For 5,000 years man has had experience of metal. Considerable though this period is, if judged on an historical rather than on a geological basis, it has proved all too short for the determination of the major chemical and physical characteristics of even that small group of metals used in engineering. This lack of knowledge is particularly conspicuous with regard to the property, now called ‘Fatigue’, whose very existence was not recognized in this country until 1849.
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