Arcane:graphite, Plumbago, pencil lead.

As part of my education, I picked up lots of trivia, unrelated to the syllabuse,  which we studied.

This sort of knowledge was relevant to the lives of my previous generation and needs to be preserved.

The problem is that they are not a coherent whole and they don’t fit in with modern idea’s on education, which are more about choosing the mode of transport and recording its detail than about the route and gazing on the vista.

the sort of things that I’m thinking of aren’t  of everyday use and I, consequently, only re-call them, when prompted by random comments.

An example was the reference to the use of Plumbago (graphite) in making cannon balls. The crystalline structure of graphite is such as to make it act like a sort of solid grease. The program mentioned that it was used in pencils, where its grease-like nature allows it to behave like a biro ink. (pencils range from B grades to H grases where the Harder H grades are made by compunding the graphite with clay). The use that I was told of was in lubricating locks. Grease is sticky and will pick up dust and grit, requiring it to be cleaned off from time to time. This is a big problem for watches, which could also probably benefit from the use of graphite. A further advantage of graphite is that, being a solid, it does not lose its fluidity, when cold, whereas grease can “set solid”, when cold enough.  A big problem for car door locks, especially those with electronic keys.

I propose to add a new blog category for such items, as I recall them. ARCANE


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