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The wages and profits derived from this very hard work, carried on day and night, is almost too triflng to name; but a little reflection will show that their condition is far from wretched. Their direct profits depend upon their actual labour, as he who has most horses, or carries most loads from the mines to Barnaoule, receives most money. They have also ample lime to work their lands, and reap abundance of corn and vegetables. Scarcely any full grown man can be found who has not two or three horses, and as many horned cattle, employed during the season in carrying the ore, for which they receive at the rate of thirteen copecks the pood, — ***one penny farthing for thirty-six pounds***. Many of them prefer this employment, and are actually able to save considerable sums of money in it, especially those who have many horses.
This is a pretty old text describing Siberia of the beginning of the 1800s.
I can't really understand how much is "one penny farting" here - does this mean one farthing and a penny or something?