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

Consular reports, Issues 252-255 online

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cases arranging for sole agencies for a provisional length of time, with the under-
standing that at the expiration of said period the buyer will contract to take a
certain amount from the manufacturer during the first year. A number of mer-
chants here pay cash against documents or accept draft at thirty days' sight.
Matters are greatly helped in the office-furniture business if a list of shipping
weights is furnished the people here, and cubic measurements; in this case, the
cubic schedule is most generally used. It is also of great value that prices be
quoted c. i. f. Rotterdam. In catalogues, office furniture should be kept separate
from other lines, as here they are distinct. Office furniture should not be too high
priced, and all particulars should be given.

In the matter of introducing lumber from the United States, the
same gentleman writes me:

The entrance duty averages about 5 per cent. There is no differential duty on
goods in bond or to be transshipped, and there is no occasion for transshipment,
as there are several direct lines from the United States to Holland. I am confident
that there is a good market here for certain kinds of lumber, if these can compete
with German goods. Lumber comes into this country mostly in squares, and is
resawed here.

The question of price is the prime consideration, Germany being
able to land goods here cheaply.


Steel writing pens are manufactured in this country in large
quantities. There are two factories in this city, both of which do a
very extensive business.

In spite of a duty of 60 marks per 210 pounds, there were 561,000
marks' ($133,518) worth of pens imported into Germany during the

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first half of 1 90 1, or an increase of about 4.2 per cent over the same
period of last year. Of the total, 97 per cent came from England
and 1.6 per cent from France.

During the first six months of 1901, 126,000 marks* (^29,9S8)
worth of pens were exported from this country, against ii6,cx>o marks
($27,608) for the same period last year, which shows a gain of about
8.6 per cent in value. The largest shipments were made to Austria-
Hungary, Switzerland, and Mexico.

In a recent conversation, a pen manufacturer told me that the
Germans were finding it more and more difficult to compete wiih
American pens in Mexico and the South American countries. Have
our manufacturers ever made an attempt to introduce their pens
into Germany, England, or France? If we can outstrip competitors
in neutral countries, should we not try to do the same in their home

Brainard H. Warner, Jr.,

Leipzig, September 25, igoi. Consul.


Advices from Hamburg state that Cuban purchases of German
goods, since the cessation of hostilities, have increased considerably.
During the years 1895, 1896, and 1897, Hamburg shipped to Cuba
between $470,000 and $700,000 worth each year; in 1898, $400,000:
in 1899, $1,400,000; and in 1900, goods to the value of over ^2,000,-
000. Statistics of Hamburg exports to Cuba cover no less than 13c
groups of goods. Exports of rice increased from $261,000 in 1889
to $785,000 in 1900; articles of iron, from $166,000 to $190,000;
malt, from $14,000 to $36,000; cotton goods, from $35,000 to $66,-
700; hosiery, from $117,000 to $120,000; passementerie goods, from
$28,000 to $45,700; paper, from $48,000 to $77,800; toys, from
$43,000 to $55,700; etc.

The exports from Cuba to Hamburg have increased also. They
fell from $3,800,000 in 1895 to $1,590,000 in 1898, but rose to $3,000,-
000 in 1899 and to $3,142,000 in 1900. Cigars and tobacco are the
principal exports; wax, woods, and hides are also sent.

Richard Guenther,

Frankfort, September 10^ i^oi. Consul- General.

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A note from the secretary of the British embassy, dated Newport,
October i, 1901, informs the Department that an exhibition will be
held during the coming year at Cork, Ireland, for the purpose of pro-
moting the industries of that country. The hope is expressed that
an exhibit, representative of the United States, may be sent by the
Government. The letter addressed by the Irish department of
agriculture to the Foreign Office is inclosed, which reads as follows:



Upper Merrion Street.

Dublin^ September J ^ igoi.

Sir: I am directed by the vice-president to acquaint you, for the information of
the Secretary of State for Foreign Afifairs, that arrangements are now in progress
to hold in Cork, during the coming year, an exhibition for the purpose of stimulat-
ing the growth and improvement of manufacturing, agricultural, and other indus-
tries and handicrafts throughout this country. This project has been received with
favor in all the industrial centers of Ireland, and the measure of support already
accorded to the undertaking has been of such a nature as to remove any doubts re-
garding its ultimate success, so far as the cordial cooperation of all classes of the
community can contribute toward that end. The department was approached
with a view to secure their assistance and active cooperation in the task of organ-
izing the exhibition, and to make the project directly subserve their work in con-
nection with agricultural and industrial development, they decided to subsidize the
exhibition to a considerable amount on condition that its general scope met with
their approval, and that they had effective control as to the manner in which the
money was to be applied. The success of the undertaking is, accordingly, a matter
in which the department are deeply concerned. It will be necessary for them to
exercise a general supervision over the several sections of the exhibition, and, with
a view to the promotion of, perhaps, the most important side of their work, the
department are about to take steps for the organization of an exhibit mainly on
educational lines.

It is now considered desirable that an effort should be made to insure that the
character of the rntire undertaking should be as representative of industrial prog-
ress as circumstances will permit, and with this object in view it has been arranged
that any foreign countries desiring to participate will be afforded, free of charge,
sites for the erection of their respective pavilions.

The vice-president will deem it a favor if the Secretary of State will be so good
as to cause the governments of the several European countries and the United
States of America to be advised of the obligations which they would confer upon
the department by consenting to arrange for the forwarding of a representative
exhibit to the industrial exhibition to be opened at Cork in the month of May next.
I am, etc.,

T. P. Gill, Secretary.

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The enormous production of alcohol in France has led M. Jean
Dupuy, Minister of Agriculture, to offer a series of prizes for any
kind of apparatus or machinery that will open a way for its greater
consumption. An exhibition of inventions for the use of alcohol for
illuminating or heating purposes or for motor power will be given
in Paris in the grand palace of the exposition, Champs Elysees,
from November i6 to 24. It is proposed to apply motor po^jver to
agricultural implements, under the direction of the Department of
Agriculture. The prizes awarded will consist of a series of medals.

The exhibition and experiments will be divided into three classes:

First. Stationary motors; motors for navigation; locomobiles
and motors for working pumps; automobiles under 25 horsepower;
insulated carburetors.

Second. Incandescent lighting, divided into two classes: (i) Ap-
paratus using pure medicated alcohol; (2) apparatus using car-
bureted alcohol.

Third. Heating apartments; bath houses and hothouses for flow-
ers; chafing dishes, dish warmers, flat-iron heaters, curling irons,
lamps, etc.

The minister does not state whether the citizens of other coun-
tries will be permitted to compete for the prizes, but, in any case,
the presence of Americans in Paris with their apparatus for the con-
sumption of alcohol would furnish a good opportunity for introduc-
ing their goods into the French market.

A recent law has entirely removed from wine and beer the high
tax formerly levied upon those drinks when they were brought into
a city. One of the means adopted to make up for the deficit caused
by the abolition of the gate tax was the imposition of a tax of 220
francs ($42.46) per hectoliter (26.417 gallons) of alcohol, in place of
the old tax of 56 francs ($10.80) per hectoliter. There is also an
additional tax in the cities, according to their population. In Lyons
it is 100 francs ($19.30) per hectoliter, making 250 francs ($48.25),
which goes to the State. Besides this, there is a gate tax in Lyons
of 30 francs ($5.79) per hectoliter, which goes to the municipality,
making a tax of 280 francs ($54) on every hectoliter of alcohol.

It is declared that this new tax on alcohol has caused a diminu-
tion of 50 per cent in the consumption of rum, and a smaller falling
off in the consumption of other alcoholic liquors. But the output
of alcohol augments, and it is contended that the increased volume

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is the work of fraudulent producers — what we would call ** moon-
shiners " — who declare but a small part of what they produce. They
are here called ** boilers of growths. ' They have a license from the
Government to produce alcohol, but their production invariably ex-
ceeds the quantity reported and upon which they pay the tax. The
market is in some way or other flooded with medicated and other
alcohol, for all of which it is desired to find a means of consumption.
A report on this subject, presented to the French Parliament and
published in the Journal Officiel two years ago, gave a tabulated
statement of the quantity of alcohol produced in France and Ger-
many in 1897. The production in France was reported to be 2,022,-
000 hectoliters (53,415,174 gallons) of legal alcohol. It stated that
the illegal product of the boilers of growths could not even be ap-
proximated. For the year 1899, the production for all of France
'was 2,241,382 hectoliters (59,210,580 gallons). When I applied to
the office of the internal-revenue collector, he could only give me
data for the two years here mentioned. He assured me that the ex-
cess of stock consisted largely of the unreported production of the
boilers of growths. Of 250 distilleries, 50 produced nearly the en-
tire quantity reported as given above. The material from which
this alcohol was produced is set forth thus:

Material from which produced.


Farinaceous substances








Imoorted.... *...........

Beets. •




< .943.435


**The striking feature in these figures," says the report, **is that
alcohol is an industrial product furnished by our agriculture and
by importation."

The production of alcohol in Germany in the year 1897 was
3,616,319 hectoliters (95,532,300 gallons), two-thirds of which was
derived from potatoes of domestic origin. It was produced in coun-
try distilleries, which number about 12,500, of which 5,226 produce
only from 10 to 100 hectoliters (264 to 2,642 gallons).

The report submitted to the French Parliament says that France's
best customer for sugar, the United States, will soon become an ex-
porter on account of its relation to Cuba, and it therefore urges the
enactment of a law that will encourage the manufacture of alcohol

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as a consumer of the supposed future surplus in the beet crop. The
present annual sugar product of France is 850,000 tons, of which
the United States buys more than any other country. Should
American purchases fall off, the beets now worked up into sugar
would go to increase the output of alcohol, for which there is now
no means of consumption in sis^ht. In connection with the pro-
jected exhibition, it is observed that alcohol enters but very little
into use for lighting, while in Germany it is the great illuminant for
parks and public places.

I would suggest to Americans who may attend the coming exhi-
bition that lighting, heating, and cooking apparatus will be likely to
receive favorable attention here, where coal is dear and oil pays a
high customs duty, as well as freight over 3,000 or 4,000 miles of
land and sea. It is possible that a small, handy cooking apparatus,
heated by alcohol, would fill a want. All over France there are thou-
sands of people who lead an isolated existence in one room, up four
or six flights of stairs, who would prepare their first meal of coffee
or chocolate and their evening soup on such a contrivance. The
national custom, especially among the poor and middle class, is to
take these two meals in a cheap restaurant; but customs change,
and the effort to introduce new uses for alcohol may be a means of
breaking up this habit — above all, if it is in harmony with ideas
of strict economy.

John C. Covert,

Lyons, September J2y i^oi. Consui.


The tobacco business in France is a monopoly of the Government,
no individual having the right to make or sell a cigar or to sell
tobacco in any form without a permit.


The retail shops are generally kept by women, the widows of
soldiers or officers, often by old soldiers themselves. I am told that
the widow of an officer of high rank sometimes finds it necessary to
petition for permission to keep a retail tobacco and cigar store, which
she places in the care of an agent, and her connection with it remains
entirely unknown. In all the large cities of France, there are also
establishments called tabacs de luxe, where th^ finer kind of cigars
and tobacco are sold and imported. They are owned by the Gov-
ernment, are in charge of men appointed by the same, and are not
permitted to retail, as the State is not disposed to compete with the
individuals whom it has authorized to open cigar stores.

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To have the right to keep a retail tobacco and cigar store is con-
sidered a privilege worth working for, and it is said that every
change of ministry is sure to give an opportunity to the exercise of
the appointive power of the Government, which augments the num-
ber of retail tobacco dealers.

The tobacco sold in France annually aggregates to the State
about $79, 137,137. The expense to the State in buying raw mate-
rial^ labor, freight, etc., is $14,535,324, leaving the very handsome
profit of $64,601,813. The State factories use 26,769,310 kilo-
grams (59,026,325 pounds) of domestic tobacco and 15,000,000
kilograms (33,075,000 pounds) of imported leaf. The domestic costs
$17.27 per 220 pounds, and the imported $27.88 per 220 pounds.
Thirteen million kilograms (28,665,000 pounds) of the imported to-
bacco comes from the New World, mostly from the United States,
and the largest quantity of this (called ** Burley *') is from Kentucky.


The director of the works in Lyons gave me particulars about
the business here and in other parts of France. There are 20 fac-
tories in France — 3 in Paris, and the others in the large cities. In
1899, they employed 17,184 hands, 15,732 of whom were women and
girls. Besides these, there are 714 persons employed as directors,
overseers, foremen, etc. Next year, the factory in Lyons will make
22,000 kilograms (48,501 pounds) of fine-cut chewing tobacco, 176,000
pounds of common smoking tobacco, 176,000 pounds of pure Mary-
land, 88,000 pounds superior (composed of a combination of Ken-
tucky, Maryland, and the best domestic), and 2,530,000 pounds of
common, called '* Scaflferlati,'* a cheap smoking tobacco. This very
cheap tobacco is used on the frontiers, where smuggling is preva-
lent, to meet the competition of the contraband article. Large quan-
tities are also sold to the inmates of infirmaries and poorhouses.

The State tobacco factory at Lyons will next year manufacture
5,500,000 cigars that sell for 2 cents and 1,250,000 i-cent cigars,
20,000,000 cigars to sell at i J^ cents, and many millions of cigarettes.

Tobacco is grown in France, but large quantities are imported
from the United States, Brazil, Cuba, and Java. Of the imports from
the United States, that from Ohio is the favorite as regards packing
and general preparation. Maryland stands highest for cigarettes and
Kentucky is pronounced good for strong smoking tobacco, this be-
ing imported in larger quantities than any other American tobacco.
As far as I have been able to learn, no one here knows anything
about the fine Connecticut tobacco, so popular in America with all
genuine lovers of good cigars. I feel confident that if an effort
were made a good market for it would be found in France. The

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Connecticut wrapper and seed filler ought also to be popular among
the cigars de luxe in France.


As the cigar business in the United States, especially outside the
large cities, is carried on largely in small shops and in families, a
description of the workings of the factory in Lyons may prove inter-
esting and perhaps useful. The factory is a four-story building
covering 3 acres of ground. The ^rst thing done to the tobacco,
preparatory to its transformation into cigars, is to soak it in salted
water. Then, instead of pressing the weed to free it from its strong,
rank odor — contracted largely while being packed during shipment —
it is dried in a hollow iron wheel that revolves 100 times per minute.
After the tobacco is stripped, the stems are placed into large vats,
under pressure, a stream of water percolating slowly through them,
and the juice thus expressed is sold for 16 cents per quart. Last
year, the Lyons factory realized nearly 2,000 francs ($386) from this
source. One quart of this juice contains 40 grams of nicotine —
sometimes as high as 60 grams. It is sold to veterinary surgeons,
who use it upon animals afflicted with the itch or other skin diseases.
Large quantities of it are exported to Buenos Ayresj where, I am
told, it is regarded as a cure for sheep's itch.

When cut and ready for market, the tobacco is packed by ma-
chinery, the labor of three girls contributing to make each package.
One places the wrapper around the tin frame, another places this in a
wooden orifice and fills it with the tobacco, which has been weighed
by a third person. A slow hydraulic pressure is then brought down
upon the tobacco, slightly reducing it, when the tin forms are handed
back to the first person, who finishes the packing and prepares an-
other form. The girls work very actively ; three of them pack 1 2,500
packages a day, their wages being respectively 60, 70, and 75 cents
per day. Thus 12,500 packs of tobacco are done up for about $2.05,
not counting the use of the machinery.


No one but women and young girls are engaged in making cigars,
cigarettes, and fillers, and in cutting wrappers. The work is all
done on the principle of a division of labor; the cutting of the wrap-
pers, the breaking of the fillers, the rolling of the latter up in the
wrapper, and the putting of the little kinky head on the cigar, all of
which is done by one person in the small shops in the United States, is
done by five different individuals in the State tobacco factory in this
city. The woman who cuts the wrapper does it with a little revolv-
ing wheel blade on the end of a handle instead of with the usual

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cigar maker's knife. She cuts many thousands of wrappers a day, the
work all being measured by weight, and the girls or women to whom
the wrappers and fillers are brought ready for use make from 500
to 800 cigars a day, for which they receive 45, 50, and 60 cents.
One hundred and eighty-eight women and girls, from 16 to 28 years
of age, work ten hours a day in the cigar department, and only
one of them earns as high as $1 per day. Their situations are very
desirable, and there is now a list of applications for places contain-
ing over 500 names. There is one filler machine on which two
women break 1,500 fillers per day. A cunning machine in use here,
invented by an employee, makes the head on cigars after they are
rolled, and does the work of about a dozen hands. Another ma-
chine, which, I think, is an American invention, makes 140,000
cigarettes per day. Most of the boxes 4n which the cheap cigars are
packed are made of cardboard. The wooden boxes are manufac-
tured from the heads of hogsheads in which tobacco comes here from
the United States. The price is marked by the Government on
every box of cigars and on every package of cigarettes or paper of

I was surprised to learn that a great deal of chewing tobacco is
manufactured here and consumed in France. Generally speaking,
Frenchmen are not chewers of the Indian weed ; but in the manu-
facturing districts, where men work twelve hours a day and can not
smoke during that time, they chew. In seaport towns, the habit of
chewing is due to the presence of the American sailor.


The tobacco business in France is a very important source of
revenue to the Government. The capital invested in the buildings,
machinery, etc., is$io,385,2i6, and the Government generally realizes
a profit of between jp6o,ooo,ooo and $80,000,000. The State usually
carries from $15,000 to $20,000 in stock, consisting of raw material
and cigars. In 1899, the net profits were $67,276,243.52.

John C. Covert,

Lyons, September 6, ipoi. Consul.


Modern improvements are being introduced into buildings in
this consular district, and I am of the opinion that the use of sanitary
appliances will assume large proportions in the next few years, and
that our manufacturers should seek to enter this field.

The system of supplying hot water throughout houses has not

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yet been adopted here, but detached water heaters are largely used
A gentleman, to whom I described our kitchen ranges supplpng
hot water, would have placed them in all the apartments of a large,
new building, had he been able to find them on the spot.

Considerable quantities of these goods have been imported from
England; up to the present, the sales of German firms have con-
sisted principally of brass cocks and faucets and of plain zinc baihsw
I am informed that the latter may be had here at about 20 francs
($3.86) less than the French article, and of better workmanship.

The following prices are paid by plumbers for the articles men-
tioned :


Water beaters, gas (of copper) .each..

Baths, cast-iron (interior enamel). do

Cabinet bowls:

Half porcelain, colored .do

All porcelain (one piece)—

White .do

Colored do

Sitz baths, all porcelain, colored do

Lavatories do

Cast-iron water tanks. do

Copper tubes, plain (diameter, 1.57 to 1.73

inches), per 30,37 inches.
Lead pipe:

Diameter, 0.78 inch upward, per 230.46

Diameter, up to 0.78 inch, per 330.46

Brass water cocks. each-
Toilet water cocks:

Nickeled do

Nickeled, double movement do

Prices paid by 1 Custom-housr xlutics .^lil^^L
plumbers. 1 per 230.46 pounds. 1 »^-» po- .mo.#j


$30.40 to 49.90

4. as to 8.50

6. 30 to 1Z.60

14. so


34.75 to H5.80

3.50 to 7.7s



X.60 to
2.35 to



I9.60 net weight

$3.90 net weight ♦ —

I2.40 to $5.80, rang-
ing from pUin
white to colored
or decorated,
gross weight.

I0.60 gross weight...
$5.79 net weight.

$1.54 gross weight..
. — .do

Weighing oyer aa
pounds, rough,
$4.8a net; fin-
ished, I5.80 net.
Weighing under
23 pounds, rough,
I3.86 net; fin-
ished, $9.65 net.










Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 252-255 → online text (page 53 of 65)