Copper

a halfpenny. Coppers , mixed pence.
a policeman, i.e., one who cops , which see.
 Copper

(Blue vitriol , or bluestone; verdigris; verditer; verdigris crystals .)

E An acid, rough, disagreeable taste in the mouth; a dry, parched tongue, with sense of strangling in the throat; coppery eructations; frequent spitting; nausea; frequent desire and effort to vomit, or copious vomiting; severe darting pains in the stomach; griping; frequent purging; belly swollen and painful; skin hot, and violent burning thirst; breathing difficult; intense headache and giddiness, followed by cold sweats, cramps in the legs, convulsions, and death.
A White of eggs mixed with water (twelve to one pint), to be given in wineglassfuls every two minutes; iron filings mixed with water, or very strong coffee, accompanied by small and repeated doses of castor oil.
DA Vinegar, bark, alkalies, gall nuts.
T If there is much pain in the belly or stomach, apply leeches. Give large draughts of milk and water, to encourage vomiting



Copper  is, next to iron, the most important metal in use. Its greatest production is in the United States, in Arizona, Montana, Michigan, and Utah. Spain, Japan, Chili, Australia and Germany produce smaller amounts. The metal is purified by smelting, and refined, often by electrolytic methods. There are many ores.

Chalcopyrite  and bornite  (sulphides of copper and iron) are widely distributed.

Chalcocite  (copper sulphide) is mined in Montana, malachite  and azurite  (carbonates of copper) in Arizona and metallic copper in Michigan.

Copper matte  is the crude metal as it comes from the smelter.

Brass  and bronze  are alloys of copper with zinc, tin, aluminum, etc.

Copper sulphate  (blue vitriol) is the most important chemical compound of copper.

The value of copper has increased within recent years, due to its enormous use in electrical work. Aside from this, copper is employed in large amount in the various alloys into which it enters, and in coins, utensils, printing plates, etc. Copper sulphate is extensively used in electrical apparatus dyes, chemical work and as an antiseptic. Large amounts of manufactured copper are exported to Europe. Smaller quantities of ores, matte and regulus are imported from Mexico, South America and other countries. Copper wire is extensively used by telephone and telegraph companies.

A metal; one of the elements. Symbol, Cu; atomic weight, 63.5; equivalent, 63.5 and 31.75; valency, 1 and 2; specific gravity, 8.96. It is a conductor of electricity, whose conductivity is liable to vary greatly on account of impurities.

                                                               Annealed.  Hard drawn.
Relative resistance (Silver =1),              1.063      1.086
Specific resistance,                          1.598      1.634 microhms.
Resistance of a wire at 0° C.(32° F.),
                                              Annealed.  Hard Drawn.
(a) 1 foot long, weighing 1grain,             .2041 ohms   .2083  ohms.
(b) 1 foot long, 1/1000 inchthick,            9.612  "     9.831    "
(c) 1 meter long, weighing 1gram,             .1424 "      .1453   "
(d) 1 meter long, 1 millimeterthick,          .02034"      .02081  "
                                              microhm.     microhm.
Resistance of 1 inch cube at0°C. (32° F.)     .6292       .6433
Percentage of resistance change,
per 1° C. (1.8° F.) atabout 20° C. (68° F.) = 0.388per cent.

Electro-chemical Equivalent(Hydrogen = .0105)  Cuprous   .6667
                                               Cupric    .3334

In electricity it has been very extensively used as the negative plate of voltaic batteries. It has its most extensive application as conductors for all classes of electrical leads.

Food poisoned by Copper Vessels

Many kinds of viands are frequently impregnated with copper, in consequence of the employment of cooking utensils made of that metal. By the use of such vessels in dressing food, we are daily liable to be poisoned; as almost all acid vegetables, as well as sebaceous or pinguid substances, employed in culinary preparations, act upon copper, and dissolve a portion of it; and too many examples are met with of fatal consequences having ensued from eating food which had been dressed in copper vessels not well cleaned from the oxide of copper which they had contracted by being exposed to the action of air and moisture.

The inexcusable negligence of persons who make use of copper vessels has been productive of mortality, so much more terrible, as they have exerted their action on a great number of persons at once. The annals of medicine furnish too many examples in support of this assertion, to render it necessary to insist more upon it here.

Mr. Thiery, who wrote a thesis on the noxious quality of copper, observes, that "our food receives its quantity of poison in the kitchen by the use of copper pans and dishes. The brewer mingles poison in our beer, by boiling it in copper vessels. The sugar-baker employs copper pans; the pastry-cook bakes our tarts in copper moulds; the confectioner uses copper vessels: the oilman boils his pickles in copper or brass vessels, and verdigris is plentifully formed by the action of the vinegar upon the metal.

"Though, after all, a single dose be not mortal, yet a quantity of poison, however small, when taken at every meal, must produce more fatal effects than are generally apprehended; and different constitutions are differently affected by minute quantities of substances that act powerfully on the system."

The author of a tract, entitled, "Serious Reflections on the Dangers attending the Use of Copper Vessels," asserts that a numerous and frightful train of diseases is occasioned by the poisonous effects of pernicious matter received into the stomach insensibly with our victuals.

Dr. Johnston [118] gives an account of the melancholy catastrophe of three men being poisoned, after excruciating sufferings, in consequence of eating food cooked in an unclean copper vessel, on board the Cyclops frigate; and, besides these, thirty-three men became ill from the same cause.

The following case [119] is related by Sir George Baker, M. D.

"Some cyder, which had been made in a gentleman's family, being thought too sour, was boiled with honey in a brewing vessel, the rim of which was capped with lead. All who drank this liquor were seized with a bowel colic, more or less violently. One of the servants died very soon in convulsions; several others were cruelly tortured a long time. The master of the family, in particular, notwithstanding all the assistance which art could give him, never recovered his health; but died miserably, after having almost three years languished under a most tedious and incurable malady."

Too much care and attention cannot be taken in preserving all culinary utensils of copper, in a state unexceptionably fit for their destined purpose. They should be frequently tinned, and kept thoroughly clean, nor should any food ever be suffered to remain in them for a longer time than is absolutely necessary to their preparation for the table. But the sure preventive of its pernicious effect, is, to banish copper utensils from the kitchen altogether.

The following wholesome advice on this subject is given to cooks by the author of an excellent cookery book.[120]

"Stew-pans and soup-kettles should be examined every time they are used; these, and their covers, must be kept perfectly clean and well tinned, not only on the inside, but about a couple of inches on the outside; so much mischief arises from their getting out of repair; and, if not kept nicely tinned, all your work will be in vain; the broths and soups will look green and dirty, and taste bitter and poisonous, and will be spoiled both for the eye and palate, and your credit will be lost; and as the health, and even the life, of the family depends upon this; the cook may be sure her employer had rather pay the tin-man's bill than the doctor's."

The senate of Sweden, in the year 1753, prohibited copper vessels, and ordered that none but such as were made of iron should be used in their fleet and armies.

FOOTNOTES:

[118]Johnston's Essay on Poison, p. 102.

[119]Medical Transactions, vol. i. p. 213.

[120]Apicius Redivivus, p. 91.