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worth about sixty cents per gallon. At this rate, a cocoanut plantation would produce, of oil alone, very near $100 per acre per annum.
Some idea may be formed of the varied uses to which the cocoanut tree and fruit are put, when it is known that as many as thirty articles manufactured from them may be found in one ordinary English home. Where fabrics are not altogether made from the fibre, it yet enters in with other material. The oil is used in many ways, forming one of the principal ingredients in fine soaps and other similar manufactures. The fruit, while by itself considered by many a great delicacy, in combination forms an important ingredient in our pastries and candies.
The tree, when tapped, furnishes a pleasant, healthful drink, known as cocoanut toddy. Modern processes, though, have made this fluid into a rum, called arrack, and said to be very satisfactory to old drinkers in the way of strength and brain-entangling qualities.
Up to 1751, the theory that coral was a vegetable growth (disputed by Feranto Imperato, the Neapolitan naturalist, as early as 1599) had been generally accepted. Even its scientific name, as applied to-day (zoophyte), given by Linnaeus, indicates the struggle that sometimes takes place to throw light even into scientific minds. The name would place it in both the animal and vegetable kingdom, forming a rather curious combination for the industrious little insect to work under. In truth, coral is the stony frame which belongs to these animals, as a skeleton belongs to an individual of the higher orders of the animal kingdom.
The coral which has obtained world-wide celebrity, is that used as jewelry, known as corallum rubrum, found in the Mediterranean, the Barbary coast, the coast of Italy, and in some parts of Europe and America.
In general, the coral of the Pacific cannot be considered as valuable for jewelry, the order being of the coarser kind—curious and beautiful in its varied colorings and forms, but of no great intrinsic value—if we except a kind found along the shores of the island of Sumatra, and as we approach the Indian Ocean.
In the olden time, the manner of fishing for coral was nearly the same everywhere. That which is most commonly practiced in the Mediterranean Sea is as follows: Seven or eight men go in a boat, commanded by the proprietor; the caster throws his net (if we may so call the machine which he uses to tear up the coral from the bottom of the sea), and the rest work the boat and help draw in the net. This is composed of two beams of wood tied crosswise, with leads fixed to them to sink them; to these beams is fastened a quantity of hemp, twisted loosely round and intermingled with some loose netting. In this condition the machine is let down into the sea, and when the coral is pretty strongly entwined in the hemp and nets, they draw it up with a rope, which they unwind according to the depth, and which it sometimes requires half-a-dozen boats to draw. If this rope happens to break, the fishermen run the hazard of being lost. Before the fishers go to sea, they agree for the price of the coral, and the produce of the fishery is divided, at the end of the season, into thirteen parts, of which the proprietor has four, the caster two, and the other six men one each; the thirteenth belongs to the company for the payment of boat hire, etc.
ISLAND PRODUCTS AND RESOURCES.
Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
M1lton, (Paradise Lost).
IT has often been a subject of wonder with those learned and ingenious persons who have written concerning the arts of the ancient world, that the Greeks and Romans, although they possessed a prodigious number of books, and approached very near to printing in the stamping words and letters and similar devices, should not have fallen upon the art; the first rude attempts at typography being sufficiently obvious, though much time and contrivance have been required to bring the process to the perfection in which it now prevails.
We owe the introduction of paper into Europe to the Arabians or Moors. There is some uncertainty as to the precise era of its first appearance, and we are unable to trace the origin of the precious invention, or even to imagine by what steps men were led to it. We cannot conceive how anyone could be tempted to pound wet rags in a mortar, to stir the paste into a large body of water, to receive the deposit on a sieve, and to press and dry it. The labor of beating rags into a pulp by hand would be as hopeless as it would be tedious and severe. It is true that paper was originally made of cotton, a substance less obstinate than linen and other rags, which are now commonly used. At present the fresh rags are torn into pieces by a powerful mill; formerly it was the practice to suffer them to rot, to place them in large heaps in a warm and damp situation, and to allow them to heat and ferment, and to remain undisturbed until mushrooms began to grow on them—so that, being partially decayed, it might be less difficult to triturate them. Nevertheless, the invention of paper is a mystery. The Chinese possessed the art of making paper and of printing, but we know not how long they have had them, nor whether the Mohammedans learned the former from them. The illiterate inhabitants of some of the islands of the South Seas were able to compose a species of paper, which they used in fine weather for raiment, of the bark of trees. The basis of paper being the vegetable fibre, it has been made of various substances, as straw, as well as rags.
(Notes from an old History of Paper-making.)
To describe the methods now in use for the manufacture of paper, with an account of the perfect machinery, taking place of human hands, in the various manipulations to turn out the beautiful paper now met with in nearly all parts of the world, would take up a volume. On the other hand, with all our perfect manufacturing appliances, we lack the natural vegetable growths of just those piths, pulps and barks, that nature so abundantly scatters broadcast throughout the islands of the Pacific. Paper exhibited at the last Exposition in Paris, manufactured in Japan, it is said from the bark of the mulberry, being in truth the Broussonetia, the Paper Mulberry of Japan, the East Indies and the South Sea Islands, excited general admiration. Paper from that country that I have inspected very lately in San Francisco, is far superior in texture, beauty and durability, to any of the brands made from English linen. Samples from the Phillippine Islands, made from the abaca, and others of the musa (banana) plants, show fully as fine and strong a texture, but lacking the satiny gloss of surface, like watered silk, seen in the samples from Japan. The vegetable growth furnishing the textile fabrics in all its many varieties, is to be found in wild abundance on nearly all of the Pacific islands. . The gathering of the raw material, and its export to Europe and America for its more perfect manufacture into the manifold forms of paper, would naturally lead to a vast business in the textile fabrics alone, that would result in many profitable industries.
CINNAMON (CINNAMOMUM ZEYLANICUM).
Cinnamon is of the same species as the laurel. The tree is of small growth, and evergreen. In the island of Ceylon, where the finest qualities are produced, it is cultivated in a large way, and forms no inconsiderable portion of the princely revenues received from the products of that island. It is claimed by many authorities to be indigenous to the soil of Ceylon. In any event, the product is far superior to that of any other part of the world, although many of the island groups cultivate and produce it in abundance, but of much