National Geographic : 1916 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE enemy, England, was quick to take up the discovery and to utilize it for her own purposes. About 81.5 Ezra Daggert brought to the United States a process for canning salmon, lobsters, and oysters. This process was gradually extended to pickles, jellies, and sauces. HOUSEWIVES ADOPT SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES It is rather striking to pause and reflect that in a single century humanity has pro gressed to such an extent that the most ignorant housewife in America can now do work that formerly defied the best scientists of the world (see page 107). Only the first centennial has passed of William Underwood's invention of a process of canning tomatoes, and it is only seventy - eight years since Isaac Winslow learned how to can corn at Portland, Maine. Today the glass jars of Appert have been succeeded, except in the household canning art, by the tin can, and many wonderful machines have been devised to save labor in the canning industry. There are hulling machines which will take green peas out of the pods at the rate of a thousand bushels a day; there are separators which will grade the peas according to size; there are corn-cutters which remove the grain from the cob at the rate of four thousand ears an hour, and silking machines which work at equal speed; and there are automatic machines which will fill twelve thousand cans a day. If Nicholas Appert could come to life and go through a modern cannery, with its wonderful equipment, he would doubtless marvel at the mighty oak that grew from the tiny acorn of his discovery. THE PLACE OE POULTRY There are no statistics showing the number of domesticated fowls the world possesses, but if the United States' ratio of three per capita were the rule, there would be some five billion of them. It is probable, however, that there are not half that many. The annual product of the American chicken yard is estimated at $509,000,000. During the last census year the American hen produced nearly twenty billion eggs, of which eleven billion were sold. It will be seen from this that the American farmer keeps a liberal supply of eggs for his own table and for hatching purposes. His receipts from the sale of eggs totaled $202,000,000 (see pages 80 and 81). We annually raise nearly a half billion chickens in the United States. Out of 488,000,00o raised in the last census year, the farmer kept all but 153,ooo,ooo for his own purposes, which again shows that the farmer's table is not skimped in order that his urban neighbor may eat well. THE INDUSTRIOUS BEE Nowhere else in the world is the maj esty of small things more strikingly re vealed than in the story of the produc tion of honey in the United States. That great decennial interrogation mark which marches every ten years through the homes of the American people and asks them a thousand and one questions, has ascertained for us that the bees of the country annually produce twenty-seven thousand tons of honey. That means fifty-four million pounds. Truly the busy little bee must improve each shining hour to give to the Amer ican people fifty-four million pounds of honey, in addition to providing for its own needs. The number of trips from hive to flower and from flower to hive with their tiny loads of honey-making materials that the bees must have taken to bring us these fifty-four million pounds of honey defies estimate, but they afford us an inspiring lesson of what the faith ful doing of small things may accomplish. THE SUGAR INDUSTRY When one writes of honey his mind turns to sugar-a crop which occupies a very important place in the world's mar ket basket. Humanity always has had a sweet tooth, and the day when sugar was first made from cane is so remote that history is not certain that it can fix the date.- And yet in one generation the world has increased its sugar production more than nine-fold. Forty years ago it took only 2,200o,ooo tons to satisfy the world's sweet tooth; today it takes more than 20,3o0,000 tons. And still the world is hungry for sugar (see page 87).