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Cadmium Brown

By igniting the white carbonate of cadmium, among other methods, a
cinnamon-brown oxide is obtainable, of a very clear and beautiful colour
if the process be well conducted. It is, however, not eligible as a
pigment, owing to the rapidity with which the oxide is acted upon by the
air. In water, especially, we have found this brown so eagerly absorb
carbonic acid from the atmosphere as to become in a few months once more
a carbonate, and as purely white as before. The same result is
observable when the powder is exposed: some shown at the International
Exhibition of 1862, on a glass stand, had to be removed, its label
marked 'Cadmium Brown' being at last found attached to a sample of
cadmium white. In oil, the conversion takes place less readily, that
vehicle having the property of protecting, to some extent, pigments from
oxidation. It is curious that even in a book a water-rub of the brown
slowly but surely changes to white.

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