COST or A great many estimates have been published as to the cost of production of a crop of cotton. None of these are accurate or of value, as so many factors must be considered, such as different soils, methods of cultivation, season, etc. According to Hammond. the cost of producing Sea Island cotton in 1880 ranged in South Carolina from 15 to 21 cents a pound; in Georgia, 50 cents per pound of lint. The cost of producing upland cotton varied within wide limits. In North Carolina in 1880 it ranged from 6.2 cents in the Piedmont region to 7.3 cents in the Pine levels. In 1892 the range was from 3.5 to 6.6 cents. The cost in South Carolina in 1880 ranged from 6.91 to S cents; in 1S92 it was 0.6 cents for the Pine Hills region; in 1893, from 5 to 14 cents dependent upon the nature of the soil. In Georgia the crop of 18S0 was estimated at from 3 to 6 cents for the Pine Hills region and S to 10 cents in other regions; the crop of 1892 averaged 7.5 cents per pound; that of 1893, 6.75 cents. In Alabama, in 1880, the crop cost from 3 to S cents per pound: in 1S92, from 4.5 to 7.75 cents; and in 1S93 it averaged Scents. In Mississippi the cost varied from 4 to II cents in 1880, and from 4 to 8.4 cents in 1893, de pendent upon the producing region. In Louisiana the cost varied in 1830 between 6.8 and 7.4 cents, and in 1893 between 4.9 and 7 cents. In Arkan sas in I SSO the range was from 6.2 to 7 cents per pound; in 1893 front 4 to 7 cents. In ISSO the Texas crop cost from 3 to 9 cents per pound, with averages of from 4.5 to 6.5 cents in the principal producing regions. In Tennessee the cost of the 1880 crop was from 3.5 to 10 cents per pound, that of 1893 averaged 7 cents. The average production for the United States in 1900 was about 200• pounds per acre.
The process Of transforming cotton from its row condition after picking into the thread or cloth that is such an essential of daily life is one which involves many differimt operations. It must first be cleaned to remove sand, dust, and other foreign substances. It then contains about two-thirds of its weight in seeds, which must be removed.
Cotton-I:inn/mi.—Before Eli Whitney's inven tion of the cotton-gin, the removal of the seeds by hand was so difficult a task that very little cotton was raised. It would take one person two years to turn out an average bale of cotton, three to fifteen of which are produced by one machine in one day. Before the Civil War the gins were run chiefly by mule-power, which. when operated in connection with slave labor, was cheaper than steam. Whitney's cotton-gin, known as the saw gin, may be briefly described as a series of circular saws with fine teeth, revolving with an arc of their circumference projecting through a guide into a receptacle for seed cotton.
These saws tear the lint from the seed and carry it through the guide. It is removed from the saws by a brush and carried to a condenser. Great care must lie exercised not to injure the cotton (1) by having the saws too close to the bars of the grate. so as to rub; (2) by having them revolve too fast ; or (3) by having the teeth too sharp. qee Brooks, Cotton (New York, 1898). The roller gin is growing in faviir among cotton producers, especially for the long-staple or Sea island cotton, and in the United States and Egypt all long-staple cotton is ginned in this way. It removes the seed with only one-fifth the rapidity of the saw gin. but it does not injure the fibre. In a primitive form it has been used in Egypt and India for many centuries. It con sists of two rollers, revolving in opposite direc tions, between which the cotton is passed and the smooth. hard seeds thrown off. Both the saw gin and roller gin have been much modified and their effectiveness increased by successive improvements.
In Butllet in No. •8, on Cotton-Ginning, Twelfth United States Census, Daniel C. Roper divides cotton-ginnerics into three general classes: Those exclusively for the public, those con ducted exclusively for the plantation, and those conducted for both the public and plantation. Table 11., preceding, shows the number of all classes by States in the United States. The Thinctin states that "the rapidity with which the private or plantation ginneries have been sup planted by public, and more modern equipments, is noteworthy. Through inquiries of the census of 1880, covering the power and machinery of cotton-ginning establishments, it was ascertained that a large percentage of the crop of 1879 was handled by ginneries of a private character. The motive power of these ginning and baling plants consisted of horses or mules, and each had a daily capacity of from three to five bales. The gen eral introduction of steam-power brought eco nomic methods that have crowded out primitive ho•se-ginneries to such an extent that they are now curiosities." As shown in the table, there are in the United States 29,620 cotton-ginneries, of which 2863. or less than 10 per cent., are re ported as ginning exclusively for the plantation. Bulletin No. 95 of the Twelfth United States Census also deals with cotton-ginning, with par ticular reference to the crop of 1900, and contains an historical and descriptive sketch of the methods of preparing raw cotton for the market.