Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/353

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LEATHER-MAKING..

does not lose the use of his land. He plants other crops between the rows and does not lose a single year. But of course no ordinary annual crop can yield a profitable return on the price he will have to pay for land known to be adapted to almonds.

The almond, most precious by weight of all orchard products, involves the least labor, care, anxiety, expense, and skill of all, except perhaps the prune. In recent years it has never yielded the fabulous returns occasionally realized by the growers of almost every other fruit and nut. It never yields, as the orange has, a competence for life in a single year from ten acres. Its reasonable expectations are about one hundred dollars net per acre.

The old Latin form of the word almond (Amygdala) furnishes the name whereby botanists designate the genus to which belong its two species (A. communis, the sweet, and A. amara, the bitter almond), and the peach (A. persica).

 

LEATHER-MAKING.
By GEORGE A. RICH.

XV. DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN INDUSTRIES SINCE COLUMBUS.

ZADOCK PRATT, the great leather manufacturer, once gave as his toast at a notable trade dinner, "There is nothing like leather." The determined, enterprising spirit indicated by that sentiment may be said to be the distinguishing mark of the modern tanner, and it is possible that therein lies the explanation why one in tracing the course of that industry must look so largely to recent years for progress and development. But the course of this development furnishes an interesting commentary upon the application, or more accurately, perhaps, the lack of application, of the principles of science to this one of the industrial arts. Now, the art of tanning is one in which a knowledge of science, especially of chemical science, could be made to do most effective service. The operation is essentially a chemical one. Yet, as a matter of fact, since the first demonstration of the union of gelatin and tannin, chemistry has done almost nothing to facilitate the operation. It is not to that that the industry owes its remarkable progress; rather, it is to the invention of improved apparatus for hastening old processes. Just estimate, of course, must be made of the fact that the scientific knowledge of the principles involved in tanning did much to make these inventions possible. At the same time, however, as Mr. C. T. Davis has remarked in his admirable treatise upon leather: "Take