from G.B.Agricola, De Re Metallica published in Basel
in 1550. The woodcuts are by H.R.M.Deutsch after Blasius Weffring. Here
are some characteristic examples of the graphic conventions. Although
much of the substance of the work has been superseded, the 289 woodcuts
are models of book illustration in the cause of information.
Agricola writes "I have hired illustrators to delineate their forms,
lest descriptions which are to be conveyed by words should either not
be understood by men of our own times, or should cause difficulty to posterity."
The illustrations were so many and so complicated that they delayed the
final year of publication.
The book is probably the earliest to present a body of knowledge on mining
from direct and first hand experience. The author makes great play of
leaving out anything he has not witnessed himself. Dover Books of New
York have published an excellent reprint of the translation as prepared
by the future President of the United States, Herbert Hoover and Lou Henry
Hoover in 1912.
1. Smelting the Ore.
2. Designs for various types of bellows to be used in the smelting of
3. Smelting the Ore
4. Various fans and fan blades used to direct fresh air into a shaft.
5. Causing Drafts of Wind to blow into the shaf t.
6. Sinking Shafts and making connecting Tunnels 7. Crowbars used in
mining 8. Separating precious from base metals.