Item Details

Silver by Fire, Silver by Mercury: A Chemical History of Silver Refining in New Spain and Mexico, 16th to 19th Centuries

by Saul Guerrero
Format
Book
Published
Leiden ; Boston : Brill, [2017]
Language
English
Series
European Expansion and Indigenous Response
ISBN
9789004343825, 9004343822
Summary
In 'Silver by Fire, Silver by Mercury: A Chemical History of Silver Refining in New Spain and Mexico, 16c to 19c', Saul Guerrero combines historical research with geology and chemistry to refute the current prevailing narrative of a primitive effort dominated by mercury and its copious emissions to the air. Based on quantitative historical data, visual records and geochemical fundamentals, Guerrero analyses the chemical and economic reasons why two refining processes had to share production, creating along the way major innovations in the chemical recipes, milling equipment, mercury recycling practice, and industrial architecture and operations. Their main environmental impact was lead fume and the depletion of woodlands from smelting, and the transformation of mercury into calomel during the 'patio' process.
Description
xxviii, 440 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 25 cm.
Notes
  • Based on author's doctoral thesis, McGill University (Montréal, Québec), 2015.
  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 399-421) and index.
Series Statement
European expansion and indigenous response, 1873-8974 ; volume 25
European expansion and indigenous response ; v. 25. 1873-8974
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

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    a| xxviii, 440 pages : b| illustrations (some color), maps ; c| 25 cm.
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    a| text b| txt 2| rdacontent
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    a| European expansion and indigenous response, x| 1873-8974 ; v| volume 25
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    a| Based on author's doctoral thesis, McGill University (Montréal, Québec), 2015.
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    a| Includes bibliographical references (pages 399-421) and index.
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    a| In 'Silver by Fire, Silver by Mercury: A Chemical History of Silver Refining in New Spain and Mexico, 16c to 19c', Saul Guerrero combines historical research with geology and chemistry to refute the current prevailing narrative of a primitive effort dominated by mercury and its copious emissions to the air. Based on quantitative historical data, visual records and geochemical fundamentals, Guerrero analyses the chemical and economic reasons why two refining processes had to share production, creating along the way major innovations in the chemical recipes, milling equipment, mercury recycling practice, and industrial architecture and operations. Their main environmental impact was lead fume and the depletion of woodlands from smelting, and the transformation of mercury into calomel during the 'patio' process.
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    a| Silver x| Refining z| Mexico x| History y| 16th century.
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    a| Silver x| Refining z| Mexico x| History y| 17th century.
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    a| Silver x| Refining z| Mexico x| History y| 18th century.
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    a| Silver x| Refining z| Mexico x| History y| 19th century.
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    a| Silver z| Mexico x| Metallurgy x| History.
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    a| Metals x| Refining x| History.
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    a| Extraction (Chemistry)
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    i| Online version: a| Guerrero, Saúl (Saúl José). t| Silver by fire, silver by mercury. d| Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2017 z| 9789004343832 w| (DLC) 2017032359
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    a| European expansion and indigenous response ; v| v. 25. x| 1873-8974
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