Volume 65: Macarthur-Onslow correspondence, 1846-1929: No. 489
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the water all the good eggs will go to the bottom, & the bad if any will swim at the top, as mentioned above. [indecipherable]
The eggs being their washed, must be dried in the open air, & when perfectly dry, the best mode to preserve them is to put them into hollow seeds or canes, perfectly dry, & closed at the two extremities with a [indecipherable] piece of flaxen or cotton linen well fastened. It is also the best means to transport them from one place to another.
VII. Of cocoons intended for sale.
In order to prevent the cocoons from being perforated by the moths escaping from them, which greatly lessens their value, it is necessary to kill the moths. This is generally done by baking in an oven, or by steam, but the best mode which is peculiarly well adapted to warm climates, is to lay the cocoons on linen or cotton sheets, but not too close or on one another, & to expose them [indecipherable] to the heat of the sun & open air when it is perfectly dry, [during?] 4 days, from 11 am to 4 pm taking great care in handling them, not to crush or flatten them which is the highest importance. In that time there is no doubt the moths will be killed. The processes of steaming & baking are not always safe because they may be over done & the silk greatly injured. I have seen instances of it in this country yet if the weather should prove obstinately damp or rainy, those processes must be recurred to, but [indecipherable] not in dry [indecipherable] weather, when they can be avoided.
The last [indecipherable] to be spoken of is the packing of cocoons to send to market. They must be packed in boxes with great care not pressed too closely, less they should be flattened, & close enough that they should not suffer in like manner by striking hard upon each other in consequence of the motion of carriages, or stages. The boxes being dry & well conditioned may be transported by steamboats; if transported by sea, they should not remain loner than 15 days on salt water, lest they become mouldy. On river water, & particularly by water there is not the same danger. The boxes in every case should