Ore prospector's cabinet, 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
An ore prospector's laboratory set made by C Osterland of Freiburg, Germany. During the 19th century, prospectors looking for mineral deposits identified many new metals. This portable testing kit contains mineralogical tools, including a blowpipe, for use in the field. Blowpipes were used to heat metal samples in order to fuse them with lead in a tiny cupel (a shallow, porous container) before analysing them chemically.