In about 1556, a book that purported to tell ALL about metals was
written by Georgius Agricola. It is "De Re Metalica" , something like
"of the metals".
I think it is one of the most important and entertaining early books
covering the history of metals; prospecting, mining, purifying, and
working. It was translated into english in 1912, I think. It was
reprinted in paper back in the 1980's, I think and that's when I bought
my copy. Now and then lately I have been looking for used copies and
they do appear on abebooks.com from time to time and are available now
at Amazon.com. Prices, IIRC, run from maybe $25 or $40 up to almost
$100. During my search tonight, I found this online link:
Personally, at the current Amazon.com price of $26.22, I'd rather have
a paper copy than going through the online version.
There's a pretty good section on iron, from mining to smelting to
wrought iron and to working it. I'd say that section should be
mandatory reading for all blacksmiths.
11 years ago