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JOURNAL OF MINING AND MANUFACTURES.
THE MINES OF LAKE SUPERIOR.
It is not, perhaps, the best time to appreciate the commercial value of the mining region of Lake Superior, when the stocks of the different companies are passing from hand to hand, at a great advance from the original price. The discreet will be cautious, when stocks are bought on speculation, rather than for the permanent or profitable investment of surplus capital. Making all due allowance for the mining fever, we have no doubt that the mines in question are rich in copper and silver ores, and that they will be worked with profit and advantage to the country, as well as to the companies immediately interested. Our advices from that region are generally encouraging. It seems that the steamboat Detroit, recently arrived at the city of that name, with ninety barrels of copper and silver ore, from the Cliff vein, belonging to the Pittsburgh and Boston Company in location. The weight of the ore is twenty tons; what will be its product is not stated. This lot is consigned to Dr. Hays for reduction at his great establishment at Roxbury. Fifty-four tons of the same ore have been brought to Buffalo. A new trade is now opening through this channel with Lake Superior, and is likely to give employment to a considerable portion of the Michigan shipping, while a new and steady market is opened among the miners and laborers of that country, for the produce of that state. The Detroit Daily Advertiser says, that a steamer “has arrived with fifty tons more of the same ore, including two masses of native copper and silver, weighing, the one twelve hundred, the other about two thousand pounds. These masses were filled with silver injected into the copper, and are the richest specimens yet brought from Lake Superior. We learn that the shipments of the remaning ore on the bank will be made with all possible despatch.” We copy from the London Miner's Journal of May 2d, 1846, the following notice of this region:— “In the matter of the copper and silver at Lake Superior, there is a strong probability— to say the least—that a very extensive district, rich in mines of copper certainly, and perhaps silver, is there discovered. As evidence of this fact, the government have given leases, covering an area of two hundred and eleven square miles—a tolerable mining field—and granted permits to locate five hundred and eighty-eight square miles in addition, which are not yet selected, but most of which will be as soon as the spring opens, and the country is accessible. That all this area of eight hundred square miles is mining ground, is not imagined; but that there are extensive and valuable mining fields, cannot be reasonably doubted. I have a letter from an intelligent and respectable Cornishman, written in December last, who has been some months on the ground, who says: “I have visited many mining districts, been extensively acquanited with the whole process of mining, and have had considerable practice in mine surveying and reporting, but have never seen a mineral district superior to this. The number of metaliferous veins, their beautiful appearance, their contiguity to each other, the richness of the ores, the fine alloy of silver in many of them, all indicate immense wealth. The veins are well defined and regular; and there is scarcely a spot embraced by the locations but would warrant the outlay of almost any amount of capital, and promise adequate returns. The ores are rich; so that, in their raw state, they are equal, and in many cases superior to the ores (when dressed) of the far-famed mines of Cornwall; they are easily pulverized, and may be made to yield a large per centage of fine copper.’”
COPPER SMELTING IN THE WEST.
A new interest has been awakened in regard to copper—and we now not only hear of extensive mining operations at the west, but of preparations for smelting copper at points on the lakes. Gen. C. M. Reed and others have organized a company for that purpose at Erie, Pa., in anticipation of a rich yield of ore from the mines of the Erie and Buffalo
MANUFACTURES AND PRODUCTS OF CONNECTICUT.
Value. Hands employed.
3,280,575 2,149 Paper,
1,186,302 659 Sewing Silk,.....
173,382 272 Leather manufactured,..
597,028 946 Clocks,
771,115 656 Coaches and Wagons,..
1,222,091 1,506 Machinery,
363,860 436 Brass articles,....
$12,480,000 13,112 From this table, it will be seen that the value of the manufacture of ten different articles is $12,480,000, giving employment to 13,112 American laborers. But besides these, were manufactured of flour, $334,698; of boots and shoes, $1,741,920 ; of hats, caps and muffs, $921,806; of saddles, harnesses and trunks, $547,990; of tin-ware, $487,810; and of pins, $170,000, giving employment to at least 2,500 additional laborers.
The value of agricultural productions and live stock, during the same year, are given as follows:-Of butter made, $918,839: of cheese, $334,451; of hay raised, $4,212,725; of Indian corn, $1,183,159 ; of potatoes, $1,115,377; of rye, $195,090; of wheat, $38,633; of tobacco, $243,805; of buckwheat, $88,566; of oats, $571,434; of neat cattle, $2,808,352 ; of horses, $1,249,521 ; of sheep, $315,004; of swine, $1,144,756.
We hope that some intelligent gentleman in Connecticut will furnish us with an elaborate account of the "commerce and resources” of that State, or authentic materials for the preparation of an article on the subject.
MANUFACTURE OF POTATO SUGAR. The growers of potatoes in the British kingdom are likely to be benefited by the exertions of the home sugar manufacturers, who are now determined to purchase all that comes within their reach. At the manufactory of potato sugar at Stratford, in Essex, and other places, we understand that the "fruit of the earth” (potalo) will be taken in any quantity, and at a fair price. We have no doubt, says an English paper, that the juice of the cane is superior to the meal of the potato, but we have positive proof that the potato can make up in quantity what is deficient in quality, and as no one can question the nutriment in the potato, we do not see why potato sugar should not be as advantageous to the tea or coffee table as the potato is to the dinner table; be this as it may, we have it on good authority that three tons of the raw material will produce one ion of the manufactured article, and consequently the British manufacturer can successfully compete with the for. eign and colonial producer, and pay the same duty as that which is levied on the sugar imported from the colonies.
AMERICAN MANUFACTURES IN RUSSIA.
We learn from the Miner's Journal, that there is now in full operation at St. Petersburg perhaps the most extraordinary, as well as gigantic, commercial establishments which can be found in the history of the world, ancient or modern. Messrs. Eastwick and Harrison, the famous locomotive engine and boiler-makers of Philadelphia, having succeeded in obtaining the great contracts for the construction of the locomotive requirements for the system of railroads about to be carried out in Russia, have located themselves there—built a manufactory of immense extent, in which three thousand five hundred men are constantly employed, and in the conducting of which there are some curious features. To keep good order among such a congregation—exceeding the whole population of a good sized town, and consisting of English, American, Scotch, Irish, German, and Russian—a company of soldiers is kept on duty at the works, and a perfect police force, whose duties are confined to the establishment. Refractory men of every nation are discharged for irregular conduct, excepting Russians, and these are, for all the slightest offences, immediately tied up to the triangles, soundly flogged, and sent again to their work. It is but justice to Messrs. Eastwick and Harrison to say, that they have strongly appealed against this treatment, so peculiar to this semi-barbarous nation, but without effect. The plan of paying this enormous multitude is ingenious; on being engaged, the man's name is, we believe, not even asked, but he is presented with a medal, numbered; in the pay-house are three thousand five hundred wooden boxes, and on presenting himself on Saturday night for his pay, the clerk hands him his money, takes his medal as a receipt, which is dropped in the box of its number, and gives him another medal, as a pledge of engagement for the following week.
FRENCH GOBELIN MANUFACTORY.
The Paris correspondent of the Newark Advertiser gives an account of a recent visit to the famous Gobelin manufactory in Paris, where, under the direction of the government, carpets and tapestry of unrivalled beauty are fabricated. On entering the buildings, of which there are about half a dozen, he was struck with what seemed to be very splendid paintings, but which proved to be pieces of tapestry wrought in the manufactory. Paintings, both old and new, are copied with the greatest exactness, the greatest animation being given to the features of the figures, and fruit of all kinds being represented with the utmost perfection. One which particularly struck his attention was a porcelain dish of various fruits placed upon the corner of a table of variegated marble. By its side lay a handkerchief with a lace border. So finely was the worsted wrought, that the figures on the dish, the stains in the marble, and even the delicate “work,” and each thread of the lace, were distinctly visible. The workman stands at the back of the canvass, this position being necessary, because all the cuttings, &c., are executed on that side. He states that a period of from two to six years is requisite for the completion of each piece, and the cost often amounts to thirty-five hundred dollars. But even at this rate, the workmen are very meagrely paid; the best of them receiving but three hundred and sixty dollars per year. The establishment employs about one hundred and thirty persons, and none of their productions are sold, all being either used in the royal palaces, or distributed as presents by the king. The manufacture derives its name from John Gobelin, who commenced it in 1450.
LEAD MINES OF ILLINOIS.
There are three furnaces now in successful operation at the lead mines in Hardin county, in the southern section of Illinois. The lead produced is of the best quality, and the ore inexhaustible. But a little while will elapse, says the Alton Telegraph, before Southern Illinois will compete successfully with the north, in the production and sale of this article of commerce.
COMMERCE AND THE ART OF THE MECHANIC.
A late number of the Vicksburgh (Mississippi) Sentinel and Expositor, publishes an address delivered before the Mechanics' Mutual Benefit Society of that place, by A. Dixon, Esq., in which he describes the obligations of the world, either wholly or in part, for every advance it has made, whether in agriculture, commerce, science, or literature, to its mechanics. For commerce, he thus speaks of the world's obligations to mechanics:–
“Is there an article bought or sold that does not owe its value almost wholly to the mebhanic's touch and skill? He takes the crusted ore from the bowels of the earth; he subjects it to his manipulation; and lo, with an art more startling than the magician's, 'tis transformed at his will into any of a million shapes, from the lady's bodkin to the warrior's weapon—from the ponderous anchor that holds a frigate to her moorings, to the delicate machinery of a watch. In commerce, there is not an article consumed or exchanged, but owes its production to mechanics. Who weaves the delicate gossamer that spreads a hazy veil over the virgin's bosom 7 Whose strong arm and dexterous fingers wrought the thousand million things of strength and beauty we see in the merchants' stores? And yonder passing messengers—the white-winged dwellers of the deep who framed the mighty timbers ? Who shaped the cleaving keel? Who wove the outspread sail, and sent the strong-built ship across the waters, to bring to commerce the treasures of other lands, and made the ocean her field of traffic? Who invented and built the bellowing giants that foam and toil on her errands up yonder mighty river ? Who contrived and fashioned the rattling car that darts over its paths of iron and links states and continents 7 Who but mechanics have done all this, and more, for commerce 7 And at what period of her heavenly career, as she flies over the earth, linking its tribes and nations into her peaceful bonds of intercourse, at what epoch in her history, has commerce ceased to feel her dependance on her first great ally—the Art of the Mechanic?”
GOLD PRINTED MUSLINS.
Amongst the numerous successes in the decorative art with which the year 1845 has been signalized, “we must notice,” says an English journal, “a very beautiful muslin fabric, for curtains, printed in gold by a galvanic process, and patented by Messrs. Vale & Co., of Manchester. This new system of gold printing is intended to supersede the more expensive mode of embroidering fabrics with gold and silver for window curtains and other drapery. It is peculiarly adapted for long drawing-room curtains. The designs are chaste and classical; the brilliancy of the gold printing is rather heightened than impaired by washing, so that the fabric is as economical as it is elegant.” This style of curtain muslin of course has been designed to be in keeping with the rage for gilded mouldings as cornices for rooms, and elaborate ornamental mirror frames, which are now so fashionable.
INVENTION OF AN EXTRAORDINARY SCARF SHAWL.
A scarf shawl has been submitted to the editor of the London Times, the invention of Messrs. Graham & Smith, of Ludgate-street, (late Everington & Graham.) Four colors are so constructed as to fold into twenty different effects; either color can be worn alone, any two together, three, or all four, according to the caprice of the wearer. Mr. Robert Kerr, of Paisley, is the enterprising manufacturer who has accomplished the weaving in one piece of this extraordinary shawl, which is announced to be a scientific production of far greater merit than anything of the kind that has appeared in the French exposition of manufactures.
YANKEE NOTIONS IN ENGLAND.
Among the articles now exported largely to England, are clothes-pins, (which are carried over by hundreds of hosgheads,) ivory and wood combs, augers, gimlets, and cuttacks. In all these things we supply the English market. Yet there are a thousand other articles which they make cheaper than we do. The English have never made satinetts, or cut-nails of any sort, except as they have imported the nail-machines from this country, and then they have proved unable to use them successfully.
THE WINES OF SYRIA.
The last “Theological Review,” published at Andover, contains a very interesting article from the Rev. Eli Smith, on “the wines of Mount Lebanon.” Mr. Smith has been for near twenty years a missionary in the country of which he writes, and being a man of intelligence and Yankee sagacity, must be well acquainted with the every-day matters around him. He says there are three methods of making wine, in one of which, or by a union of more than one, all the wines are made. The leading fact of the first laethod is, that the juice is expressed (by treading in baskets) from the grapes as they come from the vines, and then fermented. The second method is when the fresh juice is boiled down before fermenting; and the third, when grapes and stems are partially dried in the sun before pressing. The boiling is partly to expel the water, and partly to purify the wine, by throwing the crude substances off in a scum. Wine made in the first method is equal to the weight of the grapes, and will only keep in the atmosphere of a few places; while that which is made in either of the others, being reduced to one-third the weight of the grapes, keeps well for years. Whatever may be the method of manufacture, fermentation and the presence of alcohol are common to them all. Indeed, the local name for wine includes leaven and fermentation; and when the people were inquired of for unfermented wines, they stared, and said they had never heard of such a thing. None of the wines are enforced with extra brandy; none are drugged; none are termed intoxicating by way of distinction; for all are intoxicating—the best yielding one-third of their quantity in brandy. The distillers say that a given quantity of grapes will produce the same quantity of brandy, whatever process may be adopted in making the wine. The Papal and Greek priests all say that wine for the sacrament must be pure and fermented, but not acetous. Here then are “tyrosh, yoyin,” and all the hard-labored theories about the unintoxicating wines of Palestine, dashed and demolished against the facts.
FIRE INSURANCE IN NEW YORK.
The public attention has recently been drawn to the situation and available resources of the various Fire Insurance companies of New York, and their ability to meet and promptly pay losses, if incurred. The failure of the Croton Insurance Company, the winding up of the Contributionship Insurance Company, and the refusal of the Sun Mutual and General Mutual, to issue fire policies in the business parts of the city, has seri ously affected our merchants doing a large business, and prevents them from procuring sufficient amounts to cover goods on hand. It is true many agencies of foreign companies have been opened in this city, but some of them are very limited in their means, and therefore unsafe in the event of an extensive conflagration. Under these circumstances, we feel it our duty to call the attention of the mercantile community to the agency of the Franklin Fire Insurance Company, recently opened in the city of New York. The Franklin has been in operation for eighteen years, and in addition to their capital, $400,000, have accumulated a surplus of $600,000, thus offering ample security to those receiving their policies.
BRITISH CUSTOM DUTIES IN INDIA. From a recent Parliamentary paper it appears that the gross amount of the Custom
Duties in India for the year 1843–4, was 1,68,43,932 rupees (£1,579,118) and the nett produce 1,37,25,553 rupees (£1,286,770.)