SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Copper foundry. Historical artwork of a furnace in operation during copper smelting. Smelting involves heating the copper ore to a high temperature with a reducing agent and a flux. The reducing agent reacts with the metal compounds, producing pure copper, while the flux reacts with the other rock minerals to give a liquid slag that can easily be removed. Copper occurs naturally as impure metal and in sulphide ores. The foundrymen are not wearing any protective clothing. This 19th century engraving is of Messrs. Newton, Keates & Co.'s Copper Foundry in St Helens, Lancashire, England.
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