The history of Ladislav Nachmuller not only points to the first commercial curing brine containing nitrites, but also to the use of pure salt from the regions surrounding Prague.  Using the correct salt was very important to Ladislav.  The area around Prague, like the neighbor to the north, Poland,  were famous for the production of high-quality salt.  Ladislav procured salt from various mines, including from the salt producer, Solivary Prešov.  He gives the requirement for good salt as pure, clean, and “regular salt.”  This mine delivered on this requirements.

Mining at Solivary Prešov started as far back as the 13th century.  The salt was produced from “brines” (water saturated with a salt solution) where the water was evaporated.  First in pans and then in boiling rooms.  The final result was good quality NaCl (table salt) which has been popular among butchers in the area on account of its purity. (From private communication with the museum curator, Prof. Marek Duchoň)

Historical records inform us that the salt production exceeded local consumption, which points to the fact that the salt from Solivary Prešov was widely traded. The technology used in producing the salt was sophisticated. (http://www.stm-ke.sk/)

An interesting fact, relevant to our current discussion, is that the mine produced its own sodium nitrite since 1945.  It falls outside our time of interest and the production has since the been discontinued, but the fact that producing sodium nitrite was fairly “widespread” and the technology, common in the area is fascinating.  (From private communication with the museum curator, Prof. Marek Duchoň)

Sodium nitrite, produced at Solivary in 2007.

This is a key fact in piecing together why it was “natural” to call the sodium nitrite/ sodium chloride mix that Griffith imported into the USA, Salt from Prague.  The region was indeed famous for its salts.


The Naming of Prague Salt Copyright © 2016 by Eben van Tonder. All Rights Reserved.


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