Becher's "Foolish Wisdom"

Johann Joachim Becher: Närrische Weißheit Und Weise Narrheit: Oder Ein Hundert so Politische als Physicalische, Mechanische und Mercantilische Concepten und Propositionen, deren etliche gut gethan, etliche zu nichts worden [...]. (1707).

acquired in 2016

Prince Rupert and the history of malleable cast iron

Details can be found in Ludwig Beck's "Die Geschichte des Eisens" (The History of Iron). Prince Rupert was the son of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, and Elizabeth I of England. He was an English general and admiral, as well as "an outstanding chemist and physicist, and as such was in close contact with [Johann Joachim] Becher. [...] On 1 December 1670 he patented a process for [...] 'softening cast iron, so that it may be filed and wrought like forged iron' [...]" (p. 1274).

Back to Johann Joachim Becher's "Foolish Wisdom", where the author says about the Prince's invention: "Prince Rupert, however, […] instead of trying to harden iron into steel, made the iron soft and pliable so that it can be turned and can be made highly suitable for shooting […]. The prince has been granted a patent for this in England and is producing large amounts" (p. 34).

About the author
Johann Joachim Becher (1635-1682) taught himself the science of medicine and worked as a private physician in Mainz and later in Munich. It was here that he wrote his most important works, including his "Physica subterranea". He drew up plans for establishing a colony of the County of Hanau in South America and for developing silk manufacture. At the Imperial Court in Vienna, he was an influential advisor of Emperor Leopold I in the fields of alchemy, politics and economics. He spent the last years of his life traveling in the Netherlands and in Great Britain, where he studied British mining on the spot. Becher died in London in 1682.

The book in IRONCAT

Johann Joachim Becher's "Närrische Weisheit" ("Foolish Wisdom") in IRONCAT