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INQUISITIONS TOUCHING THE COMPOUNDING OF METALS.
To make proof of the incorporation of iron with flint, or other stone. For if it can be incorporated without over-great charge, or other incommodity, the cheapness of the flint or stone doth make the compound stuff profitable for divers uses. The doubts may be three in number.
First, Whether they will incorporate at all, otherwise than to a body that will not hold well together, but become brittle and uneven?
Secondly, Although it should incorporate well, yet whether the stuff will not be so stubborn as it will not work well with a hammer, whereby the charge in working will overthrow the cheapness of the material?
Thirdly, Whether they will incorporate, except the iron and stone be first calcined into powder? And if not, whether the charge of the calcination will not eat out the cheapness of the material?
The uses are most probable to be j first for the implements of the kitchen; as spits, ranges, cobirons, pots, &c.; then for the wars, as ordnance, portcullises, grates, chains, &c.
Note; the finer works of iron are not so probable to be served with such a stuff; as locks, clocks, small chains. &c. because the stuff is not like to be tough enough.
For the better use, in comparison of iron, it is like the stuff will be far lighter: for the weight of iron to flint is double and a third part; and, secondly, it is like to rust not so easily, but to be more clean.
The ways of trial are two: first, by the iron and stone of themselves, wherein it must be inquired, what are the stones that do easiliest melt. Secondly, with an additament, wherein brimstone is approved to help to the melting of iron or steel. But then it must be considered, whether the charge of the additament will not destroy the profit.
It must be known also, what proportion of the stone the iron will receive to incorporate well with it, and that with once melting; for if either the proportion be too small, or that it cannot be received but piecemeal by several meltings, the work cannot be of value.
To make proof of the incorporating of iron and brass. For the cheapness of the iron in comparison of the brass, if the uses may be served, doth promise profit. The doubt will be touching their incorporating; for that it is approved, that iron will not incorporate, neither with brass nor other metals, of itself, by simple fire: so as the inquiry must be upon the calcination, and the additament, and the charge of them.
The uses will be for such things as are now made of brass, and might be as well served by the compound stuff; wherein the doubts will be chiefly of the toughness, and of the beauty.
First, therefore, if brass ordnance could be made of the compound stuff, in respect of the cheapness of the iron, it would be of great use.
The vantage which brass ordnance hath over iron, is chiefly, as I suppose, because it will hold the blow, though it be driven far thinner than the iron can be; whereby it saveth both in the quantity of the material, and in the charge and commodity of mounting and carriage, in regard, by reason of the thinness, it beareth much less weight: there may be also somewhat in being not so easily over-heated.
Secondly, for the beauty. Those things wherein the beauty or lustre are esteemed, are andirons, and all manner of images, and statues, and columns, and tombs, and the like. So as the doubt will be double for the beauty; the one, whether the colour will please so well, because it will not be so like gold as brass? The other, whether it will polish so well? Wherein for the latter it is probable it will; for steel glosses are more resplendent than the like plates of brass would be; and so is the glittering of a blade. And besides, I take it, andiron brass, which they call white brass, hath some mixture of tin to help the lustre. And for the golden colour, it may be by some small mixture of orpiment, such as they use to brass in the yellow alchemy; it will easily recover that which the iron loseth. Of this the eye must be the judge upon proof made.
But now for pans, pots, curfews, counters, and the like, the beauty will not be so much respected, so as the compound stuff is like to pass.
For the better use of the compounded stuff, it will be sweeter and cleaner than brass alone, which jieldeth a smell or soiliness j and therefore may be better for the vessels of the kitchen and brewing. It will also be harder than brass, where hardness may be required.
For the trial, the doubts will be two: first, the over-weight of brass towards iron, which will make iron float on the top in the melting. This perhaps will be holpen with the calaminar stone, which consented! so well with brass, and, as I take it, is lighter than iron. The other doubt will be the stiffness and dryness of iron to melt; which must be holpen either by moistening the iron, or opening it. For the first, perhaps some mixture of lead will help. Which is as much more liquid than brass, as iron is less liquid. The opening may be holpen by some mixture of sulphur: so as the trials would be with brass, iron, calaminar stone, and sulphur; and then again with the same composition, and an addition of some lead; and in all this the charge must be considered, whether it eat not out the profit of the cheapness of iron?
There be two proofs to be made of incorporation of metals for magnificence and delicacy. The one for the eye, and the other for the ear. Statue-metal, and bell-metal, and trumpet-metal, and.string-metal; in all these, though the mixture of brass or copper should be dearer than the brass itself, yet the pleasure will advance the price to profit.
First therefore for statue-metal, see Pliny's mixtures, which are almost forgotten, and consider the charge.
Try likewise the mixture of tin in large proportion with copper, and observe the colour and beauty, it being polished. But chiefly let proof be made'of the incorporating of copper or brass with glass-metal, for that is cheap, and is like to add a great glory and shining.
For bell-metal. First, it is to be known what is the composition which is now in use. Secondly, it is probable that it is the dryness of the metal that doth help the clearness of the sound, and the moistness that dnlleth it; and therefore the mixtures that are probable, are steel, tin, glass-metal.
For string-metal, or trumpet-metal, it is the same reason; save that glass-metal may not be used, because it will make it too brittle; and trial may be made with mixture of silver, it being but a delicacy, with iron or brass.
To make proof of the incorporation of silver and tin in equal quantity, or with two parts silver and °ne part tin, and to observe whether it be of equal beauty and lustre with pure silver; and also whether >t yield no soiliness more than silver? And again, whether it will endure the ordinary fire which belongeth to chafing-dishes, posnets, and such other silver vessels? And if it do not endure the fire, yet whether by some mixture of iron it may not be made more fixed? For if it be in beauty and all the uses aforesaid equal to silver, it were a thing of singular profit to the state, and to all particular persons, to change silver plate or vessel into the compound stuff, •*ing a kind of silver electre, and to turn the rest
*ol. i. R
into coin. It may be also questioned, whether the compound stuff will receiye gilding as well as silver, and with equal lustre? It is to be noted, that the common allay of silver coin is brass, which doth discolour more, and is not so neat as tin.
The drownings of metals within other metals, in such sort as they can never rise again, is a thing of great profit. For if a quantity of silver can be so buried in gold, as it will never be reduced again, neither by fire, nor parting waters, nor other ways: and also that it serve all uses as well as pure gold, it is in effect all one as if so much silver were turned into gold i only the weight will discover it; yet that taketh off but half of the profit j for gold is not fully double weight to silver, but gold is twelve times price to silver.
The burial must be by one of these two ways, either by the smallness of the proportion, as perhaps fifty to one, which will be but six-pence gains in fifty shillings; or it must be holpen by somewhat which may fix the silver, never to be restored or vapoured away, when it is incorporated into such a mass of gold; for the less quantity is ever the harder to sever: and for this purpose iron is the likest, or coppel stuff, upon which the fire hath no power of consumption.
The making of gold seemeth a thing scarcely possible; because gold is the heaviest of metals, and to add matter is impossible: and again, to drive metals into a narrower room than their natural extent beareth, is a condensation hardly to be expected. But to make silver seemeth more easy, because both quicksilver and lead are weightier than silver j so as there needeth only fixing, and not condensing. The degree unto this that is already known, is infusing of quicksilver in a parchment, or otherwise, in the midst of molten lead when it cooleth; for this stupifieth the quicksilver that it runneth no more. This trial is to be advanced three ways. First, by iterating the melting of the lead, to see whether it will not make the quicksilver harder and harder. Secondly, to put realgar hot into the midst of the quicksilver, whereby it may be condensed, as well from within as without. Thirdly, to try it in the midst of molten iron, or molten steel, which is a body more likely to fix the quicksilver than lead. It may be also tried, by incorporating powder of steel, or coppel dust, by pouncing into the quicksilver, and so to proceed to the stnpifying.
Upon glass four things would be put in proof. The first, means to make the glass more crystalline. The second, to make it more strong for falls, and for fire, though it come not to the degree to be malleable. The third, to make it coloured by tinctures, comparable to or exceeding precious stones. The fourth, to make a compound body of glass and galletyle j that is, to have the colour milky like a chalcedon, being a stuff between a porcelane and a glass.
For the first, it is good first to know exactly the several materials whereof the glass in use is made; window-glass, Normandy and Burgundy, ale-house glass, English drinking-glass: and then thereupon to consider what the reason is of the coarseness or clearness; and from thence to rise to a consideration how to make some additaments to the coarser materials, to raise them to the whiteness and crystalline splendour of the finest.
For the second, we see pebbles, and some other stones, will cut as fine as crystal, which if they will melt, may be a mixture for glass, and may make it more tough and more crystalline. Besides, we see metals will vitrify; and perhaps some portion of the glass of metal vitrified, mixed in the pot of ordinary glass metal, will make the whole mass more tough.
For the third, it were good to have of coloured window-glass, such as is coloured in the pot, and not by colours
It is to be known of what stuff galletyle is made, and how the colours in it are varied; and thereupon to consider how to make the mixture of glass-metal and them, whereof I have seen the example.
Inquire what be the stones that do easiliest melt. Of them take half a pound, and of iron a pound and half, and an ounce of brimstone, and see whether they will incorporate, being whole, with a strong fire. If not, try the same quantity calcined: and if they will incorporate, make a plate of them, and burnish it as they do iron.
Take a pound and a half of brass, and half a pound of iron; two ounces of the calaminar stone,
an ounce and a half of brimstone, an ounce of lead; calcine them, and see what body they make; and if they incorporate, make a plate of it burnished.
Take of copper an ounce and a half, of tin an ounce, and melt them together, and make a plate of them burnished.
Take of copper an ounce and a half, of tin an ounce, of glass-metal half an ounce; stir them well in the boiling, and if they incorporate, make a plate of them burnished.
Take of copper a pound and a half, tin four ounces, brass two ounces; make a plate of them burnished.
Take of silver two ounces, tin half an ounce; make a little say-cup of it, and burnish it.
To inquire of the materials of every of the kind of glasses, coarser and finer, and of the proportions.
Take an equal quantity of glass-metal, of stone calcined, and bring a pattern.
Take an ounce of vitrified metal, and a pound of ordinary glass-metal, and see whether they will incorporate, and bring a pattern.
Bring examples of all coloured glasses, and learn the ingredients whereby they are coloured.
Inquire of the substance of galletyle
ARTICLES OF QUESTIONS
THE LORD BACON'S QUESTIONS, WITH DR. MEVEREL'S SOLUTIONS.
Concerning the compounding, incorporating, or union of metals or minerals. Which subject is the first letter of his Lordship's Alphabet.
With what metals gold will incorporate by simple colliquefaction, and with what not? And in what quantity it will incorporate; and what kind of body the compound makes?
Gold with silver, which was the ancient electrum: gold with quicksilver: gold with lead: gold with copper: gold with brass: gold with iron: gold with tin.
So likewise of silver: silver with quicksilver: silver with lead: silver with copper: silver with brass: silver with iron: Plinius secund. lib. xxxiii. 9. "Miscuit denario triumvir Antonius ferrum," silver with tin.
So likewise of quicksilver: quicksilver with lead: quicksilver with copper: quicksilver with brass: quicksilver with iron: quicksilver with tin.
So of lead: lead with copper: lead with brass: lead with iron: lead with tin. Plin. xxxiv. 9.
So of copper: copper with brass: copper with iron: copper with tin.
So of brass: brass with iron: brass with tin.
So of iron: iron with tin.
What be the compound metals that are common and known? And what are the proportions of their mixtures? As,
Latten of brass, and the calaminar stone.
Pewter of tin and lead.
Bell-metal of, &c. and the counterfeit plate, which they call alchemy.
The decomposites of three metals or more, are too long to inquire of, except there be some compositions of them already observed.
It is also to be observed, whether any two metals, which will not mingle of themselves, will mingle with the help of another; and what.
What compounds will be made of metal with stone and other fossils; as lattcn is made with brass ;ind the calaminar stone; as all the metals incorporate with vitriol; all with iron powdered; all wi th flint, &c.
Some few of these would be inquired of, to disclose the nature of the rest.
Whether metals or other fossils will incorporate with molten glass, and what body it makes?
The quantity in the mixture would be well considered; for some small quantity perhaps will incorporate, as in the allays of gold and silver coin.
Upon the compound body, three things are chiefly to be observed: the colour; the fragility or pliantness; the volatility or fixation, compared with the simple bodies.
For present use or profit, this is the rule: consider the price of tbe two simple bodies; consider again the dignity of the one above the other in use; then see if you can make a compound, that will save more in price, than it will lose in dignity of the use.
As for example; consider the price of brass ordnance; consider again the price of iron ordnance, and then consider wherein the brass ordnance doth excel the iron ordnance in use; then if you can make a compound of brass and iron that will be near as good in use, and much cheaper in price, then there is profit both to the private and the commonwealth. So of gold and silver, the price is double of twelve: the dignity of gold above silver is not much, the splendour is alike, and more pleasing to some eyes, as in cloth of silver, silvered rapiers, &c. The main dignity is, that gold bears the fire, which silver doth not: but that is an excellency in nature, hut it is nothing at all in use; for any dignity in use I know none, but that silvering will sully and canker more than gilding; which if it might be corrected with a little mixture of gold, there is profit: and I do somewhat marvel that the latter ages have lost the ancient electrum, which was a mixture of silver with gold: whereof I conceive there may be much use, both in coin, plate, and gilding.
It is to be noted, that there is in the version of metals impossibility, or at least great difficulty, as in making of gold, silver, copper. On the other side, in the adulterating or counterfeiting of metals, there is deceit and villany. But it should seem there is a middle way, and that is by new compounds, if the ways of incorporating were well known.
What incorporation or imbibition metals will receive from vegetables, without being dissolved in their substance: as when the armourers make their steel more tough and pliant, by aspersion of water or juice of herbs; when gold being grown somewhat churlish by recovering, is made more pliant by throwing jn shreds of tanned leather, or by leather oiled.
Note, that in these and like shows of imbibition, it were good to try by the weights, whether the weight be increased, or no; for if it be not, it is to be doubted that there is no imbibition of substance, but only that the application of that other body doth dispose and invite the metal to another posture of parts, than of itself it would have taken.
After the incorporation of metals by simple colliquefaction, for the better discovery of the nature and consents and dissents of metals, it would be like
wise tried by incorporating of their dissolutions. What metals being dissolved in strong waters will incorporate well together, and what not? Which is to be inquired particularly, as it was in colliquefactions.
There is to be observed in those dissolutions which will not easily incorporate, what the effects are: as the bullition; the precipitation to the bottom; the ejaculation towards the top; the suspension in the midst: and the like.
Note, that the dissents of the menstrual or strong waters may hinder the incorporation, as well as the dissents of the metals themselves; therefore where the menstrua are the same, and yet the incorporation followeth not, you may conclude the dissent is in the metals; but where the menstrua are several, not so certain.
Dr. MevereFs answer to the foregoing questions, concerning the compounding, incorporating, or union of metals and minerals.
Gold will incorporate with silver in any proportion. Plin. lib. xxxiii. cap. 4.—"Omni auro inest argentum vario pondere; alibi dena, alibi nona, alibi octava parte—Ubicunque quinta argenti portio invenitur, electrum vocatur." The body remains fixt, solid, and coloured, according to the proportion of the two metals.
Gold with quicksilver easily mixeth, but the product is imperfectly fixed; and so are all other metals incorporate with mercury.
Gold incorporates with lead in,any proportion.
Gold incorporates with copper in any proportion, the common allay.
Gold incorporates with brass in any proportion. And what is said of copper is true of brass, in the union of other metals.
Gold will not incorporate with iron.
Gold incorporates with tin, the ancient allay, Isa. i. 25.
What was said of gold and quicksilver, may be said of quicksilver and the rest of metals.
Silver with lead in any proportion.
Silver incorporates with copper. Pliny mentions such a mixture for triumphales statute, lib. xxxiii. 9. "Miscentur argento, tertia pars reris Cyprii tenuissimi, quod coronarium vocant, et sulphuris vivi quantum argenti." The same is true of brass.
Silver incorporates not with iron. Wherefore I wonder at that which Pliny hath, lib. xxxiii. 9. "Miscuit denario triumvir Antonins ferrum." And what is said of this is true of the rest; for iron incorporated with none of them.
Silver mixes with tin.
Lead incorporates with copper. Such a mixture was the pot metal whereof Pliny speaks, lib. xxxiv. 9. "Ternis ant qnaternis libris plumbi argentarii in centenas sris additis."
Lead incorporates with tin. The mixture of these two in equal proportions, is that which was anciently called " plumbum argentarium," Plin. lib. xxxiv. 17.
Copper incorporates with tin. Of such a mixture were the mirrors of the Romans. Plin. " Atque ut omnia de speculis peragantur hoc loco, optima apud majores erant Brundusina, slanno et a?re mistis." Lib. xxxiii. 9.
Compound metals now in use.
t. Fine tin. The mixture is thus: pure tin a thousand pounds, temper fifty pounds, glass of tin three pounds.
2. Coarse pewter is made of fine tin and lead. Temper is thus made: the dross of pure tin, four pounds and a half; copper, half a pound.
3. Brass is made of copper and calaminaris.
4. Bell-metal. Copper, a thousand pounds; tin from three hundred to two hundred pounds j brass, a hundred and fifty pounds.
5. Pot-metal, copper and lead.
6. White alchemy is made of pan-brass one pound, and arsenicum three ounces.
7. Red alchemy is made of copper and auripigment
There be divers imperfect minerals, which will incorporate with the metals: being indeed metals inwardly, but clothed with earths and stones: as pyritis, calaminaris, misy, chalcitis, sory, vitriolum.
Metals incorporate not with glass, except they be brought into the form of glass.
Metals dissolved. The dissolution of gold and silver disagree, so that in their mixture there is great ebullition, darkness, and in the end a precipitation of black powder.
The mixture of gold and mercury agree.
Gold agrees wilh iron. In a word, the dissolution of mercury and iron agree with all the rest.
Silver and copper disagree, and so do silver and lead. Silver and tin agree.
The second letter of the cross-row, touching the separation of metals and minerals.
Separation is of three sorts; the first is, the separating of the pure metal from the ore or dross, which we call refining. The second is, the drawing one metal or mineral out of another, which we call extracting. The third is, the separating of any metal into its original or materia prima, or element, or call them what you will; which work w-e will call principiation.
I. For refining, we are to inquire of it according to the several metals j as gold, silver, &c. Incidentally we are to inquire of the first stone, or ore, or spar, or marcasite of metals severally, and what kind of bodies they are, and of the degrees of richness. Also we are to inquire of the means of separating, whether by fire, parting waters, or otherwise. Also for the manner of refining, you are to see how you can multiply the heat, or hasten the opening, and so save the charge in the fining.
The means of this in three manners; that is to say, in the blast of the fire; in the manner of the furnace, to multiply heat by union and reflexion; and by some additament, or medicines which will help the bodies to open them the soone .
Note, the quickening of the blast, and the multiplying of the heat in the furnace, may be the same for all metals; but the additaments must be several,
according to the nature of the metals. Note again, that if you think that multiplying of the additaments in the same proportion that you multiply the ore, the work will follow, you may be deceived: for quantity in the passive will add more resistance, than the same quantity in the active will add force.
2. For extracting, you are to inquire what metals contain others, and likewise what not; as lead, silver; copper, silver, &c.
Note, although the charge of extraction should exceed the worth, yet that is not the matter: for at least it will discover nature and possibility, the other may be thought on afterwards.
We are likewise to inquire, what the differences are of those metals which contain more or less other metals, and how that agrees with the poorness or richness of the metals or ore in themselves. As the lead that contains most silver is accounted to be more brittle, and yet otherwise poorer in itself.
3. For principiation, I cannot affirm whether there be any such thing or not; and I think the chemists make too much ado about it: but howsoever it be, be it solution or extraction, or a kind of conversion by the fire; it is diligently to be inquired, what salts, sulphur, vitriol, mercury, or the like simple bodies are to be found in the several metals, and in what quantity.
Dr. MeverePs answers to the foregoing questions, touching the separations of metals and minerals.
1. For the means of separating. After that the ore is washed, or cleansed from the earth, there is nothing simply necessary, save only a wind furnace well framed, narrow above and at the hearth, in shape oval, sufficiently fed with charcoal and ore, in convenient proportions.
For additions in this first separation, I have observed none; the dross the mineral brings being sufficient. The refiners of iron observe, that that iron-stone is hardest to melt which is fullest of metal, and that easiest which hath most dross. But in lead and tin the contrary is noted. Yet in melting of metals, when they have been calcined formerly by fire, or strong waters, there is good use of additaments, as of borax, tartar, armoniac, and salt-petre.
2. In extracting of metals. Note, that lead and tin contain silver. Lead and silver contain gold. Iron contains brass. Silver is best separated from lead by the test. So gold from silver. Yet the best way for that is aqua regia.
3. For principiation. I can truly and boldly affirm, that there are no such principals as sal, sulphur, and mercury, which can be separated from any perfect metals. For every part so separated, may easily be reduced into perfect metal without substitution of that, or those principles which chemists imagine to be wanting. As suppose you take the salt of lead; this salt, or as some name it, sulphur, may be turned into perfect lead, by melting it with the like quantity of lead which contains principles only for itself.
I acknowledge that there is quicksilver and brimstone found in the imperfect minerals: but those