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Japanese Wax

Japanese Wax image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Most every son who has seen a pistol or a revolver cartridge has noticed that the round metallic end is covered with a greasy coating resembling in many ways mutton tallow, and no doubt has considered it to be that animal product. It is, however, nothing of the kind, being sirnply the product of a vegetable growth, and known to the trade as Japanese wax. The Japanese wax tree from -whicli this comes is a tree of sreat beauty and usef ulness. It is a species of sumac and grows twenty-flve feet high, attaining a diameter of one and a half f eet. Most of the candles usedïïby the Japanese are made from the wax of the berry borne by thia tree. These berries are gathered by the natives with a great deal of care, and crushed and pressed. Another way of obtaining the wax is by maceration in hot water, skimming the wax from the surface. The wax is yellowish white, sof ter than beeswax, melts at 127 deg. Fahrenheit. and eommands a good price. Besides its use for candles, it is of value in the arts and in inany minor industries. The berries are white in color, grow in clusters, and are about as 'a ge as a pea. The tre3 itself ia of rapid growth and easy cultivation. Japanese wax is also used extensively as a substitute for bayberry wax, the latter costing several tirnes as much as the former. It is used as a coating for machinery when it is to be shipped, as it forms a'greasy coating impervious to the action of air and moisture. In appearance, smeliing, and feeling, it closely resembles mutton tallow. An effort is soon to be made to introduce its culturo into California.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat