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"What the Papers Said"

"What the Papers Said"

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Publications & Research "What the Papers Said"

Shropshire, January 1858

Shropshire, January 1858


Colliery Guardian, 9th January 1858
The Formation of Sulphate of Zinc in Blast Furnaces

THE formation of sulphate of zinc inside blast furnaces, as mentioned in my last, is by no means confined to furnaces where the Ulverstone ore is used, complaints, I have since ascertained, are made by managers of other works, where that mineral has never been employed. Where “white flat” ironstone has been freely used, I find there is a disposition to attribute it to that; but in one furnace I am acquainted with, where the white flat is neither used nor found on the estate, the same obstruction has been met with- The ore found generally throughout the Shropshire coalfield is Penneystone - It is generally used in connexion with others, and is by far the most important member of the Shropshire carboniferous series.

Almost every other nodule of that ore contains a central substance, a coprolite or a fossil plant or shell. And nothing is more common than to find surrounding it, or filling up the cavities of the structure, a portion of blende. This is, no doubt, the source from whence the greater portion is derived. Still, all the ores, more or less, are found to possess the same features- The only way, therefore, to solve the difficulty, will be the adoption of some chemical means whereby the substance thus set at liberty in smelting may be carried off in combination with the gases while they escape from the tunnel. The reason why this accumulation is more rapid and more noticed now than formerly, is that the quantity of ore consumed has increased at least three-fold. It is quite within recollection when sixty tons per week was reckoned an extraordinary make of iron. Now, we have furnaces making 160 tons of No- 1 best forge metal, and the furnace just blown out for repair at Hollinswood made, I believe, 202 tons of iron per week. Orders at the Coalbrookdale Works are by no means equal to what they have been, but the proprietors continue operations as usual, working to stock.


A very fine structure is just now advancing towards completion, containing a suite of rooms designed to answer all the purposes of library, laboratory, reading-room, news-room, &c , suited to a Mechanics’ Institution built by the proprietors. A drawing-school has been estimated, and also a music-class.

On Tuesday evening last, the members, chiefly young men engaged as moulders- fitters, and designers, were privileged to hear an admirable lecture on the Fine Arts, in relation to their modern means and requirements, by George Wallis, Esq., head master of the Birmingham School of Art. The lecturer first showed the rise and progress of art among the ancients, pointed out its distinguishing features, and dwelt at some length upon the positions, that in manufacturing, reference should always be had to the use for which an article is designed, the material of which it is to be composed, and the means by which it is to be produced.

Submitted by Steve Dewhirst

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