Advance from Appomattox. 347
Southern States may be said to have begun and to have received its great impetus with the Atlanta exposition of 1880. Census reports show that in that year there were only 561,360 spindles in the Southern States. In one year, from 1905 to 1906, the increase in the number of spindles in cotton-growing States amounted to 1,363,537, or nearly two and a half times the number of spindles in the whole South in 1880, while the total number of actual spindles in operation in the South in 1906 amounted to 8,994,868, or sixteen times as many as we had in 1880, six times as many as we had in 1890, and twice as many as we had in 1900, six years ago.
In 1880 the New England States consumed in their cotton mills six times as much cotton as the cotton-growing States. In 1906 the cotton-growing States had not only caught up with New England in the manufacture of raw cotton, but the Southern mills actually manufactured 15 per cent, more cotton than all the mills in the New England States combined. In other words, the Southern mills are now manufacturing approximately as much cotton as was manufactured in all the States of the Union as late as 1890.
The cotton milling industry is the most universally profitable, and is growing by leaps and bounds. Our cotton mills are rapidly introducing their products into foreign countries. In 1895 the value of manufactured cotton goods exported amounted to $13,789,000. By 1906 this had increased practically fourfold, to $52,994,000. Our trade with the Chinese is developing rapidly. Ten years ago, in 1895, we sent them manufactured products valued at $1,723,000. In 1906 our shipments to China aggregated $29,814,075.
The diversification of Southern manufacturing interests is shown in the census report of 1905, from which it is seen that of the 339 different kinds of general industries reported by this census, approximately 80 per cent, are represented in the South. In other words, of the many industries carried on in the United States there are only about 20 per cent, which are not already being carried on in the Southern States, and these 20 per cent, are industries of secondary importance.
Of the 262 different industries of the South, the value of the product of the twelve principal ones already exceeds one thousand million dollars per annum.