Hans Otto Gericke:
The Saltworks of Middle Germany Change Over to Coal as a Fuel
The larger saltworks of Artern, Kösen and Dürrenberg in the regions belonging to Kursachsen until 1815
It is a well-known fact that Kursachsen suffered from an acute shortage of cooking salt until the beginning of the 18th century. Beforehand, it was forced to obtain most of its supplies from the saltworks of the neighbouring duchy of Magdeburg, in particular from Halle (Saale). The efforts of the Saxonian rulers to find and extract salt in their state failed for many years. It was not until the second quarter of the 18th century that things began to change. Thanks to his tenacity, Johann Gottfried Borlach not only managed to extract salt from a old salt spring but also to put two new salt springs into production. As a result, three completely new saltworks started up production of boiled salt in the Kursachsen region within a few decades, namely the saltworks of Artern (1728), Kösen (1732) and Dürrenberg (1765).
Following the territorial adjustments agreed at the Congress of Vienna in which parts of Saxony were awarded to Prussia, the Kursachsen salt works found themselves confronted with a completely new situation, as they were located in the regions which formed the new Prussian province, Saxony. They were put under the Superior Board of Mines in Halle and continued to be state-run.
The article mainly deals with fuel supplies for the saltworks, in particular the largest Saxonian salt mine at that time, Dürrenberg. Although little else changed when Prussia took over responsibility, the big difference was in the statutory regulations governing the mining of coal. Whereas the mining of coal in Prussia was a state monopoly, in Kursachsen the coal mandate of 1743 gave the land owners the right to mine coal. Therefore, any entitlement to mine coal depended on the purchase of the right land or on a mining permit.