The Otaheitan, or the Bourbon cane, has been brought from Cayenne to Pernambuco since the Portuguese obtained possession of that settlement. I believe the two species of cane are much alike, and I have not been able to discover which of them it is. Its advantages are so apparent, that after one trial on each estate, it has superseded the small cane which was in general use. The Cayenne cane, as it is called in Pernambuco, is of a much larger size than the common cane; it branches so very greatly, that the labor in planting a piece of cane is much decreased, and the returns from it are at the same time much more considerable. It is not planted in trenches, but holes are dug at equal distances from each other, in which these cuttings are laid. This cane bears the dry weather better than the small cane; and when the leaves of the latter begin to turn brown, those of the former still preserve their natural color. A planter in the Varzea told me that he had obtained four crops from one piece of land in three years, and that the soil in question had been considered by him as nearly worn out, before he planted the Cayenne cane upon it.—("Koster's Travels in Brazil," vol. 2.)
Mr. E. Morewood, of Compensation, Natal, who has paid much attention to sugar culture in that colony, has favored me with the following details, which will be useful for the guidance of others, as being the results of his own experience:—
lbs. Produce of one acre of sugar cane 72,240 Juice expressed, (or 64 per cent.) 46,308 Dry sugar 7,356 Green syrup or molasses 2,829 This syrup carrying with it a good deal of sugar out of the coolers, contains fully 75 per cent. of crystalizable sugar, or 2,121 Thus the total amount of sugar per acre is 9,477
The average density of the cane juice was 12 degrees Beaume, or 21 per cent. All the improved cane mills are now constructed to give at least 75 per cent. of juice. With such a mill, an acre would yield 11,075 lbs. of sugar. With proper cultivation I have no doubt the produce could be largely increased; for, as the numerous visitors who have seen this place can testify, my cane fields were not attended to.
To enable me to show the cost of producing a crop of canes, you must allow me to go into the expense of cultivating the land first.
To keep one ploughman going, a person requires—
20 Oxen at L3 L60 0 0 1 Plough 7 10 0 1 set Harrows 7 10 0 Yokes, Trektows, Reins, &c. 5 0 0 ————— L80 0 0
Then the expenses per month will be:—
Ploughman's wages L2 10 0 Board 1 10 0 1 Driver, 10s., Leaders, 5s. 0 15 0 Food for two natives 0 10 0 Wear and tear of oxen and gear, at 25 per cent. per annum 1 10 4 ————- L6 18 4
These two spans of oxen will comfortably plough and harrow twenty acres per month, and the cost will thus be about 7s. per acre.
Now, let us suppose that a person wishes to put in twenty acres of canes, the expense would be about as follows:—
4 Ploughings and harrowings, 80 acres at 7s. L28 0 0 Drawing canefurrows, 4 acres per day, 5 days at 6s. 1 10 0 2,000 Cane tops per acre, at 50s. 100 0 0 4 Horsehoeings, at 2s. 6d. 10 0 0 4 Handweedings in the rows, at 2s. 6d. 10 0 0 Cutting and carrying out canes, at 30s. 30 0 0 Carriage to Mill, thirty tons per acre, at 2s. 60 0 0 ————— L239 10 0
or L12 per acre. To this must be added the rent of land, say 10s. per acre, with right of grazing cattle, for two years, when the first crop will come in, would bring the expense to L13 per acre. The cane yielding say only three tons of sugar per acre, of which the planter would, most likely, have to give the manufacturer one-third, he will receive forty tons of sugar, costing him L6 10s. per ton, and worth on the spot, according to advices received from England and the Cape, L15 per ton, at the lowest estimate, or L600.
The greatest expense, you will perceive, is the article of tops for planting; but this ought not to discourage persons. The plants which I imported from the Mauritius some years ago, cost me, on account of many of them not vegetating, at the rate of L30 per acre. Parties who begin planting now have the great advantage that they can get plants, every one of which, if properly treated, will grow, at one-sixth of that price.
How many crops cane will give on good soil in Natal, I am of course unable to state, as the oldest cane I have got has been cut only three times—the last yield (second ratoons) was much finer than the preceding ones, and by adopting the improved manner of cane cultivation, viz., returning all but the cane juice to the soil, I am confident that replanting will be found quite unnecessary; the expenses for the second and following years will therefore be very trifling.
Comparative Statement of the ruling Prices at Natal and the Mauritius of Land, Live Stock, Implements, Labor, and other requirements connected with the cultivation of the Sugar Cane.
MAURITIUS NATAL L s. d. L s. d. LAND, per acre, L3 10s. to 20 0 0 LAND, per acre, 10s. to 1 0 0 RENT OF LAND. It is not RENT OF LAND, 6d. to 0 5 0 customary to let land at the Mauritius, except on the system of an equal division of the produce. MANURE. Guano, commonly CATTLE MANURE in used in its dry state, abundance, according to also other manures or distance, per load, composts, per ton, L6 to 7 0 0 1s. to 0 2 6 (None required on virgin soil for the first three years of cultivation.) LIVE STOCK. Mules, 5 of Oxen, of which 12 are which are required to each required to each load, load of 3,000 to 4,000 L3 each 36 0 0 lbs., L30 each 150 0 0 Keep of oxen, on Keep of Mules each, per pasturage free. annum 7 0 0 LABOR. Drivers, each, per Colored driver, month 1 0 0 each, per month 0 15 0 Coolies, including keep, Kafir leader, ditto 0 10 0 each 1 0 0 Kafirs, including White labor, each 4 0 0 keep, ditto 0 10 0 White labor, each per month, L3 10s. to 4 0 0 FUEL. Cane trash or wood Cane trash or wood MILL POWER. Steam or water The same IMPLEMENTS. All agricultural All agricultural labor labor is performed by the is performed with the hand-hoe, very expensive plough, harrows, and in its nature. scarifier, with oxen so much less expensive than the hand labor at the Mauritius. PRODUCE of the Cane. Average From 2 to 3 tons from 1 to 4 tons. CANE. Periodical renewal of Not yet ascertained, the cane, according to the and depending on the soil quality of the soil, every 3 to 10 years L. s. d. L. s. d. PROVISIONS, &c. Beef, PROVISIONS, &c. Beef, per lb. 6d. to 0 0 8 per lb., 11/2d. to 0 0 21/2 Bread, per loaf 0 0 6 Bread, per loaf 0 0 6 Butter, per lb., 1s. 3d. Butter, per lb., 6d. to 0 0 9 to 0 1 6 Rice, the food of the Indian corn, (maize per Coolies, per bag of 180 lbs. 5s.) per 150 150 lbs., 12s. 6d. to 0 15 0 lbs. 0 4 2 Oats, per bag, of 100 Oats, per 104 lbs., 10s. lbs. 12s. 6d. to 0 15 0 to 1 0 0 Bran, ditto, 100 lbs. Bran, not used. 12s. to 0 13 9 Beans, ditto, 100 lbs. Beans, per 180 lbs., 13s. 22s. 6d. to 1 5 0 to 20s., or per 100 lbs. 7s. 2d. to 0 11 0 Coal, per ton, 40s. to 2 10 0 The same CHARGE OF MANUFACTURE. The Mauritius principle The manufacturer reaps may be adopted in this and carries to the mill colony, with such the canes of the grower, modifications as may be but the latter provides called for by local his own bagging, and exigencies. carts away his half of the sugar, the other half being the remuneration of the manufacturer
Analysis of the foregoing Statement, showing the total comparative outlay for sundries connected with the cultivation of Sugar at Natal and Mauritius, computed at the lowest ruling prices.
MAURITIUS NATAL Difference in favor of Natal Land, 100 acres 70s. 350 0 0 10s. 50 0 0 300 0 0 Manure, Guano 10 loads L6 60 0 0 Cattle Manure, 10 loads 1s. 0 10 0 Live Stock, 10 mules. L30 300 0 0 L15. 150 0 0 150 0 0 10 oxen L12 120 0 0 L3. 30 0 0 90 0 0 Two drivers per mouth L1 2 0 0 1 5 0 0 15 0 Coolies, 10 with keep 10 0 0 } 2 10 0 Kafirs, 10 ditto 15s. 7 10 0} White men, 10 L4 40 0 0 L4. 40 0 0 Beef, 100 lbs. at 6d. 2 10 0 11/2d. 0 12 6 1 17 6 Bread, 100 loaves 6d. 2 10 0 6d. 2 10 0 Butter,100 lbs. 1s.3d. 6 5 0 6d. 2 10 0 3 15 0 Rice, 100 lbs., food 0 8 4 } for Coolies, Indian } 0 5 7 Corn, 100 lbs., food 0 2 9} for Kafirs } Oats 0 12 6 0 10 0 0 2 6 Beans, 100 lbs. 1 2 6 0 10 0 0 12 6 Coals 2 0 0 2 0 0 - L897 8 4 L288 0 3 L554 18 1 -
The immense saving obtained by ploughing, &c., over the Mauritius hand labor with the hoe, is not shown in the above figures.
Table showing the cost of producing Muscovado sugar, and the quantity produced or available in the several countries mentioned, as made up from the evidence given before the Committee on Sugar and Coffee Plantations; by T. Wilson.
-+ -+ -+ -+ -+ -+ -+ Excess of cost Excess of free of cost over Cost of free SLAVE Average Average of pro- labour TRADE available available ducing over labor, produce produce one slave taking In- Average under during cwt. of or com- the crease cost of slavery the last sugar pulsory cost in of cost produc- or com- three at labor, Brazil in the tion pulsory years of present per at British COUNTRY. under labor, freedom, date, cwt., 7s. 6d. planta- slavery for the for the exclu- taking per tions or com- supply of supply of sive of the cwt. since pulsory Europe Europe inter- average making emanci- labor. and the and the est on cost of the pation. United United capi- the average States, States. tal, latter of etc. at 11s. slave per trade cwt. labor 8s. per cwt. -+ -+ -+ -+ -+ -+ -+ British s. d. Tons. Tons. s d. s. d. s. d. s. d. Plantations. Antigua 7 6 7,767 8,963 16 6 5 6 8 6 9 0 Barbados 6 0 17,174 16,378 15 6 4 6 7 6 9 6 Grenada 11 0 9,634 3,779 17 6 6 6 9 6 6 6 St. Kitts 5 0 4,382 5,558 19 0 8 0 11 0 14 0 St. Vincent 5 6 10,056 6,636 19 6 8 6 11 6 14 0 Tobago 5 6 5,321 2,514 19 6 8 6 11 6 14 0 St. Lucia, etc. 5 6 9,600 8,650 19 6 8 6 11 6 14 0 Jamaica 10 0 68,626 30,807 22 6 11 6 14 6 12 6 Guiana 6 8 44,178 24,817 25 10 14 10 17 10 19 2 Trinidad A* 3 0 15,428 16,539 20 10 9 10 12 10 17 10 Mauritius 35,000 50,000 20 0 9 0 12 0 Bengal 62,000 23 0 12 0 15 0 Madras 7,000 20 0 9 0 12 0 Foreign Free Labor Country. Europe (Beet-root) B* 100,000 24 4 13 4 16 4 Foreign Slave, or Compulsory Labor Countries. Java C* 15 0 88,000 15 0 French Colonies 15 0 90,000 15 0 Slave Cuba (Muscovado) 8 0 220,000 8 0 or com- Porto Rico 8 6 40,000 8 6 pulsory Louisiana 12 6 100,000 12 6 labor Brazils D* 11 11 90,000 11 11 -+ -+ -+ -+ -+ -+ -+
[A* This cost, as taken from the averages given in Lord Harris's despatches, is lower than the averages given by the witnesses before the Committee.]
[B* This beet-root sugar sells, in the continental markets, on account of its inferior quality, at about 4s. to 6s. per cwt. below Colonial Muscovado, so that Colonial Muscovado must be about 33s. per cwt. to enable beet sugar to sell in this market for cost and charges, and allowing no profit to the beet sugar maker.]
[C* The cost of producing sugar in Java is taken at the average between the Government contract sugar, and the free sugar, as given by Mr. San Martin.]
[D* The cost of producing sugar in Brazil is taken from the Consular return: this return has given no credit for rum or molasses, and has charged 6s. 5d. for manufacturing, fully 3s. 5d. more than the cost in Cuba,—allowance for these two items would give 7s. 6d. as the nett cost per cwt.]
BEET ROOT SUGAR.
The rapid progress of the production of beet root sugar on the continent, especially in France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, and Russia, and its recent introduction and cultivation as an article of commerce in Ireland, renders the detail of its culture and manufacture on the continent interesting. I have, therefore, been induced to bestow some pains on an investigation of the rise and progress of its production and consumption in those countries.
During the past three years, the smallest estimate which can be formed of the quantity of cane sugar that has been replaced by beet root sugar in the chief European countries, is about 80,000 tons annually, with the certainty that, year after year, the consumption will become exclusively confined to the former, to the greater exclusion of the latter; unless some great change shall take place in the relative perfection and manufacture of the two different descriptions of produce.
Although, observes the Economist, the beet root sugar produced in France, Belgium, Germany, and other parts of the continent is not brought into competition in our own markets with the produce of the British colonies, yet it must be plain that the exclusion of so much foreign cane sugar from the continent, which was formerly consumed there, must throw a much larger quantity of Cuba and Brazilian sugar upon this market; and by this means the increased production of beet root sugar, even in those countries where it is highly protected, does indirectly increase the competition among the producers of cane sugar in our market.
So early as 1747, a chemist of Berlin, named Margraf, discovered that beet root contained a certain quantity of sugar, but it was not until 1796 that the discovery was properly brought under the attention of the scientific in Europe by Achard, who was also a chemist and resident of Berlin, and who published a circumstantial account of the progress by which he extracted from 3 to 4 per cent. of sugar from beet root.
Several attempts have been made, from time to time, to manufacture beet root sugar in England, but never, hitherto, on a large and systematic scale. Some years ago a company was established for the purpose, but they did not proceed in their operations.
A refinery of sugar from the beet root was erected at Thames Bank, Chelsea, in the early part of 1837. During the summer of 1839 a great many acres of land were put into cultivation with the root, at Wandsworth and other places in the vicinity of the metropolis. The machinery used in the manufacture was principally on the plan of the vacuum pans, and a fine refined sugar was produced from the juice by the first process of evaporation, after it had undergone discolorization. Another part of the premises was appropriated to the manufacture of coarse brown paper from the refuse, for which it is extensively used in France.
A refinery was also established about this period at Belfast, in the vicinity of which town upwards of 200 acres of land were put into cultivation with beet root for the manufacture of sugar.
The experience of France ought to be a sufficient guarantee that the manufacture of beet root sugar is not a speculative but a great staple trade, in which the supply can be regulated by the demand, with a precision scarcely attainable in any other ease, and when, in addition, this demand tends rather to increase than to diminish. That the trade is profitable there can also be no doubt from the large capital embarked in it on the Continent—a capital which is steadily increasing even in France, where protection has been gradually withdrawn, and where, since 1848, it has competed upon equal terms with colonial sugars.
The produce of France in 1851 was nearly 60,000 tons. The beet root sugar made in the Zollverein in 1851 was about 45,000 tons. Probably half as much more as is made in France and the Zollverein, is made in all the other parts of the Continent. In Belgium, the quantity made is said to be 7,000 tons; in Russia, 35,000; making a total of beet root sugar now manufactured in Europe of at least 150,000 and probably more, or nearly one-sixth part of the present consumption of Europe, America, and our various colonies. In 1847 this was estimated at upwards of 1,000,000 tons; and, as the production has increased considerably since that period, it is now not less than 1,100,000 tons. The soil of the Continent, it is said, will give 16 tons to the acre, and that of Ireland, 26 tons to the acre. The former yields from 6 to 7 per cent.—the latter from 7 to 8 per cent. as the extreme maximum strength of saccharine matter. The cost of the root in Ireland—for it is with that, and not with the cost of the Continental root, with which the West Indies will have to contend—is said to be at the rate of 16s. per ton this; but will probably be 13s. next season. The cost of manufacture is set down at L7 5s. per ton. Calculating the yield of the root to be 71/2 lbs. to every 100 lbs., for 26 tons the yield would be nearly 2 tons of sugar, which would give about L9 10s. per ton, putting down the raw material to cost 14s, 6d. per ton, the medium between 16s. and 13s. Thus a ton of Irish-grown and manufactured beet root sugar, would cost L16 15s. per ton. Mr. Sullivan, the scientific guide to those who are undertaking to make beet root sugar at Mountmellick, Queen's County, Ireland, estimates the cost of obtaining pure sugar at from L16 17s. to L19 18s. per ton, according to the quantity of sugar in the root.
Beet root is a vegetable of large circumference, at the upper end nine to eleven inches in diameter. There are several kinds. That which is considered to yield the most sugar is the white or Silesian beet (Beta alba). It is smaller than the mangel wurzel, and more compact, and appears in its texture to be more like the Swedish turnip. For the manufacture of sugar, the smaller beets, of which the roots weigh only one or two pounds, were preferred by Chaptal, who, besides being a celebrated chemist, was also a practical agriculturist and a manufacturer of sugar from beet root. After the white beet follows the yellow (beta major), then the red (beta romana), and lastly the common or field beet root (Beta sylvestris). Margraf, as we have seen, was the first chemist who discovered the saccharine principle in beet root; and Achard, the first manufacturer who fitted up an establishment (in Silesia) for the extraction of sugar from the root. It was not before 1809 that this manufacture was introduced into France.
The manufacture sprung up there in consequence of Bonaparte's scheme for destroying the colonial prosperity of Great Britain by excluding British colonial produce. It having been found that from the juice of the beet root a crystallizable sugar could be obtained, he encouraged the establishment of the manufacture by every advantage which monopoly and premiums could give it. Colonial sugar was at the enormous price of four and five francs a pound, and the use of it was become so habitual, that no Frenchman could do without it. Several large manufactories of beet root were established, some of which only served as pretexts for selling smuggled colonial sugar as the produce of their own works. Count Chaptal, however, established one on his own farm, raising the beet root, as well as extracting the sugar. The roots are first cleaned by washing or scraping, and then placed in a machine to be rasped and reduced to a pulp. This pulp is put into a strong canvas bag and placed under a powerful press to squeeze out the juice. It is then put into coppers and boiled, undergoing certain other processes. Most of the operations are nearly the same as those by which the juice of the sugar cane is prepared for use; but much greater skill and nicety are required in rendering the juice of the beet root crystallizable, on account of its greater rawness and the smaller quantity of sugar it contains. But when this sugar is refined, it is impossible for the most experienced judge to distinguish it from the other, either by the taste or appearance; and from this arose the facility with which smuggled colonial sugar was sold in France, under the name of sugar from beet root. Five tons of clean roots produce about 41/2 cwt. of coarse sugar, which give about 160 lbs. of double refined sugar, and 60 lbs. of inferior lump sugar. The rest is molasses, from which a good spirit is distilled. The dry residue of the roots, after expressing the juice, consists chiefly of fibre and mucilage, and amounts to about one-fourth of the weight of the clean roots used. It contains all the nutritive part of the root, with the exception of 41/2 per cent. of sugar, which has been extracted from the juice, the rest being water.
As the expense of this manufacture greatly exceeded the value of the sugar produced, according to the price of colonial sugar, it was only by the artificial encouragement of a monopoly and premiums that it could be carried on to advantage. The process is one of mere curiosity as long as sugar from the sugar cane can be obtained cheaper, and the import duties laid upon it are not so excessive as to amount to a prohibition; and in this case it is almost impossible to prevent its clandestine introduction.
Another mode of making sugar from beet root, practised in some parts of Germany, is as follows, and is said to make better sugar than the other process:—The roots having been washed, are sliced lengthways, strung on packthread, and hung up to dry. The object of this is to let the watery juice evaporate, and the sweet juice, being concentrated, is taken up by macerating the dry slices in water. It is managed so that all the juice shall be extracted by a very small quantity of water, which saves much of the trouble of evaporation. Professor Lampadius obtained from 110 lbs. of roots 4 lbs. of well-grained white powder-sugar, and the residuum afforded 7 pints of spirit. Achard says that about a ton of roots produced 100 lbs. of raw sugar, which gave 55 lbs. of refined sugar, and 15 lbs. of treacle. This result is not very different from that of Chaptal. 6,000 tons of beet root it is said will produce 400 tons of sugar and 100 tons of molasses.
Beet root sugar in the raw state contains an essential oil, the taste and smell of which are disagreeable. Thus the treacle of beet root cannot be used in a direct way, whereas the treacle of cane sugar is of an agreeable flavor, for the essential oil which it contains is aromatic, and has some resemblance in taste to vanilla. But beet root sugar, when it is completely refined, differs in no sensible degree from refined cane sugar. In appearance it is quite equal to cane sugar, and the process of refining it is more easy than for the latter. Samples made in Belgium were exhibited at a late meeting of the Dublin Society. It was of the finest appearance, of strong sweetening quality, and in color resembling the species of sugar known as crushed lump. The most singular part of the matter is, that it was manufactured in the space of forty-five minutes—the entire time occupied from the taking of the root out of the ground and putting it into the machine, to the production of the perfect article. It was said that it could be produced for 3d. per lb. An acre of ground is calculated to yield 50 tons of Silesian beet, which, in France and Belgium, give three tons of sugar, worth about L50; the refuse being applied in those countries to feeding cattle. But from the superior fitness of the Irish soil, as shown by experience to be the case, it is confidently affirmed by persons competent to form an opinion, that 8 per cent. of sugar could be obtained there on the raw bulk.
The following figures are given as illustrative of the expense of the cultivation of one acre of beet-root in Ireland:—
Two ploughings and harrowing L1 1 0 Expense of manure and carting 5 0 0 Hoeing and seed 0 6 0 Drilling and sowing 0 5 0 Rent 2 0 0 ———- L8 12 0
An average produce of 20 tons, at L15 per ton, would leave a profit of L6 8s. per acre, leaving the land in a state fit for the reception, at little expense, of a crop of wheat, barley, or oats for the next year, and of hay for the year ensuing; a consideration of no small importance to the farmer. The following estimates, recently given, are not by any means exaggerated:—
61,607 tons of beet, at 10s. L30,803 10 0 Cost of manufacture, at 11s. per ton. 33,883 17 0 ——————- 64,687 7 0 Produce 7 per cent of sugar, at 28s. per cwt. 136,767 10 0 ——————- Estimated profit L72,080 3 0
The quantity of sugar made from beet-root in France in 1828, was about 2,650 tons; in 1830, its weight was estimated at 6 million kilogrammes (5,820 tons); in 1834, at 26 million kilogrammes (24,000 tons); in 1835, 36,000 tons; in 1836, 49,000 tons. At the commencement of the year 1837, the number of refineries at work or being built was 543; on an average 20 kilogrammes of beet-root are required for the production of one kilogramme of sugar. The sugar manufactured from the beet-root in France a few years ago was stated to amount to 55,000 tons, or one half of the entire consumption of the kingdom. The Courrier Francais calculated that the beet-root sugar made in France in 1838 amounted to 110 million lbs., and the journal added, there is no doubt that, in a few years, the produce will be equal to the entire demand. The cultivation then extended over 150,000 acres, and in the environs of Lille and Valenciennes it has sometimes been as high as 28,000 lbs. per acre.
From returns of the produce and consumption of beet-root sugar published in the Moniteur, it appears that on the 1st Dec. 1851, there were 335 manufactories in operation, or 81 more than in the corresponding period of 1850. The quantity of sugar made, including the portion lying over from the previous year, amounted to 19,625,386 kilogrammes, and that stored in the public bonding warehouse to 10,556,847. At the end of June, 1852, 329 manufactories were at work, or two more than at the same period in 1851. The quantity sold was 62,211,663 kilogrammes, or 9,167,018 less, as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. There remained in stock in the manufactories 91,434,070 kilogrammes, and in the entrepot 4,597,829 kilogrammes, being an increase of 2,568,662 kilogrammes in the manufactories, and a decrease of 1,292,962 in the entrepots. The manufacture of beet-root sugar is every year assuming in France increased importance, and attracts more and more the attention of political economists as a source of national wealth, and of government, as affording matter of taxation. Thirty new factories, got up upon a very extensive scale, are enumerated as going into operation this year. They are located, with but two exceptions, in the north of France; fifteen of them are in the single department of Nord. Indeed, the manufacture of beet-root sugar is confined, almost exclusively, to the five northern adjacent departments of Nord, Pas de Calais, Somme, Aisne, and Oise. The best quality retails at 16 cents the pound.
I take from a table in the Moniteur the following statement of the number of factories and their location, with the amount of production up to the 31st May, 1851. At that date the season is supposed to end. A separate column gives the total production in the season of 1842, showing an increase in ten years of more than double, viz., of 41,582,113 kilogrammes, or, in our weight, of 93,559,754 pounds.
Number of Kilogrammes Kilogrammes Departments. Factories. Prod. 1850-1. Prod. 1843.
Aisne 30 5,307,754 3,103,178 Nord 155 44,142,224 15,334,063 Oise 8 1,589,939 751,746 Pas-de-Calais 70 16,665,084 5,856,944 Somme 23 3,404,776 2,683,421 Scattered about 18 2,707,190 3,505,602 ——— —————— —————— 304 73,817,607 30,234,954
This information was given by M. Fould, Minister of Finance, upon the introduction of a bill making an appropriation for the purchase of 455 saccharometers, which had become necessary by reason of the late law ordering that from and after the 1st of January, 1852, the beet sugars were to be taxed according to their saccharine richness. The Minister declared that at that date there would be in active operation in France 334 sugar factories and 84 refining establishments.
The Moniteur Parisien has the following:—
"Notwithstanding the advantages accorded to colonial sugar, and the duties which weigh on beet-root sugar, the latter article has acquired such a regular extension that it has reached the quantity of 60,000 tons—that is to say, the half of our consumption. France (deducting the refined sugar exported under favour of the drawback) consumes 120,000 tons, of which 60,000 are home made, 50,000 colonial, and 10,000 foreign. The two sugars have been placed on the same conditions as to duties, but it is only from the 1st inst. (Jan. 1852), that the beet-root sugar will pay a heavier duty than our colonial sugar. In spite of this difference we are convinced that the manufacture of beet-root sugar, which is every day, improved by new processes, will be always very advantageous, and will attain in some years the total quantity of the consumption. In Belgium the produce of the beet-root follows the same progress. The consumption of sugar there was, in 1850, 14,000 tons, of which 7,000 was beet-root, made in 22 manufactories. This year there are 18 new ones, and although their organisation does not allow of their manufacturing in the same proportion as the 22 old ones, they will furnish at least 3,000 tons. The quantity of foreign sugar in that market does not reckon more than 4,000 tons. This conclusion is the more certain, as in 1848-1849, the beet-root only stood at 4,500 tons in the general account. It may therefore be seen from these figures what progress has been made. The same progressive movement is going on in Germany. In 1848 it produced 26,000 tons, and in 1861, 43,000. The following table shows the importance of this improvement. It comprises the Zollverein, Hanover, and the Hanse Towns:—
Cane Sugar. Beet-root. Totals. Tons. Tons. Tons. 1848 60,500 26,000 86,500 1849 54,000 34,000 88,000 1851 45,000 43,000 88,000
Thus we find that in the period of four years cane sugar has lost 15,000 tons and it will lose still more when new manufactories shall have been established. The consumption of Russia is estimated at 85,000 tons, of which 35,000 is beet-root, and what proves that the latter every day gains ground is, that the orders to the Havana are constantly decreasing, and prices are getting lower. In 1848 Austria consumed 40,000 tons, of which 8,000 were beet-root. Last year (1851,) she produced 15,000 tons. The production of the continent rising to 200,000 tons, and the consumption remaining nearly stationary, it is evident that Brazilian and Cuban sugars will encumber the English market, independently of the refined sugar of Java, which Holland sends to Great Britain. When the continental system was established by the decrees of Milan and Berlin, the Emperor Napoleon asked the savans to point out the means of replacing the productions which he proscribed: it is to the active and useful impulse which his genius impressed on all minds, that France and Europe owe this fresh manufacture—a creation the more valuable as its fortunate development required the co-operation of chemical science and agricultural improvement."
The quantity of sugar extracted from beet-root in the commencement of the process, amounted to only 2 per cent.; but it was afterwards made to yield 5 per cent., and it was then supposed possible to extract 6 per cent. On this calculation the fiscal regulations for the protection of colonial sugars in France were founded; but recent experiments have been made, by means of which as much as ten and a half per cent. of sugar has been obtained. The following notice of the improved process is given in a number of the Constitutionnel:—
"It appears that a great improvement is likely to be made in the manufacture of beet-root sugar. Those who are acquainted with the process of this manufacture, are aware that M. de Dombasle has the last six years exclusively devoted himself to bring to perfection the process of maceration, of which he is the inventor. Adopting recent improvements, this process is materially altered, and has now arrived at such a point of perfection that it could scarcely be exceeded. The Society for the Encouragement of National Industry recently appointed committees to examine the effect produced in the manufactory of Roville. They witnessed the entire progress of the work, every part of which was subjected to minute investigation. Similar experiments have been made in the presence of many distinguished manufacturers. We have not the least intention to prejudge the decision which may be made on this subject by the society we have alluded to; but we believe we are able to mention the principal results that have regularly attended the works of the manufactory this year. The produce in coarse sugar has been more than eight per cent. of the first quality, and more than two per cent. of the second quality, in all nearly ten and a half per cent. of the weight of beet-root used; and the quality of these sugars has been considered by all the manufacturers superior to anything of the kind that has hitherto been made, and admits of its being converted into loaf-sugar of the first quality. The progress of these operations is as simple as possible, and the expenses attending the manufacture are considerably less than that of the process hitherto adopted."
The cultivation of the beet in France appears likely to prove still more advantageous, in consequence of the discovery that the molasses drawn from the root may be, after serving for the manufacture of sugar, turned to farther advantage. It appears that potash may be made from it, of a quality equal to foreign potash. A Monsieur Dubranfaut has discovered a method of extracting this substance from the residue of the molasses after distillation, and which residue, having served for the production of alcohol, was formerly thrown away. To give some idea of the importance of the creation of this new source of national wealth (remarks the Journal des Debats), it will be sufficient to say that the quantity of potash furnished by M. Dubranfaut's process is equal to l/6th of the quantity of sugar extracted from the beet. Thus, taking the amount of indigenous sugar manufactured each year at seventy million kilogrammes (each kil. equal to 2 lbs. 2 oz. avoird.), there may besides be extracted from this root, which has served for that production, twelve million kilogrammes of saline matter, comparable to the best potash of commerce; and this, too, without, the loss of the alcohol and the other produce, the fabrication of which may be continued simultaneously. According to the present prices, the twelve millions of kilogrammes represent a value of from fourteen to fifteen million francs.
The States composing the German Union possessed towards the close of 1838, 87 manufactories of beet-root sugar in full operation, viz., Prussia, 63; Bavaria, 5; Wurtemburg, 3; Darmstadt, 1; other states, 15; besides 66 which were then constructing.
The only returns given for Prussia and Central Germany are 1836 to 1838, and the annual production of sugar was then estimated at eleven million pounds. The quantity now made is, of course, much greater.
At the close of 1888, Austria produced nine million pounds; she now makes fifteen thousand tons.
The growth of beet-root in Hungary, during the years 1837 and 1838, was extremely favorable, and the manufacture of sugar from it has become very extensive. It has been greatly encouraged by the Austrian government. It was estimated that fifty millions of pounds were manufactured in Prussia and Germany in 1839. In Bohemia there were, in 1840, fifty-two factories of beet-root sugar, and nine for the making of syrup out of potato meal. In 1838, the number was as high as eighty-seven.
The Dutch papers state that in a single establishment in Voster Vick, in Guilderland, about five million pounds' weight of the beet-root are consumed in the manufacture of sugar.
The following is a Comparative Statement of the number of Sugar Manufactories, and the Quantity of Beet-root upon which duty was paid for the Manufacture of Sugar in the Zollverein during the years ending the 31st of August, 1846 and 1847:—
- - - Quantity of Beet-root upon which duty was paid for the Manufacture of Sugar. - -+ - Number of Comparison in Name of the State Manufactories 1846-7 with the of the Zollverein 1845-6 1846-7 preceding year. + - - More in Less in 1845-6 1846-7 1846-7 1846-7 - - - - - Prussia Cwts. ** Cwts. Cwts. Cwts. Eastern Prussia 2 2 12,393 29,941 17,548 Western Prussia - Posen 7 8 101,422 121,914 20,492 Pomerania 5 4 89,865 121,061 31,196 Silesia 16 22 590,545 711,632 121,087 Brandenburg 3 3 140,421 148,066 7,645 Prussian Saxony 38 42 2,676,084 3,547,891 871,817 Duchies of Anhalt 4 5 266,345 288,082 21,737 Westphalia Rhenish Provinces 2 2,479 2,479 - - - - - Total in Prussia 77 86 3,879,554 4,968,587 1,079,043 - - - - - Luxemburg Bavaria, Kingdom of 8 7 50,952 46,142 4,810 Saxony, " 1 2 20,887 34,230 13,343 Wurtemburg, " 2 2 59,521 141,366 81,845 Baden, Grand Duchy 2 2 316,968 328,608 11,640 Hesse, Electorate 2 3 25,376 23,529 1,847 Hesse, Grand Duchy Thuringia 2 3 36,127 38,218 2,091 Brunswick, Dukedom 2 2 65,707 52,796 12,911 Nassau, Dukedom Frankfort, FreeCity - - - - Total, exclusively } of Prussia } 19 21 575,538 664,889 89,351 - - - - Total in the Zollverein 96 107 4,455,092 5,633,476 1,168,394 - - - - - [** Prussian cwts. are equal to 80 English cwts.]
This statement proves that the cultivation of the beet-root, and the subsequent manufacture into sugar, has greatly increased in the Zollverein. Eleven manufactories had been added to the number in the previous year, and an increase of 26 per cent. took place in the quantity of beet-root which was manufactured into sugar. Each manufactory used, upon an average, the following quantity during the undermentioned years:—
1841-2 1844-5 1846-7 Cwts. Cwts. Cwts. In Prussia generally 38,161 50,384 57,774 In the province of Saxony 55,412 70,423 84,473 In the province of Silesia 33,595 36,909 32,347 In the Zollverein, on an average in each manufactory 27,237 46,407 52,634
The increase is chiefly evident in the province of Saxony, where, in 1846-7, an augmentation of 1,087,851 cwt. of beet-root; in comparison to the preceding year, took place. If we compare the quantity of beet-root employed in Saxony with that of the whole Zollverein, we find that the former province requires 63 per cent, of the whole quantity used for the manufacture of sugar. The great activity in that province (chiefly in the district of Magdeburg) is rendered more apparent by the following table:—
Comparative Statement of the Number of Manufactories, and their Machinery and Utensils, employed for the Manufacture of Beet-root Sugar in the Prussian Province of Saxony during the years 1841-2 and 1846-7 respectively.
- In the neighbourhood Province of Saxony of Magdeburg - - - 1841-2 1846-7 1841-2 1846-7 - - - No. No. No. No. Manufactories 40 39 15 15 Apparatus for grating 58 65 27 32 Hydraulic presses 136 209 72 93 Clarifying pans, with open firing 81 68 24 24 Ditto, by steam 50 76 33 42 Evaporating pans, with open firing 130 123 55 54 Ditto, by steam 46 71 28 32 Clarifiers, with open firing 23 21 14 10 Ditto, by steam 23 28 19 21 Boiling pans, with open firing 76 61 33 24 Ditto, by steam 20 35 12 17 Of which there are vacuum pans 8 21 3 9 Steam-engines 19 40 12 20 Horse-power 210 457 153 267 Cattle mills 19 9 4 2 Cattle employed 79 38 19 12 Cwt. Cwt. Cwt. Cwt. Quantity of beet-root used} for manufacture } 2,349,774 3,387,280 1,433,293 1,889,463 Or on an average in each} manufactory } 58,744 86,853 95,553 125,964 - - -
The increase of power by machinery is surprising, chiefly by steam and hydraulic presses, which has not only effected a greater produce, but likewise a much larger increase of the quantity of beet-root required for manufacture. The works where draught cattle are employed have decreased, and are only in use where the manufacture of beet root sugar is combined with a farm.
In Russia, in 1832, there existed only 20 manufacturers of beet root sugar, but this number subsequently increased to 100, and they annually produced the twelfth of the total quantity of sugar which Russia receives from foreign parts. The number of those manufactories in 1840, was 140, and the importation of sugar, which reached to 1,555,357 lbs. in 1837, amounted to only 1,269,209 lbs. in 1839. The production of indigenous sugar is now set down at 35,000 tons.
In France, for many years past, the production of beet-root sugar has been rapidly increasing, in spite of a gradual reduction of the protection which it enjoyed against colonial and foreign sugar, until it has reached a quantity of 60,000 tons, or fully one half of the entire consumption. Independent of the refined sugar exported under drawback, the consumption of France may be now estimated at 120,000 tons, of which 60,000 tons are of beet-root, 60,000 tons of French colonial, and 10,000 tons at the outside of foreign sugar. The beet-root and the French colonial sugars are now placed on the same footing as regards duty, and a law was recently passed, subjecting beet-root sugar, from the 1st of January, 1852, to even a higher duty than French colonial sugar. Nevertheless, it is admitted that the manufacture of beet-root sugar is highly profitable and rapidly increasing, so that it is likely in a very short time to exclude foreign sugar from French consumption altogether.
In Belgium, the production of beet-root sugar is also rapidly increasing; in 1851 the entire consumption of sugar was estimated at 14,000 tons, of which 7,000 tons were of beet-root, and 7,000 tons of foreign cane sugar. The number of beet-root factories to supply that quantity was twenty-two, but this number has, already increased in the present year to forty. Many of these will be but imperfectly at work during this season, but it is estimated that of the entire consumption of 14,000 tons, at least 10,000 tons will consist of beet-root, and only 4,000 tons of foreign cane sugar. And from present appearances the manufacture of beet-root is likely to increase so much as to constitute nearly the entire consumption. So lately as 1848 and 1849 the production of beet-root sugar was only 4,500 tons.
In Austria, the consumption of sugar in 1841 was 40,000 tons, of which 8,000 tons were of beet-root, and 32,000 tons of foreign cane sugar. But the production of beet-root has increased so fast that it is estimated to produce in the present year 15,000 tons; and as no increase has taken place in the entire consumption, the portion of foreign cane sugar required in the present year will be reduced from 32,000 tons to 25,000 tons.
The following information, with regard to the state of the manufacture of beet-root sugar on the Continent last year, has been furnished by Mr. C.J. Ramsay, of Trinidad.
"My first start was for Paris, where I remained a week, procuring the necessary letters of introduction, to enable me to see some of the sugar works in the provinces. Whilst there I called upon Messrs. Cail and Co., the principal machine makers in France, mentioned the subject of my visit, and requested their assistance. Nothing could have been more liberal than the way in which they treated me. I was at once asked to look over their establishment and requested to call the next day, when letters of introduction to their branch establishments at Valenciennes and Brussels would be ready for me. This I of course did, and received not only these letters but some others, to sugar manufacturers in the neighbourhood of Valenciennes. Thus provided, and with letters from Mr. D'Eickthal, a banker in Paris, to Mr. Dubranfaut, the chemist, to Mr. Grar, a refiner of Valenciennes, to Mr. Melsens of Brussels, and to another sugar maker near Valenciennes, whose name I forget, and who was the only man from whom I did not receive the greatest politeness, I started for Valenciennes. My first essay was upon the latter personage, who evidently with a considerable grudge showed me a simple room in his works where four centrifugal machines were at work—raised the cry of ruin, if the French improvements were introduced in the West Indies, and informed me he had nothing else worth seeing. I returned to Valenciennes, thinking if this is the way I was to be treated, I might as well have stayed at home. That this was a solitary instance of illiberality, you will presently see. I next called upon Mr. Grar, by whom I was received in a very different manner; he at once offered to show me over his works, and especially that part of them where a new process, discovered by Mr. Dubranfaut, was carried on, every part of which was fully explained, Mr. Dubranfaut's laboratory is connected with these works, and having inspected the working part of the establishment Mr. G. then took me there, and introduced me to that gentleman, with whom I passed the remainder of the afternoon, receiving a full explanation of his new process, which is this:—a solution of hydrate of barytes is made in boiling water—the saccharine solution to be treated is heated to the same degree, and the two mixed together in the proportions of 46 parts of hydrate of barytes to every 100 parts of sugar contained in the solution, which has previously been ascertained by polariscopic examination. A saccharate of barytes is immediately formed in the shape of a copious precipitate; this, after being thoroughly washed and thus freed from all soluble impurities, is transferred into large, deep vats, and a stream of carbonic acid gas forced into it, which decomposes the saccharate of barytes, forming carbonate of barytes, and liberating the sugar in the shape of a perfectly pure solution of sugar in water, of the density of 20 to 23 degrees Baume; the carbonate of barytes being thoroughly washed is again converted into caustic barytes by burning, so that there is little loss in the operation. The whole process is certainly very beautiful, and its economic working has been tried for a year, on a sufficiently large scale to leave no doubt as to the economy of the process in refining molasses, which is the only purpose it has yet been applied to.
The Messrs. Grar were so thoroughly satisfied with it, that when I was there they had taken down their original apparatus, and were re-erecting it on such a scale as to work up all the molasses by it, equal to almost five tons of sugar daily. Owing to this circumstance, I had not an opportunity of seeing the process on a working scale, but was shown the whole proceedings in the laboratory.
The only difficulties I see in applying this process at once to the cane juice, are the large quantity of barytes required, the expense of re-burning it and the entire change in works that would be necessary before it could be introduced. The advantage would be, the obtaining the whole sugar contained in the juice, free from all impurities, consequently white, and in the shape of a syrup marking 20 to 23 degrees instead of 8 or 10 degrees, thus saving fully half the evaporation now required. The sugar made in this way, I was told, contains no trace of barytes.
To show you the degree of economy practised in such establishments in France, I may mention that the washings of the saccharate of barytes are sold to the makers of potash and soda, who make a profit by boiling them down to obtain what salts they contain.
The carbonic acid is obtained by the combustion of charcoal in a closed iron furnace into which air is forced by an air pump, requiring, I believe, about one horse power. From the top of the furnace a pipe leads into a washing vessel, from which the gas is led into the bottom of the vats by pipes.
At Valenciennes I met with Mr. Cail, who, beside being an engineer and machine-maker, is interested in sugar-making, both in France and in the West Indies, and most thoroughly understands the subject. He invited me to accompany him to Douai, to see a new set of works which had been set agoing this month. I was of course too glad to accept his invitation, and started with him at six next morning, reached Douai at eight, and then proceeded to the works, which are a few miles out of town. In this work a new process is also employed; it is that of Mr. Rouseau, and is said to answer well. The beet root juice, as soon as possible after expression, is thrown up by a montjus into copper clarifiers with double bottoms, heated by steam at a pressure of five atmospheres. To every hundred litres of juice (=22 gals.) two kilogrammes of lime are added (about four and a half pounds English weight). The lime is most carefully prepared and mixed with large quantities of hot water till it forms a milk perfectly free from lumps. The steam is turned off, and the juice heated to 90 deg. A complete defecation has taken place, the steam is shut off, and the juice left a short time, to allow the heavier impurities to subside. It is then run off in the usual manner, undergoes a slight filtration through a cotton cloth placed over a layer of about four inches thick of animal charcoal, and runs into a second set of copper vessels placed on a lower level than the clarifiers; these vessels are heated by means of a coil of steam piping sufficient to make them boil. A second pipe passes into them, making a single turn at the bottom of the vessel; this is pierced on the lower side with small holes, through which a stream of carbonic acid gas is forced.
This decomposes the saccharate of lime, which has been formed in consequence of the large excess of lime added to the clarifiers.
The lime is precipitated as carbonate. When precipitation has ceased, steam is turned on, and the whole made to boil; this expels any excess of carbonic acid; the liquor is then run off, undergoes a similar partial filtration to that mentioned above, and is then passed through the charcoal filters to be decomposed. The sugar made by this process, directly from the beet-root juice, is nearly white. The molasses is re-boiled as often as six times; each time undergoing a clarification and filtration through animal charcoal. And the proceeds of the last re-boiling is certainly in appearance not worse than a great deal of muscovado I have seen shipped from Trinidad.
In this work there are about 150 people employed. The work goes on night and day, one gang replacing the other. The whole evaporation is done by two vacuum pans, each 61/2 feet in diameter, 80,000 kilogrammes of beet-root are used daily, from which about 6,000 kilogrammes of sugar are obtained, equal to about 6 tons English weight.
In these and every other works I visited—eight in all—the centrifugal machines were in use, and had in most cases been so for two years; those lately made have been much simplified in construction, and work admirably. Cail & Co., of Paris, are the makers; their charge is 3,000 francs for each machine (L120 stg.). They require about one and a half horse power each. As they are wrought in France, one machine is about equal to work off a ton and a half of sugar daily, working all the 24 hours. Mr. Cail recommends a separate engine for those machines; so that they can be used at any time, independent of the other machinery. The charge put into a machine is about 80 kilogrammes, from which about 30 to 35 kilogrammes of dry sugar is obtained; the calculation is, I believe, 40 per cent. I weighed some of the baskets of sugar taken out after drying, and found them 35 kilogrammes. Sugar intended for the machine is never concentrated beyond 41 degrees Baume; that made from the juice direct is allowed 18 to 34 hours to crystallize, and is put into the machine in a semi-liquid state; the motion at first is comparatively slow; in about three minutes the sugar appears nearly dry; about three-fourths of a gallon of brown syrup is then poured into the machine whilst in motion, and the speed brought up to its highest, about 1200 revolutions a minute; in 3 or 4 minutes more the machine is stopped, the sugar scooped out and thrown into baskets, the inside of the revolving part, and especially the wire cloth, carefully washed with a brush and water, and a fresh charge put in. The whole time betwixt each charge is about 15 minutes. From the large proportion of molasses you will see very plainly that those who do not intend to re-boil, need not think of centrifugal machines. The sugar dried in this way is not altogether white, but has a slight greyish yellow tinge.
Of the other sugar works which I visited, the only one of peculiar interest was that of Mr. Dequesne, near Valenciennes. Here the roots are first cut into small pieces by an instrument similar to a turnip slicer, then dried in a species of kiln, and stored up till required. In this way I was told beet-root could be preserved with very little deterioration for a full year, and this enables Mr. Dequesne to go on making sugar all the year round. When the sugar is to be extracted, the dried cuttings are put into a series of closed vessels connected by pipes, and by a system of continuous filtration of warm water through these vessels the solution of sugar is obtained, of a density equal, I believe, to 25 degrees Baume; it is a good deal colored, and requires filtration through animal charcoal. Mr. Dequesne informed me that for five years he had been unable to make this mode of sugar-making cover its expenses, owing to the loss occasioned by fermentation taking place in the beet-root; but that he has now entirely overcome that difficulty; by what means I was not told.
The number of macerating vessels is fourteen, ten of which are working at a time, the other four filling and emptying.
A greater number of vessels, Mr. Dequesne thinks, would be advantageous, as cold instead of hot water could then be employed. He thinks a similar plan might be introduced in the West Indies with great advantage, and that by employing the proper means to prevent fermentation the sun's heat would be quite sufficient to dry the cane slices.
Mr. Dubranfaut and Mr. Rouseau's processes are patented in England. The terms for the use of the former would, I was told, be made so moderate, as to offer no obstruction to its being used in the colonies. What Mr. Rouseau's terms are I could not learn.
There are now 288 works making beet root sugar in France, and over 30 in Belgium. The same manufacture is rapidly spreading in Germany and Russia, and is now being introduced in Italy. Whilst at Valenciennes, I learned that two English gentlemen had just preceded me in visiting the works in that neighbourhood, mentioning that they had in view introducing the beet root sugar manufacture in Ireland.
The sugar crop of France was last year over 60,000,000 of kilogrammes (60,000 tons). For two years Belgium has been exporting to the Mediterranean. One maker told me that he had last year exported a considerable part of his crop. It would therefore appear, that even beet root sugar can compete in other than the producing country with the sugar of the tropics—a most significant hint that, unless the cane can be made to yield more and better sugar than is now generally got from it, there is some risk of its being ultimately beaten by the beet root, the cultivation of which is now carried on with so much profit that new works are springing up every year, in almost every country of the continent.
In going through the French works, I made inquiries as to how far the procede Melsens had been adopted, and was everywhere told it was a total failure. I, however, determined to see Mr. Melsens and judge for myself how far it might be applicable to the cane, even if a failure with regard to the beet root. I, therefore, went on to Brussels, enclosed my letters of introduction and card, and received in return a note, appointing to meet me next morning. I found him one of the best and most obliging of men. He immediately offered to go over some experiments on beet root juice with me at his laboratory, where I accordingly spent the greater part of two days with him, and went over a variety of experiments; and from what I saw and assisted in doing, I feel strongly inclined to think that, notwithstanding the French commission at Martinique report otherwise, some modification of Mr. Melsens' process may be most advantageously employed in making cane sugar if not as a defecator, at least to prevent fermentation, and, probably, also as a decolorising agent.
Mr. Melsens showed me letters he had received from Java from a person with whom he had no acquaintance, stating that he had used the bisulphate of lime with complete success; and whilst I was with him he again received letters from the same person, stating that by its use he had not only improved the quality of sugar, but had raised the return to 9 per cent. of the weight of cane. From the letters which I saw, the process appears to have been tried on a very large scale, with the advantage of filters and a vacuum pan. Where the old mode of leaving half the dirt with the sugar, and boiling up to a temperature of 340 degrees or thereby, is continued, I fear there is not much chance of either bisulphate or anything else making any very great improvement.
The use of bisulphate of lime is patented in England and the colonies, but I believe I may state the charge for the right of using it will be made extremely moderate.
The points which appeared to me worthy of remark in visiting the beet-root sugar works are, the extreme care that nothing shall be lost—the great attention paid to cleanliness in every part of the process, besides the particular care given to defecation. No vessel is ever used twice without being thoroughly washed. Such a thing as the employment of an open fire in any part of the manufacture is quite unknown. Everything is done by steam, of a pressure of from 4 to 5 atmospheres. In the more recently started works, the evaporation is entirely carried on in vacuum. In some of the older works copper evaporators, heated by coils of steam piping, and having covers, with chimneys to carry off the vapor, are still used; but of the eight works I visited I only saw them in use in one of them, and they are nowhere used excepting to evaporate to the point when the second filtration takes place.
The coolers I saw were invariably made of iron, and varied in depth from 2 to over 6 feet. These very deep vessels are used for the crystallization of sugar, made of the fourth, fifth and sixth re-boilings of molasses, which requires from three to six months.
One thing struck me forcibly in going over the French and Belgian works; it was the extreme liberality with which I was allowed to go over every part of them; to remain in them as long as I pleased; had all my inquiries answered, and every explanation given; in most striking contrast to the grudging manner in which I have been trotted over some of the refineries in England, as if those who showed them were afraid I should gain any information on the subject of their trade.
Mr. H. Colman, speaking of the agriculture of the Continent, gives some information he obtained on the comparative cost of producing beet and cane sugar. A hectare (two and a half acres) produces, in the Isle of Bourbon, about 76,000 kilogrammes (a kilogramme is nearly two and one-fifth pounds) of cane, which will give 2,200 kilogrammes of sugar, and the cost for labor is 2,500 francs. A hectare of beet root produces 40,000 kilogrammes of roots, which yield 2,400 kilogrammes of sugar, and the expense of the culture is 354 francs. The cost of the cane sugar in this case is 27 centimes, and of the beet sugar 14 centimes only, per kilogramme.
These are extraordinary statements, and will be looked at by the political economist and the philanthropist with great interest. There are few of the northern states of Europe, or of the United States, which might not produce their own sugar; and when we take into account the value of this product, even in its remains after the sugar is extracted, for the fattening of cattle and sheep, and of course for the enrichment of the land for the succeeding crops, its important bearing upon agricultural improvement cannot be exaggerated.
According to M. Peligot, the average amount of sugar in beets is 12 per cent.; but, by extraction, they obtain only 6 per cent. The cane contains about 18 per cent. of saccharine matter, but they get only about 71/2. The expense of cultivating a hectare of beets, according to Dombasle, is 354 francs. An hectare of cane, which produces 2,200 kilogrammes of sugar, in the Island of Bourbon, and only 2,000 in French Guiana, demands the labor of twelve negroes, the annual expense of each of whom is 250 francs, according to M. Labran.—(Commission of Inquiry in 1840.)
Sugar has become not only an article of luxury, but of utility, to such a degree, that a supply of it constitutes an important article of importation, and is of national consequence. For sugar the world has hitherto relied on the cane, with the exception of some parts of India, where the sugar palm yields it much more cheaply. The sugar cane is, however, a tropical plant, and, of course, its cultivation must of necessity be limited to such hot countries. France, during the wars of Napoleon, shut out from her Indian possessions or deprived of them, commenced making sugar from beets, and it proving unexpectedly successful and profitable, it has as we have just seen, extended not only over that empire, but nearly the whole of continental Europe, where it forms an important item in their system of cultivation and profit. The manufacture has been attempted in the United States; but though the facts of the ease and certainty with which the beets may be grown and their great value for stock has been fully ascertained, still little progress in the production of sugar from them has been made there.
There are few trees in the American forest of more value than the maple (Acer saccharinum). As an ornamental tree, it is exceeded by few; its ashes abound in alkali, and from it a large proportion of the potash of commerce is produced; and its sap furnishes a sugar of the best quality, and in abundance. It likewise affords molasses and an excellent vinegar. In the maple the sugar amounts to five per cent. of the whole sap. There is no tree whose shape and whose foliage is more beautiful, and whose presence indicates a more generous, fertile, and permanent soil than the rock maple: in various cabinet-work its timber vies with black walnut and mahogany for durability and beauty; and as an article of fuel its wood equals the solid hickory. Its height is sometimes 100 feet, but it usually grows to a height varying from forty to eighty feet. It is bushy, therefore an elegant shade tree. The maple is indigenous to the forests of America, and wherever there has been opportunity for a second growth, this tree attains to a considerable size much sooner than might be imagined. In the course of ten or fifteen years the maple becomes of a size to produce sugar. The trees which have come up since the first clearing, produce sap that yields much more saccharine than the original forest maples.
The whole interior of the northern part of the United States have relied, and still rely, more on their maple woodlands for sugar than on any other source; and as a branch of domestic manufacture and home production, the business is of no little consequence. The time occupied too in the manufacture is very limited, and occurs at a season when very little other labor can be performed.
Hitherto but comparatively little attention has been bestowed upon this important branch of industry in Canada. The inhabitants of that province might doubtless manufacture a sufficient quantity of maple sugar to supply the demand or consumption in this article for the whole population of the country. This variety of sugar may be refined, and made as valuable for table use as the finest qualities of West India sugar. On the south shore of Lake Huron, and the islands of that inland sea, there are forests of sugar
maple unsurveyed capable of producing a supply for the whole population. The Indians upon those islands have lately turned their attention pretty largely to the manufacture of sugar from the maple; and many tons have been exported from this source. If the Indians could obtain a fair value for their sugar, say seven or eight dollars per 100 lbs., they would extend their operations upon a large scale. Upon these islands alone, there are upwards of a million of full-grown maple trees, capable of yielding each from two and a half to three pounds of excellent sugar per annum; and if proper attention were given to this branch of production in that quarter, I see no reason why a most profitable business could not be carried on. Every farmer who has a grove of sugar maple, should endeavour to manufacture at least sufficient for the consumption of his own family. In most cases 150 trees of medium growth would yield an amount of sap that would make 300 lbs. of sugar, twenty-five gallons of molasses, and a barrel of vinegar. The labor required to manufacture this amount of sugar, molasses, and vinegar, would scarcely be felt by the well-organised cultivator, as the season for the business is at the close of the winter, and opening spring, when no labor can be done upon the land. In proportion to the amount of labor and money expended in the production of maple sugar, it is as capable of yielding as large a return of profits as any other branch of farm business. It is certainly an object of great national interest to the inhabitants of our North American Colonies, that they should supply their own market with such products as their highly-favored country is capable of producing. Sugar is an article which will ever find a ready sale at highly-remunerating prices, provided that it be properly manufactured and brought into market in good condition. It requires a little outlay at first to purchase buckets, cisterns, and boilers, to stock a sugar bush; but by carefully using the above necessary apparatus, they will last for a very long period. A farmer can supply himself with the suitable materials for performing the sugar business without any cost further than his own labor. The spring is the season of the year that everything should be put in readiness,—even the wood should be chopped and drawn to the spot, so that when the sap commences to run, there may be no impediments in the way to hinder the complete success of the business.
Large tracts of land in the Ottawa district are covered with the true sugar maple. It is found in great numbers in the eastern townships of Lower Canada, where considerable forests of miles in extent contain nothing else, and in other places it is mixed with various trees. There is scarcely a spot in Lower Canada where it is not to be met with. Capt. Marryatt has stated that there were trees enough on the shores of Lakes Huron and Superior, to supply the whole world with sugar. In the United States, the manufacture of the sugar was first attempted about the year 1752, by some farmers of New England, as a branch of rural economy. This gradually spread wherever the tree was known. Now it forms an article of food throughout a large portion of the country. Almost every farmer prepares sugar enough from the trees in his neighbourhood for the consumption of his family during the year, and has often a surplus for sale. It is much cheaper than muscovado, being sold at from 2d. to 31/2d. per pound, whilst common muscovado cannot be bought for less than 41/2d. to 5d. per pound.
The province of Canada produced nearly ten million pounds in 1852, 6,190,694 being made in Lower Canada, and 3,581,505 in Upper Canada. The quantity made in Lower Canada in 1849 was only about 1,537,093 lbs. The maple sugar product of the Canadas in 1848 was officially stated as follows:—
lbs. Upper Canada 4,160,667 Lower Canada 2,303,158 ————- 6,463,835
This product is therefore of immense importance to the British North American provinces, all of which, under a judicious system, might be made to produce vastly increased quantities of this wholesome and valuable commodity.
The importation of sugar in Canada may very safely be computed at L40,000 per annum, and the whole of this amount of money could be retained in the country if the people would only look well to the matter.
In tapping the tree, the gouge is the best implement that can be used, provided it is an object to save the timber. It is usual, when using the gouge, to take out a chip about an inch and a half in diameter; but this system is objectionable where the maple is not abundant, as it subjects the timber to decay; it is a better course to make an incision by holding the gouge obliquely upwards an inch or more in the wood. A spout, or spile, as it is termed, about a foot long, to conduct off the sap, is inserted about two inches below this incision with the same gouge. By this mode of tapping, the wound in the tree is so small that it will be perfectly healed or grown over in two years. A boiler, of thick sheet-iron, made to rest on the top of an arch, by which the sides would be free from heat, and only the bottom is exposed, is doubtless a secure and rapid process of evaporation. The sides and ends of the boiler may be made of well-seasoned boards, which will answer the same purpose as if made solely of sheet-iron. When the sap is boiled down into syrup or thin molasses, it must be taken out of the boiler and strained through a flannel cloth into a tub, where it should settle about twenty-four hours. The clear syrup should be separated from the sediment, which will be found in the bottom of the tub. The pure syrup must be boiled down into sugar over a slow fire. A short time, however, before the syrup is brought to a boiling heat, to complete the clarifying process, the whites of five eggs well beaten, about one quart of new milk, and a spoonful of saleratus, should be all well mixed with a sufficient amount of syrup, to make 100 lbs. of sugar. The scum which would rise on the top must be skimmed off. Caution is to be observed in not allowing the syrup to boil until the skimming process is completed. To secure a good article, the greatest attention must be bestowed in granulating the syrup. The boxes or tubs for draining should be large at the top and small at the bottom. The bottom of the tubs should be bored full of small holes, to let the molasses drain through. After it has nearly done draining, the sugar may be dissolved, and the process of clarifying, granulating, and draining repeated, which will give as pure a quality of sugar as the best refined West India article.
The greatest objections that are advanced against maple sugar are, that the processes made use of in preparing the sugar for market are so rude and imperfect that it is too generally acid, and besides charged with salts of the oxide of iron, insomuch that it ordinarily strikes a black color with tea. These objections may be removed without any comparative difficulty, as it has been proved to demonstration, by the application of one ounce of clear lime-water to a gallon of maple sap, that the acidity will be completely neutralised, and the danger of the syrup adhering to the sides of the boiler totally removed. The acid so peculiar to the maple sugar, when combined with lime in the above proportion, is found to be excessively soluble in alcohol; so much so, that yellow sugar can be rendered white in a few minutes by placing it in an inverted cone, open at the top, with small holes at the bottom, and by pouring on the base of the cone a quantity of alcohol. This should filtrate through until the sugar is white; it should then be dried and re-dissolved in boiling water, and again evaporated until it becomes dense enough to crystallise. Then pour it into the cones again, and let it harden. By this process a very white sample of sugar may be made, and both the alcohol and acids will be thoroughly dispelled with the vapor.
The process of making maple sugar it will be seen is very simple and easily performed. The trees must be of suitable size, and within a convenient distance of the place where the operations of boiling, &c., are to be performed. When gathered, the sap should be boiled as early as possible, as the quality of the sugar is in a great degree dependent on the newness or freshness of the sap. There is a tendency to acidity in this fluid which produces a quick effect in preventing the making of sugar; and which, when the sap is obliged to be kept for many hours in the reservoirs, must be counteracted by throwing into them a few quarts of slaked lime. During the time of sugar making, warm weather, in which the trees will not discharge their sap, sometimes occurs, and the buckets become white and slimy, from the souring of the little sap they contain. In this case they should be brought to the boiler and washed out carefully with hot water, and a handful of lime to each.
In reducing the sap, the great danger to be apprehended is from burning the liquid after it is made to the consistence of molasses, since, when this is done, it is impossible to convert it into sugar; a tough, black, sticky mass, of little value, being the result. Indeed, constant care and attention is required to produce a first-rate article: for though sugar may be made in almost any way where the sap can be procured, yet unless the strictest care is observed in the processes, in gathering and boiling the sap, clarifying the syrup, and in converting the syrup to sugar, a dirty inferior article will be made, instead of the beautiful and delicious sweet which the maple, properly treated, is sure to yield.
The quantity of sugar produced in a year varies considerably from the same trees. The cause of this difference is to be found in the depth of snow, continued cold, or a sudden transition from cold to warm, thus abridging the period of sugar-making. A sharp frost at night, with clear warm days, is the most favorable to the sugar-maker. Perhaps four pounds of sugar from a tree may be a pretty fair average of seasons generally, although we have known the growth to exceed six pounds, and sink as low as three. A man will take care of one hundred trees easily, during the season of sugar, which usually lasts from about the middle of March into April, perhaps employing him twenty days in the whole. Dr. Jackson, in his Report of the Maine Geological Survey, gives the following instances of the production of sugar in that State:—
Lbs. of Sugar. At the Forks of the Kennebec, twelve persons made 3,605 On No. 1, 2d range, one man and a boy made 1,000 In Farmington, Mr. Titcomb made 1,500 In Moscow, thirty families made 10,500 In Bingham, twenty-five families made 9,000 In Concord, thirty families made 11,000
A cold and dry winter is followed with a greater yield of sugar from the maple than a season very moist and variable. Trees growing in wet places will yield more sap, but much less sugar from the same quantity, than trees on more elevated and drier ground. The red and white maple will yield sap, but it has much less of the saccharine quality than the rock or sugar maple.
The work begins usually about the first of March. The tree will yield its sap long before vegetation appears from the bud: frequently the most copious flow is before the snow disappears from the ground.
Some persons have a camp in their maple orchards, where large cauldrons are set in which to boil down the sap to the consistency of a thick syrup: others take the liquid to their houses, and there boil down and make the sugar.
The process begins by the preparation of spouts and troughs or tubs for the trees: the spouts or tubes are made of elder, sumach, or pine, sharpened to fit an auger hole of about three-fourths of an inch in diameter. The hole is bored a little upward, at the distance horizontally of five or six inches apart, and about twenty inches from the ground on the south or sunny side of the tree. The trough, cut from white maple, pine, ash, or bass wood, is set directly under the spouts, the points of which are so constructed as completely to fill the hole in the tree, and prevent the loss of the sap at the edges, having a small gimlet or pitch hole in the centre, through which the entire juice discharged from the tree runs, and is all saved in the vessels below. The distance bored into the tree is only about one-half an inch to give the best run of sap. The method of boring is far better for the preservation of the tree than boxing, or cutting a hole with an axe, from the lower edge of which the juice is directed by a spout to the trough or tub prepared to receive it. The tub should be of ash or other wood that will communicate no vicious taste to the liquid or sugar.
The sap is gathered daily from the trees and put in larger tubs for the purpose of boiling down. This is done by the process of a steady hot fire. The surface of the boiling kettle is from time to time cleansed by a skimmer. The liquid is prevented from boiling over by the suspension of a small piece of fat pork at the proper point. Fresh additions of sap are made as the volume boils away. When boiled down to a syrup, the liquor is set away in some earthen or metal vessel till it becomes cool and settled. Again the purest part is drawn off or poured into a kettle until the vessel is two-thirds full. By a brisk and continual fire, the syrup is further reduced in volume to a degree of consistence best taught by a little experience, when it is either put into moulds to become hard as it is cooled, or stirred until it shall be grained into sugar. The right point of time to take it away from the fire may be ascertained by cooling and graining a small quantity. The sediment is strained off and boiled down to make molasses.
The following is from a Massachusetts paper:—
The maple produces the best sugar that we have from any plant. Almost every one admires its taste. It usually sells in this market (Boston) nearly twice as high as other brown sugar. Had care been taken from the first settlement of the country to preserve the sugar maple, and proper attention been given to the cultivation of this tree, so valuable for fuel, timber, and ornament, besides the abundant yield of saccharine juice, we could now produce in New England sugar enough for our own consumption, and not be dependent on the labour of those who toil and suffer in a tropical sun for this luxury or necessary of life. But, for want of this friendly admonition,
"Axeman, spare that tree,"
the sturdy blows were dealt around without mercy or discretion; and the very generation that committed devastation in the first settlements in different sections of our country, generally lived to witness a scarcity of fuel; and means were resorted to for the purchase of sugar, that were far more expensive than would have been its manufacture, under a proper mode of economy in the preservation of the maple, and the production of sugar from its sap.
Those who have trees of the sugar maple, should prepare in season for making sugar. In many localities, wood is no object, and a rude method of boiling is followed; but where fuel is very scarce, a cheap apparatus should be prepared that will require but little fuel. In some sections, broad pans or kettles have been made of sheet-iron bottoms, and sides of plank or boards, care being taken (continued) to allow the fire to come into contact with the iron only. These pans cost but a trifle, and, owing to their large surface, the evaporation is rapid.
Another cheap construction for boiling with economy is, to make a tight box of plank, some four or five feet square—the width of a wide plank will answer, and then put into it, almost at the bottom, a piece of large copper funnel, say ten or twelve inches at the outer part, and then smaller. This funnel, beginning near one end, should run back nearly to the opposite side, then turn and come put at the opposite end, or at the side near the end, as most convenient, being in only two straight parts, that the soot may be cleared out. Each end should be made tight, with a flange nailed to the box. At the mouth of the large part there should be a door, to reduce the draught; here make the fire, and at the other end have a funnel to carry off the smoke. In this case, there is only sheet copper between the fire and the sap which surrounds the funnel, so that the heat is readily taken up by the liquid, and very little escapes. This is an economical plan for cooking food for stock, steaming timber, &c.
For catching the sap, various kinds of vessels are used. The cheapest are made of white birch, which last one season, or less. Troughs of pine, or linden or bass wood, may be made for a few cents each, and they will last for a number of years, if inverted in the shade of trees. But these are inconvenient; and, after the first year, they become dirty, and clog the sap. Pails with iron hoops are the best, and, eventually, the cheapest. By painting and carefully preserving them, they will cost, for a course of years, about one cent each for a year.
Mr. Alfred Fitch, in the "Genesee Farmer," says:—
In clarifying, I use for 50 lbs. of sugar one pint of skimmed milk, put into the syrup when cold, and place it over a moderate fire until it rises, which should occupy thirty or forty minutes; then skim and boil until it will grain; after which I put it into a tub, and turn on a little cold water, and in a few days the molasses will drain out, and leave the sugar dry, light, and white.
Mr. E.W. Clark, of Oswego, furnishes the following:—
On Fining Maple Sugar.—The sweet obtained from the maple tree is undoubtedly the purest known; but from mismanagement in the manufacture it frequently becomes very impure. Its value is lessened, while the expense of making it increases. I am sensible that the method which I shall recommend is not altogether a new one, and that it is more by attending to some apparently minute and trivial circumstances, than to any new plan, that my sugar is so good. Much has been written upon, and many useful improvements been made in, that part of the process which relates to tapping the trees, and gathering and evaporating the sap, &c.; but still, if the final operation is not understood, there will be a deficiency in the quality of the sugar. I shall confine myself to that part of the operation which relates to reducing the syrup to sugar, as it is of the first importance. My process is this:—When the syrup is reduced to the consistence of West India molasses, I set it away till it is perfectly cold, and then mix with it the clarifying matter, which is milk or eggs. I prefer eggs to milk, because when heated the whole of it curdles; whereas milk produces only a small portion of curd. The eggs should be thoroughly beaten and effectually mixed with the syrup while cold. The syrup should then be heated till just before it would boil, when the curd rises, bringing with it every impurity, even the coloring matter, or a great portion of that which it had received from the smoke, kettles, buckets, or reservoirs. The boiling should be checked, and the scum carefully removed, when the syrup should be slowly turned into a thick woollen strainer, and left to run through at leisure. I would remark, that a great proportion of the sugar that is made in our country is not strained after cleansing. This is an error. If examined in a wine-glass, innumerable minute and almost imperceptible particles of curd will be seen floating in it, which, if not removed, render it liable to burn, and otherwise injure the taste and color of it.
A flannel strainer does this much better than a linen one. It is, indeed, indispensable. As to the quantity of eggs necessary, one pint to a pailful of syrup is amply sufficient, and half as much will do very well. I now put my syrup into another kettle, which has been made perfectly clean and bright, when it is placed over a quick but solid fire, and soon rises, but is kept from overflowing by being ladled with a long dipper. When it is sufficiently reduced, (I ascertain this by dropping it from the point of a knife, while hot, into one inch of cold water—if done, it will not immediately mix with the water, but lies at the bottom in a round flat drop,) it is taken from the fire, and the foaming allowed to subside. A thick white scum, which is useable, is removed, and the sugar turned into a cask, placed on an inclined platform, and left undisturbed for six weeks or longer, when it should be tapped in the bottom and the molasses drawn off. It will drain perfectly dry in a few days.
The sugar made in this manner is very nearly as white as lump sugar, and beautifully grained. We have always sold ours at the highest price of Muscovadoes; and even when these sugars have sold at eighteen cents, ours found a ready market at twenty. Two hands will sugar off 250 lbs. in a day. From the scum taken off in cleansing, I usually make, by diluting and recleansing, one-sixth as much as I had at first, and of an equal quality.
It is not of much consequence as regards the quality of the sugar, whether care be taken to keep the sap clean or not. The points in which the greatest error is committed, are, neglecting to use a flannel strainer, or to strain after cleansing—to have the sugar kettle properly cleaned—and to remove the white scum from the sugar.
An important process of manufacturing maple sugar, which produces a most beautiful article, is also thus described in a communication by the gentleman who gained the first premium at the State Fair at Rochester in 1843, to the Committee on Maple Sugar of the New York State Agricultural Society.
In the first place, I make my buckets, tubs, and kettles all perfectly clean. I boil the sap in a potash kettle, set in an arch in such a manner that the edge of the kettle is defended all around from the fire. I boil through the day, taking care not to have anything in the kettle that will give color to the sap, and to keep it well skimmed. At night I leave fire enough under the kettle to boil the sap nearly or quite to syrup by the next morning. I then take it out of the kettle, and strain it through a flannel cloth into a tub, if it is sweet enough; if not, I put it in a cauldron kettle, which I have hung on a pole in such a manner that I can swing it on or off the fire at pleasure, and boil it till it is sweet enough, and then strain it into the tub, and let it stand till the next morning. I then take it and the syrup in the kettle, and put it altogether into the cauldron, and sugar it off. I use, to clarify say 100 lbs. of sugar, the whites of five or six eggs well beaten, about one quart of new milk, and a spoonful of saleratus, all we'll mixed with the syrup before it is scalding hot. I then make a moderate fire directly under the cauldron, until the scum is all raised; then skim it off clean, taking care not to let it boil so as to rise in the kettle before I have done skimming it. I then sugar it off, leaving it so damp that it will drain a little. I let it remain in the kettle until it is well granulated. I then put it into boxes made smallest at the bottom, that will hold from fifty to seventy lbs., having a thin piece of board fitted in, two or three inches above the bottom, which is bored full of small holes, to let the molasses drain through, which I keep drawn off by a tap through the bottom. I put on the top of the sugar, in the box, a clean damp cloth; and over that, a board, well fitted in, so as to exclude the air from the sugar. After it has done draining, or nearly so, I dissolve it, and sugar it off again; going through with the same process in clarifying and draining as before.
The following remarks from Dr. Jackson, of Boston, may be of interest to the sections of the country where maple sugar is made:—
The northern parts of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York, have dense forests of the sugar maple, and at present only very rude processes are made use of in preparing the sugar for market, so that it is too generally acid and deliquescent, besides being charged with salts of the oxide of iron, insomuch that it ordinarily strikes a black color with tea. To remedy these difficulties was the object of my researches; while, at the same time, I was engaged in ascertaining the true composition of the sap, with a view to the theory of vegetable nutrition.
I received several gallons of freshly-drawn maple sap from Northampton, Warner, and Canterbury, and made analyses of each lot, separating the acids, salts, and the sugar. I also analysed the sap of the yellow and white birch, which do not give any crystallisable sugar, but an astringent molasses.
I shall now communicate to you the process by which I manufactured sugar maple sap, received from the Shakers of Canterbury, who collected it with care in a clear glass demijohn, and sent it forthwith, so that it came to me without any change of composition, the weather being cold at the time. The evaporation was carried on in glass vessels until the sap was reduced to about one-eighth its original bulk, and then it was treated with a sufficient quantity of clear lime-water to render it neutral, and the evaporation was completed in a shallow porcelain basin. The result was, that a beautiful yellow granular sugar was obtained, from which not a single drop of molasses drained, and it did not deliquesce by exposure to the air. Another lot of the sap, reduced to sugar without lime-water, granulated, but not so well, was sour to the taste, deliquesced by exposure, and gave a considerable quantity of molasses.
Having studied the nature of the peculiar acid of the maple, I found that its combinations with lime were excessively soluble in alcohol, so that the yellow sugar first described could be rendered white in a few minutes, by placing it in an inverted cone open at the bottom, and pouring a fresh quantity of alcohol upon it, and allowing it to filtrate through the sugar. The whitened sugar was then taken and re-dissolved in boiling water and crystallised, by which all the alcoholic flavour was entirely removed, and a perfectly fine crystallised and pure sugar resulted. Now, in the large way, I advise the following method of manufacturing maple sugar. Obtain several large copper or brass kettles, and set them up in a row, either by tripods with iron rings, or by hanging them on a cross-bar; clean them well, then collect the sap in buckets, if possible, so that but little rain-water will be mixed with the sap, and take care not to have any dead leaves in it. For every gallon of the maple sap add one measured ounce of clear lime-water, pass the sap into the first kettle and evaporate; then, when it is reduced to about one-half, dip it out into the second kettle, and skim it each time; then into the next, and so on, until it has reached the last, where it is reduced to syrup, and then may be thrown into a trough, and granulated by beating it up with an oar.
As soon as the first kettle is nearly empty, pour in a new lot of the sap, and so continue working it forward exactly after the manner of the West India sugar-boilers. The crude sugar may be refined subsequently, or at the time of casting it into the cones made of sheet iron, well painted with white lead and boiled linseed oil, and thoroughly dried, so that no paint can come off. These cones are to be stopped at first, until the sugar is cold; then remove the stopper and pour on the base of the cone a quantity of strong whiskey, or fourth proof rum. Allow this to nitrate through, until the sugar is white; dry the loaf, and redissolve it in boiling hot water, and evaporate it until it becomes dense enough to crystallise. Now pour it into the cones again, and let it harden. If any color remains, pour a saturated solution of refined white sugar on the base of the cone, and this syrup will remove all traces of color from the loaf.
One gallon of pasture maple sap yielded 3,451 grains of pure sugar. One gallon of the juice of the sugar cane yields, on an average, in Jamaica, 7,000 grains of sugar. Hence, it will appear that maple sap is very nearly half as sweet as cane juice; and since the maple requires no outlay for its cultivation, and the process may be carried on when there is little else to be done, the manufacture of maple sugar is destined to become an important department of rural economy. It is well known, by the Report of the Statistics of the United States, that Vermont ranks next to Louisiana as a sugar state, producing (if I recollect correctly) 6,000,000 of pounds in some seasons, though the business is now carried on in a very rude way, without any apparatus, and with no great chemical skill; so that only a very impure kind of sugar is made, which, on account of its peculiar flavor, has not found its way into common use, for sweetening tea and coffee. It would appear worth while, then, to improve this manufacture, and to make the maple sugar equal to any now in use. This can be readily accomplished, if the farmers in the back country will study the process of sugar-making, for cane and maple sugar are, when pure, absolutely identical. It should be remarked, that forest maples do not produce so much sugar as those grown in open fields or in groves, where they have more light, the under-brush being cleared away.