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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
Sir Robert Hatfield, world-famous English metallurgist and inventor of manganese and silicon steels, betrayed unscientific traces of superstition while presenting a gift to President Conant.
The gift was a miniature pen knife made from a piece of platinum steel produced by Faraday over a hundred years ago. Together with the knife, Sir Robert enclosed a letter requesting that a penny be paid in return, citing the age-honored fear that should a pointed instrument be given away, a quarrel is sure to ensue between the two parties involved. President Conant said that he will comply with the request.
The knife accompanied several other gifts which Sir Robert presented to the University in honor of its Tercentenary.
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