This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
There are an immense number of plants known to have useful fibre; but the trouble has been to find machinery that will prepare it profitably. The late Professor Gabb told the writer of this that some large landed proprietors in San Domingo were prepared to give a premium of $30,000 to any one who would invent a machine that would profitably clean out the fibre of Agave Americana; and it was while experimenting with a machine of this class that the distinguished plant collector, M. Roezl, lost his arm. We therefore watch all efforts in this direction, and give the following, from the Florida Mirror, for what it may be worth : " The machinery lately brought by Prof. Loomis for the preparation of palmetto fibre is working satisfactorily, and the experiment is an assured success. The stalks of the scrub palmetto are used. It is said that the fibre is likely to prove useful for cordage, paper, tubs, pails, flour barrels, boats, powder kegs, and no end of other articles of general use".