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Consular reports, Issues 188-191 online

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mentation is set up which occasions a deposit more or less abundant. As a
rule, cider ought not to be bottled when its specific gravity is greater than
1015, and even then there will be in certain ciders a slight deposit. Some
persons engaged in the business contend that it is better to wait until it in-
dicates not more than loio, or 1°, and add a little sugar to replace that
which is wanting. It is easy to determine the quantity needed, ten divi-
sions of the densimeter, or 1°, corresponding to about 2 per cent of sugar.
About 2 pounds of sugar will be required to 100 gallons of cider. In this
way, a clear, fragrant drink, sparkling as champagne, will be obtained.



Havre, April lo, i8g6.


The popularity of the bicycle as a means of exercise, sport, and pleasure
is fully established in France. The full extent of the use of this machine
has recently been brought before the public in the national tax collectors'
reports. Since April 29, 1892, each bicycle has been taxed 10 francs (I1.93)
per annum. The rapid growth of the popularity of this road carriage is well

•For reports on bicycles in other countries, see Consular Reports No. 189 (June, 1896), pp. 325-336.

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demonstrated by the statistics. In 1889, there were only 50,000 bicycles in
use in the entire country; since that date, the increase has been rapid and

The Matin, of Paris, gives a series of interesting data showing the exten-
sive and general sales of these machines. There were in use during the year
1892, 130,477 bicycles; in 1895, *^^s figure had increased to 149,080; and
to-day, there are 160,000, in round numbers, upon which taxes are paid.
Now, if there are but 150,000 in use, they will make an average of 391 per
100,000 inhabitants, or four, nearly, to every 1,000 persons, making one
bicycle to every 250 of the population. If the feeble, the aged, young
children, and the majority of the women be excluded from the calculation,
then it would make one bicycle to every 50 persons who are able to ride. At
this ratio, the majority of the French people able to ride a bicycle will own
a machine within ten years.

This general average is reckoned on the hypothesis that bicycles are uni-
formly distributed over the entire country, but this is not the case. The
use of the wheel varies greatly in the eighty-seven departments into which
France is divided. There are only nine bicycles in the island of Corsica
for its 100,000 inhabitants, and taxes are paid upon 1,010 in the Depart-
ment of Seine-et-Oise.

The table below gives the departments in which the smallest number of
bicycles per 100,000 inhabitants are used:








Number. | Departments.

39 '1 Hautes-Alpes ' 105

63 Ariege 108

66 1 1 Hautcs- Pyrenees 108

79 ji Puy-de-D6mc | 124

81 || Haute-Vicunc i 126

87 1 1 Basses-Alpes ' 144



These departments are more or less mountainous, and the wheel can not
be generally used; in the Aube, taxes are paid on 856 bicycles per every
100,000 i^rsons; Marne, 944; Seine-et-Marne, 988; and in Seine-et-Oise,
1,010. From 500 to 700 machines are owned in the valley of the Loire for
the same number of inhabitants and 500 in the valley of the (Jaronne.
There are only 8,000 lady cyclists in France, making one woman to every
twenty riders.

The excellence of the P>ench roads, and the fine order in which they
are continually kept is one reason for the i)opularity of the bicycle. The
great highways leading out from Paris and all other French cities, as well as
the national military roads, offer every inducement that a bicyclist can desire.

The Bicyclist Society of France has carefully explored every route, and
indicated on their charts all dangerous descents, sharp curves, and steep
mclines. Signboards, also, have been erected wherever necessary for the

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special guidance of the cyclist, so that he is as fully equipped as a captain
of a ship steering for a strange port. This gives great confidence to the
riders and prevents many accidents.

The bicycles offered for sale on the French market are manufactured in.
every land. France can hardly hold her own in manufacturing these ma-
chines. England supplies the largest quantity of the foreign wheels, a few
are imported from Belgium, and many from the United States. There is
no reason why the high-grade American bicycles should not have a larger
sale in France if the right means were used to introduce them.


Commercial Agen/.

\Ay[Oi\K^, June 4, i8g6.


Under date of June 18, 1896, Mr. I. Sepulvida, secretary of the United
States legation at Mexico, transmits translation of a decree of the President
of Mexico extending the period for the work of the commission to deter-
mine the boundary between Mexico and Guatemala eighteen months from
May 6, 1896. Mr. Sepulvida also sends translation of another decree reg-
ulating archaeological explorations in Mexico. Explorers are permitted to
take molds or casts of objects found and send them out of the country, but
the originals become the property of the Government of Mexico. Permis-
sion, however, may be obtained to send away duplicates, if any be found.
The concession granted to any exploring party shall not exceed ten years,
and the work must always be subject to the inspection of a Government


I inclose herewith a newspaper clipping, giving a general resume of the
articles and conditions of the lease entered into by the Mexican Govern-
ment and Pearson & Son, of England, covering the property and operation
of the Tehuantepec Railway, which runs between the port of Coatzacoalcos,
on the Gulf of Mexico, and the port of Salina Cruz, on the Pacific Ocean.


Consul- General.
Mexico, June ij, i8g6.

[Newspaper inclosure.]

The contract between the Mexican Government and Mes-^rs. Pearson t^ Son for the lease
of the Tehuantepec National Railway was signed on the 4lh instant by Minister Mena, of
the Department of Communications and Public Works, representing the Executive, and

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Thomas L. Walsh representing the lessees. It will be remembered that the Diario Oticial
on the 4th instant published a federal decree authorizing President Diaz to make such lease
contract on the same day the contract was signed and Mr. Walsh left for England with Mr.
Pearson's copy of the contract in his possession. Of course, the harbor improvements at Salina
Cruz will now fall to Pearson & Son, they having already signed for those at Coatzacoalcos,
the Gulf of Mexico terminus of the Tehuantepec road.

The lease is for fifty years ; the Government contributes ^100,000 per month during three
years for the reparation or reconstruction of the road, during which time Messrs. Pearson &
Son oblige themselves to have the line in solid and substantial condition. After the three
years, the net receipts are to be divided between the Government and the lessees on a varying
scale for each successive period of ten years. If the road should fail to give receipts over
exjienses of operation, whenever the loss sustained by the lessees reaches the sum of ;f 500,-
000, they may ask for the rescission of the contract.

Possession of the road will l)e given to the lessees in al>out two months, or early in Sep-

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A New Dynamometer. — Consul Doedcrlein, of Leipsic, calls attention to
a new dynamometer invented by Mr. von Pittler, in Germany. This dyna-
mometer, so it is claimed, is of equal value as an instrument for power lessors
and power lessees, the extreme capabilities of a whole establishment, on the
smallest admissible expenditure of fuel, being obtainable thereby, and it
also furnishes a test whereby we can ascertain when the capabilities become
reduced and the cause of such reduction. The expenditure of power is
indicated by the figures of the counter and calculated in accordance with
these figures.

The construction is extremely simple, as all delicate parts are excluded.
It is available as an independent apparatus for the measurement of power,
either of individual machines or of a whole establishment. It can, further-
more, be used as an intermediate countershaft, and is, as such, in addition
to its qualities as a dynamometer, an excellent elastic impulsion, especially
for electric motors.

Jtist in the same way as this dynamometer can be used as a countershaft,
it can also be connected with the shafting, and if, in such case, we deduct
the cost of the two bearings necessary for the shafting, namely, the arbor
and the driving pulley, from the expense of such a dynamometer, the actual
cost thereof is so low that we must regard it, on account of its good quali-
ties, as a necessary part of a shafting — as a part that everybody in possession
of a mechanical motive power must of necessity have, if he desires to utilize
such power to advantage.

The dynamometer can be easily handled and controlled by anybody,
whether expert or layman.

The consumption of motive force, be it fuel (in the shape of coal, steam,
hot air, oil, etc.), water power, or electricity, can be controlled per absorbed
power unit, so that both power lessor and power lessee can check off the
consumption of power at any time, say weekly, monthly, or yearly, in the
most precise manner.

It has also been observed by Mr. von Pittler, by means of his apparatus,
that the amount of labor performed in his factory each day from 7 to 9
o'clock a. m. was proportionately less than from 9 to 12 o'clock a. m. It
was found that this difference was due to the fact that the foreman came to
the factory at 9 o'clock. Again, the record kept by Mr. von Pittler shows
that the amount of labor on Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays was 800,000
meter kilograms less than other days, whereas on Thursday — the day before
pay day — the largest amount of labor was performed.


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588 NOTES.

Mr. von Pittler, who has the counting apparatus adjusted to one side of
his office desk, thereby keeping control over the work of his machines, can
also very easily ascertain the difference in the amount of coal used before
and after cleaning the boilers.

The Electric Plow in Germany. — In Consular Reports No. i8i (October,
1895), p. 161, an illustrated report entitled ** The electric plow in Germany,"
was printed. Consul Doederlein, of Leipsic, who prepared the report, writes
to the Department that he has received communications concerning the plow,
principally as to the manufacturers' address — which he omitted in his report —
not only from all parts of the United States, but from England, Australasia,
and Africa. The consul, therefore, requests the publication in the Con-
sular Reports of the address of the manufacturers of the plow, viz, Zim-
mermann & Co., Halle-on-the-Saale, Germany.

Foreigners in German Technical Schools. — Consul Doederlein, of Leipsic,
transmits the following to the Department: It is a well-known fact that the
technical schools in Saxony are celebrated throughout the world for their
excellence, and it is also well known that it is almost impossible for for-
eigners to gain admittance, especially to those of the textile branch. The
following clipping from the Leipziger Tageblatt shows the animus of Saxon
exporters and manufacturers. It runs thus:

The fact that many foreigners are received into the technical schools of Saxony, and that
the knowledge acquired tiiereat is subsccjuently used in order to create undertakings abroad
which are intended to compete with our Saxon industry, has induced- a number of our textile
manufacturers in I>imbach to represent to the Saxon Government the desirability of not i)ermil-
ting foreigners to attend the technical schools. The (lovemment has not complied with
this wish, but rather replied in the sense that the standix)int is a two narrow-minded one,
and that the ct)mpetition existing abroad has arisen less through students of the technical
schools than through the large number of volunteers who have been accepted in Saxon busi-
ness firms. It is by the admission of such volunteers that the manufacturers themselves train
up their own subsecjucnt competitors.

The consul adds: There is no doubt as to who the ** foreigners*' are,
against whom the (ierman manufacturers desire their (Government to close
their schools officially, and I trust that the time is near at hand when Amer-
icans will not need to go abroad in order to obtain technical training.

Canned Horse Meat with American Labels. — Consul du Bellet writes from
Rheims, June 9, 1 896 : I have the honor to inclose herewith a clipping from Le
Courrier de la Champagne, a leading newspaper of this city, with a transla-
tion of the same. If the facts rei)orted are true, I consider it of the utmost
importance that our exporters of canned meats should be informed of the use

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NOTES. 589

that is being made of their labels in Euroi:)e, so that they may put a stop to
a fraud which, if tolerated, is calculated to ruin their export trade to Europe.

[Translation from I^ Courricr dc la Chatnpagnc]

The judge of the jKjIice court of the Thames has rendered a judgment in a case insig-
nificant in itself, but in which we find valuable information to consumers of canned goods.
A driver, called Almond, was charged with having inflicted cruel treatment on horses, an
ofl'ense which is severely punished by the English law. The charges having been proven, he
was rather heavily fined. The interest centered on the employer of the brute, who, of course,
ap|>eared in behalf of his man and testified to the kind disposition of the latter. As he was
explaining that Almond was daily intrusted with the care of driving to the docks and putting
on board horses bound for Rotterdam, the magistrate remarked that the ill-treated horses were
so old they could hardly stand up, and asked the employer to what use the Dutch put such
animals. In reply, the employer explained, in the most unconcerned manner, that there ex-
isted in Rotterdam and -\ntwerp large and important factories where the invalid omnibus
horses of Ixjndon were converted into excellent canned beef and retailed throughout Europe
in sealed boxes with American labels. This industry absorbs, it is said, more than 26,000
horses every year.

Foreign Trade ofltaly in 1895. — Under date of March 28, 1896, Consul-
General Jones, of Rome, transmits the following statistics relative to the
foreign trade of Italy during the calendar year 1895:

Imports of merchandise, 1,187,298,399 lire ($229,148,591); imports of merchandise and
precious metals, 1,194,551,499 lire ($230,548,439.30). Exports of merchandise, 1,038,277,663
lire ($200,387,588.95) and 1,059,579,763 lire ($204,498,894.25) including precious metals.
Comparing these figures with the figures of 1894, they show that the imports of precious metals
in 1895 had diminished^ 100,842,300 lire ($19,462,563.90), while the imports of other products
surpassed by 92,658,763 lire ($17,983,041.25) those of the preceding year ; they likewise show
a lesser exportation of precious metals to the amount of 10,215,600 lire ($1,971,610.80) and
that the exportation of other products increased 5,749,042 lire ($1,109,565.10). The customs
dues arising from this commerce amounted in 1895 ^^ 247,651,367 lire ($47,796,713.83),
which was an increase of 27,733,346 lire ($5,352,535.77) over the year 1894.

Revised Telephone Tariff of Switzerland. — Consul Germain, of Zurich,
writes, June 10, 1896: The Swiss postal authorities on January i last put
into force a reduced telephone tariff. The former charges for the use of a
telephone were 80 francs (§16) per annum, with a local annual switching limit
of eight hundred. The new tariff now in force is 40 francs ($8) per annum,
plus an additional charge of 5 centimes (i cent) for each local switch. The
telephone system throughout Switzerland is owned by the Government, and
the service is first class in every respect. The switching charges to outside
Swiss points, with a three-minute time limit, are as follows; Thirty centimes
(6 cents) up to 50 kilometers (31 miles), 50 centimes (to cents) up to 100
kilometers (62 miles), and 75 centimes (15 cents) above 100 kilometers to
more distant Swiss points.

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590 NOTES.

Mineral and Metal Trade of Spain.— Under date of April i8, 1896,

Consul-General Bowen, of Barcelona, transmits the following statistics
covering the exports and imix)rts from and to Spain of minerals and metals
during the year 1895.

Exports of minerals.

Description. ' Quantity. ' Value.

I Tons. t

Iron ' 5. » 79, 761 j7,7<^'9,6)o

Copper j 504,408 I 3,483,000

Ziiic 29,346 244, 30J

Lead 9,»o3 ^36, 800

Manganese | 29,997 235,000

Antimony I q ' 500

Common salt I 254,202 ' 635,500

Pit coal j 8,318 1 33,200

Pyriics „ ; 488,699 814,500

Total I 6,503,943 13.852,400

Total in 1894 14,204,000

Exports of metals.

Description, I Quantity. I Value.


Iron ,




Quicksilver , i,2-4o,t>rw

Cold 94,600

Silver ^ 6,935,000

Tons. \


^263. 300

59,507 1




151,129 1


Total ^.'1 ' 10,313,700

Total in 1894 1 13,200,000

Imports of minerals and metals.

T)escription. I Quantity. | Value.



Pit coal 1,515,506 1:6,825,000

Coke 255,043 ' 1,148,000

Tar 33,766 ( 563,000

Petroleum, crude 46,992 i,oo9,5'x>

Iron 38,386 1,630,000

Tinned iron plate J,*4' ' 86,800

Tin ingots 825 , 316,000

Gold 100,000

Silver 4,000, «xx>

Alkaline carbonates '7,59* ' 1,016,000

Nitrate of soda 26,3^5 j i, 320,000

Sulphur 6,813 I 1,016,000

Machines and boilers 3.597 7«>,ooo

Total 1,956,145 19,750,300

^ ^ _ _ ^ I \

The importations of minerals and metals into Spain during 1895 amounted
to ^650,000 less than in 1894.

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NOTES. 591

New Railways in Spain. — Under date of April 18, 1896, Consul-General
Bowen, of Barcelona, transmits the following railway statistics:

During the year 1895 the following mileage additions were made to Spain's railways:
Valladolid to Ariza, 158; Baeza to Quesada, Guadi/, and Almeria, 96; Santander to Caberon
de la Sal, 28; I*icasent to Carlet, ii ; Carlet to Alberique, 8; San Sebastian to Zaraus, 16;
Penaranda to Fuente del Arco, 43; Puebla de Hijar to Alcaniz, 20; Olot to Gerona, 14; Va-
lencia to Torrente, 6; total, 400 miles.

Excessive Manuring in Spain. — Under date of June 18, 1896, Consul-
General Bowen, of Barcelona, transmits the annual report from Consular
Agent Mertens, of Grao, from which the following statement relative to the
indiscriminate use of fertilizers in Valencia is extracted :

While the exports from Grao during the year 1895 were largely in excess of those of the
preceding year, as far as tonnage is concerned, the profits did not keep pace with this in-
crease. This was chiefly due to the indiscriminate use of artificial manures, which the farmers
of this province have employed during the last few years in their fields to obtain a larger
quantity of fruit and other produce. The result has been that the quality of oranges is, in
many cases, such that they could not stand exportation, and arrived at their destination in a
completely spoiled condition. The complaints from the rice millers are to the same effect,
and the low prices of this grain, due to this deterioration in quality, proves a veritable calam-
ity. The desire to secure larger crops was, in many instances, such that some farmers went
beyond employing an increased quantity of guano and used sulphates of ammonia and nitrates
of soda alone as manure, without any other preparation or mixture with other chemicals.
The effect on the soil must, sooner or later, prove disastrous, and the result will be complete
failure of crops, likely to last for several years. Our American farmers should take warning
from this, and use artificial manures carefully and judiciously.

Imports of Butter into British Guiana. — Consul Patterson writes from
Demerara, May 29, 1896: I have the honor to call attention to the quantity
of butter imported into this colony and the small quantity that comes from
the United States. Nearly all the butter used in the colony is imported,
less than 10,000 pounds being produced here. For the financial year
1895-96 the imports of butter were 566,381 pounds, valued at ^103,081. 08;
from Great Britain, 257,876 pounds, valued at ^50,647. 54; France, 276,876
pounds, valued at ^47,378.38; United States, 20,326 pounds, valued at
$2,932.86. Nearly all this comes in the ice vessels and is not especially
prepared for this market. The balance comes from different countries.
The above may be roughly divided into two classes — table and cooking
butter. The first class is put up in i and 2 pound tins, hermetically sealed,
and retails at from 40 to 48 cents per pound; the second class is put up in
barrels or firkins, and retails at about 30 cents per pound. The first grades
about the same as dairy firkins, and is quoted in New York at about 17
cents; the second class, about ihe same as bakers* tubs, is quoted in New
York at II cents. Butter for exportation to the tropics requires to be more
heavily salted than for use in the temperate zont*. J understand the butter

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592 NOTES. •

imix>rted from France is salted by the addition of 12 per cent of salt to the
weight of butter. The local standard here is the same as at Trinidad and
Barbados, viz, 75 per cent of butter fat. I do not see why we should not
have our share of this trade. Taking the three Guianas and other West India
islands, this trade must amount to $1,000,000 annually.

Gold-Mining Returns of British Guiana. — Consul Patterson, of Demerara,
writes June 11, 1896: I have the honor to inclose herewith returns of pro-
duction of gold in the (olony of British Guiana for the calendar year 1895.
The gold is not refmt*d, so it is impossible to state its "fineness."

Kclwns of -^oid for calcndur year iSgj.

Oz. J>n'ii. Crt.

jaruiary 5-^76 14 5

Jel^ruary ^.999 'o 5

March 9,686 6 21

April II ,145 12 10

May I2,SlO 18 21

June 9,749 5 18

July 10.910 6 5

Anj;usl 10,031 5 19

Sf|)teinl)er 9, 81 1 15 3

()ctul)tT 12,186 17 3

N()vcrnl)er ., 9*389 I lo

December 14,338 o 21

Total 122,935 14 21

International Exposition of Guatemala. — Consul-General Pringle writes
from Guatemala, June 3, 1896: The Government of this Republic has de-
termined to hold an international exposition. It will be opened on the
15th of March, 1897, and will close on the 15th of July, 1897. The
olticial invitations were issued some time ago, and, I presume, were trans-
mitted through the legation. I send, under separate cover, some of the
Spanish programmes; as soon as the English ones are printed I will forward
them. The Government is doing all in its power to insure success to this
enterprise, and has brought the main building from France, at great expense.
It is being put up by French workmen, brought over especially for that

American Trade with New Caledonia. — Under date of April 10, 1896,
Vice-Commercial Agent Le Mescam, of Noumea, reports as follows: A
leading chemical manufacturing firm of Philadelphia has written to me for
information regarding the purchase of large quantities of chrome ore.
Should they follow up their views, it will lead to the opening of an export
trade to the United States, and this will naturally be followed by the intro-
duction of American goods into this market by a direct route.

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Consular Reports Traasmitted to Other Departments. — The following re-
ports (originals or copies) were transmitted during the month of June to
other Departments for publication or for proper action thereon :

Consular officer reporting.

John Karel, St. Petersburg






D. W.'Maratta» Melbourne.......

G. W. Bell, Sydney

D. N. Burke, Malaga..

A. F Fay, Denia

W. D. Warner, Cologne

W. H. Seymour, Palermo..

£. Scbneegans, Saigon


Eugene Germain, Zuricb

T. E. Moore, Weimar

A. J. Patterson, Demerara

D. W. Maratu, Melbourne

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