A History of Technology by Charles Singer et al (eds)

By Charles Singer et al (eds)

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A ll have fla t T h e first necessity for a mine was the heads to receive blows from a hammer, (a), says Agri­ cola, 'is in daily u se', (b ) is 'to shatter the hardest shaft, from the bottom o f which, when a veins’ , (c), (o) and (e) are iron wedges, (f ) shows the reasonably promising vein was reached, method o f hafting (a ) and (b ). (a) is about 23 cm long. 1556. more or less horizontal passages were driven (figure i i ) . T h e section o f the shaft was normally about 3 x 1 m . Most shafts were comparatively shallow, but in the Bermannus Agricola mentions that ‘at Schneeberg from which so much wealth was taken within our memory one has reached 200 paces [in depth]’ ; when his interlocutor exclaims at this he replies that at Kuttenberg there are shafts more than 500 paces deep [25].

It is composed o f several pum ps, which do not, like those last described, go down the shaft together, but o f which one is below the other, for i f there are three, as is generally the case, the lower one lifts the water o f the sump and pours it into the first tank; the second pump lifts it again from that tank into a second tank, and the third pump lifts it into the drain o f the tunnel. A w e ig h ts co u ld b e ra ise d o r lo w e re d b y th e u se o f horses (fig u re 17). A n a m u s in g illu stratio n sh ow s a h o rs e -d r a w n sle d g e a n d a team o f d o g s w ith p a ck -sa d d le s (figu re 18 ); a n o th er sh o w s a p a ir o f go ats tu rn in g a trea d m ill.

The mheels mere probably turned by treadndlls. ( R i ^ t ) A single mheel, part o f a Portuguese series, in elevation and plan. Diam eter 5 m, givm g a lift o f y -j m. ) century a j j . F iC U U 4. M ap shaming the positions o f Roman mines in Europe. mining and quarrying, the Greek love o f science can be seen showing through the severely practical Roman aims (figure 4). Greek furnaces occasionally, and doubtless at first accidentally, produced cast iron. ) tells that one ‘Theodorus o f Samos was the first to discover how to pour [or melt] iron and make statues o f it’ [9].

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