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Re: Solnhofen quarrying pattern

<<I have seen photos of the Solnhofen quarry that show a rather large

I spent a short time doing some arranging for the BBC in late 2003, and this
involved being paid to be given a day tour.  We were shown round the museum,
saw a lithographic press in action and were driven to a couple of quarries
in Solnhofen.  We also spent about an hour in a quarryman's 'workshop'.  (It
was December, and they erect tents in the winter.  These are heated in order
to protect the stone.)

With regards to that specific town, the quarries with the top quality stone
are sub-let and worked by individuals.  All extraction is done by hand.  It
has to be, otherwise the stone would get messed up.  The only machine
involved is likely to be a fork-lift truck.  The quality product is then cut
into the required shape by hammering.  The chap we watched doing this was
roughly preparing roofing tiles for Thailand.  As that's a heck of a long
way off, it says something about the quality of the product.

Something like 90% of the stuff extracted is unsuitable, and that gets
carted away by large trucks and worked into cement.  The cement works on the
hill is the largest building around and, if it weren't there, the quarries
would soon choke on the residue.

However, there are also quarries which provide bulk rather than quality.  We
weren't shown around one of those, as it wouldn't have been of much
relevance.  Nevertheless, they're obviously more industrialised.  If the
stone gets somewhat battered and broken, it doesn't matter.  This means
there are several patterns of quarrying in Solnhofen, and which processes
are used depends upon what the quarry is (pun intended).