Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/824

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Straw has long been employed as a paper material, but it is often scarce and dear. It is even found profitable to buy up the bedding litter from the metropolitan stables, and, after washing and disinfecting it, to sell it to the paper-mills.

Until a very recent period, the waste-paper of the Government offices of London was the perquisite of the messengers. But when it was found that the aggregate sales of this waste-paper reached the sum of £10,000 to £15,000 a year, it was thought time to look into this, and it was then handed over to the Stationery-office, and, in the last financial year, the sale of waste-paper reached £11,771. The United States Treasury sells yearly more than 600 tons of paper-pulp, resulting from the destruction by maceration of Government securities, bank-notes, etc.

In one large printing and publishing establishment in London, the waste-paper, in shavings and imperfect impressions, exceeds seventy-five tons a year. Even the newspaper-offices now economize and use up their spoiled impressions, or overplus papers, for printing their posters on.

It is only since 1860 that the extraction of the oil from cotton-seed has been carried on on a commercial scale; before that date vast quantities of the seed were allowed to accumulate and to rot on the cotton-plantations. It is an industrial fact of considerable interest and significance, that at the present time the seed is often more valuable to the planters for its oil and oil-cake than the cotton-fiber, for of the latter it contains only about one quarter of its weight.

In the process of refining, the residue of the crude oil is distilled, and, with care, produces a hard grease or stearine, which commands, when of good color, within 3s. or 4s. per hundred-weight the price of Petersburg tallow. The by-product is used for making artificial butter. Even the foots, or tarry residue, is useful as a paint ingredient.

It would be difficult to define the limits to which the indirect consumption of Indian corn extends. Every pound of American pork eaten, the laundry and food starches used, the large production of alcohol (that of whisky in the States is 67,000,000 gallons), the varnishes used by the cabinet-maker, the perfumery of the toilet-table, the different kinds of illuminating fluids, all indicate the universality of the employment of maize.

It was in 1867 that a new use was found for maize, by converting it into glucose. The report of the New York Chamber of Commerce states that the production of this sugar is now not less than 1,000 tons a day for the whole United States.

In America, they are also endeavoring to utilize the immense quantities of pulp remaining from the corn after the extraction of the starch. This pulp, which is at present a waste product, consists wholly of cellulose or woody fiber, and would, it is considered, be an