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The population of the United States in 1840 was, in round numbers, 17 millions. The average consumption for the three years 1839-40-41 was 984 millions of pounds, which gave a consumption of 5 pounds per head. The average for the three years including the census year 1850, was 143 millions of pounds, and the population was 23 millions, which gave a consumption of 64 pounds per head. In 1850 the consumption was only 3 pounds per head; but the price had ruled nearly double what it did in the three years preceding 1850. In 1821 the consumption per head to the inhabitants of the United States was 1 pound 4 ounces. In 1830 the proportion had increased to 3 pounds per head, the foreign price having fallen 50 per cent. After the 31st December, 1830, coffee paid 2 cents, and in 1831, 1 cent; after which it was free. The importation in the year 1831 doubled in consequence of the reduced duty, and the consumption per head for the four years ending with 1842 averaged 6 pounds per head, having quadrupled to each inhabitant since 1821. A large proportion of the increased consumption, as seen above, is derived from the Brazils; the effect of the production of which country has been to the price of coffee, what the products of the Southern States have been to that of cotton. From 1820 to 1840, the Brazilian product increased 1,100 per cent, or 155,000,000 pounds. In the same time the consumption in the United States increased 137,000,000 pounds; leaving an increase of 18,000,000 pounds of Rio Coffee, besides the enhanced products of all countries, to supply the increased consumption of England and Europe. The result has been the great diminution in price evinced in the above table. The cost per pound to the consumer was in 1831 further reduced by the removal of the duty; that is, the coffee which cost 9 cents in 1880, cost the consumer 16 cents duty and charges. The same coffee now costs 7 cents—a reduction of 9 cents, which has given the spur to the consumption. In England, foreign coffee paid 16 cents per pound duty, and colonial coffee 8 cents, until 1845, when colonial was reduced to 3d. and foreign to 7d. The consequence is, that while the United States, with a population of 17,000,000, consumed in 1844, 149,711,820 pounds of coffee, Great Britain, with a population of 27,000,009, consumed 31,934,000 pounds only, or less than one-fourth the consumption of the United States. In 1851 the figures remained nearly the same, viz:--148,920,000 pounds in the United States, and 32,564,000 pounds for Great Britain. Now the effect of this increased consumption of Brazil coffee on the American trade is as follows:
1834. 1843. 1861. Import of coffee from Brazil ............ lbs. 26,571,368 49,515,666 107,578,257
“ .... .....value. $2,819,028 $3,392,960 $8,881,105 Export of United States produce to Brazil... 1,586,097 2,409,419 8,128,956
This increased export does not appear to suffice for the compensation of the large increase in the value of coffee purchased, and it is time that some movement were made to check English influence in that quarter and induce Brazil to place her best coffee customer at least on as farorable footing as others.
Considerable ingenuity has been displayed in devising apparatus for preparing coffee for the table. The ordinary coffee-pot is the plainest and siinplest of all; there is no contrivance for filtering the coffee. In Dresden and other parts of Germany, a thick piece of flannel, or some other woven material, is laid in a funnel, the ground coffee is placed on the flannel, and the boiling water filters through the coffee, the flannel, and the funnel, to a
vessel below-carrying with it the flavor of the coffee without the grounds or sediment.
Platow's Automaton Coffee-Pot has for its object to make coffee in less time and in a better manner than by the ordinary method. The machine consists of two parts. There is at the top a glass vase which screws off and on by means of wooden handles, and is furnished with a long narrow straight tube, resembling the pipe of a common funnel, and reaching nearly to the bottom of a metallic urn placed beneath the vase. Boiling water is poured into the vase in quantity sufficient for the coffee to be made; and this is allowed to descend into the urn. The ground coffee is then placed within the vase, on a small perforated silver plate. A lamp containing spirit or naphtha is placed beneath the urn, and in a short time the peculiar action of the apparatus develops itself. The steam formed on the surface of the water in the urn forces, by its elasticity, the water up the tube into the glass vase; where it acts upon the coffee in the usual way for extracting the qualities of the berry. When the coffee is so far prepared and is required to be fined, the lamp is removed, the formation of steam ceases, a partial vacuum is formed in the urn, and the external atmosphere, pressing on the open vase, presses or strains the coffee, first through the grounds and then through the perforated silver plate, so that it trickles into the urn in the state of a pure bright decoction. It is thus seen that the liquid makes two descents and one ascent between the vase and the urn, during the process. In a cheaper form of the apparatus, a common fire or lamp is used instead of a spirit lamp.
A coffee-pot of rather complicated structure was patented by Mr. Andrews of Wolverhampton in 1842. This coffee-pot had no less an adjunct than a small forcing-pump, placed near the handle. The boiling water was poured in the forcing-pump, while the ground coffee was put in a perforated vessel in the middle of the coffee-pot, and the hot water being forced by the pump, was made to saturate the ground coffee in a way wbich (we presume) was supposed to produce a result adequate to the costliness of the apparatus.
Waller's Coffee-Pot, patented in 1847, differs in many particulars from all the others. A horizontal partition, perforated near the center with fine holes, divides the vessel into two equal chambers; an open pipe leads nearly from the top of the upper chamber to near the bottom of the lower chamber, and another pipe leads from the perforations some way down the lower ebamber, with a tap or cock which can be worked by a handle protruding through the side of the coffee-pot. The requisite quantity of water, either hot or cold, is poured into the upper chamber, and allowed to flow through the perforations and small pipe into the lower chamber; the ground coffee is placed on the perforated plate, the spout is closed with a cork or plug, and the vessel is placed on the fire. As the water becomes heated, the steam generated has no outlet upwards or sideways, and it therefore presses on the water, and forces it up the long pipe, whence it falls into the upper chamber upon the ground coffee. When all the water is thus forced up, the coffeepot is removed from the fire, the vacuum in the lower chamber is condensed, the plug is removed from the spout, the top of the short pipe is opened, and the water trickles through the ground coffee and through the perforations into the lower vessel imbibing all the soluble and aromatic properties of the coffee as it descends.*
* Knight's Cyclopedia.
The steam horse has commenced his career on the Western plains. For many years he has preferred to follow the small valleys, and wind among the hills of the Atlantic slope, venturing first through the Mohawk Gap, and proceeding with cautious movement to the eastern shore of Lake Erie. At long intervals he has also lent his aid to the planter in crossing the pine desert which borders the Southern States.
The broad plain embraced by the mountain ranges of the continent and the Gulf of Mexico is now, from one extremity to the other, invoking his presence. Hitherto, his exploits have been accomplished where natural obstacles were most numerous. Hereafter, the chief field of his operations will be in the wide plain of the North American continent, where he may tly along the track from city to city, from lake to lake, and from Jake to gulf, without turning to the right or to the left. What a field for his exploits ! In extent, numbering square miles by the million; its present population counting more, by two millions, than all the old States east of the mountains, and, within the life-time of persons now living, to number two hundred millions. According to a calculation, made with care, it appears that the people living on this plain, within our national limits, in 1850 numbered 12,541,139, counting only those north-westward of the principal range of the Apalachian Mountains. Within the next twenty years this number will swell to twenty-six millions. The Canadas and New Brunswick, within the plain, contain about two millions of people, and within the twenty years will have some four millions. Here will then be thirty millions living on a rich soil, in a variety of climates, embracing an abundant supply of mineral and vegetable riches, to be exchanged with each other and with neighboring communities. During the last twenty years railroads have increased in the United States from 176 miles in 1832, to nearly 12,000 miles in 1852. Their extent, at the end of the twenty years to come, cannot safely be predicted. That it will exceed fifty thousand miles is quite probable. It may be well to consider what routes occupied, partly occupied, and yet undetermined, promise greatest utility to stockholders and the public. To this consideration should be brought a good knowledge of the topography of the country, with some familiarity with the course of trade, and the capabilities of the various sections to furnish traffic to railroad lines.
There are some routes so strongly marked that one needs only a tolerable knowledge of the geography of the country to point to them on the map with almost unerring certainty. One of these is that which connects Buffalo and Albany. It occupies the only gate-way through the Apalachian mountains, except the comparatively unimportant one by Lake Champlain. Indeed, the valleys of the Mohawk and Lake Champlain furnish a passage-way between the two sides of our Atlantic system of mountains, that no other routes can safely attempt a rivalry, except at a great distance. By railroads from Oswego and Buffalo to Albany and Troy, the railroad traffic of four millions of people on the Atlantic slope will be exchanged for that of some six millions north-west of the mountains. All the other roads, connecting and to connect the West and East, necessarily encounter numerous comparatively high grades and many curves, making their distance practically greater between New York and the heart of the West, than the level route through central New York. The routes over the mountains to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Wilmington, Charleston, and Savannah, may divide among them the business of some four or five millions living in the western valley. Those leading to Philadelphia and Baltimore will naturally draw most of this business, because they are large cities; and still more, perhaps, because they are on the road to New York and the Eastern States. These routes, already occupied, are mentioned in this connection because they necessarily give direction to the railroads making, and to be made, in the West, with a view to Eastern traffic.
It seems as certain as anything in the future can be that the States north of the Ohio River, together with those west of the Mississippi, north of the latitude of the mouth of the Obio, will, ultimately, if not immediately, direct their railroad lines, made with a view to Eastern business, so as to form the easiest connection with the New York roads. This will give to most of the great lines of this portion of the West a general direction from southwest to north-east. To this there will be an important extension of all that portion which is north of the latitude of the southerly bend of Lake Michigan. The railroads of the peninsula of Michigan, for many years to come, will naturally be directed from all quarters towards Detroit, as a market, a port of transhipment, and as a passage-way through Canada; and towards Toledo, as the gate-way to the country south of Lake Erie and to Cincinnati. Westward of Lake Michigan, the railroads will be directed chiefly towards Chicago, in order to pass the lake for a winter business in the East.
Of the routes commenced but not finished, the one most likely to rival in importance that through the Mohawk gap, is that which will occupy, as nearly as practicable, the line of latitude which touches the south shore of Lake Michigan, from the Mississippi to Toledo, and which passes thence eastward along the south shore of Lake Erie to Buffalo. This necessarily takes an east and west course between the heads of the lakes, and it follows the shore of Lake Erie, because that is the most direct course towards Buffalo, and because the great gathering points of Commerce are on that shore. As a trunk-road for the convergence of business from other roads, and from lakes and canals, it has no rival and can have no equal in the United States. Near the south bend of lake Michigan it must gather in for a passage eastward all the winter traffic and much of the summer travel and trade of the vast country west of that lake, aided by converging railroads, plank-roads, and the Illinois Canal. On its way from Chicago to Toledo it will receive from the South several tributary roads, bearing produce for shipment down the lakes. One of these is in progress of construction, and two others are being prepared for letting. At Toledo it will receive from the North the business of the Southern Michigan Road and a railroad from Detroit, hereafter to be made. At the same point it will connect with six hundred and ninety miles of canal and a railroad to St. Louis.
This, at some future day, will itself become one of the great trunk-lides of the country. From the South will come in, at Toledo, a railroad forming the shortest practicable road between Cincinnati and the navigable waters of Lake Erie. This is progressing northward of Dayton, and may be expected to reach Toledo in two or three years. Proceeding eastward, two railroads, now in operation, come in at Sandusky City-one from Cincinnati. and the other from Zanesville. At Cleveland it is joined by two railroads, branching off to Cincinnati and Pittsburg. Other roads are being made from the forest city, into which, also, flows the Commerce of six hundred miles of artificial navigation. At Erie it is to be met by the Sunbury Railroad, opening a way to Philadelphia and Baltimore. It also connects here with a canal to Pittsburg. At Dunkirk it receives the New York and Erie Railroad; and, finally, at Buffalo it becomes one with the great Mohawk Valley trunk-line.
Taking the whole of this line, from Rock Island, on the Mississippi, to the city of New York, its peer cannot be found in the United States, nor, as it seems to me, in the world.
Another trunk-line of some three hundred miles extent, having an east and west course, will connect Cincinnati and St. Louis. This is understood to be under contract at nine millions of dollars. Two others, one from Memphis, the other from Vicksburg, will connect the South-Western States with the South-Eastern at Charleston and Savannah. The abovementioned are all the trunk-lines likely to be made, nearly following lines of latitude.
The other great trunk-lines of the West will have a general course southwesterly and north-easterly. Many and cogent reasons favor this opinion. Such is the general course of the great rivers east of the Mississippi. The mountain and hill ranges are, of course, in the same direction. The commercial and manufacturing States and cities are north-east of the chief commercial and manufacturing cities of the great valley. The British Provinces and the United Kingdom, with whom is the main portion of the foreign Commerce of the West, are situated north-easterly of its center of business and population. Whether this foreign Commerce chooses for its channel the St. Lawrence River or the Erie Canal and central New York railroads, the railroads from Nashville, Louisville, Cincinnati, Cairo, and St. Louis must reach it in a north-easterly direction.
The English and Irish Channels, through which passes the greater part of our Commerce with Europe, are in the same latitude as the main entrance into the Atlantic, from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The course of water transport, from the west end of Lake Erie to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, is nearly in the same line as the railroads, which would connect with this water channel the center of the Mississippi basin, at St. Louis and Cairo. The distance in a straight line from Cairo to Toledo is.. ...........miles 433
" Chicago ..... It has been stated, as a controlling reason why these railroads should be directed to the south shore of Lake Erie, that they would there enter the best railroad route to New York and the New England States. In summer another motive is added. When navigation is open on the lakes and the Erie Canal, the traffic is floated at so cheap a rate, and in such safety, that, for anything but passengers and light freight of great value, railroads passing in the same direction, or towards the same destination, cannot compete with success. Even for passengers, the proud steamers of the lakes will bold, with their rival carriers of the land, a divided empire. This is especially true where the route by water is not materially longer than by land. That the lake route is preferred to that by the great rivers, in intercourse with the eastern world, and is growing in favor among the travelers of the western valley, is shown by the more rapid extension of lake than of river Commerce. According to a late report of the Secretary of the Treasury made to the Senate, in obedience to its call, the steam tonnage on the upper lakes has more than quadrupled in eight years, while, on the Mississippi,
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