Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/70

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64
VISIT TO THE COTTON FACTORIES.

wide court-yard, each building being but one story in height, of brick, and tile-roofed. The motive power is furnished by a huge overshot wheel, forty-two feet in diameter, which runs two thousand spindles, and the mill employs two hundred and fifty men and women when in operation.

It is now idle, owing to the overstock of domestic cottons, and the high price of the raw material. It has large quarters, consisting of long rows of tenements, each with a front and rear room, and a verandah and small back yard, which, when the mills are running, are rented to the families of the operatives at one dollar and fifty cents per month; not a high rent. The women, all young and clean, and some quite pretty, were sitting around in the verandahs doing some small work, and on our passing, all arose and greeted us with a pleasant smile, and "Buenas dias, Señors!"

We went on to the Armonia Mill, which is of similar character, and now running. It has one thousand spindles, and employs eighty operatives. Then we went to the Atrevida Mill, which has twenty-five looms and eight hundred spindles, and employs eighty people. The machinery of the Atrevida and San Cuyatano is from Fall River—"Estados Unidos Del Norte"—and that of the Armonia from England. The Armonia was built in 1845, and paid from thirty thousand to forty thousand dollars per annum dividends until 1864, when the business fell off in consequence of the civil war. The cloth is all of coarse sheetings or muslin, known here as manta, and sells at six dollars and twenty-five cents per piece of thirty-two varas (a vara is two and three-fourths feet, English) for the best, which weighs eleven pounds per piece. The second quality, weighing