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It was alleged that in 1665 Chen, Yong-Hua introduced the earliest solar salt production method in Taiwan and established Laikou Salt Field (to the south of Yancheng, South District, Tainan City today), which is the earliest solar salt field recorded in Taiwanese history.
Jhounan Salt Field in the Jiang Yuanshu Chong Siou Tai Jun Jian Jhu Tu Shuo
They built Wu Yuan (Wu’s Mansion) in Tainan.
Wu, Shang-Sin was the richest salt merchant in Tainan during the Jiacing and Daoguang administrations in the Cing Dynasty. Father and son ran a salt retail shop called Wu Heng Ji in Taiwan County (known as Tainan today) and Chiayi County.
Wu, Shang-Sin improved Taiwanese solar salt techniques with the Chinese method. The old crystallizing pond and small evaporation pond were removed from the improved tile base salt field with added large evaporation pool and brine jar; this became the most adopted configuration of salt fields since then.
The round brine jar became the standard method for salt production followed by the next few generations. When it rained, a gate was opened to allow the brine to flow into the jar, making the relatively heavier brine to concentrate at the bottom of the jar, while the relatively lighter rain water stayed on the top layer.
When the rain stopped, the rain water was scooped out and the brine at the bottom layer was scooped back to the crystallizing pond, and the sun’s action continued.
Solar salt operation was a business heavily reliant on the weather. For more than two hundred years during the Cing dynasty, all major migrations of the salt field locations in Taiwan were attributed to weather. Flood, change of river course, seawater inwelling, and change of coastal line could relocate the salt fields.
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