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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/210

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Machines That Smoke Cigars

The Modern Way of Samplini? Tobacco Leaf

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���THERE arc tea-tasters, perfume- smellcrs and silk-feelers, but when it comes to smoking cigars to deter- mine their uniform burning, their ash color, and the aroma of the smoke the human element is entirely dispensed with and machines — cigar-smoking machines that can smoke four cigars at once and never smoke themselves to death — are used. These are of two kinds. The cigar buyers use asiniple blower outfit, and the Bureau of I'l.int Industry of the Depart- ment of Agriculture tests its tobacco leaf with an aspirator and siphon apparatus.

When the buyers come to New York for their season's supply of tobacco they take the blower machine with them, and after selecting certain (|ualities of tobacco have cigars made u|) on tiic spot, c(5nncct the blower to an ordinary lamp socket, insert the cigars and watch results. The way the cigar burns, the color of its ash and the aroma of the smoke are indications as to the quality and desirability of that certain brand.

The Bureau of I'lant Industry has an interest in tobacco entirely different from the cigar buyer. It is endeaxoring to improve tobacco by a scientific stiidv of till' difierenl brands. To eliminate the personal eiiuation in smoking and to

��Above, the aspirator and siphon ap- paratus for testing tobacco leaf. It smokes four cigars in thirty minutes. At left, the blower outfit which is operated by electricity. The smoke is coming from the exhaust outlet

secure tmiformity of conditions the Bureau has a uniciue apparatus for test- ing the burning quality of cigars. The "pLill" on the cigar is secured by means of an aspirator which is filled by a con- tinuous inflow of water and emptied at regular intervals by a siphon. The "pull" occurs at intervals of thirty seconds and continues for a period of ten seconds. The apparatus smokes four cigars of the perfecto t\pe in about thirty minutes.

There are several elements which go to make up a good or bad burn, chief of which arc the capacity for holding fire, the evenness of the burn, the color of the ash and its firmness, the coaling or carbonization, and the "puckering" of the leaf iminetliately in advance of the burning zone of the cigar. The final test of an\' cigar tobacco must, of course, rest ill tile smoking of the manufactured cigar, but, while this gives a direct means of determining the character of the ash, it does not furnish accurate information as to the evenness of the burn or the fire-holding capacit\' of any one ol the components used in the ex- jjeriment. Tests have been made using different fillers and binders with the same wrappers.

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