October 2012 Heat Treaters' Night

Monday October 15th, 2012

Technical Chair: Mark Sherman

5:45 Social/Networking Time
6:30 Dinner
7:30 Presentation: "Civil War Metallography"

Civil War Metallography— The evolution, between about 1800 and 1860, of wood- and metal-working technology that enabled the mass production of small arms with fully interchangeable parts in American (and British) arsenals is traced using historical references and illustrations. Results of metallurgical examinations of selected components of original U.S. Model 1855-1863 Springfield and British Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifle-Muskets give insights to the materials, metal forming processes and heat treatments available to mid-19th Century arms-makers engaged in the interchangeable ("American") system of manufacture.The Rifle-Musket is shown to have been a value-engineered arm that employed low cost materials and metallurgical treatments, yet was capable of incredibly robust performance under combat conditions. Example antique rifle-muskets will be displayed. The life span of the muzzle-loading percussion rifle-musket in military service was short-lived -- starting ca. 1853, then being replaced by single-shot, metallic cartridge breechloaders in the late1860’s, to be supplanted by magazine-fed bolt action arms after the 1880’s.


Mr. John Harkness holds BS and MS Degrees in Metallurgy from Case Institute of Technology and Case Western Reserve University, respectively, and is a Fellow of the American Society for Metals International (ASMI). He retired in 2011, after 33 years, from the position of Principal Scientist, Alloy Research and Development, at Brush Wellman Inc. (now Materion) in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. His research interests there include Cu-Be and other Be-containing alloy development, raw material and component parts fabrication technology, new products and physical metallurgy.   He is co-inventor on several US and foreign patents for lean, low cost, high performance Cu-Be alloys; has written extensively on the performance attributes of Be-containing alloys and has contributed to articles on Cu-Be and other Cu alloys in the ASM Handbook series. He is a Past Chairman of the Cleveland Chapter ASM International.

Mr. Harkness is a life-long student of military history and the development of military technology. He is Past President of the Cleveland Civil War Round Table, a member of the Company of Military Historians and the Ohio Gun Collectors' Association, a former Civil War and Revolutionary War re-enactor and has shot original Civil War small arms with live ammunition extensively in target competition in the North-South Skirmish Association.

Meeting Location:

Crowne Plaza-Independence
5300 Rockside Road
(216) 524-0700


Please register using the form-link below through noon on October 11th.

You may pay online using PayPal or pay at the door. The PayPal and pay-at-door costs are the same as long as you pre-register. Non-registered walk-ins will be accommodated at the higher cost on a space-available basis. Registration questions can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Registration costs are:

Members & Guests:

  • $25 Pre-registered
  • $30 walk-in/not registered

Retired members:

  • $15 Pre-registered
  • $20 walk-in/not registered

Students pay $10

Members Pre-Registered for this Meeting