Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/164

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i 5 8 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

facturer obtains fourteen instead of eight tons of sugar from one hundred tons of beets, and if he exports the whole amount receives a drawback of fourteen dollars from the government for every eight dollars he has paid into the treasury; in other words, he has a bounty on six tons out of fourteen. This has so far encouraged the manu- facture of sugar in Germany that it increased from 378,000 tons in 1878 to 1,755,000 in 1898, or over 400 per cent.

England exports so much of the sugar that is tabulated as con- sumed that it is probable that the average actually eaten by each person in the United States is greater than in any other country. Each person uses about $2.50 worth of sugar each year, making for the whole country approximately two hundred million dollars' worth. About half this amount of money is now sent to foreign countries for the sugar we import; for while we refine most of our sugar ourselves, we manufacture only an eighth of it.

Of the sugar consumed in the United States, three quarters is pro- vided by the sugar cane, the remainder being manufactured from beets. There is little likelihood of much growth in the manufacture of domestic cane sugar, though at present there is more cane sugar made than beet sugar. In 1899, 160,400 tons of cane sugar were manufac- tured, as opposed to 79,368 tons of beet sugar. But the cane sugar industry is of long standing, while in 1888 the quantity of beet sugar manufactured was only a thousand tons.

Germany not only was the pioneer in the manufacture of beet sugar, but she has easily held the first place, except for a few years in the early part of last century when France took the lead. In 1747 Margraf showed in a paper, read before the Berlin Academy of Sciences, that he had been able by means of alcohol to extract 4.5 per cent, of sugar from red beet and 6.2 per cent, from white beet. The manufacture was not, however, begun on a commercial scale. Extraction by alcohol was expensive, and comparatively cheap sugar came in from the British colonies. It was not until 1799 that the first beet sugar factory was established by Achard, director of the Eoyal Prussian Academy of Sciences, and the beet sugar industry is therefore little more than a century old. Even by Achard's process, the cost of making beet sugar was greater than its value in the market; but in 1811 Napoleon blockaded the European ports and prevented the entrance of colonial sugar. This enormously raised the price of cane sugar, which cost in 1811 between one and two dollars a pound, though in 1805 five or six pounds could be bought for the same money. After Napoleon's down- fall, the former state of affairs returned, but, in the meantime, the beet sugar industry had been stimulated and methods had been improved. In France political enmity towards England prevented the inroad of colonial sugar to the same extent as in the rest of Europe, and up till

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