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When Farm and Factory Team Up

Condensed from The Nation's Business (July, '26)

Dr. Charles M. A. Stine

ODAY the farm is no longer an exclusive producer of food. Factories are consuming food products and waste products from the farm, which are transformed into materials. and substances which in no way resemble the original crop.

The chemist is demonstrating in industry today that the vicious cycle of agricultural overproduction and waste may be changed into a benevolent business cycle by transforming corn, wheat, cotton, rye, barley, milk, wood, straw, husks and bagasse into a thousand and one commercial products-from motion picture film, shoe horns, printer's ink, glue, wall board, dynamite, floor coverings, airplane "dope" and radio parts, to articles resembling marble, metal, leather, ivory, silk, pearl and linen.

Two years ago in an article in Nation's Business, Julius H. Barnes asked: "Does agriculture have to rest its future in the hope of expanding the individual stomach consumption? Cannot a large part of farm acreage be devoted to raising those things called for by industrial production? The buying power in industry is one of the marvels of the economic history of the world. How can you reach America's vast buying power to the advantage of agriculture?"

The chemical engineer is answering these questions today by producing fertilizer for the farm in order that the farmer may grow better and larger crops; by utilizing, in turn, millions of tons of farm products and waste materials in the manufacture of useful articles, which the farmer can use in his home, on his farm implements, his automobile or his barns. Most of these commercial products find an even greater market in our urban centers so that "America's vast buying

power" is being opened to the farmer via the factory.

This cooperation has been going on for several years. Today the rayon, marble, metals, fibers and finishes produced industrially from farm products have not only increased the farmer's markets, but they have added new values to other products.

Today we are on the eve of another epoch in our national development. Unlike the coal age, the iron age, the oil era, the electrical and chemical periods, this new era will find the manufacturer, the farmer, the colleges and universities, and the great industrial laboratories coordinating their efforts and creating additional commercial products from agricultural waste materials.

In 1875, when Senator Hammond of South Carolina declared in the United States Senate that "Cotton is King," he little foresaw that the chemical engineer would some day extract oil from cotton seed, or make guncotton out of cotton linters. Neither could he know that the development of nitrocellulose manufacture would result in the development of motion picture film, synthetic ivory with its thousands of applications, both purely artistic and highly utilitarian, imitation marble, artificial tortoise shell as beautiful as the original, but better adapted to the requirements to be served.

Nor could he know of new finishes for wood and metal surfaces of everything, from fine furniture to Pullman cars, and from children's toys to automobiles, coverings for floors and walls, upholstering materials for automobiles as well as for furniture, solutions to be found in every drug store designed for the quick temporary repair of cuts and abrasions of the human flesh, and dozens of other new products.

The latest reports of the U. S. Department of Commerce demonstrate conclusively that one of the biggest potential markets for the farm products of the United States in 1926, as well as in coming years, will be the "factory stomach." O. M. Kile said recently, "American agriculture is in that unfortunate transition period during which it produces too much food for the home population, yet it is so far removed from the pioneer stage as to be unable to compete successfully with the newer lands in supplying the bread and meat crops for the immense foreign markets." This will not be the case as the farm and the factory are brought closer together by the chemist.

Factory consumption of corn today exceeds our corn exports. One agricultural authority estimated that, in 1923, industry consumed 280,000,000 bushels of corn. Today, as a result of the new commercial products which have been developed, it is much larger. The Department of Agriculture lists 92 commercial products, other than foodstuffs, in making of which corn plays an indispensable role as a solvent.

Chemists have performed even greater miracles with cotton. Chemists can put "kick" enough into a bale of cotton to sink a battleship. The story of the chemists' achievement in transforng wood pulp into rayon is now told our public schools. When the anded, one of the problems facing du Pont Company was that of in use of its war

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The use of nitrocellulose or casein in the production of such materials as tiles, substitutes for marble, metal and the like is well known. It might be added that today a number of large industries use nitrocellulose solutions,

as well as rubber, for coating and water-proofing textiles.

If the chemist can do such things with corn and cotton, and by-products such as corn cobs and cotton seed, what may he not do with other agricultural products if he continues to labor along the line of developing uses for cheap, readily available products of the farm? Mr. Barnes was right in believing that the factory can be linked to the farm, but the leadership will not come from the farm ranks, but from the factory laboratory.

Great industries themselves are being benefited by the cooperation of agriculture and industry. One of the outstanding reasons why the majority of the leading automobile companies were able to keep up their production schedule during 1925, without proportionate increase in factory acreage, was because the body manufacturers could turn out more bodies in less time with their present equipment than they could have done had they been forced to continue the old paint and varnish or baked enamel processes. Where it formerly required as many as 28 days to finish one body for a fine car, the same work is now done in less than a week, with resulting sav ings in overhead costs, capital investments, etc., which were passed on to the consumer in price reductions. Railroads, and industries producing furniture, pianos and the like, have had the same economical results.

Beyond doubt, we are on the threshold of an era in American business which will have vast social and economic consequences because of our increased ability to utilize what have hitherto been regarded as waste products, and to fabricate from cheap materials of limited usefulness a host of varied and dissimilar products for improving the health and prosperity and increasing the happiness and facilities for recreation, not only of this nation, but of the world at large.


Manners for the Emancipated

Condensed from The Bookman (August, '26)

Irwin Edman

F late there has been in evidence a radical transformation in our whole attitude toward manners. Indeed, among many free minds there is coming to be a fixed belief that manners instead of making the man may junmake him. The graces, one hears, soften a man's virility into elegance and smooth his strength into gentility. The '90's are in some quarters scorned less because they were naughty than because they were "nice." The hemen in literature and thought have tired of anything that recalls the silver salvers of the drawing room.

The attack against the genteel has of late been led by the liberals. Culture and elegance, which from the Renaissance down have been considered indispensable partners, have latterly in our time and country been at war. The Renaissance conception of the gentleman has come to be at a discount in an industrial, democratic, disillusioned, postwar society.

Culture in England and, until recently, in America meant what Mathew Arnold meant by it: sweetness and light.

It meant the graceful and leisurely pursuit of wisdom, the ur bane conversation of generous minded and well groomed men of the world. It is a code of life that was born and nourished in manor houses and on stately lawns in England, or among the fountains and marble groves, the poplars and cypresses of the villas above Florence. It is in the best sense a leisure class ideal, and a leisure class ideal has come to seem increasingly remote from the concerns and the applause of a hurried industrial society. In the contemporary scene one is an old fashioned gentleman at one's peril. It is worth our while to examine the reasons why the ideal of the scholar-gentleman has come into dis


Education in the first place has ceased to be the special privilege of a lounging leisured class. The elements of a decent education have become the daily pabulum of miscellaneous millions, not the guarded good fortune of a select few. And measured by the standards of the million, other virtues have come to the fore than the aristocratic ones of grace, bearing, and gentility. We have begun to value edge more than mellowness, and precision more than charm.

But it is not merely the passing of the old gentry that has brought the revolt against "manners." In the heart searching that followed the war, the free mind learned to look with suspicion on all the faded appurtenances of gentility. The Victorian "parlor" seems now to have been the coffin of the soul; life seems there to have been embalmed. To the liberal the whole code of courtesies and reticences of prewar days seems to have been the cloak of a cruel, self blinding honesty, a smug evasion of the disorder that was the outer world an he tumult that was the inner rit. Families have in service to the alter of good taste been kept unhappily together, and young lives crushed into conventional servitudes. In the draw. ing rooms he '80's the whole world was talked if it were as smooth as the drahon room itself.


Where the elegancies and reticences have failed, the newer generation is all for trying a little unashamed candor.

Contemporaneous with the break up of the old social order, came the rise of the new psychology to give an impetus to plain speaking and stripped thought. Floyd Dell, Sherwood An. derson, Theodore Dreiser, May Sinclair, and others, have been inviting

us to an honest, open eyed questioning of those opiate niceties by which the truths of our being are dimmed. The biographers, led by Lytton Strachey, have called us to the spectacle of great lives shorn of their veils and seen without rose colored lenses. The essayists, Havelock Ellis pointing the way, have asked us to view the clear radiance in which our lives might be set if we would only slough off the tutored falsities, the futile formal suppressions, of an artificial order. The soul of man, from the viewpoint of the emancipated, must express itself in its natural passions and unashamed lusts.

In certain quarters rudeness has come to be almost a symptom of intellectual integrity, an insult a form of bravery. The cultural ideal has, to put it in language that will be familiar at least to New Yorkers, moved from Gramercy Park to Greenwich Village. By the codes of the codeless, the truth, however impolite, must be blurted out; the respectabilities, however sensible, must be flouted; the dank places of the soul, however nasty, must be exposed. The emancipated lean over backwards in their attempts to be free.

men and

No one, I take it, would resume the old niceties of the '90's in literature and in life. Much has been gained by brushing away the old pruderies and timidities. No one would exchange the candor in the speech-and eyes— of contemporary young women for the polite evasions and drawing room reticences of an earlier day. And yet, there is something in the passing of the scholar-gentleman ideal that seems clear loss. It is this, perhaps: that disregard for style (what we call manners in people and taste in letters) has led to a genuine impoverishment of our civilization.

That warm kindly culture which is the essence of the best intellectual tradition has a curious attractiveness in an age whose culture has become strident and cold. It is silly to suppose, as do the latter day disillusionists, that the clear mind and the gen tle heart cannot march together.


does not hurt candor to have a civil tongue in its cheek, nor must one use a bludgeon because one is crusading for the good. Even Havelock Ellis, for all his plea for freedom, hymns praise to the Chinese in whom the problems of manners and etiquette have become the nicest and subtlest of arts. When all the cruder issues of civilization will have been settled, when there are no more wars, when people are properly fed and clothed and governed-what remains to be done in such a millennium? Surely nothing but to make of life a humane art, to turn the daily songs of men and their personal relations to each other into something continuously warm and fine and beautiful.

Those who scoff at the elegancies and courtesies of life are falling vic tims to the same Philistinism against which they are avowedly battling They have no time, no patience, for those gratuitous refinements which give life flavor and distinction. When we eat, we demand a pleasant pros pect; there is no less nutrition in food because the table is garnishe with roses.

There is a sound instinc in the yokels who pathetically buy and live by the books of etiquette. A least they know that style of som sort converts mere brute existenc into a kind of beauty. The intellectua life is no less lively because it is se occasionally in the lovely ceremony o high tea on an English lawn in spring Even the truth can be stated withou ugly words, nor must one have ugl manners to find it or battle for it.

If the genteel ideal is out of date it is not altogether to the credit c our age or of its belligerent liberal The essence of good manners, genero ity of spirit, a sense of style and sense of proportion, these are the e sence of all art. They are the essenc of the art of life. It is a tragic conment on our scurrying industrial s ciety and on the intellectual life generates that the most gracious ( all arts is coming into disrepute.


The Social Arctic Circle

Condensed from Scribner's Magazine (July, '26)
Mary Lee Davis

you ever see the sun at all?"
"Is your house an igloo?"

You see, I have been living for eight years in a little town of far interior Alaska, a town that snugs itself up against the Arctic circle very closely. When I go back to the States, to my friends in Washington, in New York, and Boston, I find myself a curiosity. I am pelted with questions such as the above, for Alaska seems to mean even to the most educated and cultured people in the States only the lost and gone Alaska of Klondyke days (and the Klondyke isn't a part of our American Alaska at all, but is in British, or Yukon, territory).

Because I do so love Alaska I am truly hurt to find it misunderstood, Just as one resents the misappreciation of a dear friend by a casual stranger. For Alaska today, though perhaps not a woman's country, yet appeals strongly as a great challenging personality to a certain type of woman -the woman who has in that oldfashioned and today seldom-mentioned portion of her, once called a soul, Some hand-down of the pioneer strain. There are many women in Alaska today, women of all varieties, women such as you and I-and others-and between us we are doing a part in making over all the old Alaska that once was into an American colony of homes and children and schools. are beginning to have no little and gentle hand in reshaping this vast wilderness of raw empire material into something livable and shapely; just as Pilgrim mothers in another century had their hand and say-so in the shaping and settling of another equally supposed wilderness in the far-away colony of New England.


Our little town sprang up in the days of the gold rushes, a quartercentury ago. A group of cabins stag

gered along a winding river-bank has gradually become a village, with a church or two, a school of parts, a bank, a movie theater, streets that know some regularity, a power-plant, and stores that are really grown-up trading-posts, for raw furs and golddust are still taken daily over their counters as media of exchange from trappers and prospectors. When we came here first, my mining-engineer husband and I, our household goods had to follow us by steamer from Seattle to St. Michael, at the mouth of the Yukon River, and then up-stream 1400 miles by slow stern-wheeler craft, a matter of many weeks. Quite as many indeed, as the Pilgrims one time took in reaching Plymouth.

Unlike the Atlantic, however, our Yukon opens for navigation only four months in the summer; and time was when we were almost completely isolated for the other eight months. The recently completed government railroad which now reaches our town has eliminated many of the former hardships.

"How cold?" In winter, sometimes 75 degrees below zero. I have myself seen a spirit thermometer at minus 68 Fahrenheit. But houses are sturdily built, fuel is plentiful and not too costly, the air is clear and clean and dry; and during the Deep Cold, as old-timers call temperatures below minus 40, in our wide interior valley the air is absolutely still, so still indeed that it seems as though the very earth itself had ceased its spinning and was held poised in planetary wheeling upon a silent axle-tree.

In November comes the first Deep Cold, and you can plan for it almost to a day. Your log cabin is securely chinked. Your wood-pile is high. The coal-bin is full of coal that comes from only a few miles distant, for our whole

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