United States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign Commerce.

Consular reports, Issues 196-199 online

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moid can be cleaned with soap and water, so that the invention, because of
hygienic considerations, deserves attention. Pegamoid, it is further claimed,
will prove to be an important auxiliary to the well-known textile industry of
Crefeld and its neighborhood.

The great importance attributed to this new invention is further explained
in an article of the Schreibwaaren Zeitung, which says:

Under the trade-mark *• Pegamoid," a patent has been announced which has the proper-
ties of making any article applied to the same waterproof. Paper, leather, cotton, linens,
silks, woolens, cloth, and other goods treated with pegamoid are waterproof, protected against
vermin, and remain entirely smooth, soft, flexible, unsusceptible to the change of temperature
and climatic influences. There is no doubt that pegamoid leather in future will prove to be
a great competitor of the genuine morocco leather, being cheaper and as fine in appearance,
with the advantage of not getting soiled. All kinds of wall paper can be cleaned after the
treatment with pegamoid without suffering loss of color. As to the various applications of
pegamoid, there is a large fleld for speculations and I only desire to mention here what has
already been confirmed to be a fact. The invention can so easily be applied that scarcely
any object in daily use exists in which it might not be of great advantage. One of the most
important uses of this invention is claimed for imitation leather, which, after pegamoid has
been applied to any texture, can hardly be distinguished by touch or otherwise from the gen-
uine article. A special advantage of pegamoid for tapestry consists in its durability. The
surface is, notwithstanding its pliantness, very solid and does not split, an advantage which
genuine leather does not always possess.

Being impervious to water, it has the advantage that furniture upholstered with pegamoid
may be washed with even boiling water without the least injury to the same. Its unsuscepti-
bility to oils, acids, grease, and other stains makes pergamoid a valuable article for book
covers, cigar cases, pocketbooks, picture frames, and many other goods, such as boots and
shoes, saddles, military equipments, etc.

Crefeld, December 28, i8g6. Consul,


A new schedule for the shipment of sugar from Bohemia and Moravia
to Trieste will shortly go into effect. The new scale of prices threatens to
render the further transportation of sugar from Bohemia via Trieste a prac-
tical impossibility. Hitherto the average price of freight from the Bohe-
mian refineries to the Adriatic was 48.6 cents per 220 pounds, and from the
Moravian refineries, which are nearer Trieste, the freight cost 49.5 cents
per 220 pounds. But because the Moravian manufacturers produce their
sugar from 15 to 25 cents per 220 pounds cheaper than their Bohemian com-
petitors, they were able to pay the slight difference in freight and have the

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balance of trade very much in their power when sales were made free on
board at Trieste. In the future, the Moravian refineries will be still more
favorably placed, for, by the new tariff, the average price of freight will be
only 35.4 cents per 220 pounds, while from the Bohemian refineries the
freight will approximate 43.5 cents per 220 pounds, or 8.7 cents more than
from Moravia, instead of i cent less as heretofore.

When this new schedule becomes legal on December i, it will prevent
any shipments of beet-root sugar from Bohemia to America via Trieste and
tend to send them, owing also to the longer transit by sea from Trieste, via
Bremen and Hamburg, despite the fact that railroad freight from Prague to
the German ports averages 73 cents for every 220 pounds.

In addition to the change in the freight tariff from Bohemia and Moravia,
the Hungarian State railways have refused to accept further shipments of
sugar from Hungary to Fiume. This measure has seemed necessary to the
authorities, for the reason that great stores of sugar were accumulating in
Fiume, and that while the shipments thither from Hungary were increasing
enormously each day, but a small quantity was exported from Fiume to other
countries. The Hungarian producers of raw beet-root sugar believed that,
owing to the decreasing export of sugar from Cuba, there was a probability
of a large export from Hungary, and, in consequence, sent to Fiume many
car loads with the expectation of early shipment to the United States. This
hope has been, for the most part, unfulfilled. From January i, 1896, up to
date, there have been exported from Fiume to New York and Philadelphia,
18,889 ^<^"s of raw sugar, but the shipments have amounted to so much less
than the Hungarian manufacturers anticipated that, at present writing, there
remain in the Fiume warehouses more than 25,000 tons of unsold sugar.


Prague, November jo ^ i8q6. Consul,


A new material, suitable for flooring, roofing, lining of water-closets,
bathrooms, walls, etc., was invented by Otto Kraner, at Einsiedel, near
Chemnitz, Saxony, about two years ago. The article did not, however,
prove to possess sufficient resistance and consistency. Subsequently, it was
taken up and improved by Messrs. Braendli & Co., at Mainaustrasse No. 24,
Zurich, Switzerland, who, by the addition of some chemicals, have, as they
claim, brought it to perfection and made it as durable as stone.

I called on the above firm to obtain what information I could, and from
them learned the following :

Papyrolith is a new kind of material, the principal ingredients of which
are waste paper and sawdust. These two substances are mixed with certain
chemicals, which, so far, are the exclusive secret of the manufacturers. The

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material is made into three separate bodies, viz, (i) a moist powder, (2) a
dry powder, and (3) a liquid. These are then mixed in a proportion of 4
pounds of moist powder with 6 pounds of the dry one, and enough of the
liquid substance is mixed therewith to bring the mass to the density of ordi-
nary mortar. It is then spread over a foundation of wood or stone, as the
case may be, in the same manner as asphaltum or cement, stamped down,
leveled, left to dry, and then polished. It requires at least two days to dry
and harden.

This papyrolith, it is claimed, becomes as hard as stone, but without
losing its elasticity, is perfectly water-tight, fireproof, a nonconductor of
heat, cold, or sound ; being spread into one solid mass, it has no joints, is not
porous, nonadherent of dust or microbes, is noiseless, and, therefore, espe-
cially recommended for flooring schoolhouses, hospitals, houses and public
halls, water-closets and bathrooms.

For roofing, it is spread over a grooved or kind of corrugated roofing
pasteboard, especially manufactured for that purpose. It is lighter than other
roofing material, weighing only 14 kilograms per square meter (about 26
pounds per square yard), and requires, therefore, but a light wooden con-
struction to support it; it is water-tight, a nonconductor of heat or cold,
and, what is more important, it is incombustible. It can be made in what-
ever color desired.

As to its wear and durability, the article has not been in use long enough
for experts to give an opinion; but contracting architects, with whom I have
talked on the subject, believe that it possesses all the qualities the manu-
facturers claim for it.

The Zurich school authorities have had floors of this material laid in sev-
eral of the city schoolhouses as a trial. In the Federal Museum, an entire
hallway is covered with it. Private individuals are contracting for it to line
the walls of their bathrooms, kitchens, etc., in place of tiling, formerly used
for the same purpose, it being water-tight and less cold and not so apt to
crack under the change of temperature.

The prices of papyrolith, laid down and ready for use,-are, for the present,
quoted at the following figures by the manufacturers (Braendli & Co.):
Floors with a layer of 0.591 inch thickness, about $1 per square yard; floors
with a layer of 0.985 inch, about ^i. 25 per square yard ; roofing, $1 per square
yard ; walls, |i . 25 per square yard ; special decorative work, as per agreement.
Cost of manufacture is not obtainable.

No patent or application therefor has been obtained or applied for.
The manufacturers state that none is obtainable on an article of this kind,
but as the chemicals or mixture used in the preparation of papyrolith are
only known to themselves, they feel safe against competitors.


Zurich, November ^^ i8g6. Consul.

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According to the latest official reports from St. Petersburg concerning
the manufacture of cast iron in Russia, there are at present in the Empire
127 private foundries, of which 59 are located in the Ural district, the
output of which, during the first half of the present year, was 17,000,000
poods (274,000 tons), as against 29,200,000 poods (470,700 tons) for
the whole year 1895, 28,300,000 poods (456,200 tons) for 1894, and
27,400,000 poods (441,700 tons) in 1893. ^^^ "^^' largest district is that
of Moscow, with 32 foundries, which produced in the first half year of
1896, 4,400,000 poods (70,900 tons), as against 7,680,000 poods (123,800
tons) in 1895, 7,640,000 poods (123,100 tons) in 1894, and 7,350,000 poods
(i 18,400 tons) in 1893. The 23 foundries in Poland produced during the
periods mentioned 6, 1 70,000 poods (99,500 tons), 11,260,000 poods (181,500
tons), 1 1,080,000 poods (178,600 tons), and 9,800,000 poods (15 7,900 tons),
respectively. In South Russia (the governmental districts of Ekaterinoslav,
Kherson, Poltava, and the Don country), there are 7 works, which produced
in the first half of 1896, 17,420,000 poods (280,800 tons), 32,600,000
poods (525,500 tons) in 1895, 27,150,000 poods (437,600 tons) in 1894, and
20,000,000 poods (322,400 tons) in 1893. In the southwestern country,
there are 5 foundries, which produced in the first half year of 1896 only
110,000 poods (1,770 tons). In the northern part of the Empire, the cast-
iron manufacture is represented by only i establishment, which is located in
the governmental district of Olonets, the annual output being about 51,000
poods (822 tons).

As will appear from the foregoing, the southern districts, especially that
of Ekaterinoslav, are gradually becoming — at the expense of the Ural section —
the center of this industry. Apart from the fact that not a single one of the
59 foundries in the Ural district ever produced such quantities of cast iron
as the Alexandrof works in Briansk, whose annual output is nearly 10,000,000
poods (162,000 tons), and the Dnieprofsk works of equal capacity, the total
of the comparatively few works in the south far surpasses the output of the
Ural works.

Considering that the blast furnaces are in operation without any inter-
ruption throughout the year and that the production of cast iron in the
second half year will equal in quantity that of the first, we may safely
assume that the total production of cast iron will amount to 90,000,000
poods (i ,450,900 tons). To this will have to be added the production of the
Royal, the Imperial Cabinet, the Finland, and the Siberian iron works,
the total of which amounts to about 7,000,000 poods (112,800 tons), and the
1,500,000 poods (24,000 tons), which are produced by the furnaces started
in the Urals and South Russia very recently. The total annual produc-
tion, therefore, in Russia of cast iron amounts to about 99,000,000 poods

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(1,600,000 tons). Of this, the private works produced, in 1895, 82,000,000
poods (1,322,000 tons), 74,500,000 poods (1,200,000 tons) in 1894, and
64,900,000 poods (1,050,000 tons) in 1893. Supposing that the yield of
the Royal, the Imperial Cabinet, the Finland, and the Siberian works will
not have an increase over last year's output, the production of the Empire
in 1896 would still amount to 10,000,000 poods (162,000 tons) more than
last year.

Pig iron was produced in Russia in 1895 ^^ ^^^ amount of 88,785,000
poods (1,431,000 tons), which is an increase of 8,640,000 poods (138,000
tons) over 1894 and an increase of 9,281,000 poods (149,600 tons) over
1893. ^^ spite of this increase, the home works are far from being able to
meet the demand, especially on account of the rapid development of rail-
ways throughout the country. The imports of foreign pig iron, and partic-
ularly of iron and steel in various forms of manufacture, amounted to
47,602,000 poods (767,400 tons) in 1895, expressed in pig-iron quantities —
that is, more than half of the home production of pig iron and more than
a third of the entire consumption. The amounts of imports of foreign cast
iron, iron, and steel in 1895 ^^'^ ^^ seen from the following: Cast iron,
8,106,000 poods (130,600 tons); wrought iron and steel, 18,329,000 poods
(295,400 tons); iron and steel goods, 2,350,000 poods (32,000 tons) ; ma-
chines and apparatus, 5,965,000 poods (96,000 tons), including 939,000
poods (15,100 tons) of agricultural machines and implements; total metals
and metal goods, 26,330,000 poods (424,400 tons), which is, calculated
in cast-iron quantities — ij4 poods (54.16 pounds) of cast iron to i pood
(36.112 pounds) of iron — 39,496,000 poods (636,700 tons), which, together
with the 8,106,400 poods (130,600 tons) of cast iron imported, make a grand
total of 47,602,700 poods (767,400 tons).


Annaberg, November 28, i8g6. Consul,


It is noteworthy that the import of iron into Russia has this year not
increased, but decreased, as compared with the same period of last year, as
will be seen from the following figures :


Sheet iron....
Iron in bars..



September 1,1894,10 September 1,1895,10

September 1,1895. I September!, 1896.

1 I

Poods. Tons.

5,308 I 958

7,093 1,280

12,400 3,238

Poods. Tons.





a. 179

At present, the southwestern region in Russia is receiving from abroad a
small quantity of assorted iron, principally of the finer classes, like hoop

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iron, semicircular, stamped, and angle iron, but more of the fine roofing iron
of 6, 7, 8, 9, and lo pounds, and a good deal of the boiler iron of dimen-
sion*? of 2^ by 4^ feet, 4 by 8 feet, and 4^ by 9/4 feet, and of the double-
stamped beams. The prices of the imported iron per pood (36. 112 pounds)
are the following :


Assorted iron.

In Sosnowicy

In Kiev

Angle iron.

In Sosnowicy

In Kiev

Boiler iron.

In Sosnowicy

In Kiev

Sheet iron.

In Sosnowicy

In Kiev

Double-stamped beams.

In Sosnowicy

In Kiev



2. to


a.90 I

2.15 I
2.40 I



1. 15

1. 6a

1. 10


\ 2. 10 to 2. 15

\ a. 40 to 2. 50

r2.4S to 2. so

1 3. 20 to 3. »s

va.so to 2. 60

^x.o8 to^t. 10

T.23tO I.

1.26 to T.28

1.6410 1.67

1.28 to 1.33

Regarding the Ton trade in southern and southwestern Russia, it wholly
depends on the production of the iron works in Poland and the Upper
Dnieper and the Briansk works. Should the production of those mills ap-
proximately supply the demand, then a certain equilibrium could be estab-
lished ; but that is doubtful. It is, therefore, expected that the import of
iron from abroad will increase. The Russian newspapers challenge the
above-mentioned mills to show clearly the cause which hinders them from
satisfying the demands of the market. The Commerce and Trade Journal
says :

The iron market is one of the principal ones and of great importance ♦© our country. It
is the duty of every one who thinks of ihe future of Russia not lo hide its condition, but to
bring it to the light, and not to consider the advantages only of the present moment. Ad-
vantages could be tolerated only then, if there were a hope that they would be able, in the
near future, to create a wider and more sound position for our iron industry and our iron

The prices at which the home iron is sold in Kiev, on board cars, per
pood (36.112 pounds) are: For assorted, from 1.66 to 1.68 rubles (85 to ^(>
cents); for sheet iron, from 2 to 2.15 rubles (Ji. 03 to $1.10).


St. Petersburg, December 7, j8g6. Consul- General.

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Russia is a great flax-growing country, but the flax business has not been
flourishing, the cause of which seems to be that, so far, Russia's wealthy and
enterprising people have paid no attention to it. There is.no doubt that the
spinning of flax in the country of its production is advantageous, which view
was taken by some French capitalists, at the beginning of this year, who tried
to establish mills for that purpose in Russia. This effort did not seem to
meet with the approval of some of the Russian people, and the newspapers
openly expressed dissatisfaction with foreigners taking possession of this
source of Russian wealth, and urged Russian capital to take hold of the flax
industry and try to bring it to the front. It was stated that Russia produces
the greatest quantity of flax, and therefore should be the first country in the
manufacture of it. As a result, to-day, in Nijni -Novgorod, local capitalists
and merchants are organizing a joint-stock company, with a capital of 1,500,-
000 rubles (1771,000), for building a flax-spinning mill at that place. It has
met with such an approval that over 1,000,000 rubles were subscribed in
a very short time. Persons at the head of this enterprise bear a good repu-
tation as energetic business men with large capital. There are only two
spinning-mill factories with larger capital in Russia.

The price of flax has somewhat weakened lately. The reason is that the
foreign market has taken advantage of the early sales and of the instability
of the prices in Russia and supplied itself with considerable stock. The
arrival of large quantities of flax in the provincial markets contributes also
to depression of prices. Notwithstanding this, the market is firm. The
prices of flax in St. Petersburg at present, in comparison with last year's,
are, per berkovets (361.12 pounds) as follows:


Wet Liiga

Yarop>olski, first quality.
Vologodski, first quality.

Biezjctsk, not sorted

Ostrov, picked

Biezjctsk, picked

December, 1896.

Rubifs. 1


$16.96 !

34- 00



2'- 59





36. 50


December, 1895.


40.00 to 42.00

$20.56 to $21. 59



44- 00


3a- 75


38.0010 39.00

19. 53 to 20. 05

4). 00 to 41.00

90.56 to 21.07

The prices in Riga are: For Livonian, 39 to 40 rubles (J 20. 05 to I20.56);
for Courland, 36.50 to 37.50 rubles ($18.76 to ^19. 27). The freights quoted
per ton from Riga to England are 20s. ($4.86); to France and Belgium, 20
to 25 francs (I3.86 to ^^4.82); and to Holland, 12 florins (I4.82).

During the last few days the following sales were closed in St. Petersburg:
Two hundred tons of Sychevsk flax at 3 1 rubles (| 1 5 . 93) per berkovets (36 1 . 1 2
pounds), 100 tons of Yaropolski flax at 33.50 rubles (I17.22) per berkovets.

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loo tons of Kashinsk flax at 37.50 rubles (J19.27) per berkovets, and 50 tons
of Krasnokholmsk flax at 37 rubles (J 19. 02) per berkovets. In the factory
regions, the prices advanced a little. The quantities of flax and tow ex-
ported from Russia from October 13 to December 5, 1896, as compared
with the same period in 1895, according to the custom-house returns, were:











796,03s i

480,000 !
1,276,035 ,

183,694 1
46,000 1



Overland ,




Ttrw. ♦









229,694 1


The principal demands came from Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, and France.

St. Petersburg, December //, i8g6. Consul- General.


There are fifteen brokers at the grain exchange of St. Petersburg who
are elected by the Grain Exchange Society and confirmed by the Department
of Trade and Manufactures. Of these, one is appointed by the exchange
committee as a chief broker. The number of the brokers can be increased
or decreased by the action of the Grain Exchange Society, with the confir-
mation of the Minister of Finance. A person wishing to be an exchange
broker must file a petition with the grain exchange committee with the fol-
lowing proofs: (i) That he is a Russian subject, (2) that he is not less than
25 years old, (3) that he is a member of the grain exchange, and (4) in case
he went through bankruptcy, to present a certificate that his bankruptcy
was acknowledged by the commercial court as justified, /. /r., caused by un-
foreseen misfortune.

The persons elected for exchange brokers are examined by an exchange
committee as to their qualifications. The committee then sends all the docu-
ments presented and their own conclusions to the Department of Trade and
Manufactures. An exchange broker enters upon the duties of his office after
his confirmation by the Department of Trade and Manufactures, after taking
the oath of his office ; but if, within thirty days of his qualification, he should
fail to present to the committee of the Grain Exchange Society all the doc-
uments and books necessary for his duty as broker, prescribed by law, his
place is declared vacant and given to the next one. A vacancy occurring in
the course of the year is filled, with permission of the Department of Trade
and Manufactures, by election held in the general assembly of the Grain

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350 (;rain-exciiangk buokers in Russia.

Exchange Society. The brokers are appointed for an indefinite period.
They must provide themselves with a commercial certificate of second guild ;
and although they have to pay for the same and all other fees established,
they can not engage in any other commercial business outside that of broker.
They must be acquainted with all the rules and regulations concerning com-
merce and with the prices and qualities of goods. In the discharge of their
duties, the following rules must be observed :

(i) Brokers are not allowed to act as commercial attorneys, trustees, or

(2) They are prohibited from forming associations among themselves
or performing the official duty of another, except with the permission of
the trustees. They can cooperate for a united mediatorship in carrying out
separate orders.

(3) They must attend to their duties personally and are not allowed to
conclude any bargain through an assistant.

(4) They are bound to keep secret all orders, negotiations, and contracts
concluded through their agency, except in such cases where it is allowed by
their trustees or by the character of the bargain itself.

(5) The brokers, in their certificates to parties, must designate the bar-
gains in poods and copecks. They issue also brokers' certificates for either
sale or purchase of goods, according to orders received by letter or telegram
from members of the exchange living in other cities or towns, but they
must send such certificates for signature of the parties.

The brokers must be present at the exchange during the business hours,
and wear a badge with the inscription, ''exchange broker." Each grain-
exchange broker receives every year from the Department of Trade and
Manufactures a book, under seal, in which he must record all bargains made,
according to the certificates issued by him, with all the particulars and de-
tails, on the day they were made or not later than the following morning.
The Department of Trade and Manufactures gives such book only when the
broker produces a certificate that he has paid the guild duties for the year,
and when he has received the hook he must present it to the court of excheq-

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 196-199 → online text (page 49 of 82)