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Salt: A World History

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What were the logistics of gunpowder (i.e. getting the raw materials, refining, measuring and transporting) in the early days of gunpowder wars for different cultures.
An unlikely world history from the bestselling author of Cod and The Basque History of the WorldIn his fifth work of nonfiction, Mark Kurlansky turns his attention to a common household item with a long and intriguing history: salt. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes… more about book…

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What were the logistics of gunpowder (i.e. getting the raw materials, refining, measuring and transporting) in the early days of gunpowder wars for different cultures.(r/AskHistorians)

The salt – saltpeter usually – is the really difficult component. It is generally mined and serves as the easiest portion of the supply train to disrupt.

Most militaries wouldn’t want to make their own powder on the march, however. Granual size is so important to the burn rate that it must be carefully managed and daylight hours are too important for movement to waste on powder grinding.

And you don’t want to grind powder by firelight.

Edit — per /r/Askhistorians rules, I should post a source.

Source: I teach about firearms safety for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and am advance-qualified on Muzzleloaders (black powder). Also, Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky talks a lot about saltpeter and the supply chain that surrounded it.

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AskHistorians

Number Of Links

6

Sum Of Upvotes

256

Amazon Price

$5.85

Book Binding

Paperback

Type Code

ABIS_BOOK

Book Author

Mark Kurlansky

Book Publisher

Penguin Books

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Salt: A World History

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What were the logistics of gunpowder (i.e. getting the raw materials, refining, measuring and transporting) in the early days of gunpowder wars for different cultures.

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