Natural history of common salt


Material Information

Natural history of common salt : its manufacture, appearance, uses, and dangers, in various parts of the world
Physical Description:
vii, 358 p. : ill. ; 14 cm.
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge ( Publisher )
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Salt -- History -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Salt -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Salt -- Physiological effect -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Baldwin -- 1850   ( lcsh )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
ltqf - AAA1750
ltuf - ALH9151
oclc - 38720675
alephbibnum - 002238631
System ID:

Full Text






AurauM Va v u, DAeGUe, Dn VAIoI

PArs or ram WORLD.


0.3& AT TR3 0BB308OT!0,
0eA am 3 sTImT, u NcoemU In namie,
DT AlL 008BM.LB3.



pr' ." .

L ClAT, 'l'N UUS 33n3 31.

, I


U nAm L-Ahndat &ppy of Slt Min mo put of the Worl
-Eftsew of decent Supply-Chemiel Proerti of Slt-
fmu of C(rytal-Umr of St M a Artid of Too--bI
Um in earti Sttes o Diuse--heory of Salig Meat-Ml
u-d in B diios CaremMe amog the Jew-.Sa tat h
mat its smo-The coenot of slt-Ae.t lo
Mntio ofSalt-ne ValieyofSaat-l, i SyboleofStrilit--
Ihmple fr the Pmp of Soath Amria-Um of al in
Apicai and Hoidalture-Cu of its L7ure-DMrtUei
of bd by nme of Sp--Sopmemt ommeli with SM-
Sit bdmwthe t . . . 1

CAnm IL-S.p of d&at i GOrt lBitain-Th CheMin
Spirg ad Mioe ord s-Blt-Pnitm d Notic o-.
Xhod of Working the ESdt IMbi-DMraiption of a ist to
MuisanPt-Mbehod of working the rim-Boin to Barine-
Detiioa of the Crywa of [arl-CommeIa Variets of Sdl
-t.8vem or lImp Sat-Como Salt-large Grainma ak md
IBMe Genme or Fier Salt-Suday Sdt-Pan Sdatek or
Sada-hglaih cmpndv with ordranSat-meod od o
Daty o Salt- prte ofBritish alt . . 1

COwuam L-Depoit of bk4mlb ina mui e-DPidle of
the ine at Vli.a-VIU t to the 8Wsber t 1eM--alt Minr
o the Trol-Salt in the Steppes of South Baea-reling .
Oler-Salt Mimes of Tramqylrva-- t at Cardona in Spda-
look.altin -- A Peia- lt D rte-BRok-&Slt i Afki 69

Cauna IV.--priagd of wek Brine in Inland Distrioam-loMo.
mial Method of obtaining Slt-Method patied in Budi--
Thorn-Wal-aope Houm--Method adopted in Sao-n-Lo, of
Saltbyl rporion-4tDew-BoiHlnthe rine-MarinePlt
and Animal urbwSlt Wo -&alt Spings of Timy 137

CwuPT V.-S-lt-Spri in the United State of Ameriu -Salt-
Ijob-Salt-Plint Boring Sat-WeDll--A dote--Sa-Wel of
China-Method of Borin-Wds of nlammabe Ga aMe to
evaponrathe Brine- tWell in Drham-In Java 1687

CunmR VL-Salt lske-The Dead Se-Aoeount of the United
States edition to-Thf each the Sea of Tiberia-Dement of
the Jordan-tlt View of the Dad Se-Proomeding. of the
ZxpeditiBon di twty-thre day' reidene on the Dad Sea-
Animals and Plate found on the Shoree-Temperatore-WVter
ofthe Se-Depth of the Se-Charater ofthe Sonery-Minels
--Blriue-Piar of Salt-Mi-Opp e Heat-irooco-
Atmospherie Befhtion-Deusity of the Wate-The "Apple of.
sodo"-4Sppoeed Site of the Guilty CitieHeith of the
spedition-Vuit to Knak-Completion of the BSurey-Slt
laike of Addliso Bnd-Of Aihek-dat Ikte in Hiudktan-ln
S . . . I

CeAy th L-abo-aw-b edhor kJ al d 4oi
-bb Oa p-aImw 0.1mM., Umit-i M ho -b. I
..ams o(-Um.m ImIh-NauhgL e.-I so Emit
Isa.n. in JI m- N usor-BBdr obaimd in r.1. b
Iaig Sam-WaRw--badt i Tumsay- ltrAs d Bp-
tiBh iBrBmd al . .. .

Cunn VIIL--8 in land-Sl Gumad-Tho Sat lw-

MkPrmu ..-.a t. Tc....hi M
XlU *dir--M d W lto (w---N-i d d- n 1- k1-
inarmy Cmmaittb-Ciug mey te Oogmp-Dbssmy d
kika.r . . . . .

Cufam IM-Um td to CmiwT-Um liM in thu I'
ad the Gdor--4Lrios Mab l ldat-hmaMl --mmy
to ir i U las Aiad-laommeM km the Umr d aM.
Watr ia StBom rBaW nsmbn of Ba i& hm mmis
---oo h . . . .. .




A=UDAnT SUPPLT O1 SAt W a0 o PAMS Or W WOBL- m Ogm--
o0 OmBEAIM-W 0 1 oIA A A AX oAIrB Of 700oD.-1 v
B0M1W A 4N0mA-oU 0 SA N11 AGuo0 I3m Am mOMIWL-
1' orPAT-SUPIMRmION oo00onr WINrm SA-uWNtw 3o1W
fm Sam.

ix the providential arrangements of the world, the
absolute neoemaries of life are either supplied with
unsparing abundance, or mny be procured with
moderate exertion. Air, light, and water as
neoesary to our existence, and are supplied


without exertion on our prt; salt is a necessary
ingredient of our food, and is stored up in im-
mense quantities under various forms. Not only
do the waters of the ocean contain common salt as
their chief saline ingredient, but in countries far
removed from the ocean, vast stores of rock-alt, or
al-gem, as it is called, are in many places trea-
sured up at a moderate depth beneath the surface
of the earth. "Had not the beneficent providence
of the Creator laid up these stores of salt within
the bowels of the earth, the distance of inland
countries from the sea would have rendered this
article of prime and daily necessity unattainable
to a large portion of mankind; but under the
existing dispensation, the presence of mineral
salt in strata which are dispersed generally over
the interior of our continents and large islands,
is a source of health and daily enjoyment to
the inhabitants of almost every region of the
It hath pleased the Author of nature to pro-
vide mankind with ample stores of this most useful
and necessary commodity. It is dispersed over
all nature; it is treasured up in the bowels of the
Beklkad: Bridpwater Tretis

.8I~-~m~-~rr~;*~arbr I ~a~ar

earth; it impregnates the ocean; it dIesad in
rains; it fertilizes the soil; it aries in vegetable
and from them is conveyed into animals; so that
it may well be esteemed the universal condiment
of nature; friendly and beneficent to all creatures
endowed with life, whether it be vegetative or
The abundance of this valuable condiment
among ourselves, renders it difficult for us to
realize the condition of those people in some parts
of the interior of a vast continent like Africa,
who, not having the knowledge and skill to search
for and procure a supply of salt in their own coun-
try, are either deprived of it altogether, or obtain
a scanty portion from time to time by a long and
costly land carriage. In such a case, salt is far
more expensive than the purest white sugar in
Europe, and is held in greater esteem even by
children. When the mother is engaged in pre-
paring food, the children will stand around her
wistfully looking out for a morsel of salt, just as
in England little silent gazers are attracted around
their mother while making sweetened dishes, in
hopes of obtaining a bit of sugar. In the inte-
SBronnru, o th Art of making commBn slt. 148.

4 31130T5 O or WM SUYLT.

rior countries," ay Mungo Park, the greatest
of all luxuries is salt. It would appear strange to
an European to see a child suck a piece of rook-
salt as if it were sugar. This, however, I have
frequently seen, although in the inland parts the
poorer class of inhabitants are so very rarely
indulged with this precious article, that to sy a
man eats salt with his victuals, is the same as
saying he is a rich ma. I have myself suffered
great inconvenience from the scarcity of this article.
The long use of vegetable food creates so painful
a longing for salt, that no words can sufficiently
describe it."* Another traveller states that
among the Abyssinians, good housekeeping con-
sists chiefly in the economical management of their
stock of salt; and among other notable modes of
making a little do duty for a considerable quantity,
besides affording an additional stimulant to the
palate, is the system of combining it with pepper.
The Abyssinian suffer considerably in their health
from the difficulty of obtaining salt.t When Mr.
Burchell was exploring the interior of Southern
Africa, he and his party occasionally suffered from
STravels in the Inteior of Alem, voL L p. 280.
SJohnston: Tvels nl Abmyinka.

cous n or "WO

the ant of this article. On one ooasomM he me
a caravan of Koru who had a quantity which they
had procured from a alt-pond; they consented to
exchange about half a gallon for a knife. On
another occasion this excellent traveller had to
send to a considerable distance for a supply.
"Those," he says, who have never been in want
of salt, will scarcely think this small quantity
(about a gallon) worth a journey of ninety miles,
or that when obtained it should appear to us a
valuable and important acquisition."*
The chemical name of common salt is cklori f
odium, its two constituents being united in the
proportion of 36 parts by weight of chlorine, to
24 of the metal sodium. Chlorine is a gas of a
greenish yellow colour (whence its name, from
XX)ipk, green), of a pungent smell, very irritating
and injurious when respired. When largely
diluted with air, it is very useful as a purifer,
destroying as it does all contagious and infectious
matter and bad odours. Sodium is the metallic
basis of the alkali soda. It is a soft malleble
metal, yielding to the pressure of the finger and
thumb; it is lighter than water, has a silvery
Tnnls ia Set AtiM. 182-4.

V COCieOm r oI r BALiT

lustre, which becomes instantly tarnished on ex-
posure to the air. If touched with a drop of
water, or thrown upon ice, it burns with a whitish
yellow flame, and produces soda. If a piece of
sodium be heated and plunged into a bottle con-
taining chlorine, the metal burns vividly, unites with
the chlorine in the proportion of 24 parts of the
metal to 36 of the gas, forming chloride of sodium,
or common salt. This is a striking instance of
the power of chemical combination to produce
from two bodies whose properties are entirely
different from each other, and so dangerous that
great caution is required in making use of them,
a third body whose properties in no way resemble
those of its constituents, and instead of being
poisonous and dangerous, eminently qualify it to
become an indispensable article of food to man
and beast.
Common salt may also be formed artificially by
adding muriatic acid* to soda. The hydrogen of
the acid unites with the oxygen of the soda to
form water, and the chlorine of the acid with

This ald, formerly called prif qflt, s now more properly
called ipdroadlotc a ad nam which iadletes its oenmtl
composliio, nam, hydrg sad chlorine.

the sodium of the soda to form chloride o
sodium. From this method of forming common
salt, the term muriate ofoda was formerly applied
SBut however formed, whether artiically by the
chemist, or by the hand of nature, whether ob-
tained from the evaporation of sea-water, or dug
out of the bowels of the earth, pure chloride of
sodium has everywhere the same properties. It
may be fused at a red heat without the separation
of its two powerful elements; on being cooled
again, it concretes into a hard white mass, but it
is still common salt; at a bright red heat it sub-
limes in the air, and tinges flame of a blue colour,
but does not decompose. It is insoluble in pure
alcohol, and dissolves in small quantities in the
watery portion of proof spirit* It dissolves in
water with this curious peculiarity, that hot water
scarcely dissolves a larger portion than cold water;
so that crystals are not deposited during the cool-
ing of a solution of salt, as is the case with the
solution of most other salts; crystals of salt are
therefore only or chiefly obtained during the
By pro f pir is uml mant alcohol diluted with ts
own blk of rter.


evaporation of the water. According to Gay
Lussac, 100 parts of water at 58 dissolve 36 parts
of salt; at 140', 37 parts, and at 225', which is
the boiling point of a saturated solution, 100 parts
of water dissolve 40.38 of salt. At 32" water
dissolves rather more salt than at 60'. According
to Fuchs, pure chloride of sodium is equally solu-
ble at all temperatures, 100 parts of water dis-
solving 37 of salt. The ice which forms at low
temperatures in salt water is itself free from salt,
a property taken advantage of in some cold coun-
tries in the manufacture of salt, as will be noticed
Pure salt does not alter by exposure to the air,
but as it generally contains minute portions of
other salts which absorb moisture from the air,
common salt is generally more or less deliques-
cent.* The form of the crystal of common salt is
a solid cube, if obtained by slow spontaneous
evaporation; but when procured at a boiling heat
from the surface of a solution, the crystals are

8lts, whieh by expose to the air lose thir tr aasy
and crumble down into a whit* powder, are mid to be q4owsct;
but those mlt whikh attrat moist from the air, and thus
disolve away, are sid to be ddigieut.

nemAuALLI oir. 9

hollow four-sided pyramids.* The best method
of taking an easy lemon in crystallization is that
described by Profesor Brande: t-Put a tea-
spoonful of common salt, nitre, Glauber salt, and
Epsom salt, into separate wine-glms: fill them
up with water, and occasionally stir their contents
to help the solution: when dissolved, take a drop
of the dear liquor with a glass rod out of each of
the wine-glasses, and place them side by side upon
a strip of clean glass, which may be placed upon a
chimney-piece, or somewhere very gently warmed.
As the water evaporates the salts will crystallize,
and we shall observe the following figures appro-
priate to each: the common salt exhibits oubm;
the Epsom sat,founr-idd prim ; the nitre, r iaed
isa-sidd prims; the Glauber salt, ri-.iddprim.
These figures will be seen to most advantage
through a small microscope.
Salt serves some important and essential uses
in the animal economy. Its agreeable taste causes
it to be relished by the people of all nations, from
the most refined to the most barbarous; but the

SThe form and structure of the crystal an described at
pae I.
t MMal of Cbauislry, vol. L p. ,


quantity taken varies in different individuals. It
is the only saline condiment essential to health,
" The existence of a greater or less appetite for it
in all individuals, appears to me to show that this
substance must serve some more important uses in
the animal economy than that of merely gratify-
ing the palate. In considering these, we observe,
in the irt place, that it is an essential constituent
of the blood, which fluid probably owes some of
its essential properties to its saline matter. Now,
as the blood is constantly losing part of its saline
particles by the secretions, the tears, the bile, &c.,
the daily loss is repaired by the employment of
chloride of sodium as a condiment. In the scond
place, the free hydrochloric acid found in the
stomach, and which forms an essential constituent
of the gastric juice, is obviously derived from the
salt taken with our food. Thirdly, the soda of the
blood and some of the secretions is doubtless
obtained from the decomposition in the system, of
common salt These are some (probably only a
portion) of the uses which chloride of sodium serves
in the animal economy. It deserves especial notice
that while salt is thus essential to health, the con-
tinued use of salted provisions is injurious. But

mnw Or aDImMAeu

their noxious quality is probably to be referred
rather to the meat, whose physical and chemical
qualities are altered, than to the presence of the
salt; though we can readily conceive that an ex-
cessive use of salt, or of any other article of food,
will be followed by injurious consequences. How-
ever relishing salted fish (as anchovies, herrings,
cod, &c.) may be, they are difficult of digestion."*
Dr. Stephens has shown that in certain states
of disease, as cholera, there is a deficiency of the
saline matter in the blood, which led him to pre-
scribe frequent doses of carbonate of soda, chloride
ofsodium and chlorate of potash for cholera patient&
It is said that persons who take little or no salt
with their food, are very subject to intestinal
worms. Lord Somerville, in his address to the
Board of Agriculture, states that the ancient laws
of Holland "ordained men to be kept on bread
alone, unmixed with salt, as the severest punish-
ment that could be inflicted upon them in their
moist climate; the effect was horrible: these
wretched criminals are said to have been devoured
by worms, engendered in their own stomaobs."
Mr. Marshall relates the case of a lady who had a
Perd: xaterls edis.


natural aversion to salt; she was most dreadfully
affected with worms during the whole of her
The antiseptic* properties of salt are by no
means well, understood. It is usual to ascribe
them to the drying influence of the salt. A dry
bladder," says Liebig, "remains more or less dry in
a saturated solution of common salt. The solution
runs off its surface in the same manner that water
runs from a plate of glass besmeared with tallow.
Fresh flesh overwhich salt has been strewed is found
after twenty-fourhours swimming in brine, although
not a drop of water has been added. The water
has been yielded by the muscular fibre itself, and
having dissolved the salt in immediate contact
with it, and thereby lost the power of penetrating
animal substances, it has on this account separated
from the flesh. The water still retained by the
flesh contains a proportionally small quantity of
salt, having that degree of dilution at which a
saline fluid is capable of penetrating animal sub-
stances. This property of animal tissues is taken
advantage of in domestic economy for the
purpose of removing so much water from meat
pposd to pnenhation


that a sufficient quantity is not left to enable it
to enter into putrefaction."
Salt, a an article of food, is so important and
necessary to the welfare of man, that, in many
parts of the eacred writings, we find this mineral
used in holy ceremonies. Its use was solemnly
enjoined by the Levitical law:-" Every oblation
of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt;
neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant
of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering:
with all thine offerings thou shalt offer alt"
(Lev. ii. 13.) According to some of the rabbi-
nical commentators, the salt used in te sacrifice
implied that purity of mind and sincerity of
feeling necessary in all worshippers who desired
to offer an acceptable sacrifice to Jehovah. Others
asset, that the salt was an emblem of the fidelity
and inoorruption of the covenant which God had
established with his chosen people. Our Saviour
alludes to this custom in Mark iz. 49:-"Every
one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice
shall be salted with salt."
The salt used in the temple was rock-salt; and
considerable quantities were stored up in the tem-
ple for use. The rock-salt, in its natural state


was mingled with clay or sad, and, being ex-
posed to the air, some of the salt absorbed moisture,
and thus wasted away. The salt being thus
deprived of its savour, was scattered over the
pavement, to render it less slippery in wet weather,
or it was thrown out to mend the roads. Our
Saviour alludes to this when he says to his dis-
ciples-" Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the
salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be
salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to
be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."
(Matt. v. 13.)
MaundiBll, in his narrative of a journey to the
Euphrates, says, that in the Valley of Salt, about
four hours' journey from Aleppo, there is a small
precipice occasioned by the continual taking away
of the salt. I broke a piece of it off, of which
the part exposed to the sun and rain and air,
though it had the sparkling of salt, yet it had per-
fectly lost its savour: the innermost part, which
had been connected with the rock, retained its
savour, as I found by proof."
Valpy, in a note on the passage in Matthew
just quoted, says, Livy calls Greece Salgetium
or the' salt of all the nations;' on account of the in-

uW A m vi m AAa. 14
tellectual improvements they learned from then.
In the same sense, our Saviour tells the disciples,
and, indeed, all Christians, 'Ye are or re to be,
the salt of the earth'-the means of preventing or
curing the growth of that corruption which prevails
in it, and of seasoning men's minds with wisdom
and grace."
Federal engagements among eastern nations
were usually ratified by salt. The Bedouin
robber will not violate the laws of hospitality to a
guest who has once tasted of his salt; the guest
is also bound by reciprocal obligations. The fol-
lowing is a practical illustration of the strength of
this bond;-" Yaakoob, the son of Eb-Leys Es-
Suffar, having adopted a predatory life, excavated
a passage one night into the palace of Dirhem,
the governor of Seestan; and after he had made
up a convenient bale of gold and jewels, and the
most costly stuffs, was proceeding to carry it off,
when he happened, in the dark, to strike his foot
against something hard on the floor. Thinking it
might be a jewel of some sort or other, he picked
it up, and put it to his tongue; and, to his equal
mortiAcation and astonishment, found it to be .
piece of rock-salt; for, having thus tasted the salt


of the owner, his avarice gave way to his respect
for the laws of hospitality, and, throwing down
his precious booty, he left it behind him, and
withdrew, empty-handed, to his habitation. The
treasurer of Dirhem repairing on the next day,
according to custom, to inspect his charge, was
equally surprised and alarmed at observing that a
great part of the treasure had been removed; but
on examining the packages that lay on the floor,
his astonishment was not less to find that not a
single article had been conveyed away. The sin-
gularity of the circumstance induced him to report
it immediately to his master; and the latter causing
it to be proclaimed through the city, that the
author of this proceeding had his free pardon,
further announced that on repairing to the palace,
he would be distinguished by the most encourag-
ing marks of favour." It is further stated that
Yaskoob availed himself of this invitation, relying
upon the promise, which was fulfilled to him, and
from this period he gradually rose in power, until
he became the founder of a dynasty."*
A "covenant of salt" is mentioned in the sacred
writings. Thus, in Numb. xviii. 19--" All the
Price: Mahommeda Hstory.


heave-offring of the holy things, whih the
children of Israel offer unto the Lord, have I
given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with
thee, by a statue for ever: it is a covenant of alt
for ever before the Lord unto thee and thy seed
with thee" And again, "Ought ye not to know
that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom
over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to
his sons by a covenant of salt ?" (2 Chron. xiii 5.)
Some commentators explain this covenant by
asserting that salt is an emblem of perpetuity,
especially as there is in the East a kind of alt so
hard as to be used for money;* but others suppose
that the covenant of salt refers to an agreement
in which salt is used as a token of confirmation.
Baron du Tott gives an example of this. He
says:-" Moldovanji Pacha was desirous of an
acquaintance with me, and seeming to regret that
his business would not permit him to stay long,
he departed, promising in a short time to return.
I had already attended him half-way down stairs,
when, stopping and turning briskly to one of my
domestics who followed me, 'Bring me directly,'
said he, 'some bread and salt.' I was not les
Se pae 185.

18 STMmKoCAL UMn or sLT.

surprised at this fancy than at the haste which
was made to obey him. What he requested was
brought; when, taking a little salt between his
fingers, and putting it with a mysterious air upon
a piece of bread, he ate it with a devout gravity,
assuring me that I might now rely on him. I
soon procured an explanation of this significant
ceremony; but this same man, *hen he became
vizier, was tempted to violate the oath taken in
my favour. Yet, if this solemn contract be not
always religiously observed, it serves at least to
moderate the spirit of vengeance so natural to the
Turks." The Baron adds in a note, The Turks
think it the blackest ingratitude to forget the man
from whom they have received food, which is
signified by the bread and salt in this ceremony."
Calmet states that salt is also the symbol of
fidelity due from servants and officers to those
who maintain them. Thus, the governors of the
provinces beyond the Euphrates writing to the
King Artaxerxes tell him, "Because we have
maintenance from the king's palace," &c. (Ezra
iv. 14,) which in the Chaldee is, "Because we are
salted with the salt of the palace," &c.
There are many other interesting passages in

sOwm *IE =LT.

Scripture connected with alt. The pophet
Elisha being desired to sweeten the waters of the
fountain of Jericho, required a new vesel to be
brought to him, and salt therein. (2 Kings ii. 20.)
He threw this salt into the spring and said
(ver. 21), "Thus saith the Lord, I have healed
these waters; there shall not be from thence any
more death or barren land."
The Valley of Salt" is placed by some writers
to the south of the Dead Sea towards Idumes,
because it is said (2 Sam. viii. 13) that David
smote the Syrians in the Valley of Salt, and also
that Abishai (1 Chron. xviii. 12) "slew of the
Edomites in the Valley of Salt eighteen thousand."
See also the title to Psalm Ix.; 2 Kings xiv. 7;
2 Chron. xxv. 11.
Salt is also the symbol of barrenness and ste-
rility. When Abimelech took the city of Shechem
he destroyed it, and sowed the place with salt,
that it might always remain a desert. (Judges ix.
46.) Zephaniah (ii. 9) threatens the Moabites and
the Ammonites from the Lord, "Surely Moab
shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as
Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and salt-
pits, and a perpetual desolation." In the description


of the wild ss in Job xxxix. 6, or xxxix. 9, of
Wemyss's translation, the barren land, or salt
land, or soil is equivalent to a desert.
"I gave him the desert for a habitation,
The salt soil for a place of encampment.
He scorneth the tumult of the city,
He heareth not the clamour of the driver;
He travereth the mountain a his pasturage,
He hunteth after every green shoot."
Although salt in moderate quantities is useful
as a fertilizer, yet, in those places where it forms
the chief ingredient in the soil, a sterile desert is
the result. There is a striking example of this
in those immense treeless plains of America called
the Pampas, which extend from 22' S. lat. to the
most southern limits of the American continent,
and terminate on the straits of Magelhaene, near
62' S. lat., thus occupying from north to south
a length of 2,000 miles, and varying from
240 to 450 miles in breadth. The salt occurs in
an immense plain, known by the name of Las
SaliJn, or the Salt Desert. It is situated in the
northern portion of the Pampas, and extends
about 200 miles from east to west, and 140 miles
from north to south, so that it occupies an area
about equal to that of Ireland. The only traveller

SALT m 3S *
who has described this desert, is Mr. Fremh.
He msys-" The morning was ushered in by a
cloudy mist, through which the red sun gradually
rose, partially dispersing the upper vapours, while
others appeared to resist his influence, and attracted
to the earth, remained dense and motionless near
its surface. As we entered the Salinas, the scene
became novel and striking. The wide plain, level
and smooth as a floor, and snow-white with super-
ficial salt, stretched its treeless and shrubles
waste on all sides to the horizon, unbroken by
any object, save a few stunted, straggling, and
leafess alkaline bushes, the black and crooked
branches of which, contrasting with the whiteness
of the soil, were here and there hid, and inter*
sected by a broad, compact and very thin stratum
of mist, whose under surface was slightly elevated
from the soil, while its upper was below the tops
of the bushes, thus permitting only their stems
and tops to be recognized. This was the mreoe.
Over head rolled thick and black masses of trmas-
parent white vapour, which, except at intervals
hid the sun without greatly intercepting his light;
and when his rays shot between these amsses,
they were reflected from the space on which they


fell by the saline surface of the soil, with a darling
effulgence. Such was the appearance of the vast
salt plains, at the time we crossed them, in the
middle of April. Great changes, however, are
produced by a variation of circumstances. I have,
myself, observed the most astounding change in
the appearance of a portion of the plain, after
sudden rain, succeeded by a hot sun. In a region
where a slight saline efflorescence is ordinarily
seen, the ground became almost snow-white from
the rapid crystallization of saline matter, and
reflecting the rays of a fierce sun, rendered it
most difficult-to keep the sight fixed on the road-
track. The landscape appeared one blaze of re-
flected light; trees and shrubs seemed on fire, and
the whole scene might have been taken for the land
of the genii; while the hot north wind, called the
oada, rose by degrees, and in squalls to a gale,
with a close heat, like that of a furnace. In this
instance nothing in the shape of a cloud or mist
was present." On approaching the Andes Mr.
French found the plain partly overgrown with
wood: but the most remarkable feature of this
region is the great scarcity of water and the total
absence of grasses. All these countries, which re

ditinguiahed by the uame of weumsw s, have a very
dry air, and are characterized. by great aridn .
In some parts of them, rain has not fallen for
eighteen months. Dews are entirely unknown.
The slight humidity afforded by the general state
of the atmosphere, appears to be drawn off towards
the Salina, and absorbed by its saline soil, which
thus exhausts the atmospheric moisture so as to
render unproductive a soil otherwise favourable
for the growth of grass. The Salinas are almost
the only places in which, under ordinary circum-
stances, any moisture is apparent, and in these
vegetation becomes extinguished by.the excess of
salt, with the exception of a few scattered saline
and alkaline shrubs. The town of Santiago del
Estero, on the banks of the Bio Doloe, in the
vicinity of the Salinas, is frequently exposed to
great heat, from the hot wind which blows from
the salt district. It blisters the skin on the
face and hands, even of those who remain in-
doors. Leaves fall scorched from the trees, and
the bark of several of them becomes cracked and
shrivelled, just as if the heat of a re had been
applied. Even at night the looks, bolts, and keys
of apartments, are,too hot to be retained in the

a or SAL

hand. The description given by the inhabi.
tats of their sufferings and feelings under the
dread of suffocation is quite appalling.*
Such are the effects of an excess of salt over a
large district. In places where salt is not naturally
formed, it has been used in agriculture from a
very early period. Cato, 150 years B.c. com-
mends salt for cattle, bay, straw, kc., as does
Virgil in his Gowgice. The early German farmers
knew its value for sheep; and it has been
employed by the Spanish shepherds from the
earliest ages. In 1570, Conrad Heresbach
commends it as being a certain prevention of the
" murrain or rotte." In 1658, Sir Hugh Platt
speaks of salt as a fertilizer. During several
successive reigns, however, the duty on salt
rendered it impossible for the English farmer to
become practically acquainted with its value in
agricultural operations The duty originated as
a war-tax in the ninth year of the reign of
William III. and was not removed until the year
1823. The price of salt in consequence of the
duty, was raised from 6d. a bushel to more than
20s. Salt, as a manure, was therefore known
WitntUe. Ou' iod of Phdal o Gemno y.

ar m r 4

only in the traditions of the English fumrs.
" Through these they learned that it was formerly
used to kill wrms and to destroy weeds; that it
cleansed fallows, increased the produce of light
arable soils, and was good to sweeten gras.
These reported advantages were rendered more
probable by certain facts that had been forced a
it were upon their attention. The gardener was
well aware that the brine of the pickling tube
when poured over his heaps of weeds, not only
killed every weed, every seed, and every grub,
but that these heaps were then converted into so
many parcels of the most fertilizing manure; the
good effects of which, especially upon potatoes and
carrots, were very decided. It was well known
too, that a single grain of salt placed upon an
earth-worm speedily destroyed it; that if brine
were poured upon the lawn, all the earth-worms
were immediately ejected from that spot; and
that if it were sprinkled about over a portion of
the grass, to this salted portion all the deer, sheep,
or the horses of the park constantly repaired in
preference to any other part of the field."*
The value of salt in agricultural operations will
Johaba: fwmaws celopdia

s6 Ien or SALT
be noticed more fully in a subsequent chapter;
but it may here be stated, that like many other
substances, it has suffered in general estimation
by the unqualified terms in which its merits have
been occasionally extolled. More than a century
ago, Dr. Brownrigg maintained that the whole
kingdom might be enriched by the application of
common salt to the soil, and since his time, its use
has been at intervals recommended in terms of
almost equal praise. But these recommendations
have led sanguine men to make large trials of salt
on their lands, which have occasionally ended in
disappointment; and hence, the use of salt has
repeatedly fallen into undeserved neglect.
Common salt may be detected in nearly all
soils; it is found in the ashes of all plants, but
especially in the ashes of marine plants; and is
sometimes borne with the spray of the sea to great
distances inland, when the winds are strong and
the waves high and broken. On some rooky
shores, the spray may be seen occasionally moving
up the little coves and inlets in the form of a
distinct mist driving before the wind; and the
saline matter has been known to traverse nearly
half the breadth of our island, before it has been

m AemloOOLTO. If

entirely deposited from the air. It is impossible
to calculate how much of the saline matter of see
water may in this way be spread over the surface
of a sea-girt land like ours. It is certain, how-
ever, that places nearer the sea will receive a
greater portion than those inland, and that those
coasts on which sea-winds prevail, will have a
larger supply of salt than those in which land-
winds are more common.
In those case in which the use of common salt
has failed to benefit the land in particular loca-
lities, it must be evident that the soil in these
places already contained a natural supply of this
compound, large enough to meet the wants of the
crop which grew upon it. The facts above
stated as to the influence of the wind in top-dres-
ing the exposed ooat-line of a country with a
solution of salt, may serve as an important guide,
both in reference to the places in which it may be
expected to benefit the land, and the casee of it
failing to do so in particular district.*
Some curious superstitions connected with salt
have been observed in some parts of Great Britain.
Among the common people in Scotland a new
JdohA : ImetaUs oA Am ltand Ob.itr. .

sIUmnP rrsom AND

house, or one which a new tenant was about to
enter, was always sprinkled with salt by way of
inducing luck. A plate of salt was regularly
deposited on the breast of a corpse after it was
laid out-a custom which was probably intended
to have the effect of a charm in warding off evil
influences. According to Moreein, salt not being
liable to putrefaction, and preserving things
seasoned with it from decay, it was the emblem of
eternity and immortality. In reference to this
symbolical explanation," says Mr. Brand, "how
beautiful is that expression applied to the righteous,
SYe are the salt of the earth.'" Dr. Campbell,
also, in reference to the custom in Ireland, of
placing a plate of salt over the heart of a deceased
person, supposes that the salt was considered the
emblem of the incorruptible part, the body itself
being the type of corruption. Mr. Pennant states,
that on the death of a Highlander, the friends
placed on the breast of the deceased, a wooden
platter, containing a small quantity of salt and
earth, separate and unmixed; the earth an
emblem of the corruptible body-the salt an
emblem of the immortal spirit. Herriok expresses
the same idea in these lines:-

cosSMM CMomaWI D WaT sA. T.
nT bosdy o thA d i e h, wahl, wh ame,
Te du see m sa in pt oAses."
Another astom with reference to salt, formerly our own, and probably aso in other
countries. Me f rank and country gentlemen
were accustomed to dine at the sme table with
their dependents and servants. The master of the
house and his immediate relations, sat at the upper
end, at the oruille or high table which was a little
elevated above the floor. The persons of greatest
consequence sat next, and all along, down the
sides towards the bottom, the rank of the guests
declined by well considered gradations, the servants
being found at the bottom. At a certain part of
the table was placed a huge salt-oellar, whih
formed a boundary linebetween the superior and
the inferiors. Sitting above the salt was the mark
of a gentleman, or of a man of good connexios;
while, to sit beneath it indicated a humble station
in society. This distinction also extended to the
fare; the wine frequently irculating only above
the salt-oellar, and the dishes below it being bf a
coer kind than those near the head of the


mUIL. 01 UIUS. A- 0w &rrza- 11m11 OIP.IUm *U

My--rIAL oi ""I a uBTWAL O "la lll TAKME O
MI --OMP Aa-10UHor 1-KEROMM" VY-,4Pm O1-03 or
lPf-E0 o0 W03WM 10 lau"-.ou M Mn*-I

A 0 oa Oo W Lm o I oN sa-- MIOn a a m usM.

GIAT BriTAm, which is po richly supplid th
almost every variety of mineral wealth, b fir
nided with brine-prings and exteeive beds of
femil lt. The principal brine-pring are
stuated in the county of Chesire, in the valsys
through which the Weaver and the small rivulet
the Wheelook have their course. The springs do
not appeal to be strongly impregnated with lt
nea the ourme at the Peckferton Hill, nor until
the river approach Nantwich. It is probable,
however, that brine does exist higher p, beae,
in the neighbourhood of Bickley, a minki of the



ground took place in the year 1657, and the cavity
became filled with brine. Leland relates a similar
occurrence. He states, that "about a mile from
Combermere Abbey, part of a hill, with trees upon
it, suddenly sunk down, and became covered with
salt-water; of which the abbot being informed,
caused it to be wrought; but the proprietors of
the wiches* compounding with him, he left ofl
working." He adds, that "this salt pool still con'
tinued in his time, but that no care was taken,
of it."
A few miles below Bickley, in Baddiley, and
one or two adjoining townships, salt springs arel
met with. Brinefjld is the name given to several
of the enclosures in Baddiley. When the river
takes a northerly direction at Audlem, brine is
met with on each side of it, and may be found oi
sinking near its banks all the way from thence t
Nantwich. Between these two places is a farn
still called Briyipita Farm, where salt was former
The Sxon word, Se or wick, wick, ce. cignife the bend
River, or of the me-oot; a bay; a town upon sueh. dd
ick in Chhire derives its name from being the middlemort
the wio, or Mlt-toWU, in ferernce to Norawick and NVa
wick, or Nantwic, which ae nearly equidiktat from it in
direction sgnigted b the repective name.

os cassma.
manufacured. Numerous springs occur at Nant-
wich, where salt is manufactured. Brine is met
with at several places in descending the river, but
it is very weak, from admixture with fresh water.
At Wevenham, brine has been found and was
worked as early as the time of Wiliiam the Con-
queror; but below this place it does not appear to
have been discovered. In the course of the
Wheelock, brine is first met with at Lawton;
then three or four miles lower at Roughwood;
again at Wheelock, and lastly, at Middlewich,
where the Wheelock falls into the Dane. No
brine has been found in the valley of the Dane
between Middlewich and Northwich; but higher
up this stream, some of the enclosures are named
BriFd, Bri kill, &c., whence it is supposed
that brine was formerly discovered there.
The brine-springs occur at various depths. At
Nantwich, the brine is met with about ten or
twelve yards from the surface, and in sinking for
fresh water, caution is required to avoid the brine.
At Winsford, it is generally necessary to sink
from ffty-five to sixty yards before it is met with,
and then it is found in great abundance, and it
rises to within twelve yards of the surface. At


Northwich it is found at a depth of fromthirty to
forty yards, and its level is about twenty yards
from the surface. At Wilton, Anderton, and
Bampton, the brine is found at depths varying from
forty to sixty-five yards. The springs along the
Wheelock generally occur at greater depths, and
are not so copious, some of them being occasionally
pumped dry.
It is probable that at a very early period salt
was procured from such of the brine-springs as
found their way to the surface. We learn from
Doomsday Book, that in the time of Edward the
Confessor, brine-pits were wrought at all the
wiches in Cheshire; but at this period, and several
centuries later, the art of making salt seems to
have been very imperfectly understood, and
the quantity manufactured was inconsiderable.
Henry VI. being informed that a new and more
productive method of making salt had been in-
vented in the Low Countries, invited John de
Sheidame, a gentleman of Zealand, with sixty
persons in his company, to come to England to
instruct his subjects in the method, promising
them protection and encouragement. The resl
of this invitation is not stated; but it does no

appear to have been sucoesel, for we And the
Boyal Society, soon after its institution, directing
their attention to the improvement of the art of
manufacturing white salt, and publishing towards
the close of the seventeenth century, several
modes of making it; or rather, reports of the
methods then in use, than suggestions or improve-
ments. The salt made in England was still oan-
sidered inferior to foreign salt; and that which
was manufactured in Cheshire, was confined to
the supply of its own consumption, and that of a
few neighboring counties.
About the commencement of the last century,
the attention of the House of Commons was
directed to the supposed inferiority of the English
manufacture; and they granted a reward to Mr.
Lowndes, a Cheshire gentleman, for certain im-
provements in the manufacture made by him.
In 1748, Dr. Brownrigg published a treatise,
entitled, The Art of making Common Salt, as
now practised in most parts of the world, with
several improvements proposed in that art, for the
use of the British Dominion." Some of these
improvements were adopted with good effect, and
others engrafted thereon. The river Weaver was


also made navigable for vessels of considerable
burthen from Northwich and Winsford to
Liverpool; whereby the facilities for distributing
Cheshire salt became greatly increased, and the
manufacture gradually rose into importance; salt
was not only distributed over the country from
this source, but considerable quantities were
The brine-springs, as we have seen, appear to
have been worked from the earliest periods in the
history of this country, but the beds of fossil or
rock-salt, from which springs originated, were not
discovered until the year 1670. These were first
found about thirty-four yards from the surface,
while searching for coal in Marbury, about a mile
to the north of Northwich. The salt was discovered
in a bed thirty yards thick, and below it was a
stratum of indurated lay. This discovery led to
other attempts to find it; and on sinking a shaft
any where within half-a-mile of Marbury, it was
met with at about the same distance from the
surface, if the access to it was not prevented by
brine or fresh water.
No other rock-salt was discovered till the year
1779, when, in searching for brine near Lawton,


it was met with, about forty-two yards from the
surface. This stratum was only four feet in thick-
ness. Below it was a bed of indurated dlay, ten
yards thick; and in penetrating this, a second
stratum of rock-salt, twelve feet in thickness, was
found. On continuing the sinking, another stra-
tum of clay, fifteen yards thick, was passed
through; and below this was a third stratum of
rock-salt, which was sunk into to the depth of
twenty-four yards. The lowest fourteen yards,
being the purest; these only were worked.
Hitherto no attempts had been made to find a
lower stratum of rook-salt in the neighbourhood
of Northwich; for as the one first met with was
so thick, and furnished an abundant supply, there
was no inducement to sink deeper. The fear of
meeting with springs at a lower depth, which
might impede the working of the pits, prevented
the owners from sinking deeper. But as no in-
convenience of this kind had been experienced at
Lawton, where a much purer salt was found, at a
greater depth, than near the surface, the owners
of one of the mines near Northwich were led, in
1781, to sink deeper, and to pass through the bed
of indurated lay, below the rook-mst which had


been so long worked. This clay was ten or eleven
yards in thickness, and immediately below it, was
found a second stratum of rock-salt, the upper
portion of which differed but little in purity from
the higher stratum; but on penetrating into it,
from twenty to twenty-five yards, it was found to
be much more pure, and free from earthy admix-
ture. This increased purity, however, was ob-
served for only four or five yards; the shaft was
sunk fourteen yards still lower, but the proportion
of earth was the same as in the upper part of the
stratum. It was, therefore, thought useless to
proceed further. Several other proprietors of
mines in the neighbourhood, also sunk shafts, and
obtained similar results.
In sinking for brine or rock-salt, the strata
passed through, generally consist of clay, and
sulphate of lime, (gypsum,) mixed in various pro-
portions; that of the latter somewhat increasing
as the shaft approaches the brine or rock. The
workmen* call the clay rad, brow, or blue mta
according to its colour; and the sulphate of lime,

The workmen ae called walle, from the aircamutoee of
their rasidn a beak or a m ing iuroud the pit with the rbbiMh
of the work. j


g8 ei at eet.......-

Water ller ......

Book ed *****
B Mk sdt .............
Roek Malt ......*.***.-

oeek alt...........

air reek...........

hlow nd m aal l.
dM am1.

m ital.
hne Metal.
Brown, with elna of lag.

d, mlzed with blue.
Mue, withaplaster.
ard blue fla, hst on rock-head.
B tr lue fla.

Opiin of top mine.

MiNU roek.

enot rek Opmntn t lower mine.
SMMINs r O lM WKAIMN8 seUr usra, o tn arIaIvt waTvua, cIaEUaIa.


they name paider. The strat are in general
lose and compact, allowing very little fresh water
to pas through them. In some places, however,
they are broken and porous, and admit so much
fresh water into the shaft, that whenever this
haggy metal, as the workmen call it, has been met
with, it has been usual to discontinue any attempts
to pass through it. The steam-engine, however,
has been since applied to pump out the water, and
the workmen have succeeded in sinking ahafts
through this porous stratum, through the marl
and clay below it, and so into the beds of rook-
On making a horizontal section of the bed of
rock-salt, various figures may be observed, differ-
ing in form and size, some of them being nearly
circular, others more nearly oval, and a third set
form an irregular pentagon. Some are not more
than two or three feet in diameter, others are
ten or twelve feet. The lines which form the
boundaries of these figures are white, and from
two to six inches wide, and consist of pure rook-
salt without any earthy admixture. The other
portions have earth mixed with the salt in various
proportions, and the effect of the whole reminds j

oMeg ALTm .WL

one of rude moaio work. The following ampt-
ing represents a portion of the roohag of a rock
pit. This disposition is uniformly observed through
the whole thickness of the stratum of rock-salt,
wherever a horizontal section is made.

The division between the lower portion of the
upper bed of rock-salt, and the indurated clay
or stone beneath it, is as exactly defined as that
between the upper portion of it and the earth
above. In passing through this stone, small veins

42 OCLK-bALT xDlM.
of rock-slt are found here and there, nuning in
it in various directions; and whenever a crevice
occurs, this is illed up with rock-Wlt, to which
the clay, and oxide of iron, have given a deep red
tinge. The engraving represents a portion of the
rock taken from the part where it joins the upper
bed of rock-salt.

Rock-salt has occasionally been met with in
other parts of the country, between Middlewich
and Winsford; again, a little lower down the
river than Winsford, in sinking for brine; and also
in boring for coal at Whitley, six or seven mil


below Northwich; and about two miles north of
the Weaver, a bed of rook-alt 'was discovered,
about forty yards from the surface. At none of
these places has it been worked, on account of
their distance from water-carriage; and it is only
from the pits in the neighbourhood of Northwich
that rock-salt is now procured. These are at
present ten or twelve in number, at all of which
the rock is worked in the lower stratum only.
The shafts are usually square, and constructed of
The rock-salt is obtained in masses of consider-
able size, differing in form and purity. They are
separated by the usual operation of blasting, and
with the aid of mechanical instruments Before
extending the workings in any direction, care is
taken to secure a good roofng for the cavity which
is to be formed. In doing this, the men employ
common picks, working horizontally, so as to form
a roofing of the rock, and making this as plane as
possible. From its situation, (a few feet above
the purer part of the stratum,) the rock obtained
during this process is usually of inferior quality,
and is, for the most part, employed in the reSneries.
The depth of the workings from the roofing

44 vmu TO

depends, in great measure, on the nature of the
stratum, and the proportion of it occupied by the
rock of the purer quality; or, as it is termed,
Pnrwsia rook, from the circumstance of its being
largely exported to the shores of the Baltic. The
cavity thus formed presents a striking appearance;
and when illuminated by candles fixed in the rock,
the effect is highly brilliant. In some of the pits
the roof is supported by pillars eight or ten yards
square, which are in general regularly disposed;
others are worked out in aisles. The rock-slt is
raised to the surface by steam power, but horses
are employed underground for conveying the rock
to the bottom of the shaft. The men employed
in working the rock are paid by the ton, and
provide their own tools and gunpowder.*
Sir George Head describes a visit to the Marston
pit at Northwich, which has been worked for a
period of seventy-five years. Having waited,"
he says, "with my conductor a few minutes, till
the engineer had put a little steam on, we both
stepped into a round tub, and, standing upright,
The writer is indebted for most of the breeding details to
Mr. Henry Holland's "OGenr View of the Agrlomltore of

Holding by the chains, were let down very easily.
I cannot express the delight I felt at the scene
around me, which surpassed any thing I had
anticipated; creating those sensations I remember
to have felt when first I read of the pyramids
and catacombs of Egypt. Here was a magni-
ficent chamber, apparently of unlimited extent,
whose flat roof presented an area so great, that
one could not help being astonished at its not
having long since given way. Yet there was no
apparent want of security, it being sound and
durable as if formed of adamant. Here and there
pillars, in size like a clump of bricksin a brick-field,
tendered their support, presenting to the view an
array of objects that broke the vacancy of uniform
space. My idea of the extent was as if an area
equal to the site of Grosvenor Square, was under
cover. In the meantime, the glistening particles
of crystal salt on the walls, and the extreme regu-
larity of the concentric curved lines, traced by the
tools of the workmen, were very remarkable.
Occasionally the mark of the jumper chisel was
observable, where recourse had been had to blasting
the solid rock. I made a few blows against the
side of the mine with one of the heavy pointed

46 vIT To
pickaes in ordinary use, and found it hard
freestone. Underfoot, the whole surface was a
of rock-salt, covered with a thick layer of the
rial, pushed and crumbled to a state that
resembled the powdered ice on a pond that
been cut up by skaters. Experiments have
made by boring to a depth of seventeen yards;
but they have neither perforated the rock-salt, nor
do they at present know the thickness of the
stratum. The height of this excavation is about
fifteen feet, within which space the salt is estimated
as being of the best quality. Above, it is some-
what inferior. I was informed that 35,000 tons of
salt were annually dug out of the different levels,
and that the area of the whole together amounted
to forty-eight statute acres. At one part, there
is a vista of 200 yards in length, which has been
dignified by the name of Regent Street. Here
occasionally pic-nic parties are celebrated; and on
a large table of coarse deal boards were evidences
of a feast of this description, which had taken place
a few months before. An empty jug and a sprig
or two of evergreen lay forlorn and neglected,
while I observed abundant natural tokens of mice,
that had joined in the revelry. These little animals

A a l .R 47
i establish their residese andgroad
hrver men lead the way. At the coal pit at
hen, for instance, they re plentiful at a
of 140 fathoms, being brought there origin-
probably in bundles of horse provender.
ere it possible within this mine, to provide
against the inconvenience of smoke,-there not
being any eficacious outlet for its esape,-I cannot
conceive a place better calculated, with proper
appendages and decorations, to give effect to a
fte on a magnificent scale. As it is, and a
regards light and smoke, people must be content
with a choice, either to have too much of the one,
or too little of the other. Every one who descends
this pit ought to bring a good Bengal light instead
of the preparation vended by the learned chemist
of Northwich. This is a yellow powder, a quantity
of which being placed on the ground, and ignited,
engendered, for a few seconds, a tantalizing glare,
which sank exhausted before it was possible to
take an adequate survey of the objects around.
For ordinary purposes, we had recourse to common
tallow candles. Having wandered a long way
through vast spae, but almost in darkness, we
came again to the foot of the shaft. Previous to

48 mINTUH or wouImo

sending, my guide went a little out of the way,
in order to carry a pail of water to an old horse,
who, as the workmen were absent for the whole
day, was standing by himself in perfect solitude,
and, till we came, without any light at all. Alone
and in darkness, he must, poor fellow! from
necessity live for many hours in the year, and pass
thus neglected a very considerable portion of his
time. He loudly expressed his gratitude for the
water, and I took an opportunity of examining
his condition while he was drinking. I was sur-
prised to find it particularly good; unlike the
flaccid, though fine-coated state of horses in coal
pits, his was that of a firm crest, and perfect health;
a fact I attribute especially to the salubrious effects
of the salt. His stall was comfortable and dry, as
was the whole space below contained in the pit.
I saw no appearance whatever of water during
the whole time I was below."*
The brine was formerly raised in various ways;
fira, by pumps worked by hand; asondly, in a
few situations which admit of the assistance of a
stream of water, a water-wheel was employed;
tMirdly, by hore power; fourtly, as the demand
* "Tor in the Manuaoturlag Dirtriet of Enland la 1M."

TE3 Ruin II I3.

for alt increased, mall windmills were used for
raising the brine; and lasty, steam power has
superseded all other methods of pumping. In
Camden's time the method of raising the brine
was by human labour. He says:-" At North-
wich there is a deep and plentiful brine-pit, with
stairs about it, by which, when the people have
drawn the water in their leather buckets, they
ascend half naked to their troughs, and fll them,
from whence it is conveyed to the wich-houses."
The reservoirs into which the brine is pumped
up are either large ponds formed in clay and
generally lined with brick, capable of containing
the consumption of several weeks, or they are
wooden cisterns pitched within, which will hold a
supply of brine for the consumption of a few days
The brines of the Cheshire springs contain a
large proportion of salt, but they are not always
completely saturated; and, as it is important not
to expend fuel in driving off more water than is
absolutely necessary, it is always an object with the
manufacturer to obtain a fully saturated brine.
This is done by placing a quantity of rock-salt in
the cistern, into which the brine is pumped, and

aAUNG T=n aUnL

allowing the liquor to act upon it until it is
saturated. A strong wooden frame is fixed in
the cistern at about half its depth, upon which
the rock-salt is thrown, and the earthy residuum
is occasionally removed from thence, when all the
salt has been dissolved.
In the evidence given before a Select Committee
of the House of Commons in 1836, Mr. Worth-
ington, a salt manufacturer of Northwich, thus
describes the method of getting to the brine:-
" We get to the spring by sinking a shaft down
to the brine, which is probably a large lake over
the body of the salt. There is usually a strong
flgstone over the brine. In getting down
the shaft to the flag, we form an inner shaft of
smaller dimensions in the first one, and fill the
space between the two shafts with a puddle of
clay, so as to keep what we term fresh water from
mixing with that fully saturated body of brine
which we expect to find below the flag. After
that body of puddle has become solid, the flag is
broken, and usually a large supply of brine flows
up the shaft, driving the workmen and their
buckets before it. This supply of brine has
hitherto been exhaustless. When it has been


necessary to sink a shaft in a different place, it
has been from the circumstance of fresh water
breaking through and mixing with the brine,
thereby making it of no value. The fresh water
being the lightest remains on the surface in the
shaft, and as you pump up one quantity, all the
fresh water in the surrounding ground follows,
and instead of pumping brine, you pump up much
fresh water with it. Fresh water, however, does
not get to the great body of the lake.'
The brine is drawn from the reservoirs into
which it is first pumped, as it is wanted, through
wooden pipes or by troughs, into the evaporating
pans. These are made of wrought-iron, and
contain each from 600 to 1,000 superficial feet.
Their usual form is that of an oblong square, and
their depth from twelve to sixteen inches. There
are three or four fires to each pan. There is usually
a separate pan-hous to each pan. At one end of
this pan-house is the coal-hole, and the chimney
at the other end; along each of the two remaining
sides is a walk ive or six feet wide, and between
these walks and the sides of the pan-house, long
benches four or five feet wide are fixed, on which
the salt is placed in conical baskets to drain, after


it has been taken out of the pan. A wooden
or slated roof is placed over the pan-house,
with openings to allow the steam to pass freely

The process of manufacture in the evaporating
pan, varies according to the kind of salt intended
to be produced. The effect of these variations
will be best understood by first dissecting a crystal
of salt. The natural form of the crystals of pure
chloride of sodium is that of a perfect cube, and
they constantly assume this figure when the .proper


arrangement of their parties has not been inter-
rupted by agitation, or the application of strong
heat. "These cubes exhibit diagonal markings or
strike, but frequently on each side produce squares
parallel to the external surface, gradually de-
creasing inwards; circumstances
which show the vestiges of their
internal structure: for every cube
is composed of six quadrangular
hollow pyramids, joined by their
apices and external surface; each
of these pyramids filled up by others similar, but
gradually decreasing, completes the form. By a
due degree of evaporation it is no difficult matter
to obtain these pyramids separate and distinct; or
six of such, either hollow or more or
less solid, joined together round a
centre. If we examine the hollow
pyramid* of salt farther, we shall
find it composed of four triangles, and each of
these formed of threads parallel to the base;
which threads, upon accurate examination, are
found to be nothing more than series of small
The bmMs uad altitudes of thee littk pyramids ae in general
equl: thus showlg the diapodltlon of the alt to form a cube.


cubes."* The perfect crystallization of the salt
can however take place only under the circum-
stances above mentioned, namely, a freedom from
agitation, and the slow and gradual evaporation of
the water, which holds the salt in solution; and it
is principally on the presence or absence of these
causes, that the variation in the appearance of the
manufactured salt depends.
To effect the evaporation of the water, heat is
applied in various degrees, according to which the
product is the towed or lump-at; common ws; the
large-grainedjaky, and larggrained or fl ery salt.
In making the towed or lump-alt, the brine is
brought to a boiling heat, or 220 Fahr. Crystals
of salt are soon formed on the surface, but these
subside almost immediately to the bottom of the
pan by the agitation of the brine. If taken out
each crystal appears at first sight to be granular
or a little flaky; but on closer examination, it is
found to approach the form of a somewhat irre-
gular quadrangular pyramid. As the evaporation
proceeds, similar crystals form and fall to the bot-
tom. At the end of twelve hours, the greatest
part of the water of the brine has evaporated; that
Berma, Chemnial amp.

1331A3D10 2T% 3LT.

which remains being only enough to cover the slt
at the bottom of the pan. The re awe then
slackened, and the ilt is drawn to the sides of
the pan with iron rakes. The waller then places
a conical wicker-basket or barrow, ma it is called,
within the pan, and having filled this with salt by
means of a small wooden spade,
he leaves it for a short time to
allow the brine to drain into the
pan, and then carries it to one
of the benches at the side, where
the draining is completed. It
is afterwards dried in stoves,
heated by a continuation of the
same flues which have passed
under the evaporating pan. It
loses, in drying, about one-
seventh of its weight. In making
this alt the pan is killed twice in the corse of
twenty-four hours.
On the first application of heat, if the brine
contains any carbonate of lime, the carbonic acid
quits the lime, which is either thrown up to the
surface, when the boiling begins, together with
the earthy and feculent contents of the brine, and


is removed by skimmer; or it subsides to the
bottom of the pan, along with the salt first formed,
and with some portion of the gypsum, and is
raked out in the early part of the process. These
two operations are called clearing the pan: some
of the brines scarcely require them at all, and
others only occasionally. Dr. Henry found these
clearings to consist of, in 480 parts, 384 of chlo-
ride of sodium, 20 of carbonate of lime, and 76 of
sulphate of lime. Circumstances, however, are
continually occurring to vary these proportions
even in the same brine.
In making the common sMa, the pan is filled only
once in twenty-four hours. The brine is first
brought to a boiling heat, as in making stoved
salt, with the double view of bringing it as soon
as possible to a state of saturation, and of more
readily clearing it of its earthy contents. When
these objects have been attained, the fires are
slackened, and the crystallization is carried on,
with the brine heated to 160" or 170" Fahrenheit.
The salt formed in this process is in quadrangular
pyramids, or hoppers, close and compact in tex-
ture, frequently clustered together, and larger or
smaller, according to the temperature employed.


Small cubical crystals will often be intermixed
with and attached to these. The remainder of the
process is similar to that of the stoved salt, except
that after draining in the baskets it is immediately
carried to the store-house, and not afterwards
exposed to heat.
The large-grained flaky salt is conducted at a
temperature of 130 or 140". This salt is some-
what harder than common salt, and approaches
nearer to the natural form of the crystals of
chloride of sodium. The pan is filled once in
forty-eight hours. As salt of this grain is often
made by slackening the fires between Saturday
and Monday, and allowing the crystallization to
proceed more slowly on Sunday, when no work is
done, but only a man kept to prevent the fires
from going out, the salt has hence obtained the
name of S~Bday-ait.
In making the lare-grained or fiAry h alt, the
brine is heated to 100 or 1109 Fahrenheit, so that
the evaporation of the water and the crystalliza-
tion of the salt proceed more slowly than in
making the other kinds; and as no agitation is
produced in the brine at this temperature, the
salt forms in large cubical crystals, seldom, how-


ever, quite perfect. At this temperature, five or
six days are required to evaporate the brine.
In the course of these several processes, various
additions are, or were formerly, made to the brine,
with the view of promoting the separation of any
earthy mixture, or the more ready crystallization
of the salt. Animal jelly and gluten, blood, white
of egg and glue, have been used. These sub-
stances being mixed with the brine, coagulate
with the heat; and in this way entangling the
insoluble matters of the brine gradually rise to
the surface, in the form of a thick scum, which
being removed, the brine is left clear. In the
evidence given before the Parliamentary Com-
mittee, in 1835, it was stated that the use of
these substances had long been discontinued.
At the time of Mr. Holland's Report, in 1810,
butter, or some other oily substance, was generally
added to the brine during the evaporating process,
and after the clearing, to assist the granulation
of the salt, and to make the brine work more
kindly." Its use is as follows:-During the eva-
poration, it frequently happens that the small
crystals of salt which form on the surface of the
brine adhere together, and instead of falling to the


bottom of the pan, form a kind of crut over a
considerable portion of the surface of the brine,
thus impeding the evaporation, and, by conining
the steam, causes the brine beneath to acquire too
high a temperature. When a crust of this kind
forms, the salt-boilers say, that "the pan is set
over." It is somewhat raised above the surface of
the brine, and is usually of an opaque white
colour. Now if a very small portion of butter be
added to the brine in one of the largest pans, it
may be seen in a very few minutes to diffuse itself
over the whole surface, and in its progress to
occasion any crust which may have been formed
on the brine to subside to the bottom of the pan.
At the same time a quantity of steam is observed
to rise; the superabundant heat is carried off, and
the crystallization afterwards proceeds with regu-
Salt-boilers have also been in the habit of adding
alum to their brine when they wished to procure a
hard firm salt, of large grain.
But whatever method is adopted to separate the
impurities of the brine from the salt, they cannot
all be removed from the pan. A portion of these
subside to the bottom, and form an incrustation,


which the workmen call pan-wratck, or scale;
which gradually accumulating together with a
portion of salt mixed with them, it becomes neces-
sary to remove from the pan every three or four
weeks, by picking, that is, by heavy blows with
sharp iron picks. Dr. Henry found in 480 parts
of these pickings 40 of chloride of sodium, 60 of
carbonate of lime, and 380 of sulphate of lime.
These proportions, however, are subject to vari-
ations in different brines. The pan-scratch accu-
mulates most towards the close of the evaporation;
for when there is much salt deposited in the pan,
it forms such a heavy mass at the bottom, that the
water cannot penetrate into it; and hence the
portion which is lowest undergoes a sort of calci-
nation and fusion, which gives it extreme hardness,
and a very strong adhesion to the pan.
It was long supposed that British salt was in-
ferior, as a preserver of animal food, to the salt
procured from France, Spain, Portugal, and-
other warm climates, where it is prepared by the
spontaneous evaporation of sea-water. Hence
large sums of money have been paid every year
to foreign nations, for the supply of an article
which Great Britain possesses, beyond almost any

WITr mr nI al LT.

other country in Europe, the means of drawing
from her own internal resources. Some year
ago, Dr. Henry, the chemist, instituted a careful
inquiry into the subject, feeling how important it
was to ascertain whether this preference of foreign
salt was founded on accurate experience, or was
merely a matter of prejudice; and in the former
case, whether any chemical difference could be
discovered to explain the superiority of the one to
the other.
The result of Dr. Henry's inquiry was, that the
alight differences in chemical composition dis-
covered by him in the numerous specimens of salt
which he analysed, were scarcely sufficient to
account for those properties which are imputed to
them, on the ground of experience. The toved
and jsfery salt, for example, though differing in a
very trivial degree as to the kind or proportions of
their ingredients, are adapted to widely different
uses. Thus the large-grained salt is peculiarly
fitted for the packing of fish and other provisions,
a purpose to which the small-grained salts are
much less suitable. Their different powers, then,
of preserving food, must depend on some mecha-
nical property; and the only obvious one is the

SALT 103 CUIMnG, Nc.

size of the crystals and their degree of compact-
ners and hardness. Quickness of solution, it is
well known, is nearly proportional, all other cir-
cumstances being equal, to the quantity of surface
exposed. And since the surfaces of cubes are as
the squares of their sides, it should follow that
a salt, whose crystals are of a given magnitude,
will dissolve four times more slowly than one
whose cubes are only half the size.
That kind of salt, then, which possesses most
eminently the combined properties of hardness,
compactness, and perfection of crystals, will be
best adapted to the purpose of packing fish and
other provisions, because it will remain perma-
nently between the different layers, or will be
very gradually dissolved by the fluids that exude
from the provisions; thus furnishing a slow but
constant supply of saturated brine. On the other
hand, for the purpose of preparing the pickle, or
of striking the meat, which is done by immersion
in a saturated solution of salt, the smaller-grained
varieties answer equally well; or, on account of
their greater solubility, even better.
The specific gravity of various specimens of
salt, which is probably connected with the mecha-

DTIr on sALT.

nical property of hardness and compaotnes of
crystals, is almost the same in the large-grained
British malt as in that of foreign manufacture.
"If no superiority, then, be claimed for British
salt, as applicable to economical purposes, on
account of the greater degree of chemical purity
which unquestionably belongs to it, it may safely,
I believe, be asserted that the larger-grained
varieties are, as to their mechanical properties,
fully equal to the foreign bay-salt. And the
period, it may be hoped, is not far distant, when a
prejudice (for such, from the result of the investi-
gation, it seems to be) will be done away, which
has long proved injurious to the interests and
prosperity of an important branch of British manu-
facture." *
During the long period when a high duty was
imposed on salt, the collection of this duty formed
an important branch of the Excise department.
The restrictions imposed on the manufacturer, in
order to a proper collection of the duty, were thus
stated by Sir Francis Doyle, chairman of the
Board of Excise, in his evidence before the Par-
liamentary Committee of 1835:-
Dr. Henry's Analyi of wvmrl varties of British and
FPoen Slt--PAiMopkic~i Traawdioe, voL a.


The duty on salt was collected at certain
places, few in number, and where smuggling
existed it was not in the collection of the duty at
those places, the refineries and salt works; but it
was supposed that a good deal of smuggling took
place by the misapplication of salt sent out duty
free for the cure of fish on the coast, and for ex-
portation. The duty was collected in this manner.
The salt made in this country was made in three
different modes; either from natural springs of
brine which exist in Cheshire and other parts of
that neighbourhood, or from the solution of rock-
salt in water, or it was made in some places from
the natural sea-water. The rock-salt raised from
mines was sent under a permit to the different
refineries where it was to be converted into culi-
nary salt, and where it was deposited in warehouses
into which it was weighed by the officer of excise.
When the parties were desirous of dissolving the
rock and making it into culinary salt, the officer
weighed it out to them, on notice to that purpose.
The party then proceeded to dissolve the rock-salt
in water, and afterwards conveyed it into pans,
and applied heat to the solution till the salt con-
tained in it was crystallized and deposited in the
bottom of the pan. When they wished to remove

it from the prs, notice was given to that effect
by the trader to the officer, who attended and saw
the salt taken out of the pans and carried into a
separate warehouse. If the salt was intended for
exportation or for the fisheries, it was carried from
the pans in a coarse and rough state, and put into
a particular warehouse, distinct frorf the warehouse
to which the refined salt intended for home con-
sumption was carried. When put into those ware-
houses for exportation or for the fisheries, the salt
remained there under lock until the trader desired
to deliver it out, when the excise officer attended
and took an account of the quantity delivered out,
and granted a permit; a bond at the same time
was given for its proper application. The permit
specified the port of exportation, if the salt was
to be exported, or the particular fishery if to be
employed in the cure of fish; and the time for
conveyance was limited to what was deemed suffi-
cient for the purpose. The salt intended for
home consumption was conveyed from the pans
into a store where it was further dried and pre-
pared, and it was afterwards stored away in another
warehouse where it remained to be delivered out.
When the trader wished to dispose of this salt

UrPAL or DUTf.

notice was given to the officer, who attended and
took an account of it and charged it with the duty;
a permit was then obtained to accompany the salt.
And with regard to salt made from natural springs
of brine, the brine was in the first instance pumped
up from the pits into large reservoirs, from which
it was conveyed into pans within the salt works,
and the process afterwards was exactly as before
described, and the article taken account of and
permitted in the same manner. With regard to
the salt made from sea-water, the water is run into
large earthen flats, water-tight, placed one rather
lower than the other. It is first collected in the
highest flat, and then conveyed from the one to the
other till it reaches the lowest; and when, by the
intermediate evaporation, it has become a strong
brine, from this it is pumped into the boiling pans
within the salt works, and is afterwards treated in
every respect as the salt before described." The
duty on salt being entirely repealed in the year
1823 these excise regulations of course ceased to
The principal portion of the Cheshire salt, both
fossil and manufactured, is sent down the River
Weaver to Liverpool for distribution and exports-


tion; only a small proportion being conveyed to
other places by canal and land carriage. The
white alt made from the Staffordshire springs is
chiefly exported from Hull, while that from Wor-
cestershire minds an outlet at Gloucester. In the
year 1844, 13,476,884 bushels of rock and white
salt were exported, of which quantity-

Bmias took . .
Demark . . .
P I lif. . . .
Holland . . .
Belgium . .....
wden and Norway . .
GUmany . . .
British North Amerian Colonies.
United States of Amer .
Weter Coast of Afie .. .
New South Wale .. ...
Gumasey, Jenr, .. ..

1,82,756 bushels.
462,676 ,,
1,772,799 ,
125,801 ,,
41,082 ,

The remaining quantity was sent in small ship-
meats to the West Indies, ports in the Mediter-
ranean, Brazil, &c. The quantity retained for
home consumption in the same year is estimated
at 12,647,616 bushels.*

* Porter: Progres of the Nation.



Tan most extensive and productive deposits of
rock-salt in Europe are those of Bochnia and
Vieliczka in Galicia. Numerous other deposits
are found along each side of the great Carpathian
range, and may be said to extend with greater or
less intervals all the way from Moldavia to Suabia.
This very extensive tract comprehends the salt
mines of Wallachia, Transylvania, Galicia, Upper
Hungary, Upper Austria, Styria, Salzberg, and
finally of Tyrol
Such deposits form a distinct member in the
series of tratified rocks, occurring with limestone,
clay, chalk, gypsum, stinkstone, slate, and not
infrequently with bituminous formations. From
the following section of the deposit at Wimpfen,


in Wirtemberg, it will be seen how the gypsum
is enclosed by a deep layer of shell limestone
containing the rock-salt as a separate mass. Some

geologists suppose that the rock-salt in this and
similar basins has been deposited from saline
lakes, or even by the sea, which once covered and
afterwards quitted the place. Dr. Maceulloch
remarks on this hypothesis: "The purity and
solidity of the mases of rock-salt, their bulk,
their insulated and peculiar positions, with many
other facts on which I need not now enter, prove
that they could not have been derived from the
ocean in the manner thus supposed, nor probably
in any manner. They are special and original
deposits in whatever way produced; as of the
design we cannot doubt, though no other ends
should have been in view than the uses of this
substance to man."


The deposits of salt among roks of almost all
ages is an interesting and important faot. Salt is
daily accumulating in certain inland lakes and
marshes; in Poland it probably exists principally,
if not entirely, among tertiary rocks; in the
Austrian Alps it is placed in the oolitic system; in
Switzerland it is referred to the lias; in Wirtem-
berg it is in the muschelkalk; in England our
greatest salt mines are in the new red sandstone,
but there are two or three copious salt springs in
the coal formation, from one of which salt has
been largely extracted. In certain parts of the
United States salt springs issue from old transition
slate rocks; and lastly, a spring containing a great
proportion of salt rises near Keswick from the
lowest division of the slate rocks of Cumberland.*
Among the salt mines of Europe those of Austria
are the most important, and of these the celebrated
mines of Vieliezka are the most extensive. An
excellent description of these mines was published
a few years ago by Mr. Kohl, from whose account
the following details are selected.t
Bedgwiok and Murhison: Geol. Tr 188.
t The aeoount of Mr. Kohl's viit to Vilieska i inelnded in
his wrek on BRun*, iatd of that on Austri to which it
prprly belong. The tnlaor o the later work IR the


The free town of Vieliczka is an ancient Polish
city in the Carpathian Mountains. It is now
included in Austrian Galicia, in the circle of
Bochnia. The deposits of rock-salt are on the
northern side of the mountains. Mines have been
formed at Bochnia and Vieliczka in the north, and
at some parts of Moravia and Transylvania in the
south, and lately at Sambor and Haliteh in the
middle of the chain.
The Sarmatians of Herodotus, the Dacians, the
Goths and many other nations wandered for cen-
turies over these countries without ever dreaming
of the mineral treasures that lay buried beneath
them. They procured from distant shores the
scanty portions which they needed of a mineral
of which inexhaustible stores lay scarcely one
hundred feet beneath them. In the year 1251 the
discovery was first made, and the mines of Bochnia
and Vieliczka first worked. The mode of work-
ing was at first very rude, but after some time
miners were brought from Hungary and Germany,
and the work was carried on with more skill
This was in the year 1442; but during the whole
"Folnip LIbnry," (1848,) to whlh we an ladebtad for our
inaBmtio, bM very properly laadi ed thM i deurption thiraa.


period of Polish domination, all the arrangements
were very imperfect. The mines were leased to
Jews, whose only object was pecuniary profit.
In 1772 the mines became the property of the
Emperor of Austria, and then a more prudent and
scientific system of management was adopted.
The higher offices about the mines are now
filled by cultivated Germans, and all possible im-
provements which art or science can suggest are
adopted, partly to remedy the defects of the old
system, and partly to make the workings more
productive. Bochnia and Vieliczka taken together
furnish about 900,000 owt. of salt annually. The
quantity raised is, however, regulated by the
demand. About 200,000 cwt. are sent to Prussia,
and 150,000 cwt. to Russia, at such prices as will
just remunerate the Austrian government for the
cost of raising and transporting the mineral The
remaining quantity is sold by the government at
arbitrary prices in virtue of the salt monopoly
which it possesses. This supply is consumed
partly in Poland, partly in Silesia, Moravia, and
the valleys of the Carpathians. The cost price of
the salt sold to Russia and Prussia is said to be
only one florin the owt, including all the expenses


of the works, while the Austrian government sells
the salt at five florins the cwt. to its own subjects.
The higher functionaries in the mines are about
eighty-six in number: workmen and all included,
they amount to two hundred. The former are
headed by a governor, and divided into subterra-
nean and upper air inspectors; or, as they are
often called, "gentlemen of the leather," and
"gentlemen of the pen." The latter are employed
in the administrative department, and the former
in the inspection of the workmen, and the super-
intendence of new works.
Shemnitz, in Hungary, is the principal academy
for the instruction of these inspectors. The work-
men are of two classes, those who are paid by the
year, and those who work by the piece; the
number of the latter being increased or diminished
with the demand for salt. There are 800 super-
annuated workmen and inspectors in the receipt of
pensions, of whom most have been employed for
forty or forty-five years.
There are four great magazines of salt, where
it is heaped up in huge storehouses, to which the
merchants come to buy it. Smaller stores are
kept at Brunn, Teschen, and Bilitz.


The salt-works cover a space of 36,000 square
fathoms. The length of the mines, with all their
galleries, amounts to 7j German, or 30 English
miles. Ten shafts connect this subterranean
labyrinth with the upper world. One of them is
used for draining away the water, two for the
descent of workmen, and the rest for the raising
of the salt, and the descent of the straw, wood,
horses, &c.
The whole works are divided into three com-
partments called Fields; namely, the Old Field,
the Yanina Field, and the New Field. The Old
Field goes in a southward direction from the town
into the mountains; the Yanina Field goes east-
ward, and the New Field westward. The Old
Field consists of the irregular works of oldest date.
The Yanina Field, named after King John Sobi-
eski, was dug upon an improved plan. The New
Field is of Austrian foundation, and has always
been worked according to the best principles
of art.
Each of these mines consists of five stories, one
above another; and each of these stories is made
up of numerous chambers, cells, and caverns,
connected by horizontal passages. The different


stories are connected by perpendicular shafts, or
winding stairs. The descent to the uppermost
story is 34 fathoms deep. Between each of the
different stories an interval is left of 15 or 20
fathoms. The depth, which has been rendered
convenient for descent by shafts and staircases, is
125 fathoms; the entire depth amounts to 145
fathoms. Thus, although Vieliczka itself is 150
feet above the Vistula, and 699 feet above the
level of the sea, yet the mines descend 580 feet
below the bed of the Vistula, and 300 feet below
the level of the sea.
The best kind of salt is the crystal al t, as it is
called, which is of a snowy whiteness, and trans-
parent as glass. It is found only in small masses,
or veins, running through the other salt. For-
merly, this kind was always sent to the King of
Poland, who made presents of small portions of
it to the nobility, and also had it fashioned into
various ornamental shapes, for the decoration of
his palaces. It was also used for presents to
other sovereigns. The King of Prussia still
receives annually two hundred weight of this fine
ait; the Emperor of Russia, as such, two and a
half, and as King of Poland two hundred weight


more. The Emperor of Austria receives three
hundred weight us emperor, and one a King of
Hungary. The statue of King John Sigismund,
formerly at Warsaw, and now in the salt-works,
is made of the largest block which has ever been
found of this crystal salt. The workmen make all
sorts of articles of this salt for strangers, such as
books, needle-cases, crucifixes, billiard-balls, neck-
laces, rosaries, salt-cellars, knives, inkstands, &e.,
which they sell at high prices. Pieces are some-
times found, which are as transparent and pure as
the finest plate-glass. Attempts have even been
made to manufacture mirrors of this salt.
In addition to this salt, which is found only in
small quantities, there is the Bkotnik, or earth-t,
the green-alt, and the Skibik-al. The earth-salt
is found in the upper strata, and is often mixed
with earth and clay. No trouble is taken to
obtain it; but it is necessary to get rid of it, in
order to reach the better kinds; and it is either
used up in the mines for the building of props,
vaults and steps, or it is sold at the mouth of the
mine for cattle. The green-salt lies in immense
compact masses under the earth-salt, and is the
principal object of attention. It consists of small


crystals, which adhere closely together. It is as
hard as glass, and is of about the same greenish
colour and transparency as the common bottle-
glass of Germany. This salt has many sub-
divisions, according to the quality and density of
the masses. The deeper the descent, the whiter,
finer, and better does the salt become. The Shibik-
eal lies under the green-salt, and is less green
but more dense than this.
The earth-salt is sold in such pieces as it hap-
pens to be broken into, to the inhabitants of the
surrounding district, and is not used in commerce.
The differences between the various kinds of
green-salt are also too insignificant to be noted by
the government, which only takes account of the
three qualities already mentioned. The crystal-
alt is brought up in as large quantities as possi-
ble, and is immediately formed into the required
shapes by the chisel of the sculptor, or the knife
of the workman. The green and Shibik salts are
commonly cut into cylindrical or oblong blocks;
the former being called Balvan, and the latter
formal pieces. The cylindrical form is most com-
mon. Balvan is said to be an old Sarmatian idol,
the shape and name of which give the name to

sALT-Mnxn. 79
these blocks. They are not perfectly cylindrical,
but bulge out somewhat in the middle. They are
cut into this shape by the workmen in the mine,
and are rolled out in wheel-barrows. Each balvan
is never smaller than two, or larger than three
hundred weight. The oblong blocks are about
the same weight. Those pieces which break off
during the loosening of the blocks, and which are
not large enough to make into balvans and oblong
blocks, are called natural piece They are sold
singly by weight; the small fragments are sold by
measure. The natural pieces generally remain in
the neighbourhood; the small fragments are bought
by the peasants; the balvans are sent away
by land-carriage, and the oblong blocks by
The first strata passed through on descending
the mine, consist of clay and sand. At a depth
of fifteen fathoms, occur the first traces of salt,
consisting of a few small crystals scattered in the
clay. Here and there also the clay is intersected
by thin veins of salt, or impregnated with nume-
rous particles of it, which are overlooked at the
works in the rich abundance of the stores beneath.
On desoenming deeper into the lay, the masses of

TUI OLD sevyM.

malt increase in size from five, ten, or fifteen feet
in diameter to fifty or one hundred feet. In the
upper parts, these pieces are dirty and mixed
with earth; but lower down they become cear,
dense and pure. These great fragments lie in all
directions, positions, and shapes; they seem to
have once formed huge connected masses which
have been broken asunder by some great natural
Under the old system, the salt was taken
wherever it was found, in as great quantities as
possible, without thinking whether the neighbour-
ing strata could bear this undermining and scoop-
ing away. Wherever anything was built, it was
done in a careless manner. A penurious system
prevailed in the sinking of shafts, the driving of
galleries, in fixing props, as well as in the draining
and ventilating of the mines. The passages were
frequently made so small, that it was necessary to
creep through them. This niggardly system was
not only the cause of much inconvenience, but of
many accidents, such as the falling in of roofs and
passages, occasioning loss of life; and cases have
occurred where the upper strata fell in, and whole
streets of the town of Vielicaka were' destroyed

iurm M&

Sif by an earthquake. Under the pruse
management, however, nothing has been spared to
remedy these old defects. The galleries have
been widened, and well supported with props of
timber taken from the forests of Niepolomaze,
which have been nearly exhausted for the pur,
In the new mine everything is in the best
order. The galleries, as well as the steps leading
down to them, ae bred and convenient. Where the
shafts pass through earth and clay, their ides are
supported either with timber or with masses of
salt; where they pass through salt, this support is
unnecessary. In building with masses of salt, the
blocks are erected in the usual manner, and water
is then poured over them. The water dissolves a
portion of salt, and lls up all the joints; and in
evaporating, forms a kind of cement which binds
the whole together. In this way walls and ceilings
of the greatest solidity are built of salt and water.
In excavating the salt in the mine, columas of
salt are left at regular intervals, to support the
arched roof These column have the appearance,
in some parts of the mine, of long aisles in a
Gothic cathedral. Ther e arabout a uaddra of

SWANA)AM Of 3aft.

these chambers and vaults, all of which are dis-
tinguidied by particular names; and there is not
one of the superintendents who is acquainted with
the perplexing maze, Each knows his own dis-
trict; but if he venture into other districts, he
requires a guide. Portions of the works have not
been entered for many years. In fact, the whole
workings occupy an area of double the extent of
the old town of Vienna.
Mr. Kohl having obtained a card of admission
from the governor, drew over his clothes a white
linen blouse, and began his descent into the mine
down long convenient flights of steps, some of
wood and others of rock-salt. There is one grand
staircase which was built previous to the visit of
Augustus IL to the mine; and another, the Im-
peria tairoau, was built for the late emperor and
some members of the royal family. Common
visitors descend by side steps, which are conve-
nient and safe. Indeed at these works one may
ascend and descend as leisurely as on the staircase
of a palace.
The Austrians are very reserved on the subject
of their sal minesa The greatest secrecy is
observed respecting the cost, the prices, and the

APPnuMAMM M In=aru

quantities of mlt raied, also with respect to
mining arrangements, the extent of the works
and other circumstances of that kind. Stranger
are never allowed to remain long in the mines,
and are seldom permitted to repeat their visits.
Whenever the workmen leave the mines they are
carefully searched; a precaution apparently unne-
ceseary, for in addition to their wages, they receive
an allowance of 15 lbs. of salt annually for each
member of their families. Care is also taken that
none of the saline water which flows from the
works shall be collected and used. This water is
conducted through subterranean canals into the
Vistula, where mixing with the river-water it
soon becomes useless. In this way 600 eimer of
the finest brine, for which in some countries sepa-
rate salt-works would be established, are wasted
every day.
The salt mines of Vieliczka are certainly the
anost beautiful, as they are the largest in the world.
Nowhere is dirt or disorder to be seen; every
thing shines and glitters with the purest brilliancy.
There are no springs of water at the depths worked

* The elm is 121 pmlm sady.

UIrraio or Mon

at in the mines, so that fesh water has to be
conveyed into the mines from above by mea@s of
pipes. Hence the air of the mines is very dry, a
is proved by the excellent preservation of the
statues carved in salt erected here and there, and
which would soon decay in damp air. The miners
seemed in as good preservation a the statues;
they all seemed very healthy, and some of them
had worked in the mines for forty or ffty years
The place seemed also to agree with the horses,
which soon get into good condition in the mines,
if ever so miserable before. A strong current of
air lows through all the galleries, and at certain
corners blows with astonishing violence. An
extraordinary subterranean whirlwind occurred
here in 1746, when the roof of a lage vault fell
in. The condensed air shot up through the shafts
and galleries leading from the vault, upsetting the
workmen anad their tools in the upper stories,
tearing down beams and bursting open doors, and
ally throwing down all the buildings which
stood over the pit.
Noxious gses are never met with in alt mines.
Occasionally, however, at Vielicsk a combustible
gas called &BeIer Goats up through the atmosphere

viausee a 9eHIageSU U
and burns away without doing say harm. flsm
times the se partilde of salt inhaled with the air
renders the miners consumptive. The dry saline
air is a great preserver of mnmal and vegetable
matter. The meat brought down into the mines
becomes naturally salted and keeps for a long
time. Dead horses have sometimes been thrown
into abandoned workings, and yea after the
bodies have been found perfect and entire
The first excavation entered by Mr. Kohl was
the Upper t. Usula's chamber; the next, the
Lower St. Ursua's chamber, then the Michael-
ovitech, the Droedovitch, the Emperor France,
the St. Mary, the Rosetta, and the Pishtek cham-
ben, &., which have been named after maints,
Polish kings, Austrian emperor, ad ditiuied
mining ispectori. On an average each these
chambers is 100 or 150 feet high, and 0 er 100
feet long and wide. In some the works wwe till
going on; others were used as storehouses ar the
alt. They appeared like huge subterrian vaults
of Gothi architecture. Wooden steps leading
f om gakry to gallery were attached to tbe weas.
The tore and leaters of the woa n lighted
p the walls One wh stood in the bighst

.oemxuYmA woosI -

gallery lighted a luge piece of oakum and threw
it down the shaft. It burst into a blue and
the flame lighted up the glittering vault to its
highest summits and revealed fresh and unknown
depths below. The old mines are very pictu-
resque, particularly where the roofs dividing the
stories have fallen in, thus opening abysses to the
view at which the spectator shudders. The new
mines with their regular beams and props, massive
even walls, and strong neat chambers, are less wild
and striking. In some caverns, immense chan-
deliers, cut out of the salt, have been hung up.
In one, which was called the Great Hall, hung
such a chandelier, 35 feet in height, and 60 in
circumference. In another, the Lentov chamber,
were six of these chandeliers.
Some of the old salt caverns have been con-
verted into stables; others into chapels aad
churches. The largest chapel is that of St. Anthony
of Padua. It was built in 1698, and mass was
regularly performed there every morning to the
miners until it was abolished by Joseph IL Every
year, however, on the 3d July, service is performed
there, followed by a grand festival. All the in-
spectors and workmen are dressed in their holiday

m *emasimp.

dothe, and they dine at long tsbiw, qpad out
in the salt cavern. In the chapel, every thing is
carved out of rock-elt--ltar, walls, ceiling, doom,
cruciies, niches, pedestals, and the statues upon
them, of St. Anthony, St. Dominic, St. Francis,
St. Mary, St. Kunigunda, and the Bishops Sta-
nislaus and Cimir. The light of a torch held
behind one of these statues pierces through its
thickest part. It is remarkable how little some of
these statues have suffered, though they have
remained here more than a century. The sharp
ness of their features alone seems to have worn
down a little. Mr. Kohl saw an old workman
busy sharpening them up again with a hammer
and cbisel. As he could only raise thenose by
cutting at the cheeks, and the lips by cutting at
the chin, he certainly did not improve their phy-
Works of this kind are numerous in the mines.
Salt obelisks are erected as memorials of royal
visits, and salt monuments of different festivals. In
addition to St. Anthony' Chapel, there is the
Corpu-Chrsti Chapel, in which every year on the
3d September, service is performed in memory
of the visit of the late Emperor rancis. The


Oeat stam in rook-wlt is that of the Polia
quen, X aogunda, the foundress of the mine.
Armad it eang old lamps of out at. The most
inrsting trophy is a great Austrian eagle, me-
roended by all the tools and implements used in
he mie. Thi is in the Old Ball-room, the wlls
f whio ame resplendent as with the lustre of
thousands of diamonds. Here the subterranean
ftes are given, and the illumination on these oooa
sos surpasses the most magnificent ball-rooms
in splendour.
The stables, staIl, and troughs of the horses are
also of salt. There are generally thirty or forty
of these animals in the mines, and when once
brought down they never see the light of day
agai. And yet this apparently unnatural mode
of lif, a already stated, agrees with these.
Their duties are to keep the machinery in mo-
tion, and to transport the large masses of salt.
The grooms who attend them are often down in
the mines fr weeks together. All the other
workmen leave the mines after eight hours'
work. When hares ae to be taken down,
they re fstesa iato a log basket, s let
down by a rop. At Airt they rest this,

M"S AMli

but Is quite dln t memMen they get iaeo the
darhmem of the sdit.
Mr. Kohl describe the mubterranm ponds or
lake as the meet woderfl of all the wonderful
spetacles which thee caverns ad vaults present.
There e nearly twenty such, on which a few
small boats are kept. Mr. Kohl was rowed over
two which are connected by a canal. Each was
several hundred feet long, and about twenty feet
deep, and far above them arched the huge alt
roeks. "Never had a breath of wind troubled
the surfike of these waters; never had a swallow
lettered over them, or a lily bathed its petals in
them. Moved as if by an invisible hand, the
silent boat Boated over the smootb tranquil
surface. We seemed as if in another world, for
even the sounds which broke the ilenee were
range and unfamiliar. We had taken oie
piees of sait ith u, which we dropped into the
middle of the water, and the sound was s if we
had struck the deepest beas chord of a hrp. The
eoho lated for several eooai bat did not sem
to eme frem the rooks arud, but to be rever-
berated from the depths of water."
In one of the subteeamm Aembeg a little

YIWu DU r 3 Imum.

museum has been collected, containing A thd
varieties of alt, and other substances found in the
mines. There are to be sen shells imbedded in
salt,* petrified and salted wood, mases of salt
with stones in them, pieces of clay containing
particles of salt, and salt crystals in various,
curious, and fantastic shapes. Some are remark-
able for their odour, which is sometimes like that
of trumfes, others like that of phosphorus, others
again like that of sulphuretted hydrogen.
Four hundred cubic fathoms of this rock-salt
yield 6,000 tons of salt. Now, as 35,000 tons of
salt are obtained annually, the mines must be
enlarged every year to the amount of 2,800 eubie
fathom, which is equal to a solid cube of 80
feet. It would be easy therefore to calculate
about how much salt has been taken from this
mine since its rst establishment. The hundred
great vaults which the mines contain have always
yielded the principal part of the produce. On an
A m o rook-Mt with shells In it, from thi miae, wa
esaned by Profor PUlpppL On dimsolvia the nt he
dieawe e forty sped of uane rmaui: rtI. 5 rophytM,
14 polythalm, 1 ehblan, 1 Mapla, 7 eonaehtf, 8 uaiivalv
Mad 8 wrtume A erltahism w identifd with the a. Li;
ne llIg i tie MAditonaum.

a age seh of these valts contained 2,000 cobic
fathms of pre salt, and the aggregate amount
of their contents would be 200,000 cubic fathoms,
or 2,600,000 tons of alt. In, this computation
is Aot included the quantity gained from the
hafts, passages, stairs, &e., which would double
the amount The total would be 5,000,000 of
tons, which is probably near the truth; for this
would give for each year an average of between
twelve and thirteen thousand tons of salt. If
the price of a cwt. of salt has on an average
been three florins, these mines have, during the
400 years of their existence, set a capital of
three hundred millions of forins in circulation;
and, estimating the average consumption of every
man, woman, and child, at ten pounds weight,
have furnished three hundred millions of human
beings with salt
The deposits of rock-salt at Ishl, which we
are now about to notice, are situated in the circle
of Salsburg, or of Saleah, in Upper Austria. The
accompanying section of the works will convey a
correct notion of the position of the salt mas,
among the beds of limestone rook in which they
are imbedded. The beds under the saltare argilla

m.. Ilgm W. Wn,'

*sash sid oeogs a me

hekdm vsd immediately
/ pdad the sIta aup,. af
som b~Mnd,eomppmct eberty
bed of limeso The
/^I shmau ii a oofiued,
irregvIs compound of
gypaom abd uuiifrotxs
imarIc.whih hssbeen
worW at r the lowestt
level; -fivoigh a breadth
of about 5(10 riun f~et,
and tfirwo a depth, be.
tweene~ thes higinst and
lowest Ush of about
,50oo feet. Them dife
rentlevels ar approached

-by M of twelve bO-
re~iw. galleries, out
th!nlhi ,nf e beds.

from the umrruamdiq Uomie 'by banda of u