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

Consular reports, Issues 188-191 online

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the Reichstag against the adoption of antimargarin legislation.

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The law proposes to enact the following regulations:

(i) All shops where margarin, margarin cheese, or artificial table butter b oflfercd for sale
must display in a conspicuous place an inscription, ** Sale of margarin," etc.
(2} Mixing butter and margarin and offering such mixtures are forbidden.

(3) Margarin manufacturers must inform the proper authorities of the place where the
margarin is made, packed, and offered for sale, and the persons who are engaged in its man-

(4) The police are authorized to enter the places of manufacture or sale at any time, and
to select and remove samples for chemical analysis.

(5) The manufacturers are bound to furnish the police, upon request, particulars as to
the manufacture, extent of production, and origin and quantity of raw material.

(6) Butter, cheese, etc., must not be made, stored, or packed where margarin, margarin
cheese, etc., are made, stored, or packed. (This does not refer to retail shops, where it is
required that margarin and mai^arin products be kept separate from butter, etc.)

(7) Margarin, if sold in forms, must be in the form of cubes imprinted with the word
•* margarin ;'* the wrapper must also bear the same mark. In all invoices, bills of lading,
and advertisements, it is to be called "margarin."

(8) The Bundesrath is authorized to forbid the sale of butter containing more than a cer-
tain percentage of water.

A committee appointed by the Reichstag to consider the bill have re-
ported, favoring the following additional clauses :

(1) All margarin for home consumption is to be colored red or blue, so that it may at
once be distinguished from butter.

(2) It is forbidden to color it yellow ; the natural gray- white shade must be preserved.

The manufacture of margarin, which was invented by a French chemist
during the siege of Paris in 1870, has assumed great proportions in Germany,
where now 80,000,000 kilograms, valued at J 20,000,000, are annually produced
at eighty-five manufactories, supplying a good and cheap fat. The produc-
tion of natural butter in Germany is about 800,000,000 kilograms, that is,
ten times the amoimt of margarin. This quantity is augmented by 120,000,-
000 kilograms imported from Denmark, Sweden, and Hungary ; but, on the
other hand, Germany exports butter to England, though in small and steadily
decreasing quantities, viz, in 1893, 10,500,000 kilograms; in 1894, 9,000,-
000 kilograms; in 1895, 7»4oo,ooo kilograms. Denmark supplies the Eng-
lish market with eight times this quantity. While butter costs from i to i. 25
marks (23.8 to 29.75 cents) per pound, margarin is retailed at 75 to 80
pfennigs (17.85 to 19 cents), which means a great saving for the workingman.

In Germany, margarin of the better class consists of oleomargarine, with
an addition of 20 per cent of sweet oil ; second-class margarin is made with
oleomargarine and 40 per cent of cotton-seed oil. A new system now in
vogue is to add 12 to 25 per cent of milk to the oleomargarine, which forms
the most substantial part of margarin proper.

The supporters of the law say that something must be done to make the
many imitations of butter easier to detect and their manufacture next to
impossible. Statistics of butter examinations prove that 4 to 5 per cent of
so-called butter was made with the addition, to a smaller or greater extent.

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of margarin. It is fi^rther adduced in support of the law that the increas-
ing manufacture of margarin will damage the German farmers and be a
source of profit to America, as the United States export to Germany a great
quantity of the raw material used in the manufacture of margarin, viz, in
1892, oleomargarine, valued at $2,371,000, and cotton-seed oil, valued at
1538,000. The former is the most convenient substitute for beef tallow.
Germany can not produce the necessary quantity of tallow, owing to the
small scale on which cattle breeding is carried on ; therefore, she must have
recourse to American tallow or oleomargarine. Here, they urge as another
reason the fear that the American tallow may be procured from sick or dis-
eased animals, it being claimed that proper public su|>ervision is not exercised
in the United States, as is the case in Germany.

The opponents of the law assert that the margarin industry requires and
buys from the German farmers a great quantity of raw material, viz, milk to
the value of $2,500,000 is annually used in the manufacture of margarin, as
well as tallow, the quantity of which can not be given. The proposition to
color the margarin blue or red would have the effect of disgusting the con-
sumers and lead many families to return to butter for the sake of appearance,
they not being willing to be seen eating the colored margarin, thus forcing
them to live less economically than they can live now that no such law is in
force. They contend that this will deepen the contrasts betwieen the social
classes, as, for instance, school children with blue-margarined bread as their
breakfast would be mocked by their comrades who have been supplied with
buttered bread by parents enjoying a better financial situation.


Commercial Agent,
Weimar, February 22, 18^6,


Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, is a town of about 3,500 people, situated on
St. Mary's River, at the extreme eastern end of Lake Superior, in the dis-
trict of Algoma, Canada. For over one hundred years previous to 1850, it
was a Hudson Bay post only, devoted to the fur and fish trade. It is now a
place of considerable commercial importance. To pass the falls in the river
at this place, the Canadian Government, in 1895, completed the **Soo*'
Canal, through which vessels of any size drawing not over 20 feet of water
can pass to and from Lake Superior.

Sault Ste. Marie is the center of quite important fisheries, which are car-
ried on in the vicinity. A mill for the manufacture of wood pulp is now in
operation, with a capacity of 100 tons of pulp a day. Another mill of the
same size is now being built. Sault Ste. Marie has advantages for certain
manufactories by reason of its great water power. At this point, a branch
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, coming from Sudbury, crosses the river to

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"Soo," Michigan, on an iron bridge built at the head of the rapids and
connects with the Duluth and South Shore and Minneapolis roads. The
"Soo** is the western terminus of several lines of boats running from points
on Lake Huron.


Commercial Agent,
Sault Ste. Marie, March 4, i8g6.


Commercial Agent McCall transmits a copy of the Toronto Globe, of
October 26, 1895, containing an article on "The Canadian 'Soo' and the
great canal,*' which says:

In many respects, Sault Ste. Marie, which present-day proneness to abbreviation has
reduced to "the Soo," is a wonderful place. There canal building has reached its highest
exemplification on this continent, and the volume of shipping daily at its gates is something
to astonish those not familiar with its great and eager activity. There, too, is a water power
second only to that at Niagara Falls, a water power destined to play an important part in the
future of this locality, so favorably placed to achieve greatness. Since early times, long before
the English set foot in these northern regions, Sault Ste. Marie has been an important point
of commerce. In the old fur-trading days, when the lakes and tributary steams were the
chief, and it may be said the only, avenues of communication between the East and the West,
the traffic of the lakes converged there, as it does now, growing with the years, until at the
present day the trade demands the services of an immense fleet of many million tons register
to accommodate it.

At Sault Ste. Marie occur the rapids, where a fall of 18 or 19 feet in half a mile furnishes
an immense water power, but totally obstructs navigation ; and from early days in the history
of the country some form of canal has been in use.


The present American canal was commenced in the fifties, and for years it met all require-
ments for Canada as well as for the United Stales. Previous to the opening up of the North-
west and the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the consequent growth of ports
on the north shore of Lake Superior, there was litlle need for a canal on Canadian soil to
furnish an independent route to that lake, for the trade of the lower provinces with the upper
lakes was inconsiderable. In 1870, occurred the insurrection at Fort Garry under Rial, an
insignificant affair as now regarded, but at the time a very grave matter, as it threatened, if
not summarily suppressed, to render difficult the possession of the land that the Dominion
Government had acquired from the Hudson Bay Company at large outlay. It was impera-
tive that authority should be established there, and that quickly. A military force, under the
command of Sir (iamet Wolseley, was ordered to the scene to quell the emeute without delay.
The United States Government refused to permit a Canadian military force or munitions of
war to pass through the Michigan canal, and in consecjuence the expedition was conducted at
greatly increased cost in labor, time, and money.


For the first time the want of an all-Canadian water route connecting the lower with the
upper lake ports was severely felt; but with the suppression of the rebellion and the return of
the troops this feeling passed away, and although the question of the advisability of providing

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such a route was raised at intervals, yet it was not until 1888 that practical steps were taken
by the Parliament of Canada to attain this end; the contract for the building of this canal
being let in November of that year. The steady growth of the Canadian inland marine, the
promising development of Manitoba as a wheat-producing province, the springing into promi-
nence of Port Arthur and Fort William as shipping points for the vast region beyond, combined
to foster a desire that Canada should have an independent water route of her own.


The old canal on the Michigan side of the St. Mary's River has a record to its credit that
places it in the first rank among useful works on this continent provided for the convenience
of men. Although it has seen its best days, yet it has been for many years the most impor-
tant artificial waterway in the world, considering the enormous traffic that passes through it,
and still it serves, so far as its capacity will admit, to meet requirements and to continue serv-
ices which have been of incalculable benefit to the marine of both countries. The old canal
has filled the measure of demand upon it in a most satisfactory manner, and to its existence
may be attributed, in a great degree, the wonderful growth of the shipping trade of the upper
lakes in recent years; and certainly the busy town on the American side owes its existence
and general prosperity to the fact that the canal brought most of the trade of the lakes to its
doors. Trade, however, has outgrown it, and rendered necessary a new canal, the greatly
increased volume of the shipping on the lakes having resulted in excessive demands being
made on the capacity of the locks. That detentions to shipping this season have been serious
most shipowners know to their cost, but the loss to them can not be fully expressed in figures.
On the American side a vessel is recorded when she whistles for the lock and timed on leav-
ing the lock. In a rush of craft, where the first comers have precedence, a vessel may lie at
the dock for hours, perhaps for half a day before her turn comes, and this lost time means
loss of money. It has been calculated that during the month of June, when ships were
numerous and the delays long, the waiting time of vessels seeking admission to the lock
would equal twenty-seven months' services of one vessel. This is pointed to to show the
need there was of increased canal accommodation at the " Soo."


In 1870, the Federal Government assumed control of the American canal and proceeded
to supersede the old locks, built in 1855, by the present canal, and the enlarged channel was
opened to traffic in 188 1 at a cost to the United States of j^2, 1 50,000. The chamber, which
is curved at each end, is 515 feet long, 80 feet wide in the clear, 60 feet at the gates, with a
depth on the miter sills of 14 feet. The length of the wall is 717 feet. From 1855 to 1870,
there had been a large increase in the lake marine, the total tonnage seeking the canal in the
latter year being 690,826 tons, among the freight registered being 49,700 bushels of wheat.
But while the mcrease in tonnage from 1855 to 1870 was great, the increase since then to
the present time has been enormous. Last year the canal was opened on April 17 and
closed on December 6, a period of seven months and nineteen days, and during that time
13,110,366 tons locked through the canal, canying 13,195,860 net tons of freight, of which
there were 34,896483 bushels of wheat. This is a greater tonnage than enters the port of
Liverpool in a year, greater than the tonnage seeking the Suez Canal in a year, yet the latter
is open the year round, while the " Soo" Canal is open usually only about seven months. .So
it can be seen that the "Soo" is a shipping point of great magnitude, surpassed by but few
places in the amount of tonnage entered in the year.


That much of this shipping will ultimately find its way to the Canadian canal is certain.
There is everything at that side to attract traflSc — a modem lock, water enough to carry
vessels of the deepest draft, and a chamber that can be filled with surprising rapidity. The

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Michigan lock requires eleven minutes lo fill, while the much larger Canadian lock can be
filled in from four to six minutes. In these days of rapid transit, when saving in time means
much to vessel owners, this celerity in canal operation is important.


In regard to deep water, the Michigan lock, as has l)een pointed out, has a depth on the
sills of 14 feet, and ships of that draft only can find passage. The lock on the Canadian side
has a depth of 20 feet 3 inches at the sills, and can, therefore, admit the largest vessels on the
lakes. But the river below olTers obstacles to the passage of deep-draft vessels, which, in
course of time, will doubtless be overcome. The old channel to and from the "Soo" on
the St. Mary River is to the north of St. Joseph's Island. The boundary line between
Canada and the United States follows this channel. The new channel is south of St. Joseph's
Island, through what is called Hay Lake, making a saving of 12 miles in the course. The
Americans have just finished dredging this channel to a uniform depth of 22 feet. The bar
at the Sailors' Encampment is also Ix^ing dredged, so that large ships can cross it. At present
a vessel drawing 1SJ4 feet of water can cross this bar, and by using the Canadian lock they
can pass straight on to I^ke Superior, whereas with 15 feet draft they could not get into the
American lock. This additional foot and a half which vessels can take through the Canadian
lock has been figured out as a gain of ;$l,oco a trip more than could be made by loading 14
feet to pass the American lock.

A defect of the old Michigan lock, according to the opinion here, is its curved chamber.
* * * In building this lock, it was the intention of the United States (jovemment to have
a straight chamber, but afterwards it was considered that it would be hazardous to have gates
80 feet wide, so the entrances were reduced to 60 feet and curved on the inner face to meet
the chamber wall. Difficulties are said to be presented in getting out of a lock of this shape.
That this operation is injurious to the chamber wall can be plainly seen in the Michigan canal.
At both ends the masonry has been scored, chipped, and furrowed by the constant attrition of
vessels pocketed at these shoulders and ground and pounded against the wall in their efforts
to gain headway sufficient to make a clear exit. The contact — and the masonry bears evi-
dence that it has been no gentle one — while injurious to wooden vessels, must be doubly so
to iron ones, and one can believe that no ship could leave such mark behind her without
bearing away with her some indications of the encounter, and, more than this, much time, it
is said, is lost in getting out which would l>e avoided were the chamber a straight one. The
United States engineers in charge of the canal are said to have been aware of the defects in
this plan for years, and that they have been fully impressed is to be inferred from the fact that
they have designed the new canal with a straight-walled chamber, the same as that in the
Canadian canal.


While the Canadians were thinking about building a new canal on their side, the Ameri-
can authorities set about the construction of a new lock on their side. Work has been in
prc^ess for some years, and it is expeaed that it will be in operation by the spring of 1897.
The new lock, which is a magnificent structure of its kind, will be 800 feet long in the cham-
ber, with a width of 100 feet. The total length of the masonry over all will be 10,010 feet
and the height of the walls from the floor will be 44 feet. The depth will l>e exactly the
same as in the Canadian lock.


Deeming that a canal on the Canadian side of the St. Mary's rapids was a necessity, the
Dominion Parliament passed the bill in 1888. Tenders were called for the same year, and
the contract was issued to Messrs. Hugh Ryan & Co., the well-known railway and canal
builders. The first plans, upon which the contract was made, were prepared by the late Mr.
Page, chief engineer of canab, who^ for almost half a century, was employed upon Canadian

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canals, and who may be called the father of the Canadian canal system, having designed

almost every lock in it. The dimensions of the canal in this plan were as follows :


I^ength between gates 600

Length of wall of lock over all 846.6

Width at gates 60

Width in chamber of lock 85

Navigable depth of water 16

At the time that Mr. Page designed the lock he decided to use the plan of the curved
chamber which was in use in the American canal; but within the last half dozen years there
has been a steady increase in the lake marine in length, beam, and draft, so that there arc
now plying on the upper lakes ships over 400 feet long and between 40 and 50 feet beam,
larger than many ships plying the ocean, and it accordingly became evident from the exj^eri-
ence gained by the working of the American canal that a much larger lock, and also the belter
design of the straight chamber, would have to be adopted. The work had not progressed
long when there occurred at Ottawa the sudden death of Mr. Page, and the late Mr. Trudeau,
deputy minister of the department and a civil engineer of eminence and of many years' expe-
rience, succeeded to his post of chief engineer. The boards of trade of Toronto and Montreal,
the shipping men generally, many engineers and railway men, and the newspaper press united
at the time to press upon the Government the advisability of having a lock with 19 feet of
water on the miter sills, and Mr. Trudeau amended the plan to the extent of providing a
chamber 650 feet long and 100 feet wide, with a depth of water on the miter sills of 19 feet,
the curved ends being omitted. AAer still more consideration, Mr. Trudeau decided to
abandon the huge icx>-feet gales, which he considered hazardous in the extreme, and to

change the lock to the following dimensions :


Length between gates 900

length of walls of lock over all 1, 106

Width at gates 60

W^dth in chamber of lock 60

Navigable depth of water at low-water level 20.3

Height of lock walls 44-6

Thickness at gates , 25

Thickness of remainder 20

It will be noticed that the* lock is much narrower and longer than the old design; it is
thus able to take several vessels in one behind the other, a plan much superior, it is claimed,
to placing the vessels side by side, thus greatly facilitating lockage.

It was in accordance with this plan that the canal was finished. The lock has two sets
of gates at the lower end, irrespective of guard gates, called the main gates, which are those
in use daily, and the auxiliary gates, which will be put into service only in case of injury to
the main gates or while repairs are being made.

This design was a great improvement ujxjn the former plans. First of all, the walls of
the chamber are straight, thus avoiding the dangers and inconveniences caused by the curved
wall, as already shown. Next, the length of the chamber will Ixi noticed; in consequence
of this length, it has greater ca;^acity, three vessels l>eing able to lie in the lock one behind
the other. Recently three Minnesota Steamship Line steamers, with a combined length of
936 feet, and a registered tonnage of 4,987 tons, were jmt through at one locking, and four
or five steamers of more ordinary size can be locked through at once. Then again, the depth
of water afforded by the new chamber is a most important feature of the work, making it able
to float any vessel which can navigate the channels connecting the lakes, thus affording a
final link in the Canadian sjrstem of inland waterways. Had the lock been built according
to the first plans, it would soon have become inadequate for the work imposed upon the canal,
and would have had to be rebuilt in some such shape as at present. Finally, the new system

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of letting water into the lock which has been adopted enables the chamber to be filled and
emptied with great rapidity, and as time is most essential in the navigation of the npper
lakes, this is a most important advantage. Four lockages can be accomplished in the Cana-
dian lock in less time than three in the new American lock, and thus more vessels can go
through in the course of a day. At the time of these changes in the lock the whole length of
the canal was deepened by 4 feet, thus increasing the capacity of the whole canal. A dis-
)>atch from Sault Ste. Marie, which appeared in the Globe, of October 7, gives an idea of
what can be done in the new lock; the dispatch is dated October 5, and reads as follows:

" The Canadian lock is an assured success. This afternoon the three Minnesota Steam-
ship Line steamers Afanola, Masaba^ and Alaioa^ with a combined length of 936 feet and
registered tonnage of 4,987 tons, were put through at one locking. It was, as one of the
captains said, the sight of a lifetime to see three such magnificent boats in one lock at the
same time. All the captains passing through speak in the highest terms of the efficiency and
dispatch in locking through the canal."

All these changes and improvements meant more money, and the original estimates have
been considerably increased. But had the lock been built according to the original design,
as has l>een already remarked, the expansion of trade and the increase in the size of the lake
steamers would have necessitated before long the expense of rebuilding the lock to get its
present depth and capacity.


The contractors began operations in May, 1889, having collected one of the largest j^lants
ever employed in similar work. The site chosen for the canal lies loo yards or so south of
the old cutting of the Northwest Company through an island, now become part of the main-
land, lying on the edge of the rapids at the extreme west end of the town. Work was begun,
and from the turning of the first sod until the laying of the last stone the work was pushed
with vigor. In the cutting, which ran for 3,500 feet across the island, the contractors found
Potsdam sandstone stratified. During the construction, the bottom of the cutting looked like
a railway yard, with its innimtierable tracks and high-pcised immense derricks, while on the

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 188-191 → online text (page 15 of 102)