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Marbles As Ballast???

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Marbles as ballast in sailing ships? No but ...

After the agate mines in Germany that supplied the Idar-Oberstein agate processing industry in the region played out in the mid 1700’s a suitable source of agate geodes and nodules was discovered in Brazil. The stones were mainly from baseball to football size, an ideal ballast material. What a deal! -- ship slaves from Africa to Brazil, unload the slaves, pick up agate ballast in Brazil shipping it to the German agate craftsmen and then ship and trade their products for slaves in Africa.

Some documented facts:

• While the British and Americans outlawed their ships from

transporting slaves after 1806, other countries transported

African slaves to Brazil until after the American Civil War.

• The British cotton textile industry was dependent on American

slave harvested cotton and cruel child labor in the textile mills.

• American cotton was cultivated and processed by slave labor long after the transportation of slaves was outlawed.

• African slaves in Brazil were used in the sugar, gold, silver and diamond industries - all hard on the health and

reproductive success of the slaves.

• That, was not the fate of the African slaves in North America.

Big Indian

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I was sort of hoping that someone would start a thread about ballast. I welcome a chance to revisit the topic from time to time.

But this angle was definitely not what I expected.

LOL, me neither. Seems more about slaves as ballast.

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