The present state of this industry in the United States, is very satisfactory. Not only are important advances making in the manufacture of silk goods, but the growth of raw silk in various localities is on the increase. We have been informed that the Dale Manufacturing Company, of Paterson, N. J., has been importing workmen from France, and making extensive preparations to commence the manufacture of dress silks, and we have seen dress silks produced in this country, which, in our opinion, are in no way inferior to French dress goods of the same class. The Positive Motion Loom, described in No. 3, current volume of the SCIENTIFIC AMBKICAN, weaves dress silks of a quality equal to those woven by hand, and at a very much more rapid rate, and is doubtless destined to become largely identified with the manufacture of silk dress goods, not only in this country, but abroad. A great stimulus to silk culture has been given by the demand for American eggs in foreign markets. It has been found that by the purchase of these eggs the old stock, which in many European localities had become eflete, may be replaced by a new, vigorous, and healthy stock, so that for some time the export of eggs-from this country has become an important and growing business. In this trade, California has as yet had the largest share, but Louisiana is destined to become a formidable ftompetitor. We have before us a specimen of cocoons, grown by MM. Eocci Maill, in Covington Parish, La,, crop of 1868, which will comjfere favorably with any grown in any part of the world. These cocoons average about 450 to the pound. The entire crop, amounting in round numbers to 1,000,000 cocoons, was grown during March and April, The original stock of this firm was introduced into Louisiana in 1845, and its offspring has ever since been remarkably free from disease, Italy paid, in 1868,50,000,000 francs to Japan for silkworms' eggs, and the Italian government offers, for 1869, a prize of 50,000 francs for the best sample of eggs to be sent to that government for examination, MM, Eocci Maill feel confident that their chances for securing the premium are as good, to say the least, as any others. Some of tliese eggs, with specimens of cocoons, having been sent to Italy, the government deemed the matter of so much importance that it has sent a special agent to examine and report upon its merits. We are informed this agent is now here, and that his report will probably be very favorable, as the facts in the case are such as to warrant this belief. This statement shows to what an extent the silk industry may be developed if properly fostered by our government, and also justifies the statements we have hitherto made in regard to the adaptability of certain sections of the United States for the culture of silk. They are also another proof of the large and varied resources of our country; resources so great that the enormous importations we are making of foreign products is a blot upon the statesmanship of our legislators as well as a serious drain upon the vitality of our institutions.
This article was originally published with the title "American Silk" in Scientific American 21, 4, 58 (July 1869)