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RSEHN >> Publicaciones >> Bol. R. Soc. Esp. Hist. Nat. 109, 2015 >> Artículos de investigación

Bol. R. Soc. Esp. Hist. Nat. 109, 2015


Artículos de investigación

John Talbot Dillon (1739-1805), escritor, Christian Herrgen (1760- 1816), químico y Joseph-Louis Proust (1754-1826), químico: La importancia de los recursos mineros de Extremadura en el siglo XVIII


John Talbot Dillon (1739-1805), writer, Christian Herrgen (1760-1816), chemist and Joseph-Louis Proust (1754-1826), chemist: the importance of the mineral resources of Extremadura in the 18th century

Alfonso de las Llanderas López

Bol. R. Soc. Esp. Hist. Nat. 109, 2015

Resumen

Tras el descubrimiento y divulgación realizada por William Bowles (1714-1780) en su publicación Introducción a la Historia Natural y a la geografía física de España (1775) de la existencia de la fosforita (piedra fosfórica para Bowles) en Logrosán y del plomo, hierro, cobre, plata entre otros recursos, tres autores y científicos influyeron en que otros científicos de Europa pensasen en Extremadura como una nueva localización industrial minera. En este artículo se destaca que, junto al Gobierno, en el empuje industrial minero regional participaron, entre otros, los químicos y divulgadores de las riquezas naturales. Jonh Talbot Dillon (1739-1805), escritor, supo dar las novedades a los focos pensadores científicos ingleses necesitados de nuevas noticias; Christian Herrgen (1760-1816), químico, identifica el “apatito térreo”, y Joseph-Louis Proust (1754-1826), químico, define la “piedra fosfórica” y el “fluor apatito”, analiza muestras de galena locales y junto a Chavaneau, químico también, analizan las tierras del Marqués de Hinojosa e identifican el wolframio y las posibilidades de éstas en estaño. Según Larruga (1795), las tierras de dicho marqués se encontraban en el término de la villa de Valencia de Alcántara y se explotaron en 1790-1793 bajo la dirección del técnico alemán Juan Federico Talaker.

Palabras clave: William Bowles, John Talbot Dillon, Christian Herrgen, Joseph-Louis Proust, Minería, Minas, Minerales, Extremadura, Cáceres, Badajoz, España

Abstract

After the discovery and divulgation carried out by William Bowles (1714-1780) in its publication Introducción a la Historia Natural y a la geografía física de España (1775) of the existence of phosphorite (in Logrosán) and lead, iron, copper, silver among other resources, three authors and scientists influenced other scientists from Europe to think in Extremadura as a new mining industrial location. This article reports that the industrial thrust under the direction of Government, it was produced, among others, by the chemists and writers of the natural resources. These three authors, contemporary of Bowles, are John Talbot Dillon (1739-1805), Christian Herrgen (1760-1816) and Joseph-Louis Proust (1754-1826). Talbot Dillon, writer, was able to give the news to the needy of new news to English scientific thinkers focuses. His work had great importance in particular for José Nicolas de Azara, W. Bowles’s editor, which considered the work of Talbot Dillon individually in its letter dated 14 February 1782, Bowles (1782: Prologue). Azara makes mention of this English translation saying that it has another name, and though it sounds like another original book is the book of Bowles, compendium, annotated, sometimes translated and adding news of other authors. Extended translation made by Talbot Dillon of the book of Bowles play meant that the agricultural society of Great Britain knew the existence of the Phosphorite, what motivated Samuel Edward Widdrington and Dr. Daubeny, journey to Spain. He also mentioned lead, copper, iron and silver of Extremadura to translate to Bowles. Herrgen, who came to Spain in 1791, given their knowledge as a chemist and mineralogist, with the support of José Clavijo Fajardo, Deputy Director of the Royal Cabinet of Natural History, was a Professor of mineralogy in the Royal School of Mineralogy, in Madrid, whose director was Chavaneau, and is in charge of the chemist laboratory or laboratory of Platinum, giving classes, where he researched and published articles for use in teaching; collector of minerals and fossils, along with other technical, in the Royal Cabinet of Natural history (with Tálacker brothers-Juan Guillermo y Enrique- or theHeuland brothers). Also was professor of Royal Museum of Natural Sciences, union of the Royal Cabinet of Natural History, Botanical Garden, the Chemical Laboratory and the Cabinet of Mineralogy in 1816. Analysed, described and classified “earthy apatite” from Logrosán in 1800 and participated along with Proust, Dominguez and Cavanilles in the writing and editing of the Anales de Ciencias Naturales in 1799, publication created at the behest of Carlos IV for the cultural dissemination of science. Proust defines “phosphate stone of Extremadura” and the “fluoride apatite”, analyzes samples of lead-silver and analyzed with Chavaneau, chemical, the lands of the Marqués de Hinojosa and identify the tin and tungsten in large quantities. According to Larruga (1795), the lands of the Marquis were at the end of the town of Valencia de Alcántara and that exploded in 1790 under the leadership of Juan Federico Talaker.

During the 16th to 18th, Extremadura was a region with a great present and future in the mining industry of Spain and the world by the great discoveries made as they were Guadalcanal silver, phosphorites of Logrosán, lead in Garlitos, Azuaga and Castuera, tungsten and tin of Cáceres and Badajoz, medicinal water spas, quarries of construction products, etc... Important technical illustrated visited their sites, investigating them, analyzed, and published the results of their work (up to the time Bowles, Ponz, Bedoya, Dillon, Herrgen, Proust, etc...). The loss of possessions and the mines of America by Spain involved the search for new resources to replace equal content and applications to the exploited outside its borders and that supply the industry both civil and military, and both Spanish and European. This determined the rise of mining in Extremadura.

Keywords: William Bowles, John Talbot Dillon, Christian Herrgen, Joseph-Louis Proust, Mining, Mines, Minerals, Extremadura, Cáceres, Badajoz, Spain





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(c) Real Sociedad Española de Historia Natural. Facultades de Biología y Geología. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. 28040-Madrid - e-mail: rsehno@bio.ucm.es