The Topic:

Easier - Salt is a common colorless or white substance that is found both in sea water and in deposits in the earth. Animals including humans need salt in their diets. Salt is used to season and preserve food. It is also used in making soap and glass.
Harder - Salt is a clear, brittle mineral that contains the elements of sodium and chlorine. Its chemical formula is NaCl; its mineral name is halite. Salt forms clear, cube-shaped crystals. Impurities can cause salt to appear white, gray, yellow, or red. Table salt also appears to be white.
All salt deposits began as salty water; brine from seas, oceans, and salt lakes. Even underground salt deposits were formed by the evaporation of sea water, eons ago. In ancient times, salt was found mainly in the dry coastal areas like those surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
Since ancient times, salt has been used to flavor and preserve food. Early trade routes and many of the first roads were established for transporting salt. Many ancient civilizations levied taxes on salt. Salt was considered so precious that it was traded ounce for ounce for gold. In ancient China, coins were made of salt. In the Mediterranean regions, salt cakes were used as money. Ancient cities such as Genoa, Pisa, and Venice became salt market centers. By the fifteenth century, salt was obtained by boiling brine from salt springs, and many towns and cities in Europe located near such sources. During the eighteenth century, the efficiency of the boiling brine process was improved by using coal instead of wood as fuel. Because of its coal supply, England became the leading salt producer in the world. Early colonies in America were dependent on England for most of their salt. After the Revolutionary war, the United States developed saltworks along the Atlantic coast for boiling sea water. After salt springs were discovered in New York, near where the city of Syracuse is today, the Erie Canal was constructed. By the early nineteenth century, equipment and technology was developed for the deep-drilling of wells, a process that improved the quality and increased the quantity of salt springs used for salt production. In the mid-1800s, underground mining of salt deposits began.
Morton Salt
"When it rains it pours®" Since 1848, Morton has been a leading U.S. producer of salt for grocery, water softening, ice control, agricultural and industrial uses.
Related Websites:
2) British Salt Limited
3) Cargill Salt (San Francisco Bay Plant)
4) Cheetham Salt (Australia)
5) Marina Sea Salt (South Africa)
6) Real Salt
7) SaltWorks
8) Sifto Canada Inc.
9) Windsor Salt (Canada)
Salt Archive by D. Bloch
Salt made the world go round - - the purpose is to collect evidence to support the theory that common salt and its short supply from the then known sources had catastrophic influence on the development of ancient civilizations.
Salt from the Salt Manufacturers' Association (UK)
This website provides the views and objectives of the salt industry.
Related Website:
2) Canadian Salt Producers from Natural Resources Canada
Salt Institute
Here you can learn salt facts, some of its thousands of known uses, read industry news, and find out why it's needed for human nutrition.
Not To Be Missed Sections:
2) History of Salt from Salt Institute
3) What You Always Wanted to Know About Salt
After visiting several of the websites, complete one or more of the following activities . . .
How Many Different Uses of Salt Can You Find? Identify all the possible salt products. Create a poster that summarizes the different salt products that you find. Can you group them into different types or categories of salts or salt products? Make your poster as attractive and attention-grabbing as possible.
Complete A Salt WebQuest. Adapt or follow the procedures found at Salinity, a webQuest developed for Grades 5-8, ( by D. Tindale and S. Bicknell.
Create A Salt Web. Using a graphic software package such as Inspiration, create a concept map that illustrates the relationships related to salt including its history, production, use and benefits, and risks and concerns.
Be A Salt Detective. Observe and record you and your family's use and consumption of salt for a period of one week. This will involve not only keeping track of amounts added to foods in cooking or at the table, but also recording the amounts found in canned, frozen, and prepared foods. Be as detailed and accurate in your log of salt use as possible. Also, remember that not all salt is used in foods. Summarize your findings. Predict if your findings would differ if they were taken again in six months.
Is Salt Good Or Bad for Humans? Investigate the consumption of salt by humans and how is salt used in foods? Find out if salt is beneficial or harmful to our health. Identify any problems related to our salt consumption. Decide if salt is good or bad for you, can there be too little or too much? You decide what is best for people's health.
Map Today's Salt Route(s). Identify as the different salt products that you find in your home or neighborhood. You can include ones that you find at stores and businesses. Investigate where they come from - - where they were produced. Create a map that shows the route(s) that salt has taken to reach you or your region.
Create A Salt Timeline. Research the history of salt use, production, and trade. Create a timeline that identifies all the important events in the history of salt. In some instances, you will probably use an estimated date . . . be sure to distinguish between those and definite event times.
Salt Industry History
Bayard Taylor: The Salt Mines of Wieliczka, 1850 from the Modern History Sourcebook
Read an account of one man's visit to the salt mines of Wieliczka in 1850.
Related Websites:
2) Air Resources Laboratory and the Wieliczka Salt Mine
3) Wieliczka Salt Mine
4) Wieliczka Salt Mine
Ghostly Salt City Beneath Detroit by P. Zacharias, The Detroit News
Learn about the gigantic salt mine, operated until 1983, that lies 1,200 feet beneath the industrial heart of Detroit. The mine, formerly operated by the International Salt Mine Company, spreads out over more than 1,400 acres and has 50 miles of roads.
Other Salt Mine Sites:
2) Exploring the Cleveland Salt Mine
3) Salina Praid Salt Mine
4) Turda Salt Mine
History of Saltmaking from The Lion Salt Works (UK)
In 1842 the Thompson family set up an open pan salt works in Marston which produced fishery salt, bay salt, various sized crystal salt and lump salt.
Related Websites:
2) Agricola
3) Salt Industry from Turks and Caicos National Museum
4) Salt Making in the Past and Today
5) Salt Pans from Seaton Sluice & Old Hartley Local History Society
History of Salt Production in Russia
This article focuses on the history of the Russian salt industry from its beginnings and on salt production at the salt-work facilities in Prikamye.
History of WV Mineral Industries - Salt
Having been utilized long before the arrival of man in West Virginia, salt was the first mineral industry to be developed.
Importance of Salt from the UC Davis Department of Geology
This online academic article outlines the historical importance and uses for salt.
Japanese Salt and Foreign Salt from Tobacco and Salt Museum, Japan
The relationship of mankind to salt is ancient, as salt is a substance indispensable for maintaining life. Since Japan has no viable natural sources of salt, the early inhabitants were forced to use their ingenuity in producing sea salt.
This website is about the book: SALT: A World History by M. Kurlansky. Here you can read an exerpt from chapter one.
Related Website:
2) Salt: A World History by M. Kurlansky
Salt Industry
Learn about the 19th century salt mines of the Northwich area.
Not-To-Be-Missed Section:
2) Salt Occupations
Salt: The First Antibiotic from Antibiotics in Action
This site explains that while salt is good at keeping bacteria from attacking meat, it's not really useful for treating human disease.
Salt’s Trail Down Centuries by J. Bhatnagar
This site has a brief article on the history of salt use and production.
Three Gorges: Salt and History from China Through a Lens
At sites in the Three Gorges area on the Yangtse River formerly inhabited by the Ba people, archeologists found cultural relics used in primitive saltmaking, providing proof to the assumption that salt industry developed very early in this area.
More Saltsites
Brief History of Salt Cavern Use by R.L. Thoms & R.M. Gehle . . . .Salt%202000.pdf
This paper outlines the history of salt cavern use beginning with the storage of liquid and gas hydrocarbons around five to six decades ago and continuing to the present uses.
Crystallised Salt in Western Europe by B. Moinier of the European Salt Producers' Association
This brief article summarizes modern salt use in France.
Low Salt Diets from Family Haven
Among the most widely prescribed modified diets in use today are those which limit the amount of table salt and salt containing foods you may use.
Salt by L. Alden from the Cook's Thesaurus
See and learn about the different varieties and uses of salt for cooking.
Salt and the Ultraendurance Athlete
Many diseases are worsened by excess sodium intake, and millions of Americans must closely watch the amount of sodium in their diet. However, sodium is a required element for normal body functions. The goal of this article is to help you determine how to maintain sodium balance during training and racing and during recovery.
Salt of the Earth (Part 1 of 4) from
How much salt do you need? Here you find information and recipes for using salt in cooking and for the preservation of food.
Salt Talk from Vegging Out!
If you've been paying attention to health news recently, you may be confused about the role of sodium in your health. Whereas it was once widely believed that sodium was always one of the "bad guys," even author Dean Ornish writes, "Salt is not as big a health problem as many people believe. . . . Better to add a little salt to your food so it tastes good than to add fat"
Related Websites:
2) Choose a Diet Moderate in Salt and Sodium from U.S. Department of Agriculture
3) Pinch of Controversy Shakes Up Dietary Salt by A. Greeley from U.S Food and Drug Administration
4) Salt: Are You Getting too Much? from Food Standards Agency (UK)
5) Sodium from American Heart Association
6) Spice Up Your Life! Eat Less Salt and Sodium
Sea Salt Production
A characteristic feature of the coastal lagoons and marshes of Mediterranean France is the 'Salin', a system of 'tanks' containing sea water in various stages of evaporation.
Related Website:
2) Salt: The Salt Route in the Mediterranean
Timbuktu Salt Trade (Mali) exerpted from Lonely Planet Publications
Learn about some of the last genuine working caravans in Africa; they are continuing a trade that has gone unchanged for centuries.
Related Websites:
2) Panbros Salt Works - Nigeria
3) Saharan Salt Trade by J.M. Taylor
4) Salt of the Earth (Mali)
Websites For Teachers
Dissolving Salt (Grade 5) from Utah Education Network
This lesson will demonstrate to students that matter, such as salt, may seem to have disappeared when it is dissolved in water, but it is still there.
Fresh Water vs. Salt Water
In this lesson, learners compare and contrast the properties of fresh water and salt water.
Related Lesson:
2) Layered Look: Where Fresh and Salt Water Meet (Grade 4) from FORSEA Institute of Marine Science
Mummies form Newton's Apple
What conditions are needed for mummification to take place? How did ancient Egyptians prepare mummies? How was salt involved?
Salt of Life (Grades 5-8) by N. Miller
In this lesson, students examine the development of salt trade in Africa and the effects of modern technology.
Salt of The Earth by C.K. Smith from SMART website at Illinois Institute of Technology
Throughout history, salt has always been a precious to man. Learn more about it . . .
Related Webpage:
2) Salt, Salt and More Salt
Salt: Up Close and Personal from Science NetLinks
Students view salt under varied magnifications, make detailed observations, and begin to construct the understanding that materials may be composed of parts that are too small to be seen without magnification.
Thinking About Salt (Grades 4-5) from Florida Memory Project
This lesson will help students think about the importance of salt in their lives, the historical significance of salt, and how they would obtain salt if they could not buy it.
Related Lesson:
2) Risking Their Lives for Salt (Grades 4-5)
Solar evaporation
"pinch of salt"
salt works
"worth your salt"
salt deposit
kosher salt
salt marsh
salt cavern
Great Salt Lake
salt lick
salt flat
salt crystal
salt mine
salt spring
"grain of salt"
salt dough
salt water
black salt
Hawaiian salt
bamboo salt
evaporated salt
table salt
rock salt
Epsom salt
sea salt
"salt of the earth"
salt block
sodium chloride
salt curing
salt shaker
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 9/03.