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  • Among the best known after the ordinary No. 1 dynamite are forcite, ammonia dynamite, litho-fracteur, rendock, Atlas powder, giant powder, and the various explosive gelatines.

    Nitro-Explosives: A Practical Treatise


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  • Wow! All over sudden Wordiemates come to the rescue! Thanks all! I'm so edified I could just...(!) :o)

    FWIW, in the citation below, the "parcel" was a stack of purloined banknotes, which helped Napoleon Bonaparte ("Bony") the peerless aborigine solve the perfect crime!

    August 9, 2008

  • Thought you might as well be exploding both ends, just for symmetry's sake. You know, a big, fuzzy, gelignite palindrome on a chain. Now that's entertainment!

    August 7, 2008

  • *sneezes*

    What's with the cruelty to animals, you freakish marsupial?

    p.s. this page is one of the great reasons for hanging out on Wordie. Look at all this knowledge and detective work! Yay!

    August 7, 2008

  • Right! That's what I was getting at--it works to describe keeping the powder dry. It does make sense as a noun. :-)

    I'm leaving before someone's schnozz explodes.

    August 7, 2008

  • Ah yes, I'm on it now. Mollusque's citation is on the ball. I've read fracteur with the figurative meaning of explosive in one of Hal Porter's short stories. I also seem to remember hearing it during a mine tour ... Walhalla maybe? Sovereign Hill?

    *stuff's chained_bear's greedy snout with fracteur and lights the fuse*

    August 7, 2008

  • ...there are men called storemen working underground at the Lake George Mine. These employees issue all fracteur (explosive), and tools to miners working on the various levels; they transport all of this material from the plat to the stores by trolley and have to account for the quantity sent to them, and the quantity issued.

    --The Industrial Arbitration Reports, New South Wales, vol. 42, 1943, p. 459

    August 7, 2008

  • Oho, yes. One compound ending in fracteur (looked lithofracteur up; the root is Latin fractor, 'breaker,' shared with fracture). It still makes no sense as a noun here: protecting breakage from damp? Protecting crack from damp? Splinter? The euphonic substitution of a diphthong for a simple vowel, owing to the influence of a following consonant? *dizzied*

    August 7, 2008

  • O, could it possibly refer to Fraktur?

    Wait! Litho-fracteur (also lithofracteur) was a type of explosive, no? That would surely need protection from dampness!

    August 7, 2008

  • "Fracteur" is nowhere in the online OED — could it be related to fractable, "A term used, in the middle ages, for the crest table or coping running up and down the gables of a building?" It's the only thing that suggests shelter; everything else, predictably, relates only to fracture.

    August 7, 2008

  • "Within was a parcel wrapped in black waterproof cloth, used at one time for protecting fracteur from damp."

    --Arthur W. Upfield, The Sands of Windee, p.102

    Note: I've been unable to find this word in my compact edition of the OED. Can anybody help with the definition?

    July 26, 2008