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Bishop, J. Leander (John Leander), 1820-1868 / A history of American manufactures from 1608 to 1860 : exhibiting the origin and growth of the principal mechanic arts and manufactures, from the earliest colonial period to the adoption of the Constitution : and comprising annals of the industry of the United States in machinery, manufactures and useful arts, with a notice of the important inventions, tariffs, and the results of each decennial census
Volume 3 (1868)

The great tobacco manufactories,   pp. 511-532

Page 518

rooms are five or six hundred canvas racks, so arranged that the heat
affects all parts alike.
On these racks the Tobacco is carefully spread to dry. The length
of time required for drying varies with the temperature and the charac-
ter of the Tobacco. When the desired condition has been attained the
mass is gathered up, and shaken to eliminate the "shorts,'? or non-fibrous
particles, of which there is always a considerable quantity. The set
lected portion is then put into a large bin in the Dressing room, where it
is left until what little moisture there may be remaining has permeated
every fibre alike, when it undergoes what is called the process of
" Dressing," which Is a closer and more elaborate manipulation than
the one preceding, when it is transferred to the Packing rooms, where
the final process takes place. The Packing rooms of this house are
large, and present many features of interest. From seventy-five to
eighty young woman, ranging from thirteen to twenty years of age,
are constantly employed in packing throughout the year.
At regular intervals the packers stand before a series of forms
or tables elevated to a convenient height, in which hoppers are con-
structed, designed to contain sufficient Tobacco to fill a gross or a gross
and a half of the ordinary sized packages of Chewing Tobacco. The
Tobacco is all weighed in the Dressing room, and each packer receives
only enough at a time for a single gross. At her right hand each
packer has a number of sheets of tin-foil and paper, cut so as to exactly
envelope the proper quantity of Tobacco. In front of her is a wooden-
mould of the exact size of a paper of Tobacco, into which, after covering
the extreme end with a sheet of the paper and then a sheet of foil, and
turning down the corners of these, a tin mould is inserted, into which
the Tobacco is put and pressed down by means of a " follower." The
tin mould is then withdrawn, leaving the Tobacco inclosed in the en-
velope, which is subsequently taken from the wooden mould, the ends
fastened down, and the article is ready for the market. As in every
other department of labor, there is in this considerable diversity in the
capability of individuals, some being able to pack more than others in
a given time. There are some females here who will pack in this way
twenty gross a day.
The principal brands of Tobacco manufactured in these Works are
known as the John Cornish, Virgin Leaf, and Navy Fine Cut Chewing
Tobaccos. The first paper of the Cornish Tobacco was offered for
sale in June, 1849. Mr. McAlpine became a partner of the original
proprietor in 1857, at which time, also, John W. French became
associated with him, under the style of John Cornish & Co. In 1862,
Mr. Cornish retired, when the firm-name was changed to that of D. H.

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