treatise is intended to give, in a concise form, an explanation
of some of the contrivances used in the Engineer's Workshop.
recent establishment of scholarships, to which the name of Sir.
Joseph Whitworth, Bart, is so nobly attached, having, it is
thought, rendered the present work necessary as an aid to those
who intend to offer themselves as Candidates for this honourable
The student, in making himself familiar with the
appliances described, will but be following in the steps of many
of our most eminent civil engineers, some of whom have made
improvements in mechanism, upon which, however trivial they may
appear in themselves, has depended the success of the most
brilliant of their achievements.
To the workman, many of the explanations which
the book contains may indeed be superfluous; but the
ever-increasing demands for greater accuracy in his handicraft
render it very desirable that he should
have the means of
acquainting himself with the present methods of obtaining
delicate measurements a subject upon which it has hitherto been
difficult for him to obtain information.
The thanks of the Author are due to Sir Joseph
Whitworth; also to Messrs. Sharp, Stewart, & Co., of Manchester;
to Messrs. Shepherd, Hill, & Co., and to Messrs. Fairbairn,
Kennedy, & Co., of Leeds; to Messrs. Tangye Brothers, of London,
and to Mr. J. J. Bagshawe, of the Thames Steel Works, Sheffield,
for their liberality in supplying photographs &c, from which
many of our illustrations are taken. He is also greatly
indebted to his friend Mr. A. L. Newdigate, for so kindly
rendering his valuable assistance and co-operation during the
progress of the work.
More than two hundred and fifty years ago the
greatest English writer on philosophical subjects, wishing 'to
quicken the industry and rouse and kindle the zeal of others'
expressed himself as follows:
The introduction of famous discoveries appears to hold
by far the first place among human actions; and this was
the judgment of former ages.
For to the authors of
inventions they awarded divine honours, while to those who did
good service in the State (such as founders of cities and
empires, legislators, saviours of their country from long
endured quarrels, quellers of tyrannies, and the like), they
decreed no higher honours than heroic.