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A Roman Water Pipe


THE methods used by the Romans in making their lead water-pipes have been described in detail by Lanciani1 and Gowland2. Briefly, a cast sheet of suitable width is bent around a former, so that the edges come together; the inside is then filled with sand, or similar material, a temporary dam is built on either side of the seam and the welding is effected autogenously by means of molten lead or, occasionally, solder. Cross-sections of pipes, when etched in the ordinary way, betray their mode of fabrication, the coarse, crystalline structure of the weld-metal being particularly noteworthy.

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  1. Lanciani, "Le Acque e gii Acquedotti", 194 (1880).

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  2. Gowland, Archæologia, 414 (1891).

  3. Brinley Jones, J. Soc. Chem. Ind., 251 (Aug. 1938).

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SMYTHE, J. A Roman Water Pipe. Nature 143, 119–120 (1939).

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