I love to read white papers from the 1930’s on indium (the element). People had no idea what interesting properties they would discover from working with this strange and fascinating metal. We know that indium cold welds to itself, wets to non-metals, and is 4 times softer than lead. This is all common knowledge to us, but to the pioneers in the soldering industry it was fresh, exciting, and had no bounds.
A lot of what was learned through early experimentation was documented, but I would love to be able to talk with the original authors. I wonder if they were as intrigued about it as we are?