The paper that marks the beginning of the field of metallography
On the microscopical structure of iron and steel. In: The Journal of Iron and Steel, No. 1, 1887, pp. 255-289, 6 plates with 17 photographs and heliographs, 2 text illustrations.
London: E. & F. N. Spon, 1887.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003622
8vo (213 x 137 mm). Entire volume: xii, , 530 pp., 27 plates (14 folding), 3 folding letterpress tables, text illustrations and diagrams. Bound in contemporary plum cloth, spine gilt lettered and blind ruled, dark-brown endpapers (rubbing of extremities, corners bumped, spine ends frayed, binding somewhat untight, front pastedown damaged). Text clean and bright throughout, old tape repair to gutter of p. 224/5. Provenance: Dorman, Long & Co (ink stamps to free endpapers). ----
FIRST EDITION of the paper that marks the beginning of the field of metallography, also the first publication of photographic images in microscopic petrography. "The first technical interests in examining the nature of steel came just past the midpoint of the 19th century. Henry Clifton Sorby of Sheffield, England, examined, polished, and etched surfaces of meteorites and several commercial steels under a microscope during the period 1863-1866 [. . .] Sorby discovered that the microstructure of steel was complex, and he found an area that he called 'pearly'. However, no interest developed at the time even though he reported his findings in his home town of Sheffield, which had been a toolmaking center for centuries [...] The very beginning of any scientific or technical field is always difficult to determine because there is usually some knowledge or activity that can be shown to predate whatever beginning is selected. Thus, while the period 1885 to 1890 can be shown as the beginning of the studies of the internal structures of metals, some previous work had been done by Sorby, Dmitry Chernov, Floris Osmond, Adolf Martens, and others. It was the first attempts by Osmond and Martens to publish their examination of polished and etched surfaces of steel in the Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute of Great Britain that reawakened Sorby's interest in an area he had worked on more than 20 years earlier. Sorby immediately set about a new examination of the microstructure of steels. He presented this work in 1886 and published it in the Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1887. This new work by Sorby, along with that of Osmond and Martens, is considered the real beginning of the field of metallography, the study of the internal structure of metals by light-reflected microscopy. From this point forward, the ever-increasing research in how the behavior of metals relates to their internal structure has been the foundation of our modern technological age" (C. R. Simcoe, The History of Metals in America, ASM International, 2018, pp. 47-49). - Visit our website to see more images!
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