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The need for an illustrated and condensed work of référence for the inventor, the mechanical student, the artisan, and the workingman v/ith the ambition of an inquiring mind, has become not only apparent to teachers of mechanics, but a real want among ail who are interested in mechanical thought and work.
It is an interest the growth of which has been greatly encouraged by the rapid development of the inventive and mechanical arts during the past half century.
he increasing inquiries from inventors and mechanics, in regard to the principles and facts in constructive and operative mechanics hâve induced the author to gather such illustrations as hâve been found available on the subject of mechanical motions, devices, and appliances, and to place them in a form for ready référence with only sufficient text to explain the gênerai principles of construction and opération, and as a partial exhibit of the mechanical forms in gênerai use, with a view to place the largest amount of illustrated information within the limited means of the humblest seeker after mechanical knowledge. The field of illustrated mechanics seems almost unlimited,
and with the présent effort the author has endeavored partially to fill a void and thus to help the inquirer in idéal and practical mechanics, in the true Une of research. Mechanical détails can best be presented to the mind by diagrams or illustrated forms, and this has been generally acknowledged to be the quickest and most satisfactory method of conveying the exact conditions of mechanical action and construction.