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In France the government begins its control as soou as the beet juica is extracted, weighing its specific gravity in the clarifying pan, and from that moment keeps a continual supervision of the whole process of sugar making, until the sugar leaves the entrepot or bonded warehouse, and enters into consumption. The annoyances incidental to this system are innumerable and continuous.
In Austria the system of taxation is regulated according to the dif. ferent methods of extracting the juice, and the capacity of the machines employed for the purpose. The quantity of beets which could be worked with each machine for extracting juice is computed for twenty-four hours, and "lumped,” which is calied “pauschaling." The government keeps no other control than noting the number of bydraulic presses or other machines which work each day, according to their rating, allowing for no stoppages, unless a machine stops at least twenty-six hours. This system of taxation bears unevenly upon different factories, and is the cause of the secrecy observed in some of them as to general results.
In Russia, when new factories are built, they work for a certain time on trial, under the control of government officials, after which a quantity is agreed upon, which the factory works in twenty-four hours, and the amount of revenue which it ought to pay accordingly. Otherwise the government takes no notice of what is produced in any factory, and no official records are kept.
In Belgium the system is like that of France in nearly every respect, and in Poland it is the same as in Russia.
The influence of these different systems of taxation on the management of sugar works, and even on the culture of the beet, is surprising. In the Zollverein, where eighteen cents must be paid to the government for every centner of beets worked, a great deal of attention is paid to the production of rich beets, by reason of which the quality has been steadily improving. Beets are seldom raised on newly manured land; as a general rule the manure is applied to a grain crop, as barley, wheat, or rye; after these crops are taken off beets are raised without any manure, and after beets such crops, according to the strength of the land, as will pay best. Beets are, therefore, raised in rotation, on an average once in four years. The system of manuring and of producing the manure bias not only been studied as a science, but is practiced as an art. If it can be said of any country that the more beets and beet sugar it produces, the more grain it will yield, it can be said of the Zollverein; and it is much to be regretted that we have not so complete and correct official statistics of the increase of grain as we have of sugar. As the production of sugar has nothing to do with the amount of rev. enue, there is no objection to giving correct figures, either to the gov. ernment or to individuals; and the manufacturers are left entirely free to work with any kind of machinery, in any way they please, to change it at will, and to make as many experiments as they like. The part to which sugar manufacturers pay most attention in the course of the work, whether they raise the beets or buy them, is to have the beet as rich in sugar as possible, and to take out all the juice that can possibly be expressed; the revenue tax being the same, whether seventy-tive per cent. or ninety per cent. of the juice is extracted, and whether the juice contains ten per cent. or fifteen per cent. of sugar. It cannot be denied, therefore, that the system followed in the Zollverein is the most scientific and the most rational of any, and the official figures obtained in relation to it the most reliable.
In France government supervision commences with the extraction of the juice; the raw beets being under no control, and the quality being
considered immaterial, they are not near so rich as those grown in the Zollverein, and are mostly raised on newly manured land, the great aim being to produce a large crop, or, in other words, to raise as mapy beets on an acre as possible. As a natural consequence, grain crops are not so large as they might be, the limit of manure production being always the natural limit of fertility. Statistics, with the exception of the actual sugar production and consumption, are less reliable and complete than those of the Zollverein, the tax in Austria being varied on the number of juice-producing machines, and their capacity according to official classification. A press, or other juice-rendering machine, can work as many beets of rich quality as of inferior; and, as the tax is the same of either, it is essential to work as rich beets as possible; there. fore, the beets raised there are generally of a quality superior to those in France. Tbe juice is never so perfectly extracted as in the Zollverein, although double pressing is never resorted to.
In Russia, where the sugar factories work on trial, under government supervisors, for a short time only, and are taxed according to the result obtained, no statistics can be procured, or, if so, they are inreliable; but it is estimated that Russian factories work twice the amount reached by government taxation.
It is obvious that the figures given by the revenue officers of the Zollverein are the most complete, and the most reliable, and that the method of working in the factories is the most rational, because it opens the way for improvement, and every method of working is judged by its own merits, as no outside matters need be considered..
During the season of 1867–68, there were three hundred beet-sugar factories in operation in the Zollverein ; in France, four hundred and seventy-one; in Belgium, one hundred and eleven; in Holland, eighteen; in Austria, one hundred and thirty-eight; in Russia, four hundred and thirty-nine, (of these one hundred and twenty-nine were not in operation ;) in Poland, forty; in Sweden, one; and in the United States, one. The num. ber of all known beet-sugar factories in the world is thirteen hundred and ninety.* The quantity of beet sugar produced amounted in 1828 to 7.700 tons ; in 1851 to 192,500 tons, and in 1865 to 581,350 tons. In France 17,000,000 hectares † of land are required in beet culture to keep the factories employed, which is about one-sixth of all her land fit for culti. vation; the same proportions applying to Belgium and Holland.
The government estimates are that in the Zollverein the average quantity of raw sugar obtained from beets during the season of 1845 46 was five per cent.; from that time to 1854–55, sis and two-thirds per cent., and since that time eight per cent.; or, in other words, up to 1815 it required a ton of beets to produce one hundred pounds of sugar; from 1846 to 1854 it required three-fourths of a ton of beets to one hundred pounds of sugar, and since then five-eighths of a ton to one hundred pounds of sugar. The increased product is partly due to improved machinery, and partly to the improved quality of the beets raised.
* The recent report of W. Wadsworth, agent of the Sacramento Beet Sugar Company of California, states that “the number of beet-sugar factories in the different countries of Europe is as follows: France, three hundred and sixty-four; Belgium, thirty-six; Prussia, one hundred and forty-six; Austria, one hundred and twenty-five; in the rest of Germany, forty-eight; Poland, thirty-one; and in Russia, four hundred and fortyone; making in all one thousand one hundred and ninety-one without counting those smaller concerns that are found here and there in very many of the smaller isolated agricultural districts, and distinguished from the larger factories by their motive power being the animals of the farm, and their cost, generally, not exceeding five thousand dollars. If, however, these are counted in, there are then over six hundred beet-sugar factories in France alone, all of which are visited regularly by government officials, who collect the duties imposed on the sugar produced." --ED. REPORT,
t Hectare, 2.4711 acres
In Germany and France it was formerly easy for sugar manufacturers to procure supplies of the beet, and the business was looked upon as a purely manufacturing one; but of late years many factories have been compelled to discontinue work, because it is impossible to procure beets. These factories are mostly located near large cities, where farmers brought their beets. Sugar production is now considered an agricul. tural business, and no factories have been built of late without sufficient land at command.
The local institutions of different countries, especially as relating to the divisions and ownership of lands, greatly affect the establishment and prosperity of beet-sugar works. In Russia, of all the sugar factories forty-five per cent. belong to the nobility, and fifty-five per cent. to large landed proprietors, no joint stock companies existing. In Austria only thirty-eight per cent. are in the bands of the nobility; thirty-six per cent. in those of land proprietors, and there are twenty-six joint stock compapies. In France the greater portion of these establishments belongs to private partnerships. In the Zollverein sixty-five cent. belong either to private parties or to private partnerships, while fifty-five per cent. are joint stock companies. Both in France and the Zollverein the sugar works owned by the nobility are few in number, probably not five per cent. of the whole. The prosperity of these establishments, and their progress in perfecting the method of manufacturing, are in reverse proportion as they are owned by the nobility ; Zollverein, Austria, and France having, perhaps, equal chances for progress during the last fifteen years.
The capacity of the largest beet-sugar factory known is sixty-six thousand tons per annum. It is located in Waghäusel, grand duchy of Baden, and works the beets complete into white loaf sugar. One of the smallest has a capacity of nineteen hundred tons per annur, and is located at Klehtendorf, in Silesia; the former working sunimer and winter; the latier only in winter.
Looking back forty years, it is surprising to see the regular and steady increase of sugar consumption. From an article of luxury or medicine it has become a necessity of every-day consumption. Every civilized country has exerted itself to secure einancipation from slave-grown cane sugar, and to stop the flow of money to a few colonies. Without the United States as a regular customer, Cuba and Brazil might as well give up growing sugar, and direct their attention to a more healthy occupation.
The United States is among the largest sugar-consuming and importing nations in the world, while producing little; and whatever can be said of other nations, regarding the necessity of becoming independent as to their supply of sugar, applies with greater force to this country. In 1840 the consulation of sugar in the Zollverein amounted per capita to 1.67 pounds; in 1866 it amounted to 10 pounds per head, an increase of over one hundred per cent. in twenty-five years, In 1810 the quantity of sugar consumed in Austria was 1.08 ponuds per lead ; in 1802 it reached 5.1 pounds, or nearly three hundred per cent. increase. Is the consumption of sugar keeps pace with a nation's pros. perity and progress in civilization, is there any reason to doubt that the consumption of sugar in the United States will increase in a ratio at least equal to that in Austria and the Zollverein.
TIL MANUFACTURE OF BLET-SUGAR.
The operation of manufacturing beet sugаr may be divided into three distinct parts: 1, the extraction of juice; 2, the purification of the same; and 3, reducing the purified juice to crystals. The principles on which' the different establishments work are everywhere the same; but the means employed to reach the same end vary considerably. The mode of extracting the juice varies more than anything else, the great aiin being to obtain the greatest possible quantity with the least foreign matter. Beets contain, besides fiber, sugar and water, vegetable albumen, organic acids and alkalies, in combination with organic and inorganic acids.
The extraction of juice is done by the following process: hydraulic presses, centrifugal machines, green maceration, dry maceration, and diffusion. To these five methods may be added the system of doublepressing with hydraulic presses, and centrifugal machines in combination with hydraulic presses. These different methods are in regular practical use; others have been employed by way of experiment. They are all old, with the exception of “diffusion;" all have their advantages, and all are open to objections. The use of hydraulic presses is the most extended, and probably three-fourths of all the sugar made has passed through the press process.
In the early history of beet sugar it was considered essential to add sulphuric acid, to prevent the juice from deteriorating, but this system was discarded long ago, giving place to the opposite principle. The juice, after its extraction, is clarified with lime, in which great progress has been made. In the early days of beet-sugar manufacture, after the addition of acids was discontinued, lime was employed in limited quantities to purity the beet juice, from one-lialf to three-fourths of one per cent., beginning with the opening of the season at the lower figure, working up to the higher as the season advanced and the beets deteriorated. With improved inachinery, however, lime is employed almost without limit; and it is not uncommon to use three per cent. of lime In purifying beet juice three distinct processes are in use, although in each the agent used is heat in combination with lime. These processes are mostly named after their inventors. The oldest and simplest process, and which is still found in many sugar-works, is the simple heating of beet juice to about one bundred and sixty-five degrees, adding, at that temperature, one-half to three-fourths per cent. of newly slaked lime, aud raising the heat, as fast as possible, to the boiling point. The action of lime and heat coagulates the vegetable albumen, and changes many of the organic combinations. Lime and impurities form a heavy, tough scum, which covers the surface, while the bright and clear juice can be drawn from under it. This bright juice, mixed with other foreign matter, contains considerable lime in solution. In former years aniinal bone coal was the only ingredient employed to separate the lime from the juice. Many factories may be found, up to this day, which work by this simple process; but the greatest number employ carbonic acid to precipitate the lime, in the form of carbonate of lime. The carbonic acid employed for that purpose is generated simply by the burning of coke, drawn into the juice by a mixture of carbonic acid and carbonic oxide gas, the former combining with the lime, and forming a carbonate, the latter passing through the juice without any effect.
Another and newer method was invented by Frey and Ielirick, and consists in beginning the carbonization as soon as the juice runs into the pan, the slaked lime being placed in the pan before the juice enters. Tliree per cent., or sometimes more, of lime is employed by this process, which is, no doubt, most advantageous when working inferior or deteri. orated beets. A third process is the one by Perier and Pozzos, who repeat the treatment of beet juice with lime and carbonic acid several
times, aiming at the saving of a greater part of animal charcoal. When large quantities of lime are employed, as in the Frey and Ielirick process, and the Perier and Pozzos, the carbonic acid is obtained from the burning of limestone in limekilns, built expressly for the purpose. All these different methods have their advantages, and all are open to objections. No one method is adopted in any locality, nor is it possible to say whiclí is the best. It generally, and with rare exceptions, depends upon local matters. If lime is not easily obtained, or is impure, it is used more sparinglý; if bone-black can be cheaply procured, the employmeut of carbonic acid is not so essential; the question of fuel is an item in the calculations.
The reason why it is impossible to agree upon any one method of working is the variation in the quality of the beets in different years, as well as in the beets grown the same year in different soils and weather. Factories may be found belonging to one owner, working according to different systems, and so operating for years without solving the problem as to which is the best method under any or all circumstances. Only by the statistical tables can the steady advance and progress be observed.
In comparing the different systems and methods of working in the beet-sugar manufactories of Europe, with a view of finding the best for the United States, it is necessary to examine the circumstances under which they work. It will be observed on page 170, which gives a specified account of a whole season's work, as it has taken place, that the internal revenue is the highest item of expense-even higher than the whole cost of the raw beet. Fuel and wages, each amounts to only one-third of either the internal revenue or the cost of beets, while the interest and discount are figured lower than either fuel or wages. Where land is expensive and difficult to be procured, beets will always command a high price, and the longer the season the higher will be the price of beets. Fuel will always be in proportion to the number of working days, making it immaterial whether the work is extended over the whole season or only over a part. Wages are extremely low already, and they cannot be expected to change much if the working season is extended. The interest and discount would be changed but little if a working season were extended from one hundred and twenty to two hundred and forty days or more, while all the advantages to be gained might be more than counterbalanced by the increased price of beets.
It is readily understood, therefore, why the sugar manufactories lay so little stress on working the whole year. Attempts to do so have been made, and a few establishments are still at work with diy beets; but they do not find many followers. When the process of drying beets and working them the whole year was suggested and put into execution, it was with a view of obtaining the juice in a pure state. By drying the sliced beet and exposing it to a temperature of boiling water, the vegetable albumen contained in the beet coagulates, and becomes insoluble in water; but still the juice obtained is no purer-other changes taking place. The hope of obtaining a better juice therely has not been realized, and the advantage of working the whole year has been counterbalanced by several disadvantages; one, and not the least, being the worthlessness of the refuse as feed for stock. The dry beet being treated with lime, retains large portions of it, which makes it unfit for use. The fuel consumed makes a heavy item of expense, and is not counterbalanced by the saving of interest on the investment or anything else.
A third objection is the tax. Wherever there is any doubt, the revenue bureau construes in its own favor. Formerly one ton of dried beets was