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"One can see the free software movement as a precusor for a "free hardware" or "free wetware" movement--one that will provide free libraries of designs for biological or nanotechnological products that replicators can be programmed to churn out."
- Charles Stross

Nickalum  
  An alloy of aluminum crystalized within a magnetic field for exceptional strength.  

The flying machines which were constructed from 1920 to 1999 on the Langley plan, were built of Nickalum, an alloy of aluminum, crystalized, within a magnetic field. The specific gravity of Nickalum, as employed in the manufacture of ærodromes, or flying machines, was .512. It was lighter than a thin strip of pine wood, malleable as gold and impenetrable as steel. Ærodromes could not have been successfully manufactured in 1920 if Nickalum had not been employed in their construction.

This new property was one of the marvelous products of the twentieth century. It was employed in nearly everything which required strength and elasticity. It was so malleable that waterproof garments, overcoats and shoes were manufactured of Nickalum as early as the year 1912.

With this wonderful and cheaply manufactured metal, ærial navigation became a possibility. The old fashion days of silk balloons drifting helplessly on air currents, had long passed away. These pre-Adamite curiosities belonged to the period of the nineteenth century, when man was yet living under primitive conditions, though by no means in a state of innocence.

Technovelgy from Looking Forward: A Dream of the United States of the Americas in 1999, by Arthur Bird.
Published by L.C. Childs & Son in 1899
Additional resources -

Compare to herculoy from The Howling Bounders (1949) by Jack Vance, ultron from Armageddon: 2419 A.D. (1928) by Philip Frances Nowlan, permalloy from Fugitives From Earth (1939) by Nelson S. Bond, magnalloy from The Cave of Horror (1930) by S.P. Meek, steelonium from Ralph 124c 41 + (1911) by Hugo Gernsback and plasteel from Dune (1965) by Frank Herbert.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Looking Forward: A Dream of the United States of the Americas in 1999
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur Bird
  Tech news articles related to Looking Forward: A Dream of the United States of the Americas in 1999
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur Bird

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