Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Smelting techniques
(979 words)

To be able to turn ores into metals, chains of chemical and physical processes have to be initiated and mastered so that they can be reproduced with assurance. Until well into the 18th century, however, the necessary chemical and physical knowledge was only partially available. Measuring devices and procedures were objectifiable only to a very limited degree. Temperatures could not be measured precisely but only estimated. Only the gold and silver content of ores, intermediate products of smelting, and artifacts (especially coins) could be determined with some accuracy…

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Bartels, Christoph, “Smelting techniques”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_029577>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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