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Materials and Expertise in Early Modern EuropeBetween Market and Laboratory$
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Ursula Klein Klein and E. C. Spary

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226439686

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226439709.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see http://www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 November 2017

The Production of Silver, Copper, and Lead in the Harz Mountains from Late Medieval Times to the Onset of Industrialization

The Production of Silver, Copper, and Lead in the Harz Mountains from Late Medieval Times to the Onset of Industrialization

Chapter:
(p.71) 4 The Production of Silver, Copper, and Lead in the Harz Mountains from Late Medieval Times to the Onset of Industrialization
Source:
Materials and Expertise in Early Modern Europe
Author(s):

Christoph Bartels

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226439709.003.0004

This article focuses on the production of silver, copper, and lead in the Harz Mountains of Germany from late medieval times to the onset of industrialization. It offers a detailed account of innovations in mining and metallurgy in the region and highlights the metallurgical ventures of many ingenious experts who are not well known in the history of science, but who contributed to the development of early modern sciences such as geology, chemistry, and mineralogy. This group of experts included Lazarus Ercker, Heinrich Albert von dem Busch, Claus von Gotha, Daniel Flach, Caspar Illing, Carl Zumbe, Christoph Sander, and Georg Winterschmidt. This article argues that mining and metallurgy during the early modern period relied heavily on land surveying, stratigraphy, ore prospecting, assaying, data collection, and mathematical data processing, in addition to the writing of technical instructions and treatises. This article also looks at the development of smelting works at Goslar during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and the introduction of gunpowder blasting as a mining innovation.

Keywords:   silver, copper, lead, Harz Mountains, Germany, mining, metallurgy, smelting, experts, gunpowder blasting

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