Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/118

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oping the industry were good until the breaking out of the civil war cut off the supply of seed. Directly after the war, in 1866, there were only seven mills in the whole country. Three of them were in New Orleans, one in Providence, one in Cincinnati, one in Memphis, and one in New York. In 1870 there were twenty-six mills; in 1880, forty-five; and in 1890, two hundred and twenty-five all but two being in the Southern States, as follows: Alabama, thirty; Arkansas, twelve; Florida, three; Georgia, thirty-nine; Louisiana, fifteen; Mississippi, twenty-three; North Carolina, twenty; South Carolina, thirty-four; Tennessee, twenty; Texas, twenty-seven. The highest capacity of any of the mills is 320 tons daily; and for all the mills, 7,636 tons daily, or 2,367,160 tons annually. None of them are operated on full time, and most of them run only three or four months during the height of the cotton season. The mills are of all sizes, and they range from $5,000 to over $250,000 in value.

The output of cotton-seed products was valued at $600,000 in 1860, $2,205,000 in 1870, $7,691,000 in 1880, and nearly $22,000,000 in 1890. Since that date the product has fallen off. The details for 1890 were: 28,000,000 gallons of crude oil; 17,000,000 pounds of cotton batting; 283,000 tons of oil cake; 378,000 tons of hulls, ash, soap-stock, and other by products; and $2,853,000 of enhanced value in refining the oil and manufacturing the soap. The Southern States produced 2,870,417 tons of cotton seed in 1880, of which barely one eighth was crushed in the mills. The yield of seed during the past five years has been as high as 3,600,000 tons; but only one fifth of it reached the mills. The American Cottonseed Oil Company, formerly known as the Cotton Trust, owns the entire capital stock of ninety-five factories, a small portion of which are not in operation. The factories include not only crude-oil mills, but mills for the production of fertilizers, soap, and the other products. The total business for the year ending November 1, 1889, the best in the history of the mills, was about $25,000,000. An improved method of crushing gave better results than for any previous year. At first the oil was transported from the mills in barrels, but now a great saving is effected by the use 6i tank cars.

When the season is not dry the seed is rich in oil, and it yields readily thirty-five or more gallons to the ton. An unfavorable season reduces the yield to thirty-one gallons. When the seed is well stored and properly ventilated, it will keep for a year; it is liable to become rancid in the hold of a vessel. If stored long in bulk, it becomes superheated and liable to spontaneous combustion. These facts prevent exportation in large quantities. The cotton plant yields an average of nine hundred and fifty pounds of seed to each bale of cotton. The price of seed has been as high