Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/823

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COTTON-SPINNING SOUTH AND NORTH.

and my waste goes to the waste-pile in Augusta. But I can not send my 560 bales of waste to Philadelphia so cheaply, but must pay the same rate as on raw cotton. My 560 bales weigh 268,800 pounds, and on this I pay fifty-five cents per hundred pounds to Philadelphia, or $1,478.40. Suppose this process to continue for a twenty years' life of the mill at the same rate of freight. At the end of twenty years I will have paid out to the Transportation Company $29,500 instead of $1,680 for my Augusta waste account.

I think, with Mr. Atkinson, that some very enthusiastic Southern spinners overrate the advantage the Southern spinner has in this respect. I doubt if it will average more than one half cent[1] per pound to the Northern than to the Southern spinner; and there are some very serious considerations, such as higher rates of interest, the absence of construction and repair shops, etc., which may considerably reduce any advantage we have now in cotton price. We are also at a greater distance from the large consuming markets, but the freight charge on the finished product is lower than on the raw material.

Last spring I was asked by a spinner what I thought would be the cost of changing half his spinning capacity from sixteen and twenty to number forty yarns. This is what must come in the not very distant future; and as the South advances to forty, the North must go to sixty, eighty, etc. The product of Southern mills can be made as perfect as that of any other section. Why not? The skill may be as great here as elsewhere, except for those branches of the work which are not yet attempted, but which will come in time.

Mr. Atkinson writes disparagingly of the longer working time in Southern than in Northern mills. He probably had not heard, when he penned his essay, that the Legislature of Georgia, at its last session, fixed the working time in cotton-mills at eleven hours per day. Many working folks North are clamoring for eight hours per day. I do not think eleven hours too much for a day's work in a comfortable mill, done by young people who can not elsewhere find occupation to give them home and subsistence. I do not think it injures them any more than ten hours would, and my experience teaches me that it is better to give them in their destitution the opportunity they are so glad to embrace. The mill working-day in Pennsylvania is, I believe, of ten hours' length. Here is another point of advantage which my Augusta mill has over my Philadelphia mill. I have ten per cent more working time, and of course produce eleven pounds of yarn in


  1. As this article goes to press the Macon Telegraph quotes middlings in Macon at 10Jcents, and in Philadelphia at 117/8 cents, both on the same date—August 27th.