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Iron, steel and the DID universe

Tw0Cr0ws

Reading through the earlier posts in another thread (which has since wandered far afield) I noticed some ideas I see as wrong.

Coal is not needed to make good steel, the only time coal and coke made from coal are needed are for blast furnaces, and blast furnaces are really only important are for an industrial revolution level of production.
For all but the last three centuries of steel making on Earth the fuel has been charcoal, for traditional Japanese sword making it still is the only fuel.
There are trees on Chaos, so charcoal is no problem.
Two of Argon's stories Bente the Collier and Pelle the Collier will give you an idea of both how important charcoal was and how simple making it really is.

For much of Earth's history bog iron was the major source of iron.

Making high carbon steel is simple; surround the steel with charcoal and heat it while keeping oxygen away from it, the carbon from the charcoal will migrate into the steel. This is known as case hardening and can result in a high carbon region depth up to about 1/8 inch (3mm).

A sword does not need to be as sharp as a knife, especially when used against unarmored or lightly armored opponents, so hardness and edge holding are also less important than for a knife, the bio-mechanical advantage of the greater length gives the strike more speed and thus more force.
Realistically a bronze sword will work nearly as well in that use as one made of steel.

Replies:   Uther_Pendragon
Wheezer

There are many things in the DID universe where the original author either chose to ignore science and nature, or was unaware of the facts. It does not matter. It's his Universe. Arguing about why there is or is not steel on Chaos is like arguing about the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. DID is closer to litRPG with Chaos being the game board than it is to science fiction or fantasy. The only thing missing is statistics screens.

Ernest Bywater

In the original stories only bog iron and basic ways of improving the iron into steel were stated. However, in Shiloh permission was given to Mike by Lazlo to provide the background on the creation of the planet Chaos and Lazlo also gave me permission to provide a way to have some iron ore and other minerals not previously available on Chaos provided by the Power that Be as well as identifying some other minerals that were already on the planet but not yet identified as being useful.

Tw0Cr0ws
Updated:

The Heroes so far do not know about making steel.

The locals do not know about making steel.

But all it would take is a writer that is willing to research it before writing a story and their Hero will have a major advantage.

Bog iron and simply adding carbon through the use of charcoal have been used to make some good swords.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

In the original stories only bog iron and basic ways of improving the iron into steel were stated.


The point is those ways of turning bog iron into steel are very easy to do even with the other resources stated to be available on Chaos.

On top of that, steel is too useful, and raw bog iron too brittle*. It stretches the limits of the suspension of disbelief to suggest that people would go to the effort of collecting it for any purpose other than steel making.

*Bog iron is highly impure, filled with organic material. It's extremely brittle, to the point that you couldn't even make decent spoons and forks with it.

Cold hammered bog iron couldn't be used to make any functional tools / objects. If you try to break it into small pieces to at least remove the large non-iron inclusions, and heat it with charcoal to forge weld the pieces back together, guess what, you are making steel.

Dominions Son

@Tw0Cr0ws

The locals do not know about making steel.


This is the universe creater's choice, but without some kind of explanation for why they don't, it pushes the limits of the suspension of disbelief.

As I understand it, all the humans on Chaos either came from Earth or are descended from humans who were brought from Earth.

On Earth, the knowledge of how to make steel from bog iron goes back 4000 years, it predates the Roman Empire. In the real world, until only a few hundred years ago, bog-iron was the primary source of iron used for steel making, and charcoal was the primary fuel used to do it.

It boggles the mind that given hundreds of years, no-one on Chaos would have rediscovered the process for doing this.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl  REP
StarFleet Carl

@Dominions Son

On Earth, the knowledge of how to make steel from bog iron goes back 4000 years, it predates the Roman Empire. In the real world, until only a few hundred years ago, bog-iron was the primary source of iron used for steel making, and charcoal was the primary fuel used to do it.


Without the internet being available, how many of us would be able to make steel from bog iron? We know it's possible, but we don't know HOW to do it. Specialized knowledge like this tended to be kept in certain groups or guilds. If the original people brought to Chaos from Earth were simple farmers and NOT members of a guild with that knowledge - they'd know something could be done, but not how.

You find this today in our society. It's rather common knowledge that our cars are powered by internal combustion engines. 75 years ago, everyone and their brother could take apart an engine and rebuild it. That's one of the reasons the U.S. Army was able to function as it did in WWII - if something broke down, there was always someone around who could fix it. (I'm reminded of the scene in the original movie 'Red Dawn', where they fix a hole in the radiator, but there's nothing to fill it. So the oldest has the kids pee in it. His comment was on the order of, "It's about time you learn how things work.")

Cars today - computers on wheels.

I realize you might feel I'm being unfair in my comparison - but realistically, if you're a simple farmer that only has access to wood and stone for your tools, even if your rich neighbors have iron, are you going to know how to make steel? Not hardly.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl


I realize you might feel I'm being unfair in my comparison


Exceedingly unfair, particularly given that you ignored the main point.

My point is not about the modern humans brought to Chaos as heroes bringing the secret of steel with them.

The main point is one of human ingenuity in the face of necessity. Given hundreds of years, I can't consider it credible that no one on Chaos would have rediscovered the secrets of making steel. The only plausible explanation for this would be if the creators of Chaos were actively suppressing this knowledge.

Also, raw bog iron is useless, it's too brittle. No one would expend effort to gather it without the knowledge of how to make steel from it.

It's even possible that they would rediscover steel without the knowing that they have done so. Even the simple process of heating the bog iron in a charcoal forge to forge weld bits of it together with a hammer would begin the process of turning the raw bog iron into steel.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
Ernest Bywater

All of the comments made so far are true as far as they go, but they don't follow the full logic chain. Nor have they closely followed what's in the DiD stories. Even in the first stories there is low quality steel available made from the bog iron. The issues are the both the iron and steel is low quality and low volume so it's expensive and limited weapons and the like while copper and pewter are used for most day to day metal objects with wood being more common. Also, in several stories the Heroes are introducing ways to improve the quality of the steel and the steel production processes.

Another point missed is the people who were originally imported from around the 12th or 13th century had their memories altered to remove things like religion, and we don't know what else. However, the big issues would have been the use of guilds restricting knowledge, and that is mentioned in some of the stories as well.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Even in the first stories there is low quality steel available made from the bog iron.


It's low quality generally only in reference to "modern" steels. It would be quite superior in quality for tool, weapon, and armor making than either copper or bronze.

The issues are the both the iron and steel is low quality and low volume so it's expensive


Again it can only be called low quality in reference to modern steels, it would be vastly superior to copper, pewter or wood for tools.

And because it's so expensive, those who do know how to make it would work on ways of maximizing production to even further increase their wealth.

Another point missed is the people who were originally imported from around the 12th or 13th century had their memories altered to remove things like religion, and we don't know what else.


And for something like steel making, even if the knowledge was removed from the original people brought to Chaos, given the 6-7 centuries that have passed since then, that wouldn't be enough. It would be re-discovered without active, on-going suppression.

However, the big issues would have been the use of guilds restricting knowledge, and that is mentioned in some of the stories as well.


Guilds restrict knowledge from those outside the guild. They don't restrict knowledge that much among their members. Given everything else you've said on this topic, those with access to the knowledge of steel making would have very strong incentives for maximizing production.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

DS,

No where have I said poor steel isn't better than the alternatives, especially for weapons and armor. However, the iron and the steel is very rare, and so is money as most commerce is barter trading. That puts limits on both the available goods for sale and what it can be sold for as it matters not what you want to charge you won't sell anything if you charge too much.

I suggest you read all of the stories carefully, as one point raised is how the spark of invention and curiosity isn't there amongst most of the population, it's extremely rare.

REP

@Dominions Son

all the humans on Chaos either came from Earth or are descended from humans who were brought from Earth.


In one of Lazlo's stories, he defines the Powers That Be moving entire Earth villages to Chaos. I vaguely recall they eliminated certain information from the villager's minds.

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

There is one facet that many posters overlook in this and prior discussions about the DID Universe.

Lazlo created the Universe. He defined certain things that were possible and certain things that were not possible in HIS Universe. He also define many aspects of society on Chaos. He has also authorized a number of changes to his original description of the Universe in subsequent stories. A few authors also deviated from his definition of the Universe apparently without his permission.

Unfortunately, many posters ignore what he defined in this Universe. They argue based on what is possible IF the resources were available and IF the people of Chaos have certain knowledge. In his original stories, Lazlo indicates the resources and knowledge are NOT available. That does stop some posters from stating what would be possible if the resources and knowledge were available. :(

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

as one point raised is how the spark of invention and curiosity isn't there amongst most of the population, it's extremely rare.


And I'm saying that's simply not believable without active and continuous suppression.

Dominions Son

@REP

I vaguely recall they eliminated certain information from the villager's minds.


Doing that just the once wouldn't work. Over the course of human history, in the real world, much knowledge and skill has been repeatedly lost and rediscovered.

Replies:   REP
Dominions Son

@REP

Unfortunately, many posters ignore what he defined in this Universe.


I'm not ignoring this, I'm stating that it's so implausible as to break the suspension of disbelief.

Lazlo indicates the resources and knowledge are NOT available.


This is a false statement. Per other statements, even by Lazlo, all the resources needed to make steel from bog iron in quantity ARE available on Chaos. If you have wood, stone, and clay, you can make charcoal. If you have charcoal, stone, clay, and bog iron, you can make steel.

As to knowledge, it is very difficult to suppress and won't stay suppressed without active and continuous intervention, and even then the suppression would not be a sure thing.

Replies:   REP
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

No where have I said poor steel isn't better than the alternatives


Then stop calling it low quality, it's not low quality in context, it would be the highest quality material available.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Wheezer

@REP

That does stop some posters from stating what would be possible if the resources and knowledge were available. :(

...Angels dancing on the head of a pin. There are many things about Chaos that fly in the face of reason, logic, science and the laws of physics & nature. You either ignore them and enjoy the stories or read something else.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

He has also authorized a number of changes to his original description of the Universe in subsequent stories. A few authors also deviated from his definition of the Universe apparently without his permission.


That's why I ended up writing the Rules of the DiD Universe with Lazlo's permission after he vetted it. Most of the authors stay within Lazlo's approved rules.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Then stop calling it low quality,


It's low quality in the view of the Heroes who work to make it better, so it's in context.

Remus2

The argument against steel for DiD being possible or not is pointless.
It is a fantasy world that does not adhere to physics in the real world. As I've said in a previous thread, there are other metals listed that could be alloyed to make compound bows, wire, etc, that are most definitely 'not' low quality.

Attempts to argue real world objects/physics as reason for low quality steels and lack of other tech, are bluntly bullshit.

Creative license in a fictional universe is another matter entirely.
There could be pink flamingo mages riding donut dragons into combat, or alien goat invasions of a kingdom using popsicle sticks for spears, and it would all fall under 'creative license'. No logic, reality, nor opinion, need apply. The only relevant argument that applies, is that of the mind that created the fictional universe to start with.

That established, what further purpose does debating it serve?

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Remus2

There could be pink flamingo mages riding donut dragons into combat, or alien goat invasions of a kingdom using popsicle sticks for spears


Less Damsels in Distress, more Damsels on Diets...

Replies:   Remus2
Remus2

@joyR

Damsels on Diets


LOL.

REP

@Dominions Son

This is a false statement.


No it isn't false.

In Lazlo's stories, there is no mention of making steel; just working bog iron.

Blacksmiths work bog iron to make things. They are not knowingly making steel; even if they are doing so. They do not know that the process they are using turns the bog iron into steel.

REP

@Dominions Son

DS, you are one of the people I was thinking of when I said:

Unfortunately, many posters ignore what he defined in this Universe.


You argue about what would happen in the real world and in the real world what you say would be true. However, the DID Universe is a fictional world, and the stories based on that world do not include what you say would happen in the real world.

StarFleet Carl

@Dominions Son

Exceedingly unfair, particularly given that you ignored the main point.


Actually, I didn't ignore it.

if you're a simple farmer that only has access to wood and stone for your tools, even if your rich neighbors have iron, are you going to know how to make steel?


Go grab a village full of medieval peasants. No one knows how to make steel - and here's a phrase you're missing. Good enough.

Bog iron is not useless if it's the only thing you have. Would you rather use a hoe with the head made of wood, or of bog iron? Since you don't KNOW there's anything better, and you CAN work bog iron, then you make do with what you have.

When you also consider the rather brutal nature of Chaos, simply surviving there is an accomplished feat. While we consider necessity to be the mother of invention, that does NOT mean that the same applies on Chaos. And attempting to apply the rules of Earth to Chaos ALSO does not apply.

Why? It's simple. Chaos is NOT Earth. And all your arguing about how the rules of Earth and what we would do here simply DO NOT APPLY.

Replies:   garymrssn
garymrssn

@StarFleet Carl

It's simple. Chaos is NOT Earth.


In addition to that, Earth is NOT the Earth of our reality. It is a fantasy Earth with magic portals. How much of our reality applies to that fantasy Earth is up its creator.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
Darian Wolfe

@garymrssn

I've only done a little with metal. I can't even call myself a proper welder though I have run a bead. What I'm not understanding is if you heat bog iron and keep skimming out impurities won't you eventually have a product good enough to make steel with?

It might take a lot of time and a lot of bog iron but you could get there couldn't you?

I have a set of books where a man casts and builds every part of his smithy and workshop by hand. Even though I suck with tools I wanted to do it. Just for the bragging rights.

Replies:   Keet  Ernest Bywater
Keet

@Darian Wolfe

Skimming of the impurities doesn't change the base product, it will still be bog iron, just more pure. Making steel using charcoal changes the structure of the metal and that's what makes the difference between bog iron and steel.

Ernest Bywater

@Darian Wolfe

heat bog iron and keep skimming out impurities won't you eventually have a product good enough to make steel with?


Not really, the main difference between iron and steel is the carbon content, but what you say is the start of the process. Heat bog iron until it flows, add carbon elements like charcoal or high carbon sand, skim the impurities, let is set solid enough to shape it by bashing the hell out of it (this helps even out the carbon content), back to the forge, repeat numerous times and you can get a steel.

Darian Wolfe

I know iron isn't steel but it seemed most of the discussion was how worthless bog iron was for making steel when it seems to be more a matter of patience and make do to me.

I was trying to see if there wassomething fundamentally wrong with bog iron itself.

Ernest Bywater

@Darian Wolfe

I was trying to see if there wassomething fundamentally wrong with bog iron itself.


the basic difference is to do with the strength and resilience due to the different structure at the molecular level. While not the same, it's the sort of difference in the metals you get between pure lead and lead mixed with tin.

Dominions Son

@Darian Wolfe

I know iron isn't steel but it seemed most of the discussion was how worthless bog iron was for making steel


It's not worthless for making steel. However raw bog iron is fairly worthless. To use it for tool making, you have to either smelt it or make steel out of it.

The raw bog iron is basically a metallic Swiss cheese or foam with the holes filled with non-metallic material, mostly organic matter. That makes the raw bog iron very brittle.

That means either melting it, or mechanically breaking it into small pieces to remove as much of the organic matter as possible.

In the second case, you have to forge weld the pieces back together, and that process of heating it in charcoal, later coal or even more recently coke and that combined with whatever organic matter you didn't get out adds carbon to the iron starting the process of turning it into steel.

Dominions Son

@Darian Wolfe

I know iron isn't steel but it seemed most of the discussion was how worthless bog iron was for making steel


It's not worthless for making steel. However raw bog iron is fairly worthless. To use it for tool making, you have to either smelt it or make steel out of it.

The raw bog iron is basically a metallic Swiss cheese or foam with the holes filled with non-metallic material, mostly organic matter. That makes the raw bog iron very brittle.

That means either melting it, or mechanically breaking it into small pieces to remove as much of the organic matter as possible.

In the second case, you have to forge weld the pieces back together, and that process of heating it in charcoal, later coal or even more recently coke and that combined with whatever organic matter you didn't get out adds carbon to the iron starting the process of turning it into steel.

Darian Wolfe

Got it, so while physical impurities can be removed using tedious processes. The remaining iron is still inferior on a molecular level even though it does have uses. Thanks for the explanation.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Darian Wolfe


The remaining iron is still inferior on a molecular level even though it does have uses.


Actually, as I understand it, it's really hard to get pure iron out of bog iron.

Even if you smelt it, the iron will end up absorbing some carbon from the organic mater and what you get is very low-grade steel rather than straight iron.

And if you just try to cold hammer the bog iron to shape it, because of it's non-sold nature and the organic inclusions the result is very brittle, inferior to either copper or bronze tools.

Even if you manage to squash the voids shut, they don't weld closed when you do it cold, so you get what's called a cold shut, while the metal looks solid, the cold shut is actually a weak point in the metal.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe  Remus2  Remus2
Darian Wolfe

@Dominions Son

Well hell, At least you can knock somebody in the head with it. So it can't be all bad. lol

Remus2

@Dominions Son

it's really hard to get pure iron out of bog iron.


Its called the Bessemer process and it's not as difficult as some seem to think it is.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Tw0Cr0ws

On this Earth a thousand years ago a sword cost the modern day equivalent of about $1300 US.
Most of them were made of refined bog iron.
Good weapons have always been expensive, but when it is your life on the line they are worth it.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Remus2


Its called the Bessemer process and it's not as difficult as some seem to think it is.


1. It's a relatively modern process, patented in 1850.

2. It produces steel, not pure iron.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessemer_process

The Bessemer process was the first inexpensive industrial process for the mass production of steel from molten pig iron before the development of the open hearth furnace. The key principle is removal of impurities from the iron by oxidation with air being blown through the molten iron. The oxidation also raises the temperature of the iron mass and keeps it molten.

Replies:   Remus2
Remus2
Updated:

@Dominions Son

1. Yes it is relatively modern.

2. It's based in the real world.

3. It produces steel from iron.

4. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fictional DiD universe.


it's really hard to get pure iron out of bog iron.


That was the statement I was responding to. Zero, nothing, nada, to do with the DiD universe.

The premise was as it relates to carbon. There is no molecular scale for metals btw. The correct terms are either grainular or crystalline. On an atomic scale, all steel is an alloy of iron.

Iron is iron on the atomic scale.

Edit: After reading that, I see another part of the disconnect. It doesn't matter what the source of iron is on the earth, you cannot get 'pure' iron anywhere on the planet outside of a high end lab.

Remus2

@Dominions Son

Even if you manage to squash the voids shut, they don't weld closed when you do it cold, so you get what's called a cold shut, while the metal looks solid, the cold shut is actually a weak point in the metal.

Cold shut is a casting defect. In this context, it would be cold lap, lamination, forging burst, or delaminination.

Cold shut btw, is when a hot flow of metal in a casting mold meets a colder flow in the mold and does not bond properly.

PotomacBob

@Ernest Bywater

In the original stories only bog iron and basic ways of improving the iron into steel were stated.


I was reading a few weeks about railroads, and the story said that the reason railroads run mostly north and south in the Shenandoah Valley was to service the iron mines on the western side of the Blue Ridge mountains (the eastern side of the valley). My question is - how does that mountain iron differ from "bog iron"? (The word "mines" is mine; It is possible the story did not use the word "mines").

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@PotomacBob

how does that mountain iron differ from "bog iron"?


There's a difference in the structure of bog iron and iron ore, not sure what the exact difference is beyond the concentration levels of the iron molecules and the possibility of the carbon levels. Iron ore is mostly created through volcanic activity, and there is no volcanic activity on Chaos as there is no molten core to it. Originally there was no iron ore on Chaos, but in a change by the alien management another mineral that was naturally occurring was removed and replaces with iron ore, thus stories set after Shiloh can have them mining iron ore, but not the ones before it.

Replies:   Wheezer  madnige
Wheezer

@Ernest Bywater

and there is no volcanic activity on Chaos as there is no molten core to it. Originally there was no iron ore on Chaos


And right there is the single biggest difference, imho, separating Chaos from a real earth-like planet. No liquid iron core - no magnetosphere. No magnetosphere - no humans walking unprotected on the surface. The iron core of Mars is cold, therefore Mars lacks a magnetosphere to protect it from the solar wind (radiation) and is inhospitable to unprotected humans. Any future Mars colonies will need shielded from the radiation. In the real universe, Chaos would not have naturally formed without an iron core. It would have to be built one rock at a time. Without an iron core, Chaos would have to be much larger than earth to sustain similar gravity, and there is no indication of that. (I know, nitpicking...)

But that's in the real world. The Chaos/DID universe does not operate like the real universe. It does not even pretend to and ignores real laws of physics. It does not try to bend or break those laws of physics like a good story with faster-than-light space ships. It just ignores them. The mysterious aliens in charge do not use technology & science, imho, but use magic. At their level it is a moot point anyway.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Wheezer

It would have to be built one rock at a time.


And that's exactly how it happened. Mike explained it in Shiloh before he gave up writing. Chaos was created through a long serious of collisions of space rocks and debris colliding together. Because of that it had a high concentration of a mineral called taenite. The aliens placed a force field around the planet and terraformed it to suit.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


Chaos was created through a long serious of collisions of space rocks and debris colliding together.


Again, not in a real universe. That's how real planets are formed and an iron core is the result. To get an iron-free, or at least reduced-iron planet it would have to have been crafted from scratch. Terracrafted from the beginning, not terraformed later...and that still ignores the role mass plays in gravity, not to mention the elephant in the room of solar wind.

I do not mind the DID universe ignoring the rules of physics in our universe. It does bug me when half-assed and poorly thought-out explanations are attempted to justify 'why' things are like they are. It is not possible to try to explain away the errors and bad science and make DID fit within our laws of physics by using the excuse of some sort of high-tech voodoo from the alien overlords. The stories are better when no explanation is attempted. Chaos comes across better as a virtual reality game world than as an actual physical planet, imho.

Uther_Pendragon

@Tw0Cr0ws

I really shouldn't be commenting here, because I haven't read the story, on iron, however, I do know a little.

While "iron" is a name applied to an element, which I'll call "Fe" to make this slightly less confusing, the "iron" we use in tools and mechanisms is an alloy with carbon -- among other elements.

Cast iron contains more than 2% carbon.

Wrought Iron is less than 0.8% carbon.

Steel contains some amount of carbon in between.

The carbon is in Fe carbides which are very hard. These are in what modern science calls a solid solution in the Fe.

Before Bessemer, the way you went from cast iron (AKA "pig iron") to steel was to take strips of pig iron heat them up and pound them with hammers.

The force for the hammers was originally human, but the process was mechanized later.

The Fe carbides would aggregate, and then they would migrate to the outer surface, from which they could be removed.

After a while, that resulted in wrought iron. ("Wrought" means pounded.)

Then the wrought iron was heated in contact with charcoal (or any other source of carbon). Enough carbon would migrate into the iron to make steel.

This was a tedious, and obviously expensive process. The Bessemer process puts in sufficient oxygen (originally in air) to burn out as much carbon as you wish.

Iron is derived from iron ore (and "bog iron" is an ore) by putting the ore and carbon (coal, charcoal, or coke) and providing a spark and air. (In current practice, limestone is also provided to float off the impurities in the ore -- everything except Fe oxide.)

The carbon combines with air to provide intense heat. Under sufficient heat, the oxygen in Fe oxide also combines with the carbon. You can see how that process would leave some carbon behind.

madnige

@Ernest Bywater

Iron ore is mostly created through volcanic activity,


No, it's normally a sedimentary rock - there are rare deposits of volcanic ore and even the native metal, but it's mostly sedimentary and associated with Sandstone, Limestone and Coal, overlaying the older Igneous rocks. See for example here.

Replies:   Uther_Pendragon
Uther_Pendragon

@madnige

but it's mostly sedimentary and associated with Sandstone, Limestone and Coal, overlaying the older Igneous rocks. See for example here.


In researching a future (God willing and the Creeks don't rise) story, I learned that Birmingham Alabama is the only place in the USA in which coal. iron ore, and limestone can be found in close proximity to each other. That would seem to contradict the quoted statement.

Replies:   Remus2  StarFleet Carl
Remus2

@Uther_Pendragon

In researching a future (God willing and the Creeks don't rise) story, I learned that Birmingham Alabama is the only place in the USA in which coal. iron ore, and limestone can be found in close proximity to each other. That would seem to contradict the quoted statement.


http://www.tnironfurnacetrail.org/Introduction.html
http://www.miningartifacts.org/Tennessee-Mines.html
https://mrdata.usgs.gov/geology/state/fips-unit.php?state=TN
http://www.netstate.com/states/symb/rocks/tn_limestone.htm

You might want to reconsider your research.

StarFleet Carl

@Uther_Pendragon

I learned that Birmingham Alabama is the only place in the USA in which coal. iron ore, and limestone can be found in close proximity to each other.


What do you mean by close proximity? Southwestern Indiana - Greene and Martin Counties - had more than a dozen blast furnaces operating between 1835 and 1895. The Limestone Capitol of the World is Bedford, Indiana, in Lawrence County - right next to Green and Martin Counties. And the whole damned state sits on top of a coal seam.

http://genealogytrails.com/ind/greene/ores.html
https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/2022/269/RP10.pdf?sequence=1
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Limestone

And there were literally dozens of coal mines in Greene County.
http://hinton-gen.com/coal_ind/greene_mines.html

Replies:   Remus2
Remus2

@StarFleet Carl

There are multiple examples starting south in Birmingham, up the Cumberland Plateau, into Kentucky, and on into Indiana as You've noted. They also go across the Appalachia chain to the east. Close proximity would be western Sequatchie County, TN. where you could walk across all three in an hours time.

Bottom line is, in America at least, it's far from rare.

Uther_Pendragon

@Remus2

You might want to reconsider your research.


Considering I wasn't looking for close sources of these minerals, I'm not going to improve my research for that.

OTOH, I'll be careful not to say that, which I might have in the story.

Uther_Pendragon

@Remus2

You might want to reconsider your research.


Considering I wasn't looking for close sources of these minerals, I'm not going to improve my research for that.

OTOH, I'll be careful not to say that, which I might have in the story.

Replies:   Remus2
Remus2

@Uther_Pendragon

I learned that Birmingham Alabama is the only place in the USA in which coal. iron ore, and limestone can be found in close proximity to each other.


Considering I wasn't looking for close sources of these minerals, I'm not going to improve my research for that.


Maybe you can clarify it then. It sure read like you were looking for close sources. How else do you see that being interpreted?

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