To the Editor of tho Daily Southern Cross. Sir,— The adaptation' of Mr. DougaPu fibre-machine foi the purpose of dressing flax has already been brought to public notice through the Southern Cboss, and its success is shown by the cumber of flax mills built and building over this and the other provinces of the colony, and by the weekly increasing quantity of flax teat to the Auckland market. I would now call attention to the application of this machine for cleaning other fibres, and I beg to forward specimens of ti (cabbage tree) and giagia, dressed at the flax mill of my neighbour, Mr. Wallis, of Okete Falls. As the machine at which I dressed j them is set for flax, they are scarcely a fair specimen of the fibre those plants will yield if either of them is found to possess commercial value. It is, however, to the fitness of this machine for the purpose of cleaning a fibre of undoubted value to which I would call attention. The giagia leaf closely resembles that of the pineapple, and is, I believe, bolanically speaking, related to that plaut. lb is beyond a doubt that Mr. Dougal's machine will dress the pineapple leaves, and will speedily be brought into use where the pineapple is indigenous, or, having been introduced, has become a weed. At present the exquisitely fine fabric made from the pineapple is almost exclusively made by the ladies in the convents of Manila, and the great cost of its | roduction places it beyond the means of all except the most wealthy. An Auckland invention will soon cause it to be prepared not only in Manila, but in Bengal, Burmah, the Weit Indies, &c, and nearer at hand in the Polynesian Islands. It in impossible to foresee the extent to which this invention will affect the fibre market. In thit country thete are other fibre-bearing plants in addition to those of which I send specimens ; and in tropical countries the leaves of the palm or the cocoanut may possibly be utilised, as the leaves of the pineapple certainly will be. There is, therefore, a fine opportunity for thote who first introduce theie machines into those countries where labour is cheap, and where fibre-bearing plant* grow in abundance. In a shipping report of the early part of this month, I observed that a flax-machine was shipped for Melbourne — doubtless as a pattern, and with the view of having others made, the present over-demand on the Auckland foundries having greatly increased the price of all ironwork. Mr. Dougal, with yery unuMul public spirit, baa made the vie of his invention free to all. When urged and tempted to take out a patent he said, "Those who will use my invention are more likely to need assistance than to be able to pay for a patent." — I am, &c, J. C. JOHNSTONB. Te Haroto, Raglan, November 23, 1868.
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DOUGAL'S FIBRE-MACHINE., Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXIV, Issue 3552, 4 December 1868
DOUGAL'S FIBRE-MACHINE. Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXIV, Issue 3552, 4 December 1868
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