Cochineal Superseded.

Scientific American 3, 17.1.1863

As everybody knows, the various sjades of scarlet and crimson with which textile fabrics are dyed or printed were made from cochineal. Cochineal is an insect taken in Mexico, from the broad leaves of the cactus. Ordinarily it would now command an enormous price. It is worth less even now than it was ten year ago. The cause of this decline in value of cochineal is because of the discovery of a more beautiful dye, called analine, produced from our native coal oil. From this coal oil, by tedious process, is produced this analine, of which, by the way, a single pound costs eighty dollars. Its diffusiveness, we believe, exceeds that of any knowns substance. A pound of it would impart a perceptible tint to a large pond of water. At a factory, the other day, where silk handkerchiefs are printed, we had an opportunity of observing the incomparable superioty of the new colors to those produced by cochnineal. Analine gives every shade of purple, from the deepest royal to the faint lilac, every variety of blue, from the pale tint of the sky to the deepest ultramarine, and all the gradations of scarlet and crimson of like beauty. Coal oil, that in its crude state is as dangerous as gunpowder and as offensive to the senses as the odor of a pole-cat, is one of the greatest innovations of modern times. - United States Gazette.

[The inference might be drawn from the above, that analine colors were obtained from the crude oils of the Pennsylvania oil wells, whereas petroleum is devoid of true benzole, which is the main substance that produces analine. Benzole is a product of the tar obtained by the distillation of coal, and an abundance of this substance may be obtained from the tar of all the city gas-works. So far as we know, however, there is not a manyfactory of analine colors in this country - these beautiful dyes are all imported from France and England. Dyers, while admitting the beauty of aniline red colors, still consider those derived from cochineal superior in withstanding the action of sunlight without fading. - EDS.]

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