By Charles Singer et al (eds)
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Extra info for A History of Technology
32 IV . U T IL IZ A T IO N 33 O F IR O N A N D S T E E L In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the craftsman’s knowledge was still far in advance o f theory, and apart from the few great treatises already mentioned, the writings o f purely practical men— mint-masters, locksmiths, jewellers, gunfounders, and the like— give the best insight into the metallurgical equipment and methods o f the time. This is especially so for iron and steel, though the new use o f cast iron was one o f the few real innovations o f the period.
Editions H ippocrate, Paris. 1948. H intze, K. ’ T hiem e, Leipzig. 1934. Jacob, H. E. ‘Six Thousand Years o f Bread’ (trans. from G erm an by R. W inston and C lara W inston). , New York. 1944. G erm an ed. , Rohwolt Verlag, Hamburg. 1954. M aurizio, a . ’ Springer, Berlin. 1933. V errill, -A. H. ’ Page, Boston. 1937. METALLURGY AND ASSAYING C Y R I L S T A N L E Y S M I T H A N D R. J . F O R B E S * I. R E N A IS S A N C E W R IT E R S O N M E T A L L U R G Y spectacular new discoveries or inventions modified metallurgical m e^ods during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Armies made away with much cast iron; thus T illy fired 12 000 to 18 000 cannon-balls into Magdeburg every day during his siege o f the town in 1631. In Britain deforestation was particularly severe, leading to the decline o f the iron industry in the Weald and the Forest o f Dean. N ew furnaces were built in south Wales, Shropshire, and the midlands, and a powerful incentive was pro vided for the discovery o f a method o f smelting with coal, for which several ineffective patents were taken out in the seventeenth century.