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#80716 - 09/13/02 04:36 PM Prince Rupert
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
A repeat, but I doubt any ayleur has energy to document that fact.
From Brewer:
Prince Rupert's Drops Drops of molten glass, consolidated by falling into water. Their form is that of a
tadpole. The thick end may be hammered pretty smartly without its breaking, but if the smallest portion
of the thin end is nipped off, the whole flies into fine dust with explosive violence. These toys, if not
invented by Prince Rupert, were introduced by him into England.



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#80717 - 09/14/02 12:33 AM Re: Prince Rupert
Wordwind Offline
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Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Explosive violence = something associated with "these toys"?

Who plays with 'em?


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#80718 - 09/14/02 09:06 AM Re: Prince Rupert
wwh Offline
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Dear WW. When I was ten, Prince Rupert drops were great for impressing "the girl next door".
No doubt today's tenyear olds hand her something else to entertain her.


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#80719 - 09/14/02 04:32 PM Re: Prince Rupert
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
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Dear wwh:

Well, I, for one, at five times ten years of age and then some would like to be impressed with these Prince Rupert drops. Can you still find them anywhere?

WW


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#80720 - 09/14/02 05:07 PM Re: Prince Rupert
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear WW: With a little practise, they are very simple to make. You just get a glass rod, but not
Pyrex, perhaps 3/16" diameter. Have a one liter beaker of room temp water. Heat glass rod in Bunsen
burner flame until it begins to melt, and heat until tip thickens, and starts to have large drop form with
rapidly thinning tail, and let it fall into the water. If too hot, molten glass shatters on contact with
water. But with a bit of practise you should be able to have them remain intact. The point is that
the glass cooled suddenly like this has enormous internal strains, and any fracture propagates in
every direction. I guess same principle is involved in automobile windshields. When I was in highschool
an idiot smashed his 1927 Essex into front of bus I was riding in. The windshield bowed out towards me,
then became concave and broke into several large pieces. One of the pieces hit lady passenger on the
cheek like a sword, and her cheek hung down over her breast. When she yelled, I could see both sets of
tonsils. To keep this from happening, windshields were made of two layers of glass with layer of plastic in
the middle. I saw at BCH morgue remains of a kid who hitched ride on trolley, and when he jumped down
went up onto hood of car, put his head through the windshield, and jagged hole cut his head off. So now
windshields are a single sheet of glass so treated that when it breaks it make hundreds of fingernail sized
pieces unlikely to cause injury. This is similar to Prince Rupert drops. Science marches on. Flourish of trumpets.


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#80721 - 09/14/02 05:33 PM Re: Prince Rupert
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
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Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Gotcha, wwh!

Now where to find a bunsen burner...

Science marches on!

WW


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#80722 - 09/14/02 05:44 PM Re: Prince Rupert
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
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this came up before, but not at prince rupert.. i think it was in a words about glass, or tension, or fractures... (in other words we got to the same place, but with different word!) in any case, some one, (might have been you Dr Bill!) found a web sight showing some..

and instead of a bunsen burner you could just use a propone canister.. that is what glass workers used for melting glass rods! Home depot or Lowes and or anyother hardware store caries small canisters of propane for soldering copper pipes, etc..

_________________________
my other obsession

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#80723 - 09/14/02 05:52 PM Re: Prince Rupert
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
of troy:

Is this a project you'd try to demonstrate to your nieces and nephews? [You sound like a great aunt to me from the couple of things I've heard you mention about doing with them.]

I'd love to try this. Not with my kids at school viewing, but still it sounds like something pretty cool to try.

WW


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#80724 - 09/14/02 05:56 PM Re: Prince Rupert
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear WW: perhaps you might have butane cylinder with burner nozzle, such as plumbers use
for small jobs. Incidentally, at one point my second daughter took care of widow of guy who
invented Pyrex glass. She gave my daugher a desk he had handcrafted for himself. I wish I
still had it. When I was ten, you had to be very careful to heat urine specimen to test for
sugar, with Benedict's solution. If you had hot flame with green cone in center, and almost
invisible pale purple outer flame, and put test tube right into it, it would shatter every time.
You had to use reducing flame, meaning lower amount of oxygen, giving gellow color to flame,
and only slowly move test tube into flame, taking it in and out. Just the addition of a small
amount of borax makes the glass wonderfully fracture resistant. That guy ought to have gotten
a Nobel Prize for it. It's just as important as stainless steel, for instance. I think I'll try to look
up the guy's name. Something like Kieve. May he be on a particularly comfortable cloud in the
Hereafter. PS your hardest problem is going to be finding soft glass rod.


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#80725 - 09/14/02 06:05 PM Re: Soft Glass Rods
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
wwh:

All you have to do is google "soft glass rod" + price, and you get two hits. I checked one of the hits and at the bottom of the page was a list of glass suppliers.

If I really set my mind toward trying this trick of Prince Rupert, it seems it would be possible.

Ain't the internet just great?

WW

P.S. I saw some stained glass windows from the Middle Ages today in a Richmond Museum. The color just blew me away the way it does every time I see them. And the Tiffany lamps are super-extraordinary. There were these types of Tiffany lamps on display: dragonfly, begonia, peony, wisteria, peacock, autumn leaves, cobweb (my absolute favorite!), and lily pads among others I can't remember.


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