The most constant use of curled maple is for the stocks of fowling-pieces and rifles, as it affords toughness and strength combined with lightness and elegance.
Such an alloy can be cast like ordinary bronze, but excels the latter in hardness, elasticity, toughness and tensile strength.
The wood is highly valued by carriage-builders, upholsterers and turners, on account of its toughness and tenacity, and in Russia it is prized as firewood and a source of charcoal.
The substitution of steel for iron as the material for rails which made possible the axle loads and the speeds of Lto-day, and, by reducing the cost of maintenance, contributed enormously to the economic efficiency of railways, was one of the most important events in the history of railways, and a scarcely less important element of progressive economy has been the continued improvement of the steel rail in stiffness of section and in toughness and hardness of material.
In the form of plate it can be tempered and annealed till its elasticity and toughness are much increased, and it can then be formed into almost any shape under the hammer and punch.
Its strength and toughness render it valuable for naval purposes, to which it is largely applied; its freedom from any tendency to split adapts it for clinker-built boats.
However that may be, I was struck by the peculiar toughness of the steel which bore so many violent blows without being worn out.
Tillage operations on such land are easily interrupted by rain, and the period always much limited in which they can be prosecuted at all; the compactness and toughness of the soil renders each operation more arduous, and its repetition more necessary than in the case of dry land.