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giving as much ventilation as possible at the top by a ventilator. The sill should be about one foot from the ground, resting on a good-sized stone at each post. On this, boards about a foot wide should be hung, to turn up and let in under the tobacco after it is nearly cured, and the long doors are closed, as shown in the side view of Fig. 40. A four-tier barn may be constructed on the same plan. It should be 36 or 39 feet wide, to use poles 12 or 13 feet long, there being three lengths of poles across the barn, instead of two lengths, as in the threetier barn (Fig. 40). The middle girders need not be braced and all the lower ones should be slip girders. Upon the lower tier the middle bent should be left nnhung, to admit of better ventilation. Above the sill there should be a row of doors, three or four feet long, to ventilate with after the long doors above have been closed, or before that, if necessary.
Jacob Zimmer, an authority on this crop in the Miami valley, Ohio, says a better plan is to have the barn, even for cigar-leaf tobacco, as air-tight as possible, by nailing strips over all cracks, except to cut away six inches lengthwise at bottom, to admit fresh air, and leave an open space at top, under the eaves, thus providing constant circulation of air. Screen space at bottom with wire netting to keep out vermin. Fig. 29 shows such a space under the eaves, and Fig. 40 shows the open space alongside at bottom.
In Pennsylvania, barns are of all sizes, from 20 feet square to 40x150 feet, and a width of 36 feet is generally preferred. Fig. 47 shows an elaborate affair, 41x184 feet. There is a cellar nine feet high in the clear, under the whole of it, containing a dampening room, into which the tobacco is lowered through trap doors in the floor, where it is bulked after being stripped. A smaller room is used for stripping; around its four sides are permanent tables or counters, with a raised wooden floor immediately behind them, on which stand the men when stripping. The barn is 29 feet high from floor to plate, with room for seven tiers of tobacco. Ventilation is provided at the sides, at the gables and at the roof. At intervals of four feet, there are horizontal openings along the entire sides of the whole building, as shown in the illustration, Fig. 40, each opening just where the tier of tobacco begins. These openings are about a foot wide, the doors being operated by levers. This ornate affair cost $4,000 about 20 years ago, and is far more expensive than necessary.
In the rest of the Northern cigar-leaf growing sections, barns are generally constructed on the principle above described. The Snow barn was used in Suffield, Ct., for one season, but H. Austin, under whose auspices the trial was made, says: "It cured our cigar leaf too quickly, and left the stem hard and woody, the' leaf was of poor color, and had a smoky smell, which spoiled it for cigar leaf." Although this single test is no criterion for judging the method, it should be said that it is yet a serious question to what extent artificial heat can safely be applied to the curing of cigar-leaf tobacco.
In Florida, barns for cigar leaf are made like those in the Connecticut valley, but plants must not be hung on the bottom tier, as the leaf might mold in wet weather. Instead of single board doors for ventilation, windows are made every 8 feet, 2$ or 3 feet wide and 10 feet long, hung by a hinge at the top. This is necessary to admit air more freely at night, being closed every dry day. The balloon frame tobacco barn is more preferred in Florida. As matters of interest for comparison, views are given of the tobacco barns used in Germany.
A Wisconsin barn that has been patented is shown at Figs. 49, 50, and 51. This building is 60x33J feet, divided into two sections of 24 feet each, and these cut into two divisions of 12 feet each. It is four stories high and has four tiers four feet in width each side of the center walk, making eight tiers in all. In the center, between the two sections, is a driveway of 12 feet. Midway between the second and third stories is an inspection walk, 18 inches wide, the length of the building, with a door at each end, which enables one to inspect the condition of the upper tiers. The building is perfectly air-tight, with no ventilating doors, but ventilation is furnished by the air shafts between the hanging tobacco; by the vertical air shaft in center of building its whole length; by the air distributers in each section, with pipes connecting them with funnel* outside of the house; a rotary turret on the roof, with double vanes for upward or downward draft; arresters to be hung in the center if each section to force an upward draft, and by outside ventilating doors at the bottom, to admit air. Arrangements are made for ventilating the different rooms independent of each other. We believe only one such barn was ever constructed, but there are some suggestive features about it.
A Balloon Frame Tobacco Barn is shown and described at Fig. 53, that can be put together with simply a hammer and saw, no mortising is required, and yet it will stand the severest cyclone. Long, narrow windows along the bottom, just above the sills, are advised by Mr. Chapman, also a big window in each gable and three cupolas, 4x4, with slats to keep out rain and inside shutters to exclude air when necessary. This barn, 34x64, will hold about three acres, requires 22,000 shingles and 17,000 feet of lumber. It has no loose poles inside to be lost, or to expose men to bad falls by a misstep when hanging tobacco.
ON CURING TOBACCO.
This is one of the most delicate and important operations, but the method of doing it varies with the kind of leaf grown, and the object for which it is to be used. The object is to cure the leaf to the desired state without sacrifice of its good qualities, and yet to avoid or get rid of bad qualities. But this involves far more than merely drying the leaf, for (says Frear) a marked loss of dry matter occurs during the process, as well as a loss of water. "If the leaf be killed by chloroform or frost, the changes ordinarily observed to result from curing do not occur. Curing, then, is probably a life process, due chiefly (if not wholly) to the activity of the cells of the leaf."
The process of curing is, therefore, much influenced by the structure of leaf, and by conditions of temperature and moisture. Nor does it appear that the same method of curing can by any means be applied, with safety, to different types of tobacco. Cigar leaf is practically ruined by the quick-curing process used for yellow tobacco. Pole burn and white veins also appear under apparently or somewhat different conditions in different classes of leaf, and even with the same variety in different years. All these matters are now being scientifically investigated, but we must confine our attention to such practical details as have thus far been proven to give the best results. We are confident, however, that science and practice together will greatly improve upon these methods.
CURING THE YELLOW TOBACCO. Probably in no other tobacco region in the world are so much experience and good judgment required in the curing of the crop as in the yellow-tobacco States. Barns are purposely built small in order that they may be filled quickly. A difference of one day in cutting the plants will be hazardous in the curing of the tobacco a uniform color. Every plant, if possible, should be put in the barn the same day, and heat applied before it is wilted.
Very minute directions have been given as to the regulation of the heat at varying intervals of time, and these directions, though valuable, are rarely ever applicable as a whole to the curing of a barn full of tobacco. They require to be modified to suit the change of conditions. Tobacco cut full of sap, superinduced by a rainy season, requires a different formula for curing to that cut after a season of dry weather. The sole object, in curing, is to expel the sap in such a way as to make the desired colors, and to prevent the exudation of the juices, which give flavor and suppleness, by improper or too rapid curing, or in drying preceded or accompanied by fermentation. The cells of the leaf must not be broken so that the contents are dissipated. This is done in tobacco that is house burned or pole sweated. Nor must the process of curing be so rapid as to destroy the colors
Mr. R. L. Ragland, of Virginia, first laid down a plan to bo followed in curing yellow tobacco, and this has been the basis of all subsequent formulas. The agent fcr curing is dry, artificial heat. The heat is either made by having heaps of charcoal on the floors underneath the tobacco, or by means of flues running around three sides of the barn and heated by wood fed from the outside in a furnace (see Fig. 58). A thermometer is put inside the barn, so as to determine and regulate