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Extract from the proceedings of the conrention of delegates from the National

Association of Wool Manufacturers, and from the several organizations of the cool-growers of the United States, at Syracuse, New York, December 13, 1865.

The fourth subject for discussion was then taken up, to wit, the wool best adapted to the various manufactures, especially that of worsted.

The PRESIDENT. We should be glad to know what you do with our wools; what kind of wools go into what kind of fabrics. We should be glad of some practical information upon that subject.

Mr. HAZARD. The president of our association (Hon. E. B. Bigelow) has paid more attention to this subject, perhaps, than any other person, and I hope we shall hear from him upon it.

Mr. BLANCHARD. If the inquiry is with reference to worsted wools particularly, I think our secretary has some facts in regard to it that will be of interest to the wool-growers here. But, sir, in connection with that, if I may be indulged with the attention of the assembly for a few moments, I would like to express briefly some views of the different kinds of sheep, which, in the estimation of manufacturers, it would be desirable to raise in this country.

There are diversified interests among the manufacturers. There is a great diversity of talent among them. One man, possessing a taste, a cultivated taste, if you please, for fancy articles, will enter upon the manufacture of those fabrics that are styled fancy goods, and succeed in them admirably, and to the entire satisfaction of himself, as well as benefit to the community. Another man, attempting to produce the same article, would fail in business in less than six months. I know some men who have spent almost a lifetime in making black doeskins, until they have attained a perfection in the article that is almost unsurpassed by the Germans. Let those same men attempt to manufacture a cheap article, and the probability is that they would fail to accomplish their object.

Now, I have thought that perhaps the same principle might apply to Wool-growers. In my experience with the wool-growers of the country, I have sometimes found a man who would take a Saxony flock of imported sheep, retain all their excellence, and continue to improve on that flock, until he had secured perhaps one of the best in the United States. have now in my mind one man in Washington county, of whom you may have heard, I mean Mr. Samuel Patterson, whose flock was, if not superior, at least fully equal, to any other in the State of Pennsylvania. He had a taste for it; and by his knowledge of the habits of Saxony sheep

he was enabled to cultivate them, and to cultivate them with success. Other men prefer to cultivate the merino sheep; and, in the application of their minds to that branch of sheep culture, they have been eminently successful. Another class of men, living near large cities, who may go into Canada, or into some of the sections of the country where a large kind of sheep are grown, purchase their stock, take them to the vicinity of the large cities, put them upon their pastures, feed them until they become fat, and then take them to market and sell them for mutton ; such men, though the wool that is upon these sheep is coarse wool, are successful in that branch of sheep husbandry. Hence, it seems that we need this diversified application of the talent of the country in the production of the raw material, as much as we need the diversified talent that exists among manufacturers in producing the various articles we want.

Now, if this is so—I make these remarks to throw the thought before the minds of the wool-growers—is it wise to abandon the growth of Saxony wool? If I mistake not the public sentiment of the wool-growing community at the present time, it is that the grade of wool which is usually denominated merino is fine enough to meet the wants of all the manufacturers of this country. Let me assure you that it is not so. Unless you do produce the Saxony wool, we, as manufacturers, will be forced to resort to foreign markets for a upply. There are certain fabrics manufactured to-day that cannot be made without that grade of wool which is denominated Saxony wool, fine wool, finer than any other that is produced in this country, (I use the words as they are practically used among farmers, without specifying the difference that exists between them.) If you wish to-day to make a very fine broadcloth—and if the object we have in view is carried out, that the manufacturers of this country are to supply the wants of the country- you must have clean, fine wools to do it; such wools as the Australian, Cape of Good Hope, or German wools. If you don't, you cannot make the article.

I will give you an instance, to show the difficulty of getting this fine wool, which illustrates the point I have in view. I am engaged in the manufacture of ladies' shawls. The consumption of our mill, for the year, is about 350,000 pounds. In the last six months, I directed the sorters, if they found what we term a “pick-lock” fleece, to lay it aside. During these six months they have only saved about 400 pounds of that quality. The next grade we use is what is ordinarily denominated the fine wool of this country. From that we have made an article, which, when taken to New York, was sold to a prominent importer at an advance of 334 per cent. over any article of the kind ever made in this country, I believe, except, it may be, something that was made for exhibition at a fair.

I only allude to this to show that that kind of wool must be produced in this country if we intend to supply the demand of this country for fine fabrics. If that be so, is it wise on the part of the wool-growers of this country to abandon the raising of fine wools? I know you may turn on


and say, “ You won't pay us for it;" but I say we will pay you for it, if you will sell it as cheap as we can get it from the foreign grower, and not without. That is plain common sense: I say we can pay you for it; and I say that, if properly classified and properly presented to the manufacturer, you can get your price for it. But you can't take your Saxony wool to the manufacturer of fancy cassimeres, who wants a medium grade of merino wool, and expect that he will pay you as much for it as the manufacturer of fine broadcloths, fine doeskins, and fine shawls. Unless you can present that wool to the manufacturer who wants to use it, you can never get its value. If it is sold to the passing buyer, who is travelling round the country, he will give perhaps a cent and a half a pound more for it than for ordinary wools.

I simply call your attention to this matter that you may think upon it and act upon it as your judgment may dictate. I now renew my call upon our secretary for facts in his possession in relation to worsted wool.

Mr. John L. HAYES, of Massachusetts. I will respond with pleasure to the request of the gentleman from Connecticut, and submit to the convention some considerations bearing upon the importance of increasing the production of combing or worsted wools in this country; but, before addressing myself to that special subject of inquiry, I desire to call attention to some facts which will throw light upon the extent to which wool in general is used in the textile arts, and which will illustrate the demand in the markets of the world for this material, and the tendency of the age towards its increased consumption. There is no more interesting or practical question, to the producer of wool especially, than the inquiry whether there is a demand for his product, and whether there will be such an increased demand as will continue prices, and justify him in expending capital for increased production.

In pursuing this inquiry, we are struck with the observation that nature is economical in the supply of the raw material, or rather in the varieties of raw material, which are to be worked up by man. How few are the great natural staples which make up the bulk of commercial commodities. But the uses of any raw material, which is found applicable in the arts, are infinite. We utterly fail to imagine the new applications to which such raw material may be made. Every improvement in the arts, in chemistry or machinery, each new step in the progress of civilization or luxury, increases the modes of application and consequently the demand. The demand for a particular fabric or manufacture may cease through change of fashion, but the demand for the raw material never.

The demand for wool received its most important impulse in modern times at about the commencement of the present century, or perhaps the latter part of the last century, from the great improvements which were made in cotton machinery, which were applied also to wool. The improvements in the spinning jenny, the introduction of the power-loom, and the establishment of the factory system, multiplied the power of the

manufacturer to such an extent, that an unprecedented demand for wool began to arise. Then the increased use of other kindred fibres added also to the consumption of wool. It is a curious fact, that cotton, although it has always been regarded as the rival of wool, has added largely to its consumption. It is stated by English observers, that the use of cotton warps has added vastly to the extent to which wool is used in England. Entire factories are now engaged in the manufacture of cotton warp; and it is found thát, by the use of this warp with woollen filling, cotton, instead of being a competitor, is the most important auxiliary of wool,

I will now refer to the statistics which illustrate the progress of the demand for this material. The increase in the consumption of wool is strikingly shown by a comparison of two periods in England, no further apart than 30 years. The importations of wool into England 30 years ago were—from Germany, in round numbers, 74,000 bales; from Spain and Portugal, 10,000 bales; the British colonies, 8,000 bales; sundry other places, 5,000 bales. Total in 1830, 98,000.

Now compare these imports with those of 1862 and 1864. In 1862, the imports from Australia were 226,000 bales; from the Cape of Good Hope, 66,000 bales; from Germany, 29,000 bales; from Spain, 1,000 bales; from Portugal, 11,000 bales; from Russia, 40,000 bales; from the East Indies, 52,000 bales; from South America, 80,000 bales; sundry other places, 96,000 bales. Total, 585,000 bales. Then we come to 1864, and we find from Australia, as against 226,000 in 1862, 302,000 bales; as against 66,000 from the Cape of Good Hope in 1865, 68,000; as against 80,000 from South America in 1862, 99,000. In all, in 1864, 688,336 bales.

Comparing that with the importation only 30 years before, we have 688,000 bales as against 98,000. Australia now supplies more than three times the whole amount of foreign wool consumed in England a third of a century ago. The production of South America exceeds the whole consumption then. In this short period, the consumption has actually increased seven-fold. The production of wool in England is 250,000,000 pounds; the imports, 184,000,000; the exports, 54,000,000; so that the total amount consumed in England is 380,000,000 pounds. Add to that the shoddy, of which 65,000,000 pounds are consumed, and we have the enormous total of 445,000,000 pounds of wool consumed in England alone.

Now this increase of production and consumption is not confined to England alone; it goes on in the same ratio in other countries. In 1861, France exported woollen goods of the value of 188,000,000 francs; in 1863, 283,000,000 francs. The production of Germany, Russia, and Austria is increasing in the same ratio; so that we have now, it is estimated, a consumption in all the world of 1,600,000,000 pounds of wool, and yet hundreds of millions of people, as in China, are just beginning to appreciate the value of woollen fabrics. Even France has but just commenced to supply herself with carpets.

The testimony taken before the House of Lords in 1828 shows that, although less than 98,000 bales of wool were brought into England at that time, every warehouse was filled with wool, and stocks were lying on hand sometimes for five or six years; whereas, at the present time, as I am informed by an English gentleman of great intelligence, and a very large dealer in wool, Mr. Bowes, the warehouses are exhausted, and there are no stocks on hand. The demand is fully up to the supply.

The facts in relation to prices are not less interesting. In 1855, the price of English combing-fleeces was 18. 1}d. In 1864, the price of the same wools was 28. 4d. Australian fleeces averaged in 1855 1s. 8d., in 1864, 18. 10d. Cape fleeces in 1855, 18. 5d.; in 1864, 18. 4d. Buenos Ayres, fair mestizo, in 1855, 7d.; in 1864, Sd. Cordova, in 1855, 8{d.; in 1864, 111d.

Thus we see that the fine wools have not declined; they have kept about the same ratio.

But the question still remains, Will the demand for the fine wools, relatively to other kinds, continue! In considering that question, it is worth while to look at the production of Australia particularly, and the facts which show the extraordinary increase in the ratio of production in the Australian colonies. In 1797 three merino rams and five ewes were carried there; but so slow was the introduction of the production of wool into those colonies, that it was not till 1807, 10 years later, that the first bale’of wool was carried from Australia to England. But the flocks of Australia did not originate from that source. The development of fine wool husbandry in these colonies was the result of an accident. Some English whalers captured in the South Seas, about the beginning of the present century, a vessel proceeding to Peru from Spain, in which there were 300 merino rams and ewes. These sheep were carried to Australia, and originated the fine merino wool, whose production is now estimated at 100,000,000 pounds; and are sold in special market at London, to which all the manufacturers of the world resort. The production of fine wool of La Plata is estimated at 100,000,000 pounds; and that of the Cape at 50,000,000 pounds. And when you remember that only a portion of Australia has been developed, and that the vast and fertile interior still remains to be opened up, who can tell what shall be the production in the future! The pampas of the Argentine Republic offer eren a more unbounded field for production. They present a vast aplifted alluvial plain, 800,000 square miles in extent, presenting an ocean of verdure, where wool-growing in the production of fine wool called mestiza, or improved wool, is pursued with more vigor and profit than in any other part of the world, with the single drawback that the value of the wool is greatly impaired by burrs derived from a species of clover peculiar to the vegetation of the pampas. In view of the fields for the production of fine wool, thus rapidly expanding, which are opened abroad, it is well to inquire whether it may not be desirable to turn our attention to some other of the various kinds of wool in which the competition of foreign countries is not likely to be so formidable.

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