chapter  7
The mechanical shaping of metals
Pages 16

It has been suggested that the Romans conquered their known world with the aid of the bronze sword. Be that as it may, it is certain that before that time Man had found that hacking his enemy apart with sword and spear was a more effi cient way of killing him than by the earlier method of clubbing him to death. The smith who shaped the sword and spear – and later the ploughshare (early ones were wood) – was a very important member of society. Using his skin bellows to raise the temperature of his hearth, he was able to form metals to a variety of shapes. Almost as soon as he discovered bronze, he found that a tolerable cutting edge could be developed by cold-forging to harden the alloy. Shaping processes for metals have thus been an integral element in the technological development of man.