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132

RENNET--PEPSINE.

found that it has lost only about one seventeenth part of its weight. It is thus proved that one part of the active matter of the stomach has coagulated about thirty thousand parts of the milk. Hence we obtain some idea of the small quantity of rennet required to influence a large quantity of milk, and it would seem that comparatively little of the article would be required in the largest cheese factories. But such is not the case. The traffic in calves' rennets is immense in all cheese-producing countries, and the supply in North America from the millions of calves which are slaughtered is found wholly inadequate to meet the demand. The home supply falls short of furnishing to their cheese factories enough rennets by several millions annually; and consequently they are largely imported from Europe, but from all sources a sufficient supply of good, sound, healthy rennets is scarcely obtained. In France a good deal of rennet is procured from Switzerland.

An animal product has of late years become utilised under the name of Pepsine, which is the dried mucous membrane of calves or sheep's rennets, the stomach of pigs and other vertebrate animals; it contains the active principle of the gastric juice, and is medicinally recommended to assist weak digestion.

CHAPTER IV.

OTHER ECONOMIC PRODUCTS OF CATTLE.

Having dealt with the food products of cattle, we come now to consider

the various other substances of importance which they yield that are extensively utilised for Manufactures. This chapter, therefore, treats of Horns and hoofs and their commercial applications in the comb manufacture, and for horn buttons; we then pass on to Bones and their multifarious uses, the trade in Tallow and other animal oils and fats, and their application to the manufacture of soap, candles, and other purposes; thence we are led to a survey of the enormous commerce in Hides and the various stages of the Leather manufacture generally, and the tanning substances used, while parchment and vellum, bookbinding, and the miscellaneous applications of leather, are incidentally noticed. Finally the uses of offal, gut, and bladder, blood, cow-hair, and the glue manufacture are touched upon.

The raw materials for Manufactures derived from cattle, which we import (exclusive of the large home production), consist of about 1,300,000 cwts. of hides, either in the dried or salted state ; 6,000 tons of horns and hoofs ; 74,000 cwts. of cow hair ; 92,000 tons of bones; and 1,250,000 cwts. of tallow (some of which is sheep's tallow). Of the raw hides (exclusive of leather prepared in any way), the ratio in which the different countries contribute is, in round numbers, as follows: the South American States, 408,000 cwts. ; India and the Straits Settlements, 320,000 cwts. ; Europe, 267,000 cwts. ; the United States, 126,000 cwts. ; South Africa, 82,000 cwts. ; and Australia, 22,000 cwts.

HORNS AND HOOFS.—The horns of animals, wild and domestic, may seem of but secondary importance at a first glance, and yet the trade in them rises to a very respectable figure in the statistical returns.

134

USES OF HORNS AND HOOFS.

Our annual imports of horns, horn tips, and hoofs, average now 6000 tons, valued at about £173,000, besides the supply from our domestic cattle. This is double the amount of our imports a quarter of a century ago.

The study of the composition, formation, and growth of horn is an interesting one and well deserving careful investigation, in view of the manufacturing purposes to which this material may be applied. *

In common parlance any hard body projecting from the head, terminating in a free unopposed point, and serviceable as a weapon, is called a “horn.” But the composition of these differs materially. Professor Owen well observes :

“The weapons to which the term “horn' is properly or technically applied, consist of very different substances, and belong to two organic systems, as distinct from each other as both are from the teeth. Thus the horns of deer consist of bone, and are processes of the frontal bone; those of the giraffe are independent bones or "epiphyses' covered by hairy skin ; those of oxen, sheep, and antelopes, are 'apophyses' of the frontal bone, covered by the corium, and by a sheath of true horny material; those of the prong-horned antelope consist at their basis of bony processes covered by hairy skin, and are covered by horny sheaths in the rest of their extent. They thus combine the character of those of the giraffe and ordinary antelope, together with the expanded and branched form of the antlers of deer. Only the horns of the rhinoceros are composed wholly of horny matter, and this is disposed in longitudinal fibres; so that the horn seems rather to consist of coarse bristles compactly matted together in the form of a more or less elongated sub-compressed cone.”

It is commonly believed that the horns of the ox acquire an additional ring every year after the third, but the addition of annuli is far from being regular in other species. Many rings are

* There is a very fine and extensive collection of horns and heads of all the principal ruminants shown on the walls of the Bethnal Green Museum.

HORNS OF ANIMALS.

135

gained in one year's growth of the ram's horns, and in those of some antelopes.

The length of the horn forms a distinguishing characteristic in some breeds of cattle ; but whatever improvements may have been effected in the form and character of the carcase by the modification of food and habits, it does not appear that we have been able to superinduce any improvement or alteration in the size or texture of the horns. Indeed the horns of wild animals would seem to be more prominent than in the domesticated races. Some African tribes, such as the Makololo, are in the habit of shaving off a little from one side of the horns of their cattle when still groving, in order to make them curve in that direction and assume fantastic shapes. The stranger the curvature, the more handsome the ox is considered to be, and the longer this ornament of he cattle pen is spared to beautify the herd. This is a very andent custom in Africa, for the tributary tribes of Ethiopia are seen on some of the most ancient Egyptian monuments, bringing contorted-horned cattle into Egypt.

The rights and privileges of the "horn-workers” and “hornpressers ” in former times occupied the prominent attention of the Legislature. But there is no fear in the present day “ of the trade being ruined, and the business lost to the nation, as was the cry wher the statutes 6 Edward IV. c. 1, and 7 James I. c. 14 were passed, forbidding the sale of horns to foreigners, and prohibiting the export of our wrought horns.

The invention of horn lanterns has been by some ascribed to King Alfred, who is said to have first used them to preserve his candle time-measurers from the wind. The Romans preferred lan:ern lights of the horns of the wild ox to others. They also used thin skins and closely shaved hides for lantern leaves, which, Martial says, very much resembled those of horn. A lan:ern in the last century was an indispensable family article ; there was no going into the yard or out of the door on dark nights without one. A piece of horn was sometimes placed over the

136

APPLICATIONS OF HORN.

title of mediæval MSS. to preserve the letters from injury, while the transparent material allowed them to be read. The child's horn-book of later times had its leaves of alphabet and speling covered entirely with thin sheets of this material.*

Although the principal manufacturing applications of hori are for combs, umbrella tops, and knife handles, yet there are other uses as extensive and varied as the descriptions of horn which come into the market, or bristle on the head of the animals characterised by these frontal appendages. Ox, buffalo, aid deer horns, are those mostly worked up, but the horns of the rhiioceros, ram, goat, and some other animals, are also employed to a limited extent for different purposes. Rams' horns are sometines made into snuff holders, or mulls, for the Scotch. One of these will be found in Case 168. Their characteristic appearance is well known; we give on the opposite page a representation of the fine horns of the white-breasted Argali of Thibet, which beara close resemblance to them. We shall here speak chiefly of tłe horns of cattle, leaving the others for description when we come to treat of the animals producing them.

The horns of the ox and buffalo are never shed, they are deposited in layers or bony cores, so that their general form is conical. Horns of various kinds form an extensive artice of export from India; in 1872, 97,000 cwts., valued at more than £65,000, were shipped from Indian ports; and in 1873 the quantity was even larger, the value being £94,694.

The immense horns of the African ox, or Cape buffalo, and of the Java buffalo, and the Arnee buffalo of India, are the nost valuable, and the extent of the trade in this class of horns may estimated from the fact that about 2500 tons are annually received from British India, and 350 tons from the Straits Settlements, exclusive of those from Java and the other islands of the Eastern Archipelago, and these would represent a slaughter of 2,000,000

be

* Specimens of these may be seen in the Educational Court, Scuth Kensington Museum.

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