C1556
 (1560)

A. Toothed drum which is on the upright axle. B. Horizontal axle. C. Drum which is made of rundles. D. Wheel near it. E. Drum made of hubs. F. Brake. G. Oscillating beam. H. Short beam I. Hook.

Artist:

Georgius Agricola (1494 - 1555)

Rare woodcut from De Re Metallica printed in 1560, which was the the most famous study on all aspects of mining and metallurgy, and one of the first technological books of modern times. The fifth machine is partly like the … Read Full Description

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S/N: DRME-125–183981
(C073)
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Full Title:

A. Toothed drum which is on the upright axle. B. Horizontal axle. C. Drum which is made of rundles. D. Wheel near it. E. Drum made of hubs. F. Brake. G. Oscillating beam. H. Short beam I. Hook.

Date:

C1556
 (1560)

Artist:

Georgius Agricola (1494 - 1555)

Engraver:

Hans Rudolf Manuel Deutsch 
(fl.1525 – 
1572)

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Woodcut

Image Size: 

140mm 
x 235mm

Frame Size: 

135mm 
x 130mm
AUTHENTICITY
A. Toothed drum which is on the upright axle. B. Horizontal axle. C. Drum which is made of rundles. D. Wheel near it. E. Drum made of hubs. F. Brake. G. Oscillating beam. H. Short beam  I. Hook. - Antique Print from 1556

Genuine antique
dated:

1560

Description:

Rare woodcut from De Re Metallica printed in 1560, which was the the most famous study on all aspects of mining and metallurgy, and one of the first technological books of modern times.

The fifth machine is partly like the whim, and partly like the third rag and chain pump, which draws water by balls when turned by horse power, as I will explain a little later. Like this pump, it is turned by horse power and has two axles, namely, an upright one-about whose lower end, which descends into an underground chamber, there is a toothed drum-and a horizontal one, around which there is a drum made of rundles. It has indeed two drums around its horizontal axle, similar to those of the big machine, but smaller, because it draws buckets from a shaft almost two hundred and forty feet deep. One drum is made of hubs to which cleats are fixed, and the other is made of rundles; and near the latter is a wheel two feet deep, measured on all sides around the axle, and one foot wide; and against this impinges a brake, which holds the whim when occasion demands that it be stopped. This is necessary when the hide buckets are emptied after being drawn up full of rock fragments or earth, or as often as water is poured out of buckets similarly drawn up; for this machine not only raises dry loads, but also wet ones, just like the other four machines which I have already described. By this also, timbers fastened on to its winding-chain are let down into a shaft. The brake is made of a piece of wood one foot thick and half a foot long, projecting from a timber that is suspended by a chain from one end of a beam which oscillates on an iron pin, this in turn being supported in the claws of an upright post; and from the other end of this oscillating beam a long timber is suspended by a chain, and from this long timber again a short beam is suspended. A workman sits on the short beam when the machine needs to be stopped, and lowers it; he then inserts a plank or small stick so that the two timbers are held down and cannot be raised. In this way the brake is raised, and seizing the drum, presses it so tightly that sparks often fly from it; the suspended timber to which the short beam is attached, has several holes in which the chain is fixed, so that it may be raised as much as is convenient. Above this wheel there are boards to prevent the water from dripping down and wetting it, for if it becomes wet the brake will not grip the machine so well. Near the other drum is a pin from which hangs a chain, in the last link of which there is an iron hook three feet long; a ring is fixed to the bottom of the bucket, and this hook, being inserted into it, holds the bucket back so that the water may be poured out or the fragments of rock emptied.

BOOK VI – This book is devoted to description of winding, ventilating & pumping machinery and the tools used in mining.

Biography:

Georgius Agricola (1494-1555)

Agricola was a German Catholic, scholar and scientist. Known as “the father of mineralogy“, he was born at Glauchau in Saxony. His birth name was Georg Pawer (Bauer) and Agricola is the Latinised version of his name, by which he was known his entire adult life. Agricola, studied at Leipzig, Bologna and Padua and became town physician of the mining centre of Joachimsthal in Bohemia and physician at Chemnitz in Saxony from 1534 until his death. Living in mining regions all his life made it possible for him to study mining practices first hand and these direct observations made this series particularly valuable and effective.

The De Re Metallica embraces everything connected with the mining industry and metallurgical processes, including administration, prospecting, the duties of officials and companies and the manufacture of glass, sulphur and alum. The magnificent woodcut illustrations by Hans Rudolf Manuel Deutsch illustrate the different processes involved in mining and include mechanical engineering details such as the use of water-power, hauling, pumps, ventilation, blowing of furnaces and transport of ores.

Agricola made an important contribution to physical geology. He recognized the influence of water and wind on the shaping of the landscape and gave a clear account of of the order of the strata he saw in the mines. Writing on the origin of mountains, he descrivbes the eroding action of water as their cause with a perspicacity much in advance of his time.

The De Re Metallica was frequently reprinted and is said to have reached China in the seventeenth century. Interest in it was revived in the eighteenth century by Abraham Gottlieb Werner, and in 1912 it was translated into English by Herbert Hoover, afterwards President of the United States.

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