By Gerard A Maugin

Preface 1. The Land Clearers and the "Classics" 2. Transition to the twentieth Century three. Rheology and Nonlinear Elasticity four. the yankee Society of Mechanical Engineers Spirit five. Axiomatization and Thermo-Mechanics 6. The British university of Elasticity, Plasticity and Defects: utilized arithmetic 7. The French Masters eight. The Polish power nine. German Revival in Continuum Mechanics After WWII 10. eu Miscellanei and Asia eleven. The Soviet and Russian colleges 12. Continuum Mechanics and Electromagnetism thirteen. Generalized Continuum Mechanics: quite a few Paths 14. Configurational Mechanics 15. Relativistic Continuum Mechanics: A twentieth Century experience sixteen. Epilogue Appendix: chosen Biographies of Mechanicians

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This was a first application of an argument of elementary group theory in continuum mechanics. As such, it was applauded by Elie Cartan (1869–1951), the famous geometer and specialist of the theory of Lie groups. Hellinger (1914) acknowledged the possible enrichments provided by Duhem and the Cosserats but without further elaboration. The argument of Euclidean invariance was exploited in papers by Sudria (1926, 1935). More recently it was applied by Toupin (1964) and Maugin (1970) for Cosserat continua and micromorphic ones, respectively.

München Heft 13:1–115 Bois PA (2007) Joseph Boussinesq (1842–1929): a pioneer of mechanical modelling at the end of the 19th century. R. Mécanique (Acad Sci Paris) 335:479–495 Boltzmann L (1874) Zur Theorie der elastischen Nachwirkung. Sitz. K, Akad. Wien, 70:275–306 Chen PJ (1976) Selected topics in wave propagation. Noordhoff, Leiden, The Netherlands [Essentially, discontinuity waves in the sense of Duhem, Hadamard, Jouguet, etc] Cosserat E, Cosserat F (1909) Théorie des corps déformables. Hermann, Paris [Reprint, Editions Gabay, Paris, 2008] Duhem P (1893) Le potentiel thermodynamique et la pression hydrostatique.

We do not know if the French are that much conservative but we can say here that they do not throw things away: according to my friend James Casey from Berkeley, you can still find the specimens used by Tresca in his (1870) experiments kept in a box in the basement of the actual CNAM. In early times CNAM, created during the French revolution, was an institution somewhat similar to the Royal Institution in London where both Humphry Davy and Michael Faraday gave public lectures and conducted experiments.

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