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leaves, trash, and dirt, just as has been explained, and leaves the seed, with its fibre attached, clear and clean, and then passes that to the gin. The fibre is separated from the seed very much in the same manner that you would hold the seed in your hand, and, with a motion of the fingers, remove the fibre from the seed. This has been done in our own shop at Bridesburg, and it has been done at the centennial exhibition, to the surprise of all. And the only objection that we have met with in endeavoring to introduce this gin to the planters in the South, is just the objection that it makes the cotton too clean, and that they don't get paid for sand, nails, hides, stones, trash, and various other substances that have been mixed with the cotton sent to the Northern market, and which the manufacturers have bought at the same rate per pound which they paid for the cotton.
Mr. GARSED. The only way to get the cotton here is in the seed. It was said at the last meeting that a manufacturer who is accustomed to handle cotton machinery can certainly take the cotton from the seed much better than it could be done by hundreds and thousands of persons in the South, who know nothing whatever about machinery.
Mr. Bates. I would also say, that if any gentlemen feel interested in this matter at any time, they can see all these plans and drawings, or they can see the complete machine ; or we will build one if any manufacturer desires to bring it out. was demonstrated that the thing would work successfully. Let the manufacturers themselves go through with the whole operation. Let them get the seed-cotton from the South, and put it through cleaners at their own mills in the New England States.
[Mr. Adamson, who had been appointed to deliver an essay at this meeting, having now arrived, said that he regretted that this machine was not in the catalogue at the Centennial.
Mr. Bates said that that was explained by the fact that they hadn't got the machine finished, and didn't get it into the exhibition until August of that year.
The President said that he thought the attention of the judges was not drawn to it.]
The CHAIRMAN. In respect to the question of the value of the seed as an element in this discussion, when I first began a thorough investigation of the cotton question in 1861, the future
value of the seed became apparent, and the possibility of its being moved long distances for the sake of its value. The exact ficts may perhaps be well re-stated here : that each bale of the fibre of cotton contains about four pounds phosphate of lime and phosphate of potash, taken from the soil; but that the seed that belongs to that bale of cotton, from which that bale of cotton has been ginned, contains about fifty pounds of phosphate of lime and phosphate of potash, and nearly the whole of that proportion is in the hull, and not in the kernel, as I am informed ; so that it is possible to take off the fibre, take out the kernel, press out the oil, then burn the hills under the furnace, restore the ashes to the soil, and you nearly keep up the original fertility of the soil as it was before the process was started.
In the oil mills of the South and West, established a few years ago (they may have been improved since), the ash of the hull was shovelled out and wasted. It was nearly pure pearlash. I sent to Memphis myself and bought several casks, and had it brought on here, to test it, and I had to dilute it and dilute it, for the first application burned up all the grass I applied it to.
I believe that the process which has been detailed to us will result in a saving. It would not surprise me in the least if the $39 or $12 per ton value which we have heard about here were actually realized.
The question is still before you, gentlemen.
Mr. LEGII. My experience with regard to cotton-gins has been in Egypt. I have made a large number of gins for Egypt and India. But the system of ginning there, is, as I have said here before, entirely different from what it is in the Southern States. In Egypt it is a business of itself. The gins are put in factories of from twenty to one hundred gins. The building is built purposely for this business-probably three stories. The basement is the place for the seed. The first floor is the place for the gins; and then there is a place above to store and dry the cotton. The seed is sold in the market for oil and manure. These establishments or factories are managed like mills. The cotton is brought from the field by the planters in the seed, and so much a pound is charged for ginning it; and the gins are kept in perfect order, because there are mechanics there to keep them so. I know several firms who
have made very large fortunes by ginning cotton—not by speculating, but simply by givning it. I think where it is ginned in that manner there are no complaints about the cotton being damaged by the gin, or about large quantities of dirt being sold with the cotton. The same system is now being largely introduced into India. There are quite a number of ginning establishments there, and those gips are quite complicated. You would wonder how they could use some of them, but they are kept in houses by themselves, and are kept in beautiful order; in as nice order as you keep the machinery in any of your cotton manufactories I think you will have to have that system here before you will ever get the cotton properly giuned. I think that is the true way to do it.
It would be a very profitable thing to do. It could be done on a small scale of from ten to twenty gins; have a press arranged to press the cotton and bale it in the same establisbment; and do it on commission ; or buy the cotton and sell it in the lint.
Mr. GARSED. Is that the roller-gin that you allude to, or the saw-gin?
Mr. LEIGII. It is both. There are three kinds used in Churkıl, India ; one, where the cotton is drawn through a pair of small rollers, and the seed pushed out; then there is the McCarthy gin, which has a roller five inches in diameter covered with leather, and a knife to work off the seed ; and there is the Saw-gin. as well. Generally in Egypt, and some parts of India, they either use the roller-gin or the McCarthy gin. The Churka is better adapted to very short fibre; and in some of those establishments they have as many as two hundred gins. I have had to do with one concern in Egypt where they had seven hundred McCarthy gins, which produced about a bale a day each.
Mr. GARSED. I would just ask Mr. Leigh to state the difference between the roller-gin and its operation and the sawgin.
Mr. LEIGH. The saw-gin has a gauze-room ; the cotton is driven forward, and with it the dust and trash, as you saw at the Centennial. With the Platt gin there can be no burr and trash mixed with the cotton. With the saw-gin, the speed of the saws drives this stuff all into the cotton. It must necessarily do so. If you adopt the McCarthy gin, you will get rid of this trouble.
The CHAIRMAN. I will state what may be an important fact to put on record at this point, that our Southern friends have succeeded, so far as quantity is concerned. A comparison of the commercial statements of the last eight years, up to the first of September, as compared with the eight years preceding the war, give an excess of nearly four million bales, of cotton for the last eight years. The commercial statement, however, requires to be corrected, because, prior to the war, the Southern consumption was not included in it. Making that correction, it appears that the excess, with free labor, is now between twenty-seven and twenty-eight hundred thousand bales for the last eight years. The increasing quantity is the point that must attract attention. With that increasing quantity, and probably for the present no great increasing demand year by year, will come the pressure of competition, perhaps at lower prices; and the competition will tend towards the improvement of the staple itself. This particular year, from the little observation that I have given to it, is going to be a peculiarly hard one — the cotton crop being late; the result of these great storms and the general unfavorableness of the weather for picking will be that an unusually large proportion of trash will undoubtedly be found in cotton. I have no doubt that all agents and treasurers will have a great deal of complaint on account of the loss in buying that may occur, for it will be almost impossible to avoid this difficulty.
In respect to the roller-gin, I think I may call upon Mr. Lockwood to state the impression made upon us at Philadelphia as to the Platt gin. At my recent visit to Manchester, Enga land, I visited the Platt Brothers, and I think they are turning their attention more and more to the expediency of taking very active and positive measures for the early introduction of the Platt roller-gin into this country. With their immense force and capital, if they do take hold of the matter in earnest, I feel very little doubt that its general adoption may follow.
Mr. Lockwood. I would say in regard to this (as was seen in the exhibition at Philadelphia), that it was represented as being designed for long cottons, – Sea-Island cottons. It was the impression then that it worked very moderately, and ginned but a small quantity. I think the impression left upon the judges generally was, that it might be worth while to try it,
and that it handled the cotton well, yet that it was too slow in its operations to be of much practical use.
It would be of no great importance in its application to the shorter staples of cotton which we raise generally in this country. That is the impression upon my own mind.
The CHAIRMAN. The claim of the Platt Brothers is, that with the gin as they can now construct it, they can compete with the saw-gin, on the green or upland seed-cotton. They are endeavoring to bring that point out, and I hope they will push it very hard. I had a different impression from Mr. Lockwood, and thought that it might be carried farther than he is inclined to-day to say, in the direction of givning a full quantity of seed-cotton of the common variety.
Mr. GARSED. I hope every manufacturer will give his best efforts to promoting this thing, and incite his friends to help. It is certainly the direction in which we should proceed.
The CHAIRMAN. The subject is still before you, gentlemen. Mr. Bares.
I would like to add, with regard to the matter of gins, that while the gin itself is not of so much importance in securing the quality of the cotton, the Cleaner is still an essential feature, and the reasons for its introduction will obtain just as much whether we use a roller-gin or a saw-gin, in order to enable the crop to be picked carelessly, and yet the cotton staple be delivered to the consumer clear of the trash. In the bales that come to this market, the cleaning must always be a matter of much importance, whatever may be the nature of the gin that is used. I thought I would make mention of that, in regard to the importance of the cleaver, in order to contradict the idea that the cleaning of the cotton depended upon the gin.
Mr. SKINNER. I would like to ask the gentlemen who have something to say upon this subject, whether they are aware that our long staple Sea-Island cotton is generally handled by the hand, and the motes picked out before it is put upon
the roller-gin, when it is desirable to make a choice article of long Sea-Island cotton? It has been my impression, as I have travelled through the South, and among the people there, that such is the fact. Perhaps I may be wrong.
Mr. GARSED. Is there any gentleman who can suggest any practical method by which this matter can be forwarded by this Association ? Every one present can appreciate the necessity,