Re: "Melting Pot"

Frederic W. Gleach (fwg1@CORNELL.EDU)
Wed, 15 Dec 1993 14:38:27 -0500

Sent something like this yesterday, but nyplgate ate it. . . . I'll recompose.
Jim Carrier asked about the commonality of metallurgical experience
in the late nineteenth century. It need not be metallurgy, since
candlemaking and some glassworking as well as both jewelry and larger scale
metalworking involve the use of the melting pot. Since a great many of the
people I know have experience with one or more of these technologies, I
always assume that such experience is still pretty familiar even today--am
I wrong here? We made candles regularly when I was young, and that wasn't
long ago, the early 60s. And one form of molten metal working would have
been very familiar in the late nineteenth century: bullet casting was
something that anyone with military experience and most hunters would have
done until they switched to metal cartridge loading guns (which many
hunters did later than the army did). You could melt lead on the kitchen
stove, or a campfire, using some new and the scraps trimmed from the
previous production. Then just cast it into a mold and trim off the sprue
and flash with a knife. I even remember mail-order kits for casting your
own tin soldiers, and they were much more common earlier (I was never
allowed to order one--sob).
Just a trip down memory lane. . . .