Madder is extensively grown on the central table land of Afghanistan, forming one of the leading products of Beloochistan.; and, according to Mr. Pottinger, it sells in the Kelat Bazaar at about 10 lbs. for 2s. The cultivation there pursued is as follows:—The ground is repeatedly ploughed, and laid out finally in small trenches, in which the seed is sown, covered slightly with earth, and then the whole is flooded. Whilst thus irrigated, the trenches are filled with a mixture of rich manure and earth. The plants appear in about ten days, and attain a height of three or four feet during the first summer. They are cut down in September and used as fodder for cattle. Subsequently, and until spring arrives, the ground is manured and repeatedly flooded. During the second year's growth, the plants which are intended to produce seed are set apart, but the stems of the remainder are cut every four or six weeks, in order to increase the size and goodness of the roots.
Madder is said to repay a nett profit of 200 dollars to the acre, when properly managed. It produced on the farm of a gentleman, who has devoted some attention to this product in Ohio, at the rate of 2,000 lbs. per acre, and it may be made to produce 3,000 lbs., which is a greater yield than the average crops of Germany and Holland. Nine acres were planted by another person in the United States, in 1839, which he harvested in 1842. The labor required is said to be from 80 to 100 days work per acre.
In the third year the stems are pruned as in the two preceding, and in September the roots are dug up. The roots are fusiform and thin, without any ramifications, and usually from three to five feet long. As soon as raised, they are immediately cut into small pieces and dried, and are then merchantable.
Mr. Joseph Swift, an enterprising American farmer, of Erie county, Ohio, who occupies about 400 acres of choice land, mostly alluvial, in the valley of the Vermilion river, seven miles from Lake Erie, has detailed his practice in the "New Genesee Farmer" (an agricultural periodical), for March, 1843. His directions must be understood as intended for those who wish to cultivate only a few acres, and cannot afford much outlay of capital. Those who desire to engage in the business on an extensive scale, would need to adopt a somewhat different practice:—
Soil and preparation.—" The soil should be a deep, rich, sandy loam, free from weeds, roots, stones, &c., containing a good portion of vegetable earth. Alluvial "bottom" land is the most suitable, but it must not be wet. If old upland is used, it should receive a heavy coating of vegetable earth, from decayed wood and leaves. The land should be ploughed very deep in the fall, and early in the spring apply about one hundred loads of well-rotted manure per acre, spread evenly, and ploughed in deeply; then harrow till quite fine and free from lumps. Next plough the land into beds four feet wide, leaving alleys between three feet wide, then harrow the beds with a fine light harrow, or rake them by hand, so as to leave them smooth and even with the alleys; they are then ready for planting.
Preparing sets and planting.—Madder sets or seed roots are best selected when the crop is dug in the fall. The horizontal uppermost roots (with eyes) are the kind to be used; these should be separated from the bottom roots, and buried in sand in a cellar or pit. If not done in the fall, the sets may be dug early in the spring, before they begin to sprout. They should be cut or broken into pieces, containing from two to five eyes each; i.e., three to four inches long. The time for planting is as early in the spring as the ground can be got in good order, and severe frosts are over, which in this climate (America) is usually about the middle of April. With the beds prepared as directed, stretch a line lengthwise the bed, and with the corner of a hoe make a drill two inches deep along each edge and down the middle, so as to give three rows to each bed, about two feet apart. Into these drills drop the sets, ten inches apart, covering them two inches deep. Eight or ten bushels of sets are requisite for an acre.
After culture.—As soon as the madder plants can be seen, the ground should be carefully hoed, so as to destroy the weeds and not injure the plants; and the hoeing and weeding must be repeated as often as weeds make their appearance. If any of the sets have failed to grow, the vacancies should be filled by talking up parts of the strongest roots and transplanting them; this is best done in June. As soon as the madder plants are ten or twelve inches high, the tops are to be bent down on the surface of the ground, and all except the tip end covered with earth, shovelled from the middle of the alleys. Bend the shoots outward and inward in every direction, so as in time to fill all the vacant space on the beds, and about one foot on each side. After the first time covering, repeat the weeding when necessary, and run a single horse plough through the alleys several times to keep the earth clean and mellow. As soon as the plants again become ten or twelve inches high, bend down and cover them as before, repeating the operation as often as necessary, which is commonly three times the first season. The last time may be as late as September, or later if no frosts occur. By covering the tops in this manner, they change to roots, and the design is to fill the ground as full of roots as possible. When the vacant spaces are all full, there is but little chance for weeds to grow; but all that appear must be pulled out.
The second year.—Keep the beds free from weeds; plough the alleys and cover the tops, as before directed, two or three times during the season. The alleys will now form deep and narrow ditches, and if it becomes difficult to obtain good earth for covering the tops, that operation may be omitted after the second time this season. Care should be taken, when covering the tops, to keep the edges of the beds as high as the middle; otherwise the water from heavy showers will run off, and the crop suffer from drought.
The third year.—Very little labor or attention is required. They will now cover the whole ground. If any weeds are seen, they must be pulled out; otherwise their roots will cause trouble when harvesting the madder. The crop is sometimes dug the third year; and if the soil and cultivation have been good, and the seasons warm and favorable, the madder will be of a good quality; but generally it is much better in quality, and more in quantity, when left until the fourth year.
Digging and harvesting.—This should be done between the 20th of August and the 20th of September. Take a sharp shovel or shovels, and cut off and remove the tops with half an inch of the surface of the earth; then take a plough of the largest size, with a sharp coulter and a double team, and plough a furrow outward, beam-deep, around the edge of the bed; stir the earth with forks, and carefully pick out all the roots, removing the earth from the bottom of the furrow; then plough another furrow beam-deep, as before, and pick over and remove the earth in the same manner; thus proceeding until the whole is completed.
Washing and drying.—As soon as possible after digging, take the roots to some running stream to be washed. If there is no running stream convenient, it can be done at a pump. Take large round sieves, two-and-a-half or three feet in diameter, with the wire about as fine as wheat sieves; or if these cannot be had, get from a hardware store sufficient screen wire of the right fineness, and make frames or boxes, two-and-a-half feet long and the width of the, wire, on the bottom of which nail the wire. In these sieves or boxes, put half a bushel of roots at a time, and stir them about in the water, pulling the branches apart so as to wash them clean; then, having a platform at hand, lay them onto dry. (To make the platform, take two or three common boards, so as to be about four feet in width, and nail deals across the under side). On these spread the roots about two inches thick for drying in the sun. Carry the platforms to a convenient place, not far from the house, and place them side by side, in rows east and west, and with their ends north and south, leaving room to walk between the rows. Elevate the south ends of the platforms about eighteen inches, and the north ends about six inches from the ground, putting poles or sticks to support them—this will greatly facilitate drying. After the second or third day's drying, the madder must be protected from the dews at night, and from rain, by placing the platforms one upon another to a convenient height, and covering the uppermost one with board. Spread them out again in the morning, or as soon as danger is over. Five or six days of ordinarily fine weather will dry the madder sufficiently, when it may be put away till it is convenient to kiln-dry and grind it.
Kiln-drying,—The size and mode of constructing the kiln may be varied to suit circumstances. The following is a very cheap plan, and sufficient to dry one ton of roots at a time. Place four strong posts in the ground, twelve feet apart one way, and eighteen the other; the front two fourteen feet high, and the other eighteen; put girts across the bottom, middle, and top, and nail boards perpendicularly on the outside as for a common barn. The boards must be well seasoned, and all cracks or holes should be plastered or otherwise stopped up. Make a shed-roof of common boards. In the inside put upright standards about five feet apart, with cross-pieces to support the scaffolding. The first cross-pieces to be four feet from the floor; the next two feet higher, and so on to the top. On these cross-pieces lay small poles, about six feet long and two inches thick, four or fire inches apart. On these scaffolds the madder is to be spread nine inches thick. A floor is laid at the bottom to keep all dry and clean. When the kiln is filled, take six or eight small kettles or hand-furnaces, and place them four or five feet apart on the floor (first securing it from fire with bricks or stones), and make fires in them with charcoal, being careful not to make any of the fires so large as to scorch the madder over them. A person must be in constant attendance to watch and replenish the fires. The heat will ascend through the whole, and in ten or twelve hours it will all be sufficiently dried, which is known by its becoming brittle like pipe stems.
Breaking and grinding.—Immediately after being dried, the madder must be taken to the barn and threshed with flails, or broken by machinery (a mill might easily be constructed for this purpose), so that it will feed in a common grist-mill. If it is not broken and ground immediately, it will gather dampness so as to prevent its grinding freely. Any common grist-mill can grind madder properly. When ground finely it is fit for use, and may be packed in barrels like flour for market.
Amount and value of product, &c.—Mr. Swift measured off a part of his ground, and carefully weighed the product when dried, which he found to be over two thousand pounds per acre, notwithstanding the seasons were mostly dry and unfavorable. With his present knowledge of the business, he is confident that he can obtain at least three thousand pounds per acre, which is said to be more than is often obtained in Germany. The whole amount of labor he estimates at from eighty to one hundred days' work per acre. The value of the crop, at the usual wholesale price (about fifteen cents per pound), from three to four hundred dollars. In foreign countries it is customary to make several qualities of the madder, which is done by sorting the roots; but as only one quality is required for the western market, Mr. Swift makes but one, and that is found superior to most of the imported, and finds a ready sale.
Madder is produced in Middle Egypt to some extent, for the consumption of the country, principally for dyeing the tarbouche or skull caps which are universally worn. Its culture was introduced in 1825. In 1833, 300 acres in Upper Egypt, and 500 in the Delta and the Kelyout, were devoted to madder roots.
New South Wales is eminently suited to the culture of this valuable root, and as the profits upon its cultivation are very large, I would strongly recommend it to the attention of agriculturists there. The article produces to France an annual sum of one million sterling; the price of the finest quality in the English market being L60 per ton. Its yield varies from L40 to L50 per acre, and the expenses upon its proper culture should not exceed one-half that amount. The colonists would find it to their interest to turn their attention to such articles as this, for which there is an extensive demand at home, instead of confining themselves exclusively to the commoner and bulkier products, which they export at a much less profit, and which when once the market is fully supplied, may fall to a price at which they cannot afford to sell.
The following is a calculation of the expenses generally supposed to attend a crop according to the mode of cultivation practised in Vaucluse:—
Rent per hectare (21/2 English acres), 3 years, at L s. d. 165 francs 19 17 6 Manure, 440 francs L17 12 6 Carriage of ditto, 132 francs 3 5 10 ————- 22 18 4 ————- L42 15 10
These expenses may almost be dispensed with in our colonies, as the soil at Vaucluse has long been exhausted.
Two and a-half acres require 170 lbs. seed, at 21/2d. per pound, which, with the labor afterwards bestowed, including the cost of spade trenching, will be 30 0 0 ————- L72 15 10
The average produce per hectare is 77 cwt., which, at L1 4s. 2d. per cwt. (the price on the spot), is L93. The price is now much lower, but still it is clear a most profitable return would be derived from the first crop, and a proportionably larger one afterwards.
A considerable portion of the madder roots, instead of being ground and exported in that form, as heretofore, is now exposed, after being invested with dilute sulphuric acid, to a boiling heat by means of steam, by which the coloring matter is considerably altered and improved in quality for some dyeing processes, while the quantity rendered soluble in water is greatly increased. The madder so prepared is known as "garancine," and forms an important branch of manufacture in the south of France, which was well illustrated at the Great Exhibition in 1851, by a collection of specimens supplied by the Chamber of Commerce of Avignon. The spent madder, after being used in dyeing, is now also converted by Mr. H. Steiner, of Accrington, into a garancine (termed garanceuse by the French) by steaming it with sulphuric acid in the same manner as the fresh madder, and thus a considerable quantity of coloring matter is recovered and made available which was formerly thrown away in the spent madder. Both varieties of garancine give a more scarlety red than the unprepared madder, and also good chocolate and black, without soiling the white ground, but are not so well fitted, particularly the garancine of spent madder, for dyeing purples, lilacs, and pinks. The value of the garancine imported from France in 1848 was L59,554, and of that imported in 1851 L93,818. This preparation of ground madder is imported into Liverpool to the extent of from 500 to 600 tons annually from Marseilles, for the use of calico printers in the manufacturing districts. The price is L7 to L8 the ton.
This important root is already cultivated to a considerable extent in Russia but not nearly in sufficient quantity to meet the local demand; so that large quantities are imported from Holland and elsewhere, every year.
The quantity of madder, madder-root, and garaneine annually imported into the United Kingdom is exceedingly large, over 15,000 tons, as is shown by a reference to the following figures:—
Madder. Madder roots. Garancine. Total. cwts. cwts. cwts. cwts. 1848 81,261 139,463 5,955 276,679 1849 92,736 161,986 4,969 259,691 1850 100,248 161,613 5,845 267,706 1851 92,925 202,091 9,382 304,398 1852 84,385 179,813 —— ——
We imported from France, duty free, the following:—
Madder. Official value. Madder-root. cwts. L cwts. L 1848 54,084 122,851 25,068 70,749 1849 57,108 131,059 23,459 81,274 1850 54,559 123,628 13,693 55,263 1851 65,577 151,502 34,017 167,721
The price in the Liverpool market, in June 1853, for Bombay madder-roots was L1 18s. to L2 14s. the cwt.
INDIAN MADDER.—Rubia cordifolia, or Munjestha, a variety with white flowers, a native of Siberia, is cultivated largely in the East, particularly about Assam, Nepaul, Bombay, Scinde, Quitta, China, &c., for its dye-stuff, and is known as Munjeet. A small quantity is exported from China and India; about 338 Indian maunds were shipped from Calcutta in 1840, and 2,328 in 1841. It fetches in the London and Liverpool markets from 20s. to 25s. and 30s. per cwt., duty free; 405 tons were imported into Liverpool from Bombay and Calcutta, in 1849, and 525 tons in 1850, but none was imported in 1851 and 1852.
It was remarked by the Jury in 1851, at the Great Exhibition, that this is a valuable dye-stuff, and hitherto not so well appreciated as it deserves, for some of the colors dyed with it are quite as permanent as those dyed with madder, and even more brilliant. Its use however is gradually increasing, and it is unquestionably well worthy the attention of dyers.
LOGWOOD.—The logwood of commerce is the red heart wood, or duramen, of a fine lofty growing tree (Haematroxylon Campechianum), growing in Campeachy and the bay of Honduras, and which is also now common in the woods of Jamaica and St. Domingo. It is principally imported as a dye wood, cut into short lengths. We chip, grind, and pack it into casks and bags, ready for the dyers, hatters, and printers' use, who esteem it as affording the most durable deep red and black dyes. It is sometimes used in medicine as an astringent. That grown in Jamaica is least valued that of Honduras, Tobasco, and St. Domingo, fetches a somewhat higher price; but that imported from Campeachy direct, is the most esteemed. The annual imports into Liverpool are about 1,300 tons from Honduras, 100 from Tobasco, and 1,800 from Campeachy.
It thrives best in a damp tenacious soil, with a small proportion of sand. It is imported in logs, which are afterwards chipped, and is of great commercial importance from its valuable dyeing properties. Old wood is preferred; it is so hard as almost to be indestructible by the atmosphere. The albumen is of a yellowish color, and is not imported. The bark and wood are slightly astringent. The imports of logwood into the United Kingdom, were 23,192 tons in 1848, 23,996 tons in 1849, and 34,090 tons in 1850, of which 3,484 tons were re-exported in 1848, and 2,307 tons in 1849. The imports in the past two years of 1852 and 1853, have averaged 20,000 tons, of which about 3,000 tons were re-exported. It is increasing in use, for in 1837, the quantity retained for home use was only 14,6771/2 tons. The price varies according to quality from L4 to L7 per ton.
We received from Honduras 5,401 tons in 1844; and 55,824 tons in 1845. From Montego Bay, Jamaica, 398 tons were shipped between January and July 1851.
FUSTIC.—This is the common name of a species of dye wood in extensive use, which is obtained from Maclura tinctoria, or Broussonitia tinctoria, Kunth, a large and handsome evergreen tree, growing in South America and the West Indies. The wood is extensively used as an ingredient in the dyeing of yellow, and is largely imported for that purpose. The quantity entered for home consumption in the United Kingdom was 1,731 tons in 1847, 1,653 in 1848, and 1,842 tons in 1849.
Ninety-one tons were shipped from Montego Bay, Jamaica, in the first six months of 1851.
QUERCITRON.—-This bark furnishes a yellow dye, of which about 3,500 tons are annually imported in hogsheads of from half a ton to a ton. 296 tons were imported into Liverpool from Philadelphia in 1849, and 514 tons in 1850.
BRAZIL WOOD.—This very ponderous wood is obtained in Brazil from the Caesalpina Braziliensis, which yields a red or crimson dye, when united with alum or tartar, and is used by silk dyers. It is imported principally from Pernambuco, 1,200 quintals having been shipped to London in 1835, but about 500 tons, worth about L4 a ton, were imported from Costa Rica in 1845.
The tree is large, crooked, and knotty, and the bark is thick, and equals the third or fourth of its diameter.
The imports may be stated at about 600 tons annually, the average price being L50 per ton.
Brazil wood is found in the greatest abundance and of the best quality, in the Province of Pernambuco, but being a government monopoly it has been cut down in so improvident a manner, that it is now seldom seen within several leagues of the coast.
Among the Cuba dye woods is Copey (Clusia rosea, Linn).
Braziletto, obtained from C. Crista, is one of the cheapest and least esteemed of the red dye woods, imported from Jamaica and other West India islands to the extent of 150 tons per annum, fetching L6 to L8 per ton. 2,361 tons of Nicaragua wood were imported in 1848, 2,701 tons in 1849, and 6,130 tons in 1850.
Spain exhibited various vegetable dyes obtained from cultivated and wild plants furnished by the Agricultural Board of Saragossa.
The chief lichens employed in the manufacture of orchil and cudbear are the following:—
Angola weed (Ramalina furfuracea).
Mauritius weed (Rocella fusiformis), which comes also from Madagascar, Lima, and Valparaiso, and then bears the distinctive commercial name of the port of shipment.
Cape weed (Rocella tinctoria), from the Cape de Verd Islands.
Canary Moss (Parmelia perlata).
Tartareous Moss (Parmelia tartarea).
Pustulatus Moss (Umbilicaria pustulata).
Velvet Moss (Gyrophora murina).
The last three are imported from Sweden.
Of these lichens, the first, which is the richest in coloring matter, grows as a parasite upon trees; all the remainder upon rocks.
Rocella corallina, Variolaris lactea and dealbata, have been also resorted to.
About 130 tons of cudbear are imported annually from Sweden.
These lichens are found on rocks, on the sea coast. The modes, of treating them for the manufacture of the different dyes is the same in principle, though varying slightly in detail. They are carefully cleaned and ground into a pulp with water, an ammoniacal liquor is from time to time added, and the mass constantly stirred in order to expose it as much as possible to the air. Peculiar substances existing in these plants are, during this process, so changed by the combined action of the atmosphere, water, and ammonia, as to generate the coloring matter, which, when perfect, is pressed out, and gypsum, chalk, or other substances, are then added, so as to give it the desired consistency; these are then prepared for the market under the forms of cudbear or litmus.
HENNA (Lawsonia inermis), is an important dye-stuff, and the distilled water of the flowers is used as a perfume. The Mahomedan women in India use the shoots for dyeing their nails red, and the same practice prevails in Arabia. In these countries the manes and tails of the horses are stained red in the same manner. The Genista tomentosa yields red petals used in dyeing, and containing much tannic acid.
ORCHILLA WEED.—The fine purple color which the orchilla weed yields, is in use as an agent for coloring, staining, and dyeing. About 30,000 lbs. is obtained annually in the island of Teneriffe. 460 arrobas (or 115 cwt.) of orchilla were exported from the Canary Isles in 1833. In 1839, 6,494 cwts. paid duty, and 4,175 cwts. in 1840. The average imports of the three years ending with 1842, was 6,050 cwt. A little comes in from Barbary and the islands of the Archipelago.
Dr. W.L. Lindley, in a very interesting paper, read before the Botanical Society of London, in December, 1852, on the dyeing properties of the lichens, stated—
The subject of the colorific and coloring principles of the lichen has, within the last few years, attracted a due share of that attention which, has been increasingly devoted to organic chemistry. Since 1830, Heeren, Kane, Schunck, Rochleder and Heldt, Knop, Stenhouse, Laurent and Gerhardt, have published valuable papers on these principles; but, here again, we have to regret the great discrepancy in the various results obtained, and there is therefore, here also, imperatively demanded re-investigation and correction before any of the results already published can he implicitly relied upon, and before we can have safe data from which to generalise. I have no doubt that a great proportion of the obscurity overhanging this subject depends on the circumstance that many of the chemists, who have devoted attention to the color-educts and products of the lichens, were not themselves botanists, and have therefore probably, in some cases at least, analysed species under erroneous names, and also because their investigations have comprehended a much too limited number of species.
Their utility in the arts, and especially in dyeing—including the collection of a series of the commercial dye lichens, i.e., those used by the manufacturers of London, &c., in the making of orchil, cudbear, litmus, and other lichen dyes. While investigating the dyeing properties of the lichens, I made experiments, with a view to test their colorific power, on as many species as I could obtain in sufficient quantity, to render it at all useful to operate on—that number, however, being very limited (between forty and fifty).
Dr. Lindley adds, many parties may be able to aid his investigations, by furnishing information on their economic uses, and on their special applications in dyeing and other arts—(particularly on their employment, as dye agents, by the natives of Britain and other countries)—with specimens of the lichens so used, and their common names—specimens of fabrics dyed therewith—notes of the processes employed for the elimination of the dyes, &c. Parties resident in, or travelling through our western Highlands and Islands, the northern Highlands, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Iceland, and similar countries, are most likely to be able to afford this description of information—many native lichens being still used by the peasantry of these countries to dye their homespun yarn, &c.
He proceeded to treat—1. The vast importance of this humble tribe of plants in the grand economy of nature, as the pioneers and founders of all vegetation. 2. Their importance to man and the lower animals, as furnishing various articles of food. 3. Their importance in medicine, and especially in its past history, at home and abroad. 4. Their importance in the useful and fine arts, and especially in the art of dyeing. 5. Their affinities and analogies to other cryptogamic families, and to the Phanerogamia. 6. Their value as an element of the picturesque in nature; and, 7. Their typical significance.
He then adverted more especially to the subject of his communication, under the ten following heads:—
I. The colors of the Thallus and apothecia of Lichens—their causes, and the circumstances which modify and alter them.
II. History of the application of their coloring matters to the art of dyeing.
III. Chemical nature and general properties of these coloring matters.
IV. Tests and processes for estimating qualitatively, and quantitatively the colorific powers of individual species—with their practical applications.
V. Processes of manufacture of the Lichen-dyes, on the large and small scale in different countries—with the principles on which they are founded.
VI. Nomenclature of the dye-Lichens, and of the Lichen-dyes.
VII. Botanical and commercial sources of the same.
VIII. Special applications of the Lichen-dyes in the arts.
IX. Commercial value of the dye-Lichens, and their products.
X. Geographical distribution of the dye-Lichens—with the effect of climate; situation, &c., on their colorific materials.
Of the four first sections of his paper, the following is a very short summary or synopsis:—
Under the first head, the author spoke of chlorophylle and various organic and inorganic substances, which enter into the formation of the colors of the thallus and apothecia of lichens, and of the modifications of these colors depending on various degrees of—1. Exposure to air and light. 2. Temperature. 3. Moisture, &c. 4. Atmospheric vicissitudes. 5. Season of the year. 6. Nature of the Gonidic reproduction (i.e., gemmation). 7. Nature of habitat. 8. Organic decomposition. 9. Coalescence of parts, monstrosities, &c.
Under the second section, he traced historically the manufacture of Lichen-dyes, and the native use of Lichens as dye agents, among different nations, from the times of Theophrastus, Dioscorides, and Pliny, down to the present day, sketching briefly the ancient end modern history of orchil, cudbear, and litmus, and specifying the native use of lichen-dyes in different, countries of Europe, Asia, and America. He alluded more particularly to their application to the dyeing of yarns, &c., by the Scotch Highlanders, under the name of "Crottles." "The process of the manufacture of the various crottles, generally consisted in macerating the powdered lichen for two or three weeks, in stale urine, exposing the mass freely to the air by repeated stirring, and adding lime, salt, alum, or argillaceous and other substances, either to heighten the color or impart consistence. To such an extent did this custom at one time prevail, that, in several of our northern counties each farm and cottage had its tank or barrel of putrefying urine, a homely but perfectly efficient mode of generating the necessary amount of ammonia. In the county of Aberdeen, in particular, every homestead had its reservoir of "Graith," and the "Lit-pig," which stood by every fireside, was as familiar an article of furniture in the cots of the peasantry, as the "cuttie-stool," or the "meal girnel." So lately as 1841 (and I presume the practice continues to the present day), Mr. Edmonston stated that, of four or five native dyes, used by the Shetlanders to color cloth and yarns, two at least were furnished by lichens, viz., a brown dye from Parmelia saxatilis, under the name of "Scrottyie," and a red one from Lecanora tartarea, under that of "Korkalett." It is very probable, however, that steam and free trade have gradually dispelled this good old custom, even in the remoter corners of our island; machinery-made articles being now readily supplied, at a rate so extraordinarily cheap, as to render it absolutely expensive (as to time, if not also as to money) to prepare colors, even by a process so simple and inexpensive as that just mentioned."
Under the third head, he examined, in a general way, the chemistry of the colorific and coloring matters of the lichens and the results to which it has led, avoiding as much as possible the technicalities inseparable from such a subject, and giving a short vise of the researches of Heeren, Kane, Rochleder, and Heldt, Stenhouse, Schunck, Laurent, and Gerhardt, and others. "Our untaught senses should undoubtedly lead us to expect the lichens, whose thallus exhibits the brightest tints, to yield the finest dyes, and these, too, of a color similar to that of the thallus, but experience teaches us that the beautiful reddish or purplish coloring-matters are producible in the greatest abundance by the very species from which we should least expect to derive any, viz., in those most devoid of external color. This, though at first sight very remarkable, is easily explicable, when we remember that, in most of the so-called dye-lichens, colorific principles exist in a colorless form, and only become converted into colored substances under a peculiar combination of circumstances.
"Some lichens contain coloring matters, ready formed, and these exhibit themselves in the tint of the thallus of the plants, e.g. chrysophanic [or parietinic] acid in Parmelia parietina, and vulpinic acid in Evernia vulpina. In other species we find principles, which, while in the plant, and unacted on by chemical re-agents, are colorless, but which, when the lichens are exposed to the combined influence of atmospheric air, water, and ammonia, yield colored substances. This series of colored products is usually comprehended more for convenience sake than on account of chemical identity, under the generic term orceine."
The whole subject of the chemistry of these bodies is at present in a most unsatisfactory condition, demanding fresh investigation and research, in illustration of which, the author exhibited tables of the colorific and coloring principles, so far as they are at present known, showing their chemical formulae and the authority therefor, and various relative information. "It is highly probable that when the chemistry of the lichens has been more fully studied, and the whole subject of their color-educts and products better understood, we shall begin to reduce the present confused mass of complex substances, and find the same principles more extensively diffused through different lichen species." Dr. L. entered somewhat minutely on the chemical reactions of the better known colorific and coloring principles, and their derivatives, so far at least as these throw any light on the production and transmutation of the red or purple colors extracted from what may be termed par excellence, the dye-lichens. After a few remarks on the chemical constitution of orchil and litmus, as given by Kane, Gelis, Pereira, and others, he discussed the subject of decolorisation of weak infusions of orchil and litmus by exclusion of atmospheric air, and by various deoxidising agents, and the different theories as to the causation of this phenomenon. "I have repeatedly had occasion to notice that, when weak infusions of these substances are excluded for some time from atmospheric air, in a bottle, with a tightly fitting cork, they gradually lose color, but rapidly regain it on re-exposure. It is curious that both orchil and litmus are what are called transient or false colors, i.e., they slowly lose their bloom and tint by long exposure to the atmosphere; the coloring matter, therefore, appears to be decolorised both by exposure to, and exclusion from the air, phenomena apparently of very opposite characters. The cause of the latter phenomenon has never, so far as I am aware, been quite satisfactorily explained; but it has been variously supposed to be due:—
1. To the mere negation of oxygen.
2. To the development, in the liquids, of various substances, capable of exerting a decolorising influence on the coloring matter.
3. To deoxidation of the coloring matter by substances, which have a great tendency to become oxidised or peroxised; e.g. hydrogen, in the case of decolorisation by sulphuretted hydrogen, nascent hydrogen, and the protoxides of iron and tin, &c.
4. To the fixation of an additional amount of hydrogen in a new colorless body, formed by the union of the sulphuretted hydrogen or other substances with the coloring matter of the liquid. This view is chiefly supported by Kane, who says, "that precisely as the coloring matters combine with water, to form different shades of red-colored bodies—with ammonia to produce a series of bodies, which are blue and purple—so they combined with sulphuretted hydrogen to form colorless compounds in solution, which, if solid, very probably would be white." He supposes, in a word, that for every colored substance existing in orchil and litmus, there is a corresponding white one, producible by the action of sulphuretted hydrogen, &c.; and, in proof of this theory, he mentions having obtained from Azolitmine and Betaorceine colorless bodies, to which he gave the respective names of Leuco-litmine and Leuco-orceine.
The author then gave a short summary of Dr. Westring's experiments on the dyeing powers of the Swedish lichens, which he found might be conveniently divided into four classes, according to the degree of heat employed in their maceration, viz.:—
1. Lichens, whose coloring matter was easily extractable by cold water alone.
2. Those which required for the elimination of their coloring matter, maceration in tepid water (i.e. below 258 degs. Swedish thermometer).
3. Those which required maceration in warm water (i.e.between 50 and 60 degs. Swedish thermometer).
4. Those requiring boiling water alone, or with the aid of solvents.
"It must be admitted that our knowledge of the true nature of the colorofic and coloring principles of the lichens is, as yet, very imperfect and confused, and one great cause of the dubity and obscurity overhanging the subject, is the fact that different analysts have arrived at most opposite results, even in the examination of the same species. For instance, in Rocella tinctoria, which has, of all the dye-Lichens, been most frequently selected for analytical investigation, on account of its important product orchil, the discrepancies between the results obtained are very striking. In it Heeren discovered his Erythrine; Kane his Erythriline; Schunk his Erythric acid; and Stenhouse three different substances in as many varieties of the plant; all of these bodies differing more or less from each other in composition and properties (at least, if we are to assume, as correct, the descriptions given of them by their respective discoverers").
"I have already hinted that there is no ratio between the external and internal color or structure of a lichen, and the kind or amount of coloring matter it will be found to yield. It is exceedingly natural to suppose that such a ratio should exist; but, proceeding for some time on this supposition, I was frequently disappointed in my results—the most showy and brilliantly colored lichens often furnishing the dullest and most worthless colors. For instance, the bright yellow thallus of Parmelia parietina, and the beautiful scarlet apothecia of Scyphophorus cocciferus, instead of producing a rich yellow in the one case, and a deep crimson in the other, yielded, respectively, only dirty greenish-yellow and brownish colors. As a general rule I should almost be inclined to say that the finer the color of the thallus of any given lichen, the more is that lichen to be suspected of poverty in valuable coloring matters; and that, on the other hand, the palest pulverulent or crustaceous species, especially such as are saxicolous, may be expected to yield the most beautiful and valuable pigments (e.g. the Rocellas and Lecanoras). In such circumstances it is necessary to have some test, of easy applicability, of the kind and amount of colorific properties of any lichen, and this fortunately is readily attainable."
The fourth section of the paper was devoted to the consideration of the various tests of colorific power, which have been recommended by different authors. "Of these, the greater number proceed on the principle of developing the coloring matter by some alkali, in conjunction with the decomposing action of atmospheric oxygen and water; others are founded on the reaction between colorific principles of certain of the dye lichens and some of our ordinary chemical re-agents." The author noticed in particular—
1. Helot's test, } 2. Westring's tests, }qualitative. 3. Stenhouse's test, } 4. " quantitative.
Helot's test consists in digesting the dried and powdered lichen or a few hours, at a temperature of 130 degs., in a weak solution of ammonia, sufficiently strong, however, to be tolerably pungent. One that is fit for the dyer will yield a rich violet red liquor.
Dr. Westring recommended simply macerating three or four drachms of the lichen in cool spring water, assisting, perhaps, the solvent action of the water by minute quantities of common salt, nitre, quicklime, sulphate of copper or iron, or similar re-agents. If these means failed, after a sufficient length of time had been allowed for the development of color, he digested a fresh portion of the pulverised lichen in water, containing small quantities of sal-ammoniac and quicklime [in the proportion of 25 parts of water, 1-10th lime, and 1-20th sal-ammoniac for every part of lichen], for a period varying from eight to fourteen days, and by this process, he says, he never failed to develop all the color which the plant was capable of yielding.
Dr. Stenhouse, of London, one of our latest and best authorities on the chemistry of the lichens, adds to an alcoholic infusion of the lichen, a solution of common bleaching powder (chloride of lime), whereby, if it contain certain colorific principles capable of developing, under the joint action of air, water, and ammonia, red coloring matters, a fugitive but distinct blood-red color will be exhibited. The amount of this colorific matter may be estimated quantitatively by noting the quantity of the chloride of lime solution required to destroy this blood-red color in different cases: or the same result may be obtained by macerating for a short period in milk of lime—filtering—precipitating the filtered liquor by acetic or muriatic acid—collecting this precipitate on a weighed filter—drying at ordinary temperatures and again weighing.
The author entered into a full analysis of these tests and processes—pointing out their respective advantages and disadvantages—and showing their practical value and applications. He stated that he had made use of these, and various other tests, in upwards of 300 experiments, and the one which he employed to the greatest extent, because most uniformly applicable, was Helot's ammonia test. The following combination is that most favorable for the development of the coloring matter of the lichens—viz., the presence
1. Of water as a solvent menstruum. 2. Of atmospheric oxygen. 3. Of ammonia, in the state of vapor or in solution, and 4. Of a moderate degree of heat;
And according as the proportion of these combining elements varies, so do the kind and amount of color educed by them. This combination is the foundation of all the processes for the manufacture of the lichen dyes throughout the world, however different these may appear to be in detail or results.
I believe it may come to be a matter of great commercial importance to discover, at home or abroad, some cheap and easily-procurable substitute for the Roccellas, which are gradually becoming scarce, and consequently valuable in European commerce, having sometimes fetched, in times of scarcity, no less than L1,000 per ton. No plants can be so easily collected and preserved as lichens—requiring merely to be cleaned, dried, pulverised, and packed; and if their bulk be an objection to transport, their whole colorific matter may be collected in the way I have already mentioned. Ascending to the verge of eternal snows, and descending to the ocean level—with a geographical diffusion that is co-extensive with the surface of our earth, it is difficult to say where lichens shall not be found. There are myriads of small rocky islets in the boundless ocean, and there are thousands of miles of barren rocky coast and sterile mountain range in every part of the world, which, though at present unfit to bear any of the higher members of the vegetable kingdom, are yet carpeted and adorned with a rich covering of lichens, and of those very species too, which I have already spoken of as prolific in colorific materials. I sincerely believe, therefore, that a more general attention to the very simple tests just enumerated, would ultimately result in a greatly extended use of the lichens as dye agents. What renders it very probable that efforts in this direction are likely to meet with success is the great similarity of species found all over the world. It has been repeatedly noticed that the European species, which, of course, are best known, differ little from those of North America. Dr. Robert Brown remarked the same fact with regard to New Holland species, and Humboldt also recognised the similarity in natives of the South American Andes. Of a large collection made by Professor Royle, in the Himalayas, Don pronounced almost every one to be identical with European species. From examining the raw vegetable products, sent by different countries to the Great Exhibition of 1851, I am satisfied that, even now, there are many fields open for the establishment of an export trade in Roccellas and other so-called orchella weeds." I there saw specimens of good dye lichens from almost every part of the world, including our own young colonies; and as a single instance of their probable value, I may introduce here the copy of a note appended to a specimen of orchella weed from the island of Socotra, contained in the Indian collection of that exhibition, "abundant, but unknown as an article of use or commerce. Also abundant on the hills around (Aden) and might be made an article of trade." Roccellas from this source are estimated as worth L190 to L380 per ton. I believe that a similar statement might be made with regard to the countless islands of the broad Atlantic and Pacific, which may, at some future period, perhaps not far distant, be found to be rich depots of orchella weeds, just as some of them are, at present, rich fields of guano, and may, as such, become new nuclei of British commerce and enterprise. Even at home, in the immediate vicinity of Edinburgh, or, to restrict our limits still more narrowly, within the compass of Arthur's Seat, there are not a few very good dye-lichens, which require merely to be scraped with an old knife or similar instrument, from the rocks to which they adhere, and subjected to the ammonia process already mentioned. Of twelve specimens thus collected at random one morning, I found no less than three yielded beautiful purple-red colors, apparently as fine as orchil or cudbear, while the others furnished rich and dark tints of brownish-red, brown and olive-green.
Dr. Lindley's communication was illustrated with specimens of coloring matters yielded by various lichens collected in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, &c.
BARKS FOR TANNING.
Let us now take a brief review of the sources from whence tanning materials may be obtained, which will also enable us to form a fair estimate of the prospect of future supplies. Only one medal was awarded, at the Great Exhibition, for tanning substances, viz., to Messrs. Curtis, Brothers (United Kingdom, No. 126), but honorable mention was made of the following competitors:—One from Tunis, one from Van Diemen's Land, one from New Zealand, one from Belgium, one from the Cape of Good Hope, one from Canada, and one from the United Kingdom.
The substance from which pure tannin is most frequently obtained for chemical purposes is nutgalls, for tannin constitutes above 40 per cent, of their weight. It may be procured also from several other sources, such as oak, horse chestnut, sumach, and cinchona barks, catechu, kino, &c.
The basis of the skins of animals is composed of a substance to which the name of gelatine is given. One of the properties of this substance is, that when combined with tannin, it forms the compound of tannate of gelatine, or leather, a substance which is so useful to mankind. From time immemorial, the substance employed to furnish the tannin to the hides of animals, in order to convert them into leather, has been oak bark. But as the purpose for which oaks are grown is their timber, and not their bark, the supply of oak bark cannot be calculated upon, and this is, perhaps, one of the causes why tanning as an art is in such a backward state.
The consumption of tannin required in the leather manufacture may be estimated from the fact that more than 672,000 cwts. of raw hides were imported in 1851, besides the hides of the cattle, &c., consumed in the United Kingdom. On the Continent and in the United States the consumption of bark for this purpose is also considerable.
The imports of bark for the use of tanners and dyers has amounted yearly to the very large quantity of 380,674 cwt., besides what we obtain at home. Oak bark contains usually the largest proportion of tannin, and according to Davy's experiments eight-and-a-half pounds of oak bark are equivalent for tanning purposes to two-and-a-quarter of galls, three of sumach, seven-and-a-half of Leicester willow, eleven of Spanish chesnut, eighteen of elm, and twenty-one of common willow bark. Tannin obtained from these sources, however, differs materially in some of its characters. The tannin of nutgalls, which is that generally employed for chemical purposes, is sometimes called gallo-tannic acid, to distinguish it from other species.
Notwithstanding the number of different substances which have from time to time been introduced for the use of tanners, it is, nevertheless, pretty generally acknowledged that there is nothing superior, or even equal, to good oak bark, and that all attempts to hurry the process beyond a certain point by the use of concentrated solutions of tan, &c., are for the most part failures, as the manufacture of good leather, to a great extent, depends on the process being conducted in a slow and gradual, but—at the same time—thorough and complete matter.
Oak bark is, however, by no means the only astringent bark well suited to the use of the tanner, and in various parts of the world other similar substances are used with very great success. All these tanning materials, though they may not be considered by the English tanner equal to the best oak bark, are, nevertheless, of great value to him; they may be employed in conjunction with oak bark, or even as a substitute in times of scarcity, or when the price of oak bark is high; in fact the very existence of such substances tends to keep down and equalise the price of bark, and to prevent it from undergoing those great fluctuations in value which would necessarily occur were it the only tanning material available to our manufacture—("Prof. Solly in Jury Reports of Great Exhibition.")
There are a vast number of bark and other substances useful for tanning purposes, which are found in the tropics, that are comparatively unknown or little regarded in Europe; but which might be readily obtained in large quantities and at a trifling cost. The bark of many species of Acacia furnishes the tanning principle in a great degree, particularly that of A. arabica, which, under the name of Babul wood, is largely used about Scinde, Biliary, Gruzerat, and other parts of India; where it is regarded as a powerful tonic. The fruit of A. vera, termed Egyptian and Senegal "bablah," has been employed in tanning and dyeing. Numerous species of this tribe are found abundant in New South Wales and the Cape Colony, and these, particularly the wattle bark of Australia, are in common use for tanning, from their astringent properties. The bark and rind of the fruit of the pomegranate (Pumica Granata) have similar properties.
The bark of Avicenna tomentosa is in great use in the Brazils for tanning. So are the curved pods of Caesalpinia Coriari, in the East and West Indies, under the name of Divi-divi. Coriaria myrtifolia is not only used in tanning leather, but also for staining black. It is worth L9 to L10 per ton. Pterocarpus marsupium furnishes about Tellicherry the concrete exudation called kino, a powerful astringent used for tanning.
The plants of the mangrove tribe, Rhizophora Mangle, and other allied species, have frequently an astringent bark, which is in many cases used for tanning and dyeing black. This tree is very common in most tropical countries, where it forms dense thickets on the muddy banks of rivers and the sea shores. The bark of Bauhinia variegata, is made use of in Scinde and other parts of Asia. The bitter astringent bark and the galls of several of the Tamarisk tribe are also well suited for the purpose.
Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum, one of the numerous indigenous species of the Cape, is used in making morocco leather.
The extract procured from the bark of the Butea, that of the Buchanania latifolia, the Scyzgium (Calyptranthes), Jambolana, &c., are likely to be of consequence to the tanners, and could be produced in India in large quantities. Specimens of these, and of the bark of the Saul tree, of Nychanthes arbortrista, Terminalia angustifolia, and of the gaub fruit (Diospyros glutinosa), were shown by the East India Company. The bark of the hemlock tree is extensively employed for tanning in New Brunswick.
The bark of yellow hercules (Xanthoxylum ochroxylon), and the pods of Acacia tortuosa are used for tanning in the West Indies.
In the instructions given by the Admiralty to Sir James Boss, when proceeding on his Antarctic Expedition, his attention was particularly called to the astringent substances adapted for tanning, and to the various extracts of barks, &c., imported into England from our Australian settlements, and which are employed by the tanner. Little sterling information has as yet been obtained as to the qualities of the astringent gums, barks, and dyes, yielded in such abundance by the trees of those colonies, and the proportion of tannin they contained.
In 1846, 563 tons of bark for tanning were exported from Port Phillip.
A large quantity of tannin is extracted from various species of Eucalyptus, the gigantic gum trees in Australia and Van Diemen's Land (of which quarter all the species are natives), and sent to the English market; it is said to be twice as powerful in its operations as oak bark. Some of these trees attain a height of 200 feet. Their bark separates remarkably into layers. A sort of kino gum, an astringent resinous-like substance, is also extracted from E. resinifera, the brown gum-tree of New Holland, which is sold in the medicine bazaars of India. It exudes in the form of red juice from incisions in the bark. A single tree will often yield 60 gallons. In Brazil they use the bark of Luhea panicata, an evergreen climber, for tanning leather; and in Peru the bark of some species of Weinmaunia serve the same purpose. Among other powerful astringents I may notice the root of a species of Sea Lavender (Statice Caroliniana), Myrica cerifera, and Heuchera Americana, all natives of North America. Also the petals of Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis, a native of Asia.
The sea-side grape (Coccolaba uvifera) yields an astringent substance, known as Jamaica kino.
The bark of the Cassia auriculata, and the milky juice of the Asclepias gigantea, are used for tanning in India.
The red astringent gum obtained from Butea frondosa, a middling size tree, common in Bengal and the mountainous parts of India, is used by the natives for tanning. English tanners, however, object to its use on account of the color which it communicates to the leather.
The barks of the Mora excelsa, Benth; Courida (Avicenna nutida), cashew (Anicardium occidentale), guava and hog-plum (Spondius lutea, Linn.), have all been successfully used for tanning in Demerara and the West India Islands, where they are very abundant. Specimens were sent from British Guiana.
The root of the Palmetto palm (Chaemaerops Palmetto) is stated to be valuable for the purposes of tanning. The leaves of Nerium Oleander contain tannic acid. The bark of a species of Malphigia is much used by the Brazilians.
The panke (Gunnera scabra) is a fine plant, growing in Chili, on the sandstone cliffs, which somewhat resembles the rhubarb on a gigantic scale. The inhabitants eat the stalks, which are subacid, tan leather with the roots, and also prepare a black dye from them. The leaf is nearly circular, but deeply indented on its margin. Mr. Darwin measured one which was nearly eight feet in diameter, and therefore no less than twenty-four in circumference. The stalk is rather more than a yard high, and each plant sends out four or five of these enormous leaves, presenting together a very noble appearance.
The barks replete with the tanning principle should be stripped with hatchets and bills from the trunk and branches of trees in spring, when their sap flows most freely. The average quantity of oak bark obtained from our forests is estimated at 150,000 tons annually, of which Ireland and Scotland furnish but a very small quantity.
The following table, given by Dr. Ure, shows the quantity of extractive matter and tannin yielded by different substances:—
In 480 parts In 100 parts by Davy. by Cadet. Sicilian sumach 78 — Malaga ditto 79 — Souchong tea 48 — Green tea 41 — Bombay catechu 261 — Bengal ditto 231 — Nutgalls 127 46 Bark of pomegranate — 32 " Virginian sumach — 10 " Carolina ditto — 5
Catechu and Gambier are very valuable for tanning, and are alluded to under the heads GAMBIER and ARECA PALM.
CATECHU is obtained from the Acacia Catechu, an arboreous tree growing from fifteen to twenty feet high, with a brown and scabrous bark. The interior wood is brown, dark red or blackish, and the exterior white, one or two inches thick. It inhabits various parts of the East Indies, of which it is a native, and is also now common in Jamaica. It bears whitish or pale yellow flowers.
The catechu obtained from this tree in Pegu, is celebrated throughout India, and fetches L4 to L5 more per ton than gambier and other astringent extracts. When of good quality, catechu is more powerful as an astringent than kino. Of all the astringent substances we know, catechu appears to contain the largest proportion of tannin, and Mr. Purkis found that one pound was equivalent to seven or eight of oak bark for tanning leather.
The term catechu, observes Dr. Pereira, is applied to various astringent extracts imported from India and the neighbouring countries. A few years ago the terms catechu, terra japonica, and cutch were employed synonymously; they are now, however, for the most part used in trade somewhat distinctively, though not uniformly in the same sense. The manufacture of catechu from the Acacia catechu as practised in Canara and Behar, has been described by Mr. Kerr ("Med. Obs. and Inquiries," vol. v.), and Dr. Hamilton ("Journey through Mysore," &c., vol. iii.), while Professor Royle has explained the process followed in Northern India. According to the last-mentioned gentleman, "the kutt manufacturers move to different parts of the country in different seasons, erect temporary huts in the jungles, and selecting trees fit for their purpose, cut the inner wood into small chips. These they put into small earthen pots, which are arranged in a double row, along a fireplace built of mud; water is then poured in until the whole are covered; after a considerable portion has boiled away, the clear liquor is strained into one of the neighbouring pots, and a fresh supply of the material is put into the first, and the operation repeated until the extract in the general receiver is of sufficient consistence to be poured into clay moulds, which, in the Kheree Pass and Doon, where I have seen the process, are generally of a quadrangular form. This catechu is usually of a pale red color, and is considered there to be of the best quality. By the manufacturers it is conveyed to Saharunpore and Moradabad, whence it follows the course of commerce down the Ganges, and meets that from Nepaul, so that both may be exported from Calcutta."
The Gambier plant (Uncaria Gambler, Roxburgh, Nauclea Gambir, Hunter), has been described by Rumphius under the name of Funis uncatus. It is a stout, scandent, evergreen shrub, which strongly resembles the myrtle. It is generally cultivated in the same plantation with pepper, as the leaves and shoots, after undergoing the process by which their juice is extracted, to furnish a kind of catechu, are found to be an excellent manure for the pepper vines. The leaves and young shoots of the gambier plant are collected as soon as they have attained a sufficient size, and boiled in iron pans until the juice acquires the consistence of treacle. The decoction is poured out into narrow troughs, dried, and afterwards cut up into small cakes, and packed in baskets for exportation. The gambier extract, which is of a yellowish brown color, and has the consistence of hard cheese, is much esteemed by the Malays for mixing with the preparation of betel, which they are in the habit of chewing; and considerable quantities have lately been imported to this country, where it is used for dyeing colors, and for tanning leather. The demand for gambier here is on the increase; and when better known to our chemists, it will probably be found applicable to many other purposes than those to which it is at present applied.
There were, in 1850, 400 gambier and pepper plantations on the island of Singapore; each measures or occupies on an average an area of 500 fathoms square, and employs eight to ten hands to cultivate and manufacture the gambier and pepper. There are some pepper plantations in addition, and they have been found to answer very well without any gambier being cultivated with them. Gambier cultivation is generally a losing undertaking, but it is adopted to obtain the refuse of the leaves for manuring the pepper vines, and also to employ the people in the plantations; it besides affords the proprietors the means of getting monthly sums to carry on the cultivation of pepper, which affords two crops yearly. There were formerly 600 plantations in Singapore, but the reason already assigned, and the formation of spice plantations contiguous have caused the abandonment of all those near the town. Each plantation must have an equal extent of forest land to that cultivated with gambier and pepper, to enable the manufacture of the gambier being carried on, and each gambier plantation, of 500 fathoms square, contains about 3,500 pepper vines, which yield on an average two catties per vine, or 70 piculs of pepper, and about 170 piculs of gambier annually;—a good plantation will, however, yield sometimes as much as 120 piculs of pepper, and 200 piculs of gambier, and a bad one as little as 40 to 50 piculs of pepper, and 60 to 80 piculs of gambier. Were it not for the enormous commission charged by the agents of these plantations, from whom the cultivators get all the advances, it would prove a profitable cultivation. The rates of commission charged generally are as follows:—Per picul of gambier, fifteen to twenty-five cents; per picul of pepper, thirty to forty cents; and if the price of the former is below one-and-a-half dollars, and the latter below three-and-a-half dollars per picul, a small reduction is made in the rates of commission. On every picul of rice supplied to the planters twenty to twenty-five cents commission is charged; this includes the interest of money advanced, which is never charged. A gambier and pepper plantation is valued or estimated at about 400 dollars on an average. The following is supposed to be a correct estimate, on an average, of the yearly expenditure and returns of a gambier and pepper plantation of 500 fathoms square, viz:—
EXPENDITURE. drs. c. men. drs. c. Eight men at 31/2 dollars and 7 Java rupees per month, wages for headman and labourers respectively 22.70 12 272.40 Five piculs of rice, including commission, say 6.50 12 81.60 Fish, &c. 5 12 60.0 Boat or cart hire to carry rice and produce 13/4 12 21.0 ——— 435.0
170 piculs of gambier, valued at l dollar 45 cents per picul, less 15 cents commission chargeable, nett 221.30 — —- 70 piculs of pepper, at 41/2 dollars, less 40 cents per picul commission, nett 287.0 — 508.0
Yearly profit, 73 dollars, or about L15.
Several gambier and pepper plantations have been abandoned in Singapore, partly from the ground being impoverished, but more particularly from the exhaustion of the forest adjacent to their estates. The exhaustion of the trees by yearly consumption deprives the planters of the necessary fire wood which is used for the boiling down of the gambier. A gambier plantation gets exhausted in fifteen years, either from the want of firewood or the land getting impoverished.
There are about 200 plantations at Johore, and the produce of gambier for the season of 1851 was calculated at 30,000 piculs.
This shrub was, at one period, cultivated with success at Pinang and other places to the eastward, but as Java was the principal market for the produce, and the Dutch had levied a duty of twelve Java rupees per picul on it, the cultivation at the former island did not repay its cost, and it was accordingly abandoned. Prices have been lately advancing, and the Chinese are talking of trying it again. The plant is partial to hilly land or slopes at the skirts of hills. Two hundred plants are usually placed on one orlong of land, being six feet asunder. They are raised from seed, and are topped to eight or ten feet, when the gambier is to be prepared. The Chinese dry the seed slightly, and sow in rainy weather.
The seeds vegetate in forty days, and are planted out in the second or third month afterwards.
At the expiration of fourteen months, the first cutting of the branches, with the leaves on, is made. These are put into a boiler, and when the juice has been extracted, the branches and refuse are thrown away, and the boiling is continued until the liquor has obtained the proper consistence, when it is put into shallow troughs, dried, and cut into slices for sale. The second cutting takes place eight months subsequently to the first. The plant now grows strong and admits of frequent cropping, and it will endure for twenty years. No manure is used, but the plantation is kept clean.
Estimated cost of cultivating ten orlongs, about 13 acres, according to Colonel Low:—
Spanish dollars. Value of cleared land, ten orlongs 200 Six laborers per annum 360 Quit rent 7 Boilers, firewood, and implements 20 Houses 50 Incidental 30 —— Total first year 667 Second year 397 —— 1,064
The six laborers on the plantation will, after the above period, be constantly employed in cutting and preparing the gambier: the average product will be 15 piculs monthly, which, at two dollars per picul, will be 30 dollars monthly, or 360 dollars per annum. This is the account obtained by collating different Chinese statements.
The Nauclea Gambir is placed by Jussieu under the natural order Rubiaceae; it is a shrub attaining the height of six to eight feet, branchy; the leaves are ovate, pointed, smooth, waving, distinctly veined transversely underneath, of dark green color, and, when chewed, they have a bitter astringent taste, leaving however, afterwards, a sweetish taste in the mouth, not unlike liquorice; the flowers are aggregate, globular, composed of numerous florets, crowded on a globular naked receptacle; tubes of the corolla of a pinkish color; the upper part of the corolla fine, cleft, and of a greenish yellow color; the staminae are five in number, and short; the pistil is longer than the corolla; the flowers are destitute of fragrance; the capsules (as correctly stated by Mr. Hunter) are stalked oblong, incrusted, and crowned with a calyx; tapering to a point below; two celled, two valved, the valves adhering at the apex, splitting at the sides; seeds very numerous, oblong, very small, compressed, furnished at both ends with a membraneous pappus.
The gambier plant is propagated either by seeds or cuttings, but the latter are preferred. It is cultivated to some extent at Singapore, but it is said that the gambier can be imported cheaper from the islands in the vicinity, more especially at the Dutch settlement at Rhio. The extract is used extensively by the natives of India, Eastern Archipelago, Cochin-China, and Cambodia, as a masticatory, wrapped up with the betel.
There are three different qualities of extract; the first and best is white, brittle, and has an earthy appearance when rubbed between the fingers (which earthy appearance gave it the name of Terra Japonica, being supposed, at first also, to come from Japan), and is formed into very small round cakes. This is the dearest sort, and most refined, but it is not unfrequently adulterated with sago; this kind is brought in the greatest quantity from the island of Sumatra. The second quality is of a brownish yellow color, is formed into oblong cakes, and, when broken, has a light brown earthy appearance; it is also made into a solid cube form; it is sold in the bazars in small packets, each containing five or six. The third quality contains more impurities than the preceding, is formed into small circular cakes, and is sold in packages of five or six in the bazar.
The method employed in preparing the extract is thus correctly related by Finlayson:—"The leaves are collected three or four times a year; they are thrown into a large cauldron, the bottom of which is formed of iron, the upper part of bark, and boiled for five or six hours, until a strong decoction is obtained; the leaves are then withdrawn, and allowed to strain over the vessel, which is kept boiling for as many hours more, until the decoction is inspissated; it is then allowed to cool, when the catechu subsides, The water is drawn off; a soft soapy substance remains, which is cut into large masses; these are further divided by a knife into small cubes, about an inch square, or into still smaller pieces, which are laid in frames to dry. This catechu has more of a granular, uniform appearance than that of Bengal; it is, perhaps, also less pure."
The younger leaves of the shrub are said to produce the whitest and best gambier; the older, a brown and inferior sort. There are other species of Nauclea indigenous to Singapore, but they do not produce any extract.
Dr. Bennett has particularised four qualities of gambier:—
1. Small round cakes, about the size of a small lozenge. Color pale, purplish, yellowish, white.
2. Cubes, in which shape it is principally imported into England, and square prisms, or oblong pieces.
3. Circular discs, or short cylindrical pieces.
4. Cubical amylaceous pieces, of a darker brown than the other kinds.
Gambier is one of the most powerful of the pure astringents.
The chief places of manufacture are Saik, Malacca, Singapore, and Rhio or Bintang. Bennett, in his "Wanderings," says there are 60,000 plantations of gambier on this island. After that of Rhio, the next best gambier is that of Lingin. That used by the Malays, with the leaves of betel, in the same manner as cutch in other parts of India, is the finest and whitest; the red being stronger tasted and rank, is exported to Batavia, China, and England, for the purposes of tanning and dyeing. It is frequently adulterated with sago powder, but it may be detected by solution in water.
Large quantities of gambier are imported, under the corrupted name of cutch, into Calcutta, from Pegu. The quantity of gambier produced in Rhio, by the Chinese settlers, amounts to about 4,600 tons a year, about 2,000 of which are exported for the consumption of Java, the rest being sent to Cochin-China and other neighbouring countries.
Two methods of obtaining gambier are described. One consists in boiling the leaves in water, and in inspissating the decoction; the other, which yields the best gambier, consists in infusing the leaves in warm water, by which a fecula is obtained, which is inspissated by the heat of the sun, and formed into cakes.
The injudicious practice adopted by the Land Office in Singapore, of granting indiscriminate licenses, or "cutting papers" as they are formed, seems open to objection, and is driving many of the Chinese cultivators to the neighbouring island of Johore, where they readily obtain permission to cultivate, without obstruction, this important article of commerce. Parties of 300 or 400 at a time left in 1846. It appears that, under his permissive license, the squatter obtains permission to clear as much land as he possibly can, but the order does not define any extent beyond which no cutting should take place. The squatter clears as much land as the means at his disposal will allow, in the hope and expectation that the jungle contiguous to the cleared ground will be at his command for fuel—a supply of fuel, easy of access, and adequate to the number of plants grown, being indispensable to the culture and manufacture of gambier. When the time for gathering the leaves arrives, another squatter (perhaps from motives of envy or malice) obtains a "cutting paper," and commences clearing in close proximity to the already-formed gambier plantation; obviously depriving the owner of the fuel he has reasonably calculated upon. The established planter cannot of course eject the intruder from the land, since the latter possesses an equal right to it, in virtue of his "cutting paper," which, as it specifies no limits, leaves him the disposer or destroyer of the crop of the industrious planter. Instead of the present system, a better practice ought to be introduced, defining the boundaries to be included in a "cutting paper," and effectually preventing a trespass on the fuel-land of the industrious planter. This might easily be effected by specifying the number of acres, as well as the direction, in every clearing paper granted.
The average produce of gambier in Singapore is between 7,000 and 8,000 piculs monthly. The ordinary price is about 11/4 dollars per picul. A deficiency of rain, labor, or other causes, will occasionally reduce the annual produce from 90,000 or 100,000 piculs, to 60,000 or 70,000, and this diminished supply will raise the market price of the article probably 35 cents per picul. But, in addition to the effect occasioned by a deficient supply, there are other causes in operation exercising a powerful influence in reducing prices. Gambier was first exported in 1830, from Singapore, to the extent of 2,587 piculs, at 41/2 dollars per picul. As a rival to bark it failed at so costly a price to meet with encouragement; the culture and manufacture consequently declined until 1834, when 1,858 piculs were shipped to England at a somewhat lower rate. The demand then became active, the exportations were at first multiplied, then doubled every succeeding year, until they reached, in 1846-47 no less than 173,117 piculs. The price has gradually declined to 11/4 dollars per picul, at which rate it displaces its rival, bark. This price, however, is unremunerative to the grower, so that, unless more encouragement offers, the supply will decline.
The number of Chinese employed in the cultivation, &c., of gambier and pepper in Singapore is about 11,000. Their rate of wages fluctuates with the price of gambier. If a picul of gambier realizes 11/2 dollars, the monthly pay will be about three dollars; if gambier fetches two dollars, their pay will amount to four dollars in the month. The workmen who clean the plantation always receive a dollar less than those who cut and boil the gambier.
A good deal of gambier seems now to be grown in Java, for 58,305 piculs were exported from that island in 1843. A small quantity is taken by the Chinese ports, but whether as a masticatory or for tanning and dyeing I am not aware.
VALUE OF THE TERRA JAPONICA IMPORTED INTO CEYLON. L 1840 611 1841 1,053 1842 768 1843 471 1844 1,153 1845 537 1846 824 1847 1,549 1848 1,095 1849 896 1850 265 1851 386
In the Customs' returns of imports to this country, two articles are enumerated, under the separate names of cutch and terra japonica; the former is catechu and the latter the produce of the gambier plant. The imports of gambier were, in 1836, 970 tons; 1837, 2,738 tons; 1838, 1,600 tons; 1839, 5,213 tons.
Cutch. Terra Japonica. tons. tons. 1848 Imported to the United Kingdom 1,186 5,623 Retained for home consumption 765 5,102 1849 Imported 1,636 6,851 Retained for home consumption 869 5,400 1850 Imported 1,172 4,585 Home consumption 787 3,655 1851 Imported 2,401 4,783 Home consumption 2,020 4,431 1852 Imported 2,236 3,244 Home consumption 1,708 3,003
Catechu, imported under its Indian name of cutch, is brought over in bales or baskets of from one to four cwt., the price being L18 to L25 per ton. About 450 cwt. of terra japonica or gambier is annually imported into Hull from the East Indies. The imports of the two substances into Liverpool is about 900 tons. Gambier is only worth L13 to L14 the ton; a few years ago it fetched 26s. the cwt. The imports into the port of London average 1,500 tons annually.
4,679 bales, and 14,436 baskets of terra japonica were imported into Liverpool in 1851, and 14,000 bales and baskets in 1852. The imports of cutch were 10,290 bags, and 2,592 baskets, in 1851, and 11,873 bags and baskets in 1852; the prices, which were from 16s. 6d. to 18s. per cwt. for each article, in 1851, were rapidly run up in Liverpool, in 1853, owing to short supplies, to 25s. for gambier, and 22s. to 24s. per cwt. for cutch, or catechu.
EXPORTS OF GAMBIER FROM SINGAPORE, WITH THE OFFICIAL VALUE IN RUPEES.
Piculs. Value in rupees. 1840-41 Exported 79,508 457,560 " Growth of Singapore 59,325 1841-42 Exported 93,340 470,790 " Growth of Singapore 47,696 1842-43 Exported 148,746 548,281 " Growth of Singapore 110,151 1843-44 Exported 139,050 584,449 " Growth of Singapore 121,791 1844-45 Exported 157,654 539,978 " Growth of Singapore 134,528 1845-46 Exported 110,766 425,643 " Growth of Singapore 75,797 1846-47 Exported 173,117 591,943 " Growth of Singapore 143,795
The exports of gambier from Singapore were as follows:—
To England. To the Continent. Total. piculs. piculs. piculs. 1849 134,546 6,121 140,667 1850 87,611 16,166 103,777 1851 68,365 11,639 80,004 1852 68,045 9,006 77,051
The exports of cutch from Pinang, in the last four years, have been:—1849, 3,693 piculs; 1850, 900; 1851, 4,143; 1852, 3,880; or, on an average, 197 tons.
DIVI-DIVI is the commercial name for the curved pod of a leguminous shrub, Caesalpinia coriaria, which is sometimes imported from Carthage. Its tannin differs materially from that of nutgalls. The quantity of mucilage which it contains precludes it from the use of dyers; but, as it furnishes nearly 50 per cent. of tannin, it is largely used by curriers. It is imported into Liverpool from Rio de la Hacha, Maracaibo, and Savanila. 400 tons of the seed pods and bark of the Algaroba, or Locust-tree (Prosopis pallida) were imported in 1849 into Liverpool from Valparaiso, as a substitute for divi-divi in tanning. 3,200 lbs. of divi-divi were exported from the port of Augostara, in 1846.
Specimens of divi-divi which had been raised at Calcutta were shown in the Indian department of the Great Exhibition.
Dr. Hamilton states that, according to some admirably conducted experiments of Mr. Rootsey, of Bristol, undertaken at his request, the pods of divi-divi contain above 50 per cent. of tannin. It appears also, from trials made, that one part of divi-divi is sufficient for tanning as much leather as four parts of bark, and the process occupies but one-third of the time.
The average produce of pods from a full-grown tree has been estimated at 100 lbs. weight, one-fourth of which consists of seeds or refuse, leaving about 75 lbs. of marketable matter.
At an interval of six feet apart, an acre of ground will contain 1,210 trees, yielding an average of 810 cwts., and 30 pounds, or above 401/2 tons of marketable matter, worth, at only L5 per ton, L200. Should the interval between the trees be extended two feet more, we shall still have 680 to the acre, the produce of which would not improbably be increased by the increased space given for the extension of the branches.
The ground in which this tree admits of being cultivated is that which is least adapted to the staple products of tropical agriculture; guinea grass may be profitably raised beneath its shade and as with the exception of the three years which precede the commencement of its bearing, there is hardly any deduction to be made from its returns, it promises to be among the most valuable objects of a planter's attention.
Jacquin describes the Caesalpinia coriaria as a handsome branching tree, of about fifteen feet in stature, covered with a dark spotted bark. Its leaves are doubly pinnate, and the leaflets of twelve pair without a terminal one; they are oblong, obtuse, smooth, very entire. The flowers are disposed in spikes issuing from the extremities of the branches; they are small, yellowish, and slightly fragrant. To these succeed oblong, compressed, somewhat obtuse pods, curved laterally, the inner side being concave and the other convex. The seeds rarely exceed three or four in each pod, and are of a brownish color.
Divi-divi resembles a dried pea-shuck curled up, filled with yellow powder, and a few dark brown seeds. The price ranges from L8 to L13 per ton.
The imports into the United Kingdom in 1844, were 3,900 tons; in 1845 and 1846, about 1,400 tons each year; during the subsequent three years the imports were merely nominal, but in 1850 a renewed demand seems to have sprung up, for 2,770 tons were imported into Liverpool, and a few tons into London.
CORK-TREE BARK (Quercus suber) has been imported into Ireland to a considerable extent, frequently to the amount of 1,500 tons annually. The quantity of cork imported annually into the United Kingdom is about 3,000 tons. It is brought from Spain, Italy, and Barbary. Oak bark and valonia being very cheap and plentiful, the price of cork hark is only nominal, being, for Spanish cork-tree bark, L7 10s. to L8 per ton; Leghorn ditto, L6 to L7 per ton. It is less astringent than oak bark, and is more generally useful for stoppers of bottles and bungs for casks. 160 tons of cork-tree bark were imported into Liverpool from Rabat in 1849, and 150 tons in 1850.
1,867 cwts. of bark for tanning were imported from Chili in 1844, of which 292 were Quillai bark.
MIMOSA BARK.—The bark of the Mimosa decurrens, which abounds in Australia and Van Diemen's Land, is found to be a very powerful tanning agent.
The first shipment of tannin was made from Sydney to England as far back as 1823, in the shape of an extract of the bark of two species of mimosa, which was readily purchased by the tanners at the rate of L50 per ton. One ton of bark had produced four cwts. of extract of the consistency of tar.
In 1843, 3,078 tons of mimosa bark was shipped from Port Phillip to Great Britain. The price then realised in the London market was L12 to L14 per ton, but it has since declined to L8 a ton. The quantity of this bark to be procured in the colony is quite inexhaustible. The price of chopped mimosa bark in Australia, for export, in the close of 1846, was L2 5s. per ton. Bark valued at L912 was exported from Van Diemen's Land in 1848.
The imports of mimosa bark have only been to a limited extent within the last few years, reaching 350 tons in 1850, against 110 tons in 1849, 230 tons in 1848, and 600 tons in 1847. The prices realised were L10 to L11 for chopped, L12 to L12 10s. for ground, and L8 to L9 per ton for unchopped bark. Whilst the imports were 3,900 tons in 1814, they dwindled to less than 400 tons in 1850.
From an experiment, conducted by Professor Brandt, the strength of the mimosa bark, as compared with that of young English oak bark, is found to be in the proportion of 57 to 39, so that the mimosa bark is half as strong again as the best English bark.
Mr. Samuel Mossman, in a communication to the Botanic Society of Edinburgh, in 1851, stated that the bark of A. dealbata pays to ship to England, notwithstanding the distance, from the fact of its containing a greater per centage of tannin than any other bark. It is a handsome tree, from fifteen to thirty feet high, forming luxuriant groves on the banks of streams, most abundant in Port Phillip and Twofold Bay, between the parallels of latitude 34 and 30 degrees.
New Zealand is rich in barks and dyes. The bark of the Tanahaka (Phyllodadus trichomanoides, of Don) is used by the natives as a red dye for the ornamental parts of their kaitahas, their best border garments. There is also another red dye, called Tawaivwai, the bark of which is very profuse. A black dye is procured from the hinau. They are of a rich hue, and exceedingly fast colors. The barks are to be found all over the colony. The hinau and tanahaka are employed in tanning, all the leather used in the colony being tanned either at the Bay of Islands or Port Nicholson.
The bark of the Rimu or red pine (Dacrydium Cupressinum, of Solander), a very common tree, possesses tanning qualities far superior to any of the Australian barks. One pound of the bark yields 85 grains of extract.
The native tanning barks of New Zealand are various and easily obtained. Specimens of the bark and dye, &c., of most of these trees were sent home to the Great Exhibition. One pound of the Tanahaka bark is said to yield 63 grains of tannin. The sails of boats are dyed with it to preserve them. The Towai (Licospermum racemosum, of Don, Weinmaunia racemosa, Decandole), is supposed to be valuable for the purposes of the tanner, and is said to yield 104 grains of tannin for every pound of bark. The bark of the Pohutu kawa of the natives, the Metrosideros tomentosaof Richard, and Callistemon ellipticum of Allan Cunningham, would also be useful for tanning, one pound of it furnishing about 60 grains of tannin.
The bark of the Hino tree, the Elaeocarpus hinau of Cunningham, the Dicera dentata of Forster, is used by the natives for dyeing black.
The black mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) is a tree attaining an altitude of from 30 to 50 feet, and occupying marshy situations in the vicinity of the sea. Almost every part of the mangrove—the bark, roots, and the fruit more particularly—abounds in an astringent principle, which is successfully applied to the purposes of tanning. As the tree is so abundant within the tropics, it might be worth the while of some practical speculator to make an extract on the spot, and introduce it into the English market, for the use of tanners and dyers. For tanning, the mangrove is said to be infinitely superior to oak bark, completing in six weeks an operation which with the latter occupies at least six months, and the sole-leather so tanned is said to be more durable than any other. The bark and leaves, which contain nearly as much tannin as the oak, are made use of in the West Indies, as well as in Scinde and other parts of Asia.
3,713 piculs of mangrove bark, valued at L819, were shipped from Shanghae, one of the Chinese ports, in 1849.
MYROBALANS.—This is a name applied to the almond-like kernels of a nut or dried fruit of the plum kind, of which there are several sorts known in the East. They are the produce of various species of Terminalia, as T. Bellerica, chebula, citrina, and angustifolia. They vary from the size of olives to that of gall nuts, and have a rough, bitter, and unpleasant taste. Many of the trees of this tribe, which are all natives of the tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and America, are used for tanning, and some for dyeing. They are highly valued by dyers, creating, when mixed with alum, a durable dark brown yellow. Myrobalans fetch in the Bombay market 8s. to 26s. the Surat candy of 821 lbs. The bark and leaves of T. Catappa yield a black pigment, with which Indian ink is made; the seeds are eaten like almonds. A milky juice is said to flow from T. angustifolia, which, when dried, is fragrant, and, resembling Benzoin, is used as a kind of incense in the Catholic churches in the Mauritius. The fruit of T. Bellerica, and of T. Chebula, both useful timber trees, indigenous to the East Indies, are used medicinally as a tonic and astringent. 117 cwts. of myrobalans were shipped from Ceylon in 1845.
The annual imports of myrobalans into Hull, amount to about 1,600 cwts. The quantity which arrived at Liverpool was 185 tons in 1849, 851 tons in 1850; 27,212 bags in 1851, and 19,946 bags in 1852; they come from Calcutta and Bombay, and are also used for dyeing yellow and black. The price in January, 1853, was 6s. to 12s. per cwt. The average annual imports into the United Kingdom may be taken at 1,200 tons.
KINO.—The Kino, of Botany Bay and Van Diemen's Land, is the produce of the iron bark tree, Eucalyptus resinifera. White ("Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales"), says this tree sometimes yields, on incision, 60 gallons of juice. Kino is imported in boxes. The tincture of kino is used medicinally, but an inconvenience is frequently found to arise, from its changing to the gelatinous form. Dr. Pereira seems to think this species of kino consists principally of pectin and tannic acid. That chiefly used as East Indian kino, is an extract formed by inspissating a decoction of the branches and twigs of the gambler plant. Vauquelin analysed it, and found it to consist of, tannin and peculiar extractive matter, 75; red gum, 24; insoluble matter, 1.
The East Indian kino, imported from Bombay and Tellicherry, is the produce of Pterocarpus marsupium, a lofty, broad-spreading forest tree, which blossoms in October and November. The bark is of a greyish color, and is upwards of half an inch in thickness on the trunk. When cut, a blood-red juice speedily exudes and trickles down; it soon thickens, and becomes hard in the course of fifteen or sixteen hours. The gum is extracted in the season when the tree is in blossom, by making longitudinal incisions in the bark round the trunk, so as to let the gum ooze down a broad leaf, placed as a spout, into a receiver. When the receiver is filled it is removed. The gum is dried in the sun until it crumbles, and then filled in wooden boxes for exportation.
P. erinaceus, a tree 40 to 50 feet in height, a native of the woods of the Gambia and Senegal, furnishes kino, but none is collected in or exported from Africa. Butea frondosa, or the dhak tree of the East Indies, furnishes a similar product, in the shape of a milky, colored, brittle, and very astringent gum. Kino is used as a powerful astringent, and is administered in the form of powder and tincture. Some specimens of Butea kino, analysed by Prof. Solly, after the impurities had been separated, yielded 731/4 per cent. of tannin.
VALONIA is the commercial name of the cupula or cup of the acorn, produced by the Quercus aegilops and its varieties, the Balonia or Valonia oak, natives of the Levant, from whence, and the Morea, they form a very considerable article of export; containing abundance of tannin they are largely used by tanners. The tannin differs materially from that of nutgalls. The bark of Q. tinctorea, a native of North America, yields a yellow dye.
The quantity of valonia imported for home consumption, in 1836, was 80,511 cwts., of which Turkey furnished 58,724 cwts., and Italy and the Ionian islands 7,209 cwts. Of 163,983 cwts. imported in 1840, 143,095 cwts. were brought from Turkey, 15,195 cwts. from Italy, and the residue from Greece and the Ionian Islands. The entries for home consumption in the three years ending with 1842, amounted to about 8,200 tons a year. The increase since has been considerable, the imports having been, in 1848, 10,237 tons; in 1849, 16,671 tons; in 1850, 12,526 tons; in 1851, 10,639 tons; in 1852, 13,870 tons. We receive about 14,000 to 20,000 cwts. annually from Leghorn. The imports into the port of Hull are 3,900 cwts. per year.
The prices of Smyrna valonias are from L13 to L14 per ton; those of picked Morea, L10 per ton. The duty received on valonias imported in 1842 was about L4,000.
The annual produce is sufficient to meet the wants of all Europe. It can be had in Turkey to any extent and at all periods. Many cargoes are sent to Dublin, and the German markets. A little valonia is exported from Manila, the shipments having been about 150 tons per annum.
Camata and Camatina are two varieties of very young valonias, which are found more valuable for some processes of tanning than the common kinds.
Extensive as has been the enumeration of the vegetable substances used in the various branches of art and manufacture which have formed the principal subjects of this section, it is probable that with the progress of knowledge, of scientific experiment, and of investigation into the properties of given commodities, the list will be indefinitely increased. What I have stated will suffice to give the reader an idea of the surprising variety of sources from which we receive the raw materials which enable us to perfect some of the most elegant processes of manufacturing skill and ingenuity, and will further afford some criterion—though, of course, not a perfect one—for estimating the relative importance of the tanning and dyeing substances.
OLEAGINOUS PLANTS, AND THOSE YIELDING FIXED OR ESSENTIAL OILS.
Few cultivators are probably aware of the great importance of oil to this country, and the number of purposes for which it is employed in the arts and manufactures. It is extensively used for candle and soap making, for burning in lamps, for diminishing friction in machinery of all kinds, and especially for locomotives—in wool-dressing, in the manufacture of paints and varnishes, as an article of food, for medicinal purposes, &c.
So important are vegetable oils deemed, that the Society of Arts, in its prize list for 1851, offered gold medals for the importation or introduction into this country of any new plants or trees from China, India, or elsewhere, producing oils or fatty substances, such as can be used as food, or are applicable to manufacturing purposes; and also to the person who shall manufacture and import the finest specimen of oil, not less than ten gallons, the produce of olives grown in any British colony in Africa or Australasia.
The time of burning of equal quantities of the following oils has been found to be—
Hours. Oil of poppy 14 " sunflower 13 " rape 11 " mustard 111/2 " flax seed 10 " gold of pleasure (Camelina sativa) 91/2 " olives 9 " hemp seed 8 " tallow 101/2
FOREIGN VEGETABLE OILS IMPORTED.
1821. 1845. 1850. tuns. tuns. tuns. Coco-nut oil — 2,148 98,040 Olive oil 1,900 12,315 20,783 Palm oil 3,200 25,285 448,589 cwts. Rape seed oil 800 3,973 — Linseed oil 10,500 38,634 — ——— ——— ———- 16,400 82,355 Fish oils 32,356 22,626 21,328
The total quantity of all kinds of wool annually consumed in England and Wales, in 1843, was estimated at 801,566 packs. Now, five gallons of olive, rapeseed or other oils, being used in the preparation of every pack of wool, for cloth (independent of the quantity used in soap, applicable to the woollen manufactures), it follows that five gallons on 801,566 packs are equal to 4,007,830 gallons, or 15,904 tuns; and adding for olive or sperm oil used in machinery 1-11th of the whole, 1,446 tuns, the total quantity consumed is 17,350 tuns.—("Enderby on the South Whale Fishery.")
Fixed oils are found in the cells and intercellular spaces of the fruit, leaves, and other parts of plants.
Some of these are drying oils, as linseed oil, from Linum usitatissimum; some are fat oils, as that from olives (fruit of Olea sativa or Europaea); whilst others are solid, as palm oil.
The solid oils or fats procured from plants are, butter of cacao, from Theobroma cacao; of cinnamon from Cinnamomum verum; of nutmeg, from Myristica moschata; of coco-nut, from Cocos nucifera; of laurel, from Laurus nobilis; of palm oil, from Elais guianiensis; Shea butter, from Bassia Parkii; Galam butter, or Ghee, from Bassia butyracea; and vegetable tallow, from Stillingia sebifera in China, from Vateria indica in Canara and China, and from Pentadesma butyracea in Sierra Leone, and from the almond. These oils contain a large amount of stearine, and are used as substitutes for fat. Some of them are imported in large quantities, and enter into the composition of soap, candles, &c.
Castor oil, from the seeds of Ricinus communis, differs from other fixed oils in its composition.
Decandolle states the following as the quantity of oil obtained from various seeds:—
Per cent. in weight. Hazel-nut 60 Garden cress 57 Olive 50 Walnut 50 Poppy (Papaver somniferum) 48 Almond 46 Caper-spurge (Euphorbia Lathyris) 41 Colza (Brassica oleracea) 39 White mustard (Sinapis alba) 36 Tobacco 34 Plum 33 Woad 30 Hemp 25 Flax 22 Sunflower 15 Buckwheat 14 Grapes 12