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On the Antiquity of the Chemical Art
written by "Mactear, James" against it. 28 The method of distilling described by Mr. Kerr in the Asiatic Researches, vol. 1, is so simple that it is almost certain that it was employed in very ancient times for the purpose of distilling spirits, and also attars of various sorts, which, from time immemorial, would seem to have been a special production of India. “The body of the still is a common large unglazed earthen water jar, nearly globular, of about 25 inches diameter at the widest part of it, and 22 inches deep to the neck, which neck rises 2 inches more, and is 11 inches wide in the opening; this was filled about a half with fermented mâhwah flowers, which swam about in the liquor to be distilled. “This jar they placed in a furnace, not the most artificial, though not seemingly ill adapted to give a great heat with but very little fuel. This they made by digging a round hole in the ground, about 20 inches wide and full 3 feet deep, cutting an opening in the front sloping down to the bottom, perpendicular at the sides, about 9 inches wide and about 15 inches long, reckoning from the edge of the circle: this is to serve to throw in the wood and to allow a passage for the air; at the other side a small opening about 4 inches by 3 inches is made to serve as an outlet for the smoke, the bottom of the hole thus made was rounded like a cup. “The jar was placed in this as far as it would go, and banked up with clay all round to about a fifth of its height, except at the two openings, when all was completed so far as the furnace was concerned. “Fully one third of the still or jar was exposed to the heat when the fire was lighted; the fuel was at least 2 feet from the bottom of the jar. “On to this jar there was now fitted what is called an adkur, this being made of two earthen pans with their bottoms turned towards each other, and a hole of about 4 inches diameter in the middle of each of them, the lower of the...

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