Cobre, estanho, ouro e chumbo em Mumford (1934)

Physically speaking, wood has the qualities of both stone and metal: stronger in cross section than is stone, wood resembles steel in its physical properties: its relatively high tensile and compressive strength, together with its elasticity. Stone is a mass: but wood, by its nature, is already a structure. The difference in toughness, tensile strength, weight, and permeability of various species of wood, from pine to hornbeam, from cedar to teak, give wood a natural range of adaptability to various purposes that is matched in metals only as a result of a long evolution of metallurgical skill: lead, tin, copper, gold, and their alloys, the original assortment, offered a meagre choice of possibilities, and down to the end of the nineteenth century wood presented a greater variety. Since wood can be planed, sawed, turned, carved, split, sliced, and even softened and bent or cast, it is the most responsive of all materials to craftsmanship: it lends itself to the greatest variety of techniques. But in its natural state wood keeps the shape of the tree and retains its structure: and the original shape of the wood suggests appropriate tools and [79] adaptations of form. The curve of the branch forms the bracket, the forked stick forms the handle and the primitive type of plow. (Mumford 1934:78-9)

MUMFORD, Lewis. 1934. Technique and civilization. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.