Reference numberCLP/9i/22
TitlePaper, 'A brief relation of some things observable in a subterraneal fire, that now is in an upper coal mine betwixt Benwel and Fenham near Newcastle Upon Tyne, with some philosophical reflections thereupon' by unknown author
Date17th century
DescriptionThe fire has burned for 40 years, since people took residence in the caves of the mine during the plague. Believing the products of the fire to be uninvestgated the author and his brethren collected materials from the top and sides of the mine's subterranean chimneys. Paper conveys their observations of the 'flowers of brimstone' which are sometimes accompanied by 'salarmoniack' [sal ammoniac, ammonium chloride]. They assert that the brimstone is formed from marchasite [macasite] or lapis pyrites not coal, that the sal armoniack is a volatile salt formed by the clay soot mixing with sulphur vitriol or allum, that an alumino-vitriolous spirit is formed in the calx of the allum slate, and that marchasite is the cause of all 'vitrioline fountains' or spars. Marchasite is found in proximity to the Knarsbrough and German spars for example. Mentions famous case of vitrioline water being consumed regularly from a source in Newcastle without serious side effects. List of salts sent to the Society attached.

Subject: Mineralogy / Chemistry
Physical descriptionInk on paper
Access statusOpen
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