The “Journal of Charles Lambert 1825-1830” is an in-depth day-to-day record of a successful Franco-British entrepreneur who made a fortune in Chile, due to copper and silver mining and smelting. This journal was written by Charles Lambert, who was not only successful in the mining industry, but also made a sizable impact by introducing new technology. This journal helps to provide insight to the British involvement in the Chilean copper mining industry during the 1820s. The context of this journal is that Lambert was sent over to Chile to be a manager of the Chilian Mining Association. He ended up leaving that association and took his own path, where he continued to succeed in the copper field.
As the starting point of my project focuses on events prior to Chile’s independence, this source is extremely useful as it documents British involvement. British entrepreneurs in Chile are one of the topics I discuss in my project, as I evaluate the history of copper mining in Chile. Lambert is someone very prevalent in my project. This journal gives a first-hand account and evidence of events I discuss in my project. I am including it especially because of the evidence of the reverberatory furnace, which Lambert introduced to Chile. Overall, it is an interesting perspective to include, as it shows Lamberts day-to-day progress.
“21st Wednesday. after several trials to smelt ores in the reverberating furnace we could not suceed resolved to attempt again and built up a small blasting furnace with billows.” (Page 149)
“22 Thursday. ordered the reverberating furnace to be ment and made trials on a small scale to trace a method for smelting yellow ores.” (Page 149)
Coquimbo October 1829
“Friday 23rd begun at 6 o’clock to try how long 27 cargos & 28 would last in the furnace. found that the 55 loads lasted 16 hours which makes 5 cajones a day as found before –” (Page 217)
Lambert, Charles. Mining in Chile’s Norte Chico: Journal of Charles Lambert, 1825-1830. Edited by Mayo, John and Collier, Simon. Dellplain Latin American Studies, no. 26. Boulder: Westview Press, 1998.