Discovery by Jewish Engineer Ends Dead Sea’s Uselessness
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Discovery by Jewish Engineer Ends Dead Sea’s Uselessness

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Enough potash, which is widely used as a fertilizer and in many industrial processes, can be taken out of the Dead Sea in Palestine to supply the world with this product for the next 2,000 years, Major T. G. Tulloch, British engineer, declared here in his lecture on the Dead Sea concession before the dominions and colonies section of the Royal Society of Arts. The Earl of Lytton, who is chairman of Palestine Potash Ltd., to whom the Dead Sea concession has been granted, presided at the meeting.

Terming the discovery of the Dead Sea possibilities by Moshe Novomeysky, Jewish engineer who worked there for many years, the “most interesting and most useful made in Palestine,” Major Tulloch described to the audience the changes brought about in the Dead Sea region by the discovery and the effects on the future of Palestine.


“From time immemorial the Dead Sea has been a synonym for all that is useless and unprofitable,” Major Tulloch said, “and the expression ‘Dead Sea fruit’ denotes bitter disappointment. Travelers’ tales made it out to be a spot where the climate was unbearable and deadly, and where it was impossible for human beings to live.

“Many interesting discoveries have been made from time to time in Palestine, but perhaps the most useful, in that it concerns the living and not the dead, is that all these tales have been proved to be entirely false. The Dead Sea today is a thing of life, pulsating with health and conferring benefits on thousands of human beings.

“I have been asked by the Royal Society of Arts to give you some up-to-date information upon the scientific and commercial sides of the subject, and if time permits, to add something about the hygiene, health of the workers, scenery and amenities for visitors.

“The principal use of potash (in which the Dead Sea is especially rich) is in connection with so called fertilizers, for no vegetation and consequently no animal, including human, life can exist without it. It has, of course, many other uses, as for example in explosives, matches, s### and glassmaking. In normal times it was found that the world demands for potash increased by ten per cent every year, and it may be of interest here to remark that if no other potash from any other sources were used the quantity existing in the Dead Sea would last the world for over 2,000 years.

“Though bromine has only a comparatively small number of uses at present, such as in medicine, photography and dyeing, a new use has been found for it of late years in connection with antiknock additions to gasoline motorcars.

“From the above sketch it is apparent that the mineral resources of the Dead Sea are destined to play an ever more important role in the world’s economics, not only by reason of the simplicity of their production, but also on account of their vast quantities, which are easily ascertainable, as they are all in solution, and the volume of the contents of the Dead Sea can be computed with its analysis to very close limits.

“These quantities are 22,000,000 tons of magnesium chloride, 11,000,000 tons of sodium chloride (common salt), 5,000,000 tons of calcium chloride, 2,000,000 tons of potassium chloride, and 1,000,000 tons of magnesium bromide.”

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