Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/23

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
15
FIBER INDUSTRIES OF THE UNITED STATES.

tery making and devices thereon, musical instruments, and above all house structure and modes of burial. More remote perhaps would be survivals of language, and if the invaders had a written one, the characters, whether phonetic or ideographic, would have been left in the enduring rock inscriptions. If now a study of the aborigines of the western hemisphere from Hudson Bay to Tierra del Fuego fails to reveal even a remote suggestion of resemblance to any of these various matters above enumerated, their absence must in some way be accounted for by Asiaticists.

 
Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Flare Left - 12px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 5px.svg Rule Segment - Circle - 6px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 5px.svg Rule Segment - Flare Right - 12px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg
THE POSSIBLE FIBER INDUSTRIES OF THE UNITED STATES.
By CHARLES RICHARDS DODGE.

THE wealth of any community is dependent on the variety and extent of its industries, the utilization of local natural resources, and the employment of the labor of all classes of its population. In locations of successful industrial operations the farmer derives increased incomes, the value of his products is greater, his lands of higher value, and the wages of agricultural labor larger. The rural population contiguous to large towns, therefore, is more prosperous than the larger farming contingent more remote from manufacturing or industrial centers. The farmers of the first class are prosperous because they have a home market for their dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and other "truck," which they are able to produce, for the most part, on small areas by high culture, while those of the second class are forced to expend their energies on commercial commodities such as cotton, wool, meat, grain, etc., with long hauls in transportation, and with heavy competition, international as well as domestic.

In times of depression, or when competition has grown too heavy, the cultivation of certain staples may cease to be remunerative, and the unfortunate producer is compelled to diversify his agriculture, or adopt some other means of livelihood.

Just such a misfortune has overtaken many farmers in the United States within the past few years. Within two years, in fact, wheat has been a drug in the market, while corn has been cheaper in some sections than coal, and cotton is now so low that it hardly pays to grow it, without considering the necessity, for the Southern farmer, of competing against the seventy-five thousand bales of Egyptian cotton which enter our ports in a year. Confronted with these conditions, there never has been a time when farmers were more anxious to