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V. CAPACITY OF THE COTTON BALE.
The smallest bales known to the trade are those of West Indies and Brazil, about 180 lbs., (formerly 200 to 210.) Those of Egypt have increased from 245 to 369 lbs. ; East Indian has maintained a uniform weight of 380 to 387 lbs., and the United States from 418 to 447 lbs. In Mr. URE's recent work it is stated that the commercial standard of quantity in the cotton trade is generally the bale. The weight of the bale, however, is by no means uniform. Indeed, scarcely any weight, measure or standard of capacity may be considered less so. It varies, from different causes, in different countries, and in different sections of the same country, at different periods, and according to the different kinds or qualities of the article. Improvements in pressing or packing, to diminish expense in bagging and freight, tend constantly to augment the weight of the bale. Thus, in 1790, the United States bale was computed at only 200 lbs. In 1824 the average weight of bales imported into Liverpool was 266 lbs. ; but, increasing constantly, twelve years later the average was 319 lbs. M'CULLOCH, however, in 1832, considered 300 to 310 lbs. a fair average, and BURNS 310. At the same time the Upland cotton bale was estimated at 320 lbs., and the Sea Island at 280 lbs. According to PITKINS, the Egyptian bale weighed at one time but 90 lbs., though it now weighs more than three times as many. At the same period the Brazilian bale contained 180 lbs., though it now contains but 160 lbs.; while the West Indian bale weighed 350 lbs., and the Columbian bale 100 lbs., or the Spanish quintal. According to BURNS, the United States bale at Liverpool averaged 345 lbs., the Brazilian 180 lbs., the Egyptian 220 lbs., the West Indian 300 lbs., and the East Indian 330 lbs. At the Lowell factories, in 1831, according to PITKINS, the bale averaged 361 lbs. In 1836 the bale of the Atlantic Cotton States was estimated at 300 and 325 lbs., and that of the Gulf States at 400 and 450 lbs. In Liverpool, at the same time, the estimate for the bale of Upland or short staple cotton was 321 lbs., for Orleans and Alabama 402 lbs., for Sea Island 322 lbs., for Brazil 173 lbs., for Egyptian 218 lbs., for East Indian 360 lbs., and for West Indian 230 lbs.; while, according to BURNS, bales imported into France were computed at only 300 lbs. each. WATERSTON'S "Manual of Commerce," a reliable British publication, (1850,) gave the Virginia, Carolina, Georgia and West Indian bale at 300 to 310 lbs., that of New-Orleans and Alabama at 400 to 500 lbs., that of the East Indies at 320 to 360 lbs., that of Brazil at 160 to 200 lbs., that of Egypt at 180 to 280 lbs.
ALEXANDER'S "Universal Dictionary of Weights and Measures," published at Baltimore in 1850, gives the mean weight of the bale of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi at 500 lbs., that of Georgia at 375 lbs., and that of South Carolina at 362 lbs. At Rio Janeiro the Brazil bale is estimated at 160 lbs. Prior to 1855, the United States "Commerce and Navigation" returns gave exports of cotton in pounds only. They are now given in bales as well as in pounds, the aggregate amount the year ending June 30, 1855, being 2,303,403 bales, or 1,008,424,601 lbs., the bale accordingly averaging about 438 lbs. Some bales, however, are evidently much heavier and some much lighter than this. For example, the 210,113,809 lbs. of cotton exported to France gives 446 lbs. to each of
the 470,293 bales, and the 955,114 lbs. exported to Austria gives 492 lbs. to each of the 1,939 bales; while the 7,527,079 lbs. exported to Mexico gives only 290 lbs. to each of the 25,917 bales in which they were contained.
In the great cotton marts of Liverpool and Havre, as in those of NewOrleans and Mobile, the article is almost invariably treated of by merchants, brokers and commercial men by the bale. Thus, a report on the trade of Liverpool gives the imports of cotton into Great Britain in 1852 at 2,357,338 bales. The aggregate of cotton imported that year is given, in the official report by the Board of Trade, at 929,782,448 lbs., the bales averaging, accordingly, 395 lbs. each.
In 1853 the cotton bales imported into Liverpool from North America averaged 435 lbs., from the East Indies 383 lbs., Brazil 180 lbs. The North American bale, as usually spoken of, implies a mean of 400 lbs. By reference to the figures given at page 3, it will be seen that there has been à gradual increase in the average weight of the bales of cotton received at Liverpool; for whilst the mean weight of all the bales in 1843 was 376 lbs., in 1847 it was 381 lbs., and in 1859 it reached as high as 423 lbs. Much more attention seems now to be paid to the packing and compression of the bales by screw presses.
The relative average weights and cubical contents of bales of cotton imported into Liverpool in 1850 were as follows:
These figures show not only the great variety of bales that enter Liverpool, but that the most eligible form of bale is that of the East Indies, double the weight being packed within the same compass than in any other description of bale. Mr. J. A. MANN, in his recent work on the Cotton Trade of Great Britain, gives the following table, showing the average weight of each description of cotton bale imported annually into the United Kingdom since 1850:
Taking the weight of a bale at 560 lbs., and supposing 1 lb. to produce 400 hanks, 1 hank to contain 840 yards, the whole quantity of cotton imported by Great Britain and her dependencies, during the year 1855, would produce two hundred and eighty-eight billions nine hundred and
eighty thousand seventy-nine millions three hundred and sixty thousand yards, or one billion one hundred and forty-one thousand nine hundred and thirty-two millions two hundred and sixty-nine thousand and ninety miles. If this thread were placed in a straight line, it would take a man two hundred and sixty-two millions two hundred and eighty-nine thousand four hundred and eighty-three years to walk from one end to the other, at the rate of twenty miles a day, Sundays excepted. It would encircle the globe sixty-five millions six hundred and seventy thousand two hundred and ninety times. It would reach more than seventeen thousand two hundred and eighty-three times the distance between the earth and the sun. Again, supposing a man to weigh 140 lbs., the cotton imported would weigh as much as six millions one hundred and forty-three thousand two hundred and eighty-four men. Let a man work eight hours a day, Sundays excepted, and measure twenty yards a minute, it would take him above one thousand and seventy-four million seven hundred and seventy-nine thousand four hundred and sixty-six times the age allotted to man by the Royal Psalmist.
At the London Exhibition, one manufacturer furnished samples of a pound of cotton spun into 900 hanks of 840 yards each, making about 450 miles. Another firm exhibited 420 hanks of the same number of yards each, making 2,000 miles from a single pound of cotton. The above amount, multiplied only by 410, the length of thread that a single cop of cotton could make, gives 607,000,000,000 of miles, or sufficient for a stout web of calico a yard wide, and containing 85 threads to the inch-more than enough to reach from us to the sun.
VI. STOCK OF COTTON IN LIVERPOOL, 1844-1860.
The largest stock of cotton on hand in Liverpool, in any year, from 1844 to 1860, was 1,057,375 bales in 1845, and 1,015,868 bales in April, 1860. The following table gives the day in each year, from 1844 to 1860, on which there was the largest stock of cotton in Liverpool:
In April, 1861, the stock on hand at Liverpool was 884,000 bales; April, 1860, 955,000 bales.
VII. THE COTTON MANUFACTURING DISTRICTS OF EUROPE.
The following is a comparative estimate of the quantities of raw cotton consumed in the chief manufacturing countries, from 1837 to 1858, in millions of pounds weight:
Russia, Germany, Holland and Belgium,... France, (including adjacent countries,).... Spain,
1837. 1838. 1839. 1840. 1841. 1842. 1843. 1844. 1845. 1846, 1847. 369.. 435.. 362.. 473.. 422.. 462.. 531.. 543.. 597.. 604. 425 58.. 61.. 48.. 72.. 65.. 78.. 82.. 86 .. 96.. -97.. 105 157
154 163 152 146 158 159 126
121 133 110
Countries bordering on
United States of North
26.. 28.. 29 .. 92.. 103.. 111 .. 115 .. 105.. 181 .. 143.. 158 .. 175.. 175
26.. 38 ..
Great Britain, .
Russia, Germany, Hol
747 649 841 785 846 940 944 1,047 1,074 862 1848, 1849, 1850. 1851. 1852. 1853. 1854. 1855. 1856. 1857. 1858. 591627. 584.. 648.. 745.. 784.. 780.. 835 .. 920 .. 786 .. 896
land and Belgium,... 112.. 160.. 133.. 118.. 172 .. 185.. 190 .. France, (including ad
United States of North
188 .. 158 237 265..
243..236.. 265 320 ..
Sundries, Mediterranean, &c.,..
238 40.. 60
..1,068 1,225 1,132 1,175 1,481 1,503 1,539 1,553 1,795 1,602 1,781
VIII. COTTON MANUFACTURES OF FRANCE.
The annual "Commercial Revue," of Havre, gives the number of bales of cotton imported into France in the year 1852 at 462,000, in round numbers. The "Tableau General" states the imports at 188,917,099 lbs.; the bales averaging, accordingly, about 409 lbs each. The following table, compiled from the Havre "Commercial Revue" for 1855, shows the quantities of cotton, in bales, imported into France, and the countries whence imported, for a period of five years, from 1851 to 1855, both inclusive:
Estimating the bale at 400 lbs., we have the following result, some of the figures of which, contrasted with those derived from official sources, present striking discrepancies:
Tabular Comparative Statement, showing the quantities of Cotton, in round numbers, imported into France, and the countries whence imported, for a period of five years, from 1851 to 1855, both inclusive.
IX. THE NETHERLANDS AND HOLLAND.
The Netherlands.-In 1859, the quantity of cotton submitted by the Netherlands Trading Company to public competition consisted of 20,834 bales of American and 7,583 bales of East India cotton, against 15,232 and 14,620 bales respectively in 1859. The total imports into Holland in 1859 comprised 101,197 bales of all descriptions, and the stock in first hands on the 1st of January, 1860, amounted to 6,959 bales. The company brought to market at Rotterdam, during 1858, 11,203 bales Surat, 1,417 Tinnevelly,
4,909 bales New-Orleans,
being a total of 27,852 bales, against 24,288 bales in 1857. These quantities, offered to the public periodically, begin to attract a good deal of attention, and many buyers from Germany and other parts are in the habit of attending these sales, when they can afford to pay the full equivalent of the rates current in Liverpool and Havre, on account of the saving of freight in summer and transhipment charges. The total imports into Holland in 1858 amounted to 101,909 bales, and the stock, January 1, 1859, was 7,755 bales.
It will be seen that the demand for cotton, as evidenced by the sales in Holland, has nearly doubled in seven years, having risen from 61,243 bales in 1852, to 102,013 bales in 1859. The price of the colonial cotton, the produce of Surinam and Nickerie, was quoted at 6d. to 84d. free on board in Rotterdam, in January, 1860. The quantity submitted by the Netherlands Trading Company, at their periodical sales in 1859, consisted of 20,834 bales American and 7,583 East Indian.
X. LABOR AND WAGES.
One feature of the cotton manufacture of England, which claims attention, is the large number of minors employed in their mills, viz., 20,000 under twelve years of age, 144,000 between twelve and eighteen. This was in the year 1835, viz. :