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hot water every two days and dried in a kiln. After filtering, the juice, still thin as when first pressed from the cane, goes to the "double effects." This is a new apparatus, resembling two upright boilers of a portable engine. Each cupola-like machine contains five hundred tubes in which the juice is boiled in a vacuum by exhaust steam. The usual plan is to boil in an open cylindrical pan, having coils of steam pipe at the bottom. Now the juice goes to fresh filters and next to the vacuum-pan, which is not a pan, but a big iron cupola-shaped cylinder, with an apparatus for exhausting
iron pan in which steel arms revolve. Next the "masse cuite" falls into the "centrifugals," which are small drums holding about 120 pounds of sugar. Within the drum is a wire screen basket revolving at the rate of 1600 turns per minute. The centrifugal force throws out the molasses through the wire network and leaves the sugar. Perfectly clear water is then spurted into the drum from a syringe. This water is thrown out through the sugar, washing out the remaining coloring matter. The motion of the centrifugal is now stopped and the sugar let out of a trap in the bottom
the air and multitudinous coils of steam pipe. This is the process requiring most skill. The chief sugar-maker attends to it himself, watch ing his vacuum-gauge and thermometer carefully, and testing every few minutes his boiling mass by drawing out a tube which does not break the vacuum. He seeks to keep the temperature down to 130°. If it is too high some of the sucrose will "invert" or "caramel" into glucose, and the proportion of sugar will be lessened. First, he fills the pan only in part. Then when he sees fine granulations of sugar against the light in his test-tube, he admits more juice, and thus builds up the grains little by little to larger size. When sufficiently boiled, the thick syrup is called the "masse cuite." The "strike" is now done, air is admitted to the pan, and the contents are run off into the "mixer," a huge oblong
into a screw conveyer, from which a bucket band carries it to a big bin. A man stands in the bin and shovels the sugar, as if it were wheat, into a tube under which the barrels are placed one by one to receive it.
This first product of the sugar-mill is called "firsts," and is the whitest and best sugar. The molasses is boiled again in the vacuumpan, goes again through the centrifugals, and a light-brown sugar called "seconds" results. Yet again the remaining molasses goes through the pans, but the "masse cuite" is now sticky and stringy, and will not yield its sugar to the centrifugals. It is put into iron tanks on wheels, called "wagons," each of which holds about 2500 pounds, and wheeled into the hotroom. The temperature here is from 90° to 100°. Here the wagons stand in closely packed rows for thirty days. The mass is now
very stiff and waxy. It is next thrown into the boiler, stirred up well and put into the centrifugals, with cold water, which washes out the molasses. The final remainder of sugar is called" thirds," and is of a darkbrown color. The separated molasses is of a very poor quality, and sells for only about thirteen cents a gallon. Distillers use it to make alcohol, and the glucose manufacturers buy it to give a cane-flavor to their glucose syrup.
By the improved processes I have thus described about 78 per cent. of the weight of the cane is extracted in juice, whereas the average extraction in Louisiana is only about 63 per cent. The best five roller-mills get about 70 per cent., the additional 8 per cent. being due to the use of the shredder. The new processes give about 160 pounds of sugar from a ton of cane, the average of the State being only 100 pounds. In 1885 Magnolia plantation averaged 163 pounds from a ton of cane. The sucrose of the crop of 1885 was about II per cent. less than that of 1884, but the sugar yield was increased 6 pounds to the ton of cane by improved manufacture. To some extent the low amount of sugar produced by old methods is compensated for by the greater amount and better quality of the molasses, but as molasses is worth only 2 cents a pound, when sugar brings from 42 to 6, there is no possible economy in holding on to the old processes.
A SUGAR plantation is divided by main ditches and roads into sections known in some parishes as "cuts," in others as "strips," and in still others as "blocks." These have names familiar to all the people on the place. At Magnolia they talk of the" Polly Garden Strip," the "Molly Shanty Strip," the "North Front Strip," the" Big Oak Strip," etc. Each of these sections is subdivided by small ditches into fields containing an average of about twentyfive acres. Every well-managed plantation is carefully mapped, and the planter, running his eye over the map in his office, will tell you just what fields are in plant-cane, in stubble-cane, or in cow-peas. He plans his operations on his map as a general does a campaign. It is a stirring, fascinating business, which keeps a man on the alert, mentally and physically, and develops the most intelligent type of the country gentleman to be found in the South.
WASH-DAY IN THE QUARTERS.
The cane-cutting season begins the 1st of October. It would be advantageous to wait longer, for the canes are constantly sweetening their juices, but there is danger that the crop may not all be harvested before the frosts come. In Cuba, where there is no frost, the planter can continue to cut and grind until the new sap begins to flow in the stalks. Not infrequently it happens that a Louisiana planter raises more cane than he can work up in his mill before the cold weather of January sets in. The next year he reduces his acreage. The amount of land he can cultivate must depend on the capacity of his mill.
A great deal of sugar is still made in Louisiana by the old open-kettle process, wasteful as it is, for the simple reason that the planters cannot afford to buy new apparatus. This old process is substantially the same as was in use at the beginning of the century. Five or six big cast-iron kettles of graduated size are arranged in line over a brick furnace. At one end is the fire of cypress wood; at the other the tall chimney. The cane-juice runs into
the largest kettle, called "the grand," which is farthest from the fire, and in the course of the boiling is ladled successively into the others, called, in order, "the prop" or "proy," "the flambeau," the "sirop," and "the battery." Often there are six kettles, a first and a second "grand." I have not been able to learn the derivation of the "prop." The "grand " is so called because of its size, the "flambeau" because the flames of the furnace strike it with most force; "sirop" is French for syrup, and "battery" is a corruption of the French word bâtir, to build, the syrup being granulated or built up into sugar in this kettle. From the battery the thick sugary mass goes to wooden tanks to cool. Much of the molasses is here drained off. The rest drifts from the hogsheads placed above troughs after the sugar is packed.
by the father of the present owner, and most of the laborers were formerly slaves or are the children of slaves born upon the place. Their docility and attachment to the family of the proprietor seem to have been little changed with the change in their condition from bondage to freedom. Indus
In all sugar-houses, except the few using bone-black, sulphur fumes are employed to aid the lime process in clarifying. The most common apparatus is a large wooden box fitted with numerous shelves, a retort, and a watertank. The fumes of the sulphur first pass over the water in the tank, which absorbs the sulphuric acid and is supposed to leave only sulphurous gas to go up into the box, and mingle with the cane-juice which drips from shelf to shelf. To produce a draught there is a steam-exhaust apparatus above. The juice next goes to the clarifiers to be mingled with lime. Here the vegetable albumen is coagulated and rises in a scum called the "blanket," which is skimmed off, the mineral constituents of the juice falling to the bottom of the pans.
Next in order in the advance from the old open kettles is the "steam tram," which is a series of vats with a coil of steam pipe at the bottom of each to do the boiling without the direct action of fire, and thus prevent "carameling," or the inversion of sucrose into glucose; next is the vacuum-pan with its attendant centrifugal machines, and finally the "double effects" and the boneblack apparatus. On a few plantations the high-grade centrifugal sugar is subjected to a drying process, and converted into "plantation granulated."
At Southdown plantation in Terrebonne parish, I found a good example of an estate and sugar-house of the first class, not employing, however, the exceptionally advanced appliances. The lands embraced in the horse shoe bend of a bayou were originally cleared
der are secured by their dread of being discharged and thus compelled to leave the old plantation. Their local attachments are very strong. Their whitewashed cabins, each with its piazza fronting upon a street shaded with liveoaks, are as dear to them as is the "big house"
to the "boss." To the "big house," as they call the residence of the planter, they resort for medicine and advice in case of illness and for kindly counsel and assistance in trouble.
The relations between employer and employees on a sugar estate are unique. They are the nearest approach in America to a feudal system. Not a foot of land do the laborers own. Yet their right to homes and labor on an estate is a sort of unwritten law, so binding that they are seldom sent away except for very serious cause. They regard the mules and implements of the planter as to some extent their own, using them to cultivate their gardens and to haul their fuel. In directing the plantation work he seldom uses any harsh words of command; talks rather in kindly tones, scolds a little if needs be, but in rather a parental fashion; asks opinions at times from swarthy old "uncles" who have a standing on the place as faithful men and experts in cane-culture; knows the strong and weak points in the character of every man in his employment. Indeed his rule is so mild that a stranger to plantation life wonders how the uncouth mass of black laborers is held together and disciplined so as to produce favorable industrial results.
I must leave the picturesque features of plantation life to the pencil of the artist. Something I would like to say in this regard, and something, too, of the pleasant homes of the planters of the better class, with their portraits of ancestors for a century back on the walls, their old mahogany furniture, their libraries of old books, their bountiful hospitality, the good conversation in front of brass andirons and blazing wood fires, the tea served in old china, "brought from France by our grand-mother," whose portrait by Gilbert Stuart looks benignly down on the scene, the willing, friendly black servitors, the reminiscent tone of much of the talk, referring constantly to the golden age of sugar-planting, which was in the "good old times before the war." But for all this there is no space, and I must close with a few random notes that have not fitted themselves into the foregoing text.
sugar and 12,000 gallons of molasses were obtained.
The "double-effects" apparatus was invented about thirty years ago by a free colored man named Relieux, who went to Paris and made a fortune from it. It is generally used in beetsugar making, and also in most cane-sugar countries except Louisiana. Relieux told the Louisiana planters before he went to France that they would in the end have to use his invention or quit the sugar business.
The Louisiana Sugar Exchange, built three years ago, is a commodious structure having a large exchange room, a reading-room, telegraph office, secretary's room, etc. In the exchange are many tables where the samples of sugar and molasses are displayed. There is no speculation-no daily call, no dealing in futures, the business being purely commercial. Most of the Louisiana product is disposed of here by brokers, but many planters are members of the exchange and sell their crop directly to the merchants.
To show the wide range of values for differ
IN THE EXCHANGE.