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Signor Ramiris, and lifted into what looks like a large laundry machine with an armed shaft revolving in water. A laundry machine it is, capable of washing ninety tons of material every hour, under the management of Signor Agua Calientc. Right here you will mentally note that a sugar factory is about the dirtiest place you ever visited—for the very good reason that its purpose is to
eliminate dirt and impurity. ' If the factory were not dirty the sugar would have to be, for it must come out somewhere.
With the mud and slime of the washing behind them, the clean white beets ascend in long bucket elevators to the top of the building, where, by following laboriously upstairs we shall find them discharging into a set of ingenious automatic scales—a German invention—presided over by Jan Jansen. From here they drop into the slicers—machines with a swift revolving disk below, carrying knives like a cucumber slicing board ; and when they emerge from these they are no longer beets, but crisp, moist shreds sweet to taste like a raw turnip and called "cossettes," ready to be handled by Iiill the battery man.
Now we have already passed what is to me the most wonderful part of the beet sugar industry. If Bill on the battery stops the cossette cutters, Jan Jansen must stop the elevators, which causes Signor Agua Caliente to stop the washers. Thereupon Antonio Ramiris must stop the beet screws, shut down the flume gate and signal to Banzai Nippon to stop
feeding from the bins. These men may never have seen a sugar mill before, nor even each other; they do not speak the same language; but they must nevertheless work together to put through ninety tons of beets an hour.
But to return to Bill on the battery. The battery is a succession of cells or large tanks arranged in a series with piping so that hot water may be run through them one after f another. An opening at the top of each allows the sweet cossettes to enter—six tons to a filling. Then comes the hot water, percolating slowly through one after another till it discharges from the last a frothy purple liquid, rich in sugar, while the cossettes remain to be disposed of as "pulp" to the delectation of some thousands of cattle on surrounding farms. But this is stating it in its very simplest terms, for observe that Bill must be able to empty or fill any cell without stopping the water; he must absorb all the sugar, yet leave behind the impurities that would come with it; he must gauge his temperatures, his quantities, his velocities for every kind of beets from every kind of land, and he must also get ritl of the ninety tons of material each hour. Bill is the most accurate cook you ever beheld, and all the succeeding processes depend on his skill.
But the rich purple liquid—diffusion juice—runs into other large tanks and is mixed with slaked lime; whereupon it becomes a most pasty, uninviting mixture. This is to coagulate those gummy impurities which have unavoidably dissolved out in the battery—compare the action of the egg and the coffee grounds. The lime was burned in the kiln which formed our original point of observation. To further the process of purification the carbonic acid gas from the same kiln is blown into this pasty liquid until the burned lime becomes united once more with the gas it gave off in burning. The pasty liquid is then more of a sandy liquid with the impurities in the sand.
We will think now of straining coffee through a cloth after the albumen of the egg and the grounds have united, and will proceed to the filter presses. Filter presses are devices in which the "juice" is strained through hundreds of sheets of cluck or canvas which retain the lime mud and allow the- sugar-hearing liquid to pass on. But it is not quite clear yet— not till we have done this carbonating and filtering two or three times and finished with a treatment of sulphur fumes to destroy the most tenacious impurities yet remaining. Then we see it flowing away to the evaporators, a beautiful, pale amber color, to be boiled down to a thick syrup.
This thick syrup is pumped to the "vacuum pans" in charge of a corpulent, jolly Falstaffian man who is second to none save Rill on the battery. Falstaff understands the delicate art of creating the shining crystals that we know, out of this thick syrup. His fingers are as delicate of touch as a pianist's and his eye is like a microscope. You know how
easy it is to burn sugar in cooking it; but Falstaff continues to boil his at a very low temperature by exhausting the air from the interior of his "pan" with a suitable pump. As we watch him he is sampling the contents, spreading a bit of the boiled juice on a sheet of glass and scrutinizing the tiny crystals that begin to appear. This is the first time you have been able to see the sugar. His art consists in knowing how to make these tiny crystals grow regularly and even all of a size with clear, sharp edges. Otherwise the final product will be a dull looking substance. From watching him you will infer that the larger and sharper the crystals the better the sugar—which is true.
We now descend to Tim O'llarahan's centrifugal machines. These are circular steel baskets, made to spin with tremendous speed on the end of a suspended shaft, and lined with fine brass wire gauze. Tim is just opening the valve above to let in a charge of brown, mushy looking stuff which is the mixture of sugar crystals and molasses delivered from the vacuum oans. As the centrifugal begins to spin faster and faster, the brown mush climbs higher up the sides of the screen like water in a whirling vessel. Presently it becomes a lighter color—a yellow—almost, white, and now it is whirling so fast you can''t see it go. At this point Tim begins playing water on it to rinse off the tenacious molasses from the crystals, finishing with a solution tinged with an infinitesimal amount of blueing to counteract the faintest yellow tinge that might remain. Now the whirling basket stops, and the moist, snow white sugar tumbles into the conveyors. Next time you see it it will be churning in a steam heated drum to dry it, and the next time it will be running into the sacks to be trucked aboard the cars.
Now you are ready to comprehend how each one of those millions of beets harvested contained one-fifth or one-sixth its weight of sugar—say a teacup full. Could it be put back on the land again it would give the appearance of a night's fall of snow as far as you could see. But I warrant you never thought of this hum
ble grocery before as you think of it now. Does it not seem incredible to you that these tiny crystals (whether they originate from cane or beets or water melons or potatoes) always build themselves up in the same regular shapes with the same inflexible arrangement of twelve atoms of carbon, twenty-two atoms of hydrogen and eleven of oxygen—that we are able to bring them through all the stages of dissolving many times over, combining with lime, treatment with sulphur, boiling and washing ; when they might at any instant turn to half a dozen entirely worthless substances but for the unceasing testing and watching of the chemists? It would seem no stranger to me if a checker board in the smoking car should go through a railway collision and appear, after the wreck was cleared, right side up with the moves undisturbed. Think, also, of the amount of toil. Remember the man you saw being carried out to be revived from a heat prostration, and the fellows at the steaming presses who sleep on the floor between operations and enjoy twelve hundred hours of hammam bath during the season ; also the individual in the pulp bin who lives an equal time in oilskins drenched with hot water. Think of the master mechanic who has stood forty hours directing a repair job and lived on black coffee heated on the steam chest cover. Above all, consider the superintendent—the lean, weary superintendent—who carries this entire plant in his head as though it were simple as the rule of three; who can keep track of ten miles of piping and a thousand valves and five hundred men, and use seven thousand horse power without wasting any and slice ninety tons of .beets an hour; who is equal to any emergency, has the presence of mind to avert danger while others are running away, and the courage to strip and go into the sewer, where no one else will go, to clear a blockade of pulp; who, most wonderful of all, refrains from going crazy during the course of a hundred days and nights of "campaign," until he can take to the tall timber with a gun and a fishing rod to recuperate. )HE dog as a life-saver has been rediscovered. A thousand years ago Bernard de Menthon, great-grandson of a Paladin of Charlemagne, founded his Hospice on the bleak 8,000 feet peak that bears his name, and installed his dogs as aids to the Alpine wayfarer. And today the emigrant laborer, lost in deep pathless snow, owes life and succor to these superb brutes.
Now all this sugar—the trainload that disappears around the curve each day— is consumed by the population of a very inconsiderable part of the map. The luxurious American people eat more sugar per capita than any other nation on earth; and each.year they eat more than before. And this is a good idea; for in
But the ambulance clog seeking the wounded on the battlefield; the dog as "policeman" and rescuer from the waters —these are institutions of yesterday— invented, so to say, to meet changing conditions of modern life. The war dog was wanted, and you will find him now with every army on earth. He runs
errands, and carries dispatches through an enemy's line where a trooper would surely perish under a pitiless fire.
But, above all, he smells out the fallen who have crept into holes and corners to escape the rain of shot and shell, and the cruel wheels of galloping guns and charging squadrons. The Russian general, Count Keller, employed a troop of ambulance dogs in the late war; and his .Medical Staff were by their means enabled to find hundreds of the wounded, who must otherwise have died miserably in remote corners of a battle front extending for forty miles.
Captain Cistola, of the Italian General Staff, maintains in Rome a regular stud of war dogs; and the great September manoeuvres of the German army, commanded by the Emperor in person, sees officers like General Von Herget, and