Lead

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Lead, Pb(from the same latin word as "plumber", because plumbers used to handle lead pipes alot), 82, is a soft, famously heavy, dull grey metal, most often it doesn't look shiney because it's so soft it is easily scratched, but freshly cast lead is quite shiney.

Lead has been around for awhile, it's very soft and easy to melt, so has been used for plumbing and other piping since ancient roman times. Lead pipes are falling out of popularity though, due to it's toxicity.

A funny thing about lead is it has a sweet taste to it, completely tricking out taste buds into thinking it's healthy, in ancient times lead was even used in tea as a sweetener, today however this poses a risk because the now-banned lead based paint is not only sometimes available for unsuspecting toddlers to chew on, but also tastes better than other paints.

Lead has also always been used for it's weight, for example if you're throwing something at another person, you always want the object to be as heavy as possible, but don't want to be throwing a huge object, in the case of lead it's extremely heavy and also easy to cast into projectiles such as sling stones, cannon balls, and most recently bullets. Lead also makes a good weight for things that either need balancing, or need to sink.

However some people are taking all these uses one step further, and making depeleted uranium bullets and counterweights.. Which I would of course love to have one of, for the sake of collecting.

These are my samples!

Lead Shot

This is about half a bag of "hard lead" shot, which I believe was made by either adding antimony, cooling it fast, or both.. Donated from a friend, commonly used as a counter-weight.

Date added(year-month-day):20110822, sample number:57

Tags(Elements in sample):lead

Lead Cast in Vial

At some point I needed a heavy counterweight for something, I forget what (Probably just a pendulum) but I decided the best way to have a safe lead counterweight was to cast it INSIDE one of my vials, which I figured wouldn't work because glass and sudden heat tend to end up in shattering. Much to my surprise it worked quite well, and the counterweight was a nice contained lump of lead. Something else I noticed was if the lead was pressed against a glass surface, it would never corrode, so I made a smaller (1 dram) sample specifically for lead display.

Date added(year-month-day):20110727, sample number:37

Tags(Elements in sample):lead

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