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Using the blowpipe for the chemical analysis of minerals
Using the blowpipe for the chemical analysis of minerals


blowpipe kit

blowpipe kit

 
Non-Optical Instruments


Introduction
An instrument that played an important role in 19th century mineralogy was the blowpipe. Its contribution to qualitative chemical analysis of minerals, from the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century, was immense. Various instrument models as well as kits for blowpipe analysis (sometimes with implements for quantitative analysis) were developed by prominent scientists and were offered by various manufacturers. Because of high demand a large number of blowpipe sets was produced and therefore many of them have survived.

Throughout the 19th century different physical techniques made their entrée in mineralogical laboratories. These include equipment for testing magnetic properties of minerals as well as balances and areometers for measuring the specific gravity. From the introduction of the hardness scale by Mohs (1812) the scratch test was used to support mineral determination. For more precise hardness determinations, sclerometers were developed.


References
  • Burchard, U. (1994) The History and Apparatus of Blowpipe Analysis, The Mineralogical Record 25, 251-277.
  • Burchard, U. (2004) The Sclerometer and the Determination of the Hardness of Minerals, The Mineralogical Record 35, 109-120.