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JOURNAL OF MINING, MANUFACTURES, AND ART.
THE PENNSYLVANIA IRON BUSINESS. We find the following account in a Philadelphia paper, and copy it entire, as it appears to be a very carefully prepared review of the Pennsylvania iron business during the last year:
The condition of the iron making districts of Pennsylvania was greatly improved during the past year, under the stimulus of a constant demand for iron at remunerative prices. In the Schuylkill district the following anthracite furnaces were in blast: William Penn 2 | Reading....
1 Spring Mill... iPioneer..
1 1 Leesport
1 Swede. 1 Robeonja
2 Phicenix... 3 Plymouth.
1 Henry Clay.... 21 Total......
17 Making 76,000 tons of iron. Those not in blast were one of the Swede furnaces, one at Norristown, Port Kennedy and Hopewell, four only. The production of the Schuylkill district proper was, in all, of anthracite and charcoal iron, about 80,000 tons; that of charcoal iron, from the Longswamp and one or two other furnaces, being about 4,000 tons. The Lebanon Valley had the following furnaces in blast: At North Lebanon...
3 At Cornwall
2 The Donaghmore...
1 In all six, and making about 30,000 tons of pig iron in 1862. The iron ore from the magnificent Cornwall mines is carried to a large number of furnaces on the Schuylkill and Susquehanna, in addition to supplying the furnaces in its vicinity, in consequence of its peculiar value for mixing with the ordinary ores.
In the Lebigh district the production of iron would have been very great during the year 1862, but for injury to several of the turnaces in the June Hood. It was larger, in 1861, than in any other district of the United States for that year. The following furnaces were in blast in 1862: Allentown Iron Company. 4 Lehigh Valley....
2 Tbomas Iron Company...... 2 Trenton Iron Company
3 Lebigh Crane Iron Company. 5 Durham (below Easton)
1 2 Poco.... 1 Total
20 Producing 175,918 tons of pig iron.
Three furnaces were not in blast. The production of single furnaces in the Lehigh Valley is very large, some going as high as 13,000 tons each, and the average of several being 10,000 tons. The injuries from the flood in June, reduced the aggregate product probably 20,000 tons below what
it otherwise would have been. The precise production of the leading works has been obtained to make up the above aggregate. A small quantity of charcoal iron was made in the Lehigh region in 1862, probably 2,000 tons.
The Susquehanna Valley had a full share of its furnaces in blast during 1862. In the upper portion of that valley there were, at DanvilleThe Pennsylvania Iron Works...
3 1 2 4
10 Producing 56,000 tons of iron.
In the lower part of the Susquehanna Valley there were the Shamokin, Duncannon, Harrisburg, Middletown, Marietta, Safe Harbor, and two or three other furnaces in blast the greater part of the year. The whole number was about 14, producing 38,000 tons of anthracite, and 3,500 tons of charcoal pig iron.
In the interior the Freedom Iron Company, at Lewisburg, had one furnace in blast, and with others near the Juniata, made about 8,000 tons of anthracite, and 15,000 tons of coke and charcoal iron. The Cambria works had three coke furnaces at Johnstown and one at Frankstown, making over 30,000 tons together. The several districts sum up as follows: Schuylkill......
76,000 4,000 Lebanon Valley..
30,000 Lehigh Valley..
175,948 2,000 Upper Susquehanna.
56,000 6,000 Lower Susquehanna..
3,500 Juniata and Cambria districts...
Charcoal and coke.
384,448 70,500 The production of the coke and other furnaces of the western part of the State has not been obtained. It was larger than for several years previous.
The quantity of anthracite iron made in Pennsylvania east of the moun: tains for a series of years past, is approximately stated in the table below for the years not fully reported; 1856, 1857, 1859, and 1862 only having been collected with accuracy:
Upper Schuylkill. Valley. Susquehanna. Susquehanna. 1856.... 43,275 121,021 39,484 39,704
243,484 48,310 113,299 40,502 35,259 237,368 1858.
35,000 100,000 25,000 25,000 185,000 1859.
73,500 137,832 37,500 37,000 286,332 1860.
70,000 160,000 35,000 48,000 313,000 1861..
60,000 160,000 40,000 50,000 310,000 1862....
76,000 175,918 60,500 68,000 381,448 The quantity assigned in the previous table to the Lebanon as a distinct district, is here put with the Susquehanna. The production of charcoal and coke iron in addition has varied from 20,000 to 40,000 tons in Eastern Pennsylvania, exclusive, of course, of the great Cainbria works, which have alone produced about 30,0 0 tons of coke iron annually.
ROLLED IRON ; BAR, RAILS, PLATES, AND FORGE WORK.
Several extensive rolling mills have been added in 1862 to those previ. ously existing in the State, two of which are on the Lehigh, one at Allentown, and one at Bethlebem. Together these have a capacity to roll 40,000 tons of bar and rails annually. A large new rolling mill for bar and sheet iron was put in operation near the close of the year at Sharon, Beaver County, west of Pittsburg. Two new and extensive steel works have ben established at Pittsburg during the year, ove by Naylor & Co., of Sheffield England, and one by J. PARKER & BROTHERS, of Pittsburg.
The production of rolled iron cannot be obtained with the same precision and facility as in previous years, in consequence of a natural hesitaney of proprietors at giving their business publicity. From the returns of those who have obligiogly responded to inquiries as to the quantities rolled, it appears probable that the quantity rolled in Pennsylvania in 1862, was much greater than in 1856; for which year it was stated, by Charles E. Smith, Esq., in the report of the American Iron Association, at 241,484 tons. The census of 1860 gives 259,700 tons as the amount rolled for the year ending June 1, 1860. There is a large increase in miscellaneous rolled, iron merchant bars, ship plates, etc., and leas, relatively of railroad iron. Statements from a considerable number of mills have been obtained on the Lehigh, at Pottsville, Reading, Danville, Johnstown, and others nearer the city. These cannot properly be given separately, but they indicate an advance of perhaps twenty per cent on the production of 1856, or about 280,000 tons in all rolled in Pennsylvania.
The value of this production at the prices prevailing during the year, would increase the sum named in the census of 1860, nearly or quite twenty-five per cent, making over $15,000,000 in place of $12,643,500.
AN IMMENSE IRON DEPOSIT.
The Lake Superior Journal says that recent explorations show the deposit of iron ore, embracing what is known as the St. Clair Mountain, on ihe Esconawba River, to be very much more extensive than was supposed. West of the river it not only skirts along on the south side of Sections 1 and 2, but covers the entire north half of Sec. 11, and also that of Sec. 12, being nearly two miles in length and about three-quarters wide, and rising from fifty to three bundred feet above the level of the surrounding country. On the east side of the river it has been found to extend over large portions of Sections 5 and 6, comprising a length of about one and-a-half miles, with an average width of over one-balf mile, and rising from fifty to one hundred and fifty feet. What the ultimate value of these huge deposits may prove to be, can only be fully established by more minute examination and practical tests; but from the specimens we have seen, there is hardly a question but that they will prove of the highest value, in location, they being only 30 miles from the lake, and in the quality of ore they contain ; while they will be easily opened and cheaply mined, as the railroad within one year will pass up the valley of the Esconawba, directly between them. But while iron is ibus being found, and roads constructed to bring it to the lake-many more vessels must also be built, or it will be wholly out of the question to place it in the lower lake markets. Let there be a corresponding amount of work done in this direction.
JOURNAL OF MERCANTILE LAW.
IMPORTANT CUSTOM-HOUSE CASE-HOW TO ASCERTAIN THE ALCOHOLIC
STRENGTH OF SWEETENED WINE.
The San Francisco Commercial Bulletin of a recent date gives the following : "On Saturday last a case of considerable importance was taken before Collector Low. The decision of this matter involves the payment or non-payment yearly of thousands of dollars to the customs as well as the collection of revenue under the excise law, as regards domestic distilled spirits.
“ Under the tariff of 1861 a duty of $1 per gallon was collected on a liquor imported from China under the name of China wine. The Chinese merchants deeming the tariff oppressive discontinued the importing of it and appealed to Collector Rankin for a more liberal interpretation of the law. They stated that but a small per centage of alcohol was contained in the wine, in any case not more than in sherry. Mr. Rankin informally stated in answer to this application, that if the wine did not contain more than 15 to 20 per cent of alcoholic spirits he would class it as unenumerated spirits, on which the duty is 50 per cent ad valorem. In May last, considerable quantities of this wine were imported into the State under a duty of 50 per cent ad valorem, which, as it was invoiced at $1 per jar of 5 gallons, made the actual duty 10 cents per gallon. James Dows & Co., distillers, having examined samples of this wine, found them to contain large per centages of spirits, and that owing to adulteration by sugar or molasses the usual tests failed to show the actual per centage of spirit, which could only be got at by re-distilling.
“On Collector Low taking office, Dows & Co. protested against China wine being admitted under any other interpretation of the law than as spirits, and paying duties as such. The collector, inquiring, was informed by Appraiser Bridge that, owing to the condition of the liquid, the usual tests gave incorrect results. The appraiser was then directed to have samples of the wine tested in ditferent ways by competent parties who were to examine and report to him unknown to each other, which tests were made, and on Saturday a court was held in the collector's office to hear evidence in the matter. Samples of the wine furnished by the appraiser were shown, also the results of such in spirits obtained by distillation. Froin this process it was found that the different samples of wine contained from 32 to 50 per cent of pure spirits, and from an analysis of the same by the State assayer, that the bases of the wine was in some cases sugar and molases, and in others rice. The testimony of Hop Kee, the importer of the lots tested, was that the liquid was originally of a wbite color, but was muddied by having a few plums, pears or peaches put in each jar.
“Gauger Laidley testified that the usual weighing apparatus for spirits did not give correct results, owing to sugar being in the wine. He professed his belief that it contained a large percentage of alcohol, and said that he had satisfactorily proved this to his own mind by a test made when this particular wine was landed. He stated that he then took four bottles of it, and left two of them exposed on a pile of lumber on the wharf, when three bummers or dock loafers (who are always dogging the gauger to get a free drink from open casks) took the two bottles and drank their contents, and that balf an hour afterwards be found them all dead drunk at the same place. These bummers always preferred the strongest liquors they could get, and as the wine had such a power as to make them senseless, he concluded that it must be near proof.
" Mr. Dows claimed that at the duty of 50 per cent ad valorem it would cause all the distilleries in the country to shut up shop, as this wine could be imported and rectified into whisky, rum or brandy, as de sired vastly cheaper than the same could be made from grain, and pay the excise duty of 20 cents per gallon for proof spirits. The base of this wine was distilled spirits, disguised with sugar or syrup, and colored by a few
pears, plums or other fruit to give it a fruity taste. “The Chinese merchants, on their part, contended that it was wine only, and that if it was decided to be spirits and to pay duty on the same, they would be ruined, as very large quantities of it had been ordered by them on the strength of Collector Rankin's ruling.
Mr. Dows asked if the exact amount coming was known by the merchants, as he bad been informed that 200,000 gallons had been ordered, and if imported under the 50 per cent. ad valorem duty, he might as well close his distillery.
* The Collector, after a long and full bearing of all parties, stated that he would give his decision in a few days, as he wished to make some further examination.
" The spirit test allowed by the Treasury Department is the old one of weight, which in case of an infusion of sugar or gum syrup, or any heavy glutinous substance in solution is perfectly useless. The French Govern.inent have another test which is used in such cases, viz.: by boiling the liquor, and according to the temperature at which it boils, so ascertain the amount of spirits. Unless some such test is used, spirits can be so disguised as to evade duty, unless in every case it is distilled or analyzed, which are tedious and expensive processes.”
THE RIGHT OF TRADESMEN TO TEST MONEY.
An action was lately tried in one of the London courts, to recover damages sustained in consquence of defendant having broken a half-sovereign while testing it.
Plaintiff stated that he went to defendant's shop to buy some plants, and be lianded a half-sovereign to defendant, who put it between his teeth, and deliberately broke it in balf. He gave the pieces back to plaintiff, remarking that it was bad. Plaintiff, however, was convinced that it was good, and he had it properly tested by a chemist, who said it was perfectly good. The pieces were then again offered to the defendant, wbu refused to accept them, and told plaintiff he could try the question, if he were so minded.
The judge said the defendant had acted most unjustifiably; a tradesman must apply sure and gentle tests to the coin of the realm. A verdict was given che plaint.ff
, for los, damages and costs.