Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will increase the dispersal of the seeds; the plant is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa and India. The greatest diversity of wild cotton species is found followed by Australia and Africa. Cotton was independently domesticated in the New Worlds; the fiber is most spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. The use of cotton for fabric is known to date to prehistoric times. Although cultivated since antiquity, it was the invention of the cotton gin that lowered the cost of production that led to its widespread use, it is the most used natural fiber cloth in clothing today. Current estimates for world production are about 25 million tonnes or 110 million bales annually, accounting for 2.5% of the world's arable land.
China is the world's largest producer of cotton. The United States has been the largest exporter for many years. In the United States, cotton is measured in bales, which measure 0.48 cubic meters and weigh 226.8 kilograms. There are four commercially grown species of cotton, all domesticated in antiquity: Gossypium hirsutum – upland cotton, native to Central America, the Caribbean and southern Florida Gossypium barbadense – known as extra-long staple cotton, native to tropical South America Gossypium arboreum – tree cotton, native to India and Pakistan Gossypium herbaceum – Levant cotton, native to southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula The two New World cotton species account for the vast majority of modern cotton production, but the two Old World species were used before the 1900s. While cotton fibers occur in colors of white, brown and green, fears of contaminating the genetics of white cotton have led many cotton-growing locations to ban the growing of colored cotton varieties; the word "cotton" has Arabic origins, derived from the Arabic word قطن.
This was the usual word for cotton in medieval Arabic. The word entered the Romance languages in the mid-12th century, English a century later. Cotton fabric was known to the ancient Romans as an import but cotton was rare in the Romance-speaking lands until imports from the Arabic-speaking lands in the medieval era at transformatively lower prices; the earliest evidence of cotton use in the Indian subcontinent has been found at the site of Mehrgarh and Rakhigarhi where cotton threads have been found preserved in copper beads. Cotton cultivation in the region is dated to the Indus Valley Civilization, which covered parts of modern eastern Pakistan and northwestern India between 3300 and 1300 BC; the Indus cotton industry was well-developed and some methods used in cotton spinning and fabrication continued to be used until the industrialization of India. Between 2000 and 1000 BC cotton became widespread across much of India. For example, it has been found at the site of Hallus in Karnataka dating from around 1000 BC.
Cotton bolls discovered in a cave near Tehuacán, have been dated to as early as 5500 BC, but this date has been challenged. More securely dated is the domestication of Gossypium hirsutum in Mexico between around 3400 and 2300 BC. In Peru, cultivation of the indigenous cotton species Gossypium barbadense has been dated, from a find in Ancon, to c. 4200 BC, was the backbone of the development of coastal cultures such as the Norte Chico and Nazca. Cotton was grown upriver, made into nets, traded with fishing villages along the coast for large supplies of fish; the Spanish who came to Mexico and Peru in the early 16th century found the people growing cotton and wearing clothing made of it. The Greeks and the Arabs were not familiar with cotton until the Wars of Alexander the Great, as his contemporary Megasthenes told Seleucus I Nicator of "there being trees on which wool grows" in "Indica"; this may be a reference to "tree cotton", Gossypium arboreum, a native of the Indian subcontinent. According to the Columbia Encyclopedia: Cotton has been spun and dyed since prehistoric times.
It clothed the people of ancient India and China. Hundreds of years before the Christian era, cotton textiles were woven in India with matchless skill, their use spread to the Mediterranean countries. In Iran, the history of cotton dates back to the Achaemenid era; the planting of cotton was common in Merv and Pars of Iran. In Persian poets' poems Ferdowsi's Shahname, there are references to cotton. Marco Polo refers to the major products including cotton. John Chardin, a French traveler of the 17th century who visited Safavid Persia, spoke approvingly of the vast cotton farms of Persia. During the Han dynasty, cotton was grown by Chinese peoples in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. Egyptians spun cotton in the first seven centuries of the Christian era. Handheld roller cotton gins had been used in India since the 6th century, was introduced to other countries from there. Between the 12th and 14th centuries, dual-roller gins appeared in China; the Indian version of the dual-roller gin was preval
Chili con carne
Chili con carne or chilli con carne, meaning "chili with meat" and sometimes known as "chili" or "chilli", is a spicy stew containing chili peppers and tomatoes and beans. Other seasonings may include garlic and cumin. Geographic and personal tastes involve different types of meat and ingredients. Recipes provoke disputes among aficionados, some of whom insist that the word "chili" applies only to the basic dish, without beans and tomatoes. Chili con carne is used as an ingredient in other dishes. In Spanish, the word chile from the Nahuatl chīlli refers to a "chili pepper", carne is Spanish for "meat". A recipe dating back to the 1850s describes dried beef, dried chili peppers and salt, which were pounded together, formed into bricks and left to dry, which could be boiled in pots on the trail. Chili originated from what is now southern Texas. Unlike some other Texas foods, such as barbecued brisket, chili originated with working-class Tejana and Mexican women; the chili queens of San Antonio, Texas were famous in previous decades for selling their inexpensive chili-flavored beef stew in their casual "chili joints".
The San Antonio Chili Stand, in operation at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, helped popularize chili by giving many Americans their first taste of it. San Antonio was a tourist destination and helped Texas-style chili con carne spread throughout the South and West. Chili con carne is the official dish of the U. S. state of Texas as designated by the House Concurrent Resolution Number 18 of the 65th Texas Legislature during its regular session in 1977. Before World War II, hundreds of small, family-run chili parlors could be found throughout Texas and other states those in which émigré Texans had made new homes; each establishment had a claim to some kind of secret recipe. By 1904, chili parlors were opening outside of Texas, in part due to the availability of commercial versions of chili powder, first manufactured in Texas in the late 19th century. After working at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, Charles Taylor opened a chili parlor in Carlinville, serving Mexican Chili. Varallo's, the oldest restaurant in Tennessee, opened as a chili parlor in 1907, competing with other chili parlors that had opened in Nashville during the 1890s.
In the 1920s and 1930s, chains of diner-style chili parlors began opening in the Midwest. Cincinnati chili, a dish developed by Greek immigrants deriving from their own culinary traditions, arguably represents the most vibrant continuation of the chili parlor tradition, with dozens of restaurants offering this style throughout the Cincinnati area, it can be traced back to at least 1922. In Green Bay, the chili parlor Chili John's has existed since 1913; as with Cincinnati chili, it is most served over spaghetti with oyster crackers, but the recipe is less sweet with a higher proportion of fat. The original proprietor's son opened a second location in Burbank, California in 1946, still in existence; until the late 2000s, a chili parlor dating to 1904, O. T. Hodge, continued to operate in St. Louis, it featured a chili-topped dish called a slinger: two cheeseburger patties, hash browns, two eggs, smothered in chili. As of 2014 no O. T. Hodge-branded locations remain. Beans, a staple of Tex-Mex cuisine, have been associated with chili as far back as the early 20th century.
The question of whether beans belong in chili has long been a matter of contention among chili cooks. While it is accepted that the earliest chilis did not include beans, proponents of their inclusion contend that chili with beans has a long enough history to be considered authentic; the Chili Appreciation Society International specified in 1999 that, among other things, cooks are forbidden to include beans in the preparation of chili for official competition—nor are they allowed to marinate any meats. Small red or pink common beans are used for chili, as are black-eyed peas, kidney beans, pinto beans, great northern beans, or navy beans. Most commercially prepared canned chili includes beans. Commercial chili prepared without beans is called "chili no beans" in the United States; some U. S. manufacturers, notably Bush Brothers and Company and Eden Organic sell canned precooked beans that are labeled "chili beans". Tomatoes are another ingredient. Wick Fowler, north Texas newspaperman and inventor of "Two-Alarm Chili", insisted on adding tomato sauce to his chili — one 15-ounce can per three pounds of meat.
He believed that chili should never be eaten freshly cooked but refrigerated overnight to seal in the flavor. Matt Weinstock, a Los Angeles newspaper columnist, once remarked that Fowler's chili "was reputed to open eighteen sinus cavities unknown to the medical profession." Vegetarian chili acquired wide popularity in the U. S. during the 1960s and 1970s with the rise of vegetarianism. It is popular with those on a diet restricting the use of red meat. To make the chili vegetarian, the cook leaves out the meat or replaces it with a meat analogue, such as textured vegetable protein or tofu, or a starchy vegetable, such as potatoes; these chilis nearly always include beans. Variants may contain corn, mushrooms, or beets. Chili verde is a moderately to spicy New Mexican cuisine stew or sauce made from chunks of pork th
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U. S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast. Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U. S. while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U. S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U. S. and El Paso. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico; the "Lone Star" can be found on the Texan state seal.
The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U. S. Southern and Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U. S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, the desert and mountains of the Big Bend; the term "six flags over Texas" refers to several nations. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state; the state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846.
A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U. S. in early 1861, joined the Confederate States of America on March 2nd of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation. Four major industries shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton and oil. Before and after the U. S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating the traditional image of the Texas cowboy. In the 19th century cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative, it was though, the discovery of major petroleum deposits that initiated an economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, energy and electronics, biomedical sciences. Texas has led the U. S. in state export revenue since 2002, has the second-highest gross state product. If Texas were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world; the name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ "friend", was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas, by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves the Hasinai Confederacy, the final -s representing the Spanish plural. The Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, East Texas. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevo Reino de Filipinas "New Kingdom of the Philippines", or as provincia de los Tejas "province of the Tejas" also provincia de Texas, "province of Texas", it was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, declared a republic in 1836.
The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U. S. State of Texas; the English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, based in the value of the letter x in historical Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja "rooftile", the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements. A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett. Texas is the second-largest U. S. state, with an area of 268,820 square miles. Though 10% larger than France and twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Zambia. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers; the Rio Grande forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the south.
The Red River forms a natural border with Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east; the Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western
Seal of Texas
The Seal of the State of Texas was adopted through the 1845 Texas Constitution, was based on the seal of the Republic of Texas, which dates from January 25, 1839. The official artwork, drawn by Juan Vega of Round Rock, was adopted in 1992 by Secretary of State John Hannah, Jr; the seal has specified wording on both the reverse sides. The Texas Constitution states, "There shall be a seal of the State, which shall be kept by the Governor and used by him officially; the seal shall have a star of five points, encircled by olive and live oak branches, the words'the State of Texas.'" The reverse of the seal was adopted in 1961 has a more detailed design, similar to other coat of arms found in Latin America. The Original seal pictured in the 1961 act had an Army of Tennessee Confederate battle flag representing the C. S. A.. The original Great Seal of the Republic was created on December 10, 1836, by the Congress, with a bill providing that "for the future the national seal of this republic shall consist of a single star, with the letters'Republic of Texas', circular on said seal, which seal shall be circular".
After initial hopes for the quick annexation of Texas into the United States grew dim, the Third Congress modified the seal and created a national arms in 1839. The bill stated, "The national arms of the Republic of Texas be, the same is hereby declared to be a white star of five points, on an azure ground, encircled by an olive and live oak branches", as well as that "The national great seal of this Republic shall and after the passage of this act, bear the arms of this nation... and the letters'Republic of Texas'". When Texas joined the Union in 1845, the new state constitution retained the seal, changing only the word "Republic" to "State", removed the background from the arms, it was not until 1992 that the seal and arms were standardized to reflect the specific language in the constitution and removing the various superfluous symbols and errors that were found on a majority of seals at the time. Despite this as of 2017 a majority of state offices use seals based on older unstandardized seals with Post Oak leaves instead of the specified Live Oak leaves.
On November 19, 1946, the Pentagon's National Guard Bureau advised all states that the United States Air Force wanted state national guard aircraft to have identifying insignia on the fuselage. The Texas Adjutant General's Department decided to use the state seal as the identifying insignia; the department's chief engineer, Colonel Maybin H. Wilson, researched the design of the seal with the assistance of Werner W. Dornberger, an architectural engineering professor at The University of Texas. In 1956, Octavio A. Martinez, an architectural engineering student at The University of Texas, prepared an eighteen and three-fourth inch watercolor of the seal; this design was faithful to the constitutional description and omitted erroneous details that had crept into the seal over the years, such as the addition of stars and diamonds in the bottom of the seal's outer ring and the use of post oak leaves instead of live oak leaves. The original Martinez watercolor has been lost. There are numerous seals of the different departments of Texas government, including seals for the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor.
They are all based upon the state seal of Texas. General state law does not require counties to adopt a seal. However, laws do provide seals for the County Commissioners' Court, County Clerk, other county offices; until 1975, the Commissioners' Court seal consisted of a star with five points and the words, "Commissioners Court, ---- County, Texas". A Commissioners' Court may now select its own seal design, with the approval of the Texas Secretary of State. Counties have a seal or symbol to identify the county unofficially. Many have adopted symbols with live oak/olive branches in the center; some counties have maintained "The State of Texas" at the top, while adding the county name below, while others have replaced "The State of Texas" with the county name, with some adding the year of county establishment at the bottom. Notable exceptions include Collin County. Coats of arms of the U. S. states Seals of the U. S. states State of Texas Symbols of the State of Texas Flag of Texas Seal Coat of arms of Paraguay State Sea
The Guadalupe Bass is a rare species of fish endemic to the U. S. state of Texas, where it is the official state fish. It is restricted to creeks and rivers, is listed as Near Threatened. Today, most fly fishermen and anglers practice catch-and-release techniques to improve fish populations; the Guadalupe Bass is difficult to distinguish from the smallmouth bass or spotted bass, the fish is known to hybridize. Guadalupe Bass, like most black bass, are lime to olive green in color, this particular species being lighter in shade in river specimens, they have a lateral line covered in separate diamond shaped or circular spots, which with age fades from black to olive. There are many smaller diamond marks scattered on the back which are less distinguished than the ones on the lateral line, its physical traits are similar to the spotted bass with one exception: the green coloring tends to extend lower on the body past the lateral line than their cousins. So far the record is 3.71 lbs, caught by Dr. Bryan Townsend of Austin in 2014.
The fish is only found in Edward's Plateau in central Texas. Its main habitats are the San Marcos, Colorado and Guadalupe rivers, they can be found in run-off creeks such as Barton Creek, Onion Creek, San Gabriel river, The Comal river. The species has been farm raised and stocked in the Llano river; the Guadalupe Bass has no predators. In fact its main threat is hybridization with the introduced smallmouth bass; the two species are closely related and in some rivers half the Guadalupe Bass are hybrids. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. stated it will stock many bass in the future to beat out the hybrid population. This will be a pilot for several other areas where rare spotted bass sub-species are having the same problems. Guadalupe Bass are found in streams and reservoirs; the Guadalupe Bass prefer flowing waters of streams within native variety, use covers like large rocks, cypress trees or stumps for refuge. The fish, unlike other bass, have an inclination towards insects. Guadalupe Bass at their predatory peak prefer larger bait fish such as shad and small bass or bluegill.
While unheard of elsewhere, the Guadalupe Bass is popular among fishermen in central Texas. It is cherished for its long tough fights, in which it manipulates the current and its unusually strong muscles, beautiful colors which tend to be more natural and bright than those of spotted bass, its preference for strong current and its large diet of insects earned it the name "Texas Brook Trout" and make it popular for fly fishermen. It fights to both smallmouth bass and Rainbow Trout—making long runs and manipulating current, but making sharp turns and attempting to entangle the line on structures, making large jumps like both species. Altogether, it makes a satisfying fight, it can be difficult and fun to land a 2+ lb. fish. If fishing in a larger river, one will most find large fish in deep pools with some current, scavenging off whatever the current brings, in the shallows, looking for fry, bait fish, the occasional rodent, hatching insects if in the right season. Smaller fish are found in fast current behind riffles, eating passing nymphs that were sucked in and small minnows eating the same.
Due to their preference for small fish and insects, fly fishermen are at a large advantage. Froese and Pauly, eds.. "Micropterus treculii" in FishBase. June 2014 version. "Micropterus treculii". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 12 June 2014. "Guadalupe Bass". Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
The nine-banded armadillo, or the nine-banded, long-nosed armadillo, is a medium-sized mammal found in North and South America, making it the most widespread of the armadillos. Its ancestors originated in South America, remained there until the formation of the Isthmus of Panama allowed them to enter North America as part of the Great American Interchange; the nine-banded armadillo is a solitary nocturnal animal, found in many kinds of habitats, from mature and secondary rainforests to grassland and dry scrub. It is an insectivore, feeding chiefly on ants and other small invertebrates; the armadillo can jump 3–4 ft straight in the air if sufficiently frightened, making it a particular danger on roads. It is the state small mammal of Texas; the nine-banded armadillo evolved in a warm, rainy environment, is still most found in regions resembling its ancestral home. As a adaptable animal, though, it can be found in scrublands, open prairies, tropical rainforests, it cannot thrive in cold or dry environments, as its large surface area, not well insulated by fat, makes it susceptible to heat and water loss.
The nine-banded armadillo has been expanding its range both north and east within the United States, where it is the only occurring species of armadillo. The armadillo crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico in the late 19th century, was introduced in Florida at about the same time by humans. By 1995, the species had become well established in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, had been sighted as far afield as Kansas, Tennessee and South Carolina. A decade the armadillo had become established in all of those areas and continued its migration, being sighted as far north as southern Nebraska, southern Illinois, southern Indiana; the primary cause of this rapid expansion is explained by the species having few natural predators within the United States, little desire on the part of Americans to hunt or eat the armadillo, the animals' high reproductive rate. The northern expansion of the armadillo is expected to continue until the species reaches as far north as Ohio, New Jersey and Connecticut, all points southward on the East Coast of the United States.
Further northward and westward expansion will be limited by the armadillo's poor tolerance of harsh winters, due to its lack of insulating fat and its inability to hibernate. As of 2009, newspaper reports indicated the nine-banded armadillo seems to have expanded its range northward as far as Omaha, Nebraska in the west, Kentucky Dam and Evansville, Indiana, in the east. In 1995, armadillos were only seen in the southern tip of South Carolina, within two to three years, they had swept across most of the state. In late 2009, North Carolina began considering the establishment of a hunting season for armadillo, following reports that the species has been moving into the southern reaches of the state. Outside the United States, the nine-banded armadillo ranges southward through Central and South America into northern Argentina and Uruguay, where it is still expanding its range. Nine-banded armadillos are insectivores, they forage for meals by thrusting their snouts into loose soil and leaf litter and frantically digging in erratic patterns, stopping to dig up grubs, ants and worms, which their sensitive noses can detect through 8 in of soil.
They lap up the insects with their sticky tongues. Nine-banded armadillos have been observed to roll about on ant hills to dislodge and consume the resident ants, they supplement their diets with amphibians and small reptiles in more wintery months when such prey tends to be more sluggish, bird eggs and baby mammals. Carrion is eaten, although the species is most attracted to the maggots borne by carcasses rather than the meat itself. Less than 10% of the diet of this species is composed by nonanimal matter, though fungi, tubers and seeds are eaten. Nine-banded armadillos weigh from 2.5–6.5 kg, though the largest specimens can scale up to 10 kg. They are one of the largest species of armadillos. Head and body length is 38–58 cm, which combines with the 26–53 cm tail, for a total length of 64–107 cm, they stand 15–25 cm tall at the top of the shell. The outer shell is composed of ossified dermal scutes covered by nonoverlapping, keratinized epidermal scales, which are connected by flexible bands of skin.
This armor covers the back, head and outside surfaces of the legs. The underside of the body and the inner surfaces of the legs have no armored protection. Instead, they are covered by a layer of coarse hair; the vertebrae attach to the carapace. The claws on the middle toes of the forefeet are elongated for digging, though not to the same degree as those of the much larger giant armadillo of South America, their low metabolic rate and poor thermoregulation make them best suited for semitropical environments. Unlike the South American three-banded armadillos, the nine-banded armadillo cannot roll itself into a ball, it is, capable of floating across rivers by inflating its intestines, or by sinking and running across riverbeds. The second is possible due to its ability to hold its breath for up to six minutes, an adaptation developed for allowing the animal to keep its snout submerged in soil for extended periods while foraging. Although nine is the typical number of bands on the nine-banded arma
Armorial of the United States
The coats of arms of the U. S. states are coats of arms, adopted by those states that have chosen, that are an official symbol of the state, alongside their seal. Eighteen states have adopted coats of arms; the former independent Republic of Texas and Kingdom of Hawaii each had a separate national coat of arms, which are no longer used. Heraldic arms were worn on a coat which knights wore over their armor, hence coat of arms, a term which dates back 1,000 years to jousting tournaments. A state coat of arms may exist independently of the seal, but the reverse is not the case. A seal contains a coat of arms or other devices whereas a state coat of arms constitutes the bulk of a seal, except for the wording identifying it as the "Great Seal of the State of..." A "seal" has been described as the design impressed on public or legislative official documents, whereas a coat of arms appears for illustrative purposes. Examples include flags and banners, state militia uniform caps and buttons, as well as specifically-designed regimental coats of arms for U.
S. Infantry Regiments, National Guard units. A coat of arms of a nation or state is the design or device of the obverse of its seal, it is an official emblem, mark of identification, symbol of the authority of the government of a nation or state. A nation or state's coat of arms is oftentimes referred to as the national or state arms; the coats of arms of the U. S. states date back to the admission of the first states to the Union. Despite the accepted practice of determining early statehood from the date of ratification of the United States Constitution, many of the original colonies referred to themselves as states shortly after the Declaration of Independence was signed on 4 July 1776. Committees of political leaders and intellectuals were established by state legislatures to research and propose a seal and coat of arms. Many of these members were signers of the Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution. Several of the earliest adopted state coats of arms and seals were similar or identical to their colonial counterparts.
State Arms of the Union, illustrated by Henry Mitchell and published by Louis Prang, offers accurate renderings of the state's coats of arms as they existed in 1876. An accomplished engraver with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for 40 years, Mitchell was responsible for engraving several coats of arms for official state use as well as arms for well-known educational and philanthropic organizations; the illustrations are presented alongside proof impressions from the engraved dies used to print the state arms on the first issue of United States National Bank Notes. Published in 1876 by Louis Prang and illustrated by Henry Mitchell, State Arms of the Union contains a chromolithographed title page depicting the Great Seal of the United States and seven color plates with 45 state and territorial coats of arms; the book was published for the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Louis Prang was born 12 March 1824 in Breslau. At the age of 13 he began apprenticing for his father and learned to dye and print calico, as well as wood and metal engraving.
Prang became an illustrator for a number of local publications. Starting a business partnership in 1856 to manufacture copper and lithographic plates, Prang became sole proprietor in 1860 and named the company L. Prang & Co, he specialized in color printing, more “chromolithography” Prang spent over four decades studying and creating a standard of colors and engraved and printed maps, prints of contemporary celebrities, color reproductions of famous works of art. In 1875 Prang was responsible for introducing the Christmas card to America, he created an annual design competition for his Christmas cards, judges included John La Farge, Samuel Colman, Stanford White, Louis Comfort Tiffany. Some of the notable winners included Elihu Vedder, Rosina Emmet Sherwood, Edwin Blashfield, Thomas Moran, Will Hicok Low. Prang has become known as the "father of the American Christmas card", as well as the "father of the lithographic industry". Henry Mitchell went to school in Philadelphia. At the age of 10 he began working with his uncle to learn the trade of steel engraving.
By the age of 20, Mitchell had engraved the official seals for the Kingdom of Hawaii. In 1868 Mitchell joined the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and for 40 years engraved stamped envelopes. Through his BEP work, Mitchell was responsible for engraving the seal of the Secretary of the Navy and the Internal Revenue Service, he engraved the state seals for Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Wisconsin. Outside of state and federal government engraving, Mitchell engraved the seals and coats of arms for many well-known institutions which include Harvard University, Society of the Cincinnati, Boston Public Library, he engraved the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition award medal, struck in the Philadelphia Mint. In 1891, Mitchell was invited by the Secretary of the Treasury to join a committee to evaluate the artistic design proposals for a new issue of U. S. coins. The two other members were Charles E. Barber, Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. In addition to being considered an expert on heraldry, Mitchell was regarded as one of the best engravers and medal designers in the United States.
A state coat of arms provided an opportunity to convey the natural and industrial resources available to its residents. Common themes depicted in state arms include farming, transportation (e.g. boats and wagon