Antimony (12)


Found by hands with no name
the Killer of Brothers could not be turned more precious

Mixed with lead to the color of light
brought about the Madness of a Monarch

Made black as the grandfather of diamonds
gave evil to the witch’s eye

The Chime can be the Herald of Death
yet administering to Emperors and Musicians became the norm

A concentrated solar experiment
became the Sun of a King

And being pressed changed the History of the Word
by giving it the ability to travel down through time intact

Yet be wary of this gray wolf
or its Star will be the last you see

July 10, 2011
Tressa Lee Breen

My Notes & Research Tools:

3000 BC no one has credit for 1st find
Popular etymology-French, "Monk Killer"
Soft metal, explosive, black, yellow
Commercial forms: ingots, broken pieces, granules, cast cake, powder, shot, single, crystals
No natural role in biology
Flame retardants: children's clothing, toys, aircraft/auto seat covers, light aircraft engine covers, with lead (increases hardness + mechanical strength) - lead acid batteries, small arms ammunition, buck shot, tracer ammunition, cable sheathing, tv screens
Few bio/medical uses, mostly veterinary
Elemental in pill form once used as medicine, could be reused after ingestion, popular laxative. 
Poisoning similar to arsenic: small doses - headaches, dizziness, depression: large doses - damage kidneys/liver, violent/frequent vomiting, death in few days
Nebuchadnezzar, 6 BC, King of Babylon, antimony lead paint for castle walls, went mad, at grass like an ox
Egyptian women used as mascara (witch-like powers, give the evil eye)
Newton thought it had sexual properties + was hermaphrodite 
Mozart may have died from taking too many to fight fever
Part of the strongest and gentlest acids
Alchemical symbol the symbol for female
18th century fire works - white
Lead alloyed with tin and a little antimony - "type metal" in Guttenburg's printing press, into mid 20th century
Ingredient in standard emetic administered to Napoleon
Hebrew/Arabic "Kuhl" modern Kohl for eyes
Soft setting for precious stones
"The Sage's Matter" "The Grey Wolf of the Philosophers"
"Star Antimony" - disc of crust that forms on top of cooling metal
1650, Nicolas le Febre, for 11 yr old King Louis XIV, "The Solar Calcination of Antimony" experiment, sunlight concentrated on star, showed the product of reaction weighted more than antimony he started with, inspiration for Louis's sun motif?
A metal cools, crystals inside break & slip, tapping inside, which causes pinging/chiming sound outside
Wines steeped in antimony goblets induces vomiting - used medicinally 
The Disappearing Spoon And Other True Tales Of Madness, Love, And The History Of The World From The Periodic Table Of The Elements by Sam Kean
Periodic Table: An Exploration Of The Elements by Joel Levy
Periodic Tales: A Cultural History Of The Elements From Arsenic To Zinc by Hugh Aldersey-Williams
The Elements: A Visual Exploration Of Every Known Atom In The Universe by Theodore Gray

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