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I hope he will this evening show us some of the very fibres, are well worthy of forming cordage for ordinary successful results which he has obtained. The material purposes, until they are produced in sufficiently large he employs can, I believe, be obtained as cheaply as any quantities to make use of them for other purposes. We thing else. I have no doubt, however, that if fibres have also had before us the true hemp, which, though come to be largely employed in making paper, India will imported from the distant Himalayas, is able to comparticipate in the commerce, as her fibres now undersell pete in price, as it does in strength, with the hemp of all others; and though jute is dearer than usual, it is not Russia. " because smaller quantities have come in, but because it Among textile substances, we have seen that there is is becoming applied to a number of new textile pur-considerable probability of the successful culture of poses, but for some of which several of the fibres now flax in the Punjab, and perhaps in some other district. before you are equally applicable.
But it has appeared very desirable that we should at
once make use of some of the indigenous fibres of India CONCLUSION.
which seem well adapted for the purpose, as we have As we said at the commencement of these observations, seen the marvellous effects produced by careful preparait is necessary to connect the producer and the purchaser, tion on some of these fibres. Those from the west and if we want to obtain these fibres in quantity or of coast seem at once available, while the beautifully pregood quality, we must address ourselves to local agents, pared and silken fibres of the Hibiscus seem much too who will make European wants known. For not only valuable to be any longer neglected, and the plants must the culture of a new plant succeed, but there must which produce them unite the good qualities of rapid be a demand on the spot for the produce. This has been growth, easy cultivation and ready separation of their prominently brought forward by several of the Revenue fibres. Officers.
Among the fibres which appear most desirable, from Thus, the collector of South Arcot writes :-"1 do not the excellence of their qualities, is that of the Mudar plant, believe that anything short of an assurance that a remuner- or its nearly-allied species, which abound in desert ative price will be immediately given, will induce the places, and grow without culture or water, may be yearly natives to attempt the cultivation of any novel species of cut down, and yearly produces fresh stems. In the quali. produce.” From Tanjore, the collector writes, that “the ties of strength and fineness, this seems to come nearest cultivators have no desire for speculation, and no faith in to the China grass, of which, as the Rheea of Assam, we mere assurances that articles fitted for the European trade have noticed the imports by several ships, which will will meet with a ready sale at Madras." So in Canara | probably assist in establishing it as a regular article of the same officer writes :-In this district, “ the Ryots import from India, as well as from China. want very little encouragement to cultivate any article Most, if not all of those fibres, are fitted for making beyond a certainty of remuneration. But it is of no use into paper stuff. Though most of them, from being to tell them that any article is of value in a distant applicable for cordage or textile purposes, are able market. This is nothing to them. The only question to command higher prices than the paper-maker is, if they produce it, will any one give them money for can give, yet some may be brought for such prices as he it on the spot, for if any one will, they will produce it can afford. Many of them, I feel no doubt, will occupy immediately." He adds, that he considers the Indian high places among the imports, as well as among the hemp, that which we have already seen, is of such good prices of fibrous materials, and may rival in quantity quality from Canara as to be the most promising article. the jute, which was at one time thought worthless, but These officers adduce the fish-oil of the Malabar coast which cannot be had in sufficient quantities for our as having become lately an article of export from the manufactures. Malabar coast. So in South Arcot, the ground nut has In conclusion, I trust I may refer to an observation I come to be largely produced, and its oil exported, in formerly made, and that was, the confident hope that consequence of a remunerative price having been offered the Collections of Raw Products which were being formed by a merchant at Cuddalore. In Rajahmundry and would have considerable effect in diffusing correct inforGanjam, sugar, they mention, as being cultivated in this mation on all such subjects; and I said, that as in the City mode as indigo is in the Cuddapah district.
time was counted in minutes, I would have one in the So Mr. Henley, as we have just seen, recommends very heart of the City. I may congratulate the Society dealing with the cultivators by means of native agents, on the speedy establishment of a Museum at the India who'make advances, and make contracts, and are respon- House, which will contain, for permanent examination sible for the delivery of produce.
and constant reference, an ample collection of the Raw The natives of India ought, moreover, to be assisted Products and Manufactured Articles of the vast Indian with machinery suitable for the separation of fibres, and empire. not of a very expensive character, and which might be moved either by hand or bullock power. I may adduce the small cotton gin, the construction of which was
DISCUSSION. superintended by the Commercial Association of Man- Mr. ROUTLEDGE said that he had great pleasure in chester. The natives of India, who would only buy complying with the request of Dr. Royle, to show the these small machines at first, have since bought about paper and half stuff he was now manufacturing from a 300 of them, many of them with 10, 20, and 25 saws. raw fibrous material. These specimens of paper were by
Having thus gone, as briefly as possible, over the ex- no means perfect, and only served to illustrate what tensive field spread before us, I have only to recapitulate may be done with a raw material. At the mills with the points which seem most worthy of notice. First, which he was connected, they were now putting down adthat the west coast of the Bay of Bengal, as well as ditional plant, and in the course of a few months they the Peninsula of India, abounds in basts and barks, would be in a position to supply half stuff or paper which are cheap in price, and might be brought as dun- pulp to the trade. The scarcity of paper-making matenage, if not thought worthy of being converted into fibres rial was a question which had notoriously, for some time or half-stuff. Among cordage materials, besides the brown past, attracted the attention not only of paper-makers but hemp of Bombay, there are some excellent varieties of all commercial circles, as it was generally admitted on the Malabar coast, and in Canara, as well as in other that, although the ratio of increase in the manufacture parts of India. The chief point would seem to be to of paper has fully kept pace with that of our two encourage the natives to collect and prepare the fibres other great staples, iron and cotton, it differs from them as carefully as possible, which there is every probability in the daily increasing deficiency of supply in its manuof their doing, if encouraged by adequate remuneration facture. The abolition of postal restrictions and the from the local buyers. The Plantain and other white spread of cheap serial publications, had, during the past few years especially, given great impetus to the produc- calculation half a million tons of this valuable fibre wore tion of paper. In the 5 years from 1830 to 1834, the annually wasted, which now might be rendered available annual turn out of paper was 31,423 tons ; but in a by the agency of the extremely simple machine before similar period, from 1849 to 1853, it was 67,515 tons ; the meeting, the operation of which would be shown by and in the 2 years 1853 and 1854, it was 79,291 and Mr. Warren, the engineer and manufacturer. The 79,418 tons. Notwithstanding this increase, he (Mr. / machine was the invention of Mr. Francis Burke, a colonist Routledge) believed he was correct in stating that the of Montserrat, and he (Mr. Routledge) considered, from consurnption of paper in England, taken according to its efficient action, that this problem was now solved. In the population, is considerably less than in other coun- the year 1838 a patent was taken out by Mr. John Small. ries; in America, for instance, the consumption is 13lbs. for Improvements in Thread or Yarn and Paper from per head per annum; in France, 9lbs. ; in Belgium and Plantain Fibre, and numerous other patents had subHolland, 8lbs.; but in England, only 63lbs. to 7lbs. sequently been taken out with the same end in view The published excise returns hardly gave a fair data for some by machinery, 'others by chemical means. The latter calculation. The price of raw material in France, Bel-might briefly be dismissed with the remark, that any gium and Holland, was much below that in England, chemical treatment sufficiently powerful to dissolve or reas much as from 10 to 15 per cent., and the material duce the pulpy matter to a state fit to be separated was also much better, as in those countries more flax from the fibre, would seriously injure the latter, even if is employed for body linen and clothing than in this it could be rendered effectual, which was very doubtful. country, where cotton is more generally used ; in With reference to the machines, none hitherto had America the price of material is much higher than in answered the purpose. All the engineers who had this country, the Americans being large buyers of gone into the question had endeavoured to imitate the raw material in this market, and their price being con- action of the comb or heckle, combined with brushes and sequently enhanced by the cost of carriage. Within scrapers, and these, besides their liability to breakage, the last four years, also, the Austrians had prohibited required skilful manipulation, which was not to be relied the exportation of rags ; and in France, Holland, and upon in the colonies. The exception to this rule was a Belgiurn, the exportation of raw material for paper-making machine with which he was connected in the year 1852, is also prohibited. Three or four years back, the rise which was exhibited at Messrs. Pontifex's. This of the price of material in this market was as much as machine, however, when sent abroad and set to work, 20 to 30 per cent. ; this was, however, checked by the was found not to answer it was extremely costly, very late war, and the high value of money since has checked cumbersome (weighing some tons), and the working production, but this year the demand is again increasing. I parts liable to derangement; whereas that of Mr. He might add, also, that the quality of rag material is Burke was simplicity itself, and the fibre was produced much deteriorated, partly from the decreased use of in a perfectly clean state, fit for market; as a proof flax for fabrics, such as shirting and women's gar- of which he might add that he had been offered, by mnents, and partly from the increased demand com- an eminent fibre broker, £33 per ton for 100 tons or pelling the paper-maker to admit of an inferior selec- more; and when once introduced in sufficient quantity to tion of his sample of rags. In his own mill, for ir-attract the attention of consumers, there would be little stance, where they purchased a low quality of rags, it doubt that the price would advance. Dr. Rogle, than was no uncommon circumstance for him to see oil-cloth, whom they could have no better authority, had informed tarpauling, &c., &c., and there was always a large per them that the plantain and banana were the cultivated centage of woollen rags in the lower assortments, which varieties of the Musa textilis of the Philippines, from are thrown out-the better descriptions for shoddy, to whence they procured the Manilla hemp, which was so mix with the lower qualities of woollen cloths, and for much esteemed in this and the American market for the paper-stainery flock, and the commoner sorts for ropes and cordage; indeed, the Americans, if they could manure. He believed that one of the first duties which procure Manilla hemp at anything like a reasonable would be remitted so soon as our finances permitted, price, employed it in preference to all other fibre for these would be that on paper, and immediately thereafter purposes. Two years back the finest samples of Maan immense increase of production would result. Look- nilla hemp sold for £115 per ton. This, perhaps, was ing to the improbability of any very considerable addi. an exceptional price, but he was told, on excellent aution to the supply of raw material through the present thority that a very high price would be obtained for planchannels, and as the high value of land and labour in tain fibre of good quality. The machine in question England act as a practical prohibition to any produc- would equally treat all the different varieties of endotion here, it was obvious that we must look to foreign genous plants. He would not pretend, in this brief nocountries, and our colonies especially, to meet the neces- tice, to recapitulate the different varieties of plants, as sities of the case. Dr. Royle had, therefore, done the they would be found enumerated in Dr. Royle's work on community at large, and our colonies especially, infinite Fibrous Plants, but would limit himself to the aloe, or service in directing attention to these valuable and re- Agave Americana, the different varieties of yucca, the liable sources of supply, and he (Mr. Routledge) hoped pineapple, Phormium tenax,&c., on which it had been tried, that one main obstacle in the way had now been suc- and its action found perfect. All these plants abounded in cessfully overcome, which was the treatment of a class our colonies, and could be produced at merely a nominal of textile plants, which exist in immense abundance cost to a practically unlimited extent. The machine throughout India and our colonial possessions generally. now exhibited would produce 30 lbs. of clean fibre The chief staple of food of the negro and labouring per diem, and required the attention of a man or population in our West Indian colonies is the fruit of the boy for feeding, but Mr. Burke had invented a machine plaintain, of which a specimen had been kindly fur- which might almost be termed automaton, the working nished by Sir Wm. Hooker, from Kew.. When the parts, that is the revolving toothed drum and elastic bed stem of this plant has fruited, if not cut down it dies were the same, but in front of these were fitted feeding away, but generally immediately the fruit is obtained rollers, into which an attendant had only to insert the the stem is cut down, and considerable expense incurred lanyard or strip of stem, and the same was delivered at in removing it to make way for others. This stem, the other side with all the pulpy matter or parenchyma as would presently be demonstrated, abounds in a fibre detached therefrom, requiring to be thrown into water to of the most valuable description, fitted for all textile dilute the gummy or mucilaginous matter, when it is purposes; and the tow refuse, or that damaged by imper- dried and baled for market. The stem of the plantain, fect preparation or the voyage to this country, is a most or rather the annular rings, consisted of two descriptions valuable adjunct for the paper-maker, either to use per se, of fibre, the upper, long and strong, the under more soft or to mix with his present material. At a moderate and silky. In the sinaller machine, this was entirely removed by the action of the beater when drawn back, and bleaching, before it could be worked into a fabric and would require to be subsequently separated from the and printed, and subsequently, while in use, has been to pulp, when it would sell to the paper-maker; but in the a certain extent further disintegrated by wear and the larger machine this lower portion of fibre was retained, usual manipulations of the wash-tub. From these vawhen it might be separated by drawing through a coarse rious causes there would no doubt be great difficulty in heckle or comb. The larger machine would produce 2 cwt. introducing any new raw material generally to the trade, of fibre per diem. Thirty small machines might be driven unless it is assimilated in character and facility of treatby a steam-engine of 10 horse-power, and 10 of the ment to the materials now employed. These remarks larger ones by one of the same power. The sanıples of would in all probability be made by a maker to whom paper before the meeting would show the adaptability of it was sought to introduce any new material in a raw the plantain fibre for paper-making. The coarse paper had state, and due consideration must therefore be given to a portion of New Zealand flax intermixed-of the other objections (which must not be called prejudices) for two, one was entirely from plantain fibre, the other with which there are good grounds. In Scotland, flax and an admixture ot' rag in the proportion of one-third. To hemp-waste were now extensively used in paper-making, resume the paper-making question, in which he (Mr. and the chemical treatment of a raw fibre better underRoutledge) was more immediately concerned, it must be stood. These objections did not apply with the same borne in mind that the paper-maker now only used the force to a prepared half-stuff, but, on the contrary, there refuse fibrous products, unfitted for any other manufac- was every inducement for a maker to employ a material turing purposes, such as rags, worn-out canvass and rope, which would afford him the following advantages, viz., sacking and bagging, tailors' cuttings and refuse, and quality, cheapness, and facility of increasing his output what might be termed the offal of the spinners and ma- with a positive diminution of outlay. He might add that nufactures, the sweepings, in fact, of their mills—the he had taken out a patent for the treatment and preparachief of which were cotton, hemp, and flax waste. Pa- tion of raw fibres into half-stuff, which applied to the per had also been made from wood, the bark of trees, plantain and similar fibres. The prepared half-stuff hop-bine, bean-stalks, sunflower, hay, straw, couch-grass, could be supplied pure and clean, and bleached to any deor twitch. Two or three milis were now using straw sired standard, and might then be used per se, or mixed pretty extensively, and a mill was now being erected to in any desired proportion with the present materials emmanufacture paper from twitch, which, however, was no ployed. novelty, for in the year 1832, he believed, when the In reply to the CHAIRMAN, Royal Agricultural Meeting was held at Oxford, Lord Mr. ROUTLEDGE said, he was not sure cocoa fibre could Alford presiding, the proceedings were printed upon be bleached, but the plantain and many others could be paper made from twitch or squitch at the mill now in his bleached as white as the driven snow. The only descrip(Mr. Routledge's) occupation. The paper-maker, in fact, tions, perhaps, which would not stand it were the jutes. refuses no fibrous refuse (excepting that of wool and All the hemps would. The machine was adapted for the silk), being governed in the price he gives by quality, agave genus as well as for the plantains. or in other words, adaptability, to his purpose, and Mr. WARREN (presenting a portion of plantain stem, the loss incurred in manufacturing the same into which had been just previously operated upon by the paper. It was obvious, from the above brief description of machine) said, it would be observed that the fibre had the paper trade, that there is a wide field open for the not been in the least degree broken or injured by the introduction of any material which will meet the ne-operation of the machine, but was presented entire cessities of the case, but to ensure a successful commer- throughout the length of the piece. With regard to the cial result, two important questions must be deter- larger description of machine mentioned, it had been mined-first, that the material shall be convertible thought desirable to construct one capable of producing into paper, or paper pulp, of good quality, at a com- greater quantities of fibre. The machine now before the paratively trifling expense, and with uniform success; meeting required the attendance of one person, but he and secondly, that there shall be a certainty of a con- saw no reason why (as had been the case with cottonstant and unvariable supply of this material at a very spinning) the attendance upon each machine might not, low price, not liable to fluctuation. He believed these re-hereafter, be greatly reduced. He believed that in the quirements were satisfied in a great measure by the half course of a very short time a boy would gain sufficient stuff that he would shortly be in a position to supply ; dexerity from practice to be able to keep two machines but the plantain, aloe, and similar fibres, were superior in going, as only one hand was required in the working of quality, although their cost would be greater. There was, each. Mr. Warren then explained the advantages of the however, a wide field open, and he believed the paper larger machine, describing some of its parts and its princitrade would absorb, without difficulty, many thousand ple of action. One peculiar feature of this machine was, tons yearly. The effect would be to reduce the cost of that it retained the silky part of the fibre, which in the rag material, or at least to induce a better assortment operation of the smaller one was lost to a great extent. thereof, which would produce the same effect. It now The action of the small machine Mr. Warren described only remained to consider the objections which could be as being rather that of a beater than a squeezer, but the urged against the use of any new fibrous material for fine fibre, which was of double the value of the other paper-making. They are the great difficulty always ex-portion, was mixed with the pulpy matter thrown off. perienced in inducing manufacturers to adopt new pro- In the large machine this was preserved. cesses, and alter existing appliances at their mills. This Mr. NOBLE said he was willing to take the fibre in was not to be wondered at, considering the great outlay the state in which it was shown to him at £33 per ton in and risk involved in altering machinery and making any quantity. He considered the fibre from the small experiments, which obviously must also materially in- machine as best suited for general purposes, such as rope terfere with the current operations of their business. | making, &c. Moreover, the greater number of paper-mills in this Mr. WARREN, having passed through the machine a kingdom are worked in a great measure by water power, picce of the agave, showed that the fibre could be perand being remote from mineral districts, fuel is expen- fectly separated, but that from the variable lengths of sive, rendering steam power costly, and coal for chemical the fibre, being shorter at the sides and longer in the purposes a consideration. And it must be borne in middle, in the drawing-back process the short fibres mind that a raw material requires a totally different were apt to be lost, passing through with the pulp. system of chemical treatment by the paper dealer, to Mr. RIDGWAY said, at the Great Exhibition of 1851, that usually adopted by him for the present rag mate- there were specimens of fibre of the plantain from Derial, which has, previous to coming into his possession, merara, which was stated to be worth about £45 per ton. undergoue the process of reduction to a fibrous state Mr. Ridgway called attention to a specimen on the table, which he said was wholly prepared in Deme-i attending the meeting, to have been otherwise than a rara. Any quantity of that fibre could be produced if mere listener. In that character he had listened with they could only procure the labour necessary. Some attention and pleasure to the able and lucid statements time ago an advertisement appeared, offering a large of Dr. Royle. But matter had occurred in the course premium for the discovery and application of a materials of the discussion to induce him to say a few words. as a substitute for rags in the inanufacture of paper. The lecture had especial reference to East Indian fibres, Baron de Thierry sent to the Paris Exhibition paper but the observations were equally applicable to West made from fibrous materials from New Zealand. “ Nr. Indian fibres ; indeed, to tropical fibres generally. He Ridgway called attention to the lace bark from (Mr. Sharp) represented a company recently formed, Jamaica.
under the title of the Colonial Fibre Company, incorMr. ROUTLEDGE referred to the Demerara Gazette, of porated by royal charter. The operations of the company June 1st, 1852, in which an advertisement appeared, to were limited, by charter, to the colonies of Jamaica the effect that the Guiana Textile Fibre Association, to- and British Guiana, which alone are capable of progether with most of the eminent residents in the colony, ducing from 500,000 to 700,000 bales per annum of had made a subscription, which was forwarded to him, I plantain, besides large quantities of other fibrous plants. for the purpose of purchasing a machine at that tiine, Some experiments had been inade by a machine in the made by Mr. Pontifex; but as that machine did not room. He could offer no opinion upon the action of turn out so well as was expected, nothing was done. He that machine. He wished the parties interested in it had also a communication from Demerara, which fully every success. There was ample room for them, and confirmed what had been stated by Mr. Ridgway, namely, himself, and many others. At the suggestion of the that plenty of planters were ready to take the matter secretary he had much pleasure in placing upon the up, if they could get suitable machinery for the purpose. table a few specimens of various plants as they grew. He had also been furnished with calculations of the cost They consisted of transverse and longitudinal sections of production, of carriage to the mill, and all the various of the plantain, the Agave Americana, or large American particulars. He believed there was a gentleman from aloe, the Aloe angustifolia, the Aloe variegata, the Bromelia Demerara in the room, who could confirm all that had penguin, or wild pine, and one known under the name of been stated with regard to this question by the planters silkgrass. The court of directors of this (Mr. Sharp's) in that island—if they could only get suitable machinery company were anxious to satisfy themselves of the pracand insure a regular market for the commodity.
tical working of the machinery to be employed in the The following is the estimate referred to by Mr. colonies, and, therefore, instructions were sent out to the Routledge:
correspondents of the company in the West Indies, to As
Mr. V. der Gon Netscher's calculation of forward by every mail-steamer a number of the different 4,500 stems every two years as a basis, we have 2.250 plants for experiment. The plantain consisted, as stems per acre per annum; 74 acres therefore would
wd would be seen, of a central portion, the peduncle or fruit uired to yield 300 tons of fibre per annum: 5601 stem ; but as that stem could not, of itself, sustain the stems, sOlbs. gross per stem = 44.800lbs., or 20 tons. heavy weight of fruit, the support was afforded by means which at 5 per cent. gives 1 ton of fibre; the 2-cylin
:) of the concentric rings which surround the central porder machine will turn out 2 cwt. of fibre per diem.
tion, and are merely the petioles or footstalks of the
leaves. If the rings were examined, it would be found First Outlay.
that the entire outer portion of each constitutes a mass of 10 machines at £100 each .........
........ £1000 0 0 fibre, the inner portion consisting of mucilaginous 12 H. P. high pressure steam-engines........ 250 0 0 matter, which would be removed in obtaining the fibre. Buildings, sheds, bricks, &c. .....
500 0 0 The fruit stem, it would be seen, contained a very fine Carriage of machinery, and fixing tanks,
and beautiful fibre, resembling cotton, and capable of pipes, connections, &c. ........
300 0 0 being worked with it. It must be observed, that the Say for unforeseen expenses.......
450 0 0 same machinery which prepared the plantain fibre would
not work effectively many of the other plants. For Maximum... £250000 instance, the penguin had a cuticle of so hard and Analysis of expense per ton fibre.
siliceous a character as to require a different mode of 10 per cent, interest on £2,500.................. £250 0 0
treatment; and so with several of the others, rendering Rent, management, expenses, &C.............. 350 00
| modifications of the machinery necessary. Mr. Sharp exhi
bited specimens of the fibres as prepared, consisting entirely £600 0 0
of the products of the plantain. No. 1 was the fibre as
obtained from the plant; Nos. 2 and 3 were preparations Daily proportion of above ...............
...... £2 0 0
which assimilated it, in external character, to hemp ; Engineer .. .............. per diem 0 7
Nos. 4 to 7 were various modifications, developing the
0 Coals for engine, 15 cwt......
finer filaments of which the original fibre was composed, 3 men attending machines..........3s. per diem 0 9 0
giving it somewhat the appearance of flax. The other 6 boys ditto.............
0 9 0
specimens were the cotton-like material obtained from 560 stems, carriage to mill ....
1 10 0
the fruit stem, and the rougher looking article was derived Proportion of cost of cultivation.
1 17 61
from the mucilaginous matter removed in separating Packing and expenses royalty ....
the fibre. He also showed a piece of rope made from it. Freight to England ......
He submitted to the meeting another series of specimens, Other expenses .........
consisting of the produce of many different plants, ............. 1 10 0 jo?
some of them of great beauty and value, together with Total cost per ton...£12 0 0
some dyed. Some of these specimens were of Indian
origin, and he had arranged for an exchange of seeds of Mr. RIDGWAY remarked, that he was agent to an As- such fibrous plants as were indigenous to the east, and sociation in Demerara, which was ready to produce any not grown in the west, and vice verso. He thus hoped to amount of fibre at a very small cost-next to nothing give to each country the advantage of an extended if sufficient labour could be obtained. That was the dif- growth. In this arrangement he had been materially ficulty. The merchants at present confined their atten-aided by Dr. Royle's valuable work on Indian fibres. tion to sugar and rum. Formerly the colony grew It might be asked, why he had not exhibited here large quantities of cotton, and could do so now, suffi- machinery, or some drawings illustrating it. The cient to supply all the markets or Europe,
answer was short. Those machines were made the subMr. SHARP said, it had not been his intention, when Iject of patents, and prudential reasons forbade any
disclosure of their construction at present. They had the celebrated Rheea, nettles, and Asclepias, which pro- been devised, with great care and attention, under the duce the most delicate fibres for muslins, are equally direction of Mr. Benjamin Fothergill and Mr. Charles available for manufacturers who desire to procure thern Beyer, of Manchester. Each machine was capable of through agencies. In fact, they had an unbounded producing, in a day of ten hours, from 400lbs. to 500lbs. choice, if they only went after them. It was not to be of fibre, with an expenditure of half a horse-power. expected that those within whose sphere these products Mr. Sharp finally submitted some fibre, which he stated were available should be acquainted with the mercantile had all the character of the finest flax, and that some of requirements of other countries. The materials themthe most experienced flax-spinners of this country had selves, in the various forms in which they were now declared it superior to Russian flax, approaching Belgian presented, having been laid before them, and their proin quality ; and that it was capable of being spun and perties explained, it was for the manufacturers themmanufactured into all the fabrics in which foreign flax selves to decide which was the best adapted for their was employed.
purposes, and to take the means to procure a supply Mr. T KENT said he had expended considerable time of that which they wanted. The whole of the materials and money in bringing machinery to bear upon the manu and fabrics now exhibited would be arranged in a mufacture of fibrous plants, and he claimed to be the first seum at the India House, in the course of a short time, to obtain the long fibre from the cocoa-nut husk. He for the public benefit, where any manufacturer could bore testimony to the beautiful manner in which the form his opinion upon the peculiar desirableness of any fibres of the material operated upon that evening had particular fibre for any particular fabric, and adapted been separated by the machine before them; and, between to any particular machine. Then, through agents emMr. Sharp and Mr. Burke, he had no doubt that in a ploved in India, he could, no doubt, organise a system little time they would become quite independent of of supply suited to his purposes. The plantain grew Russia and all other foreign countries for the supply of wild on the western Ghauts, from Cape Comorin to 25 fibrous materials. Dr. Royle, Dr. Hooker, and Ir. degrees of north latitude, millions of stems opening Henley had done good service in introducing these fibres up every monsoon, only to perish unappropriated. In to their attention. He (Mr. Trent) was now in hopes of all tropical regions they would find, generally, fibres of something practical being carried out. On visiting a similar character. There had been two great fibres Russia, some thrée or four years ago, he was satisfied, from mentioned that night as substitutes for hemp and flax, what he saw there, that in a few years they would have and they were of the greatest importance-namely, the the whole of the export trade in ropes to themselves. | Hibiscus cannabinus, and the Crotalaria juncea. He He visited two of the principal rope works in that country, thought that Dr. Royle had proved that he was emiand from the extent of plant, and the amount of work nently entitled to the hearty thanks of the Society for going on, he was satisfied that they were making as much the large amount of valuable information he had rope in those two factories as was made in all London, afforded upon a subject most important to our manuthe whole of which was for exportation. They were facturers, if they chose to profit by it. He need scarcely using English machinery, which had been in operation invite them to pass a vote of thanks to that gentleman there from 20 to 25 years. He believed the Russian by acclamation. manufacture brought better prices in the colonies than A vote of thanks was passed to Dr. Royle. the English. As a rope-maker himself, he was ashamed to see some of the descriptions of rope made for exporta
In addition to a very large display of fibres tion. It was of a character to damage their reputation entirely as rope-makers. He had seen some rope
exhibiteå by Dr. Royle, specimens were shown by made with mere waste, spun into fine yarn. A person Messrs. Sharp, Pye, and Dickson. A machine for sometimes had a three-inch rope that would not bear preparing the fibre from the plantain and other the strain of a' properly-made two-inch rope. He lately
tropical plants was shown by Mr. Routledge, and attended some experiments with ropes at one of the Royal Dockyards, to test some Irish flax unsteeped against some
worked in the room. Specimens of paper and Russian hemp. They tried some three-inch rope of Irish pulp from some of the fibres exhibited were shown flax and some three-inch rope of Russian hemp. The by Mr. Routledge. The Secretary announced Irish flax rope broke at a strain of three tons; the Russian that the specimens of fibres, &c., would remain hemp at three tons three cwt. Some rope made from Italian hemp was afterwards tried, and it bore a strain of | till Saturday, in order that the members and their four and-a-half tons. With regard to the Rheea fibre, he friends might have an opportunity of examining was satisfied that it was adapted to every purpose of rope-them. making as well as to the finest fabrics. A friend of his The Secretary further announced. that on in Leeds had told him, that if he could get a sufficient supply of that fibre he should no longer use flax, but that it
Wednesday the 3rd of December, a paper, by was not worth while to adapt machinery to the small Mr. Christopher Binks would be read, “On some quantity that was at present attainable.
New Methods of Treating Linseed Oil and Mr. WARREN said, that the machine had been found other Oils, for Improving their Drying Properapplicable to the cleaning of any description of fibre that had yet been presented to it, even to the hard
ties in their Application to Paints and Varnishes." and dry American aloe, shown that evening.
On this evening, Henry Blundell, Esq., will preThe CHAIRMAN said, it had been his intention to side. offer some observations on the subject before them, but time prevented. He would, however, remark that Dr. Royle had proved that whereas, within the memory of
Home Correspondence. men now living, England could only boast of two fibres—or little more--namely, hemp and flax, others had now been introduced to their notice, probably 200, from which they might take their choice, from the
PAPER-MAKING MATERIALS. longest and coarsest, fit for the strongest cable, to that SIR,-I have read with deep interest the article in your suited for the finest piece of muslin, to cover the most Journal of the 10th inst., on the “ Paper Material" quesdelicate form. The plantain, the pine-apple, the Hibiscus, tion, by Mr. William Stones, and I forward this the Crotalaria, hemp, and many others, which are either communication to you in the hope that one or two incultivated or grow wild all over India, together with | teresting points connected with this question, and only