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


Potashes. This term is applied to the carbonate of potash which was formerly obtained by lixiviation of the ashes obtained from burnt vegetable matter. It is still obtained from this source in localities where wood is cheap. It is so formed owing to its occurrence in almost all vegetation, which derives the supply from the soil. On this account potash salts are a necessity in soils, and, if the natural supply is insufficient or becomes exhausted, it has to be increased by the addition of potash manures. Other sources of potassium carbonate have now almost entirely supplanted the former potashes, or pearl ash, as the crude product was then called, the greater portion being obtained by chemical means from the potash salts' which occur so plentifully in the salt beds of Stassfurt and Galicia. It is extensively employed in glass-making, soap manufacture, in the chemical laboratory, and a number of chemical industries.