Copper alloys and compositions in 1848

Commemorative copper alloy plaque/pavement cover, Albion Yard, former site of copper and other metal smiths, near King's Cross, London.

Commemorative copper alloy plaque/pavement cover, Albion Yard, former site of copper and other metal smiths, near King’s Cross, London.

The Mining Almanack of 1849, compiled by Henry English is a fount of information and trivia helpful to those interested in historical metallurgy as well as those curious about the operation and output of mines.

Here is a list of alloys and compositions which contained copper. Of the 21 alloys listed 14 contain copper.

Perhaps our histories of the copper industry are too simplistic when we only look at copper ore and metal ‘output’. The sheer variety of materials and products copper transformed is mind blowing. There follows a post which lists alloys used in other types of products such as candelabras and bells for mantle clocks.  Continue reading

Cornish copper production by parish

…hardly a patch of Cornwall was not touched by copper mining

In appendix IV of D.B. Barton’s A History of Copper Mining in Cornwall and Devon (1961) the author presents a table of copper ore and copper production by each parish in Cornwall and west Devon between 1815 and 1905. It remains the classic work on Cornish copper mining.

Barton compiled it from statistics published in the Memoirs of the Geological Survey on Copper Ores of Cornwall and Devon. I have taken the liberty to transcribe the table and reproduce it here and compile a bar graph to illustrate the data and allow comparison. I intend to map this data too for a more visual representation of Cornish copper producing areas. The results may surprise you. Continue reading