01 Aug



Wilmington, N. C., Feb. 2, 1874    }

The Wilmington Produce Exchange and the New York, Naval Store Trade, having made many new and important changes in the requirements as to the kind and condition of Barrels used for Spirits Turpentine and Rosins, your attention is particularly called to the following provisions, which will be strictly adhered to on and after the 1st day of April next:

Spirits Turpentine will be sold only by weight estimating 7 lbs. net weight to the gallon, but prices and quotations will be, as heretofore, by the gallon.

Each distiller will be required to weight carefully every Barrel, after it is gined and ready to be filled, and to cut the weight distinctly on one head near the end of the bung stave.

Barrels must be well made, new or good second hand, holding from 38 to 50 gallons; staves of white Oak, heads of white Oak or of white Ash, well seasoned, and not less than ¾ inch thick for staves, and 1 inch thick for the heading, when dressed. They shall have6 iron hoops – say two head hoops 1 ½ inches wide, and four quarter and bilge hoops 1 ½ inches wide, new barrels to have at least three good coats of glue, and second hand barrels to have at least two good coats of glue. Each barrel shall have at least one good coat of Spanish Brown paint on the heads; and when failed, the bungs shall be tight and well glued in.

The white oak referred to may be of any species of white oak, having a close grain, but red oak will not be received.

The required thickness of staves and heading will be absolutely necessary, and particular attention should be paid to making the barrels of good shape.

Many distillers are careless in gluing their barrels, and some use a glue totally unfit. Heavy expenses may be saved by using only the best glue and cooking it properly, and allowing the barrels to dry for three to six days, before filling.

The inspector is required to reject as unmerchantable and not fit for delivery:

1st. All poor, misshapen and ill-made barrels, as well as those which are not equal in all respects to the requirements of these rules.

2nd. All barrels which are “sweating” at the time of examination.

3rd. All barrels which are leaking.

4th. All barrels found to contain water or dissolved glue, or any other foreign substance, or on which the glue coating is found to have softened.

5th. Converted whiskey barrels, as well as all packages which have been used for other purposes than holding spirits turpentine.

Barrels with pine or poplar heads will be rejected.

Colored spirits to extent of ten per cent. of any lot may be delivered in a sale, but whiskey or oil barrels must be sold separately, and at a price to be agreed upon.

The Inspector is required to return the gross weight and tare, ( as cut on the heads ) and the buyer will have the privilege of examining the lot, and emptying enough to satisfy himself of the correctness of the marked tares; and if he finds any error, all the expenses attending the examination will have to be paid by the distiller.

It will be seen then how necessary it is for the distiller, in order to save himself heavy expenses, to see that his barrels come fully up the standard, and that they are carefully and correctly weighed and marked and the gluing and all other requirements are carefully attended to. His interest will be fuflly protected by his Factor, but in case of dispute between buyer and seller, it is the business of a Committee of the Exchange to see that equal justice is done both parties, according to the Rules.

Mix – packed or fraudulently packed Rosin causes much trouble and annoyance to the trade, and the damages arising therefrom will most surely have to be paid by the Distiller sooner or later. Rosin to be in merchantable order must have two good heads, the top head well lined, two wooden hoops, or one of iron, on each head, and two wooden, or one of iron, on each head, and two wooden, or one of iron on each bilge. Eight wooden or four iron hoops in all.

The practice of packaging opaque or trashy Rosin, ( from the settlings of the bin ) in the bottom of barrels of find Rosins, should be avoided. All fine Rosins are sampled, by the buyer, in the bottom head and are rejected if not all right. Another practice of allowing barrels of fine Rosin to remain open and bleach the top part should be stopped; for the bottom head will surely show whether this has been done.

The interests of the trade here and that of the Distillers are identical, and the very heavy losses which have been made by shippers of Spirits Turpentine to Foreign Ports, during the past twelve months, make it necessary that something should be done to avoid such losses in the future; hence, after carefully considering the matter for some months, these rules have been adopted, and will, we believe, result in great benefit to our trade, cause higher prices to be paid for Spirits and thus benefit the Distiller.

This Circular is issued by order of the Produce Exchange for the information of Distillers, in hopes they will cheerfully comply with the requirements and thus benefit themselves; for, the improved condition and style of barrels will certainly increase the Naval Store business of this market, and by the great savings in leakage to foreign buyers principally, will enable them to pay higher prices, and consequently admit of larger profits to the Distillers.

D. R. MURCHISON, Pres’t.


J. W. HINSON,                }

A. H. VANBOKKELEN,            }    Board of

E. LILLY,                    }    Managers.

F. W. KERCHNER,            }



In another column we print the Naval Store Regulations, as adopted by the Wilmington Produce Exchange, and issued in circular form on the 2nd isn’t. While he cheerfully bear testimony to the excellence of some of the rules laid down and the requirements made, there are essential portions of this circular so manifestly useless, and so very unjust to this section that we cannot forbear calling special attention to them.

First, as to the material which, it is now required, shall be used in making spirit barrels: “the staves shall be of white oak, and the heads of white oak or white ash.” The enforcement of this regulation will virtually destroy the large cooper trade in this section, white oak timber being very scare here, and coopers finding considerable difficulty in procuring a supply sufficient for the staves – far less for the heads. The rejection of poplar heads, therefore, throws our coopers out of employment, withdraws from our own midst thousands of dollars of capital, and forces us to purchase our packages of makers abroad, and contribute to swell the profits of Northern manufacturers and Wilmington dealers. But the framers of these regulations fail to remedy the evils which have afflicted them. Good judges of timber will bear us out in the statement that white ash, of which they henceforth allow the headings to be made, is a very porous, coarse-grained wood, far inferior to poplar. We have been making spirit barrel heads of poplar ever since the war, and that material has, hitherto, been considered, in all respects, satisfactory. We have an abundance of this wood in our forests, but the Wilmington Produce Exchange attempts to force us to pass our own resources by, and spend our money for an article no whit better than we can manufacture ourselves.

Again, it is glaringly unfair and unreasonable to require the enforcement of these new regulations at the present time. Even premising that they are necessary, due notice of them should have been given last fall, before our distillers or coopers made contracts for staves or heading. It is now too late for them to change in accordance with these rules, and get ready to work in time. Many have already bought or engaged their supplies, numbers of coopers, who depend upon this business for a livelihood, will be subjected to heavy losses. We hear of one cooper ( a colored man ) who has already bought and paid for a sufficient quantity of poplar heading for 1,000 bbls. – utterly useless if these regulations are carried out.

We find no complaint among distillers, on account of being required to put spirits and rosin in good packages; but they say that buyers should give more for an article well put up than that packed in a inferior manner. A good poplar headed barrel, furnished with three coats of glue of good quality, is all that is necessary to meet every reasonable requirement, and any further exaction is injustice.

We learn that quite a numerously signed petition of these vitally interested in the question, in this town and vicinity, has been sent to Wilmington, asking a modification of the regulations as far as poplar headings are concerned. If rejected, it may lead to a radical change in the naval store trade at this place.

[North Carolina Gazette – Second Edition – Thursday, February 19, 1874]

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