« AnteriorContinuar »
takes the larger piece and smooths it out, -lays the smaller piece on top of it for the inside lining, gathers up a handful of fillers, which he makes of the right thickness and nearly the right length, then puts this filler bunch inside the binder and rolls it up smoothly by hand. If the filler is not put into the binder straight, the binder will roll up twisted and the cigar will smoke one-sided. When the binder is rolled up over the filler, then the wrapper is rolled on, tucking it well in at the beginning, and rounding it to a more or less pointed tip or head, which is pasted together with the gum tragacanth, cutting the head neatly around with the hand knife. In some factories, a thimble is used to more perfectly and neatly shape the head. Then the cigar is set under the stationary knife, or tuck cutter, and cut off the desired length at the butt or tuck, the name being derived from the careful tucking in of the wrapper at this place. This cutter contains a movable contrivance for measuring the desired length of cigar, which varies from three to seven inches. The cigar is now finished and set in the rack, head front.
Form Cigars.—These are made the same as the handmade, except that the bunch of fillers is not so thick, and is put into a wooden form of any desired shape, which varies from a Perfecto shape, which is pointed at both ends, to a straight cigar, of even thickness all the way through. These molds usually hold twenty bunches. When the mold is filled, it is placed under a press, for seven or eight hours, or longer, when the bunches are ready to be taken out and covered with the wrapper. These form cigars are usually of an inferior grade to the handmade, and do not require such expert workmanship. Of course, high-grade cigars can be made with the form, but the smoker generally gets more for his money in the handmade, in which the filler bunch is more solid, causing the cigar to be filled with more smoking material. In some large factories, however, the "handmade" workman is required to use a shaper, a small mold that will contain and shape one branch while another is being got ready. This workman need not be so expert in his ability to make the cigar of just the required shape from the sense of feeling as is the genuine handmade worker.
Packing.—The filled rack of cigars is taken from the workman's table into the packing room, and the packer, who must be an expert at distinguishing colors, sorts the cigars into the five common colors, the cigar being "stronger" as the color grows darker. The packer also inserts the box scent, then tacks down the cover.
The Flavoring or Scent.—Inferior fillers are often "doctored" with sharp-flavored liquids to improve their taste, such as rum and water, alcohol and water, various sour wines, cider, vinegar, etc. Box scent, so-called, is not necessarily used to cover imperfections, but to keep the cigars, which are sometimes shut up for a long time, and would likely suffer from atmospheric changes, in good flavor and smell. Still, this scent has a good deal to do with the popularity of even fine-grade goods, end the secret of its various combinations is impossible to discover from the manufacturer who makes a popular brand. Various articles are, of course, used, among them being Spanish licorice, rum, lemon, cedar, vanilla bean, the oils of various spices, and so on ad infinitum. Then there are many flavors on the market, but the secret of their manufacture is kept, and while a good deal of these prepared flavors is bought, the ambitious manufacturer is ever on the alert to discover some more popular combination. The packer sprinkles the little of the scent he is required to use in the bottom of the box, or on the top or middle row of cigars.
The Waste.—The bits from the wrappers and binders in the workman's drawer, together with refuse left from the fillers that were too short to be used as such, and the trucks that are cut off from the cigar in measuring its length, are dried and run through a sieve, and thus made into scrapes, of which the cheapest or scrap cigars are made, these sittings being used as filling. They are also used to manufacture cigarettes. These scraps are, in turn, run through a finer sieve, and the comparatively very small amount of dust that runs through, which consists of about five per cent of the whole amount of tobacco used, is employed for snuff, or sold for fertilizing purposes.
TOBACCO AS A REMEDY.
Tobacco has almost passed out of the materia medica in the modern practice of medicine. Rarely is it now prescribed for any ailment whatever, though at one time it was thought to be a specific for many diseases. Within recent years, however, attention has again been directed to tobacco as a remedial agent, through the efforts of the late Gen. T. L. Clingman, of North Carolina, who for many years represented that State in Congress, first as a representative and then as a senator. Gen. Clingman believes there is no remedy so effective for relieving wounds, bruises, sprains, etc., as tobacco applied externally, in the form of a poultice. He cured a severe sprain of the ankle by policing it with wet tobacco leaves and keeping them moist. A severe gunshot wound of the leg was cured by wrapping the limb in leaf tobacco covered with wet cloths. An injury to his eye was also cured by a wet tobacco poultice. Its effect seems to be to take out all the inflammation, and where promptly applied, Gen. Clingman claims, any external wound cannot become sufficiently inflamed to cause mortification. In case of his eye, sight was given up by all the doctors, but after the tobacco poultice had been kept on five days, the eye resumed its natural appearance and the sight was fully restored. He reports physicians using a tobacco poultice since then, and cites many instances of its successful application for sore eyes, sore throat, erysipelas (some very bad cases), sciatica, bunions, corns, bites, boils, tumors, swelling of various