* And turn to adamant. 1. 192. The circumstances which render iron more valuable to mankind than any other metal are, 1. its property of being rendered hard to so great a degree and thus constituting such excellent tools. It was the discovery of this property of iron, Mr. Locke thinks, that gave such pre-eminence to the European world over the American one. 2. Its power of being welded; that is, when two pieces are made very hot and applied together by hammering, they unite compleatly, unless any scale of iron in∣tervenes; and to prevent this it is usual for smiths to dip the very hot bar in sand, a little of which fuses into fluid glass with the scale and is squeezed out from between the uniting parts by the force of hammering. 3. Its power of acquiring magnetism.
It is however to be wished that gold or silver were discovered in as great quantity as iron, since these metals being indestructible by exposure to air, water, fire or any com∣mon acids would supply wholesome vessels for cookery, so much to be desired, and so difficult to obtain, and would form the most light and durable coverings for houses, as well as indestructible fire-grates, ovens, and boiling vessels. See additional notes, No. XVIII. on Steel.
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