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Although the first electron microscopes were built in the early 1930's, electron microscopy did not become established as a widely used experimental method until after 1945 when reliable, refined commercial instruments became generally available. During the period from about 1945 to 1955, biological applications of electron microscopy greatly outnumbered nonbiological applications and exerted a dominating influence on developments in instrumentation and techniques. During the past few years, however, there has been a tremendous increase in the use of electron microscopy in nonbiological areas, and especially in metallurgy. This recent trend has begun to exert a strong influence on the general course of developments in the field of electron microscopy and is contributing much new and valuable information about the structures of metals. Subcommittee XI on Electron Microstructural Studies of Metals (of ASTM Committee E-4 on Metallography) has contributed actively to this progress in nonbiological applications of electron microscopy through its program of work on the development of techniques for electron microscopic studies of metals (1–8).
Bigelow, W. C.
Professor of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich