Reissue of Encyclopedia of Physics / Handbuch der Physik, Volume VIa The mechanical response of solids was first reduced to an organized science of fairly general scope in the nineteenth century. The theory of small elastic deformations is in the main the creation of CAUCHY, who, correcting and simplifying the work of N AVIER and POISSON, through an astounding application of conjoined scholarship, originality, and labor greatly extended in breadth the shallowest aspects of the treatments of par- ticular kinds of bodies by GALILEO, LEIBNIZ, JAMES BERNOULLI, PARENT, DANIEL BER- NOULLI, EULER, and COULOMB. Linear elasticity became a branch of mathematics, culti- vated wherever there were mathematicians. The magisterial treatise of LOVE in its second edition, 1906 - clear, compact, exhaustive, and learned - stands as the summary of the classical theory. It is one of the great "gaslight works" that in BOCHNER'S words! "either do not have any adequate successor[s] '" or, at least, refuse to be super- seded . . . ; and so they have to be reprinted, in ever increasing numbers, for active research and reference", as long as State and Society shall permit men to learn mathe- matics by, for, and of men's minds. Abundant experimentation on solids was done during the same century. Usually the materials arising in nature, with which experiment most justly concerns itself, do not stoop easily to the limitations classical elasticity posits.