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Lodestone, c 1970s.

Lodestone, c 1970s.
3 4 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 26cm


Magnetic rocks such as this one have been known to man for centuries. Early experiments found that when suspended on a string they would always point in the same direction, which made them useful to travellers for finding directions. They were named 'lodestones', meaning 'leading stones', and are made of magnetite, a naturally magnetic iron ore.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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