco, 
from which the herb received its name. Benzoni, an early American explorer, states in his 
: ' Travels in America " (1542-1556) that the native name of the plant in Mexico was " tabacco." 
There seems to be little doubt, however, that the true origin of the word as it was received in 
Europe was derived from the name of a peculiar piece of apparatus used by the natives of San 
Domingo in smoking the herb. When the Spaniards visited this island in the early years 
of the sixteenth century, they found the people inhaling the fumes of burning tobacco through 
a double pipe which was inserted in the nostrils. The " pipe " was of narrow diameter and 
Y-shaped, the arms of the Y being sufficiently close together to be held in the nostrils with 
comfort, while the leg of the instrument was held in the fumes of tobacco which were thus 
drawn up into the nose and inhaled. This " pipe " was called by the natives " tabaco," 
and there is little doubt that in it we have the origin of our " tobacco." It should be noted 
that the smoking pipe of the Indians of the American mainland was quite different from the 
tabaco, and corresponded, roughly speaking, to the modern type. 



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The Discovery of Tobacco by Europeans 

Having thus briefly dealt with the botany and probable origin of the tobacco plant, we 
will now turn our attention to some of the chief points in connection with the introduction of 
tobacco itself into the countries now mostly addicted to its use. As has been stated above, 
the practice of resorting to the inhalation of narcotic fumes in order to allay excitement and 
to produce a pleasant general sense of comfort has long been known among Eastern peoples. 
Thus we have mention of the practice in the writings of Herodotus, and the habit was known 
among the ancient Gauls, who employed hemp for the purpose. 


The first trustworthy mention of tobacco as the narcotic employed was made by Christopher 
Columbus. In the latter part of 1492, Columbus despatched a small expedition from among 
his ships' crews to explore the island of Cuba, and the men, on their return, reported that 
the inhabitants of the island perfumed themselves with a certain herb from which they drew 
clouds of smoke. The herb was dried and rolled in a piece of maize-leaf, which was lighted 
at one end and held in the mouth at the other, a description which would be roughly accurate 
for a modern cigarette or cigar. During his second voyage to America in 1494-6, Columbus 
was accompanied by Ramon Pane, a Franciscan monk, who describes the habit of snuff-taking 
among the Indians, and later the Spaniards observed the practice of tobacco-chewing 
among the natives of South America. As the Spaniards penetrated into the new countries 
it became more and more obvious that these practices, especially that of smoking, which 
up to the present had been probably regarded as mere local customs, were an ancient and 
universal usage ; and later exploration and study showed that they were intimately bound up 
with the most solemn rites and ceremonies of the native peoples. Other explorers, following 



in the footsteps of Columbus, realised the importance of the plant and its undoubtedly valuable 
properties, and in this connection mention must be made of the names of Petrus Martyr and 
the famous Milanese, Girolamo Benzoni. It fell to the lot of Francisco Fernandez, however, 
a physician commissioned by Philip II of Spain, to enquire into the economic possibilities 
of the flora of Mexico, to introduce the plant itself into Europe in 1558. Both plants and 
seeds were sent to Spain, where it is reported that the plant was much admired on account 
of its beauty. For some considerable time tobacco was regarded as a medicinal herb only, 
but its value in this respect was held in the highest esteem, largely owing to the writings of 
Nicolo Monardes, a famous Spanish physician. The plant was credited with almost miraculous 
powers, and at this time attained an extraordinary degree of popularity as a medicine ; the 
most wildly enthusiastic names were ascribed to it, some of the most common being " herba 
santa," " sana sancta Indorum," " herba panacea," etc. Even in our own country Spenser 
later describes it as " divine tobacco," and William Lilly as " our "holy herb nicotian." Much 
of the rapid increase in the popularity of the plant on the Continent was due to the efforts of the 
French ambassador at the Court of Lisbon, Jean Nicot, and so great were his efforts in this 
direction that they have been commemorated in the name of the genus Nicotiana. Nicot, 
on his return to France from Lisbon, took from the Royal Garden at the latter city a plant 
of tobacco which he presented to Francis II and Catherine de Medicis, recommending it as a 
drug of great value, and this plant together with others which were forwarded to Nicot from 
Lisbon soon after his return were the first to be introduced into France. 

While tobacco thus became introduced into Europe through Spain, and the medicinal 
properties of the plant was clearly recognised by the physicians of that country, it appears 
that it fellto Englishmen to introduce the habit of smoking the herb to the inhabitants of the 
New World. When in 1586, Ralph Lane, the first governor of the new English colony of 
Virginia, and Francis Drake returned from that colony they brought back with them the cured 
tobacco leaf for smoking, and, in addition, certain pipes and apparatus used in the process. 
The tobacco and implements were handed over by them to Sir Walter Raleigh. There 
seems to be some difference of opinion as to who was the first Englishman to seriously adopt 
the new habit, but the honour is generally ascribed to Ralph Lane himself, and the stories 
of the first finding of Sir Walter Raleigh smoking by his servant, and the statement that he 
" tooke a pipe of tobacco a little before he went to the scaffolde " are too well known to need 
more than passing mention. No sooner had the custom of smoking become seriously 



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adopted by a few individuals than it spread with marvellous rapidity among all nations, the 
most rapid strides in the spread of the habit taking place during the seventeenth century. 
The rapid increase in the use of tobacco was viewed by the authorities, and especially 
by the priestly classes, with the greatest concern, who saw in the habit the final_jx)niplete 
demoralisation of the people. Even in our own country, in- spite of the praises, of the poets, 
the divines bitterly denounced the new herb which rapidly gained popularity among, all classes 
of the people, notably among the soldiery. Strong as the opposition to tobacco was in England, 
the vehemence with which it was opposed was as nothing compared to the drastic measures 
taken for its suppression on the Continent, and it will be of interest to note the rise of the use 
of the fragrant weed in the chief countries of Europe. 

The practice of smoking tobacco did not become general in France until the reign of Louis 

XIII, when the habit took a 
great hold upon the people — 
even women smoking. So 
great a hold, indeed, that the 
Government, with possibly 
more than one object in 
view, thought fit to levy a 
tax upon all tobacco im- 
ported from America. The 
people, at first, smoked small 
pipes with a metal bowl fitted 
with an oaten straw stem r 
the model being copied from 
the pipes introduced from 
Spain ; but very soon it 
became the fashion to smoke 
tobacco in pipes of the elabo- 
rate design used by the 
Orientals for their bhang and 
opium. It was not long 
before a heated controversy 
arose between the people on 
the one hand and'* the 
scholars and physicians on 
the other as to the morality 
of tobacco smoking, but the 
habit grew so rapidly among 
all classes and the national exchequer was benefited to so great an extent that before long 
tobacco received royal support, and Louis XIV directed that all his troops, then being 
despatched on an expedition to Holland, should be provided with tobacco and pipes. 

Among the upper classes smoking did not become so popular, tobacco being taken more 
generally in the form of snuff, and, in consequence of this, it was about the end of the 
seventeenth century that the craze for expensive snuff-boxes set in. 

The actual date of the introduction of the fragrant weed among that nation of smokers, 
the Dutch, is somewhat uncertain. In 1590 the physician William Van der Meer wrote that 
he had seen English and French students smoking the new herb at Leyden, but there is some 
reason for supposing that the habit had been indulged in by Dutch sailors some years previously. 
Nevertheless, smoking does not seem to have made any great progress amongst the people 
at this time, and, indeed, we read that for some years after the preliminary attempts of the 
students and seamen, tobacco was relegated to the chemist's shop, where, however, it held 





a wonderful reputation as a panacea. In the beginning of the seventeenth century the use of 
tobacco again became general, and soon attained great popularity. The leaf was imported 
into Holland from the West Indies in relatively large quantities " so that soon over a hundred 
thousand guilders were paid in Holland for tobacco every year." So great a hold did tobacco 
obtain over the people, that in 1615 plantations of the plant were actually laid out near 
Ameersfoort and Zeeland, and soon afterwards the inhabitants of the Gelderland, Utrecht, 
Noord-Brabant, and Limburg provinces followed suit. Every day new " tobacco houses " 
or taverns were opened in the towns, where tobacco leaves were retailed by women to the 
men who sat round the fires and tables of the house cutting up the tobacco and smoking it 
in their clay, tin or silver pipes ; needless to say, the convivial glass was not without its place 
at these gatherings, and soon all classes, both rich and poor, spent a considerable part Of 
their leisure indulging in the new habit. 

It was at this stage that active opposition to tobacco began to make itself felt in Holland. 
The General and Provincial Governments attempted to check the habit by the issuing of 
severely worded proclamations and the imposition of heavy duties ; the municipal authorities 
imposed fines on persons found " sucking " tobacco ; the governors of orphan asylums and 
religious institutions forbade tobacco smoking under pain of instant dismissal or even im- 
prisonment ; and finally, it was made impossible for the country's military and naval defenders 
to obtain any of the weed at all. Nevertheless, in spite of all efforts by well-intentioned 
people to the contrary, smoking spread with great rapidity among all classes. 

The importance of the tobacco trade to Holland grew rapidly, and at the beginning of the 


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eighteenth century had reached considerable dimensions, for not only was the Dutch market 
itself of great value, but the geographical position of the Dutch ports and the flourishing 
condition of her mercantile marine rendered Holland a very convenient distributing centre 
,for the principal smoking countries of Europe. Large quantities of leaf were imported into 
Amsterdam from Virginia, and soon supplies came also from the West Indies — Jamaica, 
St. Vincent, Antigua, Dominica, Cuba, and Brazil. Further, the home cultivation of tobacco 
rapidly increased and, before long, practically every suitable area in the Utrecht, Gelderland, 
and Ameersfoort districts was planted up in tobacco. It was not long, however, before the 
inevitable reaction set in, and in a very few years large numbers of the tobacco merchants 
and planters were ruined. This debacle was not the result of decreased consumption, but was 
the natural consequence of over-production, deterioration in the quality of the article supplied, 

and excessive competition, 
the latter being especially 
encountered at the hands of 
the merchants of Bremen, 
who were now also endeav- 
ouring to share in the import 
trade. Further, the German 
states at this time levied 
heavy import duties on 
Dutch tobacco, and, when 
similar imposts were made 
in Belgium, two of the most 
important of the Dutch 
markets were closed. By 
1760, however, the trade 
had somewhat revived, and 
during the American War of 
Independence the stoppage of 
supplies from Virginia led to 
a great impetus being given 
to the home plantations. 

It would be difficult to 
find more confirmed smokers 
than the Germans, and after 
its introduction into the coun- 
try in the sixteenth century, 
the use of tobacco spread with 
extraordinary rapidity among the people. Neiner says "from the moment they {i.e., the people) 
made the acquaintance of tobacco, the habit of smoking spread so rapidly that there was no 
farmer's cottage where the tobacco pipe was not found ; they sometimes smoke the herb, some- 
times chew it, and sometimes use it as snuff, and we can only wonder that it has not occurred to 
anyone to put it into his ears ! " At the magnificent Court of Frederick I tobacco was smoked, 
and after the Seven Years' War, Frederick II, one of the greatest users of snuff of his time, 
tried all means in his power to foster the cultivation of tobacco in his dominions ; he consulted 
the most celebrated botanists and chemists as to the best methods of procedure, and followed 
the example of France, Holland, Spain, and other countries, in establishing tobacco culture 
as a prerogative of the Crown. 

The measures adopted for the suppression of tobacco-smoking were exceedingly drastic 
in several continental countries. In Russia the herb was solemnly cursed and declared unclean 
by the ecclesiastical authorities, and in 1630 its use was forbidden by royal proclamation. 




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The people, however, disregarded the 
patriarchal ban and the orders of the 
"Little Father," with the result that 
three years later smoking was forbidden 
under the penalty of losing one's nose. 
Even this vigorous measure failed in its 
object, and, in 1641 the Czar Alexis 
ordered that, on the third conviction for 
smoking, the offender should have his 
nostrils split and be banished to Siberia 
for life. Many paid the penalty, but 
smoking became more and more popular 
— so popular, indeed, that several fires in 
Moscow were directly traced to the users 
of the weed. This was the last straw, for, 
fearing a disastrous conflagration in his 
capital, the Czar, in 1655, absolutely pro- 
hibited smoking under penalty of death. 
In the reign of Peter the Great, however, 
a great change of opinion took place, and 
smoking was openly encouraged by the 
Crown in spite of the prohibitions of the 
Church. Since that time smoking has 
steadily increased in the country, and at 
the present time Russia is one of the chief 
tobacco-producing countries of the world. 

The Botany of Tobacco 

We will now consider, in somewhat 
greater detail, the species of Nicotiana 
of value to the tobacco manufacturer, and 
the classes of tobacco which are prepared 
from them. Probably the most important 
is N. Tabacum, variety macrophylla, which produces the Maryland tobaccos. There are two 
kinds, the Stalkless Maryland, which yields a good smoking tobacco and excellent material 
for the outer "wrappers" of cigars, and some of its forms, especially those cultivated 
in Germany and -Holland, are especially adapted for snuff manufacture. The other kind 
is the Stalked Maryland, which produces a very fine leaf from which probably the finest 
Turkish tobacco is obtained. Much of the Cuban and Manilla tobacco is regarded as derived 
from trlis variety. 

^Ve then have another variety of N. Tabacum, viz., var. angustifolia, so called on account 
of its -comparatively narrow leaves. This is the source of much of the Virginian tobacco, 
but large quantities of snuff are also prepared from this variety which is cultivated to a 
considerable extent in Germany and also in the East Indies. 

The world-famous Latakia and Turkish tobaccos are now generally regarded as obtained 
from a variety- of N. Tabacum, though formerly they were ascribed to N. rustica. 

The latter species is the source of -Hungarian, Brazilian, and much Asiatic tobacco, and 
some of its varieties, especially the narrow-leaved Hungarian form distinguished as N. rustica, 
var. ovata, afford good smoking tobacco, although the yield is comparatively small. 

N. crispa is the source of the tobacco used in making the famous cigars of the Levant, and 
is largely grown in many parts of Asia Minor and also in Central Asia. Shiraz tobacco, as stated 





above, is derived from A 7 , persica, but botanists are now inclined to regard this so-called species 

as a mere variety of A 7 . Tabaciim, and so we must accredit this latter -plant with one more 

famous tobacco. 

The Commercial Classification of Tobacco 

In spite of the interest which attaches to a knowledge of the botanical origin of thejjrincipal 
types of tobacco, the fact remains that such a knowledge | is of little use to the tobacco 
manufacturer, for the number of varieties and form, of the chief species is so great that it is 
a matter of the greatest difficulty to trace any particular grade to its botanical. origin ; and 
further, the very same variety of tobacco grown on the same plantation for two consecutive 
seasons may produce a leaf which is adapted for entirely different purposes. In the first'ycar 
the variety may yield comparatively thin and dry leaves, which are only useful for cigarettes ; 
while, in the next season, the same variety will produce a heavy leaf suitable for the " wrappers " 
of plug tobacco. The same plant will also produce several different classes of leaf ;* thus the 
upper leaves will afford a cheap variety of pipe tobacco, the middle leaves a plug' wrapper, 
and the lower leaves a good quality of smoking tobacco. 

For this reason the tobacco dealer disregards all botanical and cultural classifications when 
dealing with the prepared leaf, and adopts a system of his own. Tobaccos are first of all 
divided into " classes," a " class " signifying the purpose for which the product is finally 
intended. Thus, we have the pipe, cigar, chewing, and- cigarette classes, and these are again 
subdivided into various "types," a classification depending on the combination of certain 
qualifications of the leaf such as colour, flavour, elasticity, and strength, or on certain charac- 
teristics produced by the different methods of curing the leaf, e.g., air-cured or sun-cured. 
We then have a further subdivision into " grades," which are almost endless in variety, 
depending upon the different degrees of size, aroma, texture, possessed by the leaf. 

When we are told that it is possible to grade a parcel of Sumatra tobacco from the same 
field into no fewer than seventy-two grades, it will be realised that such a classification 


15— C.P. 


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can only be performed by men who have spent their whole lives in the trade. Mr. G. S. 
Odium, of the Department of Agriculture for Southern Rhodesia, has summed up the 
matter in the following words : "To become expert in the classification and grading of 
tobacco requires life-long experience. All that the farmer can attempt to do is to place 
all leaves of a certain size, quality, and colour together, and let the buyer classify them as he 
wishes. This proper assortment of the leaf is one of the most important things .in the whole 
of the tobacco business. A few leaves placed in the grade above where they belong will largely 
destroy the selling value of the whole grade, and in case of doubt always place the leaf in the 
grade below. Many farmers do not receive more than from one-half to three-quarters of the 
value of their crop, for the reason that they. have neglected to properly classify and grade 
their tobacco, and hundreds of shrewd -leaf dealers have made their fortunes by buying up 

this poorly graded tobacco 
ancl re-grading it." 

A " Good " Tobacco 

To attempt to define a 
"good" tobacco, or even to 
enumerate its characteristics, 
would probably be regarded as 
presumption by the average 
smoker, for each individual 
consumer of tobacco is a law 
unto himself on this important 
point ! And to a very great 
extent he is quite right in his 
contention, for a tobacco re- 
garded as ideal ,by one man 
is quite unpalatable to another. 
Persons leading a sedentary 
life generally prefer a " mild " 
tobacco, while those engaged 
in active out-door employ- 
ment are generally not content 
unless provided with a strong 
tobacco, and it is a =matter 
•» .. . of common experience with 

sedentary workers to find that, during a prolonged holiday, in which they enjoy abundance 
of active physical exercise, a strong tobacco which would have been refused by them under 
ordinary conditions, is consumed with comfort. 

In the early days of the tobacco habit there can be little doubt that any tobacco which 
would burn readily was considered suitable for consumption, and from the quality of the leaf 
still used by many of the poorer and more primitive peoples of the world it would seem that 
the idea is by no means extinct. The modern civilised smoker, however, demands a product 
of good quality, and although the choice of a suitable tobacco is largely a matter of individual 
taste, there are certain points upon which probably all smokers would agree. 

One of the most important characteristics of a tobacco is its flavour, a point of the utmost 
importance when considering the suitability of any variety for cigar manufacture, and by 
no means to be disregarded in the matter of pipe and cigarette tobaccos. The flavour must 
be sweet and pleasant, and neither too mild nor too strong. In the manufacture of the best 
cigars great care is taken to select tobaccos of good flavour for the body or " filler," and at 
the present day the finest fillers are obtained from the Vuelta Abajo leaf, which is cultivated 




with great care in Cuba. The outer wrapper of the cigar is also obviously of great importance, 
and for this purpose the standard of excellence is the Sumatra leaf, so largely cultivated in 
the Dutch East Indies, and also in the United States. It is desirable that the wrapper leaf 
should be as free from flavour as possible, since it comes into actual contact with the lips and 
tongue of the smoker, but it must possess a light and uniform colour, be thin and elastic in 
texture, and the veins of the leaf must be small and comparatively inconspicuous. The 
burning qualities of a tobacco are also of great importance. It must burn readily and yet 


evenly, quietly and completely so that no half-burnt "char" is left, and if the tobacco is 
intended for cigars the ash must be white and of sufficient tenacity to prevent it breaking 
readily and spoiling the clothes of the smoker. 

A chewing tobacco must possess qualities which would render it quite unsuitable for the 
purposes of pipe or cigarette smoking. It must be very rich in flavour, and, what is of almost 
equal importance, the leaf must be of a high absorptive capacity, for no small part of the 
high flavour of such tobaccos is produced by the addition of artificial flavouring matters which 
are added to the leaf in the form of a liquid or extract known to the trade as a " sauce." Another 
important point in chewing tobacco is its : degree of toughness, for any leaf which would readily 
break or powder while being masticated would obviously be of little value ; closely connected 
with the toughness is the degree of " gumminess " which is so much sought after for this 
class of tobaccos. It^should be noted that this last-mentioned property is one which must 


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be quite absent from leaf intended for pipe or cigarette tobaccos, since the gum would 
seriously interfere with the cutting of the leaf when placed in the machines. 

As might be suspected, x it is not often that a single tobacco possesses all the desirable 
properties demanded by. both the manufacturer and the consumer. In fact, it is very seldom 
that such an ideal leaf is met with, and it is necessary to blend or mix different grades until a 
satisfactory article is obtained. Several motives induce the manufacturer to blend his tobaccos 
extensively. Much of the mixing is, as just stated, carried out with the object of producing 
as perfect a tobacco as possible, or one to meet the requirements of special tastes. On the 
other hand, it is a very common practice to add a comparatively small proportion of an expen- 
sive, first-class, and highly flavoured tobacco, such as Perique, to varieties which are deficient 
in desirable qualities, with the result that a perfectly satisfactory article of medium quality 
is obtained. No small part of modern blending, however, is the direct result of the caprice 
of the taste of the 'consumer. Fashion plays a considerable part in the choice of tobaccos, 
and constitutes one of the many difficulties which have to be met by the manufacturer. Should 
the latter place upori the market brands of tobacco which consisted of one variety only, it 
would be 'highly probable that, should that . particular variety of leaf become scarce at any 
time, the substitution for it. of a different variety would ruin the reputation of the brand. To 
avoid tfiis undesirable state of affairs, the manufacturer places upon the market brands which 
are largely blended from various tobaccos — as many as five different, varieties being sometimes 
used— in order that, should any particular leaf become scarce, the substitution of another 
variety will not be markedly noticeable. 



Although individual taste with regard to tobaccos varies considerably with different 
persons, it is nevertheless a fact that; definite types of tobacco are demanded by different 
countries and that a variety suitable for one country would be quite rejected by another. 

• Great Britain demands, on the whole, the best qualities and most highly priced leaf, and 
is one of the most valuable markets for the products of the United States, the average annual 
import from America being nearly 93,000,000 lb. of leaf. She is buying more and more, of the 
better . grades of tobacco, and is rapidly increasing the consumption of the lighter shades of 
tobacco known in the trade as Bright Leaf. The strongest tobacco imported, is that in- 
tended for the manufacture of Navy plug, but the most important is a " smoked," some- 
what olive-coloured- leaf. In former days it was necessary to have a "smoked" tobacco 
in order to withstand . the long sea transit, and the taste for such tobacco then acquired" has 
maintained its hold upon the British consumer. 

The total imports into the United Kingdom now average considerably over 100,000,0001b. 
per annum, and the amount has more than doubled during the last fifteen years. The-principal 
sources of our tobacco are the United States (including trans-shipments from Cuba and Porto 
Rico) with nearly 86 per cent, of the total supply, followed at a very long distance 
by Holland (chiefly from her colony of Sumatra) with only 5" 1 per cent. Then comes Turkey 
with 1 per cent., and from British possessions, chiefly North Borneo, we receive 0'8 per cent. 
All other countries send approximately 3,000,0001b., or roughly 3 per cent. 

The German demands tobaccos which in many instances closely resemble those imported 
into England. The leaf must be stout, with plenty of body, and must be rich in oil ; the 
colour most in favour is a dark red. Large quantities of tobacco are imported into Germany 
for trans-shipment to many parts of the Continent, notably to Russia, Norway, and Sweden. 



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The supplies chiefly come from the --United States to the extent of some 40,000,000 lb. per 
annum, and most of the Brazilian crop is also handled by the German dealer. The bulk 
of the French imports' consist of the poorer qualities of leaf, but thcSwiss, on the other hand, 
will only take the very best grades, which are mostly used for the wrappers of cigars ; the 
quantity taken, however, is comparatively small. Italy and Austria import good qualities of 
tobacco, the latter country requiring a cigar-making material. The tobaccos sent to Spain 
are, generally speaking, very poor. 

It will come as a surprise to most people to learn that, with the exception of the Russians, 
the British consume less tobacco per head than any other of- the principal peoples of the world. 
The fact, however, remains, for while we use but 2 lb., per head per annum, the Belgian smokes 

• no less than 6|- lb., and our American 
cousin requires 5+ lb. a year. The fol- 
lowing figures will show the relative 
positions of the chief countries. 

Average annual 

Country. Consumption 

per head. 


. 6-2 lb. 

United States 

. -5-4 „ 


. . 34 „ 


• 3-0 „ 


. 2 6 „ 


. 2-5 „ 


. 2-4 „ 


. 2-2 „ 

United Kingdom . . 

• 1-9 „ 


• 1:1 „ 


The Chemistry of Tobacco 

The active principle of tobacco, and 

that which is chiefly responsible for its 

narcotic properties, is a liquid volatile 

alkaloid known as nicotine. It varies in 

amount in different tobaccos, the finer 

qualities containing comparatively little 

and the coarser sorts up to as much as 

seven per cent. Nicotine determines to 

a very large extent the strength of a 

tobacco, but its aroma and flavour are 

due to the essential oils of the leaf and also to the aromatic substances produced in the curing 

and " fermentation," which will be described in detail later. In addition, tobacco contains 

resins, fats, and certain organic acids to which must be added the ash constituents. 

Nicotine is extremely poisonous, but in all probability it is in great part destroyed during 
smoking, the poisonous properties of tobacco smoke being due to the products of destructive 
distillation of this and other bodies during the combustion, of the tobacco. 

As regards the physiological effects of tobacco-smoking considerable difference of opinion 
exists. It is certain that it affects different people in different ways, and for young people 
there can be no doubt as to its harmful effects. For adults, however, it is hot improbable that 
the habit has no harmful results if indulged in moderation, but it entirely depends upon the 
physical constitution and state of health of the individual concerned. 






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. £750,000 

jlv) 5,700,000 


. ~600,000 

.. 3,570,000 



. . 3,500,000 


. (?) 470,000 

. . 3,450,000 



. . 1,900,000 

Porto Rico 


. . 1,250,000 




British North Borneo 



smaller quantit 

es of 


tobacco is considerably over a million tons, with a value of 
The following table will show at a glance the principal pr 
tobacco grown : — 

United States 

India . . (approxir 



Sumatra, Java, etc. 





In addition to the abov 
tobacco are, raised in Italy, Roumania, Canada, Greece, 
Belgium, Ecuador, Algiers, Egypt, and in several of 
the ^British colonies, notably Jamaica, British Central 
Africa, Rhodesia, Transvaal, and Uganda. 


Although tobacco had long been grown by .the 
aborigines of the American continent, it was not 
until. 1610 that the first European plantation was laid 
out near Jamestown, in Virginia. The cultivation 
was taken up with energy by the colonists, and 
before long tobacco was being grown in several states, 
notably in Maryland and Virginia ; and for more 
than two centuries the industry was closely bound 
up with the social and political development of the 
States concerned: . In Maryland tobacco was actually 
made legal tender in 1732, at the rate of one penny 
r)ef pound, for all debts, including the salaries of 
State officials and clergymen. The industry was very 
early started in Pennsylvania, but comparatively little 




The five most important 
tobacco-producing countries, 
in order of their importance, 
are the United States, India, 
Cuba, Russia, and the Dutch 
colonies in the East, more 
especially Sumatra. 

Nearly seven-ninths of the 
world's total tobacco is raised 
in these countries. Taking an 
average of the last few years, 
the total annual production of 
nearly £40,000,000 sterling! 
oducers and the value of the 




attention was given to it until 1828, when tobacco-growing was placed upon a firm footing. 
The first real extension of the industry, however, was westwards, in the" States of Kentucky 
and Tennessee. By 1875 it had assumed considerable proportions in the northern parts of 
the former State, and in 1810 large-areas were under tobacco in all parts of both States, 
the produce being sent to New Orleans for shipment. 

In 1838 cigar tobacco was first grown in Ohio from seed obtained from Connecticut, where 
the industry had already attained considerable proportions. Seven years later theindustry was 
started in New York State, and in ten years the yield had amounted to more than half-a- 
tnillion pounds. The history of the tobacco industry in Florida is very interesting, and affords 
an excellent example of a successful attempt on the part of agriculturists to meet the altered 
requirements of the market. The cultivation of tobacco was commenced in the earlier years qf 
the nineteenth century, and the leaf produced, known as " Old Florida," was of such fine quality 
as to be eagerly sought after as a wrapper for cigars. The industry thrived until the Civil War, 
when the cultivation had perforce to be abandoned, but when the country had settled down a 
few farmers continued to grow tobacco in a very small way, so small that' in 1880 the State had 
but 90 acres under the crop. The industry again revived in 1889, and the planters naturally 
turned to their famous " Old. Flori da." But the demand of the market had changed, and' 
cigar-makers now requiredto baccolTresembling the Cuban varieties for the " fillers " of their 
products and leaf of the Sumatra type for the wrappers. In 1884-5 some of the planters had 
obtained seed from Cuba and the tobacco grown from the seed was sent to the dealers at 
New York, who made it into cigars. The quality of the cigars was so satisfactory that experts 
were at once sent to Florida to advise as to the possibility of extending the cultivation of 
Cuban tobacco, and their reports were so favourable, that large areas were at once planted 
in Gadsden County, an example which was quickly followed in all parts of the State. It was 
not long before serious attempts were* also made to produce the Sumatra wrapper leaf, and 
seeds were imported from the East. The methods of cultivation and curing adopted in Sumatra 
were carefully studied, and especially good results have been obtained by growing the plants 
under artificial shade. For the past 
twenty years Florida has been steadily 
regaining her reputation as a producer 
of first-class tobaccos, and at the present 
day cigars manufactured from Florida- 
grown Cuban and Sumatran leaf are 
among the best obtainable. 

In the early years of the tobacco 
trade the varieties in almost universal 
demand were the dark export types of 
Virginian tobaccos, and the light pipe 
types of Maryland leaf, and at the 
beginning of last century these were 
practically the only tobaccos cultivated 
by the American colonists. About 1820, 
however, a considerable demand arose 
for stronger coloured tobaccos, and to 
meet it artificial heat was employed in 
the curing processes. The present de- 
mand for light yellow tobacco first arose 
during the latter half of the century, 
probably the first crop of lemon-yellow 
leaf being raised in North Carolina 
in 1852. The well-known " Mahogany A tobacco-cutting machine 


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manufacturing," " Burley," and " Perique '* 
types of tobaccos have also been evolved 
during the last fifty or sixty years. 

At the present day the principal 
tobacco-producing States of America are 
Kentucky (with a crop in 1905 worth 
sixteen million dollars), North Carolina 
(seven and a quarter millions), Virginia 
(six millions), Wisconsin (five and a 
quarter millions), Ohio (four and a 
quarter millions), Connecticut (four 
millions), Tennessee and Pennsylvania 

(two millions each), 
and a half millions), 
one-tenth millions). 

Massachusetts (one 
Maryland (one and 
New York, Indiana, 


Arkansas, Illinois, and some other States 
produce less than a million dollars' worth 
The enormous extent of the industry in the United States may be judged from the following 
figures indicating the production of tobacco since 1800 : — 


Weight in 


















Weight in 
















The figures given represent the quantities received at the factories, and it will be noticed 
that the returns for 1904 are less than the average return of the United States given in the 
table representing the world's annual production of tobacco. The figures of the latter table 
are obtained from the planters and the discrepancy is due to the fact that after being sold 
to the dealers the leaf is subjected to a " fermentation " process, during which it loses from 
fifteen to twenty per cent, of its weight. 

One of the most important factors affecting the successful production of good tobacco 
is climate, and it is only in the presence of sufficient warmth and moisture that the aromatic 
principles, upon which depend to so large an extent the quality of the tobacco, can be fully 
developed in the- plant. There can be little doubt that the most famous tobaccos of the world, 
e.g. the Cuban, Turkish, and Persian varieties, owe their peculiarities largely to the climate 
in which they are grown, and the more closely the climate of a proposed new tobacco-growing 
district resembles that of some recognised tobacco country, the more likely will it be capable 
of growing a good leaf. Allowing climate, therefore, the premier position of importance in 
tobacco culture, we find that the character of the soil also affects to a great extent the quality 
of the product. ' The plant thrives best in a light sandy loam, rich in decaying vegetable matter 
or manures. As is so often 'the case, the importance of the manures depends not so much 
upon the amount of actual plant food rendered available by its decomposition, but upon the 
effect it has in keeping the soil in a well aerated, " loose " condition. So long as the soil is 
in a good physical condition its chemical composition is of secondary importance, for by 



judicious manuring tobacco is often grown upon comparatively poor soils. The especial require- 
ments of the tobacco plant with regard to soil constituents are potash and lime, and it is 
frequently necessary to supply these constituents to the field. in the shape of manures. Ordinary 
stable manure is one of the best fertilisers where a large coarse leaf is required, but it, has 
been found by repeated experiment that the best burning tobaccos are produced when the 
manure takes the form of carbonate of potash. , 

In the United States the field selected is ploughed in the autumn, a method .which, allows 
of the destruction of many of the larvae of all kinds as well as producing a good tilth. In the 
spring the land is again ploughed, the manures added, and then two or three weeks before 
planting laid out in ridges about three feet apart. Meanwhile the tobacco seedlings have been, 
raised in a special seed-bed or nursery, which has been prepared with great care. The nursery 
plot is selected with a southern aspect if possible, and subjected to a process of " burning " 
— bushes, timber, etc., being laid upon the ground and ignited in such a way as .to burn 
slowly in order that the earth may be thoroughly baked by the heat. The object, of this 
process is chiefly to destroy the larvae of insects hibernating in the soil. After the bed has 
been burned and had time to cool down, the baked earth is broken with a hoe until 
it is reduced to a fine porous condition. Manure is then applied, often in the form of guano, 
and, when this has been thoroughly incorporated, the bed is ready for sowing. Tobacco 
seed is extremely small, an ounce containing between 300,000 to 400,000 seeds, and 
there are two special difficulties which have to be met by the planter. In the first case, 
a large percentage of the seeds will not sprout, and hence it is necessary to sow a great deal 
more than is required. Secondly, the seed coat is excessively hard and resistent to the vivifying 
action of moisture, and it is not an uncommon practice to bruise the seeds by gently rubbing 
them with fine emery. The seed is mixed with fine ashes or earth, and then sown evenly over 
the surface of the bed, which is gently beaten down to retain the seed in the soil ; it is most 
important, however, that the seed should not be buried too deeply in the soil or it will not 
sprout. When about four or six inches high the seedlings are transplanted in the field along 
the ridges at regular intervals of two or three feet. The operation is often carried out by 
hand, but transplanting with machines is now very generally practised in the northern cigar- 
tobacco States. The machine, which is drawn by two horses, makes the hole before 
planting, sets the plants, and firmly presses the earth round them. By its use a man 
and two boys can plant from two to six acres per day. During the growth of plants 
the soil is kept constantly broken with a horse cultivator or by hoeing, and great 
care is taken to keep down weeds. As soon as the flower buds begin to appear a most 
important operation must be commenced. The production of flowers and seed results 
in a deterioration of the quality of the leaf, and hence, unless the plants are being grown 
for seed, the buds are picked off by hand. 
At the same time certain of the leaves 
are removed from the plant, the number 
depending upon the judgment of the 
cultivator ; the whole process is known 
as "topping." The young shoots or 
"suckers" in the axils of the leaves are 
also removed. 

In due course the leaves begin to 
ripen, their colour changing to lighter 
shades of green and yellow, and yellow 
spots also appear ; at this stage the 
leaves are richest in the nicotine, acids, 
and nitrogenous compounds which are 
necessary for a good tobacco. The leaves 



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do not all ripen at the same time, the 
lower ones ripening first, and it is owing 
to this fact that we have two methods of 
harvesting. The commoner method is to 
cut the whole plant down as soon as the 
middle leaves are sufficiently ripe, and, 
after they have wilted, to cart them to 
the curing barn. For the production of 
the finer grades of cigar leaf, however, 
and also for much of the Bright Leaf 
tobacco, the leaves are picked or 
" primed " one, by one as they become 
ripe. They are then placed in baskets 
and at once carted to the curing barn. 
When the "stalk-cutting" system is 
adopted, the stems are strung on to a 
"curing stick" about four feet long, 
which is thrust through the ends of the 
stems, or the stems are split in half from 

the top nearly to the base and then placed astride the sticks ; and 
in this condition they are hauled to the curing barn. In the case of 
the primed leaves the latter are threaded on to a string when they 
arrive at the barn, and then tied to sticks upon which they hang 
during the curing process. 

Within recent years a great deal of attention has been paid to 
the cultivation of the more valuable classes of tobacco under 
artificial shade. The method originated in 
Florida, where it was found that Sumatra 
tobacco, when grown under the shade of trees, 
produced a more satisfactory leaf. Artificial 
shading of the fields was then tried, posts being 
erected at regular intervals and. arranged to 
support light wooden laths above. From Florida 
the idea extended to Connecticut,, and now the 
practice is adopted in Cuba and Porto Rico. 
The shading is generally.: obtained by the sub- 
stitution of a cotton cloth instead of wooden 
laths. The results are very striking ; the yield 
of leaf is greatly increased largely owing to the 
regularity of temperature and humidity, and also 
to the fact that these two factors are maintained 
more or less constant during the night. The 
plants are also protected from the effects of the 
weather, and that the method is a success is 
proved* by the enormous profits of the planters 
who have adopted it. 

The tobacco plant is subject to the attacks 
of many insect and fungus pests, and space 
does not permit of more than a brief reference to 
the more important. The very young plants are 
attacked by " cutworms," which eat through the 



ferments, whilst others incline, to the belief that it arises from 
insufficient nutrition. This question, however, is far from being 

The Curing Process 

The curing process is one which must be very carefully carried 
out, for a good quality tobacco may be ruined by a lack of skill 
at this stage. The curing is not merely a drying process, but 
the exact chemical changes which take place are. very im- 
perfectly known. It appears tolerably certain, however, 
that the ferments or " enzymes," which, during the sub- 
sequent "fermentation" of the leaf, give rise to chemical 
changes which develop' the aroma of the finished 
tobacco, are formed during the curing process ; and 
it follows, therefore, that unless the curing is 
carried out with great care, the fermentation can- 
not be of a satisfactory character. In the 
case of certain tobaccos, such as the 
popular bright yellow varieties, aroma is 
not so much sought after as lightness 
of colour, and, in the preparation of 
these tobaccos, the curing is effected 
at such a high temperature as to 
destroy practically all the en- 
zymes, so that there is but 
little fermentation in the 

stalks. The 
leaves are de- 
voured by "horn 
worms," which 
are so called on ac- 
count of a prominent 
horn attached to the 
posterior end of, the 
body, and other caterpil- 
lars (Heliothis armiger) de- 
stroy the terminal bud of 
the plant. The latter pest is 
an object worthy of particular 
notice, since it is the same 
which, under the name of the 
" cotton boll-worm," causes such 
terrible losses to cotton planters 
These and many other insect pests jj 

cause considerable trouble to the to- 
bacco grower, but he has a valuable 
remedy to hand in an arsenical com- 
pound known as Paris Green, which is 
sprayed or dusted over the plants affected, 
and is fairly effective in destroying the 
parasites. There are also many fungal dis- 
eases, both of the living plant and also of 
the cured tobacco. One of the most important, 
which has caused enormous damage, is known 
as the " mosaic disease," since it causes the 
leaves to present a mosaic appearance as a result 
of irregular light and dark patches on the living 
leaves. This disease has been shown to be infectious, 
and is carried through the fields by the fingers of work- 
men who " top " the plants by nipping the buds (see 
above). The disease has been attributed to various causes. 
Some believe that it is the result of bacteria and poisonous 

subsequent process. On the 
other hand, it is most 
essential that cigar leaf 
should possess as fine 
an aroma as possible, 
and hence to allow 
of this being per- 
fected during 
the curing 
must be 



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performed with great care to 
allow of the full development 
of the enzjories. 

The harvested leaves, 
then, either on the stalks or 
picked separately and strung 
on strings, are brought to 
the curing barn, where they 
are placed on sticks, sup- 
ported by cross-beams in the 
upper part of the barn. 
There are several methods 
of curing. The method em- 
ployed for the production of 
the greater part of the 
tobacco for Europe is " fire 
cured." By this method the 
stalks are allowed to hang 
for four or five days until the 
leaves become a rich yellow 
colour, when small fires are 
lighted on the floor of the barn. The temperature is not allowed to rise above 90°, and then 
during about a week it is gradually increased to 150°, when the fires are allowed to burn 
out. The leaves are not yet dry, however, and the fires are again lighted and the process 
repeated until the drying is complete. The tobacco is then stripped from the stalk and 
the leaves, after being sorted into grades, are neatly tied into bundles or " hands," containing 
from six to twenty leaves. The hands are made into piles and covered with canvas. 

" Flue curing " is adopted for producing the bright yellow tobacco, and great skill in 
regulating the temperature is necessary. In this method the fires are lighted outside the barn 
and the heat carried through the building by large air-pipes, so that the smoke and fumes 
do not come into contact with the leaves. In the first stage the temperature is maintained 
at about 90° ; the leaves turn a fine yellow colour, and enzymes are formed. Then the 
temperature is raised to 120°, which " fixes " the colour, and at the same time kills the enzymes, 
thus allowing of but little subsequent fermentation. The leaves are then finally dried at 135°, 
when they are graded and stored in bulk. From the nature of the curing it is obvious 
that this class of tobacco is incapable of undergoing a regular fermentation process as in the 
case of ' other tobaccos, since the enzymes are destroyed. It is practically ready for the 
manufacturers, as soon as it leaves the curing barn, though, like all tobaccos, it improves with 
age. "Air curing" is resorted to for cigar leaf and some varieties of smoking tobacco. 
The leaves are hung in well- ventilated barns for as long as six weeks, and the process 
depends upon the satisfactory regulation of the temperature by means of the numerous 
ventilators. " Sun curing," in the open air, is now seldom employed. The fermentation 
process is usually not. carried out by the planter but by the leaf dealers. In a very 
commonly adopted method a quantity -of leaf weighing from two to three hundred pounds 
is packed in a wooden case, and subjected to a considerable pressure by means of levers 
or screws. By this means the air is excluded from the leaf, but the moisture and juices resulting 

from the pressure escape through openings in the sides of the case. 

■ ■ ■ ' ' 

; " Fermentation 

Tlfe fermentation is allowed to go on at a constant temperature for several weeks, when 
the leaf is ready for shipment to the manufacturer. Within recent years the system known 



as " bulk fermentation " is largely adopted. By this process enormous quantities of leaf 
are treated at one time, the amount varying from three to thirty thousand pounds 
according to the variety of tobacco required, the lighter sorts being fermented in smaller 
quantities. The fermentation is carried out in large rooms in which the temperature and 
degree of atmospheric moisture can be very carefully regulated. The leaves are piled 
regularly in huge "bulks," and, as soon as the temperature of the mass rises -sufficiently, 
the bulk is pulled to pieces and re-built, with the outside leaves of the first bulk at the 
centre. This process is repeated two or three times, with the object of rendering the 
fermentation uniform. The causes- of the changes which take place during the fermentation 
are by no means fully understood. For. a long time there has been much dispute as to 
whether the changes are due to bacteria or to the development of special ferments in the 
leaf. The balance of opinion is in favour of the view that during the preliminary drying or 
curing certain ferments or enzymes are developed in the leaf, which have the power of 
causing the contents of the leaf cells to combine with the oxygen of the air. When fermentation 
is allowed to take place, these ferments become very active, and the. cell contents, rapidly 
becoming oxidised, are decomposed into simpler substances which afford to the tobacco 
its valuable aromatic qualities. The nicotine of the leaf is quite unaffected, but the sugars 
and nitrates are destroyed, and the organic acids diminish in quantity. 

The bacteria theory once had many supporters, and it was announced that not only had 
the bacteria been isolated, but that different types of tobacco acquired their characteristic 
aromas as a result of the activities of distinct species of bacteria ; and it was even stated that 
it was only necessary to " inoculate " an inferior tobacco during fermentation with the special 
bacterium of a high-grade leaf to obtain all the aromatic qualities of the latter. Unfortunately 
— or the reverse — practical trials afforded no support to this contention. 

When the fermentation is completed, and the whole process occupies three or four months, 
the leaves are very carefully graded and packed into bales, cases, or hogsheads for shipment 
to the manufacturer. The tobacco, however, is not fit for consumption until it has " aged." 
The period of ageing depends upon the class of tobacco, fermented leaf requiring a shorter 
period than ordinary unfermented tobacco for smoking, which requires from two to four years. 
The ageing softens and mellows the flavour, and is essentially a slow fermentation process. 

The famous Perique tobacco is produced in one spot in Louisiana, viz., Grand Points, 
and, in spite of its world-wide reputation, the quantity grown is comparatively small. The 
greatest care is taken in the cultivation, and it is desirable that the ripening should take place 
under damp atmospheric 
conditions, which results in 
the formation in the leaves 
of large quantities of rich 
gummy juice. 

The peculiar characters 
of the tobacco, however, are 
due no doubt to the peculiar 
methods of fermentation. 
The dried leaves are stripped 
from the stalk, made into 
small rolls, and then placed 
in a box and subjected to 
enormous pressure applied 
by means of levers. The 
pressure is removed every 
day and the leaves allowed 
to absorb the expressed juice making Turkish regie cigarettes by machinery 


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which has become oxidised. It is no doubt due to the pressure and absorption of these oxidised 
juices that we have developed the unique flavour and aroma of Perique tobacco. 


The fully-aged tobacco reaches the hands of the manufacturer to be converted into the 
many varieties, brands and mixtures which are familiar to everyone. Most of the leaf reaching 
this country is " stripped," i.e., deprived of the stalk and mid-rib, but if intended for the 
manufacture of " bird's eye," the mid-rib is retained, the " eyes " of the tobacco being 
merely thin slices of the stalk. 

The manufacture of ordinary smoking mixtures is comparatively simple. The leaves are 
mixed according to the formulas of the firm, and afterwards damped. They are then transferred 
to the machine, where they are pressed into a light cake, which is finely cut up by what is 
essentially a chaff cutter. In the damping stage it is a common practice to flavour the leaf 
with various substances, sugar, liquorice, and certain aromatic substances being employed ; 
further, chemicals, notably saltpetre, are also added to improve the burning qualities of the 
tobacco. The shredded tobacco is then dried or " roasted " on heated slabs or in special 
machinery, when it is ready for packing. " Roll " or "twist " is made by spinning the leaves by 
machinery in a manner very similar to that adopted in rope-making. The core of the twist 
is composed of broken leaf, but the covers are obtained from complete leaf. The material is 
fed into the machine which converts it into a cord of uniform thickness. "Cake" tobacco, as 
its name would indicate, is prepared by subjecting a " filling " between covering leaves to 
considerable pressure, the filling being packed into moulds. 

Cigars are composed of two parts, a core formed of pieces of leaf placed longitudinally 
and known as " fillers," and a covering formed of perfect leaf called the " wrapper." The 
manufacture was formerly carried out almost entirely by hand, but now special machines 
are used in nearly all cases. Until within the last few years the wrapper was largely composed 
of Connecticut leaf, but its use was found to be wasteful. At the present time it may be said 






that for cigar manufacture 
what is required is a " filler " 
of Cuban tobaccos and a 
wrapper of Sumatra leaf. 
Cigarettes were originally en- 
tirely prepared by the smoker 
himself, but their consumption 
has assumed such gigantic 
proportions that all the vended 
brands are made by machinery, 
the structure of which essen- 
tially resembles that of the 
small hand-machines in com- 
mon use. The machines cut 
the paper and gum its edge, 
measure out the right weight 
of tobacco, wrap it up in the 

paper which is automatically sealed, trim the ends of the cigarettes, and pack them in boxes ! 
Snuff is largely manufactured from the scraps and waste resulting from the preparation 
of mixtures and cigars. The fragments are chopped very fine, placed in heaps in warm, damp 
cellars, and then flavoured with certain substances such as liquorice, tonka beans, deer-tongue 
leaves, and various perfumes, the nature of which are trade secrets. The mass is allowed 
to ferment for several weeks, and then dried and finally ground to powder. 


In Cuba tobacco cultivation is second only in importance to the sugar industry, and no 
fewer than 80,000 people are regularly employed. In the early part of the eighteenth century 
the tobacco trade was a monopoly of the Spanish Crown, with a royal office and warehouse in 
Havana, and branches in Santiago, Trinidad, Bayamo, and Remedios, where the planters could 
store their tobacco, receiving such prices as might be established by the Crown for each parti- 
cular crop. Later, the monopoly was sold to private individuals, but in 1760 it was again 
taken over by the Crown, and it was not until 1817 that the trade and cultivation of 
tobacco were declared free on payment of a tax by each planter, equivalent to one-twentieth 
of the production. Since that date the taxes have varied according to circumstances, but 
usually they have been very high. There is no reliable information as to the amount 
of tobacco produced in Cuba in the early days, owing to the enormous smuggling which went 
on. From such data as are available, however, it appears that during the eighteenth 
century the annual export was probably not less than 20,000,000 lb., and it is certain that 
during the periods of Crown monopoly the amount was less than during the period of private 
monopoly ; when the monopoly was completely abolished, the production immediately 
increased. Coming to more recent times, it appears that the approximate production in 
1894-5 was over 62,000,000 lb. of leaf, or 560,000 bales valued at more than £4,000,000. In 
1904 the production was 416,000 bales. 

More than half of the total amount raised is exported in the leaf, and the remainder, about 
forty per cent., is used in the manufacture of cigars and cigarettes. Nearly one-half of the 
export is to the United States. 

Tobacco is raised as an article of commerce in but four of the six provinces of Cuba, 
though there is no reason why the crop should not be raised in the other two. To the trade 
the tobacco of Pinar del Rio is known as " Vuelta Abajo," that of Havana as " Partido " 
and " Semi Vuelta," that of Santa Clara as " Las Villas " or " Remedios " leaf, while the 
leaf of Santiago is known as " Oriente." 



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. -The quality of Cuban 
tobacco is world-renowned, 
more especially that known 
as the Vuelta Abajo, which 
is used in the manufacture of 
some of the finest cigars in 
the market. Innumerable 
attempts have been made in 
other districts of Cuba and 
in other countries to produce 
this variety, but all have 
signally failed, and the secret 
of its superiority remains 
unsolved. The Sierra de los 
Organos, a range of moun- 
tains running along the entire 
length of the province of 
Pinar del Rio, is no doubt a 
potent factor, since it breaks the high winds which do so much damage to the plants else- 
where. Various other causes have been suggested, and probably they all contribute to 
the .conditions which produce this excellent tobacco. To what its superiority is especially 
due will probably be known when the soils on which it has been cultivated for so long 
have been carefully analysed and compared, and when the chemical changes of the curing 
and fermentation processes are better understood. 



As has been mentioned above, Sumatra tobacco is especially valued by manufacturers 
as a wrapper for cigars on account of the fine quality and extreme thinness of the leaf. It 
is stated that' there are no fewer than two hundred leaves to the pound, and one pound is 
sufficient for the wrappers of five hundred cigars. Apart from the thinness of the leaf, much 
of the value of the Sumatra tobacco is dependent upon the peculiar qualities of the soil, and 
more especially- upon -the • infinite care that is . taken throughout the whole period of its 
production. A brief account' of T .tHe industry will therefore not be without interest. 

Up to 1862 a tobacco of very good quality had foeen produced in the neighbouring island 
of- "Jaya, 'and 'the cultivation had' been one of considerable commercial success. About this 
time, -n'Ow'ever,- prices fell; afid^the planters began to make enquiries as to suitable country 
for. -raising a' -grade -of tobacco equal in quality to the superior varieties which were 
driving them from' the, market. Following the advice of an Arab trader, a Dutch planter 
visited.Delf in the east .coast of- Sumatra, and. was so impressed with the local conditions that 
in '1864 a Rotterdam company started a plantation' in the neighbourhood and obtained a crop 
of sbrrie fifty bales. The '.superior- quality of the tobacco attracted the attention of experts 
to sugIC ah extent that five years later a powerful Dutch syndicate decided to raise tobacco 
in Sumatra on a large scale. Many companies and private individuals soon followed this lead, 
and in 'the tobacco district at ' the- present; day" there are nearly forty registered companies 
arid as -many private -planters.- The 'magnitude of the industry may be gauged from the 
fact that some companies employ as many as 16,000 coolies, with a staff of white experts num- 
bering Upwards of- two ^hundred. The fact that the- dividends have been known to reach 
seventy-fiW : per cent, is* suffifcient proof of the commercial success of the undertakings. 

< T-he^tobacco district of >'Sumatrav borders on the Straits of Malacca, and extends as a belt 
forty miles wide and five or ten miles back from the coast. The climate is naturally a tropical 

Tobacco' 227 

one, and the soils are mostly volcanic in origin, the'finest tobaccos. being*raised on those resem- 
bling clay or silt in texture. The land is not purchased freehold by the planters, as is so often 
the case in tropical agriculture, but is leased from the Sultan for a period of seventy-five years 
under the sanction of the Dutch Government. By far the greater part of the labour is per- 
formed by Chinese coolies imported directly from China, and there can be little doubt 
that but for the yellow labour the successful cultivation of tobacco in Sumatra would be 
impossible. The Chinese are most industrious workers, and stand the exacting climate well ; 
they very quickly learn their new duties, for it is stated that the imported coolie has to be 
taught from the beginning, since he has no previous knowledge of tobacco" cultivation. 


The soil and climate of the Philippines are peculiarly well suited to the cultivation of 
tobacco, and next to the finest qualities\of the Cuban and Turkish tobaccos, the product 
of these islands is considered the finest in the world. The famous Manila cheroots enjoy a 
universal reputation for good quality'. The product of the Cayagan province is perhaps the 
finest, and the high quality of the tobacco is usually ascribed to the peculiarities of the soil, 
which consists of alluvial deposits annually brought down by the rivers. Under the somewhat 
severe terms of the late Spanish monopoly, the industry showed signs of deterioration, but it 
is probable that with the removal of these restrictions a revival may take place-. 

India and Ceylon 

Tobacco is said to have first been introduced into India by the Portuguese in the early years 
of the seventeenth century. Since that time several attempts have been made to extend 
and improve the tobacco industry of British India, and at the present day certain Indian 
tobaccos and cigars have an established reputation in England. In 1829 samples of Maryland 
and Virginia seed were sent to India by the direction of the East India Company, and the 
quality of the leaf produced was regarded as equal to some of the best West Indian varieties. 
Much of the tobacco, however, was of comparatively inferior quality, and although acceptable 
to the natives, was quite unsuited to Western tastes. Nevertheless, the experiments had 
shown that an article of 
good quality could be pro- 
duced in India provided the 
best sorts of seed were used 
and proper methods of cul- 
tivation and preparation 
adopted. The Government 
therefore, in 1876, established 
an experimental farm of 
eight hundred acres at Gha- 
zipur, on the Ganges, and 
employed a Virginia planter 
to superintend the curing of 
the leaf. Ghazipur tobacco 
is now recognised as one of 
the best raised in India. 

Tobacco for local con- 
sumption is raised in small 
patches in most parts of 
India, but from a commer- 
cial point of view the chief 



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districts concerned are 
Bombay, Madras, and the 
Punjab. The plantations 
and factories are often man- 
aged by American experts, 
and most varieties of the 
plant, including the Persian 
" Shiraz " tobacco, have 
been experimented with. 
In Madras some of the 
most celebrated of its to- 
baccos are grown in the 
Northern Circars, and in 
the deltas of the Krishna 
and Godavery rivers. The 
famous Dindigul brand is 
raised in plantations which 
are managed upon the most 
modern lines, and the 
cheroots of Trichinopoly 
are well known. 
•The total area under cultivation in. India in 1905 was upwards of 1,000,000 acres, and 

the value of the export for the same year was £138,700. 

Considerable quantities of tobacco are also grown in Ceylon, where it is used for local 

consumption by the natives and for export to India. The quality of the tobacco would be 

quite unsuitable for the Western market. 

By permission of Messrs. Gallaher 


British North Borneo 

In other parts of the British Empire the cultivation of tobacco has met with varying 
measures of success. The industry is of considerable importance in British North Borneo, 
where in 1883 the first tobacco-planting company, under the name of the Chinese Sabah Com- 
pany, started a tobacco plantation at Sandakan Bay. Tobacco had long been known to exist 
in Borneo, but it was the remarkable success of the plantations in the neighbouring islands of 
Sumatra and Java which first drew attention to the possibilities of Borneo as a tobacco- 
producing country. Samples of the product were sent to the Indian and Colonial Exhibition 
of 1886, and very favourable opinions were expressed by the brokers, who, however, pointed 
out the necessity for adopting improved methods in the drying and fermenting processes. 
In later years great advances were made in producing an article of good quality, and Borneo 
cigars and tobacco soon became well known in England. The leaf grown is chiefly intended as 
wrappers for cigars. Planting is carried out in April and May, and in seventy days the leaves 
are gathered, so that only three months elapse from the time the seeds are put in the 
nursery-bed until the gathering of the crop. 

At the present day there are three large tobacco companies in British North Borneo, the 
survivors of a much larger number which existed a few years ago. Much competition has been 
experienced at the hands of the Sumatra planters witmtheir famous leaf, and although tobacco 
is one of the most important planting industries of the country, it at present shows no signs of 
immediate expansion. 

■ Jamaica 

' In Jamaica the cultivation of tobacco has lately received much attention. The soil, 
climate, and general- conditions are very favourable in many parts of the island, and the area 



at present under tobacco is about four hundred acres. ' The tobacco trade has progressed very 
satisfactorily during the past eleven years. Jamaica cigars and cigarettes, which are manu- 
factured at Kingston, have gained a very enviable reputation in the market, and' the 
industry may now be considered to be well established. In the opinion of many experts, 
Jamaica cigars are the finest produced in the British Empire. The exports in 1904-5 were 
valued at £22,408, as compared with a Value of £19,567 in the preceding year, and these figures 
are exclusive of the locally grown tobacco consumed in the island. 

Africa - 

Several of the British African colonies have long grown tobacco, and some of the newer 
countries are making serious attempts to produce a marketable article ; but up to the 
present comparatively little has been done, except in British Central Africa, the tobacco of 
which has a good reputation. .:- . • . . 

The British South Africa Company is paying special attention to tobacco in Rhodesia, 
and has called in the aid of the highest expert ' advice in relation to its cultivation and 
preparation. The different varieties of soil found in the country are capable of growing 
light cigarette tobacco, cigar leaf, and heavy smoking tobacco,- — all of excellent quality. 
Cigarettes made from Rhodesian-grown Turkish, tobacco have been on sale in London 
for the past two years, and of their high quality there can be little difference of opinion. 

The possibilities of successful tobacco culture in the Transvaal and the Orange River 
Colony are considerable, and the Government has been sufficiently alive to this fact to engage 
the services of one of the most prominent tobacco experts in order that the farmers may become 
acquainted with the best methods of cultivation and preparation. 


Several attempts have been made in Australia to establish a tobacco industry, 
but the net result is comparatively small. In Queensland the crop is grown in the south, but 
the area planted is not much more than five hundred acres. The tobacco acreage in New 
South Wales is also small in spite of the fact that in many parts of the State. the climate and 
soil are well suited to the plant. In Victoria there is a small area under tobacco, but at one 
time the crop was much 
more extensively grown. 
New Zealand has also at- 
tempted tobacco-growing, 
but the cultivation is now 

The United Kingdom 

In order to protect the 
growing industry in Vir- 
ginia, an Act was passed 
in the reign of Charles II 
forbidding the cultivation 
of tobacco in England ; and 
since that time the culti- 
vation has been prohibited 
under heavy penalties, 
chiefly for fiscal reasons. 
From time to time, how- 
ever, the Government has 
permitted experimental 

By permission of Messrs. GallaHer 




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cultivation. In 1822 the .restrictions in -the case .oi Ireland were removed, and at the present 
day tobacco , cultivation is allowed in the sister' isle. In,1886 experiments were conducted in 
England under. .certain restrictions, and several agriculturists, in Norfolk, Kent, and, other 
counties. grew the plant with such success as to definitely establish the. possibility of growing 
tobacco in -England. as a commercial crop. : Permission to continue the experiment, however, 
was withdrawn, and a letter published to the Times of October 8th, 1906, from the Board of 
Agriculture and Fisheries, shows that there is practically no chance of the cultivation being 
again permitted. 


The enormous strides which have characterised the preparation and the manufacture of 
the various commercial products during the 'past quarter of a century have been as marked 
in the tobacco industry as in arty other. As is well known, the cacao or cocoa trade is most 
closely associated with names which have, a world-wide renown, and the same thing is becoming 
triie'of /the tobacco trade. •''. 

It is impossible to enter into full details' as to the different firms which have become identified 
with the trade,, or to give "any complete account of the methods of manufacture adopted by 
them. > There are, however, two illustrations inserted in the text which show two of the rooms 
of- the great factory :of "Messrs. Gallaher, Limited, at their headquartefs in Belfast. This factory 
is one of the largest in the world -devoted to the tobacco industry. It consists of five storeys, 
and.; is . over. 80 feet in height. The floor space -alone covers something like 12 -acres: The 
work is carried out on the most approved and up-to-date principles, and a visitor cannot 
fail to be struck: by the intricate and ingenious devices in all the departments which illustrate 
the various stages of preparation and manufacture. The bonded' warehouse which is owrted 
by Messrs. Gallaher is a mammoth building,, six storeys high, divided into 30 vast apartments, 
and capable' of storing 20,000 hogsheads of tobacco leaf. The export factory, which adjoins 
the main factory in -Belfast,'- is perfectly equipped, and- the machinery is capable of producing 
every- class of tobacco which can be demanded by the trade in any quarter of the world: 

It is interesting to note that the whole of this vast business has been built up by one indi- 
vidual, Mr. Thomas Gallaher, and his enterprise and energy have earned for him the title of 
the " Tobacco King." 


The history of the grape may be traced back to very ancient times, to ages, indeed, of which 
we have no written record. Seeds of the plant have been found in the Lake-dwellings of 

Castione, near Parma, which 
date from the Bronze Age, in 
the pre-historic settlement of 
Lake Varese, and in the Lake- 
dwellings of Wangen, in Swit- 
zerland. Of the cultivation of 
the vine at these remote periods 
we have no certain knowledge, 
but it is probable that in Egypt 
the grape was cultivated and 
wine made nearly six thousand 
years ago. The Bible affords 
evidence of the early use 
of wine among the Semitic 
peoples, and its use among 
the Phoenicians, Greeks, and 
an Australian vixeyard ■ Romans is well known. 

The Grape- Vine 



The vine (Vitis vinifera) belongs to the natural order Vitaceae, a family which includes 
the Virginia creeper, and grows wild in the temperate regions of western Asia, southern Europe, 
Algeria, and Morocco. Whether these countries are the true home of the plant is a point 
which is open to discussion, but the majority of botanists are of opinion that the vine 
may be regarded as truly indigenous to the Trans-Caucasian provinces of Russia, whence the 
seeds have been widely disseminated by birds and by the agency of man. ... . ■ 

Knowledge of the principles of viticulture and the manufacture of wine spread but slowly 
from the home of the industry in western Asia, a, fact which is to be explained; largely as a 
result of the inefficient methods of transport existing at the time which, pre vented wine. being 
carried any great distance without deterioration. Greece and Italy were; the first countries 
to copy the methods of the Eastern, wine-growers, and, under the Greeks, viticulture, made 
great strides, the wines of Candia and Smyrna being largely exported. to-the Romans.. Gradually 
the cultivation of the grape spread over the whole of central Europe from the Mediterranean 
to the plains of Germany, from Spain , to Great Britain, and from, thence. the cultivation 
was carried during the Middle Ages to the fertile lands of the New : World.; ■-..'• ■ 

At the present day the finest vineyards are still tx> be. found in Europe,, and the wines of 
France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Portugal are admittedly unsurpassed by ; any. in thfe, world. 

Each country, and indeed each district, has its characteristic wine, and the products of the 
above countries are as distinct from' each ■ other , as they are from .those of Greece, Turkey, 
Roumania, and Switzerland. In the New World extensive vineyards are 'to be found -in Chili, 
Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, and other parts of South America, and in the United States great 


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wine-growing districts exist in Florida, Virginia, and California. In spite, however, of the 
extent of the cultivation in the New World, the wines do not equal those of Europe, which 
stand unrivalled. The wine-making countries of Africa are limited to Algeria and Tunis, where 
the industry is one of considerable importance, and to Cape Colony, whose wines are now in 
part regaining something of their former popularity. In the southern hemisphere viticulture 
has made great strides in several of the Australian states, and the wines of these countries have 
• an established reputation in the world's markets. 


Having thus briefly outlined the history and present condition of the vine-growing industry, 
we will turn our attention to a consideration of the plant itself, and to the methods of cultivation 
and manufacture which have for their object the production of the wines of our tables. 

The majority of people in this country would describe the vine as a climbing plant, with 
large, deeply lobed leaves, and bearing bunches of round berries, either green or blue-black in 
colour. While this description would hold good for a common variety of the vine, it would 
be quite inaccurate for many others, for "the vine is a very variable plant, and there are innu- 
merable varieties cultivated 
in different parts of the 
world. While some vines 
are climbers, others may be 
trained as hedge plants, 
others may be induced to 
form arbours, but the most 
variable characters of the 
plant are to be found in its 
leaves. These are -frequently 
deeply lobed, of a brilliant 
green colour, and with well- 
marked veins and downy 
coating on their under sur- 
' pumping water -FOR IRRIGATION in Portugal' faces. The greatest Variation 

■ v : '. ■ ■• , . -'"•.' . . '. • . from this type, however, 

is found in- the' different varieties' of the- plant. The fruits grow in clusters which may be 
long and pyramidal, or short and dense, and much variation is found in the characters of 
the -berries, or -grapes themselves.- Some are as large as a plum, as in the American varieties, 
others are not much larger than a pea, while the differences in colour are known to everyone. 
In some Gases the pulp is soft, -in 'others firm, and the juice may be either colourless or red. 
The well-known " bloom " of the common hot-house grape is absent in many varieties. 

The vine' will yield satisfactory vintages only when grown in a temperate climate, and 
supplied with a moderate amount of moisture. -Too much water results in an excessive growth 
of' the leaves and- shoots, and the grapes are watery and acid ; on the Other hand, in a dry 
climate the fruits -are small and contain toO'large a proportion of sugar to render them of use 
for 1 wine-making. Light is another important factor,- and the cultivator chooses situations for 
his Vineyards where the plants will not run the risk of- scorching by the sun, nor, on the other 
hand, be deprived of a generous' supply of its- warmth and light. 

• Although "the climatic conditions must be very favourable for the grape-vine, the plant is 
much less -exacting with regard to soils, for it will accommodate itself to most, growing especially 
yvelh inHhose of a gravelly, chalky;- or stony nature. Nevertheless, a knowledge of the 
chemical composition and physical condition of the soil is of the utmost importance in viti- 
culture, since the flavour of the wine depends to a very large extent upon these factors, for 
under identical atmospheric and climatic conditions we may have wines produced of totally 




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different character, the difference 
resulting entirely from the variations 
in the chemical and physical constitu- 
tion of the soil. Locality, again, has 
a marked influence on the quality of 
the wine produced. Vineyards such 
as those of America, Australia, Algeria, 
and Tunis, which are chiefly planted 
in the rich soils of plains, and but 
indifferently protected from excessive 
rain and sun, produce large quan- 
tities of fruit, but of a comparatively 
poor quality. 

On the other hand, the fruit from 
the vineyards of hilly and moun- 
tainous districts, where the soil may 
be considerably poorer, as a general 
rule yields a wine of a much more 
delicate flavour. The vineyards of 
valleys, again, have their own special 
disadvantages, for here the vines may 
be exposed to excessive moisture and 
insufficient sunlight, and hence ren- 
dered more susceptible to disease. In spite of all these difficulties, however, the experience 
of centuries and the resources of modern science render it possible in many instances for the 
viticulturist so to modify and ameliorate natural conditions that a good wine is often 
produced from vineyards which are situated under any but ideal circumstances. 

Planting a Vineyard 

The first step in planting a new vineyard is to thoroughly prepare the soil by ploughing 
or digging, the laborious process of digging being resorted to only when ploughing is impossible 
owing to the situation of the field. At this stage the soil is often mixed with another of proved 
quality from a different locality to make up any suspected deficiency, and then the whole field 
is thoroughly dressed with a slowly decaying manure, such as the refuse of leather or horn. 

The vines to be planted out are raised either from slips, layers, or seeds. In the former 
case, which is by far the most common method, a branch which has lost its green colour and has 
become covered with a thin brown bark, is cut into lengths of about sixteen inches, which are 
tied up in bundles, and wrapped round with damp moss. They are then planted in the fields 
directly, or may be placed for a time in a special nursery. " Layering " is another method 
frequently resorted to.. In this case a branch still attached to the mother plant is bent down to 
the ground and covered with soil to a depth of about eight to twelve inches, in which it strikes 
root. After about two' years such a "layer" or "sucker" is sufficiently strong to be separated 
from the parent plant, and the new vine is then treated in exactly the same way as a slip or 
cutting. The third method,," viz., raising from seed, is almost entirely restricted to testing new 
varieties produced by artificial cross-fertilisation. This interesting and delicate operation, which 
is carried out by experts, consists in the transference of the pollen of one variety of vine of known 
value io'the stigma of another, which also possesses approved qualities, the object being to 
psoduce' seed which will give rise to plants combining the characters of the two parents. 
Improved varieties are also produced by ,the ordinary process of grafting. 

The method of planting varies considerably with the customs of the people and the extent 
and shape of the vineyard. Commonly the slips are placed in holes made to a depth of from 

The Grape-Vine 


twelve to sixteen inches with a wooden or iron planting-stick. The labourer places his foot 
on the cross-bar of the planting-stick, pressing the latter into the ground to the required 
depth, and then plants the cutting in the hole, which is filled up with fine earth and easily 
assimilated manure. In other vineyards the spade is employed for making the hole, the 
advantage of this method being that the larger hole allows of more fine earth and manure 
being placed in the immediate vicinity of the young plant, which forms under these circum- 
. stances a much more satisfactory root-system. A- third method of trenching is also commonly 
practised, in which the plants are placed at regular intervals in trenches previously prepared, 
which are subsequently filled in with the earth from the trench immediately in front. 
The distances between the vines is in all cases determined by several factors, the. chief of 
which are the fertility of the soil, the known requirements of the variety planted, and last, 
but not least, the nature of the implements to be utilised in the subsequent cultivation of the 
vineyard ; for it is obviously important that if water-carts and ploughs are to be used in the 
vineyard while the crop is coming to maturity, sufficient room must be left between the rows 
to allow of such cultivation. Various methods of training the vines are employed in different 
■countries. In north and central France the vines are supported by a strong stake of chestnut, 
and such a method is commonly adopted in Germany and other countries! 

Perhaps the most important part of the cultivation of the vineyard after the plants are 
well established consists in scientific pruning and efficient weeding. The pruning is performed 
by highly trained vine-dressers, who use specially designed scissors for trimming the shoots ; 
the system of pruning depends to a great extent upon local custom. Weeding generally is 
•effected by ploughing or sometimes by hoeing, but it is essential that such ploughing should 
not take place while the vine is in bloom, or the unavoidable shocks given to the plants result 
in the fruit not being set. In small vineyards the weeding is done by hand, and although the 
process is long and very fatiguing, since the labourer must use a short hoe, there is little doubt 
that the plants run less risk of injury than when the plough is used. 

The Enemies of the Grape- Vine 

During its growth the grape-vine is exposed to the risk of attack from several destructive 
•enemies belonging to both the vegetable and animal kingdoms. Some of the pests are so 
rapid in their onslaught that when once they have obtained a hold on the plant it is quite 
impossible to check their progress even if the most energetic remedies be resorted to ; on the 
•other hand, many diseases 
may be checked and even 
avoided altogether by the 
timely and vigorous adop- 
tion of certain well-known 
remedial measures. 

Snails, moths, plant lice, 
leaf rollers, and numerous 
•other insects do great damage 
in the vineyard, and many 
are the methods which have 
been adopted by the cultiva- 
tor to combat their ravages, 
often with a considerable 
amount of success. But 
.great as is the damage done 
by the above pests, their 
•effects pale before the rav- 
ages caused by the dreaded the grape harvest 


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phylloxera, which has caused, at one time or another, enormous losses in the vineyards 
of most of the wine-growing countries of the world. Phylloxera vastatrix is an insect belonging 
to the plant lice family or Aphidae, a group well known for their destructive habits. It is 
a native of North America, and in Europe first made its appearance in France, appearing 
later in Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, and finally in Hungary. Subsequently it caused enor- 
mous damage in the vineyards of the East, and when the pest again reached the Mediterranean 
many of the plantations of Algeria were utterly ruined. The Cape of Good Hope was next 
attacked, and, after nearly ruining the wine industry of the colony, outbreaks occurred in both 
North and South America. The disease has also appeared in Australia, and practically the 
only vine-growing country which has hitherto escaped the scourge is Tunis, where stringent 
measures have systematically been taken to prevent the introduction of the insect. Vines 
attacked by the phylloxera present a very typical appearance. The plants develop com- 
paratively few leaves, which are small and quickly lose their colour, becoming yellow or 
yellowish-brown ; another striking feature is that the edges of the leaves become rolled back. 
At a later stage the effects of. the disease are noticeable in the grapes themselves, which become 
arrested in their growth and much wrinkled. 

If the roots of such a plant are exposed and carefully examined with a lens, the cause 
of the disease becomes evident. The rootlets are seen to bear numerous firm, yellowish. 

The Grape- Vine 



tubercles, which later become dark and rotten, and on 
the tubers may be found large numbers of the phyl- 
loxera itself — minute yellowish-brown creatures, pro- 
vided with six legs and a strong, tubular proboscis, by 
means of which they pierce the bark of the root and 
rob the plant of its sap. These insects, are wingless 
females, which from March to October lay enormous 
numbers of eggs which give rise to females exactly 
similar to themselves. During the summer, however, a 
second form of insect appears among the root-dwellers, 
although the eggs from which they are hatched possess 
no characteristics to distinguish them from the others. 
The new insect, when mature, is provided with wings, 
and, after emerging into the air through the soil, flies 
about the vineyard during the summer and early 
autumn, feeding upon the juices of the leaves and twigs 
of the vines. The winged insects or nymphs, which 
are all females, lay their eggs on the leaves, and in . 
the next generation we have the appearance of insects 
of both sexes, male and female, neither of which 

possess wings. The life of these forms is very short, / . \ 

and is taken up with producing a new generation of 
females, also wingless, which are known as the stock- 
mothers. These latter attack the tissue of the leaves, 
forming galls on the under surface, where they 
take, up their abode. We at last complete the com- 
plicated life history of this pest, for the numerous 
progeny of the stock-mothers emerge from the galls, 
and, descending to the roots, become the root-dwelling 
forms which once more start the vicious cycle. fJ 

Although the attacks of phylloxera frequently 
result in the ruin of the vineyard affected, the vigneron 
is not entirely without remedy. America is the home 
of the pest, and it seems but just of Nature to provide 
from the same country the salvation of the afflicted 
vine-grower. Many of the native vines of America 
have become immune, as it were, from the attacks of 
the insect after long ages of susceptibility, and the 
remedy which has met with the greatest amount of 
success consists in rooting up and destroying all 
diseased plants, and planting stocks of the American 
" phylloxera-resisting " varieties. When once estab- 
lished, cuttings of the local vines are grafted on to the 
stocks, so that we have what may be regarded as a 
composite plant — a plant whose roots are proof against 
the attacks of the insect, and whose fruit produces a 
wine which still maintains the local tradition. 

Diseases due to the attacks of fungi have also caused enormous losses to vine-growers. 
The most important is undoubtedly that caused by Oidium (Erysiphe) Tuckeri. The disease 
was first noticed in England near Margate in 1845, and in less than seven years it had spread 
through all the wine-producing countries of Europe. The fungus appears on the surface of 




The World's Commercial Products 

1 " "FEMALE ' 

the young vine leaves as a delicate white weft of filaments which send suckers into the leaf 
cells, absorbing nutriment from them. It rapidly spreads over the surface of the plants and 

finally attacks the grapes themselves, causing them to become 
spotted and at last completely withered. The fungus is prop- 
agated by means of spores which are found in chains on 
delicate filaments which project from the surface of the plant. 
In 1892 another means of reproduction was discovered in 
Europe, but that already described is by far the most im- 
portant. The most effective means of checking and even 
preventing this disease has been found to consist in puffing 
flowers of sulphur on to the plants before the dew has 

" Black rot," caused by the attacks of another fungus, 
Laestadia (Pkysalospora) Bidwillii, affects all young organs 
and shoots of the vine. The grapes first show signs of the' 
disease when about the size of peas, and later they fall off, 
either singly or in clusters. Black rot is one of the most 
dreaded of the vine diseases in America, and although it has 
been observed in France, the fungus has as yet done com- 
paratively little damage in Europe. Spraying the vine with 
the solution of copper sulphate (blue vitriol) and lime known as 
" Bordeaux mixture" is generally recommended as the most 
effective remedy. 

" Anthracnose "of the vine, known on the Continent 
as " brehner," " pech," and " charbon," has also caused 
great losses. The fungus, Phoma (Sphaceloma) ampelinum, 
penetrates the leaves, bark and grapes, and kills the tissues. 
On the leaves and- grapes sunken dark spots occur, and later 
the spots, when dried up, drop out of the leaves. Spraying with 
solutions of copper sulphate appears to be the best remedy. 

Among other -fungi attacking the vine may be mentioned 
Peronospora viticola, a pest closely allied to that causing the 
disastrous potato disease ; arid Dematophora necatrix, which 
causes a very destructive root disease often confused with that 
resulting from phylloxera. 

The Harvest 

When the grapes are ripe the gathering begins, but in some 
of the hotter districts the grapes are gathered before reaching 
full ripeness in order that the tartness may preserve the wine. 
For some liqueurs, on the other hand, it is necessary to have 
a large amount of sugar and alcohol in the fruit, and hence 
for these wines the grapes- are gathered when somewhat over- 
ripe. As soon as the grapes have been picked they are 
transferred to cellars to await the first processes in the manu- 
facture of wine. Before dealing with this subject, however, it would be well to mention 
that no small proportion of vine-growers devote considerable attention to the cultivation of 
grapes suitable for the table. Spain furnishes supplies of excellent dessert fruit, and the 
hot-house grapes of England, Belgium, and the Low Countries are world-famous, especially 
those of England. One of the finest varieties of table grapes is the Chasselas of Fontaine- 
bleau, which owes its name to the celebrated vine in the Royal Park at Fontainebleau. The 




The Grape-Vine 


fruit is borne in large clusters which, however, contain relatively few golden-green berries, 
characterised by a very thin skin and a sweet pulp of exquisite flavour. Another variety of 
grape, known to everyone under the name of " currants," is extensively grown in Greece, and 
is the object of an enormous 
trade, the principal centres 
of the industry being at 
Patras in Morea and the isle 
of Tante. 

- Besides yielding a first- 
class dessert fruit, grapes 
are the source of the valu- 
able raisin and muscatel. 
Raisins are nothing more 
than dried grapes, and it 
might naturally be supposed 
that wherever the vine is 
cultivated for wine-making 
these raisins would be pro- 
duced. This, however, is 
not so, for the production of 
the dried fruit is confined to 
certain well-marked vine- 
growing districts, the most 
important being the country 
in the neighbourhood of 
Malaga and Valencia in 
Spain, whence we respec- 
tively receive the muscatel 
and the well-known pudding 
raisin. Certain districts of 
Asia Minor produce large 
quantities of the stoneless 
sultana raisin, and smaller 
quantities are exported from 
Greece. Within recent years 
a large trade in raisins and 
muscatels has developed in 
California, and the decay of 
the wine industry in South 
Africa has resulted in the 
vine-growers turning their, 
attention to raisin produc- 
tion. Further, the Austra- 
lian states are taking their 
part in the supply of this 
popular fruit, and at the present time the export of raisins, especially from South Australia, 
is considerable. Lastly, great quantities of raisins are produced in many districts of Persia, 
but they are principally consumed locally, largely owing to insufficient means of transport. 

The method of drying the grapes varies in different countries. In Spain the finest varieties 
of raisins are produced by partially cutting through the stalks of the bunches which are allowed 
to hang on the vines, and the drying and curing of the grapes is hastened by a vigorous thinning 



The World's Commercial Products 

-of the leaves to allow of the penetration of the sun. Generally, however, the ripe bunches 
are cut from the vine, and then placed in the sun on sloping floors until the fruit is sufficiently 
-cured. In Asia Minor the drying is retarded by sprinkling the bunches with oil, thereby reduc- 
ing evaporation, and this process is said to preserve the fruit in transit. When dry the fruit 
is carefully graded, and either packed in fancy boxes, as in the case of muscatels, or else exported 
iin bulk'. The pick of the market comes to London. (See article on " Fruits.") 


The primary purpose of viticulture, however, is the manufacture of wine. Briefly put, 
the process consists in allowing the juice of the grapes to ferment under certain conditions, 
when it undergoes fundamental changes, and is converted into wine, the varieties of which 

are as numerous as the methods employed in producing 
them. In the preparation of red wine the grapes are 
taken into cellars, the temperature of which can be 
carefully regulated. In former days the next stage 
was to place the vintage into an enormous bowl and 
allow the grapes to be pressed by men dancing on 
them. The obvious objection to such a process has 
led to the employment of machinery, and in all large 
wine factories at the present time the grapes are 
passed between horizontal cylinders which press out 
the juice without crushing the stones. The expressed 
juice, or " must," as it is called, is collected in bowls 
and allowed to ferment, a process which consists 
essentially of the conversion of the sugar of the 
grape into alcohol and carbonic acid gas, the change 
being brought about by a unicellular organism closely 
allied to the yeast plant. The fermentation is most 
vigorous at a temperature of about 20° C, and the 
more favourable the conditions of temperature and the 
larger the quantity of must, the quicker the process is 
completed ; depending upon these conditions it may 
be from twenty-four hours to eight days before the 
process is completed. At the height of the fermentation 
the liquor is in a condition of considerable commotion, 
and if the stalks of the bunches have been left in the 
bowls the whole mass rises to the surface. Sooner or 
later, however, the turbulence subsides, the stalks sink to the bottom, and the liquor becomes 
coloured and acquires an alcoholic flavour ; when the fermentation has completely ceased the 
first wine or " vin de goutte " is drawn off. The colour and flavour of the wine depends upon 
the length of time the must is allowed to remain in the bowls, but as soon as the required 
oondition is reached the wine is transferred to barrels, the lees being kept back by means of a 
sieve. The lees are not discarded, however, for out of them, by successive pressings, wines of 
inferior quality are made. These wines are of sharp flavour, and are generally casked 
separately from the " vin de goutte." 

There are numerous varieties of red wine, and they are made in all vine-growing countries. 
The French red wines especially are highly valued, and of their excellence there can be but 
one opinion. Among the red wines of Burgundy may be cited those of Musigny, Richebourg, 
Romanee, Chambertin, Corton, Beaune des Hospices, Pommard, Volnay, Alios du Roy, and 
Clos de Vougeot. The Clos de Vougeot is one of the most highly prized of the products of 


The Grape- Vine 


the beautiful Burgundian vineyards ; its origin can be traced back to a.d. 1110, when the 
monks of Cipeaux received the vineyards from Hugues le Blanc, lord of Vergy, and cultivating 
it with infinite care, succeeded in producing a wine which has maintained its reputation for 
centuries. The wines of Beaujolais such as Macon, Thomis, Fleuric, and Moulin-a-vent are 
also well known, and the pride of the banks of the Rhone are l'Hermitage, Cote-Rotie, 
and Chateauneuf-du-Pape. But the French wines, however, which enjoy perhaps the 
greatest popularity in the land which produces them are the world-famous red wines of 
Bordeaux, some of the principal varieties of which are 
Haut Brion, Chateau-Margaux, Chateau-Leoville, Chateau- 
Lafite, Chateau-Lagrange, Chateau-Larose, Chateau-Millet, 
Mouton-Rothschild, Chateau-Latour, Branaire, Montrose- 
Dolfus, Ducru-Beaucailloux, Clos dTssan, St. Estephe, 
St. Emilion, and Medoc. Although the wines of Bor- 
deaux have been famous for centuries, it was not until 
towards the end of the eighteenth century that they 
became really fashionable, a state of affairs which was 
largely brought about by the influence of Marshal de 
Richelieu, who introduced them to the notice of the 

Having thus briefly dealt with red wines and their 
manufacture, we will turn our attention to the white 
varieties. White wines are made in a manner quite dis- 
tinct from that adopted for red wines, but it is a common 
error to suppose that white wines are made solely from 
white grapes to the exclusion of purple fruit. It is quite 
true that many grapes are quite unsuitable for white 
wines, since their juice is too strongly coloured, but the ' 
total exclusion of these varieties for white wines is by 
no means the case. 

The wines are produced by two distinct methods. In 
the one case the vintage is thrown into huge bowls or 
basins and the juice, as soon as it has been pressed out, 
drawn off and placed into casks, where it is allowed to 
ferment ; it is very important that the sediment should 
be abstracted as soon as possible. In the other method 
the grapes are taken directly to the press and great care 
is exercised to avoid too great pressure, which would result 
in the must becoming coloured by the expressed juices of 
the stalks. In both cases the lees are placed on hurdles 
and the wine which drips from them is collected and added 

to that obtained first. It frequently happens that in spite of all precautions to the contrary 
the must is of too strong a tint, and to effect the decolourisation of the wine it is the practice 
to treat the must with sulphuric acid or charcoal. 

Owing to the early extraction of the lees the fermentation of white wines is much slower 
and less vigorous than in the case of red wines, and to facilitate the process the wines are often 
transferred to other vessels. The liquor in these vessels is kept at a constant level by the 
addition of new must, and if the scum which collects at the surface is repeatedly removed 
we have the production of " sweet " wines ; on the other hand, if the scum is allowed to remain, 
so that the fermentation may be more complete, " dry " wines are the result. As the " dryness " 
of a wine depends upon the completeness with which the sugar of the juice is converted into 
alcohol and carbon dioxide, it follows that to produce the driest wines fermentation should be 


17— C.P. 

242 The World's Commercial Products 

allowed to go on as long p as possible. 
Conversely, it should be possible to pro- 
duce sweet wines by stopping the fermen- 
tation, and this is effected by the fumes 
of burning sulphur. 

There are a great many varieties of 

white wine, and perhaps the most famous 

of all is the Rhenish wine known as 

ia v " Johannisberger," which is grown in 

Germany. This variety is said to fetch 
the highest price among white wines, and 
its reputation has become world-wide. 
Enormous casks of Johannisberger are 
lying in the municipal wine cellars of the 
township of Bremen, the wine being 
casked and stored in its present position 
over three centuries ago. This wine, 
leaf affected with black rot known as " the Rose," is, as one might 

suppose, the subject of more than one 
legend, and is offered in hospitality to royalties and persons of distinguished rank who partake 
in the festivities of the town ; it is also graciously given to the sick. Other Rhenish wines of 
great repute are Rauenthaler, Liebfraumilch, Marcobrunner, Rudesheimer, Hoheheimer, 
Kottenlocher, Zetlinger, and Riesling. 

The white wines of Burgundy are also highly appreciated, and Montrachet is regarded by 
some as the king of white wines. Meursault-Goutte-d'Or, Chablis Moutonne, Pouilly-Tuisse 
are also excellent. Among the white wines of Bordeaux, Chateau- Yquem is considered the 
best, and Chateau-Myrat, Latour-Blanche, Clos St. Marc, and the wines of Sautome, Barsac, 
and Graves also enjoy a high reputation. 

Wines known as pale wines are obtained by pressing the sediment a little more than in .the 
case of the white wines. They possess an agreeable freshness of flavour and are dry, but 
are liable to turn yellow as soon as they come into contact with the air, a disadvantage which 
is mitigated by casking as soon as possible. 

Light red wines are prepared in the same way as the red wines, with the difference that the 
sediment is not left in the must longer than twenty-four or forty-eight hours at the 
most. The right moment for its abstraction is when the larger part of the sugar has had time 
to be transformed into alcohol, as in the case of the dry white wines, without the wine having 
acquired too much colour. 

A kind of wine is also prepared from .dried grapes. This is the case especially in France, 
where about 100,000,000 kilograms of dried grapes are annually imported, chiefly from Greece. 
•Of these about 4,000,000 hectolitres of wine are prepared, making a wholesome drink, which, 
however, , is jIqss invigorating. than wine made from fresh grapes. 

All, wineSj_ whether, red, white or pale, still require a good deal of care after they have been 
casked. During the second fermentation . the chemical processes are continued and 
facilitated , by; various means. ; As fermentation always develops heat, the wine takes 
up more, space. wJrUe ;i.t is. fermenting than when the fermentation has abated. Daily the liquid 
bepqme% less jn. bulk,, and to, avoid contact with the air, which would turn the wine sour, the 
•ca^ks T -a^e v re^uJ.ariy, filled, f up.; Moreover, the wine in the casks only slowly deposits the im- 
P^ties ^vhich^t contains,, and. to facilitate, their deposition the wine is drawn off several times 
eiili^r J^y -siphon^ or^smaU. pumps, mounted on light carriages. This process is repeated three 
orJiqur^ times at intervals of aiew months. It is never carried out in the hot weather, when 
the fermentation is most active. 

The Grape-Vine 


Notwithstanding these measures adopted for its clarification, the wine contains a good 
•deal of matter in suspension which must be got rid of. The clarifiers employed for this purpose 
are isinglass, white of egg, and salt ; blood arid milk are also sometimes used. The action of 
these clarifiers is purely mechanical : they form a kind of network with narrow meshes at the 
.surface or in the body of the liquor, which slowly sinks to the bottom and carries all 
impurities with it. 

It is then necessary to arrest the fermentatiorr completely. This is accomplished either 
by the fumes of burning sulphur or, in large establishments, by heating the wine in special 
vessels to a temperature of 50° to 65° C. All fermentation ceases when the temperature rises 
above 40°. 

Champagne is a wine of so universal a reputation that in any account of viticulture and 
the wine industry it demands special treatment. 

The wine grown in Champagne was early appreciated by connoisseurs, but its modern reputa- 
tion dates back for three centuries when Dom Perignon, governor of the abbey of Hautevillers, 
invented the effervescent liquor, which plays so important a part in our festivities. 

The manufacture of champagne affords employment to many thousands of people, and 
the fact that one single house employs more than 3,000 hands concerned in the actual making 
■of the wine will afford some idea of the extent of this branch of the wine industry. 

Champagne is manufactured by special methods which demand great care and skill on the 
part of the operator. The plants themselves which are to yield the grapes destined for this 
famous wine are chosen from among the very best, and the fruit is most carefully selected. 
Just as in the case of ordinary white wines, the vintage is taken at once to the press and the 
juice resulting from the first pressure is reserved for the preparation of the superior qualities 
•of champagne. The lees are then cut up and again subjected to pressure, a process which is 
repeated two or three times, the juice affording the cheaper varieties of the wine. 

The fermentation processes are carried out in large vessels containing about 200 litres of 
•clarified must apiece, the most favourable temperature for the operation being between 16° C. 
and 18° C. When the fermentation is considered to have gone far enough, the must is drawn 
•off into barrels which have been very carefully cleaned, and later the contents of these barrels 
are transferred to a gigantic cask where the must is thoroughly mixed by means of a mechanical 
stirrer. At this stage, should the wine be found to be deficient in alcohol, a quantity of the 
pure spirit is added and the wine again transferred to casks, where it is clarified by means of 
the usual agents. When the clarification has reached a certain stage, sugar is added in pre- 
viously calculated quantities according to the variety of wine desired. The wine is then 
bottled, corked and wired, and for the next two, three or four years allowed to mature, the 
bottles being stacked five or six bottles deep. At the end of this period the bottles are 
taken out and placed on 
•slanting racks with the necks 
pointing downwards. In the 
course of time a sediment 
collects in the bottom of the 
bottles, and when later the 
corks are allowed to "fly 
•off," all the impurities are 
expelled from the bottle by 
the force of the gas gene- 
rated. This operation is 
by no means without its 
dangers, for it frequently 
happens that the bottles 
burst, and it behoves the 



The World's Commercial Products 

workmen to exercise great caution. The final process con- 
sists in adding a- small quantity of syrup, the latter being 
a solution of sugar in old wine, and then the bottles 
are hermetically sealed, wired, and the cork and neck 
wrapped round with tinfoil. After labelling, the bottles are 
again transferred to the cellars, where the- wine acquires its 
effervescing qualities by the generation of carbon dioxide. 

As one would naturally 'suppose, the quality of the 
champagne will vary with the vintage, and it is the practice 
to reserve quantities of the wine made from a good vintage 
for the sole purpose of mixing, with the -champagne of less 
favourable years in order to maintain, to a large extent, the 
average quality of the wine. There are many varieties of 
champagne, but some of the most famous are Pommery- 
Greno, St. Marceaux, G. H. Mumm, Moet, Montebello, 
Heidsieck, Roederer, Mercier, and Cliquot. 


A most important branch 
of the wine industry is the 
distillation of alcohol or spirits 
of wine. One of the chief 
sources from which alcohol is 
obtained on a commercial scale 
is wine, and the distillation of 
the spirit from wines is confined 
almost exclusively to France, 
where the product is largely 
used in -the preparation of the 
many kinds of brandy. Wine 
contains from seven • to j twenty- 
four per cent, of alcohol, and 




The World's Commercial Products 

in making choice of the wines to be distilled 
the first point to be considered is the amount 
of alcohol which they contain, and then the 
quality of the spirit which they will yield. 
The first question is decided by direct testing 
with a test-still, but as regards the quality 
of the spirit much depends upon the age, 
purity, and fineness of the wine employed. 
White wines are to be preferred, and all the 
best varieties of " cognac " brandy are 
distilled from these wines. 

A coarser kind of spirit is prepared from 
the refuse of the wine-press. This refuse 
still contains a certain amount of sugar, and fermentation is allowed to take place in vats in 
which the lees are kept at the bottom by means of heavy sieves. After fermentation, 
which takes about five days, the clear liquor is drawn off and distilled, producing a spirit 
of a rough, unpleasant odour and flavour. The actual process of distillation is carried 
out in large stills, a common form of which consists of a boiler containing a series of con- 
centric cylinders so : arranged as to effect the separation of the spirituous vapours from the 
steam. The boiler is heated by a brick furnace, and the vapours condensed by means 
of an ordinary coil condenser, from which the finished spirit is collected. 



Cape Colony 

Having thus briefly considered the principal features of the wine industry in France and 
other parts of the Continent, it will not be out of place to refer to the present condition of 




The World's Commercial Products 


viticulture in those parts of the British Empire where experiment has shown that it can be 
successfully carried on. At the outset it will be well to state that the extent of the Colonial 
wine industry is at present almost negligible when compared with that of Europe and California, 
but-1 especially in the .case of the Australian states, the industry may be regarded as being 
as yet^in'its infancy, and it will, be of interest to consider the degree of success which has 
attended the efforts -of our brothers across the seas to enter a field of industry which at 
one time was regarded, with good reason, as being peculiarly European. 

The wine-producing colonies are Cape Colony and the Federated States of Australia. 
The output in gallons of these countries for 1904 will be seen from the following table, but 
although ,the actual amount of wine produced is by no means inconsiderable, it is but a drop 
in the ocean, being not more than 0'3 per cent, of the world's total production. 

'Production of Wine in the British Empire, 1904 

Cape Colony . . 

South Australia 


New South Wales 

Western Australia 


5,686,672 gallons 







The Cape of Good Hope was the first colony to commence systematic viticulture, and the 
industry was firmly established by the Dutch long before the country came under the British 




The World's Commercial Products 

Grown. It was in 1653 that Van Riebeck, the founder of the first European settlement at 
the Cape, planted the first vines in Table Valley. The vines were brought from the Rhine 
vineyards, and since they flourished in their new home, large numbers of plants were brought 
into the country from Germany and France. Van Riebeck had probably already noted the 
presence of several species of vine at the Cape, and since it is known that he was a keen observer 
of Nature, it is highly probable that he early conceived the idea of experimenting in the new 
country with the vines from Europe. 

The earliest account of a vintage is in 1659, and it appears that the Dutch took up the 
new industry with considerable determination, for we find that in 1681 the first brandy was dis- 
tilled, and six years later the total number 
of vines planted in the colony was no less 
than half a million. By 1710 the cultiva- 
tion had increased enormously, for, in a 
report furnished to the Dutch East India 
Company, we find that the vines planted 
numbered 2,729,300, and that small quan- 
tities of the wine produced had actually 
been shipped to Europe and Java. At the 
time viticulture was the most prominent 
feature of Cape agriculture, and, relatively 
speaking, was much more important than 
at the present day. About a hundred 
years later the number of vines had 
increased to considerably over twenty-two 
millions, and the export of wine reached a 
total of 21,300 pipes. It will come as a 
surprise to most people to learn that at 
about this time (1822) England imported 
more wine from the Cape than she did 
from France, the actual figures being 
11,211 tuns from our neighbours across 
the Channel and nearly 19,000 tuns from 
South Africa. 

During the last century the cultivation 
of the vine was extended, but in spite of 
the increase in the number and extent of 
the vineyards, the export of wine gradually 
diminished, and at the present time wine 
occupies a very low position in the exports of the country. This undesirable state of affairs 
has been due largely to the disastrous diseases and pests which have attacked the vines from 
time to time, and on more than one occasion the industry has been on the verge of ruin. In 
1858 the destructive fungus oidium attacked the vineyards and threatened to destroy .them,, 
but its ravages were mitigated and finally checked by the vigorous adoption of the sulphur 
treatment, and the. crops were restored. In 1885 the dreaded pest phylloxera appeared near 
Mowbray, and "while at first; it was hoped that the disease could be stamped out by the 
eradication of all vines^in the- infected areas, it soon became evident that the insect spread 
too rapidly to cope with its ravages in this way, and the struggle against phylloxera had to 
be totally abandoned. The vignerons, however, did not despair, but, profiting by the 
experience, of .the.>, viticulturjsts of Europe, commenced the importation of phylloxera-resisting 
American; stocks, the use of which- in combating- the pest has been described above. At the 
present time large nurseries of American vines are established at Constantia, Stellenbosch, 
and the Paarl. 


The Grape- Vine 


To-day the cultivation of the vine at the Cape is carried on almost exclusively in the western 
part of the colony, where the climate is probably more favourable to the grape than that of any 
other part of the world. During the spring there is, in these districts, a sufficiency of brilliant 
sunshine and rain as will cause a vigorous development of the shoots, and towards the summer, 
although the sun is in its power, the humidity of the atmosphere is sufficient to allow of the 
further growth of the bunches which in January and February mature under ideal conditions. 
By far the most important wine-producing districts of the Cape are Paarl and Stellenbosch, 
and these are followed in order of their importance by Cape, Malmesbury, Caledon, Robertson, 
Oudtshoorn, Clanwilliam, Swellendam, Prince Albert, Willowmore, and Uitenhage. 

The viticultural districts of the Western Province may be divided into coast and inland 
districts, differing from one another in the nature of the soil and climate, and hence also in 
the method of cultivating the vineyards. The soil in the hilly country of the coast districts 
is derived from the disintegration of granite, sandstone, clay, and slate, and is so retentive of 



The World's Commercial Products 

moisture that irrigation is quite unnecessary. On the other hand, the inland districts possess 
a calcareous soil which does not retain the water to so great an extent, and it is necessary 
to irrigate the vineyards two to four times during the season before the grapes will ripen to 
perfection. The yield, however, of the inland districts is greatly in excess of that of the coast 
districts, and the quantity of wine produced is on an average more than double. 

With regard to the quality of the wines produced at the Cape it will be sufficient to add 
that the grapes grown in the colony are of peculiar suitability for the preparation of sweet 
wines, ports and liqueurs, but that the light wines produced, although steadily improving in 
quality, are much inferior to those of Europe, and it will be probably long before they obtain 

a footing in the European market. The 
inferiority of these wines is largely due 
to the fact that the first fermentation 
which is carried out at a high tempera- 
ture is very tumultuous, and is all over 
in from four to eight days. It will be 
remembered that in Europe the same 
process occupies a much longer period, 
a fact which allows of a much less 
vigorous action and the consequent 
retention of the volatile substances to 
which the bouquet of the wine is due. 
In the Cape wines the volatile compounds 
are expelled during the rapid and bois- 
terous fermentation, and consequently 
they lack the character which delights 
the heart of the connoisseur. 
As will be noticed from the figures 
already given, the principal wine-pro- 
ducing States of Australia, in order of 
their importance, are South Australia, 
Victoria, and New South Wales. Vines 
were first planted in South Australia 
between 1840 and 1850, the stocks being 
obtained from the Botanic Gardens at 
Sydney, and later from Spain and other 
parts of Europe. Historically, the most 
interesting of, the vineyards of the colony are those at Reynella, planted by John Reynell, 
for it "was here that, in 1846, the first wine vines were cultivated, and the first wine made. 
The principal wine-growing districts in the State, at the present day are, with the exception 
of Stanley, nearly all in the Central Division, chiefly in the counties of Adelaide and Light. 
The soil, and climate are very suitable for the production of nearly every kind of wine ; the 
Adelaide plains yield a wine very similar to . those of the south of Spain, and the hilly 
districts produce clarets and other light- wines of very considerable quality. 

The. methods and apparatus employedin the early days of wine-making in the colony were 
of a very .primitive character, and "the South Australian vigneron has had to pass through 
a long and trying course of evolution before he reached the position which at this moment 
marks him as among the most enlightened wine-makers of the day. The wineries are models 
of cleanliness, and the fermenting houses - are of the most modem type. Spontaneous 
fermentation is no longer entirely* relied upon, but artificial cultures of the fermenting organism 
are introduced into the must with most satisfactory results. South Australians may pride 


The Grape-Vine 


themselves with having originated and perfected schemes for treating the grapes, which are 
now attracting the attention of wine-growers in all parts of the world. 

The progress of wine-growing in Victoria has been slow but sure, and in spite of many 
vicissitudes the production of wine promises at the present day to become one of the greatest 
industries of the colony. In 1860 the area under vines was about 2,000 acres, and some of the 
vines had already made their way abroad and obtained favourable recognition. But about 
this time a great rush for establishing vineyards took place, and in four years over 2,000 acres 
more were planted by people, the majority of whom had little or no experience of viticulture. 
The result was inevitable. The wines, made by the most unscientific methods, rapidly came 
into bad repute, and the trade almost completely died out. Not completely, however, for a few 
persevering men in the neighbourhood of Melbourne and other large towns, by careful and 
diligent work, were gradually improving their vintages, and in 1881 created the greatest 
sensation by winning at the Melbourne International Exhibition the grand prix offered by the 
late German Emperor " to an exhibitor in one of .the Australian colonies as an acknowledgment 
of the efforts in promoting art and industry as shown by the high quality of the goods manu- 
factured by such exhibitor." From that day colonial wine was no longer thrown under 
general condemnation ; it was seen that with careful scientific methods of cultivation and 
manufacture Victoria could produce wines which were not to be ignored, with the result that 
the colonists once more 
turned their attention to viti- 
culture. The most striking 
testimony to the excellence 
of Victorian wines has been 
afforded by some of the most 
famous growers of Europe— 
whose names are household 
words to the connoisseur — 
who have been forced to 
admit, generously enough, 
that many of the Australian 
wines are to be placed among 
the best that can be produced. 

The manufacture of cham- 
pagne has engaged the atten- 
tion of three or four growers 
in Victoria and New South 
Wales, and much experience 
has been gained as to the 
requirements of the industry 
under local conditions. Per- 
haps the best champagne has 
been produced by the Great 
Western Vineyard, about 139 
miles from Melbourne, where 
the owner has been assisted 
in overcoming the great diffi- 
culty of regulating the tem- 
perature by the possession of 
huge caverns which have 
been hewn out of decayed 
granite rock twenty-five feet 



The World's Commercial Products 

below the surface. Hence the temperature remains at about 58° F., and shows very little 
variation throughout the year. With many of the difficulties inevitable to a new industry 
overcome, champagne-making at the present day promises to become an important branch of 
the Victorian wine industry. 

In New South Wales the grape-vine flourishes all along the coast district, especially in the 
country round Newcastle, and the wines of the Albury district, near the Victorian border, have 
a high reputation throughout Australia. 

The wine-growing industry of the State is still in its infancy, though with a growing local 
demand, and with the opening up of a market in England, where the wines of New South Wales, 
in common with those of Victoria and South Australia, enjoy a considerable popularity, the 
future -of grape- culture in the colony seems to be fairly assured. 

The vine was planted in the early days of colonisation in New South Wales, but it was 
not until 1828 that viticulture and wine-making became a definite industry of the country. 
About that time large numbers of stocks were imported from the finest wine-growing districts 
of Europe and planted in the Hunter River district, and a few years afterwards the Murray 
River valley received attention. The grapes flourished, but the wines manufactured from 
them were anything but satisfactory, the reason, as usual, being that the colonists but imper- 
fectly understood the vigneron's art. At the present time, however, neither pains nor money 
are spared to introduce skilled labour and to adopt up-to-date methods, and the results of 
such intelligent treatment are apparent in the status which the wines of New South Wales 
hold in the estimation of experts. 


Among the commercial products of the world vegetables are a most important item, and 
their value as foodstuffs needs no emphasizing. The inhabitants of the world could subsist 
without animal-flesh, could scarcely subsist entirely on cereals, but they most certainly 
could not subsist without vegetables. Practically every nation, savage and civilized 
alike, cultivates a few plants for use as vegetables. The- vegetables we know and prize 

most are one and all the 
result of long cultivation, the 
origin of most being lost in 
antiquity. The world has been 
ransacked, and for the vege- 
tables cultivated in the United 
Kingdom nearly every country 
under the . sun has been laid 
under contribution. 

Large as are the supplies 
produced in the United King- 
dom, they are insufficient for 
the requirements of the people, 
and great quantities of raw 
vegetables are annually im- 
ported. In 1905 our imports 
of these commodities amounted 
in value to £13,872,842. In 
1903 these imports totalled 
£15,319,994. The average for 
the last ten years amounts to 
over £12,300,000 per annum. 

By permission of Messrs. Sutton & Sons, Reading 


Copyrights. & S. 



By permission of Messrs. Sutton & Sons, Reading 


Copyright S. & S. 


The Potato {Solatium 
tuberosum) is the most import- 
ant of all vegetables from the 
point of view of the inhabit- 
ants of the British Isles. Its 
native country and the date of 
its introduction into Britain 
have been subjects of much 
discussion, but there can be 
no doubt of its being in- 
digenous to various parts of 
South America — plants hav- 
ing been found in a wild state 
on the Peruvian coast, as 
well as on the sterile tracts 
of Central Chili. The Spani- 
ards are believed to have first 
brought the potato to Europe 
from Quito in the early part 
of the sixteenth century. It 

afterwards found its way into Italy, and from thence it was carried to Mons in Belgium 
by one of the attendants of the Pope's legate. In 1598 it was sent from Mons to the 
celebrated botanist, Clusius, at Vienna, who states that in a short time it spread rapidly 
throughout Germany. The first potatoes that reached this country were brought from 
Virginia by the colonists sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584, and who returned in 
1586. They were planted on Sir Walter's estate near Cork, and were used for food in Ireland 
long before they were even known, much less cultivated, in England. In the time of James I 
they were so rare as to cost 2s. per pound, and are mentioned in 1619 among the articles pro- 
vided for the Royal household. In 1633, when their valuable properties had become more 
generally known, the Royal Society took measures to encourage their cultivation with the 
view of preventing famine. However, it was not until nearly a century after the above date 
that they were grown to any great extent in England. In 1725 they were introduced into 
Scotland and cultivated with much success, first in gardens and afterwards (about 1760) 
in open fields. 

In a wild state the tubers of the potato are very small, seldom exceeding the size of a walnut. 
Under cultivation the plant has vastly improved and varieties innumerable have been raised. 
These varieties differ considerably not only in size, form and colour, but in the length of time 
taken to mature, and in being either waxy or dry and floury. It has been found that when 
a particular variety has been grown in the same soil for any length of time it degenerates 
and requires to be renewed either by seed, but more frequently by resorting to " sets " of 
sorts which have been grown in different soils and locality. In this way varieties are 
continually changing, and nearly every town or district has its particular favourite. 

Whilst the potato can be cultivated in almost any kind of soil and under widely different 
conditions, and after planting with a minimum amount of attention, it nevertheless responds 
to generous culture. A rich, light, warm soil suits it best, heavy cold soils being least desirable. 
The " sets " may be planted any time from February to the end of May, but March and early 
April are the best times. They should be planted in trenches four to six inches deep — 
allowing six inches between each set with the early kinds, to twenty inches with the late 
kinds. The trenches should be eighteen inches apart for the small-growing early kinds, and 
thirty-six to forty inches for the strong-growing late kinds. The potato being a sub-tropical 


The World's Commercial Products 

plant will not withstand frost, and the early kinds should be afforded some protection if late 
frost occurs after the shoots are above the soil. 

The ground should be kept free of weeds, and when the shoots are about six inches high 
soil should be drawn up around them. The potato tuber is really a thickened underground 
stem borne at the ends of runners which originate in the axils of the lower stem leaves. By 
earthing up the stems the production of these is promoted and a heavier crop results. 

In 1845 a devastating disease made its appearance amongst potatoes in this country and 

threatened the entire destruction of 
the crop. This disease proved to 
be due to a Fungus {Phytophthora 
infestans), which first attacks the 
leaves, causing discoloration, and 
thence rapidly spreads down the 
stems to the tubers. Whilst no 
actual cure is at present known, 
spraying the crops at intervals with 
a solution of copper sulphate and 
lime (Bordeaux mixture) will check 
the disease if not actually destroy- 
ing it. Some varieties of potatoes 
are capable of resisting disease to a 
very considerable extent until they 
become degenerate. A disease-proof 
potato is a desideratum which plant 
breeders are endeavouring to fill. At 
present there is no such a thing 
absolutely, any more than there is a 
disease-proof wheat, dog, horse, or 
man. By a continual change of 
stock, care to plant only the best 
varieties, and judicious spraying, the 
disease can be kept in check if not 
in abeyance. 

The cultivation of the potato is 
now carried on in practically every 
part of the world — from Iceland to 
New Zealand, in Africa and distant 
China. In this latter country it was 
introduced by Roman Catholic 
missionaries some thirty years ago, 
and though despised by the rice- 
eating Chinese of the south, the 
potato has become a staple food of 
the peasants in the more mountainous parts of the Empire. 

In Great Britain and Ireland the potato is one of the most important crops. In 1905 no 
fewer than 1,225,228 acres were planted with potatoes. 

Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Lancashire are the chief potato growing counties in England, 
followed by Cambridgeshire and Cheshire. Fifeshire, Forfarshire, and Perthshire are the 
principal Scotch counties. In 1905 the total yield for Great Britain and Ireland was 
7,185,745 tons — the average yield per acre for the last ten years being 4'84 tons. 

In the same year Great Britain imported 3,664,290 cwt. of potatoes valued at £1,404,607. 


By permission of Messrs. Sutton & Sons, Reading 


Copyright S. & S. 




Of the total imports 2,525,741 
cwt. were from foreign countries, 
and 1,138,549 cwt. from British 
possessions. Nearly the whole of 
our imports consist of early new 


In tropical countries sweet 
potatoes and yams take the place 
of the ordinary potato. Yams, 
the tubers of various species of 
Dioscorea, are cultivated in nearly 
all tropical countries as important 
esculents. The Black Bryony of 
our hedgerows is a close relative 
of the yams, and has a large 
underground tuber which, how- 
ever, is of no use as a food. 
Yam tubers abound in farinaceous 
matter and often reach a large 
size, weighing as much as from 
thirty to sixty lbs. 

Sweet potatoes are the thick- 
ened roots of Ipomoea Batatas, a 
climbing plant belonging to the 
Bindweed or Convolvulus family. 
This plant is extensively culti- 
vated in most tropical countries, 
although not known in a wild 
state. The root contains much 
starch and saccharine matter. 


■"> .ftPE 1 __ 

By permission of Messrs. Sutton & Sons, Reading 


Arracacha (Arr acacia escu- 
lenta), a plant allied to the 

parsnip and carrot, is extensively cultivated in the Andes, and has become naturalised in 

Under the name of " Crosnes " the tubers of Stachys tuberifera were introduced into this 
country by way of France from Northern China in 1887. 

Jerusalem Artichokes, the tubers of a sunflower (Helianthus iuberosus), originally intro- 
duced in the early part of the seventeenth century from the Northern United States of 
America, are widely cultivated as an article of food. 


These are all members of the Pea family, and are among the most important of foodstuffs ; 
they are cultivated and used in large quantities in all parts of the world. In countries like 
India and China, where, relatively speaking, very little meat is eaten by the natives, pulses 
are an absolute necessity cf life, constituting the chief nitrogenous foods. Before the spread of 


The World's Commercial Products 

By permission of the Canadian Government 


the potato, pulse (chiefly peas) formed a great part of the food of the working classes of the 
United Kingdom, and more especially in England. So important was this crop considered 
that in the letting or taking of a farm the acreage of Siddavv land (the term by which land 
that would grow good boiling peas was known in Gloucester, Hereford, and Worcester) 
was always taken into consideration. In 1905 no fewer than 428,497 acres of agricultural land 
in the United Kingdom were occupied with peas and beans, the total yield for 1905 being 
12,707,747 bushels. In addition to this we imported in 1905, 3,240,926 cwt. of peas and 
beans, our average annual imports of these commodities for the last ten years being 
4,374,220 cwt. 


The Common Pea (Pisum sativum) has been cultivated from very remote times. 
The pea plant is covered with a delicate glaucous bloom, and its white or pale violet 
flowers are familiar to all. The pods are pendulous, smooth, deep green, and variable in size 
and may contain any number up to thirteen (rarely more) peas. The peas when ripe are'also 
variable, some being white and round, others blue and wrinkled, and a few large, irregular, and 
dull green. 

Besides the varieties of peas whose seeds are edible, there is a section denominated u sugar 
peas,"' the members of which are destitute of the inner film peculiar to the pods of other 
kinds. They . are consequently more fleshy and crisp, and admit of being cut and dressed 
in exactly the same manner as French beans. This species is more popular in France than in 
this country. 



Field Peas. The original Grey Pea is supposed to be wild in Greece and the Levant, 
and is probably the original parent both of the few sorts of peas grown by the farmer and 
the countless numbers of still increasing kinds of the garden. 

In 1905, 172,931 acres in the United Kingdom were under peas, the total yield being 
4,446,050 bushels. Of the total acreage, England's share was 171,110 acres. 

The average yield in the United Kingdom for the past ten years was 26' 24 bushels per acre. 

Our total imports of peas for 1905 was 2,015,876 cwt. Of these 1,056,360 cwt. came from 

British possessions. 


Broad of Horse Beans rank with peas as the most important pulse crop cultivated in 
or imported into this country. The common bean is a hardy annual, generally believed to 
be a native of the shores of the Caspian Sea, as well as of Egypt and other parts of the Orient. 
The acreage under beans in the United Kingdom in 1905 was 255,566 acres. 

The total yield in 1905 in the United Kingdom was 8,261,697 bushels ; the average yield 
per acre for the last ten years being 27' 68 bushels per acre. The principal counties are 
Suffolk, Lincoln, Essex, and Cambridge. Beans are an important import into this country. 
In 1905 it amounted to 1,225,050 cwt. Of these 200,440 cwt. came from British- possessions. 

Whilst peas and beans are practically the only important pulse crops grown in this country, 
in tropical and sub-tropical countries their name is legion, and several demand more than mere 
passing notice in these pages. 




The World's Commercial Products 

By permission of Messrs. Sutton & Sons, Reading 


Gram or Chick Pea 
(Cicer arietinum), an 
annual herb, cultivated 
from an early period- in 
warm countries, especi- 
ally in India, where it 
is used in cakes, curries, 
etc. Gram was known 
to the ancient Egyp- 
tians, Hebrews, and 
Greeks. The Persian 
weight, Nukhud, T ±± 
oz. Avoird., is that of 
a seed of Cicer arieti- 
num. Gram is exported 
in considerable and 
increasing quantities 
from India ; the aver- 
age for the last five 
years being 422,436 
cwt. In 1904-05 India 
Of this no less than £98,954 worth went 

exported 777,297 cwt. of gram valued at £178,993. 
to France. 

Lentils (Ervum Lens), a slender plant supposed to be native of Western Asia, Greece, 
and Italy. The Lentil was introduced into Egypt as a cultivated plant at an early date, and 
from this centre spread east and west. Large quantities of lentils are introduced into this 
country and used for soups, etc. 

The Soya Bean (Glycine hispida), a dwarf, bushy, almost erect plant, with every part 
covered with fine brownish hairs. The Soya Bean is widely cultivated in India, and 
more especially in China and Japan, where it is probably native. In the Far East " Soya " 
constitutes the most important pulse. 

Pigeon Pea or Dhol of commerce (Cajanus indicus) is an erect sub-shrubby plant, often 
about six feet in height, widely cultivated in the- tropics and sub-tropics of both hemispheres. 
The pea-like seeds are of two kinds — yellow and veined with purple. Considerable quantities 
are imported into Britain for use as cattle foods. 

Cow Pea (Vigna Catiang). This is a very curious plant, with long, almost cylindrical, pods 
one to two feet long. These pods are often gathered when green, cut into lengths, cooked 
and eaten like o'rdinary " kidney beans." The seeds are also largely used as food in 
the tropics. 

Lablab (Dolichos Labial), a tall climber, native of India, very similar to the common 
"kidney bean," but with the flowers dark purple and clustered at the ends of long stalks. 

Green Gram or Mung (Phaseolus Mungo), a native of India; where it has been cultivated 
for some 3,000 years. It is grown all over the Indian peninsula in immense quantities. The 
green. pods are eaten as a vegetable ; the ripe pulse is used boiled whole or split like Dhol. 
Parched and ground into flour it is used in a variety of ways. Green Gram is valued as a 
horse and cattle food, being considered fattening. The stems are crushed and used as fodder. 
Phaseolus Mungo, var. radiatus, is the most esteemed of all pulses in India, and fetches the 
highest price in the market. A native of India, it has been cultivated from time immemorial.. 
It differs from the type (P. Mungo) in its longer trailing habit, greater hairiness, and in the seeds 
being fewer, larger, longer, and usually of a dark-brown colour. 

Scarlet Runner (Phaseolus inultiflorus) , a native of South America, and said to have been 



introduced into Britain in 1633. Though usually considered to ,be a half-hardy annual and 
treated as such in gardens, it is really a tender perennial, having tuberous roots. 

Common Kidney or French Bean (P-haseoltis vulgaris), is of uncertain "origin, probably 
Asiatic, and is very generally cultivated in Europe and other temperate climes. As the 
result of long cultivation many varieties have originated, some dwarf in habit, others tall ; 
in some it is the seeds that are valued, in others the pods. In this country it is the young 
green pods which are most valued as a vegetable. 


This family comprises some of the most ancient of culinary vegetables ; they are rich in 
sulphur, and possess antiscorbutic properties. The cabbage is found in a wild state in 
various parts of Europe and in southern England, always on maritime cliffs. It. is a 
biennial, with fleshy lobed leaves covered with a glaucous bloom ; altogether so different in 
form and appearance from the cabbage of our gardens that few would believe it could 
possibly have been the parent of so varied a progeny as are comprised in the Savoy, Brussels 
Sprouts, Cauliflower, Broccoli, and other numerous varieties. 

The Common or Cultivated Cabbage is well known, and from a very early period has 
been a favourite culinary vegetable in almost daily use throughout the civilised world. 

The Savoy Cabbage differs but little from other hearting cabbages. It is chiefly 
distinguished by its leaves being wrinkled in such a manner as to have a netted appearance. 

Brussels Sprouts, or Bud-bearing 
Cabbage (B. oleracea bullata minor), 
originated in Belgium, and has been 
cultivated around Brussels from time 
immemorial, although it is only within 
the last fifty years that it has become 
generally known in this country. 

Borecole (B. oleracea acephala) has 
every appearance of being one of the 
early removes from the original species. 
It is distinguished by its leaves being 
^beautifully cut and curled, of a green 
or purple colour, or variegated with 
red, green, and yellow, never closing 
so as to form a heart, nor producing 
edible flower heads like a Cauliflower. 

Couve Tronchuda or Portugal 
Cabbage (B. oleracea costata) is a 
variety peculiar to Trauxuda, in Por- 
tugal, from whence it was introduced 
in 1821 to Britain. This is a singular 
cabbage with much thickened midribs 
which, when thoroughly boiled, make 
an excellent vegetable for serving up 
after the manner of Seakale. 

The Cauliflower {B. oleracea botrytis 
cauliflora) is of great antiquity, but its 
origin is unknown, although it is usually 
ascribed to Italy. It was introduced 

tO Britain during the Sixteenth Century. By permission of Messrs. Sutton & Sons, Reading 

In the cauliflower it is not the leaves chili and capsicum 


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but the flower-buds and fleshy flower-stalks, 
which form a close, firm head, four to eight 
inches across, that are valued. Whiteness 
and compactness and not mere size are the 
qualities esteemed. 

Broccoli {B. oleracea botrytis aspara- 
goides) is similar in form and appearance to 
the cauliflower, from which it is supposed 
to have originated. Several varieties of 
Broccoli are cultivated which vary in degree 
of hardiness and length of time taken to 

Whilst the above are the varieties of 
cabbage best known to us, there are many 
other varieties cultivated in different parts 
of the world. One of the most interesting is 
the Chinese Cabbage. 

The Turnip (Brassica Rapa depressa) is 
a hardy biennial, and, in its wild state, is 
found in cornfields in various parts of 
England. The change it has undergone by 
cultivation is no less remarkable than that 
of the cabbage, but in this instance it is the 
root . which has been transformed from a 
comparatively hard woody substance into 
a fleshy and nutritious vegetable. 
Many varieties of turnip are known, some with round, others with long roots. The smaller 
kinds are valued in gardens as a vegetable, and the larger as field crops for cattle. 

The. Swede is a yellow and very firm-fleshed kind of turnip, introduced into Britain from 
Sweden. It is the Brassica campestris rutabaga of botanists, and is a valued agricultural crop 
in this country. 

Mangel Wurzel (root of scarcity) is the white form of Beta maritima, a plant found 
wild on the rocks and the seashores in Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. In 
Britain it is not uncommon on the coasts south of Fife and Argyle. Sea Beet is a perennial, 
and has undergone remarkable changes under cultivation. The Red Beet is one form which 
is valued as a vegetable and salad in this country, but much more so in France and Germany. 
A .variety of Red Beet is the source of Beetroot sugar. 

The Tomato is an annual plant, native of the warmer parts of America, but long ago 
introduced into most other warm or temperate countries. The fruits of the tomato are red 
or yellow, and vary very much in size and shape, some being not larger than good-sized 
red currants. 

The Brinjal or Aubergine {Solatium Melongena) is closely allied to the tomato. 
. The Onion {Allium Cepa) is a bulbous plant allied to the lilies, and has been known and 
cultivated as an article of food from the earliest period. 

Many other important vegetables are allied to the onion, viz. : Leek, Shallot, Welsh 
Onion, Chives, and Garlic. All of these are highly valued in this and other countries. The 
garlic in some countries, especially China and the Far East, is the most highly esteemed of all. 
The. Cucumber {Cucumis sativus), is native of Asia and Egypt, where it has been cultivated 
for more than 3,000 years. It was known in England in the time of Edward III (1327), but 
its culture was neglected until the time of Henry VIII. Since then it has gradually increased 
in public favour until the present time. 



The Vegetable Marrow (Cucurbita ovifera) is closely allied to the cucumber, and is 
supposed to have been originally brought from Persia. Like the cucumber it is a tender 
annual, but succeeds out of doors in summer in this country. 

Many other members of the cucumber family are cultivated as esculents, notably in the 
warmer parts of the world. Of these the chief are Pumpkins, Melon Pumpkin, Water 
Melon, Chocho, Bottle Gourd, Squash. 

Asparagus (A. officinalis), a native of maritime parts of south-west England, is abundant 
in parts of Russia and Poland. It is also common in Greece and was esteemed as a vegetable 
by the Greeks and Romans by whom it was cultivated about 200 B.C. In this country 
asparagus is reckoned among the oldest and most delicate of our culinary vegetables. Forced 
asparagus was supplied to the London market as long ago as 1670. 

Capsicums or Chillies (Capsicum annuum and C. frutescens) are widely cultivated in .the 
warmer parts of both hemispheres. The fruits vary considerably in shape and size, and when 
green are cooked and eaten as a vegetable. 

Carrot (Daucus Carota), a biennial, native of Britain, is usually found in its wild state m 
light, sandy soil. It was introduced into England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and 
first cultivated in the neighbourhood of Sandwich, Kent. 

Parsnips, the roots of Peucedanum sativum, a biennial,, is a native of marshy places in 
Britain and elsewhere. The parsnip is closeiy allied to the carrot, and has been cultivated as 
an esculent from a very early period. 

Celery. Allied to the carrot and parsnip is the widely different-looking vegetable, celery 
(Apium graveolens). In a wild 
state the celery is found in 
the marshy places by the sea 
in England and Ireland. The 
blanched stalks are eaten as a 


Our annual import of raw fruits 
and nuts is an increasing one, 
and the average for the last 
ten years is estimated at 
£8,267,346 value annually. 
Canada, Australasia, West and 
East Indies, and latterly Cape 
Colony grow quantities of fruit 
for export to the United King- 
dom. But the continent of 
Europe, the near Orient, and 
the United States of America 
supply the bulk of our imports. 
Since the advent of cold storage 
the importation of fresh fruits 
from distant parts of the world 
has become simplified. Nowa- 
days many steamship and 
railway lines cater especially 

Ey permission of Messrs. Sutton & Sons, Reading 


The World's Commercial Products 

\w& * 

Photo by N. P. Edwards, Littlchampion 


for fruit traffic, and, 
though there is still 
plenty of room for 
improvement in these 
matters, those inte- 
rested are keenly 
alive, and increased 
facilities may be 
reasonably expected. 


The Apple (Pyrus 
Malus) is native to 
most of the countries 
of Europe, and is also 
found in the region 
of the Caucasus. In 
its wild state it is 
known (in Britain) as 
the crab, and from 
this the vast number 
of cultivated varie- 
ties have originated. The cultivation of the apple extends to the most northern extremity 
of Britain, and in Scandinavia as far north as lat. 65°. Whilst the apple-tree is amongst the 
hardiest of our fruit-trees, its blossoms are very susceptible to frost, and late May frosts often 
make sad havoc of the apple crop in this country. Although the apple exists in high latitudes, 
its fruit there is small — not" from excessive cold in winter, but for want of sufficient heat in 
summer. In Nova Scotia, where the winters are long and intensely cold and the summer 
short but very hot, the '-'apples are large and of splendid colour. In tropical climates the 
apple does not succeed, but in the temperate regions of both hemispheres it is very extensively 
cultivated. In the northern and middle regions of the United States of America and in parts 
of Canada, as in British Columbia, the produce is very fine. Parts of Australasia, notably 
Tasmania, produce very fine apples, and their culture is now successfully carried on in Cape 

Although apples are grown in most parts 'of Great Britain, the bulk are produced in the 
counties of Kent, Hereford, Devon, Somerset, Worcester, and Gloucester. The apple is the 
principal orchard crop in Great Britain, but the yield is quite insufficient for our needs, and 
huge quantities are annually imported. In 1905 we imported 3,494,660 cwt. of apples, valued 
at £2,065,193. Of these 2,005,428 cwt. were from foreign countries, principally the United 
States, and 1,489,232 cwt. from British possessions, particularly Canada. 

The Pear is less hardy than the apple, and requires more sun to perfect its fruits. In 
this country the best pears are obtained from trees grown against walls and sheltered from 
the cold winds. Most of the best varieties originated in France and Belgium, especially in 
gardens attached to religious establishments, and were introduced into England and other 
countries after the Battle of Waterloo. 

The pear is now almost as widely cultivated as the apple, and shares the same regions 
of the world. In California fruit-canning is a big industry, and everyone- is familiar with 
Californian tinned pears. The variety used, the so-called Bartlett Pear, is none other than 
William's " Bon Chrieten," one of the best early pears extant. 

The imports of pears into the United Kingdom in 1905 amounted to 417,919 cwt., valued 


•; . 


The World's Commercial Products 

at £407,817. Of these 401,237 cwt. were from foreign countries, chiefly France and the 
United States. 

The Medlar (Mespilus germanica), Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica), and Quince (Cydonia 
spp.), are all closely allied to the apple and pear. The fruit of the medlar is edible when well 
bletted, but is not so popular in Europe as formerly. The Loquat yields a small roundish or 
pear-shaped fruit, orange-yellow in colour, and pleasantly acid. It is a native of China and 
Japan, and commonly eaten there. The common quince (Cydonia vulgaris) is native to 
Southern Europe and Algeria, where it has been cultivated from time immemorial for its 
fruits, which were much revered by the ancients. Their chief use is for making jelly, which is 
highly esteemed,- especially in Canada and the United States of America. The name mar- 
malade is said to be derived from " Marmelo," the Portuguese name for quince. The plants 
are much used in England and the Continent as stocks for pear trees, especially those intended 
to be kept dwarf. 


The Plum {Primus domestica) is a native of the Caucasus and Asia Minor, naturalised in 
Greece and in most of the temperate regions of Europe. Cultivated varieties, according to 
Pliny, were brought from Syria into Greece and thence into Italy about 232 B.C. 

Many of the best varie- 
ties of plums cultivated in 
Britain were introduced 
from France and Italy cen- 
turies ago. The Orleans 
Plum, for instance, is sup- 
posed to have been brought 
over when the English held 
possession of that French city 
during the reign of Henry V. 

Prunes are dried plums 
prepared in France, Ger- 
many, and other parts of 
the continent. The neigh- 
bourhood of Tours, in France, 
is celebrated for its prunes. 
The prunes which come from 
the south of France are 
prepared from a variety 
called " Perdrigon." German 
prunes are prepared from an 
oblong purple variety called 
" Zwetsche." 

The Damson, a small 
oval, purple plum, is very 
largely cultivated in this 
country for making into 
preserves. The damson is 
highly productive and more 
hardy than the ordinary 

Plums are widely grown 
trinidad. custard apple in Britain, especially in 



Photo by A*. P. Edwards, I.iUl champion 


certain districts like Kent and the Vale of Evesham, but owing to late spring frosts which 
frequently prevail the crop is very uncertain. The bulk of our supply comes from France 
and Germany. 

The Apricot (Prunus Armeniaca) is supposed to be native to Armenia, but is now 
naturalised in India, China, Egypt, and other parts of the world. The apricot was introduced 
into cultivation in Italy about the beginning of the Christian era ; from Italy it is said to 
have been introduced into England by Woolf, gardener to Henry VIII, in 1534. The apricot 
thrives in California and other parts of the United States of America. In Australia it is 
successfully grown, and quite recently most excellent apricots have reached this country from 
Cape Colony. There are many varieties : one, the Musch-Musch, with sweet kernels, is grown 
in the oases of Upper . Egypt, where the fruit is dried and forms an article of commerce. 
Dried apricots are also prepared in northern India, and find their way across Tibet to Western 
China, and are esteemed by Tibetans and Chinese alike. The apricot is somewhat extensively 
grown in France, and from there we draw the bulk of our supply. 

The Peach (Prunus persica) is the most esteemed and luscious of fruits of the plum tribe. 
It is, in all probability, a native of China, where it has been cultivated from a very remote 
period. From China peach-stones were probably carried by the old trade route to Bokhara 
and Persia. From Persia the peach was introduced into Asia Minor and Europe somewhere 
about 300 B.C. 

There are three distinct forms of peach — clingstones, freestones, and nectarines — and numerous 
varieties of each form. English-grown peaches are preferred in this country to those of any 
other land, and in every garden of note greenhouses and walls are devoted expressly to the 
culture of this delicious dessert fruit. The imports of peaches into this country, like those of 


The World's Commercial Products 

apricots, are small, and come chiefly from France. A few come from the United States, 
Canada, and, latterly, from Cape Colony. 

Cherries. The numerous varieties of cultivated cherries have in all probability originated 
from Prunus Avium and Prunus Cerasus. Those belonging to P. Avium, of which the Bigarreau 
and the Black Heart may be instanced as typical of the better kinds, have generally larger, 
thinner, and more pendulous leaves, and fruits more yellowish-green in colour than those of 
P. Cerasus. From this latter species are derived such well-known varieties as May Duke, 
Kentish, and Morello, with red, dark red, or nearly black juicy fruits. Both species are 
natives of Europe and parts of Asia, and are very widely cultivated. The cherry is one of 
the commonest fruit trees in Britain, and in some parts, notably Kent, great quantities are 
grown. It is said that the present race of cherries cultivated in Britain was introduced from 
Holland and Belgium during the reign of Henry VIII. 

Large quantities of cherries are annually imported into this country from France ; lesser 
quantities from Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium. Occasionally small consignments 
arrive from Canada. 


Red Currants (Ribes rubrum) and Black Currants (R. nigrum) must not be confused with 
the dried currants of the shops, which are the fruits of a kind of grape. Both red and black 
currants are natives of northern and central Europe, and extend across northern Asia to the 
shores of the Pacific. They are very hardy, and their culture has been carried on in Britain 
and northern Europe generally from remote times. In spite of the large quantities grown 




in this country we import currants in considerable quantities from the continent of Europe — 
principally France, Netherlands, and Belgium. In 1905 our imports of currants amounted 
to 82,286 cwt. 

The Gooseberry (Ribes Grossularia) is found wild in this country and in many other parts 
of Europe ; it extends eastwards to the borders of China and in Eastern Tibet is commonly 
used as a hedge-plant. The plant is very hardy, and in Norway its successful culture extends 
as far north as lat. 66°. Cool climates suit it best, and in the north of England and in 
Scotland it thrives better than further south. 

The gooseberry has many local names even in this country. In Scotland it is called 
" Grozet," in France " Groseille " (the French use the fruit for making a sauce for mackerel), 
to the Germans it is the " Krausel 
beere " or " Stachel-beere," to the 
Dutch " Kruisbes " or " Kruisbezie," 
to the Danes and Swedes the 
" Krusbaar." 

The Raspberry (Rubus Idaeus) 
is closely allied to the blackberry of 
our hedgerows. A native of Britain 
and most of the countries of Europe, 
the raspberry grows wild as far north 
as lat. 70° and southward in Asia 
Minor to lat. 39° 40'. This fruit was 
well known to the ancients, and 
has been cultivated from time 

Many species of Rubus have 
been taken in hand by horticul- 
turists and hybridists, and some 
valuable fruiting kinds raised. One, 
called the Loganberry, raised in 
America, has gained a wide reputa- 
tion for its line fruits. The Japanese 
Wine-berry (R. phcenicolasius) is 
cultivated in Europe and America 
for its ornamental appearance as 
well as for its edible fruits. 

The Mulberry (Moms nigra) is 
a small tree belonging to the stinging- 
nettle family. The fruits are black, 
luscious, and vinous, and were formerly much more esteemed in this country. 

The Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) is one of the most familiar and prized of all English- 
grown fruits. A native of Virginia, it was introduced into this country in 1629, and has been 
cultivated in increasing quantities ever since. Formerly, the immediate neighbourhood of 
London — Mortlake, Twickenham, and Isleworth — was a great strawberry-growing district, 
but, owing to the demands of the builder, the cult has been removed farther afield. Parts 
of Hampshire, Cambridge, Surrey, and Kent are noted for their strawberries. 

The strawberry crop is one of the most certain ' of all crops in .this country, provided the 
plants are properly looked after, and not allowed to surfer from drought. They " force " well, 
and the early English strawberries of the shops are all grown in pots or frames under glass. 

The strawberries consumed in this country are chiefly hbm'e-grown ; France and the 
Netherlands are the only countries from which we import any appreciable quantity. 



The World's Commercial Products 


The Common Orange, also known as the Sweet- or Chinese Orange (Citrus.- A urantium), is 
probably a native of China, where it is widely cultivated. This orange forms a low, very 
bushy, evergreen tree with very hard wood, and lives to a great age.. The fruits are borne in 
great profusion, and orchards of orange-trees loaded with ripe fruits present one of the most 
beautiful sights imaginable. In favoured spots in the south-west of England oranges succeed 
against warm walls protected in winter, but they are usually- grown in structures termed 
" orangeries." Owing to the indifferent results, the expense involved, and the ease and 
cheapness with which oranges can be imported from south Europe and elsewhere, their culture 
jn this country has been practically abandoned. 

From Stereograph Copyright, Underwood & Underwood, London & New York 



Under favourable circumstances the productiveness of the orange is astonishing. In the 
island of St. Michael a single tree has been said to produce 20,000 oranges fit for exportation ! 
There are many varieties of this orange as the result of its wide cultivation ; some are of great 
value, others of but little merit. Among the more familiar and esteemed are the Blood 
Orange, Saint Michael's, and Sweet-skinned Oranges. The blood orange has a round fruit, 
rough red cr reddish-yellow outside, with a pulp irregularly mottled with crimson. The 
St. Michael's Orange has a rather small fruit, pale yellow and seedless, with a very thin rind 
and very sweet pulp. The sweet-skinned orange is the Forbidden Fruit (" Pomme d'Adam ") 
of the Paris shops, but not of London. The rind is smooth, deep' yellow, very thick, and sweet. 

The Seville or Bitter Orange (C. Aurantium, van Bigaradia) was introduced into Arabia, 
like the sweet orange, from India by the Arabs in the ninth century. From Arabia it was carried 
by way of Egypt and north Africa to Spain, probably by the Moors. It was in cultivation 
at Seville about the end of the twelfth century. The fruit of the Seville orange is round, 
dark-coloured, with an uneven, rugged, and very bitter rind. The fruit is largely used 
for making marmalade, and the rind for making candied orange peel. The ripe fruit is also 
made into a syrup, and is one of the principal ingredients of the liqueur Curafoa. 



The World's Commercial Products 

■ The Bergamot Orange' (C. Aurantium, var. Berganiia) produces small pyriform fruits, the 
pulp of which is acid and bitter ; the rind is thin, golden yellow, and filled with a sweet essence. 
Formerly, sweetmeats called bergamottes were made of it ; now it is only used for the expression 
of oil of bergamot. This variety is chiefly cultivated in the South of France, in Sicily, and 
near Reggio in South Calabria. 

The Mandarin or Maltese Orange (Citrus nobilis) is a native of China, but is now as 
widely cultivated as the sweet orange. In Malta and the Azores this orange is very successfully 

cultivated. The fruit ' is 
small, flattened, with a thin 
rind which separates spon- 
taneously from the pulp, so 
that when quite ripe the 
latter may be shaken about 
inside. The pulp is exceed- 
ingly rich and sweet ; unfor- 
tunately this variety does not 
keep so well as the ordinary 
orange. The Mandarin 
orange is largely grown in 
China, and certain districts, 
notably Swatow, are famed 
for this variety. 

Oranges form the largest 
item in the fruit imports of 
the United Kingdom. In 
1905 our total imports were 
5,068,526 cwt., valued at 

The total imports of 
oranges from British posses- 
sions was only 104,901 cwt. ; 
of these no fewer than 
103,257 cwt. were from the 
West Indies, which produce 
excellent fruit. 

The Citron (C. medico) 
has been found wild in the 
Khasia Hills and other parts 
of northern India. It is cul- 
tivated in China, Cochin 
China, and in all the warm, 
moist parts of India. It reached Europe by way of Persia. The Jews cultivated the citron 
at the time they were under subjection to the Romans, and used the fruit then, as now, 
in the Feast of Tabernacles. At the present day the citron is cultivated in Sicily, Corsica, 
Italy, Spain, Portugal, West Indies, and Brazil. 

The inner rind of the citron is thick and fleshy, and a pleasant preserve is prepared from it. 
Candied citron rind is well known. 

The Lemon {Citrus medica, var. Limonum) is possibly a native of India or China, but its 
original habitat is uncertain. It is cultivated in the above countries, and found its way to 
Europe from India about a century after the orange. 

There is a considerable import of lemons into the United Kingdom. In 1905 our total 




imports were 837,028 cwt., 
valued at £419,049. Of 
these, 834,884 cwt. were 
from foreign countries, 
chiefly from Italy. Of the 
total imports from British 
possessions (2,184 cwt.) West 
Indies contributed 2,088 cwt. 

The Lime (C. medica, var. 
acida) is native to the warm 
valleys of the outer Hima- 
laya ; it is cultivated in 
India, Burma, West Indies, 
etc. In the West Indies the 
cultivation of the lime is now 
conducted on a large scale for 
the sake of the juice, which is 
imported into this and other 
countries in large quantities. 
Green limes are also in con- 
siderable demand, especially 
in the United States of 
America. The ordinary 
lime is a very spiny tree, 
but a variety originated at 
Dominica in the West Indies 
is absolutely spineless. A 
seedless lime has been 
discovered in Trinidad. 

The Sweet Lime (C. 
medica, var. Limetta) is a 
native of Southern India, 
where it is also cultivated. 
Sweet limes are eaten fresh 
or preserved. The juice is not so much valued as that of the Sour Lime. 

The Shaddock (C. Decumana) is native of the Malay Archipelago, the Friendly Islands, 
and Fiji. The fruit is very large, weighing sometimes from ten to twenty pounds, roundish 
or oblong, with a smooth, pale-yellow skin, and white or reddish sub-acid pulp. 

The " Grape Fruit " of the West Indies is also a superior variety of this same species. 

Bananas. The banana has during the last few years advanced rapidly in popularity in 
Great Britain. The old-established kind is the China or Canary Banana, the fruit of Musa 
Cavendishii, originally discovered in China, but now cultivated in many parts of the world. 
The more recent introduction, the large banana, is usually known as the Jamaica banana, the 
supplies coming from there, from Costa Rica, and neighbouring places. This is the fruit of 
another species, M. sapientum, var. paradisiaca, also probably an Asiatic plant. 

The cultivated banana is seedless (indicative of the ages during which it has been grown), 
and propagation is effected by cuttings. The plants form below ground a huge rootstock, 
which gives off suckers or shoots. One of these cut off with a piece of the rootstock and set 
in the ground grows very rapidly, forming a plant of the habit shown in the illustration, with 
large, broad, deep-green leaves, at first entire but which soon split into innumerable strips 
when exposed to wind. 

19— C.P. 

From Stereograph Copyright, Underwood ' & Underwood, London and New York 


The World's Commercial Products 

The China or Canary Banana plant, is usually about four or six feet in height. Large quan- 
tities of this variety are cultivated in Madeira and the Canary Islands, and most of the market 
supplies are derived from these sources.- The fruits have. to be cut before they are ripe, and 
the best time is when theyjiave lost their early angularity and have become round and full, 
but are still quite green.- They are carefully wrapped in cotton wool, paper, dry banana leaves, 
and packed in open sided crates. They can be carried on the decks of steamers or in a cool 
room to the receiving port ; ripening continues during the voyage so long as the fruit is not 
exposed to either too high or too low a temperature. 

The Jamaica banana is a much larger plant, often twelve feet or so in height. The fruit is 
larger also, and having a thicker skin it can be shipped without the expense of the costly packing 
in crates being necessary. Ships with specially fitted rooms are provided on the Direct West 
India Service, and in these the bunches are placed loose.. Bananas are now the chief export 
of Jamaica, the'annual trade being over £1,000,000, chiefly with the United States. 

Recently an effort was made to export bananas from Barbados to England. The Canary 
method of packing was' adopted, and the fruits arrived in England in good condition and 
realised high prices. Improved shipping facilities are the principal requisite to ensure a 
successful trade. 

A dull, purple-coloured banana is sometimes to be seen in the fruiterer's. This is the 
Claret Banana. It is not to every taste of such good flavour as the preceding, but is in 
certain demand owing to its'colour, which makes it an interesting addition to table dessert. 

By permission of the Canadian Government 




The Grape (Vitis vim- 
fera) is the most esteemed 
of all dessert fruits. In this 
country a great many varie- 
ties of grape are cultivated, 
practically all under glass, 
and English hot-house grapes 
are considered the finest 
grapes in the world. Else- 
where in this work the vine 
is treated at length, and it is 
sufficient in this place to note 
its value as a fruit. 

Considerable quantities 
of grapes are imported into 
this country. In 1905 we 
imported 700,050 cwt. of 
grapes, valued at £761,632. 
Of these, 664,383 cwt. were 
from foreign countries, chiefly 
Spain,which sent 543,807 cwt. 

From British possessions 
came 35,667 cwt., Channel 
Isles 33,863 cwt., Cape 
Colony 1,645 cwt. 

Raisins are the- dried 
fruits of a peculiar variety of 
V. vinifera, cultivated in 
Greece. Sultanas are the 
dried fruits of a seedless 
variety of this same species, .- 
also largely cultivated in 
Greece. The Black Corinth 

or Zante grape, a variety of V. vinifera, supposed to have originated near Corinth, and- very 
widely cultivated in the Greek Archipelago, furnishes the dried currants of commerce. 

Dates are' the fruits of the date palm (Phcenix dactyli/era). This palm is a native of the 
dry, hot regions of Northern Africa ; it is also cultivated there in immense quantities, and 
more sparingly in Western Asia and Southern Europe. In the dry parts of Northern Africa 
it is the principal food of a large proportion of the inhabitants, and likewise of the various 
domestic animals — dogs, horses, and camels being alike partial to, it. 

The Fig (Ficus Carica) is a deciduous tree, growing fifteen to twenty-five feet high in 
favourable climates ; native probably of Asia Minor, but now very widely cultivated. The 
fig is hardy in the more favoured parts of the United Kingdom, and when grown agamst 
sunny walls or under glass fruits readily. Figs grown in this country are seedless, anjd&Jije 
usually eaten in a green state. 

Figs when fresh are pear or urn-shaped. Drying -is effected in a warfn climate by. expoj 
to the sun's rays.- In drying some of the grape sugar. exudes and forms a white powder, 
dried figs are packed in boxes under pressure, and constitute the figs of commerce. The figs 
imported into this country mostly come from the Mediterranean region, notably Turkey and 
Asia Minor. 

The Pineapple (Ananas sativus) is universally acknowledged to be one of the most 



The World's Commercial Products 

delicious fruits in existence. A native of Brazil, it is now cultivated in the" tropics of both old 
and new worlds. Its cultivation is also successfully carried on in hot-houses in this country, 
and, strange as it may seem, English-grown pineapples surpass in size and flavour 'those 
grown in the tropics. Large quantities of pineapples are imported into this country chiefly 
from the' Bahamas and other West Indian islands. 'o.. 

Mango (Mangifera indica), a medium-sized tree with large egg-shaped-fruit, a native of India, 
and now cultivated throughout the tropics of the world. There are many varieties of Mango 
differing in size, shape, and flavour. The better kinds are esteemed among the finest of tropical 
fruits ; the inferior ones are practically inedible. The unripe fruits are much used in India 
in conserves and tarts, and in the making of chutney. 

Olives. Pickling olives are the unripe fruits of Olea europaea, deprived of a portion of 
their bitterness by soaking in water to which lime and wood ashes are sometimes added, and 

then bottled in salt 
and water flavoured 
with aromatics. 
The olive is a small- 
growing evergreen 
tree, native, in all 
probability, of parts 
of Southern Europe 
and Asia Minor and 
cultivated largely 
on the shores of the 
Mediterranean ; also 
in California, Aus- 
tralia, and other 
parts of the world. 
It is chiefly grown 
for its excellent oil. 
The tree is very 
slow growing and 
lives to a great age. 
The Pomegran- 
ate (Punica Grana- 
tum), native of 
Upper India, and 
possibly Northern 
Africa and Western 
Asia, is usually a 
large bush or small 
tree, fifteen to 
twenty-five feet 
high, with scarlet 
flowers and large 
globular fruits. 
Pomegranates are 
greatly valued in 
warm countries on 
account of their de- 
licious cooling and 
refreshing pulp. 

By permission of Messrs. Duperly & Son, Kingston, Jamaica 




Slereographic Copyright, Underwood & Underwood, London and New York 


, The Soursop (Anona muricata), Cherimoyer {A: Cherimolia), Sweet-sop or Custard Apple 
(A. squamosa), and Bullock's Heart (A. reticulata)" are all small trees or shrubs, natives of 
South America, and now cultivated for their fruits in the West and East Indies, and other 
tropical countries. The fruits of all are large, with white or yellowish pulp, very juicy, with 
pleasant acid taste. The quality of these fruits varies in different lands, some being more 
appreciated than others. (See illustrations on p. 70 and p. 266.) ) 

Avocado Pear (Persa gratissima) is a common tree in tropical America and the West 
Indies, where it attains the height of from twenty-five to thirty feet. The flesh surrounding 
the stone is yellow and green, soft, and buttery, with a delicious flavour. The fruits are 
usually eaten raw with pepper and salt, or lime juice. 

The Papaw (Carica Papaya) is native of South America, but is now cosmopolitan in the 
tropics. The tree is of rapid growth and will thrive in almost any soil. The flavour is 
similar to that of a melon and the fruit is most wholesome. 

The Guava (Psidium Guaiava) and the Purple Guava (P. cattleyanum) are well-known 
tropical fruits. Both are natives of the West Indies and tropical America. They are eaten 
raw and make very good jelly or preserve. 

Litchis, occasionally sold in shops in this country, are the dried fruits of Nephelium Litchi, 
a tree wild and cultivated in the warmer parts of China, and in Cochin China and Malaya. 
When fresh the fruits are very luscious. They are also canned and exported from Hongkong. 

Almonds. The Almond tree (Prunus Amygdalus) grows to the height of about twenty feet, 
and has leaves similar to the peach, but larger flowers. A native of Persia, Asia Minor, Syria, 
and Algeria, it is now widely spread in the warm temperate parts of the Old World. It is 
largely cultivated in the Mediterranean region, notably Spain, Italy, and Morocco, for the 
kernels of its seeds, which constitute the almonds of commerce. 


The World's Commercial Products 

Sweet Chestnuts are the fruits of Cas- 
tanea sativa, a large tree closely allied to the 
oak, a native of Asia Minor and other parts 
of Asia, and now very widely cultivated. 
Trie nuts are highly nutritious. We obtain 
the bulk of our supplies from Spain, for 
although the Sweet Chestnut ripens its fruit 
in this country they are small and of little 

Coconuts, the fruits of the well-known 
coco-nut palm (Cocos nucifera) now widely 
spread in the maritime regions of the tropics. 
Elsewhere in this work the coco-nut is dealt 
with at length. In parts of .the Malay 
Archipelago coco-nuts are the staple food of 
the inhabitants. 

Hazel Nuts (Corylus Avellana) abun- 
.da.nt in the hedgerows and coppices in parts 
of this country and on the continent. They 
are also cultivated, and the filbert and cob- 
nut are varieties which have originated 
under cultivation. 
Brazil Nuts are the products oi*Bertholletia excelsa, a very large tree, native to the forests 
of South America. The nuts are principally exported from the port of Para in Brazil. 

Walnuts of commerce are the fruits of Juglans regia denuded of their pulp. The tree is a 
native of Persia, temperate Himalaya, and China, and has been cultivated in temperate Europe 
from great antiquity. Juglans cinerea yields the Butter Nut of North America. 

The Hickory Nuts (Carya alba and C. nigra) are closely allied to the walnut,' and largely 
eaten in North America. The Pea Nut {Carya glabra) and Pecan Nut (C olivceforniis) are 
also natives of North America. 

Ground Nuts, the fruits of Arachis hyftogoea, are largely eaten' as dessert in America, 
China, and elsewhere. 

Cashew Nuts are the fruits of Anacardium occidentale, native to tropical America and the 
West Indies. The actual nut is the small body borne at the apex of the swollen coloured fruit 
stalk (see illustration on p. 275). They are very delicious when roasted, but as yet are but 
little known in this country. 



Rubber,' india-rubber, or caoutchouc, is obtained from the milky juice or latex of various 
plants, mainly found in 'tropical' countries. There are in the' United Kingdom many latex 
yielding plants, such as the common wayside milkweeds or spurges, poppies, periwinkles, etc., 
but they are not commercial sources of rubber. The actual rubber is a mixture of chemical 
bodies known as hydrocarbons, resins, water, and various other substances, varying with the 
kind of rubber, i.e., which plant it is obtained from, the method of preparation, purity, and 
so on. 

Commercial rubbers are distinguished by names denoting often the country of origin, 
such as Para rubber, Ceara rubber, Lagos silk rubber, etc. We will now proceed to give a 
brief account of the plants, and the method of cultivation and preparation of each of the chief 
kinds of rubber : — 



The World's Commercial Products 


permission of Sfessrs. Maclaren, Shoe Lam 



In tropical South 
America, in the basin 
of the Amazon and of the 
Orinoco, occur a number of 
trees of the genus Hevca, belonging 
to the Spurge Order (Euphorbiaceae), 
which yield rubber. The best known 
is Hevca brasiliensis, which is usually' 
looked upon as the source of Para rubber, 
so called from the town of this name near one of the mouths of the Amazon, whence much of 
the rubber from Brazil is exported. Comparatively little is known with certainty as to the 
trees contributing to the rubber shipped from Brazil, but this is not altogether to be wondered 
at when we recollect that the rubber region embraces an area about two-thirds that of Europe ; 
that the trees occur wild in dense forests and their produce is collected by natives and brought 
do,vn for sale. Several species of Hevea are recorded as rubber producers in different districts, 
and members of. other genera also contribute, but Hevca brasiliensis is, at any rate, one 
of the most important, and this is the tree which has been introduced with great success 
into other regions of the world, and is the source of the important and rapidly developing 
Para rubrjer industries of Ceylon and British Malaya, so that it is generally spoken of as the 
Pai^a Rubber Tree. ' 

Hcvea brasiliensis thrives in the hot, damp forests of the Amazon valley, in what are known 
as the " islands " in the delta of the river, and also in the higher lands lying back from the 
valley of the river/ The climate of this region is extraordinarily uniform, the annual mean 
temperature being about 80° F., and the daily range usually between 75° and 90°. The annual 
rairlfa'll is from, 80 to 120 inches. 

tto ^general" habit of the Para rubber tree will readily be seen from the various illustrations. 
It attains a height of over sixty feet and a girth of eight to ten feet. The leaves are charac- 
teristically three lobed, the flowers are individually small and inconspicuous, but are borne 



in little sprays, and are succeeded by dry fruits each, containing three seeds about the size of 
large Kentish cob' nuts, and with the curious brown and black mottling so characteristic 
of seeds of many plants of tins family, e.g., the castor oil-bean. The seeds are very oily and 
soon lose their vitality, so that special precautions have to be taken to transport them 
successfully over long 'distances when required for propagation. 

Collection of Wild Rubber 
■ In Brazil, the trees are 
tapped during the dry season, 
which varies in different districts. 
The rubber collectors or serin- 
guieros search the forests for 
suitable trees which should not 
be less than about two feet in 
girth. An incision is made in 
the bark with an axe or cutlass 
and a receptacle fastened imme- 
diately beneath. The latex be- 
gins to run at once and is 
caught. A number of cuts are 
made in each tree, a cup fastened 
under each, and allowed to re- 
main for a few hours. At the 
end of this time the flow of 
latex has ceased and the con- 
tents of all the little cups 
transferred to a larger vessel. 
The next step is to convert 
the still liquid latex into solid 
rubber. A fire is lighted and 
nuts of various species of palms 
placed on it. These produce a 
dense smoke containing acetic 
acid and creosote, which rapidly 
coagulates any latex exposed to 
it. A kind of paddle is dipped 
in the latex and held in the 
smoke. The rubber coagulates, 
forming a thin layer on the 
paddle. This is then dipped into 
the latex and again smoked. 
Another layer is deposited on 
the first, and the process is 
continued until a sufficiently 
large mass of solid rubber has 
been collected on the paddle. 
It is then removed and is ready 
for sale and export. 

Plantation of Para Rubber 

It will be convenient to pre- 
sent under this heading a resume 

Bv permission of Mcss-s. Madmen. 5.W Lnue 



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of the steps taken to establish the 
Para rubber tree as a cultivated 
plant in various, parts of the iworld, 
with special . reference to Ceylon, 
and British Malaya, in which the 
most important results have been 
attained. In 1896 Ceylon received 
from the Royal " Botanic Gardens, 
K-'ew, some 2,000 seedlings of this 
valuable plant. The seeds had been, 
collected in Brazil by Mr. H. A. 
Wickham,' forwarded to Kew, and 
despatched thence to Ceylon in 
Wardian casesV A Wardian case, it 
may be said, is essentially a small 
portable glass-roofed box, in which 
plants are placed with a supply of 
soil and moisture so that they can be 
sent long journeys without injury. 
This is of particular importance to 
the plant. The cost of the experi-' 
ment was borne' by "the Indian 
Government, but Ceylon was selected 
as having a more suitable climate, 
and tHe young seedlings were mostly 
planted out in a special garden at 
Heneratgoda, in the hot and moist 
region of the island. As early as 
1897-8 young plants, raised from 
cuttings, were distributed to Madras, 
British Burma, and the Straits 
Settlements, and after the first 
flowering in 1881, ' when seedlings 
became available, the work of dis- 
tribution was continued, and Aus- 
tralia, Fiji, the West Indies, Sey- 
chelles, and the west "coast Of Africa 
are amongst' the widely ; separated 
places into which Para rubber plants 
have been introduced. The: use of Wardian cases is the most satisfactory manner of 
transport over long distances, the seeds germinating en route, but very successful results- 
have been attained -with carefully dried fresh seeds packed in tins in dry powdered charcoal 
and... coco-nut! fibre dust, or sawdust. 

It- was at first thought that, the plant would only grow on moist,, preferably periodically.' 
inundated ground, and near the sea level. This, however, has proved not to be the case, 
and good.' results have been, attained in Ceylon up to. an elevation of: 2,000 feet, and in some 
cases even higher. .The- other requirements are practically those indicated as existing in the 
Amazon valley, i.e.,. a rainfall of about 100 inches per annum, and a mean annual temperature 
of about 80° F. The plant grows very rapidly from seeds, the seedlings being raised in 
nurseries. The distance the plants are set apart depends on various causes, but if ten feet by 
fifteen feet is adopted the result will be 290 trees to the f acre. If eighteen feet by eighteen 

, By permission of Messrs. Maclaren, Shoe Lane 


By 'permission of '^fcssrs, Maclarcn, Shoe Lane 



The World's Commercial Products 

feet is adopted we get 
135 trees to the acre, 
whereas twenty feet by 
twenty feet reduces the 
number to 109. In 
some cases it is advisa- 
ble to plant compara- 
tively closely, and tap 
the trees until they 
become crowded, and 
then by removing the 
worst give the others 
room for further 

During the first four 
years, catch crops such 
as ground nuts, cas- 
sava, bananas, cotton, 
etc., can be grown. 
Sometimes the rubber 
plants are set amongst 
matured coffee (see p. 
187) or tea, with the 
idea of removing the 
coffee or tea altogether 
later on, i.e., gradually 
transforming a tea or 
coffee estate into a 
rubber estate. 

Tapping. Under 
good conditions Para 
rubber trees are ready 
for tapping when about 
five years old. The old 
method in Ceylon was 
to make V-shaped in- 
cisions in the tree, after 
the bark had been care- 
fully cleaned, and to 
catch the latex which 
ran out in pieces of 
-coco-nut shells placed on the ground, matters being so arranged that the latex from several 
Cuts formed one stream, so that about three shells caught all the produce of a medium- 
-sized tree. The latex was allowed to remain in the shells, where it rapidly coagulated and 
was later removed. Some of- the latex coagulated before it reached the cups, in narrow 
-strips which were peeled off the trunk and wound up into balls of "scrap rubber." 
*** 'As 'the result of careful experiments in" Ceylon' by Dr. J. C. Willis, the present Director 
•of the Ceylon Botanic Gardens, and Mr. Parkin, an improved method was devised. The latex 
from each V-shaped cut was collected ih a separate tin cup containing a little water, to keep the 
latex liquid for a while. The diluted latex was strained and poured into shallow dishes, a small 
•quantity of acetic acid, and creosote being usually added to assist the process of coagulation. 

By. permission of Messrs.;i, Shoe Lane 


■ - 



Here it coagulated, and as a result a cake or " biscuit " of rubber about i in. thick was obtained, 
which was thoroughly dried by rolling arid other means. (See illustration on p. 290.) These 
experiments resulted in putting on the marketthe now well-known " Para -biscuks," which have 
earned a high reputation for their purity. They entail, however, a large amount of hancj labour, 
and are accordingly being replaced at the present time by other and more expeditious methods. 
Before we refer to those it will be convenient to note that much experimental work has been 
and is being done in methods of tapping. The little cups, each under a separate cut, also- 
demand a lot of labour, and it is found advantageous to collect the latex in as few cups as possible, 
some going so far as to suggest catching the yield of more than one tree in a single receptacle 
by means of suitable guiding channels. The " herring-bone " method ismow largely adopted. 
It consists of a vertical cut several feet' long, with branch cuts leaving it at an angle of about 
45° alternately on either side. The branch cuts point upwards; and. the latex from them runs 
into the central vertical cut at the lower end of which the cup is placed. In tne half 
herring-bone branch cuts are made only on one side of the vertical cut. 

Still more recent is 
the spiral mode of 
tapping. A series of 
cuts running spirally 
half-way round the 
tree is made from a 
height of six feet or so 
to the base. This 
method appears to be 
very successful. It has 
the advantage that as 
the wounds in the 
bark heal, the old 
places can be readily 
tapped again, and in 
the Para rubber the 
yield from over the 
same area increases 
rapidly at successive 
tappings, an interest- 
ing and important 
phenomenon spoken 
of generally as 
" wound-response." 

The yields from 
some of the spiral 
tappings in Ceylon 
have been very high, 
as much as 25 lb. of 
rubber from a single 
tree in a year, without 
the tree showing any 
ill effects. Such a 
yield is, no doubt, ex- 
ceptional, but for trees 
between five and ten 
years old, grown under 

By permission of Messrs. Maclaren, Shoe Lane' 



The World's Commercial Products 

By permission -of Messrs. Maclaren] Shoe Lane 



* • . ' ' ' 

good, conditions and carefully treated, an average yield of 1 lb. to 3 lb. of dry rubber may be 
expected. ^ 

In the old days tapping was accomplished somewhat crudely with a chisel and a mallet. 
Now there are many patterns of tapping knives and " prickers " on the market, designed to 
carry out different styles of tapping in the best possible manner, and with the least injury to the 
tree. Particulars of these will be found in the work on " Hevea brasiliensis or Para Rubber,"" 
by H. Wright, Controller of the Experiment Station, Ceylon, which affords a comprehensive 
summary of information relating to the rubber industry in that colony. Even the shavings 
obtained in the tapping operation need not be wasted, but their rubber contents can be 



Sheet Rubber. This is prepared in the same way as biscuit rubber, but in rectangular 
instead of circular receptacles. There are certain difficulties in handling and -transporting these 
thin sheets, and recently a plan has been devised of pressing sheets or biscuits into blocks 
with satisfactory results. . • 

Crepe Rubber is another modern commercial form of plantation rubber;: The latex is 
coagulated " in bulk " instead of in separate small receptacles. A large irregular mass of rubber 
is obtained which is passed thro.ugh a > washings machine and obtained finally, in long thin 
ribands, perforated .with small holes, and roughly resembling crepe in texture. 

Worm Rubber is also coagulated in bulk, pressed -into thin sheets, which arexut up by large 
shears into irregular more or less- .worm-like pieces. 

Lace Rubber is very similar to crepe, rubber. All these last three forms can be made very 
•expeditiously by the aid of- machinery and have the great "advantage of drying much more 
rapidly than the solid, sheets or biscuits. 

Plantation Para rubber is in art active experimental stage, and producer and buyer are 
•co-operating to rind the most ; advantageous method of preparation. A step towards this end 
was the important rubber exhibition -held in Ceylon in 1906. 


Central American rubber; is. one of the generally accepted names for the produce of Castilloa 
■elastica, a large i tree - : of the Nettle Order (Urticaceae) , occurring wild 'in Mexico, Guatemala, 
Costa Rica, Honduras,. Nicaragua, and on the western' side of the Andes. as far south as Peru 
and Bolivia. . The plant has been known to science longer'than any of the other rubber-yielding 
plants, and was first described- by, Cervantes at a meeting of the Royal Botanic Garden of 
Mexico in July, 1794, arid Copies; of his original published description, with *a figure of the 
foliage and flowers of the plant,- are still in existence, although now very rare. The rubber 

By permission of Messrs. Maclaren, Shoe Lane 



The World's Commercial Products 

passes commercially under a great variety 
of names, mainly denoting the country 
from which it has been obtained. The 
tree is also known under different local 
names ; the Spanish name is Hule or Ule ; 
the native Aztecs called it Olquaquitl ; 
other names which have been applied to 
the plant are Caucho and Tunu. Although 
we have referred to this rubber as being 
obtained from one species of plant, there 
is considerable doubt as to whether this 
is strictly accurate, and Koschny, who^ 
has devoted great attention to the tree 
in Costa Rica, distinguishes and gives 
separate names to four distinct kinds or 
varieties, three of which yield rubber 
whilst the latex of the other forms only a 
resinous, brittle mass of no value. It is 
convenient to include all these varieties 
under the general name of Castilloa 
elastica, bearing in mind that we may be 
dealing with several closely related plants, 
rather than with only one species. 

The Central American rubber tree is 
found in the forests in its native country, 
but it does not follow from this that it 
should be grown in forests or under the 
shade of other trees, when efforts are 
made to cultivate it. One reason for its 
only occurring in forests appears to be 
that its seeds are very thin-walled, and 
are rapidly killed if left exposed on open 
ground under the fierce heat of the 
tropical sun. When artificially sown, 
cared for, and shaded in its early stages, 
the plant has been found in other coun- 
tries to grow more quickly, and to give 
better results in the open than in the shade. Similar instances are not uncommon in the plant 
world It develops into a very large tree, sometimes more than 150 feet in height, with a 
rather smooth, light grey bark, and easily recognised in the young state amongst other trees 
by its peculiar branches bearing on either side a row of large leaves, generally about one to 
one and a half feet long (see Fig. on p. 282). These branches fall off later, and are 
succeeded by others of less characteristic form. 

The plant appears to thrive best in deep, loamy soil, near the banks of streams, and in 
valleys, but it does not like swampy or boggy land. Like most of the rubber trees, it cannot 
be grown with success in places where the temperature falls below about 60° F. at any season 
of the year. A continuously humid climate is not necessary, and so far as observations go the 
yield of rubber is greater from trees growing in regions where wet and dry seasons alternate. 
In the past the rubber was principally collected from wild trees, and as has happened in 
other parts of the world with other kinds of rubber-yielding plants, this led to the destruction, 
and in places almost complete extermination, of the plant. When the plants are wild the 

By permission of Messrs. Maclaren, Shoe Lane 


From stereograph copyright by Underwood & Underwood, London & New York Coloured by Miss St 




greed of collectors urges them ruthlessly to cut down trees to extract all the rubber possible 
rather than to tap the trees in a proper manner and conserve the supplies. The increasing 
scarcity of rubber in accessible regions has led to efforts being made to cultivate Castilloa as 
well as other kinds, and very large plantations are now established in Central America. 
The plant, largely through the instrumentality of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 
has been distributed to many parts of the British Empire, including India, Ceylon, the 
Straits Settlements, the West Indies, Queensland, etc. In Tobago, the dependency 
of Trinidad, it is cultivated on a 
commercial scale with successful re- 
sults, and it has given considerable 
promise of being suited to other West 
Indian islands. In the East Indies it 
is at present overshadowed and put 
into a secondary position owing to the 
success which has attended the culti- 
vation of Para rubber, to which the 
energies of the rubber planters are 
now almost entirely devoted. 

It has been suggested that Castilloa 
would form a good tree to plant where 
shade is wanted for cacao, coffee, and 
other crops, in the place of other 
trees commonly so used, but which 
yield no useful crop. This has been 
done to some extent in Central 
America and Tobago. In some 
instances successful results are re- 
ported, in others the contrary, and it 
is difficult to lay down any hard and 
fast rule as to whether the practice is 
to be commended or not. 

Like other rubber-yielding plants, 
a good many years have to elapse 
before trees are ready to be tapped. 
The actual age varies in different 
countries, and in the same locality, 
with trees under varying conditions, 
but as a general rule it is safe to say 
that about eight to ten years is the 
average age at which tapping should 
be commenced. Younger trees do 
not yield good rubber, but a sticky 
material containing a high proportion 
of resin and of very low commercial 

The worst method of collecting the 
rubber is to cut down the whole tree, 
make deep cuts in its bark, and ex- 
tract every drop of latex or milk 
which can be obtained. This is too 
frequently done where the trees are 

20— C.P. 

By permission of Messrs. Marfarev, Shoe La~te 



The World's Commercial Products 

wild and there is no check on the greed of collectors. The result is, of course, rapidly to 
exterminate the trees over any region, and, although high yields are obtained for a while, the 
supply is soon exhausted. It is the old story of killing the goose which laid the golden 
eggs, and the result is equally disastrous. Whenever possible this reckless waste is prevented, 
and more rational methods insisted on. 

In Nicaragua the following method is adopted as described by Belt in his interesting book 

of travels in that country. The collectors 
having found a tree, construct a rough 
hanging ladder from the climbing plants 
common in the jungle, and with the aid of 
this make, with a cutlass or large knife, 
V-shaped incisions in the bark, the points 
of each V being downwards. The " milk " 
runs out of the cuts and trickles down the 
trunk to the foot, where it is collected in 
vessels. A watery decoction obtained from 
the stems of a wild convolvulus is added to 
the rubber milk and the mixture stirred, 
when , the rubber coagulates and forms 
masses. which float on the surface. These 
are taken out and kneaded into flat, round 
cakes,, which are afterwards exported. He 
states that a large tree, five feet in diameter, 
yields, when first tapped, twenty gallons of 
milk, and each gallon gives 2J- lbs. of rubber. 
Sometimes a continuous spiral cut is 
made up the trunk down which the juice 
runs. Other modes are also adopted, but 
the general result is the same. The method 
of coagulation also varies. Thus the latex 
may be boiled, or spread out in thin layers 
on large leaves and exposed to the air, or 
alum may be added, the latex of Castilloa- 
not usually coagulating readily by itself. 


. Few plants are of greater interest to one 
first visiting the Eastern tropics than the 
Assam rubber tree, familiar to everyone 
from the small plants so commonly grown 
indoors in Great Britain and known as 
" Rubber plants." In its native haunts in 
place of a pot plant we see a tree, as tall as a large elm, with a confused and intricate network 
of curious buttress roots spreading over the ground in all directions, and often apparently 
several trunks. The latter peculiarity is due to the fact that this tree, like many other 
members of the fig "tribe, has the power of putting down from the branches slender roots. 
These, arising from a branch perhaps thirty or forty feet high, descend to the ground, looking, 
like pieces of smooth twine ; on reaching the ground they penetrate it, tighten up, grow very 
rapidly in thickness, often equalling, or even exceeding, the original trunk. As several of these 
aerial roots may be formed and take root, one tree may have at a later stage in its growth 
apparently several trunks. Like many of the tropical " Figs," it frequently begins its life as a 

By permission of Messrs. Maclaren, Shoe Lane 




The World's Commercial Products 

Photo by,W. H. Johnson, Esq., F.L.S. 


seedling high up on another 
tree, the seeds having been 
deposited by a bird in a 
hollow or in a fork. The 
young plant puts down its 
aerial roots, gradually envel- 
oping and finally killing the 
supporting tree. The botan- 
ical name of the plant is 
Ficus elastica. It is a very 
close relation of the edible 
fig, but its fruits are small 
and are not good to eat. 
The large leaves as seen in 
plants grown in England are 
also characteristic of young 
plants growing wild ; on old 
trees the leaves are only 
three or four inches long, 
but of the same leathery 
character and equally glossy. 

The Assam rubber tree will grow in many, tropical and sub-tropical lands, but to attain its 
full development it requires a hot climate with a high rainfall, and thrives best in damp, 
tropical forests. The home of the Assam rubber tree is on the lower slopes of the great mountain 
ranges of northern India, in Darjeeling, Sikkim, Bhotan, Assam, and Burma. It also occurs 
in Java, Sumatra, and probably some of the other islands of the Malayan Archipelago. In 
the north of India the temperature in the coldest season of the year is too low to allow of the 
successful cultivation of the Para or Central American rubber trees, and experiments with 
those plants have not met with success. Large plantations have, however, been formed by 
the Indian Government in Assam with Ficus elastica, and from those of the wild plants in the 
forests of this region much of the rubber obtained from India is won. It is worthy of note 
that the common name " india-rubber " commemorates the first production of rubber from this 
tree in the early years of the nineteepth century. 

The native method of collecting the rubber is exceedingly crude and, moreover, is destruc- 
tive. Large wounds are made in the trunks by chopping out great pieces of the bark and 
wood;- and the latex is caught as it exudes. By this method many trees are permanently 
injured, but, as is often the case in other parts of the world also when dealing with wild 
plants, each collector only strives to obtain the greatest amount of rubber in the easiest way, 
and takes no thought for the future, so that trees are often killed. 1 

A method practised in the Government plantations is to make cuts with a V-shaped chisel 
or gauge halfway round the stem or branch. The latex or milk at first flows freely and that 
which drips is collected on mats made of bamboo strips, which little boys shift about on the 
ground from point to point as necessary. This latex coagulates, and within forty-eight hours 
or less can be removed from the mat and dried. Much of the latex coagulates on the tree and 
remains. in the cuts whence it has to be pulled out as thick elastic strings. These have to be 
gone over and pieces of bark, etc., removed, and subsequently dried. Finally they are forced, 
by the agency of a screw-press, into cubes of about 1 cwt. each, wrapped up, and are then 
ready to be exported. ' The mat rubber is similarly cleaned, dried, and packed in boxes. 

The "returns of the yield of rubber are very variable. Under the method of reckless tapping 
40 lb. per tree was frequently obtained, whilst yields of over 350 lb. of rubber from single 
trees are reported from Burma. On plantations the yields appear small. In Assam on the 



Government plantation in some years it has been less than 8 oz. per, whilst sometimes 
rising to about 21b.; individual trees have, however, given 20-30 lb. A 'recent estimate 
of Mr. Gustav Mann, of the Indian Forest Department, places fifty years as the time for the 
tree to reach maturity, from when^ onward they would probably, yield 10 lb. of rubber at 
each tapping. 


Lagos silk rubber is obtained from Funtumia- elastica, a medium-sized tree found wild only 
in tropical Africa. It will often be found referred to as Kickxia elastica, but the true Kickxias 
are all Malayan, whilst the Funtumias are African plants. The tree occurs in Liberia, the 
Gold Coast, Lagos, and Southern Nigeria; the Cameroons, and the Congo. There is some 
reason to believe that it is present also in Sierra Leone, but this is not quite certain. Until 
quite recently it was thought to be entirely confined to the West coast of Africa, but Mr. M. T. 
Dawe, in the course of his botanical exploration of the Mabira Forest, Uganda, found it there 
also, an important discovery materially altering our ideas of its geographical range. 

Funtumia belongs to thesame natural order as the Landolphias, and, like them, is related 
to our common garden 
Periwinkle. Its flowers are 
white or yellow, and the 
seeds are very characteris- 
tic, each bearing a beautiful 
silky plume about two 
inches long, by means of 
which they can float 
through the air like thistle- 
down, and may often be 
found travelling about 
through " West Coast " 

The trees are tapped by 
making incisions in the 
bark, "the herring-bone sys- 
tem described on p. 285 
being often adopted. A 
native climbs the tree 
making the vertical cut as 
he ascends, and the side 
cuts leading into it as he 
descends. The latex runs 
out and is caught in a 
calabash, earthenware pot, 
or other receptacle. It is 
coagulated either naturally, 
by application of heat, or 
by admixture with other 
latices or juices of various 
plants. The coagulation of 
pure Funtumia latex is 
very slow, but heat and 
the other methods make 
the process much more 

Photo by W. H. Johnson, Esq., F.L.S. 




The World's Commercial Products 

rapid. The rubber is of good quality, and comes 
on the market in " lumps " and in other forms. The 
collection and exportation of this rubber, now so 
important an industry in many parts of the west 
coast, is quite a modern development. As noted in 
the Colonial Report on Lagos for 1905, " Merchants 
took up the idea with enthusiasm. With startling 
suddenness the easy-going native awoke to the fact 
that wealth abounded in the forest round him and 
learnt for the first time that in sitting under his 
own fig tree he had been unconsciously reposing in 
the shade of the family bank." 

The cultivation of this rubber tree is being under- 
taken in West Africa, and it has also been introduced 
into other parts of the world, growing, for instance, 
very well in parts of the West Indies. 


Ceara rubber is obtained from a tree of medium 
size known botanically as Manihot Glaziovii, belong- 
ing to the Spurge Order (Euphorbiaceae). It is a 
very close relation of the cassava plant (M. utilis- 
sima), from which tapioca, amongst other products 
is made. The cassava plant also has a milky juice but 
it does not yield rubber, and it is interesting to find 
two such closely related plants, one yielding a valu- 
able foodstuff and the other rubber. A native of 
Brazil, the Ceara rubber plant was brought into 
notice in 1876, when seeds and plants were collected 
in Brazil by Mr. Cross and transmitted to the Royal 
Botanic Gardens, Kew. In the following year 
plants were distributed from Kew to India, Ceylon, 
and other colonies. The plant has been introduced 
into many parts of the tropics, for, like most of the 
other rubber plants, it only thrives in hot countries, 
and now it is grown in such widely separated 
countries as India, Ceylon, Queensland, West Africa, 
Zanzibar, Uganda, Natal, the West Indies, as well 
as in its original home. 

It grows with tremendous rapidity, plants raised 
from seed often reaching ten or more feet within one 
year and thirty feet by the end of the second year. Once seen, the trees are easily recognised 
by their spreading habit, their five-lobed, curiously bluish-grey leaves, and the bark, which 
peels off in thin sheets or strips, like that of a silver birch. The plant will thrive in places 
absolutely unsuited to most cultivated plants. Rocky and stony soils, of poor quality 
and 'in arid districts, present no obstacles to it, and although, setting aside Central America, 
but little is done with the plant at present, it is not improbable that in time it will be grown 
to a considerable extent on lands which are not suited to other rubber plants. 

Trees raised from seed Can be tapped when about four to six years old. The thin outer layers 
of bark are usually removed, and either the whole surface scraped sufficiently deep to allow 
the latex to escape, or incisions made here and there with a knife. The latex is very liquid, 

By permission of Messrs. Maclaren & Co., Shoe Lane 



and flows readily. It coagulates on exposure to the air, and is sometimes smoked over a fire 
of palm nuts, as described in the case of Para rubber. 

In Ceylon, where the tree was planted formerly on a fairly extensive scale, the. yields of 
rubber were low, and little attention is given to this plant now. The greatest export from 
Ceylon was about 17,500 lb. in 1895, but two years later it had decreased to less than 3,000 lb. 
Large plantations, however, exist in Brazil, whence there is a. considerable export. 

The Brazilian product is exported as (1) pale yellowish brown threads, (2) small flat cakes, 
and (3) smoked rubber prepared like Para rubber. 

Ceara rubber is of good quality, although not so valuable as Para rubber. 


The plants producing this group of rubbers are chiefly large woody climbers which 
in the forests of the warmer parts of Africa, often reaching to the tops of high trees and for 
dense, tangled masses of more or less rope- 
like stems. Many of them bear in profusion 
conspicuous jasmine-like flowers, often sweetly 
scented, and succeeded by large, frequently 
brightly coloured, and sometimes edible, fruits. 
They belong to the genus Landolphia of the 
natural order Apocynaceae. In Great Britain 
this order is represented by the pretty " Peri- 
winkles " (Vinca major and V. minor), whose 
stems also yield a milky juice or latex, although 
not rich in rubber as is that of their African 
relatives. Owing to their habit of growth, the 
Landolphias are not very well suited to culti- 
vation, although efforts made in this direction 
have met with some success. 

There are many species of Landolphia, but 
they do not all yield good rubber, and we may 
restrict our attention to the more important. 

The West Coast Species. In Senegal, 
Gambia, and Sierra Leone, that is, generally 
speaking, in the more northerly portion of 
West Africa, Landolphia Heudelotii is a most 
important source of rubber. 

As we proceed farther south this species is 
replaced by Landolphia owariensis, which is 
widely distributed on this side of the continent, 
ranging from about Sierra Leone right down 
to Angola. It is one of the principal rubber 
plants of French West Africa, the Gold Coast, 
Nigeria, the Congo, and Portuguese West Africa. 
In the Congo there also occurs Landolphia Foreti 
and other species. Another interesting form is 
L. Henriquesiana, a small shrubby plant spring- 
ing from underground stems or rhizomes which, 
when pounded, form one of the sources of 
" root rubber." 

The East Coast Species. The principal By permission ot Messrs. MacUmn & Co., Shoe Lane 

rubber plant on this side of Africa is Landolphia « half herring-bone " system 



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By permission of Messrs. Maclaren &■■ Co., i>)we Lane 


Kirkii, which ranges from 
German East Africa to Natal. 
Recently Mr. M. T. Dawe has 
added an important new species, 
which he found in Uganda, 
and has been named L. Dawei 
after him. It yields very good 
rubber. Interestingly enough, 
it also occurs in the Came- 
roons, on the west coast. In 
Madagascar there are several 
species, of which L. Mada- 
gascariensis, L. Perrieri, and 
L. sphaerocarpa are the most 

Collection. The natives 
make incisions in the stems of 
these plants, and catch and 
coagulate the latex in various 
ways. Sometimes it is allowed 
to run into receptacles, and 
either coagulates by itself, or is 
induced to do so by addition 
of a little lime juice, or other 
plant juices, or by heating. At 
other times the native smears 
the milky juice over his body, 
peeling it off when it has formed 
a film. Some also hardens on 
the plant and is pulled away. 
The mode in which the various 
Landolphia rubbers come on 
the market varies considerably. 
If coagulated in bulk, it may 
be cut up into strips which are 
rolled up to form " twists " or 
" balls," or it may be exported 
in " lumps," in small pieces 
known as " thimbles," or in 
various other forms which we 
have not space to enumerate. 


This rubber, which has recently come into notice, is obtained from a plant known as 
Parthenium argentatum, fairly closely related to the Sunflower of the Compositae, and is of inter- 
est as being the only plant in this large order known to produce rubber. Whereas the rubber 
plants already described are mainly trees or large woody climbers, this is a small herba- 
ceous plant varying, in height from a few inches to between three and four feet. It occurs 
principally in North Mexico on the "bush prairies," but extends also into the southern 
United States. 

The rubber contained in this plant cannot be obtained by tapping, as in ordinary rubber 



trees, but the whole plant has to be cut down and the rubber extracted either by the vise of 
solvents or by mechanical methods. Very careful washing is essential, and the necessity for 
a large supply of water is one of the practical difficulties encountered. Factories have been 
erected, the largest being stated to be at Torreon, whilst there is another at'Ocampo. The 
crude rubber contains a high percentage of resins, over twenty per cent., but' these can partly 
be got rid of by proper treatment. The product is of very fair quality, although usually 
somewhat soft and sticky. 


The United Kingdom is largely dependent for its supply of timber on other countries, and 
the annual value of wood imported is about £25,000,000. 

Deal is a name applied to a number of timbers. It is important, however, to note that 
originally it was not the name of a timber at all, but rather of particular sizes of certain timbers. 
Thus, one of the most important of European timbers is Yellow Deal, the wood of the common 
Scotch Fir (Pinus sylvestris), so well known in the United Kingdom, and used more extensively 
for ordinary carpentry work than any other timber. Vast forests of this tree occur in Prussia, 
Prussian Poland, Russia, Norway, Sweden, etc. The best quality for certain purposes is 
exported from Dantzic, having been floated'down the Vistula. At Dantzic the timber is care- 
fully sorted into various grades. Whole trees varying from two feet to six feet in circumference 
at the base are known as " hand masts " ; others less than two feet as " spars " and " poles," 
whilst those bigger than six feet are trimmed down and called "inch masts." From the 
remainder the best logs are carefully selected 1 for conversion into " deals "about nine inches 
in width and three in thickness. Squared-up "timber of eleven inches or more in width forms 
planks instead of " deals." Deals are in great demand by various Governments for the decks 
of men-of-war, and must be practically free from sapwood. Next come ordinary planks or 
boards for more general purposes in which absence of sapwood is not essential. The more 
irregular logs are made into railway sleepers. 

Dantzic fir is coarse, large sticks being 
chiefly exported. Smaller or " milder" timbers 
come from Riga, Memel, whilst joiners' deals are 
mainly obtained from Christiania, Stockholm, 
Gefle, Soderham, and Onega. In the dry 
climate of Northern Europe fir is practically ' 

White Deal. White Deal is the wood of 
the common spruce (Picea excelsa), which occurs 
over northern and central Europe, forming great 
forests. It is found on the mountains in the 
more southern districts, but grows right down 
to the sea level in the north, e.g., in Norway. 
Spruce is extensively planted in Great Britain, 
and there is a famous avenue of old trees known 
as the Cathedral Firs at Oakley Park, Ciren- 
cester. Burgundy pitch (q.v.) is obtained from 
this tree. 

The timber is usually white or somewhat 
brown, and is distinguished from ordinary deal 
in having no smell. It is light, soft, elastic, 
straight and fine grain, and has innumerable 

The best white deals come from Christiania a mahogany tree 


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By permission of the West Australian Agency 


and Stockholm, and are very suitable for internal work. Inferior qualities are known as 
spruce deals. 

White Pine. The White Pine (Pinus strobus) has been for many years the most important 
timber tree of Northern America. It is well known in Great Britain, where it is frequently 
grown under the name of Weymouth Pine. 

The White Pine occurs throughout a broad belt stretching across North America in the 
latitude of the Great Lakes. The destruction has naturally been very great in a tree which 
has been employed for endless 'purposes for the past, two centuries, and careful attention to the 
maintenance of the supply for future generations is absolutely imperative. 

White Pine may be taken as a typical example of the " soft pines," and as it is very easily 
worked, has a fine, even grainf and takes a good surface, it is very extensively used as a general 
timber for internal carpentering and joinery work, for ship masts, and for pattern-making. 

Pitch 'Pine, Long Leaf Pine (U.S.A.). In the markets of Europe, the West Indies, and 
other parts of the world to which this timber is exported, " pitch pine " is the generally recog- 
nised name, but in the United States, its native country, another tree altogether, Pinus rigida, 
is* known as Pitch Pine, whilst "Long* Ljeaf Pine" is a commonly accepted name for 
P. -palustris. 

Pitch Pine is particularly adapted to heavy. construction work,. e.g., for bridges, building 
supports, railroad cars, railway sleepers, etc., etc. It is, however, apt to become " granular " 
under continuous cross strain. The annual output is enormous, for not only is the timber very 
largely used in the United States, but it is exported in constantly increasing amounts to Europe, 



Central and South America, the West Indies. The wood is heavier and stronger than that of 
any other pine regularly on the market, and it is a good example of ■■■" Hard Pine." 

Short Leaf Pine, Yellow Pine (Pinus echinata). This good timber, tree occurs in the 
same region of the United States as the Long Leaf or Pitch Pine, to which it is but little inferior. 
It is likely, in the future to be of more commercial importance than at present. 

Sugar Pine (P. Lambertiana). Amongst the soft pines of North America mention should 
be made of the " Sugar Pine," which forms extensive forests in California and Oregon. It 
fills in the western portion of the United States the place occupied by White Pine in the east, 
and in California, for example, is extensively employed for doors, sashes,'' as-a building timber, 
and for general purposes. 

Douglas Fir or Oregon Fir (Pseudotsuga Douglasii) . is widely distributed in Canada, 
where. in some places it forms immense forests, and is one of the chief trees of the. western 
United States. Mexico is the southern limit of its distribution. 

The tree grows very rapidly, and the timber is hard, firm, coarse-grained and heavy, and as 
it can be obtained in great lengths and widths of very uniform quality, is very valuable for 
heavy structural work, and is extensively used in ship-building, wharf construction, spars, 
masts, piles, etc., and also for furniture and many other purposes. The celebrated flagstaff, 
159 feet high, in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, obtained from a single tree in one piece, 
affords an excellent idea of the possibilities of. the plant. ; 

The timber would be classed as a hard pine, and does not resemble white or yellow pine. 
A good deal has been imported into this country of recent years, but it does not find favour 
for joinery. 

Kauri PiNE<or Cowrie Pine {Agathis.australis — Pine Order). This is:the most important 
timber tree of New Zealand, and forms by far the greatest part of the wood exported from that 

By permission of the New Zealand Government 



The World's Commercial Products 

country, although the 
tree is only found in 
the Auckland district 
in the extreme north 
of North Island. It 
develops into a mag- 
nificent tree, with a 
smooth columnar 
trunk free from 
branches, bearing at 
the top a broad 
crown of foliage. 
Specimens are found 
160 feet high, with 
a clean bole of 100 
feet before the first 
branch is reached, 
and about fifty feet 
in circumference (see 
illustrations on pages 
299, 301, 307, 310). 

The value of the 
wood was early 
recognised in New 
Zealand, where it is 
extensively used. 
The first exports 
were to Australia, 
and later it won a 
place in the markets 
of the Old World. 
The great length and 
width of the planks 
obtainable, their re- 
markable soundness, 
uniformity, freedom 
from knots and 
faults, their durability and working - qualities, make Kauri a most valuable wood for many 
purposes. For all kinds of building work, dados, panelling, doors, flooring, joiners' work, it 
is extensively used, A church at Peebles, in Scotland; and St. Michael's Church, Croydon, have 
fittings made of it. 

Fine specimen planks, both of ordinary and of the handsome mottled Kauri, are exhibited 
in the New Zealand Court of the Imperial Institute. Kauri resin (q.v.) is obtained from 
this tree. 

Larch. The Larch (Larix europea), unlike most coniferous trees, drops its leaves during 
the winter, and the pale green of young Larch trees is very conspicuous in the spring. The tree 
is widely distributed over the Alps, the Apennines, in Russia, Siberia, etc., and yields a tough, 
durable, somewhat coarse, but straight and even grained wood. Its most serious defect is that 
it shrinks and warps considerably. Ship-building, telegraph poles, sleepers, are amongst its 
principal uses. Venice turpentine (q.v.) is obtained from the Larch. 
The American Larch or Tamarack (Larix americana) is very similar. 

By permission of the Agent-General for British Columbia 




Hemlock. Two kinds of hemlock occur in North America. Western Hemlock (Tsuga 
mertcnsiana), yielding a strong, coarse timber, and the Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), 
a smaller tree. 

Birch. The common Birch, the most graceful of British trees, is our representative of a 
group found all over Northern Europe and America, and interesting as growing farther north 
and at higher elevations than any other trees in this region. The wood varies from white 
to various shades of pale yellow or red, is of fine, close, even grain, soft but very durable. Its 
uses include turnery, pit props, manufacture of barrels, ladders, sabots, etc. It is exten- 
sively employed at High Wycombe and elsewhere for the cheaper class of chairs, and choice 
pieces show a beautiful wavy figure, and are used as veneers for furniture-making. 

The Alder (Alnus glutinosa), usually found in damp places in Europe, North Africa,; and 
the northern parts of Asia, gives a reddish yellow wood, very similar to birch in general character 
and uses. Like birch, it is extraordinarily durable under water, and is much used for piles, 
sluices, and pumps. Alternately wet and dry it rapidly decays. 

White Wood. This timber is obtained from a large tree (Liriodendran tulipifcra), which 
under the name " Tulip 
Tree," is not unfrequently 
grown in this country. The 
wood itself bears a great 
variety of names, as, for 
example, Canary wood, 
Canadian or American 
white wood, yellow poplar, 

The tree attains a large 
size, and the wood is white, 
canary yellow, or grey in 
colour, light, soft, pliable, 
and, of fine even grain. It 
seasons well, although 
shrinking considerably. In 
England it is generally 
used in joinery, but in its 
native countries, Canada 
and the United States, car 
and ship-building, house- 
finishing, panels of wagons 
and carriages, pump logs, 
furniture, and many other 
uses are made of it. To 
the carver white wood is 
exceptionally suited. 

Bass Wood is the timber 
of the American lime tree, 
also known as the " bee 
tree," American linden or 
lin. The tree grows to a 
height of eighty feet or so, 
and is found in Canada and 
all through the eastern 
United States. 

By permission of the New Zealand Government 



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The wood is light,- soft, of fine, even grain, and white or light brown in colour. It is not 
very strong, and although fine grained, is very open, requiring considerable " filling " in 
polishing. Easily worked and lasting well, it has many uses for interior work, such as for furni- 
ture, turning, carving, toys, -panelling in carriages, etc. Bass wood is well appreciated in this 
country, where, however, it is often confased with American white wood. It is imported in 
prepared boards of various thicknesses and widths. 

White bass wood is obtained from another lime {Tilia heterophylla), a smaller tree than 
the preceding, and found on the Alleghanies. 

Oak. There are a very large number of kinds of oak in commerce, but the true European 
oak is obtained from varieties of Quercus Robur, the ordinary oak tree of this country, and 

found generally over Europe • and 
part of Asia. Several other species 
of Quercus yield oak in Europe and 
also in North America. The gene- 
ral character and uses of oak are 
very well known. For strength 
and durability it is most valuable. 
Oak suffers from one drawback : it 
rusts when in contact with iron 
(compare teak). 

Many other timbers have also 
been termed "oaks." For instance, 
African oak (Oldfieldia africana), a 
useful hard wood obtained from 
tropical Africa ; Indian oak, an- 
other name for teak ; She oak, 
applied to ;the woods of some of 
the Australian Casuarina trees, and 
so on. 

Chestnut Wood is that of the 
Spanish or Sweet Chestnut (Cas- 
tanea vulgaris), commonly grown 
in Great Britain as an ornamental 
tree or in coppices for the sake of 
the poles it yields. It should be 
distinguished from the Horse Chest- 
nut, its fruit being the edible 
chestnut. The wood is fairly hard, 
of various shades of brown. Speaking generally, chestnut can be put to many of the same 
uses as oak, which- it strikingly resembles in colour. The roof of Westminster Hall is said to 
be made of chestnut. The old wood is rather brittle, and where strength is essential, timber 
from very old trees should be avoided. In the South of England coppiced chestnut is grown 
for the sake of its young stems, which are used as hop poles, etc. 

Elm. The elms occur throughout the north temperate zone, and two are abundant in 
Great Britain, the Common Elm (Ulmus campestris) and the Wych Elm (Ulmus montana). 
Elm wood is of moderate hardness, coarse grained, very strong and tough. It is usually cross 
grained, and so is very difneult to split. Water has very little effect on it, and elm is largely 
used for the keels and other submerged parts of ships, for piles, pumps, sluicing work, etc., 
and for coffins. The early water conduits were made of hollowed-out elm trunks, and some 
were in use in London until comparatively recently. Although so durable under water, it 
readily decays in situations where it is alternately wet and dry, and is thus of but little value 

From Stereograph Copyright, Underwood- & Underwood, I^ondon and New York 

By permission of the Agent-General for British Columbia 



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for work to be exposed to the weather. As an instance of its durability under water, it is 
recorded that the piles of old London Bridge were of elm, and they stood for about 600 years 
without showing much sign of decay. Naves and spokes of wheels, boards for carts, barrows 
and other vehicles of cheap construction are frequently made of elm. 

In the West Indies an altogether different tree (Cordia gerascanthus) is called Spanish Elm ; 
in commerce it is known as Prince Wood. 

Beech. The Beech rivals the oak as the largest British tree, and the Windsor Beeches and 
Burnham Beeches are of wide renown. The Common Beech (Fagus sylvatica), which occurs 
wild in England, is found also over a large part of Europe, generally forming extensive forests. 
Other members of the group occur in such widely separated countries as North America, Austra- 
lia, and New Zealand, Tasmania, Java, and Tierra del Fuego. Beech wood is reddish- white 

Photo by N.- P. Edwards, Littlehampton 


in colour, heavy, moderately hard, and very fine and close grained. Exposed to the weather 
it is not durable, although it is so under water, and is used for mills, sluices, piles, etc. It is 
largely employed for making chairs, general joinery, the bodies of planes, butchers' blocks 
and trays, wooden shoes or sabots on the Continent, and by wheelwrights and coachbuilders. 
Taking a " thread " well, it is used for wooden screws, and also for shoe lasts and trees. Beech 
burns slowly, is a good fuel, and makes excellent charcoal. 

Sycamore.- The ordinary sycamore tree (Acer Pseudo-Platanus), found in Europe and 
North America, yields a close, fine-grained, white wood, which is useful for general carpentry. 

The Plane (Platanus occidentalis), often called Sycamore in the United States, also affords 
a useful timber. Both sycamore and plane, are sometimes called " button wood." 

Maple. One maple, the common field maple, occurs wild in the United Kingdom, but 
is of no value as a timber tree. The maple wood of commerce comes from North America, the 
most important kinds being " hard maple " from4he Sugar Maple {Acer saccharum), Red Maple 



(A. rubrum), Silver Maple (A. saccharinum), and Broad-leafed Maple {A. macrophyllum). The 
first two are the more valuable. Maples also occur in Northern India and other parts of Asia. 
The Hard Maple, also known as Rock Maple, occurs in Canada and the United States, on 
the eastern side of the continent. The wood is well known in this country owing to its extensive 
use for furniture, decorative panelling, and is hard, tough, of fine texture, and of various shades 
of yellow and brown in colour. In addition to the uses with which it is popularly associated, 
it is extensively employed for flooring, the keels of boats and ships, the manufacture of 
machinery, turning shoe lasts, tool handles, and many other purposes. The figured variety, 
known from its peculiar marking as Bird's Eye Maple, is highly esteemed. 

Poplar. Various kinds of poplars occur throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and in 
the United Kingdom we are most familiar with the White and Black Poplars, and the Aspen, 
all well-known trees. They yield a wood which is light, very soft, of fine grain, and generally 
with a silky lustre. 
Poplar wood is not 
strong, but is easy to 
work. Cotton wood 
is the name in the 
United States for 
some of the members 
of this group. 

Canary white 
wood markedly re- 
sembles poplar, and 
is often described as 
yellow poplar or 
Virginian poplar. 

Walnut. The 
ordinary walnut tree 
(Juglans regia) of 
this country occurs 
wild also in Europe 
generally and parts 
of Asia. Its dark- 
brown timber is often 
very beautifully 
marked and much 
appreciated for furni- 
ture, etc. ; it is also 
used for gun-stocks. 

American Walnut, 
or Black Walnut, is 
derived from a closely 
related tree {Juglans 
nigra), which is a 
native of the United 
States and Canada. 

Holly. The 
hollies have a wide 
geographical range, 
occurring throughout 
most of Europe, Asia 

Photo by N. P. Eiwards, Litllehamptort' 



21— C.P. 


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Minor, North, and . South America, and to a less extent in Africa and Australia.- Three 
different. species yield commercially useful timber in Europe and North America. The hard, 
finely grained, close wood is. well adapted for turning, and isused for this purpose, for the 
manufacture of cogs, and in .cabinet, and marquetry work. . . •. • - . . - 

: Ash; ; > There are some fifty or more kinds of ash' trees, but only one is found wild in the 
United Kingdom, namely, the English Ash (Fraxinus. excelsior);, which occurs also right-through 
Europe, in North Africa, and partsrOf Asia. Tlje'wood .known! as United States Ash in England 
is derived from Fraxinus americana, and North America yields other kinds such as Red Ash, 
Blue Ash, Green Ash, Black Ash, Oregon The English ', Ash, gives the best timber. 
The white to whitish-brown wood is. moderately hard, arid. very strong, tough arid durable. 
In fact, in .strength and durability it conies close to oak amongst British woods. In distinction 
.... :. .•-_'' ( .to many woods, ash 

is most valuable 
from quickly grown 
trees, and the wood 
of young trees is 
practically as good 
as that of old trees. 
Hickory. Un- 
der the general 
name of hickory 
are included vari- 
ous woods from 
closely related trees 
of the genus Carya, 
closely allied to the 
walnut. This group 
of trees is entirely 
confined to North 
America and some 
four or six species 
contribute to the 
market supply of 
hickory. The best 
known characteris- 
tic of hickory wood is its toughness, which renders it very useful for many purposes to 
which ash is adapted. 

Boxwood. The Box Tree {Buxus sempervirms) is wild in a few- places in England, and 
Box' Hilb- and Boxley owe their names to this plant. It is widely distributed throughout 
South' Europe, North Africa, and Asia, reaching Japan and the Himalayas, and accordingly 
boxwood has a large number of names indicative of place of origin, e.g., English, Turkish, 
Coirsican, Circassian, Persian boxwood, whilst Papri is one of its Indian names. Two other 
species of, Buxus yield the Cape and Chinese boxwoods respectively. The box is .of very .slow 
growth, and "never attains a large size. The wood is very hard, dense, and close, with extremely 
fine grain. In seasoning boxwood -splits with a loud report and is very wasteful. In Europe 
it is chiefly used for turning, wood-engravirig, mathematical .. instruments; and carving and 
wood-working tools. Owing to the" decreasing supply of true boxwood, a very similar wood 
from the West Indies is largely substituted under the name West Indian Boxwood, also known 
as Zapatero, White Cedar, Cogwood, and by various other names. 

Cedar ds a name applied to a large number of timbers which are quite distinct from one 
another, but agree generally in being light, soft, of fine, even grain and frequently scented. 

Photo by N. P. Edwards, Littlehampton 




The World's Commercial Products 

White cedars and red 
cedars are distin- 
guished according to 
the colour of the 

The true cedars 
are the Cedar of 
Lebanon, the Atlas 
Cedar, and the Deo- 
dar, large trees of the 
Pine Order. 

Another well- 
marked group are 
the Cedrelas, includ- 
i n g West Indies, 
Indian and Austra- 
lian Red Cedars ; 
typical cigar-box 
woods. Then we 
have the Pencil Ce- 
dars, of which Vir- 
ginian Cedar from 
one of the Junipers is 
the chief. Various 
other trees are called 
cedars in other 
parts of the world. 
The Cedrelas are 
very closely related 
to mahogany and 
there is much con- 
fusion between this 
group of cedars and 

Deodar. The 
beautiful deodar oc- 
our's'in the Himalayas in extensive, forests, being most abundant at elevations from 6,000 to 
8,000 feet. The deodar is a " cedar," in fact the Cedar of Lebanon and the Atlas Cedar are 
two varieties of this plant, occurring respectively in the mountains of Asia Minor and Cyprus, 
and in the Atlas Mountains in Algeria. Botanists classify all three under the name Cedrus 
Libani. » 

The deodar is the principal timber tree of the. Himalayas, and yields the most useful wood 
of any tree in -Northern India. The sapwood is white and the heartwood yellowish-brown, 
strongly scented, oily, and of moderate hardness. Its chief use is for railway sleepers. 

Gedar'of Lebanon is frequently mentioned in the Bible, and in former times its timber 
was much used, e.g., in Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem large quantities were employed. 

WestTndian Cedar; Moulmeln Cedar, Australian Cedar. The typical West Indian 
and South American cedar (Cedrela odorataY is a handsome tree yielding the soft, red, fragrant 
wood of. which cigar-boxes, are commonly made. Cedar wainscoting is highly esteemed. 
Owing to the fact that it keeps very free from insects, it is used for the interior work of ward- 
robes, presses, etc. Havannah, Cuba, Jamaica, or Mexican cedar are other popular names of 

From Stereograph Copyright, 'Underwood & Underwood, 'London and. New York 



this excellent wood. In the East Indies its place is taken by Toon (Cedrela Toona), also 
known as Indian Mahogany, and in England as Moulmein Cedar, from the place in Burma 
whence it is exported. Its wood is of the same general character and is used in India for 
furniture, carvings, tea-boxes, cigar-boxes. • • - *] 

A third species, Cedrela australis, occurs in Australia, in New South Wales, and Queensland. 
In the former State it is regarded as the most valuable timber tree, and is extensively used for 
high-class work such as carriage-panelling, etc., being equal to mahogany. ! 

Red Cedar or Pencil Cedar. Everyone is familiar with this wood, owing to its extensive, 
use in the manufacture of lead pencils. Red Cedar is widely distributed" over the North 
American continent, reaching its greatest development in the southern states. There are two 
species : the northern Red Cedar {Juniperus virginiana) -and the Florida Reel Cedar (/. barba- 
densis) ; the latter restricted to the coasts of the southern states and some of the West Indian 

The red fragrant wood is light and soft, with very fine, even grain, and these. characters 
render it so suitable for blacklead pencils that it has been calculated that at least 150,000 trees 
are used annually for this purpose alone. Still larger demands are made on the tree for poles, 
piles, cross-trees, and other objects in which resistance to weather is important. Other uses 
include veneering, 
cigar-boxes, fancy 
turning, general cab- 
inet work, etc., and 
it is scarcely sur- 
prising that with 
these many uses the 
available supply of 
the tree is rapidly 

A syndicate has 
recently obtained 
rights to work a very 
similar wood pro- 
duced by the allied 
Juniperus procera, 
found in the Mau 
Mountains in British 
East Africa. 

Another conife- 
rous tree, Widdring- 
tonia Whytei, is the 
principal native tim- 
ber tree of British 
Central Africa, and 
is known as M'lanje 

Californi AN 
Redwood (Seguoia 
.sempervirens). This 
red cedar is yielded 
by a tree which is 
found nowhere else 

. -i ii i . • From Stereograph Copyright, ' Underwood and Unlerwood, London and New York 

m tne world out in A SAW . MILL AND SLIP) Minneapolis, u.s.a. 


The World's Commercial Products 

By permission of the New Zealand Government 


a strip, from ten to thirty miles broad, along the coast region of California. Redwood is 
the softest timber of commerce. Although a very large tree, it is entirely overshadowed by 
its close relation, the " Big Tree " of California (Seguoia Washingtoniana), the largest, 
although not the tallest, tree in the world. Some idea of the great girth of these trees 
may be gained by noting that the " Mother of the Forest," felled in 1853, was eighty-four feet 
in circumference and accommodated a dancing party of forty-nine people on the cut stump. 

Canadian Red Cedar, Giant Arbor Vitae, Canoe Cedar (U.S.A.), (Thuya gigantea). 
A close relative of the ordinary Arbor Vitae, commonly grown in shrubberies in Great Britain, 
it attains a height of some 150 feet and a girth of about thirty feet. 

Amongst other cedars are the Pencil Cedar of New South Wales and Queensland (Dysoxylum 
Fraseranum), ' New Zealand Cedar (Libocedrus Bidwilli), and the allied species Libocedrus 
doniana, of which the native name is Kahata, and Clanwilliam Cedar (Callitris arborea). 

Mahogany was introduced into England about 1724. One account states that some logs 
were brought as ballast in a ship from British Honduras, and that owing to the hardness of 
the wood the carpenters refused to use it; but a box made by Wollaston, a cabinet-maker, 
attracted so much attention that mahogany soon became established in favour. The true 
mahoganies come from tropical America and the West Indies, but other woods of similar 
character are conveniently classed as mahogany, and we find African, Australian, East 
Indian, and other " mahoganies." 

The Central American and West Indian varieties are usually stated to be the timber of a large 
forest tree, Swietenia Mahagoni (see p. 297), related to the tree yielding West Indian cedar. 
Spanish mahogany obtained from Cuba is generally better figured, harder, and of a darker 



colour than Honduras mahogany from British Honduras. Choice Spanish mahogany is hardly 
ever, used now except as a veneer. An inferior variety of Honduras mahogany, softer and of 
lighter colour, grows on the moist lands around the Bay of, Honduras, and is often known as 
Bay Wood. 

All these other mahoganies are^of small importance commercially in Great Britain com- 
pared with West African mahogany. The mahogany area of West Africa forms an irregular 
band, parallel to the coast from Gambia to the Cameroons. The timber is of great size, and 
some of the wood is most beautifully figured and fetches a very high price. 

Rosewood. The most important rosewood of commerce is Brazilian, derived from a 
species of Dalbergia, a leguminous tree. Another name for this variety is Jacaranda wood. 
The wood has a characteristic fragrant smell, is hard, coarse but even grained, and varies in 
colour from purplish. brown to black. It is highly valued as a furniture wood. 

Satinwood. There are two satinwoods of commerce, the one from the East and the 
other from the West Indies. The former is the more important and is usually known as East 
Indian, Tamil, or Ceylon satinwood. It is obtained from a forest tree (Chloroxylon Swietenia) 
which occurs in Central and Southern India and Ceylon. 

West Indian satinwood is very similar. in appearance to the preceding, and indeed difficult 
to distinguish, from it, but it usually possesses less " fire," and is almost without figure. It 
is derived from a species of Zanthoxylum, of the Orange family. Its curious greasy smell 
helps to identify it. •. * .; 

Ebony. The. name ebony is. commonly .applied to any black, hard, and heavy 'wood, but 
properly it is limited to the heartwood of species of the genus Diospyros. 

Photo by N. P. Edwards, Littlehatnpton 



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Ceylon ebony is principally obtained from D. Ebenum, a large evergreen tree which also 
occurs in Southern India and the Malay Peninsula. The heart wood only is jet black, the 
sapwood being almost pure white, so that a section of an entire tree presents a most striking 

Andaman Padauk or Andaman Redwood. This is the principal timber exported from 
the Andaman Islands, the site of the great Indian convict settlement. The padauk is a very 
large forest tree, with a very small amount of grey sapwood, whilst the heartwood is bright 
red with brown and black markings. 

Teak. — The teak tree is one of the most striking of the commercial timber trees of the 
tropics, its large leaves and huge sprays of light-coloured flowers giving it a very characteristic 
appearance..: It attains a very large size, trees with clean stems of eighty to ninety feet to 
the first branch, and a girth of twenty to twenty-five feet, being recorded. 

The area of geographical distribution of the tree includes the greater part of India, Burma, 
Siam, Cambodia, Cochin China, Java, and other islands of the Dutch Indies. There are planta- 
tions in India and Java. The timber is of a uniform brown or yellow-brown colour, greasy to 
the touch, and of about the hardness of oak'. Teak is the principal wood exported from India 
and Burma, arid most of the supplies come to the United Kingdom. 

Greenheart occurs in British Guiana, Brazil, and other parts of South America. It is 
a very valuable, hard, heavy, tough, and elastic wood of a dark green to brown colour. 

Lignum Yitae is an extraordinarily hard and heavy wood obtained from Guiacum officinale, 
a South American and West Indian tree. It is dark brown in colour, with black streaks, but 
the colour- is often obscured by a sticky green gum which exudes from the cut surface. 

Jarrah is the hard, heavy, dark red wood of Eucalyptus marginata, a native of Western 
Australia. It attains a very large size, and planks of great breadth can be obtained from it. 
It is exceedingly durable, and is but little attacked by the boring teredo, so that it makes 
excellent piles. In this country it is most familiar as paving blocks. 

Karri is very closely related to. Jarrah, and is the timber of Eucalyptus versicolor, locally 
distributed in Western Australia. 

Mora {Dimorphandra Mora or Mora exc'elsa) is one of the largest trees of British Guiana, 
and also occurs elsewhere in South America. Its hard, coarse, dark brown or reddish brown 
timber has long been known in the United Kingdom, and is rated amongst the first-class timbers 
at Lloyd's for ship-building. It is said to be more durable than teak. 


Photo by W G. Freeman, Esq. 


The cultivation of fibre-yielding 
plants and the manufacture 
of their products into textiles, 
ropes, cordage, and matting 
are among the most important 
industries of the world, and 
afford employment directly and 
indirectly to many millions of 
people. The industries, more- 
over, are of great antiquity, 
for we have definite evidence 
from the Lake Dwellings of 
Switzerland that flax was culti- 
vated and used as a textile 
during the Stone Age, and the 
occurrence of linen cloth in the 



tombs of Egypt and constant references to the same material in the earliest books of the 
Bible are well known to everyone. How and when mankind first became aware of the 
possibilities of vegetable fibres as materials for clothing it is not easyto say, but it is not 
improbable that he first employed the fibres to supply his need for string and cordage, 
especially in his hunting expeditions, and that gradually the idea of weaving the strings to 
form a fabric occurred to him. The apparatus employed must have been of extreme simplicity 
and the finished product crude according to modern ideas ; but that thousands of years ago 
textiles of superlative qual- 
ity, rivalling anything that 
can be produced to-day, 
were manufactured by East- 
ern races is a matter of 
history and observation. 

The fibres employed at 
the present day by both 
civilised and uncivilised peo- 
ples are as numerous as the 
uses to which they are put, 
and in classifying them for 
purposes of description, there 
is choice of several alterna- 
tives. To the practical man, 
however, classifications, al- 
though of considerable inte- 
rest, are of little value. He 
is inclined to look upon all 
fibres as suitable for textiles, 
sacking, ropes, cordage, mat- 
ting, packing, and numerous 
-other purposes. In this ar- 
ticle it is proposed to deal 
with • the fibres from this 
point of view. It should be 
realised, however, that an 
absolute economic classifica- 
tion of uses with relation to 
species is impossible, since 
the same fibre may be used 
in several ways. Manila 
hemp, for instance, is chiefly 
used for rope-making, but old manila is made into paper ; cotton is used for textiles, but also, 
.for cordage, upholstery, and paper. In the space at our disposal it is quite impossible to 
describe all the fibres met with in commerce, but the most important have been dealt witfr. 
Cotton is of such great importance as to demand treatment in a separate article {q.v.). 

•*•- il iirt»i linl—MBM 

From Stereograph Copyright, Underwood & Underwood., London and NewjYprk^ 



Flax was one of the earliest plants cultivated for fibre, and from the times of the 
first authentic record until the advent of cheaper Cotton during the last century it was. 
more extensively used than any other. The flax-plant, Linum usitatissimum, probably 
-originated in Western Asia, but at the present day it is extensively cultivated in northern and 


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Photo by Charles Abe'niacar 


central Russia, Belgium, Holland, France, Italy, Ireland, United States, and Canada, and,, 
next to cotton, flax is, commercially speaking, the most important fibre plant of. the world. 
In some countries, such as India, Central Russia, Argentina, and the United States, large 
areas are also under flax, but the plant is here almost exclusively cultivated as the source of 
linseed oil. 

Probably the best flax on the market is that grown in Belgium, and great care is taken 
in the cultivation of the crop! The principal flax-growing district is around Courtrai, where 
conditions are exceptionally favourable for the plant and for the preparation of the fibre. 
As in Ireland, flax is grown in rotation with other crops, few farmers caring to sow flax at more 
frequent intervals than once in every eight years, and the greatest success is obtained when 
the intervals are. even longer. In Ireland the plant is " pulled " or gathered when the lower 
leaves are beginning to fall, but in Belgium it is allowed to attain greater maturity. The 
greatest cafe is exercised in pulling the plant, the process being carried out by hand ; the 
stems are arranged so that the roots are all at the same level, and then the handfuls of the 
"straw," is called, are piled in stooks to cure or dry. After this it is placed in ricks of 
bundles which are so packed together as to allow of perfect ventilation, and finally, after the 
seed has been removed by threshing, the straw is stacked previous to the retting process which 
allows of the easy separation of the bast fibre from the remaining vegetable tissue. 

Preparation. The retting or steeping, which depends ultimately upon the action of bacteria, 
is carried out in three different ways in various parts of the world. The simplest method, known 
as dew-retting, is that adopted in North America and Russia, where the bundles are simply 
spread evenly over the surface 'of 'a damp meadow, and the natural moisture of the soil, dew, and 
rain allowed to separate the bast from the woody tissue. In Ireland the flax is retted in pools of 
soft water, the pools being either natural or artificial. The sheaves are packed loosely under 
water so that, if possible, they do not come in contact with the bottom of the pond, and after 



about ten days the fibre sinks to the bottom of the pond, and the process of decomposition 
is regarded as complete. The turbidity of the water during the whole period indicates .the 
activity of the fermentative organisms. 

In Belgium the straw is retted in the river Leys, the water of which is said to be unrivalled 
for the purpose. The bundles are closely packed in crates, the tops of which are covered with 
straw to keep out any foreign matter, and the whole is then placed in the water for from four 
to fifteen days. The straw is again dried in little stooks in the fields, and then subjected 
to a second, and sometimes a third, immersion, when the steeping process is complete. When 
the flax is considered to be sufficiently retted it is finally dried in the fields, and then subjected 
to a " breaking " process which fits it for the final scutching. The breaking is effected by 
machinery, and consists essentially in breaking up the stems of the plants between rollers 
in order to separate the woody tissue from the fibre or flax. The more thoroughly the breaking 
is performed the less will be the amount of scutching required, and consequently the quantity 
of waste material will be reduced. During the scutching process the fibre is freed from the 
woody particles and rendered fit for the market. Hand-scutching still survives in some coun- 
tries, but scutching machines are extensively employed in all the great flax-growing districts. 
During the process the broken stems are subjected to the action of revolving blades which 
beat out all the woody fragments, and, when quite clean, the finished fibre is removed to the 
store, and there finally baled for the market. 

Flax fibre is from twelve to thirteen inches in length, and varies in colour from silvery grey 
to yellowish white, according to the method of retting employed. It is the strongest of 
the commercial plant fibres, but,: nevertheless, is soft and flexible, and is extensively used for 
making table linen, handkerchiefs, collars, sewing thread, and bookbinders' twine.. 

Photo by Charles Ab&niacar 





OF a 


The World's Commercial Products 

Many fibres are known commercially as " hemps," e.g., Sisal Hemp, Manila Hemp, and 
Bowstring Hemp, but the true hemp is the bast fibre of Cannabis -'saliva, a plant native to 
western Asia, and belonging to the stinging-nettle family. (Uflicaceae). Like flax it was 
-cultivated for centuries before the Christian Era, and next to flax was the most important 
vegetable textile material before the introduction of the cheaper cotton and jute. The 
principal hemp-growing countries are Russia, Austria, Italy, Turkey, China, Japan, and 
the United States. Throughout the -East the plant is cultivated chiefly as a source of the 
intoxicating drug known as " bhang." 

The plant reaches a height of from four to ten feet, and under especially favourable circum- 
stances a height of twenty feet is not uncommon. Some of the finest grades of hemp 

.' come from Italy, where the plant is largely 
cultivated,- and an account of the Italian 
methods of cultivation and preparation will be 
of interest. Great care is taken in preparing 
the fields for the seed, and manuring is very 
thoroughly carried out. The crop is considered 
ready for harvesting when the tops of the 
plants begin to turn yellow, and the male 
plants, which yield the best fibre, are always 
cut before the" female. The stems are then 
gathered in bundles and placed on trestles to 
dry, when they are ready for the next process, 
viz., that of retting in water. After the retting 
is complete the stems are carefully dried, either 
in the open air, a method which results in a 
fibre of superior colour, or else by artificial heat 
in ordinary bread ovens. Drying in the open 
air takes from three to six days, and a great 
point in favour of the employment of artificial 
heat is the rapidity with which the drying can 
be effected. The next process is the removal 
of the external bark from the stem, and this 
decortication, as it is called, is carried out in 
various ways, either by hand-beating or by 
the employment of very simple and primitive 

The best varieties of hemp are creamy- 
The fibre furnishes a satisfactory substitute for 
flax, and, except for the finer linens, is employed for medium grades of nearly all goods 
commonly made from flax. It is also very largely used for cordage, ropes, and fishing-lines, 
and is extensively employed in the carpet and rug trades. 

Photo by W. G. Freeman, Esq. 


white in colour, lustrous, soft, and pliable. 


Jute is said to be yielded by several species of Corchorus, but only two species, C. capsularis 
■and C. olitorius, are cultivated for their fibre. The plants are regarded as natives of India, 
where they are extensively grown, especially in the province of Bengal, and they are also 
cultivated to a limited extent in China, Malaya, and Formosa. 

Corchorus is a genus of the Tiliaceae (Lime tree family), and the two fibre-yielding species 
are annual plants growing to a height of from five to ten feet with a round stem about three- 
quarters of an inch in diameter. C. capsularis and C. olitorius are very similar in habit of 


From Stereograph] Copyright, Underwood & Underwood, London and New York 


growth, but are readily distinguished by the seed-pods, which in the case of the former plant 
are almost globular and in the latter cylindrical, and about two inches long. There are numerous 
varieties of the two species, but the fibre yielded is fairly constant in character, and for the 
purposes of this article the varieties will be treated of collectively. 

Jute grows best in a hot, damp atmosphere, and flourishes especially in a highland district. 
The seed is sown in the spring either broadcast or in nurseries, whence the seedlings are after- 
wards transplanted. Harvesting takes place about three months later, when the plants. 


The World's Commercial Products 

are in flower, and the method 
employed is either cutting 
with a sickle or pulling up 
the whole plant by hand. 
The stalks are gathered into 
bundles and placed in stag- 
nant water to undergo a 
retting process, which is 
effected in varying periods 
of from two or three days to 
a month. While the bundles 
are under water they are 
examined from time to time, 
and, when the fibres separate 
readily, the bundles are taken 
from the water in preparation 
for the final separation of the 
fibre from the stem. Various 
methods are adopted, a com- 
mon one being for the opera- 
tor to beat or shake the 
stems in water until all the 
resinous matter of the bark 
is washed away. The man 
stands in the water, takes 
as many stems as he can 
conveniently hold, and strips 
off the bark in long strands. 
i ^k This completed, he dashes 

aLrff ' z. T - \^ the remaining fibre upon the 

-J^ w* ^ surface of the water until 

it is freed from vegetable 
debris, and after a further 
washing the jute is wrung 
out, dried upon lines, and finally made up into hanks ior the market. 

The uses of jute have been recognised in India from the most remote times, but the employ- 
ment of the fibre as a textile by Western peoples dates back only to the last century, the first 
recorded export of jute from India being in 1828. Jute is most largely used for the manufacture 
of " gunny " bags and cotton baling, but is also a most important cordage and twine material ; 
the waste material resulting from these manufactures is used in paper manufacture. Dundee 
is the centre of the jute industry in Great Britain. 

Ramie, Rhea, China Grass 

Ramie, Rhea, or China Grass, is an example of a product which, were it not for the difficulty 
and expense of its production, would probably occupy a most prominent place on the market. 
The fibre is without doubt one of the strongest and finest known ; it is brilliantly lustrous and 
silky, very durable, and is said to be less affected by moisture than any other fibre. Moreover, 
it is of exceptional length, and can be dyed readily. 

No small amount of confusion has hitherto existed with regard to the fibres variously 
known to commerce as China grass, ramie, and rhea, and even at the present time there is 
constant evidence that the confusion still exists. Briefly put, the facts are that the fibres 

From Stereograph Copyright, Underwood & Underwood, London and New York 




of two distinct but closely related plants are described under the three trade names given 
above. " China grass " is obtained from the stems of Boehmeria nivea, and " rhea," or 
" ramie," from the stems of a variety of this plant, B. nivea, var. tenacissima. Both plants, 
which belong to the stinging-nettle family, Urticaceae, have somewhat the habit of a gigantic 
nettle, but B. nivea flourishes in temperate countries, and is characterised by the white under- 
surface of its leaves, while, on the other hand, B. nivea, var. tenacissima, requires a more or 
less tropical climate for its best development, and has the under-surface of its leaves green. 
The term " ramie," however, is applied in commerce to the product of both plants. 

The true China grass is prepared in China entirely by hand. The first process is. the 
stripping off from the stem of the outer skin containing the bast. V The long strips are known 
technically as " ribbons," which are then deprived of the external epidermis by scraping and 
washing, and in the resulting product the fibres are embedded in a more or less gummy substance 
which it is by no means easy to remove satisfactorily. The scraped ribbons are then subjected 
to the " de-gumming " process, but if the fibre is intended for export this process is not carried 
out in China, since the merchants of Europe and America prefer to de-gum the fibre in their 
own mills. The hand-preparation of the fibre, however, is slow and expensive, and con- 
sequently numerous attempts have been made to invent suitable machinery to do the work. 
Large rewards have been offered from time to time, notably by the Indian Government and 
the Commissioners of the Paris Exhibition of 1889 for suitable mechanical processes, and at 
the present day the diificulty of decorticating ramie stems by machinery may be regarded 
as solved. There are two 
kinds of ramie machines, 
namely, those which merely 
strip the bark in ribbons from 
the stems, and those which 
not only decorticate the 
stems, but also remove more 
or less completely the epider- 
mis from the ribbons, and 
afford a material resembling 
hand-cleaned China grass. 

The next stage is the 
de-gumming process, but al- 
though many methods have 
been devised to this end, 
they are all more or less 
jealously guarded as trade 
secrets, and it is difficult to 
state the actual details of the 
process. Essentially, how- 
ever, the various methods 
consist in boiling the ribbons 
in dilute soda, and then ex- 
posing them to the action 
of bleaching powder and 
subsequently to that of a 
dilute solution of acid, until 
the whole of the gum has 
been removed. 

1 tie reSUlt 01 tniS treat- From Stereograph Copyright, Underwood & Underwood, London and New V 

ment is the production of a load of Manila hemp at cubA 


The World's Commercial ^Products^ 

a fine, white, lustrous fibre known as " filasse." The fineness and strength of ramie suggests 
its use for the manufacture of many materials for which cotton, wool, and flax are now 
employed. It is woven into goods of various descriptions such as lace curtains, handkerchiefs,, 
damasks, tablecloths, etc., affording a material of exquisite texture, and it has also been used 
for plush and carpets. 

Pine-Apple Fibre 
Although the pineapple plant (Ananas sativa, Natural Order Bromeliaceae) is usually 
grown for its fruit, in some parts of the East, notably in the Philippines and the Malay Peninsula, 
the fibre yielded by the leaves is the object of the cultivation of the plant. The plant is low- 
growing, and the leaves are about three feet long and one to two inches wide. To obtain the 
fibre, the leaves are scraped with a bamboo instrument resembling a plane, or in the Philippines 
merely with the sharp edge of a piece of pottery. Modern machinery, however, is also nowadays 
employed. The fibre obtained is washed in water and then dried in the sun. It is white, 
soft, flexible, and very durable, even when exposed to the action of damp. The celebrated 

Piha Cloth of the Philippines 
is prepared from this fibre, 
and the Chinese employ it 
in the manufacture of a 
coarse, strong fabric. The 
inhabitants of Formosa also 
use it in making some of 
their clothing. 




Manila Hemp, often known 
as Manila fibre or abaca, is 
obtained from the leaf- 
sheaths of a non-edible ba- 
nana, Musa textilis, found in 
the Philippines. Until quite 
recently it was supposed 
that this valuable fibre was 
yielded by one species, but the researches of the United States Department of Agriculture 
have lately shown that there are probably several distinct but closely related species, all of 
which yield the commercial fibre. 

The plant is cultivated in a comparatively small portion of the Philippines, the chief 
districts being Luzon, Mindanao, Negros, Mindoro, Cebu, and Samar, where the humidity 
of the atmosphere is relatively high. The best localities are the sides of hills of volcanic origin, 
where good natural drainage exists, for it has been found impossible to cultivate the plant 
in swampy water-logged soil, or, on the other hand, in soil which rapidly becomes dry. 

The plant is propagated chiefly by the suckers or plantlets which spring from the roots of 
the mature plants. About three years are required for the suckers to reach maturity, but 
seedlings take a considerably longer period, generally about five years. The plants attain a 
height of from eight to twenty feet, the " stem " being composed of overlapping leaf-sheaths. 
When the flower-bud appears the whole plant is cut down close to the ground ; the leaf- 
sheaths are stripped off, sliced horizontally into layers about £• of an inch thick, and these 
in turn split into strips about two inches wide. While still fresh the strips are drawn under the 
edge of a blunt knife-like instrument held against the surface of a board, the process freeing 
the fibre from the pulp of the leaf-tissue, and leaving it clean and white. 

By permission of Mr. Titos. Barraclough 




The finest grades of Manila hemp are of a light buff colour, lustrous, very strong, the fine 
fibres occurring in strands about six to twelve feet in length ; inferior qualities are coarser and 
duller in colour, and are lacking in strength. The fibre is regarded in the trade as unrivalled for 
rope -making, especially for cables, hawsers, and other marine cordage. 

Sisal Hemp 

There are two varieties of Sisal hemp met with in commerce, viz.. the sisal of Yucatan 
(Agave rigida, var. elongata) and the sisal of the Bahamas and Florida (A. rigida, var. sisalana). 
The latter, which is known as " henequen," is by far the most important, and is the subject 
of valuable industries in the Bahamas, Mexico, Turk's Island, Cuba, and Hawaii. Of late years 
the cultivation of the plant has been experimented with in India, especially in the Bombay 
and Madras Presidencies, and quite recently the trial plantations in German East Africa and 
British East Africa have produced sisal of the finest quality. 

The plant requires for its most satisfactory development a soil composed chiefly of lime- 
stone, but it does well on most 
stony, dry soils. The plantations 
are laid out from suckers as in 
the case of Manila hemp, or from 
the bulbils which appear on the 
flower-stalks in the positions of 
the withered flowers, much in 
the same way as "sets" occur 
on onion plants. The plants 
are set in holes during the rainy 
season, and practically the only 
attention given to the fields is 
the clearing away of weeds about 
once or twice a year. In this 
case it is the long sword-shaped 
leaves of the plant, armed with 
prickles along the margins, which 
yield the fibre, and the first crop 
of the outer leaves is cut at the 
end of the third or fourth year, 
according to whether the plants were grown from suckers or are " mast plants," i.e., grown 
from the bulbils occurring on the flowering " mast " or " pole." In Yucatan an average of 
about fifteen leaves is obtained annually for a period of about twenty-five years, and in the 
Bahamas the same number is obtained for from six to twelve years. At the end of these 
periods the plants send up the flowering stem, and when once the flowering is over the 
plants die. 

The machines used to separate the fibre from the leaves are generally known by their 
Mexican name of " Raspador," which sufficiently indicates their essential action. The leaves 
are fed into the machine which effectively scrapes out the pulp and at the same time washes 
the fibre in water which is kept running in a steady stream to remove all debris. The fibre 
is then hung in the sun to dry and bleach, a process which occupies about two or three days. 

Sisal is a straight, smooth, and clean fibre of a yellowish-white colour, measuring from 
two-and-a-half to four feet in length. Next to Manila hemp it is the most valuable of the hard 
cordage fibres. 

The genus Agave possesses several species yielding valuable fibres, and next in importance 
to the sisal plant is the American Aloe or Century Plant, Agave americana. This species, which 
receives its name of Century Plant from the fact that it flowers only at long intervals and 

Photo by W. G. Freeman, Esq. 



The World's Commercial Products 

Photo by Chas. Abeniacar 


then dies, is cultivated in 
Mexico, where it is known 
as " Maguey," while the fibre 
yielded by it is described 
under the native name of 
" pita." 

Istle, or Mexican Fibre, is 
yielded by five or six species 
of plants growing on the 
arid tablelands of northern 
Mexico, but the greater part 
of the fibre is obtained from 
the leaves of Agave hetera- 
cantha. Istle is employed 
in the manufacture of the 
cheaper grades of cordage. 

Phormium Fibre 

Phormium fibre, often in- 
correctly known as New 
Zealand Flax or Hemp, is 
obtained from the leaves of 
Phormium tenax, a plant 
belonging to the Lily family 
(Liliaceae) , and found wild 
in New Zealand, Norfolk Island, and the Chatham Islands. The plant is said to be unrivalled 
for its yield of fibre, the sword-shaped leaves, which measure from five to ten feet in length, 
giving upwards of fifteen per cent, of their green weight as cleaned fibre. 

The Maoris have long been known to prepare a most excellent fibre from Phormium by 
hand, and even at the present day the machine-prepared product cannot approach the native 
article in quality. The hand-made fibre, however, is much too expensive to be able to com- 
pete successfully with other commercial fibres, and in all the mills controlled by Europeans 
machinery is employed. The leaves are first' crushed between heavy rollers, and the soft tissues 
stripped off by beaters attached to a revolving drum. The fibre is then very thoroughly washed 
in running water, and afterwards exposed to the drying and bleaching action of the sun. After 
being further cleaned and straightened it is made up into hanks and baled. Within recent years 
the New Zealand Government has required that all Phormium fibre exported shall be graded 
into-defmite qualities recognised by their officials, an action designed to maintain the reputation 
of -the' fibre upon the world's -markets by guaranteeing to merchants an unvarying quality of 
the^ product. Phormium fibre is soft, nearly white in colour, with a silky lustre, and its 
breaking strain is stated 'to be higher than'that of either hemp or flax. 

,'--■'; Bowstring Hemps 

These fibres, which receive their names from the fact that the natives in various parts 
of the world are said to prepare their bowstrings from them, are derived from the leaves of 
several species of Sansevieria, an important genus of Liliaceae, with representatives in the 
tropical regions of both the Old and New Worlds. They occur in Ceylon, on the West Coast 
of Africa, and in the East Indies extending from Bengal to Java and China. The most 
important species are 5. guineensis. ,a native of Guinea, and found in the West Indies, Central 
America, Abyssinia, and Mauritius ; 5. Roxburghiana, a well-known plant of India ; 
SV cylindrica, occurring in South Africa ; S. longiflora, a native of equatorical Africa, but now 



distributed to tropical America, occurring abundantly in Florida ; S. ehrenbergii, found in 
East Africa ; and S. Zeylanica, cultivated in Ceylon. All the species are perennial, stemless 
plants with thick, fleshy, usually sword or lance-shaped root leaves, which yield the fibre. 

5. guineensis is the best-known species producing bowstring hemp, and, as stated above, 
is found on the West Coast of Africa, in Central America, and in the West Indies, the principal 
locality being Jamaica. 

Mauritius, Hemp 

Mauritius hemp is yielded by the leaves of Furcraea gigantea, a plant belonging to the 
Amaryllidaceae, the natural order containing such familiar plants as the Snowdrop and Daffodil. 
Furcraea is closely allied to the Agaves, and like them possesses a massive long-lived stem with 
immense fleshy leaves ; the flowers are produced, after a long period, upon tall central stems. 

The plant is found throughout tropical America, but the fibre is produced commercially 
only in Mauritius, where the industry is most important. The preparation of the fibre involves 
processes essentially the same as those employed for sisal, viz., scraping, washing, and drying. 
The fibre is softer and whiter than other hard fibres, and is weaker than sisal. 

Sunn Hemp 
The plant producing this fibre is Crotalaria juncea, a member of the Pea family, Legu- 
minosae. It is a tall shrub growing from eight to twelve feet high, with a branching furrowed 
stem, and is extensively cultivated in India, more especially in the North- West Province's . 
The seed is generally sown with the advent of the rains, and it is important to sow "the seed 
thickly in order to avoid the bushy branching habit of the plant, which would result if abun- 
dance of room were allowed for development. The fibre is obtained from the stems which 



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are either cut with a sickle or pulled 
up b}' hand. Bundles of the stems 
cleared of the leaves are placed in 
water for the retting process which 
is complete in a few days. The 
operator then separates the bark 
and wood from the fibre in a way 
very similar to that employed for 
jute, viz., by dashing the retted 
stems upon the surface of the water 
until the cleaned fibre becomes 
separated. The drying is effected by 
hanging the fibre upon bamboo sup- 
ports exposed to the sun, a process 
which also bleaches the fibre. 

By permission of Mr. Thomas Barraclougli 


Coir, or coco-nut fibre, is ob- 
tained from the outer husk of the 
coco-nut, the fruit of the coco-nut palm, a tall graceful tree from sixty to a hundred feet 
high, bearing a crown of large feathery leaves and spikes of small flowers. In commerce, 
the chief coco-nut products are oil and fibre, the latter being known to the trade as "coir." 
The ripe coco-nut as it occurs on the tree is a large, oval body, angular in section, and 
with one end somewhat' pointed ; the thick outer husk is composed of fibres densely packed 
together, and surrounds the " nut " so familiar in this country. In preparing coir for the 
market, the object is to separate the outer husk from the inner nut and to obtain the cleaned 
fibre. In Ceylon the husks are split open by forcing them against a pointed stick fixed in the 
ground. The next process is to soak the husks in water, the soaking being carried out either 
in pits or in brick, iron, or wooden tanks into which steam can be admitted to warm the water. 
Great care is taken to avoid over-soaking, but when the husks are sufficiently softened they 
are beaten with wooden mallets and then rubbed between the hands until all the interstitial 
tissue has been removed from the fibre, which is then ready for drying. In the European 
factories, however, machinery has been substituted for hand labour. 

Coir fibre is coarse, clean, stiff, and very elastic, and although not of great strength is 
largely used in the East as a rope and cordage material on account of its power of withstanding 
the action of sea-water. 

The screw pines also afford a useful matting material. Their leaves are cut into strips, 
and used for making bags, mats, wrappers, etc. 

" Russia mats " are made from strips of the inner bast of the Lime tree. 


An important application ot vegetable fibres in the arts is for the manufacture of 
brushes and brooms. In a 'few cases the stems of the plant are sufficiently fine and 
elastic to "be used directly for the purpose, as in the case of the Broom Millet, where the 
fruiting stalks are cleaned of the seed and used 'for the well-known "Venetian whisks" of 
Italy, and for other kinds of brushes. The roots of the Mexican grass, known to the trade as 
"Broom root," are also imported into Germany and France, where they are manufactured 
into cheap brushes and shipped to the United States. Again, the roots of Khus Khus 
grass, a native of India, are said to be used by the weavers of that country in arranging 
the threads on the loom, although the fibre is best known as the material from which 
the fragrant screens, or " tatties," are made. 



Among the most important of the tree fibres used for brush-making, however, are the 
various " basses " or piassabas (piassavas), from which bass brooms are made. These coarse 
dark-brown or black fibres are obtained from the leaf -stalks or leaf- sheaths of various species 
of palms growing in tropical America and Africa. 

Bahia piassaba is derived from the leaf-stalks of a large handsome palm with pinnate 
leaves, abundant in swamps and on river banks in the province of Bahia, Brazil. Very 
little preparation of the fibre is required, for it naturally separates from the leaf -stalks in a 
fringe of coarse, flexible, somewhat flat strands. ' The mass of fibres is removed by the natives 
with a small axe, and, after a simple cleaning and straightening process, the piassaba is baled 
for the market. It is largely employed for the brooms used by street scavengers. 

Leopoldinia piassaba, a palm also found abundantly in Brazil, yields Monkey Bass or 
Para piassaba. The fibre, which resembles the 'former variety in essential qualities, is also 
obtained from the leaf-stalks, which, where they clasp the stem, become expanded and produced 
into ribbon-like strips and separate into fine, almost round fibres about five feet long. 

A fibre which is finer and more flexible than Para piassaba is that known as Madagascar 
piassaba, obtained from the leaf-stalks of Dictyosperma fibrosum, a palm occurring in the island. 

Fibres similar to those described above are afforded by other species of palms, the most 
interesting being the stiff, wiry, Palmyra fibre obtained from the sheathing leaf-stalks of 
Borassus flabellifer, a tree found truly wild in tropical Africa, and extensively planted in the 
East Indies, and Kitul fibre prepared from the corresponding parts of the Kitul palm, a 
characteristic plant of India and Ceylon. Kitul fibre is dusky brown in colour, and, after 
being straightened and rendered more pliable by soaking in linseed oil, is largely used for 
making soft long-handled brooms. The sago palm of Malacca also yields a rich black fibre 
remarkable for its durability and known in the East as Gomutu or Ejoo fibre. It is exten- 
sively used by the natives for ropes, caulking ships, stuffing cushions, etc., but only the 
coarsest qualities are suitable for brush-making. 


The essential constituent of paper is cellulose, and paper-makers depend entirely upon 
vegetable fibres for their supply of this material. There are really very few fibres which 
cannot be made into paper of varying qualities, the amount of cellulose they contain and 
the cost of manufacture being 
the main considerations. A 
large quantity of paper-making 
material is obtained from the 
waste of jute and rope-making 
mills, but at the present day 
probably the most important 
source of material is found in 
wood pulp, which is merely 
timber, preferably coniferous, 
reduced to a soft pulp by 
mechanical and chemical means. 

Esparto grass affords an- 
other valuable paper-making 
material. It grows in North 
Africa and .Southern Spain, 
occurring in dense tufts on 
rocky and sandy soils, and 
reaches great luxuriance near borassus palms 

Photo by W. G. Freeman, Esq. 


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the sea-coast. There are four chief varieties, 
viz., Spanish, usually regarded as the best, 
Algerian, Tunisian, and Tripoli, the last three 
being in order of excellence. The paper 
manufactured from this grass is pliant, 
strong, transparent, and of great purity, 
but cannot compete in price with the cheap 
qualities made from wood pulp. A grass 
very similar to esparto in its paper-making 
qualities is the Bhabur grass of India. The 
straw of numerous cereal grasses is also used 
where obtainable, wheat, oats, and barley 
being employed in Europe, and rice in Asia, 
but the papers are of a low grade, and much 
inferior to esparto paper. 

The fibrous inner bark of the Baobab 
tree (Adansonia digitata) was also at one 
time used to a fair extent for paper, but its 
use has now declined. 

The paper used so largely by the Japanese 
for lanterns, umbrellas, and books of all 
kinds, is made from the young shoots of 
Broussonetia papyri/era, the paper mulberry, 
which is widely distributed throughout 
Eastern Asia and Polynesia. The plant is 
also interesting as the source of the famous 
Tapa cloth of the South Sea Islanders. 

Chinese rice paper is prepared from the 
pith of Fatsia papyrifera, a plant common 
in Formosa. 

A paper, common in India, and known as 
"Nepal" and "Daphne" paper, is made by 
the hill tribes of Nepal from the bast fibres 
of Daphne cannabina (D. papyrifera) , and one 
or two other closely allied plants. The paper 
is remarkably tough and smooth and has 
received high commendation from English 

The " Papyrus " of the ancient Egyptians 
was obtained from the pith of Cyperus Papyrus, a sedge formerly largely cultivated on the 
banks of the Nile in Lower Egypt. The plant is. now found on the river banks of Abyssinia, 
Sicily, and Palestine, and is one of the principal constituents of the "sudd" or masses of 
floating vegetation found in the Upper Nile. The papyrus was prepared by pressing together 
strips of the pith previously soaked in water. 

The " Ola leaves " largely used as a writing material by the natives of Ceylon in former 
times, was prepared from strips of the young leaves of the beautiful Taliput Palm. 


These fibres are found attached to the seeds or the walls of the seed pods of various 
plants, and, biologically speaking, are intended to aid in the dispersal of the seeds by the 
wind. They are, therefore, very similar to cotton from a botanical point of view, but, unlike 




this fibre, they are practically useless for textile purposes since the ultimate fibres are circular 
in section and lack the characteristic " twist " of the cotton fibres. 

The most important of the silk cottons is " Kapok," the seed hairs of Eriodendron anfractuo- 
sum, the white silk-cotton tree of the East Indies. Various unsuccessful attempts have been 
made to employ it as a textile, and it is chiefly used for stuffing upholstery. It has also been 
employed as a buoyant material for packing life-belts. The best qualities of kapok are obtained 
from Java. The red silk-cotton tree, Bombax mala-paricum, is a native of India, but the 
floss, although of good quality, is considered to be inferior to kapok. 

The Down tree of tropical America and Jamaica, known botanically as Ochroma bagopus, 
affords a beautifully soft fawn-coloured floss, which is densely packed in the long angular pods. 

Cochlospermum Gossypium, an East Indian plant, also yields a good silk cotton, but it has 
no recognised position on the market. There are many other vegetable flosses or " silks," 
as they are sometimes called, and space permits the mention of but a few. The well-known 
" mudar " floss (Calotropis gigantea) is beautifully silky, and the natives of India affirm that 
it has a soothing effect when used in pillows. " Yachan " floss is obtained from Chorisia 
insignis in Argentina, and other flosses are yielded by species of Asclepias and Beaumontia, 
that of B. grandi flora, a plant growing in Bengal, being especially fine. 


The Tapa cloth of the Pacific Islanders has been referred to under " Paper-making Fibres." 
The famous Uganda Bark Cloth is prepared by beating the bark of a species of Ficus with 
curious grooved mallets of hard wood until the debris has been got rid of and the material 
rendered supple. The Lace Bark of Jamaica is the bast of Lagetta Untearia, and is well 
known as a fancy material for cravats, frills, fans, and wall ornaments. The popular 
Panama hat is plaited from strips of the young leaves of Carludovica palmata, a palm- 
like plant growing in Central and South America. The less well-known Ippi-Appa hat 
of Jamaica is made in a similar way from the leaves of C. jamaicensis. The Mallow 
family (Malvaceae), to which the cotton plant belongs, is particularly rich in fibre-yielding plants, 
and some of the most in- 
teresting occur on the genus 
Hibiscus, a group of plants 
distinguished by their large 
showy flowers. " Deccan " 
or " Ambari " Hemp is 
obtained from the stems of 
H. cannabinus, cultivated 
for its fibre in most parts 
of India. 

The inner bark of H. elatus, 
a tree occurring in the West 
Indies, affords the Mountain 
Mahoe, sometimes known as 
"Cuba Bast," used for hats 
and for other millinery 


Cotton is the most im- 
portant material used for 

man's Clothing, having Photo by W. H. Johnston, Esq., F.L.S. 

during comparatively recent labolabo cotton farm, gold coast 


The World's Commercial Products 

years almost entirely supplanted linen. Cotton, too, has successfully competed with 
wool, and such materials as flannelette are entirely made of cotton, whilst fabrics of mixed 
cotton and wool are much more common nowadays than in former times. Scientific 
discoveries have enabled cotton to be so treated that it appears almost exactly like silk, 
with the result that cotton velveteen and sateen are made on a large scale and form cheap 
substitutes for velvet and satin, which are made of silk. Mercerised cotton can be made to 
resemble silk so closely that many " silks " are so only in name. Cotton is so useful to civilised 
man that this one plant can supply him not only with cotton clothing, but also to a certain 
extent with substitutes for wool and silk. To the uncivilised races of the world, whose 
needs are simpler, cotton is again most important, and all kinds of native garments, ranging 
from the simple loin cloth of primitive people to the elaborately decorated robes of other races, 
are made entirely of cotton. 

Photo by E. Minoprio, Esq. 


Cotton was well known and in common use in India long before the Christian era, for in an 
old book written about 800 B.C. the plant is referred to frequently, and in such a way as to show 
that it was quite familiar. Nearchus, the admiral of Alexander the Great, who took part of 
his army along the shores of the Arabian and Persian Gulf about 327 B.C., says : " There are 
in India trees bearing as it were bunches of wool. The natives made linen garments of it, 
wearing a shirt which reached to the middle of the leg, a sheet folded about the shoulders, and 
a turban rolled round the head, and the linen made by them from this substance was fine 
and whiter than any other." India was the centre of cotton cultivation and manufacture 
in the early days and for long afterwards. -Indian cotton goods were sent to many parts of 
the world, and our word " calico " was originally given to this familiar material because it 
came from the Indian port of Calicut. From India cotton plants were probably sent to China 
and other neighbouring countries. 

Later explorers found cotton in other regions. For example, in 1492, Columbus noted 
that it grew abundantlyin the West Indies and on the neighbouring coasts of America, and 
that the natives had considerable skill in making it up into cloth. In Mexico, Peru, and Brazil, 
cotton was well known and in Mexico was the chief article of clothing. In parts of tropical 



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Africa } cotton grows 
wild, and is used by the 
natives to make cloths. 
The cotton plant 
belongs botanically to 
the Mallow Order or 
Malvaceae, and is closely 
related to the ordinary 
wild mallows and to 
the hollyhocks of our 
gardens. Most of the 
species are shrubs or 
small trees, and in 
warm countries are per- 
ennial. A winter, how- 
ever, kills the plants, 
and in the United 
States new plants have 
to be raised from seed 
every year. This prac- 
tice is also carried out 
when cotton is culti- 
vated in countries which have no winter, as it frequently gives better results than when 
the plants are allowed to grow for several years. 

Cotton plants have large yellow, white, or red flowers, not unlike rather small hollyhock 
flowers, and each flower forms a capsule or " boll." When fully ripe the boll splits into three 
pieces, and displays the white cottony mass, consisting of a number of seeds, each having 
firmly attached to it a dense covering of fine hairs, which are the raw cotton of commerce. 

Photo by Putnam and Valentine 



Cotton is distinctly a warm-climate crop, and a glance at the map of the cotton-growing 
regions of the world shows us that it is grown in almost every part of the earth between about 
40° N. and 30° S. of the Equator. In America the principal regions are the south-eastern 
part of •the United States, Central America, the West Indies, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. In 
Europe small cotton areas are found scattered around the Mediterranean, in Spain, Italy, 
Turkey, and Greece. India, China, Japan, Persia, and Asia Minor are in their order the chief 
cotton-producing countries of Asia. In Australia cotton is onty grown to a very small extent, 
chiefly in "Queensland, South Australia, and New South Wales. Africa is an important con- 
tributor to the world's cotton supply owing to the great amount grown in Egypt ; on the 
west coas.t Lagos has. a considerable export, and efforts are being made to extend cotton 
cultivation in Nigeria and elsewhere. Rhodesia, East Africa, and Madagascar also either 
produce cotton or are likely to do so .in the near future. 

.Although, cotton is grown in. so many places, most of the world's commercial supply is 
obtained from three countries — the United States, India, and Egypt. The United States 
produce about six-tenths of the world's supply, India about two-tenths, Egypt one-tenth, and 
all the rest of the world together only the remaining tenth. The United States control the 
cotton, market, and any diminution in the supply from this source, due to a short crop or to 
artificial manipulation by speculators, entails grave consequences to the vast cotton industry 
in Lancashire. Such a shortage was brought about by the American Civil War in 1864, when 
the price of cotton reached a very high figure, and much distress was caused in England. Again, 



in 1902, there was another natural shortage in the supply from America, which was made 
worse by the action of speculators endeavouring to form a " corner " in cotton, and mills in 
Lancashire had to close, or work only for part time, causing much hardship to the operatives. 
To endeavour to guard against the repetition of such occurrences, the British Cotton Growing 
Association has been formed to promote, with the co-operation of the Government, the cultiva- 
tion of cotton in the British Empire, and to make England to some degree independent of the 
American supply. More recently British cotton spinners ;have taken action With. a view to 
themselves becoming cotton producers in the United States. Much experimental work has 
been carried out with the aid of the British Cotton Growing Association in various colonies. 
The old cotton industry in the West Indies has been revived, due in great measure to the 
activity of the Imperial Department of Agriculture for the West Indies. * The dormant cotton 
industry of Lagos has taken new life and increased' enormously. Northern Nigeria offers 
immense fields if proper transport can be provided. In East Africa and various other parts of 
the world it has been proved that good cotton can be grown. Steps are being taken to improve 
the grade of cotton produced in India, which, although it now yields large crops, does not supply 
cotton of sufficiently good quality for the English market. 

The French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and Dutch Governments are also making efforts 
to extend cotton cultivation in their colonies, and in a few years' time it will be demonstrated 
which countries are able to produce cotton of good enough quality and at sufficiently low cost 
to compete in the world's markets with that from the present established sources of supply. 


There are numerous varieties of cotton, but for commercial purposes we can confine our 
attention to the most important. 

• Upland or American Cotton. This is the kind in the greatest demand. It is obtained 
from a plant known as Gossypium hirsutum, originally perhaps a native of Mexico, but now 
cultivated- in the United States and in other parts of the world. Each seed bears both long 
and short hairs, the latter remaining attached to the seed after the long ones are removed, 
so that the seeds present a " fuzzy " appearance. 

Indian Cottons. 
These are the produce 
of various species, 
amongst which G. her- 
baceum is the most 
important. The seeds 
have a short fuzz in 
addition to the longer 

Sea Island Cotton. 
The most valuable of 
all cottons, owing to 
the comparatively great 
length (about two 
inches) of the fibre, and 
its silky character. The 
seeds bear long hairs 
only, and are left quite 
clean and smooth when 
these are pulled off. 

Sea Island COtton is Photo by Putnam and Valentine 

often considered to be cotton on the wharf at new Orleans 


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a native of the West Indies, 
but was introduced to the 
Sea Islands (off the coast of 
Georgia and South Caro- 
lina), where it is largely 
cultivated and whence it 
derives its common name. 
Recently it has been re- 
introduced into the West 

Egyptian Cottons, the 
more important of which 
are Mitafifi, Ashmouni, Yan- 
novitch, etc., are varieties 
of this same species. 

Kidney Cotton. The 
peculiar name of this vari- 
ety is derived from the cir- 
cumstance, that the seeds in 
each of the three divisions 
of the boll remain firmly 
attached together forming a 
lobed, more or less kidney-shaped mass, instead of each being separate as in the other varieties. 
This species yields Pernambuco, Ceara, and other kinds of South American cottons. 

Tree Cotton. The produce of G. arboreum, which attains a height of from fourteen to 
twenty feet. Africa appears to be its native home, although it is grown to some extent in 

The different varieties of cotton demand to some degree different methods of cultivation. 
Moreover, cotton is grown in purely tropical countries such as the West Indies, Africa, India, 
etc., on the inundated lands of the Nile valley, and in the United States, where the plants are 
annually cut down by frost. In some regions primitive labour and appliances alone are 
available ; in others, such as the States, the highest scientific and technical skill are to hand. 
All these reasons necessarily entail differences in the mode of procedure, but, as it would not be 
possible to describe all the variations practised in the space of a few pages, attention must be 
restrictedcto summarising the principal features of cotton cultivation, and the gathering and 
preparation of the crop until it is packed up into the huge bales so familiar a sight in the 
neighbourhood of the docks of Liverpool, the great cotton-receiving port of England. 

By permission of Messrs. Newton & Co. 



The cotton seed is sown and the young. plants thinned out to the .distance apart best suited 
to local conditions. In about six months' time they flower, and the pods or bolls follow in 
due course. When ripe they burst, often displaying their white cottony contents. Picking 
is done by ; hand, care being taken to harvest the cotton with as little as possible of such 
extraneous material as pieces of pods, twigs, dry leaves, etc. 

• The crop gathered is "seed-cotton," consisting of the seeds with the fibre or lint firmly 
attached. In primitive countries the lint is pulled off by hand. Usually, however, a gin is 
employed. One. type of gin has rollers between which the lint passes, whilst the seeds remain 
behind. There are also the saw gins, in which the lint is pulled off the seeds by a rapidly 
rotating toothed disc or '.'.saw.'.' As the result of ginning lint is obtained and also the cotton 
seed. The latter may be used on the estate or as a sourceof oil. The lint is made up into 
bales, compressed, and is then ready for shipment. 




In the present article an attempt is made to describe some of the more important vegetable 
products employed by man to alleviate the physical suffering of himself and of the animals 
which tend to his welfare. Strictly speaking, the term " drugs " includes, all substances 
belonging to the animal, vegetable, and inorganic kingdoms, which have been so employed, 
but in the space at our disposal it has been impossible to deal even briefly with any but the 
most important of those derived from plants. 

Indian Hemp. This important drug is obtained from Cannabis sativa, a plant indigenous 
to India and Persia, but largely cultivated in temperate parts of the world for the sake of the 
valuable fibre (hemp) and oil seed (hempseed). When grown in the hot regions of the tropics, 
the plants (especially the female plants) yield a quantity of resin possessing remarkable intoxi- 
cating properties, and on this account hemp is largely grown by the natives of India and 
the East. The drug appears in several forms in the Indian bazaars, the well-known " ganjah 
being the leafy flowering branches of the plant trodden and pressed by the feet into compact 
masses ; it is known in the English drug markets as " guaza." Ganjah is smoked like tobacco, 
but " bhang,"'' prepared from the dried larger leaves which are collected separately, is pounded 
in water to a pulp and used in the preparation of a drink. The resin itself, to which the 
intoxicating properties of the drug are due, is known, as " churras " or " char as" and is obtained 
either by kneading ganjah with the hands, or by causing men, clothed in leather garments, to 
brush through the living plants as violently as possible, with the result that the resin escapes 
from the wounded surfaces of the plants and adheres to the leather, from which it is afterwards 
scraped and rolled into balls. 

In the home market the drug generally occurs as rough, flattened resinous masses composed 
of the flowering shoots compacted by pressure. It possesses little taste, but has a powerful 
odour, and is chiefly used for its soothing properties in cases of mania and hysteria. 

Rhubarb. An important source of this valuable drug is probably Rheum officinale, a 
plant found wild in Eastern Thibet and North-western China, and now cultivated in England 
and elsewhere. The drug, which has long been known in Europe, consists of the dried rhizome 




The World's Commercial Products 

or underground stem of the plant, either whole or cut into pieces of suitable length. The 
" roots '/. <'*re dug up, cut transversely into short pieces which are threaded on a string,. and 
dried in the sun or by artificial heat. Such pieces are known in the trade as ""rounds," but 
when too large the Chinese cut them longitudinally into two portions which are known as 
"flats." Rhubarb is obtained from China, and, the various names of "Turkey," "Russian," 
and " East Indian " rhubarb are merely relics of former times when the root reached Europe 
from China via the countries mentioned. Small quantities of the drug are prepared in 
England from R. officinale, and, to a less extent, from R. rhaponticum. English rhubarb is of 
excellent quality, and closely resembles the Chinese product. The drug contains -several 
constiuents possessing laxative properties, and is used as a purgative and bitter tonic. 
The well-known grittiness of the drug is due to crystals of calcium oxalate. 


Podophyllum Rhizome. The underground stem of Podophyllum peltatum is the source 
of podophyllin largely used as an emetic and purgative. The plant is a native of the eastern 
states of North America and Canada, and was long, known to the Indians as a valuable medicine. 
As imported, the drug consists of flattened portions of the rhizome, possessing a heavy narcotic 
odour and a bitter nauseous taste. The active principle is a resinous compound (podophyllin), 
which is precipitated from an alcoholic extract of the " root " by acidulated water. 

The rhizome of P. Emodi, a common plant on the lower slopes of the Himalayas, has 
recently been proposed as a substitute for the officinal drug. 

Aconite Root. The poisonous properties of the roots of the Aconite or Monkshood 
(Aconitum Napellus) have long been known, but it is only in comparatively recent times 
that the drug has been employed medicinally. The root alone is now officinal, tmt the leaves 
and flowering shoots were also formerly used. The Monkshood is commonly grown in England 
both for ornamental purposes and as a medicinal plant ; on the lower slopes of the Pyrenees, 
the Alps, and the mountains of Germany and Austria, the plant is very common, and is 
extensively collected by the peasants for sale in the drug markets. In England the drug is 
collected in the autumn soon after the stem and leaves have died down, and before they have 








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begun to be depleted of their starch by the growth of new shoots, for it is at this stage that 
the proportion of alkaloid is generally regarded to be greatest. After the removal of the 
rootlets the roots are washed and dried, either whole or in longitudinal slices. The most 
important constituent of Aconite root;, is the alkaloid aconitine, which is used externally for 
certain forms of neuralgia and rheumatism. It is also used internally in cases of fever and 
for relieving pain, its general effect being to lower the temperature, increase the amount of 
urine, and to lessen- sensibility. Japanese Aconite {A. Fischeri) and Indian aconite (A. ferox) 
are imported into this country and contain alkaloids very similar to those of the officinal drug. 

Ipecacuanha Root. This drug, which has long been known in Brazil as a remedy for 
dysentery, consists of the thickened roots of Psychotria Ipecacuanha, a shrub growing in the 
shady forests of South America. Most of the supplies come from Brazil, but more or less 
successful attempts have been made to cultivate the plant in other parts of the world, notably 
in the East Indies. The slender roots, as they appear on the market, are about a quarter 
of an inch thick, breaking with a short fracture. The bark is markedly constricted at short 
intervals, and contains a large amount of starch. 

Ipecacuanha is largely used in dysentery, and is a powerful emetic and expectorant ; the 
principal constituents are the two alkaloids emetine and cephaeline. Besides the officinal drug, 
several varieties and substitutes are imported. New Granada and Carthagena Ipecacuanha 
is less active than the true root, and its botanical origin is uncertain. White or Undulated 
Ipecacuanha (Richardsonia scabra), False Brazilian (Ionidium Ipecacuanha), and other roots 
are substitutes of little, if any, medicinal value. 

Jalap. The ovoid tuberous roots which arise from the runners of Ipomcea Purga are 



well known on account of their valuable purgative properties. The drug is obtained from 
Mexico, where the plant is indigenous, the natives collecting the tubers and drying them in 
nets over their hut fires ; the smaller roots are dried whole, but the larger ones are gashed 
with a knife in order to facilitate the process. The plant is found on the eastern slopes of the 
Mexican Andes, but it has been introduced into India and Jamaica where it thrives exceedingly 
well, yielding tubers which ,are particularly rich in the resin to which the activity of the drug 
is due. Tampico Jalap, distinguished from true Jalap by its irregular shape and shrunken 
appearance, is obtained from I. simulans, a plant also a native of the Mexican Andes. 

Belladonna Leaves. . The fresh leaves and branches, of Atropa Belladonna (Deadly 
Nightshade) are used in the preparation of extract of belladonna, a drug largely employed 
as an external application to relieve pain, and internally for checking excessive perspiration 
in consumption, for the relief of coughs, and for rnany other purposes. The extract prepared 
from the leaves causes the pupil of the eye to dilate, and is used in ophthalmic surgery. 
The principal constituents of the leaves are two alkaloids, atropine and hyoscy 'amine, but in 
the manufacture of these alkaloids the root of the plant is employed. 

Belladonna is largely cultivated in Germany for medicinal purposes, and, to a; smaller 
extent in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. The leaves are collected during the flowering 
period, as at this time the percentage of alkaloid is highest. •• 




338 The World's Commercial Products 

Coca Leaves, " Folio Cocae " 
of pharmacy, are the dried leaves 
of Erythroxylum Coca, a shrub 
about six or eight feet high, 
bearing small clusters of white 
flowers and resembling in- general 
habit the English blackthorn. 
Alexandrian senna leaves ft is chiefly cultivated on the 

(Natural size) steep slopes of valleys in the 

Andes, and smaller quantities are 
grown in other parts of the world, e.g., India, Ceylon, and Java; the market is chiefly supplied 
from South America. Two varieties are met with in commerce, viz., Huanuco, or Bolivian, and 
Truxillo, or Peruvian. The former leaves have a brownish-green colour with prominent veins, 
and are not broken to any great extent ; they further possess a well-marked ridge above the 
mid-rib. In the Truxillo leaves this ridge is absent, and the fragile broken leaves are pale- 
green. Coca leaves possess a somewhat bitter taste and have a slight but characteristic odour. 
They contain several alkaloids, the most important being cocaine, largely used in dentistry 
and in minor operations as a " local " anaesthetic, e.g., a substance producing insensibility 
to pain over the immediate area to which it is applied. The proportion of the alkaloid present 
is less than one per cent., and the Bolivian leaves are richer than the Peruvian variety. Coca 
is also used as a restorative and stimulant, but its most remarkable property is that of con- 
ferring remarkable powers of resisting physical and mental fatigue. Comparatively but a 
small proportion of the coca leaves collected in South America is exported, the bulk of the 
crop being used by the Indians for the purposes mentioned. The custom is one of great 
antiquity, and the dried leaves have become almost indispensable to the people. The leaves 
are chewed, mixed with lime and the ash of a plant closely related to the goosefoots of our 
fields and waste places. When taken in excess the drug is said to produce an intoxication 
similar to that of opium in its effects, and slaves to the coca-habit seldom attain to old age. 
Senna Leaves are obtained from two species of Cassia, a genus belonging to the Legumi- 
nosae (Pea family). " Alexandrian senna " consists of the leaflets of Cassia acutifolia, a small' 
bush growing wild in several districts of Egypt. The leaves are collected by the Arabs chiefly 
between Suakim and Kassala, the most important of the two harvests taking place after, the 
rains in September. The plants are cut and then spread out in the sun to dry, when the 
leaflets are removed from their stalks. The drug is then packed in palm-leaf bags and carried 
down for export either to the Red Sea ports or down the Nile to Alexandria. At one time 
the trade in senna was a monopoly of the Egyptian Government. 

Indian or Tinnevelly Senna consists of the leaflets of Cassia angustifolia, which is abundant 
in Southern Arabia. The plant is largely cultivated for medicinal purposes in the Tinnevelly 
district of Southern India, whence the drug receives its name. The leaflets closely resemble 
Alexandrian senna, but are larger, somewhat narrower, of a lighter green colour, and less 
hairy ; an interesting difference between the drugs as they appear on the market is the flatter 
condition of Tinnevelly senna leaves, due to the fact that the leaves are pressed into bales 
before being shipped, whereas the Arabs pack the drug comparatively loosely. 

Both, varieties. of- senna are extensively used as a purgative in the form of an infusion, 
and as an'irigredient of " confection of senna." 

Colocyntii or Bitter Apple. The spongy, intensely bitter pulp of the dried fruit of 
Citrnllus Colocynihis, a creeping plant belonging to the Cucumber family, is largely used as a 
powerful purgative". .The plant is regarded as a native of the warmer districts of Asia, but it 
is now widely "distributed, occurring abundantly in Egypt and Northern Africa ; it is also 
common on the shores of Portugal and is found in Syria, Persia, and India. The fruits, which 
resemble an orange in shape and size, are green when fresh, but become yellowish-brown when 



dried. They are collected when ripe and the thin rind removed with a sharp knife, leaving 
the white pulp containing a large number of seeds. The drug consists of white balls about 
two inches in diameter, and generally more or less broken. They are extremely light in 
weight, and the seeds themselves constitute about three-quarters of the total weight. The 
"Turkey" and "Spanish" colocynth . are the principal varieties met with, and;:the former 
commands the highest prices, though there is no reason to suppose that it possesses more active 
properties. The action of colocynth is due to an intensely bitter substance, colocynthin, 
occurring only in the pulp which alone is used in medicine. " Mogador " colocynths, from 
which the rind has not been removed, are also imported, and are . commonly used by 
druggists for show purposes in window-dressing. 

Nux Vomica. The seeds of Strychnos Nux-vomica have long been known as a valuable 
drug, though for some time after their introduction into Europe in the sixteenth century 
they were chiefly used as a poison for dogs, cats, and vermin. The tree is a native of the 
Coromandel Coast of India and Cochin China, and is also found in Ceylon and North Australia. 
The fruit closely resembles an orange, and contains usually from three to five seeds embedded 
in a bitter whitish pulp. The grey, disc-shaped seeds, which are closely covered with fine 
silky hairs, are about the size of a halfpenny, and somewhat thinner at the centre than at the 
circumference. They are extracted from the pulp, and then washed and finally dried in the 
sun. They are exported chiefly from India, the chief ports being Madras, Bombay, Calcutta, 
and Cochin. The dry seeds possess an intensely bitter taste and are very hard. They are 
extremely poisonous on account of the presence of two alkaloids, strychnine and brucine. 
The drug is extensively used in small doses as a valuable tonic and in the treatment of 
certain forms of paralysis and other nervous diseases. In large doses it is a virulent poison. 

Cola or Kola Nuts. These nuts, also known as Bissy or Gooroo Nuts, have long been 
highly prized by the natives of tropical Africa and elsewhere on account of their stimulating 
and sustaining properties when chewed. The white or crimson nuts occur five to fifteen 
together in large woody fruits ; they are deprived 
of their seed-coats and masticated while fresh. 
There are two varieties of Cola nuts on the 
market, viz., the kernels of Cola acuminata and 
C. vera. The former nuts possess four cotyledons, 
while the latter, which are the most valuable, 
possess only two. The most important consti- 
tuent of the drug is an alkaloid, caffeine (also 
found in coffee), and a small amount of theobro- 
mine is present. It is to these substances, chiefly 
the former, that the drug owes its stimulating 
properties, which cause it to be used in medicine 
to prevent fatigue and as a nerve stimulant. 

Areca or Betel Nuts. Areca or Betel Nuts 
are the seeds of Areca Catechu, a palm largely cul- 
tivated in India, Ceylon, and Malaya. The 
" nuts " are enclosed in the outer fibrous shell of 
the fruit, which resembles an egg in size and shape. 
They are bluntly conical, about an inch long, and, 
in section, exhibit a mottled appearance, the 
white endosperm being traversed by wavy, dark- 
brown lines which are due to ingrowths of the 
seed coat. 

The nuts are used in this country for destroying Photo by Wt G . Freeman< £s(7 . 
worms in dogs, but by far their most important aloes 


The World's Commercial Products 

use is in the East, where they are in universal demand among the natives as a masticatory 
or chewing material. For this purpose the nuts are cut into thin, narrow slices, which are 
rolled up with lime in leaves of the betel pepper (Piper Betle). The mixture has a hot and 
acrid taste when chewed, and its immediate effect is to increase the flow of saliva, which is 
turned a brilliant red colour. The teeth of the consumer are also stained, but there are said 
to be no evil results of the habit, which is so firmly established among the natives " that they 
would rather forego meat and drink than their favourite areca nuts." - The importance of 
the trade in the nuts may be judged from the fact that, in Ceylon alone, the export trade 
in 1905 was valued at considerably over £100,000 sterling. 


Cinchona Bark is the source of the invaluable alkaloid quinine, so largely used in the 
treatment of fevers. The medicinal value of the bark first became definitely known in 1638, 
when the Countess Chinchon, wife of the Viceroy of Peru, was cured of fever by use of an 

extract of the bark, and it was not long 
before the drug became recognised in 
Europe as a valuable febrifuge. Cin- 
chona bark is obtained from several 
species of Cinchona, a genus of trees 
belonging to the Rubiaceae found truly 
wild only in South America, but now 
extensively cultivated in Java, India, 
Ceylon, and, to a smaller extent, in the 
West Indies and tropical Africa, whence 
the drug is now chiefly obtained. 

The commercial supplies of the drug 
are obtained from the following species 
of Cinchona, the first three of which 
are the most important : — C. Ledge- 
riana, C. Calisaya, C. officinalis, and C. 
succirubra. The method of collecting 
the bark which is becoming generally 
adopted at the present time is known 
as " uprooting." As the name indi- 
cates, the trees, as soon as they have 
• reached the period of growth when the 
bark contains the maximum amount of quinine, are grubbed up, and the bark stripped 
from the trunk, branches, and roots, the root, bark being especially rich in the alkaloid. 
The land is then replanted. A method which has met with considerable success in 
India consists in removing the bark in alternate longitudinal strips and covering the 
wounds with damp moss or litter in order to allow a new bark to develop on the exposed 
surface. Analysis shows that the secondary bark is richer in quinine than the "natural" 
bark, and is, therefore, of greater commercial value. A third method, known as the 
"shaving," is a. modification of that just mentioned, and consists in removing only the 
outer part 'of the bark by shaving with a tool, so that the " renewed " bark may be formed 
without the necessity. of binding damp moss round the tree. The South American method, 
as stated above, -is to fell the tree and strip off -all the bark, subsequently drying it in the sun 
or over. fires. The larger pieces are pressed under heavy weights and constitute the "flat 
bark '\ of the trade,. while the thinner'bark of the smaller branches is known as " quilled bark," 
on account of its rolling up into quills while drying. The finer qualities of quills are obtained 
from the young branches which arise from the crowns of plants which have been coppiced. 


Showing leaves in unequal pairs (reduced) 



The principal constituents of Cinchona bark are alkaloids, of which the chief are quinine, 
cinchonidine, cinchonine, and quinidine. The value of a bark is estimated according to the 
quantity of quinine present, the average amount varying from 30 per cent, to 5'0 per Cent, 
in " Ledger " bark (C. Ledgeriana), from 3'0 per cent, to 40 per cent, in Calisaya bark (C 
Calisaya). Quinine is chiefly used in the treatment of fevers, and as a tonic ; the barks 
are too bulky for general use, except as bitter stomachics and tonics. The drug has a 
well-known intensely bitter taste, but a form is now prepared which is tasteless. 

It would be difficult to over-estimate the value of quinine to the white man in guarding 
against and withstanding the attacks of fever, especially malaria, in the tropics. As an 
instance of its recognised value it may be mentioned that the Indian Government has ordered 
that the drug, put up into small pice packets, shall be on sale at every post-office throughout 
the country, so that the remedy may be within the reach of all, even the poorest. 

Cascara Sagrada. Cascara Sagrada ("sacred bark") is a valuable medicine used in 
small doses as a tonic, and in larger quantities as an aperient and purgative. It is the bark 
of Rhamnus Purshiana (a small tree closely allied to the English Buckthorn), which is found 
in abundance in certain of the United States of America. The bark occurs in commerce 
in the form of quills and flat portions, which are removed from the tree in the spring and 
summer, especially after a spell of rainy weather. The inner - surf ace of the bark is of a 
reddish-brown colour, while the outer surface is frequently covered with lichens. 

The chemistry of Cascara Sagrada is by no means well known, but the principal constituents 
appear to be emodin, frangulin, and purshianin, which possess purgative properties. The 
drug has a slight odour but a very bitter taste, and is in such demand that the cutting 
of the trees has recently been re- 
stricted by law in order to avoid 

Guaiacum Wood. The heart- 
wood of Guaiacum officinale and G. 
sanctum contains a dark-coloured 
resin used in the preparation of a 
tincture employed in the treatment 
of gout and rheumatism. The wood 
itself is an ingredient in the com- 
pound decoction of sarsaparilla used 
in the treatment of syphilis. The 
drug is principally obtained from G. 
officinale ("lignum vitse " of com- 
merce), an evergreen tree occurring 
in the West Indies and South 
America ; supplies are principally 
obtained from Cuba and Hayti. 
The vessels and other elements of 
the heart-wood are filled with a dark 
resin which, when exposed to the 
action of oxidising agents, assumes 
a blue colour. 

Quassia Wood. The wood of 
Quassia amara, a tree native to South 
America, first became used in 
medicine about 1750. Later it was 
found that the wood of Picraena 
excelsa possessed almost identical 

Photo by W. G. Freeman, Esq. 


342 The World's Commercial Products 

properties, and in England has been adopted as officinal in place of Quassia wood, which is 
still retained on the Continent. 

Picraena excelsa is a tree of medium size common in the lower country of Jamaica. The 
wood is entirely- without odour, but possesses an intensely bitter taste. The chips and shavings 
of the wood are used in the preparation of a bitter tonic. 


Opium. This drug, so well known, even in remote times, for its valuable sedative 
properties, is the dried milky juice or latex obtained from the walls of the unripe seed 
capsules of several varieties of Pap aver somniferum, the Opium Poppy. The narcotic 
properties are due to the presence of certain alkaloids, the most important being morphine, 
and, to a less extent, narcotine and codeine. Opium is prepared chiefly in Turkey, India, 
Persia, and China, but excellent qualities have been obtained from European experimental 
plantations, notably in France ; the cost of production, however, renders the preparation of 
the drug in Europe commercially impossible. As is well known, the industry is of great 
importance in India, where, except in the Native States, it is under strict Government 

The method of collecting the latex is practically the same in all countries. While the 
capsules are still unripe, incisions are made in their walls with a small instrument so constructed 
that it is impossible to penetrate to the seeds, which would prevent them ripening and thus 
spoil them as a source of oil. (See " Oils and Fats.") The latex immediately exudes and soon 
begins to coagulate. Next morning it is scraped off with a knife and the damp pinkish mass 
placed in sloping dishes to drain. When this is completed, the opium is allowed to partially 
dry in the sun, when it is ready for packing. 

The high price of the drug naturally results in its frequent adulteration. Besides seeds, 
charcoal, and ground poppy petals, such crude adulterants as shot, sand, mud, and pieces of 
metal are sometimes added to increase the weight. 

The bulk of the opium reaching this country is imported from Persia and Turkey. As 
is well known, practically all the Indian drug exported goes to China, but the latter country 
imports large quantities overland from Persia, and in recent years has made great strides in 
the home production of the drug. The universal use of opium as a narcotic in China needs 
no more than passing mention. 

Aloes. Aloes is the dried juice of the leaves of certain species of Aloe, a genus of plants 
belonging to the Lily family, and indigenous to South and East Africa, but now introduced 
into the West Indies and other tropical countries. The four principal varieties of the drug 
are " Curagoa aloes " (commonly known as " Barbados aloes "), obtained from the leaves 
of Aloe chinensis ; " Socotrine aloes," obtained from A. Perryi, in the island of Socotra, and 
the east coast of Africa, whence it reaches this country via Bombay ; " Cape aloes " and 
" Natal aloes," obtained from several South African species of Aloe, one of which is 
probably A. ferox. 

A large proportion of the supplies of the drug come from the Dutch West Indies, chiefly 
Curacoa. The juicy leaves are cut from the plant and immediately placed with their cut 
ends downwards in sloping troughs placed at convenient intervals on the field or planta- 
tion. The juice rapidly exudes and is 
collected in gourds or tin boxes through 
an aperture at the lower end of the trough. 
It is then taken to the boiling house and 
evaporated in copper pans until it becomes 
a thick, black, viscid mass. When of the 
right consistency, the aloes is poured into 
jalap root gourds or boxes where it cools and solidifies. 





On some estates, the evapora- 
tion is effected by steam- 
heaters. As stated above, 
Curacoa aloes is frequently 
described as "Barbados aloes" 
from the fact that in the early 
part of last century the bulk 
of the drug from the West 
Indies came from the British 
island. The trade, however, 
has almost disappeared, and at 
the present day the drug is 
produced on only one estate. 
The plant cultivated is A . vera. 

The famous Socotrin aloes 
is prepared by much cruder 
methods. The juice is col- 
lected in goatskins placed in 
shallow hollows scooped out in 
the ground, and allowed to partially evaporate in the sun. It reaches this country as a 
pasty or even semi-fluid mass which is dried at a gentle heat before use. Cape and Natal 
aloes is prepared in a way similar to that adopted in the West Indies. 

The appearance of the drug when it reaches the market is largely dependent upon the 
methods employed in its preparation. When the juice is rapidly concentrated and quickly 
cooled, the mass breaks with a glassy or vitreous fracture as in Cape and Curacoa aloes 
(" glassy " aloes). When evaporated slowly the mass becomes dull and opaque, and is known 
as " livery " or " hepatic " aloes, as in the case of the drug from Socotra, Zanzibar, Natal, and, 
in some cases, from Curacoa. 

Aloes is used as a purgative, and is one of the most valuable of this class of drugs. Its 
action is due to the presence of the crystalline, bitter principle aloin. 

■* : il3<&% * 

Photo by W. G. Freeman, Esq. 




These products are usually of little commercial importance, and they are almost wholly 
used in medicine. The most important of the balsams and balsamic resins are storax, 
benzoin, the balsams of Tolu and Peru, and Dragon's blood (obtained from the fruits of a 
rattan palm {Calamus draco) growing in Sumatra and Borneo, and used chiefly as a red stain 
for spirit varnishes. The best known gum-resins are myrrh, olibanum or frankincense, 
galbanum, asafcetida, and ammoniacum. Many drugs are used for the sake of the resins 
they contain, these not being exuded by the plant but secreted in roots, leaves, etc., from 
which they must be extracted by chemical processes. 


The term gum is loosely applied in commerce to a number of different products, which are 
better classified into the following groups : — 1. True gums, such as Acacia gum, Tragacanth 
gum, etc. 2. Varnish resins, such as "Gum dammar," " gum copal," etc. 3. Balsamic 
resins, such as "Gum benjamin or benzoin," etc. 4. 'Gum-resin's, mixtures of gum and 
resin, such as " gum myrrh," "gum asafcetida," etc. 5. Dried 4 -plant juices, such as " Gum 
opium " and " gum kino." 


The World's Commercial Products 

The true gums, which alone will be dealt with in this article, are readily distinguished 
from the products included in classes 2 to 5, and wrongly, called gums, by the possession of the 
following characteristic properties: — 1. They are soluble in water, yielding clear viscid or 
jelly-like solutions. 2. They are insoluble in alcohol. 3. They are almost tasteless, or have 
at most either a slightly acid or slightly sweetish taste 


The process by which true gums are produced- in plants is not as yet thoroughly known. 
They appear to be formed by the progressive breaking down (gummosis) of cellulose, but 
practically nothing is known as to how this "breaking down "is accomplished. 


This is a generic name including practically all gums, which are soluble in water to form 

Photo by T. G. Hall, Esq., F.L.S 


viscous sticky solutions possessing the properties of ordinary "office gum." Gums of this 
type are largely produced in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Abyssinia, Somaliland, Nigeria, 
Senegal, India, Australia, and Cape Colony. 

Turkey or Sudan Gum 
This rnaterial is produced in the several countries forming the North-eastern horn of Africa. 
It has been an article of commerce from very early times ; there is evidence that as early as 
the first century of the Christian era gum was shipped from Egypt to Arabian ports and thence 
sent to Europe, hence the designation " gum arabic " now loosely applied to all gums of this 
type. In the Middle Ages the trade in gum between Egypt and Europe was carried on via 
Turkish ports and hence the name " Turkey gum" still in use, though the trade via Turkey 
has long since ceased. This fact is slowly being recognised by a change in name, and the gum 
is now frequently referred to commercially as " Sudan or Kordofan gum." 

Gums and Resins 


From Stereograph Copyright, Underwood & Underwood, London andTNew York 


Three kinds of gum are largely produced in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, and these are known 
in the country as " Hashab " or "Verek," " Gezira," and "Talh" gums. 

Hashab. The "Hashab" tree of the Sudan is known scientifically as Acacia Senegal. 
It is plentiful in Kordofan, where the best qualities of this gum are produced, and is also 
fairly widely distributed in Kassala and Gezira. The gum produced in Kordofan is collected 
from trees grown in plantations known as " genenas." These trees are raised from seed and 


The World's Commercial Products 

begin to exude gum in the 
third year of growth, when 
they are from eight to ten 
feet high, and have a maxi- 
mum girth of from six to 
eight inches. They continue 
to produce gum until the 
fifteenth year, when it is 
advisable to renew them. 
The best yields are obtained 
from the eighth to the 
twelfth years of growth. 

"Hashab Wady" is the 
name applied to gum which 
is exuded naturally from 
"hashab" trees not in- 
cluded in the " genena," 
and is usually in • pear- 
shaped pieces of ' variable 
size depending on the length 
of time between consecutive 

Most Of the gum exported 
is merely cleaned, but a 
small quantity is " selected " 
and " specially dried." For 
this purpose nearly colour- 
less " tears " are selected 
from the crude " hashab'' 
and exposed on the sand 
along the banks of the Nile 
to the sun. After a few 
days of this treatment they 
become white and almost opaque, due to the production of innumerable cracks as the result of 
the drying. This gum fetches a higher price than the crude mixed material. 

For most purposes to which gum is applied in commerce, the crude unselected " hashab " 
is suitable, but for a few purposes " graded " or " selected " gum is required. The " selection " 
of gum is principally done in European centres of trade, such as Trieste, London, and Hamburg. 

Senegal Gum. 

The " hashab ". tree- (Acacia Senegal), from which Sudanese gum is principally derived, 
occurs right through the fertile belt of territory (the Central and Western Sudan), which 
stretches across Africa below the Sahara. On the north bank of the Senegal vast forests of 
Acacia Senegal occur stretching away into the hinterland. This region is inhabited by Moors 
and other wandering peoples who employ their slaves and probably also their prisoners of war 
in the collection of gum. No system of cultivation such as that adopted in the " genenas " 
of Kordofan is attempted in Senegambia or its hinterland. During the rains the forests are 
converted into swamps and "the trees become gorged with sap. After the rains have ceased 
the scorching east wind known as the Harmattan prevails, and this rapidly removes the excess 
of water ; the barks of the trees become fissured in all directions and through these fissures 
the gum exudes as a thick liquid, which rapidly dries into " tears." 

From Stereograph Copyright, Underwood & Underwood, London and New York 



Gums and Resins 


Wattle Gums 

The wattles are a group of acacias indigenous to Australia, where they are largely exploited 
for their barks, which are rich in tannin (see p. 352), and for their soluble gums. Several of 
the wattles have been introduced into South Africa, where they are cultivated for bark, gum 
being collected from them as a bye-product. The principal Australian species yielding gum 
in notable quantities is Acacia dealbata. Cape gum is obtained from Acacia horrida. 

Indian Gums 
Two varieties of gum are exported from India, viz., " East Indian gum," already alluded 
to, which consists essentially of Somaliland gum mixed with true Indian gums, and Ghati gum, 
so named because it is collected spasmodically by the natives inhabiting the western Ghats. 
The Ghati gum which reaches this country is tolerably uniform and is probably collected, 
principally from Anogeissus latifolia. It is usually of pale colour and possesses special properties, 
which have secured for it a prominent place as a substitute for Sudanese and Senegal gums, 
especially in the United Kingdom. 


The commercially valuable resins are, as explained in the article dealing with gums, known 
in commerce as gums, e.g., " gum copal," " gum dammar." They are readily distinguishable 
from true gums by being 
soluble in spirit or oils, but ^ " 
not in water. They also 
differ from gums in their 
mode of formation in plants 
thus, whilst true gums 
are apparently decomposition 
products of cellulose, resins 
appear to be elaborated by 
plants from certain constit- 
uents of the essential oils. 
It follows from this mode of 
formation that resins usually 
occur in plants associated 
with essential oils, thus 
" common rosin " occurs in 
special ducts in pine trees 
dissolved in oil of turpentine, 
and similarly fresh copal and 
dammar usually contain 
small quantities of the essen- 
tial oils from which they 
were probably originally 
formed. The resins of com- 
merce may conveniently be 
divided into four classes : — 
1. Varnish resins. These 
are usually hard substances 
containing either no essential 
oil or very small quantities of 
such volatile products. Ex- 

amDleS * CODal dammar San- From Stereograph Copyright, Underwood & Underwood, London and New York 

darac, mastic. 2.0leo-resins. the resin market, savannah, Georgia 


The World's Commercial Products 

Mixtures of essential oil and 
resin. These are usually vis- 
cous liquids or semi-solids. 
Examples : " Balsam of 
Copaiba," wood oil, elemi, 
Canada balsam. 3. Balsams 
and balsamic resins. These 
may be either liquids such as 
" balsam of Peru " or solids 
such as " benzoin." They 
contain either benzoic or 
cinnamic acid, and the pres- 
ence of one or both of these 
acids or their compounds 
confers on them their peculiar 
" balsamic " odour. These 
true " balsams " should be 
distinguished from such pro- 
ducts as copaiba and Canada 
" balsams," which are really 
oleo-resins. 4. Gum-resins. 
These are mixtures of true 
gums with resins and may 
also contain some essential 
oil. Examples : Myrrh and 


The copals are a class of 
hard resins used in the pre- 
paration of elastic varnishes 
suitable for outdoor use, as, 
for example, on railway 

They are derived from 
many different trees and are procured from several countries. They are always very hard, 
melt with difficulty, are usually insoluble in all solvents and are only convertible into 
varnishes by a preliminary process' of destructive "distillation. 

In all the localities in which, copal is produced, three qualities are generally put on the 
market : — 1. Fossil Copal, found in the ground usually in districts from which copal trees 
have entirely disappeared. 2. Semi-fossilised Copal, collected from the soil in the neighbour- 
hood vof living', copal trees. 3. Fresh Copal, found on • living trees either as the result of 
exudation through natural fissures'* or from "artificial incisions. Of these three kinds the first 
is of most value, " fresh copal " being of little value in European markets. 

East African Copals. These are also known in English commerce as " animi resins or 
gums." They are found "in a fossil condition in Zanzibar, Madagascar, and along the East 
African coast from the third to the tenth parallelof latitude. 

American Copals. These are collected in South America and probably originated from 
Hymenaea Courbaril, a tree closely related to that supposed to have produced the East African 
copals, which they resemble in character, though they are somewhat softer. 

Kauri or Cowrie Copal. This variety is produced wholly in New Zealand, whence enormous 

By permission of 

Zealand GoveriinuiU 



Gums and Resins 


quantities have been exported during the last sixty years. The resin originally exuded from 
the Kauri pine (Dammara Australis), forests of which still exist in New Zealand from which 
" fresh kauri " is collected to a small extent. 


Turpentines. By " turpentine " is usually understood in this country the familiar colour- 
less liquid used for many domestic purposes. This product is more accurately called " oil 
of turpentine " since it is produced by the distillation of the crude " turpentine," which exudes 
from pine trees. " Turpentine " is chiefly obtained from Pinus australis in the United States, 
Pinus pinaster (maritima) in the Gironde district of France, and Pinus sylvestris in Russia. 
In the United States preparations for the collection of " turpentine "•■ are made in winter. 
Three pocket-like cavities, each capable of holding about a quart, are cut in the trees at a 
distance of 6 to 12 inches above the ground. The " turpentine " which exudes from incisions 
periodically made in the tree accumulates in these cavities, and is ladled out from time to time 
by the collectors. Some of the turpentine dries on the trees ; this is scraped off and forms 
the material known in com- 
merce as ''common frank- p 
incense." The "turpentine" 
is then transported to central 
factories for distillation, the 
distillate being \ oil of 
turpentine " and the resi- 
due " common rosin " or 
" colophony." 


The operation of "tanning" 
consists in the conversion of 
hides and skins into leather. 
This change is effected by 
the use of certain vegetable 
products called tanning- 
materials, which contain a 
peculiar compound known 
as tannin, having the prop- 
erty of combining with the 
substance of hide and skin 
forming leather, thereby con- 
verting a material which 
readily decays into one which 
is proverbially resistant. 

Nature of Tanning 

Tannin occurs in all parts 
of plants, but it appears to 
be most secreted in those 
portions which are of rela- 
tively little use to the plant 
as a living agent, viz., the 



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bark of the stem or root, the 
rind or husk of the fruit, or 
the heart-wood, though in a 
few cases it occurs in large 
quantities in the living parts 
of plants, e.g., in the leaves 
and roots. 

As a general rule a part of 
a plant is unsuitable for use 
as a tanning agent unless it 
contains at least ten per cent, 
of tannin, though this alone 
is not sufficient to give a 
material value for this pur- 
pose ; it must in addition 
contain non-tannin extrac- 
tive matter, which is useful 
in producing what tanners 
call a " well-filled " leather. 
It must further be free from dark or undesirable colouring matters, as otherwise the value of 
the leather produced will be prejudiced by its colour, which should be at most a pale 
russet-brown. Though it is not customary to use tanning agents containing less than ten 
per cent, of tannin, a method has been devised for the utilisation of such materials as 
oak-wood and chestnut-wood, which contain only three or four per cent. This consists in 
extracting from these the whole of the soluble matter they contain and concentrating this 
extract till it solidifies. In this way " tanning extracts " containing as much as thirty 
per cent, of tannin may be obtained from oak-wood. 

This process, first devised in order to facilitate the exploitation of materials poor in tannin, 
has, during the last few years, been greatly extended until at the present time practically all 
important tanning materials can be bought in the form of extracts. At first the manufacture 
of these was confined to the industrial countries in which leather manufacture was principally 
carried on, but lately the tendency has grown to make these extracts where the tanning- 
materials are produced. In this way the exporter pays transport charges only on the material 
actually used by the tanner and can use the inert matter left after extraction as fuel and in 
other ways. 

Tanning Materials derived from Oaks 

t - 

Oak Bark. This was at one time practically the only tanning material used in the United 
Kingdom for heavy leathers, but of recent years its use, though still very large, has become 
more restricted owing to the fact that the bark is expensive as a tanning agent and cannot 
compete in price with many materials of exotic origin now available. Oak bark is a bye- 
product of the oak timber industry, and is only collected from felled trees. The trees are usually 
cut down from April to June, and the bark is at once detached, roughly cleaned from lichens, 
moss, etc., and dried. If is sold either in pieces about a yard long (" long rind bark "), or is 
chopped into. small pieces ("hatched bark"). English oak bark contains from twelve to 
fifteen per cent, of tannin, and is richest. when collected from trees from thirteen to twenty 
five years old. . A good deal of oak. bark is also obtained from Belgium, Holland, France, and 
Sweden }! the. Belgian -being considered the. best' of "these, imported varieties. 

Oak-wood. The heart- wood of the common oak contains from two to five per cent, of 
tannin, and is therefore unsuitable for use in the crude state. The sawdust, shavings, and waste 
pieces are, however, utilised, as already described, for the manufacture of "oak-wood extract," 

Tans and Dyes 




which contains from twenty -six to thirty per cent, of tannin. This is principally made in 
Hungary and Italy. 

Galls. These are excrescences produced on the gall oak (Quercus tinctoria) as the result of 
punctures made by the " gall insect." They contain forty to fifty per cent, of tannin, and are 
used principally in the manufacture of ink. 

Valonia. This consists of the acorn cups of the valonia oak {Quercus aegilops), which occurs 
widely distributed in Asia Minor and the Balkan Peninsula. The cups are picked by hand 
after the acorns have fallen and are simply dried in the sun. 

Valonia contains from twenty -five to thirty per cent, of tannin, and is used for the 
production of sole leather, for which purpose it has largely replaced oak bark in the 
United Kingdom. 

Tanning Materials obtained from Coniferous Trees 

A considerable number of coniferous trees yield barks suitable for use in tanning. In 
Scotland the bark of the larch (Larix Europaea) is employed ; it contains about nine per cent, 
of tannin, and is valued particularly for light leathers. Throughout Austria the bark of the 
Norwegian spruce is commonly made use of ; it contains about eleven per cent, of tannin, and 
yields a plump, nicely coloured, but rather poorly filled leather. Considerable quantities of 
tanning extract are now made from spruce bark in Austria for export. The same spruce grows 
commonly in the United Kingdom and in Scandinavia, but, curiously enough, in spite of the 
large supplies of the bark which must be available in Norway and Sweden, it is but little used 
in those countries. 

" Hemlock Bark.'''' This is obtained from the " hemlock " fir (Abies canadensis), a tree 
widely distributed in Canada and throughout the northern part of the United States, in which 
countries it forms the staple tanning material. The bark contains from seven to ten per 
cent, of tannin, and yields a plump, rather reddish leather. Hemlock bark is a bye-product 
of the timber industry, and as disafforestation is rapidly proceeding in the United States, the 
bark is becoming scarce. There are, however, large forests of hemlock fir in Canada, and there 
the bark is used in the local tanneries, but probably a much larger quantity is converted 
into " hemlock extract," which is imported into European countries and the United States. 
The Canadian extract contains from twenty-eight to thirty per cent, of tannin. 

Birch Barks 

These are also products 
which are fairly extensively 
used in several countries, but 
are too poor in tannin to be 
worth export. White birch 
bark (Betula alba) is collected 
and used to a small extent in 
Scotland and is employed on 
a considerable scale in Russia. 
The bark contains about ten 
per cent, of tannin and in 
addition a small quantity of 
a pleasant-smelling volatile 
oil, which is absorbed by 
hide. It is to the presence 
of this oil that the charac- 
teristic fragrant odour of 
" Russia " leather is due. oak apple galls 


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Birch bark produces a soft light-coloured leather specially suitable for the " uppers " of 
boots and shoes. 

Chestnut Bark and Wood 

The bark of the common chestnut (Castanea vulgaris) contains practically as much tannin 
as oak bark, but is rarely used for tanning purposes. The green wood contains from three 
to four per cent, of tannin, and, like oak-wood, is employed as a source of extract in France, 
Italy, and Austro-Hungary, where it is available in large quantities. 

" Chestnut extract " contains from thirty to forty per cent, of tannin, and furnishes 
a firm, tolerably heavy, but rather grayish leather, which darkens somewhat when kept. It is 

imported principally from Italy and Austro- 
Hungary, and largely used in the United 
Kingdom as one of the ingredients of a 
mixture employed in tanning sole leather. 

Willow Barks 
These are obtained as bye-products in 
the cultivation of willows to be used for 
basket-making. They are employed more 
especially in Denmark, Belgium, Holland, 
and France for tanning leather intended for 
the manufacture of gloves and similar 
articles. The barks of Salix arenaria and 
Salix Russeliana are most sought after for 
this purpose. They contain from eight to 
twelve per cent, of tannin, and yield a 
peculiarly soft, pliable, light-coloured leather. 

Wattle Barks 
These products, also known as mimosa 
barks, are obtained from a series of acacias 
indigenous to the southern parts of Australia, 
and now largely cultivated in Natal. The 
best Australian species are the " broad- 
leaved " or " golden " wattle of South 
Australia (Acacia pycnantha), the bark of 
which may contain as much as forty to 
fifty per cent, of tannin ; the " golden " 
wattle of New South Wales (A. longifolia) yielding bark containing twenty to twenty-five 
per cent, of tannin, A. mollissima (A. decurrens) and A. dealbata with barks containing from 
thirty-six to thirty -nine per cent, of tannin. 

Little attention has been paid in Australia to the cultivation of wattles, but in Natal it is 
done on a large scale, the species A. mollissima and A. dealbata being those most commonly 
grown. The seed is sown in May at distances of about twelve inches in furrows six to eight 
feet apart. When the young plants are well established they are thinned out to about six 
feet apart. Very little care, except weeding, is then required by the plantation until the 
plants are about three feet high, when the lower branches should be pruned off so that a 
straight even trunk from which the bark can be easily detached may be grown. Bark may be 
collected from the time the trees are five years old but the richest is obtained when they are 
about ten to twelve years old. It is collected in September or December in Natal, being 
then richest in tannin. After stripping it is merely dried in the sun, and either cut into small 




Tans and Dyes 


pieces or ground to a coarse powder. Wattle bark is largely used in the United Kingdom for 
tanning sole leather. It yields a firm, solid leather with a faint pink tint. 


This material consists of the dried husks of the pods of a leguminous tree, Ccesalpinia 
coriara, indigenous to 
Central America and 
cultivated in South 
America, and, on a 
small scale, in Java, 
India, and Australia. 
In preparing it for the 
market the pods are 
split open, and the 
husks, which are similar 
to those of an ordinary 
pea pod, are spread out 
in the sun until they 
become hard, brown, 
and dry. 


This well-known and 
valuable tanning mate- 
rial consists of the dried 
leaves of Rhus coriara, 
a shrub cultivated in 
Sicily and growing wild 
in Austria and the Bal- 
kans. The plant thrives 
on sunny slopes of dry, 
stony, and barren soil ; 
it is usually grown from 
shoots and develops 
rapidly. Plucking of 
the leaves may be com- 
menced in the second, 
but preferably in the 
third year, and after 
fifteen years' growth the 
shrubs cease to yield 
leaves rich in tannin and 
should be replaced. The 
leaves are usually dried 
and ground several times 
in stone mills to produce 
a fine powder for export, 
seven per cent, of tannin. 

Photo by Sir Harry Johnston, K.C.M.G., K.C.B. 


' By permission oj Messrs. Hutchinson 

Good Sicilian sumac contains from twenty-three to twenty- 
Sumac is used for the production of soft, light-coloured, mild 
leathers, and is almost indispensable at present for tanning such materials. It is also ver}' 
largely employed for improving the colour of leather tanned with cheaper, dark-coloured 
materials, such leather being usually given a final dressing in a hot sumac solution. 

24— C.P. 


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per cent. 

Canaigre or " Tanner V 

This product is one of the 
few roots used as a tanning 
material. The plant is a 
native of Mexico and the 
Southern parts of the United 
States, and is now exten- 
sively cultivated in those 
regions for the sake of its 
root. It is best grown 
from tubers, which should be 
planted out in the autumn, 
but may be also raised from 
seed. The roots are har- 
vested in the second year, 
and are cut into slices, which 
are dried in the sun or made 
into " canaigre extract." 
Good canaigre may contain 
from twenty-six to thirty 
of tannin, and yields a firm heavy leather of a bright orange colour. 

mangrove thicket 


This material, which owes its name to its exceptional hardness, quebracho being a corrup- 
tion of the Spanish word for " axe-breaker," consists of the wood of a South American tree, 
Quebrachia (Loxopterygium) Lorentzii. The tree is a fairly large one, and is grown on an 
enormous scale in the Argentine Republic. The wood contains about twenty per cent, of 
tannin, and yields a firm but rather reddish leather. 


This, one of the most important Indian tanning materials, especially for export purposes^ 
consists of the unripe fruits of Terminalia chebula or T. belcrica, trees which are common in 
India, especially in Madras and the Central Provinces. The fruits are collected when full 
grown but still unripe, and are prepared for the market merely by drying in the sun. 


This material is also known as " white catechu." It is an extract prepared from the leaves 
and branches of a climbing plant, Uncaria gambier, which grows in the East Indies, especially 
in Malaysia. For the production of gambier, the trees are cropped almost bare of twigs four- 
times a year from the. time when they are three years old, so long as they bear well. The 
twigs with the leaves are chopped small and extracted by being boiled with water in copper 
pans until a syrupy liquor is formed. This is strained and allowed to flow into tubs, m 
which it sets to a brownish-white, semi-crystalline solid, which while still soft is cut into' 
approximately one-inch cubes. 

Mangrove Bark 

''"/'The mangroves are an interesting group of trees, which inhabit the swampy foreshores of 
tropical countries where they form forests frequently of vast extent. The barks of all the 
mangroves appear to contain more or less tannin, but the species, which have so far been 

Tans and Dyes 


exploited principally are Rhizophora mangle, Rhizophora mucrunata, and Bruguiera gymnorhiza, 

yielding barks containing from forty to fifty per cent: of tannin. The bark is merely stripped 

from the stems and branches, broken up into small pieces, and dried in the sun, preferably 

under cover. When dry it is packed into bales weighing about one cwt. The manufacture 

of mangrove tanning extract, and " cutch " is carried on on a considerable scale in Borneo 

and some other East Indian islands. 


Mallet Bark 

This tanning material is derived from Eucalyptus occidentalis, and has been exported during 
the last few years on a large scale from South Australia. The bark, which is of medium thick- 
ness, is very hard and shows a cinnamon-brown colour ; it contains as a rule from thirty- 
five to forty-five and occasionally up to fifty per cent, of a readily soluble, yellow-brown 
tannin, which yields a firm, tough, light-brown leather. 


Dye-stuffs of vegetable origin have become almost a negligible quantity in the world's 
commerce since the introduction of the so-called " aniline dyes," and what was at one time an 
industry of great importance to many agricultural countries has now sunk to comparatively 
small proportions. 

The vegetable dye-stuffs owe their characteristic colouring powers to the presence of 
small quantities of highly coloured substances (dyes) secreted by the plants. In general 
the " dyes " are not readily retained by fabrics unless the latter are first treated with a 
mordant. This consists in steeping the fabric in a solution of a weak salt of one of the 
metals iron, chromium, aluminium, or tin. The steeped fabric is then dried and treated 
with a current of steam whereby a fine layer of metallic oxide is formed all over it, i.e., the 
fabric is " mordanted." If it is now placed in an infusion of the dye-stuff, the " dye " forms 
a coloured insoluble compound with the " mordant," which is resistant to light and cannot be 
washed out. The coloured compound formed with each metallic oxide used as a mordant 
is different, and by this means a considerable range of tints may be obtained from each dye-stuff. 


This blue dye-stuff is obtained from a number of indigo-bearing plants (Indigofera tinctoria, 
I. arrecta, etc.) cultivated in India, Java, 
and Natal. It does not occur naturally in 
the plants but is formed by a process of 
fermentation. Fresh plants, collected at 
the flowering period (late summer in India 
and Java), are thrown into large vats con- 
taining water, and are thoroughly broken 
up by means of sticks wielded by natives. 
By this means the soluble matter contained 
in the plant is dissolved out. The watery 
extract is drawn off into a second vat, 
where it is thoroughly churned up so as to 
expose it as much as possible to the air. 
This " churning " is accomplished in India 
usually by natives, who wade about in the 
vat and beat the liquid with sticks, though 
the more enterprising planters have adopted 
the Javanese method of agitation with a 
current of steam or compressed air. The 



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Photo by Sir Hatry Johnston, K.C.M.G., K.C.B. 

By permission of Messrs. Hutchinson 


liquid changes in colour from yellow to blue owing to the gradual production of the dye-stuff, 
which separates as a fine powder. When the action is complete the indigo is allowed to 
settle to the bottom, the water is run off and the dye-stuff collected, and while still wet and 
pasty made into little cubes." 

Indigo. as produced from plants is by no means a pure material. It contains even under 
the best conditions only eighty per cent, of pure indigo, or as it is technically called indigotin. 
The impurities present are water, mineral matter, indigo-red, and other substances. The 
purest natural indigo is that produced in Java. Indian indigos rank next in quality. 

This material, also known as " black catechu," as distinguished from " white catechu," 
or gambier was formerly prepared almost entirely in India from the heart- wood of Acacia 
catechu or Acacia suma, but recently several of the East Indian islands and the European 
Protectorates on"' the East Coast of Africa have commenced the preparation of a similar product 
from mangrove bark, which is known as " mangrove cutch." 


■ * ..... . 

Th,is material is the heart- wood of Haematoxylon campeachianum, a spreading tree of moderate 
size_ seldom exceeding forty feet in height, native to the Bay of Campeachy, Honduras, etc. It 
was introduced into Jamaica in 1715, and is now largely grown there. The principal producing 
countries in order of importance are Mexico, Hayti, San Domingo, Cuba, Honduras, Jamaica, 
and the smaller islands, Guadaloupe, St. Lucia, and Grenada. 

Tans and Dyes 


Brazil Wood, Lima Wood, (Peach Wood) Sappan Wood 
These materials, which all contain the same dye, " brazilin," are derived from a number 
of species of Caesalpinia ; thus Brazil wood is yielded by C. crista or C. brasiliensis, and is 
obtained principally from Brazil, Mexico, and Jamaica. Peach wood ! is derived from 
C. echinata in Mexico, and sappan wood from C. sappan, which is found in China, Japan, 
and the East Indies. The woods are applied in dyeing much in the same way as logwood, 
being as a rule first converted into extracts'. 

Camwood, Barwood, and Red Sanders (or Sandal) Wood 

These three red woods possess very similar tinctorial properties: Red sanders wood is 

derived from an Indian tree, Pterocarpus santalinus ; barwood from a West African tree, Baphia 

nitida, common in Sierra Leone ; and camwood is either identical with barwood or is'from a 

closely related tree. They are usually imported as coarse powders produced by rasping. 


Old Fustic 
This is obtained from Moms tinctoria, which occurs widely distributed in the East Indies, 
Central and Southern America, and the West Indies. The wood is hard, of a bright yellow 
colour, with a somewhat reddish tint, and comes into commerce in blocks weighing about 
one cwt. The best qualities come from Nicaragua, Cuba, and Jamaica, and medium kinds 
from Mexico and Venezuela. For dyeing purposes the wood is converted into extract by a 
process similar to that used with logwood. " Old fustic " contains two dyes, morin and 
maclnrin. It is principally used by the dyer for shading blacks and browns .as described 
under logwood. 

By permission of Messrs. W. Ransom & Sons, Hitch 



The World's Commercial Products 

Other well-known yellow dye-stuffs are Persian Berries, the unripe berries of a species of 
Rhamnus growing in Southern Europe, The Levant, Asia Minor, and Persia; Quercitron 
Bark, from a species of oak indigenous to the United States ; Weld ; Turmeric, which is 
largely grown in India; and Annatto, so widely cultivated in tropical countries. . 

Archil, Cudbear, and Litmus 

These three products are obtained from a number of different lichens imported from Ceylon 
and Mozambique, the most important being Roccella tinctoria and Lecanoria tinctoria, which 
possess the property of producing a violet-blue dye when exposed to the joint action of 
ammonia and air. For the preparation of archil the lichens are simply sprayed with a 
solution of ammonia and exposed to the air. When the dye is fully developed, the mass of 
lichens is extracted with water forming " archil liquor," or the latter may be evaporated 

to dryness forming 
■ "cudbear." If the 
treatment of the lichens 
with ammonia is long- 
continued and lime is 
eventually added to the 
mass .before extraction 
with water, the purple 
dye "litmus" is ob- 
tained. This is usually 
sold mixed with chalk 
or powdered gypsum. 
Archil is used in wool 
and silk dyeing to 
produce purple colours. 
Litmus is used in 
chemistry for the de- 
tection of acids and 
alkalis; its natural 
purple tint is changed 
to vivid red by acids 
and to deep blue by 

By permission of Messrs. John /akson & Co., West Croydon 



The descriptive term " volatile " serves to differentiate these products from the " fixed " 
oils, which do not evaporate on exposure to air. The older name " essential " indicates that 
they are " essences," i.e., the constituents to which the plants containing them owe their 
peculiar properties, thus, the characteristic aroma and flavour of the well-known spice, cinna- 
mon, are due to the essential oil it contains, and this oil, possessing in a far higher degree the 
aroma and taste characteristic of cinnamon can be extracted from the spice, leaving a material 
devoid of odour and flavour. 

Volatile oils are usually prepared by a process of distillation in steam. For this purpose 
the materia] to be operated upon is ground, placed in a copper still, covered with water, and 
allowed to stand for some hours. The still is then..heated so that the water boils, producing 
steam, which carries away in a state of vapour the volatile oil contained in the plant, and this 
mixture of steam and oil vapour passes into the condenser attached to the still, where it forms 
water with a layer of oil floating on it. When the whole of the available oil has been procured 
in this way it is skimmed off the water and filtered. 

H H . 3D 



The World's Commercial Products 



By permission of Messrs. Jjhn Jakson & Co., West Croydon 


In some cases distill a- 
tion cannot be resorted 
to as the application of 
heat destroys the valu- 
able odorous constitu- 
ents. Thus, in preparing 
lemon and similar oils 
obtained from the rinds 
of Citrus fruits a process 
of expression is made 
use of for the prepara- 
tion of the best qualities, 
and only the poorest 
kinds are obtained by 
distillation. The fruit 
is cut into halves or 
quarters, and the adher- 

H ing acid pulp removed. 

■ The portions of rind 

iMvk\X* ! > are t nen e it ner squeezed 

against a sponge held in 
the right hand of the 
operator or in the case 
of halves are pressed against it and rotated. In this way the small cells in which the essential 
oil is secreted are broken, and as the oil exudes it is absorbed by the sponge. When the latter 
becomes saturated the oil is squeezed out into a receptacle. In the West Indies, where lime 
oil is made on a large scale, the portions of rind are drawn across upright brass needles fixed 
in the bottom of a bowl, or the whole fruit is gently rolled over the points. The oil cells are 
thus pricked by the needles, and the oil flows out and accumulates at the bottom of the 
bowl. These "expression " and " pricking " processes do not remove the whole of the oil from 
the rind and the rest may be obtained by steam distillation, the distilled products being of 
inferior quality and selling at lower prices. 

When neither distillation nor "expression" processes are available, "enfleurage" methods 
are used, 'which consist in soaking the material in warm fat. From this the volatile oil is 
dissolved out -by pure spirits of wine. This process is used in the preparation of perfumes. 

The volatile oils are used as solvents, perfumes, flavouring agents, or drugs. It will be 
readily understood, therefore, that a considerable range of these products comes on the 
market ; attention can, therefore, only be directed to the few, which are of the first 

Oil of Turpentine. The manufacture of this material has been described previously. 
It is produced chiefly in the United States, France, Russia, and Austria, and is employed 
principally as a solvent for resins in the preparation of oil varnishes, and as a vehicle for 
pigments in oil paints. 

Volatile Oils used in Perfumery 

"Otto of Roses." This extremely valuable oil has been in use for centuries in the East 
as a perfume. It is produced for export almost exclusively at the present day in Bulgaria 
from. the petals of Rosa damascena, and though considerable quantities are made in Persia, 
India, and elsewhere, these kinds do not come into European commerce. " Rose water" is 
made chiefly in the South of France by the distillation of the petals of the "cabbage rose" 
(Rosa centifolia with water ; it consists of a solution of a small quantity of " otto " in water. 

Essential Oils 


Geranium Oil. This material is obtained by distilling the leaves of certain species of 
pelargonium cultivated in Spain, France, Algeria, and Reunion. 

Lemon Grass Oil. This is prepared in India from the grass of the same name (Anaropogon 
citratus). It has an intense lemon odour and is used for perfuming soaps. 

Lavender Oil. This is prepared by distillation from various lavender plants. In England 
Lavandula vera is cultivated largely in Surrey, Hertfordshire, Kent and Lincoln for this purpose. 

Oils obtained from Citrus species. These include the important oils procured from such 
well-known fruits as the orange, lemon, lime and bergamot, all produced by citrus trees. 
These oils are made chiefly in Sicily and Calabria (Southern Italy), though some of them are 
also obtained from the South of. France and the West Indies. They are, as already indicated, 
made by " expression " or " pricking " processes. The most important of them, as 
perfumery agents, are orange oil made from the rind of the "sweet orange, mandarin oil 
prepared from the peel of the mandarin orange, bergamot oil extracted from the bergamot 
fruit rind, and lime oil made chiefly in Montserrat and other West Indian islands from limes. 

Other oils of this species are Neroli, Ylang ylang, Patchouli. Opopanax, and Bay. 

Oils used as Flavouring Agents 

Lemon Oil. This is prepared principally in Sicily by the expression processes already 
described from the rind of the ordinary lemon. The chief centre of the trade is Messina. 

Essential Oil of Almonds is obtained from bitter almonds by grinding these with water and 
steam-distilling. The crude product is submitted to a chemical process of purification to get 
rid of the poisonous prussic acid it contains. 

By permission oj Messrs. W. Ransom & Sons, Hitchin 



The World's Commercial Products 

Juniper Oil is prepared by steam- 
distilling the berries of the juniper 
tree (Juniperus communis), and is 
largely made in the United Kingdom, 
Germany, and Hungary. It is used 
to some extent in medicine, but 
principally as a flavouring agent for 

Wormwood Oil is procured by the 
distillation of the wormwood herb 
(Artemisia absinthium) and is made 
chiefly in the United States, France, 
Spain, and Algeria. The oil is the 
flavouring ingredient of "absinthe" 

A large number of other oils used 
as flavouring agents are obtained by 
the distillation of such well-known 
species as cinnamon, cassia, pimento 
(allspice), coriander, caraway, nut- 
meg, mace, cardamoms, spearmint, 
angelica, and cloves, and are applied 
much in the same way as the spices 
from which they are derived. 

Volatile Oils used as Drugs 

Camphor. This material is 

procured from the oil obtained by 

the distillation of the wood of the 

camphor tree, which grows in China and Japan, more especially in the island of Formosa. The 

tree has also been planted in Ceylon and Florida, and small quantities of camphor are 

now produced in both these localities. 

Eucalyptus Oils. The large trade in eucalyptus oils is of comparatively recent growth, 
and is due almost entirely to the vogue these. products have acquired as deodorants, antiseptics, 
and curative agents generally. They are obtained from various species of Eucalyptus, and are 
produced principally from indigenous trees in Australia and from trees grown in plantations 
in Algeria and the United States. 

Peppermint Oil. This oil is obtained by the distillation of various species of peppermint, 
such as Mentha piperita and Mentha arvensis. 



Under* this title are included " fats " and "fixed oils." The distinction between "fats" 
and " fixed -oils " is merely one of degree, as " fats'" are reduced to an oily condition by heating. 
The "fixed oils" are entirely distinct from the "volatile" or "essential" oils. The latter differ 
in chemical, composition, and can be distilled without undergoing change, while the fixed oils 
are decomposed before they pass off as vapour. 

It will be convenient, to consider the oils under, the following headings :— (1) Drying Oils, 
(2) Semi-drying Oils, (3) Non-drying Oils, (4) Vegetable Fats or Tallows. 

In the class of drying oils linseed stands pre-eminent, and except in one or two applications 
no oil can be utilised in its place as a drying oil. The other oils in this group are used locally 

Vegetable Oils and Fats 


or without regard to their drying properties. In the class of semi-drying. oils, cotton seed and 
the different rape oils are the most important. Among the . non-drying oils olive occupies 
the first place, but ground or earth-nut oil is an important article of commerce. Palm oil is 
perhaps the most useful of the vegetable fats, while the fatty products of the coco-nut palm 
provide a valuable asset to the countries where the tree flourishes. 

The methods of obtaining the oil from the seeds or fruits depend partly upon their size, 
hardness and. other qualities, also upon the consistency of the oil and the use for which it is 
intended. There are two general methods adopted, (1) by expression, when the material is 
crushed in a press and the oil squeezed out ; (2) by extraction, when the oil is dissolved out 
by suitable solvents. The different modes of pressing out the oil vary greatly from the 
primitive methods employed by natives of West Africa, India and elsewhere, to the modern 
extensive equipments of Europe and America, as described for cotton seed- oil (see p. 368). 

The machines employed for cleaning and preparing vary with the raw material, e.g., cotton 
seed and earth nut require to be decorticated, linseed and rape-seed have to be screened and 
cleaned, coco-nuts are treated in a breaker or disintegrator. 

Previous to pressing, large seeds or bulky material are first reduced in an edge-runner seed 
mill, consisting of two vertical stones revolving in a circular trough ; the final grinding, or, in 
the case of small seeds, the only grinding, is performed in seed crushers. The crushers contain 
one or more series of rollers, that are 
grooved for breaking up palm kernels 
and ground nut, or smooth for the 
comminution of linseed or copra. 

The material is delivered from the 
crushers as meal and passes at once, 
or after a preliminary heating, to the 
cake-moulding machine. The heat- 
ing is carried out in large cylinders 
known as "kettles," through which 
steam pipes are led for warming the 
meal ; besides rendering the oil more 
fluid, the heating helps to break up 
the oil-containing cells. 

The cold or heated seed-meal 
is measured out automatically into 
press cloths, that are generally made 
of closely- woven cotton cloth encased 
in close horse-hair cloth, and receives 
a preliminary squeeze to mould the 
material. The moulds or " cakes " 
are next transferred to the press. 
The presses are the most important 
item in the installation, and vary 
very considerably, but are all worked 
by hydraulic power. In the open- 
plate process the cakes enclosed 
in the cloth covering are packed 
between press-plates of a flat or 
grooved pattern and piled in the 
press. Twelve or more cakes are 
pressed in one of these machines, 
and the oil exudes from the meal 

Photo by W. H. Johnson, Esq., F.L.S. 



The World's Commercial Products 



running down the sides, 
or is collected in grooves 
on the press - plates, 
whence it runs away 
to tanks situated below 
the press. Generally the 
cake is pressed a second 
and often a third time ; 
previous to each ex- 
pression the cakes are 
broken up in a cake- 
breaking machine or 
ground in the edge 
runner mill. 

As there is a danger 
of the cloths ripping, 
pan presses have been 
devised in which for the 
cloths are substituted 
circular iron boxes or 
pans. These are packed 
with meal, and between 
each there is inserted a 
circular plate with a conical edge. When subjected to pressure, the plates are forced down 
on the meal in the boxes, the oil escapes through holes in the inner lining of the boxes, and 
collects in a circular groove on the plates, whence it runs off to the tanks. These presses are 
closed and have the advantage that besides doing away with the cloths, the cakes are 
equally pressed throughout. 

Having described the general method of expression, the process of extraction may be 
shortly explained. In extraction the solvents used are principally petroleum ether and car- 
bon bisulphide. Petroleum ether is more dangerous on account of the greater inflammability 
of -the vapour, but carbon bisulphide produces noxious and poisonous fumes. 

The finely broken-up meal is put into a vessel that is closed down tightly and the ether 
or carbon bisulphide is introduced ; after passing over the meal and- taking up the oil, the 
solvent is transferred to a vessel heated by steam, and distilled off, leaving the oil below. 
The solvent is then condensed and returned to the storage cistern for further use. The 
oil, not being entirely free from solvent, is subjected to the action of direct steam or a water 
spray. The chief feature in : the extraction process is to arrange a plant that will work 
continuously until the oil is ready to be removed. 

The choice between expression and extraction depends greatly upon the use for which the 
oil or fat is required. For edible oils, such as olive, sesame, earth-nut, expression is necessary ; 
it is also advisable to express the oil when the cake is intended for feeding purposes. The 
danger of explosion is a deterrent to extraction, but. on the other hand, by extraction more oil 
can be obtained ; further, it is freer from mucilage and other impurities and the meal does 
not so readily become rancid. 

It is impossible within the space at disposal to enter into the methods of refining oils and 
f ats : . 


Linseed Oil. Linseed is obtained from the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum), also 
extremely valuable on account of its fibre, which is manufactured into linen. Russia is the 



The World's Commercial Products 

Photo by W. H. John 

only country from which both flax 
and linseed are produced on a 
commercial scale. In Europe the 
flax plant is grown chiefly for 
fibre. In other countries, notably 
in the United States, Argentine, 
Uruguay, and British India, which 
with Russia produce the bulk of the 
world's supply of linseed, the plant 
is grown almost exclusively for seed. 
The most interesting difference 
in variety exists between white- 
seeded and red-seeded forms, as 
recognised in India, although the 
statement is made that plants 
raised from white seed in certain 
soils produce — by reversion — red 
seed. The quality of oil from the 
white seed is generally reckoned 

It is found advantageous to 
keep the seed for a few months 
before it is pressed for oil. Sifting, 
screening and grinding between 
rapidly- revolving rollers are neces- 
sary operations preliminary to 
pressing. Hot -pressing is usually 
practised, although the best grades 
of linseed oil, serving occasionally, as in Russia, for edible purposes or for mixing with 
paint, are cold pressed. The mucilage contained in the seed-coats known as " foots " has 
to be separated from the expressed oil, this being effected by forcing the oil through filter 
presses. There is no objection to the extraction of oil from the seed, and in America naphtha 
has been used for the purpose. The linseed oil is run into percolators, holding about 1,000 
bushels of seed, where it is flooded with naphtha ; separation of the linseed oil and naphtha is 
produced in the ordinary way by distillation. 

The colour of linseed oil varies from a light to a brownish-yellow. The oil possesses an 
acrid taste and smell, soon becomes rancid on exposure to the air, and has the property 
of taking up oxygen from the air and drying to an elastic skin. This drying property is con- 
siderably increased by heating the oil with certain metallic salts, e.g., litharge, known as 
" driers," producing the so-called " boiled " linseed oil, although it is now known that a 
temperature of 65° C. is sufficient for the purpose. The principal uses of boiled linseed oil are 
for making paints and varnishes, in the preparation of printers' ink, and in the manufacture 
of linoleum. 

The following drying oils are also commercial : — - 

Candle-nut Oil derives its name from the custom of the natives in the South Sea Islands, 
who fix the seeds on bamboo and burn them as candles. The tree (Aleurites moluccana) is 
widely diffused throughout the Polynesian Islands and thence northwards to the Malay 
Peninsula. The oil dries about as rapidly as linseed and is suitable for varnishes, also for 
making soft soap. 

Tung or Wood Oil is a Chinese product obtained chiefly from the seeds of Aleurites cor data, 
a good-sized tree growing wild, and also planted along the roadsides in China and Japan. 


Vegetable Oils and Fats 


The cold-pressed oil of a pale yellow colour is known as " White " tung oil ; the hot-pressed, 
much darker, as " Black " tung oil. In China and Japan the oil is used as a preservative for 
coating timber, as a lubricant, and for illumination. 

Hemp Seed Oil is prepared from the fruits of Cannabis sativa, a plant of thenettle order. 
It is grown in Russia and Germany, in North America, in Egypt and other parts of Africa, 
also in Central Asia. The supply of seed for oil is principally European. The freshly prepared 
oil is greenish-yellow, with a peculiar taste and smell. 

Walnut Oil is obtained from the kernels of the common Walnut tree, Juglans regia. - The 
seeds give about forty to forty-five per cent., of oil. Walnut oil dries quicker than linseed, 
and is used as a medium for paints. Fresh cold-pressed oil is suitable for edible purposes. 

Maw or Poppy Oil is derived from the seeds of the Opium Poppy, Papaver somniferum, a 
herbaceous annual cultivated in India, Persia, Asia -Minor, and elsewhere for the sake of the 
opium extract. It is grown in the north of France and in Germany, where two varieties with 
black and white seeds are recognised ; the white yields the better oil, and the black is said to 
give a better return. Some of the oil pressed in the north of France is used for mixing with 
artists' paints and is sun- bleached by exposure in shallow troughs ; cold-pressed oil is also 
prepared as a table or cooking oil. The darker-coloured oil is used for burning or for conversion 
into soap. 

Safflower Oil is obtained from the seeds of Carthamus tinctorius, a plant belonging to 
the order Compositae, and is cultivated in India, Egypt, and China. 



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The fruits, showing some resemblance to small sunflower seeds have a hard exterior, within 
which lie the seeds containing about thirty per cent, of oil. 

Niger Seed Oil is expressed from the fruits of Guizotia abyssinica, an annual plant belong- 
ing to the Compositae order. It is cultivated to a considerable extent in British India, where 
it was introduced from Abyssinia or Egypt. 

Sunflower Oil. The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an American plant, probably 

indigenous to Mexico, that 
has passed into universal cul- 
tivation for the sake of its 
flowers. As an economic 
plant it has received most 
attention in southern Russia. 


• Cotton Seed Oil is a 
good type of semi-drying 
oil, neither useful for mixing 
with paints or varnishes, nor 
suitable' for lubrication. It 
has, however, come promin- 
ently into use as a salad or 
|T| iff*-- "ffiOg % ; ' i lli|gq|r r * l % $F ■%*- ' rjr* JmW-/ Mi w^&2k table oil, as a substitute for 

lard, and in the manufacture 

of oleo-margarine, while the 

cheaper qualities pass to the 

C^3I^ R^I."i ! ^HP t; i}/! $ ' } /* W^ $H^Fj^i soap factory. To Americans 

must be given the credit 
of recognising the inherent 
capabilities of the oil, and 
this, combined with the very 
large quantity of cotton 
grown -in the United States, 
has given that country a 
long lead in the production 
of cotton seed oil and allied 

So much care has been 
bestowed: in America on the 
treatment of cotton seed for 
the oil, hulls, and cake that 
an account of . the processes furnishes a s good instance of the intricate details of an oil mill. 
As the seed is ginned it is removed to* the mills where storage accommodation on a large scale 
5 is*provided. In-the large factories as much as 200 tons of seed'are pressed for oil in a day. 
Nearly all the work at these mills is performed" mechanically. The seed having arrived at 
the mill is raised to the top -of the store by ■bucket elevators into a screw "conveyor" that 
distributes it wherever available. As required, it drops into another distributor that transfers 
the r seed to the revolving " boll-screen," a cylinder perforated with holes sufficiently large to 
let the seed pass through, while bolls, fragments of stalk, and other large impurities are 
retained. From the boll-screen the seed passes to another revolving perforated screen, in 
which the smaller impurities, dust and sand, are separated. After this the cleaned seed is 

Photo by W. H. Johnson, Esq., F.L.S. 



25— CP 


The World's Commercial Products 

conveyed to the " linters," a type of 
saw-gin in which the saws are placed 
very close together, and here the 
short • lint, that would otherwise soak 
up the oil, is removed. The next 
process is the shelling of the seed, 
which is performed in the " hullers," 
composed of an outer cylinder and 
an inner drum, in both of which 
knives are set. The rapidly- revolv- 
ing knives break the shells and partly 
cut up the kernels or " meats." The 
mixture of hulls and meats is then 
conveyed to a revolving screen, 
through which the kernels pass while 
the hulls mostly remain behind, but 
a further separation is effected on an 
&m ItiM oscillating separator or '•shaker/' 

The hulls, owing to the persistent 
hairs, fall together in lumps and 
collect on top, while the meats fall 

The kernels or meats are crushed 
between heavy iron rollers and then 
carried .off to the heaters, steam- 
jacketed kettles, provided with 
stirrers to . keep the temperature 
even. From the kettles the meats 
are taken to:the "former," a machine 
that shapes the meats into cakes. 
The cakes, wrapped in hair cloths, are now packed into presses and. subjected to a pressure 
of from 3,000 to 4,000 lbs. to the square inch. The oil is squeezed, out and run off, while the 
cakes are pressed as hard as boards. The oil is pumped into a settling tank, where the 
impurities gradually subside to the bottom and theclear oil is drawn off above. "The settlings 
or " foots " are either passed through the press again or are' sold for soap manufacture. 

The oil-cake is, after the oil, the most important product obtained, and realises about one- 
fourth the price of oil. The value of oil-cake mixed with hulls as a food for fattening cattle 
has gradually been realised in the United States, but the bulk. of the oil-cake is still exported. 
Sesamum or Gingelly. The cultivation of Sesamum indicum, the plant yielding sesame 
oil, can be traced back to a remote antiquity. It is an erect growing herb somewhat similar 
to the Betony, with opposite leaves" and yellow or pinkish* flowers. • The "small flat seeds vary 
in colour from white to reddish-brown or black. ' The seeds contain about fifty per cent, 
of oil. 

India is the largest grower of Sesamum, or, as it is there called, " gingelly," and while some 
of the seed is expressed .in India,, the bulk is shipped to Marseilles. Gingelly is a bland oil, 
nearly colourless and without smell. . If carefully prepared it keeps sweet and is used in India 
for cooking purposes, for anointing, the body, for illumination, and in the manufacture of soap. 
Sesamum is also cultivated in Siam, Ghina, and Asia Minor, where the seeds are used to 
flavour bread -and cake. Palestine is said to produce the finest seed, which is exported from 
Jaffa. Marseilles is the great centre of the sesamum oil industry in Europe, but considerable 
shipments are made to Trieste and to German ports. In Europe the product of the first 


' Sir Harry Johnston, G.C.B., K.C.M.G. By permission of Messrs. Hutchinson & Co. 

Vegetable Oils and Fats 


expression forms a fine table oil that approaches most nearly tojpliye oil, for which it furnishes 
a substitute or adulterant. 

Rape Oils. It is convenient to include under this head the oils obtained from the v seeds 
of a number of plants belonging to the order Cruet ferae. In the narrowest acceptation of the 
word, the rape plant of Europe is Brassica campestns, var. rapus ; but no" distinction is made 
in this country between the product of this plant a.mlth.a.toi Brassica caiiipesiris which receives 
the name of colza oil in Germany, or Brassica rapa, to which the term " Rtibsen oil " is applied. 
The seeds of these three plants are very similar in shape and in colour, but as a rule colza seeds 
are larger and yield a greater proportion of oil." Rape is cultivated in France, Belgium; North 
Germany, Austria, Roumania, and Russia. In Europe a distinction is made between summer 
rape that is sown in spring and matures in five months, and winter rape that is sown in 
autumn and reaped the following summer ; winter rape is considered to yield better oil. The 
preparation of the seed for treatment consists in breaking down and crushing the seed, 
this being followed by pressing or extraction. The pressed cake is suitable for feeding cattle, 
the extracted cake is suitable for manure. Crude rape oil is dark-brown in colour, but is 
refined into a clear yellow oil that possesses a characteristic harsh, taste. 

Other semi-drying oils that find a commercial use are : — 

Kapok Oil, obtained from the seeds of Eriodendron anfractuosum, the Silk Cotton tree, 
cultivated for the " floss " that envelops the seeds. The oil, principally expressed from Java 
seed in Holland, approaches very closely in its properties to cotton seed , oil ; the better 
qualities serve for converting into butter substitutes, the poorer grades for soap-making. 

Maize Oil is manufactured chiefly in the United States of America from the germs of the 

Photo by W. H. Johnson, Esq., F.L.S. 



The World's Commercial Products 


maize grain (see pp. 51-2). These 
yield about thirty-five per cent, of 
a fairly thick, light yellow oil used 
for the same purposes as cotton 
seed oil. 


Olive Oil. The geographical 
distribution and characteristics of 
the olive tree (Olea europaea, have 
been described on p. 276. The 
olive flowers in North Africa, in 
Italy, and the South of Spain in 
March or April ; the fruits mature 
in about eight months, and the 
principal harvest falls in the 
months of December and January, 
or later. It is extremely impor- 
tant to gather the fruit when just 
ripe, as at this stage it contains 
the largest amount of oil, To 
obtain oil of the finest quality, not 
only should the olives be picked 
by hand, but the oil should be 
expressed within a day or two 
after picking. In addition to the 
oil contained in the fruit or 
pericarp, the seeds also contain a 
certain proportion of oil. 

The fruits are generally crushed 
entire in an edge-runner mill or in 
a roller mill, although the finest 
oil is obtained by crushing the 
flesh alone, when the fruit is 
reduced to a pulp or "marc." 
The marc is packed in circular 
baskets made of esparto grass, or 
in bags bound with horsehair 
bands. A press is filled with a 
number of these baskets or sacks 
separated by wooden or metal 
perforated plates, that equalise the pressure, while allowing the oil to pass through. The 
presses are of various kinds, some being hand-lever or screw presses, while the larger ones 
are hydraulic. In any case the first pressure is a light one, as thereby a pure, clean oil is 
obtained, known as " Virgin Oil." The product of a second expression is also suitable for 
edible purposes. The marc is then broken up and mixed with hot water before the next 
expression, and subsequently a residue of oil is sometimes extracted with such solvents as 
carbon bisulphide or sulphuric. ether. 

The expressed oil is sprayed to get rid of the mechanical impurities and to precipitate any 
matter in suspension, after which it is run into cisterns to allow of further separation and 

By permission of Messrs. Greenwood & Bailey, Ltd,. 


Vegetable Oils and Fats 


decantation. The fine sediment diffused through the oil falls to the bottom and the pure 
oil is drawn off from the top. It is still found necessary to filter the oil, and remove all traces 
of water before the oil is ready for consumption. Pure olive oil will keep for a long time, 
but when it is exposed to the air, if any water is present, fungi quickly develop and the oil turns 
rancid. The finest oil has a golden colour, tastes and smells slightly of the fruit, and is clear 
and limpid. Oil of a second quality is also designated " table oil." The oil subsequently 
obtained, known as "ordinary" or "common" oil, is thicker than the better quality oils, and 
has a yellowish or greenish tinge. Inferior grades are suitable for lubrication and for the 
manufacture of soap. The finest grades are supplied from the South of France and Italy. 
Spanish, Algerian, and Tunisian oils are of inferior quality. 

Earth or Ground Nut Oil. The leguminous plant {Arachis hypogaea), producing the 
fruit known by the names of earth nut, ground nut, monkey nut, and pindar, receives its name 
from the peculiar habit of ripening its fruit in the ground. There are two distinct types of the 
plant, the one with trailing stems that produces nuts from the flowers along the runners as well 
as near the root-stock, of which trie Mauritius is a common example. The other type of plant 
is more erect and the nuts arise almost entirely from the base. The varieties from Brazil, 
Pondicherry, West Africa, and Madagascar come under this type. 

The fruits consist of nar- 
row straw-coloured, wrinkled 
pods. The seeds are covered 
with a thin white, reddish or 
purple skin ; they have a 
slightly sweet nutty flavour 
and contain as much as 
thirty to fifty per cent, of 

The cultivation of ground 
nuts is at present fairly 
world-wide. In South 
America they are grown in 
the Argentine, Brazil, and 
Costa Rica ; they are exten- 
sively cultivated in the 
United States and eaten 
when parched. On the West 
Coast of Africa the crop is 
very important in Gambia 
and Senegal, and on the East 
Coast nuts are exported from 
Madagascar, Mozambique, 
and German East Africa. 
Pondicherry was formerly 
the centre of the Indian 
trade, but now the ship- 
ments from Madras are on a 
larger scale. 

In Europe the expression 
of oil follows the usual course. 
The nuts, after being shelled, 

are Cleaned by brushing and By permission of Messrs. Greenwood & Batley, Ltd. 

broken between rollers; they self-contained belt-driven edge stones 


The World's Commercial Products 

By permission of Messrs. Greenwood & Batley, Ltd. 

are subjected to the blast of a 
fan to winnow out the skins 
and packed in cloths for the 
press. The oil is pressed out 
once or twice in the cold before, 
the meal is heated. The cold- 
pressed oil is almost colourless, 
has an agreeable taste and 
smell, and serves as an edible 
oil. The oil obtained by hot 
expression is of a yellow colour 
and is used in the manufacture 
of soap. The residue is a valu- 
able oil-cake that is used for 
cattle-feeding purposes. 

Tea Seed Oil is a non- 
drying oil prepared in China 
and Japan, where it is used for 
cooking and for illumination, 
being derived from the seeds of 
Camellia sasangua or Camellia 

Castor Oil is obtained 
from the seeds of Ricinus 
communis, related to the 
Spurges, and most probably a 
native of North Africa, but now widely distributed throughout the tropics and the warmer 
temperate regions. It is cultivated in every continent, but the bulk of the world's supply 
is produced in India, about 70,000 tons of seed and nearly two million gallons of oil being 
annually available for export. In India a clear distinction is drawn between the commoner 
large-seeded variety and the small-seeded variety, the former sometimes grown as a perennial, 
the latter always treated as an annual. 

For medicine, as is generally known, cold-drawn oil is preferred. The fresh seeds, sifted 
and cleaned from dust and debris, are crushed between rollers and packed in gunny cloth, 
when they are lightly pressed to take the suitable brick form. The bricks, separated by iron 
plates, are placed in a screw or hydraulic press, and the oil is collected in pans. Water is added 
to the expressed oil, and the liquid is boiled until the water has evaporated ; by this means 
the albumen is solidified and the mucilage subsides to the bottom. The oil is then filtered and 
placed in cans for exportation. It. has a light straw colour. 

In addition to its value as a medicinal oil, castor oil was formerly used as an illuminant 
in India, but is now chiefly employed in the manufacture of Turkey-red oil, required in the 
dyeing and printing of cotton goods. ' The alizarine dyes, originally extracted from madder 
root, but now prepared synthetically, require to be dissolved in a neutral fat or oil, which 
besides dissolving the dye, must also penetrate the fabric. By treating castor oil with sulphuric 
acid a suitable solvent is found that receives the name of Turkey-red oil. Formerly olive oil 
was employed for the purpose, but it has been almost entirely replaced by castor oil. 


Palm Oil and Palm-kernel Oil. The well-known Oil Palm of the West Coast of Africa 
(Elaeis guin'eensis) furnishes two different oils— a bright yellow or red-coloured substance of a 
fatty consistence, palm oil, obtained from the fleshy outer covering of the fruits, and a white 
oil yielded by the kernels of the seed. 

Vegetable Oils and Fats 


The Oil Palm has a wide geographical range in West Africa, from the Gulf of Guinea to 
the south of Fernando Po. It flourishes in the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, and along 
the shores of the Central African lakes; also, supplies have lately been exported from the 
Philippine Islands. The palm reaches a height of thirty or more feet, and bears large "heads," 
each containing several hundred fruits. The fruits have a fleshy and fibrous outer layer of 
a bright orange-yellow or orange-red colour ; under this covering is a nut with' a very hard 
shell, which encloses the kernel. 

The preparation of palm oil is undertaken by the natives in the countries where the palm 
grows. To collect the fruits the native climbs up the palm and cuts off the fruit heads. 

The fruits, after a time, separate from the heads, are cleaned and put into iron or earthenware 
pots partially filled with water and boiled until they form an oily mass. This is transferred to 
a wooden trough, where it is left overnight to cool. At daybreak next morning, water having 
been added, men get into the trough and pound the oil out of the mass by treading it with their 
feet. The oil gradually rises to the surface and is skimmed off by women, who pass it through 
a sieve to remove the coarser impurities. It is then poured into a pot and boiled until the 
yellow-red oil rises to the surface (see p. 371). The oil is heated again to drive off any traces 
of water. 

Palm oil varies in colour ranging through all shades from orange-yellow in the " Lagos " 
varieties to a dirty red in the " Congo " oils. It has a somewhat sweetish taste and a charac- 
teristic odour. When fresh, it is a good edible fat and is extensively used as such by the natives, 
who greatly enjoy " palm oil chop," and to some extent by Europeans living in the country. 
Its chief commercial use in Europe is for the manufacture of soap and candles, and very large 
quantities are annually imported for this purpose. Another important application of the 
product is in the tin-plate industry, in which large quantities of " palm oil greases " are used 
for covering the 
surfaces of the 
iron plates to 
prevent oxida- 
tion previous to 
the tinning 

The oil ob- 
tained from the 
kernels of the 
nuts is known in 
the trade under 
the names of 
" Palm Nut 
Oil "and "Palm 
Kernel Oil." 
The nuts or 
"stones" freed 
from their oily 
fleshy outer 
layer are col- 
lected during 
the manufac- 
ture of palm oil, 
and the native 
worn en and 
children crack 

■ — n 


By permission of Messrs. Greenwood & Bailey, Ltd. 



The World's Commercial Products 

the nuts singly between two 
stones. The shells are thrown 
aside and the "palm kernels" 
collected either for the prepa- 
ration of the oil or for export 
to Europe. 

The bulk of the kernel oil 
used in Europe is prepared 
from imported kernels. The 
latter are screened to remove 
impurities and ground between 
rollers. The oil is expressed in 
hydraulic presses or extracted 
by the action of solvents, the 
expressed cake being used as 
a cattle food. Palm-kernel oil 
is white in colour, and in the 
fresh state has a pleasant smell 
and an agreeable nutty flavour. 
Coco-nut Oil. The Coco- 
nut Palm is the most useful 
and at the same time one of 
the most ornamental trees of 
the tropics. Ceylon is and has 
been for some time the prin- 
cipal producing country, and in 
addition to the very numerous 
small properties owned by natives, extensive groves have been planted by Europeans since 
1841. In India the presidency of Madras is the chief centre of production, notably along the 
Malabar and Coromandel Coasts. The native state of Travancore, with which Cochin is 
associated, exports copra, coco-nut oil, coir, and nuts. The tree flourishes also in Malaya and 
the Philippines. Coco -nut trees yield the most valuable production of the South Sea Islands, 
all the export being in the form of copra. From East Africa, the Seychelles, and Mauritius, 
in addition to the local consumption there is an export of copra and oil. In the West Indies 
and Brazil the, palm is largely cultivated to furnish the demand for nuts that exists in the 
United States ; Trinidad and Jamaica both export coco-nuts. 

The roughly triangular fruit, about the size of a man's head, is covered with a thick fibrous 
husk which yields coir (see p. 324), and within, a hard shell encloses one seed. The oil is 
obtained from the kernel of the ripe nuts, and may be expressed locally, or the kernel is cut into 
portions and dried, when it receives the name of copra (see p. 369). 

There are a large number of other vegetable fats or tallows that regularly or occasionally 
arrive on European markets. It is only possible to mention a few of these. 

Carapa Fat is a thick and colourless fat, melting about 24° C, that is derived from the 
seeds of species of Carapa, belonging to the order Meliaceae. Jarapa guyanensis, a lofty tree, 
grows in Brazil, Guiana and on the West Coast of Africa ; Carapa moluccensis is found on 
the coasts of India, Ceylon, and the Moluccas. The kernels yield from fifty to sixty per cent, 
of fat which is expressed in France and the United Kingdom for use in soap-making. 

Mahua Butter is derived from the seeds of Bassia latifolia, the " Mahua " tree of India, 
of the order Sapotaceae, grown widely in Central India. In Southern India Bassia longifolia 
takes its place. The seeds contain about fifty per cent, of fat. 

By permission of Messrs. Greenwood & Batley, Ltd. 


Vegetable Oils and Fats 


Phulwara Butter is the produce of an allied tree (Bassia butyracea), known as the Indian 
"Butter" tree. 

Shea Butter is obtained from the seeds of Butyrospermum Par kit, a large tree, allied to 
the Bassias, widely diffused through northern tropical Africa. The seeds yield about fifty 
per cent, of fat, having at ordinary temperatures a buttery consistency ; it'is greyish in colour,, 
and when fresh has a pleasant taste and smell. The seeds imported into Europe pass to candle 
and soap factories. 


A large number of vegetable products, although 
of themselves of little or no nutritive value, have 
been used by man from the earliest times to render 
ordinary articles of food more palatable. Such 
substances are known as spices and condiments, 
and, in addition to merely improving the flavour 
of the food, in a large number of cases they act as 
digestives, since, in coming into contact with the 
membranes of the digestive tract, they cause an 
increased secretion of the digestive fluids. ' 

Many condiments, such as salt, vinegar, and 
artificial compounds do not come within the 'scope 
of this article, which deals with the more important 
of the spices and condiments derived from plants. 


This well-known spice consists of the cured 
pods of one or more species of Vanilla, a genus of 
Orchidaceous plants, native to South America. 
The bulk of the vanilla of commerce is the product 
of Vanilla plant folia, a climbing plant indigenous 
to Mexico, but now cultivated in several parts of 
the tropics, notably in Java, Seychelles, Mauritius, 
and Ceylon. 

The methods of culture and preparation vary 
somewhat in different parts of the world, and the 
system adopted in Seychelles will be described. 

Vanilla was introduced into these islands in 
1866, probably from Reunion. The vines are trained 
over small trees, or on hardwood stakes connected 
at the top by crosspieces ; the most satisfactory 
method is to allow each plant a separate tree over 

which to climb. The supporting trees are planted about nine feet apart, those already standing 
on the estate being utilised as far as possible. The vanilla cuttings are planted at the foot of 
the trees, covered with a mulch of dead leaves and grass, and the free ends tied to the tree by 
strips of the leaf of the Screw Pine (Pandanus utilis). Their rapid growth soon enables the shoots 
to be trained through the forks of the branches to which they attach themselves by tendrils. 
At the end of eighteen months the plants are pruned in order to induce the formation of 
flowers on easily accessible branches. The checked branches, generally from four to six 
feet long, now hang down to within about a foot from the ground, and it is upon these 
branches that the flowers are chiefly formed. The fully developed pods are only formed 
after the flowers have been fertilised, and, in a state of nature, this very seldom happens 

pimento or allspice 


The World's Commercial Products 


owing to the peculiar form 
of the stigma rendering the 
transference of pollen a 
matter of great difficulty. 
On an estate, therefore, 
" pollination " is effected 
artificially by hand, the 
pollen being placed upon 
the stigma by means of a 
finely - pointed piece of 
bamboo. The flowers are 
not all pollinated, the 
actual number depending 
upon the size and condition 
of the vine. Generally 
speaking, about thirty pods 
per vine are allowed to 
mature, the flowers on the 
lower part and sides of the cluster being chosen, since they yield the best and most shapely 
pods. The pods reach their full size in about six weeks, and, when ripe turn slightly 
yellow. They are then picked from the vine, great care being exercised to avoid splitting 
or cracking the pods which would at once rank them as inferior grades. 

Before the pods are ready for the market as vanilla they are subjected to a curing 
process, during which their characteristic odour is developed. The aroma and flavour are 
chiefly due to the presence of a substance known as vanillin contained in a fluid which gradually 
permeates the whole fruit ; it further slowly accumulates as crystals on the outside of the cured 
pods. The pods are roughly divided into four classes according to size, and then, in batches 
of about four hundred, placed in a basket and plunged into hot water at about 190° F. for 
ten seconds. The process is repeated twice for slightly longer periods at intervals of half- 
a-minute, and, after the third dip, the pods are placed in boxes, lined with a blanket, to sweat ; 
the pods themselves are also covered with a blanket to retain the heat. By the next morning 
the pods have assumed a chocolate-brown colour, and are then placed on shelves in drying 
rooms maintained at a temperature of about 1 10° F. ; the slower the drying process the more 
perfect the curing. Well-cured pods should be much wrinkled, bending easily. When the 
curing is complete the pods are dried with pieces of flannel, and temporarily stored in boxes 
with tightly-fitting lids. They are then carefully sorted into different grades and finally 
bound up into bundles of about fifty each, and packed, with great care, for export. 

The cultivation of vanilla affords a good instance of a planting industry threatened by 
the advances of modern chemistry. Within recent years considerable quantities of " vanillin," 
or artificial vanilla, have been manufactured on the Continent, chiefly in Germany and France. 
Vanillin was discovered as early as. 1858, but its preparation upon a commercial scale did not 
rneet r jwith success until 1890, when the product was obtained from eugenol, the substance 
to which ." oil . of . cloves. " owes its characteristic odour. More recently vanillin has been 
prepared, from, sugar byr an electroLypic process. 

. • ■ ;.. .- v. . ,:......... 

. • -.. PEPPER; , 

Under the term " pepper " or "peppers " are included more than one spice, but the most 
important are the black and white- pepper so largely used as a condiment. ." Black pepper " 
consists 'of' the dried, unripe fruits of Piper nigrum, a perennial climbing shrub found native 
in the 'forests of Travancore -and Malabar in Southern India, and largely cultivated in Java, 
Sumatra, Borneo, the Philippines, Siam, and also in the West Indies. 

Spices and Condiments 


A large, proportion of the supplies come from the Malabar Coast. In planting pepper in 
this district, the jungle is cleared and planted with seeds of rice, cotton, castor oil, and other 
" catch " crops, and also with the seeds of Erythrina indica, the latter being a large tree sub- 
sequently used as a standard upon which the pepper vines are trained, and also as a shade 
tree. The catch crops are regularly harvested, but the Erythrina is left to grow for two years, 
when the poles are cut and planted out in regular rows. The pepper cuttings are then planted 
at the foot of the poles, which quickly take root and afford support and shade to the vines. 
Other trees used for a similar purpose are the Mango {Mangifera indica) and-the Jak (Artocarpus 
integri folia). In two or three years the pepper bears spikes of red berries which are carefully 
picked by hand, the men using light ladders to reach them. The berries are gathered before 
they are fully ripe, and after being separated from the stalk by rubbing with the hands or 
feet are spread on drying grounds (barbecues), where they become black and shrivelled. The 
product is then ready for the market. 

" White pepper " has exactly the same origin as black pepper, but the berries are allowed 
to become nearly ripe. They are then soaked in water, and the outer skin of the fruits removed 
by rubbing with the hands. i 

" Long pepper " consists of the unripe fruiting spike of Piper longum dried in the sun. 
The plant is a native of the Malay Archipelago, but is also cultivated in many parts of India. 

" Tailed peppers " or cubebs have been dealt with in the article on " Drugs." 

" Cayenne Pepper " : see " Chillies " in this article. 


Cloves are the unopened flower-buds of Eugenia caryophyllata, an evergreen tree reaching 
a height of twenty feet or more, and regarded by botanists as a native of the Moluccas. 
Supplies of the spice are chiefly obtained from Zanzibar and Pemba, but the best qualities 
are said to come from Penang and Amboyna. The clove is by far the most important 
agricultural product of Zanzibar and Pemba, where the trees flourish to perfection. They 
are raised from seed, the young seedlings being very carefully shaded and watered. When 
about six inches high the plants are gradually exposed to the full force of the sun and then 
planted out in regular rows at distances of about twenty-five feet. The clove tree begins to 
bear from the fifth to the seventh year. The picking of the young unopened flower-buds 
commences in August and 
lasts until about November, 
each tree being picked, on an 
average, three times a season. 
The stalks and buds are 
picked off by hand together, 
and thrown on to grass mats 
spread out on the ground. 
The curing process which 
follows is very simple ; the 
cloves are picked from the 
stalks (which are subse- 
quently used as a source of 
inferior qualities of clove oil), 
and spread out in the sun to 
dry, care being taken to place 
them under cover during the 
night to avoid the dews. 
The curing occupies about 
a week. pepper vines 

i &L* v ' 




ft** ¥ 

>v : "' 

■ . ■ <> 



The World's Commercial Products 


Zanzibar cloves are larger than the Pemba variety, and, unlike the latter, are not black 
but red in colour, being known in the trade as " Zanzibar red-heads." Cloves owe their valuable 
properties to the presence of a considerable quantity of the volatile oil, oil of cloves. » 

Nutmegs and Mace 

This valuable spice' consists of the dried kernels of the seeds oi-Myristica fragrans, a tree 
about twenty-five feet" high, in general habit somewhat resembling an orange tree. The flowers 
are of separate sexes, the trees being either male or female ; .the nutmegs are, of course, 
obtained only from the latter. The round or oval fruits, which closely resemble a small peach 
in size and shape, are at first green, but become yellow on ripening. The thick, fleshy outer 
covering gradually becomes dry and leathery, and separates into two valves from the apex 
exposing the scarlet " mace," a reticulate membrane covering a thin brown skin which encloses 
the true kernel or nutmeg. The latter, when cut across, is found to be yellowish, with 
dark-brown mottled veins due to the' infolding of the seed coat. 

Myristica fragrans is a native of the Malay Archipelago, and 'is abundant in the Banda 
Islands, whence, for a long' time, supplies were chiefly obtained. The industry, for many 
years, was a monopoly of the Dutch Government, but in addition to the plantations of Banda, 
Sumatra, and Java, numerous varieties are now cultivated in Penang, Singapore, Ceylon, and 
the West- Indies, especially 4rr "Grenada. The plants are raised from seed, and nine years. 
must elapse before the first crop can be gathered. It is only when they are six or seven 
years old that the female plants can be distinguished from the males, and of the latter only 
a few are allowed to remain for fertilisation purposes, the remainder being cut down to allow 

Spices and Condiments 


of the planting of new seeds. Since this method is very uncertain and involves a great 
loss of time, the modern practice is to graft a branch of a female tree on to all plants when 
two years old before the sexes can be distinguished. When ripe, the fruits are gathered 
by hand and the outer part discarded. The mace is carefully removed to avoid breakage, 
flattened out, and dried in the sun, when it loses its brilliant scarlet colour. It is well known 
as a valuable spice. The seeds are dried in ovens or in the sun for several weeks until the- 
kernels rattle in the thin outer seed coat. The latter is then broken and the kernels or nutmegs 
cleaned and packed for export. 

The " mild " or " long " nutmeg is much inferior to the true nutmeg • arid- is derived from 
a variety of M. fragrans, which is sometimes regarded as a distinct species, M. fatua. The 
Papua nutmeg is the kernel of M. argentea. There are several other so-called nutmegs which 
are of little or no use as a spice, the more important being the Calabash or Jamaica nutmeg 
(Monodora Myristica) ; the Brazilian nutmeg (Cryptocarya moschata) ; and the Californian 
nutmeg (Torreya Myristica), 


Ginger is prepared from the dried rhizomes of Zingiber officinale', a plant with : a somewhat 
reed-like habit found truly wild only in Asia, but now cultivated in many parts' of the tropics, 

By permission of Messrs. Peek Bros. & Winch, Ltd. 



The World's Commercial Products 


notably in South 
America, the West 
Indies, ' West Africa, 
and the warmer parts 
of Queensland. The 
finest qualities of the 
spice are probably 
obtained from China,, 
and the West Indian 
product is also justly 
famous for its quality. 
The methods of culti- 
vation and preparation 
are essentially the same 
in all parts of the 
world. In planting out, 
rhizomes of mature 
plants are cut up into 
short lengths, each pos- 
sessing at least one 
" bud," which are 
planted about two feet 
apart. The harvest commences when the leaves begin to wither, which usually takes place after 
about ten months. The rhizomes are then very carefully dug up, and the fibrous roots and 
adherent earth removed. From this point the treatment varies according to whether dried 
. or preserved ginger is required. Dried ginger is of two kinds, peeled and unpeeled, the 
latter being merely the cleaned rhizomes dried in the sun. In the preparation of the 
peeled variety, the cleaned rhizomes are thrown into water and then peeled with a narrow- 
bladed knife, care being taken to remove only the thinnest possible layer, since the essential 
oil and resin, to which ginger owes its pungent flavour, occur just beneath the skin or 
epidermis. After peeling, the ginger is again soaked in clean water to which chemicals are 
often added to improve the colour of the " roots." The ginger is then dried in the sun on a 
paved or cemented barbecue, the process occupying from six to eight days, when the product 
is ready for export. 

Preserved ginger is prepared chiefly in China. The washed rhizomes are put into boiling 
water, and, after being peeled, placed in earthenware vessels and a strong boiling solution 
of sugar poured over them. The syrup is drained off after twenty-four hours, and the process 
repeated for two days. The ginger is then taken out of the syrup and is ready for export, 
appearing on the market either dry or packed in jars. 

Allspice, Pimento 

Pimento or allspice consists of the dried unripe fruits of Pimenta officinalis, a beautiful tree 
about thirty feet high with a straight trunk much branched above, bearing abundance of dense, 
evergreen foliage. The plant is a native of the West Indies, Mexico, and South America, 
but the chief supplies of the spice are obtained from Jamaica, whence the name " Jamaica 
pepper " is derived. The fruits are spherical berries, which when ripe are smooth, shining, 
and of a black or dark purple colour. They are gathered when of full size, but while still 
green. A boy climbs into the tree, and, bending down the branches, snaps off the smaller ends 
leaving the fruits which fall to the ground to be gathered by women and children. The berries 
are removed by hand, and carefully cured on large paved barbecues, the process occupying 
from six to ten days. The spice consist of small, spherical, wrinkled fruits about the size 

Spices and Condiments 


of a pea, crowned with the remains of the calyx and style of the flowers. It possesses a 
very fragrant odour, and the name " Allspice " is derived from the fact that* the odour is 
regarded as resembling a combination of the fragrance of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmegs. 

Cinnamon and Cassia 

This spice is the bark of young shoots of Cinnamonum zeylanicum, a small evergreen tree 
indigenous to Ceylon and related to,; the camphor - tree, C. Camphor a. The. plant is also said 
to be a native of the Malabar Coast, 1 and -has been introduced into Java, Reunion, the Cape 
Verde Islands, Brazil, the West Indies, and Uganda. Cinnamon was -the most famous 
of the early exports of Ceylon, and, until 1833, was a Government monopoly. With the 
abolition of the monopoly the cultivation greatly increased, especially in the light, sandy 
soils near the south-east coasts. .At the present day about 40,000 acres are under cinnamon 
in Ceylon. '- • 

Left to itself, Cinnamonum zeylanicum would be a small tree, but in the plantations it 
is kept coppiced in order to induce the formation of : long willOwy shoots from 'which the 
bark may be obtained. The r * 

shoots are cut and trimmed 
with a knife, the small waste 
pieces resulting from the 
operation being known in 
the trade as " cinnamon 
chips." The bark is then 
slit longitudinally and re- 
moved in strips with a 
special knife. The strips 
are collected into bundles, 
which are piled in heaps to 
undergo a slight fermenta- 
tion, a process which facili- 
tates the next operation of 
removing the epidermis by 
scraping with a curved knife. 
The bark dries and contracts 
into the well-known "quills," 
which are bound into bundles. 
Cinnamon peelers are a 
separate caste among the 

The finest qualities of 
cinnamon are light yellowish- 
brown in colour, smooth, 
very thin, and, to a certain 
extent, pliable. Inferior 
grades are darker and thicker, 
with inferior fragrance. As is 
the case in most spices, the 
fragrance is due to the pres- 
ence in the bark of a volatile 
oil (" oil of cinnamon ") ; 
similar but inferior oils are 
obtained by distillation of nutmegs 

384 The World's Commercial Products 

the leaves and roots. " Cassia " of the ancients was probably derived from the bark of 
several species of Cinnamonum, but the cassia of modern commerce (" Chinese Cassia ") is 
the fragrant bark of C. Cassia (C. aromaticum), a plant growing abundantly in southern China, 
whence there is a large export. The bark is often used to adulterate true cinnamon. Saigon 
Cassia is regarded as superior to Chinese Cassia ; it is grown in French Indo-China. 


This spice, better known in India and the East than in Europe, consists of the seeds of 
two species of Elettaria, viz., E. Cardamonum, the Malabar cardamom, found in the moist 
forests of north Canara, Coorg, and Wynaad ; and E. major, the Ceylon cardamom, a variety 
of the first species. The plants have a reed-like habit and bear long, loose racemes of flowers 
succeeded by triangular capsules containing the seeds. 

The fruits, which vary from half-an-inch to two inches in length, are collected from wild 
plants and also from plantations, the latter being generally laid out in partially cleared 
forests in which the wild plants are known to occur. When about three years old the plants 
begin to bear. The capsules do not all ripen at the same time, and the harvest lasts for 
nearly three months. The capsules are gathered before they are ripe and then cured in 
the sun, after which the stalks and remains of the flowers are carefully removed by means 
of scissors. Cardamoms are exported in the capsules in order to prevent adulteration of 
the seeds. The seeds are small and irregularly angular, possessing a very delicate aroma. 
They were well known to the ancients, and are very largely used throughout the East as a 
condiment. They are employed to a small extent in Europe for flavouring sweetmeats. At the 
present time great interest is being taken in cardamom cultivation in Ceylon, and special efforts 
are being made to push the sale of the product in the markets of Australia and Europe. 

Several other varieties of Cardamom enter into the commerce of the East, but they are all 
inferior to those described above. 

> Chillies and Cayenne Pepper 

Chillies are the dried fruits of Capsicum minimum and C. frutescens, small erect shrubs 
with spreading branches. The former is the more important, and, although a native of India, 
it is now found in all parts of the tropics, being largely cultivated in East and Central Africa and 
in South America. The pointed, oblong fruits are about three-quarters of an inch in length, 
and of a bright scarlet colour, changing to orange-red on drying. They are used for pickling, 
and, when ground in a mill form " cayenne pepper." The pungent principle of the condiment 
exists chiefly in the partition dividing the fruit into two chambers. 


This popular condiment should consist, properly speaking, of the flour obtained by grinding 
the seeds of Brassica nigra (Black Mustard) and B. alba (White Mustard), plants belonging 
to the Crucifer family, and widely distributed in Europe and certain districts of North Africa 
and Asia. Much adulteration is practised, however, with starch, turmeric, and other sub- 
stances. The plants mentioned are largely cultivated in several parts of the Continent, and 
in the eastern counties of England. The finest mustard is obtained from the small reddish- 
brown seeds of B. nigra, the larger yellow seeds of B. alba yielding inferior qualities. When 
ripe the seeds are threshed from the plants, ground between rollers and pounded, the resulting 
flour being sifted into various grades. 

Brassica juncea, largely cultivated in India, is the source of " Indian" or " Brown" mustard. 


Achard's method for extracting 

sugar from Beetroot, 104 
Aconite, 334 
Alcohol, 244-246 
Alder, 301 
Allspice, 382-383 
Andaman Pedank, 312 
Archil, 358 
Areca Nut, 339, 400 
Arrowroot, 74 
Ash, 306 
Asparagus, 263 
Aubergine, 262 

Balsamic Resins, 343 

Baobab Tree, 326 

Barley, cultivation of, 21 ; varieties 
of, ibid. ; uses of, 22 
Illustration : — Drying Macaroni, 

Barns for Wheat, 16 

Bass Wood, 301 

Beccari, Dr., 75 

Beech, 304 

Beetroot Sugar, historical account 
of, 103-105 ; cultivation of, 105, 
106; By-products of, 110; 
manufacture of, 107, 110; Beet, 
Sugar, and Molasses, 112 
Illustrations : — Beetroots, 98, 
100 ; unloading a cargo of, 101 ; 
a Storehouse for, 102 ; trans- 
porting to the factory, 103 ; 
Diffusers in a Beet Sugar factory, 
104 ; transporting Beetroot pulp, 

Belladonna leaves, 337 

Benzoin, 201 

Beri-beri, 40 

Berlin, Decree of, 104 

Birch Barks, 350-351 

Black Rot, 241, 242 

Bonafous, 50 

Box Wood, 306 

Bordeaux, Wines of, 241 

Borecole, 261 

Botucatu Coffee, 181 

Bourbon Tea, 174 

Box Elder, 113 

Bread, 19 

Brinjal, 262 

Brussels Sprouts, 261 

Buckwheat, 63 ; not really a wheat, 
64 ; importance of, in Russia and 
the United States, ibid. 

Burgundy, Wines of, 241 

Cabbage, Common, 261 
— , Savoy, 261 


Cacao, origin of, 113; history of, 
114, 115; account of De 
Candolle, 115; Cacao-producing 
countries, 115, 116, 118 ; varieties 
of Cacao, 118, 120; Criollo 
varieties, 118; Forastero va- 
rieties, ibid. ; Classification of 
Sir Daniel Morris, 118; of Mr. 
R. H. Lock, ibid. ; cultivation 
of, 120-1 ; planting, 121 ; shad- 
ing, 122 ; Fruiting, ibid. ; Pick- 
ing, 124 ; Breaking, ibid. ; Fer- 
menting, 125, 126 ; Washing, 
126 ; Drying, 126, 127 ; Colouring 
and Polishing, 127 ; Packing and 
Shipment, 128 ; Cacao as a 
food-stuff, 128 ; composition of 
West Indian Beans, 129 ; high 
nutritive value of Cacao, ibid. ; 
two ways of separating fat from 
the beans, 130 ; Van Houten's 
method, ibid. ; an error to call 
Cacao soluble, 132 ; Cacao- 
butter, ibid. ; Chocolate, 133 ; 
Manufacture of Cacao and Cho- 
colate, 134 ; sorting and cleaning 
the raw beans, 135 ; roasting the 
beans, 135 ; breaking and shell- 
ing the beans, 135, 136, 138; 
grinding, 138, 140 ; preparation 
of chocolate powder, 140 ; varie- 
ties of chocolate and chocolate- 
coated sweets, 142 
Illustrations : — Cutting off fruit 
with knives, 113; Java, Digging 
out a canal for irrigation, 114; 
First crop of Cacao after five 
years, 115 ; Ceylon, peeling of the 
fruit, 116; Picking the Cacao 
Pods, 117; Varieties of, 118; 
A plantation in Surinam, 119 ; a 
Hill Cacao estate, Ceylon, 120 ; 
Surinam, young Cacao trees, 121 ; 
Nursery of Cacao seedlings, 
Ceylon, 122 ; Map of Cacao- 
producing countries, 123 ; Cacao 
fruit, 124 ; Surinam, young 
Cacao trees, 125 ; Shaded Cacao 
trees, 126 ; Gathering the fruit, 
127 ; Samaritan Estate, 128 ; 
Turning the beans, 129 ; " Danc- 
ing " Cacao beans in Trinidad, 
130 ; Ceylon, sifting the beans 
in a barn, 131 ; Surinam, a 
Sweating Barn (exterior), 132 ; 
Surinam, a Sweating Barn (in- 
terior), ibid. ; Carrying the beans 
to the barn, 133; Stone drying 
floor with movable roof, 134 ; 
Stone floor for drying Cacao 
beans in the open air, 135 ; 
Roasting Cacao in Van Houten's 
factory, 136 ; Mond Gas Plant 
in Messrs. Cadbury's Factory, 
137; The Packing Room, Bourn- 
ville, 138 ; Mond Gas Machinery 
House at Bournville, 139 ; 

Labelling Tins, 140 ; Making 
Boxes for transport, Van Hou- 
ten's Factory, 142 ; Milling De- 
partment of a Chocolate Factory, 

Caffeine, 197 

Californian Red Wood, 309 

Camphor, 362 

Canadian Red Cedar, 310 

Canaigre, 354 

Candle Nut Oil, 366, 367 

Capsicums, 263 

Carapa Fat, 376 

Cardamoms, 384 

Carrots, 263 

Cassava, 68 

Cassareep, 70 

Castor Oil, 374 

Cauliflower, The, 261 

Cedar, 306-308 

Celery, 263 

Cereals, General remarks on, 1, 2 

Chick Peas, 260 

Chicory, 198 

Chillies, 384 

Church, Professor, 60 

Coca Leaves, 338 

Coffee, Origin and importance of, 
174 ; Coffee Cultivation in 
Ceylon, 176 ; the Coffee Plant, 
176 ; Arabian and Liberian 
Coffee, 176, 178; Hybrico Coffee, 
178 ; difference between the 
Liberian and Arabian plant, 

180 ; attempt at artificial hybrid- 
isation, ibid. ; Grafting of Li- 
berian on Arabian Coffee, 180, 

181 ; other varieties of Coffee, 
181, 182 ; Maragopipe and Botu- 
catu varieties, 181 ; Experiments 
with Wild Congo and Sierra Leone 
Coffee, 181 ; Cultivation, 182 ; 
Propagation, 182, 184 ; Shade 
Trees, 185 ; Fruiting, 185, 186 ; 
Influence of difference in Cli 
mate, 186 ; Picking, 186, 188 ; 
Preparation for Market, 188, 189 ; 
Dry Method of Preparation, 189 ; 
Wet method of Preparation 
(pulping), 190-191 ; Fermenta- 
tion, Washing and Drying, 190 ; 
Peeling, 191 ; Sizing, 192 ; Prin- 
cipal Coffee-producing countries, 
192-196 ; Brazil, statistics of 
Coffee production in, 192 ; other 
South A merican countries (Boli- 
via, Venezuela, Guatemala), 192 

193 ; Coffee in W. Indies, 193. 

194 ; in Arabia and Dutch East 
Indies, 194 ; Coffee Production 
in the British Empire, 194-196 ; 
Coffee in India, 194-195 ; in 
Jamaica and British Central 
Africa, 195 ; in Ceylon, 196 ; 
Coffee Leaf Disease, 196 ; the 
Principal Coffee - consuming 
Countries, 196, 197 ; the active 



principle of Coffee, 197 ; Caffeine, 
197 ; Coffee Substitutes and 
Adulterants, 198 ; Chicory, ibid. ; 
Negro Coffee, ibid. 
Illustrations : — Coffee Plantation 
in Basoko, 174 ; Coffee Planta- 
tion with Interplanted young 
trees of Assam Rubber, 175 ; A 
Liberian Coffee Plant in flower, 
176 ; Map of the Coffee-producing 
Countries of the World, 177 ; 
Liberian Coffee, 178 ; Costa Rica, 
Coffee in Bloom, 179 ; Fruiting 
Branch of Arabian Coffee, 180 ; 
Nursery of Coffee Seedlings, 181 ; 
Java, Grafted Coffee Plants, 182 ; 
An Eastern Coffee Estate, 183 ; 
Queensland, Coffee Eighteen 
Months after . being planted 
out, 184 ; Liberian Coffee Plants 
three to four years old, 185; 
Liberian Coffee Cultivation in 
Surinam, 186 ; Straits Settle- 
ments, Coffee Plantations with 
Shade Trees and young Rubber 
Plants, 187 ; Java, Coffee in 
full Flower, 188 ; Open-air Dry- 
ing of Coffee in Nicaragua, 190 ; 
Java, stone coffee drying floors 
with moveable roofs, 191; Suri- 
nam, Drying Coffee, 192 ; Hulling 
Coffee in Java, 193 ; Sorting 
Coffee in Mexico, 194 ; The Last 
Examination before Shipment, 
195 ; Roasting Coffee, 196 ; 
Jamaica Coffee Trees, 197 
Colocynth, 338, 339 
Columbus, Christopher, 202 
Cook, Mr. O. F., 185 
Copals, 348 

Cotton, the most important of all 
the fibres, 327, 328 ; antiquity of 
cotton, 328 ; Cotton plant 
belongs botanically to the mal- 
low order, 330 ; description of 
the plant, ibid. ; Cotton-produc- 
ing Countries, 330, 331 ; varieties, 
331, 332 ; Upland Cottons, Indian 
Cottons, Sea Island Cotton, 331 ; 
Egyptian, Kidney, and other 
Cottons, 332 ; Cultivation, ibid. 
Illustrations : — Labolabo Cotton 
Farm, Gold Coast, 327 ; A 
Southern Cotton Plantation, 
U.S.A., 328 ; Map of the Cotton- 
producing Countries of the World, 
329 ; Shipping Cotton at New 
Orleans, 330 ; Cotton on the 
Wharf at New Orleans, 331 ; The 
Cotton Plant, 332 
Couch Grass, 4 
Cucumber, 262 
Cudbear, 358 
Cutch, 356 


Darwin, Charles, 50 

De Caftdolle, 50, 59, 60, 63, 114, 

115, 146 
Dematophora Necatrix, 238 
Dhuvia. See Guinea Corn 
Divi-Divi, 353 
Douglas Fir, 299 
Drake, Sir Francis, 203 

Drugs. Indian hemp, from which 
Bhang is prepared, 333 ; Rhubarb 
333, 334 ; Podophyllum Rhi- 
zome, 334 ; Aconite root, 334 ; 
Ipecacuanha Root, 336 ; Jalap, 
336, 337 ; Belladonna Leaves, 
337 ; Coca Leaves, 338 ; Senna 
Leaves, 338 ; Colocynth or 
Bitterapple, 338, 339 ; Nux 
Vomica, 339 ; Cola or Kola Nuts, 
ibid. ; Areca or Betel Nuts, 339- 
340 ; Barks and . Woods, 340- 
342 ; Cinchona Bark, 340 ; Prin- 
cipal Constituents of, 341 ; Cas- 
cara Sagrada, 341 ; Guiacum 
Wood, 341 ; Quassia Wood, 341 
342 ; Picrum Excelsa, 342 
Extracts, 342-343 ; Opium, 342 
Aloes, 342-343 

Illustrations : — Java, Govern- 
ment Quinine Plantation, 333 ; 
Drying and Packing Quinine, 
334 ; Drying Quinine, 335 ; 
Founding a Quinine Plantation, 
336 ; Young Plantation of Cin- 
chona Succirubra, 337 ; Alexan- 
drian Senna Leaves, 338 ; Aloes, 
339 ; Belladonna, 340 ; The 
Kola Tree, 341 ; Jalap Root, 
342; Aloes, 343. 

Dves. See under Tans. 

Earth or Ground Nut Oil. 373, 374 

Elm, 302 

Emmer. See Spelts. 

Essential Oils. Nature of Volatile 
Oils, 358 ; Method of Distillation, 
360 ; Oil of Turpentine, 360 ; 
Geranium Oil, Lemon Grass Oil, 
Lavender Oil, 361 ; Oils obtained 
from Citrus species, 361 ; Oils 
used as Flavouring Agents, 361 ; 
Essential Oil of Almonds, 361 ; 
Juniper Oil, Wormwood Oil, 362 ; 
Volatile Oils used as drugs, 
ibid. ; Camphor, Eucalyptus, 
Peppermint, ibid. 
Illustrations : — Cutting Pepper- 
mint, 357 ; Gathering Mint, 
358 ; Cutting Lavender, 359 ; 
Cutting Lavender, 360 ; Gathering 
Belladonna, 361 

Faham Tea, 174 

Fibres. Importance of the Culti- 
vation of Fibre-yielding Plants, 
312 ; History of, 313 ; Fabric 
Fibres, 313-320; Flax Cultiva- 
tion in, 313-315; Best Flax in 
Belgium, 314 ; Preparation, 314- 
315 ; Hemp, 316 ; Best Varieties, 
Creamy White, 316 ; Jute, two 
Species of, 316, 317 ; Grows best 
in damp, hot atmosphere, 307 ; 
Method of Plucking, 318 ; 
Racine, Rhea, China Grass, 318, 
319 ; True China Grass prepared 
by hand in China, 319 ; The 
Degumming Process, 319 ; Pine- 

apple Fibre, 320 ; Manila Hemp, 
320 ; Finest Grades a light bull 
colour, 321 ; Sisal Hemp, 321 ; 
Raspador Machines for Sepa- 
rating Fibre, 321 ; Agave Fibres, 
321-322 - r Phormium Fibre, 322 ; 
Bowstring Hemps, 322 ; Mauritius 
Hemp, 323 ; Coir, 324 ; Brush 
Fibres, 324 ; Borassus Fibre, 325; 
Paper-making Fibres, 325, 326 ; 
Papyrus, 326 ; Silks and Flosses, 
326-327 ; most important is 
Kapok, 327 ; Yachan Floss, 327 
Miscellaneous Fibres, 327 ; Tapor 
Cloth and Uganda Bark Cloth, 
327 ; Deccan Hemp, ibid. ; " Cuba 
Bast," ibid. 

Illustrations : — The Kapok Tree, 
312 ; Natives making Matting, 
Monteney, Mexico, 313 ; Carrying 
Hemp, 314 ; The Cultivation of 
Hemp, 315 ; Borassus Palm, 316 ; 
Making Rope in Manila, 317 ; 
Natives making Rope, Monteney, 
Mexico, 318 ; A Load of Manila 
Hemp at Cuba, 319 ; Portable 
Scutching Machine, 320 ; Coco- 
Nut Yucca, 321; Gathering Hemp, 
322 ; New Zealand Flax, 323 ; 
Scutching Machine, 324 ; Borassus 
Palms, 325 ; Giant Aloe, Bar- 
bados, 326 

Flax, 314, 315 

Flour, Manufacture of, 17 ; Differ- 
ent Kinds of, 18 

Foodstuffs, General Remarks on, 
1, 2 

Fruits. Annual Imports of Raw 
Fruits, 263 ; Orchard Fruits, 
264-266 ; The Apple, 264 ; The 
Pear, ibid. ; Imports of Pears, 
265-266 ; The Medlar, 266 ; Stone 
Fruits, 266-268 ; The Plum, 266 ; 
Prunes, ibid. ; Dawson, ibid. ; 
The Apricot, 267 ; The Peach, 

267 ; Cherries, 268 ; Small 
Fruits, 268, 269 ; Red Currants, 

268 ; The Gooseberry, 269 ; 
The Raspberry, the Mulberry, 
the Strawberry, ibid. ; Exotic 
Fruits, 270-278; The Common 
Orange, 270 ; The Seville or 
Bitter Orange, 270 ; The Berga- 
mot and Mandarin Oranges, 272 ; 
The Citron, 272 ; The Lemon, 
272-273 ; The Lime, Sweet Lime, 
Shaddock, 273 ; Bananas, 273, 

274 ; The Grape, importance of, 

275 ; Raisins, 275 ; Dates and 
Figs, 275 ; The Pineapple, 275- 

276 ; Mango, Olives, and Pome- 
granate, 276 ; The Soursop, 
Avocado Pear, the Papaw, 
Litchis, Almonds, 277 ; Sweet 
Chestnuts, Coco-Nuts, 278 ; 
Hazel Nuts, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, 
Hickory Nuts, Ground Nuts, 
Cashew Nuts, 278 
Illustrations : — The Melon, 263 ; 
Growing Pineapples, 264 ; The 
Mango Tree, 265 ; Custard Apple, 
266 ; Mysore, a Gigantic Mango 
Tree, 267 ; Jamaica, a Typical 
Pinery, 268 ; The Guava Fruit. 
269 ; A Fruit Ranche at Los An- 
gelos, 270 ; A Southern Californian 



Orange Tree, 271 ; The Mango 
Fruit, 272 ; An Orange Cluster, 

273 ; Young Apple Tree at 
Canadian Government Farm 

274 ; The Cashew Fruit, 275 
Jamaica, Banana Higglers, 276 
The Shaddock Grape Fruit, 277 
Papaw, 278 

Fungicide, 243 

Gambikr, 354 . 

Grape Vine, The. History of the 
Grape, 230-31 ; Finest Vineyards 
to be found in Europe, 231 ; 
Extensive Vineyards in South 
America, ibid. ; Wine-making 
Countries of Africa, 232 ; De- 
■ scription of the Vine and its 
Varieties, 232, 234 ; Planting a 
Vineyard, 234, 235 ; Importance 
of Pruning and Efficient Weed- 
ing, 235 ; The Enemies of the 
Grape Vine, 235-238 ; Phylloxera 
Vastatrix and its Ravages, 236- 
237 ; Preventions against Attack, 
237 ; Oidium Tuckeri, 237 ; 
Black Rot, 238 ; Athracnose of 
the Vine, 238 ; Peronospora 
Viticola and Dematophora Neca- 
trix, 238 ; The Harvest, 238- 
240 ; Raisins, 239 ; Raisins in 
Africa and America, ibid. ; Differ- 
ent Methods of Drying the 
Grapes, 239, 240 ; Wine-making, 
240-246 ; Pressing and Ferment- 
ation, 240 ; Varieties of Red 
Wine, 240-241 ; The Famous 
Wines of Burgundy and Bor- 
deaux, 241 ; Two Methods of 
Production, 241 ; White Wines, 
241-242; Pale Wines, 242; 
Wines from Raisins, ibid. ; Care 
in Cooking, 242, 243 ; Champagne 
243 ; Method of Making, 243, 

' 244 ; Distillation of Alcohol, 
244, 246 ; Viticulture in the 
British Empire, 246, 254 ; Pro- 
duction of Wine in the British 
Empire, Statistics of, 248 ; Viti- 
culture in the Cape of Good Hope, 
248, 256 ; Flourishing Condition 
of Wine Trade in the Early 
Nineteenth Century, 250 ; Car- 
ried on to-day in the western 
part of the Colony, 251 ; Austra- 
lian Wine-producing, 252-253 ; 
in Victoria, 253 ; New South 
Wales, 253-254 

Illustrations : — An Australian 
Vineyard, 230 ; An American 
Vine Growing in Sicily, 231 ; 
Pumping Water for Irrigation 
in Portugal, 232 ; Gathering the 
Fruit in Portugal, 233 ; Gathering 
the Grapes, 234 ; The Grape 
Harvest, 235 ; Fruitful Vines, 
236 ; Phylloxera, Illustrations of, 
237-238 ; Root System Attacked 
by Phylloxera, 239 ; Oidium 
Attacking the Grapes, 240 ; 
Vine attacked by Oidium, 241 ; 
Leaf affected with Black Rot, 
242 ; Spraying Vines with Fungi- 
cide, 243 ; Grapes Attacked by 

Mildew, 244 ; Leaf of Vine 
Attacked by Phylloxera, 244 ; 
Treading the Grapes in Greece, 
245 ; Waggon for Transporting 
the Grapes, 246 ; Spreading 
Currants to Dry, 246 ; Map of 
the Wine-producing Countries of 
the World, 247 ; A Primitive 
Wine-press, 248 ; An Australian 
Cooperage, 249 ; A Storage 
Cellar at Oporto, ibid. ; A Port- 
able Wine Press, 250 ; An 
Underground Wine Cellar, 251 ; 
Manufacture of Brandy, 252 ; 
A Cooper's Workshop, 253 

Green Grain, 260 

Greenheart, 312 

Green Teas, 154, 157, 171 

Guinea Corn, or Sorghum, an 
extensively Cultivated Cereal, 61; 
in Africa known as Kaffir Corn, 
in Egypt as " Dhurra," ibid. ; 
not to be Confused with Guinea 
Grass, ibid. ; Three Divisions of 
the Sorghums, 62 ; largely used 
in India, Africa, and China 

Guinea Grass, 61 

Gums. True Gums, Varnish Re- 
sins, Gum Resins, Dried Plant 
Juices, 343 ; Nature of Gums, 
344 ; Gum Arabic, ibid. ; Turkey 
or Sudan Gum, 344, 345 ; Three 
Kinds of, 345 ; Hashab, 345, 
346 ; Senegal Gum, 346 ; Wattle 
Gums, 347 ; Indian Gums, ibid. ; 
Resins, 347-349 ; Gum Copal, 
Gum Dammar, 347 ; Varnish 
Resins, ibid. ; 347, 348 ; Copals, 
348 ; Turpentines, 349 
Illustrations : — Pine Trees, 344 ; 
Gathering Crude Turpentine, 345; 
Distilling Turpentine, 346 ; The 
Resin Market, Savannah, 347 ; 
A Kauri Tree, 348 


Hart, J. H., 120, 121 
Hashab, 345, 346 
Hemlock, 301 
— Bark, 351 
Hemp, Indian, 337 
— , Manila, 320, 321 
— , Sisal, 321 
Hoadley, Mr., 127 
Holly, 305 
Hulett, Sir J. L., 164 
Hybrico Coffee, 178 

im Thurn, Sir E. F., 68 
Indian Gums, 347 
Ipecacuanha Root, 336 


Jalap,. 336, 337 
Jarrah Wood, 312 
Job's Tears, 63 
Jute, 316 


Kapok, 327 

— Oil, 371 

Karri, 312 

Kauri Tree, 299 

Knapp, Dr. S. A., 42 

Kola, 339 

Korakan or Ragi, 62 

Lablab, 260 
Lane, Ralph, 203 
Lehmann, J. M., 133 
Lentils, 260 
Lignum Vitae, 312 
Lilly,- William, 203 
Linseed Oil, 364, 365 
Litmus, 358 
Lock, R. H., 118 


Macaroni, 18, 19 

Mahogany, 310 

Maize. Origin of Plant, 50 ; Intro- 
duction into Europe and Wide- 
spread Cultivation of the Plant, 
ibid. ; Importance of the Food 
in Italy, ibid. ; A Valuable Food 
for both Man and Beast, 51 ; 
Maize Bread, ibid. ; Maize 
Starch, ibid. ; Used for a Coarse 
Paper, ibid. ; Inner Leaves used 
for Cigarette Papers, 52 ; Culti- 
vated by the Natives of Africa, 
52 ; Its Height, ibid. ; Leaves 
Vary in Length, ibid. ; a Very 
Variable Plant, ibid. ; United 
States the most important Maize- 
growing Country, 54 ; Large 
Cultivation in the State of 
Kansas, ibid. 

Illustrations : — Primitive Buffalo 
Plough, 50 ; Breaking up the 
Soil, ibid. ; Reaping Maize in 
Italy, 51 ; Kaffir Women Grind- 
ing Maize, 52 ; Portugal, 
Stripping the Cobs with Thresh- 
ing Flails, 53 ; Measure used in 
India for Maize, 54 ; Reaping 
Machine, ibid. ; A Good Maize 
Year, 55 ; Packing Maize in Bags 
for Export, 56 ; Persia, a Maize 
Barn, 57 ; Grinding Maize, 58 ; 
Stripping the Cobs in Naples, 59 ; 
Threshing Maize Cobs, 80 ; S. 
Africa, Mechanical Sowing of 
Maize, 60 ; Binding the Stems 
into Sheaves, 61 ; Tilling the 
Soil, ibid. ; A Small Farm in S. 
America, ibid. ; In the Large 
Fields of Kansas, 62 ; Maize 
Grown as a Catch Crop in 
Barbados, 65 

Mallet Bark, 355 

Malt, 22 

Mangel Wurzel, 262 

Maples, 113, 304 

Marggraf's Method for Beet Sugar, 
103 104 

Marogopipe Coffee, 181 

Megass, 100 

Milan, Decree of, 104 



Mangroves, 354, 355 

Millets, 59-64 ; then- Importance 
as a Regular Article of Food, 59 ; 
Italian and Hungarian Millet, 
ibid. ; the Fine Millet Plants 
sown by the Emperor of China 
annually, ibid. ; Barnyard Mil- 
lets, 60 ; this Variety in Japan, 
ibid. ; Common Millet, ibid. ; its 
Antiquity, ibid. ; Grown exten- 
sively in the • Mediterranean 
region, ibid. ; Introduction into 
America, 61 ; Three Varieties, 

Illustrations : — Near- Pekin; A 
Millet Field, 64 ; Chinamen 
Threshing Millet, ibid. 

Molasses, 98, 100, 101 

Molascuit, 100 

Mora Wood, 312 


Napoleon I, 104 

Naudet Patent Process, 92-100 

Niger Seed Oil, 368 

Negro Coffee, 198 

Neiner, 206 

Norfolk or Four Course Rotation, 8 

New South Wales, Viticulture of, 

253, 254 
Nutmegs, 380, 381 . . . 
Nux Vomica, 340 

Oak, 302 

Oak Bark, 350 

Oak Leaves, 326 

Oak Wood, 350 

Oatmeal, 26 

Oats, 24, 26 

Oidium Tucked, 237 

Oils and Fats, Vegetable. See 

under Vegetable 
Onion, 262 
Old Fustic, 357 
Olive Oil, 372 

Paddy, 31, 40 

Palm Oil, 374, 376 

Papyrus, 326 

Parsnips, 263 

Pea, Cow, 260 

Pearl Millet, 63 

Peronospora Viticola, 238 

Phylloxera Vastatrix, 236, 237 

Pigeon Pea, 260 

Pitch Pine, 293 

Polish Wheat. See Wheat 

Polut, 31 

Poplar, 305 

Portugal Cabbage, 261 

Potatoes. Potato Starch, 65, 66, 

68 • 
Poudre de Riz, 44 
Preuss, Dr., 118 


Quebracho, 354 


Raggi, 46 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 203 

Reaping Machines, 10, 11 

Rice, Importance of as a Food, 27 ; 
History of the Plant, 27, 28 ; 
Asia Grows most, ibid. ; in 
Australasia, 30 ; in America, 
ibid. ; Description of the Plant, 
30,. 31 ; Varieties of, 31 ; Two 
Main Branches, ibid. ; Cultiva- 
tion, 31-32 ; Flourishing Condi- 
tion of, in Ceylon, 33 ; Necessity 
for Irrigation, 33, 34 ; Methods 
of in China and Java, ibid. ; 
Importance of Rice in China, 36 ; 
Cultivation of, 36, 37 ; Mode of 
Cultivation in the East, 36, 37 ; 
Methods in United States, 38, 

39 ; Harvesting of Rice, 39, 40 ; 
Paddy, 40 ; Beri-beri, ibid. ; 
Methods of Threshing, ibid. ; 
Native Machines, 41, 42 ; Com- 
mercial Milling, 42 ; Use of, 43 ; 
Alcohol from Rice, 45-46 ; Raggi, 
ibid. ;. Wild Rice, 46, 47 ; Descrip- 
tion and Cultivation of, 47, 48 
Illustrations : — Destruction of the 
Forest to make room for Rice, 
27 ; Sowing the- Sprouted Rice in 
Siam, 28 ; Rice Fields, . 29 ; 
Ceylon, Elephant Drawing a Rice 
Plough, 30 ; An Irrigation Pump 
Worked by the Feet, 31 ; A 
Simple Method of Irrigating a 
Rice Field in Siam, 32 ; Planting 
out the Young Rice Plants, 33 ; 
Hoeing Rice in Japan, 34 ; 
Steam Thresher at Work in a 
Texas Rice Field, 35 ; Harrowing 
in Java to get rid of the Weeds, 

36 ; Winnowing Paddy in Ceylon, 

37 ; The Japanese Use a Peculiar 
Fan to Winnow Paddy, 38 ; 
Husking Rice at Bangkok, 39 ; 
Winnowing Machine in Japan, 

40 ; A Native Rice Barn in 
Sumatra, 41 ; Preparing Rice in 
the Philippines, 42 ; Cleaning Rice 
at Manila, 43 ; Children Pound- 
ing Rice in India, 43 ; Division 
of Labour in British India, 44 ; 
Pounding Rice, a Sumatran 
Village Scene, 45 ; Japan, Making 
Use of the Bamboo to Lighten 
the Labour of Husking Rice, 46 ; 
A Japanese Machine for Pounding 
Rice, 47 ; Japan, A Barrel of 
Sake Wrapped in Rice Straw, 48 ; 
Japan, Making up Rice in Bales, 
48 ; Map of the Rice-producing 
Countries of the World, 49 

Resins. See under Gums 

Rhubarb, 333 

Rice Starch, 74 

Rosewood, 311 

Rubber. Rubber obtained from 
various Plants, 278/; Commercial 
Rubbers, 278 ; Para Rubber, 
280 ; Hevea Brasiliensis Trees, 
280, 281 ; Collection of Wild 
Rubber, 281 ; Plantation of 
Para Rubber, 281, 282; Planta- 
tion in Ceylon, 282 J Tapping, 
284-286 ; V-shaped Incisions, 

284 ; Spiral Method of Tapping, 

285 ; Tapping Knives and 
Prickers, 286 ; Sheet, Crepe, 
Worm, and Lace Rubbers, 287 ; 
Central American, Castilloa, or 
Panama Rubber, 287 ; The Plant 
Longest Known to Science, ibid. ; 
Native names for it, 288 ; Thrives 
best in deep, loamy Soil, 288 ; 
Cultivation of Castilloa in Tobago, 
289 ; Advice as to Tapping, 289, 

290 ; Assam Rubber, 291-292 ; 
Variable Yield of Rubber from, 
292 ; Lagos Silk Rubber, 293, 294 ; 
Ceara Rubber, 294 ; Laudolphia 
Rubbers, 295 ; Different Species 
of, 295, 296 ; Collection, 296 ; 
Guayule Rubber, 296, 297 
Illustrations : — Group of young 
Hevea Brasiliensis Trees, 279 ; 
Rubber Trees twenty years old, 
280 ; Tapping according to the 
" Direct Oblique " Method, 281 ; 

astilloa Elastica, 282 ; Ficus 
Elastica and its Aerial Roots, 
283 ; Old Trees which have been 
Tapped by the Single-incision 
Method, 284 ; Group of Hevea 
Brasiliensis, 285 ; Malay Penin- 
sula, Ficus Elastica, 286 ; Ficus 
Elastica, showing Roots Feeding 
on Dead Wood, 287 ; Near View 
of Hevea Brasiliensis, 288; The 
" Reversed Oblique " System ; 
Ficus Elastica with V-shaped 
Cuts, 290 ; . Map of the Rubber- 
producing Countries of the World, 

291 ; Rolling Rubber, 292 ; 
Ancient Para Tree, East Ceylon, 
293 ; Tree Recovering after 
Tapping, 294 ; " Half Herring- 
Bone " System, 295 ; Ficus 
Elastica, showing tangled growth, 

Rum, Manufacture of, 101 
Rye, 22, 24 

Sanwa, 61 

Scarlet Runners, 260, 261 

Semolina, 18 

Senna, 338 

Shama, 61 

Siloes, 17 

Sorghum. See Guinea Corn 

Spelts, 4, 5 ; 

Spices and Condiments. Value of 
Spices, 377 ; Vanilla, 377, 378 
Methods of Culture, 377 ; Pack- 
ing, etc., 378 ; Pepper, 378, 379 
Varieties of Pepper, 379 ; Cloves 
Origin of, 379 f Zanzibar Cloves 

380 ; Nutmegs and Mace, 380 

381 ; Ginger, 381, 382; Allspice 
or Pimento, 382 ; Cinnamon and 
Cassia, 383 ; Varieties of, 384 ; 
Cardamoms, 384 ; Chillies, 384 ; 
Mustard, 384 

Illustrations : — Allspice, 377 ; a 
Vanilla Vine, 378 ; Pepper Vines, 
379 ; Drying Cardamoms, 380 ; 
Preparing Cinnamon, 381 ; A 
Nutmeg Tree in Jamaica, 382 ; 
Nutmegs, 383 



Starches, General Description of, 
65 ; Potato Starch, ibid. ; Pro- 
cess of obtaining Starch from 
Potato, ibid. ; Uses of Potato 
Starch, 66 ; Gum made from 
Potato Starch, 68 ; Cassava 
Starch and Tapioca, 68 ; Plants 
Natives of tropical America, ibid. . 
Sweet and Bitter Cassava, ibid. ; 
Preparation of Cassava, ibid. ; 
70 ; Poisonous Juice extracted 
from, known as " Cassareep," 
70 ; Tapioca, 70 ; Imported 
from Brazil and Straits Settle- 
ments, ibid. ; Two Methods of 
Preparing, ibid. ; Rice Starch, 
72 ; Methods of Preparing, ibid. ; 
Wheat Starch, 72 ; three me- 
thods for obtaining, 72, 73 ; 
Maize Starch, 74 ; Arrowroot, 
74 ; its Chief Home Bermuda 
and St. Vincent, ibid. ; the most 
easily digested Starch, 75 ; 
Sago, 75 ; Process of obtaining, 
ibid. ; Miscellaneous Starches 
— Soursop, Banana, Plantain, 
Bread-fruit Tree, etc., 76 
Illustrations : — Maize grown as 
a Catch Crop in Barbados, 65 ; 
Young cultivation, with Catch 
Crop of Bananas, Cassava, and 
Tania, Trinidad, 66 ; Potato 
Field, 66 ; The Bread Fruit, 68 ; 
A " False Sago " Palm, 69 ; 
The Soursop, 70 ; Bread-Fruit 
Tree, 71 ; Bananas, 72 ; Cocoa- 
Nut Palms, 713 ; Borassus Palms, 
74, 75 

Straw, 16 

Sugar, one of the most valuable 
products of the Plant .World, 
76 ; Very generally distributed, 
78 ; Characteristics of Sugar- 
producing Plants, ibid. , 80 ; : 
Sugar-cane and Sugar-beet the 
most important Plants, 80 ; Sta- 
' tistics of Production, ibid. ; 82 ; 
The Sugar Cane, 82 ; its grass- 
like Growth, 84 ; its Antiquity, 
ibid. ; Flourishes in the Tropics, 
ibid. ; Cultivation, 86, 87, 88 ; 
Manufacture of, 89, 90 ; Manu- 
facture of Beet Sugar, 92 ; the 
Naudet Patent Process, Defeca- 
tion and Filtration, 94, 95 ; 
Boiling, 96, 97 ; Modern Methods 
of Crystallising Sugar, ibid. ; 
Triple Effect, ibid., Separation 
from Molasses, 98 ; By-Products 
of, 100 ; Megass, ibid. ; Molas- 
cuit, 100 ; Molasses, ibid. ; Rum, 
101 ; Sugar Cane, Improvement 
of, 102 ; Beetroot Sugar, 102 ; 
Historical Account of, 103 ; 105 ; 
Achard's Method, 104 ; Con- 
tinental Blockade of, 104 ; Cul- 
tivation of, 105, 106, 107 ; 
Manufacture of Sugar, 107-110; 
Purification of the Juice, 109 ; 
Boiling, ibid. ; By-products of 
Beet Sugar, 110-113 ; Pulp, 110 ; 
Filter Cake, ibid. ; Beet Sugar 
Molasses, 112; Improvement of 
Sugar Beet, 112; Maple Sugar, 
Illustrations : — Java, a Field of 

young Sugar Canes, 76 ; Map of 
the Sugar-producing Countries 
of the World, 77 ; Carrying 
Canes to the Factory in Mexico, 
78 ; The Sugar Cane, 79 ; A 
Sugar Cane Field at Vera Cruz, 
80 ; Unloading Sugar Canes at 
the Factory, 81 ; Sugar Factory, 
Cooling Bowls, 82 ; Cutting 
Sugar Cane, 83 ; Interior of 
Australian Jam Factory, 84 ; 
Isis Central Sugar Mill, 85 ; A 
Germinating Sugar Cane Top, 
86 ; Reaping Sugar Canes in the 
West Indies, 87 ; Penang. Barges 
Loaded with Cut Sugar Canes, 
88 ; Queensland. Carrying Cut 
Canes to the Factory, 89 ; Java, 
a Primitive Sugar Cane Mill, 90 ; 
Clarifiers, 91 ; Crushing, showing 
the Ripe Canes on the Cane 
Carriers, 92 ; Java, a Modern 
Sugar Cane Mill, 93 ; Vacuum 
Pans, 94 ; Java, Sugar Factory 
with Centrifugal Machines on 
the left and Vacuum Pans in the 
Background, 95 ; Interior of a 
Sugar Factory, 96 ; A row of 
Centrifugal Machines, 97 ; Blos- 
som of Coco-Nut Palm, 99 ; For 
Beetroot Illustrations see under 


Tans and Dyes. Operation of 
Tanning, 349 ; Nature of Tan- 
ning Materials, 349-350 ; Tanning 
Materials derived from Oak, 
350-351 ; Oak Bark, Oak Wood, 
350; Galls, Valonia, 351; Tan- 
ning Materials derived from 
Coniferous Trees, 351-353 ; Hem- 
lock Bark, 351; Birch Barks, 
351, 352 ; Chestnut Bark and 
Wood, 352 ; Willow Barks, ibid. ; 
Wattle Barks, 352, 353 ; Divi- 
Divi, 353 ; Sumac, ibid. ; Ca- 
naigre or " Tanners' Dock," 
354 ; Quebracho, ibid. ; Myro- 
bolans, ibid. ; Gambier, ibid. ; 
Mangrove Bark, 354, 355 ; Mallet 
Bark, 355 ; Dye Stuffs, 355-358 ; 
Indigo, 355 ; Cutch, 356 ; Red 
Dye-woods, 356, 357 ; Brazil 
Wood, Nina Wood, Sappon 
Wood, 357 ; Camwood, Barwood, 
and Red Sandlers Wood, ibid. ; 
Yellow Dye Stuffs, 357 ; Old 
Fustic, 357 ; other well-known 
Dye Stuffs, 358 ; Archil, Cudbear 
and Litmus 

Illustrations : — Hemlock Spruce, 
349 ; Oak Tree, 350 ; Oak Apple 
Galls, 351 ; Wattle, 352 ; Man- 
grove Thicket, 354 ; Indigo, 355 ; 
Mangrove and Pandanus Swamp, 

Tapioca, 70 

Tea. The Tea Plant, Description 
of, 144 ; Original Home of, 144, 
146 ; Introduction of the Pro- 
duct into Europe, 146 ; Statistics 
of Exports, 148, 149; The British- 

grown Article, 149 ; Imports- 
to the United States, 150 ; to 
other Countries, ibid. ; Tea In- 
dustry in China, 150, 151 ; 
Rise of Popularity of Tea in 
England, 151 ; Chemistry of Tea, 

151, 152; Chinese Methods of 
Cultivation and Manufacture, 

152, 153, 154 ; The Virgin Tea of 
China, 156 ; The Chinese are 
Experts in the Adulteration of 
Tea, ibid. ; Black and Green 
Teas, ibid. ; Notes of Robert 
Fortune, 156, 157 ; Tea in Japan, 
158-160 ; Gyokura and Sencha 
Green Teas, 158 ; Method of 
Preparation, 159, 160 ; Hikacha 
Tea, 160 ; Tea in Ceylon, 160 ; 
Origin of Tea in Ceylon, 161 ; 
Statistics of, 161, 162 ; Tea in 
India, 162, 163 ; Statistics of, 
ibid. ; Tea in Natal, 163 ; Origin 
of Plantations, 164 ; Statistics, 

166 ; Tea in the Caucasus, 166 ; 
other Tea-growing Countries, 166, 

167 ; Modern Methods of Cul- 
tivation and Manufacture, 167- 
171 ; Preparation of Black Tea, 

170 ; of Green, 171 ; Brick Tea, 

171 ; Chief Centre of the In- 
dustry in W. China, 171 ; Tablet 
Tea, 172 ; Yerba de Mate, 172, 
173 ; Three Grades of, 173 ; 173 ; 
Yupon, ibid. ; Tea from Eu- 
calyptus, 174 ; Bourbon and 
Faham Tea, ibid. 
Illustrations : — A Hill-side Plan- 
tation, 144 ; a Ceylon Tea Garden, 
145 ; Plucking Tea, 146 ; Map 
of the Tea-producing Countries 
of the World, 147 ; Plucking Tea 
in Assam, 148 ; Japanese Women 
Plucking Tea, 149; Chinese 
Method of Rolling the Leaf, 150 ; 
Chests of Chinese Tea ready for 
Shipment, 151 ; Chinese Packing 
Tea, 152 ; Tea Caravan in the 
Streets of Pekin, 153 ; Japanese 
women roasting the Tea, 154 ; 
Japanese rolling the Leaf by 
Hand, 155 ; An Indian Tea 
Nursery, 156 ; Transplanting 
young Tea Plant, 157 ; Pruning 
Tea in Ceylon, 158 ; A Kangani 
Superintending the Plucking, 
159 ; Weighing the Day's Pluck- 
ing, 160 ; Tea Plantations near 
Batoum, 161 ; The Tea Harvest 
at Batoum, 162 ; Tea Factory 
at Batoum, 163 ; Weighing the 
Day's Plucking in Ceylon, 164 ; 
The Withering Process, 165 ; A 
Rolling Machine at Work, 166 ; 
End View of a Rolling Machine, 

167 ; A Sirocco Firing Machine, 

168 ; Interior of a Ceylon Tea 
Factory, 169 ; Fermenting the 
Leaf, 170 ; Sifting the Tea with 
Sieves, 171 ; Coolies Carrying 
Brick Tea to Tibet, 172 ; Trans- 
port of Tea in Ceylon, 173 

Tea Seed Oil, 374 
Theobroma Cacao, 114 
Thierry, M. A. J., 180 
Threshing, Methods of, 11 ; Ma- 
chines for, 12, 14 



Timbers. The United Kingdom 
dependent on other Countries, 
297 ; Deal and White Deal, 297 ; 
White Pine, Pitch Pine, 298 ; 
Short Leaf Pine, 299 ; Sugar 
Pine, Douglas Fir, ibid. ; Kauri 
Pine or Cowrie Pine, 299, 300 ; 
Importance of in New Zealand, 

300 ; Larch, ibid. ; Hemlock, 

301 ; Birch, Alder, White Wood, 
Bass Wood, 301 ; Oak, Chestnut 
Wood and Elm, 302 ; Beech, 

304 ; Sycamore, Plane and 
Maple, 304 ; Poplar and Walnut, 

305 ; Holly, ibid. ; Ash, 306 ; 
Boxwood, ibid. ; Cedar, 306, 
308 ; Cedar of Lebanon, Deodars, 
West' Indian Cedars, 308 ; Red 
Cedar, 309 ; Californian Red- 
wood, 309, 310 ; Canadian Red 
Cedar, 310 ; Mahogany, ibid. ; 
Rosewood, 311 ; Satinwood, 
ibid.; Ebony, 311, 312; Anda- 
man Pedank, 312 ; Teak, Green- 
heart, Lignum Vitae, Jarrah, 
Karri, and Mora, 312 
Illustrations : — A Mahogany Tree, 

297 ; Crib Time in the Bush, 

298 ; Oxen Hauling Kauri Logs, 

299 ; A Giant Cedar Tree, 300 ; 
Felling a Kauri Tree, 301 ; A 
Saw Mill, 302 ; A Giant Cedar 
Tree, 303 ; A Lumber Camp, 
British Columbia, 304 ; Felling 
A Redwood Tree, 305 ; A Big 
Tree, California, 306 ; Kauri 
Tree Falling, 307 ; A Philippine 
Saw Mill, 308 ; A Saw Mill and 
Slip/ Minneapolis, U.S.A., 309 ; 
Sawing Kauri Tree, 310 ; Timber 
Logs in the Ottawa River, 311 

Tobacco. Prepared from the 
Leaves of several Species of 
Nicotiana, 198 ; Description of 
Species of Nicotiana, 199, 200 ; 
Origin of the word Tobacco, 201 ; 
Discovery of Tobacco by Eu- 
ropeans, 202-209 ; Introduced to 
Europe through Spain, 203 ; 
Introduction to France, 204 ; to 
the Dutch, ibid. ; Attempts to 
check smoking in Holland, 205 ; 
Importance of the Trade in 
Holland, 205, 206 ; Tobacco in 
Russia, 207, 208 ; the Botany of 
Tobacco, 208, 209 ; The Com- 
mercial Classification of Tobacco, 
209, 210 ; a Good Tobacco, 210, 
211, 212; National Tastes in 
Tobacco, 213 ; Statistics of 
National Consumption, 214 ; The 
Chemistry of Tobacco, 214 ; the 
World's Production of Tobacco, 
statistics of, 216 ; Cultivation in 
the United States, 216, 217 ; 
Statistics of the Industry in the 
States, 218 ; Cultivation in the 
States, 219, 220 ; The Curing 
Process, 221, 222 ; Ferment, 222, 
223 ; Manufacture, 224, 225 ; 
Tobacco in Cuba, 225, 226 ; 
Tobacco in Sumatra, 226 ; To- 
bacco in the Philippines, 227 ; 
Tobacco in the British Empire, 
227, 228 ; in British North 
Borneo, 228 ; in Jamaica, 228 ; 

Tobacco in Africa, 229 ; in 
Australasia, ibid. ; in the United 
Kingdom, 229 ; Tobacco Fac- 
tories, 230 

Illustrations : — Packing Cigar- 
ettes in Holland, 198 ; Clearing 
the Forest for Tobacco in Suma- 
tra, 199; Buffalo "Ploughs at 
Work, 200 ; Planting up New 
Land, 201 ; British North Bor- 
neo, young Tobacco Plants under 
Shade, 202 ; A Tobacco Field in 
Sumatra, 203 ; A Cuban Planta- 
tion, 204 ; A Field of Ripe 
Tobacco, 205 ; Harvesting the 
Leaf, 206 ; Map of the Tobacco- 
producing Countries of the World, 
207 ; Tobacco Grown for Seed 
Purposes in Sumatra, 208 ; Bring- 
ing in the Leaf for Inspection, 
209 ; Curing the Leaf in the 
Open Air, 210 ; Interior of a 
Curing Barn, 211 ; Interior of a 
Fermentation House, 212 ; Carry- 
ing Tobacco in North Borneo, 213; 
Transport of Mexican Tobacco, 
214; Loading Bales of Tobacco, 
215; Stripping the Leaf, 216; 
Cutting Turkish Tobacco by 
Hand, 216 ; a Tobacco-cutting 
Machine, 217 ; Cutting Cigarette 
Tobacco, 218 ; Packing Turkish 
Tobacco, 219 ; A Cigarette- 
Tobacco Expert, 220 ; A Turkish 
Pipemaker's Workshop, ibid. ; 
A Bridal Pipe from Holland, 221 ; 
Sorting Turkish Cigarette To- 
bacco, 222 ; Making Turkish 
Regie Cigarettes by Machinery, 

223 ; Making Cigarettes by Hand, 

224 ; Making Cigars, 228 ; Sort- 
ing Cigars, 226 ; Packing Cigar- 
ettes into Boxes, 227 ; Sorting 
Room, Gallaher's Factory, 228 ; 
Corner of Leaf Room, Gallaher's 
Factory, 229 

Tomato, 262 

Triple Effect (Sugar), 97, 109 
Tung or Wood Oil, 366, 367 
Turnip, The, 262 
Turpentine, 349 

Valoria, 350 
Vanilla, 377, 378 
Van der Meer, William, 204 
Van Houten, C. J., 130, 132 
Vegetables. Importance of Vege- 
tables, 254 ; Imports of, 254 ; 
Potatoes, 255 ; Cultivation of, 
256 ; Diseases of, ibid. ; Im- 
ports of, 257 ; Sweet Potatoes 
and Yams, 257 ; Artichokes, 257; 
Pulses, 257-258 ; Peas, 258 ; 
Statistics of, 259 ; Beans, 259 j 
Tropical and Sub-tropical Pulses, 
259 ; Grain or Chick Pea, 260 | 
Lentils, Soya Bean, Pigeon Pea, 
Cow Pea, Green Grain, Scarlet 
Runner, ibid. ; Kidney Bean, 261; 
the Cabbage Family, 261-263 ; 
Common Cabbage, Savoy Cab- 
bage, Brussels Sprouts, Borecole, 
Portugal Cabbage, Cauliflower, 

261 ; Broccoli, Turnip, the Swede, 
Mangel Wurzel, Tomato, the 
Brinjal or Aubergine, the Onion, 
the Cucumber, 262 ; the Vege- 
table Marrow, Asparagus, Cap- 
sicums, Carrots, Celery, 263 
Illustrations : — Celery, 257 ; Ex- 
perimental Plantation of Pota- 
toes, 258 ; Nova Scotia, a Field 
of Roots, 259 ; Mushrooms, 260 ; 
Chili and Capsicum, 261 ; Hoeing 
Pumpkins, 262 

Vegetable Oils and Fats. Fats and 
Fixed Oils, 362 ; Methods of 
Obtaining Oil from Seeds or 
Fruits, 363, 364 ; Drying Oils, 
364-368 ; Linseed Oil, 364, 366 ; 
Candle Nut Oil, 366 ; Tung or 
Wood Oil, 366, 367 ; Hemp Seed, 
Maw, Safflower, and Walnut 
Oils, 367 ; Niger Seed Oil, 368 ; 
Sunflower Oil, 368 ; Semi-Drying 
Oils, 368, 372 ; Cotton Seed 
Oil, 368-370 ; Value of Oil Cake 
370 ; Sesamum or Gingelly, 370 
Rape Oils, 371 ; Kapok Oil, 371 
Maize Oil, 371 ; Non-Drying Oils, 
372-374 ; Olive Oil, 373 ; Earth 
or Ground Nut Oil, 373 ; Cultiva- 
tion and Expression, 373, 374 
Tea Seed Oil, 374 ; Castor Oil 
ibid. ; Vegetable Fats or Tallows 
374-377; Palm Oil, 374-376 
Preparation of, 375, 376 ; Carapa 
Fat, 376 ; Phulwara Butter, 377 
Shea Butter, ibid. 
Illustrations : — Coco-Nuts, 362 
Palm Oil Tree, 363 ; Olive Trees, 
364 ; Camphor Tree, 365 ; Gold 
Coast : Miller's Palm Nut-crack- 
ing Machine at Work, 366 ; A 
West Indian Palm Beach, 367 
Oil Palm, 368 ; Copra Drying, 
369 ; Rafia Venifera Palms, 370 ; 
Preparing Palm Oil on the Gold 
Coast, 371 : Anglo-American 
Hydraulic Oil Press, 372 ; Self- 
contained Belt - driven Edge 
Stones, 373 ; Seed Heating 
Kettle, 374 ; Self-acting Cake 
Moulding Machine and Seed- 
heating Kettle, 375 ; Anglo- 
American Seed-Crushing Rolls, 

Victoria, Viticulture of, 253 

Virgin Tea of China, 156 


Wattle Barks, 352, 353 

Wattle Gums, 347 

Wheat. Introductory Remarks, 2 ; 
Wild Wheat, ibid. ; Wheat 
Grasses, 4 ; Species of Wheat, 
ibid. ; Small Spelt, ibid. ; Wheat 
and Spelts, 5 ; Polish Wheat, 
ibid. ; Common, Dwarf, English 
and Hard Wheats, ibid. ; Culti- 
vation, 6 ; Requirements of Soil, 
8 ; How it should be Sown, 8, 9 ; 
Harvesting, 10, 11 ; Cultivation 
in China, 12 ; Russian Methods 
of Cultivation, 14 ; Hard Wheats 
ibid. ; Macaroni Wheats, ibid. ; 
Excellence of the Straw, 16 ; 
Storage of in Barn, 16 ; Protection 



from Pests, ibid. ; Wheat Flour, 
18 ; Statistics of Production, 19, 

Illustrations : — The Motor in 
Agriculture, 2 ; Map of the 
Wheat-producing Countries of 
the World, 3 ; Good and Bad 
Wheat Crops, 4, 5 ; The Results 
of Wheat-growing upon Various 
Soils, 6 ; An American Reaping 
Machine, 7 ; Reaping in Russia, 
8 ; A Combined Reaper and 
Harvester, 9 ; Stacking the Corn 

for Fear of Rain, 10 ; Winnowing 
Corn, 1 1 ; Threshing in India, 
12; A Manitoba Farm, 13; A 
Simple Winnowing and Sifting 
Machine, 14 ; Reaping on a 
Small Farm, 15 ; Steam Engine 
and Thresher in Roumania, 15 ; 
Threshing with Oxen, 16; Plough- 
ing with' Oxen, 17 ; Reaping in 
Persia, 18 ; A Primitive Bakery, 
19 ; Grain Elevator, 19 ; Bread 
Ready for Delivery, 20 
Willis, Dr. J. C, 285 

Willow Bark, 352 
Wright, Mr. H., 286 

Yerba de Mate Tea, 172 
Youpon, 173 

Zizania, 48 







Printed by Sir Isaac Pitman &* So?is, Ltd., Bath.