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The Limits of MatterChemistry, Mining, and Enlightenment$
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Hjalmar Fors

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226194998

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226195049.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 30 May 2020

Chymists in the Mining Business

Chymists in the Mining Business

Chapter:
(p.43) 3 Chymists in the Mining Business
Source:
The Limits of Matter
Author(s):

Hjalmar Fors

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226195049.003.0003

This chapter begins with an introduction of late seventeenth century chymistry, and shows how actors in the Holy Roman Empire and the European North perceived it as economically oriented and useful activity. It introduces the environment of the Swedish Bureau of Mines, and presents the story of how transmutative chymistry was established and came to flourish there. Central to these developments was an active circulation of knowledge about crafts and chymistry between Sweden and the mining areas of the Holy Roman Empire, in particular Saxony. It came about through an active policy on part of the Bureau, and through the joint effort of Urban Hiärne and his closest disciple Erich Odhelius. Here it is also described how transmutative chymistry came to be cast away on the grounds of the accumulated evidence for its lack of utility.

Keywords:   Swedish Bureau of Mines, Bergskollegium, artisanal knowledge, chemistry, alchemy, chymistry

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