Page images
PDF
EPUB

REMARKS ON THE CULTIVATION OF THE SOGAR CANE

OC

IN THE ISLAND OF CEYLON, BY JOBIAD LAMBERT, 28Q. 1, 6. 8.-Concluded

It has been urged that the natives of this island are deficient in physical streng::., and incapable of using the Cane-boe to which I have alluded; to these opinions I cannot conform, having seen a proof of their fucility in the fact of the Cingalese being able to swing an axe with a dexterity and effect quite equal to any that can be exhibited by our best English woodsmen, and he who can wield the latter instrument is quite capable of giving effect to the former; ibe liabit of using an inferior tool will at first mi. litate against a change 10 one of another description, but a steady: perseverance towards accomplishing the object in view, and an casional premium by way of stimulus to the best workmen, and selecting them to be the leaders of the gang, in which the men should follow each other in pairs-each with their separate irenches at a distance of four 10 six feet between each pair, the leaders pushing on will induce close order among the remainder, and very soon exhibit the lazy or inelficient mon who should then be earned over to suine other work for which he may be better suited.-Under this system I am well convinced field gangs may be formed equally effective as in other countries. It is also said that the food of the natives does not afford nutriment sufficient to enable them to undergo the exertion the human frame is capable of sustaining uuder a different aliment— without entering into this discussion it may be sutlicient 10 slute, that the people I have seen work upon sngar estales, never taste animal food-their meals are composed of rice, Indian corn, brear, vegetables and oil, occasionally fish with the invariable seasoning of capisicun— this does nol vary materially or scarcely at all from the customary food of the inhabitants of this Island. - lice is the best grsin, at least if we are to judge from the evidence given before the Lords' Committee on the East India Company's pension which states that a greater quantity and a better quality of spirit is ohinined from it than trom any other substance whatever used for distillation and a fortiori, it must contain more nutriment and I have seen il proved in the cose of a pack of fox

hounds which during three seasons consuming but half the weight of rice they would have otherırise done of oameal were kept in

better condition than they had ever previously shewn.--Into these remarks I have only been led by the prevailing opinion of the feebleness of our people; do not exhanst them by pushing too hard and I have little doubt an honest day's work may at all times be procured.

In addition to my former observations upon calle-food, I would strongly reconnıend twenty or thirty acres of Lucerne to be laid down in a part of the esiale which may be capable of being irrie gated—it is very productive and has rielded me eleven cuttings in che

year. I have learned from an old resident that it does lourish

in this climate, a fact of which I was not previously aware -it should be sowo in drills righreef inches to two teet a-part- The nutritive qualities are very great, and a chauge of loud is always adviseuble for stock.

The next point for the sugar planter to consider is the descrip tlou of power he can apply to bis Mill. Water is the best and the cheapest, an overshot wheel of lwenty-five feet dianieler and fvur teei wide withio the sbrouding is quite equal w drive a full sized mill, viz., rollers lour feet id length and ivo leef diabieler, this mill will giind sufficient canes 10 produce tive lous of sugar in twenty-four hours, and the cost of such an apparatus in Enge land including water wheel shaft, arm cases, connecting gearing, pedestals, &c. will be about £600. (the wooden arms, shironding and buckets nuy be made in the Culvay at a tribing cosl.) A horse Steam Engine £460 to 500 or less if it be high pressure, and in tbe ease of using this power the expence of the will will ouly be £360-tbus a watermill on board in England say £600 And a Steam Mill of same power ne...

...... £860 freight and charges upon the latter being much heavier in propor. iton. A double selt of clarifiers-Boilers and a hueller's Itache with blowing apparatus £500-Skimmers, ladles, wire guaze, sacebatometers and thermometers £100—5 tons of shieet leud £100-say in all £1500 and expenses included, placed upon the Estate within & reasonable distance from the coast £2,000 --- added to which cost of Still under same circumstances £500, making a llal ut £2,500 Buildmgs and completion of the works £2,000, so that machinery and buildings eqnai to laking the crop from 300 acres of cane cost £4,500.---The vlauter upon ibis scale must not be deceived as LO the outlay, should be allempt by any specious endeavour to economise to patch up his apparains or go to what is ieruned a cheap shop at home, he will find something go wrong, and it is a liability by far too serious, to find out a mistake, or 10 bave a breakage in the middle of crop-lime which may stop the work and cause the løss of one-half of his canes--Strength in the macbinery must be stecured at any original cost, the grinding of canes being perlups the most trying operation to wbich it can be subjected, this arises from the extreme inequality of the opposing lurces presented to the power applied to overcome ihem ; I have seen three inchi bolis drawn io shreds and a seven inch wrought iron shalt twisted in two by the resistance opposed trom a mill chuked by over or cross-feeding, this is matter of daily and hoorly occurreuce and it is consequently necessary to have everything strong enough to resist the very possible contingency of derarigement from such causes, various dutempts have been made to keep down the top roll by means of Neighted levers instead of bolus ihey bave not bowever been attended tih success, and the most effective plan seenis that of bolting through strung beams of-timber resting upon two fulcrms under the mill-bed these will spring der any exuaordinary pressure

a

and permit the passage of the obstacle which in an unyielding oo fixed system of mechanism would either cause fracure or stoppage aud in'ikae latter case creste intinite delay, as the vals get so jammed: upon the screw's that we power will loosen thein and the cane trasla biust be cut out from belsecu ile rollers by mortice chisels in order to set them free-A very important advantage accrnes from making use of spring beams or elastic ties to the top roll, namely, that u bih pertniis it to bu screwed down tight, thus keeping a cotistant and close pressure on the cane, ibereby causing every drop of įnice ia be expressed, which cannot be the case where the rolls stl free as ibey must be when in a stiff inelastic framea there is a part of the apparusus 10 all appearauce trifling, but of great importance as to its strength and proper position--viz. ibe trash returner, or plate upon which the canes impinge on passing from the upper and firsi lower rull: a great force is exeried upon it and great strength must be given to it through its whole length as it guides the introduction of the cane to its second pressurethe position should be with a sharp edge bearing upon the feed. ing under coll, and a space of ball an inch free upon the second lower roll; to allow the juice to fall upon the will-bed. The speed, hich I have found to be most effecinal for lhe rollers is 24 feet per minute of their circumference, any thing beyond that is too rapid for ihe due perturmance of the work, and anything under it is a loss of time; in accordance with this speed the connecting gearing should be so constructe ed as to per il a velocity of the valer-wheel 10 amount to 6 feet per second of its periphery ; ibis becomes necessary on account of the ide equality of the resistance to which I bave before alluded in cape grinding. High authorities have stated the velucity of a water wheel to produce a maximum of effect at the rate of three feet per second, but silce they have written, experience has demon. strated a mach greater speed to be decessary in many cases, and uwong ibem must certainly be ranked that under description:

In the arrangement of the boiling house a clarifier of 400 gal. lons and three evaporating widers ui corresponding dimensions may be hung in each fire, with damper (u shun otti from the clantier so that the temperature in this lessci way uot be allowed to exa ceed 200 a vi kan. it is here the applicativu is to be made of lime or temper, is it is dcbuically called, and I would caution the planter very serivusiy upon the mischief caused by ibe excese sive use of this ingredient, the evil consequences of which are well described in the excellent work by Porter, - the value of it consists in renduring the uncry stalizuble portion of the cane juice more fluid and promoting a better and more rapid draivage, but it decomposes the sugar and carries off in the shape of mulasses a great quantity of ihe product, and that which remains is more or Jess deicriorated by the constant chemical action taking place ber tween sugar and lime long subsecuent to the supposed pertect cur ing of the former-Overtempered sugar becomes clummy and grey in color, the actiuer a bome, alıbouyb iyuurant of alle cause, tuin

same

[ocr errors]

aside from the sample thus exhibited, and the grocer hngs it at low price which enables him to mix it up with Bengal sugarš, and so get rid of an article a hich has been destroyed by the esa æssive employment of lime. In refining sngat made írom the

cane patch, une balt with lime and the other halt without any at all, I have found the result in produce of single refined Joaves to be such that the sugar made without lime was worth seven shillings per cut more thau the other, perhaps the experiinent bad pot previously been made upon vanie sugar, and the fact has 1100 been brought under consideration, but the cistunistance of having a refinery altached to the sugar mill enabled me 10 asteriain it Lime is not necessary to the making of sugar and green juice and that produced from rauk canes is much injured by it. I know several estates where it never bas been heard of, yel thiey produce the finest quality, nor is the quantly deficient, and upon them the old systein of sprinkling cuid wnier upon ibe troch in the pans

is still lullus edThis simple operation has the effect of bringing logether the feculencies which bave escaped the process of claritying. We are 10 suppose the cane liquor brought by passing through the several boilers to the lasi, into a syrup tolerably bright and of a specific gravity of nearly 1157° or 20 degrees of Beauine's Saccharoinele -- in this stale it should be transferred to cisterne lined with lead, having an outlet six inches above and another at the bottom -- (welve or twenty-luur bours repose should be given in order to allow the subsidence of matters which during a bigh lemperature and a state of ebullicious were either held in solution or suspended mechanically, and it will be found that notwithstanding the most care:ul work at the boilers, a great quantity of fun! syrup occupies the lower portion of the cisterns- this must be builed separately in order to keep the remainder of the sugar good—the system is hy no means novel, Detrone strongly recommends it, aud it has been pracused in Spain for celouries, but I have never learned that a British Colony has adopted it, although the advantages are so obvious—increased expense in fuel may be against the plan in some, but I should think few instances would occur in which full compensation might not be obtained by the augmented value of the sugar.

Concentration by vacuum is undoubtedly the best method of concluding the process of sugar making, but the expense of the apparatus and its complication can never peruit it to be generally adopted ;-ibe substitution of Kneller's teache will however answer very nearly the same purpose--the temperature necessary never exceeds 180 - and the crystals are large and bold—the combination of syrup cisterns and this concentration enable the last and most delicate operation in he performed during the day, an advanlage of very great importance--the sogar should be polted immediately it comes from the pan in cases according to Dutrone's plan, each case lo bold aboni 10 cwt. of sugar, and each skipping to fill a case, I can, by no meaus approve of the babit of

mixing, two or more skippings together as mechanical disturbance is thereby created and a conseqment disarrangement in crystalization and delective draining. The temperature at which Kneller's leache enables the concentration to be effected is so low that a pinch greater amount of crystalized sugar is obtained than can be the crise

wipe it raised to 236 and 2405 as is guenerally practised in the cominon nethods and the first syrups are so little injured that ihey may be boiled into a lower quality of sugar.

'Tho sull house becomes the next point of consideration, and the arrangements should be so made that drains from the boiling and cruing house's fall 10:vards ils nothing slaould be wasted and every drop of water conveyed wilie mill-bed or the boiling house shonld find its exit only through the still - A modern improves meni in distillation, indenied by Mr. Eneas (utler, per mils this opeo ration to be performed at a saving of three-lourihs of the fuel consaned by any other priscess, and 110 water is required for condeosa:ion which is effected by means of the wash itsell. I do not enter into à minute description of the apparatiis, aud it will be sula ficient 10 say the princess is conducted by passing steain froin a common boiler through a caprtment of perforated disks орото

wbich the wash is allwived; to flow ih steam carries off the spirit and enters another box containing a pip: traversing it in contrary direcar tions, vhich conveys the wash from the charger to the disk bos or an alizer as it is termel -the spirill1019 vaporis coming in coutact with the cold wash-pipe is condenard and Hows off hiahly rectified at 4 strength of 555 ovorproof; the operation is continuons, the střeam of wash entering at one end and Howing exhansted from the other. The great distilleries in Scotland and those of Sir Felix Booth, and many others in London and the neighbourhood, are now furnished with his apparatiis, several of which are working at the sale of 4000 gallons of wash per honr--One capable of distilling 200 gallous per bour will be sufficient for a sugar work and the cost is £500—a set or stills under the old sratem would cost considerably more and the labor would be encreased three-fold. Two of these stills are

their way to the Island and may shortly be seen in operation.

The expences of cultivation per acre under the slipposition that a nursory of Canes has heen provided during the erection of the buildings and machinery, will he as follows, with wages at 10d. per day, workmen finding iheir own tools :

2 plonghings for fallow ............@ 3.8.......... £0 6 0 Trenchings mp 3 feet high 29 men.@ 10d.

1 2 Breaking up by plongh.... Third and cross ploughing... Harrowing..... 'urrowing oui lor planting ........

6 0

now

[ocr errors]

0
0
0
0

4 6 6 1

OOOONO

Carried over-2 9 8

« PreviousContinue »