before the industrial revolution.



Acid of Sugar Oxalic Acid
Alkanet Root Alkanna Tinctoria
Alum (Allum, alumn) Aluminum Sulfate
Aqua Fortis Nitric Acid
Aqua Regia Nitro-Muriatic Acid
Armenian Bole Red Clay
Asphaltum Mix of Bitumens and Asphalt
Bakers Ammonia Slats of Hartshorn
Benjamine Benzoine
Bismuth Ore for extracting mercury
Blue Stone Copper Sulfate
Boule (bole) Bole Armeniac
Borax Mineral
Brazil Dust Pernambuco
Brimstone Sulphur
Butter of Antimony Antimony Trichloride
Butter of Tin Anhydrous Stannic
Butter of Zinc (killed spirits) Chloride
Calcium Carbonate Whiting - Chalk
Calomel Chloride of Mercury
Chalk Carbonate Calcium
Caustic Potassa Hydrate Potassium
Caustic Soda Sodium Hydroxide
Chalk Carbonate Calcium
Chili Niter Sodium Nitrate
Chloride of Gormyle Chloroform
Chrome Green Chromate of Iron
Chrome Yellow Chromate of Lead
Cinnabar Vermillion
Common Salt Chloride of Sodium
Common Soda Bicarbonate
Copperas (coppersulphate) Sulphate of Iron/Zinc Chloride
Copperas, Blue Copper Sulfate
Corrosive Sublimate Bi-Chloride of Mercury
Cream of Tartar Bitartrate Potassium
Curcuma Goldenseal Root
Coccus Cochineal
Diamond Pure Carbon
Dragon's Blood Resin from Rattan Palm Fruit
Dry Alum Sulphate Aluminium & Potassium
Epsom Salts Sulphate of Magnesia
Ethiops Mineral Black Sulphide of Mercury
Exhilarating Gas Nitrous Oxide
Ferro Prussiate Potassium Ferricyanide
Fuller's Earth Rottenstone
Fustic Pulverized Dry Sumac Leaves
Galena Sulphide of Lead
Gallotonnic Acid Nut Galls
Gesso Fine plaster made with whiting
Glauber's - Salt Sulphate of Sodium
Glucose Grape Sugar
Glycerine Glycerol
Gypsum Plaster of Paris
Hartshorn Ammonia
Hartshorn, Slats of Ammonium Carbonate
Hartshorn, Spirits of Ammonia
Hydrochloric Acid Hydrogen Chloride
Hydrotal Sodium Tetraborate Nitro-chlorahydric Acid
Iron Pyrites Bi-Sulphide Iron
Isinglass Fish bladder glue (sturgeon)
Isinglass Thin sheets of mica for windows, etal.
Ivory Black Carbonized Ivory
Japanese Laquer Rhus Vernicifera-urushi
Japan Wax Rhus Vernicifera-urushi
Jeweler's Putty Oxide of Tin
Kaolin Pipe Clay
King's Yellow Sulphide of Arsenic
Lamp Black Carbon
Laughing Gas Protoxide of Nitrogen
Litharge Lead Carbonate
Lead, Black Graphite
Lead, White Ceruse - Lead Oxide
Lead, Red Minium - Oxide of Lead
Linseed Oil from Flax Seed
Lime Oxide of Calcium
Logwood Haematoxylin
Lunar Caustic Nitrate of Silver
Lye Potassium Carbonate
Madder Acid Alizarine Blue
Marine Acid Spirits of Salt
Montpelier Yellow Yellow Oxide of Lead
Muriate of Lime Chloride of Calcium
Muriatic Acid Hydrochloric Acid
Mercuric Sulphide Vermillion
Naples Yellow Yellow Oxide of Lead
Niter Nitrate of Potash
Oil of Turpentine Spirits of Turpentine
Pearl Ash Potassium Carbonate Anhydrous
Potash Oxide of Potassium
Prussian Blue Ferric Ferro Cyanide
Pumice Stone Volcanic Rock (lava)
Purified Potash Potassium Carbonate
Purple Crystals Potassium Permanganate
Pitch and Tar Saps exuded from Evergreens
Realgar Sulphide of Arsenic
Red Prussiate of Potash Potassium Ferricyanide
Rosin, Colophony/Gum Residue from Distilling Turpentine
Rosin, Tall Oil By-product of pulp paper manufacture
Rosin, Wood Refined from Tree Stumps
Rust of Iron Oxide of Iron
Saffron Yellow dye for varnish and more
Salammoniac Muriate of Ammonia/Ammonium Chloride
Saleratus Pearl Ash overcharged w/Carbonic Acid
Sallet Oil Goose or Duck Likker
Sallet Oil Sweet Oil
Salt of Tartar Carbonate of Potassium
Saltpeter Carbonate of Potassium
Saltpeter Niters Potassium Nitrate
Slacked Lime Hydrate Calcium
Slaked Lime Hydrated Calcium Hydroxide
Soda Oxide of Sodium
Soot Carbon
Spanish Black Burnt Cork
Spanish Brown Sesquioxid of Iron
Spanish Bugloss Alkanet
Spanish Ferretto Calcinate of Copper & Sulphur
Spanish Red Ocher resembling Venetian Red
Spanish White Chalk
Sperm Oil From Head Gland of Sperm Whales
Spirits Alcohol
Spirits of Hartshorn Ammonia
Spirits of Nitre (Sweet) Ethyl Nitrate
Spirit of Salt Hydrochloric or Muriatic Acid
Spirits of Turpentine Distilled tree resins
Spirits of Turpentine, rectified Camphene
Spirits of Wine Alcohol
Stucco or Plaster of Paris Sulphate of Lime
Sugar of Lead Acetate of Lead
Sweet Oil Olive Oil
Tannin Tannic Acid (bark)
Talc Ground Soapstone
Tincture of Steel Ferric or Iron Chloride in Grain Alcohol
Venice Turpentine Premium Turps from the Larch
Verdigris, Acetate of Copper Oxide of Copper, Cupric Acetate
Vermillion Sulphide of Mercury
Vinegar Acetic Acid (dilute usually 5% to 7%)
Vinegar, strong Acetic Acid above 20%
Vitriol Sulfuric Acid
Vitriol, Blue Sulphate of Copper
Vitriol, Green Ferrous Sulphate, Nitric Acid & Copper
Vitriol, Oil of Sulphuric Acid
Vitriol, Red Nitric Acid and Copper
Vitriol, White Sulphate of Zinc
Volatile Alkali Ammonia
Water Oxide of Hydrogen
Water Glass Sodium Silicate
Whale Oil Oil rendered from Whale Blubber
White Precipitate Ammoniated Mercury
Yellow Prusiate of Potash Potassium Ferrocyanide

More as it becomes available. Please email any not included to expand listing.

The above chemical equivalents are drawn from several sources. In many cases the names are repetitious and often contradictory. We assume no responsibility for possible errors that may occur in this listing or its accuracy in all occurrences. Period references were frequently regional in application and what one thing was called in one part of the world was often something else somewhere else. We have tried to include as many variances as possible, there are at least as many more.

Be very careful many of these things are very dangerous. KNOW what you are doing. Go to the library and read a good Chemical Hazards Dictionary.

These equivalents are included so that those reading old texts and testing ancient receipts have a point of reference. It may be of some use to budding young alchemists.

An attempt has been made to preserve original spelling.




The below methods of obtaining chemicals are included as a point of interest. It is not recommended to try these things at home as the manufacture of chemicals (even the simplest ones can be dangerous). The purpose is to illustrate how simple chemicals can be obtained by traditional means.


10 lbs. common salt

20 lbs. common clay

water sufficient to make into balls. Distill while moist with a violent heat and rectify by re-distillation.


6 lbs. nitre

6 lbs. green vitriol, not calcined

2 lbs. green vitriol, calcined



2 lbs. green vitriol

1 lb. niter



16 oz. spirit of nitre

4 oz. sal ammoniac



Burnt antlers of deer.


Powdered soapstone


Water leached through wood ashes


Sodium nitrate treated with potassium chloride


Ivory dust burnt in an absence of oxygen


Wood burnt in an absence of oxygen.


Lead oxide from lead exposed to an atmosphere of acetic acid or ammonia. Red lead results from heating white lead.





Antimony, tin and copper makes babbitt metal.
Copper and tin makes bath metal.
Copper and zinc makes bell metal.
Tin and copper makes bronze metal.
Tin, antimony, copper and bismuth makes britannia metal.
Tin and copper makes cannon or gun metal.
Copper and zinc makes Dutch gold.
Copper, nickel, zinc & sometimes iron & tin makes German silver.
Gold and copper makes standard gold.
Gold, copper & silver makes old standard gold.
Copper and zinc makes mosiac gold.
Tin and lead makes pewter.**
Lead and a little arsenic makes sheet metal.
Silver and copper makes standard silver.
Tin and lead makes solder.
Lead and antimony (sometimes tin) makes type metal.
Copper and arsenic makes white copper.
Copper and zinc makes brass.
Iron and carbon makes steel.

** It has been illegal since the 1600's to make eating & cooking utensils of lead bearing pewter, britannia metal is the preferred substitute.