Figure 18. Gunpowder Manufacture, Lorniin, 1630. After the material« had been intimately ground together in the mortar, the mixture was moistened with water, or with a solution of camphor in brandy, or with other material, and formed into grains by rubbing through a sieve.

pounding of powders for blasting and for other special purposes. In this country blasting powder is generally made from sodium nitrate.

John Bate early in the seventeenth century understood the individual functions of the three components of black powder when he wrote: "The Saltpeter is the Soule, the Sulphur the Life, and the Coales the Body of it." The saltpeter supplies the oxygen for the combustion of the charcoal, but the sulfur is the life, for this inflammable element catches the first fire, communicates it throughout the mass, makes the powder quick, and gives it vivacity.

Hard, compressed grains of black powder are not porous—the sulfur appears to have colloidal properties and to fill completely

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