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

Consular reports, Issues 188-191 online

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Philippine Islands (hemp)

Philippine Islands (sugar)

Aigentine Republic




Denmark and Sweden

Great Britain

London (coal)

Argentine Republic


Ca5tile, Chile, Mexico, and Peru..


Newfoundland (fish)

Paraguay .>

Syria ,

Metric ,



Russia ,



India. „



Lumber measiue


Uruguay ,


Tonde (cereals)..








Cochin China



Space measure







Argentine Republic.


Central America-

Square, 50 cubic feet;
unhewn, 40 cubic feet :
inch planks, 600 super-
ficial feet.

zf acres.

0.507 pound.

Saf pounds.

39.37 inches.

4.68 miles

4.61 miles.

0.63 acre.

9.7935 pounds.

3.84 pounds.

3.08x7 pounds.

3.854x8 pounds.

3.5 pints.

91}^ Inches.

135.64 pounds.

'33M pounds.

135.1 pounds.

139.45 pounds.
140 pounds.
0.9478 foot.
0.9x407 foot.
37.9 inches.
36.1x3 pounds.
I.I03 pounds.
8.353 bushels.
36 bushels.
101.43 pounds.
130.06 pounds.
101.61 pounds.
133.3 pounds.
113 pounds,
xoo pounds.
X95 pounds.

330.46 pounds.

6 pounds.
5>^ pounds.

7 feet.

490 pounds.

3.6 feet.

I pound 13 ounces.

10 inches.

X 6 quarts.

165 cubic feet.

14 pounds.

3,700 cuadras {jset cua-

590.75 grains (troy).
0.35 acre.

3 pecks.

40 cubic feet.
3.94783 bushels.
1.36 acres.
6 feet square.
X.4X inches.

4 5 bushels.
x.a2 acres.
34.1208 inches.
0.9x4117 yard.
38.874 inches.

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Foreign weights and measures^ with American equivalents — Continued.

Denominations. Where used.

American equivalent.

Vara Chile and Peru 33-367 inches.

Do Cuba 33-384 inches.

Do ' Cura^o | 33.375 inches.

Do... Mexico ' 33 inches.

Do Paraguay... 34 incite*.

Do ' Vcncrucla 33-384 inches.

Vedro , Russia I 2.707 gallons.

Vergees Isle of Jersey ^..1 71.1 square rods.

Vcrst Russb... ' 0.663 *"»'«=.

Vlocka Russian Poland 41.98 acres.


Metric weights.

Milligram (j,^^ gram) equals 0.0154 grain.

Ccnligram( ^Jjj gram) equals 0.1543 grain.

Decigram ( /^ gram) equals 1. 5432 grains.

Gram e'|uals 15.432 grains.

Decagram (10 grams) equals 0.3527 ounce.

Hectogram (100 grams) equals 3.5274 ounces.

Kilogram (i,oco grams) equals 2.2046 pounds.

Myriagram (xo,ooc grams) equals 22.046 }x>unds.

(Quintal (100,000 grams) equals 220.46 pounds.

Millier or tonnea — ton (1,000,000 grams) equals 2,204.6 pounds.

Metric dry measure.

Milliliter (io^o(J ^*'c'') equals 0.061 cubic inch,
(entiiiier ( , J^ liter) cijuals 0.6102 cubic inch.
Deciliter ( /^ liter) equals 6.1022 cubic inches.
Liter equals 0.908 quart.
Decaliter (10 liters) e<juals 9.08 quarts.
Hectoliter (100 liters) equals 2.83S bushels.
Kiloliter (1,000 liters) equals 1. 308 cubic yards.

Metric liquid measure.

Milliliter (^„',y^ liter) equals 0.0388 fluid ounce.

teniiliter ( ^\^ liter) ecjuals 0.338 fluid ounce.

Deciliter ( ,',5^ liter) e(juals 0.845 B*^^-

Liter e<|uals 1. 0567 quarts.

Decaliter (lo liter;*) ecjuals 2.6418 gallons.

Hectoliter (100 liters) e<]uals 26.418 gallons.

Kiloliter (100 liters) equals 264.18 gallons.

Metric measures 0/ length.

Millimeter (j„\)j) meter) ecjuals 0.0394 inch.

Centimeter ( , /^^ meter) ejjuals 0.3937 inch.

Decimeicr ( /^ meter) efjuals 3.937 inches.

Meter f(|uais 39.37 inches.

Decameter (10 meters) equals 393.7 inches.

Hectometer ( 100 mettTs) c(}uals 2*^'^ feel I inch.

Kilometer 1 1,000 meters) equals 0.62137 mile (3,280 feet lo inches).

Myriameler (10,000 meters) equals 6.2137 miles..

Metric surface measures.

Cenlarc f I s(}uare meter) equals 1,550 sijuare inches.
Are ( 100 square meters) e(]uals 1 19. 6 s<juare yards.
Hectare (10,000 square meters*) etjuals 2.47 1 acres.

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Vol. LI. AUGUST, 1896. No. 191.


On February i, 1896, the following instruction was sent to the consul-
general at Paris :

A member of the House of Representatives (Hon. William H. Moody) from Massachu-
setts re(|uests the Department to secure, for a constituent, information relative to the horn-comb
industry in France. The applicant is indefinite as to the location of the industry, merely
stating that there is a town in the south of France practically owned by comb manufacturers.

The Department hopes that you will be able to locate this town, and any other where the
industry is carried on, and communicate with the nearest consular officer with the view of
obtaining reports thereon.

The information desired covers the following {x>ints : The numl>er of horn-comb manu-
facturers in the district, the names of the manufacturers and the numl>er of hands employed,
the annual value of their output and the amount of the annual pay rolls, the weekly wages
paid to employees, and the parts of the manufacture performed by females, etc.

Representative Moody's correspondent having stated that the only cen-
ters of the horn-comb industry outside of France known to him were Edin-
burgh, York (Leeds), and Nuremberg, Germany, the consuls at those places
were directed to make the necessary inquiries and forward reports upon the
points covered in the instruction to the consul-general at Paris. The Dundee
consulate (for the Aberdeen industry) was added to the list of places by the

T'he following are the replies received in answer to the foregoing instruc-


In accordance with the instruction dated February i, 1896, I have made
every effort to secure information relative to the horn-comb industry in

The principal centers for dressing and fine combs are Oyonnax (Ain), for
the cheap class, and Ezy (Eure), for the finer grades. Fancy-back and other
combs for ladies are chiefly manufactured at Oyonnax and Paris.

No. 191 1. 6oi

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At Oyonnax and its vicinity are centered about one hundred so-called
manufactories of these goods. Few of them, however, are bona fide fac-
tories owned by actual manufacturers and employing workmen on their
premises. The combs are largely made by piecework, the manufacturers
furnishing the raw materials to the workmen, who do the work at their

Oyonnax is situated in the consular district of Lyons. Mr. Hyde, the
efficient consul at Lyons, has made every effort to secure the data requested
in the instruction, but has not succeeded, owing to the disinclination of the
manufacturers to furnish the same. There is an association of comb manu-
facturers at Oyonnax, and Mr. Hyde has been in communication with the
president of the same, but thus far without results. I attach hereto a list of
the manufacturers of Oyonnax, as compiled from the departmental directory
for 1896, a standard authority.

T'he better grades of horn combs, including those manufactured from the
horn of India cattle, known to the trade as ** buffalo-horn combs,*' are man-
ufactured at Ezy. The.Ezy factories are more important, and more work-
men are employed on the premises than at Oyonnax, although at Ezy
l)iecework is also done in chambers to a certain extent.

The manufacturers at Ezy, which is in the consular district of Rouen,
have declined to give the details regarding their industry, although asked
for the same by the president of the Chamber of Commerce at Rouen, at the
request of Consul Bigelow and Vice-Consul Dellepiane. They say that this
information could only be desired for the use of actual or prospective com-
petitors in the trade.

These gentlemen inform me that no invoices from the comb manufactories
of Ezy are ever presented at their office. A list of the principal manufac-
turers at Ezy is attached to this report.

In addition to those of Oyonnax and Ezy, isolated factories exist in sev-
eral departments, and a few combs of specially fine workmanship are made
in Paris, but the great bulk of the industry is carried on in the two towns
named. The crude material is obtained from France, Hungary, and the
United States for the ordinary goods, while the buffalo horn is imported from
Siani, India, and other countries in the far East. Horn combs of French
manufacture are not largely exported to the United States. The larger pro-
portion is consumed at home, and the principal export markets are found in
the various countries of South America.

The foregoing embraces all the facts I have been able to obtain on this
subject, with the cooperation of the consular officers at Lyons and Rouen,
and after careful inquiry of prominent dealers in Paris. If any further data
ran be procured, I shall transmit it to the Department.

Horn-comb mantijacturers of Oyonnax. — Baud Freres, Billoud Fils, Bollet*
Coche, Bonaz fils aine, Convert & Maissiat, Doyonnax, Levrat (V** Cyrille),
Ivouis Levrier, Victor Montain, Camille Thomas, Voiturin-Carrier.

Horn-comb manufacturers of Ezy, — Ulysse I^vertq, Eniijc Lcfevres^ Co.,

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E. Mari6 (depot for samples, 13 Rue Tracy, Paris), Bernot-Ledru, Boucher
Massay, Clement-L*Hermeroult fils, Alex. Fontaine, Jeuffroy et fils, Mr. Joan-
not fils (house at 89 Boulevard Sebastopol, Paris), L. Marechal & Brun,
(pressers of horn).

Horn- comb manufacturers of Paris, — J. Bellanger, 183 Rue St. Denis;
Benot, 15 Rue Vivienne; B. Bernadac, 34 Rue du Faubourg St. Martin;
Bez Pere & Fils, 98 Boulevard Sebastopol ; C. Cormier, 10 Boulevard Bonne-
Nouvelle; Dumas-Zorgo, 247 Rue St. Martin; H. Gareaux, 8 Rue Pastou-
relle; A. Massue, 15 Rue des Gravilliers; G. Maury, 58 Rue Turbigo.


Paris, April 24, i8g6. Consul- General.


The horn-comb industry in the city of Nuremberg is carried on by a few
firms; their employees aggregate about 370. The largest of these firms is
that of Gottfried Probst, in Schweinau, near Nuremberg. This firm employs
300 persons, about 100 of whom are females. The largest part of the firm's
raw material is imported direct from Brazil, China, and Calcutta, only a
small quantity being obtained from the home market. The firm employs
a *' werkmeister," who is compensated at the rate of 40 marks (S9.52) per
week, and two overseers, each of Avhom receives 25 marks ($5.95) per week.
All the work done in this factory is piecework.

All the employees, both male and female, are paid according to the
quantity of goods turned out by them during the week. The wages, there-
fore, vary much ; the most industrious earn as much as 30 marks (57.14) per
week, while those who are less industrious earn from 18 to 20 marks ($4.28
to ^5.71) per week. Females earn a weekly stipend of from 10 to 11 marks
($2.38 to I3.62).

New workmen serve a sort of apprenticeship for three weeks, at the rate
of about 17 marks ($4.04) per week or less, but after the expiration of that
time, they are required to do piecework.

The salaries of bookkeepers, clerks, warehousemen, and packers I have
been unable to obtain.

The largest part of this firm's production is sold in Germany ; after that,
the European continent; and, finally, the eastern and western countries, like
India, China, Japan, South America, United States, etc.

The export of this firm to the United States is comparatively little, amount-
ing to only about 30,000 marks ($7,140) in 1895. Their export trade with
India is considerable.

The next largest manufacturer in this consular district is Jean Wagner,
of Nuremberg. This manufacturer employs 42 persons (6 of whom are
females), who are employed under the piecework system. The wages are
about the same as those already quoted. Eighty per cent of the crude ma-
terial used by thi§ m^mufacturer is of foreign origin, and is purchased through

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importing houses in Rotterdam, Mayence, Hamburg, etc. The bulk of his
manufacture goes to India and South America, but he exports also to all other
countries. His trade with the United States is small, which is accounted for
by reason of large factories in this line in the United States and the strong
competition which is made by the comb factories at Aberdeen, Scotland.

There are other manufacturers in this city engaged in this line, but in a
much smaller way, and they dispose of their goods mostly through the com-
mission and exjxjrt houses in this city and the neighboring city of Fiirth.


Nuremberg, April 77, i8g6. Consul.


Immediately uix)n receipt of instruction of February i, 1896, asking me
to furnish certain statistics concerning the horn-comb industry as carried on
at Aberdeen, I communicated with the consular agent at that port and re-
quested him to furnish me with the particulars necessary for the preparation
of my report. In his reply to my letter, he stated that the manufacturers
(from whom part of the information must necessarily be derived) expressed
an unwillingness to give any information in regard to the industry, and he
suggested that, perhaps, if I could see them personally, they might be in-
duced to comply with his request.

There are two firms in Aberdeen engaged in the horn-comb industry —
S. R. Stewart & Co., 40 Hutcheon street, and the Rosemount Company,
Limited (formerly C. G. Elrick & Co., Limited), Forbes street. Accord-
ingly, I went to Aberdeen and had an interview with a representative of each
firm. Messrs. Stewart & Co. absolutely declined to give any information
whatever, and the representative of the Rosemount Company finally agreed
to lay the matter before the board of directors at a meeting which was held
on the 20th of the present month, since which time I have had a letter stat-
ing that they also refuse to give any information. The consular agent at
Aberdeen, acting under my instructions, has endeavored to get the informa-
tion from other sources; but, owing to the restricted scope of the industry,
he found it impossible to secure the information which the manufacturers

The value of combs declared at Aberdeen for exportation to the United
States during the past f{\^ years has been as follows:

Quarter ciuling-


March 31 ?7i965.86

June 30 4,241.60

September 30 3»"3-76

December 31 7.3'7-96

Total for year 2-f,639. 18





^, 471-34
5, 796. 26







5,98a. 70


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This represents the shipments of S. R. Stewart & Co., which is the larger
concern. The Rosemount Company also have a considerable indirect trade,
their goods being first sold to English houses who export.

The imports of horns and horn piths during the calendar year 1895, ^
supplied by the collector of customs at Aberdeen, was as follows:

Whence imported.


Rotterdam ....


Fray Bcntos..



43- »5



There is only one other firm in Great Britain, so far as I have l>een able
to ascertain, who are engaged in the same industry, their factory being located
at or near Shefiield.

It is the general opinion that the business is profitable, but there are no
means of knowing to what extent, as, although the Rosemount Company is
a corporation, its stock is not on the market, and no statements are pub-
lished, it being what is known in this country as a private corporation.

The wages paid certain of the employees by the proprietors of the horn-
comb factories are probably about the same as those paid by other firms who
have similar employees, the rates of which are as follows : Superintendents,
^15 to |2o per week; bookkeepers, J400 to |6oo per annum; foremen,
I7.50 to $\o per week; machinists, |6 to J7.50 per week.

I regret that the information furnished is not more specific, but trust that
it will be of some service to the parties instituting the inquiry.


Dundee, March 25, i8g6, ComuL


Upon receiving the Department's instruction of February i, 1896, 1 de-
termined to wait until I could find leisure to go to York and personally try
and obtain the information desired, well knowing from experience in similar
cases that writing to the parties from whom information was desired would
result in an absolute refusal to. give it.

I went to York a few days since and called on the only firm that I have
personal acquaintance with, viz, Messrs. G. Steward & Sons, who ship oc-
casionally small quantities of their combs to the United States. I found one
member of the firm at home and explained fully what I wanted, and, at his
request, left a memorandum of the information desired to be submitted to
his brother, the other partner, who was away.

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I have received their reply in writing, and also verbally from one of the
partners, who came in to-day to declare an invoice. They virtually decline
lo give any information of value, saying that '* the comb industry, being car-
ried on only by one other firm in York, and probably a couple more in other
parts of Great Britain, causes great trade rivalry, and fear that any of the
processes of manufacture may become known to competitors in the same
business." The premises are kept carefully guarded from anyone going
into them, and every effort is made to keep all matters absolutely secret.
Hence, I find I am unable to report anything of value, the two or three
little items given me by the Stewards being worthless.


Leeds, April 14, i8g6, ConsuL


The following are replies to instructions from the Department to consular
officers relative to the use of tectorium, as a substitute for glass, in Europe.


[Report by ConsiiUGencral Judd, of Vienna.]

Tectorium has been sold, in small quantities, for the last two or three
years in Vienna, by the firm of Gustav Pickhardt, of Bonn, Collner Chausse^
149, Germany, but it is not manufactured in Austria.

It was shown at the Vienna Exhibition of 1873 ^"^^ ^' ^^^ Paris Exhibi-
tion of 1889, but its existence is not known to the general public, and as a
commercial product it is still an experiment.

I have been informed by a manufacturer of glass that tectorium, when
exposed to the direct rays of a warm sun becomes sticky, so that the dust
adheres to the surface and the substance loses its translucent qualities in a
comparatively short time.

Tectorium consists of a galvanized iron web covered with a gelatinous
substance, and is translucent, but not transparent.

The manufacturer descril)es tectorium as a substance that (i) can be bent
Avithout being broken ; (2) is both tough and flexible; (3) is not softened by
the rays of the s:::i; (4) is nonsoluble; (5) is not affected by severe cold;
(6) is a bad conductor of heat; (7) is well adapted for roofs, on account of
its extreme lightness; (8) when exposed to the sun, it loses its original yel-
lowish color in time and becomes harder and more durable ; (9) can be
made, by a very cheap process, to imitate stained glass in such a manner
that it can not be recognized from the genuine article; (10) can be cut by
shears, nailed to wood, and transported without danger; (ii) can be easily
•rei)aired in case it is cut; (12) does not break; and (13) is well adapted for
factory windv>\vs and skylights for hothouses, market halls, verandas, trans-
, portable buildings, and for roofing.

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A roll 7 meters long and 120 centimeters wide costs J 1.20 per square
meter, and samples are sent free of charge.

It is hardly likely that a substance possessing the valuable qualities claimed
for tectorium should be so comparatively unknown after h4ving been on the
market for the last twenty- five years.


[Report by Consul-Gencral Mason, of Frankfort.]

In compliance with the instruction of the Department, I have to report
that tectorium is a translucent, infrangible substitute for window glass, and
as such is used for skylights, conservatories, verandas, storm windows, trans-
parencies of various kinds, and in street windows where it is desirable to
admit the light while excluding observation from without. It Avas invented
twenty or twenty-five years ago, received medals at the Antwerp Exposition
of 1885 and other international exhibitions, and was the material adopted for
the roof windows of the London Aquarium, which have an area of 97,600
square feet.

Tectorium is a sheet of tough, insoluble gum — said to be bichromated
gelatin — about one-sixteenth of an inch in thickness, overlying on both sides
a web or network of galvanized iron or steel wire, the meshes of which are,
in the samples* herewith submitted, one-eighth of an inch square. Both
surfaces of the tectorium in ordinary use are apparently covered with a var-
nish of boiled linseed oil, and it feels and smells similar to the oiled silk that
is used in surgery and for sweat bands in summer hats. It is lighter than
glass of equal thickness, is tough, pliant, and practically indestructible by
exposure to rain, wind, hail, or any shock or blow which does not pierce or
break the wire web by a violent thrust. It may be bent in any desired form
and fastened in position by crimping, nailing, or with putty like ordinary
glass, and, when punctured, it may be easily repaired.

Its translucence is about the same as that of opal glass ; its color, a green-
ish amber yellow, which fades gradually to white from exposure to the sun,
so that while arresting the direct rays of sunshine, it transmits a soft, modu-
lated light which is said to be well adapted to hothouses and conservatories.
It is a poor conductor of heat and cold, and thus preserves a more equable
temperature than glass in rooms containing growing plants. Its surface is
well adapted for painting in oil colors, and it is used for illuminated win-
dows, signs, and transparencies in which strength, lightness, and immunity
from breakage are essential, especially in arched, curved, or irregular surfaces.
The only objections which are urged against tectorium are that it is more or
less inflammable, and that in very warm weather the outside surface is some-
times softened until dust will adhere to it, but this may be removed by wip-
ing or washing, a service that is usually performed by the rain in exposed

* Samples filed in ihc Bureau of StatiMics, Department of Stale.

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Tectorium is sold by various dealers in Germany, but the principal man-
ufacturers are Messrs. Otto Kohsel & Son, No. 25 Neue Konigsstrasse, Ber-
lin, and Gustav Pickhardt, at Bonn, who has an export branch house in
Brussels. It is an English invention, and, so far as can be ascertained, is
not patented ip Germany. It is usually made in lengths of 7 meters (22.9
feet) and either 24 or 48 inches wide. It costs at the factory, for small quan-
tities, J1.19 per square meter (about 10 cents per square foot). When
ordered in quantities of ten rolls or more, a discount of 5 i>er cent from this
rate is allowed by Messrs. Kohsel, while Mr. Pickhardt gives a wholesale
price of 90 cents i)er meter in large orders for export. The lengths are
roiled like carpet or oilcloth, and are packed in wooden cases for shipment.
When obtained from retail dealers in small quantities, tectorium costs in this
country from $1.42 to J 1.66 per square meter, that is, about 1 2 to 13 cents per
square foot. This renders it a rather costly material for ordinary hothouses,
and for this reason it is used mainly in only the finer class of conservatories,
which are built into and form part of handsome dwellings. The architect
of the London Aquarium, where it has been long in use, rei)orts that it
has effected an important economy tlirough its immunity from breakage,
Avhich, in the case of large roofs of glass, are so frequent and so expensive to

Fcnsterpappc. — For ordinary hotbeds and forcing houses, such as are used
by most florists and market gardeners, the Germans have another and far
cheaper substitute for glass in the so-called **Fensterpappe," Avhich is a tough,

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 188-191 → online text (page 78 of 102)