Full text: Modern business geography

Modern Business Geography 
Finally, the materials or articles that have been produced, trans- 
ported, and manufactured are consumed. This fourth step is con- 
sumption. Things may be consumed in the sense of being eaten, as 
in the case of food, or of being worn out, as happens to shoes, chairs, 
or machines. Some things are consumed in the manufacturing 
stage, as are the materials used in making a clock; although the 
clock itself is then consumed by being worn out. 
We find, then, that business geography concerns itself with four 
great fields of man’s work: (1) primary production, (2) transporta- 
tion, (8) manufacturing, or secondary production, and (4) consump- 
tion. It will help us to understand these four fields, to find their 
limits and to know what is done in each of them, if a single commod- 
ity is followed through the four stages of its progress, beginning 
with its growth as a natural product and ending with its use in the 
field of consumption. Cotton is the commodity with which we shall 
begin our study; we shall trace its history from the seed on a 
Southern plantation to the cloth purchased in a store. 
The care of the growing crop. The cotton farmer wishes the fiber 
to grow in great abundance and of good length. To insure the growth 
of such fiber he fertilizes the soil; he selects the seeds carefully and 
plants them in rows about three feet apart; later he thins the rows 
with a hoe, and destroys the weeds, so that each plant may have 
ample room to draw nourishment. He likewise fights the cutworm, 
the small gray beetle called the boll weevil, and the cotton flea. 
When the cotton plant is about four months old, some of the bolls 
have reached the size of an English walnut; these now burst, show- 
ing a snowy mass of fibers. Soon the field is invaded by groups of 
cotton pickers—negro men, women, and children,—with bags hung 
from their shoulders to hold the cotton. The same field must be 
picked many times, for the bolls are ripening and bursting from the 
first part of August until the frost comes, sometimes as late as 
December. Each plant yields on the average about twenty bolls. 
The cotton must be picked as it appears, else the wind may carry it 
away or soil it with dust, or the rain may injure the quality of the fiber. 
How machinery helps in cotton production. To pick cotton by 
hand is a slow and costly process, and the difficulty of getting enough 
labor at the proper season is great. Many machines have been 
invented to do the work ; but none has proved entirely satisfactory.

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.