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about two feet apart. The series of rows is divided into pieces of land 60 or 70 feet broad, leaving spaces of about 20 feet, for the convenience of passage,
and for the admission of sun and air between the stems. Canes are usually planted in trenches, about 6 or 8 inches deep, made with the hand-hoe, the raised soil being heaped to one side, for covering-in the young cane ; into the holes a negro drops the number of cuttings intended to be inserted, the digging being performed by other negroes. The earth is then drawn about the hillocks with the hoe. This labor has been, however, in many places better and more cheaply performed by the plough ; a deep furrow being made, into which the cuttings are regularly planted, and the mold then properly turned in. If the ground is to be afterwards kept clear by the horse-boe, the rows of canes should be 5 feet asunder, and the hillocks 21 feet distant, with only one cane left in one billock.
After some shoots appear, the sooner the horse-hoe is used, the more will the plants thrive, by keeping the weeds under, and stirring up the soil. Plant-canes of the first growth have been known to yield, on the brick-mold of Jamaica, in very fine seasons, 2} tons of sugar per acre. The proper season for planting the cane slips containing the buds, namely, the top part of the cane stripped of its leaves and the two or three upper joints, is in the interval between August and the beginning of November. Favored by the autumDal weather, the young plants become luxuriant enough to shade the ground before the dry season sets in ; thereby keeping the roots cool and moderately moist. By this arrangement the creole canes are ripe for the mill in the beginning of the second year, so as to enable the manager to finish his crop early in June. There is no greater error in the colonist than planting canes at an improper season of the year, whereby his whole system of operations becomes disturbed, and, in a certain degree, abortive.
The withering and fall of a leaf afford a great criterion of the maturity of the cane-joint to which it belonged; so that the eight last leafless joints of two canes, which are cut the same day, have exactly the same age and the same ripeness, though one of the canes be 15 and the other only 10 nionths old. These, however, cut towards the end of the dry season, before the rains begin to fall, produce better sugar than those cut in the rainy season, as they are then somewhat diluted with watery juice, and require more evaporation to form sugar. It may be reckoned a fair average product, when one pound of sugar is obtained from one gallon (English) of juice.
Rattoons (a word corrupted from rejettons) are the sprouts or suckers that spring from the roots or stoles of the canes that have been previously cut for sugar. They are commonly ripe in 12 months ; but canes of the first growth are called plant-canes, being the direct produce of the original cuttings or germs placed in the gronnd, and require a longer period to bring them to maturity, The first yearly return from the roots that are cut over, are called first rattoons; the second year's growth, second rattoons; and so on, according to their age. Instead of stocking up his rattoons, holing, and planting the land anew, the planter suffers the stoles to continue in the ground, and contents himself, as the cane-fields become thin and impoverished, with supplying the vacant places with fresh plants. By these means, and the aid of manure, the produce of sugar per acre, if not apparently equal to that from plant-canes, gives perhaps in the long run as great returns to the owner, considering the relative proportion of the labor and expense attending the different systems. The common yielding on proper land, such as the red soil of Trelawney, in Jamaica, is 7 hogsheads, of 16 cwts. each, to 10 acres of rattoons cut annually: and such a plantation lasts from 6 to 10 years.
When the planted canes are ripe, they are cut close above the ground, by an oblique section, into lengths of 3 or 4 feet, and transported in bundles to the mill-house. If the roots be then cut off, a few inches below the surface of the soil, and covered up with fine mould, they will push forth more prolific offsets or rattoons, than when left projecting in the con mon way.*
The manufacture of sugar is that train of operations by which the juice is extracted from the canes, and brought to a granulated state. In the West India sugar mills employed for crushing the canes, a negro applies the canes in a regular layer or sheet to the interval between two rollers, which seize and compress them violently as they pass between them. The ends of the canes are then turned, either by another negro on the opposite side to the feeder, or by a framework of wood called a dumb returner, so that they may pass back again between two other rollers placed closer together. Channels are made to receive the liquor expressed from the canes, and conduct it to the vessels in which it is to undergo the succeeding operations. Improved sugar mills have been lately brought into use.
Cane-juice as expressed by the mill, is an opaque slightly viscid fluid, of a dull grey, olive, or olive-green color, and of a sweet balmy taste. The juice is so exceedingly fermentable that in the climate of the West Indies it would often run into the acetous fermentation in twenty minutes after leaving the mill
, if the process of clarifying were not immediately commenced.
The processes followed in the West Indies for separating the sugar from the juice are as follows. The juice is conducted by channels from the mill to large flat-bottomed clarifiers, which contain from three hundred to a thousand gallons each. When the clarifier is filled with juice, a little slaked lime is added to it; and when the liquor in the clarifier becomes hot by a fire underneath, the solid portions of the cane-juice coagulate, and are thrown up in the form of scum. The clarified juice, which is bright, clear, and of a yellow wine-color, is transferred to the largest of a series of evaporating coppers, or pans, three or more in number, in which it is reduced in bulk by boiling ; it is transferred from one pan to another, and heated until the sugar is brought to the state of a soft mass of crystals, imbedded in molasses, a thick, viscid, and uncrystallizable fluid. The soft concrete sugar is removed from the coolers into a range of casks, in which the molasses gradually drains from the crystalline portion, percolating through spongy plantain-stalks placed in a hole at the bottom of each cask, which act as so many drains to convey the liquid to a large cistern beneath. With sugar
of average quality three or four weeks is sufficient for this purpose. The liquid portion constitutes molasses, which is employed to make rum. The crystallized portion is packed in hogsheads for shipment, as Raw, Brown, or Muscovado Sugar; and in this state it is commonly exported from our West Indian colonies. The sugar loses usually about 12 per cent in weight by the drainage of the remaining molasses from it while on shipboard.
Refining.–The refining of sugar is mainly a bleaching process, conducted on a large scale in the United States. There are two varieties produced
• Ure's Dictionary of Arts, &C., &c.
by this bleaching, viz. clayed and loaf sugar. For clayed sugar, the sugar is removed from the coolers into conical earthen moulds called formes
, each of which has a small hole at the apex. These holes being stopped up the formes are placed, apex downwards, in other earthern vessels. The sirup, after being stirred round, is left for from fifteen to twenty hours to crystallize. The plugs are then withdrawn, to let out the uncrystallized sirup; and, the base of the crystallized loaf being removed, the forme is filled up with pulverized white sugar. This is well pressed down, and then a quantity of clay, mixed with water is placed upon the sugar, the formes being put into fresh empty pots. The moisture from the clay, filtering through the sugar, carries with it a portion of the colouring matter, which is more soluble than the crystals themselves. By a repetition of this process the sugar attains nearly a white color, and is then dried and crushed for sale. But loaf sugar is the kind most usually produced by the refining pro
The brown sugar is dissolved with hot water, and then filtered through canvas bags, from which it exudes as a clear, transparent though reddish sirup. The removal of this red tinge is effected by filtering the sirup through a mass of powdered charcoal ; and we have then a perfectly transparent and colorless liquid. In the evaporation or concentration of the clarified sirup, which forms the next part of the refining process, the boiling is effected (under the admirable system introduced by Mr. Howard) in a vacuum, at a temperature of about 140° Fahr. The sugar-pan is a large copper vessel, with arrangements for extracting the air, admitting the sirup, admitting steam pipes, and draining off the sugar when concentrated. In using the pan a quantity of sirup is admitted ; and an air-pump is set to work, to extract all the air from the pan, in order that the contents may boil at a low temperature. The evaporation proceeds; and, when completed, the evaporated sirup flows out of the pan through a pipe into an open vessel beneath, called the granulating vessel, around which steam circulates, and within which the sirup is brought to a partially crystallized state. From the granulators the sirup or sugar is transferred into moulds of a conical form, which were formerly made of coarse pottery, but are now usually of iron ; in these molds the sugar crystallizes and whitens, the remaining uncrystallized sirup flowing out at an opening at the bottom of of the moulds. This sirup is reboiled with raw sugar, so as to yield an inferior quality of sugar; and when all the crystallizable matter has been extracted from it, the remainder is sold as treacle. The loaves of sugar, after a few finishing processes, are ready for sale.
The improvements introduced into the processes of sugar-refining allow loaf sugar to be now soldat a price so little exceeding that of raw sugar, that the manufacture has of late vastly increased.
Sugar-Candy is a kind of crystallized sugar made in China and India. The crystals are formed around small strings or twigs, from which they are afterwards broken off. When heated to 365° Fahr., sugar melts into a viscid colorless liquid which when cooled suddenly, becomes barley-sugar.
The manufacture of Beet Root Sugar is not in a flourishing state, as it cannot well compete commercially with that from the sugar-cane. There is a project at present on foot for establishing the beet-sugar manufacture in Ireland. It is proposed to establish a company with a capital of half a million sterling; and to buy Irish beet root with a view of extracting sugar from it by processes which have recently been patented, and the patents for which are to be held by the company. The projectors start upon
basis that the climate, soil, and labor-supply of Ireland are highly favorable to the culture; and that the patent processes are calculated to perform the extraction of sugar well and cheaply. It remains to be shown bow far these anticipations are capable of being borne out; if commercially advan-. tageous at all, Ireland must unquestionably be benefited by it. The company's calculations give 400 tons of sugar and 100 tons of molasses for 6,000 tons of beet-root and shadow forth a flattering rate of prospective dividend. So do the calculations of the Irish Peat Company; and we can only at present express a wish that the anticipations may be realized. (April 1851.)
It has just been announced that there are now 303 beet-sugar manufactories in France; and that the produce of French beet-sugar in 1850 was 74,628,607 kilogrammes—about 160,917,900 lbs.
Šugar-Trade.—Before the discovery of America, sugar was a costly luxury used only on rare occasions. About 1459 Margaret Paston, writing to her husband, who was a gentleman and land owner in Norfolk, begs that he will “ vouchsafe” to buy her a pound of sugar.
consumption has gradually but steadily increased throughout the world. The sugar trade of the world has, in the last ten or fifteen
years, undergone a great change, on account of the changed commercial policies of our own and other governments, the improved prosperity of the people of England and Europe, as well as of the United States, leading to larger consumption, on the one hand, while the development of the culture of the cane in Louisiana, and of beet sugar in Europe, has tended to enhance the general supply, which again has been checked by the course of the British and French Governments in respect to their sugar colonies. The great reduction of the sugar duties of Great Britain has had the effect of increasing the consumption of raw sugar in the British islands 50 per cent. The duty on foreign brown sugar in England, which was 66s. per cwt. prior to July. 1846, has been but 14s. since July, 1851, and in 1854 the duties on raw and refined will be equalized. While the British demand for sugar was thus enhanced, the colonies produced less, and the extra demand from England fell on the markets of the world. In the same period, although the aggregate consumption of sugar on the continent increased, the demand for cane sugar was checked by the extended production of beet-root sugar, which has reached 150,000 tons per annum. Of this, in the German Customs Union, the increase has been from 15,000 to 62,000 tons, forming now one-half of the whole consumption of sugar in the Zollverein. In France, a great increase in the production of beet sugar took place under the protective policy of the government, which discriminated in its favor against the cane sugar of the colonies, until the growth became large, and then it reversed its policy, discriminating in favor of cane sugar. Nevertheless, the course of the Provisional Government in 1848 towards its colonies diminished the receipt of colonial cane sugar in France from 120,000 to 60,000 tons.
It would seem to be the case, however, that notwithstanding the diminished supply of cane sugar from the British and French West Indies, the growth of beet sugar in Europe has so far supplanted its use, as to more than meet the aggregate increased demand for consumption in both England and Europe, and to throw larger supplies of Cuban sugar upon the United States markets, to compete with the swelling production from Louisiana cane.
The import of brown sugar into the United States has been, according to official returns, as follows :
POUNDS OF IMPORTED RAW BROWN SUGAR INTO THE UNITED STATES.
Brazil. West Indies. East Indies. Total. 1837.
40,965,998 3,287,401 49,166,140 26,996,532 120,416,071 1838.
55,624,855 7,885,067 66,093,202 9,597,781 139,200,705 1839.
70,286,903 9,848.738 86,681,537 15,783,149 182,540,327 1840.
48,127,706 5.413,316 45,676,480 8,838,531 107,165,033 1841.
90,384,397 9,070,626 60,838,901 5,659,259 165,963,083 1842.
67,586,332 6,822,217 68,179,055 12,328,234 155,414,946 1843
31,628,319 1,915,115 31,475,613 4,515,284 69,434,331 1844.
114,362,368 2,709,099 54,763,060 7,932,964 179,857,491 1845.
51,699,108 6,268,288 46,571,976 6,532,720 111,967,404 1846.
61,624,973 4,926,304 50,057,329 9,656,444 126,731,661 1847.
169,274,024 6,896,447 45,366,660 3,642,895 226,683,261 1848.
174,979,362 6,003,609 54,035,761 13,182.395 248,201,117 1849.
179,754,020 9,516,004 56,710,138 7,835,323 253,815,495 127,767,543 7,033,366 49,530,181 13,320,729 197,651,819
275,327,497 14,557,699 62,883,757 10,768,908 364,537,861 Under the term of West Indies is included Porto Rico and some of the South American countries, other than Brazil. It will at once be seen that the supply from Cuba, from being .one-third only of the whole import in 1837, has gradually risen until it is become two-thirds of the whole importation of raw sugar into the Union. The supplies from Brazil fluctuate more in proportion to the European demand and prices than do those from Cuba. The figures, however, embrace only the brown sugar. If we add the aggregate of white sugar in each year, and also the crops of Louisiana, we arrive at the supply of raw sugar in the United States for each fiscal year. The figures for the year 1843 are for nine months only. It was in that year
that the date of the the fiscal year was changed.
Such has been the annually increased supply of raw sugar. Since 1842, the trade has undergone a change in refining. Thus the tariff of 1833 charged a duty of 24 cents upon raw sugars, but in order to encourage rofining it allowed a drawback of 5 cents per pound on retined sugar exported. It is ascertained that 100 pounds, one-third white Havana and two-thirds brown, will yield 51 pounds refined. Hence, refunding 5 cents of the refined sugar was giving back a little more than the duty on the raw sugar. That is to say, 100 pounds raw sugar, $2 60 duty, and produced 514 pounds refined, on which the drawback was $2 687; and further, as under the