Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/853

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829
TURPENTINE-FARMING.

together with many particles feeling likewise imperceptibly, it may co-operate in manifesting feeling, which, like lightning, arises and vanishes.

Through this conception, through acknowledging evolution and the sense of feeling, the whole of Nature may be brought in harmonious connection.

 

TURPENTINE-FARMING
By L. W. ROBARTS.

FINDING myself in the pine-region of Southeast Georgia, and thinking that some information on the subject above named may not prove uninteresting to your readers, I will endeavor to tell to them that which has been imparted to me by those thoroughly conversant with the whole business.

A turpentine-farm consists of from five to forty crops of ten thousand five hundred boxes each. The work is sometimes carried on by the owners of the pine-forests themselves; again, the trees are leased out for a certain number of years, two or three being about the limit. Negro labor is principally employed in this section. The work commences in November, when the boxing of the trees begins. The boxes, which are cut sloping back into the trees about a foot from the ground, measure three inches back at bottom, four deep, and about seventeen in length. In March they are cornered; that is, a chip is taken off on both sides just above the ends of the boxes. Next the faces for dripping are cut Y-shape between and above the places chipped. The number of faces on each tree depends upon its size, varying from one to three. Besides the original cutting of the faces, the trees are hacked once a week during the dripping-season with a peculiarly shaped knife suited to the purpose. The hacking increases the length of the faces, as one or two inches of bark are taken off above each time.

The dipping of the crude into barrels begins about the middle of March, and the boxes are emptied seven or eight times during the season. They hold from one to two quarts each, and from 10,000 boxes 210 barrels is considered a fair, 250 a fine yield. The first year's dripping is called "virgin," the second "yearling," and all after "old stuff," From eight barrels of crude they get two of spirits of turpentine, and five to five and a half of resin. Of the latter there are several grades: W. W., "water-white"; W. G., "window-glass"; M, next highest, and so on up the alphabet, but down in quality, to A, the letter J being omitted. The first drippings, if not scorched in boiling, make beautifully white, transparent resin; hence the name "water-white." The crude producing this can never be obtained from the trees after the first month's running; that for W. G., "window-glass," possibly, into July or August.