In a Spanish Tobacco Factory.
The great tobacco factory at Seville is one of the first sights the stranger is taken to see. Everybody in Spain smokes cigarettes. Little boys begin at the age of eight, and from that time the cigarette is rarely absent from a Spaniard's lips. Many of them die smoking. The consumption of cigarettes is naturally enormous, and the bulk are manufactured in Seville. The Government factory gives daily employment to about 7,000 people, and of these only a hundred or two are men. When you enter the enormous rooms crowded with girls dressed in bright colors, the coup iVall is striking in the extreme. In one immense low-vaulted room there aro 1,500 girls. They sit in endless rows—about twenty girls to a row—on either side of the room, all at little tables, all rolling cigarettes. There is a blu/.9 and blur of color, a babel of tongues. Every girl has a gay handkerchief about her neck—every girl has a bright flower stuck in her hair. All along the walls hang the gay outdoor dresse9 of the little cigarette-makers. As I walk, blushing and nervous, down an endless avenue of flashing eyes, I grow almost giddy. It is a sea of women's faces, an undulating ocean of flower-decked heads. One lias to pick one's way carefully down the central aveuue, for it is blockaded all along the line with cradles. Tho married cigarette-makers are allowed to bring their babies with them to the factory. They rock the cradle with one foot, while their busy fingers roll the cigarette. The girls earn good wages. At many of the tables whole families are working together. But the hours are long, and tho atmosphero awful. The damp warm odor of the tobacco in the long low-roofed rooms is in itself almost stupefying. But there is no ventilation, and tho atmosphere is absolutely indescribable. Many of the girls smoke cigarettes at their work. I was very glad to light one myself long before I had done the round of the factory.—G. R. Sims.
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In a Spanish Tobacco Factory., Evening Star, Issue 8010, 12 September 1889
In a Spanish Tobacco Factory. Evening Star, Issue 8010, 12 September 1889
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