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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 1 (May 1, 1932.)

Meal-Time Musings. — “The Elastic Limit.”

Meal-Time Musings.
“The Elastic Limit.”

“Big Jake” was more than a first rate foreman. He was a guide, philosopher and friend to the men who had the pleasure to work under his supervision. His capacity was phenomenal and “Paddy” summed “Jake” up when he said, “the Boss is just a river of information and a mountain of helpfulness.”

“Jake” always appeared at his best when engaged in teaching “the young idea how to shoot” and his methods inspired and encouraged the boys to think hard and work diligently.

“You observed,” said “Jake,” to young “Laddie,” “the bent piston-rod that was taken from the light repair job this morning. Can you explain the cause of the bending?” “Yes,” said “Laddie,” “the stress was so great on the rod that the point was reached where the material became ‘permanently set,’ thereby failing to return to its original dimensions.”

“Said like a book” returned “Jake,” “but the old way of describing the cause appears to me the better way: the working load was exceeded, the factor of safety passed and the strain forced the rod beyond the ‘Elastic Limit.’ The moduli vary greatly, especially in steel. As with steel so with men, no matter whether their methods be elaborate, spectacular or just simple, all have their ‘Elastic Limit.’

“It is a grand thing to know the ‘working load’ and to bear it willingly day by day. No man ever sank under the burden of the day, it is only when to-morrow's load is added that man reaches the ‘Elastic Limit.’”