Philip on sat 19 may 01
Dear Roger, Ababi and All,
...and Copper 'Pots' and utensiles, 'skillets' and much more, were happily
well before the 'Bronze' Age...which we may guess was itself occasioned
some increased facility with Tin ...and may have come about before or after
learning to 'tin' the insides of the Copper vessels...I do not know from
what date the 'tinning' process is thought to have become known and
practiced, or among whom, but it> certainly must 'date' from around that
Many 'plain' Copper sauce-pans are still preferred by certain Chefs, for
preperation, as the whisking and blending of some sauces and in much
makeing....favored I think as well, for the whisking of 'Egg-Whites' if
memory serves...as to make 'Meringues and the like...and for 'Hollandaise'
I was once told, (by my Parents, who were from Chicago) that 'Gypsies'
yearly do re-tinning of Copper Pots,
Kettles and the like, just outside Chicago, even up through the early
twenties...for all commers...'careful', even ritualised payment in exact
change for this service, was said to reduce mishaps incident to that early
(The conclusions of which were also said to co-incide with mysterious
of children...and so with this, I was often threatened with being 'left'
the Gypsies, if I didn't 'behave'!)
And from my own limited experience with some 'Gypsies' even that may not be
enough...I mean the 'care' and clearity of some transaction...
Some are very talented at clipping you, or at inconcievable indignations
should you 'catch on'...Some had been, or 'tried' TO be, customers of mine,
here in Las Vegas...they were in their 80s easily, tiny and fierce!
Drove a big 'Lincoln' sedan...> Difficult as hell!...and very clever!
I enjoyed them very much.
I have sometimes wished my Parents HAD 'left me for the Gypsies'...I would
be 'better' at the 'world' no doubt!
My Girlfriend in High-School was a (milk-pale, vivid, 'quiet', and English)
'Gypsy'...kept her family
and me apart...she was sweet and timeless...wonder what became of
her?...they did not stay put, anyway...and they usually did not send their
children to 'school' either, I am told...I never asked her about
'tinning'...or if they trace their linniage from one of the 'Lost Tribes',
or to the ancient interventions of the occupants of the 'Silver-Discs'
etc...so many opportunities lost!
Copper conducts heat very nicely, and makes an excellent Pot, Pan or
The addition of Zink, to molten Copper, makes of course, the alloy known as
Brass...'Red-Brass', 'Yellow-Brass' being more or less of Zink...
The addition, in melting, of Tin, to Copper, makeing the alloy known as
found favour over Brass in ancient times, oweing to how it more nicely
out a mould in Casting, and melts just a little lower as well, I believe.
It may also be made somewhat, or more than somewhat 'harder', which for
things, was quite desired...nuances of additional alloying materials, make
significant differences in these properties, which was not lost
on the Ancients.
And as Brass, so too may Bronze be 'work-hardened' by blows, by concussive
This for knives, axes, short swords and the
like...Tools...needles...chisels, 'plane-cutters' and
on...The Romans of old, were quite talented in these matters...as were
Coating Copper with Tin may be done 'hot' (even as the procedure of
'tinning' is done in Soldering, with Lead-Tin alloy being worked 'hot' to
the ends of wires, or the seams of sheetmetal...) where the Copper is
scrubbed and some acidic material kept in contact, so the Tin, which has a
lower melting point will gladly adhere...oxides of Copper effectively
prevent this adhesion, hence the acidic scrubbing and simultaneous
application of metallic Tin being rubbed or worked or slurried on the
sufficiently hot Copper.
I can only imagine the patience required to 'tin' or re-tin, some large
Kettle or Cauldron...leaning into some perhaps 500 odd (Farenheit) degree
vessel, and scrubbing acid and Block-Tin to a bright and happy
condition...this does sound a bit rough to me, and I am not known to demure
readily from curious tasks...long arms would help...and good lighting, and
the ability to squint well and hold one's breath...maybe use a stick?
'Tins', and or 'Tin-Cans'...are a contraction from 'Tinned'...the usually
very thin sheet steel, being Tinned as it were, to reduce oxidations or
other inconvenient Chemical interactions with the Atmosphere and with their
Generous 'soldered' seams having been implicated in some troubles at times,
especially for Ship's Crews, who relied overmuch on Canned-Goods to sustain
Sometimes getting a mite 'loopy'...or worse.
Now-a-days, 'milar' or similar plastics being resorted to for this
prophylactic...a thin coating upon the Tin and covering the Lead seams as
Also (the true) 'Tin-Foil' having been once a main-stay, as was sometimes
Lead-Foil...for packeges of 'Gum' , Cigarettes, cases of Ammunition
Cartridges, and many things...it felt
nice, had a nice 'softe' way about it.
People used to save it...make 'balls' of it...
'Tinsil' as well, for one's Christmas intimations of ice-sicles and
what...were made of this at one time...
Some people still refer to Aluminum-Foil as 'Tin Foil' (... or to America
a 'Republic'...or to Cars as 'Automobiles'...or to a dead Horse, propped up
with 2x4s, as 'Old Blue'...- did he twitch? or was he just
'settleing'...?...sigh...if you look hard and long enough, and don't
he 'seems' to
Many Toys were formerly made with tinned sheet steel...many lithographed as
well...formerly Germany was well known for these, then Japan, and lastly
Lithographed 'Tinned-Cans', as their 'label' being so done, on the tinned
steel, were long a standard and often wonderful method and presentation.
I believe Janet has some on the 'Fun' page of her Site...Civilization
enjoyed these, 'society' endures what we have now.
Persisting for perhaps some Beers, and Teas...the odd Syrup perhaps...or
occasionally some atavistic spices, ointment or balm...seen somewhat at
Good for them!
The 'Hay-Days' of the Lithographic sheet-metal can or 'tin', 'product' Art,
waned and been
supplanted by less celibratory and one may suppose 'cheaper' ways of
respecting the grudgeing 'necessity' of a 'consumer'...of a 'label', or to
address or appeasement of them.
Some 'Indian' and 'Excelsior' (Motorcycle) riders, used to (or may moreso,
still) find small amusement in the following ditty:
"Harley Davidson made outta Tin, ride 'em out an' push 'em in..."
Anyway...short ramble...morning Coffee...the 'Tea-Pot' I most use, is
Copper...tall, like a 'lighthouse'...the spout (originates) down
'low'...Coffee Pots had the spout up higher...
Where soon, the only thing between me and Hell, is a screen door...but for
now, some 'Spring-like' days persist, and blessedly so!...soon the Candles
shall droop like 'Salvidor Dali' watches...and the world will sigh in heavy
wilt of Summer...
> > If you would see, usually copper pots, are covered in there inside, with
> > another metal. Even the nonscientific small manufactures, in my region,
> > learnt not to use the copper pot as it is.
> > Ababi Sharon
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Roger Bourland"
> > Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2001 4:49 PM
> > Subject: copper
> > > Not altogether unrelated to copper glaze discussion: I have a lovely,
> > > old Brittish 100% copper tea kettle. I've polished it to like new
> > condition.
> > > Now, is there any danger in using such a kettle for regular tea
> > preparation?
> > >
> > > Roger
> > >
> > >
> > __
> > > Send postings to email@example.com
> > >
> > > You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> > > settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
> > >
> > > Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
> > firstname.lastname@example.org.
> > >
> > Send postings to email@example.com
> > You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> > settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
> > Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at