Cadmia


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Cad´mi`a


n.1.(Min.) An oxide of zinc which collects on the sides of furnaces where zinc is sublimed. Formerly applied to the mineral calamine.
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Cadmium was first identified in 1817 as a byproduct of zinc refining, and its name comes from the Latin word for zinc ore, cadmia.
When in his second letter Vespucci enumerates some twenty spices and drugs traded by the Portuguese (26), the reader is apt to be puzzled by items such as "mummy" (a bituminous resin) and "cadmium" (presumably cadmia or calamine, since the element was only discovered in 1817).