MAN'S increasing power over the physical world has been largely due to his ever‐growing knowledge of the chemistry and physics of materials. From the end of the Stone Age until almost the present, this developing mastery has largely depended on the metallurgist, who first by empiricism and then by the same means, leavened to an increasing extent by Science, has found means of producing, with but little regard to their specific gravity, substances possessing in greater or less degree those two outstanding qualities, hardness and ductility, on which progress, prior to the flying era, so much depended. In a world of over ninety elements, three quarters of which arc metallic, the combinations and permutations open to the experimentalist arc almost infinite. That these possibilities have not been neglected when the urge existed, is shown by a single example, aluminium. This metal, the discovery of which dates back little over one hundred years, now possesses over 600 alloys whose genesis dates from that of mechanical flight.
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