The editor oi the Cleveland Herald, being on a visit to Wheeling, thus describes a large silk factory there :— Not the least interesting of Wheeling manufactories is the silk factory of John W. Gill, Esq. He commenced the culture and manufacture of silk at Mount Pleasant, Ohio, some twelve years ago, and removed his establishment to Wheeling in 1845. His establishment is the largest of the kind in the United States, employs a capital of $20 000, and Mr. G. manufactures about $15,000 worth of silks per annum. He would manufacture much more extensively, butforthe difficulty in obtaining stock. He buys all the American cocoons and reeled silk he can get, but can only keep his looms in operation about three months of the twelve. Mr. G. attributes the slow progiess of silk growing in this country to the morus multicaulis speculation, which disgusted everybody with the business. He regards the morns multicaulis as worthless. The White Mulberry is found to be the best for feeding silkworms, and it is hardy and of rapid growth. Mr. G. says an acre of the mulberry will net a family $100 a year for raising cocoons, and the labor can be performed by women and children in six weeks. The worms do not nted artificial heat, and no extraordinary attention in the Ohio Valley climate. The quantity of cocoons raised is now increasing, and Mr. G,, who is an enterprising gentleman of great wealth, is resolved to continue the manufacture of silk, not as a matter ot profit, but, if posaible, to induce a more general attention to the American silk business, we can and should become Independent of Europe in silk fabrics. Mr. Gill has thoroughly tested the capacity of the United States tn produce and manufacture silk, and he is satisfied that no cointry is better adapted to the business than the valley of the Ohio. He has manufactured every variety of staple silk, embracing satins, velvets, dress silks, hat and coat plushes, brocades, vestings, levantines, surges, florentines, flag silks, handkerchiefs, scarfs, cravats.gloves, stocks, shirts, sewing silks, coach lace, and trimmings, tassels, twist buttons, &c, to the value some seasons of $25,000, and the first premiums have been awarded to his goods wherever they have been exhibited. We are confident that it but a very little attention was devoted by our farmers to the raising of silk worms, it would be a great benefit to our country. We can laise as fine silks and grapes in the United States as in any country, and there is no occasion for importing raw silks or manufactured wines.
This article was originally published with the title "A Western Silk Factory"