PACKFONG, a Chinese alloy of a sil ver-white color, consisting of copper, zinc, nickel, and iron. It was formerly used by watch makers, mathematical in strument makers, and others, for a vari ety of purposes for which nickel alloys are now employed.
i PACKING INDUSTRY. The pack ing industry involves the purchase of live stock, the conversion of live stock into saleable products, and the distribu tion of those products. In the last fifty years the packing industry has come to be one of the most important industries in many American cities, especially in the middle West. The history of the industry begins in New England in the 17th century, when quantities of pork and beef were packed in barrels for foreign trade. The first packing house in the West was established in Cincin nati in 1818, and that city remained the center of the packing trade for nearly fifty years, when Chicago surpassed it. The tremendous and rapid growth of the meat packing business is due to the invention of the refrigerator car in 1868 by William Davis of Detroit. Before that time meat had to be killed near the point of consumption, and the pack ing industry was largely confined to the production of barreled beef, and the curing of pork products in winter. Even the canning of meats is a fairly recent development. In the slaughtering of animals a great many labor saving de vices are used, and there is now a very fine division of labor in the enormous stock yards and packing houses of Chicago, and the other large cities. The animals are first stunned by a severe blow on the head, then killed and bled, after which they are passed through scalding vats and through an automatic scraper which removes the hair and bristles. As soon as the carcasses have been dressed and thoroughly inspected, they are chilled by refrigeration, which is the basis of all successful meat curing. The meat is shipped to Eastern markets in refrigerated cars owned by the packing companies, and placed in cold storage warehouses to be sold to local dealers, or transferred to iced rooms in the ocean liners to be delivered in Liverpool or Glasgow.
Originally little or no use was made of the so-called waste products of ani mals, but the packers have shown great ingenuity in their use of the by-prod ucts. In addition to the sale of the car casses of cattle, sheep and hogs, the packing industry now includes the mak ing of glue from the hoofs, horns and bones, leather from the hides, brushes from the hog bristles, fertilizer from the meat scraps, soaps, tallow from the fats, pepsin from the stomach, and lard, one of the most valuable and profitable by products. Two grades of lard are made; steam lard, and the more refined leaf lard. In dressing hogs, nearly 20 per cent. is waste, or is used for glue or fertilizer. The most profitable part of the industry is the making of sausages. The meat used for this purpose is for i the most part trimmings. The meat is chopped, mixed with potato flour and water, spiced, and stuffed by machinery I into the intestines which are used for sausage casings after they have been thoroughly cleaned by machinery. In dressing cattle, the parts to be sold as fresh beef are allowed to cool for forty eight hours, and then shipped. The poorer grades of beef are used for can ning, which is becoming a more impor tant division of the industry than it was formerly.
In 1906 a Federal Meat Inspection Law was passed, requiring several in spections of the animals by expert vet erinarians before slaughtering, and again during the processes of slaughter ing and curing. Before that time there
had been inadequate protection against tainted meats, though there had been government supervision of the industry since 1891.
There has been a growing tendency in the United States to concentrate the industry in the hands of a few com panies, controlled by a small group of men. As early as 1890 the four largest packing concerns entered into an agree ment not to enter into competition with one another. The danger of such a monopoly of the food supply was soon evident to the government, and in 1902 an investigation of the industry was made by the Department of Justice, and the Supreme Court of the United States issued an injunction restraining the packers from conducting their business in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890. This injunction, however, did not seem to change the policy of the packers but rather forced them to re sort to guarded methods of controlling the food supply of the country. In the past ten years there have been frequent Congressional Committees appointed to investigate the packing industry, and the magazines and papers have contained countless articles on the subject. In June, 1919, the Federal Trade Commis sion made a detailed report of the busi ness conducted by "The Big Five" pack ers, Armour & Co., Swift & Co., Libby, Wilson and Cudahy. This report stated, among other charges, that the Big Five had secured control of the meat supply of the country, that they had unfairly used this control to keep up prices, to crush competition, and to secure special privileges from the rail roads, and to demand excessive profits harmful both to the consumer and to the producer. The Commission recom mended government requisition of (1) rolling stock used for the transportation of animals, (2) the principal stock yards of the country, (3) all the pri vately owned refrigerating cars, (4) marketing and storage facilities. In December, 1919, Attorney General Palmer announced that the packers had agreed to retire from all business ex cept meat packing and distribution of dairy products, to sell all their holdings in the large public stock yards, and in stock-yard newspapers, to abandon the use of countless branch warehouses, all over the country, and to disassociate themselves from the retail meat business, which they had formerly controlled, as well as many of the chain stores. How ever, this agreement of the packers did not immediately result in the lowering of prices, and in 1920 a number of bills were introduced into Congress in an en deavor to restrain the monopoly of the Big Five. Chief among these were bills backed by the farmers of Kansas. The chief centers in which the packing in dustry is conducted in the United States are Chicago, Omaha, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and New York. The foreign trade of the packers is greatly increasing with the improved facilities for refrigeration in trains and steamships.
The latest available figures are from the United States census of 1914, and give 1,279 slaughtering establishments, with a capital of $534,274,000 and prod ucts valued at $1,651,965,000. Chicago heads the list of centers of the industry with 24 per cent. of the business done.