The technology of thermal spray will reach its centenary anniversary in the first decade of the 21st century. It is appropriate to summarize the early literature of the 1900's and present, for posterity, several of the key publications upon which this vital technology rests. This article is broken up into three sections; (i) a summary of early US and UK patent literature is presented in tabular format along with a brief commentary; (ii) several articles (prior to 1915) and books (prior to 1970) from the early literature are mentioned; and (iii) three Appendices reproduce those patents which are indicated as "Master Patents" for thermal spray and which spear-headed its art and science. This article is intended to guide the interested reader towards primary sources of literature upon which present thermal spray science and engineering is based.

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