CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.
Women's and children's dress goods, "composed wholly or
in part of wool, worsted, the hair of the camel, goat, alpaca or other animals," were dutiable under paragraph 395 of the act of October 1, 1890, at twelve cents per square yard and fifty per cent ad valorem; under paragraph 283 of the act of August 27, 1894, at forty or fifty per cent ad valorem, according to value. But by paragraph 297, the reduction of the rates of duty on "manufactures of wool" was not to take effect until January 1, 1895. And if that paragraph applied to worsted dress goods for women and children, then the collector was right, and the judgment must be reversed.
Was it intended that the words "manufactures of wool," as used in this paragraph, should include or exclude worsted goods?
Worsted goods are made out of wool, and are necessarily a manufacture of wool. The Century Dictionary defines "worsted" as a noun: "A variety of woollen yarn or thread, spun from long-staple wool which has been combed, and in the spinning is twisted harder than is usual;" and as an adjective: "Consisting of worsted; made of worsted yarn; as worsted stockings."
"Worsted is but wool, spun and twisted in a particular manner", said Mr. Justice Story, in Whiting v. Bancroft, 1 Story, 560. And in Cahn v. Seeberger, 30 Fed. Rep. 425, it was found by Judge Blodgett that: "Worsted is made by combing long fibred wools so that the fibres usually lie or are arranged alongside each other, while wool is treated by carding it so as to interlock the fibres with each other."
As between worsted yarns and woollen yarns the Encyclopaedia Britannica says that the fundamental distinction "rests in the crossing and interlacing of the fibres in preparing woollen yarn, -- an operation confined to this alone among all textiles, while for worsted yarn the fibres are treated, as in the case of all other textile materials, by processes designed to bring them into a smooth, parallel relationship with each other." Vol. 24, p. 658.
Although through the introduction of improved processes of manufacture, it gradually became possible to comb shorter and finer varieties of wool, and thus to manufacture worsted
goods of higher grade and better quality, approximating worsted to woollen goods, and removing the reason for any distinction between them in the matter of duties, the tariff laws prior to May 9, 1890, made a distinction in that respect between woollen and worsted goods, resting on the difference in the process of manufacture; but the raw material was, of course, always the same, namely, wool.
By the tariff acts of April 27, 1816, c. 107, 3 Stat. 310; of May 22, 1824, c. 136, 4 Stat. 25; May 19, 1828, c. 55, 4 Stat. 270; July 14, 1832, c. 227, 4 Stat. 583; August 30, 1842, c. 270, 5 Stat. 548, ...