Prof. Osborn, in a lecture bBiore the Geographical and Statistical Society, of this city, a short time since, proved very conclusively that brass was known long before the time which the German metallurgists fix for its invention—somewhere about the thirteenth century. He arrives at his facts from the analysis of coins anterior to that date, and explains how easily brass might have been made. Copper was well known in the time of Moses, and the mixture of this with any of the zinc ores, which were abundant in the East, would produce brass. His idea is strengthened by the fact that Pliny and Strabo both mention the"cadma" earth and "calamine" stone, (both carbonates of zinc) as used in the production of brass. At the present time the best brass is made in the same way, namely, by fusing together copper, charcoal, and rocky carbonate of zinc, when the carbonate is decomposed and brass is the product of the fusion.
This article was originally published with the title "Antiquity of Brass"