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sweetness and strength. For that reason, filler leaf is selected for a character in itself, as sweetness, strength and perhaps catchy taste. A filler leaf may be most desirable, but wrapped with an undesirable wrapper or binder, its desirable quality may be detracted from and its chief value rendered worthless. On the other hand, the filler leaf may be "flat," and the wrapper or binder, or both, may give to the cigar nearly its entire value.
The gum in cigar leaf is what produces much of its value in smoking. The taste, strength, texture, etc., are all more or less dependent on the amount of gum present. Sometimes a crop has too much gum; this was especially true of the '93 and '94 crops of all sections of the country. The leaf raised in the section around East Hartford, Ct., should be kept two years for proper curing, as it contains an unusually large per cent of gum.
To make cigars of the great variety of requirements called for by the trade, involves much skill and experience in selecting and putting together the grades of leaf necessary to accomplish any desired result. The judgment, or ability, to do this commands a high premium in American cigar factories. It can only be learned by close observation and wide experience. It cannot be described in a book. To still further complicate the matter, crops from the same region may vary greatly in quality from year to year. It is customary to refer to the Connecticut seed leaf crop grown in 1871 as the type of absolute perfection, while the Havana seed crop of 1892 was in many sections of remarkable quality when it came out of the sweat. The curing, and the subsequent fermentation, of the leaf, also profoundly affect its quality. The best the grower can do is to follow the matter closely from year to year, and strive for those qualities in his leaf which are in most demand— and he must follow the demand closely to see just what it is.- t .. j
The Pipc-SmoJcing Tobacco now most highly prized, and in greatest demand, is made mainly from the bright lugs of the yellow-tobacco districts. These lugs are of three sub-grades, viz: Common or sand lugs; medium or smooth lugs, and bright or wrapping lugs.
A mixture of heavier lugs, or dark, low leaf, is made when greater strength is required in the tobacco. White Burley lugs, which are usually fine and bright, are much used for making granulated pipe-smoking tobacco. These lugs are usually of sweet flavor, thin in leaf, light or yellowish-brown in color, inclined to be trashy and chaffy, and, when mixed with the Carolina and Virginia bright lugs, make the very highest grade of smoking tobacco for pipes. It is sweet to the taste, mild in the effects, and exceedingly popular with persons of sedentary habits. A strong pipe-smoking tobacco is preferred by persons who live an active, outdoor life. Some of the Burley lugs, especially those that are bright in color and thin of leaf, are granulated, and form good stock for the manufacture of cigarettes.
Perique tobacco, grown exclusively in Louisiana by the descendants of the Arcadians, is peculiar in the methods used in its curing and its preparation for market. It emits a highly spirituous odor, much liked by some smokers. While but few pipe smokers prefer the Perique in its unadulterated state, a suitable mixture of it with other tobacco makes a popular brand for pipe smoking. The total amount of Perique grown now reaches 175,000 pounds per annum, according to the authority of S. Hershein & Co., who handle the entire product. This is said to be twice as much as there is any demand for. The production has extended and largely increased during the past few years. Common lugs from the various tobacco districts constitute the lower grades of many typ*>s. These lugs are trashy, earth-burned, deficient in body and weight of leaf, of every color known to the cured-tobacco plant, and milder than the better grades of the types from which they are taken.
By a proper admixture of colors and strength of leaf, many brands of pipe-smoking tobacco are made from such lugs, as bright, dark, brown, red, spangled, yellow, mild, medium and strong. Some air-cured lugs are granulated for cigarettes, the stock being furnished from the light, thin products of Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, eastern Ohio and Maryland. The lugs selected for this purpose are light in weight and color.
Some heavy-bodied lugs are used for snuff; some lighter grades for cigar fillers, and still lighter for the pipe—either cut or granulated.
Stogy wrappers and fillers, used for making a coarse, common, domestic cigar, is a western-grown leaf, of full length and breadth, and of light body and fine fiber. Uniformly dark colors are selected. To a very small extent, a red or cinnamon color is required. The tobacco for this purpose must be air cured and entirely free from any flavor inparted by fire or smoke. It is necessary, before being used, that it shall be somewhat soured by sweat or fermentation. The manufacture of this class of cigars is carried on in Louisville, Ky., Cincinnati, Ohio, Pittsburg, Pa., and in Wheeling, W. Va. The difference between the wrappers and fillers is in grade only. What are called "self-workers" consist of packages in which both fillers and wrappers are put up in proper proportions.
A plug tobacco, wrapped with fine-fibered Clarksville tobacco, of good breadth of leaf and of a port wine color, is put up in the United States for making cigars, and nearly all is exported. These wrappers impart a rank flavor to the cigars. They are also produced in some parts of Virginia. A few of them only are used in the manufacture of stogy cigars.
The Indiana Kite-Foot, a variety having a broad, short leaf, grown in Owen and Clark counties, in Indiana, is used for making common cigars. This tobacco is cured with fire, and the color is generally brown, sprinkled with yellow spots.
Little Dutch is a small variety, with thin leaf, sweet, dark brown in color, with a glossy surface, and it is grown in the Miami Valley of Ohio. It makes a very pleasant pipe-smoking tobacco. It is easily injured by the process of fermentation and for that reason is not popular with manufacturers of tobacco or cigars. It loses twenty per cent of its weight by sweating, and has less nicotine than any other tobacco grown, having only 0.63 of one per cent.
SCIENCE IN ITS APPLICATION TO TOBACCO.
Few plants are so susceptible to soil, feeding and culture, as tobacco. Certainly no other crop requires more scientific knowledge to grow it to perfection. Men who have raised it for years, who have closely studied their own and others' experiments, agree with the authors that the scientific aspect of tobacco culture is just beginning to be understood. The curing of the leaf, and its subsequent fermentation, are also only just beginning to be understood. All these matters open up most fascinating fields in chemistry, physics and bacteriology, upon which we have space to but briefly touch.
AS TO THE COMPOSITION OF TOBACCO.
Constituents of Tobacco Leaf.—Nicotine is the active principle of tobacco upon which its peculiar value depends. To it the narcotic and intoxicating qualities of the leaf are mainly due. It is an oily substance that quickly evaporates, and has a strong, pungent and peculiar odor. Nicotine is present in the plant from the time it commences to grow, in the seed bed, until it has reached maturity and gone through all the fermentative changes incident to curing, sweating and manufacture. The flavor and characteristic odor of tobacco are supposed to be due to a volatile substance called nicotianine. For practical purposes it may be considered with nicotine, or as a part of it.
The percentage of nicotine varies in the different parts of the plant, and this variation increases as the