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http://alchemyandchemistry.edwardworthlibrary.ie/chymical-experiments/furnaces-and-instruments/

Alright, so it is about the 17th century work of Glauber called Furni novi philosophici.

You can get an immediate idea from the equipment listed how the early modern chymists/ post-alchemists were indebted to alchemists and alchemy in general for their equipment, as well as the non-alchemical artisans of the period who had taken alchemical works and practises and used them solely to manipulate matter in order to make real objects of value, not the philosopher’s stone.

The concerns given too, about making cheap or expensive furnaces, of having the correct alembics for the job, i.e. iron ones for most substances but pottery ones for sulphurous corrosives, is seen in many alchemical works too.

Thus I continue to assert that many alchemical works are practical and have definite physical aims in mind.

Of course many others were mindlessly copied by obsessives and charlatans, but still there is a definite basis to it all.

Amusingly it says at the bottom, “None of the experiments described here should be attempted.”

If we all thought like that, nothing would ever get done! This is of course the biggest flaw in the article…

Also here, on distillation:

http://alchemyandchemistry.edwardworthlibrary.ie/chymical-experiments/distillation/

Which practise described matches the unfortunately rather pointless activities of modern alchemists, with their various salts and oils etc distilled and crystallised from plants.

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