Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/121

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117
NATIONAL EXPOSITION AT RIO DE JANEIRO

Brazilian, he took enthusiastic and wholly justifiable pride in pointing out the variety of the products and the excellence of the workmanship exhibited in the collection of articles sent by his state. These include articles of clothing of all kinds, of silk, cotton, woolen, linen and leather; straw and felt hats; furniture; leather and canned goods; soaps, perfumery and drugs; glassware; pianos and musical instruments; preserves and pickles; cigars and tobacco; articles of horn; books; artificial flowers; furniture; papers; brushes; beer and wine; flour; crackers of all sorts. It is clear enough that European manufacturers will soon have to meet strong competition here in Brazil. As the writer's guide proudly said: "We make Just as good biscuit, and just as many varieties, as the English do." The state of San Paulo, next south of Rio de Janeiro, makes an exhibit which is fully as complete and as varied as that of Rio Grande do Sul. On the other hand, we have the exhibit of that great northern state, Amazonas, whose name at once brings up vistas of immense tropical forests, with their precious woods of all kinds, and especially with their most precious rubber—the rubber which is causing so much jealousy about national boundaries in South America; the rubber to secure which men are being held in slavery as harsh and cruel, probably, as any slavery ever was in the world. An "Inferno Verde" the life of these rubber-collectors doubtless is. Such is the title of a recent book on this subject which is attracting attention here in Rio. Its cover-design is the figure of a naked Indian woman, bound hand and foot to a rubbertree, her blood dropping out, from many wounds, into the little tin cups used in collecting the precious sap of the rubber-tree. The Amazonas exhibit gives a good opportunity to see how this famous—or infamous—rubber is collected and prepared for shipment. A rubber-tree, with a gash, and the little tin cup shows the first stage. Bottles of the milky sap, "rubber-milk" they call it, show the rubber as it came from the tree. This liquid is then carried to be smoked and dried; and is rolled up into great bales for shipment. One of these huge oval masses of rubber, weighing 800 kilograms, forms part of the Amazonas exhibit. All these steps are well illustrated by photographs. Amazonas is typical of the non-industrial states. It is rich in woods. The present exposition includes 200 specimens of these woods, ranging from those which are soft and light and porous, to the very dense and very heavy pao ferro (iron-wood). The brilliant feathers from the Amazon forests, wonderfully colored, would arouse the anger of our Audubon Society members, especially if they were told that many of these feathers go to the United States. Even Amazonas is not wholly destitute of manufactured articles, although they are few in number and mostly of a primitive kind. As one runs over the exhibits from the states situated successively farther and farther south.