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Lead Mining Museum - Lead mining terms
Category: General technical and industrial > Lead Mining
Date & country: 15/11/2007, UK
Words: 42


Abacus
Counting using coloured balls on a wire frame. Early calculator. Click here to see image of an Abacus

Adit
Horizontal entrance to a mine, slightly inclined to allow drainage.

Bab gins
Early 18th century water wheel powered pumping engines, used to clear the mines of water.

Besoms
Brushes used in Curling to smooth the ice ahead of the stone.

Bobbin' Johns
Nickname given to Beam Engine pumps due to their 'nodding' action.

But and Ben Cottages
18th Century thatched cottages where families lived in very basic conditions.

Cairn
A heap of stones usually set up as a memorial or landmark.

Carat
Originally a unit of mass (weight) based on the Carob seed or bean used by ancient merchants in the Middle East. The carat is still used for the weight of gem stones where 1 carat = 200mg. For gold is is used to measure the purity where pure gold is 24 carats.

Coffin Plates
Plates made from lead sheet, attached to a coffin lid for decorative purposes.

Dressing Floor
Area where ore is processed to separate it from waste rock and prepare it  for smelting.

Exciseman
Tax collector

Fathom
A measure of depth, more usually at sea equal to 6 feet or 1.828 metres.

Forebears
Ancestors

Galena
Lead Sulphide - a mixture of lead and sulphur.

Genealogy
Study or account of descent from ancestors. 

Godfrey Downes- Rose
Author, lecturer and founder of the Museum Trust at Wanlockhead who died in December 2003.

Igneous Rock
Solidified from hot molten rock. Volcanic rock is an example of igneous rock.

Ingot
Lead bars or 'pigs' produced by the smelting process.

Isobel Rutherford
The first woman to be allowed membership of the Miners' Library.

Lead Pig
The name given to lead ingots or bars each weighing about 60Kilos (132lbs)

Lead Sulphide
Mixture of lead and sulphur, more commonly known as Galena

Level
Horizontal tunnel or passage underground, can also be used as an alternative to Adit

Low Countries
Principally Holland and Belgium. Old name for the Netherlands. 

Maker of the Mace
Michael Lloyd was commissioned to make the Scottish Parliamentary Mace, a gift from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Malleable
Formable or easily shaped.

Metamorphic Rock
Pressure 'cooked' rocks altered by heat and pressure within the Earth's crust. One of the most common metamorphic rocks in Britain, is Slate

Ore Dressing
Process of cleaning the ore, removing waste materials and preparing it for smelting.

Penny
Pre- decimal currency equal to approximately 1/2 one pence in today's money. There were 12 pennies in one Shilling and 20 Shillings in £1.00

Pigs
Lead ingots or bars which were the end product of the smelting process.

Rag and Chain Pumps
A simple, one-man-powered pump with a continuous chain with buckets attached which brought water to the surface to be emptied.

Scurvy
A disease which was common in sailors of old, when they lacked vitamin C from a diet lacking in fresh fruit and vegetables for long periods. 

Sedimentary Rock
These rocks comprise fragments of rocks or living things. Sandstone is the most common sedimentary rock.

Shaft
Vertical entrances into mines.

Shilling
Pre-decimal currency equal to 12 pennies and equivalent to 5p today.

Sixpence
Pre-decimal currency. A coin worth six pennies equivalent to 2.5p today.

Smelt Mill
This was the place where the lead ore was heated and the molten lead poured into moulds to create lead ingots or 'pigs' 

Smiddy
Blacksmiths shop where horses shoes were made and fitted

Sphalerite
Zinc sulphide which is the principal ore of zinc [Zn]. Sphalerite was often called 'black jack', 'resin jack', or 'zinc blende', because of its appearance and the variation in colours. Click here to see an example.

Stope
Spaces created in the rock where the vein is removed. Stoping is the process of removing the ore vein.

Vein
Vertical or nearly vertical fissure or fault in rock filled with mineral.

Washing
Separating the ore from the waste materials.

Window Tax
This was a tax levied on windows  in 1696 by William III who raised money by taxing windows at the rate of 2 shillings for up to 10 windows; 8 shillings for up to 19 and 10 shillings for houses with more than 20. The tax was repealed in 1851.Many houses had some of their windows bricked up to avoid the tax.