Imágenes de páginas

an approximate opinion of the promise of success in the undertaking.

Probably the most positive effect of the foregoing de scription, on the mind of any man who contemplates estaba lishing a tilery, will be to cause him to visit some successfiul manufactory, during the busy season, and examine for himself the mode of operation. Certainly it would be unwise, when such a personal examination of the process is practicable, to rely entirely upon the aid of written descriptions; for, in any work like tile-making, where the selection, combination and preparation of the materials, the means of drying, and the economy and success of the burning must depend on a variety of conditions and circum. stances, which change with every change of locality, it is impossible that written directions, however minute, should de a sufficient guide. Still, in the light of such directions, one can form a much better idea of the bearing of the different operations which he may witness, than he could possibly do if the whole process were new to him.

If a personal examination of a successful tilery is im. practicable, it will be necessary to employ a practical brick-maker, or potter, to direct the construction and operation of the works, and in any case, this course is advisable

In any neighborhood where two or three hundred acres of land are to be drained, if suitable earths can be readily obtained, it will be cheaper to establish a tile-yard, than to haul the necessary tiles, in wagons, a distance of ten or twenty miles. Then again, the prices demanded by the few manufacturers, who now have almost a monopoly of the business, are exorbitantly high,—at least twice what it will cost to make the tiles at home, with the cheap works described above, so that if the cost of transporta tion on the quantity desired would be equal to the cost of establishing the works, there will be a decided profit in the home manufacture. Probably, also, a tile-yard, in a neighborhood where the general character of the soil is such as to require drainage will be of value after the ob ject for which it was made has been accomplished.

While setting forth the advantage to the farmer of everything which may protect him against monopolies, whether in the matter of draining-tile, or of any other needful accessory of his business, or which will enable him to procure supplies without a ruinous outlay for transportation, it is by no means intended that every man shall become his own tile-maker.

In this branch of manufacture, as in every other, or. ganized industry will accomplish results to which individual labor can never attain. A hundred years ago, when our mill-made cloths came from England, and cost more than farmers could afford to pay, they wore homespun, which was neither so handsome nor so good as the imported article; but, since that time, the growing popu. lation and the greater demand have caused cloth mills to be built here, greater commercial facilities have placed foreign goods within easy reach, and the house loom has fallen into general disuse.

At present, the manufacture of draining.tiles is con fined to a few, widely separated localities, and each manu. facturer has, thus far, been able to fix his own scale of charges. These, and the cost of transportation to distant. points, make it difficult, if not impossible, for many farm ers to procure tiles at a cost low enough to justify their use. In such cases, small works, to supply local demand, may enable many persons to drain with tiles, who, other wise, would find it impossible to procure them cheaply enough for economical use; and the extension of under. draining, cavsing a more general acquaintance with its advantages, would create a sufficient demand to induce an increase of the manufacture of tiles, and a consequent reduction of price.

NOTE.-(Third edition.) The practical need for the information contained in this chapter hardly exists at this time. When it was written there were hardly half a dozen considerable tile works in the country. Their manufacture is now so widely distributed and competition is so active that there are few farmers so situated that they cannot buy good draining tiles cheaper than they can make them



“ Adjoining to it is Middle Moor, containing about 2,500 acres, spokon " of by Arthur Young as a watery desert,' growing sedge and rushes, “and inhabited by frogs and bitterns ;-it is now fertile, well cultivated, “and profitable land.”

The foregoing extract, from an account of the Drainage of the Fens on the eastern coast of England, is a text from which might be preached a sermon worthy of the attention of all who are interested in the vast areas of salt marsh which form so large a part of our Atlantic coast, from Maine to Florida.

Hundreds of thousands of acres that might be cheaply reclaimed, and made our most valuable and most salubri. ous lands, are abandoned to the inroads of the sea ;-fruióful only in malaria and musquitoes, always a dreary waste, and often a grave annoyance.

A single tract, over 20,000 acres in extent, the center of which is not seven miles from the heart of New York City, skirts the Hackensack River, in New Jersey, serve ing as a barrier to intercourse between the town and the country which lies beyond it, adding miles to the daily travel of the thousands whose business and pleasure require them to cross it, and constituting a nuisance and an eyesore to all who see it, or come near it. How long it

purposers per acrehat, för ant

will continue in this condition it is impossible to say, bat the experience of other countries has proved that, for an expense of not more than fifty dollars per acre, this tract might be made better, for all purposes of cultivation, than the lands adjoining it, (many of which are worth, for mar. ket gardening, over one thousand dollars per acre,) and that it might afford profitable employment, and give hones, to all of the industrious poor of the city. The work of reclaiming it would be child's play, compared with the draining of the Harliem Lake in Holland, where over 40, 000 acres, submerged to an average depth of thirteen feet, have been pumped dry, and made to do their part toward the support of a dense population.

The Hackensack meadows are only a conspicuous exam. ple of what exists over a great extent of our whole sea. board ;-virgin lands, replete with every element of fertil. ity, capable of producing enough food for the support of millions of human beings, better located, for residence and for convenience to markets, than the prairies of the Western States, -all allowed to remain worse than useless ; while the poorer uplands near them are, in many places teeming with a population whose lives are endangered, and whose comfort is sadly interfered with by the insects and the miasma which the marsh produces.

The inherent wealth of the land is locked up, and all of its bad effects are produced, by the water with which it is constantly soaked or overflowed. Let the waters of the sca be excluded, and a proper outlet for the rain-fall and the upland wash be provided,-both of which objects may, in a great majority of cases, be economically accomplished,—and this land may become the garden of the continent. Its fertility will attract a population, (espe. cially in the vicinity of large towns) which could no where else live so well nor so easily.

The manner in which these salt marshes were formed may be understood from the following account of the

"Great Level of the Fens” of the eastern coast of Eng. land, which is copied, (as is the paragraph at the head of this chapter,) from the Prize Essay of Mr. John Algernon Clarke, written for the Royal Agricultural Society in 1846.

The process is not, of course, always the same, nor aro the exact influences, which made the English Fens, gener ally, operating in precisely the same manner here, but the main principle is the same, and the lesson taught by the improvement of the Fens is perfectly applicable in our case.

“This great level extends itself into the six counties of “ Cambridge, Lincoln, Huntington, Northampton, Suffolk " and Norfolk, being bounded by the highlands of each. “ It is about seventy miles in length, and varies from “twenty to forty miles in breadth, having an area of more “than 680,000 acres. Through this vast extent of flat “ country, there flow six large rivers, with their tributary “ streams ; namely, the Ouse, the Cam, the Nene, the Wel“ land, the Glen, and the Witham.

“These were, originally, natural channels for conveying " the upland waters to the sea, and whenever a heavier 66 downfall of rain than usual occurred, and the swollen “ springs and rivulets caused the rivers to overflow, they “must necessarily have overflowed the land to a great ex. 6 tent.”

“This, however, was not the principal cause of the in. “undation of the Fens: these rivers were not allowed a “ free passage to the ocean, being thus made incapable of “ carrying off even the ordinary amount of upland water “ which, consequently, flowed over the land. The obstruc“tion was two-fold; first, the outfalls became blocked up “ by the deposits of silt from the sea waters, which ac“ cumulated to an amazing thickness. The well known

instances of boats found in 1635 eight feet below the “ Wisbeck River, and the smith's forge and tools found at “Skirbeck Shoals, near Boston, buried with silt sixteen feet “deep, show what an astonishing quantity of sediment

« AnteriorContinuar »