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Those who have read Timoshenko’s “History of the Strength of Materials” (1) may recall the drawing (Fig. 1) from the notebook of Leonardo da Vinci which appears on one of the first pages. da Vinci used this apparatus to study the effect of specimen length on the strength of a supply of iron wire. He found short lengths to be stronger than long ones. These experiments done four and one-half centuries ago may well be the oldest recorded fracture tests.
Irwin, G. R.
U. S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D. C.