OED appeals list

Frank Abate abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Jun 21 01:06:42 UTC 2002

RE the following:

>  "Machinable" (capable of being processed by machine) is now
> antedated to 1957.  Here's an antedating to 1920: "while all the
> 400,000 pounds of brass rods which the vendor delivered, except this
> 27,504 pounds, were readily machined, this remnant was not thus
> machinable."  Century Electric Co. v. Detroit Copper & Brass Rolling
> Mills, 264 F. 49, 51 (8th Cir. 1920).

Jesse S said:

Are you sure this doesn't mean 'capable of being cut by machine tools',
which we have to 1917? I can't quite tell from the context, but it seems
as though this is likely.

The above passage undoubtedly refers to the cutting of metal by a machine
tool.  Machinists, engineers, and designers speak of metal being machinable
(in varying degrees) constantly.  And the industry has been around since the
early 19th century at least.

I expect that the technical literature would antedate this by decades.

Frank Abate

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