Vannoccio Biringuccio's Pirotechnica
(1540) and Agricola's De Re Metallica (1556) both cover
some late period ways of either charcoal and/ or saltpeter.
Saltpeter was made with a mixture of lime, ashes, and nitrogen
bearing manures which were leached like ashes were for lye and
then boiled down until the liquid dropped out saltpeter crystals.
I haven't followed the web trails recently
presented here but I question (but don't discredit) some of the
simpler methods presented. Saltpeter is one of those alchemical
processes I am wishing to do and I have made quicklime and have
manure from my old barn which await processing as well as a
stock of ashes. I have not had quicklime or time as of yet to do
On 10/8/2013 11:25 PM, john heitman wrote:
[log in to unmask]"
Gerald, not for OUR period. Can document it to the
Revolutionary War. But only because I haven't bothered to look
further (mainly because I haven't had reason.)