Smelting of Lead Ores in Reverberatory Furnaces as Performed in Great Britain
Authors: Coste and Perdonnet
Editor: Den Ouden
This book offers an integral English translation of the original French text in the Annales des Mines, Tome VII, 1e Livre, pp. 14-72 plus Plate I. It covers both primary smelting of lead ores (in reverberatories) and the reworking of smelting slags (in slag hearths).
Two large sections of the book describe and compare the smelting and slag reworking processes as observed in smelters in Lea (Derbyshire), Holywell (N. Wales), Alston Moor (Cumberland), Grassington (Yorkshire) and Redruth (Cornwall). The construction of the reverberatories and hearths is described and illustrated quite extensively. Furthermore, details are given of raw materials used, of the operation of the plant, and of output and metal losses. The comparison of these British smelters enables the authors to formulate a general "theory", i.e., a survey of combined "best practice" and its results.
The third section of the book places the British lead smelting industry and its methods in a larger, European context. The processes employed on the Continent, at that time, either employed reverberatories (France and Austria) or shaft furnaces (France, Belgium and Germany). After concise descriptions of the various Continental methods and after surveying input/output data for the various processes, the British reverberatory methods are compared with the Continental processes, as to: lead losses, fuel consumption, throughput time and labour. No direct cost comparisons are given, even though throughout the text much information on costs (particularly of fuel and labour) is given.
Part of our Metallurgical Reprint Series
a reverberatory furnace used at Grassington