[Tweeters] Legend and Myth

judyrowetaylor at comcast.net judyrowetaylor at comcast.net
Wed Jul 27 07:46:49 PDT 2005


Speaking of legends and birds, I have been trying to remember the name of the legend of Scandinavian origin (or other area of northern Europe) in which the details of the then-current sword-making technology is described. The saga says that metal (?iron) filings were fed to the domestic fowl (? chickens) and then extracted from the bird droppings before being forged into a sword blade, thus producing a weapon of superior quality. The legendary process was tested using state-of-the-art equipment by an undergraduate (or graduate) metallurgy student at Purdue University; his tests revealed that the process of cycling the metal ore through the chickens did in fact result in a metal of higher strength or forgability (i.e., it was either less brittle or would hold a sharper edge, or something like that...). I recollect phosphorus being involved...either being added or being removed during passage through the birds...Alas, I long to recall the correct details, but it has been 30!
+ years since I was a grad student at Purdue myself and heard about this phenomenon!

Any one know the piece of literature to which I refer...or can reference the modern research?

Cheers!
Judy

--
Judy Rowe Taylor
Mukilteo, WA
Art is a voice of the heart, a song of the soul.
judyrowetaylor at comcast.net
www.enduringibis.com



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