Airdate: Aug 10, 1998
Scientist: Bob Cage
Tobacco Auction-How it Works
A veteran auctioneer explains the intricacies of his craft.
We're listening to the sounds of a tobacco auction. Right now it's auction season in North Carolina and other tobacco growing states. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.
Careful not to raise your hand unless you're ready to bid. And we'll hear just how to bid from veteran tobacco auctioneer Bob Cage.
"What I have in front of me is a man who usually is a man who usually is the tobacco warehouse man. And he assesses what each pile of tobacco is worth. So he gives a number -- like a dollar ninety two, which is the price he thinks that tobacco will bring. Now it may not bring that. It may bring a dollar eighty five, or it may bring a dollar ninety five, but what I have to is to pick up the chant at a dollar ninety two and go one way or another until I see a guy bidding. A bid is just a nod or they'll have their hands in the air, bidding that way. If I'm crying a dollar ninety and he holds his hands up with five fingers up, that means he's bidding a dollar ninety five. If I cry a dollar ninety and he holds his hand down, turns his five fingers down, he's bidding a dollar eighty five. A dollar ninety and he holds one finger up, that means he's bidding a dollar ninety one, it's that simple. So it'd be sort of like this, the way I'd say a dollar ninety! So I'd pick up a chant:
ambience: Chant begins
For transcripts of this and other programs in our series, please visit our web site at www.pulseplanet.com.
Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.