"tempera in questa aqua": Experimenting with impact of medieval quenching recipes on steel hardness

Event Presented on  Wed 25th 2023 at The Oakeshott Institute 1101  Stinson Blvd NE Minneapolis MN 55413

 Recorded Presentation

Text from first half of presentation

The purpose of this lecture/interactive workshop is to share the results of collaboration between The Oakeshott Institute, Arms and Armor, and University of Minnesota materials science & engineering. We used two medieval recipes--one from Caterina Sforza's ca. 1490 recipe collection and one from the pseudo-Dohbringer German commonplace book -- to prepare two different quenching liquids. These liquids -featuring such ingredients as crushed earthworms and mealworms and blood from a rutting buck - were used to quench steel samples at Arms and Armor and compared to steel samples quenched with water and rapeseed oil (common modern quenching liquid). All 4 samples were then analyzed with hardness testing and microscopic examination by the UMN materials science team.  



Amanda Taylor, Ph.D.
Research Affiliate, Center for Premodern Studies
University of Minnesota
Research Fellow, Oakeshott Institute


Emily E. Beck, MA, Ph.D. 
Assistant Curator, Wangensteen Historical Library https://hsl.lib.umn.edu/wangensteen
University of Minnesota | umn.edu 


Nathan Mara, Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering
Professor and Director if Undergraduate Studies in material Sciences and Engineering, chemical Engineering and Material Science
University of Minnesota | umn.edu 
Research - Cuong Ho and Mauricio De Leo



Craig Johnson, Sec. The Oakeshott Inst/ Arms & Armor Prod Mng.



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