B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

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For fuel, the cake is mi.xed with cow-dung.

Although all these kinds of oil are made as of old, the imported
kerosene oil has to a great extent superseded them for domestic use
among all classes.

Oil-mills worked by steam have been established at Bangalore by
Messrs. Binny & Co. of Madras. There is also an Oil-Mill Company
working at Mysore. A combined rice and oil-mill factory has also
been established by native agency at Tumkur, where both screw



presses worked by hand and steam machinery are in use. A Bombay
firm maintain an agent at Davangere, whose special duty it is to
procure oil-seeds for export to that place.

The above account contains no notice of the distillation of sandal-oil,
which comes more under the head of perfumery, and is of importance
in connection with Mysore, the home of the sandal. The native
method of extracting sandal-oil is very different from the European
process. Large quantities of sandal-wood roots are yearly bought at
the Mysore sandal-wood auctions and exported to France, to be there
manufactured into oil, for which the demand is great in certain
contagious diseases. A concession was offered to a French firm to
erect a factory in this Province for distilling sandal-oil. The oil is also
distilled at Mr. Hay's factory at Hunsur.

Soap and candle works, worked by steam, have been set up in
Bangalore city, under European management, and the concern, which
has been aided by the Mysore Government, is being formed into a
Joint-Stock Company. Soap, made from cocoanut-oil, and candles,
made from di'tpa seeds {vateria indica), have been manufactured on a
small scale at Shikarpur by Amildar Nagesha Rao.

The following are the only figures available showing the estimated
value of the oils manufactured in the Province : —












.. 578,588

Glass-making. — This art is principally, if not entirely, applied to
the manufacture of bangles or glass rings, worn on the wrists like
bracelets by all classes of women. The chief seat of the trade, which
is not so extensive as at one time, used to be at Mattod, but some
glass is also made at Channapatna, part of which is formed into small

At Mattod the furnaces are constructed in a high terrace, which is
built against the inside of the fort-wall, and are in the form of a dome,
or like an oven, eight feet in diameter, and about ten feet in height.
The oven is not arched, but contracted above into a circular opening,
about 18 inches in diameter, by making the upper rows of stones
project beyond those below them. At the bottom of the furnace, in
the side opposite to the town wall, is a small opening, through which
the fuel is supplied. The crucibles are oblong, and would contain
about 5 i Winchester gallons. Having been filled with the materials,
they are lowered down into the furnace by the aperture in the top, by


which also the workmen descend. They first place a row of the
crucibles all round the furnace, with their bottoms to the wall and their
mouths sloping inwards. In this position they are secured by a bed of
clay, which covers the crucibles entirely, leaving their open mouths
only exposed. Above this row another is placed in a similar manner,
and then a third and a fourth. The furnaces vary in size, from
such as can contain fifty crucibles thus disposed to such as can
contain twice that number. The fuel consists of small sticks,
which having been gathered a year are quite dry. A quantity having
been put in the bottom of the furnace, the workmen ascend, and some
burning coals are thrown upon the fuel. By the opening below, fresh
fuel is added night and day, until the time allowed for vitrifying the
materials has expired. The fire is then allowed to burn out, and the
furnace to cool. Afterwards the workmen descend, and take out the
crucibles, which must be broken to get at their contents.

The materials used in this manufacture are : soda, quartz or compact
ironstone, compact specular iron ore, and copper.

The soda is gained in the following manner : Some pits about a foot
and a half deep are filled with salt earth, and water is poured upon it. The
same quantity of water is poured successively upon different portions of salt
earth till it is conceived to be sufficiently impregnated with saline matter,
which is judged of by its brown colour. This water is then worked into a
pultaceous mass with cow-dung, and spread about an inch thick upon a
straw mat, and dried in the sun. Another layer prepared in the same way
is applied the next day, and for twelve successive days it is kept moist by
the addition of fresh portions of lixivium of soda. The large cake is then
divided into smaller pieces, which, when quite dry, are piled up into a heap
and burnt. The fine ashes which are found along with the more solid
pieces are kept separate. The latter are reduced to powder, stored up,
and called saiilu sdravi (essence of soda) ; because they contain the largest
quantity of soda.

The quartz (1!^/// >i'a//«) used is a little iron-shot. Corn kallit is an iron
ore that comes nearest to compact brown ironstone (hydrate of iron).
Kcmmidic kalhc, iron glance, specular iron ore or red oxide of iron, is
found in sufficient quantities after heavy rains in a nullah in Hudihal
taluq. The nullah comes from the north side of a hill which probably
contains the ore in rocks. This ore is reckoned best when firm and
sound. If red ochre appear in the fracture, the specimen is esteemed
inferior to the best kind, in the proportion of two to three. And accord-
ingly a greater quantity of it is considered as necessary in the manufacture
of glass.

From these few materials the following kinds of glass are made : —

Bija or mother glass. — It is a soft, imperfect, porous glass ; and is used
only as a substratum or basis to the other kinds of glass. It is made of the



following ingredients : — The ashes which remain when the soda is made,
and which, as was mentioned before, are kept apart. If these ashes do not
contain many grains of salt, five parts of them are taken ; but if they are
mixed with much salt, three parts are deemed sufficient. To these are
added of pounded quartz, or bili kallu, one part. These two ingredients are
separately pounded and then mixed together, put into clay pots and kept in
the heated furnace for eight days. To see whether glass is formed, an iron
hook fastened to a long bamboo is dipped into a pot containing the glass
materials. If the mass adhering to it be of the consistence of wax, the
operation is finished. If not, another day's heat is given.

Red glass. — This is of a hyacinthine colour, penetrated with large
round white spots. It is composed of bija 7 parts, soda or saulu sdram
21, and kemmidu kallu 10. All the ingredients are first separately
reduced to an impalpable powder, and then mixed. It requires first
three days of slow heat, and then seven days of the strongest fire that
can be given. If more than the stated quantity of kemmidu be taken,
the glass acquires a black colour ; if less, it assumes a lighter shade
of red.

Green glass. — This glass has a dark emerald green colour with opaque
spots, and is composed of the following ingredients : soda or saulu sdram
21 parts, bija 7, kemmidu kallu y, and copper filings y. These materials
having been mixed and put into the crucibles, these are properly disposed in
the furnace, and a fire is kept up for nine days and nine nights. For the
first five days the fuel is added slowly, so that the flame just rises to the
aperture ; and afterwards it is not necessary to occasion quite so great a
heat as for the frit (bija) or black glass. The copper is calcined by burning
it, on the fireplace in the bottom of the furnace, during the whole
nine days that are required to make this glass. The saline crust formed
on the surface of this glass is considered by the natives as unfit for eating.

Black ^lass. — This glass is made of 3 parts of saulu sdram and i of bija.
Four days' moderate heat is enough for obtaining it. The charcoal of the
saulu sdram probably gives it the black colour, as it will lose it if the fire be
too long continued or too strong. This glass is the least esteemed of all.
It is quite opaque and has a close resemblance to enamel. The common
salt contained in the soda separates itself from the other ingredients, and is
found covering the glass or bija in a firm crust of one inch or more in thick-
ness. It is very fine and white, and used like sea-salt.

Blue glass. — This is composed of 21 parts of soda, 7 of bija, i of
copper filings, and an equal quantity of powdered kari kallu. For
fifteen days and nights, these materials must be burned with a moderate

Yelloiv glass is made of 2 1 parts of soda, and 7 parts of native soda (salt
earth) from which all the small stones have been picked, but which of course
contains a good deal of sand. For fifteen days these are burned with a
slow fire. When this glass is wrought up into rings, it receives a bright
yellow colour by enamelling it with the melted calces of the following
metals : five parts of lead, and one of tin are calcined together. Then one


part oi satin or zinc is calcined in a separate crucible. The two calces are
then mixed, and further calcined, until they begin to adhere together.
They are then powdered in a mortar. When the ring-maker is at work, he
melts some of this powder, and, while the ring is hot, with an iron rod he
applies a little of the powder to the surface of the glass.

The yield for each crucible in all cases is the same, except the red
and green kinds, which give respectively i\ niaund (30/,-, lbs.)
and ifV maund (3i|-i- lbs.) ; while the others give only i maund or
24^ lbs.

Carpentry and Turning. — The ordinary carpenters arc engaged
chiefly in making of carts and agricultural implements, with fittings and
furniture for the houses of the villagers. In Bangalore and some other
large places, cabinet work is turned out of great excellence, copied
from English designs Coach and carriage building is also successfully
carried on.

The toys for which Channapatna is noted are remarkably well
suited for their purpose, and much sought after by Europeans as well
as natives. The miniature imitations of native vessels and implements
are turned from hdk wood, and coated with lac of bright colours,
simply applied by the heat of the friction in turning. These toys are
of brilliant colours, smooth, and hard, and the colour never comes
off. Larger toys, representing various animals, are made from a soft
wood like touch-wood, bhurige mara. They are elaborately painted by
hand ; the birds especially, and some fruits, being very fairly modelled
and painted to imitate nature.

The sandal-wood carving, for which Mysore is famous, has already
been described above, p 522.

Sugar and Jaggory. — ^The expression of juice from the sugar-cane
is an important industrial operation, the details of which may be
described as follows : — •

The boiling-house is a thatched hut, about 40 feet long and 20
broad, with a door in front, but without windows. The walls are mud,
and stand all the year ; but a new roof of very slight materials is put on
annually, when the crop is ripe. At one end is a square pit for holding
the cuttings of the sugar-cane, and at the other is the boiler. The
furnace is partly raised and partly sunk ; it is in the form of a truncated
cone, and the fuel is supplied from without by an opening in the
wall. A small hole for letting out the smoke is placed before the
boiler, and has no chimney. The iron boiler is flat, and completely
shuts the mouth of the furnace. 15efore the boiler is a cavity for
containing the large cooling jar. The sugar-mill consists of a mortar,
beam, lever, pestle and regulator.


The mortar is a tree, about lo feet in length, and 14 inches in diameter.
It is sunk perpendicularly into the earth, leaving one end two feet above
the surface. The hollow is conical, truncated downwards, and then
becomes cylindrical with a hemispherical projection in its bottom, in order
to allow the juice to run freely to the small opening that conveys it to a
spout, from which it falls into an earthen pot. Round the upper mouth of
the cone is a circular cavity, which collects any of the juice that may run
over from the upper ends of the pieces of cane ; and from thence a canal
conveys this juice down the outside of the mortar to the spout.

The beam is about 16 feet in length and 6 inches in thickness, and is cut
out from a large tree that is divided by a fork into two arms. In the fork
an excavation is made for the mortar, round which the beam turns
horizontally. The surface of this excavation is secured by a semicircle of
strong wood. The end towards the forks is quite open for changing the
beam without trouble. On the undivided end of the beam sits the bullock
driver, whose cattle are yoked by a rope, which comes from the end of the
beam ; and they are prevented from dragging out of the circle by another
rope which passes from the yoke to the forked end of the beam. On the
arms a basket is placed to hold the cuttings of cane ; and between this and
the mortar sits the man who feeds the mill. Just as the pestle comes
round, he places the pieces of cane sloping down the cavity of the mortar ;
and, after the pestle has passed, he removes those which have been

The lever is a piece of timber nearly of the same length with the beam.
Its thicker and lower end is connected with the undivided end of the beam
by the regulator. Some way above its junction with the regulator, a piece of
siijjalu, which is a very hard wood, is dovetailed into the lower side of the
lever ; and in this piece is made a smooth conical hollow, which rests on the
head of the pestle. The upper end of the lever is fastened to the two arms
of the beam by two ropes.

The pestle is a strong cylindrical piece of timber, about four feet in
length. At each end it is cut to a point, so as at the upper end to fonn a
cone, and at the lower a pyramid of from twelve to fifteen sides, sur-
mounted by a short cylinder. The cavity in the lever being towards one
end, makes the position of the pestle always oblique ; so that as it passes
round it rubs strongly against the sides of the mortar. Its cylindrical
point rubs on the top of the hemispherical projection that is in the
bottom of the cylindrical cavity of the mortar.

The regulator is a strong square piece of timber, which passes through
the undivided end of the beam, and is secured below by part of its circum-
ference being left for cheeks. It is perforated by eight holes, in the lowest
of which is placed a pin to prevent the regulator from falling when the
strain is removed. A pin in one of the upper holes of the regulator and
another in one of the holes in the thick end of the lever, serve to secure in
their place the ropes that bind closely together these two parts of the
machine. According as these pins are placed, higher or lower, the relative
direction of all the moveable parts of the machine is altered, and the


balance of the beam is so regulated that it goes round without any friction,
but yet with its fork closely applied to the mortar. The only frictions in
this machine, it must be observed, are at the two extremities of the pestle ;
and that which is at the lower end is entirely employed in bruising the
cane, which is the object in view ; still, however, it is a machine badly
contrived for the purpose to which it is applied.

When the works and machinery have been prepared for making
jaggory, all the proprietors of sugar-cane in the village assemble, and
work together a day at each man's field, in rotation, until the whole is
finished. A sufficient number of people bring the canes to a man who
cuts them into pieces about six inches long, and puts them in the
square cavity in the boiling-house. From thence one man supplies
the basket of the person who feeds the mill, and who is the third man
employed at the works. The fourth man drives the bullocks ; a fifth
carries the juice to the boiler ; a sixth attends the fire ; and a seventh
manages the boiler. The mill goes night and day ; and gives fifty-six
pots of juice, containing in all about 218 ale gallons. The bullocks
are changed after having expressed three pots, and do no more work
that day, having been obliged to go very fast. Two of them are in the
yoke at a time.

The cane raised on black mould gives about a fifth part more juice
than that produced on sandy soil ; but then nine pots of the latter give
a hundred balls of jaggory, while it requires twelve, or even fourteen,
pots of the former to produce the same quantity. The workmen
always put into the boiler as much juice as will yield a hundred balls
of jaggory. It is strained into the boiler through a cotton cloth, and
there is added to it a proper quantity of lime-water. In a boiler full of
rich juice, from cane raised on sandy soil, there is put half a seer of
lime-water, or about thirty-four cubical inches ; and poorer juice from
the same kind of soil requires double that quantity. The boiler full of
juice from black mould cane requires five or six seers, which is added
by degrees. The boiler performs his operations three times in the
twenty-four hours.

When the juice has been evaporated to a proper consistence, it is
put into a large pot and allowed to cool for two or three hours. It is
then poured into the mould, which consists of a long thick plank, in
which a hundred holes are formed, each in the shape of a quadrilateral
inverted pyramid. The jaggory, or inspissated juice, is allowed to dry
in the mould for four hours ; when the plank being turned over, the
lialls, or rather pyramids, of jaggory fall down. They are dried b\-
placing them on leaves for a day, and arc then fit for sale. These
balls weigh i:} seer, or ro6 lb. The jaggory thus contains both the


sugar and molasses, and is similar to what in Jamaica comes out of the
cooler before it is taken to the curing-house. It is, however, some-
what more inspissated ; for which an allowance must be made if we
wish to compare the strength of the sugar-cane juice in the two
countries. By the foregoing account it requires about 37 gallons of
the best juice to make i cwt. of jaggory.

The sugar-mills used in the north-east are two cylinders, wrought by
a perpetual screw, and two bullocks ; but seven times in the twenty-
four hours the bullocks are changed. The mill goes night and day ;
and, by the labour of fourteen bullocks, expresses 7,000 canes, which
produce fourteen maunds of jaggory, or seven maunds of raw sugar,
equal to li cwt.

This cumbrous and tedious process, with its imperfect results, has
been in many parts superseded by the introduction of iron sugar-cane
mills, which are expeditious in working and express the juice more
completely and with greater cleanliness. This is, in fact, almost the
only European machinery that the ryots have adopted.

The Ashtagram Sugar Works were established at Palhalli in 1847,
for refining into sugar the jaggory produced by the ryots. The then
Commissioner of Mysore, Sir Mark Cubbon, afforded the spirited pro-
jectors, Messrs. Groves & Co., every help in his power, and the factory
was a source of great public benefit in developing the resources of
agriculture in that part of the country. The number of men employed
at the works, when in full operation, was about 10 Europeans and 300
natives. The works were afterwards carried on by a Joint-Stock Com-
pany. The prize and medal for the best crystallized sugar at the Great
Exhibitions in London in 1851 and 1861 were awarded to the Ash-
tagram Sugar Works; and at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1867,
where the exhibitors in sugar were numerous and competition great,
" honourable mention " w^as awarded. But the factory has now been
closed for many years since the retirement of the proprietors, though
the buildings and machinery are still there.

The following were the details of manufacture : —

Cane jaggory is usually in the form of small compressed square cakes^
shelving on one side into an inverted cone. This jaggory is sold by the
growers of the cane at so much per cake. But at the sugar works it was
purchased by weight, in order to render which uniform, a table was pre-
pared fixing the weight of 1,000 cakes at 7 cwt. 6 lbs., and the price was
computed at so much per 1,000 cakes.

The jaggory was placed in two large copper caldrons, called " blow-ups,"'
mixed with water, a small quantity of lime, and animal blood, and boiled
by steam until the whole was dissolved and attained a certain consistency.


The lime was added to neutralize any acidity which might remain in the
jaggory, and the blood combined with the gluten matter contained in the
solution and carried it to the bottom. The solution or liquor (as it was now-
termed) was let into troughs, and underwent a course of filtration through
drill bags fixed in machines fitted up for the purpose. This filtered liquor
was conducted to a cistern, whence it was pumped up to the top of a large
iron cylinder filled with about 20 tons weight of animal charcoal made into
grain, through which the liquor had to pass that it might become
decolourized. It was then let into a tank, whence it was drawn up by the
action of an air-pump into the vacuum pan, where it was again boiled by
steam in vacuo, and crystallization ensued. After this it was let down into
large wooden bo.xes to cool, and was skimmed and allowed to drain to a
small extent. The sugar was now put into machinery, where by centrifugal
action and the application of certain liquors, composed of dissolved sugar
and spirits, the pure white crystals were entirely separated from the
remaining syrup and treacle, and the process was then complete.

The sugar thus obtained was put into a room with a boarded floor, and
sorted into three classes according to quality ; that consisting of large clear
crystals was called P., or the first sort ; the smaller crystals were termed N.,
or the second sort ; and the rest K. X., or the third sort. These were now
put into bags and ready for sale. The first and second sorts were made
entirely of sugar-cane jaggory, and were composed of the early or first
boilings, while the third sort was that which was produced from the last
boilings, and contained an admixture of selected and carefully prepared
date jaggory, of which only a small portion, or about 20 per cent, in
quantity, was added at the " blow-ups." The syrup and treacle that were
skimmed and drained from the wooden and centrifugal boxes were some-
times again boiled in the vacuum pan and converted into molasses sugar,
which, on being drained by a further tedious process, was converted into
the third sort of sugar. But more frequently the molasses and skimmings
were fermented and distilled for rum.

Date jaggory, as crudely manuf;\ctured by the native method, is not
capable of being converted into good crystallized sugar. An establish-
ment for the purpose of manufacturing date jaggory more carefully was
instituted some years ago by Messrs. Clroves ^^ Co. in Banavar takK].
But practical results, as compared with the sugar-cane jaggory, led to
the abandonment of the project. The out-turn of sugar from jaggory,
manufactured as above, was estimated at 50 per cent. Of the
remainder, about 30 per cent, was utilizable for distilling rum, and the
rest went to waste. \\'\\\\ the machinery, comprising water and steam-
power and other facilities, in the Ashtagram Sugar Works, it was
reckoned that not less than 2,000 tons of sugar might be manufactured
annually. This would utilize 4,000 tons of jaggory, which, at an
average price of Rs. 30 per 1,000 cakes, would find the growers of
sugar-cane a market for Rs, 170,000 worth of produce ut their fields, or







.. 1,388,918


for one-half of wliat may be grown in the late two Ashtagram taluqs
witli ease.

A sugar factory has now been established at Goribidnur by Messrs.
Arbuthnot & Co. of Madras. There is also a Sugar-cane Plantation
Company at Shikarpur, under native management.

The estimated value of the manufacture of sugar is thus stated for
five years : —


1884-5 ••• 1,430,472
1885-6 ... 1,873,554

Leather-dressing. — A Government tannery and leather factory were

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 65 of 98)