The Nineteenth-Century Molyneux’s Boat: Archaeometallurgical Perspective of its Metal Fastenings

M. Bram, N. Iddan, D. Ashkenazi, D. Cvikel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 4.4-m-long vessel designated as Molyneux’s boat was built in England in 1836. During its conservation in 2008, metal fastenings were retrieved, and 12 of them were examined by XRF, metallographic and multifocal light microscopy, microindentation hardness measurement and SEM–EDS analysis. The results show the use of manufacturing techniques developed at different times: the copper fastenings were made by traditional methods—intensive hammering to their final shape followed by annealing; the screws and nuts were made of brass containing ~ 36 wt% Zn and were probably a post-1848 product; and the bolt was made of low-carbon steel (produced by the Bessemer process) and shaped by plastic deformation, perhaps through a thread-rolling process. The bolt was galvanized, thus most probably manufactured after 1856. It appears that the boat was originally built using copper fastenings, and some of which were replaced by galvanized bolts and brass screws during minor refitting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-743
Number of pages23
JournalMetallography, Microstructure, and Analysis
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to Y. Eisenberg and R. Haikin of the Dead Sea Works, Israel, for their valuable assistance; to A. Vaze and M. Cohen of the University of Haifa, for their contributions; and to J.B. Tresman for the English editing. Special thanks go to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, ASM International.


  • Boat construction
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Fastenings
  • Galvanized steel
  • Microstructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Metals and Alloys


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