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from which it is shipped to domestic manufacturers as ordered, or exported to tobacco factors in foreign countries. When resold in the dealers' warehouse, it may be again inspected and is always reweighod, as shown in Fig. 82. Some dealers take pride in carrying a large and varied stock, so as to be able to supply an order for
VIEW OF TOBACCO IN 8TORAGF, READY FOR SHIPMENT TO ANY PART OF THE WORLD.
This engraving, and Fig. 82, from photographs of the extensive establishment of S. P. Carr & Co at Richmond.
any quality or quantity of leaf. Fig. 81 affords a glimpso at the interior of such a dealer's storage house for tobacco.
Stemmeries and Strips.—Strips are made by removing the midrib from the leaf. They are then tied up in large bundles and hung in the drying room, completely dried ont, and then re-ordered. They are rarely taken down from the racks before the last of May or the first of June, when no mistake can be made as to the amount of moisture they contain. They should be in a dry condition, barely pliable enough to prevent injury in handling and prizing. When in this condition, they are put in bulks and afterwards packed and prized in casks, 1200 to 1300 pounds in each. Before packing, the bundles are untied and the strips laid in regular layers in the hogshead and pressure from screws brought to bear upon them.
The work in stemmeries goes on from November, when the new tobacco begins to come into market, until June, and consists of stemming and ordering the stock. For the remainder of the season, the employees are kept busy in putting the tobacco in bulk and prizing in casks for the English market.
The method pursued in recent years in ordering strips is much more effectual and i*afc. The strips are either hung up in a drying house or put in broad, flat trays made of laths, and exposed to a drying heat of 100° for eight to ten hours. When the tobacco is thoroughly dry, the windows of the drying room are opened and the tobacco cools off. The windows are then closed and steam is turned into the room through pipes that are perforated, which soon puts the tobacco into a condition to be handled without breaking. It is then taken down and "scooped," or shingled, on the floor, but the sticks are not withdrawn. Enough of one grade is put in a coop to fill a tierce, or hogshead. After remaining in the coops a day or two, it is made ready for packing in the cask by putting a few sticks at a time filled with tobacco in a steam box, where it remains for a minute or two, and is then packed without delay, after untying the bundles and straightening the tobacco.
In making strips, the loss of weight by drying is from eight to 12 per cent; by removal of midrib, or
stem, 20 to 25 per cent; by waste, five per cent, making a total loss of from 33 to 42 per cent.
The making of strips employs a great number of persons, mostly those of a dependent class, such as women and children. They are paid from 25 cents to 40 cents per hundred pounds of strips made. A good stemmcr can make from 200 to 250 pounds of strips a day. Children assist the older persons by untying the bundles and placing the leaves in a convenient position for stemming. Each grade of strips is kept to itself. The making of strips is a distinct branch of business rarely engaged in by tobacco growers. It is regarded as a necessary preparation of the tobacco designed for shipment to the English market, where the duties on tobacco amount to from 12 to 15 times the prices paid to the planter. The British duty is 3s 2d, or about 76 cents per pound. The stem is removed, because it is worthless, or nearly so, though an arrangement has been made with the English government by which the manu-" facturer may return the stems into the hands of the proper officer for destruction, and so be relieved of the tax.
The strips are made very dry, because every pound of water which they may carry will be chargeable with the same duty paid on the tobacco. Within recent years the English government has taken cognizance of this source of revenue and now requires a duty of 3s lOd, or U2 cents, a pound on tobacco containing less than 10 per cent of water.
Tobacco selected for tho making ';f strips should be capable of absorbing a great deal of water, for all the water it will take after passing through the hands of the excise officers will be so much added to the profit. Too dealers in strips, therefore, other things being equal, prefer tobacco that will make the least loss in stemming, that will use a great absorber of moisture, and that will bear the ocean transportation without damage.
Strips are made with all classes and grades of tobacco, the largest percentage from heavy shipping tobacco. The output of strips, however, increases year by year in the White Burley and yellow-tobacco districts. These styles are growing popular in England. Strips are therefore made at nearly every point in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee, where the yellow tobacco is grown, as well as in those localities where the White Burley tobacco is sold.
The great strip markets of the United States are Richmond, Petersburg, Lynchburg and Farmville in Virginia; Henderson, Paducah, Louisville and Owensbora in Kentucky; Clarksville, Springfield and Paris in Tennessee, and Evansville in Indiana. There are numerous other places where a few hundred hogsheads of strips are put up irregularly. The industry is rarely carried on at such small places, except when the prices of strips are very high. The make of Western strips averages from 28,000 hogsheads to 30,000 hogsheads, and those of Virginia and North Carolina 13,000 hogsheads, of which about 8,000 hogsheads are brights and Burley.
Magnitude of Heavy Leaf Trades.—This does not vary much from year to year, and according to the movement toward primary markets there is room for much further expansion of heavy leaf tobacco growing, providing an adequate market can be found. Aggregate receipts at the big market places are averaging a little heavier than five years ago and more, but not much. Taking a total of the receipts at each of the eight leading markets where heavy tobacco is sold at first hands, we find that about 275,000 hogsheads came into view in 1896. This was a decrease from 1895, but practically the same as in 1894 and 1892, while the aggregate receipts at the eight markets in 1890 were about 250,000 hogsheads. Striking an average, this shows annual receipts covering a period of eight years amounting to 265,000 hogsheads, which fairly represents the available