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prizing tobacco. Upon the floor of each of these warehouses may be seen daily from 15,000 to 50,000 pounds of bright tobacco. Fig. 73 is from a photograph of the warehouses in the section referred to, that are building up the prosperous town of Greenville. In the older and heavy shipping districts, the warehouse system has attained still larger dimensions, involving great warehouses, tobacco boards of trade, banking facilities, anc all the appurtenances to a large commerce. Clarksville, Tenn., is an example of a town being rapidly developed, because it is a center for tobacco sales by the warehouse method, while Danville, Va., has long had a national reputation in this respect. Much of the vast commerce , of Cincinnati and Louisville is due to these cities being great tobacco markets.
Selling "Loose" Tobacco.—In the heavy leaf districts, large quantities of tobacco are sold loose, the other method very generally employed being that of selling the leaf in hogsheads under inspection regulated by law. Heavy shipping and manufacturing tobacco, when sold loose, usually changes ownership after it has been examined by purchaser in growers' barns, and price is usually fixed according to weight, with the condition that the amount of lugs must not exceed a certain agreed percentage. In other words, a fixed price is paid for the good grades, and another set figure for the lugs. Warehouses for the sale of loose tobacco are now established in Virginia and North Carolina, but no such provision for sales is made in the Mississippi valley. The warehouses for the transfer of loose tobacco are quite different in construction and arrangement from those where prized tobacco is sold.
An important requisite, in the construction of a warehouse for the sale of loose tobacco, is plenty of floor space, and plenty of light from above and also from all sides. Attached to one side of the warehouse is a cheaply
constructed shed, into which wagons with the loose tobacco are first driven. The floor of this shed is about three feet lower than the floor of the warehouse. The tobacco is taken from the wagon and placed in long piles on trucks, with the heads outward and the tails in the center. This loaded truck is then wheeled upon the platform scales and weighed, after which it is taken to an open floor space to which it is assigned, and the tobacco skilfully dumped. A card bearing the warehouse number, weight of the pile and name of owner is fastened in the cleft of a stick, which, in turn, is fixed in the top of the pile of tobacco. As far as possible, the various grades are kept separate. The tobacco is then ready for the auction, and the owner, if bid prices are not satisfactory, reserves the option of rejecting these, and may subsequently sell privately or offer his tobacco at another time at the same place publicly.
The charges for handling loose tobacco in this character are not burdensome. That for weighing each pile is 10 to 15 cents; the auction fee is at the rate of 10 to 15 cents per 100 pounds, and if the pile weighs more than 100 pounds, a set figure of 25 cents. Finally, there is a commission of two and one-half per cent on the amount of sale, which goes to the warehouse. Immediately following the sale the tobacco is removed in large, flat-bottom baskets, each holding 200 to 300 pounds.
Sales of Prized or Inspected Leaf.—Licensed warehouses for the sale of tobacco prized in hogsheads are numerous throughout the heavy shipping and manufacturing districts, and are governed by certain wise restrictions under State laws. These are generally very rigid, and properly require that everything shall be done by the warehouseman to insure fair dealing between buyers and sellers. It is the purpose of the law that these regulations will so cover every case as to make it unnecessary to. carry disagreements to the courts. Provision is
made that no warehouseman, or any one of his employees, is allowed to participate in the profits or losses from the purchase or sale of any tobacco in the warehouse with which he may be connected.
The inspectors of tobacco are either appointed by some State authority, or elected by a tobacco board of trade. In Tennessee, the warehousemen are created inspectors by law, but they may appoint inspectors, or samplers, for whose acts the warehousemen are held responsible, by the regulations of the tobacco board of trade. These deputy inspectors are elected by the vote of the warehousemen and buyers, who have an equal voice in their selection. In cases where differences and claims arise, these are settled by an arbitration committee. The latter consists usually of three persons, who are appointed by a committee of the board of trade, one member of which is a warehouseman and another a buyer, these two selecting a third to complete this committee. Provision is also made for a committee of appeal, which has the power to confirm or reject the decision of the committee of arbitration. The warehouseman is obliged to keep his house in good condition and repair, the floors fitted with platforms, or skids, which will elevate the hogsheads at least four inches.
Drawing Samples.—In order to secure fair average samples from a cask of tobacco, the top head is first taken out, the cask then turned bottom upward and lifted from the closely packed tobacco, as illustrated in Fig. 76, this leaving the entire contents of the cask in a solid column exposed to view on all sides. The tobacco,; by means of an iron lever supported by an adjustable fulcrum, is divided in at least four places. At each "break" four or more bundles from different courses are drawn by the inspector (Fig. 77). so as to get a fair idea of the quality and condition of the leaf. These bundles are tied in one sample, to which is affixed a tag,