Chapter Two The Alchemy of Lead Production

Just how do you turn base metal into gold, or rather how do you extract lead and silver from argentiferous galena? A relatively simple guide to 19th century techniques of concentrating, roasting, smelting, cupelling and purifying ore to obtain lead and silver.

A look at how cone-mills, rumbos and criba cartegenera were used to concentrate the ore, and how reverberatory and blast furnaces work. Join me on a journey along the coast, to see the remains of the foundries, where up to seven different types of furnaces were needed by the alchemists. Lead wasn’t the only metal though, iron ore was also being processed, and in the end, it proved to be equally valuable.

Read on below or click here to download the pdf.


Note: Whilst the author has tried to identify and attribute copyright holders to illustrations and photographs, she would be grateful for information about those where this has not been possible and would be glad to rectify any such omissions in future editions. She may be contacted on her site.

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