Higgins Armory of Worcester, Mass., WPI's Metal Processing Institute, and the George C. Gordon Library at WPI are sponsoring “The Cutting Edge: Modern Metallography and the Ancient Secrets of Swordmaking,” which traces the evolution of metals technology across the millennia. The free exhibit opens Oct. 23 and runs through Dec. 20.
"The Cutting Edge: Modern Metallography and the Ancient Secrets of Swordmaking," sponsored by Higgins Armory, Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) Metal Processing Institute, and the George C. Gordon Library at WPI, traces the evolution of metals technology across the millennia. The exhibit uses the tools of modern metallography -- such as optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and electron diffusion analysis -- to reveal the composition and structure of a selection of swords from the Higgins Armory collection, ranging from a Chinese bronze blade of 1000 BCE to a modern display sword.
Metallurgy has been among the most influential human technologies for more than 5,000 years, and the swordmaking craft has represented one of the greatest challenges to the metalworker. Preindustrial swordsmiths knew nothing of the material sciences that govern the properties of metals, yet their traditional techniques, handed down from generation to generation, allowed them to manipulate these properties to craft long, light blades that could hold a deadly cutting edge while enduring the punishing conditions of battlefield use.
Oct. 23 to Dec. 20, 2007: Exhibit Duration
Oct. 25, 5 to 7 p.m.: Reception
Oct. 25 at 5:30 p.m.: Curator Talk with WPI Professor Jeffrey Forgeng, curator of Higgins Armory
Oct. 31 at 12:30 p.m.: Interactive Gallery Talk, “Ghost of the Past,” with Professor Forgeng
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
George C. Gordon Library, 3rd Floor Gallery
100 Institute Road
For more information about this free exhibit, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.