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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/77

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Rope Riches of the Philippines

��Practically all the hemp used the world over for manufacture of rope comes from Philippine ports

��By Monroe Woolley

���A typical Manila home showing the crude methods which the natives employ for stretching and drying the rope material

MANILA paper rarely sees the light of day in Manila. It may be included in the only paper-mak- ing plant in the islands, just started by Americans, but that is not likely. In fact, Manila paper has nothing to do with Manila at all. Like Manila paper, Manila rope was unknown in the Philip- pines until Americans established a modern rope factory in Manila. It is true that the natives made rope, miles of it, before our advent, but the crude, hand-made output of the peasantr>^ w^as rarely exported — at least little in finished form came to us.

The Philippines are rich in rope material, Manila hemp is known over all the world because it finds its way where- over railroads, steamships, caravans, and dog-teams travel. The hemp plant, which cannot be distinguished from the banana plant by those unfamiliar with the subject, thrives best in a volcanic soil. Soil of this

��Hemp stripping by hand is muscle-develop- ing but slow. The bark is drawn over a toothed knife, to tear away the pulp

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