The importation of rags for the purpose of papermaking is a great deal more extensive than most persons would imagine. During the year 1857 we imported 44,582,080 lbs., valued at $1,448,125, and making 69,461 bales; 35,591 bales were from Italy, and more than one-third are entirely linen, the rest being a mixture of linen and cotton. About 2,000 bales were also imported from the free cities of Hamburg and Bremen. France prohibits the exportation of rags, and so does Rome; the few which we get from Ancona (a Roman province) being by special permission on payment of large fees. Prussia and Germany generally impose so high an export duty on rags as to stop the trade entirely. The exports from Alexandria and Smyrna are chiefly collected in Asia Minor by agents having license from the government, and the domestic demand must be supplied before any can be exported. It is the same with Trieste, where only the surplus is allowed to come away. The Trieste rags are collected all over Hungary. We are informed that New York and Boston receive the largest quantity, and the place that ships the most is Leghorn in Italy.
This article was originally published with the title "Rags"