Tampico - Encyclopedia

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TAMPICO, a city and port of Mexico, in the state of Tamaulipas, on the N. bank of the Panuco river, about 6 m. from the Gulf of Mexico. Pop. (1906) 17,569, including the neighbouring settlements connected with the port works. The climate is hot, humid and unhealthy, and the city has suffered frequently from epidemics of yellow fever. A modern sewer system and waterworks, constructed in 1903-1906, have improved its sanitary condition and will in time reduce its heavy death-rate - about 78 per moo in 1903, when an epidemic of yellow fever caused 327 deaths, and the births numbered 512 against 1335 deaths. The eastern and poorer part of the town stands on low ground only 2 or 3 ft. above the river, and is subject to inundations. The western part rises about 150 ft., consists largely of private residences, and is provided with water and good drainage. The business section is well built, largely of stone and brick, and its streets are well paved and provided with gas and electric light. The neighbourhood is swampy and malarial. Tampico has two important railway connexions: the Monterrey and Gulf line running N.N.W. to Ciudad, Victoria and Monterrey, and a branch of the Mexican Central running westward to San Luis Potosi. There is also a line of river boats on the Panuco running up to the mouth of the Tamazunchale about 135 m., and another running to Tamiahua on the lagoon of that name by way of the Tuxpam canal, about 77 m. Industries include an electric light and power plant, factories for making ice, clothing, and fruit conserves, saw-mill, oil refinery, and a shipyard for small river boats. The modern port works, which have made Tampico accessible to a larger class of steamers, include two stone jetties at the mouth of the Panuco, which have increased the depth of water on the bar to 23 ft. at low water and 26 ft. at high water; seven wharves on the N. bank of the river to accommodate fourteen steamers at a time; steel sheds with railway tracks, and railway connexions at the wharves. The depth of water at the wharves varies from 18 to 25 ft. The exports include silver bullion (from San Luis Potosi, Aguascalientes, Torreon and Monterrey), ixtle fibre, sugar, hides, live cattle, cotton-seed cake, deer skins, honey, fustic, sarsaparilla, coffee, rubber, broom-root, copper ores and asphalt.

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