This is a single page in a larger project,
Introduction to the archaeometallurgy of iron
Donald B. Wagner

References on Chinese crucible smelting

Anon. 1910. ‘Native coal and iron working in the province of Shansi, China. Engineering, December 2, 1910: 761–762 + plates. Detailed description of crucible smelting. Good photographs.

——— 1917. 最近滿洲鑛産物概況. Tetsu to hagane 鐵と鋼 3.10: 1117–1130. Translation, Hara 1992.

———. 1945. ‘Chengqiang wubi de xiantie lu 逞强无比的铣铁炉’ (Incomparable cast-iron furnaces). Dalu huabao 大陆画报 6.3: 8–9.
Good photographs of crucible smelting.

Davidov, — (mining engineer). 1872. ‘O mineral’nyikh bogatstvakh Kul’dzhi i o sposobakh razrabotki ikh tuzemtsami (On the mineral resources of Kul’dzhi and on the indigenous methods of exploiting them). Gornyii Zhurnal (St. Petersburg), 2: 193–212 + ill. German translation, Langer 1872.
The curious crucible smelting technology practised in Yining 伊宁, Xinjiang, with bottomless crucibles.

Day, St. John V. 1875. On the high antiquity of iron and steel. London: W. H. Guest. Pp. 29–32: Notes by ‘Mr Henderson’ of a visit to an ironworks near ‘Yang-ching, Shansi’. [Probably Yangcheng 阳城, Shanxi.]
Some technical information.

Ding Wenjiang 丁文江. 1956. ‘Manyou sanji 漫游散記’ (‘Miscellaneous field notes’). Zhongyang Yanjiuyuan yuankan 中央研究院院刊 (‘Annals of Academia Sinica’, Taibei) 3: 341–437. Reprinted from an earlier publication.
Crucible smelting, pp. 369–372.

Fan Baisheng 范百胜. 1985. ‘Shanxi Jincheng ganguo liantie diaocha baogao 山西晋城坩埚炼铁调查报告’ (Investigation of crucible iron smelting in Jincheng, Shanxi). Kejishi wenji 科技史文集 13: 143–149.

Foster, F. A. 1919. ‘Chinese iron foundries’. American machinist 51.8: 345–52.

Hara, Zenshiro. 1992. ‘Crucible smelting in Manchuria. Archeomaterials 6.2: 131–139. Translation and discussion of two Japanese descriptions of crucible smelting in Liaoning, Anon. 1917 and Shimaoka 1917.
Excellent technical description, with good diagrams.

Hara Zenshirō 原善四郎. 1993. ‘Chūgoku zuhō seitetsuhō no hitotsu: rutsubo seitetsuhō 中國土法製鐵法の1ち — ルッボ製鐵法’ (One Chinese traditional iron-production method: crucible smelting). Kinzoku 金屬 (Metals) 1993.4: 77–82.

Jameson, C. D. 1898. ‘Coal and iron in eastern China. Engineering and mining journal, Sept. 24: 365–367.
P. 367, brief description of crucible smelting. Good photograph of crucible making.

Hose, Charles, and William McDougall. 1912. The Pagan tribes of Borneo: A description of their physical moral and intellectual condition with some discussion of their ethnic relations. 2 vols. London: Macmillan. archive.org/stream/pagantribesofbor01hose
Brief description of an iron-smelting technique very similar to Chinese crucible smelting, vol. 1, pp. 193–197 + pl. 107–108.

Kocher, E. 1921. ‘Die neuere Entwicklung der chinesischen Eisenindustrie. Stahl und Eisen 41.1: 9–12.
Largely on modern developments. Very brief description of crucible smelting, with three good photographs.

Langer, J. H. 1872. ‘Montanindustrie an der Grenze Chinas. Berg- und Hüttenmännischen Zeitung 31: 394–400 + Taf. 11. Translation of Davidov 1872.
The curious crucible smelting technology practised in Yining 伊宁, Xinjiang, with bottomless crucibles.

Licent, Emile. 1935–1936. Hoang ho–Pai ho: comptes-rendus de onze années (1923-1933) de séjour et d'exploration dans le bassin du fleuve Jaune, du Pai ho et des autres tributaires du golfe du Pei Tcheu ly. 4 vols. + Atlas. Tientsin: Mission de Sienhsien.
Not seen. According to Bennet Bronson: Pp. 620–621, crucible smelting in Taiyuanfu; pp. 624–625, crucible smelting in Yangzhu Xishan.

Liu Peifeng 刘培峰. 2014. ‘Shanxi chuantong ganguo liantie jishu yanjiu 山西传统坩埚炼铁技术研究’ (‘The Study of Crucible Smelting in Shanxi Province’). Unpublished dissertation, Beijing Keji Daxue 北京科技大学.

Liu Peifeng 刘培峰, Li Yanxiang 李延祥, and Qian Wei 潜 伟. 2015. ‘Shanxi chuantong zhutie jishu chengjiu 山西传统铸铁技术成就’ (‘Achievements of Traditional Cast Iron Technology in Shanxi’). Zhuzao shebei yu gongyi (‘Foundry equipment and technology’) 2015.3: 58–61.

———. 2017. ‘Shanxi chuantong ganguo liantie jishu leixing, fenbu ji qi xingcheng yuanyin 山西传统坩埚炼铁技术类型、分布及其形成原因’ (The types, distribution and origin of crucible smelting). Kexue jishu zhexue yanjiu 科学技术哲学研究 (Studies in philosophy of science and technology) 34.2: 86–92.

———. 2019. ‘Mei liantie de lishi kaocha 煤炼铁的历史考察’ (‘The Study on the History of Chinese Traditional Coal-based Ironmaking’). Ziran bianzhengfa yanjiu 自然辩证法研究 (‘Studies in dialectics of nature’) 35.9: 85–90.

Liu Peifeng 刘培峰, Li Yanxiang 李延祥, and Qian Wei 潜伟. 2014. ‘Cong wenxian jizai zhuishuo ganguo liantie de yuanliu 从文献记载追溯坩埚炼铁的源流’ (Tracing back to the origin and development of crucible smelting through documentary records). Ziran kexueshi yanjiu 自然科学史研究 33.2: 216÷222.

Liu Peifeng 刘培峰, Qian Wei 潜 伟, and Li Yanxiang 李延祥. 2018. ‘Chuantong ganguo liantie chanpin yu gongyi guocheng yanjiu 传统坩埚炼铁产品与工艺过程研究’ (‘Experimental Analysis of Crucible Iron in Shanxi Province’). Ziran kexueshi yanjiu 自然科学史研究 37.4: 448–460.

Nyström, Erik T. 1910. ‘Kinas skatkammare’. In Festskrift tillägnad Peter Klason på hans sextioårsdag av lärjungar, edited by C. Barthel. Stockholm, pp. 391–406. In Swedish.
Crucible smelting, p. 398.

———. 1912. The coal and mineral resources of Shansi province, China, analytically examined. Stockholm: Norstedt.
Photograph of a crucible smelting furnace, p. 57. There is a Chinese translation, which I have not seen: Jin kuang 晉礦, by Xin Changfu 新常富.

Qiao Zhiqiang 喬志強. 1978. Shanxi zhi tie shi 山西製鐵史 (The history of ironmaking in Shanxi). Taiyuan: Shanxi Renmin Chubanshe.
The history of the Shanxi iron industry from earliest times to the 20th century, based on numerous primary written sources. Production statistics.

Read, Thomas T. 1911. ‘The mineral production and resources of China’. Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers 43: 3–53. Analyses of iron samples from Shanxi, p. 27.

———. 1913. ‘The mineral production and resources of China. Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers 43: 3–53.
Pp. 23–28, brief description of crucible smelting. Analyses of ores and iron. Photographs.

———. 1921. ‘Primitive iron smelting in China. The iron age 108.8: 451–455. Description of crucible smelting.
Good photographs.

———. 1934. ‘The early casting of iron: A stage in iron age civilization. Geographical review 24: 544–554. Pp. 550–552, ‘Iron metallurgy in Shansi’. Brief description of crucible smelting. Three photographs.

Richthofen, Ferdinand von. 1877–1912. China: Ergebnisse eigener Reisen und darauf gegründeter Studien. 5 vols. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer. Bd. 1: Einleitender Theil, 1877. Bd. 2: Das nördliche China, 1882. Bd. 3: Das südliche China, nach den hinterlassenen Manuscripten im letztwilligen Auftrag des Verfassers hrsg. v. Ernst Tiessen, 1912. Bd. 4–5: Palaeontologischer Theil . . . , 1883–1911.
Crucible smelting, vol. 2, p. 412.

———. 1903. Baron Richthofen’s letters, 1870–1872. Shanghai: North China Herald. Crucible smelting, pp. 30, 34.

———. 1907. Ferdinand von Richthofen’s Tagebücher aus China. 2 vols. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer. Ausgew. u. hrsg. v. E. Tiessen.
Crucible smelting, pp. 498ff.

Shimaoka Ryōtarō 島岡亮太郎. 1917. 滿洲に於ける舊式製鐵事業の概要’ (Older methods of iron production in Manchuria). Tetsu to hagane 鐵と鋼 2.3: 185–194. Translation, Hara 1992. www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/tetsutohagane1915/3/2/3_2_185/_article/-char/ja/

Shockley, William H. 1904. ‘Notes on the coal- and iron-fields of southeastern Shansi, China. Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers 34: 841–871.
Pp. 852, 857, 867, brief notes on crucible smelting. Photographs.

Tegengren, F. R. 1923–24. The iron ores and iron industry of China: Including a summary of the iron situation of the circum-Pacific region. 2 vols. (Memoirs of the Geological Survey of China, series A, no. 2 Peking: Geological Survey of China, Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce. Part I 1921–23, part II 1923–24. English text and abridged Chinese translation by Xie Jiarong 謝家榮. Chinese title: Zhongguo tiekuang zhi 中國鐵鑛誌, by Ding Gelan 丁格蘭 (Dizhi zhuanbao, A.2 地質專報甲種第二號).
Vol. 2, pp. 323–327, crucible smelting in Shanxi, an especially detailed description.

Wang Jingzun 王景尊, and Wang Yuelun 王曰倫. 1930. ‘Zheng–Tai tielu xian dizhi kuangchan 正太鐵路線地質礦產’ (C. T. Wang & Y. L. Wang, ‘A study of the general and economic geology along the Chêng–T’ai (Shansi) Railway’). Bulletin of the Geological Survey of China / Dizhi huibao 地質彙報 15: Engl. text pp. 53–118 + Ch. text pp. 49–92 + plates + maps.
Crucible smelting, English pp. 109–112, Chinese pp. 85–87.

Williamson, Alexander. 1870. Journeys in north China, Manchuria, and eastern Mongolia; with some account of Corea. 2 vols. London: Smith, Elder, and Co.
On Shanxi, pp. 151–169, 287–296, 297–317, 318–363. There is a little here and there about iron production, but no actual description of the technology.

Yang Dajin 杨大金, ed. 1938. Xiandai Zhongguo shiye zhi 现代中国实业志. 3 vols. Changsha. Facs. repr. Huashi Chubanshe 华世出版社, Taibei, 1978 (Zhongguo jingjishi shiliao congshu 中国经济史料丛书, E0105).
Crucible smelting, vol. 2, pp. 344–345.

Yang Kuan 楊寬. 1960. Zhongguo tufa yetie lian’gang jishu fazhan jianshi 中國土法冶鐵煉鋼技術發展簡史. 上海: 人民出版社.
Crucible smelting, pp. 95–99.

Last edited by DBW 25 February 2023