Billeder på siden
[ocr errors]


ing; generally in August; cotton and seeds drawn out of the pod by the gatherers (men, women, children); placed in bags suspended from their necks; removed into baskets. Gathered in the morning and in dry weather only, because discoloured by exposure to the sun's rays; dried on wooden platforms for a short time; the wind and sun injurious to it. Harvest continues for several weeks during August, September, October, and November. Prepared for exportation by “whipping;” leaves, husks, dirt removed; passed through the “gin” between cylinders, to separate the seeds from the fibre; packed in bales into the smallest possible compass (why?) by great pres

-2.9., a bale occupying twelve feet will weigh as much as five hundred-weight.

IV. Manufacture : (a) Results and (6) Localities. a. Raw cotton imported into European states (as at Liverpool, Greenock, Havre-de-Grace, Marseilles), and made up, by carding, spinning, and weaving, into warm, cheap, comfortable, agreeable clothing-e. g., calico (named from Calicut on the Malabar coast), muslin (Mosul), velvet, velveteen, corduroy, fustian, nankeen (Nankin), prints, stockings, &c.

b. Manufacture located in England, in Lancashire; upon a coal-field ; nearly one person in six of the whole population engaged in the trade. Manchester (about thirty miles from the coast on the Irwell) the “cotton metropolis ;” other surrounding towns also supported by it- -e.g., Preston, Bolton, Oldham, Blackburn, Wigan, Ashtonunder-Lyne, Rochdale, Bury, Warrington, Burnley, Staley-Bridge, Chorley, Accrington, &c. In Scotland - Glasgow, Paisley; Ireland - Tullamore (King's County). On the Continent


[ocr errors]

Lyons, Rouen. In America Lowell (Massachusetts), Cincinnati (Ohio), Springfield.

V. Statistics, Historical Facts, fc. The goods produced partly consumed at home, partly exported to United States, East Indies, Brazil, Germany; cotton twist and yarn also to Belgium, United States, and Germany. Gives employment to seven hundred thousand persons in England alone ; commodities produced valued at thirty millions sterling per annum. Manufactured in India a thousand years ago; comparatively a modern art in England, of little importance till the later half of the eighteenth century. Contrast the labour and machinery of the two countries now. Draw out how it is that we can undersell them, when an Indian spinner will work for three farthings a day. Present price of raw material from three-pence to eight-pence per pound; fifty years since it was eighteen pence. “ A song for the plant that brings money and fame,

Gave Ashton its being and Preston its name ;
Whose ships fill the Mersey each flow of its tide,
That is Manchester's riches and Liverpool's pride.
It peoples the waste, it encloses the fen,
'Tis the joy and the wealth of the Lancashire men ;
It gives us our meat and it makes us our dress,-
So a song for the Cotton ! we cannot do less."



A PORTION of the raw material, some manufactured article, and a print of the tree may be used to introduce and illustrate the lesson.

I. Description of Appearance, Qualities, 8c. Gutta, a gum or juice - percha (pronounced pertsha), the name of a tree ; other varieties, gutta-girek and gutta-tuban. Raw material : the gum; white or dirty yellow colour; when worked, becomes brown; opaque ; flexible when heated; impenetrable ; incorrodible ; tenacious when cold (e. g., a cord one eighth of an inch thick; will support a weight of forty-two pounds); very buoyant, twice as light as cork ; when softened, resembles caoutchouc; becomes rigid as it cools.

[ocr errors]

II. Description of the Tree. A forest tree- Sapotace; yields a milky juice or sap ; grows to a considerable size ; three to six feet in diameter, sixty to seventy in height; flourishes on alluvial soils, near the foot of hills; wood, soft and fibrous, useless for timber.

III. Locality of Production. Widely diffused throughout the Indian Archipelago : Borneo and adjacent islands ; the Malay peninsula. Chiefly exported from Singapore.

IV. Gathering and Preparation. Tree pierced ; formerly cut down (why discontinued?)—the exuding juice received into a trough; consolidates by exposure to the air ; formed into shapeless blocks; exported. The many impurities contained in it must be removed ; first sliced -blocks pressed against a wheel armed with knives, thus cut into thin slices like chips of wood; softened in hot water; torn and divided into shreds ; impurities sink; where is the gutta percha ? why

floating? Washed in cold water. Placed in cylinders with revolving axes -masticators ; ” thoroughly kneaded (being softened by steam); rolled into sheets.

V. Results of the Manufacture. Its uses very varied ; made into à great variety of articles of utility and ornament-e. g., tubes, pipes, whips, reins, balls, cord, clothes-lines, nets, speaking-trumpets, life-buoys, hats, capes, leggings, clogs, soles of boots and shoes, boxes, mouldings, picture-frames, embossed maps and globes for the use of the blind, cups, buckets, a covering for electric telegraph wires, ink-stands, pen-trays, baskets, watch-stands, vases ; wheel-bands in machinery, boats (extremely light; weigh only eighteen pounds; some were taken by the recent Arctic expeditions, and answered well).

VI, Discovery and Introduction. Discovered in the Malay Islands by Mr. Lobb the botanist. Dr. W. Montgomery introduced it into England in 1843 ; a specimen presented to the Society of Arts — manufactured into a pipe, a band, and a bottle-case. The manufacture is rapidly increasing-e.g., in 1844, two hundred and thirty pounds were imported in 1848, one million seven hundred thousand.

[blocks in formation]

I. Description of Plant, STEM, strong; reedy; knotted ; rises from eight to

1 ten feet occasionally attains fourteen feet.

Leaves, long ; broad ; yellow ; a great number spring from the top of each stem. Corn, the seeds, or grains, in large, thick, yellow ears. Several varieties; the European only six feet high ; leaves narrower ; pendent tops.

II. Localities where cultivated. Native of America ; sometimes found wild. Cul. tivated very extensively in the West Indies. One of the chief commercial products of Mexico, United States, Canada, Paraguay; grown also in Europe - Spain, Portugal, Lombardy, and France.

[ocr errors]


III. Propagation, Cultivation, 8c. Grain generally sown in May. Requires a fertile soil ; seeds placed in the ground two or three

; feet apart ; carefully watered and thinned. Ears plucked off the stalks ; gathered into baskets ; conveyed into barns. Stalks gathered after a time, tied in bundles, and stored. Ears housed in casks, bins, &c.; shelled into tubs, across the tops of which are placed blunt swords, or pieces of iron hoops ; each ear scraped over this till all the grains are removed. Machinery is sometimes substituted for this tedious manual labour. A man will shell twenty-five bushels daily. Grain now ready for the mill, but will keep uninjured for from five to

Generally yields excellent crops ; where carefully watered by artificial irrigation, four hundred bushels have been gathered for one SOWII. Less subject to disease than wheat ; not beaten down by storms or affected by mildew or blight, though attacked by insects and birds. In Mexico, as many as three crops taken annually.

six years.

« ForrigeFortsæt »