« AnteriorContinuar »
aimed to secure for this purpose a short, waxy leaf, ana heavy bodied, low grades, but the area of dark tobacco having become circumscribed in Virginia, as compared with that for bright leaf, these fine grades of short leaf and best lugs have been in demand for the German markets at such high prices that France now substitutes a commoner grade of Virginia tobacco for making rappee snuff. This lower grade is soaked in some decoction which turns it black, after which it is dried, prized and sent to France for that purpose. Rappee snuff is used
FIG. 133. PLUG TOBACCO FACTORY OF J. WRIGHT CO., RICHMOND, VA.
altogether for inhaling. The practice of inhaling snuff through the nostrils was once very common, but this habit has nearly gone out of use. It was once much affected by royal personages, and snuff boxes were considered not inappropriate presents from one monarch to another, or from kings to those subjects who had distinguished themselves in the battlefield or in the councils of the State.
Much of the information contained in this article was furnished by Mr. B. F. McKeage, of the snuff factory belonging to the Stewart-Ralph Company, of Clarksville, Tenn. This factory, under his management, is supplied with the most modern machinery and convenience for making Scotch snuff, and it has a capacity of 8000 pounds per day.
The manufacture of this article, as the working of tobacco for any purpose, involves the most experienced judgment and knowledge of market wants and consumers' tastes. The various kinds and qualities of leaf are carefully assorted and brought together in the desired quantities and proportions. The leaf is then cut into flakes and afterwards granulated by a machine made for the purpose. By straining the granulated product through sieves, the exact size for pipe smoking is separated. The tobacco for granulation should contain enough moisture to prevent its being ground into powder or snuff, when it could be drawn through the stem of a pipe in smoking, causing discomfort to the smoker. The granulated tobacco is dampened with spirits, or liquids, of special formulas, in order to keep it in proper condition when packed. Certain flavors are also added to certain brands in the process of manufacture. Smoking tobacco is packed by machinery in cotton sacks of various colors and sizes, each holding from two ounces to a pound. The sacks are provided with a draw string and an internal revenue stamp is put upon each sack. Some tobacco is not granulated, but simply cut into shreds for smoking, Perique being often so prepared. The making of these bags constitutes an important department, and 100,000 of the tracks are produced daily in the Durham factory described herewith. The manufacturers' labels are pasted upon the sacks in the stamping room, and the filled bags are packed in paper boxes, these being shipped in wooden cases. The box shop and printing office (Fig. 134) is an important department of a large factory, while the packing room (Fig. 135, page 476,) is larger and employs even more help. The internal revenue stamps are put onto the packages in a special department, called the stamp room and canceling room (Fig. 13C), in which millions of stamps are used and canceled, the amount paid for stamps by the Durham Company reaching upwards of a million dollars a year. A new machine automatically packs tobacco in the bags and labels them.
The largest manufactory of pipe-smoking tobacco in the world is that of Blackwell's Durham Tobacco Company at Durham, N. C., the main building of which is illustrated in Fig. 129, and glimpses into some of its departments are given in illustrations 134, 135 and 136, all made from photographs taken specially for this work. This business was established by the late John R. Green, who selected the famous trade-mark of the Durham bull that is now 60 familiar all over the habitable globe, this trade-mark being an absolute guarantee of a quality of smoking tobacco that never varies and never deteriorates. W. T. Blackwell succeeded the founder of the business, and later, Mr. Julian S. Carr became president and has enormously developed the business, which has resulted in the development of a populous and prosperous city at Durham. The premises occupy •13 acres of ground and the main factory has a frontage of 350 feet, exclusive of seven large warehouses for the storage of tobacco, besides outbuildings, engine room, stables, etc. The company also manufactures cut plug tobacco for either chewing or smoking, and during the busy season employs 1000 hands.
FINE CUT TOBACCO.
Fine cut tobacco is only the leaf cut into fine shreds. The tobacco employed for this purpose in the United States is very thin, chaffy and, as far as possible, destitute of gummy matter. It is stemmed, moistened and pressed by a screw into a trough, and fed by machinery to a series of knives arranged around the outer circumference of a wheel. The wheel is made to revolve with great rapidity. After the tobacco is cut into fine shreds, it is spread upon trays and exposed to heat, which causes the compressed shreds to fall apart. The cut product is packed in buckets and sometimes in boxes or bags. It is used for chewing, smoking and the manufacture of cigarettes. When used for chewing, it is sauced with sweet liquids as plug tobacco.
CIGARETTES AND CIGARETTE TOBACCO.
The manufacture and consumption of cigarettes has increased amazingly in the United States during the past 20 years. The production in the United States in 1875 was 41,000,000; in 1896 it was 4,000,000,000, or nearly 100 times as great.
Cigarettes of the best quality are made of tobacco from three to four years old. The leaves are very carefully selected, stemmed and dried, and then brought into order and cut into shreds, of which the finer qualities of cigarettes are made. It requires four pounds of leaf tobacco, or three pounds of stemmed tobacco, to make one thousand cigarettes. The wrappers are of either tobacco or paper. When made of tobacco, the best leaves are used for this purpose, and the wrappers are cut by hand between the veins, so that the small stems, or veins, will not show on the cigarette. The paper used is made mainly in France and is called rice paper. It burns without odor and almost without ash. It is very thin, but tough and almost transparent, and is said to be made from the fiber of the cocoanut palm. Paste of the finest quality is used for cementing the wrappers; sometimes the wrappers are fastened by crimping the edges. After the tobacco is cut, it is dried and made ready for working, either by hand or by a machine. The machine for making cigarettes (of which there are about 25 different kinds), although simple to operate, is a wonderful piece of mechanism, which takes the to bacco and converts it into perfect cigarettes at the rate of 100,000 to 200,000 per day of 10 hours.
Before the invention of this machine, cigarettes were made almost entirely by girls, whose deft fingers enabled them to do the work more rapidly and more neatly than when done by men. The average number made by each girl is about 2000 per day, sometimes 2500, by which it appears that one machine, operated at a minimum capacity, can do the work of about 50 girls in the manufacture of cigarettes. A large number of girls, however, find employment in packing and stamping the product turned out by the machine. The packages are put up in a highly artistic and attractive way, so as to catch the eye of the consumer.
There are some markets in which the handmade cigarettes are preferred to those made by machinery, and the supply for these markets are made by girls. The all-tobacco cigarettes are made by hand, and the wrappers and fillers used are of the finest selections oi Virginia and Havana tobacco. The fillers are first pressed in molds and then wrapped, just as cigars are made. Virginia fillers are preferred by most manufacturers An expert maker of cigarettes can earn from $1.60 to $2 per day. All-tobacco cigarettes require the greatest care in the selection of suitable tobacco.
One of the leading manufacturers of cigarettes in Richmond, Va., Cameron & Cameron, blend together, for making cigarettes, various kinds of tobacco, embracing the Virginia, North Carolina, Turkish, Periqne, Havana, Latakio and Brazilian. The manipulation of so many kinds can be successfully accomplished only by