16th century smelting of ores

16th century smelting of ores

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Caption: Illustration of blast furnaces for smelting copper- lead ores, published in De Re Metallica, 1556 by Agricola, a German minerologist & physician. The ores were roasted, then mixed with charcoal & packed into the narrow shafts of the blast furnace (A, B & C). Shaft (C) is being packed in this illustration, while (A & B) are burning. The blast was provided by water driven bellows, which are out of sight behind the brick wall. The size of the shaft was 2ft by 5ft high. When the process was working, the products ran liquid into the fore hearth (D) & the metal was separated from the slag by ladles (E & F).

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Keywords: 16th century mineralogy, 16th century refining of metal, blast furnace, copper, historical, history of science, industrial, industry, lead, smelting, technology

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