Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Asbestos (Greek, unconsumable), a fibrous form of hornblende, a silicate of magnesium, aluminium, and iron; white, grey, or green in colour, with a silky lustre, in flexible threads, sometimes over a yard long. It is not fused by ordinary flame, and has been woven into fireproof fabrics; but is now mainly used for packing pistons, fireproof safes, and steam-pipes, and for gas-stoves. It is found in serpentine, in Anglesea and Cornwall; but the finer, longer form, known as Amianthus, is obtained from the Alps, Pyrenees, Urals, New South Wales, etc. Mountain leather, mountain cork, and mountain wood are brown, felted varieties.