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1892. Tobacco smoke was passed from ten to thirty minutes through the interior of hollow bells lined with gelatin containing disease germs, and it was found that the bacilli of Asiatic cholera and of pneumonia were destroyed.
Dr. Kerr says that, though not having used tobacco for many years, he would not think of going through a yellow-fever ward, unless after a full meal, without a lighted pipe or cigar or cigarette. "There are many persons," he continues, "cultured and uncultured, but especially the former, who, after an exhausting day's work with head or hands, are so worn out and irritable that everything appears wrong, from the cooking of the food to the playfulness of the children, but who, when they have had a smoke, are pleased with themselves and all the world besides."
Dr. Kerr, after long and patient investigation, carried on through years under the most favorable conditions for arriving at the truth, declares that tobacco never impairs or destroys moral capacity or leads to offences against morality or to acts of criminal violence. "The poison of tobacco," he says, "has effected physical injuries, but appears to leave untouched the conscience and the moral sense." Nor does he believe the habit of using tobacco increases the desire to use other stimulants or narcotics. Indeed, it would seem, from the concurrent testimony of all nations, that among those in which tobacco is most generally used there appears to be the least liability among the inhabitants to contract the habit of using morphine, opium, cocaine, hasheesh and other obnoxious and more injurious drugs. So it may, with truth, be said that if tobacco has no other merit, it at least diminishes the desire among those habituated to its use of wishing to substitute more deleterious substances in its place.
An almost complete answer to the assertion that tobacco is highly injurious to the health of those who see it, is found in the fact that probably seventy-five per cent of the male population in Europe and America uses tobacco in one or some of the many ways it is prepared for consumption, while not over one-tenth of the female population uses it in any form whatever. Yet statistics show that men are as healthy as women in every country.
In view of all these facts, there is every reason to believe that the consumption of tobacco will continue to increase in far greater ratio than population. It therefore appears to be one of the safest, surest and most profitable crops for the planter, and equally established as a success for the manufacturer and retailer.
YAEIETIES OF THE TOBACCO PLANT.
Tobacco belongs to the nightshade (Solanacem) family, which embraces in its genera a number of wellknown plants and vegetables. Among them are red pepper, Jamestown or jimson weed, petunia, Irish potato, tomato, egg plant and tobacco. The genus Nicotiana is of American origin, and embraces fifty or more species, one of which, Tabacum, supplies nearly all the tobacco of commerce. The tobacco plant (Nicotiana Tabacum) grows from two to nine feet high, with widespreading leaves, ovate, oblong or lanceolate in form. The leaves are alternately attached to the stalk spirally, so that the ninth leaf overhangs the first, and the tenth leaf the second. The distance between the leaves, on the stalk, is about two inches, in ordinary varieties. The flowers are in large clusters, with corollas of rose color, or white tinged with pink, and about two inches long, funnel-shaped, with inflated throats. Tobacco is a rank, acrid narcotic, viscidly pubescent, leaves and stalk covered with soft, downy hair. The seed pods have two valves.
In Mexico and tropical countries, the tobacco plant becomes perennial. The writer has seen it growing in the deep, narrow valleys, or barrancas, of the Sierra Aladre mountains in Mexico, without cultivation. The same stalk sends forth new sprouts from year to year, the leaves from which are gathered by the natives just before the seed matures, cured in the sun to a dull, greenish color, and when crumbled, are used by the peons and PLATE in. HAVANA 8EEDLEAF (topped plant).
Photographed from same field and at same time as Plate IV. Hight of plant, q feet; number of merchantable leaveson average topped plant, 15 to 18. Top leaves are from 22 to 27 inches long, and from 14to 16 inches wide; middle leaves 28 to 34 Inches long, 16 to 19 inches wide; bottom leaves 20 to 25 Inches long, and 11 to 15 Inches wide.
Indians for cigarette smoking. The inner, or softer portions, of the corn shucks, or husks, are employed for wrappers for the cigarettes. The species found in Mexico growing wild is very much branched, and is supposed to be the Nicotiana rustica, which was extensively cultivated by the ancient Mexicans, and gradually spread northward. It is stated that a plant of this species, even now, is occasionally found growing wild in New York, and is looked upon as a relic of the cultivation of tobacco by the Indians. It is more hardy than the common species, and it has ovate leaves attached to the stalk by long, naked stems, similar to those of the fern. It has dull greenish-yellow flowers. Some of this species is cultivated in Germany, Sweden and Russia, by the peasantry. The Turkish, Hungarian and Latakia tobacco is probably of this species.
Another species is cultivated in Shiraz, Persia, known as Nicotiana Persica. It has white flowers, and, unlike the last mentioned, the leaves, at the point of junction, almost enwrap the stalk. This tobacco, when cured, has a yellowish color, is mild in flavor, and is almost exclusively used for pipe smoking.
A variety known as Yara is cultivated in Cuba. It is probably the species known as Nicotiana repanda. It has a totally different flavor from the Havana. It is mostly grown for home consumption. One or two other species have been cultivated, to some extent, but they hardly deserve mention.
No plant is Eo easily modified by climate, soil, and different methods of cultivation, as tobacco. Climate imparts flavor; soil determines texture. The nearly inodoroii3 product of the seedleaf districts of our Northern States (north of the 40th degree of latitude), if planted South, acquires, in a few generations, the sweetness of the Southern tobacco. In amplitude of leaf it decreases, but increases in thickness, sweetness, and in