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Flne-flbered Clarksvllle wrappers.
Going into a more minute description of the various members of the different classes, we begin with— CLASS L
Fine Cut and Plug Fillers.—White Burley is the product of a new variety which originated in Brown county, Ohio, in 1864, as has been already described. There are two sub-types now produced from the White Burley:
1. A thin, chaffy leaf, almost destitute of gum and oils. This is used for manufacturiug fine-cut tobacco.
2. A heavier leaf, with more body and more gum, used for plug fillers, and generally called, in the commercial world, Bed Burley. This sub-type is soft, elastic, spongy, with a large capacity for absorbing the sauces with which it is treated in the process of manufacture. It has about three per cent of nicotine, which is about half the quantity contained in the heavy-shipping tobacco. It will absorb, without dripping, two and a half times its weight of water. It is not naturally so sweet as the flue and sun cured tobacco of Virginia, or the air-cured product of Missouri. The fine-cut Mason county tobacco has less gum than any other tobacco grown in the Burley district.
The Red Burley fillers are not so bright in color as the White Burley cutting leaf, but they have a characteristic cinnamon color.
The Virginia sun and air cured fillers, which are chiefly grown in the counties of Caroline, Hanover, Louisa, Spottsylvania and Fluvanna, in Virginia, consist of a leaf of medium size, light brown in color, very sweet and fragrant, with a fair proportion of gum and oils. This sun and air cured tobacco is very popular for chewing, on account of its peculiar richness of flavor and pleasantness of taste. It contains about 3.27 per cent of nicotine, and will absorb, without dripping, about twice its weight in water.
The most popular and the highest priced brands of tobacco are manufactured from the flue-cured Virginia fillers grown, for the most part, in Henry and Patrick counties, Virginia, but mainly in Henry county. This product is of medium size, brown or mahogany in color, fine in texture, delicate in fiber, oily and elastic. It is usually made from the variety known as the Little Orinoco, which is peculiar in the irregularity of its veins, or smaller fibers, and the frequent bifurcations of these fibers.
The best North Carolina Red tillers, resembling somewhat those grown in Henry county, Va., come from Rockingham, Guilford. Forsyth, Surry, and to a smaller extent from several other counties in the western section. They are flue-cured, of a cherry red in color, with whitish fibers. They are sweet, tough and leathery, but of small leaf and delicate fibers. They are made from thoroughly ripened plants, and while not great absorbers of the sauces with which they are treated in the process of manufacture, yet they are highly popular because of their peculiarly sweet, natural flavor. When the plants are cut before they are ripe, the product is subject to "gray veins," which are highly objectionable, inasmuch as such veins do not disappear, or blacken, when manufactured, and reveal the immaturity of the product.
The yellow fillers of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and of east Tennessee, though used, to some extent, in the manufacture of chewing tobacco, are yet wauuug in the natural sweetness and toughness of leaf, which are so much to be desired in chewing tobacco.
This is a picture of a plant of this variety somewhat different from the plant shown in Plate IX, although belonging to the narrowleaf variety and finer type of the White Hurley. It is grown on a field having a typical blue grass, soil, In Fayette county, Kentucky, well suited to the growth of White Hurley. This plant was 3} feet high; top leaf, 38 inches long and 8inches wide; middle leaves, 31x9 inches.
The Missouri air-cured fillers make what is called a "tough, sweet chew," that is pleasant to the taste, but the texture of the leaf is not so delicate or silky as that of the Henry county flue-cured tobacco, nor does it command such high prices in the market.
A chewing tobacco with a large percentage of nicotine, much used by miners, sailors, lumbermen, farm laborers, and others employed in outdoor work, is made of the strong, new-land tobacco grown in the heavyshipping districts, and even, to some extent, of that grown on heavily manured plots. This product rises sometimes as high as six per cent in nicotine, and is totally unfit for use by delicate persons, or those having weak nerves. Owing to the large amount of gummy substances stored away in its vascular tissue, it rarely has the capacity of absorbing, without dripping, more than an equal weight of water.
The air-cured fillers of Tennessee and Kentucky, other than the Burley, are of light to medium weight, not coarse in texture or fiber, but far from being as delicate as the flue-cured products of Virginia. This product is not gummy or waxy, but it has a mild, sweet flavor, free from acidity or bitterness, porous in structure, and generally of a bright, pale-red color. It possesses a high absorptive capacity. It is distinguished from the Burley fillers by having more body, with less delicacy of fiber, and by being darker in color.
Plug Wrappers.—Equally as essential for making plug tobacco, are plug wrappers. The yellow and mahogany types of Virginia, North and South Carolina, east Tennessee and portions of Kentucky, may be considered grades of the yellow type. The highest grade of yellow wrappers is small in size, lemon-yellow in color, soft and silky to the feel, with yellow or white fibers. It sparkles with minute, golden colored granules, apparently sprinkled on the upper surface of the Jeaf, that give a splendor to its appearance, especially in the sunlight. Other grades, less perfect in the yellow color, follow this, by almost imperceptible gradations, to the mahogany or mottled yellow and brown. The lemon colored leaf stands at the head as a wrapper for plug, especially if it will withstand heavy pressure without blackening. The mahogany and red wrappers are generally larger than the yellow wrappers. They usually contain a large proportion of oily substances in their composition, and will blacken the more readily under a heavy pressure. The absorptive capacity of the yellow wrapper is over two and a half times its weight. The dark and red wrappers of the Olarksville (Tennessee) district, as well as those of Missouri, have a strong and elastic texture, heavy in body, soft, smooth and flexible in structure, of fine stem and fiber, varying in color from a light brown to that of port wine. The leaf must be free from worm cut or field fire, of good width, and of well rounded proportions. These wrappers are in demand for the Canada trade, and sometimes by the manufacturers of stogy cigars.
The Burley wrappers grown in Mason county, Kentucky, are distinguished for their fineness, softness, strength and elasticity. In color, they run from a red] dish-yellow to a dark brown. The best grades of the White Burley product of Mason county make excellent wrappers for plug work.
English Shippers.—Great Britain furnishes the best foreign market for American tobacco. The United Kingdom, composed of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, took the following quantities of American tobacco for the years named: For 1891, 62,945,623 pounds; 1892, 54,594,449 pounds; 1893, 69,493,638 pounds; 1894,