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Furnace and crucibles used for the fusion of metal

Furnace and crucibles used for the fusion of metal

V600/0021

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Furnace and crucibles. Engraving of a furnace (at right) and crucibles (at left) used to fuse metals together in the 16th century. The metals were placed in the crucibles which in turn were placed in the furnace and covered with a lid (at lower left). During this period it was believed that all metals were made of a combination of sulphur and mercury and that any metal could be made by mixing these two elements. Although such transmutation was impossible, research into the composition and manufacture of metals led to the discovery of many useful alloys. Image taken from a 1545 book which credited the design of this apparatus to the Arabic alchemist Geber (721-815).

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