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Prussia, Germany, and fine varieties late from South America. Mr. Smith is confident, and the judges favor the opinion, that in his experiments a great im. provement in the potatoe is already accomplished; and be hopes to be able to obtain permanently, potatoes, not only of the finest quality, but perfectly sound and har. dy. The judges would recommend the attention of farmers to his specimens on the ground, and also to his mode of cultivation.”
Signed by DAVID GRAY, Chairman.
DEEP PLOWING. We have known few farmers who were not advocates of deep plowing. There can be no question of the many advantages of deep plowing, where the land will admit of it without injury to the vegetable mould. But it often happens that the sub-soil is so barren that by mixing it with the surface the whole mass is rendered sterile and unproductive, while in other cases the sub-soil possesses proper. ties highly fertilizing. Hence, before venturing to mix a large portion of the subsoil with the surface, it would be prudent for the farmer to make an experiment by plowing a few rows to the depth required, and then grow a crop on it before hazarding the effects of deep plowing upon an extensive scale.
Where the sub-soil is found to do injury by mixing it with the surface, great benefit will be derived from plowing with the coulter, which may be run to any depth without danger of injury. This process loosens the sub-soil without mixing it with the surface, and gives the whole mass capacity to hold sufficient moisture to protect the crop against the effects of drouth, and also prevents the soil from being washed away by the summer rains--for it rarely rains so hard as to carry off the soil, until the whole pulverized mass is saturated.
Even in the deepest soils where the plow cannot reach the sub-soil, the use of the coalter, or some such instrument, is highly beneficial; for, after a few years cultivation, the earth immediately below the range of the plow becomes compact and forms a hard crust, which cuts off the communication of moisture between the pulverized soil and the earth beneath.
WHEAT AND CHESS. We have never been able to give our assent to the opinion generally entertained by farmers that wheat, when injured by frost, or from any other cause, changes to chess. We have always considered such a change as opposed to the economy of nature, but have heard the fact so often affirmed by intelligent individuals, that although we have ceased to controvert, yet we have never adopted it as a truth.
We have extracted the following paragraph from the Cultivator, for the purpose of showing how easy it is for even men of close observation to be deceived in such matters. We trust that some lover of truth will institute a series of observations upon this subject, and settle the question one way or the other: .
“Wm. Powers, of Youngstown, Ohio, gives the following experiment in the Ohio Cultivators. He was about sowing his wheat, believing it to be perfectly clean ; but, on being advised, concluded to brine and lime it first. When the brine was poured on, to his surprise he sound chess floating thickly on the surface, and on being skimmed off, about a pint and a half were obtained from each bushel of seed. This would thoroughly seed any ground; but if the wheat grew well, the chess would be kept small and hidden; where winter killed, it would spring up, spread out and occupy the whole ground, and be attributed by superficial observers, to the change of the killed wheat to chess. The wheat, however, was thoroughly cleaned by brining, so that where it was winter killed and flyeaten, no chess appeared.”
HOLCOMB'S HEMP-BRAKE. The increasing importance of hemp as an article of commerce, has stimulated many ingenious minds to study out some mode of improving upon the old method of breaking by the hand. Among the many experiments of using machinery for this purpose, we have seen none described which seems to promise a better result than the invention of Mr. L. F. P. Holcomb, of Delaware. This is a combination of the stationary bed brake with the rotary brake. “The hemp is fed in by hand, broken and cleaned with but one handling—the breaking and cleaning being done on separate cylinders--but the parts so arranged as that they are brought close together, and so adjusted as to only allow the machine to touch that part of the fibre that is to be acted on, thereby preventing its wear in the machine.”
In a communication from Chauncy P. Holcomb, Esq., to the editor of the Journal of Agriculture, he says:
“Nothing can be more simple in its construction. The rudest and roughest hands can work it, and with little danger of its getting out of order. The cost of it will be only from seventy-five to one hundred dollars, exclusive of the horse power. It requires about two horse power. From my own experience in the use of it, I can confidently say and assure my brother farmers of the west, that the largest crop of hemp they grow, would hold out no terror, so far as the breaking and scratching of it was concerned, with the use of this machine.”
The writer says that the machine is capable of breaking and cleaning, ready for market, about one thousand pounds per day, and that only two hands are required to attend it.
A description and drawing of this machine may be found in the May number, 1847, of the Journal of Agriculture, published in New York.
Mr. Obed Hussey, a machinist of Baltimore, has become interested in this machine, and will furnish it to those who may desire to purchase.
ST. LOUIS STEAM SUGAR REFINERY. This we believe, is the most extensive manufacturing establishment in our city, and perhaps the most extensive of the kind, in either the south or west.
The proprietors, Messrs. Belcher & Brother, have politely favored us with the following description of the establishment, and also, with the statistics connected with the business of the concern for the year 1847.
The establishment with its out buildings, fronting on Levee street, occupies an entire block of two hundred and forty in width by 125 feet in depth, having streets on its north, east and south, and an alley twenty-five feet wide on the west. The main building is one hundred by eighty feet, seven stories.' Engine and boiler house, ninety by forty-five feet, two stories. Retort house, seventy by thirty-five feet. Office and work-shops, sixty by twenty feet; all covered with iron roofing. There is a water cistern in the establishment which contains 100,000 gallons; water-pipes connect with the city reservoir; there are hose attachments in each story, and also an engine house with hose, to guard against fire. Connected with the establishment, is a cooperage employing fifteen to twenty-five coopers.
The arrangement of the establishment, evinces, much judgment and skill, and there is a completeness in all the details, that is truly admirable.
The amount of product for 1847, was 4,860,000 pounds refined sugar of all kinds; 8,000 barrels sugar-house molasses ; 1,000 barrels golden syrup; being up. wards of 9,000,000 pounds of refined sugars, syrups and molasses.
The establishment at this time, is turning off about 500 tons of refined sugar, syrup and molasses, per month. The number of persons employed at the present time, in all the departments, including clerks, is about one hundred. The workinen connected with the refining department, are mostly Germans, who are employed at wages ranging from eighteen to twenty-four dollars per month.
Cuba and Louisiana sugars, are mostly used in tliis establishment for refining. The best qualities of loaf crushed and powdered sugars and golden syrups, are made entirely of Cuba sugars. The medium and common qualities of refined sugars and sugar-house molasses, are made from the raw sugars and syrups of Louisiana.
We are in formed by the proprietors that the advantages in the price of Jabor, fuel and bone slack, enable them to compete successfully with the refineries of the south.
The proprietors have shown a sound and discriminating judgment in selecting St. Louis as a suitable place for their enterprize. The freight of the raw material to this point, costs but little more than would the manufactured article, and therefore the difference in the cost of labor, fuel, &c., is nearly all a clear advantage in favor of the manufacturers here over those of the south. This is especially the case in regard to the refined sugars and syrups consumed north and west of this place.
This is a practical illustration of our theory of a system of commerce and manufactures adapted to the Valley of the Mississippi. In this case the raw material is produced in the extreme south, but is destined to be consumed in the middle and extreme northern districts. It must necessarily pay freight to St. Louis, as a point of distribution, therefore, instead of sending provisions 10 the south to feed the operatives, besides fuel and bone slack to be used in the process of manufacturing, the raw material is brought here where all these necessary appliances are abundant, and cheaper than in the south. This policy is based upon the true principles of political economy, and the proprietors of this flourishing establishment may well be considered as among the benefactors of the country, for giving a practical illustration of a principle which seems to be so difficult of comprehension in the west; and we sincerely hope that the advantages ani' profits accruing to them as individuals, may be commensurate with the public benefit. The following is a table of prices as established on the 1st of March, 1848:
" PRICES AND QUALITIES OF REFINED SUGAR. Packed in bbls. and boxes.
Packed in bbls. and half bbls. Double refined Loaf,
9 Double refined and crushed, . . Small Loaf,
B; do do.
No. 4, 811 do. do. do. No. 5, 88 do.
C, No. 2, 7+ do do.
No. 6, 8 Double refined, powdered, do. do.
No. 7, 71 Powdered, do. do.
No. 8, 71 do. When less than 5 packages are taken, one cent per pound additional is charged.
On purchases of the above sugars to the amount of $500, 24 per cent discount; $1000, 5 per cent.
Clarified Sugars—White and Yellow, 5 to 7 cents ; Sugar House Molasses-in barrels and half barrels; Golden Syrup-in barrels, half barrels, and 10 gal kegs. Farwell & Co., Second street, are agents for this city.
THE MISSOURI STEAM SUGAR REFINERY. We learn from the proprietor of this establishment, Mr. Frederick Angelback, that he uses annually 500,000 lbs. Havana sugar, 1,000,000 lbs. Louisiana sugar, and 5,000 barrels of New Orleans molasses, and employs about twenty hands. This establishment produces double refined and refined loaf, crushed and powdered sugars, white and yellow clarified sugars, golden syrup and sugar-house molasses. The latter articles are put up in barrels, half barrels and 10 gallon kegs.
This establishment though not very extensive, is conveniently located, and well arranged for business, and has the appearance of thrift and prosperity. Mesers, Switzer, Platt & Co., No. 57 Main street, are the agents in this city.
ST. LOUIS COTTON FACTORY. * This is the only cotton mill within our knowledge, on the west side of the Mississippi river.* This establishment has been in operation about three years, with sixteen hundred spindles. The mill employs about fifty hands and uses about six hundred and fifty bales of cotton per annum. We have not been furnished with the details of the business, but are informed by Mr. Adolphus Meier, one of the proprietors, that labor is abundant and easily procured at prices as low as those paid by eastern manufacturers.
*We remember to have heard, some years since, that a cotton mill was about to be built in the northwestern part of Arkansas, but we do not know that it ever went into operation.
This establishes an important fact, and is calculated to remove every doubt in regard to the advantages connected with the manufacture of cotton in St. Louis, for it would be an useless waste of time to undertake to prove that the raw material, provisions and fuel can all be obtained here cheaper than in New Engtand, and none can be so blind as not to perceive that if the fabric can be produced as cheap here as there, that the cost and charges incident to transporting it from the east, to say nothing of the profits to the merchant, are all saved to the western consumer. But more than all this, the establishment of manufactures affords a home market for western products, freed from the competition of other countries.
In collecting statistics for the WESTERN JOURNAL, we have been careful to inquire in regard to the facilities of procuring labor, and we have been uniformly answered that labor of every kind was abundant, and easily procured at fair prices. This is a state of things which those at a distance would not expect to exist in a country so newly settled and thinly inhabited. Most of the foreigners who come to the west land at St. Louis. Very many of them are mechanics and laborers who rely upon daily employment for subsistence, and as there is but little demand for farm labor, many remain in the city, and are compelled by necessity to labor for such prices as they can obtain. These are the principal causes of the abundance and cheapness of labor in St. Louis; and as long as foreign emigration shall continue to flow into the west, we hazard little in expressing the opinion, that labor will be as cheap, and probably cheaper, here than in any other city in the Union.
The proprietors of the St. Louis Cotton Factory appear to have acted with cau. tion in the commencement of their business, and having taken ample time to tes the experiment, they are about to add one thousand spindles to their establishment. When we take into consideration the sagacity and prudence of the proprietors, this increase in their business affords strong proof that it has been profitable.
We acknowledge our obligations to J. M. P., for his interesting communication upon the subject of Electric Light. We should have been pleased to have given it a place in the present number, but our matter had been arranged for the press before its reception. It will find a place in the May number
We are greatly indebted to Col. Benton and Judge Bowlin, for many raluable