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The Paper Furnace / How to Melt Lead in Paper
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the scientific effect known as The Paper Furnace in which a ball of lead is melted inside a wrapping of paper. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

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1762

As far as I know a description of this effect first appears in part two of 'Die Zehenmal Hundert und Eine Kunst' by Albrecht Ernst Friedrich von Crailsheim, which was published in 1762.

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The effect also appears:

1785

In 'KŁnste und Geheimnisse von Philadelphia zur Belastigung Jedermanns', which was published in Amsterdam in 1785.

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1813

In 'Die Zauberkunst' by Carl Ferdinand Leischner, which was published in Ilmenau, Thuringia, in 1831.

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1828

In 'The Boy's Own Book' by William Clarke, which was published by Vizetelly, Branston and Company in London in 1828.

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1829

In 'Manuel Complet des Sorciers' by M Comte, which was first published in 1829.

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1831

In 'Mechanemata oder der TausendkŁnstler' by Dr Heinrich Rockstroh, which was published in 1831.

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1839

In the 5th edition of 'Das Buch der Zauberei' by Johann August Donndorff, which was published in Vienna in 1839.

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1863

In 'Spielbuch fur Knaben' by Hermann Wagner, which was published by Verlag von Otto Spamer in Leipzig in 1864 (although the foreword is dated May 1863, which argues that the book was complete at that date).

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1864

In 'Every Little Boy's Book', which was published by Routledge, Warne and Routledge in London and New York in 1864.

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1872

A similar effect, although in this case the metal is not lead and so does not therefore melt, can be found in 'Hanky Panky', a book of magical effects, puzzles, recreational mathematics and other amusements, by W H Cremer, Jun, was published by John Camden Hotten in London in 1872. (I believe that the same effect also occurs in Cremer's earlier work 'The Secret Out' which was first published in the USA by Dick and Fitzgerald in 1859.)

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