Edwardian Quicklime Kilns

quicklime

During the early 20th century during the Edwardian period, poverty was quite rampant in England and those who were homeless would often seek out quicklime kilns burning throughout the countryside in an attempt to stay warm during the night. Quicklime was produced to create mortar for buildings and is designed to neutralize the acidity of the bedrock within farming soil. Quicklime is created by mixing limestone with coal to produce and sustain a constant temperature of 900 degrees Celsius. Quicklime kilns produce carbon monoxide as a by-product among other caustic chemical vapors because of the burning limestone and those who slept beside the kilns would often be rendered unconscious while sleeping because of the carbon monoxide produced, sometimes causing them to shift or roll, and fall into the kiln which was typically few meters both in diameter and depth. These unfortunate victims would be cooked alive, only to be found days later when those producing the quicklime returned to check on their work

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