MEERSCHAUM , aGerman word designating a soft
See also:mineral sometimes found floating on the Black
See also:Sea, and rathei suggestive of sea-foam (Meerschaum), whence also the French name for the same substance, ecume de mer . It was termed by E . F . Glocker sepiolite, in allusion to its remote resemblance to the "
See also:bone ". of the
See also:sepia or cuttle-
See also:fish . Meerschaum ie an opaque mineral of white,
See also:grey or cream
See also:colour, breaking with a conchoidal or
See also:fine earthy fracture, and occasionally though rarely, fibrous in texture . It can be readily scratched with the
See also:nail, its hardness being about 2 . The specific gravity varies from 0.988 to 1.279, but the porosity of the mineral may lead to error . Meerschaum is a hydrous magnesium silicate with the
See also:formula H4Mg2Si3O10, or Mg2Si308.2H20 . Most of the meerschaum of commerce is obtained from
See also:Asia Minor, chiefly from the plain of Eski-Shehr, on the Haidar
See also:Angora railway, where it occurs in irregular nodular masses, in alluvial deposits, which are extensively worked for its extraction . It is said that in this
See also:district there are 4000 shafts leading to
See also:horizontal galleries for extraction of the meerschaum . The
See also:principal workings are at Sepetdji-Odjaghi and Kemikdji-Odjaghi, about 20 M . S.E. of Eski-Shehr .
The mineral is associated with
See also:magnesite (magnesium carbonate), the
See also:primitive source of both minerals being a
See also:serpentine . When first extracted the meerschaum is soft, but it hardens on exposure to solar
See also:heat or when dried in a warm
See also:room . Meerschaum is found also, though less abundantly, in
See also:Greece, as at
See also:Thebes, and in the islands of Euboea and
See also:Samos; it occurs also in serpentine at Hrubschitz near Kromau in Moravia . It is found to a limited extent at certain localities in France and Spain, and is known in
See also:Morocco . In the
See also:United States it occurs in serpentine in Pennsylvania (as at Nottingham, Chester
See also:county) and in South Carolina and
See also:Utah . Meerschaum has occasionally been used as a substitute for
See also:soap and
See also:earth, and it is said also as a
See also:building material; but its chief use is for
See also:tobacco-pipes and
See also:cigar-holders . The natural nodules - are first scraped to remove the red earthy
See also:matrix, then dried, again scraped and polished with
See also:wax . The rudely shaped masses thus prepared are sent from the East to Vienna and other manufacturing centres, where they are turned and carved, smoothed with
See also:glass-paper and Dutch rushes, heated in wax or stearine, and finally polished with bone-ash, &c . Imitations are made in
See also:plaster of
See also:Paris and other preparations . The soft, white, earthy mineral from Ungbanshyttan, in Vermland, Sweden, known as
See also:aphrodite (d¢,
See also:pbs, foam), is closely related to meerschaum . It may be noted that meerschaum has sometimes been called magnesite (q.v.) .
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