Fire-making apparatus in the US National Museum - Walter Hough - 1890

Hough, Walter. Fire-Making Apparatus in the IT. S. National Museum, An. Rep. U. S. Nat. Mus.,
1888, pp. 531-587.
you can also download it in pdf format

The former publication has a revision and extension 
"No. 2735.—Proceedings U. S. National Museum, Vol. 73, Art. 14."

Quick comparison : 17 more (useful) pages in the extended publication

First publication : 65 useful pages

  • 17 blank pages or cover, 
  • 8 plates
  • 2 pages (586, 587) for a table of illustrations
  • 55 pages of text and illustrations numbered 531 to 585 
Revised and extended publication : 82 useful pages :

  • 0 blank pages, 
  • 10 plates (last pages)
  • 72 pages of text and illustrations (the figures have been re-numbered, the plates of the former publication have often been split and transformed in illustrations with text, there is no table of illustrations)

Example : the "outrageously comfortable fireboard"  [ not an official or scientific name taken from the publications :-) ]

In the first publication (fig 40)

In the revised publication (fig 36)

Example about percussion methods
The first publication presents only 2 aspects :
  • flint and pyrites 
  • flint and steel

The extended publication presents 3 techniques : 
  • flint and pyrites
  • flint and steel
  • and a bamboo & porcelain technique, which is said to have had a considerable range in Malaysia, and was also used in the south of Vietnam, the south of Philippines

Comments about flint & pyrites : 

  • It is more probably marcasite (not pyrite) that was used, according to the description by Susan Labiste of some experiments : read "Paleolithic Stone on Stone Fire Technology" on
  • other materials can be used, instead of pyrite / marcasite, according to what describes Allan "bow" Beauchamp in "two stones fire starting" on  [ sorry for the parasitic advertising you'll find on that website... I'll change this reference, as soon as I find a clean website on the subject ]. The author says that he uses Pentlandite and flint, quartz, granite, ... (Pentlandite is an iron-nickel sulfide. Marcasite & Pyrite are iron sulfides).

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