[D8731AAJ], Letter from William R Smith to Peter Henderson, July 28th, 1887


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[D8731AAJ], Letter from William R Smith to Peter Henderson, July 28th, 1887

Editor's Notes

"Yours of the 25th inst just to hand. Mr Edison I think can get all the fiber he wants from Agave Rigida which is naturalized in Florida. A variety of Rigida called Sisilava also -- [------] to [-------] yields the fiber called Sisil. Hemp. Agave Longiflora is also a variety of A. Rigida. I mean the Rigida of Miller and the Botanists -- not Rigida of the shops which is a five dollar plant, a few of which may be found in the good institutions in and around New York, such as Buchanan used to keep. The fiber of 'Bohmuria Nivia' [Boehmeria Nivea] is in my opinion going to make a revolution in the wearing apparel of the 'G[----]s [-----]', before long, and be a grand boom to the Southern States. You will get further information from the Agricultural Report of 1869. ## We have at present, in flo[----] another variety of A. Rigida which stands high on the list of fibre producing varieties and can send you one or two hundred young plants. it is the Istti of Dr. Perine which he says furnishes a fine fiber called 'Pita' he also says the plant yields a return of leaves when four years old, and may live fifty or sixty years under proper management. Without going further, the subject of fiber plants is one I am much interested in, and of I knew the character of the fiber wanted could probably suggest other plants such as Sabal Adeusonii which can be had in larger quantities from the swamps and subswamps of the Southern States I have a piece of paper made from this fiber, which looks like parchment and insects are said not to touch it"





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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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